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Yeti Imperial Stout | Great Divide Brewing Company

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1,760 Reviews
Yeti Imperial StoutYeti Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,760 | Ratings: 5,322
Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours super dark, almost completely opaque with frothy dark caramel head. Ridiculous retention every sip of the way.

Aromas of strong roasted malts with a little dark chocolate; some coffee/toffee notes.

Taste is extreme roasted malt; really strong stuff. Bitter aftertaste that' hard to shake off your tongue, but in a good way.

Really thick, syrupy. Coats your tongue and keeps the bitterness there whether you want it to or not, whether it's from the hops or not is undecernable.

Overall it looks amazing, smells great, and taste is great, but it's a situational beer for me. Cold weather, late in the evening, after a steak dinner, etc.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled in February 2013.

Appearance: Looks black at first glance but more like very dark brown. Even though it is too dark to see through, it looks to have nice clarity and no cloudiness. Retains a brown frothy half finger head.

Aroma: Not super aromatic but giving off a nice blend of dark malts with hints of chocolate and roasted barley. No alcohol in the nose. Pretty much average for an Imperial Stout.

Taste: Immediately get a bright and slightly grass hop bitterness that blends well with the roasted malt and chocolate flavor. The first half and second half are basically the same with the finish adding in darker flavors of cocoa and black coffee. There is a nice woody character throughout as well, perhaps from the yeast. The hops are really only present in the first bit but it's good that they don't linger because the charred malt offers up a good amount of bitterness on the back end and aftertaste. The 9.5% ABV is no where to be found in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full in body and robust yet drinks like something lighter. I recommend an aggressive pour to rid of excess carbonation. Very pleasant feel all around and exactly what it should be for the style.

Final Thoughts: Yet another enjoyable brew by Great Divide. The brewers obviously know how to make a good Imperial Stout. I'd recommend this beer to anyone who has not tried this style and is looking for a jumping off point. Yeti Imperial Stout is a good example of an Imperial Stout can be great without any extra bells and whistles. Have it with or without a meal as it can serve as one on its own. Would I drink it again? Yes, cellaring a few to see how it ages.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours in inky black brew with a good viscosity. Head is a healthy ½ inch of creamy mocha colored bubbles.

S: Bitter bakers chocolate, licorice, charred wood, vanilla and café au lait.

T: Starts oily and slick like melted chocolate. The chocolate continues with strong roasted qualities and a little bit of sweetness around the tip of the tongue. Good amount of piney bittering hops showcased as well. Caramel splash almost like whipped cream laced with butterscotch can be found as well. Finishes alcoholic with chocolate liqueur features.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel.

D: Decent beer but no idea why its reviewed so high.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 04/28/08.

Pours a very dark, almost pitch black, with a tinge of brown. A moderate pour produces nearly four fingers of soft chocolaty brown head. The head faded down slowly, leaving beautiful lacing around the glass. Aroma is a nice combination of burnt malt, dark chocolate, slight roasted coffee, and piny hops.

Chocolate flavors dominate the flavor profile. Sweet milk chocolate up front, with a strong bitter dark chocolate finish in the back. Piny hops and roasted malts make their presence known in the aftertaste. A bit on the hoppy end for a RIS, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The alcohol taste is barely noticeable.

This one is very thick, smooth, and creamy. It's almost chewy. The carbonation level is spot on for this one. Drinkability is alright, for a RIS. The hop bitterness builds up over awhile. And the 9.5% ABV definitely creeps up on me.

Definitely a slow sipper. I'd recommend splitting with a friend or two.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick and opaque black, like opening a can of oil. Smell is full of rich coffee with some vanilla extract and smokey wood. Full-bodied and heavy in the mouth throughout the tasting. Roasted caramel malt flavor is present up front along with flavors of baking chocolate followed by a little smoke and bitter grapefruity hops, leaving a rather dry finish. The high alcohol level is very well hidden. Drinkability is fair, I would be good after probably two. Good stuff.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Super black pour with dark brown head. Foam doesn't overwhelm or last long.

S - Hops at first with a bit of malt and chocolate finish.

T - Hops, malt, and chocolate dominate. Don't really notice much of a caramel flavor, but did taste a little toffee notes. Slightly over bitter aftertaste keeps the score down a bit for me.

M - Thick and creamy.

O - Not sure I've had many Russian Imperial Stouts, but it did remind me of some American Imperial Stouts. Yeti is a classic for a reason. Good beer from a good brewery. Certainly a beer that should be on your list to try.

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Photo of tigg924
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: one inch light chocolate head, dark brown in color

Smell: toated malt, sugar, and chocolate

Taste: dark chocolate, expresso, burnt malt, wood, cream

Mouthfeel: heavy, smooth, semi-sweet, chewy

Drinkability: I will only be having one due to high abv, but this is very good. I will get this again. This is easily in the top 1/4 of the style that I have had.

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Photo of goldbot
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on Feb. 3, 2010. Reviewed on July 9, 2010, from notes.

Pours thick black with plenty of dark brown, creamy head. Good head retention and lacing.

Pine, resinous hop aroma hits the nose off the bat. Backed up with a hint of roasted malt; but surprisingly it's is all hops and very little malt aroma going on.

Flavor of roasted malts up front with plenty of chocolate and a touch of dark roast coffee beans. Earthy, not nearly as hoppy but plenty of bitterness still. Leaves a bitter chocolate aftertaste with hints of resinous hops bubbling through.

Huge body and thick mouthfeel. Sticky and resinous at first, becomes creamy as the beer warms and the tongue gets acclimatized.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a used motor oil, viscous black with 2 finger mocha colored head that has decent retention and a coat of lacing along the sides.

S - Very sweet smell, dark grapes, dark chocolate mocha, and a tinge of pine hops

T - Starts quite sweet with that dark fruit (almost raspberry) before fading into a decent roastedness with coffee, chocolate, and again, a tinge of hops. On the finish, though, there's a bit of a iron taste that comes through. A bit of booze.

M - Very thick and sticky, very nice on a chilly evening. It retains the ABV fairly well.

Overall - A solid, but not outstanding imperial stout. I thought it brought some nice complexities, but they could be somewhat muddled. I'm not sure what was with the iron taste on the finish, but it sort of took away from the overall taste.

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Photo of Iceman77
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice and velvety with an almond colored head, not too thick but remains throughout the entire glass. The color is dense black, like a good stout should be. The initial smell that you get is a mixture of malt, coffee, and a little of the alcohol hits the nose almost like a wine. In the taste you get more malt, good amount of hops for an imperial, and the sweetness of chocolate/caramel. It coats the inside of the mouth very nicely with a sweet aftertaste and the alcohol warming, but doesn't linger too long which is key. Suprisingly drinkable for 9.5%, although i couldn't see polishing off a whole sixer in one sitting (which is not as suprising). Definitely one of the best imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of JimLetson
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottled on January 12 into my tulip glass.

Appearance - black, just black. You have to ask yourself how much blacker can this get, and the answer is none...none more black. Two fingers of creamy, frothy brown head that takes it's time going away. It is very visually appealing.

Smell - a lot of dark roast coffee with hop aromas making their way through underneath the initial coffee.

Taste - the bitterness of the black malt bites you at first, but it mellows after a bit to reveal some of the coffee from the nose, along with the flavour of very high cacao percentage chocolate - think Lindt 95% cacao bar. Hop bitterness brings up the rear and ends the sip with a very crisp sensation. As the beer warms, the chocolate both increases in presence and mellows in intensity.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation is moderate, and the beer is big and full bodied. No surprises here, this is one that requires some time to finish. It's flavours linger without a heavy, mouth-coating sweet feeling in the aftertaste.

Drinkability - the nice balance and the lack of the aforementioned heavy sweetness in the aftertaste makes me think that, apart from the alcohol being up there, I could drink a couple of these.

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Photo of WeymouthMike
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 22oz bottle this poured a super black with a good size, brownish head. Smells of nuts and alcohol are easily detected. As this beer warmed the alcohol taste and smell increased while there was a good amount of lacing on the pint glass. This is a very good beer and for the price to ounce ratio this is a great beer. I believe I paid around $5.99 for the 22oz and let this sit around for 2-3 months, no freshness or born on date on this one but this had no effect as this was great from start to finish.

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Photo of quikfish13
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a frothy creamy 3-finger head with a pitch black body that is impossible to see through. If I was to look at the top of my glass I would think I was drinking chocolate milk. Chocolate in high doses eminates from the top of the glass, not so muych a coffe taste but pure rich chocolate.

The taste matches the smell, leaveing a feeling in my mouth of a rich and creamy taste. Malts and roasted grain are abound until the very end when the coco flavors burst through. Quite bitter and with a higher alcohol taste then I would care for but the complex flavors of this beer more than make up for it.

Not a beer I would drink all the time but on special occasions or with a large dinner. It does go down smooth but this beer is to rich to enjoy in mass quantities.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this plenty of times. I'm originally from CO and I drink out of a Great Divide balloon glass. I loved going on my first ever brewery tour there. Yeti is also so versatile. Oak aged, chocolate and espresso subspecies are all interesting. I would have given this a higher rating if I would have reviewed this earlier... but after having a number of RISes, this just doesn't stand out that much.

This is definitely a stout... dark and deep. Light brown head. Good bubble density. Dies down a bit quickly, but can be easily roused. Good looking beer, but no Ten FIDY.

The nose delivers a varied bouquet. Dark chocolate. A distinctly dry roast. Burnt fruits. Alcohol bite. A bit of everything you want... bit the roast is a bit too astringent. Knocks down the quality deserved from the variety.

The taste is dominated by that same dry roast. I guess that sensation might be the hop bitterness? Maybe I'm drinking this too fresh... There's a rich chocolate underneath that wants to come out, bit it's shoved back down by the roast. I'd like some chocolate nibs or something to balance it better :). Still, it's a strong, varied, raw beast of a beer.

The mouthful is full and rich, but the roast takes it back a step. Overall, it's a good beer, bit I've definitely had more satisfying.

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Photo of jtingue
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dated May 12 2011. Poured into tulip.

Appearance. Pitch black. A huge 4 fingers of dense tan head, beautiful. Great lacing, sticks to the side of the glass for quite a while.

Smell. Very chocolatey, with some roastyness and some yeasty esters. Really sweet all around.

Taste. Starts out with some caramel and chocolate. Some roasted malt builds, while retaining the chocolate. Some of the yeasty ester that were detected in the smell come forward to join the roastyness, specifically some berry and dark fruit flavors. The finish has some roasty bitterness, and is quite sweet.

Mouthfeel. Huge body on this one with little carbonation.

A great example of a chocolate based imperial stout. With almost a year of age on it, I am wondering what it would be like fresh.

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Photo of trep
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle thanks to prAna

Pours dark black, blacker than black. No light penetrating except the edges which are a burnt orange color. One finger head fades to leave massive bubbles strewn about, as well as a bit of lacing.

Charred wood, roasted malt, dark chocolate, sweet dark fruits...DARK i say! Some smooth vanilla and oak woodiness to round everything out. Hardly any alcohol.

Very hoppy as well as roasty. Dark bitter chocolate comes through and finishes quite bitter. Sticky, oily mouthfeel that coats your mouth and seemingly oozes down your throat like pepto bismol. The burnt woodiness also comes out as it warms. Not too bad. Very complex.

Alcohol never really shows itself in this one. Quite easy drinking, in fact. To drink more than two of these would be pushing it though.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up on one of my business trips to Longmont, Colorado.
Appearance: This pours motor oil black with a cocoa brown head.
Aroma: It has a nice chocolately, after dinner drink aroma.
Flavor: It's rich and very silky on the tongue. It's a very nicely done imperial stout.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle of this into a shaker glass.

A: Pours an oilo black body with a small, dark brown head with pretty poor retention, yielding only a ring of head on the beer. There was some lacing along the sides of the glass until the finish.

S: A slightly bitter smell with some roasted barley notes.

T: A very roasted taste with some slight bitterness to it as well. There was also a nice, complimenting, coffee bean aftertaste that was very nice.

M: A fairly thick and smooth mouthfeel that was nice for the style.

D: A pretty decent mouthfeel and taste combination that was good for an Imperial Stout. The alcohol was fairly warming, but not overwhelming in the taste of the beer. A nice drinking beer overall.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a black body with a brown chocolately foamy head. looks like a chocolate milkshake when looking from directly overhead, not much lacing.
caramel, chocolate and coffee seem to be fighting to be the dominant aroma, but no clear winner.
coffee and caramel are the most dominant in the taste with chocolate in there too. there is also a slight hint of the alcohol present on the back of the tongue.
good mouthfeel, very creamy full bodied stout but has a slight aftertaste.
pretty drinkable beer, good RIS, look forward to trying the oak aged version

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Photo of clvand0
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This came in a 22oz bomber and was the 2003 version. Pours a very dark color with a nice full head and leaves a huge amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma was mostly comprised of a coffee smell with some notes of rum(?) and possibly a little chocolate. The flavor is much the same as the aroma. Coffee feel with some chocolate and very thick. Not a bad Imperial Stout at all.

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Photo of treyrab
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A: Pitch black with a huge creamy extremely dark brown head that lasts and laces. This is one of the darker stouts I have seen recently!

S: Wow. Very pungent with coffee and dark cocoa along with alcohol.

T: Extremely powerful with a huge kick. Tons of dark cocoa and coffee followed by a nice kick of hops. The alcohol is present in this one for sure!

M,D: The mouthfeel is very, very thick and the alcohol is definitely there. I may try aging one to calm it down some!

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Photo of tillmac62
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%

BOD 6/17/14. Pours dark as a starless night. Very good head with exceptional lacing and very good retention. Rich nose of dark chocolate, very little roast character, over a nice citrus hop background with only a hint of coffee. As it warms, light vanilla notes are noticed. Rich full body with a creamy texture. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is complex, but the alcohol is not well hidden. It begins with rich dark chocolate that flows into notes of coffee coupled with vanilla over a rich malt sweetness. Roast is noted in the middle over a citric hop flavor and mild bitterness. The smooth finish is dominated by alcohol and leaves a warm back of throat burn and a burnt sugar lingering aftertaste. Dial the alcohol back a bit and this one becomes outstanding.

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Photo of SeanRedd
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good to go as the R.I.S.'s get. Flat body, head lil earlier disappeared. Smells of smashed dates, sweet, molasses, brown sugar. Possibly fresher fruits in the aroma, cherry and grape. Body hits at a complex fermented dark fruit orgy, chocolate then raspberry. Booze is gone behind a flavorful, roasty, chocolate curtain. Lil grainy after several sips, and a hard hitter. I dig but can't get in a habit, they'd be my ruin.

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Photo of Todd
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber bottle. 2003 Series.

Geezers Xmas! Pours a pitch black beer topped with a magnificent dark coffee coloured head. Loads of retention, heavy stick on the glass and an initial cascading effect that took me by surprise and hypnotized me briefly. Man, this beer simply looks gorgeous.

Aroma his the nose with strong notes of sherri, dairy, coffee, chocolate and hints of spice.

Luscious mouthfeel. So damn smooth! A bit chewy, thick and viscous. More notes of sherri, wood, coffee, chocolate and molasses. Malt profile is quite sweet. Alcohol is very present, with a sting and spice behind the malt. Some brief citric hop bitterness in the mix. Dry grain and a roasted malt/molasses twang in the finish.

Although this beer shows signs of much oxidation, and it's a 2003 reviewed in 2003, it's still quite good.

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Photo of spartan2k
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Yeti out of a bomber. Have an OA version in waiting, but figured it would be best to start with the original.

When reading about the "legend" of the Yeti on the bottle, can't help but thinking...
Scientists have proven that the Sasquatch, he is real.
Take a look at the plaster cast of his foot, now you know he's real.
Listen real close to the audio tape, not human no you know he's real.
Couldn't be a man in gorilla suit, no way.
No, you know he's real.
Real, real, real real, real, real, really real, real.

On to the beer...

Pours black. Thick, viscous, black. Head forms after pouring, looks like a delicious brew.

First taste was relatively unimpressive. Beer was in the fridge, so I assume that the cold is masking the flavors. As the beer warms, the experience is much more pleasant. More than anything else, the hop presence (especially at the end and in the aftertaste) is what is really surprising. Not necessarily bad, just unexpected. Almost reminds me of a barleywine aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, but there is a hop bitterness at the end that makes the beer really interesting.

Overall, a nice BIS. The hop presence grows on me as I drink the beer, but doesn't seem to match the creamy-ness of the beer. Excited to move on and taste the variations.

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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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