Great Divide, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti

Grade: A
Great Divide Brewing Co.

Ok, now this is just ridiculous. What's next, Extra Imperial Oak Aged Oyster Stout? I'll give it a try, if only because it's the craziest thing I've heard of in a while.

Completely opaque, black, with a thick, creamy dark brown head that won't go away for anything. Some roast and toast in the nose, slight homage to the espresso, with some caramel as well. Bready character in the aroma as well, no hop presence at all. Thick mouthfeel, tongue coating with a little sparkle from the medium-low carbonation. My first thought at the taste is: balanced complexity. The espresso flavor blends almost perfectly with the roast from the malt, making it feel not quite like a coffee and not quite like a beer.

There is depth here that could take months to delve through. The oak is present but not nearly as overpowering as the original Oak Aged Yeti. The coffee seems to have bridged the gap between the roast of the malts and the vanilla of the oak. Flavor unwraps itself with every pull. This is certainly one of those beers that makes you furrow your brows with every sip. While intriguing and complex, this doesn't tip the scales either way. The oak, coffee, and malt seem to find equilibrium in this beer.

Honestly, this is the last thing I expected from this beer. Like the Oak Aged Unearthly by Southern Tier, I was expecting an assault on my palatte. Instead I got a stiletto in the back by a sultry, seductive temptress that lulled me into a sense of security. In short, when you want a good sip-and-think beer, get one of these.