January 5 2010, 11:09 AM
For years I've heard rumblings of Great Divide Brewing Company's Yeti Imperial Stout, but my love of the brewery's hoppier beers has kept me distracted from ever trying it. When I recently found the Oak-Aged Yeti (the traditional Yeti aged in oak barrels) at my local liquor store, I decided the big stout might be a perfect warmer during this streak of cold weather. The Yeti held a lot of surprises, the first of which came at the cash register, when I realized a bomber runs more than $8. But at 9.5 percent ABV, one bomber provides two big glasses of a brew that takes a while to drink. And be sure to drink the Yeti in a glass: It pours like chocolate syrup, and the head on the beer looks like frothy brownie batter. It starts with notes of espresso in the nose, and the first drink feels like the combination of a beer and a milkshake. But my favorite part is the flavor itself. Great Divide balances the massive amount of malts with an equally large amount of hops, which serves to turn the rich chocolate taste into a more distinguished, bitter dark-chocolate flavor. Bonus: The Yeti clan will release two more beers this year. The Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti will be available in February and March, and June and July will see the release of the Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti.