Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock

Educational use only; do not reuse.

672 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 672
Reviews: 505
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 11.16%
Wants: 203
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2004

Hopped with German and Czech hops and fermented with Bavarian lager yeast, this traditional doppelbock blends an extensive amount of select dark malts to achieve its rich and creamy character. Rich and filling, this brew is a malt lovers dream.

24 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 672 | Reviews: 505
Reviews by wattoclone:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep mahogany with sticky 1/2 finger off white head atop,aromas of dark fruit and molasses,a little alcohol is present as well,just very rich and inviting.Flavors start off with the dark fruit notes dipped in alcohol,deep molasses flavors really take over but never get to sweet,the alcohol is always there but never to much so.I finally got to try this beer and I was not dissapointed,worthy of high marks.

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This poured a beautiful dark brown in color indicating the massive malt content. The head came up nicely as well. It was heavily browned and showed good retention.

Smell – The big, juicy malts have a nice molasses undertone. The raw sugars are big at the nose and actually made my mouth start to water. I should emphasize that with all this sweetness it managed not to be overly sweet. The solid malt base could handle a dump truck full of sugar.

Taste – The malts are milder at the taste, but this is still a big beer. There’s a nice barleyness to the flavor and it seems to be more balanced. The overall flavor profile is rough around the edges, just like I prefer my DBs.

Mouthfeel – This is a heavy medium-bodied with some light malty bitterness and a very smooth feel in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This may be too raw for the uninitiated, but the true DB lovers will find this an excellent example of the style.

Update – I want to extend a huge round of applause for BeerGuy for bringing this all the way out here to Seattle. He is a real stand up guy, and this BA gift was greatly appreciated.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

mmm… So smooth and so drinkable. Luscious and full bodied with a smokiness that goes “pow” in your face but then rescinds to the background as one gets used to it. Dark malts and dark fruits, toast and butter, coffee, nuts, and chocolate. Perfectly balanced. I don’t know what more to say about this beer other then that it is nearly perfect. I love it. Many thanks to scthaden for the trade.

Photo of newk340
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

sampled with hu5om and e11a627.

A: a hazy dark brown with a slight purplish hue, minimal head with some lazy lacing.

S: very strong malt and nut aromas, most evident on the front of the nose and pleasant as the sniff progresses.

T: hints of nuts and figs with a honey sweetness lingering somewhere in between. a smooth woody aftertaste.

MF/D: very smooth the whole way down, carbonation is at a minimum, but a quality doppelbock.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown almost black pour with a bubbly khaki head on top. Looks like a nice doppelbock to me. A big roasty dark maltiness upfront with some nutty character and a nice sweetness. Some alcohol esters as well. I like it.

First sip has a huge tasty roasty, caramel chocolate malt with hints of roasted nuts and a nice mellow sweetness. There seems to be a hint of dark fruit as well...really robust and bursting full of great malt flavors. Just a damn fine doppel....awesome.

A nice full mouthfeel that is creamy and smooth. Goes down so easy and is wonderfully drinkable. Easily the best doppelbock I've ever sampled. Many many many thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this great bottle with me!

Photo of blitz134
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque, dark brew. Crimson highlights show through. Four finger tan head formed ont eh pour in my impy pint glass. Dense foam cap stayed around 'til the bottom. Lacing formed in a nice sheet but couldn't hang on as it slid down the glass.

Aroma is toasted malt. Slightly sweet chocolate and some nuttiness. Alcohol wafts forward as well. Smells really good.

Taste is toasted malts and lots of it, definately the backbone of this hefty brew. A bit of bittersweet chocolate comes in midway through. Finish has a bit of coffee. Some earthy, pine hops fight their way through as well. A touch of alcohol is noticable in the exhale after a sip.

Mouthfeel is just as it should be. Basically full bodied. Coats the mouthwell and the flavor lingers. A bit of prickly carbonation, but not overdone. Probably perfect for the style, imo.

Drinkability his awesome. Near creamy mouthfeel with a complex toasted flavor. Dangerously drinkable, a must try.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 500ml swing top bottle. The tape on the top said bottled in 2006. It sat in my cellar for a couple weeks, and was poured into a pilsener glass...Very dark brown, almost black, with red highlights. It had a medium tan head, with a little lacing. Aroma was mostly roasted malt and caramel, with a hint of fruit. Coffee/espresso taste, as well as dark chocolate, and some the aforementioned fruit. Very rich, big mouthful. Wonderful, wonderful beer.

Photo of mattf311
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a frothy brown head that stays with the beer. Smells of chocolate with a slight hint of apple. The beer also has a chocolate / coffee taste. The beer is more bitter than most german dopplebocks I've had but has the same syrupy consistency. It's a good beer to drink in the winter while watching football.

Photo of Jason
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 1 qt. 1.8 oz flip-top bottle with a “bottle in 2004” tap across the top.

Appearance: Big frothy tan head, dense and sticky. Excellent retention. Ruby brown highlights with a black center … clarity seems fine.

Smell: A very rich malty aroma, lots of toasted biscuit … faint chicory and mild charred husk. No fruitiness or steely crystal malt in the nose …

Taste & Mouth Feel: Very smooth and creamy with a laid back crispness that rolls over the full body. Wow, a very sturdy malt character … no syrupy sweetness or odd malt flavors. Lots of dry toasted malt flavor with a light burnt husk in the back ground. Hops are modest and balance well, kiss of herbal hop middle to end. More complex malt flavors though the drying finish.

Drinkability & Notes: Surprisingly this is very very drinkable and very clean. Hard to taste the 8% abv and the smoothness feigns the full body a bit. Quite an amazing brew.

Photo of merlin48
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottling, large(liter?) swingtop bottle obtained via trade with Brewfan. Many Thanks! Pours a deep, dark, opaque chestnut body with a perfect head. After several pours of this enormous bottle, the head held an amazing consistency of two inch tall, creamy beige hued, tightly knit foam that wouldn't budge unless I slipped my lips upon it. Sheets of lace were eventually draped down the sides of the imperial pint glass.

Aroma was a bit roasty for style, but featured waves of malty toffee, brown sugar, caramel, and a hint of molasses. Fresh plums and black cherries add a fascinating fruitiness. A hint of floral hops add a rosewater note to the exceptional nose.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied. Moderate carbonation is spot on for the style.

Taste is complex, and utterly sinful. Vienna and Munich malts are put to excellent use on the palate here, as a variey of chocolates mingle with smooth toffee, and a bitter dark roastiness. McIntosh red apples and fresh plums creep into the profile, as well, and add to the bitter cherry and occasional nutty walnut notes. Floral hops add some bittersweet character that pushes the flavor profile far beyond anything I've encountered in a doppelbock. The finish is bitter and roasty. Closer to a porter than a dopplebock as it closes.

Toastier and roastier than its German cousins, but more complex and ultimately a more exciting example. Clean and fresh, all the way through, this is an excellent lager to drink on a winter day. I would suggest sharing this one with a friend, or three. Very highly recommended!

Photo of Billolick
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy to procure a bottle of this classy nectar. Large bottle, with swingtop with a sliver of tape indicating this was bottled in 2004. Pours deepest and richest of dark brown/black, murky. Tan head leaves all kinds of sticky lacing. Chocolate, malty nose. This is a big, deeply flavorfull brew. Notes of Chocolate, smoke, dark malts galore. 8% nowhere to be found in this world class quaffer. Wish I had bought more. Seek out and enjoy.

Photo of Homebrew35
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle from early 2010.

Pours one fingers worth of creamy light brown, mocha, colored head. Clear deep dark brown body with hints of ruby red in the corners of the glass. Nice cap of head remains for a while, as well as good lacing.

Smells of dark fruits, coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, lager yeasty notes, touch of alcohol phenols. This is quite complex and very plesant.

Tastes complex and plesant. Chocolate, dark fruits and roasted malts are the main flavors. Bready malts and subtle yeasty flavors are mixed in. A touch of alcohol and a very mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is very balanced. Medium bodied, light carbonation, slight sticky, oily finish. Very well balanced.

Overall this is an awesome brew. I was apprehensive about having this, after waiting so long to open it and expecting it to be not so good. This was not the case. I was surprised and glad I waited. I'll definitely get more of this to lay down to age.

$3 a single at the time.

Photo of tigg924
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: toasted malt and caramel

Taste: caramel, chocolate, and hops--especially towards the end

Mouthfeel: medium-light, medium-high carbonation, sweet with a bitter backbone

Drinkability: A really good beer that is complex for the style. Certainly one of the better American versions of this beer that I have had. I could sit back with several of these in an afternoon.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am so glad that Hooker has made it to PA. Pours with a nice head. Big taste of roasted malts. This is a great beer to sip for a long time. Only a little taste of the 8% ABV due to the malt and a hint of chocolate. This is truly the best of the doppelbock style which is a style that I enjoy. Cheers.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark brown color with a small dark brown head. Nose is sweet, a bit of iron, some light hoppy notes, but the sweetness prevails.

Taste is very grainy on the finish, something I just don't like. There's a oddly dry finish but my lips feel a bit sugary sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth and thick with light carbonation. Overall it's decent but not phenomenal.

Photo of Thrasher
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An American doppelbock that eschews the toffee-ish restraint of its German progenitors, in favor of a much more robust, roastier, state of complexity. At certain points, this took on properties of a porter; other times it alternated between fruity and chocolatey; and still other times it was an unmistakable, caramelish doppel. Complex to say the least! It poured dark impenetrable brown with a pretty small head that lingered until the very end. The aroma was surprisingly mild, with faint twinges of nuts, caramel, and a slight hint of coffee. The flavor strongly carried over the nutty flavors, balanced with a noticeable herbal hop spiciness. Coffee bitterness became noticeable, balanced by some chocolate, with a heaping dollop of brown sugar and maple syrup. Eventually the fruity flavors revealed themselves as well: dried apricot, peach, sour apple, maybe some cherry. The aftertaste was enormous, and where the beer did most of its flourishing; many of the mentioned complexities were revealed only after the swallow. The rich hop spiciness tempered and balanced the beer, and kept any fruity or caramel sweetnesses firmly in their place. The mouthfeel was full and supple, and deliciously creamy, and for a beer of its darkness and fullness, it drank remarkably easily. I did find, however, that by the end of a pint, I was ready to either stop, or try a different beer. The 1 liter bottle is perfect for splitting, or the swingtop could be re-closed and saved for tomorrow.

Photo of far333
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep chestnut colored with red tints where light shimmers through. A light brown foamy head sits atop, having risen up to a thick half inch cap of bubbles of varying sizes. The bubbles slowly pop, one by one, and the head recedes back, but leaves a thin film that rises up at the edges of the glass. Aroma is not strong, but gives off caramel, toffee, and brown sugar, and some sweet berry. Mouthfeel is thick and comfortable, and draws you back for more. Flavor is subtle, with hints of chocolate and framboise, light brown sugar and molasses. There is a faint hint of the alcohol that glides beneath, and stings the back of the throat. Some yeasties in the finish. Sheets of biege lace cling to the insides of the glass. Another tremendous selection from Paul Davis.

Photo of yankeeheel
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a really dark garnet with a nicely capped eggshell colored head. Plenty of retention and lacing to go around. Smells slightly chocolatey with a hint of fruit in the back. Massive tasting dopplebock. Full of those huge fruity flavors with a real rough edge to it. Perhaps a walnut like tang that grabs your tounge and shakes it. Nice malty burn that cleanses and refreshes. Huge beer. Mouthfeel borders on epic. Alcohol becomes apparent quite quickly. It's kind of hard to tire of this. My first Hooker beer and definitely not my last.

Photo of BadBadger
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yum..a 500ML swing top bottle, opens with a olfactory smacking pop. An exceptional smell of strong roasted malts. A hearty head forms and lasts. The taste is closing in on perfection, with an amazing sweet malt vanguard and a slight bitter tailing. A wonderful doppelbock which should never be passed on, if the opportunity presents. Enjoy!!!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.34/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brown pour, red undercurrents, dense, sediment afloatin' around, doesn't look super impressive, head or lace. Aroma was a big turnoff, just massive amounts of alcohol and rough mixture of wood and water seal, with a lesser degree of caramel and toffee to it.

Again, the taste was licorice, prunes, just stuff I don't like, much less in my beer. No hops. Can't call this smooth, it has such an alcohol presence, just a rough experience. Really not anything I'd like to experience again, especialy at this cost.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks goes out to beergeek279 and cupbeerman for letting me join in on the sampling of this highly rated d-bock. We enjoyed it at one of the newest beer hotspots in the Burgh, the Pittsburgh Bottleshop Cafe where we sampled this brew in official Celebrator glasses, man are those things cool. Anyway on to this beer. Appearance: Deep dark ruby chocolate hue tan head forms nice and thick leaves some scattered lacing throughout the tasting session. Aroma: I was hit with some underlying vinous wine like character along with robust healthy dosages of chocolate roastiness, and a touch of underlying over ripened fruit notes. Seems bigger than the average doppelbock much more complex the hops send herbal tones across my nasal passage, not bad. Taste: Alot more chocolate flavor than your typical doppelbock seems porterish in many ways, but regardless tasty and so damn drinkable. A touch of raisin and alcohol sear the palate with mild overly ripened plums complex and good, but seems this one caught alot of hype. Don't get me wrong I love it but what sets this one so far apart from St Victorious or Korbinian, in my opinion not much. Mouthfeel: Medium body big lager here very delicate carbonation makes going down that much smoother. Drinkability: All in all a damn fine d-bock that I enjoyed, but I think I let my expectations ruin the experience for me just a bit. Incredibly smooth and flavorful robust version of the style very good I must seek out more brews from Troutbrook Brewing, well done.

Photo of OStrungT
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark red. It has a very thick fluffy light brown, tan head. It fades very slowly leaving a very good amount of laces. It smells spicy, and malty. It also has a very strong hop aroma. It also smells of chocolate, and slightly of caramel. It aroma of alcohol is very faintly present. It tastes quite spicy. It sweet malts. It is very sweet. The roasted malts give it a very appealing flavor. It has a slight hop flavor, but nothing to strong. It leaves a caramel sweet flavor on the palate. It goes down quite smoothly. I think that this beer might be a little overcarbonated. Not so much that it detracts from the flavor though. I think this beer would make a pretty good session beer. It is not too high in alcohol, so that wouldnt be a problem. The flavor, though slightly aggressive, is mild enough as to not become overbearing. I would recomend this one to anyone that likes Doppelbock's. If I had access to this beer, I would definately drink it again. Thanks to goodbyeohio for hooking me up with this great beer.

Photo of glid02
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at 5 Points (original) in Athens, GA. It's been sitting in my closet for some time and I finally decided it was time.

Pours a very dark brown but not quick black color with a one-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a very thin layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells very good. There's a lot of stuff going - roasted malts, sweet molasses and chocolate. The roasted malt aroma dies down as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of sweet molasses and roasted malt up front with a mild bitterness. As the roasted malt flavors die down the chocolate comes out a bit more and the bitterness gets a bit more intense, although it's still subdued. No hint of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is probably the smoothest I've had in a lager. Good thickness, mild carbonation, everything is good.

Drinkability is great. Lots of flavors that change with every sip, and not a single one of them is less than very good.

Overall this certainly lives up to its billing - thus far it's the best doppelbock I've ever had. Very smooth, very complex, very worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Served in a dimple mug)
Thanks to Goodbyeohio for this gem.

A- This beer has a dark opaque body with a hint of red glow around the base of the glass. There was a bubbly tan head supported by a strong carbonation.

S- The smell of dark malt with a slight almost dried fruit note turned into a dry dark toffee smell as it warmed a bit. There was a soft spicy hop note in the finish.

T- This beer has a nice dark toasted malt taste with a faint earthy note to the malt. There were also some hints of very dark roasted malt, dry chocolate nibs and a light cream hint. The finish had a spicy hop finish which was mellow with a nice soft alcohol taste to it. As it warmed there was some caramel notes to the malt and the hops brightened up a bit.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a nice clean finish but not much of an alcohol heat.

D- This beer has nice dry malt flavors that were big but smooth and the hops and alcohol did a great job of supporting the malt flavor. Very drinkable.

Photo of pwoods
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SPLITGRIN for this bottle at DLD.

500ml brown swingtop bottle, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a very deep brown, basically black. A short head forms with a coffee cream color, falls to a bubbly skim. Some wisps of lacing.

S: Bready malts, dense and chewy. A touch of fresh coffee in the back. Overall, very subtle.

T/M: More of the super bready malts, dense, chewy, rye notes. There's alcohol side that slowly creeps in and ends up pretty damn potent by the end. More of the coffee but more of a spent coffee ground flavor with loads of harsh, wake-you-up bitterness. There's a bit of sweetness that hides behind the bitterness and doesn't fully come out. Body is full and chewy, exactly as a doppelbock should.

D: Definitely a brew that I'll take my time with, though I keep coming back for it. I believe the bottle was about $8? That's pretty crazy.

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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 672 ratings.