Review: Torque Diesel Fitter Stout

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Originally posted in the Brandon Sun, October 7, 2016

Last week, Torque Brewing’s canned beer made their very first appearance in Brandon! Torque’s not distributing to Westman yet but they are hoping to be available on tap and in cans throughout Westman ASAP (meaning next year, maybe). Instead, an awesome MLLC rep brought several dozen Torque beers to Brandon to be sold at the 10th & Victoria Liquor Mart to give local beer geeks another sample of the brewery’s beer for those who missed out on the partial tap takeover a few weeks back! Torque’s Witty Belgian witbier, Witching Hour Dark Pumpkin Ale and Diesel Fitter American Stout all made it to Brandon. Witching Hour is already out of stock and Diesel Fitter and Witty Belgian are the only remaining beers at the 10th & Victoria Liquor Mart until Torque starts distributing to Brandon in the near future, which hopefully is sooner rather than later.

The days are getting shorter and colder so it’s the perfect time to review Torque’s Diesel Fitter American Stout. The stout tops out at a modest 6.5% ABV and a surprising 65 IBU which makes it more bitter than many India Pale Ales out there. The stout pours a rich, dark as night black stout that’s heavy and with a nice full cookie dough beige head that just screams “winter is coming!!!” The aroma is roasted malt forward giving off notes of coffee, chocolate/cocoa powder, vanilla and a surprisingly liberal amount of earthy hops. The flavour profile starts off with a rich roasted maltiness that, like the aroma gives off a good coffee and chocolate flavour to it, just like a mocha - rich and creamy. There’s a great deal of earthy hops popping up giving off a taste that I can only describe as what reminds me of “dead grass and leaves right before the first snowfall of the year”.. yeah, it sounds weird but it just has a flavour profile that forces you to accept that winter will be here in a few weeks. The stout is quite a bit more bitter than your typical stout.

The only complaint I’ve heard about this stout was “this stout is too bitter”, which is a valid comment but they’re going a different direction than most of the other stouts you can get in Manitoba. The stout still has that rich, creamy, roasted malt & chocolate profile that you see on just about every stout but with the incredible 65 IBU (bitterness rating), it’s going to intrigue some people but likely annoy others. For some reason whenever I savour this beer, it reminds me a lot of another beer.. then I realized it.. it reminded me of a mashup of Fort Garry’s Kona Stout and Half Pints’ Stir Stick Stout.. which shouldn’t be much of a surprise as two of Torque’s brew technicians created and worked on Fort Garry’s Kona Stout for many years. I was lucky enough to try Diesel Fitter at Flatlanders Beer Festival in Winnipeg back in June and I have to say that the beer has come a long way since then.. to the point where you probably won’t be able to buy any Diesel Fitter Stout at the 10th & Victoria Liquor Mart this weekend because I liked this beer a bit too much that I bought six cans over the past week. In coming weeks, if we're lucky.. you will find Diesel Fitter, Witty Belgian, What the Helles Lager and others becoming permanent fixtures at Liquor Marts, beer vendors and bars throughout Brandon and Westman so this is a sneak peak of what to expect. For now, you can find this on tap at many of Winnipeg’s pubs including Barley Brothers, Peg Beer Co and in can at Liquor Marts throughout Winnipeg and at beer vendors such as the Quality Inn Beer Store off of Grant and Pembina Avenue. $3.71 per 473mL can

4.5/5 Pints