Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great Divide Espresso Yeti Imperial Stout

There are a good many things I love about living in Colorado. For the Caffeine addict in me, this is not only home to tons of amazing local coffee houses, but also home to a plethora of energy drink companies, from smaller names like Boa, to companies on their way to super stardom, like Go Fast Energy.
But that's not all. The beer devotee in me is just as happy - what with The Great American Beer Festival in this town, and more medal winners in their competition than in any other state. The cool thing about this particular coffee beer, Espresso Oak Age Yeti, is that you don't need to be in Colorado to enjoy it, something that many of the breweries across the country don't do. This one is found in lovely 22oz bottles distributed everywhere in the United States.

From Espresso Oak Aged Yeti “is a beer we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” says the founder and brewmaster, Brian Dunn. “Imperial stouts already tend to have undertones of coffee, so the infusion of espresso makes for a perfect complement to Oak Aged Yeti’s complex character. We’ve been playing around with the beer for a long time, trying to get the right balance of espresso to beer. Once we got it ready for commercial release, we knew we wanted to partner with a local supplier for the espresso. Pablo’s makes the best coffee in Denver, so the choice was easy.”

And Pablo's is definitely one of the best. Located right downtown on 6th Ave, nearish to the aGreat Divide brewery, they provide some of the best espresso beans found anywhere. Pablo's espresso even by itself is a fantastic thing - where a lighter roast brings out more flavor and texture, rather than commercial espressos which have a tendency to over-roast their beans.
This stout is not too bitter, and not sweet at all, just full of complex character - vanillas, molasses, and silky chocolate flavors, all wrapped up in a deep powerful imperial stout.

This starts out as Great Divide's Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, which weighs in at an impressive 9.5% ABV. This is about average for imperial stouts, as some easily go into the double digits.

As for how caffeinated it is, they are not telling. Dunn mentioned to me that although this drink is caffeinated using the popular cold brewing method, the actual caffeine content and coffee process is held under wraps. He did tell me that while there might be caffeine in the brew, their reason for the Espresso was solely because the flavor worked so well.

Westword magazine voted this "Best Beer-and-Coffee Combo." I would easily trade this for my morning joe if I did not have to drive the kids to school in the mornings (or deal with work right after). If you like your beer caffeinated, you really don't want to pass up the opportunity to try this nutty toasted delicious coffee stout from the Great Divide Brewing Company.

The beer advocate gives this an A grade.

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