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Sporting Wood

What nasty weather we've been having the last few weeks! It almost looks like Autumn. The worst day of the lot was last Wednesday, when it rained pretty much the whole day. When I left early in the morning I didn't think of taking a raincoat, let alone an umbrella, and all I had on me was a t-shirt and a sweater (besides jeans and shoes, your pervs!).

The walk between the bus stop and my house was miserable. After having managed to dry a bit during the trip, I got soaked to the bones again. But still, I was in a rather good mood, I'd had a good day at work and fancied drinking a special beer. The weather called for something strong, rich and very dark. Fortunately, I had several barrel and wooden aged dark beers in my cellar.

By the time I got home I had already made up my mind: Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Co.. With that name and a respectable 9.5%ABV, I know I couldn't go wrong.

It had reached me, together with two more samples of new American Beers, thanks to Todd, a fellow beer enthusiast that had come for a visit from the other side of the pond. We spent a great day together. We visited two brewpubs and a hospoda and had a couple (too many) beers, all while discussing what's happening in the American and Czech beer scenes. Curiously, that day was also chilly and rainy, and we decided to cap our session sharing a bottle of Kopi Loewak from De Mollen, another coffee flavoured Imperial Stout (and what a beer that was!).

But back to the Yeti. After having changed from my wet clothes and drinking the strong tea my lovely wife had prepared me, I picked the bottle I had left chilling in the fridge when I arrived.
Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout pours as black as the future, topped by a darker shade of cappuccino coloured head. There's a lot for the nose to work on, some booze that it's kept in line by a strong dose of freshly ground coffee that almost peripherally is joined by flowers and dried fruit, a very interesting mix. The taste is even more complex: strong coffee, brown sugar, wood, raisins and prunes, bitter chocolate, everything coming at you pretty much at the same time and rolling around over a pretty unctuous body. There is some booze here, too. It tickles the tip of the tongue and reminded me a bit of Fernet. The finish is very, very long and if any of you has ever had a very strong Italian ristretto without sugar, you'll know what I'm talking about.

This is a strong Yeti. The 0.65l bottle is ideal for a beer like this because it is a brew you'll want to share. I drank it in three steps (always letting my better half have a few sips) and enjoyed each of them. I won't go as far as to say it blew my mind, but it was exactly what I wanted and expected from it, no more, no less, and that it's no small thing.

Thanks Todd for this friendly monster. The other two bottles, Boulevard Smokestack Series Collaboration No. 1 and Russian River Supplication are in the cellar, waiting for their respective right times.

Na Zdraví!

Reserve yourPrague hotel and win a walking tour.


  1. 'pours as black as the future'

    Was the glass half full or half empty when you made this observation?

    Sounds like a beer I'd love to try!

  2. The glass was filling up, actually :)

  3. Damn, Todd brought you some VERY good beers from the states. Great choices--those beers are hard to find in the states, much less CZ. Very nice.

  4. Jay,

    That is the second best thing about what I do here (the first being to get to meet the people and become friends, all while sharing a few beers)


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