A BIG Beer (briefly)

Beer reviews? Of other people’s beer? Definitely a first on this site, but not a last…at least until everyone is drinking ours! I will however preface this review, and by the transitive property any others henceforth, by saying that I’m no expert. None of us are. We like what we like, and that said, we all like good beer (Eileen?), but everyone’s taste is different. Just because I say that something’s good or bad doesn’t mean I know what I’m talking about. Hopefully you’ll be able to align yourselves with some of our tastes, and share a contrary opinion on others. Please comment! We’d like to know what everyone thinks!

So, I went to Total Wine yesterday, and as usual, spent a bit too much money on perhaps a bit too little beer. For those of you who don’t know, Total Wine is something like the alcohol equivalent of Whole Foods. They have tons of stuff, more than anywhere else in the Marietta area, and they let you “build your own” six packs of single beers. I came home with two. For $43. Needless to say, there were some special things in there, and I’d like to briefly tell you about one.

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I discovered this little gem while perusing the menu at Taco Mac the other night: Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. That’s a lot of descriptors. But, as the name(s) implies, it’s big, it’s dark, it’s complex, it’s everywhere. According to the brewery’s website, this is exactly the same beer as the Yeti Imperial. However, it is aged in oak casks (hello Real Ale) to impart a smoother taste accented with vanilla undertones. Clocking in at 9.5% ABV and 75 IBUs, it’s no session stout, and that’s a great thing. You pour it into a glass and are greeted by a strong, frothy head bursting with coffee aroma. Your first sip is similar: strong, and bursting. The mouth-feel is rich, as it should be in a beer of this stature, and the heaviness of the brew totally mellows out the bittering hops, creating a collision of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla (as described above) on the palate that drinks smoothly despite the high alcohol content. Definitely recommended to any who appreciate a little coffee kick in their stout. Also, try pouring a little in the bottom of a mug and top it with vanilla ice cream. Let the ice cream melt for a minute, and enjoy!

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