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
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.