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Hi-Wire Brewing | Twice as Nice Doppelbock

Hi-Wire Brewing | Twice as Nice Doppelbock
Christopher Hilliard

Thanks to winter and its falling temperatures, I find myself indoors more than out. I’m sure those of you in the cold-prone states are no different. And what do we want while we’re stuck inside? Comfort and entertainment, that’s what. Fortunately for those of us in North Carolina, we can venture to the beer store and take home an entire circus in the form of beer.

Among the many attractions in the cirque du bier that is Hi-Wire Brewing, there is one (two?) that sets itself apart (though not from each other). The Siamese twins known as Twice as Nice are a black lager inspired by the traditional German doppelbock style. Typically robust beers with high alcohol content, Twice as Nice is no different. Where it sets itself apart is in the flavor profile. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we should pour the beer before we taste it.

It pours a color somewhere between ink and midnight with a subtle ruby undertone that might go unnoticed if you didn’t shine a light up to it. If you pour hard enough, you’ll get a rich, foamy head, but due to the high alcohol content (10%), it’s not very persistent. It smells most strongly of malt with hints of chocolate and whispers of dark fruit (fig, plum), and the taste is true to these impressions. The texture — its most unique attribute — is surprisingly smooth for a malty brew with a double-digit ABV. For the curious, such smoothness comes as a result of Hi-Wire’s eight-week lagering process, during which the beer is clarified, allowing for undesirable components like sulfur and dead yeast to fall out of solution. It’s so smooth that you might not even notice the alcohol until it gets into your stomach. At which point, you’ll undoubtedly experience a pleasant warming sensation.

Twice as Nice delivers where it counts. It is rich, smooth and delicious. The alcohol warms body and mind. And it’s very reasonably priced, about $10 for a sixer where I live between Chapel Hill and Durham. A first choice for a frosty night.

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