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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

625 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 625
Reviews: 500
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%

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: 625 | Reviews: 500 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barleywinefiend


1.85/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A: Thomas Hooker has a bad rep with me. Poor carbonation in all of their swing tops. I have given them my last chance. This beer poured flat as Hell like very other beer I have had from them.

S: Some fruits, caramel, and musty

T: Flat and old caramel, dark fruits which were masked by the cardboard flavor. Drain our.

M: Flat, no carbonation, syrupy, no taste

D: Dont waste your money on this crap.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 03:47:23 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage discovered at Abe's 6-pack shop in Feb '08.

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a big tan head. The aroma is surprisingly mild with a touch of creamy candy, spice and malts. The flavor has a slight smoked character than blends wonderfully in the aftertaste with herbal, earthy hops. The bulk of the flavor is rich, but smooth German malt, meaty and bready. There's a touch of cardboard from oxidation and sour tang from bacteria, but that's expected and doesn't really detract from the flavor. All in all, a very different doppelbock, but tasty, interesting, and ridiculously drinkable. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 22:59:27 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as part of a BIF from Ineedabeerhere, thanks Joe! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown with about one finger of tan head. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruit, chocolate, and sweet malts or sugar.

t - Tastes of dark fruit, sweet malts, and molasses or sugar. Hints of chocolate.

m - Medium body and high carbonation.

d - I thought this was a real nice doppelbock. I thought it smelled great and that the sweet malts, sugar, and dark fruits smell and taste was very enjoyable. Would certainly try again.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 02:23:08 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 500 mL swing-top from a trade with goodbyeohio.

A: The bock is a deep brown, almost black color, that has ruby red highlights when held to light. The head is never very thick and settles to a small off-white patch in the glass.

S: The nose is malty, thick and grainy, with some chocolate and roasted chewy notes.

T: The lager has a rich flavor, full of biscuity, thick with some roasted burnt malts and toasted bread. There are toffee, anise, dry cherry and brown sugar flavors that pop up throughout the glass. The varying flavors mix nicely, never overpowering each other or making the beer to thick to enjoy. There is a prominent alcohol presence that comes through at the end of the sip and is well-mixed with the malts.

M: The mouthfeel provides a wide array of flavors, providing a a wide spectrum to enjoy.

D: This is an excellent doppelbock, full of malty strength and subtle flavors. It is certainly up there with Weihenstephane's Korbinian in my book.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2007 17:46:35 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy to procure a bottle of this classy nectar. Large bottle, with swingtop with a sliver of tape indicating this was bottled in 2004. Pours deepest and richest of dark brown/black, murky. Tan head leaves all kinds of sticky lacing. Chocolate, malty nose. This is a big, deeply flavorfull brew. Notes of Chocolate, smoke, dark malts galore. 8% nowhere to be found in this world class quaffer. Wish I had bought more. Seek out and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2005 03:59:21 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Served in a dimple mug)
Thanks to Goodbyeohio for this gem.

A- This beer has a dark opaque body with a hint of red glow around the base of the glass. There was a bubbly tan head supported by a strong carbonation.

S- The smell of dark malt with a slight almost dried fruit note turned into a dry dark toffee smell as it warmed a bit. There was a soft spicy hop note in the finish.

T- This beer has a nice dark toasted malt taste with a faint earthy note to the malt. There were also some hints of very dark roasted malt, dry chocolate nibs and a light cream hint. The finish had a spicy hop finish which was mellow with a nice soft alcohol taste to it. As it warmed there was some caramel notes to the malt and the hops brightened up a bit.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a nice clean finish but not much of an alcohol heat.

D- This beer has nice dry malt flavors that were big but smooth and the hops and alcohol did a great job of supporting the malt flavor. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2006 17:02:51 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2005 22:16:56 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro


4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review possible only because of Brewfan and Brews 'n' Tunes BIF.

One Liter flip-top bottle with a cap seal that says bottled in 2006. When it is opened there is a powerful blast of CO2 from the bottle.

Poured in a tall Pilsner glass this is an exceptionally dark brown lager with a good brown head. The darkness of this beer rivals that of a dark Porter and it does block all light near the top of the glass.

Smell is rich and full of candied fruit and chocolate. There is a faint pumpkin bread aroma here but this really doesn't smell spicy.

Taste starts with chocolate and espresso with a long lasting char aftertaste. The strong chocolate and espresso taste keeps going on and it starts strong chocolate and ends coffee. None of the nutty flavors I expect in a bock are in this one.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite drinkable. Thing is this doesn't really taste like a bock it tastes like a sweet stout. Not that is bad but not what I expected. Still this is way easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 00:45:21 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 23:24:23 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112


4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA.

Pours a very dark brown almost black with a thick, foamy tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, toffee and caramel. Flavor is very malty with hints of chocolate, caramel, toffee and fig. Extremely smooth rich and creamy beer. Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 06:54:21 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras


3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle puchased from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a Mayflower nonic, formed a 1/2" tan head above a clear burgundy brown brew. Head lasts well, with lasting legs but average lacing. Aroma is minimal but sweet.

Taste is malty to start, lightly fruity in the middle, and a rich and lightly alcoholic close. Mouthfeel is thick but bubbly, and drinkability is alright. As the Imp Porter, not as good as it was.

8/11/04 - 5/4/5/5/5
1L bottle obtained via trade with Sulldaddy. Many thanks for the opportunity...

First imperial pint glass pours with a 1" dark tan head, which laces tremendously. Oh-so-barely translucently dark dark brown, mahogany if you will, with a nice roasted malt aroma, just not quite as intense as I would like. Taste is lightly chocolately dark malts initially, which almost melt in your mouth. Then it slowly segues into a bit more intense dopple flavor, with just the slighest tinge of alcohol. The flavor is one of the best constructed I think I have ever had. Mouthfeel is and drinkability are both incredible. You locals, stop talking up the Liberator, leave it in-state for the locals and neighboring states. :-)

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 00:02:17 | More by ppoitras
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to leftmindedrighty for this treat!
500ml swingtop, bottled in 2006.
A dark, sully brown colour, no transparency, a bubbly (slightly) off white head that mostly fades out. A malty aroma with notes of grapes, roast and caramel. To this point the appearance and the aroma have disappointed. The flavour, on the other hand, seems to offer up something special. Notes of great chocolate, anise, licorice and various malts. Nothing seems to stick out, and no aspects seem to come together. I don't get any depth, I don't taste any complexities, I'm sorry to say, but terribly disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 03:01:21 | More by biegaman
Photo of weeare138


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to warriorsoul for this 1 Liter fliptop...
2005 edition

Appears a dark mahogany, bordering black with a 1 finger, creamy tan head. Lots of streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, toffee, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and cocoa.
Taste is of the same aromas but perhaps toned down slightly from the anticipated goodness that was expected. It's good but not the best of the style by a long shot.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly astringent, along with moderate smoothness, cream, and sugar.
I'll be sure to check out this years version soon enough.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 19:41:52 | More by weeare138
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half liter swingtop courtesy of DrJay, thanks man!

Pours a hazy brown/red, thick tan head forms, nice lace spots, head really sticks for the long haul, settles to a nice layer. Smell is sweet, tons of toffee and chocolate, bread, some citrus, really nice, bit of roast. Taste is sweet up front, huge toffee and chocolate, little bit of coffee, bready chocolate after taste, some alcohol, nice bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, very smooth, definately a fine drink. Thanks Jay!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 02:42:48 | More by Viggo
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


2.35/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brown pour, red undercurrents, dense, sediment afloatin' around, doesn't look super impressive, head or lace. Aroma was a big turnoff, just massive amounts of alcohol and rough mixture of wood and water seal, with a lesser degree of caramel and toffee to it.

Again, the taste was licorice, prunes, just stuff I don't like, much less in my beer. No hops. Can't call this smooth, it has such an alcohol presence, just a rough experience. Really not anything I'd like to experience again, especialy at this cost.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 04:38:13 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bighuge


4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 04:15:28 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap.

A: Poured a dark mahogany red with a slight bubbly beige head.

S: dark fruit (raisins), dark chocolate and a nice roasted maltiness.

T: There was also some fresh cherries and dark burnt sugars adding sweetness. There were bitter traces of fresh coffee beans, and dry pine. Big doughy bread texture, and earthy hoppiness in the finish.

M: rich and creamy, with a medium-full body.

D: Nice drinkability and really enjoyable flavor for a double bock.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2008 23:36:50 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of DrJay


4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006: Very dark brown with faint, deep amber highlights when held to the light. Looks clear too, but it's pretty dark so it's hard to tell. Short, fluffy tan head off the pour, which settled to a thin skim and rocky ring. Good retention with spotty lacing throughout. Rich aroma with lots of toasted malt, hints of chocolate, plum and raisin. Also a bit of subtle smoke character as it warms. The flavour starts off with lots of malt and fruit - caramel, cocoa, biscuit, raisin and prune. Light bitterness that lets the sweetness show, plus mild hops at the mid. There's a fair bit of alcohol presence in the finish, a little flavour and lingering warmth - it ends up being just a little much. Excellent texture with refined carbonation that leads to a pleasant creaminess. Very nice. This is a really enjoyable beer and I'm glad I found a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 00:00:39 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at 5 Points (original) in Athens, GA. It's been sitting in my closet for some time and I finally decided it was time.

Pours a very dark brown but not quick black color with a one-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a very thin layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells very good. There's a lot of stuff going - roasted malts, sweet molasses and chocolate. The roasted malt aroma dies down as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of sweet molasses and roasted malt up front with a mild bitterness. As the roasted malt flavors die down the chocolate comes out a bit more and the bitterness gets a bit more intense, although it's still subdued. No hint of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is probably the smoothest I've had in a lager. Good thickness, mild carbonation, everything is good.

Drinkability is great. Lots of flavors that change with every sip, and not a single one of them is less than very good.

Overall this certainly lives up to its billing - thus far it's the best doppelbock I've ever had. Very smooth, very complex, very worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2008 01:54:04 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rob for hooking me up! TH Liberator Doppelbock pours a brown/amber color with a solid head and some decent lacing. The aromas are not particularly strong, but what is there is very inviting. Dark fruits, smoke, subtle hops, and malt are evident in the nose and throughout the taste. While I am not a huge fan of the style, I must say this beer is extremely tasty and drinkable. Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel is the only doppelbock I have had that I enjoyed more. I will certainly seek this out again. TH Liberator Doppelbock is one of the best lagers I have had in a long time.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 19:14:14 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Truly an exceptional dopplebock. Pours very dark with ruby highlights and a good head that leaves some lacing as well. Smells of wine and chocolate and some orange citrus. Taste is phenomenal- bitter chocolate, orange, rich malt, and incredibly creamy. Nice bitter aftertaste that is very pleasing. Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth with a good body but not heavy. Wonderful! I could drink these all night.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 01:20:16 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of dirtylou


4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml swingtop bottle, split with Blackie, Expatsteve, and golden2wenty1 during a doppelbock session. 2005 vintage

appearance: poured into 2006 great taste tasting glass...pours a rich garnet-mahogany, light khaki head, very little lace

smell: explosive aromas for a doppel that depart from the norm of the style...my first thought was that this beer mated with a barleywine somewhere along the lines. rich caramel aromas, rather boozy at first, interesting smoky nature, sweet caramel apple, strong earth tones

taste; big dark fruits dominate...raisin, plum, booze covered dark cherry, light roasty nature, syrupy malt structure, touch of chocolate becomes noticeable, strong woody character...a very interesting doppelbock indeed

mouthfeel: smooth and syrupy, abv evident but maked appropriately

drinkability: very tasty, pleasure to drink

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 22:42:12 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Dogbrick


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2005 14:01:47 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Pabs311 for a non-swing top bottle version of this one as an extra in a past trade. Served from bottle into a Grolsch pilsner. Poured red-brown with a one finger light tan head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark fruit, and chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, slight alcohol, caramel, cream, and chocolate upon warming. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was just plain excellent. It was very complex in both aroma and flavor while be pleasurable to both as well. Not a whole lot can be done to improve this one without moving to another style. This is a definite must try, even if you don't like the style (which I usually don't).

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 13:57:11 | More by thagr81us
Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 625 ratings.