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Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout | Great Divide Brewing Company

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1,660 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: 1,660 | Ratings: 4,531
Photo of sidetracked
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 10/30/09. Pours totally opaque, pitch black with a small medium brown head that lingers around the rim.

Aroma is woodsy and dank with bitter roasted malts, chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste is bitter roasted malts, baking chocolate, wood. Finish has some chocolate, but sweeter than upfront, and wood. Lingering bitter roastiness that becomes sweeter as it warms. Reminiscent of dark chocolate pudding with some oakiness.

Full bodied with low carbonation, smooth, silky. Slightly powdery finish. Almost chewy.

Similar to the other Yetis where chocolate dominates. Oak is more apparent here though. Probably my favorite treatment of the ones I've had. Gets kind of boring as it warms. Not too crazy about the Yeti ...


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Photo of Truh
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Swore I saw it through the blinding snow on K2 with this one on 4/26/205. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. silver, foil topped bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Gigantic, building, raspberry-tinted head that just churns and froths for minutes; poured like a synthetic motor oil in that it was thick and smooth at the same time; ganglia lace. Black hue, to the point of being wicked with no light penetrating at all. Chocolate malted ball yin/yang of sweet and smoke on nose; juniper and roasted barley playing around too. Woody taste, almost to the point of being fungally metallic; thick on the mouth with a snootful of clammy, burnt chocolate and some truly hot black pepper alcohol as it warms.

I really wanted to just adore this given its appearance and smell, but the tinniness took points off for me.

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Photo of Bananaman
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Yeti oh Yeti. This oak aged monster is really interesting, again one of those beers which are a bit hyped here in Sweden. Thanks to Ljunkan for sharing this one!

Looks great! The bottle looks awesome and the beer is almost black with a nice brown foam, really large foam actually.

Smells really interesting, notes of vanilla, fudge, dark chocolate and hardy rosted notes together with a big hoppiness. Amazing smell!

When it comes to the taste things get a bit out of hand. Those hardly rosted malts together with the spicy very bitter American hops get a bit too much for me. I would have liked it a bit milder and rounder.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a tasting held by the esteemed DVelcich. Between him and StoutFest, we had some crazy good beers. This is reviewed from notes.

We had all 5 yetis at the tasting-- and we went in order of: Regular, Oak, Chocolate, Espresso, and Barrel Aged.

I would say that the oaked was the 2nd best of all of the 5. Top honor goes to the Barrel aged. Worst to the chocolate.

This pours, looks, and smells pretty much just like the regular Yeti... Except the head seems slightly more brown/tan. The oak hasn't really added too much of the vanilla/smokey charred flavor I love to find, but it did raise the thickness of the body a little bit. This is full bodied with ample carbonation. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel is easy to drink. Except...

There is a definite hint of soy sauce in this one again... It isn't huge, and it isn't totally destroying my enjoyment... but it is enough to distract me and lower the score of taste a little. Other than that though, the beer is everything you'd hope for-- roasty chocolate and coffee with a dry tasty finish.

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Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew was completely black with a thin but tall foamy head. Definitely more mellow than the standard Yeti. Oil like in appearance it was so thick, coffee and chocolate notes were clearly present. I could also taste the vanilla associated with oak aged imperials. The taste was solid, but a little too hoppy for me. I would have preferred more maltiness from the beer; the bitterness took something away from it.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours syrupy and black with a 3-finger, creamy mahogany colored head- reduces slowly and strangely (at least new to my eyes) fades in color to a a dingy grey-tan. Leaves a solid ring and moderately dense lace.

Nose is incredibly oaky with caramel, clove, nutmeg and whiskey tones dominating the oily black malt, mocha and toffee aromas. The booze is pretty heavy on this one.

Palate, like the nose, is so saturated with oak it's unreal. The oak takes hold and doesn't let go, lending a very bourbon-esque character to the beer- flavors of dark cocoa, maple, walnut liqueur, caramel and ridiculously dense, bold coffee. The malt is very chewy while the oak helps dry out the brew. The bitterness arrives bold and quickly, bringing in an even bigger booziness- a touch acrid on the finish with flavors of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla-bourbon extract and spice box. Finish is long and leaves a lingering dry, malty chewiness.

If I'm judging aging potential then maybe this is a world class beer, but this thing fresh is so ridiculously boozy and over-oaked that it was hard to finish.

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Photo of SudNut
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow I need to start pouring this stuff on my ice cream, instead of chocolate syrup! The Mrs. wouldn't know the difference except for the head and perhaps the smell. Ah yes the smell of an oak roasted vanilla malt that’s what it smells like I just put my finger on it.

This is a massive beer with very complicated tastes first the roasted malt going to a hoppy vanilla flavor. I want to keep tasting it to figure it out. Mouth feel is syrupy sloshing it around brings out the complexities with an alcohol taste. I don't think I can drink more than one of these at a time that’s why the drink ability is low. I will pick up another to ponder the complex taste again.

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Photo of instrumentality
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chalice of choice: Stone Russian Imperial Stout tulip glass.

The Yeti poured out like syrup, a thick, nearly pitch black fluid glump-glump-glumping its way into the glass. A thin but very dense light brown head retained its form on the surface, leaving a trail of lace around the edge.

I'm in the process of training my sense of smell so I can better describe odors, but one thing that was immediately obvious without me even having to get too near the glass: coffee. A rich, dark, coffee aroma wafted its way out of the glass and made the journey to my nose several feet away.

A more deliberate sniff revealed powerful strains of chocolate, cocoa, and malt (as found in chocolate malts, not malt liquor - feel free to beermail me with advice on how better to differentiate what I mean by "malt"). It doesn't get much better than this in the smell department - at least not at this stage in my olfactory development.

The taste, like the smell, was dominated early on by an extremely well balanced mix of coffee, chocolate, and malt, as well as alcohol (although not so potent that I would guess the 9.5% ABV). However, despite my lack of familiarity with oak aging and what it does to a beer, to me, it almost tasted as if someone soaked tree bark in the beer for awhile. This flavor wasn't immediately obvious, but made itself known in the aftertaste. The more I drank, the more obvious it became, such that it's almost as if there's a battle going on in my mouth between the standard RIS flavors and the oaky follow-up. Crude as it may be, this woody quality becomes most obvious after a good belch.

The oak aging definitely creates something different from my past RIS experiences, but I'd venture to guess that the regular Yeti (yet to be tried) is more enjoyable due to purity.

The rest of the flavors are mouth watering enough to make this a tasty beer overall, but the more I drink and the more it warms, the less I enjoy the effects of oak aging. I'm guessing this practice would work better with a lighter beer, such as an IPA or something that doesn't have the flavor complexity of an RIS.

I have high expectations for the standard Yeti. Methinks I'll wait until it cools off a bit around here, though, because this brew is truly kicking my ass in this heat.

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Photo of Optimat0r
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance - basically the same as regular Yeti, dark and more dark, thick and heavy.

smell - similar to regular yeti but not quite as chocolaty.

taste - good, but not great. not as outrageously rich as regular Yeti, but still damn powerful. less chocolate flavors, maybe a hint of 'vanilla' as the bottle says, but not much. very deep but the flavors dont seem to mix as well; the aftertaste comes off as sharp alcohol.

mouthfeel - ok at best, very oily, and the strong alcoholic aftertaste lingers.

drinkability - good for a small serving at a time...i honestly dont know how someone could sit down and quaff the whole bomber, let alone more than one. its just too rich and sweet and the alcoholic aftertaste is wearing. like trying to drink a giant, thick milkshake. definitely a quality beer, but not as 'refined' as id hoped and way overpriced ($8 for a bomber?)

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Photo of maltysfalcon
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted along with Dogfish "World Wide Stout", which blew it away, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a fine stout in its own right. Dark as midnight, head fades fairly quickly as it is not overly carbonated. Very dark, roasted aromas of Espresso and charcoal. In flavor, there is a fairly hoppy influence. The beer is dry and viscous. The oak influence seems to temper the flavors slightly but is not as prevalent as I would have thought. Very flavorful and powerful, but alcohol is in balance with the intense flavors and aromas. Veru good overall.

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Photo of harrymel
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: ???

A: Pours a black stout with depth difficult to penetrate. 1-2 finger, fine dark mocha head falls slowly (really slowly), and as it does, the color lightens slightly. Thick, Nearly sheeting lacing.

S: Earthy, thick and manly hops are backed up with some malts, licorice, oak. The oak on this isn't particularly pronounced to me, but is nice when I can reach it: vanilla, hollow, sweet.

T: The nose does this beer little justice. The oak holds forth here, and the hops step back and the malt hits me with a sharp left of nicely balanced dark, roasted, charred and cocoa'd malts. Oak shrouds the hops and accentuates the sweetness in the alcohol. Well balanced. I didn't anticipate this. Nice.

M: thick, smooth, silky, heavy body. Medium, fine carbonation. Resonates for long periods of time. Slicks the palate, but in a granular way.

O: Well done. I can see why the beer makes the top 100 of fame list. It's accessible and quite pleasant. I imagine it would be better with two years on it, but I'm not willing to make the commitment honestly.

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Photo of Wheelinb
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a big beer with lots of stuff going on.

It pours almost black with a vigorous foamy brown head. Got lots of malt, chocolate and espresso aromas from this one along with a distinct woody smell. The taste matched the aroma and I could taste the oak coming through. The beer was very smooth and complex but I found the alcohol aftertaste a little over powering.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with a nice milk chocolate colored head. Recedes fairly quickly to a line on the top of the beer. Poor lacing throughout the session.

Bitter chocolate, deep roast on the nose.

Ashy, bitter sweet chocolate on the palate. Hints of coffee. Slight ethanol on the exhale, little bit of vanilla and oak. Bottled date of 10/21/15. Rated on 12/5/15.

This is a fairly medium bodied beer.

This isn't my first rodeo with this beer. I'm pretty sure I had this in the tap room in Denver in 2010. I was pretty hammered then, but I remembered it being amazing. This was a a pretty sobering experience. The hype surrounding this beer is unfounded, as is the case with most 90+ rated beers on this site. The beer is good, but I can't get past the ash flavor up front. As the beer warms, it gets better. This beer was $11 for a bomber at whole foods, its honestly not worth the price.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice glossy black color. Big dark tan head has good retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Roast malt aroma with chocolate. Slightly nutty, with hints of vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: Big flavor with a strong chocolate component. Nutty and woody flavors float throughout. Warming alcohol at the finish, along with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and pretty viscous, though not entirely full-bodied.

Drinkability: Strong but not overly so in the alcohol department.

Nice but not my favorite Imperial Stout. There's some good aromas that come out of the beer that I would also like present in the taste.

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Photo of afksports
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle date 10/5/2009 poured into my Founders snifter.

Oak Aged Yeti is a lot like Yeti (surprised?). It's strong like my anger at the Chicago Bears after scoring on the Philadelphia Eagles right now while I drink it. But not so strong that the Bears will win (banking on that, don't trust this review if the Bears win).

It's black with a tan head that's almost soapy on the initial pour. Fantastic lacing and great legs. This is how an RIS should look. The smell doesn't have as much roasty malts as the regular style, and I imagine that the oak cuts that while adding an oaky subtlety. What comes out a little bit more are the hops. That happens with the taste too. It's just as big in the mouth, and just as drinkable. The weird finish - a soapiness maybe - that hits me on every Great Divide beer sticks with this one as well, and because there's fewer roasted malts to overwhelm the back of the palate, that feel is more prominent.

Ultimately, I can't really see this being a top RIS for me. Just like I can't see the Bears winning. But it's 14-3 right now, so maybe I'm wrong.

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Photo of silentjay
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

very viscous pour of a opaque brownish black with a decent sized dark khaki head that quickly recedes to a spotty film yet leaves tons of lacing on the glass.

a strong aroma can be detected before i even bring the glass up to my nose. cocoa, dark roasted coffee, anisette, some char, a little oak, and some vanilla. boozy. not bad.

taste begins with a surprising onslaught of piney hops which are quickly overtaken by the char and cocoa powder. oak is there, but stays in the background. booze is present throughout as well. not as complex as I would have expected and wanted, and does not quite match the aroma which promised a bit more.

mouthfeel is good. thick bodied with perhaps a bit too much carbonation, but is creamy on the swallow then finishes dry with cocoa powder.

goes down ok. rather boozy and yet it doesnt have an extremely high abv for the style. a bit more complexity and some more oak character would be welcome.

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Photo of nogoodreason
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours oil thick blackness with an orangish, deep tan head. Retention is good.

Nose is of huge citrusey hops, bakers chocolate, ripe pear flesh, a slight "green" vegetable-like aspect with faint hints of vanilla and wood.

It's harshly carbonated and slightly too astrignent in the mouth, but it still retains Yeti's lucious thickness and stickiness. It's full of roasty, charcoal like content, with great chocolate and orangey citrus from the considerable hops. Nice fruity flavors are present, a bit of that pear flesh from earlier as well as deep dark fruit aspects. Finish is dry and roasted with a constantly building bitterness towards the back.

All in all a nice beer, though the Oak Character is really subdued and the beer is honestly too harsh. Perhaps some time in the cellar would tame this beer and make it into the gem that regular old Yeti is. Alas, I had only one bottle, so I may never find out.

If you've got a bottle of this, SIT ON IT for a while. It's too agressive right now.

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Photo of cookin420
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle pured into a tulip.

Black as night, this one. Big creamy head with a color like chocolate milk. Lacing is fairly thin relative to what I expected.

Smell is a bit of smoke and bitter unsweetened chocolate. Unripe, tart, dark fruits and big fat oak.

I can really feel the bittering units that have been utilized quite well in this beer. The sweet attributes that the hops lend this beer(I'm guessing Chinook at some point?)
seem to be engaged in a tug of war with the burnt astringency of the oak. The more I drink the more I believe there could be Cascades in this, giving it that citric flavor. Moderately intense malt character really delivers balance. No surprises though, what you smell is what you taste. Alcohol taste is relatively mild.

Dry finish, thinner than many of this style. medium carb.

I see myself drinking this for hours. Drinkable? yes. Not a quaffer by any means.

A good effort. I'd have gone with a more mellow hop schedule, not as far as bittering units go but as far as flavor components I think the flavor hop addition was not the best choice. That said, I'm impressed with this beer. The subtlty of the oak was a welcome surprise.

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Photo of BB1313
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz growler filled at Heinen's in University Hts., Ohio

Growler poured into a tulip. Pours black basically with a nice mocha head that fades leaving nice retention and nice lacing. The aromas are full of cocoa malts. Hints of chocolate and vanilla. The aromas seem ultimately subtle and not overwhelming. The flavors are very bold and rich. Nice bitterness, just like most Yeti variants. Lots of dark chocolate. Lots of anise/black licorice notes as well. Roasted malts are there. Very subtle citrus notes, believe it or not. The oak chips are present in the flavor department giving it a nice "harshness". Alcohol basically goes completely unnoticed. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with active carbonation. It's not thick, but not thin. Smooth and creamy. It's easy to drink, but makes for a nice sipper. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice stout right here. It might not be my personal favorite Yeti variant, but it's still very enjoyable and well crafted stuff. Not bad at all, I like it and it's fun to drink. This is better than my "numeric score" might indicate, I just wasn't crazy about the aromas, but everything else is on point.

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Photo of danielharper
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Consumed on 7/10/2008. Tasting notes copied verbatim.)

Appearance: Dark black completely opaque body, originally-thick head dissipates quickly to soapscum. Leaves significant lacing.

Smell: Very sweet, strong notes of coffee, some chocolate. Slightly astringent. Very malty.

Taste: Very hot with alcohol, very oaky. Drink somewhat chilled or the oak takes over. Careful sipping reveals malty chestnuts, coffee. Slightly dry on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick, moderate carbonation, somewhat hoppy on the tongue.

Drinkability: Stick to the regular Yeti unless you love oak. It's really overwhelming in this one.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a black opaque color with a small tan, caramel head.

S - Dark Chocolate malts with some coffee and earthy tones. A very dry scent but very appealing and well distributed.

T - Coffee and malts are the majority here. Some subtle hints of dark chocolate are in there as well.

M - Medium carbonation with some bitterness. Almost too much bitterness for me.

O - Not bad.

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Photo of morimech
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on Nov 17, 2009.

Pours dark black with a one inch of mocha colored head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Can definately pick up the oak aging in the aroma and taste and I would describe it as anything but subtle. In the aroma I also pick up the chocolate malt along with hints of hay and herbs. The flavor brought another surprise besides the big vanilla notes, and that is the hop bitterness. The claimed 75 IBUs is very much evident. It seems the malt plays 3rd in this mix of flavors. Alcohol also comes into play in the finish with some solvent like flavor. Not the largest body for a RIS but it is sufficient and has nice carbonation.

This turned out not to be my personal favorite stout with its vanilla and hoppy flavors.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Review adapted from notes taken 1/22/12

Appearance: Pours black, tan head with sticky lacing, impressive retention

Smell: Wood and burnt wood - oak everywhere - basically smells like a charred plank of wood - some chocolate and some depth with the malts, but mostly smells like someone attacked an oak tree with a flamethrower

Taste: Big and burnt - very woody, with a ton of flavors - burnt, utterly charred malts - so, so burnt - dry chocolate - dark fruits (also burnt), along with some slight tartness - tons of burnt bitterness

Mouthfeel: Heavy, but not sludgy, slightly acidic, smooth, nice carbonation

Overall: This is like an oak aged with stout

I enjoy oak-aging, but I found this a little excessive. Fortunately, the Yeti under all of the wood is an excellent base. It is worth a try.

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Photo of bultrey
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter. Pretty damn opaque. Creamy forithy tan head. Smells like dark and red fruits, jammy, like blueberries, etc., with a touch of vanilla and woodiness. The oak-aging is quite apparent in the nose. Alcohol apparent too. Very aggressively hoppy up front, some intense dark chocolate and pluminess, a quite woodsy/vanilla sweetness, and a fairly bitter, drying finish. The mouthfeel is thick, but something about the carbonation is lacking. Not my favorite double stout or oak-aged beer, but not bad.

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Photo of garbercury
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter.

A---Dark black, some lacing, not a lot of head.

S---Best part of beer, you can really smell the oak in this one.

T---Oak flavors really overtake this beer, this one is about a year old, and you can really still taste oak, and more oak. Its a bit much, but still good.

M---Good smooth MF

D---Heavy duty. This is a sipper, share with a friend, or two.

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Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,531 ratings.
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