There are great beasts wandering the wilderness, not all of whom have been photographed, catalogued, vivisected, dissected, DNA mapped and whatever else it is that scientists do with animals. There is so much we do not know. Oh, sure, the aliens who visit regularly have probably gleaned all sorts of information from the anal probes performed on these undiscovered creatures (Do you really believe that the aliens only perform anal probes on Harvard Professors? I think not) but the aliens rarely, if ever, share the results of their experiments with us. We have much to learn.
As a rugged outdoorsman*, extreme adventurer**, and acolyte of Teddy Roosevelt***, I have spent months at a time in the wild unmapped corners of the globe, and have had close encounters with a variety of cryptozoological phenomenon. There was the time I was fly fishing on Lake Champlain and hooked Champ but was unable to land the beast. Growing up in New Jersey, the Jersey Devil was a regular visitor to our backyard, stopping to swim in our pool, before taking off for the flight to the Pine Barrens. I have had several recent encounters with the Chupacabra while out walking my dogs, and the less said about my experience with the Mothman, the better.
It is in the field of Sasquatch studies that I have been most successful. On a recent trip to the Himalayas, I encountered the Yeti. More importantly, I encountered two distinct kinds of Yeti.
The first encounter was with the Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti. The espresso in the name is the prominent aroma and flavor of this big bold stout, and while that is the dominant flavor, there is plenty of vanilla from the oak, not to mention the roasted malty goodness of a fine stout. At 9.5 % ABV, this is a sipping beer, and the next one I have will be paired with a cigar. Oh yeah, I am planning another encounter with this beast, 8/10.
My second encounter with the Yeti was odd. He (I assume it was a ‘he’ but I did not get a clear look at the genitalia of the beast) approached me, speaking a Dutch-French dialect, gnawing on a waffle. He also offered me a Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti. It had the rich roasted malt flavors you expect in an imperial stout, with the funky fruity flavors you get from Belgian yeast. Those flavors were slightly overwhelmed by the roasted malts, but were still noticeable, adding a subtle funkiness to this interesting beer, 7.5/10.
The North American Yeti, known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch, is an elusive beast. He has been spotted in every state except Hawaii, but no carcasses have ever been discovered, and the few photographs and films are of dubious quality. Bigfoot has many names, depending on the region you are in, and in Florida he is known as the Swamp Ape, and that is where I encountered him. He is maltier than the standard Imperial IPA, but there is a nice bitter bite from the five varieties of hops used in the brew. It has a whopping 10% ABV, but that is balanced by some fruity esters. Not the greatest example of an Imperial IPA, as it is a bit thin, but worth a sip if you come across it, 6.0/10.
* Not true.
**Really not true
***Sort of true