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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock

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664 Ratings

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Ratings: 664
Reviews: 504
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 11.16%
Wants: 199
Gots: 37 | 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: 664 | Reviews: 504
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Side-by-side reviews of the 2004 and 2005, thanks to Casey (DYCSoccer17) sharing. I liked the 2005 better, and its qualities may be entirely attruibuted to freshness, bolder flavour,bitterness, tabacco, cocoa creaminess, bigger head. A joy. The 2004 was more of a malt experience, with generous chocolate malts and a barleywine taste, little hops, slightly oxidized which others may enjoy. My rating is based on the higher 2005.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New 12oz. capped bottles. Picked up in Bloomfield, CT on Friday Feb. 26, 2010 on our way to KTG 2010.

A: Pours a very, very dark roasted brown with a nice tan head that leaves a fair amount of legs as it goes down.

S: Some very nice roasted malt and chocolate characteristics. A bit of roasted cocoa. A little bit of cherry and dark fruit. Quite complex.

T: Very nice chocolate and roast back and forth. A tiny bit of coffee flavor also makes its way in here. A bit of woodiness, even without any barrel aging.

M: Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. A tad bit dry, which gives it a nice effect.

D: Very drinkable. Fairly complex, yet nothing is too overpowering. Overall, a nice balance that keeps me coming back. Very good I got to pick up quite a few of these.

Photo of brentk56
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opens with a demonstrative pop and pours a mahogany color with garnet highlights and a nice head that sticks like a Sergeant, leaving sheets of lace

Smell: Dark fruit, molasses and undertones of dark chocolate and alcohol; somewhat restrained, however

Taste: Starts with an impressive blast of dark fruit (prunes and raisins); after the swallow, the bitter chocolate element makes its way to the front, balancing out the sweet flavors moreso than in many of the great German examples of the style

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; warming alcohol, too

Drinkability: Tremendous example of the style with a slight nod to the Americans on the hop side

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This insanely malty Dopplebock takes the melanoidins, fruits, deeply caramelized malts to the brink of the style.

Pouring a clear, but very dark brown color with garnet highlights, the beer's initial froath reduces to a lace along the edges then holds firm. No real lacing, as most Dopplebocks don't underneath the alcohols.

Deep caramel aroma takes on molassas and heavy toast. A robust toffee note wraps around fruits of figs, dates, plumbs, and raisons for a rich rum soaked fruitcake scent with hints of peanut brittle and cocoa here and there.

Flavors begin where the aroma takes off, extending the burnt caramels, rum-soaked fruits, and walnut deep into the finish. Flashbacks of Sam Adams Triple Bock come to mind with the heavy toast, burnt cocoa, and light soy sauces.

The body is quite malty but quivers a bit because of the immense alcohols. Becomming fusal at mid palate and never lets up for a dry, numbing and prickle finish. Never overly sweet but malty and bready throughout.

A tremendous flavor and aroma that rivals many Scottish Wee Heavies. Complex and robust as hell with great balance and intrigue. If only the alcohols could be reeled in a bit or tempered to a great degree.

Thanks Conneticutpoet!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.37/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color beer with a huge brown foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of roasted malt with some butterscotch. The roasted caramel malt with subtle hints of banana also dominates taste. Body is above average but could have been fuller and carbonation was at the right level for the style. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, this is a very good beer but would have appreciated a bit more complexity (more chocolate, more banana).

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured out looking pretty thick, It got me a little excited when I saw how it looked. The color was a deep brown tone with a cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer has lots of malt and sweet grain aromas. Some toasted and chocolate aromas were there too. The taste of the beer was pretty nice, smooth semi sweet with a bitterness in the back end to sum it all up. The mouthfeel was actually on the thicker side and had a creamier feel to it than I expected. Overall it's a very enjoyable brew.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted my 500th review to be something special and have chosen Liberator Doppelbock for the honor. This large, swing-top bottle certainly looks the part and I'm hoping that the bottle's contents will provide an unforgettable experience. Doppelbock isn't among my favorite styles, but dozens upon dozens of knowledgeable BAs can't be wrong, can they? Thanks in advance to wyllder for answering my plea.

Glossy sorrel suffused with crimson (like a thoroughbred's coat) with brownish amber accents at the margins, topped by a head of sturdy, light brown foam that displays unnatural persistence and eventually leaves gobs of viscid, abstract lace and one thick, chunky ring at midglass.

Gently malty nose of pumpernickel toast, cocoa, dark fruits and (surprisingly) hops. It isn't aroma-intensive, but it more than suffices. Whoa! I do believe Liberator will more than live up to the hype. The flavor intensity is exponentially greater than the nose would suggest. The beer is a concentrated, complex symphony of melted bittersweet chocolate, smoke, sticky dates, cinnamon and citric hops.

There's a lot going on within this toothsome nectar, all of it good. There's also a vinous quality, more along the lines of tawny port than anything else; a rich, decadent, earthy alcohol presence that warms the body and encourages contemplation, preferably in front of a roaring fire. Every bit of the 8% ABV is noticed, but I wouldn't change a thing, it's absolutely perfect.

The body/mouthfeel is ample, lightly creamy and lucious without a trace of heaviness. Sweet without being cloying, it finishes with a slightly slick feel that keeps the flavor in contact with the taste buds so that mere memory will not be taxed with too heavy a burden. If only I could keep this flavor in my memory once the bottle's contents have met their glorious end. I doubt that many bottles will be in my future unless I make a concerted effort to avoid that regrettable fate. And I just might.

This is a special beer. It's everything that I love about beer to the 'nth' degree. Doppelbocks may not have a place in this hophead's heart, but Liberator most certainly does. One of the great ones.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice 2005 vintage one liter, flip top bottle, that was served at cellar temperature and pour into various tasting glasses and finished off in a very nice pint glass.

A - Poured a very nice and very dark hazelnut colored brown. Lots of hints of reddish colored hues throughout the glass, and especially around the sides and bottom. I poured it very vigorously, purposely trying to get the biggest head out of it that I could. I was able to get a nice tan colored foam pillow on the top that rose maybe an inch and a half over the top before settling down to just a half inch layer that stuck around throughout the entire session. Some nice side glass lace that hung around for a little while, though by the time you were finished, the entire glass was pretty much clean, save for a bit of foamy lace left on the bottom of the glass. Very nice carbonation could be seen rippling up from the bottom. Big chains of bubbles not only streaking to the top, but also clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - The aroma was extremely pleasing, and very thick even from the first pour to the last room temperature smell. Deep roasted malts were commonplace here, with tons of sugary notes residing inside of them. There was a huge malt bill here, something that I was expecting just not to this degree. It is always a wonder when I get something in a vintage of a few years or so, which I never got to try fresh, it always makes me wonder what the fresh one was like, but that is for another day and the next time I am able to travel up to the northeast to get this one tap. The first thing I noticed was a very nice presence of caramel and earthy grains. These came across huge and noticeable right out of the gate. Really big with hints of smoky tones blended in as well. There was really quite the notable hint of alcohol which, to be honest, surprised me a bit as it was only 8% and I would have thought it mellowed past that after a few years, but it was there, muted but there and actually served to really thicken up the profile. Lots of nuttiness coming through now, the sweetness still there, but really being blended out now. Really very big and complex aroma, very nice and strong.

T - Now, keep in mind I have waited a long time to try this. I received the bottle over a year ago, and cellared it since, keeping it at ideal temperature with no light. I wanted to wait for the perfect time to try it, but that just never comes, so I just decided when the mood strikes I am going to go for it, well last night I just felt like it. Anyway, after the great show put on by both the look and aroma, I had high hopes for the flavor, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed in the least. A rich nutty caramel wave came crashing through my mouth upon the first taste. Really rich and smooth, it really just kind of sat there letting you absorb all of these rich flavors that just, well were wonderful. As I said the flavor of a rich roasted nuttiness was very well pronounced here and left me really looking for more, lots of caramel and earthy grain like flavors then coming in behind it, deepen the profile and adding a good bit of backbone to it. Slight alcohol warming, though only very slight, as this was just too flavorful to let that dominate. There was a touch of smoke coming through now, not a lot, but it was there, really giving it a bit of a punch. No real bitterness in here that I found, infact, quite the opposite, nice and sweet and grainy. The finish was quick, nothing really dragging on for too long, but not crisp or clean; a smooth drawn out sugary close was to be expected. I thought the flavors on this one were wonderful, really a treat and this was definitely living up to the hype for me.

M - This was one of the smoothest things I have ever drunk; I mean such subtle tones, such a rich flavor. The pour was not very active, but this one was far from dull or flat. There was a small, delicate amount of carbonation present, evident at first from the bubbles stuck to the glass, but it was nowhere near that carbonated when it was drank, more of a light silky smoothness that overtook it and really helped he flavors pop, while keeping it alive throughout the session.

D - Now this was absolutely superb along these lines. I could have easily kept going on it. Now keep in mind, it was enjoyed over the course of several hours, but still, it was completely drinkable and really just fantastic. Rich flavors, easy smooth profile, and a rich texture, not to mention well blended, but not hidden alcohol. I could go on this was great.

Overall I was happy to see that this one lived up to the hype. It was wonderfully rich, filling and just fantastic. I have no idea what the age did to it, but if it was detrimental, I would love to see what this could do fresh! Really a very high quality brew, and for the style one of the best, if not the best I have had. Definitely tops in terms of smoothness for sure. I f you can get it, seek it out, you need to try this one.

Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml swingtop courtesy of Joe!

A: The beer is a nice dark mahogany color with lots of red highlights to go with the brown. The head is somewhat mild and light tan in color.

S: A really nice mix of sweet caramel malts and brown sugar along with a touch of chocolate and some dark fruits--namely cherries.

T: Pretty much what you would expect from the nose, though it seems to be almost cola-like with the mix of chocolate, cherries, and sugar. A nice sweet malt and sugar flavor and a surprisingly amount of bitterness to balance things out.

M: A fairly full bodied beer for a lager. The carbonation is crisp and medium in terms of the amount of it.

D: A really nice beer and one that I've been looking forward to try for quite awhile. Quite a lot of complexity and just enjoyable overall.

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

Appearance - Ruddy amber, dark and nearly opaque, with an inch of tan-colored head.

Smell - Vinous, even a bit oaky. Toast, dark fruit and molasses all play a role in the unusual aroma. I can't recall another beer with a similar character.

Taste & mouthfeel - Significantly drier than I was expecting, which was a welcome surprise. Rich toasted malt provides a backbone for flavors of cherries and plums, with hints of molasses and anise. Husky and slightly tannic, the red wine-like finish is drying and surprisingly refreshing for a beer of this magnitude. This stuff is entirely too easy to drink; this bottle didn't last more than 20 minutes, despite my intention to savor it.

Notes - A beer with unusual character; I found it difficult to accurately describe or get a feel for from reading other peoples' notes.

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 ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.79 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown-hued body with a frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Roasty, toasty nose with notes of coffee, chocolate, powdered toast, burnt nuts, dried, bitterish herbs, dark fruits, and a few stray drops of dark rum.

Taste: Toasted bread crusts sweetened with crushed toffee bits and yielding a roasted grain quality hinting at freshly-roasted coffee beans sprinkled with chocolate powder. Some cracked nuts. Subtle date-like dark fruitiness. Spicy, herbaceous Continental hops with a little bit of imparted bitterness. Light smokiness from a puff of cherry-flavored aromatic tobacco. Small hint of licorice. Lightly lingering roast on the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Amply smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: In the past, I have had issues with the Thomas Hooker flip-top bottles. A few flat bottles, a few infected bottles, and plenty of money down the drain left me nothing but ill will towards the brewery. So, it's nice that this revisit years later was a return to a mighty tasty doppelbock.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Ayinger Celebrator doppelbock glass.

Big thanks to my New England trading partners for this guy (I think I got one from a couple people and don't remember which came from where)!

The Leaving Falls Church uber-bender rolls on. This entry pours a translucent (if not clear) garnet brown topped by a healthy helping of tan foam. The nose comprises figs, dark wheat, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, plums, and cinnamon bubble gum (think Dentyne with flavor crystals). Damn, this thing smells kinda like a quad, only ... browner. The taste is a bit lighter than the smell, with more fruity notes and a heavier dose of baked oatmeal cookies. Beyond that, the elements of the nose all return. This is pretty dern tasty, baby! The body is a firm medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a ridiculously smooth feel. I gotta say, this is one of the best doppelbocks I've yet had. Get some!

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Thomas Hooker Liberator pours a beautiful deep mahogany with glowing orange highlights at the base of the glass, and a creamy yellowed-paper head atop. The retention is good, and it holds fairly well considering its strength, but eventually drops to a thin collar. The lacing is somewhat limited, but that's common for the style. The nose offers a combination of fruit; caramelish and delicately nutty malts; and a hint of alcohol. In the mouth it's crisp, medium-bodied, and fine-bubbled. The flavor is very much as the aroma suggests, with caramelish malt that suggests some chocolate and a hint of roastiness along with a mild fruitiness (that combines dark and very red fruits) and a judicious amount of alcohol. The bitterness is balancing, and and it finishes dry with a light wash of drying alcohol and some lingering toasty and very subtly smoky/roasty malt.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500ml swing-top bottle into a pilsener glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large foamy tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is malty and fruity with a little bit of chocolate in the background, but overall the smell is not very strong.

T: The chocolate flavor is a little bit stronger in the taste than it is in the smell, but it’s only strong enough to compliment the other flavors and make the taste extremely well-balanced and complex. The combination of dark fruit, chocolate, caramelized malt and a touch of hops is very well done.

M: Crisp and remarkably smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not-too-filling, ABV is extremely well-hidden, I made short work of the bottle I had and it was one of those beers that made me wish I had bought more.

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 Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

SUrprised I haven't reviewed this one yet.

No date on the bottle but I assume it's pretty fresh. An aggressive pour yields a frothy 1.5 finger head that fades semi quickly at first, then leaves nice sticky looking head with lots of big bubbles missing and sticky lacing, over a very dark molasses cola brown color with hints of a nice reddish glow as light barely finds its way through.

Nose brings a nice doppelbock dark wheat lager aroma, some light sweet lager yeast fruit aromas, a subtle like apple and pear and almost banana like, hard to tell but nice fruits, then some nice darker malts, a very light roast like aroma, light chocolate malts and a creamy oat like aroma, as well as some light grassy fruit like and aromatic hops, very subtle but nice. So many interesting aromas blended and done well.

Taste starts with a nice dark malt flavor, some light roast and creamy oats, and even some fluffy nougat like flavor, a nice creamy chocolate, some toffee and caramel, almost porter like, then a nice soft grassy hop, light bitterness, light mild fruity and grassy hops add a nice bitter kick that never gets too heavy, way under all that is a soft subtle wheat and lager flavor, some darker wheats barely, light crisp and fruity lager flavor, which give the dark malts and hops a bit of a lighter balance, but towards the end it starts to separate a bit and go their own directions, as the darker malts fade the hops come through a bit more and get ever so slightly astringent, the lager comes through a bit more but contrasts the fading darker malts a bit, but it also finishes slightly drier, little sticky, but smooth. Just the slightest hint of booze, it drinks very well for 8% hidden well.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, light creamy feel, and good carbonation.

Overall done very well, lots of nice flavors and aromas all blended together, which separate a bit on the finish but nothing too much. It's a very nice beer and extremely drinkable. It would have been an A+ probably if it wasn't for that flavor separation at the end and slight astringent like hit from the hops.

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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.