Great Divide “Yeti”
This imperial stout is the base brew belonging to a family of beers, each of which include an additional ingredient. I really love this idea, because it allows us the ability to discover how oak, chocolate, espresso, and belgian yeast can fundamentally alter taste. This review just so happens to be a bottle I picked up straight from the Great Divide brewery! Pictures just can’t capture the beautiful, coke float-style head produced by a healthy pour. Aromas are dark and musty, like charred oats, cocoa covered brownies, walnut husks, and some delicious herbal notes below (C-hops).
The palate opens up with a big body of chocolate that swells up with a well-rounded, ultra-creamy feel. A robust, bitter bite of blackened barley pairs with a few drops of hop oil that rise up and strike midway. After this one-two punch backs down, flavors evolve into manifestations of cold brewed coffee. Herbal, pine-based hops occupy the final stage of flavor, with a citric astringency that soon rises up, propelling the beer toward climax. Alpha acids cling with an impressive amount of sustain. Alcohol is noted, but it’s such an integral part of the palate, it’s really of no concern at all. The level of bitterness (75 IBU) falls in proper proportion to sweetness, which eventually rises up into a semi-sour finish. The hops may be heavy-handed, but these malts sure do put up a fight, and I can tell they’re giving it all they’ve got.
For me, it was ‘Old Rasputin’ that first lead to my love of the double stout, but it was Yeti that revealed to me what the style could do with some hoppy aggression. I’ve got a soft spot for this original, but the Chocolate and Oaked Yeti are my two favorites, because they both seem to take the edge off the hops. I love to revisit them all as they fall in and out of season. If you have never had any of these in your life, I suggest you start here with the original, then work your way up to the Belgian. This would make an awesome addition to a Saturday brunch, but it’s good anytime. I recommend it to those of you who love a good hoppy double stout.