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From Hi-Wire Brewing, drink this jelly doughnut and feel like Russian royalty
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Hi-Wire Brewing Co.'s Jelly Donut 10W-40 imperial stout. - photo by Nick Bowman

Walking into a beer shop is my equivalent to being a kid in a candy shop.

My eyes quickly scan the selection before settling on the most interesting brew. 

Jelly Donut 10W-40

Brewery: Hi-Wire Brewing

Alcohol by volume: 8%

Style: Imperial stout

Bottom line: A satisfying doughnut replacement

Walking into a beer shop is my equivalent to being a kid in a candy shop.

My eyes quickly scan the selection before settling on the most interesting brew. 

With its vibrant rainbow letters and minimalistic design that resembles white icing slathered on a strawberry doughnut, I snatched up a four-pack of Hi-Wire Brewing’s Jelly Donut 10W-40 beer.

Who could resist a beer that claims to taste like a jelly doughnut?

Hi-Wire’s marketing crew knows what they’re doing, and I fell into their trap, if a little willingly. 

The jelly doughnut beer is a variant of 10W-40 Imperial Stout, which is brewed with coffee from Dynamite Roasting Co., chocolate from French Broad Chocolates and vanilla. 

To make the jelly doughnut version, brewers added boysenberries, sweet cherries, deconstructed doughnut glaze and lactose to the mix. 

I went into this beer tasting with a little too much enthusiasm, but luckily, my hopes weren’t crushed. 

This beer is sweet, malty and chocolatey up front, then swoops in with a burst of berry flavor.

It’s like biting into a boozy jelly doughnut.

For someone who isn’t the biggest fan of cavity-inducing desserts, I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. 

When I picked up the beer, I expected it to be bold. Whenever the word “imperial” is slapped on a beer, it’s usually indicative of the beer’s bold flavor. 

I usually see the imperial addition in IPAs, pilsners and stouts, but I know a truck load of others variations exist.

Labeling a beer as imperial had a different meaning in the 18th century. In today’s craft breweries, imperial tends to signify double or triple the hops or malt in the brewing process, resulting in a bold beer with higher alcohol content.

In the late 1700s, England’s strong stout was favored not only by Russian citizens, but the Russian Imperial Court. 

According to All About Beer Magazine, when Catherine the Great —  empress of Russia from 1762-1796 — discovered the beer, the style became cemented in Russian legend and the “imperial” moniker was born.

Today just about every craft brewery in the U.S. has its own rendition of an imperial beer. 

If you’re in the market for a heavier beer that boasts big flavors, scan your go-to taproom or beer store for an imperial brew. 

Unfortunately, the jelly doughnut beer is an elusive brew, that had a special release in November. If you’re eager to try it, I found my cans at Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits, at 5877 Buford Highway NE in Doraville. 

Hi-Wire Brewing has locations in Asheville, Durham and Knoxville. For more information about the brewery, visit hiwirebrewing.com

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