Great Divide Brewing – (Whiskey) Barrel-Aged Yeti Review

IMG_2202All You Need to Know

Brewery: Great Divide Brewing
Style: BA Imperial Stout
ABV: 12.5%
My Cost: $29 (!)
Glassware: Snifter
Temp: 60°F
Availability: Seasonal (Sept)
Purchased@: Friendly Greek

Quick Take: Easily the best beer I’ve had to date from Great Divide and I regularly enjoy their offerings. On just about every level, this beer does huge, chocolate stouts right. It is also one of the few beers I simultaneously consider overpriced and worth it. BA Yeti is on the sweeter side with no dark fruit or savory layers to give it added depth, but it is as close to a perfect BA Imperial Chocolate Stout that I’ve ever come across.

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Founder’s Brewing – Kentucky Breakfast Stout 2015 Review

KBS 2015All You Need to Know

Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.
Style: Imperial Stout (Bourbon-Aged)
ABV: 11.2%
Cost: $6.50 (10oz)
Glassware: Snifter
Temp: 55°F
Availability: March/April
Purchased@: Bulls Head Pub
Previous Review: KBS 2014 Review

Quick Take: For those that love KBS unconditionally and without a care of my opinion, I’ll sum up the 2015 edition thusly. The newest take has upped the Russian Imperial (tobacco, anise, bitter cocoa) and coffee elements, but at the cost of the barrel qualities that make BB beers great. Everyone that already loves KBS will still find plenty to love, but I’m still waiting to be blown away by this highly sought after treat.

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Deschutes Brewery – Abyss 2014 (Bottle and Draft) Review

AbyssAll You Need to Know

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 11%
Cost: $20 (24oz)
Glassware: Snifter
Temp: 45-60°F
Availability: November-December
Purchased@: Whole Foods – Devon

Quick Take: While initially disappointing, Abyss ultimately won me over as a subtle but layered exposé on the stout. It’s a beer that seemingly requires a high level of contemplation and analysis, which means the non-beer obsessed will likely admire it (or outright dismiss it) more than truly enjoy it. While I am thoroughly impressed by what Deschutes has crafted, I can’t say I would choose to drink this over other highly-rated stouts.

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Bell’s – Black Note Review (with comparisons to KBS)

Black NoteAll You Need to Know

Brewery: Bell’s Brewery
Style: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.4%
Cost: ???? (12oz)
Glassware: Teku, Snifter
Temp: 55°F
Availability: Nanosecond in Jan, Feb or March
Purchased@: Beer Trade

Quick Take: You certainly don’t need me to tell you that Black Note is a fantastic beer (it is btw). It has a reputation that existed long before this blog and will for as long as Bell’s brews it. I love the combination of the typical dark, malty flavors with the tang of dark fruits that still gives you the mouth feel you want without being too sweet. It’s a top stout for me and one of the most well-balanced, layered bourbon beers I’ve had.

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North Coast – Old Rasputin XVI Review

RasputinAll You Need to Know

Brewery: North Coast Brewing
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.3%
Cost: $27 (16.9 oz)
Glassware: Snifter
Temp: 55°F
Availability: Once a Year
Purchased@: Hunger n Thirst

Quick Take: If you, like me, enjoy Old Rasputin, you will absolutely enjoy the bourbon barrel-aged version. There is no question of that, but the cost versus quality is way out of whack. Without needing to justify the expense, I can easily declare this to be worth no where near the cost. If cost is not a factor or you can find this for less than $15 (I did see a forum post where someone paid $13.99), it’s definitely worth a try. While I find the experience to be lacking given the chalky finish and less than luxurious mouth feel, plenty of people will find this to be an enjoyable and very drinkable bourbon stout.

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