Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout | Great Divide Brewing Company

1,668 Reviews
Oak Aged Yeti Imperial StoutOak Aged Yeti 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:
Imperial stout aged on new French and American oak chips.

Added by Crosling on 08-09-2004

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Reviews: 1,668 | Ratings: 4,555
Photo of unibrew
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. This IS one of my new favorites. I'm not a stout drinker, but, I think I'm now a high APV stout drinker. Why would I ever have another Guinness? I doubt I'll find something else this good in a stout but, I'm certainly willing to try, but, I need them to be high in APV. It's hearty, not syrupy, rather chocolaty, just delicious overall. The alcohol is well hidden. It's truly exceptional overall. I will mirror jdubjacket's review about it, and I also first had it in Atlanta, mine on tap at the Brick Store Pub (A great place!). Do yourself a favor and get it. You'll have no regrets whatsoever!

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Photo of BelgiumBill
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow...how things can change. I didn't realize I previously reviewed this. I scored it much higher this time around from a 22oz bottle.

Bottled on 11/23/11 and poured into a Guinness pint glass. Look out...this produced a massive head nearly overrunning the top of the glass. This stout was completely black - not even hints of brown at the edges when held to the light. The head was incredibly dark - the darkest I've ever seen - and super fluffy and sticking all over the sides as it slowly receded to nice blanket. Best looking beer ever in my book.

It threw off lots of toasted vanilla, roasted burnt malts, and oak. Some coffee and bittersweet chocolate as it warmed. Very fragrant...getting whiffs from a couple feet away.

After long appreciation of the appearance and nose, the first sip revealed loads of toasted vanilla, molasses, charred oak, along with some bitter elements of hops and chocolate toward the end of a long lingering finish.

The mouthfeel was full, rich, viscous, chewy, creamy - all the good things you would want.

Overalll - just phenomenal. Huge, complex, great balance. The oak aging really suits this and adds great depth and character.

05/15/2011 Review
Appearance 4.5
Smell 4.0
Taste 4.5
Mouthfeel 4.0
Overall 4.0

Paid $3.99 for a 12 oz bottle.

This poured ink black with no light penetrating the rim of the tulip glass. Left a thick foamy dark brown head with some nice lacing.

Smelled of roasty malts, espresso and hops. I thought the nose would be bigger given the color and full-bodied characters. Not a defect, just thought it would be stronger.

The flavors were of a heavy dark roasted espresso, ample hops, and some bittersweet chocolate.

Full-bodied, thick, chewy, classic example of an Imperial Stout.

I'd buy it again!

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Came upon a bomber of this at Total Wine in Charleston, SC. Poured into a pint glass.

A. Poured a dark black with a nice 1 finger head that slowly dissipates to a classic lacing.

S. Nice chocolate, vanilla and malt stout smell. Just a hint of the alcohol showing through.

T. Roasted malt and alcohol to begin with. Some black licorice, coffee, and brown sugar flavors with a hint of chocolate.

M. Thick, but with a fairly high carbonation that helps to keep it from being syrupy.

D. Not an everyday beer because of the price (9.99 for a 22 ounce bomber) and the anv. But I have cellared 2 for the winter months. A real treat and a world class beer.

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Photo of WhiteOak
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Opaque, dark chocolate brown. Dark brown head - lacy, sticky, retentive, this beer has legs.

S- Roasted grain, chocolate, saddle leather, medicinals.

T- Alluring, thick, delicious, extracted, massive, concentrated, dark sweet roasted malt flavor. Stewed dark, sweet fruits. Chocolate covered raisins and cherries. French vanilla coffee beans. Molasses.

M, D- The viscous, super-dense, creamy, velvety structure and flavors carpet-bomb the palate with pleasure. Long, lingering finish of hop bitterness and roast. ABV buried under layers of concentrated flavor. Perfect CO2. Superb balance.

An excellent example of the style! Outstanding craftsmanship.

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Photo of leokbelo
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Completely, pure, ultimate blackness poured into a snifter. 2 inch creamy, mocha head lingers...
Rich coffee, bitter chocolate bouquet.
Creamy, ultra smooth mouthfeel, with some vanilla coming from the oak barrels...Rich roasted coffee, sweetness from the malts, hop bitterness too, with everything so well balanced, so well blended, it's an absolute wonder to the senses.
Incredibly complex, amazing beer!
Cannot recommend it enough!

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Photo of corby112
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black with a thicky dark brown head. Aroma of vanilla, roasted maltiness, chocolate and dark fruit. The oak aging gives this beeer an amazing vanilla flavor that balances out the dark chocolate/ coffee taste of the original yeti. Very smooth drinkable beer considering its strength.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has collected dust at the Neil St. Piccadilly for far too long. I finally broke down and gave it some attention. It's just remarkable, one of the very best beers around and a close second to Old Ruffian at the brilliant Great Divide.

Two lush fingers of dark mocha froth cover an impenetrable black, a thick lacing adorns the DAB mug--phenomenal. Rich, malty nose flush with chocolate, coffee, caramel, very nice. The taste is incredible. The oak adds so much robust flavor to a beer that was already excellent, loading it with hints of whiskey. Berry, chocolate, oak and caramel meld in ideal harmony. Easily one of the best-tasting beers, and the best RIS, I've ever had.

The mouthfeel is spot-on, plush with rich carbonation and smooth oak flavor. The drinkability is toned down only because its strength emerges in the second half. Yet this is a can't miss beer for anyone who apprciates complexity, RIS, Great Divide, and just plain good strong beer. Fantastically good.

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Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Original Review on: 03-24-2007

Taste: Oak Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, espresso with a hint of prune juice. Somewhat hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Well made, Thick body. Pours out like thick used motor oil.

Smell: Coffee beans, vanilla and a slight woody character.

Overall impressions: Excellent stout. One of my favorites. A must try for any serious stout lover.

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Photo of SteepH2O
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this twice-once in the taproom in Denver and once from a bottle I got locally. Both times it was fantastic. This is truly one of my favorite Imp Stouts. Great chocolate/vanilla flavor and great body without overwhelming the way some beers in the style seem to. Even though it's sweet, I think the flavors are really well balanced.

The oak aging adds to the vanilla sweetness when compared to the regular version of the Yeti. A great beer!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter appears dark black chocolate toned opaque when held up to the light just eats up the light forms a nice sized moccha hued head leaves fine lacing down the glass as it dwindles. Aromatics contain loads of charred oak, espresso coffee, dark chocolate, whole vanilla bean character, and somewhat of a coconut appeal warming alcohol is evident in the nose. Taste well the barrel aging does mellow out some characterisitcs but it also creates new dimensions along with charred oak dark espresso roasts come coconut, toffee, and vanilla aspects to the flavor. Still rooted with dark chocolate and high bitterness the hop flavor as been subdued a bit all blended well with aging very extraordinary brew. Mouthfeel full bodied coats the palate nice thick and chewy with mellow slow bubbling carbonation, quite an experience. Drinkability...sessionable yet limited in overall number drinkability due to the pure complexity and high octane. However if tasting with friends leave this one towards the finale there's not much that can match up plus you're going to crave more of this one after the bottle runs dry.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours completely opaque black with a nice mocha colored head that retains excellently and leaves some nice lacing along the oversized wine glass.

S: VERY hoppy nose. Chocolate, molasses, coffee, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar on top of a mass quantity of hops!

T: The hops are amazing! Not necessarily bitter or overpowering, but just PERFECTLY balanced with the giant malt backbone. Almost tastes like a delicious IPA was mixed in. Chocolate, fudge, coffee, toffee, caramel, a little molasses, piney/resinous/not-so-bitter hops to top it all off.

MF/D: Very viscous and filling, definitely want to split a bomber with someone else. Amongst the best RIS' I've had to date

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Photo of DogFood11
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a chalice it forms a meaty brown head that is frothy and leaves sticky lace. Solid black jones.

Wow. First impression was "how can I get my hands on more of this SOON!!". Its an in your face brew with incredible depth and character. Oak aging an Imperial stout is a perfect match. I think it gives it the added balancer that it needs. Nice charred malt type base is challenged by a huge oaked mcgillicutty and then tempered by a nice bitter edge from the hop,charred combo. Carbonation is perfect, sharp enough to crispen it up just a bit and then its gone. Aftertaste rolls back to the charred malts and a bit of coffee.

Notes: Damn, I'm really becoming an Imperial stout mark, I'm seeing a trend. This has to be one of the best I've had to date. Some of the Oak aged brews I've had I felt they were misguided or sometimes it just didn't fit or improve the brew. This is the polar opposite of that generalization. Oak good. Yeti good.

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Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter - black, with a really dark brown head that doesn't really last, but has great lacing. Smell is really exceptional - sweet with some espresso. Some fruits are obvious, too. The taste is fantastic. Different than any other stout I've had - its got a very deep sweetness to it - especially up front. Not as much chocolate or coffee as I usually like in my stouts, but this has its own flavor which is really great. Its woody, probably since it was oak aged (perhaps). I'll be picking up some more of this for sure.

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Photo of philmath
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a monster it is ! Smells of cacao, roasted coffee, hot chocolate and hops. Black body with a medium brown head. It's just wonderful from the outside. Taste of vanilla, cinammon, roasted chocolate, strong coffee and hops. Impressive bitterness. Perfect warmer for a long winter night. I have to find that one on bottle before the end of year !

On tap at DDC (may-june 2006)

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Photo of brownbeer
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old label, i'm guessing 07

Pours jet black with a dark browon head. Beautiful.

Bourbon wafts up from the glass from a distance.
Upon sniffing vanilla and definate bourbon notes, chocolate chip cookies, alcohol. RICH.

Palate is suprisingly smooth and full bodied with a faded hop presence. Finishes tannic, leaves lace and a thin layer of head.

A bold beer that requires thought and attention. One of the best stouts out there, best of the yeti's.

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Photo of russpowell
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like transmission fluid, but too black for that; huge coffee flavored head. Good lacing & head retention

Smell: Malty toastiness, some alcohol & fruitiness

Taste: Vanilla strained through wood, malt, fruit, vodka &hops. Dry vanilla finish

MF: Silky, rich & yum

Drinkabilty: Super despite the abv. So different than yeti, wow, both great takes on this style

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Photo of genitempo
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

*Reviewing the bottle, enjoyed the 12 draft and 11 bottle and draft in the past.

A - Pours like crude oil. Body is sealed black. Vibrant array of browns and tans hit the rough head. Lace looms.

S - Rich in malts and chocolate. Subtle coffee, even fainter cries of booze.

T - More complex as it warms. A blended mix of milk, dark, and baker's chocolate. Coffee/Roasted Malt Hints, soothing out the booze's strength.

MF - Heavy bodied with a pleasant amount of carbonation.

O - The Yeti takes several forms. This one veers towards the upper ranks. It's Massive. It's Complex. (The Label says it all!)

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Photo of Katahdin
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It pours a deep, midnight black but finishes with a nice creamy head that is reminscent of a Guinness head. Definite hints of chocolate, vanilla, and even coffeee are accentuated by the oak aging which seems to have intensified the flavors. Lingers heavily on the tongue but is surprisingly smooth to drink. Not much hops tatse at all which is quite a nice change.

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Photo of jkane101
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can only say...buy it if you see it. Trade for it if you have to. Every beer drinker should try this, no matter what your favorite style is. This is simply put one fantastic beer. Give it some time to get closer to room temperature to really enjoy the flavors.

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Photo of BurnsTau
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber.

Wow, I noticed how black this is while I was pouring it. Very deep black with no light showing through, dark head that leaves a good lacing.

Smell is incredible, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, so many great things coming through. The taste is just as good. Sweet malts up front with a bit of vanilla, coffee, chocolate flavors all coming through. For a 9.5% beer the alcohol is very well masked. Medium carbonation and a nice heavy body make this a sipping beer, but it's nothing overpowering. Still very drinkable.

I am floored by this stout, it has such big flavors yet is still so drinkable it's scary.

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Photo of WKyle
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark, dark brown with little light brown lacing. Light carbonation.
Smell: Chocolate, Raisins, Dark Malts, more malts, oak, whiskey.
Taste: A good amount of oak, chocolate and malts. The taste lingers for a long time. A slight whiskey taste at the end that is very smokey. Very warming on a cold winter day.
Mouthfeel: light carbonation, and a thick mouthfeel.
Overall. Nothing about this beer is overdone, it is very well balanced in taste and mouthfeel. Easily one of my favorite beers if not my favorite.

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Photo of hitter114
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with nice mahogany/amber head. Very nice bubbles going on slow forming head to about 2 fingers.
S: Very woody, slight booze on the nose. Smells delicious
T: Awesome taste lots of wood and sweetness but also complexity of an IS.
M: easy drinker but with a nice backbone
O: Really good and complex beer worth a shot, can't wait to try some of the other yetis

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark brown, almoust black beer. Brown, creamy, head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: Oak, chocolate, vanilla, cookies, smoke, cacao beans, brown sugar and coffee.

Taste: Raisin, dried fruit, wood, oak, cream, vanilla, roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate.

Full body with a oily texture and little carbonation.

I just LOVE this!

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Photo of horshack7
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straight out of a 22 ounce bomber it pours the darkest of black. With a very creamy dark caramel head about one inch worth of frothy goodness. It looks like an abyss of darkness.

Aromas: It has incredible notes of a very smooth whiskey or conac thats packed with power. Slight coffee notes with along with the incredible sweetness from the dark roasted malts. The hop character of this art work is incredible.

Taste: Wow this sinister character packs a mean punch. Tremendous sweetness from the roasted malts. The whiskey or conac flavors are are so smooth. Very full bodied I mean this beast has some major artilery that will knock anyone over.

Notes: This is a force to be reckoned with. If you are not careful it will crush you and throw you a hundred miles sip it very slow. It's sinister laugh will make a sonic boom sound like a whisper. This is a Russian imperial stout lovers dream.

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Photo of biegaman
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

You can tame a Yeti. I've been doing so in my cellar. I recommend you do the same.

Rigid and adamantly black, the beer is relentless even when held directly into the afternoon sunlight. It is obstinately opaque, allowing no room for radiance or highlighting. A mocha tan line distinguishes its trim where ebony coloured bubbles are worn as a necklace. The splatter of lacing is clingy and hugging. It drapes the beer tenaciously and coats the glass with a dark wax-like paste. It's an exceptional looking stout by all standards.

I might define 'perfection' as the aroma of Oak Aged Yeti. It is a heavy nose-full of oak bark and cedar dust, bitter dark chocolate cocoa solids, flat heavy-roast espresso, vanilla bean late, scorched caramel, and above all else, juicy green sappy bulbous hop cones. It's not overly complex but it is tremendously profound. This combination of oak bark and cedar dust, cocoa, espresso, and hops is beyond luscious. This is stout in all its capable glory.

Oak Aged Yeti is not actually aged in oak - it is aged with oak in it. I won't say that one method is better than the other, however, they do yield entirely different results. Because OAY is aged on French and toasted oak chips it doesn't take on all the complexities and nuances that a true barrel-aged beer would. That said, it does just fine without them. The flavour is brimming with pine-dipped, citrus scented hops as well as rich, dark chocolate, dry balsam wood, and heavy-roast espresso - it's about as decadent as they come.

Although 75 IBU's is about perfect for a beer like this, I found the bitterness to be too abrupt when consumed young. The fresh, plentiful nature of the hops would cut the oaky-chocolaty-bitter espresso linger and create a very brut finish. Young, it has little resonance or grace. Aged - it persists. It crawls every inch of the tongue and saunters all parts of the palate. It is savory and can endure even the darkest of chocolate pairings.

I wasn't overly impressed with OAY my first time around. I remember remarking on how plentiful and dominant the hops were; the fresh pine character was too overpowering. Although I'm not opposed to tasting hops in my stouts, I generally like them to be more roasted and chocolaty. But with time the hops do mellow (although never fade) and flavours amalgamate to a succulent orchestration of espresso, vanilla bean, chocolate, and pine.

Contrary to what others have said, I find Oak Aged Yeti to mature exceptionally well. In fact, I vastly prefer it that way and it is one beer I always ensure to have stocked in my cellar. Over four years ago I splurged for a case of it and that has proven to be the best beer investment I've made. I love many stouts but given the dreaded thought of having to chose a choice few, Oak Aged Yeti would undoubtedly be at the top of that list.

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Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,555 ratings.
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