Diesel Black IPA/Stout
According to my Untappd, the first Sixpoint beer I had was Diesel, the Brooklyn brewery’s hybrid black IPA and stout. I remember getting my hands on that first can of Sixpoint and being really excited to finally try something from one of the most-hyped breweries I’d seen in a long time.
I’ve regularly gotten my hands on Sixpoint beers since then – take a look at my archives and see – and have been continually impressed with the new stuff they’ve been putting out. But with Diesel being their winter seasonal, I’ve had to wait until now to really get into it.
Diesel is blend of a black IPA and an American stout, with the end result leaning more toward the former. As with most Sixpoint beers, it’s hoppy as all get-out, but not in an overly abrasive way.
For a “stout,” this beer is monstrously hoppy. There’s a lot of pine and citrus on the nose that is halted just slightly by this nutty, biscuity malt note. The slight sweetness mellows out what I think would otherwise be a hop bomb of a “stout.” There’s a light roasted coffee note in there as well. Also, there’s a bit of a fruity sweetness there, too, sort of like a light banana ester note or some cherry juice. It’s faint, but it’s there.
The taste begins with a strong pinch of citrus bitterness right on the front of the tongue. The body is lighter and just slightly thin, and the carbonation is mild throughout. In the middle of the mouth, these big bitter roasted notes arise. It’s just slightly more mellow than black coffee, but it leaves the same lingering bitterness on your tongue. There’s a good bit of bittersweet chocolate in there as well. On the end is where the malts really become prominent. There’s this chewy bread characteristic and a really strong roasted grain quality. The hops finish it all out, leaving that lingering citrus and pine bitterness on the back of your tongue.
While Diesel is a great beer, it’s probably the least favorite of Sixpoint’s selection I’ve had so far. Don’t get me wrong: It’s good and I certainly enjoy it, but it just seems like a strange, if unique, blend. If it was marketed as just a straight black IPA, I wouldn’t even be able to look for or pick up on any of the stout qualities. Still, I’m a hophead and Diesel certainly hits the spot for me.