Great Divide Brewing Company // Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Great Divide Brewing Company // Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

EDITOR’S NOTE: I just want to start this article off by saying that I don’t know much of anything about this product other than what it tastes like. I reached out to Great Dividing Brewing Company several times via social media and email and never got answers to any of the questions I sent them regarding this beer (how it was made, what’s in it, etc.). I delayed this review for months due to the lack of response, but I couldn’t wait any longer as this one is just about sold out nation-wide (this is a seasonal beer). If Great Divide gets back to me with some more background information, I will revise this article and post again. Thanks for your understanding – Drew.

Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout—a collaboration between Denver, Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing Company and Pablo’s Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.

THECOFFEEDETAILS:

region: Brazil // Colombia // Timor
farm: N/A
producer: N/A
association: N/A
elevation: N/A
cultivars: N/A
process: N/A
certifications: N/A

THEBEERDETAILS:

style: Imperial Stout
alcohol by volume: 9.5%
international bitterness units: 60
color: Obsidian Black
ingredients: Pablo’s Espresso Blend,
stemware: Tulip Glass

CUPPINGNOTES:

Visually, the Espresso Oak Aged Yeti is stunning. It fills the tulip glass with a dark and murky obsidian-black color and it’s topped by a thick, frothy chocolate mousse head.

The aroma of the beer is even more stunning; delicious, decadent, and dessert-y with just a touch of booziness. There is a lot of roastiness, dark chocolate, vanilla, and oak filling the air, but much less coffee influence than I expected (unless its influence was found in the generic “roasted coffee” note).

Taking my first few sips of the beer, again, it’s not as coffee-forward as I had expected/hoped. Maybe it’s the coffee lover in me, but that’s a bit of a letdown. As long as we’re on the topic of disappointment, I’m also pretty disappointed in the beer’s body. When I drink an imperial stout (an espresso imperial stout, to boot) I expect my palate to be absolutely coated by a thick, velvety texture. The Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, though, has a medium (light for the style), somewhat chewy (malty) mouthfeel. Having said that, though, I can’t deny that this is still a very exceptional coffee stout, with a really solid roasted malt backbone, vanilla, toffee, dark chocolate, a bit of oak, and coffee coming forward as the beer warmed a little.

Medium body; chewy mouthfeel; berry acidity; clean finish.

FINALTHOUGHTS:

Overall, the Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, from Great Divide Brewing, was a really great glass of beer. The standard Yeti was passable, the chocolate oak version was good, the espresso variety is great—it did have a few aspects that I found lacking, though.

The beer’s flavor profile was amazing, but its biggest downfall was its texture. I really think it could have benefited from a denser, fuller body; for what this beer is purporting to be, it was just a little too thin for my liking.

Again, though, that didn’t necessarily detract from the overall profile—I’m just being hypercritical.

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  • swagv

    The main problem is that it’s beer… well, sorta. More like second-rate as beer, second-rate as coffee — as what I’ve found with every example I’ve tried.

    Reducing coffee to a mere flavoring ingredient debases the product. You won’t find fans of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti touting recipes to make sangria or spiced mulled wine with the stuff — no matter how “refreshing” that might be in summer or warming in winter.

    • As I’ve said before, it seems that in the past breweries just wanted coffee to be a generic flavor in their beer, but I’ve had a few coffee beers now where coffee was meant to complement the beer’s flavors. For example, in Goose Island’s BCCS you can really taste the berries and florals that the Rwandan coffee provided shining through the stout.

      This Yeti, though, I’m pretty sure they were going for “generic coffee flavor.”