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Yeti Imperial Stout | Great Divide Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,760 Reviews
Yeti Imperial StoutYeti Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by cokes on 08-09-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,760
Ratings:
5,322
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
16.35%
 
 
Wants:
314
Gots:
1,074
For Trade:
22
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,760 | Ratings: 5,322
Reviews by Travisbeerdrinker:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer is darker than dark with a beautiful, full head. The head is very dark as well, a solid milky brown I'd say, and laced the hell out of my class. It was a beauty shop in the best sense.

Smell - This bouquet is a nice mix of roasty malts, coffee grounds, and dark chocolate from the finest shop in San Francisco. The raw coffee grounds and dark chocolate work incredibly well together, giving this one a very bitter nose.

Taste - Oh, this is really good. The notes from the nose are here in spade, but the roasted malts are super-juiced and are much sweeter at the tongue. It's a dark sweetness, again like chocolate, maybe mixed with some brown sugar. The alcohol, which I didn't pick up at the nose, is very much present at the taste. This is very rich and has what I call a "pre-aged" flavor, meaning that it takes on that good, syrupy flavor that you get after aging a strong, complex stout.

Mouthfeel - This medium to full-bodied stout is slick in the mouth and very bitter. The big sugars take the bite out of the bitterness and the huge alcohol warms the throat. All the flavors play amazingly well in the mouth. This has what I consider to be a perfect balance of dark, bitter malts, light leafy hop dryness, mouth-puckering sugars, and a sharp but mature alcohol warmth.

Drinkability - This was beer, dinner, and dessert all rolled into one. It was incredibly drinkable for such a big ADS.

Comments - Do not age this beer. Drink as is for best results.

Update - It had been five years since I've had this beer before they started selling it in SoCal so thought I'd give my original review an update.

I wrote before about how dark and beautiful the head was but just can't emphasize it enough. It is absolutely one of the most beautiful heads I have ever seen and it sticks around for eternity. As you drink the beer the film leaves thick rings on the inside of your mug almost like ring on a tree bark.

The only other thing that I would add, which I mentioned at the end of my original review, is that although this style of beer is good for aging, this should be consumed upon purchase. You age a big, dark, malty beer like this to bring out the sugars but the sweets here are so well-developed that there's no need to hold this in a cellar.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

September 11, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Black, oily, thick, luscious. A quarter-inch of light brown foam that disappears immediately, leaving light lacing. Looks like dessert.

S – Rum-soaked raisins, vanilla, marshmallow, milk chocolate, caramel. Some fruit, cherries and plum, minor tropical/papaya-like notes. Then back around and around, endlessly complex.

T – Vanilla, moderately dark chocolate, and marshmallow. Boozy fruit, raisins and low cherry notes. Some roastiness and strong, high hop bitterness. Not as interesting as the aroma.

M – Full-bodied with low to moderate-low carbonation. A lot of sweetness from the massive malt profile, but very much offset by roasty and hoppy bitterness, both of which are quite high.

O – The O.G. Yeti, definitely surpassed by some of its variants (Oatmeal, Belgian, Chocolate, Espresso), but without this one, there would be no others. Still a classic, an excellent, inspired imperial stout.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I’ve been searching for this Yeti ever since I heard of Great Divide’s mighty Imperial Stout a few years back, and now it is here. Right in front of me. Right now. Waiting patiently for me to crack it open... screw my usual preamble - I’m tucking in right now.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Obsidian black, imposing like some colossal dreadnaught battlecruiser, with a dense russet brown half centimetre head atop this beast of a beer. I don’t care what you think this is one of the best looking Imperial Stouts I’ve ever seen, I am in awe of this mythical creature they call “Yeti”. 10/10.

S: The aroma doesn’t cut back on the impressive scale of this brew with some crazy complexity going on: Milk chocolate, coffee cherries, roasted espresso bean, vanilla prune and herbal/floral hops in the background. Man am I ever looking forward to the next part. 9/10.

T: Hits the tongue straight up with some bitter herbal/espresso notes, then the sugars kick in with dark chocolate and vanilla not far behind. Wow this is one intimidating beer for 9.5% ABV - it’s big sugar and bitterness to boot. The aftertaste is rich and bitter espresso which distracts a little (it’s a bit harsher in the aftertaste than other favourite Imperial Stouts like FBS or Old Rasputin). Of note: I did drink this a little bit warmer than was probably intended by the brewer at around 10 degrees Celsius, which has quite obviously intensified the flavours. 8/10.

M: Rich heavy body with a tongue coating chewiness and a light but dense carbonation - this is up there with FBS for best body in a Stout. 10/10.

D: This certainly lives up to its name in that it’s a big and hairy (not like that imposter Fat Yak). Too big and hairy? Maybe a little. I found drinking this a bit of a challenge, and I rarely (if ever) find Imperial Stouts to be a challenge. I was born into a Guinness bath and weaned on Tooheys Old in my formative years, so I’m no stranger to the Stout style. So I was somewhat surprised by the sheer onslaught of bitter herbal/espresso notes, and TBH I kinda like an Imperial Stout that is a bit more subtle... yes, yes I shouldn’t of drunk it at room temp, it is a BIG beer after all, but this minor quibble is the difference between this and a Founders Breakfast Goodness... still this is good, just a bit hairy. 8/10.

Food match: I’m going to be lazy and go with what the label suggests: Grilled steak and leeks, rosemary potatoes au gratin, Rochefort cheese and crème brûlée.

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pulled out a bottle from the cellar yesterday in anticipation of Hermine crashing through (the storm which never came). 06/17/15 bottle poured into a snifter glass, so about 14 months old. Oily black body slowly seeps out and eventually a tan fluffy head forms.

Boozy aroma of rum, fruits, chocolate, and espresso. Flavor wise there's a large sweet note upfront, molasses and vanilla, chocolate and coffee, bit of lingering char and earth near the end. Some rum soaked raisin notes hang around after the swallow. It's a big sweet beer for sure.

A year did this beer well, it's still got a big, sticky mouthfeel but no present alcohol. I assume this was hoppy when fresh but a year just revealed some bitterness and that's it. Would like to try fresh next.

 757 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cool bottle, cool name. Pitch black beer with a nice mocha head. Nice chocolate, dark malts smell. Taste is more roasted malts, but also chocolate, mostly dark chocolate, and dark malts. Mouthfeel is heavy but not that heavy, alcohol completely covered, aftertaste is all roasty stout. Overall this is a good russian imperial stout. It reminds me of Old Raspy.

 360 characters

Photo of jimboothdesigns
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first beer that I give a perfect score. Nice rich chocolate, coffee, vanilla to the nose and with a slight berry scent at the end. Beautiful mouth feel from start to finish with no excessive bitterness. Beautiful brown/black with a chocolatey head which disappears quickly. Bought this while on a trip on impulse and I am so glad I did! Bottled almost a year ago. Fandamntastic!

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Photo of EOsborne
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 17oz snifter.

A - This beer is almost completely opaque, but not completely black. It pours a dark dark chocolate brown with visible viscosity. Even the head is dark, with the color and texture of a chocolate mousse. In true stout fashion, the head doesn't linger long, but the ring that persists leaves a lovely thick lacing. Everything about the presentation screams decadence.

S - Dark chocolate and coffee grounds are apparent even before taking a whiff. There's toffee and caramel mingling with some warm, scotchy aromas of smoke and booze.

T - Bitter coffee and baker's chocolate lead the onslaught, with a soft bed of sweet and toasty caramels quickly following. There's a peaty flavor reminiscent of a fine scotch that blends with cleverly masked but lingering alpha acids into something beautifully pungent and earthy. The sweetness is thoroughly satisfying, but never cloying. Let this beer slosh around your pallet and you could get lost in the subtly unfolding grains.

M - This is a heavy beer. Let me repeat that, this is a heavy beer. It fills the mouth and coats the tongue with a dense, oily sensation that positively commands you to stop and pay attention. Carbonation is present, and helps to buffer the sugars, but any tingle is absorbed with the sheer thickness of the malts. Drinking more than one is a herculean effort.

O - In a world overpopulated with coffee/chocolate/vanilla/cream etc stouts, a traditionally brewed stout that evokes all of those flavors with nothing but barley, hops, and yeast is a breath of fresh air. The Yeti exudes a regal, ancient quality, one that really evokes the halls of czarist Russia that gave the style its name. The generous allotment of American hops counteracts the overpowering sweetness that so many Impy Stouts have, and what results is a complex, sophisticated offering perfectly represents the style while pushing it in a new, more evolved direction.

 1,954 characters

Photo of corywalston
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A. Very aggressive poor causing an explosion of hypnotically mesmerizing reverse waterfall of dark brown bubbles that live and move as if they have a mind of their own. Once the explosion of our new universe settles, what is left is 2 inches of thick dark brown insulating foam with the density that could hold a quarter upright. Beneath the constellation of heavenly foam lies a black ether than absorbs all the light in the room. A glimpse of brownish hue is the only secret this black hole lets out. While drinking it leaves a beautiful lacing resembling an oil slick across the glass.
S. The smell is of deep dark rich chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, with hints of floral and smoked charcoal. Very light hint of alcohol seals the deal. Time to drink.
T. Taste like liquid German chocolate cake followed by toffee, caramel, figs, raisins, coffee, vanilla, and sweet alcohol. Every time I take a sip it’s a different flavor adventure that always ends in chocolate love. If this beer had tits I would motorboat it.
M. Thick delicious, chewy syrup. It’s so thick the Yeti drinks you. Drink one for breakfast and you will be full till dinner.
O. Overall the Yeti is like making love to a seasoned cougar. A night with this fine dark beautifully aged women will ruin you for any future experience to come. When I die put a bottle of this in my coffin too usher me into the afterlife. What else do I have to say, denounce your God and worship the Yeti. Slightly above average buzz for 9.5% ABV

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Photo of nephthes89
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very roasty, very dark. Pours heavy with a dark tan head. This is very nice stout. The right amount of malt flavor with mild bitterness. I enjoyed this a lot.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.66/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Re-review. 12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a pitch fuckin' black color. The head is two fingers high and dark tan in shade. While retention isn't the greatest, its texture and softness is just perfect. This is what every imperial stout should look like, I think!

Smell: Dark. Chocolate. Goodness. I could stop there, but I also love how damn roasty it smells. There are additional nuances of brown sugar, umami, smoke, and vanilla. It's not hyper-complex, so why a 4.75? Because it balances every single note in nigh-perfect harmony, and still features a rich boldness to boot. And that's pretty much the holy grail of beerdom.

Taste: This is a reasonably fresh bottle, so I'm noticing the initial hit of piny hops more than normal. And yet, its integration within the big-ass stout is absolute gravy. I'm also picking up lots of dark chocolate, vanilla, smoke, and roast - EXACTLY what the nose suggested. Why do I love this one so much? Because it brings the richness and decadence of a great stout without the excessive sugary sweetness. Basically, this is one of the most balanced stouts I've ever drank, if not THE most.

Mouthfeel: I love an imperial stout I could (almost) session. But I also love an imperial stout that feels silky-smooth and thick like a milkshake. This does both. BOTH! The hoppy finish does a fantastic job of drying out an otherwise decadent beast. Carbonation is fairly low, appropriately for the style. This is a sipper, but I could sip this one all damn day and not grow tired of it.

Overall: I love this beer so damn much - hands-down, this is my favorite standard imperial stout ever. It takes the "roasty as hell, hop-forward" approach that Old Rasputin and Storm King do, and then cranks everything up to 11. The balance, the bigness, the flavor, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. As much as I adore some of the variants, this still remains my favorite Yeti of the bunch.

4.66/5: My favorite readily available beer EVER

 1,963 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Total, complete, absolute, utter black that is devoid of even a hint of lightening at the edges. The head is one of the darkest I've ever seen and has the texture, persistence and lace generation of the hoppiest IPA imaginable. I hope Great Divide isn't simply blowing smoke with their claim that this beer contains "an enormous quantity of hops". Simply put, the appearance is American double stout perfection.

The nose is impressively powerful. I'd even go so far as to call it darkly pungent. It consists of concentrated blackstrap molasses, bittersweet chocolate fudge, crushed coffee beans, scathingly citric hops and (unfortunately) alcohol. There's power to burn and any number of dark aromas to love, but I need a better job of ethanol masking to mention Yeti in the same breath as the world's best stouts.

Alcohol is also noted on the palate, although it's an integral part of the flavor profile rather than an outsider. The flavor is as big time as the appearance and the aroma suggested it would be. The thing that gives YIS its distinctive personality is sweetness and a wonderful tongue shredding hoppiness. The contrast between those two is what provides the lip smacking, gotta-gulp-it, out of this world deliciousness.

The malt structure is Titanic and oozes black maltiness from every porthole. The beer tastes like dark caramel-centered, fudge-covered, anise seed-flecked, coffee bean-studded beer candy. Given the behemoth that is malt, it's even more mind blowing that hops steal the show. This bottle is at least 6 months old, so it must have been a real humdinger when fresh. Only Bear Republic Big Bear Black gives it a run for its money in terms of hoppiness.

Not only does the sweet-bitter contrast work beautifully when it comes to the flavor profile, but it creates an interesting mouthfeel as well. The high malt sugar load results in one of the most full, sticky, lightly syrupy mouthfeels in recent memory, even as the hops cut through it like a razor-sharp stiletto. It's soothing and beautifully biting at once.

Yeti Imperial Stout is a hop lover's stout. If you have a low lupulin tolerance or believe that stouts are about malt and malt only, then give this beer a wide berth. If you like over the top beer, beer that is full to bursting with both barley malt and hop flowers, then you owe it to yourself to acquire Yeti by the case. My knees have gone weak at the thought of an oak aged version.

 2,436 characters

Photo of GaryJR
4.66/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This goes down so easily the challenge is to sip a 9.5% glass instead of gulping it. To me the taste seems equal parts chocolate and coffee and how does it get any better than that? On top of that the aftertaste is about as good as the real thing. This is one I always have on hand in the bar or Yeti cooler of the same name.

 328 characters

Photo of Alpha309
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into a tulip.

Very opaque in color. Black entirely the way through even on the edges. About a finger of thick frothy smokey caramel colored head with great retention.

Nose is malty. Chocolate and toffee is underneath the heavy malt scent.

Chocolate, toffee, coffee flavors dominate. Oak and earth flavor secondary. A little bit heavy on the alcohol in the flavor.

Feels great in the mouth. A nice thick body, but still smooth and not sticky in the mouth.

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Photo of oberon
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pitch black with no light shoowing thru even when held up to a strong light with a mocha colored creamy two fingered head that took its time to settle leaving a ring of lace behind.Big bitter chocolate aromas along with an underlying earthiness from a nice dose of hop thrown in obviously with a beer so dark you are also gonna get a big roasty aroma as well.What I like best about this beer is the fact its no overly sweet like a alot of Impy souts are sue u get the chocolate and roasted elemants but what a great earthy/dry fifnsh gives this beer such balance making it just so damn drinkable.Creamy mouthfeel this beer glides down easy,another gem from Great Divide their big beer kick immense ass and I will keep enjoying them.

Wow I thought this beer was categorized as a Imperial Stout but a double stout it is and rightly so,damn good.

 855 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bomber from Warehouse Liquors.

Appearance: Chocolate Velvet with assertive lacing. Pitch black. Dark brown head like the bottom of a cup of Turkish coffee. The bubbles are just plain fun to watch disperse after the pour. Like a herd of wildebeests crossing the Nile during Gator mating season, these little black-brown bubbles scatter from the head back into the brew from which they came.

Aroma: Tit bit of spice entwined in coffee and chocolate. Carmel macchiato sans crème. Blueberries.

Taste: More Blueberries then a Muffin shop in Maine. Plentiful amounts of coffee and chocolate. A pinch of juniper in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Like drinking a cloud. Wet bitter finish. Well hopped. Burns the tongue a little, it’s so bitter.

Drinkability: Great. To easy for 9.5 ABV.

 795 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of t2grogan
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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

Reviewed from notes written on 12/3/10.

Yeti pours scorched engine oil black with a fast disappearing, dark mocha head into my uber large snifter. When swirled and agitated a bit, the head returns and retains well. The lacing is rather sticky with vertical lines of small dots.

Very toasty malts and a strong hop presence lead me to smell notes of chewing tobacco. Really strong chewing tobacco. Other aromas include baseball glove leather, anise, cigar, dark chocolate, mocha-latte, and roasted peanuts. This is an original smell that makes me excited to imbibe.

At first, that chewing tobacco tang combines with a fine roasted malt flavor that really bombards the bitter receptors of my palate. I have to believe that that bitter tang is also the result of copious hops in this brew. As that initial tang washes away, a nice balance of toffee, coffe, and dark chocolate flavors emerge. Wow, this is right up there with Storm King for huge hop Character in an Imperial Stout.

A thrilling combination of bitter tang and a coating, rich fullness make for a very unique mouthfeel. It's just a little more aggressive than I would generally like in an IS MF, but I rate it high for excitement and originality.

I will certainly try Yeti again, but I might age my next bottle for awhile. This particular bottle had roughly seven months on it and it still felt raw and aggressive on my palate. I generally prefer slightly more mellow Imperial Stouts and I imagine this would turn into that with a little more bottle time.

 1,519 characters

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of MadScientist
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle from DEC 06 2011

A: A black beer that pours with a finger of creamy, medium brown head made of mousse-like,compact bubble.

S: An awesome smelling beer with moderately-strong aromas of unsweetened chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. A moderately-light citrus hops aroma and light perfume alcohol aroma.

T: A thick, smooth moderately-strong flavors of unsweetened chocolate flavor, roastiness and coffee with some malt sweetness and molasses . There is a moderate hops bitterness and a citrus hops flavor. The balance is moderately towards the bitterness. The alcohol certainly does go unnoticed but it doesn't over well. The finish balanced between dry and sweet with a bitter chocolate aftertaste.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation that is made of fine bubbles give evne more of an impression of weight on the palate.

O: Well I've got a new favorite stout, it's been far to long since I've enjoyed a bottle of this world class stout. This beer has layers of rich flavor from dark grains giving chocolate and coffee with some sweetness the balanced by a firm hops bitterness. this beer just brings ton of flavor sip after delightful sip.

 1,160 characters

Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

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Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 5,322 ratings.
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