Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
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Ratings: 642 | Reviews: 502 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +18.5%
Liter bottle courtesy of Venom at this summer's Ommegang fest... finally decided to break this puppy out with a meal of roquefort-stuffed pork chops. First off, this beer was a gusher -- when I popped the grolsch-style bottle top I had foam everywhere, and had I known how good the beer I was losing precious ounces of was, I would have wept openly.
Poured into a tulip glass, this beer was a gorgeous raw umber color (remember those crazy Crayola colors?) with a thick and creamy tan head. Smells so vinous, along with some real plummy dark fruit, and even a hint of anise -- very much like a Belgian double. I could smell it all night. The taste is so complex, it takes a while to sort things out -- tannic grape skins, tobacco, cocoa nibs, chocolate covered dark fruits, plums, and then a little nuttiness, like almonds or hazlenuts. The finish is oh-so-dry and exceptionally smooth, the alcohol is... well... what alcohol? Drinkability is sky-high -- You could do it up in the tulip glass and savor each and every flavor, or you could be just as happy pouring the whole damn thing into a liter mug and guzzling it down with some bratwurst.
I have been Liberated. Thank you Loren.
12-10-2005 04:10:35 | More by bultrey
5/5 rDev +18.5%
All I can say is, Wow! Not my favorite style, but some beers are just this good regardless of type. For a "heavy" beer, it's remarkably drinkable, with a wonderful, smooth carbonation. This is an all-around fantastic beer. The color is a deep brown with a small hint of red, and a full, tan head that hangs on forever. The slightly sweet aftertaste leaves me craving more.
07-13-2005 02:13:33 | More by Excalibur33
5/5 rDev +18.5%
I try not to give strait fives anymore, but dayum, this beer deserves every last one.
HUGE thanks to fdrich29 for this sweet nectar of the gods.
Bottled in 2005 on the label across the top. Fresh beer! Yum!
A: Nearly opaque brown color with some faint reddish tinge. Head is a big pillow of tan suds that lasts forever and just lays down the lacing like there's no tomorrow. Uber cool bottle design.
S: Heaven. Dark malty aroma. Big aroma of home baked bread crust. Faint chocolate smell. Putting my nose way down into the oversized wine glass I'm using I get a bit of a spicy alcohol smell. Faint fruit smell in there. Wow does this smell good. If it didn't taste at all good, I could be satisfied just inhaling this heady aroma.
T: Thick chewy malt flavor just cascades all over. Toasted biscuity flavor. A delicate kiss of chocolate. Spicy alcohol taste that is just barely there. A touch of rum soaked fruits. So much going on here and all of it is not only good, but compliments the other flavors. Unreal.
M: Big full body that isn't at all too heavy. Carbonation is low and seems to give this an almost creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is smooth and warming, hard to believe that this one is 8%.
D&N: By far, this is the absolute greatest beer I've ever had. There is nothing about this beer that is anything less than exceptional. Better than a Westy 12? For me, yes. Perfection in a bottle, heaven in a glass. If you haven't tried this beer yet, do whatever it takes to get your hands on a bottle. Beg. Borrow. Trade. You won't be disappointed.
07-07-2005 12:24:59 | More by JackTheRipper
5/5 rDev +18.5%
Oh yeah, it was time to open up the Liberator today. Big 1 liter bottle of goodness. Love the bottle and the label design they put on this bottle. That little yellow tape you see on the top mentions what year the beer was brewed in. Poured out black, but there was some dark to medium brown in there. Looked like dark milk chocolate. There was a thin layer of head on there, I thought it was going to go away but stayed all the way through. Smell was quite malty. Some cocoa in there, perhaps a touch of nuts and dark fruit (plums mostly). Caramel and chocolate also hit the nose. Quite complex. Taste was just as complex as the smell was. Big chewy malty base sets the foundation of this brew. Some plums and caramel hit the palate gently, with some chocolate and hop undertones. Finishes dry which makes you want to sip a little more everytime. This beer will wow you for sure. My only complaint is that I shared this with people, but that's ok. I'm just spreading the love around me. What a stunning beer.
05-02-2004 02:52:00 | More by necoadam
5/5 rDev +18.5%
Barrel aged version. Buffalo Trace bourbon cask.
Dark, dark brown, topped with a frothy mound of cream colored head. Very similar in aroma to regular Liberator, of course, but with a very subtle, elegant touch of vanilla, wood and bourbon. Plenty of roastiness, noticable hops, and rich pruney fruit. The flavor opens with that blast of refined roastiness I love in this beer, extra, extra creamy and smooth with the touch of vanilla and cream the barrel aging provides. I mean, I don't know how this beer can get any smoother or more luscious on the palate. Full bodied, creamy feeling like it were a nitro pour, but with all the flavor. Plenty of prune fruitiness, with a bit of an exotic fig flavor. Excellent with the light bourbon quality. Headstrong hops in the finish, very floral with a not-so-subtle hint of pine. Plenty of roastiness, although no charry burnt flavors. For all the woody quality, the actual bourbon is very tame. I like that, as it doesn't threaten to override the beer. Just a hint of booze in the finish. Everything you like in Liberator, with an extra bit of fine detail. Stunning.
My one complaint is that this beer goes down WAY too easy, and you'll find yourself drinking more than you probably should. Hey, that's what a designated driver's for, right?
01-19-2006 20:12:17 | More by UnionMade
5/5 rDev +18.5%
Unreal. This one is definitley an A+ American take on a German classic. More aggressive than Celebrator, which I think would be an obvious assumption. Bold but not overwhelming, I'd say another big win for Hooker and Hartford area brewing. If you haven't tried it, you should.
11-02-2006 20:23:49 | More by FrankJ1982
5/5 rDev +18.5%
First, I love the 1 Liter bottle. If I ever brewed my own beer, this is the bottle I'd use.
It pours a beautiful black tar color, very thick in appearance. It poured with an inch and a half of thick, tan head.
The aroma was wonderful. There is so much going on there that it's hard to put into words. Yeast, malt, fruit, chocolate, coffee, tobbacco.
The first sip was all it took and I knew. Again, it's so rich and lovely that it's hard to describe. Malty, chocolate and raisiny fruitiness. Some hints of lighter (even citrus) fruits and a nice fresh tobacco. It reminded me of some fresh cigars I bought from a local tobacco roller in the Dominican Republic...just rich, complex yet balanced. Not overpowering in any one aspect. Very rich and tasty.
I drank the liter with no problem. The alcohol is present but not really at the front of my mind when drinking it. You could have told me it was 5% ABV and I would not have blinked. It's amazing how rich and strong it is, but I felt like I could have drank another liter.
Makes me want to cuss it's so good. The best doppelbock I ever expect to have. It went straight to number one on my chart.
I only hope it becomes a regular for Troutbrook. It easily could be their flagship brew.
05-19-2004 14:07:18 | More by govtmule
5/5 rDev +18.5%
Thank you Spencer at New England Bev. for selling me the last of his stash. This dopple pours a deep, dark mahogany brown with a luscious, creamy beige head. Full aromas of medium roasted malts give way to brown sugar, raisins and English toffe. A tease of dark chocolate and powdery truffels adds complexity. A swirl of the goblet releases a pleasant Noblesque hop aroma. HOLY SHIT!!! Every aroma carries through into the initial sip and then some! This is simply awesome, I must have more. A complex array of roasted and caramelized malt flavors leads the way while floral and herbal hops provide the perfect balancing act. Dark pit fruit, toffe, creamy malted milk, Ovalteen. This is the creamiest beer I've ever had. Oh why did I wait so long to buy one of these, now they're gone. I savor every drop of this near-black liquid. All hail Paul Davis for making one of the most delicious beers I have had. Transcendant!
09-13-2004 13:29:36 | More by AlexJ
4.98/5 rDev +18%
Got this in a bottle finally for my birthday
A: Pours a white head which disappears quickly. Color is a very dark roasted ruby red. when held up to a light you can barely see through it.
S: The smell is amazing. Very malty with hints of a wine characteristic and also figs or plums. You can smell a hint of the alcohol but not much due to the amount of malted barley that they use.
T: This beer has a subtle sweetness all around from start to finish. You recieve all of the malt flavors and just a hint of bitterness to balance it out. In the after taste you get some raisin or plum again.
M: With all the 8 different malts they use in this recipe it is not filling at all. It is a full bodied beer which coats your mouth completely. But you can drink 2 or 3 of these and still feel like another one if not for the alcohol content.
O: This is the best Doppelbock i have had. I love how even though it is a thick and heavy beer after you finish a bottle you dont feel full or "sluggish". This is a great beer to start expanding your palate with.
11-13-2012 01:07:53 | More by acceptmj
4.97/5 rDev +17.8%
Appearance: Deep, glowing ruby that makes me think of fire in a glass. Viscous and syrupy, with a moderate tan head. Sticky, lacquered spots and lines of lacing. This beer screams high carbs . . . hell yeah!
Smell: An incredible blend of hops and malt. One doesn't so much fade away and turn into the other so much as both constantly vie for your attention. The base malts are luxuriously sweet and toasty without being overpowering, the dark malts hint at acidity, and the noble hops add perfect spice to the bouquet. Killer nose on this one.
Taste: Initial prickling on the tongue from the carbonation, and then a huge rush of malt flavor. Sweet yet toasty, and absolutely creamy in the mouth. Not cloying at any time, but when the hops kick in after the swallow the genius of this beer truly shines; you'll know the meaning of a drinkable doppelbock. Finish is heavily dominated by a taste strikingly similar to chewing the skin of a nearly-ripe plum. Alcohol is absolutely hidden from the palate, showing up only in a gentle warming of the face.
Notes: Absolutely outstanding in every respect, and a credit to the style. This is a doppel for lovers of malt and hops alike, and is certainly one of the driest of the style I've sampled. You know a beer geek who claims not to enjoy lagers? Let him taste this one.
04-09-2004 01:11:40 | More by rabidawg
4.95/5 rDev +17.3%
Excellent Dopplebock from the Nutmeg State. Purcahsed it on a recomendation and I was not let down. Take some time to smell the beverage immidiately after you open the bottle for sweet notes. Great dark body with a thin tan head that disperses realtively quick. Great spicey taste and ends with a slightly chocolate malt. Great beverage for any occasion.
07-15-2010 20:20:21 | More by TimHoss
4.9/5 rDev +16.1%
First, huge thanks to pbrian for the special BIF 6 brew! This d-bock arrived in a one-liter swing-top capped bottle with a thin strip of tape across the top stating it was bottled in 2004.
The appearance of Liberator belied its nature. It had an impenetrable dark chocolate brown color topped by a diminutive, creamy mocha-hued head that sputtered down to a thin ring and left no lace. Tipping the glass and quickly righting it resulted in lots of fine carbonation being released to slowly crawl up the walls to briefly form a head.
The nose was a complex bouquet of roasted earthy malt, molasses, hints of chocolate, and a noticeable herbal hoppiness. Some nuts and a light wafting of alcohol also were evident. Liberator definitely has a blend of aromas designed to lure one in!
The taste is the coup de grace - very well-tailored with all the flavors complementing each other. Lots of sweet molasses and some plum notes overlying a huge yeasty malt base. Chocolate and raisin bread flavors in there, too. This doppelbock is big in all manners of taste, including its use of hops. There's a real herbal hops build-up as each taste rolls to the back of the palate, leaving a wonderful counterpoint to all the hearty roasted malt flavor. The feel was full, creamy, and seductively smooth with a dry finish. Liberator doesn't possess the syrupy sweet, cloying feel that any number of other doppelbocks seem burdened with.
The exquisite taste and nose, the silky feel and somewhat foreboding appearance made Liberator amazingly drinkable. Add that the 8% alcohol content is very well masked and it gets downright dangerous. All in all, Liberator struck me not so much as being a doppelbock as being a doppelbock borne of a barleywine, such was its complexity and breadth of hops character. Easily the finest doppelbock I've had and worth picking up on sight or working out a trade for.
04-15-2004 04:10:45 | More by Boilermaker88
4.9/5 rDev +16.1%
Thanks goes out to nouseforotacon for this brew.
Bottled in 2006/SwingTop
Poured into a chalice a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, an an amazing creamy one-finger plus tan head, which lasted forever, now some nice little islands and sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of sweet malts, vanilla, and toffee/caramel. The taste is sweet and slightly bitter malts, nice touch of vanilla, lots of toffee/caramel. Medium body, smooth/thick with a nice chewy body. Very drinkable, man this is an awesome Doppelbock, probably the best I've had to date, quite different, highly recommended.
03-28-2007 23:24:23 | More by Wasatch
Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.