The Big Gnome and I were privileged enough to attend the east coast unveiling of Great Divide’s Yeti Espresso Imperial Stout at Barley’s Tap Room in Greenville last night. The event was to feature Great Divide’s newest twist on their Imperial Stout as a cask conditioned ale, but due to “circumstances out of their control,” we were treated to it as a normally conditioned beer. I don’t get cask ale very much around here, so I was quite disappointed.
Once we got over the initial disappointment of not getting cask ale, we refocused our efforts on the ordering up a pizza and looking forward to being one of the first in our neck of the woods to try this beer. The anticipation was intense!
After we had finished our pizza, we were ready for the beer to be served at 7:00 sharp. When we received our stouts, we were greeted with a beer that was dark-as-night, much as we expected the Yeti to be. The first sip did not disappoint. The flavor is intense from the get-go. The roasted, bitter chocolate, caramel flavor makes you want to slap your mama. The hint of coffee from the espresso beans was subtle, yet apparent. It’s such a big, bold flavor that one could study it for hours. I studied it for two pints…
Overall, I would rate the Espresso Stout as excellent. However, I would rate the regular Yeti Imperial Stout as excellent as well. I’m not sure if I was able to distinguish the espresso aroma and flavor enough to take it to a whole new level, but it made for a very nice, complex beer. My hat goes off to Great Divide for making flat out great stout.