Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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Thomas Hooker Imperial PorterThomas Hooker Imperial Porter
Thomas Hooker Imperial PorterThomas Hooker Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Full bodied and rich color, our imperial porter has hints of roasted coffee, cocoa with a generous hop finish. Dark roasted malts blended with the crispness of English hops, this beer is smooth yet complex.

65 IBU

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 361
Reviews by Georgiabeer:
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light brown head and very good lacing. The smell is malty with cocoa notes and a faint whiff of bitterness. The taste is much more bitter than the smell would lead you to believe. Huge malty chocolate and coffee notes with an extremely bitter chocolate finish. Dark fruits are there too, but its quite dry and vinuous. Excellent mouthfeel- creamy but dry. Big, but drinkable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of iconoklaztor
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to bassmantin for letting me sip on this well done brew! The appearance is a nice dark brown with a light brown, SMALL, head. The smell is fairly faint, however, it is a sweet smell with lots of cocoa influence. The taste is dry and creamy at the same time. This THIP has a nice taste.

Overall, this is a brilliant porter! It's hard to do a porter well but TH has done it well. I really enjoy this brew!

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*did not mind it would not buy it*

app: dark almost cant see through coffee, blah bah blah.. nice lil light tan head.. its so so, not captavating.

smell: slightly sour.. dark malts, same ole same ole.. nothing intresting nothing bad except the watery sour.. some spice some faint hints of christmas.

taste: dry cocoa then some zip then sour. not so great.. un balanced.. feels like the abv shold be higher, not a good job of blendeing the booze flavor.. I dont mind booze, as long as it tastes good. this flavor of boozde is a bit rude. the other flavors are not bad, just not big enough to make a difference. not my tea.

mf: not bad at all.

drinkable?: kinda, if it was better I would think it more drinkable.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to warriorsoul for this gem. I waited a few months to finally open it. The appearance is a dark black, with only faint light getting through. The head is a short half-inch that recedes leaving a frothy tan ring. Roasted coffee malt aroma, with a hint of dark fruit and EtOH. More coffee roastiness in the flavor with a light sweet mocha balance. Dry, with a mildly bitter finish. The alcohol is not real noticible. Medium thick mouthfeel borders on being chewy, but all in all not too viscous making it easier to drink. Light, crisp carbonation.

This beer was excellent. It didn't seem too heavy and the flavors were a perfect mix of bitter roast and malty sweetness. I could session this one all day though I think the alcohol would sneak up on me. A highly recommended porter...

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Photo of Hautacam
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What a good looking brew. Deep cola brown...head is big and foamy..huge bubbles and craters forming and dissipating. Very dynamic. Finally falls and leaves a swirling tan pinwheel on top.
Smell is toasted grain and dried fruit.
Burnt toast, steel and dark coffee dominate. Some sweet caramel. There is a lime rind bitterness and a slightly sour flavor present that seem a bit rough for a porter. I'm guessing these would mellow out with some age. A dry alcoholic , slight chalky finish with bitter aftertaste.
Full bodied , with medium carbonation.
Not crazy about this one , but I will try another to age a bit.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2005:

Pours a jet black with a dense, frothy, caramel colored head that goes absolutely nowhere. Gorgeous lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate covered espresso beans, dark roasted coffee, touch of alcohol, etc

Taste is phenomenal. Very bittersweet, dark chocolate, hop bitter finish, extremely roasty, roastiness stays with you longer after each sip. Mild alcohol warming after each sip.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, finishes pretty dry.

Extremely tasty and very drinkable. One of th ebest porters I have ever had.

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Photo of Burt
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of thepeter
3.42/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Not sure what was wrong with this to me as I usually love porters, this one just did not do it for me. Poured a dark brown with a thin little head. Smelled of sweet raosted caramel malt and some hop bitterness. taste was of roasted malt, dark fruit, and dry bread, more bitter than I like from a porter but can see how it's balanced nicely. Quite heavy on the palette but nice carbonation. I will give this another chance as maybe my pallette was off, just not my thing that day.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Jredner
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Brown with a faint reddish tint and a fluffy tan head. A powerful aroma of roasted malt and dark baker’s chocolate. The first sip lets you know you are drinking a big bitter bitch. Very roasty with ample baker’s chocolate. Very little sweetness to this though you do get cocoa and caramel notes beneatht he bitter coffee notes.. Very satisfying to drink and if beer really did put hair on your chest this one would make you look like Chewbacca.

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Photo of bigman147
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of having this last night. Although I tasted nearly 25 other beers yesterday evening. I decided to review this first.

Pour was think dark chocolate. Very heady foam. Smell was very alcoholic but with some burnt coffee/sugar notes. Since I was only tasting small samples, my general feeling on taste was a pleasant coffee toasted flavor. Alcohol definitely was a player in the background. Seemed balanced overall although it was a little thick on the tongue.
All in all, I would like to try this again soon. It was a pleasant beer and a good American Porter

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Photo of cjgator3
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle

A- 500ml swing top bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark black color with a huge tan head that possesses excellent retention and sticks all over the glass.

S- The aroma is dominated by the dark roasted malts. There is some caramel, roasted coffee and hints of cocoa as well.

T- The taste starts out pretty smooth with some sweet malt. The taste quickly turns a little bitter with a lot of burnt malt and roasted coffee flavors in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is fantastic! It is smooth and full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This is definitely not a session beer, but a very tasty sipper indeed. Overall, this is a fantastic beer that is highly recommended!

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Photo of GbVDave
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a thick and creamy, khaki colored head on top that reaches about two fingers thick. Retention was excellent and a ton of lace was left behind, messing the glass.

S: Very fragrant. Rich nutty toffee, with notes of dark chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, molassas/brown sugar, and rum raisin bread pudding.

T: Everything noted above, but even more intense. A bit of a creeping alcohol flavor comes into play.

M: Thick, coating, and luxurious. Maybe (just maybe) a tad too sweet?

D: Excellent. Not exactly what I'd call a warm weather thirst quencher, but this sure does stick to the ribs.

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Photo of swhitt
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2006 bottle at the Wine Gallery Kenmore. I wish Hooker didn't switch it over to the small bottles, because this is expensive for the quantity you get.

Pours dark, completely opaque with a small head.

Wow, what a taste. I'm going to have to go get me some more of this. In my top 3 porters, definitely.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mrskunk
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of nickfl
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown foam on top of a black body with no light showing through. The head dissipates at an average pace and leaves thin lace on the glass.

S - An earthy coffee aroma with some spicy caramel mixed in. Some sugary sweetness in the background as well with a hint of molasses and some cola notes.

T - Sweet caramel and molasses up front with moderate black coffee and cola character. More of the cola in the middle with a more malty, toasted bread sweetness. Finishes with cola sweetness and light herbal hop character to balance. Lingering smoke and burnt caramel character as well as a little spiced coffee.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Not bad, there is a lot of dark sugar character, but for some reason it never seems to really come together. There is an odd spiciness that I pick up in the aroma and that really jumps out in the aftertaste. The cola sweetness sticks around too long and makes the beer seem cloying rather than complex. Drinkable, but not something I would drink more than once.

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Photo of flexabull
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2006. Came to me courtesy of jaxon53... thanks again!

I love the bottle, nice swing top, classy looking, and pours perfectly into a nonic glass a deep dark brown color, with a nice sturdy white head.

Aromas are subtle and muted. Hints of oak, nuts, and roasted malts.

Tastes of roasted malts, not sweet, just roasted and nutty. Strong mineral and yeasty like flavor, it is slightly bitter as well. The finish is crisp, and with a hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. Solid, and full flavored.

Drinkability is good. Nice porter. I prefer a few others, but I still enjoyed this one.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

on tap at Eli Cannons for a Thomas Hooker Tasting 1/23/07

A - as dark as i'd expect, nay - hope, a quality porter to be, with only the faintest of a light tan head, and of course too dark to note carbonation

S - the nose is dominated by roasted malts and nutty flavors, but these are any roasted malts, these may be the best malt aromas i have ever inhaled, sweet and smoky, with a nutty tone, i mean we're talking epic levels here, and they dont betray the hoppy subtlety that they bely

T - the taste is magnificently complex, biter coffee and bittersweet malts with that underlying hoppiness poking through and showing its delicious head

M&D - as smooth as can be, this beer is very easy down and full flavored and full bodied, what an incredible brew. if youve never had a Thomas Hooker beer, any of them, beermail me or some other Ct.'er and trade. its worth it

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Photo of muffguy4beer
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The largest bottle of beer I have ever purchased sitting at a whopping 1 Liter poured into a imperial pint glass numerous times.

Appearance: Dark brown in color with a light chocolate brown head.

Smell: Mild roasted malt with a nice sweetness. A little smokey and fruity as well.

Taste: Starts out with a nice toasted malt taste that is fairly sweet then it comes into the bitterness and heavier roasted coffee flavors that really balance out this big brew. Finishes with a faint alcohol and berry flavor that is very smooth.

Moutfeel: Smooth and crisp, medium to full body.

Drinkability: Another beer to be sipped upon. Very smooth and tasty. One of my favorite beers to sit down with and chill.

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Photo of bassmantin
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black/brown. Very dark for a porter. Minimal head, but I poured pretty slowly. Smell is fairly sweet, and I can tell it's going to be a high alcohol brew. A slight bit of fruitiness, too.

Taste is very interesting. This is the hoppiest porter I have ever tasted. Wow, the flavors interact well on this beer. A super porter. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Liquids
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Snagged this (not seemingly) 32oz swingtop bottle with a 2005 sticker on it...two years old on the shelf, for about the same price as the now-smaller bottles. Pours rather dark with a small, foamy, light brown hued head that fades. For a dark beer, fairly standard looking, but points for the cool bottle, swingtop and label. Aroma is grassy hops and some pine, with sweet malts and roasted notes in the background. Taste is dark, smooth, syrupy, and roasty without tasting gritty or charred, and some coffee, but has a distinct earthy flavor and a lingering 'dirty' caramel malt flavor in the aftertaste. This is not my favorite flavor to find in a beer...but reminds me a bit of BBC Drayman's, and if you like that, you'd love this, fair enough. Mouthfeel is smooth carbonation and full bodied. Overall this is not a 'bad' drinker, and the 2005 factor must be at play here somewhat, but it seems like the main characteristics are intact here, more so just not my style. Glad I tried it and got the 32 oz size even. I was surprised how well and how long the swingtop preserved it as I could only do half the bottle (one pint) at first due both the abv and not loving the flavors...then I sealed and reopened it multiple times till I finished it over the next TWO days, and yes, it was loosing some carbonation, but everytime I reopened it the carbonation still popped and it wasn't at all flat when I finished it off. Nice.

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Photo of Jwaks
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving 500ml bottle

A bold, opaque black color with deep brown highlights defines this beer's apperance. Half a finger's worth of wonderful hot chocolate colored froth sits atop this brew leaving behind a few scant patches of suds.

Deeply roasted malt aromas domainate this beer's nose along with hints of dark berries, bitter hops, burnt caramel, dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. A twinge of peppery alcohol reveals itself as the beer warms.

What finese and complexity! Pleasantly bitter hops and mildly roasted malts assult the tastes buds on the initial attack evolving into mellow flavors of bitter coffee and nougat. Sweet dark chocolate, peppery alcohol and bitter, dark roasted coffee shine through loud and clear on the finish. This has an awesome, enormous grip, wonderful burnt caramel, bitter hops and dark chocolate flavors linger on the taste buds for well over a minute. This just keeps evolving in the glass revealing stronger dark chocolate and burnt caramel as it warms, I love it.

Impeccable mouthfeel, very smooth and refined. A medium to full bodied brew with great drinkability. I've already worked my way through this bottle on a cold winter night; it takes only a small hit because of the slight bitterness.

Imperial? Yes. Porter? Yes. Imperial Porter? A Categorical Yes. There are some good things going on at the the Troutbrook brewery and I promise you, this is one of them!

A monumental win for the Troutbrook brewery and its devoted fans!


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Photo of Budlum
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring this beer produces an abundant and dense brown head. The body is a rich, black shade that does not allow light to pass through. Head retention is very good.

The nose of this beer contains many rich, sweet notes. A faint sharpness suggests hops with a touch of peat. Strong, sweet toffee and chocolate smells dominate the aroma.

A deep, roasted barley flavor leads this beer's taste and never backs down. A complex blend of cocoa and espresso provide a very deep flavor profile. Hop flavors appear in the background to cut the potency ever so slightly. The complexity increases as it continues to warm adding some prune and cinnamon flavors. This is by far the boldest porter I've ever tasted.

The mouthfeel of this beer is thick, rich and creamy. The only thing missing is a touch of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good for a beer that packs this much flavor. It is eerily drinkable whether warm or cold.

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Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 361 ratings