Yeti Imperial Stout | Great Divide Brewing Company

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,773 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:
1,773
Ratings:
5,371
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
9.48%
 
 
Wants:
323
Gots:
1,096
For Trade:
23
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,773 | Ratings: 5,371
Photo of mactrail
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looking at the label,it says bottled on March 11, 2011. I should have waited two more days for its second anniversary! Very dark, with a nice beige head and plenty of lacing in the Ommegang chalice. A pleasant aroma of toasted fruitbread and burnt raisins.

Flavors of licorice and a little smoke. You could imagine this as a black, oily Scottish Ale. Rather bitter in the aftertaste. A lot of malt, but it tastes mostly burnt and dark roasted. This is a more austere and glowering style without much sweetness. It's possible that any residual sugar has vanished with the aging, but there is not trace of unwanted bacterial flavors, so it's a bonus for Great Divide.

From the 22 oz bottle bought at Liticker's Liquor & Deli in Ocean Beach.

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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 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 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.

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

Yeti is pitch black with a large, light brown head. The body of the head is very thick and creamy. Retention is good, but not as high as expected. Aroma is of very pungent hop atop a very rich malt smell. Chocolate is the most noted of the malt aromas. Taste is similar to the aroma: very rich and very hoppy. A thick, oily hop flavor combines piney and citrussy elements nicely and is first noted in a sip. Bitterness is high. Dark, rich malt flavors soon roll in with flavors of espresso, chocolate, and roast. An overall creamy sweetness is noted as well. Throughout a sip strong hop flavors compete with and usually beat out the malts for domination. The layers of flavor are amazing. Finish is sweet and creamy with a touch of alcohol. This is a big, badass double stout and is easily the hoppiest that I've sampled. Highly recommended!

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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 vfgccp
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

March 2011 bottle. Opened July 2014.

A - Solid, almost bowling ball black body. Creamy milk chocolate head has great retention and lace.

S - An excellent nose, sweet and chocolately. Malted milk balls, deep milk chocolate, chestnuts, touch of burt coffee.

T - Opens smooth, bold, and round with milk chocolate, dark roast coffee, and thick caramel. The center drops out a little, but features nice roast grain and molasses flavors. Really nice dry roast finish.

M - Smooth with a light, well balanced carbonation. Medium-full body with a great coating on the back end.

O - Really enjoyable, and arguably the best of the entire series.

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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 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 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 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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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 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 WoodBrew
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Yeti from Great Divide was a very solid stout and definitely worth a try. It poured a rich opaque black with tan head that did not leave much lace. The scent and taste carried chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall.....excellent.

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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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Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 5,371 ratings.
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