‘Tis the summer season, a season of sun, sand, BBQ, and outdoor festivities. When thinking of summer seasonal beers, what do we think of? Well, when I walk down the craft beer isle in my local brew store I see a lot of Summer Blondes, Wheats, Pales, and other light on the palate, low abv. beers. I was reminded recently upon a trip to one of my favorite restaurant / beer bars (Isaac Newtons), that there is a place for stouts amidst the summer’s sweltering sun! Great Divide Brewing Company releases a summer seasonal imperial stout, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti.
It looked like beautiful, thick black gold, coming out of the tap into my glass. It produced a one and a half finger thick brown meringue like head. The intense aromas of roasted coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla,and alcohol tickled my nose before the glass had even been set down in front of me! Initially it tasted just like a freshly ground, and brewed bold espresso paired with a very high percent cacao chocolate. There were also notes of leather, oak, and vanilla. The finish was a little bitter with a smoked wood flavor. It had a perfectly full and thick mouthfeel with a nice palate coating quality. The chocolate flavor was deliciously rich. The 9.5% abv. was ever present through out, so this is not a chuggin’ brew. This should be respected and enjoyed slowly. I know I was sad when it was gone. While I was not able to pick up on it, the commercial description states that there is a “dash of cayenne” pepper thrown in for some heat.Never the less, It had a perfectly full and thick mouthfeel with a nice palate coating quality. This is my definition of an excellent dessert beer. Perhaps enjoyed with a good vanilla bean ice cream or New York Style cheese cake. This brew has left a Yeti sized foot print on my heart! Here’s to Good Beers!