Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Great Divide Brewing Co.'s Espresso Oak Aged Yeti

I got my hands on a real monster this weekend. After seeing a nearly flawless review for Espresso Oak Aged Yeti on Sud Savant, I had to run down to my local beverage center to pick up a bottle. I had a glass last night and was rather impressed!

Yeti is an imperial stout aged, not in oak barrels, but over oak chips. That's an interesting break from the norm. Of course, on top of the chocolatey malts used in this stout, there is espresso. The only other coffee-centric stout I've tried is Founder's Breakfast Stout. That baby packs a huge coffee punch! So let's see how this mythical beast hold up:

Appearance: 5/5
While I wish I had a snifter to drink this stout out of, I had to make do with my pint glass. The head retention in my glass sucked, which is disappointing because the little bit of head I did get to see looked absolutely mouthwatering. It was so thick and dark that it looked like I could cut into it and eat it. So do yourself a favor and use a tulip or snifter when drinking Yeti for maximum head retention. As far as color goes, it's a pitch-black stout and looks very handsome.

Nose: 2/5
Light espresso notes come through in the aroma, but not in the heavy way I wanted them to. I do detect stronger chocolate notes, which is nice as well. Still, the aroma of this beer kind of falls flat.

Taste: 5/5
A rush of chocolate and coffee flavors immediately attacked my palate. It's a nicely balanced taste; the coffee doesn't outdo the chocolate, nor does the chocolate outdo the coffee. It's rich and even creamy.

Mouthfeel: 5/5
This is a heavy beer! I've had experience with high-ABV stouts, such as Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout, but this is still quite strong with a thick full body.

Finish: 4.5/5
Yeti finishes quite smooth, actually. Despite its powerful presence on the palate, it goes down nicely, leaving hints of coffee lingering behind. Definitely a nice finishing touch for this beer.

Total Score: 84/100

While the aroma of Yeti left a lot to be desired, I still found that it was a flavorful and enjoyable beer with a head that looked to be some of the best out there. This is a damn good stout and will be right up the alley of anyone who enjoys a hint of coffee in their stouts to counteract the chocolate malts. Don't let the aroma of this beer get you down; go out and pick yourself up a bottle and enjoy!


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