SIxpoint is in the midst of an impressive run of canned releases. First it was their new summer seasonal, the easy-drinking, super-refreshing wheat beer Apollo, then it was the introduction of longtime draft-favorite Brownstone to their core lineup, followed by a really great new version of their fall seasonal, the deliciously wet-hopped Autumnation. And now, their winter seasonal, Diesel, is starting to show up on store shelves.
Like plenty of other Sixpoint offerings, Diesel is somewhat difficult to pin down. As the can would seem to suggest, it pours pretty much pitch black with two fingers worth of a creamy, off-white head. But its stout-like appearance is quickly contradicted by the exceedingly pleasant burst of piney hops you get in the aroma, suggesting that perhaps Diesel would be more aptly characterized as a Black IPA. That pineyness in the aroma is followed by substantial chocolate notes—and not the rich dark chocolate that tends to pop up in so many great beers, but a sweeter, lighter milk chocolate, to the point where I kept being reminded of milk stouts like Left Hand's. In the taste, you'll get another hint of that pineyness up front, followed by even more prominent chocolate and then roasted, almost burnt malts, before finishing with a surprising, lingering bitterness. There's a fair amount of carbonation too, which seems to thin out the mouthfeel and boost drinkability.
So whether it's a Black IPA or an American Stout or something else altogether, it's sort of beside the point—which is basically Sixpoint's M.O., mind you. If you're inclined to ask questions about the type of beer you're drinking, Diesel will have you asking lots of them. If you prefer to simply sit there and drink beers that are obviously delicious and perfectly appropriate for the season, then Diesel has you covered there, too.