Saturday, December 15, 2012

548. Sixpoint Diesel

Each dawn is clear
Cold air bites the throat.
Thick frost on the pine bough
Leaps from the tree snapped by the deisel

The above are the opening lines from the eighth poem in the “Logging” section of Gary Snyder’s Myths and Texts; it is also the excerpt Sixpoint uses to keep their poetry-theme going with Diesel. How can anyone not love beer and poetry? Well, I mean, as long as you have a soul. Our previous dalliances with Sixpoint include Apollo, Bengali Tiger IPARighteous Rye, that sweet, Sweet Action, and Signal.

Diesel pours a clear chocolate with some light red highlights and a cafe au lait-colored head that manages to hang around for a while, and even provide some lacing on the glass along the way. It also rouses rather easily when swirled. The nose is a mix of roast and pine, with the pine rather faint and in the background; as it warms, there is also some caramel sweetness and a more pronounced bitterness. Flavors start with roast, caramel, dark chocolate, and a touch of brown sugar, leading into pine and hop bitterness in the middle. The finish is dry and crisp, with residual caramel flavor mixed in with creaminess and even more bitterness; there is also a touch of mineral chalkiness and burnt toast, and maybe a hint of alcohol buried behind the bitterness. The body is thin, with more bitterness than roastiness, and none of the weird sourness found in some of the other Black IPAs we’ve sampled: it strikes us as more Black IPA than stout—even if we were pretending it was a dry stout—regardless of Sixpoint’s description on the website. There is some lingering astringent roast that is the last remaining flavor on the back of the throat—it almost comes across as alcohol heat, if that makes any sense. Nonetheless, a solid beer from a solid brewery: the emphasis on bitterness got good marks from Elli, and I found both the bitterness and the dark flavors with a light body enjoyable and refreshing. Word.

From the can: “On the darkest days of the year, light becomes a luxury. Just when you think you cannot penetrate the darkness. . .SNAP! Light pierces through the roasted pine forest.”

From the Sixpoint website: “This undefinable black brew is part black IPA, part American Stout, but 100% Diesel powered. Robust chocolate and roasted flavors, with thick pine hop flavor and aroma.”

ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 69
SRM: 33


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