For the final winter month (at least in SC) I wanted to pick a dark beer with some kick. I found the perfect beer for the season in the Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. As the name implies, Great Divide took their Yeti Imperial Stout and aged it in oak barrels. This took a very hoppy, roasty stout and gave it a wicked twist.
The first thing that hit me (before the 9.5% abv) was the aroma. The aroma has a definite hop character, but what also hits you is a near liquor-like feel in your nose. You know, like when you take a whiff of bourbon.
The flavor is also as intense as the aroma. The first thing you taste is the malted roastiness of your standard imperial stout, but the oak aging really kicks you in the finish. There are definite hints of vanilla, but when combined with all the other flavors and intense alcohol concentration, it reminds me of bourbon.
If I were to have more than a pint or two of this beer, it would not agree well with me. It is way too intense and sweet to enjoy past about 20 ounces. However, I think it makes a great after dinner beverage to enjoy with dessert, or perhaps even as dessert. This is a phenomenally flavorful and complex beer that makes a great sippin’ experience to enjoy over time and conversation.