Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/10/2016 (1601 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Last week, Torque Brewing’s canned beer made its very first appearance in Brandon. Torque’s not distributing to Westman yet, but it is hoping to be available on tap and in cans throughout Westman in the near future.
Instead, a Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries rep brought several dozen Torque beers to Brandon to be sold at the 10th Street and Victoria Avenue 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 The 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 downtown 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. The stout tops out at a modest 6.5 per cent ABV and a surprising 65 IBU which makes it more bitter than many India pale ales out there. It pours a rich, dark-as-night black that’s heavy 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. It is quite a bit more bitter than your typical stout.
The only complaint I’ve heard about it was that "this stout is too bitter," which is a valid comment, but Torque is going a different direction than most of the other stouts you can get in Manitoba.
The stout still has that rich, creamy, roasted malt and chocolate profile that you see in just about every stout, but with the incredible 65 IBU (bitterness rating), it’s going to intrigue some people and likely annoy others.
For some reason, whenever I savour this beer, it reminds me a lot of another beer. Then, I realized it, Diesel Fitter 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 this weekend because I liked this beer a bit too much that I bought six cans over the past week.
In coming weeks you’ll find Diesel Fitter, Witty Belgian, What the Helles Lager and others become 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 Grant Avenue and Pembina Highway for $3.71 per 473 ml can.