Wednesday, December 29, 2010

445. Great Divide Yeti ’08-’10

Have we had enough Great Divide? Not Yeti! And some where in the distance, a rim shot faintly echoes. This represents the first real payoff for salting away beer in the basement—a three year vertical of Yeti to drink and enjoy. Ah, patience, you heap and task me so. We’ve dranken a whole crap load of Great Divide in the past: Smoked Baltic Porter, 16th Anniversary Wood Aged DIPA, Hercules DIPA, Wild Raspberry Ale, Hibernation, Samurai Rice, Hoss, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Fresh Hop, Double Wit, 15th Anniversary DIPA, and Denver Pale Ale. That’s right—the mini-vertical is lucky number 13.

Yeti 2010: Roasted chocolate bitterness in the nose; inky chocolate brown color with red highlights and the weakest head retention of the three. Dry chocolate and biscuit front, moving into bitterness in the middle that runs on into the end, lingering along with a touch of alcohol on the back of the throat. There is also a fair share of roastiness in the middle and end; some chocolate returns in the finish, albeit with more of a cocoa flavor than previously. Yeti 2010 has a rich, chewy mouthfeel with a fair amount of alcohol warmth that mitigates the smoothness. The bitterness and the alcohol warmth are currently the defining features of the beer, covering over a lot of the other flavors. Good, but should get better.

Yeti 2009: Nose is starting to ripen towards the 2008, but with much more chocolate (almost like Southern Tier’s Choklat) currently evident; some of the bitterness of the 2010 remains, along with a touch of cardboard. Best head retention, and same color as 2010. Rich chocolate to start, moving into roastiness in the middle; slight rise in sweetness in the finish with just a touch of sourness along with low levels of lingering bitterness—although the bitterness tastes like it is more from the roastiness than the hops. Smoother overall mouthfeel; while the alcohol warmth is still present, it is much less intrusive. Not surprisingly, this beer is getting better with age.

Yeti 2008: Dark fruit and creamy rich chocolate in the nose; head retention somewhere between the last two, and, shockingly, the same color as the last two. Opens with chocolate and toffee before moving into oxidized dark fruit—cherry, prune, and raisin—in the middle; the finish has a touch of roastiness along with cocoa and chocolate, with the roastiness lingering lightly. This beer has the roundest and richest mouthfeel—Yeti 2008 is simultaneously creamy, silky, chewy and delicious. There is hardly any alcohol warmth, which allows the creamy cocoa and chocolate to tantalize the taste buds across the profile. The trip down drinkability lane has paid off for this beer—I only wish we had more of it left.

From the bottle (it says the same on all three): “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.”

ABV: 9.5%
IBU: 75
Bottled on: January 2008, October 6, 2009, and sometime in 2010—wouldn’t you know it, the most recent four-pack we bought (last week) didn’t get stamped with a date. Thanks, Great Divide.


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