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Great Divide OAK AGED Yeti!

Well I’ve already reviewed regular Yeti Imperial Stout, and now I’ve got a nice fat bomber of OAK AGED Yeti.

Rating 100/99 on ratebeer and 95 on beer advocate, this is certainly a top-dog Russian Imperial Stout.

The appearance is great, used diesel motor oil black with a massive brown, lasting head and monster lacing.

The aroma is very nice.  There’s a plentiful supply of roasted, toasted, and burnt malt flavors.  Notes of coffee, chocolate and tobacco accent the nose.  There’s a touch of woodiness from the oak too.

Taste wise this one is tremendous, and mostly follows the nose.  The roasted and burnt grain flavors are up front, followed by a nice coffee/chocolate flavor.  I still detect a little tobacco like flavor in there too, like a fine cigar.  The oak aging is more apparent in the flavor and accents the rest of this delicious beer wonderfully.

The body is tremendous!  Super thick and incredibly rich and full bodied, with pretty well hidden alcohol.

What a great beer!   I highly recommend this to anyone who loves Russian Imperial Stouts or oak aged beers.

Cheers to Great Divide!

Great Divide Yeti

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!

Regular ol’ Yeti rates a 100/98 on ratebeer and a 95 on beer advocate.  Honestly, I think BA under-rated it!

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.

Old Ruffian Barleywine

Well time for another Great Divide brew, today it’s Old Ruffian, a delicious barleywine!

Rating a 99/98 on ratebeer, and a 95 on beer advocate, this is a very well liked and highly rated barleywine.   Let’s find out whether it’s worthy of all those high ratings!

Pours a deep amber color, a bit hazy, with a fairly small head but ample lacing.

Aroma is deeply fruity, with lots of mid and dark fruits coming through, figs, plums, raisins, some honey and brown sugar too.  There’s also a plentiful degree of hoppiness that lets you know this is a bold and potent brew!  Alcohol is notable.

Flavor is very deep and rich, with tons of great malty flavors coming through right away.  Caramel malts, grainy bready flavors, nuts, brown sugar, molasses, and rich dark fruits come through first, followed by an intense hoppiness that creates something almost “balanced” (LOL, if that’s even possible with barleywine!).

It has what I consider to be the quintessential property of a barleywine… it’s pungent!  I love the pungent malt/hop interaction that leaves your mouth puckering from the intense malt flavors.  To me, it’s very distinct to the barleywine style, and this barleywine has it in spades.

Body is very thick and full, leaving a fruity, resinously hoppy finish.  Alcohol is warming and noticeable, this is clearly a strong beer!

My overall impression of this beer is that it’s amongst the top barleywines I’ve tried.  I think my favorite ever was Bigfoot Barleywine by Sierra Nevada, and this one isn’t too far off from that.  Great job Great Divide!

If you like barleywine, definitely try this one!

 

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Tried a new one today, Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide brewing!  Very tasty, and recommended for all you DIPA fans!

Orange and pretty clear with a pretty good head and lacing.

Aroma is clean and hoppy, piney, resinous, citrus (lemon, grapefruit, oranges), and floral.

Flavor is again quite clean for a DIPA.  Good clean bitterness, orangey citrus, lemon peel, heavy grapefruit peel, piney hops, and a surprise sweet malt balance that leaves you wanting another sip.

Body is full and slightly syrupy, not a real quick or easy drinker.  Alcohol is warming but well masked.

I’ve had a lot of IPAs of late, and I have to say this one is refreshingly different.  Quite enjoyable, but don’t expect to get out of your chair once you’re finished with the bomber!

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