First, their came the mighty Yeti, an Imperial Stout of formidable proportions made in Denver by the Great Divide Brewing Company. Not satisfied with such a wonderful beer, however, Great Divide decided to up things a notch by aging that legendary brew on oak chips, just to see what would happen. The result: Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti, a true triumph for beer fans everywhere.
Most brewers would stop there, and bathe in the sunshine of their success. Not Great Divide. Instead, they got the bright idea to add yet another element to their Oak Aged Yeti, and volia! Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti was born. Still not enough for you? No worries. Because that brings us to the beer under consideration today, Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti.
Here’s what Great Divide says about the beer:
A generous infusion of Denver’s own Pablo’s espresso adds yet another layer of complexity to this beer, combining with the vanilla oak character, intense roasty maltiness and bold hop profile to create a whole new breed of mythical creature. It’s official: You can now have Yeti with breakfast.
I am not so sure I would go that far. Great Divide recommends the beer with such traditional breakfast fare as eggs benedict, a breakfast burrito, and hash browns, though I think the 9.5% alcohol content by volume is a bit more alcohol than I would like to start my day with. They also suggest cheesecake and crème brulee; a glass with one of those desserts after dinner is more up my alley.
This is a brew well suited to aging under the proper conditions, and I did just that with Espresso Oak Aged Yeti that I’m sipping tonight. Mt bomber was bottled on February 12, 2010, making it about 3 years and 4 months old. It has held up very nicely indeed, and I imagine it probably commands more today than the $8.99 I paid for it in 2010.
Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti pours to a jet black color with a medium sized head of densely packed bubbles working themselves into a tan colored formation. A sniff reveals a decided espresso character, a sip further confirms coffee as the main component of the beer. It’s not the only one, though, to be sure, as you get lots of chocolate and a hint of licorice. The oak provides some vanilla that works wonderfully with the chocolate and coffee notes. There’s a hint of woody oak, too.
The mouthfeel is full and luxurious, the finish is roasty bitter like coffee and dark chocolate and roasted barley. Not much in the way of hops show up, though I think they add some bitterness, but the alcohol warmth certainly shines through. This is an absolutely stunning beer, packed with chocolate, oak, and coffee flavor components. Why not pick up a bottle of this seasonal specialty the next time you see it, or better yet several bottles. Allowing one or two to age will definitely will be worth your time. Spent waiting, that is.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.