I would like to give a BIG warm welcome to guest reviewer Josh from lostinthebeeraisle.com. When we discussed which beer he would review, I was giddy to see that the Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti was keeping vigil patiently in his fridge, waiting for its moment in the spotlight. I reviewed the "regular" (although this fantastic beer is ANYTHING but normal) Yeti back in November for my 100 Stouts vs. Porters challenge. I was highly impressed with this rich, intense beer, and named it "Best American Imperial Stout" in my winners list. (See my review below Josh's) Since then, I have been dying to try the other versions, the Espresso Oak Aged and the Chocolate Oak Aged, but boooo and alas, I have not had them available to me!
Thus it was an easy-as-pie decision when Josh said, "you pick the beer." So without further ado, give it up for Josh!
After I reviewed the Great Divide Yeti a few weeks back I was quickly informed that there was a “big brother” to the beer: Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti. I thought: “Espresso? Yes! Oak Aged? Yes! But will I be able to find it? Unlikely”. Fate was on my side though and a couple of days ago I found it on an impromptu trip to my local beer emporium. Yay! I win!!!
So in true “Lost” style, my pallet and sense of smell have yet to figure out what “woodiness” really smells/tastes like. This Yeti is teaching me things though. The aroma is incredibly oaky. Unless you’re suffering from the swine flu, I expect you would be able to pick the scent up. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve found the best way to learn scents and smells is to find a truly distinctive beer and try it with the understanding of what you’re smelling. On a final sniffer note, behind the oak it is a dark-roasted coffee smell.
The beer is a pretty sucker. Down-right brown head. Big and fluffy. Lacy. Careful on the pour, as it initially seems like it’s going to by syrupy. SURPRISE! Massive head will ensue if you’re not careful.
This is one SERIOUS coffee stout. It is not screwing around. Quite possibly the most authentic coffee flavor I’ve had in a stout in a long time (if ever). Suggested pairings (courtesy the side of the bottle) tell the whole story: “Breakfast burrito, eggs Benedict, hash browns, cheesecake, crème brulee”. Man, I want hash browns now!!!
I let the beer warm up significantly before drinking, so I can’t directly talk about how it tasted stone cold. Still, I bet that it could be quite bitter if you drank it straight from the fridge. Warmed, it is awesomely balanced. The oak adds a sweet vanilla flavor that offsets the bitterness of the coffee.
Following reviewing the Yeti I was going to grab another brew and do a second review. After 22 ounces of this 9.5% coffee monster, I am second thinking that plan. That’s OK though. Great Divide Espresso Oak Ages Yeti is a slam-dunk of a beer. If you see it in the store, snatch it up, cuddle with it, whisper sweet words to it, drink it with love.
Many thanks goes out to Laurie for hosting my review today. Stay tuned to LostintheBeerAisle, as I’ll be hosting one of HER reviews soon! Lostcrest….OUT!
Be sure to check out Josh's other reviews at lostinthebeeraisle.com!
My November 2009 review:
BEER # 89
Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout: ABV: 9.5% Well done Great Divide. Intense black-brown color with a dark brown, mocha, mousse colored head. If you don't know what mocha mousse looks like, think the color of coffee with just a dabble of milk in there...This sucker is opaque, and coats the glass. Lovely. I am reminded of that crazy, intense espresso on every corner in Italy. That stuff will keep you up for days.
In the Riedel, you get dark syrupy and pepper aromas combined with a burst of hoppiness. There is an essence of orange here, but not like in the grocery store, more like standing in an orange grove, with the green smells of leaves and grass around you.
On the palate, you get that punch of espresso I was expecting, along with tobacco and pepper on the finish. There is a definite, measurable bitterness here, which seems to be a combo of both the hops and the roasted malts. This is a wonderfully balanced, interesting brew that for me, should be one of THE Imperial Stouts you try if you are setting out to understand the American style.