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Is more of a good thing better? Many microbreweries seem to think so, at least where bitterness is concerned. Hence the current arms race in heavily hopped beer, with such designations as twice-hopped and triple-hopped. That's the significance of "twice" in this name. A brand extension to Muskoka's fine, and deliciously bitter, Mad Tom India Pale Ale, this comes with double the pleasure (or pain if you happen to be a habitués of, say, Corona or Bud Light). But Muskoka, an excellent producer, shows method in its madness. The copper-amber brew balances all that extra hop content with ample, almost sweet tropical and fruit and toffee. The texture is rich and creamy, too, which makes for a friendly impression. It's not just Mad Tom with a vendetta; it's another beer altogether, and a very good one. If you let the flavours linger long enough before taking another sip, you'll notice the hops rise up on the finish with a bracing, pine-like essence and more citrus. Remarkably, there's enough fruity flavour and complexity here to fully disguise the formidable 8.4-per-cent alcohol, and that's a telltale mark of a well-crafted brew.

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About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More


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