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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock

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642 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 642
Reviews: 502
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 182
Gots: 34 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 642 | Reviews: 502 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Frozensoul327


4.63/5  rDev +9.7%

Amazing brew... Totally blew me away. Poured out to a dark cherry brown color with a great 1/8 inch fine foamed head. Medium high carbonation. Wonderful lacing around the glass. Great so far. Aromas of chocolate, malt, wood and spice are all well balanced and present. Taste is excellent; flavors of smooth dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and some dark fruity flavors toward the finish, all the while remaining very, very smooth. Mouthfeel is full and rich, with the carbonation bringing the tastebuds to attention and giving them something to notice. High drinkability, even with the 8% ABV, I'm not gonna have any trouble taking care of this one litre bottle on my own! Special thanks to my Boston Counterpart rousee for this fantastic sample.Get your hands on this brew however you can, sell your first born for this beer if you have to. It's worth it. Highly Recommended.

09-21-2005 23:30:16 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

09-06-2005 22:23:09 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of FirstMan


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Thomas Hooker is coming to a festival that my wife is organizing, so I felt obligated to go the other day and buy one of each of their beers to try. It's always good to have an excuse to try beer, you know. This review is for the bottled version, but man am I looking forward to having this on tap.

Comes in a big-ass, heavy flip-top bottle that you could kill someone with. Of course, after drinking this you'll be in such a good mood that you'd never want to do such a thing.

Pours a deep dark burgundy-brown with a full, fluffy head that stays around for nigh on a coon's age.

While you are waiting for the head to go down, stick your nose in the glass (make sure you've got a broad mouth glass for this one) and suck in the raisins, cloves, and woody cherry notes. Lots going on here. As it warms up you really get a noseful of the alcohol-laced ripe fruit. Great smell.

As with a lot of doppelbocks, give this one a bit of time to warm up and you won't be disappointed. There go the cherry and wood notes up front. The alcohol is prominent in this one, but balanced very well with the malty fruit tones. Lots of hops bring up the rear - possibly just a little much when this is colder, but as it warms up the dry bitterness in the finish is much less pronounced.

A big chewy mouthfeel, with more dryness than I was expecting.

I could drink a lot of this if I didn't need to walk. It really sneaks up on you with the abv, which sort of affects the drinkability factor.

Overall just a great beer.

09-01-2005 16:11:22 | More by FirstMan
Photo of battlekow


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

Shared my growler of Liberator with murrayswine, who got the surprise of his life when he opened the bottle and the beer exploded all over him and his counter. It was...very carbonated. Thus: big, BIG head, half the pint glass. The other half was a thick, syrupy dark brown color. Toxic beer sludge goodness that smelled and tasted very complex. There was sweet chocolate and caramel, toasted malts, some nuttiness, butter and toffee. Lots of toffee in the finish, along with a huge helping of bitterness. The more I drank, the more it tasted like chocolate. Overall, I would say that Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock is an excellent liquid version of a Snickers bar. Nice, thick mouthfeel too. Warm and loving, Liberator keeps giving and giving until you realize it's 8 PM and your girlfriend is, somewhere, very angry with you.

08-31-2005 02:21:15 | More by battlekow
Photo of murrayswine


4.55/5  rDev +7.8%

Split a growler with a fellow Milwaukee BA, Battlekow.

When we opened it, this thing erupted with a caramel colored foam, wanted to towel it up and wring it into my glass, it smelled so good.

On pouring I was greeted with a solid 3 inch head that took a good 30 seconds to sink back to around an inch of head.

The body is like coffee with a hint of cream, just a meer hint only, with a burnt sienna halo around the outside.

The smell is strong with coffee, chocolate, and unsweetened butter.

The taste delivers with buttery chocolate, english toffee, cashews, and a creamy finish, it almost gets even better as it warms up.

The mouthfeel is slightly bitter, with a light tang. Mild carbonation rounds it out.

Over all, this beer is fuckin amazing!

08-31-2005 02:21:00 | More by murrayswine
Photo of GClarkage


4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

08/23/05- Received two bottle in trade from Connecticutpoet, Stienlifter and Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 2005 bottled edition as stated on the label covering the swingtop. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Nice black colored pour, solid dirty brown 1/2 inch head and fair lacing.

Smell- Tons of dark chocolate in the nose with a nice whiff of dark roasted malt as well. Slight molasses smell too.

Taste- At first rather nomal for a run of the mill doppel, but then a huge chocolate coats your mouth in the swallow. Tons of dark burnt malt throughout. Not the mollasses/malty sweetness to put it over the top though.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated for a doppelbock. Semi-thick mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Definitely one of the better doppelbocks, but I still prefer Celebrator and even Weltenburger Asam-Bock. Still would buy this one if I could find it though. Very good brew indeed. Thanks for the bottles guys!

08-25-2005 00:25:04 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Xadoor


4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

Brought back from Boston by a friend in a 1L swingtop bottle. Poured a very dark brown with reddish edges and a tan head. Aroma was slightly sweet with traces of roasted malts. A overlying sweetness carried through from start to finish with flavours of caramel, chocolate, roasted grains and a slight fruitiness.

I don't get a chance to drink many doppelbocks and this one was definitely a treat.

08-22-2005 13:46:44 | More by Xadoor
Photo of Morris729


4.88/5  rDev +15.6%

A “bottled in 2004” label is across the top of the 1-liter impressive looking flip-top bottle. Pours a very dark ruby, almost black, color with a tall and very creamy tan head that dissipates at a very slow rate. Lots of sweet bready malts and a roasted nuttiness dominate the aroma along with some scents of cocoa and dark fruit. Fairly full in body with a quite silky texture and just the right amount of carbonation. Taste begins with a very nice roasted maltiness along with a bit of hazelnut cappuccino and notes of candied plums. A dry coffee-like bitterness then helps to cleanse the palate a bit as the next wave of flavors come along with notes of chocolate liqueur and a touch of fine brandy to round out the finish. A truly magnificent beer, and one of the finest doppelbocks I’ve had the privilege to enjoy.

07-24-2005 00:56:50 | More by Morris729
Photo of Dogbrick


4.43/5  rDev +5%

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Dark brown (almost black) color with a thin dark beige head that diminishes slowly. Thin film of lacing. Strong roasted aroma bursts through immediately, with a touch of malt underneath. Rich body and more bitter and roasty than expected. However it smooths out pretty quickly. Flavors of roasted malt, coffee and a touch of spice and hops. The finish is tasty with an array of hops, spice and nuts. Really this Doppelbock is on the other end of the spectrum from the smoother and creamier types, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

07-22-2005 14:01:47 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of tavernjef


4.58/5  rDev +8.5%

Thin to medium blackness with crimson brown lit edges. Stocky, firm, billowing, dark sandy brown cap grows at a wonderfully slow pace to a thick despenseful foam of chocolate milk bubbly froth. Dense thickness proceeds to keep its position whilst engaging the liquid. The lacing is placed in creamy patches.

Aroma is delicate and lofty with a robust tangy malt base heeding to molasses and dark cherry/plum. Sensitive dark chocolate cookies and toasted spiced breads linger over the top with some nuts, cinnamon, seasame, and fresh clove. Turns a bit woodsy and oily after its been sitting along with a note of farmhouse yeasty must. The delicacies this has on the nose are outstanding. Its no beast mind you. Its soft and frail to the point of memory. Lovely!

Taste has a big malty start with a large portion of molasses and dark cherry bringing a sweet intial shock to the palate. Loaded and full of high and sweet tang. Levels off after some time in the glass and after the first few minutes of sipping. Middle reveals a slight chocolate underlay with a cookie dough sweetness keeping it a tad buttery and vanillafied. Turns darker with roasty malts and slight smokey earth as the chocolate helps lead away from the intial tang of sweetness. Finish smooths out with more delicate mannerisms then the front and middle. Nicely melded spices of nuts, cinnamon, ginger, herbal hops, and fig cross and mend the rest of it together as it floats off with a ghostly dignified dryness. It grows in complexity, which is by far the most intriguing thing about this beer. Sip to sip it keeps bringing more fragile layers within.

Body of this beer is huge. Continuingly full. Big on malts with tang at first, then toast and roast, then spices and smoothness. Has a unique Belgian-like crispness in with the tangy front that twists and drops into smoothened silky rich wonderment of malt complexities and airy spice. Wow, what a ride! This doesn't seem like 8% at all, it has a much bigger presense, without any alcoholic hints what so ever. The drinkabilty, however, is a bit more slowed down and appreciable. A damn fine Dopple.

A Dopple-dandy thanks to danadeny for the samples!

07-17-2005 17:22:11 | More by tavernjef
Photo of ZAP


4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

Deep dark brown..small tan head...nice roasted malt aroma...good choice of malt...first impression on the taste is chocolate..not so much sweet milk chocolate but more of a high quality chocolate bordering on dark chocolate...more chocolate flavor than any other DB I've had....also some really nice roasted malt flavors...

Full bodied...medium carbonation...finishes a little dry....alochol is hidden until it begins to warm my belly up....extremely drinkable..

Personlly I think this is a very unique doppelbock and a very good doppelbock....Not nearly as sticky and heavy as Sam Adams DB or Optimator...Probably closer in line with Celebrator...such a strong dose of chocolate is very unique and tasty..I love the roasted malt and the malt selection...tastes like high quality materials were used...

Overall this would rate in the top tier of Doppels for me...

Big Zap thanks to Warrior soul for this dandy

07-15-2005 04:27:01 | More by ZAP
Photo of Excalibur33


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
Photo of JackTheRipper


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
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -7.6%

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.

07-05-2005 02:26:09 | More by Sammy
Photo of OStrungT


4.53/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

06-28-2005 02:07:51 | More by OStrungT
Photo of UncleFlip


4.58/5  rDev +8.5%

Arrived in my cup with a nice deep ruby colour; rather beautiful. The smell seemed a bit airy, yet nicely sweet, with tones of orange and molasses.

The flavour seeemed just a bit thinner than I had expected. It was nicely spicy, with a healthy maltiness and hints of fruit.

Mouth-feel was even and predictable. No real surprises here.

I found this one very nice and enjoyable. I look forward to getting my taste buds around more of it.

Be well

06-22-2005 02:47:50 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of Higravity


4.55/5  rDev +7.8%

Well for the hype on this beer it easily lives up to everything. It pours a black beauty of a body and a off white head that laces my half liter glass the whole way down. I took this to poker night on Friday and with the women there it turned it to a game of trival pursuit. This beer was a pleasent distraction if for the few sips I lost to the curious. It smelled of fresh pulled wort that was already infused with noble hops. It was a real palate buster, of sweet carmalized wort but a silkyness that is close to heaven. There is a little alcohol in the finish and it coats your mouth with an aftertaste that invites you back. I had no problem finishing the whole 1L, a very nice beer.

06-12-2005 18:45:09 | More by Higravity
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours with a five-finger light tan head, fades slowly and leaves some lace. Black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee. Taste is more like a porter/stout, some sweetness, slight hints of alcohol in aftertaste. Very different dopplebock but its good. $8.75 for a 1000ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

06-03-2005 23:07:00 | More by jdhilt
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

Not your typical dopplebock. I had been looking all over for the beer, then BAM, there it is on of all things the clearance rack ant Ryan and Casey in Greenfield. Came in a huge bottle with a swing cap. Initially the beer reminds me of a porter, if anyone is reading this remember that.

Out of all the beers that I have reviewed on BA this one maintains itself the best. Literally, lacing from the top of the glass on down. Held up to the light reveals that it actually is a lager and not a porter, deep crimson color.

Taste is smokey followed by mild hops and crawfish boil spice; an extremely interesting mix. This is all followed by a pillowed front to back in its taste. Very good, very drinkable, holds up to BA reviews "standards".

05-22-2005 02:27:42 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of clvand0


4.43/5  rDev +5%

From notes. Pours a very dark color with a medium head that has good retention and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma is almost totally comprised of roasted malts. They take the forefront and keep it. The flavor is a mix of large amounts of roasted malts and chocolate. Very little hops can be found here. This beer has a thick body and mouthfeel, but could probably use a little more. Drinkability is great on this one.

05-04-2005 15:30:15 | More by clvand0
Photo of PatandDavid


3.13/5  rDev -25.8%

Wow, sometimes my scores are all over the place, but what are ya gonna do. Had on tap at 'bones in the past week or so. Goblet pour was very very dark brown with a frothy coffee like head. Aroma was low, and had some chocolate/malty notes. Tastewise, there's some prickly malt, with some alcohol showing through. What I found with this brew was the flavor was all up front, and then bottomed out quickly. What I also found was that the warmer the beer became, the less enjoyable it was. Sorry to be so harsh. It definitely wasn't awful, but I guess I expected more.

04-16-2005 18:43:41 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.55/5  rDev +7.8%

1L poptop, bottled 2005, purchased about 2 miles from the brewery. probably fresh. drank this beer so many f*ng times and just havent reviewed it. probably because a 1L bottle puts me in the sleep coffin.

pours a beautiful, active crimson with tightly packed head into a warsteiner flute. very carbonated body, champagne-like. bubbly with quick movement predicting a medium body.

aroma is a sweet and spicy candied malt with faint traces of hops. pleasant and unique.

taste is similar, heavy malt base with a real hop kick. sweetness coats everything and balances the bitter and smoky flavors. definitely some berry notes in the aftertaste of repeated sips. tingly going down reminding you of the well-hidden abv.

drinkability? mouthfeel? smooth. rich. goes down easy. dangerous. bewitching.. hey, now i'm picking up some chocolate. complex in flavor but masterfully even. not too thick, not thin. not too bitter or sweet. an exercise in perfection with that 56/100 % of play that makes or breaks a bottle (yes, there have been batches that would rate a whole .5 lower, at least)

05 is good. 05 must die, long live 05.


04-14-2005 00:11:04 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of mentor


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%

1 liter flip-top bottle provided by Sulldaddy (bottled in 2004). Bock is one of my favorite styles. Having review the Hooker Imperial Porter (ranked just 26 on BA) as a 4.9...I'm eager to try the Hooker Doppelbock (ranked 6 on BA). Poured an amazing three finger head over a dark caramel red liquid. Formation of the head proceeded with guiness-like qualities, a mesh of fine bubbles in the liquid settled slowly, jumbled about, to work their way to the top. While typing, the head has settled in clumpy lushious boulders of foam that have left incredible lacing on the inside of the glass. Goodness, what have I gotten myself into? The smell is actually disappointing. Has a rich noble hop character (Tettanger, I have little doubt), but that's about it. The beer is cold from the fridge and that may have subdued the caramel which can be found only with searching.

Taste is very interesting. Yes, has bock qualities, but this is a hop bomb the likes no German would make. The caramelly bock starts early and teasing allows a crisp rum-y alcohol to rise, only to be knocked down again. The bock character persists throughout, even when the alcohol drops out of site late to allow a strong caramel and light chocolate and molasses to come forward. A hint of wood-char with flat malty munich malts. The aftertaste is wet malty sweet with a balance hop bitter and flavor. Tettnanger hops stick throughout as a consistent main player upon which the changing malt, sweet, caramel, and bock characters play.

The smell has changed as the beer has warmed, allowing some chocolate and sugar character to arise. Munich (or Vienna) malt can now be detected beneath the very floral aromatic hops.

Whoa, what a silky smooth mouthfeel. A really fantastic 'oatmeal stout' mouthfeel, although I think it's actually only medium to med-light bodied. Carbonation is mild, but there is some acrid bubble formation on my tongue that persists well into the aftertaste. As the carbonation and hop bitter mix very well, it's hard to determine which I'm detecting (especially after drinking this glass on top of two other beers..my word, how is my spelling?).

Overall assessment: This is the first time I would classify a beer a American doppelbock. It's *way* too hoppy to be a classic sweet caramelly German doppelbock. It's very intriguing, has incredible depth of flavor, and is well-balance in regards to the flavors. A year of aging to settle the hops and alcohol seems like this beer would be much improved.

Whoa, I wrote alot, which says there is alot in this beer. Complex and difficult to dissect. Definitely one for you to seek out and try.

04-12-2005 07:41:02 | More by mentor
Photo of carln26


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

I had been able to try this beer in the past at a couple of festivals, but as many people have written, beer fests are not the best place for serious tasting. I was pretty excited to see this on the board today at RedBones. After all, this is the highest ranked dopple on the books. Deep black and clear, with a nice sized tan head. Subtle mahogany highlights. Mmmm malt. The aroma has sweet toffee, dates, caramel. Just a touch of espresso. The taste is like milk chocolate. Rich with a light roasted malt flavor. More fig flavor on the finish. Very smooth rich mouth feel, very drinkable. I’m still a believer that Celebrator is the best of this style, but what a great beer!

04-10-2005 17:36:35 | More by carln26
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev -14%

Stormed the gates and freed some prisoners with this one on 4/7/2005. 10.5-oz. goblet pour at Redbones.

Nice 1/8-inch head coating at start that degrades to a scrimshaw covering with some celestial-action. Deep, dark delicious brown hue with some sheeting action here and there. Roasted malt on nose with caramel and toffee notes, along with a cool alcohol smokiness. Char coat on mouth with just a tiny bit of fungal presence that gets wiped out quickly by the big malt bill. Very drinkable, true, but was thrown by the odd fungal/metal presence.

04-08-2005 17:41:26 | More by Truh
Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.