Friday, May 6, 2011
YETI Imperial Stout
Alcohol Content: 9.5%
Official Description from Brewer:
"YETI Imperial Stout is an onslaught of the senses. It starts with big, roasty malt flavor that gives way to rich caramel and toffee notes. YETI gets its bold hop character from an enormous quantity of American hops. It weighs in at a hefty 75 IBUs."
As I tilted the bottle to fill my favorite pint glass I was reminded of synthetic motor oil spilling out of my car after 15,000 miles. After I filled the glass I snapped the picture just to capture the perfect 3/4" head that finished the pour. For a stout, you get the dark liquid you would expect. Unusually, when held to the light I caught a hint of an amber hue that I never noticed in a stout before. With that, I was ready to enjoy my dessert beer.
When you bring the glass to your lips you catch a whiff of the caramel and toffee notes the brewer insists is in the beer. The smell is distinct and worth mentioning because it resonates continuously from the first sip to the last gulp. This invites you to keep on keeping on and barrel through what you expect to be a rich beer. Surprisingly, YETI is a smoother drink than the alcohol content suggests. I tend to find that heavier beers are almost a meal and insist on smaller drinks than say (I'll go there) a Miller Lite. This beer flowed as well as a Guinness, in that the darkness of the beer is deceiving to its actual consistency.
The toffee notes are more prevalent than the caramel and the roasty malt flavor is so bold that it can at times drown out the notes the brewer intended to display. The rich flavor definitely leaves a finish in your mouth that you can't escape, not that you want to, but you'd be hard pressed to try and taste anything else after drinking it. Great Divide suggests pairing the beer with grilled steak, strong cheese, or chocolate. I think I'd skip the steak because as my favorite food I would hate to lose the flavor of the steak in the brew. I can see the strong cheese because the stout might not over power it. Chocolate, well, if you are that adventurous, I'd go with dark chocolate.
YETI was a recommendation from my brother so I gave it the old college try. I probably would go back to the well for this over and over as it did not disappoint. However, as mentioned above, my night would end with this beer.
Suggestion: If you have YETI available, go and get it. It is certainly on par with other stouts and Great Divide offers YETI in Espresso Oak Aged, Chocolate Oak Aged, and Oak Aged. Buyer beware though, if you don't like roasted anything, avoid at all costs.
Value: I purchased a 22 oz bottle for around $8. After finishing the bottle I feel I certainly got my money's worth. Based on the alcohol content a 22 oz bottle could certainly relax you after a long day of work without having to mix a cocktail to garner the same effect.
Michelle Factor: I joked with Michelle the other day that I should take pictures of her face after she tried every beer. For this particular picture imagine she just smelled a freshly run over skunk. I don't even know if that analogy truly captures the grimace that was on her face. "It tastes like coffee!" For a non beer drinker this is a no-no.