Tag Archives: imperial stout

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!

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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.

Southern Tier Update – Imperial Oat

Well a little while back I talked about Southern Tier’s Imperial series, and how many of them were quite dessert like, especially the imperial stout types.  This blog kind of updates that one and also highlights a new (to me) imperial series from Southern Tier that’s quite a bit different!

Southern Tier Imperial Oat!

It’s a nice, thick, more traditional imperial stout, albeit with a bit more of an oatmeal taste and feel than you might expect from such a high ABV brew.

And wow, it’s a thick and rich imperial stout, presumably from what I assume must be lots of extra oatmeal goodness.  Mouthfeel is great!  It’s a bit hot from alcohol but I bet it would age beautifully.  Lots of great aroma and flavor, coffee, dark roasty and burnt malts, chocolate, a tinge of dark fruit, and a surprisingly refreshing amount of hop character, there’s certainly no shortage of hops character and bitterness!.

I will have to research this one a bit, because I’d really like to try and clone it someday.  I am suspecting I would need lots of oatmeal!

What can I say besides “delicious.”   This is probably my favorite and most regularly drinkable of the Southern Tier Imperial series of beers.  I think I should get a couple for aging too.   Definitely worth a try.

Cheers!

Southern Tier Again! Imperial Desserts?

Wow, a slew of new imperial series beers from Southern Tier have just come into my local store, and my taste buds have been exploding left and right!

Right now I’m finishing off a Pumking, a pretty darn amazing pumpkin beer that’s available every fall.

I’ve also got Creme Brulee, Jahva, Mokah, and Back-Burner Barleywine in the fridge!

This post will be created over a few days, highlighting the deliciousness of each of these amazing beers!  To me, these beers all have very dessert like qualities.  Here we go!

Pumking

A pretty damn amazing pumpkin beer.  Appearance is a bit light on head and lacing, but it’s perfectly pumpkin in color and pretty clear, for the most part nice to look at.  It’s got a fantastic aroma, that might be its best quality.  Just like a slice of Grandma’s pie (and my Grandma could bake some serious pies).  Flavor wise it’s very sweet, and very, very spicy.  It’s got bite too, probably a bit from the alcohol, perhaps a bit from being more hopped than other pumpkin brews (?), and definitely from a ton of spices.  I like the aroma more than the flavor, but it’s still quite delicious.  The body is slick, sweet, a little sticky, and plenty thick and rich.  Alcohol is notable but not overwhelming.  I think I’ve had four years worth of Pumking, and this year’s is my favorite yet (the ABV is 8.6% this year, a bit lower than last year’s, maybe that’s why).  I try to get a couple bombers of this every year because it’s so damn festive!

There aren’t that many really good pumpkin beers out there, but from the ones I have tried, I would rate Schlafly’s and Southern Tier’s pumpkin beers at the top.  Actually, Dogfish Head’s pumpkin deserves special mention too, but sadly, I can’t get that one around here.

Mokah

Rating a 92 on beer advocate (with 586 reviews), it’s no slouch.  And American double/imperial stout is a tough category, so that rating is nothing to scoff at either.

Well it’s not that much to look at, kinda flat without a lot of head or lace or carbonation, black as night.  But again, looks don’t make the beer all on their own.

The aroma and flavor are amazing!  Plenty of chocolate: Milk and baker’s chocolate, some cocoa, so many facets of chocolate it’s almost overwhelming.  There’s actually a pretty good hoppiness to it as well, more than I’d expect from the name.  Add to that a nice touch of acrid/burnt malt flavor, plus plenty of sweetness, and you’ve got one tasty imperial stout.

The body is slick, very sweet, and a little syrupy.  The alcohol is well hidden but comes through a bit more as it warms.

You should be aware that this is a very sweet dessert type beer, and be prepared if you open the bomber to drink a lot of very sweet, syrupy beer.  But it’s so worth it!  Delicious stuff!

Jahva

Actually it’s no surprise that this is pretty similar to mokah.  It’s got almost the same appearance and could quite possibly share a good amount of the same ingredients.  However, it does have a distinct and different character that’s quite worth trying.

I detected TONS of chocolate, roasted, and a little burnt malt aroma and flavor, plus plenty of coffee (I would hope so, given the name).  There’s a little vanilla and some dark fruits too.

It’s distinctly different from mokah, but right on the same lines as far as the type of beer and experience you get from drinking it.  Thick, sweet, syrupy, heavily dessert-y, and damn delicious!

Creme Brulee

Again, unimpressive appearance, quite similar to mokah and jahva.

Smells awesome! Although it’s not an especially beer-like smell, more of a dessert like smell. Sweet brown sugar and vanilla aromas dominate, with some roasty dark notes. You can instantly smell it the moment you open up the bottle, and it only smells better and better in the glass as you drink it.

Taste is heavily sweet with tons of vanilla, gobs of brown sugar, almost like drinking a dessert. It truly lives up to its name if a beer ever did.  There’s some dark, roasty notes and some vanilla cappuccino, but nothing at all in the way of hops.

Body is pretty full and very sticky from the sweetness. Carbonation isn’t bad, light but ample, despite the lackluster appearance.

Again, it’s a very thick, very sweet, very dessert-y beer.

Finally, I’m reviewing Back-Burner Imperial Oak Aged Barleywine

Pours cloudy and brown, very typical of a barleywine.  Carbonation is ample and provided a pretty good 2 finger head that lasted a bit, but dissipated into a sheen, leaving pretty good thick, sticky lacing.

Aroma is blastingly malty, with that pungent barley aroma I’m looking for in a barleywine.  Caramel malts are plentiful.  Hops are equally forward, with a nice twang to top off the pungent aromas.

Flavor is very nice.  Caramel malt, brown sugar, dark ripe fruits, some citrus bitterness, and a nice balancing of hops.  This isn’t an overly hopped barleywine, it’s more malt forward and balanced (as compared to say SN Bigfoot ale, which I found to be monstrously hoppy).  There’s a note of oak, but it’s not very forward and certainly not overpowering.

The body is medium to full, with a slick, syrupy finish.

It’s pretty good, not the best barleywine I’ve had but still pretty good.  It’s right on par from what I expect from the Southern Tier Imperial Series.

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Southern Tier.  Definitely a GO at this station!

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