Great Divide Brewing Company

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #526
Ranked #1,518
4.22 | pDev: 9.48%
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Notes: Yeti Imperial Stout is an onslaught of the senses. It starts with big, roasty malt flavor that gives way to rich caramel and toffee notes. Yeti gets its bold hop character from an enormous quantity of American hops. It weighs in at a hefty 75 IBUs.

2005 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal, Imperial Stout
2008 Great American Beer Festival, Bronze Medal, Imperial Stout
2009 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal, Imperial Stout
2010 BeerAdvocate “Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth,” #36
Reviews: 1,877 | Ratings: 5,749 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lastmango
lastmango from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured pitch black with a two finger choco malt milkshake head that dissipated slowly leaving heavy lacing. Absolutely beautiful! Nose of roasted malt, molasses, toffee and coffee. Taste follows the nose but is very robust with layering of flavors followed by black licorice, leather and pronounced hop bitterness that lingers for a long finish. Moderate - heavy body and medium carbonation. Dry finish. This is a real sipper with its fullness, pronounced flavor layering and higher ABV that is hidden. I would have scored this higher but the bitterness seems to overwhelm the brew, which I do not believe is characteristic of a well balanced RIS.

Mar 20, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, kindly shared by gunnar. ABV 9.5%. Pitch black colour, brown head. Lovely aroma of heavily roasted malts, cigar box and leather. Intense roasty flavour with notes of strong coffee, dark bitter chocolate and English liquorice. Brilliant stuff!

Mar 20, 2021
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KT3418 from Colorado

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I mean this is solid, since it's imperial I wouldn't recommend if you're not into the higher alcohol realm. This tastes like 5% when it's really 9.5%. Easy drinking im not gonna say I had my mind blown but def real solid

Mar 18, 2021
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Peach63 from New York

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep mahogany with a 2 inch thick, foamy, meringue like brown head, which lasts. Heavy lacing to the end.

Aroma of coffee, roast malt, wood, ash.

Taste is strong coffee, leather, cocoa, ash, wood, roast malt.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Dry, astringent finish.

This is a nice Imperial Stout.

Feb 17, 2021
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barneyrubble from Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into tulip glass a large 3F head of light brown super sea foam develops. It fades slowly with lace from the top. The beer is ebony brown in color and totally opaque.

On the nose I get brown, eg. Molasses, coffee, brown sugar.

Upon tasting I am first hit with a bit of burnt brown sugar, brown licorice, espresso, cocoa nibs, and a light tang. The finish is dry and like black coffee. Middle is sweetish with a roof of the mouth hop tang.

Mouthfeel is stout like and medium in body with some astringency.

Overall a nice stout but not nearly as awesome as I was expecting. Too much coffee for me. Many more revisits will help me flesh out my thoughts and the review.

Jan 08, 2021
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can

Pours opaque black, tan head retains as suds.

Aroma is smokey, toasty, with coffee notes and some nutty undertones.

Flavor is smokey and toasty up front with some brown sugar, coffee, mesquite, and anise flavors.

Fuller body, fizzy carbonation on the tongue.

I've had some of the Yeti variations but this is my first time trying the base version. Very slow drinking and heavy. Flavor is robust, rich, but far from sweet. A very smokey, bitter stout which is an interesting change of pace in the era of the pastry stout. Definitely worth trying and though my palate is a bit trained towards sweeter stouts, I really enjoy this.

Jan 01, 2021
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Let's pour a 12 oz. can of this beast into a clear pint glass for observation. The liquid is a dense black coffee color with an abundant tight tan head on top. Sufficient glass lacing is left behind after each swallow. Its roasted malt aroma is somewhat resembling cocoa. The taste is rich, with a bitterness contributed to by well roasted malts, some hoppiness and a hint of the generous dose of alcohol. This is a fine Imperial Stout, full flavored, well bodied and devoid of any unnecessary sweetness.

Dec 25, 2020
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andrewjraab from Michigan

4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pitch Black with a pile of mocha head. Curtains of the mocha stick to the glass after each sip.

S - Roasted malts, charred oak, smoky, caramel, malts, coffee.

T - Malts and grains, some chocolate, a charred and smoky backbone, some hops come alive in a bitter and dry finish.

O - Extremely well done imperial stout. Glad I finally got my hands one one of these.

Nov 22, 2020
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Falcon91Wolvrn03 from California

4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look – Black with a nice tan head, and good lacing.

Smell – Chocolate, roasted malt, smokiness, caramel, and molasses.

Taste – The taste is very similar to the smell.

Feel – Lightly carbonated, creamy, very easy drinking for a 9.5% stout.

Overall – This is a super easy drinking stout. The tasting was over within minutes. :-)

Nov 08, 2020
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured moderately hard from a can into a snifter glass, quickly forming a ton of thick brown head that slowly faded to heavy lacing. Intense brown body that leaves major legs while drinking. Smell is strong malty with a some bitterness. Taste is also malty with a roastiness, which moves more towards malty/breast and away from bitter as it warms. Medium bodied with light carbonation after the strong pour. Good and straightforward stout that improves as it warms.

Sep 22, 2020
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BillAfromSoCal from California

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

single 12 oz can purchased from Total Wine off a room temp shelf about Sept 5. Stored in the fridge since then. Can dated 6/20/20. Poured at 50-55 deg F into a pint glass. Pours opaque black with generous 3+ finger head colored like medium toast. Head is persistent and leaves nice lacing patterns. I gave the look a "5" because I honestly can't say how it could improve. Smell is like very dark roasted grains and bitter chocolate with taste following smell. No sweetness; a hint of bitterness. Mouthfeel changes with time....initially I was getting a lot of carbonation in addition to the creamy mouth feel, but that subsided over several minutes. I prefer the later mouth feel. Overall an excellent exemplar of the type.

Sep 14, 2020
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TheHammer from Canada (ON)

3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured with a solid thumb of head that produced decent lace and retained exceptionally well. The body is as black is night as a good stout should be. More lace is the only thing that could improve it, but this is always hard to judge with stout.

Smell: Very grainy, which isn't something I often get from a stout, with dark chocolate and some coffee notes in the background. Warming was needed for it to come out and showcase decent potency.

Taste: Starts with grainy malt with a mild dark chocolate backing that builds with coffee and a touch of more burnt malt to a bitter height of which then a very apparent, strong, almost pine like hop presence comes forward that honestly feels incredibly out of place.

Mouthfeel: The transitioning was fine until you his the hop note, which leaves a resin like aftertaste that drowns out the pleasant malt and chocolate notes in the aftertaste. Carbonation is good, and it does a good job of hiding it's high ABV. Still, why add that much hops?

Drinkability: Good stouts tend to be sippers because they are thick affairs with bitterness coming from the well roasted malt. In this case the very clear hops bring that note to the beer. Anyways, it's certainly thick and drinks like a meal, but even as a sipper, it's not very refreshing.

Final Thoughts: The hops here are out of place for me, ironically, like you turned a corner and a yeti was standing in front of you, just sort of looking at you like "Yeah, I'm here, what about it?". Those hops I think get muted a bit, or changed up and I think this beer would be exceptional, but since they appear to be an awkward addition, it knocks this beer down to a mere good. Worth buying for sure, but not seeking out.

Aug 26, 2020
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Limazulu from Idaho

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Deep dark brown with a really nice chestnut brown head that persisted longer than you would expect for the high ABV
S-Chocolate and roasted nuts
T-Dark bitter chocolate, and sweet milk chocolate. There is a lot of bitter and sweet powering this brew, but their fight is a happy one
M-Medium body, average (-) carbonation, very slick and relatively smooth
O-One of the better imperial stouts that has not seen the inside of a barrel.

Jun 14, 2020
Photo of Philipm1978

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So dry, which at first surprises. But than shines through! The cacao is first rate. So smooth and a wonderful mouth feel. An absolute perfect after dinner drink.

May 24, 2020
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Whyteboar from Michigan

3.19/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Poured 12 oz can into pint class and had to wait for head to settle before completing the pour. Dark for a head, not quite brown, but definitely more that than beige. Color was vary dark, near black.
Aroma: Malts as expected, day old coffee and oddly (to me anyway) hops.
Mouthfeel: proper for an imperial stout; drinkable and just a little viscous.
Taste: This is where the wheels came off for me- the hops dominate. I know a proper Russian Imperial Stout needs some hop character for the 'journey' but it's usually a supporting role. This is straight up bitter.
Overall: This is the third time I tried this, the first two times I thought were anomalies, but sadly, not the case. I'm glad some people really enjoy it, but I'm not one of them.

May 18, 2020
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DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 12oz can dated 10/30/19 into a pint glass. Pours an opaque very dark brown with about two fingers of brown head. Decent retention, great lacing. Smells of bitter coffee and bakers chocolate with the latter dominating. Just a bit of alcohol on the nose as well. Taste...bitter! And follows the nose. Bitterness dominates. Definite notes of bitter dark chocolate with coffee in the background. Just a hint of sweetness in there. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I'd like from the style, but not off putting. Alcohol is fairly well hidden. Overall, it's nice. A little one dimensional in the taste department but made up for in the price department-about $12 for a sixer.

Feb 07, 2020
Photo of octortus
octortus from Canada (ON)

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 mL Bottle. ABV 9.5%.
Appearance: Black, Big two fingers of chocolate milk thick creamy head, Great retention.
Aroma: Roasted malts, Dark chocolate, Resinous hops, Cocoa powder, Nutty, Slight molasses.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, Medium-Full body, Slightly slick.
Flavour: Strong resinous hops, Lingering bitterness, Roasted malt, Dark chocolate, Espresso, Slight molasses.

Review: 129

Feb 07, 2020
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JonnoWillsteed from England

4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- One of the absolutest darkest beers I've ever seen. Held to a halogen bulb, not a single photon gets through the glass, not even it's narrower edge. Pours with 5mm fine very deep brown head, slowly receding to lacing.
S- Smells strongly of coffee, deeply 'roasty/toasty'.
T- Deeply roast flavours, coffee, almost charring and fireplace timber log ashes. There is a prominent rich tang in the finish that is the body + 9.5% ABV making it's presence *VERY* loudly felt.
F- It's extremely pungent, so is clearly a 'slow-sipping' beer for me, best suited to mid-winter.
O- Perhaps the most pungent beer I've ever had. I'm thinking that after this it matters little what I drink as my taste buds will be blown out the park. Zero 'wrong', out of place or out of balance. If you like black espresso, better black ristretto, and seek it in beer form, this is perhaps the best fit I've ever yet to encounter. Ie. to be clear, I'd suggest you need to really enjoy super-strong black coffee to have much chance with this beer.
ps. And it just gets yet more pungent as it begins to warm a touch... phoo!
Bought from London Beer Lab, 355ml can.

Jan 07, 2020
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. Label has 'BOTTLED ON: MAY 1 2019'.
Black colored body, with the thinest of red mahogany back lit edge. Two fingers of tan head, which sticks around. Incomplete sheets of lacing.
Aroma of caramel malts, chocolate, coffee, with a bit of dark fruit and vanilla.
Taste is malts flavored of chocolate, caramel, coffee, with whiffs of dark fruit and vanilla. Has a stronger back end of slightly bitter hops. Hints of licorice and smoke.
Thicker mouth feel. Smooth creamy texture. Very good carbonation. Slight numbing of the tongue.
I have had this beer many times, but now distribution has ended. We think this is the case. This beer is similar to a craft root beer but with the alcohol. The alcohol is present but really never intrudes. A classic imperial stout.

Jan 07, 2020
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Mister_Faucher from Washington

4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle purchased at Haggens in Woodinville, Washington.
Bottled on Oct 9 2019. Aggressively poured in to a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Look- Opaque and black as the Stygian abyss. Sizable rich mocha colored head with great retention, tons of thick lacing. No carbonation streams visible.

Smell- Caramel/toffee type malts, chocolate, fresh ground coffee, roasted nuts, licorice, toasted dark bread and dark fruits (raisins and dates), a bit of vanilla. Light citrus rind notes.

Taste- Rich caramel malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and dried dark fruits, licorice, roasted nuts, burnt sugar, light spicy hops and a bit of citrus peel.

Feel- Medium/full bodied with an incredibly smooth, creamy texture. Light bitter finish, sublimely soft carbonation on the tongue.

O- Tasty and dangerously easy to drink, can barely detect any alcohol at all. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Right up there with Sam Smith's RIS in my honest opinion, killer stuff.

Nov 27, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Canned on 5/10/19

Pours a clean black body with some reddish hues at the surface, topped with a fast-rising two fingers of dense, creamy mocha head; great retention fades slowly to a frothy collar of foam crawling up the glass while a dense layering of varied lacing takes over and lingers.

Aromas feature bitter, nearly acrid roasted malts opening strongly as the beer steadily warms; a milk chocolate undertone softens the blunter tones as bakers chocolate and charred, earthy hops highlight a straightforward takeover of the bouquet.

Taste brings out bitter roast coffee at the start; a deep roasted malt tone transitioning with the help of touches of milk/dark chocolate sweetness along the mid-palate, offering a soothing interlude before a slightly acrid, hop-tinged bitterness picks up on the finish.

Mouthfeel shows a lightly carbed full body flowing like silk through to a subtly creamy mid-palate. The back end takes a more aggressive tone, with a drying, charred bitterness picking up through the swallow; minimal alcohol presence lingers.

A straightforward, classically styled American imperial stout in the best ways, it's unabashedly aggressive, but far too well-structured to lose itself; great execution in tandem with near-ambitious levels of robustness leave a truly enjoyable change of pace in a time when stouts are increasingly valued for their sweeter qualities.

Nov 08, 2019
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stevoj from Idaho

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at LATEOTU. Black with huge fluffy beige head. Roasty aroma. Taste brings huge bitterness. Nothing out of the ordinary but an excellent example of the style.

Nov 05, 2019
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Black as oil with a solid three fingers of rocky brown head. Retention is ridiculous. Sheets of thick lacing cling everywhere. Such an epic head and overall appearance.

S: Deep roastiness. Plenty of espresso and some nutty aromas. Bitter dark chocolate. Woody and acrid. Muscular hop notes of wood, bark, herbs and mint. Slight whiff of alcohol.

T: Starts with a nice pull of bakers chocolate and bitter dark chocolate. A massive wave of bitter espresso and roast envelopes everything thereafter. Hops assert themselves in a big way, bringing bold flavors of herbs, earth, and mint. Bitter on bitter. Very long finish of acrid and Smokey malt and lingering hops.

M: Thick, rich, chewy. You could cut it with a fork and knife. Fine carbonation scrubs briskly.

O: Not at all for the faint of heart. It’s a shock and awe sort of approach, cramming a lot of acrid and bitter roast in alongside plenty of bitter and earthy hops. The finish will grip your tongue and linger for hours. If you like a good espresso shot, you should appreciate this beer. A true classic that stands out in this new world of desserty pastry stouts.

Oct 30, 2019
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CodyBasden from Texas

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super dark black amazing dark tan fluffy head with loads of lacing and retention, good chocolate smell, good roasted coffee feel, woke up and made a cup of coffee but happens to be a beer, medium body very light carbonation the perfect morning brew

Oct 26, 2019
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MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz can

Pours two fingers of wonderful dark brown head into my snifter. This beer is daaaaark, it looks and breathes imperial stout. Retention is very good, above average for sure. Looks very nice so far.

Nose is immaculate. Amazingly balanced between roast, rich malt, and a touch of chocolate and coffee, not too sweet either. I wish the nose was a hair more pronounced, but it is quite big overall so I can’t complain too much. Other than that, this aroma is just super clean and a perfect example of the style.

Flavor follows suit. This is just crazy smooth and clean. Roast, deep maltiness, faint chocolate all hit in perfect proportions, finishes with a touch of bitterness. Honestly I can’t think of anything that could be improved upon here other than perhaps the flavors popping a tiny bit more.

Mouthfeel is amazing as well. Carbonation sits perfectly right around medium. Body certainly has weight to it, but drinks very light. No heat, I mean no heat at all, very impressive. Aforementioned, this is so so well balanced - not too sweet, but definitely not dry. Bitterness is brief but moderate for a stout. Again, not sure what I could improve here.

Drinkability overall is insane, no heat, not too sweet, tastes great.

The appearance turned out great as well, shocking. Nice lacing down the glass.

The only thing I can really say negatively here is that it isn’t anything crazy, but a perfect beer for the style is totally a thing, and this is damn near close.

Oct 16, 2019
Yeti from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 5749 ratings