Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sixpoint Diesel

Another Sixpoint already? You'd think I like this brewery or something ;) Anyway, this is one of their newer releases and it seems to be marketed as "not quite a Black IPA, but not quite a stout." I also change up the shooting location for this review. I may use this setting more often. Let me know what you think.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (617) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 12, 2012
The "Black IPA" is a fairly new, and somewhat controversial style to the American craft beer scene. But then along comes Sixpoint Diesel - a beer that doesn’t really fit the mold of the Black IPA style, but seems too overtly hoppy to be considered a traditional stout - so what the heck it is? Who cares? It’s beers like this that show how arbitrary styles are and how anal-retentive beer nerds can be about slapping a label onto something. It’s a very hoppy dark beer that’s tasty and easy to drink - that’s good enough for me.

I poured a 16oz can into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pitch black body - completely opaque. Forms a gorgeous dark tan, creamy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: For such a dark beer the aroma is surprisingly light and flowery. Definite floral bouquet with light citrus and even fainter chocolate notes.

Taste: I can see why people would consider this a Black IPA because as soon as it hits the tongue all you taste is hops. It’s much more hoppy per se than it is bitter. Floral hops with noticeable citrusy tartness are the first flavors to appear. It then changes course to a more traditional form of bitterness found in stouts with prominent dark chocolate notes. This then gives way to a sweeter, less intense taste of milk chocolate. Finally, the aftertaste produces an interesting combination of slight notes of rum, raisin, and sticky sappy pine resin.

The can indicates a bitterness level of 69 IBUs and that’s a very accurate description as Sixpoint Diesel is by far one of the most hoppy and bitter "stouts" I’ve ever encountered. The hops never fade away and actually seem to build up in the aftertaste the more I drink. It’s an interesting combination of piney, almost astringent character and the semi-sweet bitterness of baker’s chocolate. The only thing that’s missing from this beer is the roasted malt stout drinkers would expect. Still, it’s a tasty beer and an interesting one at that.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 6.3% ABV, Sixpoint Diesel is not all that big of a beer, but it definitely has the sheer energy and body of a stronger beer. Plenty of hop presence in the mouth during and after each swig but without a trace of alcohol. The mouthfeel is a very comfortable, velvety texture that’s tepid but not thin. I drank this with a bit of a sore throat and it was actually quite soothing! A beer probably best paired with a hearty meal instead of dessert.
Grade: 8/10

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