Saturday, January 4, 2014

Great Divide Brewing - Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

For the Eleventh Beer of Christmas, a mountain legend came to life.

Great Divide Brewing
Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
From deep in the Rocky Mountains, the mysterious Yeti has crept down from the heights and can now be found in fine package liquor stores, probably in a town near you. Great Divide has a number of fantastic beers, including last year's Hibernation Ale.

The beer pours up a beautiful dark chocolate brown with a thick head of milk chocolate brown foam. Thick lacing clung to the side of the glass throughout the drink and left a scattered web all the way to the bottom of the glass.

The aroma reminds me a bit of when I was in college an we'd make Irish coffee by pouring any available whiskey (not just Irish whiskey) into coffee. There are also chocolate and vanilla coming to the scent surface every now and then. And, as my wife mentioned, there's an understated flower garden aroma of hops. However, I think she thought it was overstated.

The 70 IBUs (International Bittering Units) of hops come through fairly strongly in the taste. This is as high as an IPA (India Pale Ale) style would have, but the strong malt character makes the hops more subtle in taste than they would be in an IPA. Flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate, and an alcohol warming are also there. It has a smooth, creamy feel even with a light bite of the hops and highly roasted malt.

While the IBUs are a bit higher than I normally look for in an imperial stout, this is still a fantastic beer. Thick and rich, a single 22 oz bottle could easily last you through most of an evening of sitting and visiting with friends and family.

Brewer: Great Divide Brewing Company
Location: Denver, CO
Style: Imperial Stout
Alcohol Content: 9.5% ABV
Interesting Note: As many brewers do these days, Great Divide follows their own set of green practices. While there are a number of usual ones in the list (sending spent grain to local farmers for feed, shopping locally, reusing heated water for other purposes, etc), one that stood out in my mind was that all proceeds from their beer sample sales are donated to local non-profits. It comes to about $75,000 per year. That's pretty cool. You can read more about all of their practices at their website (link above).

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