Yeti Imperial Stout | Great Divide Brewing Company

1,769 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: 1,769 | Ratings: 5,359
Photo of KeefD
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review from tasting notes:

Dark brown, ruby edges

Aroma: Boozy, hard to pick up other aromas around booze, light roastiness

Taste: Bitter roasted malts, huge hop presence, more bitter from roasted barley than hops, chocolate, strong alcohol

MF: Hot heat alcohol, medium to full bodied

Too much booziness in this one really keeps the flavor profile and dirnkability down. Tastes better as it warms.

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Photo of tedpeer
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce poured into a chalice.

A - Pours black with a half inch mocha head that quickly settled into a ring around. Minimal lacing.

S - Hops and alcohol.

T - Roasted coffee and chocolate. Very Bitter aftertaste. Slight alcohol warming.

M - Medium carbonation, mouth coating thick.

D - Not to me, the taste made me keep wishing the glass was already empty.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like thick, black motor oil. Dark as midnight. Large dark brown puffy head. Looks big and formidable.

The smell is a heavy roasted coffee smell. Undercurrent of light berries and also dark grapes. Both sweet and bitter.

The flavor is a major burnt roasted taste. Very strong alcohol presence. Sweet second wave. Tastes like a burnt cookie. Incredibly harsh. Not smooth like a typical Imperial stout. Really brutal. Bitter/sour berry aftertaste.

Feels thick and coarse. Not at all smooth, not in the least. This baby is a heavy-hitter. It's really strong. Which isn't to say it isn't good, it's just frickin' harsh.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectatons are above average; I've had this beer before in my native Denver. Bottled: 11/05/2010.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger head of beautiful tan colour, great cream, incredible thickness, and impressive retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a predictable nontransparent solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Opaque.

Sm: Great roasted barley foundation. Fantastic dark malts. Cream and hints of chocolate. Hints of caramelization. A moderate strength aroma.

T: The creamy open gives way to the pleasant roasted barley foundation with dark malts abound. The presence of hops is notable - which is curious for the style (I don't care for it). Some chocolate and caramel. No yeast comes through. Hints of coffee. The cream is nice. Somewhat layered. Not horribly complex or subtle, but nicely balanced for what it is. Built pretty much to style. The roasted character is lovely.

Mf: Smooth and wet; should be coarse and dry. Adequately carbonated. The thickness is slightly off, but I can't discern in which direction.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for the style. Hides its ABV well. This won't disappoint. But it's not exemplary, especially in comparison to its better variants. A great Russian imperial stout worthy of attention, but nowhere near perfect. Very well priced (especially in Colorado) and worth your time. I'd have it again. I would like more of a yeasty character.

Age does it well, but you're better off going with a variant of this beer for cellaring.

Drinks just fine out of a narrow-mouthed goblet. The masses will stick to snifters, but secretly I'll harbour goblets as the preferred vessel.

Pairs well with hard pretzels. Steak is also probably quite nice.


12.20.14: Truncated impressions below:

A: Pours a gorgeous head with an incredibly shiny complexion and a lush rich dark tan colour. Fantastic creaminess and thickness, great retention...just a solid head for an imperial stout.

Body colour is an opaque ink-black.

A benchmark appearance for an imperial stout.

Sm: Rich roasty dark malts, chocolate malt, caramel, cream. Screams "dark beer" at the top of its lungs. Moderate to high aromatic intensity.

T: Aw, yeah. Dark malts, heavy roast, caramel, some toffee...this is how you do an imperial stout backbone. There's some alcohol warmth, but it's pleasant. Cream helps take the edge of the roasted barley. Some mild char and burnt character. Well-balanced and built.

Mf: Creamy. Coarseness and smoothness are locked into a constant tug-of-war, accentuating the roast in the taste. Well-carbonated.

O: Still one of my go-to imperial stouts. Rivals Storm King and Ole Raspy for best widely available beer in the style. A must-try, but not perfectly balanced. The burnt/char could be toned down, and why is this 75 IBUs?


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Photo of mlaroche
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, poured into pint glass at about 55F. Bottled 12/24/2008.

Appearance: Dark body. Mocha colored, rocky head, fills the glass and sticks around. 3 fingers at first. Lacing remains later, residual head sticks to the glass.

Smell: A huge whiff of chocolate and malt when I opened the bottle. Mild fruit in the nose.

Taste: It's more assertively hopped than Ten Fidy, my go to RIS. Definitely dryer too. Strong roasted notes, slight coffee tate. Dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than Ten Fidy, even though they're just about the same ABV. Mild carbonation, appropriate for style. The body is thinner than I'd expect at the alcohol level.

Drinkability: definitely don't notice the alcohol. No problem finishing the whole bottle myself, but not something I'd seek out often.

The RIS category allows a lot of variability with dryness and bitterness. This is on the dryer and more bitter end of the spectrum.

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Photo of Lukie
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally, I open up my Yeti, since my dad drunk my other one, then proceeded to tell me it was shit. Yes, good going Dad, since you know, it only cost me 16 bucks a bottle.

Poured Jet Black. I have never seen a beer this black before in my life. There was very little head, but it was lively with the bubbles, then it cascaded quickly to slight lacing which clung to the side of the beer, but was completely flat.

Coffee, burnt dark chocolate, roasty smells, and then a hop kick, with some slight citrus notes, and alcohol coming through.

Smooth bitter chocolate, burnt dark chocolate, mocha coffee. It's quite bitter and hoppy, which I am not used too in stouts so much. The alcohol gives it a punch of warmth.

It is smooth as anything, but the bitterness lingers, and it's not all too great when trying to get through such a heavy and full bodied brew. I couldn't have more then one of these, and I reckon there are better stouts out there that balance flavour with drinkability.

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the GDBC mini-bomber (1 pt, 6 oz), brewed on Nov. 23, 2009.

Inky on the pour, with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen - it's so brown that it looks a little bit red. A big head too, measuring an inch or more, dying down to leave a drapery of lace around the glass. I love the look of that beer.

Funny thing, but the first thing I smell is big burly hops - if you close your eyes and breathe deep, you'd assume this was a big IPA. Seems odd, but I'm not getting much for malts at all.

Wow - that's unique for an imperial stout - the hops are immediately apparent on the tongue, providing crisp, piney bitterness that is only matched once the malts slowly arrive - and when they do, the combination is huge. Notes of chocolate, coffee, and heavily toasted caramel dominate.

Light carbonation allows the rest of the flavors involved to take the front seat. Like a two-part ticking time-bomb of hops and malts in the mouth.

I really wanted to like this beer, but my mouth is only so big, which makes this beer at times somewhat undrinkable - it's just too much to fully comprehend - maybe I need a bigger mouth.

Being so fresh, it really needs a year or two to age. Or an oak barrel - either would help it to mellow out some, and allow the flavors to meld better than what's respresented here - it's a good thing that's an option. Given that addition, I'd give it a full grade higher.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from 2008 served into a tulip glass

Pours a super-dark, not quite black, burnt coffee brown. The really tan, almost orange, head never gets larger than one finger in size. Very minimal lacing. This just looks like a normal-ass imperial stout; that's not bad but I can't in good conscious rate it higher than a 3.

Thankfully the aroma comes out kicking like a mule where the appearance didn't. Lots of coffee and strong, sort of syrupy molasses aromas coming from the roasted malts. The hoppy smells one would expect from a fresher bottle of Yeti aren't present. There is a worrisome element of salt... what comes to mind is soy sauce.

I'm digging the specific roasted malt flavor here... its isn't predominantly chocolate or coffee like in many impy stouts. it really just tastes like roasted malt. The hop character hasn't completely diminished, though what is left is just some herbal, leafy flavor on the back end. There is some residual sweetness coming from the alcohol and it helps to brighten up the malt.

This is a full-bodied beer; its plenty thick enough to feel satisfying. While the alcohol plays a role in the flavor this beer was never hot with alcohol harshness. In spite of this thick body I find this Yeti to be easy-drinking for the style. The swallows keep going down with no palate fatigue.

I'd probably prefer a fresher bottle of this specific imperial stout but what I had was pretty good. Based on this bottle I don't get the numerous reviews of 'A' or higher. It doesn't do anything exceptional. Its a solid impy stout for the price.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is jet black with a medium size brown head, and good lacing.

smell is of double chocolate, with a background of roasted coffee, a touch of roasted almonds, and a hint of vanilla.

taste is creamy and thick, bitter, chocolate, sour malt, some coffee, nuts, a touch of vanilla, and some licorice, end is slightly bitter and thick.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black topped with a brown bubbly head which reduces to nothing yet leaves a nice lace collar.

S - Coffee, smoky roasted malt, bitter chocolate, toffee, burnt caramel.

T - Expresso, chocolatey malt, quite hoppy and bitter for a stout.

M - Medium body, smooth but not creamy, dry bitter finish.

O - This was a big hit with others at the tasting at which my notes for this review were taken. Just too much coffee for me.

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Photo of leviathan85
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dense black. Holding the beer up to the light, the darkness remained exactly the same; impenetrable. Only about a one inch head, but great retention.

S: Definitely alcohol, also a little malt. Alcohol was a little overwhelming.

T: Again, alcohol is definitely prevalent. Moves to dark chocolate and finishes with a bitter kick.

M: A bit disappointing for me. Given the appearance I was expecting something a little thicker.

D: As others have said, this one is a sipper. But when the mood for a complex, highly abv stout strikes this one fits the bill.

Overall a solid Stout. Not my favorite, but certainly unique and worthwhile.

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into a pint glass.
Not much of a head, dissipates to just covering the beer within seconds. Color isn't quite jet black, but rather a sooty, thick black. You can almost see the light coming through the fog.
Aroma promises dark fruits, foremost. Also picking up roasted malt, coffee, and maybe a hint of chocolate/cocoa to come.
The taste fufills the promise of the dark fruits. Vinous, or to be more understood, winelike. But still, the beer side of Yeti comes through in the burnt malt. The chocolate malt comes into play, but goes as quickly as it came. The flavor lingers on the very back of my tongue, and lasts until I take the next drink. A mild, and not overbearing taste of alcohol comes through on the finish.
Mouthfeel is rather nice, considering the lack of head, has adequate carbonation. Smooth, medium thick, and slightly chewy.
Overall, I like this beer for everything that it is, and I say the drinkability is good.
For anyone looking into this style, this is a great introduction to Russian Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of Roguer
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, firm dark brown head with excellent retention and sticky lacing. Beer is dark black with purple highlights.

Roast barley, a hint of coffee and dark cacao, and a slight bit of dark, overripe fruit dominate the nose. A bit of cream as well.

Waves of roasted barley wash over the mouth, carrying hints of cream and a not insignificant metallic taste. The barley is dominant; the metallic flavor is unwanted.

Full, thick mouthfeel; not quite chewy. Sticky finish. Alcohol is noticeable.

This is an enjoyable stout, but it's simply not up there with the best of them.

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Photo of imiller21
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle. Impenetrably black with a massive brown head with lacing that refused to budge. Seriously, this thing is dark. Not my typical cup, but pretty impressive nonetheless.

Not a strong scent to me, honestly. A bit roasty but tangy, perhaps.

A complex flavour. Starts off strong with a roasty and bitter taste, akin to dark and burnt coffee, yet slightly sweet. Gives way to toffee and chocolate that lingers with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

Very light, smooth, and creamy, not very carbonated. Nice

Overall, I am biased as it's not my typical drink. I like pretty much everything about it except the initial taste, though the look and feel as well as the aftertaste are very nice. Must be paired correctly. Would drink again, though not as a top 5 choice.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes...

Bottled October 08. Shared with newtonty recently.

Pours as a RIS should - Dark brown/blackish with a 1 inch dark mocha head. Great mocha lacing!

The nose has coffee and bitter hop on the nose.

Low carbonation on the mouthfeel. Full bodied and medium to full flavored. The front and middle of this beer is coffee, heavily roasted chocolate malts and a hint of smokiness. Wet like an oil slick on my tounge with a slippery and bitter, hoppy finish.

Nice, but didn't do a great deal for me...

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Photo of sstackho
3.64/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased from Total Wine in Clearwater FL. My first imperial stout! As such, I should mention that I'm not much of a stout drinker. More of a hop fan. So I figured an imperial stout with a lot of hops could be up my alley. Pours black with some head depending on the pour. Smells very very much like a stout. All strong malts. Tastes pretty much like a stout too - in fact, somewhat surprisingly so. Lots of roasted malts and some hints of coffee. There are some hops in the aftertaste, but it's not as substantially different from some other stouts as I was expecting. But it's definitely a very full flavoured stout - I would drink more stouts if they were like this one. Can't say I particularly tasted the alcohol - though I felt it!

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Photo of RandyV
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful dark as night color with minimal head but sticky, consistent lacing. Smells of dark chocolate, molasses, wood and booze.

Taste matches the nose, with astringent coffee bitterness most prominent, although it is met head on by sweet malt character. The wood note is of a burnt (charcoal) nature. The alcohol is there, underlining and warming.

A nice offering from GDBC. For my money, Old Rasputin from North Coast still rules.

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Photo of aasher
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours an oily midnight black with a ever so light dark, dark khaki head that quickly dissipates and laces the glass. It smells of sweet milk chocolate and dark roasted malts. It tastes very sweet. The flavors include milk chocolate, light coffee, possibly some oak and some vanilla. It is a little too sweet for my liking. The mouthfeel is the best aspect. Like a lot of Great Divide's beers, this one has a thick, soapy mouthfeel to it that coats the mouth. It goes down smoothly but is just too sweet to drink multiples of at once. Solid beer, not great.

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Photo of battlekow
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing this and the Oak Aged Yeti at the same time. I'm drooling at the chance.

Appearance: A thick, inky, truly impenetrable black. A small, dark brown head crowns the beer. Has less head than its Oak Aged cousin.

Smell: Smells intense and complex. There's hoppiness, a raspberry/fruity-chocolatey character, and some deep roasted scents.

Taste: Very sweet--too sweet--and dark chocolatey upfront, followed by hoppiness and roasted malt huskiness that gives it a deep, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Oddly thin and dead. Just not as thick and chewy as I was expecting.

Drinkability: The regular Yeti is good, just not quite as good as the Oak Aged Yeti. Its smell and taste are a too sweet upfront; the Oak Aged is mellower. Still, pretty tasty.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours jet black with a 2 finger, creamy, mocha head that has excellent retention. Aroma is roast, dark caramel, milk chocolate, smoke, mild coffee, nutty toffee, light pine and surprising floral hops. Flavor is roast, sweet chocolate, sweet toffee, toasted pine nuts, dark caramel, earth, leather, espresso and a nice array of pine, citrus and floral hops to the finish. Odd lingering aftertaste of smoked meat, char and licorice, not bad, but seems to last forever. Palate is medium to heavy bodied, creamy on entry and a little oily, but with an extremely sharp, but light carbonation throughout.

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Photo of marksto
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours inky black with a cocoa-colored head. Retention medium low. Aroma dislays strong roast,cocoa, and perhaps a hint of vanilla.

Flavor starts with a chocolate-roast essence. In the middle are bittersweet coffee flavors, and the finish ends with a rather harsh acidity and some noticible hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium-full and not quite a chewy as some RIS's are. This one lacks the creamy nature and balanced complexity that the best of this style often show.

Overall, a respectable RIS but I've had a good number of others I liked better.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a nice, fluffy dark brown head that left delicate lacing all down the glass.

Nose is cocoa and espresso, roasty, with the hops lending a slightly acidic note to the roastiness.

Taste matches - espresso, roasty, hint of cocoa, with a dry, slightly acidic hop finish that hints of pine. Good, but the acidity and roastiness are better when slightly checked by the smooth vanilla of the oaked version. Just a bit rough around the edges for my taste.

Mouthfeel has just a bit of carbonation bite, thick, but not quite as viscous as i would have liked.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes 2/3/2011

A: dark brown to black with a 2 finger dark brown head, left nice lacing on the glass

S: roasted malts, perhaps a bit smokey, very boozey smelling

T: roasted barley and malts, very grainy tasting, sweet yet bitter

M: mild carbonation, smooth, but has an alcohol/acidic bit to it, thick

D: I wanted this to be good, but it just didn't meet my expectations


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Photo of jorjoria
3.66/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The beer itself is tar back and pours with a nice dark brown head.

Smell: Very alcoholic nose with lots of coffee and espresso notes complemented well with a heavy dose of hopping and some biscuit notes that you have to search out.

Taste: Nice sweet express flavor also complements by a large amount of bittering hops. The astringency is balance nicely by the sweetness making this brew very drinkable. Over all a good brew.

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Photo of CONOR8832
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Extremely dark, like espresso with a nice thick tan colored head. Leaves amazing lacing on the glass.

Smell - Very robust, some chocolate notes, rosted coffe notes, with the sweetness and twinge of the alcohol.

Taste - Has a very sweet and maltness to it but finishes slightly bitter from hops. Mild caramel, coffee, and chocolate flavors invade the taste buds

Mouthfeel - Very soothing on the palate, nice warming feel to it, carbonniation is perfect and gives you a very cozt feeling.

Overall - This is a fantastic beer. I was not much on imperial stouts at all. I often steered clear of them then somethin told me to try this one and now I am a closet stout lover and can not get enough of them.

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Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 5,359 ratings.
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