Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Great Divide Yeti


4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1167) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 3, 2014
Great Divide Yeti is one of those Hall of Fame-type beers I’ve always heard about for years, but have never been able to try until recently (unless you count the chocolate version I reviewed back in 2010). Anyway, this is a beer with a great reputation and it’s well-deserved. This is the embodiment of an imperial stout done not only correctly, but pretty much perfectly.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 4/23/14 and cost $5.75 ($0.48 per ounce).

Appearance: Black as the Devil’s heart. Even the head appears black at first, but eventually settles out to a dark shade of brown in a frothy texture. Leaves plenty of lacing on the glass and never dissipates.

Smell: Pungent aroma of dark malt, black licorice and chocolate syrup. Some citrusy hops as well.

Taste: Sweet confectionery flavors right from the get-go. Dark chocolate concentrate, iced coffee, black licorice and a hint of spice rum are all present immediately. They’re sweet, but not ridiculously so. Through the middle comes a more rustic palette of roasted malt and French Roast coffee. However, there bitterness comes from the strong hop presence, which also makes for a surprisingly citrusy taste with some pine character as well (especially on the finish). There’s a lingering dry, slightly pasty aftertaste, but it’s actually quite pleasant. This is a well-balance, highly robust, and delectable brew all around. Exactly what an imperial stout should be.

Drinkability: Sometimes big beers like this can be intimidating, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which Great Divide Yeti went down. The mouthfeel is thick, slightly chewy, but in no way cloying. There’s a strong carbonation to it so as to prevent it from sticking to the teeth. The 9.5% ABV potency is just barely noticeable in a gentle warming sensation as it goes down. Otherwise, it’s in no way distracting and surprisingly smooth and easy to drink in larger gulps. You don’t have to just sip this. 
Grade: 10/10