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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

505 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 505
Hads: 674
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 212
Gots: 41 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 505 | Hads: 674
Photo of scotorum
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Born on Feb. 14,2014. Valentine's Day. 8 months old.

a: Clear very dark ruby. Half finger thick tan head receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: I'm getting lots of caramel malt. Veddy British.

t: Taste is porterish smoky malt at first with considerable hop/alcohol bite on top. Bitterness lingers but ends up finishing sweet to dry. Later the smoky flavor fades in favor of mild dark caramel malt.

m: Light to medium, good body, plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A pleasing, flavorful brew, wickedly easy-drinking for an 8.5% . If bitterness is all ascribed to hops rather than alcohol, the high ABV here would be virtually unnoticeable. (660 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Thanks to rorjets for thie mini-vertical on this one. This particular bottle was born 2014-02.

Roasted, mild coffee aroma with a smidgen of hops. Taste starts with that familiar roasted malt then comes caramel and toffee after. Not too sweet, a tame beast but chock full of flavor. (283 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Unlike many doppelbocks that angle toward brown, this one leans black. A mocha head crowns the glass.

Smell - The malts jump out and almost border on being coffee-like. The malts are sweet but dark like chocolate.

Taste - The alcohol is apparent on the initial. However, the malts comes out as being initially dark before turning sweet. There is a degree of chewiness to the malts. Notes of burnt sugar, coffee, cola, and perhaps dark fruits enter. There is a degree of spiciness, before the dark chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - There is a certain chewiness about this doppelbock that really hits the mark. I would like it to be a little thicker.

Overall - Clearly, this is the best domestic doppelbock of the non-barrel aged variety. (753 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

07-27-2011 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Paraphrased from T. Hooker: "The doppelbock style of lager came into being in Middle Ages era Bavaria.... originally brewed by monks to provide a liquid form of nutrition during Lent when no solid food was allowed. Thus doppelbock is nicknamed “liquid bread”. The Thomas Hooker's take blends huge amounts of imported Munich, Vienna and Moravian malts with dark roasted malts to achieve a rich and creamy brew. Subtly hopped with noble German and Czech hops and cool fermented with a Bavarian lager yeast, this beer will leave you happy to give up solid food for a while. No dessert necessary."

Quite a claim. Threats of Anorexia Nervosa setting in, aside, I found this to be tasty, tasty, tasty. A bit dense for summer, but a worthy brew nonetheless. Between you & I, I still had lunch. (833 characters)

Photo of CurtFromHershey
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, bordering on porter appearance. Minimal tan cap which recedes to nothing in fairly short order.

Smell is top-notch. Typical dark fruit character of a doppelbock with roasty undertones. Very, very nice.

Taste is great, but not what I'm looking for in a doppelbock. Minimal sweetness and moderately strong roasted character, while enjoyable, do not hit the mark for me.

Mouthfeel again is nice but not doppelbock-ish. A bit thin and not as sticky as you'd expect for the style.

Overall this is a great lager, but I'm hesitant to hold this in the same regard as celebrator, troegenator, or other great examples of the style. Style guidelines certainly won't stop me from drinking this beer regularly in the future. (735 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date: 10/22/13

Poured a 1/2 finger head in a Pilsner glass: deep dark brown coffee-like color.

The aroma is interesting: I was expecting malt and figs- instead there is a strong coffee roast aroma from the head which fades with warming.

Mouth feel is moderate as in the character of the style.

The taste is also different than other Doppelbocks I have tasted. Strong roast character, nuts, and coffee which fades with warming. There isn't a big maltiness as mentioned in other reviews.
Perhaps after two months the beer loses some of its malt character.

Overall, a very good Doppelbock, but different than other beers in the same style. I was looking for more of a bready and malty presence. The taste profile also diminishes with warming. This could be due to the bottle date. (789 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Born on 2011-11-29. Coming up on 2 years old.

A: Pours a deep dark red-brown. Big and effervescent light brown head.Head fades out slowly with a nice island remaining. Substantial checkered lacing.

S: Big maltiness - sugary sweet. Mainly sweet caramel with some brown sugar. Decent figs and raisin. Very pleasant.

T: More malty goodness but not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggested. Toffee is prominent up front. Very bready, like dark bread crusts. Syrupy, burnt and heavy caramel helps sweeten it up a little in the finish. Some molasses maybe even? Bitterness is fairly substantial on the back end for a doppelbock. Gotta be some heavier american-style hopping going on here. More lingering breadcrusts in the aftertaste.

M: Pretty medium bodied and smooth.

O: Excellent doppelbock. Very malty - bready type malts. Grainy to the core. It's quite good but just doesn't do it for me compared to some traditional german doppelbocks like Celebrator or Korbinian. (969 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy brown with tan edges and a thin layer of head. The nose had the essence of dark malt and a tart note, as well. The flavor was smooth and malty. The body may be a bit light for the style, but this beer is still plenty tasty. There is a slight sweetness on the finish that is accompanied by a touch of hop bitterness as well.

The alcohol essence on the finish became more apparent as the beer warmed. This is not meant as a criticism, as I think overall the alcohol bite was kept well in check.

This is a very well balance beer and ranks at or near the top for its style.

Note: This bottle had some age on it - 10 months to be precise. This was my first taste of this offering, so I cannot say how this aged version compares to a freshy. Given that, the age may very well have smoothed out this beer, because it was VERY smooth for a Doppelbock. (860 characters)

Photo of tone77
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with amber highlights and a 1 inch head. Smell is bready, malts, some alcohol. Taste is dark fruits, caramel malts, some alcohol, a touch of sweetness. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer worth seeking out. (294 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to beersndrums for this one!

12 oz bottle poured into a mug at cellar temperature.

L – Ruby brown color with a 1.5-finger bubbly, tan head that fades fairly rapidly into a ring of bubbles that hangs around for a while.

S – A blast of malty aromas including caramel, molasses, dark fruits like plums and currants, and a touch of chocolate. This has everything you could want in a doppelbock.

T – Just like the aroma, the taste is brimming with maltiness. It’s sweet all the way through with bready, caramel, molasses, milk chocolate, and juicy dark fruits. There may be just a touch of earthy, spicy, and mildly bitter hops at the finish that pair well with the rich dark fruits. Man, this is tasty.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and creamy mouthfeel, and a sweet, dry finish. Sweet malt flavors linger along with a mild throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This is an awesome beer and a fantastic doppelbock. It’s just loaded with brilliant malty aromas and flavors, is extraordinarily tasty, and is frighteningly drinkable for clocking in at 8.5% ABV. Jared, thank you so much for giving me the chance to try this! (1,178 characters)

Photo of SuomiHobbit
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious, solid as a rock, amazing combination of dark fruits and chewy goodness. Just a bit too much carbonation for my liking, I prefer a less-effervescent dopplebock. Regardless, it's always a treat when it's on tap at the Hooker Brewery on their Friday brew sessions. (274 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.52/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 02-01-2013
Freshness: Bottled on 10-04-2012
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black beer, with ruby highlight colors. Retention is fair with a good lace.

S: Dark, bready malts in the nose, plus a smoky quality. Other aromas are of earthy/woody hops.

T: Tastes of heavily roasted grains, with a bitterness like you get in a dark coffee. Just as in the aromas, I taste woody and smoky flavors, which gives it an unpleasant astringent character.

M: Medium-bodied with an average amount of carbonation. Finishes with roasted grain bitterness and woody flavors, plus a slight smoked presence. More astringency as well.

O: The aromas and flavors are not what I expected for this dopplebock, with the dominance of the wood and smoke characteristics. I don't think this is intentional so perhaps this bottle has some quality issues? I have some more bottles in the fridge so I'm curious to see how they fare.

Thanks to davey101 for this one! (1,041 characters)

Photo of diddly
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Color is a dark brown, with hints of red. Tan, thin head.

Smells sweet and roasty, with hints of wood from aging.

Tastes fairly sweet, but more roasted. Little to no bittnerness, but some dark fruitiness for a well-balanced flavor. Slight warmth from alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very smooth from sweetness.

Overall pretty good, but it doesn't seem superb. The 4-pack I bought was about 11 months old, so that could certainly play a part. Very rich, and seemingly thick, but it doesn't feel it as you're drinking. (538 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marked down to 2 bucks at my local House of 1,000 beers.

A - Must be a tad old but still gave me a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head. Beer is a very dark shade of Oak brown, very clear at the base.

S - Smells of deep caramel malt, touch of oak and some raisin/plum, very typical for the style. Very deep and very heavy smelling.

T - Has a bit of sour cherry thing going on as others described as a "sour grape". Must be the clash of lager yeasts and caramel malts. Other than that I am just getting sweet malts and a touch of bread.

M - Despite the high ABV it drinks with a medium body.

Overall it's more of a lager than a dopplebock yet it is very drinkable. Worth the price of admission. (695 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of acceptmj
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (1,049 characters)

Photo of slim2043
4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a DFH pint glass. Been meaning to try this from my local Hooker brewery. My first doppelbock besides Spaten but have read the style notes.

A: pours a deep brown w a ruby red hue. Nice off white head w some retention

S: malty sweet smell w grape notes kind of smells like wine or raisins

T: a sweet raisiny grapey taste w nice bitter and sweet notes. Pretty big malt profile. Warming alcohol presence is subtle.

M: very slick and smooth pretty full bodied but easy to drink

O: makes me want to explore doppelbocks (hence the high rating) a strong beer w beautifully strong flavors. A showcase for this style. (636 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into NB globe. Pours a nice deep brown color and red hue, with a good amount of off white head. Aromas of sweet malts, with a small bit of dried fruit/date. Taste is malty, with hints of slight hop and dried fruit notes. Its a bit bitter, but mellow. Alcohol is present, again; mellow.
Its a bit macro or ordinary, but it had some good finishing qualities. Overall, a pretty good doppelbock. (410 characters)

Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.24/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer pours a very dark brown with no head or lacing. It's aroma is of coffee and burnt toast with a hint of anise. The flavor is coffee with notes of black licorice and cough syrup. There is a long lasting dark roasted malt aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thick and syrup-like. Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock is a bit of a disappointment. Not recommended. (361 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This a good tasting beer bitty not a doppelbock. Had on tap at the ginger man- pours a pretty clear blades brown color with a one finger carmel color head. No lacing.

Smells like coffee too strongly for a doppelbock. Strong dark malt character.

Tastes also like a mocha porter- coffee and chocolate and dark malt come through pretty clearly.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good stuff- not a doppelbock. (428 characters)

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into celebrator glass

A - dark brown body with a thin wisp of a head. whats there stays there all the way down with some great lacing as well.

S - lots of dark fruit in there as well as some hints of cherry as well. molasses and sweet malty goodness sit behind the fruit.

T - dark fruit again plum raisins some tartness (raspberries but faint) molasses brown sugar ride out behind.

M - medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. as mentioned there is some tartness in there as well as a tiny bit of a hop bite.

O - a superb take on the style. (581 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - generally opaque, but shows some turbid reddish brown around the edges with some good backlighting. Sustains a light mocha head for a good duration before stalling out with a partial cover and solid collar.

Aroma - powdery, roasty grain, a hint of sweetened cocoa. A little more presence, and some added woodiness, with warming but stays on the lighter side.

Taste - rich caramel malt, sweet with some chocolate. Some substantial hop bite on the swallow, bitter but not much character beyond that. Still, it's a great balancer. A light fruitiness combines with the abv for a mildly sweet, roasty, and warm finish. Complex, full-flavored, and entertaining for the tastebuds in a number of areas. A most complete doppelbock.

Mouthfeel - smooth with a lower than average carbonation. A full body, very nice.

Drinkability - a superb doppelbock. Sweet, roasty up front; some bite, heat, and more roastiness at the end. Delicious. (941 characters)

Photo of nickthegun12
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow!...now this is a beer!!!

dark as any lager that i've ever seen! low profile head that fades fast with splotchy lacing

the smell gets stronger as the beer warms up....when cold not much smell, maybe some mild dark fruits....

the taste is incredible!...it hits you with dark malts....and a malty overload!....but somehow its pretty balanced...i would imagine the BU's aren't very high...this is a man's beer right here, this is the dark and high percentage alcohol beer that people who don't know anything about beer think about a dark beer being

the feel is dry and typical lager style

overall this isn't my favorite style, but i know a damn good doppelbock when i see one....thumbs way up on this one! (710 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark with faint red highlights. Head is soda like on the pour and recedes to a ring and some wispy remnants.
Smell: deep yeasty, almost bread like, bread with just the right amount of stank on it. Add some dark fruitiness.
Taste: not as rich as the nose projects but very nice. An interesting nutty finish.
Overall: My second Thomas hooker, the first being the imperial porter. If all their beers are this good, I want more. (441 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a brown color with a one finger head that falls to some larger bubbles on the glass sides.

Smell: caramel, bread, and a mild alcohol nose.

Taste: caramel, milk chocolate, prunes, moderate bitterness, and a bit of alcohol warming. A nice bready feel here too.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth from the start through to the finish.

Overall: a full flavored doppelbock that really hits the spot when looking for the style. Worthy of trying this one. (476 characters)

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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.