Wow! Amazing! I’ve had a bunch of the Yeti series, not all, but a bunch. I’ve never met a Yeti I didn’t like!
I guess my favorite from the series is the Oak Aged Yeti, but the regular is pretty darn close. I prefer the (simple) oak aged or regular Yeti’s to the espresso or chocolate, all of which are quite similar, although obviously each has its nuances. The Belgian Yeti is an altogether different animal, and very delicious in its own right. There are some other Yetis that I have yet to try, but I will!
Today I’m going to enjoy a bottle of regular ol’ Yeti Imperial Stout. They had it at the grocery store of all places, and at a somewhat reasonable price too! It’s a 22oz bomber, so here we go!
Pours like a sample of 100 year old used diesel motor oil from a catepillar bulldozer. Like an imperial stout should look! Head isn’t real tall but it lasts and leaves monstrous lacing!
Aroma… it’s so good I can’t stop sniffing my glass. Tons of great burnt, roasted, and kilned malts assault your nose. Dark chocolate and coffee are ever-present, but don’t overpower. There’s a surprising hop note too, this one isn’t shy on hop bitterness.
The flavor is AMAZING. Talk about a balanced beer… well, is any imperial stout really that balanced? I dunno! But it’s really well done in every way. The roasted, toasty and burnt flavors are in proper proportions to the coffee and chocolate notes, and the hop bitterness is about friggin’ perfect if you ask me.
Body is thick and rich and incredibly drinkable. Amazing that I’m describing anything “Imperial” and 9.5% ABV as drinkable! It’s damn smooth and leaves a long lingering near perfect roasty, bitter aftertaste.
It’s almost impossible to improve on Yeti. I admit I do like the touch of oak in the oak aged version, but really, if it says Yeti, pick it up, you won’t be disappointed. If you are, I’ll buy you a damn beer next time you’re in my neck of the woods. 🙂
If I might add just a touch of personal philosophy… this beer, and the Yeti series, illustrate that things don’t necessarily have to be “coffee,” “chocolate,” or “raspberry oyster chardonnay barrel-aged with brett and cacao nibs” to be top in their class. Simplicity often trumps complication. This beer is simple, yet as close to perfection as any self-respecting Imperial Stout can hope to get. Great Divide has set the standard here, everyone else needs to either catch up or struggle to top it.
A good measure of how good a beer REALLY is would be “how often do I buy it, when offered multiple choices?” Some of the extreme imperial stouts I’ve had were certainly fantastic, but honestly, if placed side by side with Yeti… a lot of them I’d just buy the Yeti anyway. Only a few would even make me hesitate, to be honest. I find myself buying Yeti almost anytime I want an imperial stout. That says a lot.
Hats off to Great Divide. Again.