Finding a great beer in Denver isn’t anywhere near as difficult as finding Bigfoot. But of all the great craft beer makers in the Mile High City, the Great Divide Brewing Company offers up one of the best seasonal treats of the year when it comes time to release its Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti.
A variation on Great Divide’s year-round Yeti Imperial Stout, the seasonal version includes a healthy dose of espresso coupled with an aging in an oak barrel.
The result is far from a monstrosity. It’s an intense imperial stout with enough malt balance to measure up to the pronounced coffee flavor and persistent hop character. Flavors include raisin, dark chocolate and vanilla, in an extremely smooth ale that doesn’t let on about its 9.5% ABV until it warms considerably.
In the glass, the stout resembles maple syrup in its color and the head — a light tan hue — lasts a good while. This Yeti is more of a sipper than a gulper, so don’t be afraid to crack it open on a night in or as an after-dinner aperitif.
As with many intense beers, Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti has garnered its share of accolades. The beer should be readily available through most of March, so head down to the Great Divide taproom and spend 30 minutes with a 10-oz. pour in a snifter, or grab a 22-oz. bomber from most local liquor stores that sport a decent craft beer selection.
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