Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Imperial PorterThomas Hooker Imperial Porter

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

281 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 281
Hads: 350
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 56
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2003

Full bodied and rich color, our imperial porter has hints of roasted coffee, cocoa with a generous hop finish. Dark roasted malts blended with the crispness of English hops, this beer is smooth yet complex.

65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 281 | Hads: 350
Photo of DefenCorps
2.04/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

There are some fine gents out there who toss two year old bottles as extras in trades. I was lucky to trade with one of them - thanks Steve! 2006 vintage decanted into my snifter as I shiver.

A: The top of this beer makes a huge pop as I flip it. This is a relief, the last TH beer I cracked open gave me nary a whimper. In my glass, this beer sits handsomely, almost black, with a finger-thick dark brown head that slowly recedes to a disk. Solid

S: Another relief - no obvious infection! Smells of dark chocolate syrup, licorice and pleasant oxidation with port notes. Rich and malty, this has aged to be quite a beautiful beer.
*As this warms up, there's a definite infected note that completely overpowers everything else. While I love funk, there's good funk and there's bad funk. This is the latter, with an unpleasant lactic-like sourness.

T: WTF? This is turning out to be tart and COMPLETELY unlike the initial nose. There's a pronounced sourness, a kind I haven't encountered in an intentionally funked beer. There was a little bit of chocolate and malt complexity when cold but it's all gone now. All that remains is an awful beer

M: Infected, decent carbonation, medium body, AWFUL finish

D: Nope, thanks, I'll pass and drink a real porter instead. (1,265 characters)

Photo of talkingpoints
2.56/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thomas hooker Imperial Porter 2004 is not quite my cup of beer. The packaging of the huge liter bottle is impressive but the taste I've come to love from winter porters wasn't quite here. The porter was on the bitter side which while not bad kind of masked the flavors a lot and the hops were just a tad too much for such a big offering. This beer is probably a favorite of the stout crowd because that is what it reminded me of. All said, it was a decent brew but I still don't know what the fuss is about. i'll probably try this again in a week to see if I still feel the same way but for now I'm moving on. (609 characters)

Photo of Pleepleus
2.6/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass from bottle that was "Bottled in 2006". Black with brown hues and a tan bubbly quarter inch head. Chocolate sweet smell, and thats where the good part ended sadly. Strong coffe and caramel with heavy alcohol. The heavy coffee bitterness lingers too long. This seems more like a stout than a porter. I am not a fan. (339 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
2.64/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I got this bottle in a trade with Nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

Pours from 500ml swing top bottle a pitch black with a 1 finger head of tan foam. Nice lacing.

The smell has a lot of caramel malt sweetness, light coffee, and a pretty strong tart note. Tart?

The taste has a good chocolate and caramel sweetness with some light coffee and some chocolate bitterness but...there's that tartness I noted in the smell. Something is amiss here, me thinks....I can't finish the bottle. :^( (477 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.7/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - This pours a deep brown-black, and is capped with a wispy cream-hued froth.

S - The nose is very hoppy, offering impressions of lemon pith and lime juice as well as notes of green peppercorn. The malt is basically nowhere to be found, in terms of aroma.

T - Initially, I did not like this at all. I almost drainpoured it after the first couple swigs. I let it chill out for a minute or ten, and it got significantly nicer, which is still nothing to write home about. The malt is very light, and it does not seem to possess any appreciable character. This beer is too hoppy, and just tastes unbalanced (and also slightly of pencil shavings.)

M - The feel is medium, the carbonation is semi-pert.

D - I had previously only had the oak-aged version of this brew (way better), but I was unaware that it was actually a different brew than this, as it does not indicate that it is oak-aged on the bottle. (907 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.88/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not what I was expecting after all the hype and honestly I was a bit disappointed. Nice 2004 swing-top bottle. Served room temperature because that is how I prefer my porters. The appearance and aroma were overall quite good. Poured a chocolate brown with a finger deep head. The aroma is dark chocolate and very bitter coffee. The taste had a very strong alcohol bite and was not very smooth. The hop bitters also kicked in high gear, but I could not really find the malts to balance it out. I let it breathe for a while and came back, but the malts were still all lost. The mouthfeel is just all bitter hops, the blance is lacking. The drinkability for me is rather low because between the alcohol and the hops I am now enjoying this beer within the style. While I recognize it in and of itself as a singular beer, I still cannot find much that makes me go "Wow!" (865 characters)

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
2.91/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage. Thanks to Jyp for bringing this back for me.

A - No head, dark body. Eh.

S - Nice sweet aroma, chocolate, wood and coffee notes, all very well balenced. Slight bitterness at the finish. No off aromas.

T - Starts out to tart for my tastes, but finishes very nice and dry. Noted cinnamon, chocolate, but lots dead points in the palate. I expected a lot more...

M - Weak and lacking carbonation...

D - I feel like a lot of the problems with with beer come from the fact that has just been aged to long. Would love to try a fresh batch sometime... (562 characters)

Photo of hellbilly
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

swing top from dogfish120love. big thanks!

pours a reddish shade of black/brown with a soft peanut butter colored head. lots of drippy lacing.

aromas of chocolate, nutty roasted grains, malt powder, earthy spices and sour fruit. not a whole lot and certainly nothing special.

heavy ashy roast dominates the flavor with caramel, graininess, molasses-y black raisins, coffee, noble grassy hops, flowers and some chocolate playing a secondary role. there's a dry tart finish (which seems out of place) leading to a very pleasant aftertaste of black licorice and sweetened black coffee. medium body as the carbonation builds on my tongue.

something is off in this beer. i cannot exactly put my finger on it though. it has it's good moments but as a whole it doesn't feel cohesive???
6/3/6/3/12/3.0 (800 characters)

Photo of lostbearbrew
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1 liter bottle with swing top cap - not sure that is anything to say but it is cool. 2004 vintage.

Poured into a snifter; color was almost an opaque black with some red coming through on the edges. There was very little head.

It smelled of lager yeast up front, and then hops and some roasted coffee beans and maybe some chocolate (bitter or perhaps pungent is the better word.)

Taste was remarkably different from what I'd expect out of an Imperial Porter...rush of hops, strong, (acrid almost) coffee, and some very strong lager yeast taste, more than I think I should have been able to taste. Despite trying to let both glasses I had warm up some, hoping for better results I was denied. The beer seemed to grow more bitter and slightly more single dimensional as it warmed. I can't say I'll be trying another of these big bad boys. (844 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pt. 9 fl. oz./500 ml bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
2006 vintage

The bottle opened with a loud "pop."

The beer poured a near pitch black with a huge, tan, bubbly, rocky head that lasted until the drink's end.

The smell was mild and rather odd. Dry, aspriny and slightly yeasty with a noticeable barnyard funk (almost lambic-like). Very unusual for the style.

The flavor was subtle initially but came out more as the beer warmed. A mix of deep roasted malts, chocolate, smooth caramel malts and boozy alcohol was noticeable up front. Bitter coffee appeared in the center. The finish was dark, dry and roasty with a lingering piney hop flavor and a distinct smokiness.

Mouthfeel was quite thin and very bubbly.

This beer was a bit of a disappointment overall. I expected much more in terms of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel. (859 characters)

Photo of Thads324
3.21/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bought a 4 pk. of 12 oz. bottles

A : pours a nice black color with hints of redness in the light. A solid tan head dissipates quickly.

S : hints of coffee and caramel. A little roasted. Slight alcohol at the end.

T : The first taste you receive from this brew is the alcohol that was not very apparent in the aroma. It transitions slowly into a roasted malt flavor with a good coffee and light hop flavor. The taste leaves the mouth quickly, but the alcohol remains. The boom slows down as you venture through the pint

M : the carbonation is good on this porter and it fills the tongue.

D : one is good for me, too much alcohol flavor without a balance of complexity.

Don't get me wrong, I love imperial anything, but the wave of booze in the beginning takes away from the rest of the beer. The second half of this beer has wonderful flavor and it would probably mix nicely with an ipa for an interesting black and tan. I would not recommend spending $10 on a 4 pack of these guys to anyone as it is just not complex enough. Overpriced for being ordinary... (1,063 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.27/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle (glad they got rid of the swingtops) it's an opaque dark brown with about one finger of light tan head. Keeps a dollop in the middle and some lace around the edges, but not much more than that.

Smell is initially quite fruity, with some dark fruits and a bit of citrus too. Then I get some dark caramel, molasses, and some subtle chocolaty and smoky notes.

Taste is more roasty than the smell was (I was searching for the roasted malt in the nose and could not get much), with a big roasted malt base. There is some smoke and some substantial bitterness in the finish; tastes charred or burned actually. Those qualities really dominate unfortunately. There is some dark fruit and caramel sweetness but I think a lot of the other qualities from the nose are buried by the roasted malt and burned flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite smooth at first, but the burned quality gives it an astringency that starts to take away from the feel as the glass progresses. Unpleasant at times.

Based on some of the other more recent reviews and my own experience, as compared to the overall rating and some of the older reviews, I wonder what has happened to this beer. Clearly it was a great beer once, but the one in my glass is not. The burned flavor just kills it, masking the other flavors and giving it an unpleasant, bitter astringency. Maybe they should bring back the swingtops afterall... (1,425 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Brewfan for the trade! Even though this has since dropped off the BA top 100, I'd been looking forward to it for a while.

Beautiful pour. Black with brownish edges, and an offwhite head that settles to a long lasting thin white rim.

Smell is a bit offputting. I was taken aback. Some earthy hops and a ... yeast? ... undertone along with a hint of coffee. The taste offered more of the coffee and chocolate backing that I was expecting, but the earthy/pine hops and strange yeast flavoring were decidedly offputting. Nice chewy mouthfeel, though.

This could be a case of being disappointed that a beer isn't what you expected, but I just sampled the absolutely Duck-Rabbit Porter a few weeks ago. This was a disappointment on many levels. (752 characters)

Photo of seanwhite
3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell: Strong, malty smell with some roasted and burnt aromas, and drops of chocolate and coffee

A: This one pours a dark brown color with a small light brown head

T: The taste is similar to the nose, malty and roast, light-medium sweet, hints of earth on finish. Light-medium bodied (lighter then expected for the style),

M: Creamy mouthfeel, and no burn

Overall Impression: Overall, I thought this was a decent Imperial Porter, but it just didn’t quite hit for me. There was something a little lacking, maybe a little thin, about it in both flavor and body, that kept the score from being higher. (606 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11/30/05- Received via trade with Connecticutpoet.

Presentation- 1 liter swingtop bottle with a 2004 strip over the cap. Poured into my Duvel tulip. THe bottle spewed huge amounts of beer upon opening :( Infected?

Appearance- Off black colored pour with a huge 2 inch head. Leaves decent lacing.

Smell- Hmmm, smells good enough. Has a nice bittersweet chocolate smell with espresso-like notes as well. Dark malt, but not super dark.

Taste- Very odd salty taste to go along with a hefty smokey malt flavor. I really can decent virtually no chocolate or coffee. Mostly burnt malt and smoke.

Mouthfeel- salt lick like feeling with medium carbonation.

Drinkability- I'll pass on this one in the future unless I got an infected bottle. Kinda bummed as I was really looking forward to this one. (806 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass. Being a winter seasonal it must have a few months on it...duh.

A - Dark cola brown body with red tints. Really light mocha head.

S - Roasted malts and chocolate. Smells like burnt chocolate syrup.

T - Some oddly bitter roasted malts and cocoa powder. Really lasting and bitter. Mouth feel is pretty thin for this much flavor. Alcohol does creep in slightly.

O - Ehhh. I do like Hooker, but this was a bit of a let down. Perhaps its better fresh, but the driving bitter roastiness was a bit tiring. I guess its in between a porter and a stout. The flavors seem to be a bit intense and big, while the body is thinner. (661 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near black in color. Smell has some subdued hops in the nose and some caramel malt. Taste is rather lacking, but the mouthfeel is absolutely wonderful. Full, creamy and velvety. Just not a whole lot going on in the flavor to warrant a good score. (254 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle puchased from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a Mayflower nonic, formed a 1/4" tan head above a clear burgundy brown brew. Head lasts alright, with lasting legs but average lacing. Aroma is boozy sweet maltiness.

Taste is chocolatey sweet upfront, but quickly gives way to a strong dark fruit/cherry flavor that dominates to the alcoholic close. Mouthfeel is smooth except for the burning at the end, and drinkability is okay. Not as good as I remember, for sure.

12/22/06 - 4.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5
Poured into a pint glass, formed a 1" brown head on top of an almost opaque dark brown brew, with slightly translucent edges. Lacing is prevalent, but quick-falling. Aroma is tons of dark grains, with both coffee and chocolate apparent. Taste is dominated by the dark malt sweetness upfront, but gives way to some pervasive hoppiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and easy, and drinkability is very nice as well. As nice as I remembered. (950 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

How time flies when you're having fun. Thanks to jtrockchalk for this extra from, uh, over a year ago. Where the hell did that year go? Damn.

Pour is black, & one can imagine a bit of red-length edges on it. Smell is lovely, rich roast & chocolate malts.

Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter hews straight to the nose. Chocolate, roast. Sweet, too, especially on the finish. A touch thin.

Unremarkable. Pretty good, but nothing to set it apart from hundreds of other porters. (474 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Extra in trade from mob2332, very nice. Not sure the age on this one...
Nearly black pour with brown accents. Just about zero head, some whispy light tan whisps.

I enjoy the heavy malty aroma much more. A bunch of toffee and caramel. Some molasses.

Taste is equally malty, but some metallic and harsh notes are here. Toffee, caramel, diacetyl more present than it probably should be. Some coffee, a bit acrid though. The harshness grows. Finishes with some more pleasant bitter, a nice herbal hop presence.
Just not quite enough accenting flavors, just becomes a bit burnt.

Thinner than one would like for "imperial", but for a standard American it is ok. Alcohol was surprisingly present to me, not that 7.8 is low.

Nice to try, but there are other old stand byes I'd go to. (786 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I received this beer A LONG time ago from some very generous BA. I heard it was a bit hot at the time and I put it in the cellar to chill out for a while. When I moved to Minneapolis, I tossed it in the fridge. That was 10 months ago. Finally got around to it. Drank from my Lost Abbey goblet.

Bottled 2006

Appearance- Pours a dark brown crimson with a small half finger head light tan head (even with a very aggressive pour) that bubbles away very quickly. A super thin collar remains with zero head and zero lacing.
Smell- Very bold and aggressive smelling for a Porter with a big fruity bouquet right from the start. Loads of plums and raisins mix in among the dark earthy chocolate. The chocolate is somewhere between dark and milky as there is a bit of a sweetness to the smell that mixes well with the fruits. A touch of caramel and coffee sneak in toward the end. Extremely nice nose, especially for a Porter.
Taste- Starts with a fair amount of sweetness with a muted hop type of dark fruity thing. Almost has a Tripel thing going on with all the raisin/prune thing going down. No real chocolate is left but a light roastiness is detectable that adds a coffee aspect. Even after 4 years the alcohol is still noticeable and the taste isn't quite as complex as the nose led me to believe. I think it's just slightly too sweet. The finish is fruity and lightly coffee like.
Mouthfeel- Fairly thin overall with a watery feel that SUPER disappointing. Little if any carbonation remains.
Drinkability- Well since I never had this beer fresh, I don't have anything to compare it to. Either this beer is past its prime after 4 years, or I just don't like it much. The nose if fantastic, but the taste is extremely disappointing. It's too sweet and it's still slightly warming. Oh well, interesting none-the-less. Thanks whoever you are! (1,838 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml swing-top bottle served in a standard pint glass. Poured one shade shy of black with a thin, khaki-colored head that quickly dissipated into a thick cluster of bubble and then a soapy slick; no lacing on this one. Nose reveals chocolate malt, a hint of coffee and a suggestion of dark fruit. Taste consistent with nose, but there's a little bit of a peppery quality at the finish. Mouthfeel is just shy of medium-bodied, with virtually no carbonation. Easy drinking and fairly flavorful, but I wonder if I got an old bottle. (530 characters)

Photo of thepeter
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Not sure what was wrong with this to me as I usually love porters, this one just did not do it for me. Poured a dark brown with a thin little head. Smelled of sweet raosted caramel malt and some hop bitterness. taste was of roasted malt, dark fruit, and dry bread, more bitter than I like from a porter but can see how it's balanced nicely. Quite heavy on the palette but nice carbonation. I will give this another chance as maybe my pallette was off, just not my thing that day. (479 characters)

Photo of AndoBrew
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*did not mind it would not buy it*

app: dark almost cant see through coffee, blah bah blah.. nice lil light tan head.. its so so, not captavating.

smell: slightly sour.. dark malts, same ole same ole.. nothing intresting nothing bad except the watery sour.. some spice some faint hints of christmas.

taste: dry cocoa then some zip then sour. not so great.. un balanced.. feels like the abv shold be higher, not a good job of blendeing the booze flavor.. I dont mind booze, as long as it tastes good. this flavor of boozde is a bit rude. the other flavors are not bad, just not big enough to make a difference. not my tea.

mf: not bad at all.

drinkable?: kinda, if it was better I would think it more drinkable. (725 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.44/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a great head the laces covers the glass and continues down the glass.

The aroma is ok sweet molasses with a chocloate balence but it doesn't stand out

The taste is sweet malts with a chocolate and roasted finish a slight almmost fruity finish

This is a good porter but I don't know (301 characters)

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Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.