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Yeti Imperial Stout | Great Divide Brewing Company

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1,757 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: 1,757 | Ratings: 5,296
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a rich-looking, inky black body with a tall, tan-colored head.

Smell: Earthy, roasted malts with notes of espresso and rich, dark chocolate. Pine and citrus hop scents vie for attention.

Taste: Creamy, dark chocolate, anise, and dark caramel represent the sweeter side of things, while the roasted malts and resinous pine hop flavor brings the countering bitterness. Ends with a rather dry, roasty bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Concentrated, oily mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

Drinkability: A very solid, powerfully roasty beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours to a deep black with a thick, foamy brown head, which fades slowly and leaves a thick lace.

S: The aroma is rich and malty with heavy tones of mocha and toffee, also a bit of alcohol.

T: The taste is heavily malted and a little bit smoky, with chocolate & coffee flavor which remains dominant most of the time, but gives way to some bitterness. However it's not the typical bitterness you'd expect from hops, more like a black coffee/dark chocolate type of bitterness, which stick around in the after-taste. As it warms a bit, you taste the alcohol more and the sweetness levels out.

M: Very smooth as you drink it, with a heavy body and medium-to-light carbonation. Leaves a very sticky, syrupy film behind.

D: Definitely drinkable, but certainly not poundable. It goes down easy but is very filling.

Most places in this area carry the Oaked Yeti which I intend to try to compare the two. However I found this a just little bit north of RI and jumped at the chance to try it. I've had the Fresh Hop & Hercules Double from Great Divide and wasn't as impressed as most, but I wanted to make sure I sampled the full spectrum of styles for this brewery to make sure my judgment is fair. I definitely think this beer is better in its style those beers are in theirs and I can taste the same signature that I did in the other two. So I guess this beer has salvaged my opinion of Great Divide. Even though I lean more towards beers that I can put away en masse, this was a good beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this several times over the years, just never reviewed it for some reason.
Opaque black color with a finger or so of frothy mocha head; decent retention and lacing. Typical stout qualities in the nose, dark roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, and additionally, some definite hops notes. More of the same in the taste, roast, sweet malts, coffee and bakers' chocolate, caramel, resinous hop notes contributing a lasting bitterness, with a somewhat mineral aftertaste. Body is on the fuller side of medium. It's not an out-of-this-world stout, but it's a solid brew and quite drinkable overall. It makes a good base beer for some of GD's more adventurous selections.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the thickest, blackest, gooiest oil looking looking liquid I have ever had the pleasure of sipping on! Hue big creamy frothy head, colored dark brown that would not fade on me, had to stay around and hang out. Black as night with big lace, looked perfect for an Imperial Stout, had to give it a 5! Smell was complex, albeit not as strong as I would have liked, but Chocolate, caramel, and coffee all were able to come through for me. Hint of alchol, which is to be expected at over 9%abv. The taste was ...yummy! Totally coffee and chocolate duking it out to predominate this one. Alcohol definatly there s well, but not bad at all, just enough to let you know to watch out. Hint of chocolate came through as it warmed, big dry hoppy finish, very nice! This is a very thick drink, like a chocolate milkshake, very warming a it goes down, very creamy and great late at night before bed! Overall I really enjoyed this and it is a toss up between this and the oaked yeti, I love them both, but definatly distinct and I could see why they chose to experiment with it, though it can definatly hold its own with any Imperial Stout!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to Phatz for allowing me to taste this fine ale out of a snifter side by side with the Oak aged Yeti.

A - Pitch Black with a healthy tan head. It appears dense, opaque and has highlight of darkness swirling underneath it all.

S - Berry and bittersweet chocolate aromas dark and roasted scents emanate

T - Rich, luscious, tip of the tonque tannic likened to a ruby red center enveloped in malt.

M - Candied nuts, berry and prune flavors are apparent. The essence of pine hop flavors and mild grapefruit bitterness up front with sweet roasty malts in the finish.

D - not highly quaffable due to the gravity, but luscious and intense to say the least. One to sip and savor for all of it fullness and depth

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Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours ink black with a 4 finger plus choclate colored foamy head. Very good head retention and insane lacing

Smell: Malt, sweetness, licorice and choclate

Taste: Vinous character, with hops, bitter choclate, coffee, and slight rye taste (i dig that). Hop and grain bitterness, dryness and alcohol in the finish

MF: Super chewy, excellent carbonation

A little to chewy to do more than one, but well worth the struggle. Not a lawnmower brew by any means!

Nice cocklewarmer. Another winner from great divide. Spring is fast approaching here, will soon be too warm for these monsters. Catch em before he retreats to the highground! Can't wait to try the oakaged version

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Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with a vintage date of 2003 on the label. Not to worry, @ 9.5% ABV this beer should age well.

Appearance: Pitch-black colour. A thick rise of brown foam wants to gush over, nice web like trail of lace down the glass.

Smell: Creamy vanilla, creamed coffee, vague berry fruitiness and a mild alcohol presence. Aromatic yet mellow.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very creamy on the palate, smooth and slick in the mouth within the heavy full body. Soft charcoal, roasted twang and espresso. Balanced hopping with a mild citric flavour in the finish. More soft roasted character in the finish with a layered sweetness. Bit of yeast in the end and a drying roasted husk as well.

Notes: Without a doubt a tasty brew, tame but I like it that way. The alcohol sneaks up on you and there are so many subtle complexities to deal with that it makes it so worth the while.

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

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very light hints of visible carbonation at the edges of the glass near the surface of the beer. The beer has a half finger tall extremely dark mocha (bordering on brown) head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thick large bubbles and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted (just on the edge of being burnt) malts along with some moderate notes of chocolate, coffee, and cocoa powder.

T: Very similar in taste to the smell, there is a strong flavor of very dark roasted malts bordering on burnt. There are moderately strong flavors of bittersweet chocolate and freshly brewed coffee along with some lighter notes of cocoa powder. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness that lingers shortly.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Dry with some moderate alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable with a nice amount of complexity to the smell and taste. The alcohol, while pretty strong and high in ABV, is pretty well hidden. Easy to drink but very much a sipping beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a plastic tumbler.

I find it odd that I've had the wood-aged varieties of this beer before the base version. Go figure. It pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, chocolate syrup, molasses, and some light coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, though the spotlight is definitely on the roasted malts, the coffee (slightly more intense), and the (now dark) chocolate. The body is on the lighter side of heavy, with a very light moderate carbonation and a chewy feel. Overall, a very nice stout, a standout of the style, especially in terms of cost and availability.

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Photo of orangesol
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours pitch black with a small chocolate colored head that leaves small patches of lace down the entire glass.

S - Lots of roasted malt up front. Some coffee, chocolate, and a bit of hops break thru once it warms up a bit. A bit too much roast when it was first poured but once it warmed up a bit it was much better.

T - Starts off with plenty of dark roasted malts with hints of coffee, chocolate, and a bit of vanilla. A little bit of a hop bite in the middle that quickly gives way to a strong roasted finish. The flavors are well balanced and it is not overly sweet like some of the other big bodied stouts. I like this one a lot.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Not as creamy as I was hoping for from the nitro-tap but it still has a pretty smooth feel. I could have a few of these no problem.

D - I really like Yeti. It is a great intro into the world of big flavored stouts. I was hoping the nitro-tap would make the feel a bit better but it may have actually dulled it a bit.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, review form notes.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of smcolw
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A solid four-finger mocha colored head. The liquid is nearly black. The head is very stable, lasting a long time and leaving a thick lace.

High caramel aroma, some coffee notes and solid alcohol presence. I'm predicting a thick rich beer.

This is a BIG beer. Lots of black patent malt, chocolate malt, high alcohol oiliness, and a positive hop presence that gives some awsome balance. This is perhaps one of the richest beers I've ever had. Moderate carbonation doesn't thin it out at all.

I want to try this one in a flight of Imperial Stouts. My initial impression is that this is the best IS I've had. Very nice. Seek this one out.

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Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to cracking this one open. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Pours black with a thick two finger tan head. The head subsided and clung to the edges but left very good lacing. This is an excellent looking beer.

Aroma is big on chocolate and roasted flavor. There is also a pretty good amount of hop aroma in it for an Imperial stout. Taste has a good amount of chocolate and caramel but isn't too sweet. The bitterness and the roasted flavor help balance out the sweetness. like the nose suggested it is also pretty hoppy with some citrus flavors. Nicely balanced between sweet and bitter with a lot of very good complex flavors going on.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. it has a very nice mouthfeel to it, like I expect in an imperial stout. Drinkability is very good, it's very well balanced and delicious and drinking this one was a pleasure. Looking forward to the Yeti variants.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a black color with one finger of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Nice head retention and lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of fruity hops, citrus hops, roasted malts, caramel malts, alcohol, and bitter chocolate. Smell is a lot hoppier than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, hops, dark fruit, and alcohol. Coffee is very prominent, as are the hops again.

m - Full body and moderate carbonation. Thick and chewy, pretty smooth.

d - A very solid stout. It was a lot hoppier than I expected overall. I thought the nose was better than the taste; I just wish the taste had a little less coffee. None the less, a very good RIS. I think I like the barrel aged and oak aged yeti better than this one, but I like it more than the chocolate and espresso versions. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried it side by side Storm King at Mad Mex Robinson. Appears pitch black until held up to the light to show a dark ruby brown tone with a moccha tan head leaves lacing around the snifter it was poured into. Aroma is full of chocolate and coffee tones brought out by the dark roasts along with a boozy fruit brandy esque note and loads of floral hop character. Flavor is big very on chocolate and alcohol especially as it warms the hop bitterness isn't standing out entirely b/c of the massive loads of dark malt flavor here as well, not balanced at all in your face with loads of flavor. Mouthfeel is big and chewy with carbonation producing slow gurgling bubbles. Drinkability: Small snifter of it I would probably not attempt a bomber of this one on my own, but it is damn tasty.

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

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff.

Served side by side with Oak Aged Yeti.

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

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

Pours slow and thick with a pitch black color. One inch dark tan head. Nose is smooth and creamed. Not very strong or overpowering. Flavor is thick with an even roasted malt edge. Very sweet tone to it, and the alcohol peeks out a bit with it. Seems a bit too sweet, but it is still even and good. Feel is very good. Creamy and smooth, even though the liquid is thick like most anything else. Drinkable? Well. It is almost TOO thick and almost TOO sweet. Between this and the Oaked Yeti, I’ll take the Oak. Even without going back to read my review of the latter, I can still remember the awesome complexities and how overall it kicked ass. This one is good, but when you’ve got a bigger brother who’s more accomplished, it is harder to compete.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kate the Great snifter. Bottled 1/28/2011.

Appearance - Inky black with a small mocha head off a vigorous pour. Nothing retained and only a ring of foam. Looks nicely viscous, though.

Smell - Chocolate and vegetal hops. Really intense on both counts. The chocolate is nice but the hops become grassy and even a bit chemical in nature. Smells like Pine Sol.

Taste - Strong hops again in the flavor, but they aren't as grassy and herbal. They definitely blend thoroughly with a more impressive chocolate and coffee roasted malt. Not all that sweet, but I wonder if I'd notice given all the hops. Needless to say, it has a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Good mouthfeel, despite all the flavors I don't love. Maybe not as thick as I'd expect considering how it looks, but still medium-heavy.

Overall - I don't get why this is so well regarded. I can think of quite a few readily available RIS's that are much better than this. I'm interested to see how the various treatments of this taste.

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Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a thick, creamy, tan head. Lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of rich chocolate. Roasted coffee notes. Dark maltiness abounds. Caramel/toffee. Gentle smokiness in the back.

The taste is of rich chocolate/dark malts. Caramel and toffee emerge as it progresses, as does a suggestion of wood. As it progresses, the ashy smokiness becomes very noticeable, almost too much so. Balancing breadiness and citrus mixing with the dark maltiness give it a bittersweet finish. Spicy, warming alcohol creeps in.

Full-bodied, rich and creamy.

Richness and alcohol make this one a very slow sipper, but an enjoyable one. I had the oak-aged version a few months ago. I remember it being a bit better, but it would be interesting to compare them head-to-head.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a tan head that dissipates quickly leaving lace all the way down the glass. Smell is spicy floral hops, roast, some coffee and chocolate. Taste is a balance between hops and roast, like they are both fighting to be the dominant taste. Thick mouthfeel with a coffee aftertaste. A decent impy stout, and I'm sure it would be fantastic in a year or so, but I think the hop taste and aroma are to up front right now. I prefer my stouts less hoppy.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Village Draft House

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

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

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought it was springtime, here in early March, but, look outside at all the falling snow, andI think it's time to escape into a comforting bottle of Imperial Stout!
Appearance: solid black color, dark as the Devil's skidmark's, with a lush, bubbly roasted, dark tan head...beautiful, can't wait to lift it to my lips, ah, but first, to smell...
Aroma: bittersweet espresso, rich cocoa, creamy, delicious, toasty, tasty, with further sensations of anise, molasses, dark rum, just lingering in association.
Taste: Ah! That's what I like! Full-on flavor, thick mouthfeel, rich, tasty, coating the entire palate with this dark delight, a chocolatey paradise in the mouth.
Not too heavy, either, not too overwhelming, not too dominated by alcohol, though it does slowly make it's presence felt, this is an exceptionally drinkable IS, almost surprisingly so. Even at 9.9%, it's not knocking me over the head with booze, not even halfway into this bomber, the integration is so perfect, it seems. Flavor never ends, and stews on the palate for nearly an eternity, for as long as it takes to enjoy this beer, which might be forever.
Were I a Coloradan, I'd stock up severely on this brew, and as I'm not, I can only lay back and enjoy it just this once!
Like a blissfully bewitching Butterfingers in the mouth, this one, and not about to overtake any in my Pantheon of Imperial Stouts, it admirably takes up the rear!
Vast, ne'er ending thanks to prAna!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is obviously an older bottle, as it has the old colorful mountain logo instead of the new drab brown one. Served in my Red Hook pint class.

A - Three fingers of late-rising dark mocha-brown foam that dissipates very, very slowly. Glass-coating lacing. Black. No light gets through this bad boy. Looks kind of evil actually...

S - Roasted malts, rum-soaked dark fruits, brown sugar, semi-sweet chocolate. Big smell, and superbly hidden alcohol. This bottle seems to be older, as the hoppiness is quite subdued, with only light floral notes peaking through.

T - Taste has a little more roasty bitterness and a touch of coffee. There's significantly less of the dark fruit sweetness. The finish is mostly burnt sugar and leaves an aftertaste that I don't care for all that much. Again, a touch of floral hoppiness peaks out just before the finish. A solid but somewhat unsophisticated RIS.

M - Very soft texture, big body that supports the ABV well. Lower carbonation and tons of residual stickiness. It's pretty much everything an RIS should have.

D - I'd be afraid to drink a bomber of this by myself - thankfully my wife is helping me tonight. The taste is good, but not complex enough to warrant consuming 22oz. Alcohol is well hidden, and only a slight warming hints to the mounting intoxication. The thick body makes it slow going, but thankfully it goes down smooth and easy.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated April 2007.

A - Black, viscous chocolate syrup with a faint brown ring and a glimpse of light at the base.

S - Dark raisins, dried figs, sweet chocolate, rubbing alcohol, touch of roasty wood.

T - Bittered chocolate upfront, slightly warming alcohol and chewy malts. Sweet milk sugar and chocolate with a balance of some hops thrown in. Bitter on the back of the tongue.

M - Syruppy smooth and soft. This one is viscous with some mild carbonation in there. A dry finish.

O - At 9.5% this imperial stout has aged nicely, slight warmth and a full body and mouth of flavor. All youd want from this style of beer. A great stout.

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Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 5,296 ratings.
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