Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
694 Ratings
Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States
hookerbeer.com

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
694
Reviews:
508
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
11.43%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 694 |  Reviews: 508
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured out looking pretty thick, It got me a little excited when I saw how it looked. The color was a deep brown tone with a cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer has lots of malt and sweet grain aromas. Some toasted and chocolate aromas were there too. The taste of the beer was pretty nice, smooth semi sweet with a bitterness in the back end to sum it all up. The mouthfeel was actually on the thicker side and had a creamier feel to it than I expected. Overall it's a very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This insanely malty Dopplebock takes the melanoidins, fruits, deeply caramelized malts to the brink of the style.

Pouring a clear, but very dark brown color with garnet highlights, the beer's initial froath reduces to a lace along the edges then holds firm. No real lacing, as most Dopplebocks don't underneath the alcohols.

Deep caramel aroma takes on molassas and heavy toast. A robust toffee note wraps around fruits of figs, dates, plumbs, and raisons for a rich rum soaked fruitcake scent with hints of peanut brittle and cocoa here and there.

Flavors begin where the aroma takes off, extending the burnt caramels, rum-soaked fruits, and walnut deep into the finish. Flashbacks of Sam Adams Triple Bock come to mind with the heavy toast, burnt cocoa, and light soy sauces.

The body is quite malty but quivers a bit because of the immense alcohols. Becomming fusal at mid palate and never lets up for a dry, numbing and prickle finish. Never overly sweet but malty and bready throughout.

A tremendous flavor and aroma that rivals many Scottish Wee Heavies. Complex and robust as hell with great balance and intrigue. If only the alcohols could be reeled in a bit or tempered to a great degree.

Thanks Conneticutpoet!

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Photo of brentk56
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opens with a demonstrative pop and pours a mahogany color with garnet highlights and a nice head that sticks like a Sergeant, leaving sheets of lace

Smell: Dark fruit, molasses and undertones of dark chocolate and alcohol; somewhat restrained, however

Taste: Starts with an impressive blast of dark fruit (prunes and raisins); after the swallow, the bitter chocolate element makes its way to the front, balancing out the sweet flavors moreso than in many of the great German examples of the style

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; warming alcohol, too

Drinkability: Tremendous example of the style with a slight nod to the Americans on the hop side

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color beer with a huge brown foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of roasted malt with some butterscotch. The roasted caramel malt with subtle hints of banana also dominates taste. Body is above average but could have been fuller and carbonation was at the right level for the style. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, this is a very good beer but would have appreciated a bit more complexity (more chocolate, more banana).

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Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Ruddy amber, dark and nearly opaque, with an inch of tan-colored head.

Smell - Vinous, even a bit oaky. Toast, dark fruit and molasses all play a role in the unusual aroma. I can't recall another beer with a similar character.

Taste & mouthfeel - Significantly drier than I was expecting, which was a welcome surprise. Rich toasted malt provides a backbone for flavors of cherries and plums, with hints of molasses and anise. Husky and slightly tannic, the red wine-like finish is drying and surprisingly refreshing for a beer of this magnitude. This stuff is entirely too easy to drink; this bottle didn't last more than 20 minutes, despite my intention to savor it.

Notes - A beer with unusual character; I found it difficult to accurately describe or get a feel for from reading other peoples' notes.

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Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New 12oz. capped bottles. Picked up in Bloomfield, CT on Friday Feb. 26, 2010 on our way to KTG 2010.

A: Pours a very, very dark roasted brown with a nice tan head that leaves a fair amount of legs as it goes down.

S: Some very nice roasted malt and chocolate characteristics. A bit of roasted cocoa. A little bit of cherry and dark fruit. Quite complex.

T: Very nice chocolate and roast back and forth. A tiny bit of coffee flavor also makes its way in here. A bit of woodiness, even without any barrel aging.

M: Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. A tad bit dry, which gives it a nice effect.

D: Very drinkable. Fairly complex, yet nothing is too overpowering. Overall, a nice balance that keeps me coming back. Very good I got to pick up quite a few of these.

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Photo of oberon
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep mahogany with sticky 1/2 finger off white head atop,aromas of dark fruit and molasses,a little alcohol is present as well,just very rich and inviting.Flavors start off with the dark fruit notes dipped in alcohol,deep molasses flavors really take over but never get to sweet,the alcohol is always there but never to much so.I finally got to try this beer and I was not dissapointed,worthy of high marks.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

SUrprised I haven't reviewed this one yet.

No date on the bottle but I assume it's pretty fresh. An aggressive pour yields a frothy 1.5 finger head that fades semi quickly at first, then leaves nice sticky looking head with lots of big bubbles missing and sticky lacing, over a very dark molasses cola brown color with hints of a nice reddish glow as light barely finds its way through.

Nose brings a nice doppelbock dark wheat lager aroma, some light sweet lager yeast fruit aromas, a subtle like apple and pear and almost banana like, hard to tell but nice fruits, then some nice darker malts, a very light roast like aroma, light chocolate malts and a creamy oat like aroma, as well as some light grassy fruit like and aromatic hops, very subtle but nice. So many interesting aromas blended and done well.

Taste starts with a nice dark malt flavor, some light roast and creamy oats, and even some fluffy nougat like flavor, a nice creamy chocolate, some toffee and caramel, almost porter like, then a nice soft grassy hop, light bitterness, light mild fruity and grassy hops add a nice bitter kick that never gets too heavy, way under all that is a soft subtle wheat and lager flavor, some darker wheats barely, light crisp and fruity lager flavor, which give the dark malts and hops a bit of a lighter balance, but towards the end it starts to separate a bit and go their own directions, as the darker malts fade the hops come through a bit more and get ever so slightly astringent, the lager comes through a bit more but contrasts the fading darker malts a bit, but it also finishes slightly drier, little sticky, but smooth. Just the slightest hint of booze, it drinks very well for 8% hidden well.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, light creamy feel, and good carbonation.

Overall done very well, lots of nice flavors and aromas all blended together, which separate a bit on the finish but nothing too much. It's a very nice beer and extremely drinkable. It would have been an A+ probably if it wasn't for that flavor separation at the end and slight astringent like hit from the hops.

 2,094 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500ml swing-top bottle into a pilsener glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large foamy tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is malty and fruity with a little bit of chocolate in the background, but overall the smell is not very strong.

T: The chocolate flavor is a little bit stronger in the taste than it is in the smell, but it’s only strong enough to compliment the other flavors and make the taste extremely well-balanced and complex. The combination of dark fruit, chocolate, caramelized malt and a touch of hops is very well done.

M: Crisp and remarkably smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not-too-filling, ABV is extremely well-hidden, I made short work of the bottle I had and it was one of those beers that made me wish I had bought more.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Rifugium
3.29/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.79 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown-hued body with a frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Roasty, toasty nose with notes of coffee, chocolate, powdered toast, burnt nuts, dried, bitterish herbs, dark fruits, and a few stray drops of dark rum.

Taste: Toasted bread crusts sweetened with crushed toffee bits and yielding a roasted grain quality hinting at freshly-roasted coffee beans sprinkled with chocolate powder. Some cracked nuts. Subtle date-like dark fruitiness. Spicy, herbaceous Continental hops with a little bit of imparted bitterness. Light smokiness from a puff of cherry-flavored aromatic tobacco. Small hint of licorice. Lightly lingering roast on the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Amply smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: In the past, I have had issues with the Thomas Hooker flip-top bottles. A few flat bottles, a few infected bottles, and plenty of money down the drain left me nothing but ill will towards the brewery. So, it's nice that this revisit years later was a return to a mighty tasty doppelbock.

 1,111 characters

Photo of billab914
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500 ml swing top bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a dark brown color with a frothy half inch tan head. It had a lot of tan colored carbonation bubbles clinging to the side of the glass at first, but released quickly as I started to drink it. The head faded to a very thin ring around the edge of the glass after a few minutes, and left little lacing.

The aroma has a good amount of sweet, malty, plum, raisin, and fig qualities to it. A little cocoa and chocolate comes through as well. Pretty nice sweet and malty flavor in the nose overall.

Like the nose, the taste shows a lot of the sweet, malty, dark fruit qualities to it. Chocolate and cocoa really play a big part of the flavor as well, which I really liked. The malty and sweet flavors really shine, but aren't cloyingly sweet. A little bitterness in the finish really help balance it a bit. Really liked the flavor a lot.

The mouthfeel is above medium bodied, but I wouldn't call it thick. The carbonation is moderate, and thankfully lower then I expected after seeing how many bubbles were in the pour. Pretty good mouthfeel for the style.

The drinkability is very good, I really enjoyed drinking it and would gladly drink this often. I thought It really showcases how good malt flavors can really be perfectly. Definitely one of the top of the style that I've had, if not the top.

 1,369 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted my 500th review to be something special and have chosen Liberator Doppelbock for the honor. This large, swing-top bottle certainly looks the part and I'm hoping that the bottle's contents will provide an unforgettable experience. Doppelbock isn't among my favorite styles, but dozens upon dozens of knowledgeable BAs can't be wrong, can they? Thanks in advance to wyllder for answering my plea.

Glossy sorrel suffused with crimson (like a thoroughbred's coat) with brownish amber accents at the margins, topped by a head of sturdy, light brown foam that displays unnatural persistence and eventually leaves gobs of viscid, abstract lace and one thick, chunky ring at midglass.

Gently malty nose of pumpernickel toast, cocoa, dark fruits and (surprisingly) hops. It isn't aroma-intensive, but it more than suffices. Whoa! I do believe Liberator will more than live up to the hype. The flavor intensity is exponentially greater than the nose would suggest. The beer is a concentrated, complex symphony of melted bittersweet chocolate, smoke, sticky dates, cinnamon and citric hops.

There's a lot going on within this toothsome nectar, all of it good. There's also a vinous quality, more along the lines of tawny port than anything else; a rich, decadent, earthy alcohol presence that warms the body and encourages contemplation, preferably in front of a roaring fire. Every bit of the 8% ABV is noticed, but I wouldn't change a thing, it's absolutely perfect.

The body/mouthfeel is ample, lightly creamy and lucious without a trace of heaviness. Sweet without being cloying, it finishes with a slightly slick feel that keeps the flavor in contact with the taste buds so that mere memory will not be taxed with too heavy a burden. If only I could keep this flavor in my memory once the bottle's contents have met their glorious end. I doubt that many bottles will be in my future unless I make a concerted effort to avoid that regrettable fate. And I just might.

This is a special beer. It's everything that I love about beer to the 'nth' degree. Doppelbocks may not have a place in this hophead's heart, but Liberator most certainly does. One of the great ones.

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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 694 ratings.
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