Great Divide: Oak Aged Yeti (USA: Imperial Stout: 9.5% ABV)

Visual: Thick pouring black with a large frothy caramelised brown sugar head that smoothes through gradients of colour as it descends.

Nose: Vanilla, black coffee, raw coffee beans, woods on a warm day. Turned earth and hops. Bitter, ovaltine. Spiced Christmas chocolate after a quick swirl.

Body: Bitter roasted nut, burnt sausage smooth, twigs, dried beans. (After re-pour to get a decent head going again) Milk chocolate, butterscotch, molasses, glazed cherry. Apricot and rich chocolate. Slight cream and caramel, hit of raspberry rumbling under.

Finish: Burnt oak and charcoal. Deeply bitter, tons of dry leafy hoppiness. Touch of sweetness – treacle? Coffee in bitterness more than flavour. Unsweetened raw coco beans. Rough tongue feel, Cherry and more dry hops.

Conclusion: Odd one to call this, as it’s very reliant on having a good head on it. The first pour was somewhat still and the rough character was very prevalent as evidenced in the first half of the body tasting notes. The second pour had a decent frothy head and resulted in decent smooth chocolate coming through and rounding it out nicely.

So its definitely a beer very dependant on the nature of its serving, and done right its decent stout, if hoppy for the style – more so that its standard Yeti cousin, poured wrong this makes it far too rough and ready.

So good but not great, despite its exceptional reputation, I would rate standard yeti above it on a head to head, this beers more mellow character means that the hops have less to challenge it.

If you do give it a go, frequent swirls to keep the head up are vital to keep its smooth character and keep it in the decent stout range.