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 RedHaze
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this beer to celebrate moving into our new house.

Pours a viscous deep black with a dense two finger mocha head that slowly falls to a thick layer of foam, leaving behind a solid webbing of lace.

Smell; vanilla and oak barrel aroms are dominant up front, and then some nice roasted malts and coffee come out. There's also some dark fruits topped with dark chocolate.

Taste; oak barrels with a little bit of vanilla assault my tongue right away. Dark cherries, mixed with chocolate and roasted coffee beans settle into the middle and finishes with a bit of a hoppy bitterness. The alcohol doesn't really come through in the flavor, but boy, is it felt. Mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy, with a pretty decent drinkability.

While this is an excellent beer, I still prefer the regular Yeti.

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Photo of CH3CH2OH
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours midnight black with a resilient, brown head. The oak comes through in the aroma, as does strong malt. The taste is amazing, definitely on the sweet side but not at all cloying. After swallowing, I'm left with a taste like I just chugged a glass of chocolate milk. The mouthfeel is thinner than other ISs I've tried, and it is very refreshing. At 9.5, this is a dangerous brew.

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Photo of hanco005
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this right after Yeti so that I could compare, 22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass…twice

A—pours solid black with a massive 2 inch foamy head that is light tan on top and darker tan on the bottom, the head is going nowhere fast and thick lacing is produced. It is exactly the same as the Yeti

S—similar to the Yeti, but the alcohol is hidden better

T—similar to the Yeti, flavors are not as pronounced, the alcohol is still very present

M—smoother than the Yeti, full bodied, great carbonation

D—a sipper, just like the Yeti, but I prefer this one overall…it’s much smoother.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I found Yeti Imperial Stout to be quite enjoyable, so when I saw this at Downtown Wine & Spirits I had to pick it up. I let this warm to around 50º F before serving it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with ruby tints. It's topped by a thick, creamy, dark brown head that fades to a thin persistent layer leaving thick lace around the inside of the glass.

Smell: Predominant notes of fruit and chocolate. Notes of wood and vanilla move the more roasted and hoppy aromas of Yeti to the back.

Taste: Chocolate and coffee dominate upfront. Sweet notes of dark fruit appear in the center along with lingering, warming alcohol. The finish is heavy roasted coffee and hop bitterness that melds with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, creamy, and full-bodied.

Drinkability: Nicely balanced, but still a sipper.

Overall: Similar to Yeti. The aroma is the only category where I think it is improved, though there are definite differences in the flavors. The hops are mellowed as compared to the non-oaked version, for example.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, dark pour. I often use the oil analogy for dark beers, but this is the epitome of pitch. Very small, chocolate head that quickly fades into intricate lacings.

Aroma is very earthy with a big dough presence. Coffee, caramel, molasses and sweet malt are also present.

The flavor is very unique. I distinctly taste a marshmallow that has been slightly overcooked over a campfire. This makes me yearn for camping! Other flavors present include; light smoke, caramel, sweet and roasted malts, a warming alcohol presence and a bitter, hop finish.

This is a full bodied brew with appropriate carbonation. Very drinkable for a RIS.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Daalamar: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium foamy head with pretty good retention. Aroma of oak with a nice touch of vanilla is quite exquisite. Taste is very well balance between roasted malt, subtle oak and vanilla. Body is smooth and creamy but could be a bit more full. Alcohol is not discernable and bitterness is well balance. Complex and well balance beer and worthy of its top 50 status in my opinion.

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Photo of Vancer
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great brew from G.D. - they pack quite a line-up.

A very nice start - coal black that pour like sweet molasses. Big foamy tan head, sheet lacing all the way down the glass. Tons of anise, raisons and cherries in the aroma.

And the taste? Loaded, just loaded with goodies: coffee, vanilla beans and the infamous oaky bourbon undertone. The start is cherry sweet, but the 75 IBUs kick in on the finish and balance it out nicely.

Hard to comprehend just how full bodied, thick and creamy this brews is as you sip on it. The 9.5% is in there, but hiding in the wings. By the end of the bomber, it will have ahold of you.

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Photo of AmorousAngel
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured opaque black with small brown head.

Smelled like coffee and roasted malts. Could also make out a some caramel and something that reminded me of whiskey. I assume this was from the oak aging.

Strong roasted malts flavors dominated. With a bit of vanilla and coffee. Excellent layering of flavors. Very complex and luxurious.

Felt very smooth, with very little carbonation.

This beer has excellent flavor and smoothness, but it is also very filling. It is one I will definitely get again, but I would not be able to drink large amounts at a time. This beer was a graduation present from my a friend, who I then shared it with, of course. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a friend like that. Thanks Bobby!

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Photo of kirok1999
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed Yeti last night, now it's big brother's turn.

A- Black as night with a slight brown head and minimal lacing.

S- Sweet dark fruit, cherries, maybe raisins. Toffee and slight chocolate and coffee.

T- Super smooth, The oak really stands out, along with vanilla, dark fruit, toffee and chocolate/coffee. Nice strong hops make the balance work. The hops are slight citrus and fruit. It seems the oak aging has mellowed the alcohol of the plain Yeti.

M- Creamy and slick.

D- Damn, I like this one. Either Yeti or Oak Yeti are exceptional stouts. Very complex and tasty.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.34/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I really had higher hopes for this one. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Citrus, piney hops make heavy, black, chocolatey stouts SUCK!! Citrus, piney hops are good. Heavy, malty, coffee like stouts are good. But not together! BBQ'd shrimp are good. Vanilla ice cream is good... you see where I'm taking this? This is why I like to buy beer like this and put in the basement and forget about it for about 15 months. But anyway...

This poured absolutely beautifully!! Thick, dark, totally black. Thick, rocky caramel coloured head. Heavy, sticky lacing. This looked wonderful!!! The smell? Coffee, dark chocolate, pine sap, and grapefruit peel. Not a winning combination, IMO. The taste? Sip a cup of coffee and chase each sip with a sip of Hercules DIPA. I can also taste a bit of a woody, earthy taste, as well. Mouthfeel is quite lovely. Very solid, but smooth around the edges. This type of RIS is quite popular with American hop-heads, not so much with me. As far as true RIS's go, I'll take a Sam Smith's, thanks. I'll probably buy a couple of these and put them downstairs and forget about them for about 15 months or so.

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Photo of oelergud
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black body with a huge rocky brown head. Amazing retention and lace. Medium bubbled.
The smell is strong roasted cocoa and coffee. THe alcoholic scents are very apparent. Vanilla faint nut and wood.
Grain and wood in the taste with vanilla and roasted coffee beans and mild toffee. The oak aging comes through very clearly. Smooth and intense hoppy aftertaste.
Full body though not as dense as the regular Yeti. Good coating.
Complex and pure and a highly drinkable imperial. Warm, filling and satisfying.


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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 Domingo
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers in the world that I never seem to bother reviewing.
I've had this many times (including from the brewery itself) and it's always a favorite.
Comes a very dark brown/black color. Not the absolute darkest beer I've ever seen, but it's one of them. Head's a pretty dark brownish color...always a good sign.
Smell starts off very malty and boozy, but you'll then start picking up smokiness, chocolate, dried fruit, and then actually quite a bit of hops.
Flavor is layer upon layer of malt. Hops are actually 2nd in line behind the malt, which is pretty unusual but wonderful. In the finish you'll get some berries, smoky scotch, and a second wave of chocolate sweetness.
Mouthfeel's ideal for a beer like this. Thick and "chewy" but not so much that you're drinking some kind of oil slick. Drinks like a hearty porter, which is admirable.
The only knock on this beer is the drinkability. It's in the neighborhood of 10% and while it hides it a little, you KNOW you're drinking something potent. While I like the flavor of this beer as much if not more than any other RIS, I find myself struggling to drink more than a single mug of it. It's just got a huge kick to it.
Beyond that, it's amazing. Easily comparable to, and in some ways better than, the almighty Stone RIS.

EDIT: In recent months/years my love for this brew has decreased a tiny bit. I still love it, but I now prefer the Czar as my favorite. I think when served fresh it's a bit too hot.

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Photo of dfried
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Right when I opened it, I poured a little sample for one of my friends, but I should have poured a little more because when I put it back upright, it over flowed onto my hand. I could have easily passed it off as motor oil to someone. Jet black in the glass, maybe the ever so slightest crimson around the edges. Giant dark brown/caramel frothy head.

Dark chocolate aroma, with dark cherries and the oak aroma made it smell like whiskey or bourbon.

Sweet and chocolaty taste, cherries and raisins. Some bitter coffee roasted malts, almost a little smoky even. This oak aging always reminds me of drinking a whiskey or bourbon.

The mouthfeel was thick and sticky, but fine like a wine. It went down really smoothly.

Great beer here, but there is no way I could finish more than a bomber, it's a little rich. Perfect for a winter sipping beer.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pour like oil..slick and pure black. The head is a monsterous deep oatmeal hue full of tight, creamy bubbles. As the head drops wondeful lace is left behind.

S: Chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, cafe au lait and slight sourness.

T: Begins smooth and roasted with lots of licorice. Moves towards toffee, marshmallow, fresh ground coffee, vanilla and graham crackers. Finishes with loads of piney bittering hops with an aftertaste of caramel machiato.

M: Full bodied and very creamy.

D: Very good stout. Lots of flavor and substance. To be honest, not as good as I was expecting.

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Photo of Billolick
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, without freshnes/brewing date/ vintage info...oh well, doesn't this type of brew deserve brewing date/vintage info? Anyway this one pours jet black with a dark tan long lasting head, spotty lacing, nose is of chocolate milk, coffee and a wisp of smoke. This is a big, bold and super tasty lage brew. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, woody smoke yum yum yum. World class and highly recommended for all big beer and or stout lovers, In the words of my friend Mighty Mel this one is "dark and sludgy"

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Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viscous black pour, on the surface a thin crust fades over the oily darkness. Aroma is sweet and chocolatey, lightly roasty with a strong hoppy balance. Flavor is much less sweet, alot of alcohol present also. The taste has a dry, roasted malt flavor with a fine bitter ending. Vanilla flavor from the wood is barely noticible among the strong malt and hops. Lightly chewy and oily, its a real mouthful with soft subtle carbonation. Considering the the ABV and thickness I was able to enjoy this bomber in its entirety. Not bad, but I was expecting more from the oak aging. Perhaps I needed to let it rest awhile longer as I only had this bottle for a couple months...

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Photo of BDTyre
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The standard Yeti was classed as an American double...I see now it joins its bigger brother as being a Russian Imperial Stout.

This is a very rich and delicious beer. Impenetrable black body with a dense tan head. Smell is alcohol, wine scents with oak barrel hints to it. Definite dark, roasted malts with chocolate and espresso smells. The alcohol can be very noticeable at times.

Tastes very similar to the standard Yeti. Vinous hints, roasted malt with an emphasis on chocolate and espresso. The oak hints are noticeable, with a hint of vanilla extract and bourbon. There is almost a rum sugar hint to this.

Great mouthfeel; very smooth and rich...carbonation is well hidden. Drinkable, but the bomber with the high ABV limits the drinkability somewhat.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A "taster" pour (4 oz.) at Portland international Beerfest. Twice.

A: Oily jet black with a small tan head, quick to dissolve.

S: Lots of chocolate and some smokiness (the oak barrel?), a hint of hop and some alcohol. Nicely rich and savory.

T: Bitter hops with roasted coffe and dark chocolate notes. Smoky/woody character definitely imparted by the oak. A dark, molasses-like sweetness to the finish. All-around outstanding flavors.

M: Smooth, warm. Full mouthfeel. Some lingering bitterness.

D: A delicious beer, one of the best RIS's I've had to date. Will find a bottle and enjoy it in glassware other than the little festival cup it was served in. My rating scores may only improve!

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Photo of unklesyd
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Portland International Beerfest.

Pours the standard black black, slightly viscous. However, the texture of this beer is amazingly smooth, so as to allow for drinking until one passes out (I stopped at 12 oz., but could have drank just this all night).

Nose is fairly muted, slight chocolate.

By far the best tasting stout I've ever had. Chocolate, slight roastiness, no hop flavor. Bitterness must be high to have achieved this level of balance, but is in no way intrusive, or neccessarily noticable. Very smooth blend: complex but not complicated; nothing sticks out until you want to put your finger on it.

Feels lighter in the mouth than would have expected. Balanced between a slight oiliness and bitterness again makes a great blend.

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Photo of Malted
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a barley wine glass.

I was recommended this beer from Nick at Bauer Wine and Spirits in Boston, MA. His enthusiasm has inspired me to write this first review on Beer Advocate.

Appearance- Like chocolate syrup with a rich dark foam head that dissipated pretty quickly. Thin head remains on top for much of the session and creates good trails down the glass, reminding you of how much good stuff you once had.

Smell- Wonderful. Like cocoa with a hops after kick. I am beginning to think I should be putting this over ice cream. I may be imagining it as I don't know if I have a nose refined enough but I swear I can smell the oak.

Taste- Dominated by hops with a chocolate woodsy after taste and mid-tones. Sweet start that rounds out the flavors nicely. I may be succumbing to the advertising on the label, but vanilla does play into the flavor profile, and plays well I might add.

Mouthfeel- Starts thick but ends a little thin. The high alcohol content is felt around the edges of the mouth and warms the pipes going down.

Drinkability- Very good beer, but the strong flavors and high alcohol content makes it difficult to imagine drinking more than one.

Overall- Wonderful flavors and well balanced beer. I would buy this again in a heartbeat and am looking forward to comparing it to the non oak-aged version. Drank unabashedly in the middle of summer, may be even better to warm the bones in the middle of winter.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with an amber-brown head. Smell of rich sweet maltiness, a little roastiness and a nice bourbony alcohol smell. Any vanilla aroma from the oak is quite minimal which is nice, better than overpowering for me. Taste starts with sweet malt and vanilla and is quickly followed by some roastiness and alcohol combined with a pretty good size pine hop bite in the finish. I've got one of these in the cellar about 1 1/2 years old now and I'd like to try that one, let the malt flavors have more of a chance, my taste buds were pretty well slammed from the hops in this fresh version. Good ris, one I definitely look forward to an aged sample of.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black color with a small tan head. Sticky, spotty lacing on the glass. Fruity, cherries and strawberry creme, light roast, hops and vanilla aroma. Taste was roasty, light chocolate but very creamy, toasted oak, some alcohol and was nicely hopped. A very interesting creation, certainly meets, and quite possibly exceeds its little brother. Thanks for the bottle Mike!

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Photo of cjgator3
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a DARK black with a HUGE creamy brownish tan head. Roasted dark malts with chocolate, coffee and a bit of licorice dominate the aroma. Creamy and smooth mouthfeel is just perfect. Taste is outstanding. Roasted grains and chocolate are followed by a bitter hop finish. Without a doubt one of the most outstanding beers I have tried.

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Photo of mdnowak
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a oversize wine glass

A -- Incredible dark (almost midnight) body. Pillowy chocolate-colored head that definitely shrinks, but stays with the beer until the last sip. Good lacing.

S -- Chocolate, malt, coffee, treacle, alcohol does not hide. It hits your nose HARD.

T -- Delicious. Coffee and molasses flavors. Chocolate dominates. Alcohol finish kicks in and warms as the beer goes down

M -- A little thin. I usually prefer something a little creamier in my stouts. Still, however, incredibly smooth.

D -- Man, this thing packs a PUNCH. I drank the whole bomber on my own and it took about 2 hours. Definitely a sipping beer. The oak aging definitely lends a nice touch to the overall taste. Drinkability takes a hit because of high ABV. Overall, a wonderfully delicious beer that lends itself to a cold night next to an open fire!

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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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