Yeti Imperial Stout - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yeti Imperial StoutYeti Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,494 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,494
Reviews: 1,649
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%
Wants: 229
Gots: 602 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cokes on 08-09-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,494 | Reviews: 1,649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted side-by-side the Yeti and the Oak Aged Yeti. Both purchased at K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, and brought back to Australia to drink with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

This one pours a deep black, with twinges of brown only with the influence of the head. Lacing is sudsy but solid, and the bead is incredibly fine. Yellowish brown head. It looks great. Really lovely.

Nose is sweet and dark, with big characters of aniseed and liquorice to go pleasantly with the roasty notes of dark malt and char. A little bit denser than the oak-aged version, which brings in big organic characters. It's the better for it, I feel, giving a true robust and distinguished sweet and roasted stout character. Lovely.

Deep and rich, and really pleasantly sweet American Impy Stout characters here. Lots of toasted coconut and chocolate sweetness, but with a huge backup of roasty, charred grains to give it body and that back-palate bitterness. Smooth vanilla notes come through deviously to entice you for another sip, where you can be pummeled with flavour yet again.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, like melted chocolate. Divine.

I loved this beer. This is a fantastic American Imperial Stout. I'm surprised that side-by-side I preferred this to the oak-aged version, which blends better but doesn't have the raw power and robustness of this one. That's what I'm looking for in the style.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night, absolutely opaque. It has a thick pancake head that is tan and disappears pretty quickly but leaves great lacing. The smell is of rum soaked raisins, dark chocolate, prunes, licorice, port wine and a finish of cocoa. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, but its more in the nose than the taste. The taste is wonderful. A perfect blend of roasty flavors, creamy mouthfeel, and chocolate and dark fruit with brandyish overtones. Wonderful flavors very well balanced, and with a big finish. Big but smooth and creamy mouthfeel. For the high abv and big flavors,its still quite drinkable.

Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec. 2008.

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass

Color is a deep dark brown. Pours a thin tan head. Doesn't have good retention, which I can understand. Leaves some thin lace rings.

Aroma: The aroma is very rich. Big toffee notes that I really like. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, are all represented here. There is also a presence of earthy hops behind all the malt flavor. I am really enjoying the aroma.

Taste: Big roasted malt flavor. Toffee is again dominate upfront. Then the flavor changes to the other flavors represented in the smell. I can definitely taste all the hops they used here. 75 IBUs, not to bad.

Mouthfeel: This is a very syrupy beer. Thick, rich, full bodied, and very sweet. Leaves a slight boozy and roasted malt aftertaste. This is the first part of the beer where it is a tad hot.

Overall, I really am enjoying this beer. I am trying to sip on it as I only have a 12 oz bottle. Very drinkable at the abv it has. I think this is one of the better big stouts I have had lately.

Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this back to back to Old Rasputin and the czar is a touch better. I'm first hit by a clean grainy, pale malts aroma back up by cocoa. Definitely less bitterness and smoother than OR, but that's not necessarily good or bad. There a little citrus rind from hops hidden in the back. Flavor grows as the beer warms, but like OR I never found a fantastic complexity. It drinks smooth for the strength, but it's still thick and a bit tough to finish.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an amazing pitch black color and formed a nice huge foamy dark head that stuck around and left me thinking of some decedant float experiment gone wrong. It finally decided to diminish, leaving a lactice of lace etched on the side of the glass. The aroma was malt, coffee, chocolate and a touch of raisin. A flavor of malt, coffee and chocolate with a body a touch light for this style. Great finish and the oak aged was even better.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, review form notes.

A: Pours a black with a very nice looking brown head on top, very bubbly. Decent retention, lasting a minute or two, before reducing to a thin layer on top.

S: Some dark chocolate, a little coffee, dark fruit, and a little bit of bitterness. There is a little bit of roasted malt that grows as it warms.

T: More on the bitter side than I was expecting, but not in a bad way at all. Dark chocolate, a little roast, some light coffee, and hints of dark fruit.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks pretty smooth. It was a nice sipper over the course of dessert and the rest of the evening.

O: A really well done RIS, not my favorite, but considering its availability very nice. With the last little bit, I put in a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and that was fantastic.

Photo of wl0307
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from a very good Britain-based beer shop, "Beers of Europe", through on-line order; tasted during a horizontal tasting of two American RIS, the other one being the Flying Dog's "Gonzo Imperial Porter" (F). Coming in a 355ml, slim dark brown bottle, BB 08/2008, served cool in Hapkin's bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: the colour is totally black, while the 3cm-thick dark khaki brown head retains the creamy texture ever so well, leaving tight lacing as it retreats slowly. Carbonation is pretty much a mystery, as I really can't see any in the pitch-black soup...
S: a potent, decent sourness of fat black prunes pairs with the rich roasted malts, well-tuned aromatic citric+flowery American hops and vanilla-ish sweet woods just perfectly. A slightly stinky bitter-sweet, miraculous note as of chocolates, soy-sauce plus blue cheese hides in the background. A good swirl brings out some alcoholic touches and spicy notes. At 9.5%abv., the nose is bolder and slightly more alcoholic than (F), but overall a beautiful balance is retained as is the commendable, understated complexity.
T: marvellous bitter-sweet jammy-dark-fruits + chocolate-fudge + sweet coffee-ish malts prevail upfront, followed by a semi-aggressive flow of bitter hops in the middle, then the spicy aftertaste develops on top of chicory, apricot, and bitter grapefruity aromatic undertone that lingers in the end. The roasty flavour is not so heavy as the oily maltiness, but lingers nicely in the very back of the tongue, then slips down the throat as well...
M&D: full-bodied, superbly soft on the carbonation, and mellow, with all flavours to offer but not OTT on the overall balance. The alc. does catch up, after all, but not in an intrusive manner. As this ale is tasted right after (F), I can't help thinking this is a more potent version of RIS, endowed with a bolder hop profile and more assertive roastiness from the malts. Hops are big and juicy but firmly in the parameter of the malty influence. All in all, this is a fantastic RIS that I'd love to savour just once in several months...

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff.

Served side by side with Oak Aged Yeti.

The beer is opaque and dark brown with a thin layer of beige head that fades rapidly. The aroma offers dark roast, licorice, hints of chocolate. Tasty beer, well balanced. Delicious roast character, though I prefer Oak Aged Yeti, which offers a bolder flavor and more complexity. Again, not as smooth as the oaked version, but still very enjoyable. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Overall, a solid beer.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The long awaited arrival of Great Divide has finally hit Southern California. That's cool. And right here I've got a Yeti. Food pairing: NY steak, Bleu de Basque, vanilla cheesecake, artisan chocolate. Are Lindt milk chocolate truffles an artisan chocolate, because that's what I have. So on to the beer:

As black as obsidian, dark tanned head with good lacing and fine retention. There's something beautiful in the nose, because I am falling for it. There's blackstrap molasses, roasted coffee, licorice, little bits of fruitiness <smiles>.

This is a tasty guy. Modests amounts of hoppiness pop out of the strong base flavor of roasted coffee beans. A little smokiness that is provided proves pleasant. Alcohol doesn't show up to play on the palate. This is a well structured stout, and a bite of the truffle makes the pairing a success. It's on the heavy side in feel, though not super thick and gloppy. The glass is emptying faster and faster, which is a good sign in this case.

I've had other Great Divide beers before, and ons I've tried are good quality. Chalk Yeti in there too. In fact, I prefer this regular version over the oak aged variety (heresy!). Welcome to Cali, Yeti.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at union jacks pub, 9oz serving

A- Yeti came to me with a 1/2 inch tan mocha head that dissipated quick. Yeti had a deep burnt black look to it. What it left was a sparce pattern of thin foam on the surface. No lacing to be seen.

S- Roasted malt goodness with a nice burnt aspect. Some cream and milky scents giving off some faint vanilla. Chocolate malts also with some hops in the background with a smell of alcohol.

T- A lot of sweet and roasty malts are detected first along with the creamy flavors resembling chocolate milk. Some coffee presence with a twinge of espresso. Earthy hops towards the end leaving a roasty and dry taste together.

M-Rich and full leaving some alcohol heat behind. A nice amount of carb with a somewhat slick feel to it as it goes down. This is my first time having this on tap and it really improves from the bottle version.

D- The creaminess and milk chocolate within yeti is my favorite aspect of the taste, which came out more on tap. At 9.5% this is nowhere near sessionable but I would drink a few if i had enough courage. A very nice RIS from great divide.

Photo of akorsak
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a bomber of Yeti (non-oak aged). Heretofore I've only had the oak-aged version, so I am anxious to dig in. The stout is slightly chilled.

A: The stout is pitch black, nothing is getting through this baby. There is a very nice head that laces quite well.

S: The stout has a bit of coffee in the nose, providing a nice kick. There are several big smells at play here: deep roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, even some buttery aroma.

T: The hops provide a vibrant change of pace in this beer. The oak aged version masks the hops a bit, here they are allowed to roam free. They grab the taste buds up front and shake 'em up a bit before giving way to the roasted character.

M: The ale is robust and intense with quite an assault on the palate.

D: This ale is quite good, I much prefer it to the oak-aged version. A very good West Coast hopped stout, although the abv is limiting.

Photo of Zorro
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained in trading with RustyDiamond.

Dense black colored beer with an equally dense yellowish brown colored head that doesn't diminish very quickly at all.

The smell is sweet with lots of chocolate and fig aromas. There is a boozy scent here of raisin and plum like Korean plum wine. There is a little chocolate and coffee in the scent but in this RIS it is very understated.

The taste begins sweet with chocolate liqueur and patent malt finish. Definite ethanol in the taste and the taste of carob, which to me doesn't taste like chocolate. Lots of patent malt flavor but it isn't as complex as I had hoped.

The mouthfeel is good.

OK in the drinkability but I really expected more, especially since I like the oak-aged version so much. This is just OK, what it lacks is subtle flavors and layers.

Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours an inky black body that is opaque with no sign of carbonation. The head is a dark creamy brown head that last for a bit and then turns into a thin film.

S- The smell of deep roasted grain has an earthy, coffee hint to it with a slight sweet creamy hint. The finish has a nice green floral hop note to it.

T- This beer has lots of dark malt layers. Notes of graham cracker and roasted barley blend with some molasses and prune/raisin hints. The finish has a nice hop bitterness that is enhanced by a faint alcohol hint.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with some slippery texture. No alcohol warmth or overt fizz.

D- This beer has lots of nice dark malt flavors and aromas. It is very smooth and the hops are really nice balance of the not-to-sweet-not-to-dry body.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great Divide : Yeti

LOOK: Pours a dark brown color with a deep tan head. This beer is ominous looking, in a good way. Leaves some lace on the glass. Totally opaque, there is no light getting through the Yeti.

SMELL: The aroma really gets better after it warms slightly. Chocolate, coffee and deeply roasted malts make for a pretty good nose.

TASTE: Outstandingly malty and actually quite bitter. Some chocolate malt flavor, with a good helping of hoppy acidity and subtle pine flavor. Coffee notes are in the finish. The alcohol has mild spicyness, but far from omnipresent. Halfway through the draft I can sense the Yeti has great strength.

FEEL: Full bodied but quite smooth. Chewy malt flavor does not want to let go.

OVERALL: The base beer for many Yeti spinoff brews from this brewer, there's just something about this beer that screams "Age me in Bourbon barrels". Still quite nice, a fine beer in its own right actually.

Photo of jdhilt
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a one-finger brown head that fades slowly and leaves some lace. Totally black color. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee. Starts sweeter than their Maverick Imperial Stout, finish is a smooth coffee/chocolate flavor. The high ABV is not noticeable. $6.30 for a 22 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma

Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottle dated Feb 7th 2011.

Giant huge head, super super DARK brown and fist full sized. Body is black BLACK as midnight, liquid motor oil but not as thick and viscous, out of the bottle. Rock hard, big headed, dark as night... looks great.

Smell is a great chocolate malt with that chewy grain sensation. Real simple, real soild, just good. Little bit of heat gives a feel of almost wood grain.

Taste is just right. Nice just right mouthfeel, with a good malty chocolate like backbone. Small hint of tobacco, almost hoppy finish strangely. Dense and thick but not syrupy.

Overall yeah man it's another yeti winner this flagship and it's variations just can't seem to do wrong.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into pint glass. Very dark, like a Guinness but with a darker and 'gooey' head. Looks like a Yeti.
Smell of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. Had a bit dark fruit. Raisin, molasses.
Tastes of chocolate and coffee dominate. Roasted malt and toasted biscuit. black plum, some raisin, black strap leather. Goodness
Easy drinking once you get used to it. Looks thicker than it tastes, drink at cellar temp.

Photo of brandoman63
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a black color, nice carbonation, nice dark tan foamy head, nice lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet/roasted malts, and toffee.

T - The taste is kinda sweet and bitter, with a nice toffee flavor.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is an exceptional RIS from GD.

Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%

12 oz bottle.
Thick and smooth with low carbonation; likely better if on nitro tap.
This is a big beer with a huge load of dark malts and plenty of hops as well. Enough coffee in the flavor to suggest there's actually some in here. Rich, very dark roast flavor.

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Village Draft House

Arrived in a 12oz chalice. It's pitch black with 1/4" of dense, brown head. Great retention. Those nose deep, roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. The taste is much the same; coffee and roasted malts up front with notes of chocolate and hops for balance in the finish. As the beer warms some alcohol becomes noticeable, but it adds a welcomed warmth to the beer. The mouthfeel is full bodied, rich, and very smooth.

This is an amazing beer. The flavors are intense and well balanced, the alcohol is noticeable but doesn't overpower and is actually welcomed when it shows up, and the mouthfeel is so rich, smooth and pleasing. This is definitely one of the better stouts on the market. I love it! I'll be back for more, and I'll even check out the other varieties of Yeti now.

Photo of John_M
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at RFD in DC today.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is impressive, with coffee grounds, dark chocolate, licorise, and some noticeable underlying hoppy bitterness. As a result, there's a very impressive sweet and bitter aroma profile going on. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this complex beer, though I thought it was dominated by flavors of licorise, dark chocolate and cherry vanilla. Still, what's really striking is the underlying hoppy bitterness in this beer, which counters the considerable sweetness in this beer rather well. Mouthfeel is full bodied, with a long sweet and bitter finish. Drinkability isn't bad, though the obvious high alcohol, sweetness and licorise detract just a bit. Still, while this beer is very much a sipper, it's nevertheless quite impressive and delicious.... a very easy to appreciate and enjoy beer from Great Divide. Excellent!

Photo of biegaman
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The blackest thing on Earth? Probably. And that includes a freakishly dark head that is almost more black than brown. Suds flourish in that creamy mocha-coloured mousse, which admirably relents none in the face of time. The lacing it leaves glints with a whole spectrum of colour and is thick and thorough enough you'd need a snow brush to clear it off.

The aroma - which is indeed the beer writ large - is like a blend of coffee liqueur, chocolate liqueur and, if such a thing should exist, hop liqueur. It has everything dark and decadent possible plus a piny, spruce-y, outright spicy hoppiness to boot. It's like they burned down some kind of marvelous, mythical, magical forest and dipped it in 85% cocoa chocolate.

The taste emulates the nose note for note. Thank God for that. Mocha and black forest cakes, served alongside shots of rich espresso and chocolate liqueur, makes for the most tremendously decadent dessert. And that's to mention the lesser flavours of cigar, black licorice and dark berries drizzled in a balsamic reduction. This is sinfully decadent.

The mouthfeel belongs in a hall of fame somewhere, and on the walls of an art gallery, and on the city's most expensive dessert menu, and in the sermon of a preacher, and in university textbooks. How does one engineer something so seamlessly cohesive out of so many standout individual pieces? It is a work of the most skilled and audacious brewer.

Piny, prickly hops abound to such an extent that I can feel them under my skin. The beer is as chocolaty-malty rich as any of the world's strongest or highest-rated imperial stouts but is at least thrice as drinkable than the majority. It is smooth like heavy cream and has a slick, oily-bitter aftertaste. The alcohol hides in plain sight; it is sensed but never tasted.

Feel free to travel across the country, shell out for rare barrel-aged variations, spend hours in line-ups, cram like sardines into limited release parties or blow hundreds of dollars on Ebay but you're not likely to find anything better than the Yeti (or any of its spin-offs for that matter). This is one of the unrivaled series in the whole of American craft brewing.

Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,494 ratings.