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Josh Weikert's picture

Espresso Oak Aged Yeti

February, 2016
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Wow. Great Divide really parked this one. Not only is this beer a technical masterpiece with virtually no detectable flaws, it brings together a lot of unruly elements (oak, coffee, high alcohol, intense roast) and makes them all play well together. This is a beer you don't want to miss.

The beer pours an opaque and near-black color with a dense brown head. The aroma has prominent roasted coffee and dark chocolate notes, with a light woody undertone along with an earthy character. It's in the aroma that we find one of the (VERY minor) areas of improvement: a touch more grain/malt character in the nose would be appreciated.

One sip, though, and you're in stout heaven. There's a rich charred coffee flavor and a nice oaky background note, with an almost mocha-like flavor. The chocolate malts and coffee do a wonderful job of drying out the beer, and while some might find it a touch astringent, I think it's balancing the sweet alcohols darn near perfectly. There's also a pleasant berry ester in the finish and aftertaste that adds some interest. This is an outstanding beer to drink even with high ABVs, high IBUs, and in the presence of roasted coffee and barrel aging. I could (and did) easily drink a bomber of this myself – so long as I didn't need to be driving anywhere.

There's a nice light warming feeling on the palate as well, with a pleasantly dry and tannic mouthfeel.  

Some might find this beer a touch too bitter or acrid, but for my money, it's one of the best ever. I can't envision anyone that would order a stout being disappointed with this one. Truly a world-class beer.