Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter LagerThomas Hooker Nor'Easter Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

64 Reviews
THE BROS
37
awful

(Read More)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 132
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 15.56%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Boto on 11-29-2008

Brewed to celebrate Winter in New England, Nor'Easter Lager possesses a Hearty Malt flavor delicately accented by mild winter spices.

16 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 132
Photo of Slatetank
3.89/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this at Brass Rail, enjoyed on Christmas in a mug from the 12oz

The color is dark amber with good clarity and two fingers of beige head with very fine bead and spots of lace. The smell has a lot of malt in the nose with toasted ester and mild berry odor with a light herbal hop scent. The feel has a lot of malt with sweet tinge and light toasted texture with moderately carbonated with semi-dry finish and medium full body with mildly bitter finish.

The taste has a mellow entry with hints of toast and caramel and light fruity element with slight berry aspect and subtle spice with gentle nutty and slight vanilla taste with a hint of herbal hop as it finishes. Overall I think this is a decent lager- nice full malt with style seems to be fest/bock very drinkable and clean (792 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
2.69/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance is hazel with a light cream colored head that leaves almost immediately after a pour. The taste is interesting with a lot of the apple spices they use in the beginning but the end is a little bland while still leaving a lingering aftertaste. The mouthfeel was a more flat than I was expecting. An interesting idea, but overall a pretty boring beer in the end. (370 characters)

Photo of kbrokhoff
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Personal Drunkenness: 0%; first beer of the day

No. of Tasting: This is my 2nd six-pack of this beer, and I think my 9th bottle overall; however, it has been at least a few years since that 1st six-pack

Coldness: Opened, poured and tasted within 3 minutes out of the fridge

Pour: Started a bit hard, then medium and finally a low (soft?) pour for the last third of the bottle to keep the head level

Glassware: 20 oz. Craft Pub glass (similar to a Stange)

Filtering: Filtered

Coloring: Copper with orange and amber hues

Head: Approximately 1.5 inches, which quickly dissipated to a few millimeter ring around the glass

Summary: Really Alström Bros? Awful? I am a bit shocked. After all, this is the same Thomas Hooker (or Hooker, as I lovingly refer to them) that offers their "world-class" Octoberfest Lager, which I absolutely love. I really appreciate this beer and enjoy drinking it. Let's consider what the brewers at Hooker were striving for with this brew: A lager with the taste of apples and spices (or as they describe it, "Hearty Malt flavor delicately accented by mild winter spices"). It is rare to see apples (or apple flavoring in this case) being paired with beer, but here I believe they succeeded. That apple flavor is not a hard-slap-in-the-face strong, but it is there, although to me bordering on subtle. The beer certainly delivers a strong, sweet malty taste (it has no less than 7 malts). It leaves a wetness on the tongue with a bit of an aftertaste that does not stick around long. It is very drinkable and goes down fast. The smell is sweet with apples, malts, and a hint of cinnamon. A sweet German-style Oktoberfest lager would be a great way to sum up this brew and it is probably better suited for the Autumn. I have had the pleasure of only sampling 4 or 5 of Hooker's beers and wish I had access to more of their offerings. (1,866 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a iced tea like color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malty, bready. Taste is good, lots of malts, nutty, bready, a bit of a caramel sweetness, a touch of spice. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer. (266 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
1.89/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This one poured out as a deep orange color with a cream colored head on top. The retention is completely gone withing a few minutes and there is zero lacing. Very bland looking. The nose is a little spicy with some hints of apple pie or cinnamon. The taste is strong with a spice kick upfront followed by some malt sweetness in the finish. The mouthfeel is decent, nothing too special. Overall the more I drink the more I don't care for it. I got this in a mixed case from a friend and pretty glad there is only one bottle to get through. I wouldn't seek this one out again. (574 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle (part of a six-mix) into a pint glass.

Pours medium amber with quick foam. Very little trace left. Deep rich malty nose. Taste is a rich caramel malt, modestly sweet. Very mild bite bitter at the finish, but more sweet than not. Easy drinker winter for sure. If anything, maybe a touch too sweet. (327 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with a short lived off-white head. Aroma is of bready malt, hops, hint of spices and baked apples. Body is full, slightly crisp. Taste is caramel, cinnamon, earthy hops, baked apples and cherries. Finish is long, earthy. Not very tasty, but easy drinking, for holydays brew. (305 characters)

Photo of tempest
2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Grabbed a bottle at Euro Market. The bottle date says it's about 3 months old. Well, the spice certainly hasn't died down here. It reminds me of the same spice profile of Southern Tier Pumking, heavy on clove and nutmeg. Unfortunately I think I'm also pulling a light sour note of this from infection.

I gotta say I'm not crazy about this beer. It's all spice and I'm not getting much (or any) barley and hops. There's a little caramel malt as it warms, but the sour lemon is also growing. Pass. (496 characters)

Photo of rwrk42
2.91/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour: Pours amber, medium brown with limited head if any at all
Smell: Not very strong with a faint malty smell and apples
Taste: Smooth and light. A flavor with a hint of caramel and apples. Slight hop bitterness to even it out nicely
Overall an okay beer. Was hoping for a bit more hop & malt flavor (301 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high light beige head that quickly died down, leaving a thin film covering the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of caramel malts and hints of a variety of spices in the nose—cinnamon and nutmeg seem to stand out in particular.
T: The overall taste is quite malty and like the smell it has added flavors of spices with some hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes like a hybrid between the maltiness of a Vienna Lager and the spiciness of a Winter Warmer (but without the full-bodied nature and alcohol warming). (803 characters)

Photo of barleyroad
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is amber with a nice light cream foam. Smell, in very faint and lacking in the aroma area. Mouthfeel is very clean and crisp, lays well in the mouth. Taste is nice and the hints of herbs are nice. This beer is balanced well in the spices and herbs. We had a 2010 and this 2011 is much better. Good with some stew or chowder. (335 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a reddish amber color with a two inch head that slowly falls.

Smell: bready with some spiciness.

Taste: caramel, bread, nutmeg, ripe plums and red apples, a moderate bitterness, and a floral flavor that is hard to describe but pleasant.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Short aftertaste.

Overall: a nice winter beer that definitely fits the season. Very easy to consume and almost a sessionable beer. Well balanced. (478 characters)

Photo of dexterk1
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Not really much head. Color is dark reddish or light brownish. Appearance is good overall.
Odor is light and sweet. Like fruity candy. Not really much else beyond that.
Taste is pretty average I would say. Not bad, but just to much cinnamon or spice. Not really balanced all that well. Has a nice smooth fell to it though.
Overall a pretty average beer and nothing really to rave about. Not bad however, just not very memorable. (467 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, "Born on 2011-10-19" etched onto the neck of the bottle.

Pours is hazed medium plum, under a very moderate and timid off white head, that departs rapidly and leaves just a hint of a tiny bubble film and near no lacing.

Slight sniff of sweet fruit and hard candy.

Moderate fruityness, slight winter spicing, with some licorice in the finish. Ehh, not my favorite winter seasional, but likely to do in a pinch on a cold winters night (451 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
1.46/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: shiny faint amber, zero head, no lacing

S: cinnamon, caramel, hint of apple
and then big vegetable nose...odd.

T: mild sweet cinnamon, caramel, light malt,
then sour/mild bitter vegetable finish

M: light/med body, semi-dry mouth

O: I'm shocked at this beer.
like this brewery and style, but
this did not work. Stuck with another
5 more of these beers, rarely have this
feeling of regret.

TERRIBLE, PLEASE AVOID! (422 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up while visiting lovely Brookfield CT.

Clear cola to copper color with a thin, insta-vanish head. Smells like a subtle apple pie spice, rum cake, Hershey's chocolate bar and a wet stick. Tastes like apple pie infused rum and dark bready chocolate - kinda like chocolate biscotti.

When I discovered my newly acquired souvenir beer was an apple pie spice infused winter warmer I was scared of something along the lines of McDonald's apple pie and an over-spiced Sam Adams winter bock. The spice is fairly reserved and it's actually pretty good. (558 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nor'Easter smells of spices, apple pie, and Christmas. The brew does contain "mild apple pie spices"--though the brewer's website says "mild winter spices"--and there are definite touches of allspice and clove in the nose, as well as a healthy dose of brown sugar, and a fresh bread/pie crust malt aroma.

On the tongue, the apple pie spices come out in full strength, bringing not only the aforementioned allspice and clove tones, but cinnamon as well. The malts bring a further apple-like fruitiness, as well as bread-like notes and brown sugars. Hops are barely noticeable over the malts and spices, despite the brew having three different varieties of hops, and mainly exist as a slight tingle at the edges. The aftertaste is mainly apple, bread, and spice, and lasts for a while. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, the beer is good, and definitely lives up to the apple spice flavors noted on the packaging--i.e. if you're not into flavored brews, this one is not for you. It would, however, go excellently with a big bowl of vanilla ice cream and a roaring fire. (1,099 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle consumed at our Christmas in July tasting this past weekend. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a clear light copper color with a very thin white head and a spot or two of lacing. The nose brings forward some light grain and a bit of fruit. There's some light grain to both the nose and flavor, but then quite a bit of oxidation comes into the flavor. Mild sherry and fruit throughout. Light body and moderate carbonation. Nothing too offensive, but not very tasty either. (478 characters)

Photo of Homebrew35
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half fingers worth of white head, clear amber brownish body. Smells sweet and Carmely, some toffee, cinnamon clove mixed with a typical lager yeasty quality. Tastes of Carmel, bready yeast and malts, cinnamon, clove and allspice. Medium body, low carbonation, medium dry finish with some lingering hop bitterness. Overall this is fairly good. When fresh this is a nicely spiced beer that's an easy drinker. I'm updating my previous review because the bottle I reviewed apparently was quite old. $8.50 a sixer (516 characters)

Photo of Drew966
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter Lager pours a reddish brown with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is dominated by caramel malt. The flavor is also on the malty side, some dark fruit also makes itself known, there is also a mild spicy flavor of some sort. Mediocre. (279 characters)

Photo of PEBKAC
1.38/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Time to get tough. Fridge needs clearing. More winter warmers.

Hazed, Vienna lager-sorta color. Inch of insecure cream-colored head.

Smell is a sharp, soured & browned. Thick with sticky malt & sprinkled with bitter nutmeg. Smells like an infection, except I can't tell if just the additives at work.

First off, feel is nearly flat. Frothy & thin. Tangy, lightly honeyed, bit limey, tea-ish. Empty spices, flat grain finish. Bit of whiskey. A flat score of "1" is reserved for beers that actually make you nauseous, while this was just misshapen.

...And here comes the headache. (584 characters)

Photo of Doomcifer
1.14/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I usually take a whiff of my beers as soon as I pop the cap off the bottle....this time I was smacked upside the dome with an aroma of rotten apples that were left out in the hot summer sun; fermenting in their own slimy filth. Ugh, WTF is going on here?! Have I been duped?!

Upon closer inspection of the bottle: "Lager with artificial flavor" ...huh?! I wish I had seen that lil subtitle before purchasing this. It all makes a bit more sense now.

I guess I'll pout the contents and give it a shot. What the hell, right? I work pretty hard for my money. It pours a cloudy amber color with minimal head or retention. Smells like hard cider produced from pressed rotten apples. The aroma doesn't even resemble beer at all. Flavor takes a detour into artificial territory with the finish. Starts off with a hard cider taste along with sour notes and then melds into a weird artificial caramel candy apple flavor. Mouthfeel is pretty watered down. Not much body to speak of. I think the statements I made above can clue you in on the drinkability factor.

Thomas Hooker brewery hardly ever disappoints me but they have truly struck out with this offering. This "beer" presents us with a whole 'nother level of putrid. How is this rated a B? How can anyone drink this shit with a straight face?! "A Winter Embracing Brew" my ass. More like an appropriate substitute for Drano. Pardon me while I go pour this down my slow draining bathtub drain. I'll post the results. (1,466 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark golden amber with a very thin off white head. Head clung to the sides very well. Aroma was sweet and fruity with a hint of malt. Almost an overly strong barley wine at times. Taste finished off a vanilla flavor with hints of malty but also had hints of salty sour. Terrible feeling in the mouth. A small amount coated well, but most of it felt watery. Went down easily, but I couldn't see any reason to drink. The flavor was just off, and coupled with the moutfeel it wasn't a hit. (534 characters)

Photo of cbutova
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Always cautious about the artificial addition of flavors, see how this pans out.

A- Hazy brown with a fizzy white cap that has poor retention. A cloud and ring stay behind and leave some sticky suds but only a few spots of lace.

S- The first impression is sour apple/cider with a caramel over tone. A spice/raisin feel in the background.

T- Might be the artificial flavoring, there is a tart apple feel to this one. Caramel and light spice are in the backdrop. Slight banana, clove and raisin. Yeast bread.

MF- Lighter body with the aforementioned sour punch. Carbonation is on the high side.

DB- I can't tell if this is infection or just a strange concoction. Each sip brings on more of a sour punch but it doesn't totally remind me of bottles with lactic infections I have experienced. I will have to give this another shot but will keep this here for reference. (869 characters)

Photo of Jason
1.37/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

"Lager With Artificial Flavor" YIKES!!!

Clear and tawny with a nice looking head on top. Perfume-like cinnamon toothpaste, brown apples pulp, faint alcoholic esters and some graininess in the nose ... not too pleasing. Some smoothness in the medium body. Hint of caramel from the malt the this odd artificial flavor drops on the palate and knocks the beer off kilter ... a chore to get past. With each sip it becomes more annoying to the point of being undrinkable.

Seriously ... is there a need to add this garbage to beer? Pass on this one, there are too many other winter seasonals that are better or at least drinkable. (668 characters)

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Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.