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Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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Thomas Hooker Imperial PorterThomas Hooker Imperial Porter

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347 Ratings

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Ratings: 347
Reviews: 282
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 55
Gots: 17 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 347 | Reviews: 282 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bighuge
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is black for all intents and purposes. But I see the faintest streaks of dark ruby red in there as well. Nice crown of light brown head. Creamy and dense in nature. Retention is solid. Quality aroma. Cocoa powder. Bittersweet chocolate. Roasted malts. A little smoke. Nice nose. Nice silky mouthfeel. Close to full in body. And the taste is very nice. Lots of roasted/chocolate/black malt flavor. Not abrasive though, just right. Great coffee undertones. Slight tones of tobacco and lactic sugars. And there's a nice lingering dry roasted malt, slightly bitter hoppiness on the finish. It makes me want to drink it all the more. Good thing it comes in this fabulous Liter size bottle.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge dark tan head. Opaque black beer.
Aroma of mostly cocoa, complemented by roasty malt, caramel, and alcohol.

Taste shows roasty malt, cocoa, coffee, and caramel. Somewhat earthy. Bitterness seems to come more from the roasted malt than hops. Hop presence seems on the low end.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.
Overall, a good strong porter. Huge thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for sharing his liter bottle!

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2003. I received this beer from fellow BA ErikTheRed at the EBF in January. I wanted to share this great beer with my fellow BA's at our annual get-together.

Poured an oily blackness. Only the barest amount of ruby hints at the edges. Massively thick tan-colored head puts on a great cascading show. Great lacing. Aromas consist of sweet chocolate, bitter hops, and a large latte' from the coffee shop. Alcohol is well-hidden in the nose. A bit of smoke creeps up from the glass as well. Flavor is good as well, with a dance of chocolate, toffee, caramel, and smoke. Finishes on the dry side, with some bitterness at the end. Very creamy mouthfeel, but it was a little thinner than I expected. Still, a very drinkable beer that hides the ABV well.

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another beer that I have been anticipating. Pours out pitch black with a small tan head that seams to last. Smell is heavy coffee and chocolate notes. Hints of alcohol come through as well. Taste is very smooth. Coffee and chocolate are powerfull and leave a bitterness as well. Nice warming feeling. The mouth feel is actually medium heavy in body. A get a grassy aftertaste as well. A wonderful beer from a great brewery. Too bad this is the only bottle I have.

Photo of jeffboo
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A true roasted wonder. A black brew with a nice creamy, tan head. Aroma leaning heavy on grainy roasted malt. A creamy medium textured brew with a delicious bitter, dry and nutty finish. Seems to have a good dose of earthy hops bittering this thing. It has plenty of roasty flavors giving it a little acidity to balance a light sweet malt, balanced with some chocolate flavors. A unique beer among Porters.

Photo of pbrian
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured into my snifter with a thick meringue brown head that wouldn't quit. Clear black liquid underneath. Fresh florally hop aroma greets the nose first, then lots of coffee and roasted grain notes. A little alcohol comes through as it warms. First sip is a refreshing mix of floral/grassy hop bitterness up front, and a strong coffee flavor presented in a silky, lucious mouthfeel. Some sweeter dark fruits like prunes and raspberries hang around as well. Carbonation is light. Becomes even hopppier as it warms. Finish is sweet and full without being cloying. A warming beer but one that isn't too difficult to finish the liter. (I still wouldn't mind having 12 oz bottles around to grab at will instead of having to make the 1 liter committment, but I'm nit picking here) Interesting American take on the style with not a hint of the vinous characteristic you get from the classics. Nicely done.

Photo of far333
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one is for review number 300 and karma point number 500.

Can't believe I didn't crack this bottle until now! This is great stuff. Pours from the one liter swingtop bottle a dark brown, espresso color. It took a vigorous pour to kick up the head but it rose up to about an inch high and lingered long, and was the light brown color of cocoa powder. Aroma quickly rose up to hit my nose with roasted malts, a fine hint of raisin, some caramel, and bitter coffee. A smooth and creamy, somewhat chalky but not tannic mouthfeel gives way to ever-evolving flavors of cocoa, dark brown sugar, bits of raisin and fig, swirling into bitter coffee in the finish, and lingering with a smokey hoppy bitter aftertaste. Drank the whole liter in one sitting. Glad to know I have 2 more stashed in the cellar. Paul Davis has done it again.

Photo of Fish113d
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring into the glass, the light through the glass totally disappeared! This was almost a black beer w/ a mocha chocolate head which crested at about 2" high. The head also clinged to the glass a lot which was pretty cool! Upon smelling it, I got the odor of a lot of maltiness, caramel, and a scent of pear maybe? Tasting it, the caramel coffee flavor really came through making my taste buds very very happy! It was a beautifully malty porter, which has a slightly sweet finish due to the caramel sitting so heavy throughout. Texture= a very full bodied beer and very drinkable...it took me nearly 3 different sittings to finish this one! However, it was also heavenly!!! Enjoy!!!!

Photo of CRJMellor
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark black/brown with red highlights. Huge tan head is formed that leaves residual lace all over the glass.
Aroma is heavy caramel and toffee, chocolate, coffee and a subtle floral hop note.
Flavor: Wow, talk about complex ! Thick caramel, milk chocolate, coffee, grapefruit, bubble gum, some darker fruits and an earthy but sweet hop note.
Mouthfeel was very nice and smooth. Transition is smooth with a nice transition to the bitterness. Hint of spice and dry alcohol on the finish.
Drinakability is high, even after a 22 oz. bomber of this 8.0 % nectar I want more !

Special thanks to PBrian for providing this nectar of the gods.
Xaipe, Bro

Photo of beergeek279
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in the 1L swing-top bottle, into a pint glass. The color is black, with a good foamy tan head. The smell is a nice coffeeish malt . The taste is a very strong coffee roasted malt, with a chocolate sweetness in the taste and the very slightest hint of alcohol in the taste. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. As for drinkability, I could have this all day!!!

Thank you to UnionMade for a bottle of this simply amazing porter! A great one for a 400th review; an imperial porter that tastes like a regular porter on steroids...a simply wonderful character with just the right amount of sweetness, and absolutely one I hope to have again!!

Photo of cretemixer
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 liter Swingtop Bottled in 2003

Deep chestnut color that allows no light to come through. A "creamed coffee" colored reverse cascading head that's thick, rich, and long lasting. A solid sheeting of lace is left in its wake.
Aromas of roasted grains, coffee, biscuits and vanilla. A nice scent of floral hops comes across too.
The taste is of Dutch cocoa and black coffee with a nice full bitterness. The flavors really shine as the beer warms a bit.
Meduim-full body with the scales leaning towards full. Gentle carbonation. I was extremely glad this came in a liter bottle. Another gem brought back from Boston.

Photo of Bierman9
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This sucka poured out an engine-oil ebony-black, and seemed as thick oil as well. I was not able to discern any light penetrating the brew. The head didn't appear until late in the pour, and then only as a creamy, tan layer which thinned rapidly, yet left a fine but slightly frothy topping. Lacing, on the other hand, was quite nice and adhered well to the inside of the glass. The aroma has plenty of roasty-coffee notes, with a bit of sweetness also evident. Body was well more than medium, and the Bier had a smooth and chewy feel to it. There is a great caramel-malty sweetness at the start here, followed by a rich, chocolate/coffee/roasty melange of flavors which are a pleasure on the palate. A smidge of dark fruit makes a play for your attention, too, and the finish has subtle, yet lovely, hoppiness which reminds me somewhat of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. A remarkably delightful offering from Troutbrook, and big thanks go to my friend to the south, VENOM, for dropping this in my lap. Vielen Dank, und Prosit!!

overall: 4.35
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5


Photo of francisweizen
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 liter swing-top bottle, bottled in 2003. Dark as all "get out", and inky as hell. Opaque with a nice, off-white/tan head of fluffy foam. Aromas are of currants, dark belgian chocolate, caramel, other dark fruits, slight alcohol, deep roasted malts, and background hops. The taste follows suit. Chocolatey, fruity, caramely, and boozy, with just the right hop>malt balance. The mouthfeel was a bit thin, but not watery, and the drinkability was damn good. Nice stuff!

Photo of counselor
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured picture perfect, dark burnt brown with a moderate head. There were aromas of coffee, chocolate, grapefruit hops and roasted meats. There wer deep fruit flavors, dark malted candy and a crisp dry hop finish with crisp hop bite. The alcohol was well disguised behind the super balanced malt/hop/carbonation and I did not realize it until I stepped away from the chair I was in. This was a good beer on a cold winter evening, worth the price for a big, burly, inebriating beer.

Photo of aracauna
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's something about this beer that reminds me of what my homebrewed imperial stout could have been. They've got a similar hop and malt profile and they have just a hint of that overripe fruitiness that is really common in the stronger stouts/porters, but where mine ends up a tad too sweet and lacking enough of the burnt and roasted malt flavors to back up the chocolate, this beer nears on a perfect balance in the flavors.

When I opened the bottle and the scent of citrusy hops wafted up from the bottle, I was worried, since I've had many stouts and porters where heavy hopping detracted from the beer. And in the flavor, this verges on being the case for this beer. The citrusy hops don't quite meld with the wood char, but then they don't quite clash either. Instead, each aroma holds its own with the hops being slightly dominate. This heirarchy reverses in the flavor, with the malts coming up to take their rightful place at the top of the profile and the hops blend seamlessly into the roasty front. A bit of chocolate flares up at the end, fading into a small, lingering bitterness in the finish. The beer is black and in my glass light only seeped through the edges. The head was nicely tan and creamy. Excellent beer.

On a side note, I don't really like these liter bottles. Dogwood and Sweetwater use them for their winter beers, but the way the neck bulges, it makes it impossible to pour without glugging the beer. In beers with low to moderate carbonation like this, it's not that big of a deal as the agitation doesn't send the head out of control, but with a more highly carbonated beer, this could prove problematic.

Photo of Boto
4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 Liter Bomber: Dark. This beer is dark brown with hints of ruby when held up to a light. Good size tan head. Decent lacing down the glass. Aroma is rich with roastiness, coffee and chocolate. The taste is rich: this is a full-bodied beer. Big roasty taste. The chocolate and coffee are still there is force. A hint of hops in there somewhere. This was even better than when I got an early taste right off the vat. Excellent job on this one, Paul!

Photo of Starchild
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Godly carbonation filled my pint. It looks like it’s from a pub can. I'm really enjoying this swing top bottle. Thank god it’s a liter bottle because I really like a full imperial pint of imperial porter. Wafts of coffee, sweet roast; hops and spices reach my nose. The beer tastes so clean and complex. You can pick out every flavor. Yes some floral notes, hops, coffee, a tinge of smokiness, and black malt. It’s really surprising the flavors stay so distinct. Amazing. Get me a juicy hamburger with cheddar cheese, thick fries and a wedge pickle please. This beer is a beautiful creation.

Photo of beernbbq
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent. AS close to perfection as I have found and right here in CT. A beuatiful jet black with a tight brown head. Aroma and taste of coffee, dark chocolate and mint. Smooth on the tounge, not bitter or cloying and finishes beautifully dry. An wonderful brew and I will need to track down some more. Love the litre bottle, too.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 1 LIter flip top bottle. THe brew pours very very dark brown, almost black. Absolutely no light gets through the glass. A rich brown head of tight bubbles foams up but fades to a thin layer on the surface. Immediately floral hop aromas penetrate my nasal passage. Also strong coffee and to a lesser extent chocolate scents show up too. The first sip reveals mild carbonation, earthy hop flavors, malty sweetness, coffee notes and some roastiness. The aroma predicts the flavors very well in this brew. Perhaps this beer should be renamed a mocha porter with the flavors that linger in my mouth.
The beer is only medium bodied, I would have expected a little more thickness, and is very easy to drink. I wish I had had a chance to sample this on tap as well. Definitely worth trying/picking up if you see it.

Photo of UnionMade
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While trying to fend off the Thanksgiving tryptophan fugue at Eli Cannon's, Casey informed us that they were tapping the new Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter, and asked us if we wanted to try it.
Hell yes, brother.
The beer arrived in a pint glass looking inky black, topped with a dollop of greyish beige head. The head dies out completely about 3/4 of the way through, which is perhaps my only complaint about this beer. It's really not that big a deal though.
The aroma is very much an authentic baltic porter, except that it's fresh, with much more complexity to the malt. The depth of the aroma is really amazing. Very clean, with loads of roasted maltiness exhibiting coffee and sugary caramel, with a bit of dark chocolate. A very interesting suggestion of blackberry is apparent, coming through more as a blend of malt aroma than a distinct berry. Subtle earthy (german?) hops ride beneath the malt, providing just enough for balance. The aroma really blooms as the beer warms, definitely let it sit and breathe for a while before sampling, if it's too cold.
The beer is so amazingly smooth. Very full bodied, with a velvety texture to the carbonation. It brought back memories of this awful velour shirt I used to wear every day as a kid, until Mom convinced me to give it up. I loved that shirt, because it was so soft and comfortable. Anyways, the sip starts out with a powerful, yet refined roasted maltiness. Sweet, though not cloying in the least. The carbonation is almost microscopic, just a tingling sensation on your tongue. Loads of black coffee and caramel flavors, with some baker's chocolate towards the middle. Very complex and very clean. A faint blackberry fruitiness comes through in the middle, complimenting and accenting both the coffee and chocolate flavor. It doesn't hurt the caramel, either. A light herbal, earthy hopping punctuates the beer in the finish, just enough to provide balance. Very little hop bitterness. Most of the bitterness is up front, from the dark roasted malt. Any alcohol is completely hidden, save for a light warmth in the swallow. The aftertaste disappears quickly, although a faint coffee maltiness lingers on the back of your tongue. Exceptional.
This is perhaps one of the very few beers that's better than the original. This porter exceeded my high expectations, and then some. I'll be hoarding this stuff for the rest of the year.

Photo of OatmattStout
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep dark color with a thick tan head. Really active nose of roasted malts and coffee bean with a hint of leafy hops. Taste is awesome from first sip. Unbelievable rich flavors of roasted malt and coffee bean with really nice sweet undertow of caramel and bittersweet chocolate. And if that isn't enough there is a really nice hop finish that has tartness reminiscent of a really strong fresh espresso. The hops in this really make it awesome. This beer had a really drinkable quality and no syrupy or heavy finish you might expect with such a big beer and style. This is a limited release and I can kick myself for only buying two bottles.

Photo of mikeys01
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Eli Cannon's tonight, in a nice full pint glass for the bargain price of $3.50. I was very happy to see this on tap as I've been dying to try it. Now I want more...the Hooker Imperial Porter arrived in my glass a deep midnight black, with just traces of dark tan foam on top, moderate carbonation. A fresh hop aroma greets you at first then is overtaken by strong scents of coffee and roastiness. Taste is very much coffee-is and roasty at first, then some nice hop bitterness comes in to complement the roasted malt. Becomes sweeter toward the end with hints of raisin and just a bit of nice alcohol warmth. Quite smooth and drinkable for a big porter....excellent brew from Troutbrook.

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Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.