Ohhhh yeah faithful readers… today is a special day. I’ve got a lovely, pitch black, thick-as-molasses Russian Imperial Stout from Great Divide! They make the Hercules Double IPA that was extremely good, and incredibly strong to boot. It sure was a double IPA, and this stout looks like a double stout…or an extra stout as Guinness would put it. Although I do love Irish stouts like Guinness, Russian Imperial Stouts seem to have more flavor. They absolutely have no less body though, if anything they have even more! It’s one of the rare occasions where I prefer the beauty with a bigger body. Well, I have a feeling this is gonna be one of my favorites. Apparently the Oak aging subdues the hoppy and malty taste. “Who says you can’t tame a Yeti?” is printed proudly the side of the bottle. I can dig it, I like this brews style. Well let’s get on with it then!
Wow, this pour is everything I asked for and more. It pours out with the most delightful sound of a viscous brew sliding into my glass. This bad boy looks like engine oil, which is delicious in it’s own incapacitating way. It has a minimal head though, half a finger’s width at most, but in the most beautiful brown color I have ever seen in a head. You know when you see head like this your in for some flavor…man I can’t wait. The head leaves a decent amount of lacing too for what little there is. This is an area where Irish and Russian stouts differ a lot. If you’ve ever seen the head on a Guinness you know what I mean. Well I dig the color and hopefully that will be enough to make up for the lack of quantity. Let’s see what she smells like.
Oh what a beautiful smell…pretty much what I expected. Roasted chocolatey goodness is invading my olfactory system. It’s sweet and subdued, malty and hoppy, and an overtone of chocolate all wrapped neatly in a little package. It damn well smells like a damn good stout that’s for damn sure…damn! I can’t take it anymore…I’m putting this baby in my mouth. (Said the dingo)
Perfect… that’s the first thought that comes to my mind. The first thing I notice in the taste are the roasted malts. They are very very subdued though, as the bottle claimed they would be. Or did it claim the hops would be subdued…well, no matter, I can’t be troubled to read it again I have beer to drink. It has this sweetness to it however slight it is. This is followed up by the hops and chocolate. The hops greatly overpower the chocolate, but that’s a good thing. Now don’t get me wrong chocolate is fantastic, but I want a beer…not a milkshake. And this here is a beer, there’s no doubt about that! The aftertaste is a bold period on that last sentence of this brews biography, a period filled with hop bitterness. I love a good strong beer like this! One thing I don’t notice is the alcohol, the flavor is so intense it eliminates any trace of it. At least for me, and remember I’m an alcoholic, so I know what it tastes like! The body is thick, rich, and oh-so-smooth. There’s a very slight bite but it is quite subdued, perhaps the oak aging did this. This is a beer that could substitute a meal no doubt , it’s richer and has more body than Oprah!
Overall this is a fantastic Russian Imperial Stout. I’d say its not as good as “Old Rasputin” (ultimately my favorite) but it is quite a bit easier on the bitterness factor, especially compared to the standard version of Yeti. The oak aging really does subdue the bite, but honestly that’s what I’m missing. It bites, just not hard enough in my opinion…I had the same problem with my girlfriend… I’d recommend this for people who are put off by too much bite but like a lot of body and with hops to boot!
Until next beer this is Brian G. singing out!