Beer Review 0380: Sixpoint Diesel Stout

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Sixpoint Brewery, located in Brooklyn, New York, was founded in 2004, but they say the company was actually born at the dawn of civilization, when grains were first being harvested to make fermented beverages. See, Sixpoint believes that beer is culture, and how right they are — whether they be talking about human beings or yeast strains.

Sixpoint began in an 800 square foot garage at the hands of college classmates Shane Welch and Andrew Bronstein. Andrew, native to Brooklyn, provided the cash needed to start up the brewery, while Shane, an avid homebrewer, came up with the recipes. The Sixpoint logo is a combination of the brewer’s hexagram and the nautical star.

Relatively new to widespread distribution, Sixpoint once only kegged beer and filled growlers — they started canning (all their beers come in cans) in June 2011. At first canning, Sixpoint only had a core line of beers; since then, with the turn of each season, they’ve been introducing appropriate offerings. Diesel is their winter beer, which they say is part Black IPA, part Stout. Coming in at 6.3% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 69 IBUs (International Bitterness Units), Diesel advertises chocolate and roasted flavors with some pine notes thanks to the hops.

Unfortunately, Sixpoint doesn’t distribute here in North Carolina. Thanks to Dave (OnWisconsin on Untappd) for sending me this can in a trade!

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Pouring from the can yielded a large, creamy head that settled a bit into pillowy layers of foam. The color of the beer is a dark brown; it’s quite ruby red when held to light. The body was clear, free of particles and sediment. Lacing was excellent, leaving fluffy tan suds down my glass as I sipped.

The nose was subdued but breathed a little more life as the drink warmed; there are initial notes of grapefruit and pine, combined with chocolate and black coffee. It’s roasted with a hint of smoke, and when warmer, the hoppy pine and coffee scents really come to the front. Overall, I thought the aroma to be lacking just because it was so subdued.

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Too hoppy to be a Stout and too malty to be a Black IPA: initial flavors are some grapefruit and big pine, prickly to the tongue up front, but creamy in the middle where the malts come out. Creamy coffee and a touch of dark chocolate lead into a finish that is piney bitter with acidic black coffee notes. Diesel is medium-bodied, with a thin, foamy mouthfeel.

Diesel is a nicely balanced beer and is very drinkable with flavors that are good but not overly complex. I did find the aroma to be disappointing but overall this is a very good brew that walks the line between two styles and seems appropriate for the winter. And I love the 16 oz. can.

Sixpoint Diesel Stout, 85 points. Price: $2.59 US for one 16 oz. can.

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