I’ve been searching for this Yeti ever since I heard of Great Divide’s mighty Imperial Stout a few years back, and now it is here. Right in front of me. Right now. Waiting patiently for me to crack it open… screw my usual preamble – I’m tucking in right now.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Obsidian black, imposing like some colossal dreadnaught battlecruiser, with a dense russet brown half centimetre head atop this beast of a beer. I don’t care what you think this is one of the best looking Imperial Stouts I’ve ever seen, I am in awe of this mythical creature they call “Yeti”. 10/10.
S: The aroma doesn’t cut back on the impressive scale of this brew with some crazy complexity going on: Milk chocolate, coffee cherries, roasted espresso bean, vanilla prune and herbal/floral hops in the background. Man am I ever looking forward to the next part. 9/10.
T: Hits the tongue straight up with some bitter herbal/espresso notes, then the sugars kick in with dark chocolate and vanilla not far behind. Wow this is one intimidating beer for 9.5% ABV – it’s big sugar and bitterness to boot. The aftertaste is rich and bitter espresso which distracts a little (it’s a bit harsher in the aftertaste than other favourite Imperial Stouts like FBS or Old Rasputin). Of note: I did drink this a little bit warmer than was probably intended by the brewer at around 10 degrees Celsius, which has quite obviously intensified the flavours. 8/10.
M: Rich heavy body with a tongue coating chewiness and a light but dense carbonation – this is up there with FBS for best body in a Stout. 10/10.
D: This certainly lives up to its name in that it’s a big and hairy (not like that imposter Fat Yak). Too big and hairy? Maybe a little. I found drinking this a bit of a challenge, and I rarely (if ever) find Imperial Stouts to be a challenge. I was born into a Guinness bath and weaned on Tooheys Old in my formative years, so I’m no stranger to the Stout style. So I was somewhat surprised by the sheer onslaught of bitter herbal/espresso notes, and TBH I kinda like an Imperial Stout that is a bit more subtle… yes, yes I shouldn’t of drunk it at room temp, it is a BIG beer after all, but this minor quibble is the difference between this and a Founders Breakfast Goodness… still this is good, just a bit hairy. 8/10.
Food match: I’m going to be lazy and go with what the label suggests: Grilled steak and leeks, rosemary potatoes au gratin, Rochefort cheese and crème brûlée.