Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
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Ratings: 642 | Reviews: 502 | Display Reviews Only:
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
06-13-2004 22:39:10 | More by Thrasher
4.6/5 rDev +9%
Thomas Hooker Liberator Dopplebock was served from a one liter flip-top bottle with a "bottled in 2004" lid seal. In a pint glass, the beer was dark dark brown color and was topped by a thin and fine tan head. The nose was quite subtle, but yielded some very nice aromas...chewy creamy coffee malts, countering figgy sharpness, and dark fruit esters. The taste was anything but subtle. A big creamy coffee-raisen malt profile hit, then quickly opened up with tingling dark figgy-choco-sharp bitterness...laced with dried fruits such as apricot, cherry, and peaches. Nutty flavors then appeared in the transition to a drier cocoa-bitter nutty dark fruity finish. The distinct stages of flavors and sensations captivated me. This beer had just the right mix of malts, fruits, and bitterness. The body was well-composed for the flavors and character of the beer, as was the high-powered carbonation. The balance and excellent flavor of this dopplebock made for easy drinking. Liberator Dopplebock is not to be missed. Big thanks to Thrasher for sharing this treat.
06-10-2004 04:10:47 | More by HiroProtagonist
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
Bottled 2004. Pellucid deep garnet hue. Lofty, dense, pitted, dogged beige head. Steadfast lace remains. Waft of underripe plum combined with dulcet, rounded dark toffee initially in aroma. Bittersweet cocoa and herbal hops hints follow. Hints of bubblegum and minty ethanol with a deep inhale. In flavor, incipient is a fleeting impression melanoidin derived caramel glazed almond. Nutty sweetness diminishes readily, and is ensued by notes of singed, chocolate dusted sugar cookie. Mid palate, dark fruit character surfaces in a sherry macerated ripe plum suggestion. Spicy, stately, leafy noble hop flavor augments as the beer warms, lending herbal and slightly grassy contrasts. Hop bitterness is agreeably understated and serves only to partially offset the ample, but well conducted residual unfermentables. Similar as in the aroma, a subdued ethanol presence is mint like and couples well with the subtle Hallertauer hop flavor. Moderately dextrinous in mouthfeel, with an airy softness conducive to effortless sipping. Finishes sweet yet brisk, with polished toasty Munich malt and turbinado hints carried by an intangible lager derived pastel. A delectable doppelbock with multifacted sweetness without any cloying qualities. Immaculately crafted. Sincere thanks to Mikeys01 for the delivery.
05-30-2004 01:16:05 | More by marc77
4.6/5 rDev +9%
Big-Ass 1-litre bottle with a stern-looking Bock (goat) on the label....
Poured a completely opaque deep, dark chestnut hue, topped by a creamy, yet short, tan head with a very fine bead. (A subsequent, second pour into my imperial pint glass produced a voluminous layering of tight bubbles!). Lacing was nice, but not exemplary. Aroma was easily detectable from a fair distance, with a malty, caramel sweetness and roasty darkness permeating the air. Oh yeah!! Body is better than medium, yet not quite in the full range, though it still possesses a good chewiness. Silky-smooth on the tongue, this one is!! Flavor commences with a smidge of malty sweetness, laying the the foundation upon which is built a healthy, solid base of roastiness. There's some coffee and chocolate notes there, along with suggestions of dark fruit in the manner of an Imperial Stout. Coming around the bend towards the home stretch, a dollop of floral hops coats the tongue and throat, and with good staying power to boot. All the while, the 8% abv starts to make itself known in the belly (and brain). A litre serving of this should be savored slowly (though I have been known to quaff a Maß of Andechs Doppel much too quickly at times!!). This Bier reminds me of Celebrator, though I feel there's better sweetness and less bitterness here than in Celebrator. On the same note, there's less sweetness and a touch more bitterness than Salvator or Sammy. This is very well-crafted Bier, and I enjoyed it very much! Vielen Dank to our main-man in CT, VENOM, for sending this to me! I owe ya for this one!!
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5
05-22-2004 22:06:12 | More by Bierman9
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
4.63/5 rDev +9.7%
Appearance is terminaly opaque, fully black, much more impressive than your everyday doppelbock, with a large, lush head, with resilient, creamy froth, very appealing, setting standards high from this auspicious image.
Aroma is fresh, full of yeast, malt, doughy, even, cookie-dough, can we say? Bread, ginger, and other spices, but still light, airy, creamy, very eggnoggy, and very, very nice.
Taste is complex and delicious, a wonderful blend, with an excellent presence in the mouth, a masterful marriage of beery parts, perfectly blended, nothing lacks or wants, nothing weighs heavy, either.
Chocolate and dark fruit dominate the palate, with palpable malt on the mouthfeel, a sturdy, even tenacious presence occurs on the tongue and parts of the senses. Starts to feel a touch like brandy, even port wine, with nutty, cocoa flavors never far behind, getting even a bit candyish, with a hint of licorice.
I've had several dopelbocks in my day,each a bit of it's own, some good, some great, and I even had the Andescher before this sample, and you know what? I have to say, TH knocks the socks off the competition, anyway, anywhere, anyhow! It's just got so much more, and then some! Best doppelbock I've ever had, when all is told, just a great sum of it's parts!
Huge cheers to sulldaddy for the bottle, almost too much for me to handle on my lonesome!
05-13-2004 08:05:20 | More by feloniousmonk
4.88/5 rDev +15.6%
I have had this bottle for a few months now and decided to crack it. I am serving it slightly chilled in a pint glass.
The brew pours a rich cola brown color and a tan fluffy head foams up easilyand exhibits great staying power. The aroma is a little hoppier than I expected with some grassy and floral notes mixed with light chocolate hints, faint smokiness develops as it warms.
First sip, NICE! THe brew exhibits a smooth creamy texture with a gentle rolling carbonation. Flavor is malty up front with chocolate and roasted malt flavors popping up and rolling smoothly to a coffee flavored crisp refreshing finish. No hint of the 8.0 ABV anywhere.
I will buy more of these and recommend you try it if you can!
05-12-2004 02:56:03 | More by sulldaddy
4.9/5 rDev +16.1%
Many, many, many thanks to a gentlemanly BA for hooking me up with this bona fide masterpiece.
A fantastic looking brew out of the bottle, this dopplebock produced a this and bubbly head that hung around for a good while. The aroma was all about the deep and rich roasted malt, with some background sweetness of bittersweet chocolate. An a amazing flavor, with rich and creamy smoothness on the palate and not-too-heavy chocolate notes on the tongue.
An amazing Bier, and a fantastic representation of this style. It went very well with a piece of homemade chocolate torte. You must at least try to get your hands on this classic!
05-09-2004 11:25:06 | More by goindownsouth
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
4.83/5 rDev +14.5%
This one will take me to Zealot. Very fitting beer to do that.
Pours a deep maroon, almost black color with a 2-finger head that leaves a pleasant ring of lace on the appropraite glassware.
Aroma is heavy caramel and some toffee with some roasted barley, nuttiness and a hint of coffee and resiny hops.
Flavor of caramel and tofee dominate with some dark fruits, slight nuttiness background and a lightly roasted hit with some subtle bitterness in the background.
Mouthfeel is sweet, deep and slick. Very complex, really shines as the liter warms. Lightly spiced finish is very intriguing.
Drinkability is a wow ! ! Liter went down quick. This is a smooth beer and everyone shouls seek this out for a sample.
Thanks to my AD Bro PBrian for this exquisite beer.
04-29-2004 03:46:38 | More by CRJMellor
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
sweet 1 liter swing top bottle - pours a rich dark chocolate brown with ruby undertones. tan head dissipated quickly - I drank this warm and the aromas were spicey, chocolate, sweet - like a dark baking chocolate bar. The flavors were sweet complex malts, moving from sweet chocolate to spicey nutmeg to toffee/cofffee, all wrapped up with a nice hop finish, dryer than one sees in the other "...ators" from germany. While not as thick and cloying as the typical doppelbocks, it was great and the abv was well disguised, but ever present in thr background something I would not have expected from a thinner doppel. enjoy!
04-20-2004 00:26:45 | More by counselor
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
4.85/5 rDev +14.9%
They don't look any better than this one. Firey auburn in color with a thick, dense tan head. Retention is solid and what does recede, leaves a sticky lace in its wake.
Toasty aromas with a hint of cookie dough and a nutty, earthiness to it.
Huge malts make up the flavor profile on this one. Bittersweet and complex, but oh so drinkable. There is just the right amount of a hoppy bite to this beer and the slightest hint of the alcohol lurking there. Smooth and creamy with prickly carbonation. The biggest fault to this beer is that the liter sized bottle just isn't enough! How about a 2 liter next time?
04-11-2004 02:04:04 | More by cretemixer
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
4.9/5 rDev +16.1%
First off. What a magnificient fucking bottle. A big 1 Liter shaft of glass sporting a tough ass looking Goat. And a flip-top to cap it off. I wish more breweries had the balls to put their special offerings in Huge-Ass bottles like this.
Boy, this beer is almost black. It's a deep russet brown that seems impenetrable to UV. A nice crop of bubbly light brown foam recedes ever so slowly to a nice, thick bubbly coating with a thick collar. The lacing comes in spots and patches. And it is quite full. Very sound nose. Wood and smoke. Rum and molasses. Bread and yeast. Cocoa. A little roasted malt. The mouthfeel is perfect. Just the right amount of prickly carbonation (fairly low) and a big, round body. Almost as viscous as some of the bigger bodied Imperial Stouts I've had. The taste is nirvana in a bottle. Just perfect. Sweet molasses and brown sugar blend with a Munich like breadiness and a Vienna malt derived graininess. Some slight fruity sensations blend with rummy and very subtle smokey notes. And chocolate. Yes, chocolate adds that final touch. And there's just a hint of a lingering alcohol-derived bitterness. Not a lot of alcohol noted otherwise though.
This stuff is killer. Easily the best Dopplebock my tongue has ever been blessed with.
04-07-2004 04:15:28 | More by Bighuge
4.83/5 rDev +14.5%
I have been Liberated!...and hope to be many more times in the furture, Paul Davis has done another great one. Served from an amply sized 1L brown bottle, beautiful glossy label graphics. Pours from the bottle a very chocolatey opaque brown, capped with just enough tan head to appreciate before it sinks into the murky depths. Aroma is full of toasty and roasty malt, caramel sweetness, and perfect spicy hop notes as an accent. Taste is wonderfully full of complexity, leaving you at first wading through the roasty malt flavors, then basking in a myriad mix of fermenting fruit, crisp and spicy hops, and fresh roasted hazelnuts, among others. Full bodied but exceptionally smooth, alcohol is very well concealed and only became apparent to me in the finish once I was halfway through the glass. Excellent local offering, those who can't get it should be jealous!
04-04-2004 18:08:40 | More by mikeys01
4.68/5 rDev +10.9%
1 Liter Swing-top Bomber: First off, the bottle is superb. When you pour this one it is an opaque brown color. There is a bit of a tan head. Decent lacing. The first thing that hits the nose is some roastiness: I didn't expect this much in a doppelbock. There is sweetness in the nose also. Caramel, fruits, and maybe a hint of smokiness? The flavor is rich and full. The roastiness is there, but there is a ton of other flavors in here. Complex and extremely tasty. Their beers just keep on getting better with each release.
03-20-2004 14:01:33 | More by Boto
Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.