I recently wrote about enjoying an "out of season" dark beer, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is not an unusual occurrence. I do enjoy a good stout, no matter the season. Recently, after another 100° day, Colleen and I settled down for a late evening treat of Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. We've enjoyed this beer in the past, and this bottle I'd been holding on to for a year or so.
Upon pouring the beer into a couple of brandy snifters I was greeted by the aroma of oak, chocolate and roasted coffee. The bouquet is very pleasant and I found myself continually taking deep sniffs from the glass all the time I was drinking it. It's one of those "aaah" aromas. The beer pours opaque black with a small beige head. The flavor is a rich and complex blend of chocolate, vanilla, espresso, sweet malt, and molasses. The oak barrel flavoring from the aging is released even further as the beer warms. The Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout also has a substantial hoppiness that adds to the complexity. Despite the 9.5% ABV the beer goes down very smoothly.
Conventional wisdom tells us that Imperial Stouts are excellent partners to chocolate, and we did indeed enjoy a bit of chocolate with our drinks. However we also added some Dubliner Cheddar to the table. This dry Irish cheese is a favorite of ours and we've found it to go nicely with a wide variety of beers. The dry, sharp cheese stood up to the strong flavors and sweetness of the beer quite well.
I've been told that Great Divide beers are no longer being distributed in Virginia, which if true is a great loss. Perhaps it's time to grab any bottles of the Oak Aged Yeti that I run across in stores.