Barrel Aged Yeti | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged YetiBarrel Aged Yeti
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This unique version of Yeti Imperial Stout is aged for at least nine months in Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels.

Added by ArrogantB on 10-08-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
231
Ratings:
743
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
21.03%
 
 
Wants:
627
Gots:
256
For Trade:
14
User Reviews
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Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 743
Photo of clayrock81
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a motor oil black body with minimal brown head that quickly died without lace. Aroma is chocolaty, good notes of vanilla and wood, along with hints of dark fruits like plum or raisin. Beer is so smooth, despite its thick, somewhat breadlike or chewy, body, it is watery slick at times. Booze is hidden so dangerously easy sipper that balances chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, touches of roasted malts and hints of dark fruits like raisins or plums (maybe figs). I apologize for hyperbole but this is one of the sweetest and easiest drinking stouts I've had, a fact I find even more complimentary of beer when considering it has such a high ABV.

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Photo of n2185
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours black with half a finger of brown head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: lots of burnt sugar and vanilla here with sweet chocolate, toffee, and bourbon following through.

T: burnt sugar dominates here as well with toffee, vanilla, sweet cocoa, and bourbon after. The finish is moderately boozy.

M: thick, sticky sweet body with low carbonation, this beer is thick and sticky.

O: a good bbal stout, overall. Very barrel-forward and sweet, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of thezach
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

fudgy chocolate syrup nose, no perceived barrel character; deep tan head quickly fades to light lace, light roast and ash flavor, balanced to bitterness, big very prominent alcohol flavor, not hot, burnt raisins, medium light body. Overall a very nice beer, but I feel the alcohol flavor imparted by the barrel or the higher ABV overwhelmed a lot of what makes Yeti a pretty phenomenal beer.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served at the barrel room in a tulip glass.

A- pitch-black with a cocoa head. Persistent head. Fluffy and full. 5

S- Leather, dark chocolate, oak, brown sugar and molasses. 4.25

T- Brown sugar, tobacco, vanilla, bready malts, caramel, oatmeal cookie, spicy bourbon. A ton of flavors. 4.5

M- Thinner in feel initially, but the smooth, creaminess fills things out and it ends up drinking quite lovely. 4.25

This was excellent. So damn good.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. Bottled on date of October 15, 2015.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of dark tan head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A very roasty and fairly sweet dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate, coffee, and whiskey. Dark roasted barley malt with a scent of dark chocolate, coffee, biscuit, toast, smoke, caramel, toffee, nuts, and yeast. Solid barrel presence with a scent of bourbon whiskey, oak, vanilla, maple syurp, and wood. Sweet hints of molasses along with a little black licorice. Some earthy hop hints. Subtle dark fruit hints of raisin and fig. A really good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a very roasty and rich dark malt driven taste with good notes of chocolate, coffee, and whiskey. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, biscuit, toast, caramel, toffee, nuts, smoke, and yeast. Good barrel presence with notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, maple syrup, and wood. Sweet taste of molasses. Dark fruit undertones of fig and raisin. Also some notes of leather, black licorice, and earthy hop bitterness. A really great taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, chewy, and fairly syrupy. Alcohol heat is mild for 12.5%.

Overall: A really great Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. The hops are more subdued than the regular Yeti allowing for more dark fruit and balance of sweetness. Great mix of barrel and dark malt flavors.

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Photo of robbmotiwalla
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. This is good shit. It rivals BCBS, with a chocolate flavor that reminds me of Chocolate Rain, but nearly half the price. Pitch black pour with an incredibly dark head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a nice ring. Smells like whiskey, raisins, and chocolate. Tastes similar, but I feel that I taste grains? It's all good though, delicious actually. Maybe a wee bit too carbonated, only barely. I'm sure in a year it'll only be better, which is awesome, cuz this is great. Buy this.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage.
look: Gorgeous. Nearly opaque dark brown. Big creamy mocha head on the pour. Messy lacing.
smell: Chocolate, vanilla, and woody.Rich and well "distinguished".
taste: Wow, even better than the stellar nose. All those flavors in a rich, surprisingly mellow gentle giant.
overall: home run Great Divide. Haven't had this before but those 12 months in the barrel damn sure worked some magic.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours super dark, jet black. Looks thick and oil-like. Head is a dark cocoa brown. Darkest head I've ever seen. Head doesn't last very long but leaves nice lacing behind.

Rich, heavy aroma. Bitter chocolate, espresso, and smoke. Whiskey aroma blends in well. Caramel. Earthy hops. Oak, vanilla, and dark roasted malt. Molasses and licorice.

Huge chocolate flavor, dark and bitter. Espresso, caramel, molasses, and vanilla. Oaky barrel notes. Whiskey throughout but so well blended/balanced that it almost goes unnoticed. Licorice and tobacco. Earth and peat, hop-like.

Thick, oily, and viscous mouth feel. Moderate carbonation. Flavor lingers for days. Creamy luciousness. Coats the tongue with flavor and feel.

A truly special beer. Complex and intense. Incredible balance.

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Photo of bennyman12
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very carbonated for the style but head fades quickly. Big chocolate nose. More dark fruits in the body. Bourbon is well integrated. Bitter oaky finish. Medium to full body. More interesting but less immediately satisfying than bcbs.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Great Divide tulip. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a fine one finger dark brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of whiskey, dark toasted malt, vanilla and dark stone fruit, molasses. Flavor is sweet dark toasted malt, vanilla, hint of lactose and dark stone fruit, whiskey; starts sweet and malty and ends fairly boozy, but with enough malt body to support the whiskey. Medium to heavy, creamy body with good carbonation. Nice mouth feel. A very nice barreled RIS; the great Yeti stout body shines through and supports the hefty barrel character. There is a dark fruit flavor that is not in the base Yeti, but adds a little interest to the taste. Rich and flavorful, perhaps still a bit hot, but thoroughly enjoyable. Glad I finally got to try this Yeti version. A great variation on one of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of LouZ
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle - black; yielded a sliver of mocha head that quickly dissipated with a carbonated fizz like soda. Aroma is bourbon and oak. Taste is the same, with bitter, dark chocolate as well. Feel is medium bodied - on the thinner side. Overall, not as good as expected. I was hoping for a thicker mouthfeel here and alcohol is a bit strong in this, especially on the finish. It also lacks a touch of sweetness to balance it off. Perhaps if I were more of a bitter dark chocolate fan I'd love this beer, but alas I am not. Much prefer the Chocolate Yeti to this one, especially when this one was $24.

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Photo of bgold86
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into two 12 ounce snifters at just above room temperature. Nose is of huge smokey chocolaty and coffee plus dark dried fruits, of all the barrel aged stouts I've had, this is an easy top 5. Taste is huge, tons of chocolate, cherries, dark dried fruits, big coffee smokey presence; just an all around world class offering.

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Photo of spoony
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 750 ml bottle (bottled October 15, 2015) to a snifter.

A-The beer is deep, dark brown. Nearly black. A dark-brown head is short and fades quickly leaving no real lacing. The departing head reveals a shimmery cap and not much in the way of carbonation is visible.

S-The aroma is dense chocolate. More like brownie batter than baker's chocolate because of the sweetness and lower bitterness. I also sniff some marshmallow, burnt caramel, and a little bit of oak. Quite smooth and not as much heat as I expected.

T-The taste pretty much tracks the smell. Lots of rich, almost-creamy dark chocolate, brown sugar, burnt caramel, some vanilla, and hints of raspy oak. For a beer that has been in the barrel for at least a year, the barrel flavor is actually pretty mild. That time in the barrel has reduced bitterness, however. A bit of whiskey heat starts to creep into the finish.

M-The beer is medium to lighter in body with a smooth, mild carbonation. Shockingly easy to drink for a beer like this.

O-I like this stuff. It is very, very smooth. It may lack the complexity of the some of the best examples of the style, and I don't know that it competes on price, because it is damn expensive, but this is a great beer. I'm curious to see if time in the cellar will make it too mellow.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is an awesome beer, probably the final evolution of the series. its taken me a long time to get to this one, the limited availability and brutal price points have always kept me away, but this is so worth it. on tap right now at the new barrel bar on brighton, a really really cool place. got a full pour of it, now listed at 12.5% abv, much higher than whats listed here, and trust me its all of that. inky black in color, looks even darker than normal yeti, like condensed and concentrated down, with a short and short lived tan head to it, quite a contrast with its lightness on the very dark brew. shiny and slick looking too. smells like whiskey all the way, apparently this batch spent three years in bourbon barrels of different types, and you can really appreciate all the oak character, even above the bourbon flavor imparted. its like a real good deep big red wine, where the oak flavor itself is very prominent. i feel like a lot of these end up being more flavored by the whiskey than the wood, and this one does a nice job of doing both. you get vanilla and booze, a little char in there with the dark malts, much more depth and complexity than the oak aged edition, more oaky too. rum raisin sort of complexion in the middle and then the classic yeti finish, a little sweeter and longer in this edition from the whiskey. huge body, sticky and palate coating, but still enough carbonation that it keeps moving. warm but not hot on the alcohol, which is about as much as you could hope for in a beer this strong. overall this is incredible, worthy of its price tag, and should be mentioned in the same breath as the other heavy hitters in the style. one of denvers best beers.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Holy cow! This stuff comes at you hard with the bourbon, and it tastes and smells phenomenonal! Th chocolate malt and bourbon blends together for near perfection! Gotta put this on on your list of you can find it!

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the new Barrel Bar; poured into a snifter.
Appearance - pitch black, looks like a shadow; thin mocha head, leaves minimal lacing.
Smell - bourbon and chocolate, oak and some French vanilla, fantastic!
Taste - smooth bourbon, rich dark chocolate; so flavorful, so tasty!
Feel - incredibly smooth, complex and flavorful; sweet and oaky bourbon, rich and creamy chocolate!
Overall - the marriage of chocolate and bourbon is without a doubt a masterpiece! Unfortunately, the value just isn't there, given the hefty price tag.

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Photo of jellikit
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle.
Appearance: black. Thin, tan head. Nice lacing.
Smell: chocolate. Raisin.
Taste: chocolate. Figs. Raisin. Slight oak. Alcohol.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Big body. Sweet-ish.
Overall: tasty. Balanced well. Not too oaky. Will definitely buy again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of woody notes with some vanilla and bourbon notes easily noticeable. Taste is also dominated by woody notes with some vanilla and bourbon with light warming alcohol. Black chocolates notes with subtle roasted malt are also discernable. Body is full with nice creamy texture with good carbonation and some warming alcohol notes are also perceptible. Truly a world-class beer that I wouldn’t mind having again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Yes, this is the barrel aged variant. Not the oak aged.

BOTTLE: 2011 vintage. 750ml brown glass with a foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap. Cost was $29.00. Bottle #1687. 10.7% ABV.

Expectations are high given this beer's reputation, and the fact that it's currently #14 on the Top 50 Colorado list. Served cold into a stem-tulip. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Dark tan colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Retention is horrible - maybe 30 seconds at best. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid ink-black. No light penetrates. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly-carbonated. Not unique or special for an imperial stout, but it looks good for the style. A fuller longer lasting creamier head would be nice, but they've got the darkness of head colour dialed in nicely.

AROMA: Grape, dark malts, chocolate malts, plum, and prune. I struggle to find any oak - or subsidiary vanilla or whiskey spiciness - but can't. It seems with three years of age the barrel has disappeared - at least in the aroma. It's sweet, with the grape dominating.

A pleasant aroma of average strength.

No yeast character or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Dominant grape. Subsidiary plum and prune. Dark malts. Chocolate malt. Raisin.

Any barrel character is extremely reticent. I wouldn't know this was barrel aged if I tried it blind. No oak, vanilla, whiskey spiciness, or barrel sugars. No marshmallow. Not even any char or burnt characteristics. Where's that Stranahan's character I know and love?

There's no coffee, no rich chocolate, no vanilla bean...this is a boring flavour profile for an imperial stout. It just doesn't bring much complexity/intricacy, nuance, or subtlety to the table, and in this style you've got to. Depth of flavour is merely average. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

I rarely cry infection, but the tartness in the third act and the unexpected grape notes make me think it's a distinct possibility. Blakelive784 notes an accompanying lactic acid presence which I second.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, creamy, full-bodied, thick, and syrupy without coming off too viscous or overbearing. Carbonation is apt. It could be softer.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, harsh, rough, or scratchy. Unfortunately, it's slightly astringent, and right on the finish it's unnaturally dry and coarse, lending it an off-putting arid presence on the palate, extinguishing the joy of the beer.

OVERALL: Drinkable for its high ABV - which is barely noticeable. But as a Colorado boy, having heard about how this was the best of the Yetis for years, and seeing it always in a high position on the leaderboards, I expected an imperial stout with at least a great whiskey barrel presence, but this doesn't have even that. Maybe it's just the three years of age, but I'd almost say the Oak Aged Yeti evokes more of a barrel character. In spite of the grapey infection, I am enjoying it for what it is, but there's no way I'd pay the abominable price of $29.99 USD for this again. I'm reserving judgement and would like to try it without the infection, but I'm forced to rate as-is. That said, I think it's a testament to the quality of the beer that even with noticeable infection it still earns a B from me.

Serve cold; the obnoxious dryness on the finish grows more noticeable as it comes to temperature.

Low B

***
2015 vintage on-tap @ Great Divide.

This is more what I was after! Has a great chocolatey core with brilliant notes of cream and marshmallow underscored by Subtle (if not reticent) white oak barrel character. There's no bourbony vanilla or toastiness, but the oak is nice - definitely a step above oak aged yeti. I find none of whiskey's signature spiciness.

B

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Photo of Dsimenson
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap in an 8 oz goblet. Not much head, but it has an incredibly deep dark brown-black color that no light can penetrate. Nice mild to moderate lacing. The aroma is out of this world, it reach up through your sinuses and grabs your brain by the hippocampus--coffee, molasses, a bit of plums. The flavor is deep, dark, and complex--coffee, chocolate, molasses, grapefruit, and a smokey sweetness that hovers on your palate. Mouthfeel is very thick and chewy, amazing. This is an outstanding imperial stout. My previous gold standard was Old Rasputin, but this one, though different, is just as magnificent!

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap @ Churchill's "Night of the Yeti" during SDBW. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours black with few bubbles around the rim and no lace.

N: Sweetish whiskey booze is evident. Like a chocolate brownie soaked in whiskey.

T: Mildly sweet, vanilla present with some oaky notes and dark chocolate, grainy/malty.

M: Full body and light carbonation. Slick and oily roasted finish.

O: Aside from the low carbonation, this was very enjoyable.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This review is of the 2009 vintage

Pours a pitch black body with a one finger mocha head. Head retention and lacing were average at best.

Smell is an amazing mixture of sweet whisky, brownie a la mode, vanilla, burnt malts, and chocolate syrup. Similar to aromas found in Southern Tiers Choklat but heavier on alcohol.

Taste is still hot and big on booze, with some fudge, charred malts, and a bit of bitterness. I like strong beers but this one lacks some balance to round it out. Wish it tasted like it smelled.

Mouthfeel is full and aggressively carbonated. Body was somewhat oily/syrupy. Head died rather quickly which was disappointing.

Overall this beer was good but pretty pricey. I figured after letting it age for 4 years it would be smoother but it still has quite a bite. I love all the yetis but I'd have to say this was prolly my least favorite along with Belgian yeti

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Photo of dcloeren
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes. This was the only bottle out of 5 that I have tried that was not infected...

Pours a midnight black (like all yeti's) with 2 fingers of mocha head. Great head retention.

The aroma is outstanding. Fudge and bourbon are absolutely encapsulated with the oakiness from the barrels. Booze is bursting from my glass and it makes me all kinds of excited.

The taste follows the nose to the T. Bourbon soaked fudge brownies with vanilla icing drizzled on top! Outstanding barrel presence. Really just top notch!

Thick, viscous as hell, velvety smooth and chewy. Just shoot me in the face this has the best mouthfeel imaginable for a beer this big!

One of the best stouts I have ever had, hand down. Just mother fucking amazing!

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Photo of portia99
3.52/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle (2011 vintage - bottle #2542) poured into a Brooklyn snifter. Supposed to be infected, but we will see.

A - Pours thick and syrupy with a pitch black color and a short finger of a deep, milk chocolatey brown head. A bit fizzy and the head dies quickly leaving a thick ring around the glass...first signs of infection?

S - Lots of whiskey up front, sweet caramelly and molasses base, pruney dark fruits, dark roasted malts. Quite boozy overall with sharp alcoholic aroma. Really no sign of infection here...maybe this is one of the good bottles.

T - Nope...Tart up front with the feared infection starting to take hold. Sour cherries backed firmly by smooth whiskey and followed by a very healthy dose of char and smoked malt. Vanilla, sweet molasses and some burnt caramel can be found too. Infection has certainly left its mark and detracts from the overall. Not undrinkable, but certainly not living up to what this beer is supposed to be.

M - Super thick body...one of the more syrupy beers I've had, even with the infection which typically tends to thin out a beer. Carbonation is lowish but plenty for the style and shows just enough life to be interesting. Tart infection detracts and gives a somewhat puckering quality to the beer.

O - Was hoping to get lucky with this one, but figured I wouldn't. Infection hurts this one a lot, but hasn't made it undrinkable. Certainly keeps this from performing up to its expectations tho. I'm continuing to drink this...not sure I'll finish the whole bottle. Oh well...have to try again when this gets released again.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle, opened at TN whales tasting 3/16/2013.

Pours dark black, creamy coffee colored head but not a lot of it.

Smells of tangy sweet fruit, caramel and vanilla, a bit of bourbon, something slighty grassy that I imagine is from faded hops.

Taste is fudgy but light, wood and caramel, that mild grassy character again.

Nicely carbed for a big BA stout, body is a little thinner than I'd like but still good.

This is a good beer but pretty disappointing to me. I'm a huge fan of regular Yeti with a few years on it, and I've been enjoying the hell out of my last few bottles of 2008 Yeti, so I figured this would be phenomenal. But oddly I get more faded hop character from the BA version, and less of the delicious mellow maltiness.

7.3/10

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Barrel Aged Yeti from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.28 out of 5 based on 743 ratings.
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