Thursday, February 23, 2012

Belgian Yeti

This time, it has an accent?

That’s right, the Belgian Yeti has a noticeably new character.

This, being the last of my bottles of Yeti makes for a bitter sweet story about a beer. While it has been a lot of fun exploring my way around the Great Divide lineup of Imperial Stouts, I am ready for a new project.

One thing that I must say about Yeti Thursday, is that it’s been nice to have a structure for tasting these big brews. Not that I need a form to fill out or a list to tell me how, but it’s been nice to be able to spread this experience out a bit. I normally would have tried one or two a night for a few day and been done.

Enough jabbering... Let’s drink some beer!

This final Yeti has, as expected, the thick black pour and caramel head that I have come to love about these brews. The retention on this one seems a bit better, but I did leave this beer out for over an hour before pouring, so it wasn’t really warming up in the glass. That seems to have some effect on retention.

This beer smells so nice I can’t believe it. Gone is the hoppy floral notes of the Oak Aged, some of the chocolate and coffee is still present from the Espresso Oaked version, but front and center is that funky Belgian sourness that makes my mouth water just to think about it.

Some beer judges and bloggers use descriptors like “Horse Blanket” and “Earthy” to describe belgian beers. Well, I don’t like that. I’m going to say that this smells like the drip tray and a great beer bar. This is a good thing though. With the bitterness of the coffee aroma paired with the Brett-like sour aroma, I can’t wait to taste this thing!

So... Have you ever been totally unimpressed with something that is truly great? That’s kinda what happened to me here. This is a fantastic variation of Yeti. It’s thick. It’s rich. It’s creamy, flavorful malt and hops are in zen-like harmony. There is nothing bad to be said about this beer. Except I just wasn’t awestruck.

As I try to deconstruct and figure out what it is that’s not jiving here, I realize that the first problem I have is that it isn’t sour enough. With a nose like this, I was perhaps expecting a Flanders style sour, and it’s just not there.

Another odd character of this brew is the body and texture. A good number of sour beers are very dry and have a thin mouthfeel, but this is neither. It’s an assault on your senses and nothing like I expected.

As I drink, I am beginning to like this more and more. I think that the unusual combination of smells and flavors initially turned me off, but it’s coming around. And I’m almost certain it’s not due to the 9.5% abv.

This beer is really unexpected for me. It’s been an adventure, having gone from excited to let down to basically happy and back to excited.

Excited for what? Well, I am picturing pairing this with about 10 oz of Ribeye, a big ‘ol scoop of potatoes and a fist of Roasted Garlic. I think that this hearty beer, brewed with character in the tradition of hearty people, could compliment a Kahuna style hearty meal just fine.

Now that I know what I’m in for with the Belgian Yeti, this beast is welcome at my dinner table any time!


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