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Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Imperial PorterThomas Hooker Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

339 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 339
Reviews: 281
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 54
Gots: 14 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 339 | Reviews: 281 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%

A very very dark brown beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a big bubbly brown head. Deep coffee aroma with some chocolate notes and a hint of flowers in the background. Some chocolate sweetness dances on the tip of your tongue. Then the strong roasted coffee bitterness takes charge and slides easily into a smooth bittersweet chocolate finish. Has a great rich mouthfeel.

09-28-2005 21:30:51 | More by ybnorml
Photo of lostbearbrew


3.05/5  rDev -25.4%

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.

08-25-2005 17:31:45 | More by lostbearbrew
Photo of Jason


4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Big ass 1 Liter flip top brown bottle.

A- Thick tan frothiness, impressive retention. Dark chaotic brown hue.

S- Shades of burnt malt, mild sweetness and obvious dark berry. Suggestions of highly roasted coffee as well.

T- Flailing roasted and burnt malt, hop bitterness and the roasted malt character meld quick to become a hardy stamp on the palate. Salty? Massive roasted character ... its so big yet does not turn me off. Mellow warming alcohol. Mild burnt caramel / sugar on the palate. Finishes semi-dry with a lingering burnt ... faint acrid flavor.

M- Roughness on the mouth shows up on even the slightess crispness.

D- Its a sipping brew, a pretty damn tasty at that.

08-23-2005 02:24:53 | More by Jason
Photo of egajdzis


4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured a dark amber / brown color with a small light tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of roast, chocolate, and sweet caramel malts. Taste of roasted, and small caramel malts, smoke, and lots of chocolate. Very light alcohol in the taste.

08-09-2005 12:21:21 | More by egajdzis
Photo of rajendra82


4/5  rDev -2.2%

Lovely 1 liter bottle with a convenient reclosable swing top cap, and a little paper strip indicating brewed in 2004. The beer was poured into a goblet, and looked nearly pitch black with slight red highlights and an off-white foamy head. The aroma was chocolate, coffee, and a rowdy hop presence. At first sip, I was a bit taken aback by a bitter hop flavor and a little bit of a plasticky taste possibly indicative of oxidation. But the beer continued to evolve as it breathed in the glass, with the chocolate, rum-raisin, and coffee flavors pulling themselves up, and the hops staying strong and bitter for the ride. Sweetness was also noticeable, and was tinged with a slight sourness.

Mouthfeel was dry and dusty, and alcohol was well in check. This little brewery can do no wrong it seems.

08-07-2005 03:14:41 | More by rajendra82
Photo of Dogbrick


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Lovely opaque black color with a medium thick and foamy tan head. Thin sheet of lacing. The aroma is a shocker - the first thing I thought of was a Christmas beer. Tons of spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, etc erupt into the nasal passages. There is a bit of a roast character in the nose that comes through at times but it is overwhelmed by the spices. After the initial surprise this is pretty easy to enjoy. Medium body with lots of spice character, along with some roasted malt and bitter chocolate flavors. The finish is dry and somewhat bitter with coffee and hops. Whether this bottle was "off" or not, I liked it.

07-22-2005 14:03:17 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%

LARGE bottle, with swingtop, 2004 vintage, opens with a lot of energy and this one is full of fizz, seems initially to be quite actively carbonated. settles down after quite awhile, and pours black with an active and long lasting dark tan head. Lacing is fine and extensive. Nose is cafe au lait. This is a dense and rich brew. Mucho chocolate, roasted grains, dark coffee, vanilla evident. Luxorious and chewy, first class elixir. Mighty tasty creation from Hooker.

07-22-2005 01:54:21 | More by Billolick
Photo of Sixpoint

New York

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%

I had this one at the ABF 2005 in Boston.

My sample poured with a good head that remained standing for quite some time. In the aroma I detected hops, black malt, and a hint of fruity esters.

The taste was well-balanced, full-bodied and strong. The taste started out sweet but ended up with hops and burnt flavors dominating.

Overall, a decent sessioner, but not too quaffable. Nevertheless, a fantastic brew from one of the best breweries out here on the East Coast.

07-04-2005 12:54:02 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of necoadam


4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

2003 bottle. Pours out a pure black color with some lighter brown highlights and a nice dark tan head. Smell consisted of big roasted malts along with cocoa. This baby doesn't have any sweetness to it, which is good to see. Some underlying chocolate aromas show through as well. Taste was great. Deep malt backbone begins with some chocolate and coffee which wasn't in the nose, start to blend in. Some dark fruit underlies it all. Mouthfeel was medium with a good check on carbonation. Finished with some alcohol kick but seemed to be right in place. I'm surprised that this bottle held up that much. I was expecting some strange flavors because it's 2 years old, but this bottle held up quite nicely. Great beer.

06-15-2005 00:31:51 | More by necoadam
Photo of NEhophead


4.38/5  rDev +7.1%

Light coffee colored head with very good retention; chunks of sediment throughout the head and the pint. Some condensed and spotted lace with good strength. Pours a very rich dark brown in color; almost opaque.

Big bursts of chocolate malt, espresso, mocha, bitter dark chocolate, a touch of maple syrup, and even a hint of chocolate covered cherries. The alcohol presence is easily detectable in the aroma, but it is matched nicely with the chocolate and earth tones.

Dark chocolate, mocha, a touch of sweetned cream, toffee, and a hint of dark cherry or plum. A very big roasted dark chocolate malt base with a coarse hop intensity, giving this porter a hefty bitterness at mid-sip. The aftertaste lingers of dark chocolate, a touch of caramel, coffee, and warming alcohol.

Full bodied; big, burnt, and full mouthfeel. Unobtrusive on the palate even for a heavy beer such as this.

This is a great treat if you come across it. Ideal for cooler months of the year, but it is so flavorful I won't be able to pass on it if it's 120 degrees outside. This is a great brew to be shared amongst friends due to its heaviness and bold flavors. Another phenomenal brew from the boys at Troutbrook!

06-05-2005 18:53:48 | More by NEhophead
Photo of tavernjef


4.58/5  rDev +12%

Served up at the Blue Nile by the monk and supplied by mentor as part of the homebrew bash happy tasting brigade during the Big Overdue MN Gathering.

Displayed in a 1 liter brown swing top, very cool; of the Thomas Hooker brews, this seems to be there thing with the cool bottles for bigger beers. Pours out dark brown and settles even darker with a matte black opaqueness. Thin densely held light tan foam sits atop. Lacing is mostly drippy with some smaller strings staying in a few areas across the glass.

What the hell? This smells like a chocolate saison! Kick ass! I could not stop wiffing this stuff in. Absolutely amazing. Not strong, mind you, but finely wafted to a perfect blend of farmhouse funk and chocolate. A detailed description will be hard pressed, but here's a stab at it. Solid chocolate base of blended milk and dark chocolate and is sustantially held in check and fused together by horse blanket dust funk bringing an interestingly, well balanced pitch of sour tart earth. Notes underneath of charred wood and marshmellow and tiny nuances of molasses tang and black licorice. Fantastic nose!

Flavors are just as good but absolutely no hinderences to the funk. Huh? Oddly strange and compelling, and didn't bother me one bit as this was one very complex and tasty little porter. Mostly a mainstay of mild chocolate tones mixed with some lighter slips of tangy dark fruitish malts where some dark cherry, fig, and plum kinda slip through the chocolate. Nice hints of cinnamon and black licorice spice up some of the middle towards the finish. Tangy and ghostly alcoholic esters appear. Ever present mild and easy chocolate tone always emerging when needed. Fades off simply to reveal an overall charred woody hop bitterness thats very tame and milding with some left over burnt grainyness and coffee bits. Way late return of dates and black licorice creep back onto the back of the palate.

Feel is quite smooth and bold, fairly close to full bodied. Warm, eager presense of malty tang under a solid chocolate base. Spicy middle, roastyish, hoppy, but never brash. Well balanced hold of firm flavors and body with just the right amount of alcoholic pep to it. A pleasing porter. Creatively different then any other American Porters. This could be in class all by itself. Uniquely awesome stuff.

Another big thanks to mentor for graciously sharing his stash of goodies!

06-05-2005 17:55:57 | More by tavernjef
Photo of meathookjones


4.03/5  rDev -1.5%

Nice big swing top with a bottled in 2004 sticker across the top. Body is a shade less than black in color with a healthy tan head. Nice chunky lacing as well. Interesting aroma with tart dark fruit notes as well as a big sweetness. Chocolate and a touch of roastiness. Solid flavor of chocolate, some caramel and roastiness. Sweet and tart notes from dark fruity esters. Ends on a lightly bitter roasty note. The tartness seemed not to mesh well at times but overall it worked. Medium slick body. Fairly easy drinking and tasty. I would pick this up again, good Imperial/Baltic Porter but not quite top of the food chain good. Thanks goes to Mr. ppoitras for the bottles of this brew.

06-03-2005 16:12:46 | More by meathookjones
Photo of mzwolinski


4.72/5  rDev +15.4%

What a monster of a bottle. And me all by myself to drink it. This could be a very long night.

Pours black (surprise!) with a dark tan head that's mostly creamy but with some largeish bubbles.

Aroma is dominated by roasted malts, alcohol, and a decently spicy hop boquet.

Flavor starts with a lovely rich blend of chocolate and coffee, with hints of caramel in the mid-palate. The malts develop a slightly roasty character, but mostly at the back-end of the sip where they merge with a nicely understated hop bitterness to leave a very pleasant, lingering aftertaste.

Very full in mouthfeel and slightly coating, but with enough bitterness to keep it from cloying. Good, good stuff.

05-27-2005 19:02:56 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of blitheringidiot


4.35/5  rDev +6.4%

This review could just be on the bottle: period. 2004 Imp. Porter flip-top releases a buh-lack opaque onyx pour topped off with a tacky tan foamy sticky head cap. Recap: No light is escaping from this one, while leaving stratus lattice lace.

Robust aroma of roasted malt and mixed berry. Bready woody malt scents meet a caramely milky aroma. Quite interesting!

First swigs: Deep roasted coffee & cream flavors. Some black coffe aftertaste, however. Middle of charcoal notes. Molasses, sweet maple syrup sugary flavor dances on the edge of stout perimeter, but arguably maintains a porter-esque profile. Quick finishing, surprisingly clean aftertaste.

Smooth gentle feel, despite the thick syrupy full bodied aspects. Lip smacking tacky with sugar on the lips. Grainy chewy, almost chalky feel.

Last swigs: Pumpernickel molasses and coffee.

Thanks to Shapudding for sharing and to "deep throat."

04-28-2005 17:53:59 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.45/5  rDev +8.8%

Not a whole lot of good has come from Connect-I-Cut, but this brewery is something special. That was a joke, all those of you who can't decide whether to be from NY or NE...haha.

This doozie of a porter comes in a large, beautiful heavy swingtop bottle. Pours a healthy shade of black, with a crinkly head that dies into everlasting lace. Ripe, fruity nose that produces notes of chocolate and coffee, in addition to a sharp hop twang and a smattering of alcohol.

The flavor shows off even more complexity. Starts with rich, dark porter qualities of toasted malt and bitter dark chocolate, giving way to slightly sweeter plum and black cherry. Eases it's way into a bit more bitter, hoppy, warming finish. The alcohol is subtle, but noticeable. The mouthfeel was devilishly smooth from start to finish, of both glass and bottle. An exquisite, complex, belly warmer of a porter.

04-19-2005 01:54:41 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of mentor


4.9/5  rDev +19.8%

Super-huge thanks to Sulldaddy for sending me this one. What a f'ing unique beer. Bottled in 2004. Poured a lushious 2 finger brown head over a dark dark liquid. Held to light, the color is deep mohogeny ruby. Smells woody hoppy, roast/chocolatey, and alcoholic. Yeah, roasty/chocolatey...but also a bit of smokey. More than that...charred. Some cottony hop character (Fuggles?) and mechanic-shop hop character (Perle?) invite me in. As good as it smells, it tastes even better. Chocolate to start with a mild alcohol and noticable hop bitter. The bitter is strong and cotton-mouthy, but its rough character is tempered by an underlying wet sweet. Whoa, the middle is a hop bomb of flavor. Minty hops (plus some zing). It must be Perle, with perhaps some Fuggles (or Wmette). Onward into more flavors...imagine roasting a marshmallow and sticking it right into the fire. Let the outside burn black, then pull it off the stick and eat the char. The aromatic qualities of the hops, when combined with the roasted grains, have a similar character. But its woody, too (like you dapped the flaming marshmallow on one of the burning logs, you idiot...except it works really well). In the later part of the sip, sugar sweet rises before being overwhelmed by a faster rising alcohol burn and aromatic hop aftertaste. Yummy! Boy, there's alot at play here. Plus, a thin layer of brown head still hangs over the liquid with incredible lacing on the inside of the glass. Who can make a beer like this? Truely incredible. So, do I finish the liter or save half to split with my best buddy? Well, I'm quite lit now (I had two before this) and I think I'll be kind and save the second half. Thick body and mild carbonation (despite the amazing head). Interestingly, the carbonation continues to form on my tongue after the beer is down my throat. Now, *that's* a thick beer. Near perfection, I wish I had another that I could age in my cellar.

04-10-2005 06:17:45 | More by mentor
Photo of BrewMaster


4.03/5  rDev -1.5%

Appearance: Pours a deep brown color with a thin head and slight amber tint on the edges when backlit.

Smell: Very sweet aroma with a caramel note to it but really very weak in the nose. Even in a tulip-shaped Duvel glass and even as it warmed up there was very little aroma to snack on.

Taste: Roasty chocolate and a very stout-like taste coming from the dark roasted malts. Some slight bitterness in the middle with a sweet, nutty (almond?) ending. Very impressive flavor for a beer with such a weak aroma.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, clean on the palate with a nice roastiness that lasts on the palate even after the beer is gone.

Drinkability: For a bigger bear with so much flavor it is wonderfully smooth and easy to drink. Aside from the weak smell I was very impressed with this beer.

03-30-2005 23:10:32 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of LuckySevens82


4.53/5  rDev +10.8%

1L Bottle (2004) courtesy of Sulldaddy...thanks Sully!

Pours a very deep brown with a nice tan cap. Lacing is nice and retention is very very good.
Smell is caramel, roasted malts, coffee, a slight bit of hops and one heck of a lot of chocolate.
Taste is very similar to the aroma. Hops are much more pronounced. Coffee notes are slightly more faint than I would have expected from the smell. Dark or Bakers chocolate dominates this beer. I would think that this could easily have been called a chocolate porter with no complaints from me or anyone else. Hops balance out the rest of the brew and complement the other flavors quite well.
Overall, I'm impressed, yet again with Troutbrook. I don't think I've had a single bad beer from this brewery. I can't wait to try the Old Marley I have sitting in the cellar.
A very good beer. I would recommend anyone who can get their hands on it to try it

03-23-2005 02:08:43 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

Swingtop bottle courtesy of counselor, big up.

Bottled in 2004. Opaque, brown-black with chestnut highlights. Frothy, thick, tan head fades into just a creamy coating in a few minutes. Smells of dark roasted German malts, burnt coffee, sweet milk chocolate, dark chocolate covered cherries. Smells are a bit more subdued than I would've liked. Tasts of dark roasted malt, chocolate (sometimes like milk chocolate, sometimes dark unsweetened), spicy German hops, and French roast coffee round into a solid bitter finish that parks itself in the back of your throat and dries your mouth entirely. Taste is on but a little too dry. Mouth is wonderfully thick, full and creamy. Bubbles are plenty but the space between them is not. Good stuff.

03-19-2005 11:30:16 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

2.83/5  rDev -30.8%

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!"

03-17-2005 01:11:26 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of shapudding


4.5/5  rDev +10%

Bottled 2004. Dark and beautiful with a hugh amount of thick and frothy milkshakey head the color of Breyer's coffee ice cream. The head finally shot down to a heavy layer of creamy goodness with a few foamy bubbles. Nice vineous deep red wine, merlot scents... almost towards a bit of whiskey. Deeply chocolate and coffee, with the hops starting to yell at you more and more as it warms up. This just has such a great complex scent, there is so much going on! Nice carbination, tight and smooth, it rolls and swirls across your tongue. Almost a bit dry feeling. Cocoa powder and chocolate truffles followed by dark coffee and merlot flavors. Hoppy bitterness and great peppery bite. The hops become more pronounced as it warms. Smooth and silky, medium bodied. Slight heat of alcohol when it warms... very nice. Very lovely impy porter, highly enjoyable. Great feel and great flavor, would love to have hookers back in my place again!

-No thanks to "Deep Throat" who did not send this to me, and I am not thanking for this one!! ;)~

03-08-2005 03:20:16 | More by shapudding
Photo of ManekiNeko


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

Big frickin' 1L bottle served lightly chilled in a Trois Pistoles chalice.

Appearance: Nearly impenetrable black liquid with dark brown highlights at the edges of the glass. Frothy medium tan head that evaporated to a tiny later of bubbles across the surface of the glass. Thick ring at the side. Specks and splotches in lieu of lacing.

Smell: Ashes and burnt sugars wallop the nose. Dark dried fruits and espresso. Dark chocolate/cocoas. Intense, but not necessarily complex.

Taste: Strongly bittersweet burnt barley. Take that bitter taste lurking in Guinness... distill it. Hand that liquid to Bela Karolyi and the dudes at Balco and you might get an idea. Notes of smoke and Italian roast coffee on the finish. A wee bit brash, overall.

Mouthfeel: Thick, but not overpowering. Substantial, this beer.

Drinkability: 1 Liter of this is almost a Herculean feat. Share it, for this is a deceptive brew. Very powerful.

Thanks to sulldaddy for the hookup.

03-04-2005 15:22:05 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of Brent


4.13/5  rDev +1%

Beer #900 on my personal list, and an appropriate way to mark the milestone. With the Imperial Porter designation, I wasn't sure what to expect - probably something along the Baltic Porter style, I thought. My impression, however, was more of a very robust American porter. Black tinged with mocha. Aroma was dark roasted malt. A bit of creaminess in the mouthfeel, with a dense, dark roasted malt and espresso coffee flavor.

02-28-2005 16:38:36 | More by Brent
Photo of connecticutpoet


4.88/5  rDev +19.3%

A one-liter bottle, swing-top cap, bottled in 2004. Purchased in December 2004, sampled tonight.

This was a dark brown, thick-looking, slightly oily beer with a four-finger tan head that left a lot of lacing. Beautiful.

The aroma was subtle, but complex, with dark roasted malts, raisins, coffee with cream, and a slight sweetness with a touch of hops. Not as strong as I would have expected though.

The taste was amazing... VERY bitter, with incredible roasted coffee notes. I didn't pick up any caramel, but I did get a bit of burnt sugar. Also, the alcohol let its presence be known in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, perfect for the taste. Great body. And the drinkability was also exceptional... one bottle was enough for me (it WAS a liter, though *LOL*) and I would gladly drink it again. The only thing that puts me off a bit is the price. But for a special occasion, if you want a dark beer, this is a wonderful choice.

02-18-2005 03:30:31 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of mattcrill


4.3/5  rDev +5.1%

First of all, HUGE thanks go out to BA cmaruschak for allowing me to sample this fantastic beer. He was kind enough to split this bottle with me. It went down just fine over some good conversation, a cold Saturday afternoon, and some falling snow outside.

Presentation: very cool looking 1 liter swing top bottle with "bottle in 2004" across the top of the cap.

Appearance: stout-like with a pillowy tan head. Deep chocolate brown color fading to black throughout the body of the beer. Leaves fluffy lacings down the glass.

Smell: Not much going on here. I first detected a hop presence. Then I picked up some carmel, coffee with cream, and wheat notes as I agitated the beer.

Taste: Dark roasted coffee, cocoa powder, and a mild hop presence coat the palate perfectly. This definitely deserves to be sipped and savored. There is some warming alcohol notes that come to life as I get about half way through the beer. It's noticeable but not dominating. All of these tastes blend perfectly together.

Mouthfeel: Medium and creamy with a slight alcohol burn on the aftertaste (this isn't a bad thing but I just noticed it on the aftertaste).

Drinkability: Suffers a tad just because I can't imagine drinking the whole bomber let alone more than one. I can definitely see why this is an imperial porter.

Notes: I now know why this is the #1 rate American Porter. It deserves all the honors and titles that are bestowed upon it. I can only continue to thank cmaruschak for letting me experience this fantastic beer.

01-30-2005 18:29:21 | More by mattcrill
Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 339 ratings.