Belgian Style Yeti Imperial Stout Review
While searching the single serving craft beer shelves of my local adult beverage retailer for anything distinctive or different, I stumbled across a true standout amongst the myriad of crazily labeled bomber-sized craft brews. In front of me stood a single, shallow row of one of the most fearsome legends in all of cryptobrewology, the Yeti. The Yeti series of beers has been the brainchild of Great Divide Brewing, located in Colorado. Established in 1994, they have quickly risen to become one of the elite American craft beer brewers, typically specializing in unique and bold full bodied beers. To date, the brew masters of Great Divide have earned 17 Great American Beer Festival medals and 5 World Beer Cup awards. They were also ranked 8th in Ratebeer.com’s 2010 “The Best Brewers in the World” and 7th in Beer Advocate’s 2010 “All-Time Top Breweries on Planet Earth.”
Over the years, Great Divide has crafted a number of different abominable brews in their Yeti series and one of their newest additions to the line is the Belgian Style Yeti Imperial Stout. Derived from Belgian style yeast, the Belgian Yeti is a unique amalgamation comprised of rich and malty Imperial stout profiles layered beneath traditional Belgian fruit and spice notes.
First we’ll start with the nose of the stout, which is a combination of rich espresso and roasted malt with hints of aromatic spices. Weighing in at a potent 9.5% ABV, this brew is a true beast. On the palette, powerful imperial flavors like cocoa and espresso immediately steal the show, but are soon beaten back by a medium strength hops note which is then rounded out by the arrival of the crisp Belgian yeast. For a Belgian style beer, the Yeti is surprisingly well balanced and creamy rather than being over-hopped and somewhat sour, which is common amongst many Belgian style beers. Rather than become an exercise in fortitude like many craft stouts, the Yeti is perfectly restrained and finishes in a crescendo of rich roasted malts and fruits with just a splash of sharp Belgian yeast. All in all, the Yeti is a great example of what an American craft beer should be, rich and bold without trying to overcompensate with heavy handed recipes. So go now, make your way from base camp, or your couch, and get out the search gear, the Belgian Style Yeti Imperial Stout is definitely worth discovering!