Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

508 Reviews
Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

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

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Reviews: 508 | Ratings: 694
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - generally opaque, but shows some turbid reddish brown around the edges with some good backlighting. Sustains a light mocha head for a good duration before stalling out with a partial cover and solid collar.

Aroma - powdery, roasty grain, a hint of sweetened cocoa. A little more presence, and some added woodiness, with warming but stays on the lighter side.

Taste - rich caramel malt, sweet with some chocolate. Some substantial hop bite on the swallow, bitter but not much character beyond that. Still, it's a great balancer. A light fruitiness combines with the abv for a mildly sweet, roasty, and warm finish. Complex, full-flavored, and entertaining for the tastebuds in a number of areas. A most complete doppelbock.

Mouthfeel - smooth with a lower than average carbonation. A full body, very nice.

Drinkability - a superb doppelbock. Sweet, roasty up front; some bite, heat, and more roastiness at the end. Delicious.

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Photo of nickthegun12
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! this is a beer!!!

dark as any lager that i've ever seen! low profile head that fades fast with splotchy lacing

the smell gets stronger as the beer warms up....when cold not much smell, maybe some mild dark fruits....

the taste is incredible! hits you with dark malts....and a malty overload!....but somehow its pretty balanced...i would imagine the BU's aren't very high...this is a man's beer right here, this is the dark and high percentage alcohol beer that people who don't know anything about beer think about a dark beer being

the feel is dry and typical lager style

overall this isn't my favorite style, but i know a damn good doppelbock when i see one....thumbs way up on this one!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark with faint red highlights. Head is soda like on the pour and recedes to a ring and some wispy remnants.
Smell: deep yeasty, almost bread like, bread with just the right amount of stank on it. Add some dark fruitiness.
Taste: not as rich as the nose projects but very nice. An interesting nutty finish.
Overall: My second Thomas hooker, the first being the imperial porter. If all their beers are this good, I want more.

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Photo of Gavage
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a brown color with a one finger head that falls to some larger bubbles on the glass sides.

Smell: caramel, bread, and a mild alcohol nose.

Taste: caramel, milk chocolate, prunes, moderate bitterness, and a bit of alcohol warming. A nice bready feel here too.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth from the start through to the finish.

Overall: a full flavored doppelbock that really hits the spot when looking for the style. Worthy of trying this one.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grade it for its enjoyability and not for its style. It strays from the strict maltiness of a dopplebock style but in a good way. It stops short of the traditional super malty sweet beer and balances with a good dose of earthy and grassy hops. I grade this on great balance.

It pours a dark semi-ruby/brown beer with a descent white head that sticks around a good bit and leaves nice lacing.

The aroma is of malty, fresh baked breads, toffee, and caramel. Grassy, earthy, bright elements peek through to wake the senses. Nice malty backbone with a floral surface.

The flavor is full of bread, toffee, caramel, and a touch of cocoa on a stage of earth, grass, honeysuckle, and clover. Nice balance. Rich but not cloying. Clean, crisp finish.

Malty and sweet with a balance of clean, grassy hops and clean, crisp finish with afternotes more on the hop side than the malt.

Overall a very enjoyable, balanced beer that should be graded on its overall enjoyability and taste, not on how strict it follows the style guideline.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: deep/cloudy brown shimmer of crimson,
khaki finger head,

S: floral, grapefruit, pine, mild nut

T: grapefruit, floral, grassy, mild
bitter finish

M: med/light body, sem-dry mouth

O: too hoppy for my taste
when it comes to doppelbocks.
I was so pumped to try this, but
was disappointed. Maybe I got
a bad bottle? I thought Doppelbocks
were supposed to be creamy/chewy/smooth
big malt?


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Photo of Jacobob10
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with a tan head that sticks to the side of the glass as it dissipates. Loads of carbonation gives way to decent head retention. The aroma is strong with roasted malts in the forefront. Flavor is bitter with notes of coffee, burnt malt, dark chocolate and a touch of alcohol. High carbonation leaves a fizzy sensation on the tongue and it gets a bit cloying after a while. However, it is very drinkable for such a strong brew.

I have had my eye on this beer for several years and finally saw it at a local liquor store. My expectations may have been a bit high, but overall a very nice brew and something I would buy again.

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

Poured into a shaker pint: Deep mahogany body with chestnut highlights all throughout. A finger of tan head that drops to a thin coating & leaving a few strands of lacing.

Smells of thick, caramel, syrupy sweetness that comes very close to tipping into a cherry pie filling, if that makes sense. Gains a rich toffee character & some breadiness. Very good.

Tight caramel up front in the taste, once the fizz subsides. Interestingly, a bigger sip starts & finishes a little dry & alcoholic, seltzer-like; a smaller sip is just a smooth, sweet, caramel, with notes like grape jelly & a nutty, bready character. Very tasty, if you know how to drink it.

Medium-full-bodied, with a lager smoothness, just slightly sticky. For as sweet as it is, it's relatively light, truth be told.

This is delicious. Reminds me much more of a Wee Heavy than a Doppelbock (especially American-made, which tend to be boozy messes), but I'll take it! Rich & satisfying.

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Photo of abraxel
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark brown, with some reddish highlights. The head is super fizzy and disappears quickly. It looks (and sounds) a lot like cola.

S - Some nice fruitiness and dark malts. Not as tasty or as strong as I hoped. Maybe a touch of alcohol is noticeable.

T - Bready malts with no shortage of fruit notes. There's also a bit of almost solventy alcohol, though. It doesn't ruin the beer, but it does detract from it.

M - Smooth, with almost no carbonation (it looked like all of it fizzled out in the pour). A little thin.

Overall,I was looking forward to this beer based on the ratings and I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I've had many doppelbocks that were fantastic, but this is not one of them.

Upon perusing the other reviews, I can't help but wonder if this bottle came from a bad (or less-than-stellar) batch. Many reviewers noted the foamy and long-lasting head, in contrast to mine, where the head dropped to nothing almost as soon as I set down the bottle. A few recent reviewers seem to have described something similar to mine, which makes me think that, if it is a problem with the bottle I have, it's likely a recurring issue.

Anyway. I rated this beer as it deserved, but I suspect many other reviewers drank something better. C'est la vie.

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Photo of zac16125
3.05/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

500mL bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost but not quite black, with 1 fingers width of mocha head that is dense but dissipates quickly down to a thin film. Leaves no appreciable lacing.

S: Lots of sweet dark fruits on the nose, particularly fig and plum.

T: Interesting flavor profile. At first I really liked the flavors. There was a lot of dark fruit sweetness (fig) up front, with chocolate flavors followed by a roasted malt character and some hop bitterness on the back end. I thought it was quite complex and well balanced at the beginning. However, as I continued to drink, it really took a turn for the worse. The sweetness completely dominated and there was something about it that I found particularly unappealing to the point that I almost didn’t finish it (which I don’t think has ever happened to be during a beer tasting). I did finish it, but it left me feeling slightly nauseous. The only reason I’m not giving it a lower grade than I am is because it did start off quite nice, it just finished so poorly.

M/D: Smooth, pretty heavily carbonated, with a medium to heavy body. It does a good job of masking the ABV but the massive sweet malt character makes the drinkability quite low. I would not even consider having more than 1.

O: Overall, this certainly isn’t my favorite style, and I do tend to favor the ale styles over the lagers in general. That being said though, I have found a couple doppelbocks to be pretty damn good, much better than this one. Particularly I’ve found Ayinger Celebrator to be excellent, and since I had heard this one being compared to Celebrator, I was excited to try it. Needless to say it definitely let me down. I will not try this one again, and will probably completely avoid the style for a while.

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Photo of mikeg67
2.71/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with a fluffy, tanned head. Aroma is of herbal hops, caramel and dark fruit. Medium body. Stale taste of sourdough prevails. Despite on there are plenty of nice notes of caramel, coffee, herbal hops and dark fruit the impression of the beer remains unpleasant. I hate when brewers do not put the best by date on bottles.

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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 jsanford
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

Pours a dark cola-brown with a nice khaki-colored head that quickly dissipate, leaving some spotty haze and a slight ring. Aromas of dark malt, dried fruits, caramel, and chocolate dominate the nose, and the taste follows along nicely. Getting a good amount of the chocolate, malt, and fruit in the taste, those are definitely the standouts, with spicy yeast, caramel, and baked bread notes as well. Mouthfeel fairly creamy, with a touch-over-medium body and good carbonation. Overall, one of the better Bocks I've had, but it's still not a style I go crazy for. Sorry.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle from early 2010.

Pours one fingers worth of creamy light brown, mocha, colored head. Clear deep dark brown body with hints of ruby red in the corners of the glass. Nice cap of head remains for a while, as well as good lacing.

Smells of dark fruits, coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, lager yeasty notes, touch of alcohol phenols. This is quite complex and very plesant.

Tastes complex and plesant. Chocolate, dark fruits and roasted malts are the main flavors. Bready malts and subtle yeasty flavors are mixed in. A touch of alcohol and a very mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is very balanced. Medium bodied, light carbonation, slight sticky, oily finish. Very well balanced.

Overall this is an awesome brew. I was apprehensive about having this, after waiting so long to open it and expecting it to be not so good. This was not the case. I was surprised and glad I waited. I'll definitely get more of this to lay down to age.

$3 a single at the time.

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Photo of amphion1065
2.07/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Vintage unknown, but this was purchased in June 2011.

Pours a dark brown, bordering on deep ruby. A light tan head recedes very quickly, leaving minimal lacing behind.

A lot more fruit in the nose than I expected. Plums and other dark fruits, similar to a BSDA actually. Some roasted malts and coffee notes, but the fruit really sticks out.

Very, very tart and sour enough to be off-putting. The plums from the nose are totally overshadowed by sour cherries. The deep bready malts I expected from this beer are there, but the pungent sourness entirely overwhelms them. A slight alcohol note, too.

Very thin mouthfeel, almost watery with not nearly enough carbonation.

Though I'm not sure whether or not I got a bad bottle, I can say with certainty that this was a chore to drink. Unpalatable.

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2.63/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Based on the reviews I'm starting to wonder if stores in NJ got a bad shipment.

A - Mine poured a more or a reddish brown/ light amber color and not the dark brown I would have expected from the style. The medium head had nice lacing and stuck around for a while.

S - The smell was sharp and tart. It was almost citrus like.

T- Very tart. There was little to no sweetness that I would associate with the style. I got some hop bitterness but without the malty flavor to balance it

M- Medium mouthfeel. The tartness lingered on the palate.

O - I ended up pouring it out about half way though. The tartness was overwhelming and out of character for a dopplebock. I will have to give this another shot later. My experience seems out of line with a lot of the other reviews I read. Hopefully just a bad bottle.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Swampy, cloudy, deep brown. Thin tan head, specks of purplish brown lacing.

S: Chocolate malt, espresso, dark fruit, tart cherries, red licorice.

T: Big yeasty and malty characteristics. Milk chocolate, hot cocoa with marshmallow. Light sense dark fruit bitterness. Roasty, ash like aftertaste.

M: Like a wool blanket covering your tongue, full body, creamy, near perfect carbonation.

O/D: This lives up to the hype. Easy to drink. I must age this.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with minimal head, some traces of lacing. On initial smell, a sweet, dried fruit like scent. The color is dark brown, like pure maple syrup.

First sip, sweet, thin, but sticky on your lips. Not as bold as I imagined, but the maltiness is right at the forefront. Hints of raisins, dried cherries perhaps. The mouthful was a bit thin, I thought. There was almost a wine like quality to the flavor.

in my opinion, good, but maybe I am in the minority, it didn't blow me away as compared to others in the style I have tried. A carbonated essence about it, but maybe I got a bad 4 pack from the local store.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint.

A dark reddish brown body with a one finger caramel colored head. Really nice legs leave some thin rings and small amorphous chunks behind.
Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and dark fruit-- clack cherry?
The taste starts sweet and roasty before chocolate and coffee come through. Light bitterness with a crisp and clean finish.
The body is pretty full and thick. Light oily quality.

Overall, a very solid version of a style tgat I dont pick up very often.
A well-made beer by all accounts.

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Photo of davey101
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass. Born on 03/16/2011. Kudos to hooker for date stamping their beers now!

A - Black/brown body with red tints. Light does shine through. Foamy light mocha head.

S - Dark fruits, roasted malts, and coffee/chocolate. The end of the nose is really sweet. Fairly subtle, but really pleasant.

T - Rich malts and bready yeast. Some sweet raisins and molasses. Bitter chocolate and caramel. Just a hint of hop bitterness. Alcohol is not present at all. Mouth feel is medium and has perfect carbonation.

O - My favorite doppelbock. I'm not being a homer either, I much prefer it to even the mighty celebrator. A real shining example that CT can make a world class beer.

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Photo of Chaney
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you SamuelJackson45 for knocking this off my wants. You da man Leon!

At the present, this is the #3 ranked Doppelbock here on BA. I'm generally not a huge fan of the style, but I've been pleasantly surprised by Dopels before.

A: Almost black grape in color, with absolutely no light passing through... even in the corners. Mocha peppery head with staying power x 30!

S: HUGE malt presence, with a very fruity disposition that almost resembled a fine red wine.

T: Total chocolate on the downbeat, then fruit after that, but not as fruity as the smell seemed to dictate. Sort of a malty, grape-like aftertaste with a hint of alcohol warming.

M: Very creamy, and with lacing that, when I tipped the glass, slid back down into the liquid. I found the lingering to be more of the fruit variety as apposed to the candy one.

O: I see the appeal for sure! It's everything a doppelbock should be: malty, sweet, and chewy. Even though they really aren't my thing, if they were, this would be my go to for sure....

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Photo of nataku00
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a very dark opaque brown with a half a finger of large bubble tan color head. Head receded quickly to a collar of large bubble head leaving some light lacing. Some bubbles visible right at the edge of the glass streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nice juicy dark fruits on the nose, raisin, plum and dark ripe cherries, caramel, dark baked bread and some fruity esters.

Taking a sip, the dark fruits are as present on the tongue, but a bit lighter than expected. Very malty though, caramel, bread, grainy. A touch of earthy hop bitterness on the finish.

Light bodied and highly carbonated, tickling your tongue as you drink. Alcohol is well hidden despite being so malty, finishing clean and dry.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown to black. You might get a little light to seep through the edges if you hold it up to a light source. Pours a pillowy beige head about 1-2 fingers thick. Leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

Pretty normal-looking bottle that just tells you what's in the tin, so to speak.

S: I think my nose is broken. Didn't get much of a scent out of this.

T: Malty. A little bit of a bread/biscuit flavor as it warms, with noticeable coffee and caramel flavors. Finishes with a bit of pleasantly warm alcohol.

M: Big bodied to the point that it's a little syrupy.

O: I love a good bock. This is a great one. Probably not the ideal beer for a sweltering July evening, but I enjoyed it all the same. This is a big beer, and you'll probably never drink more than one or two in a sitting. Wait for sweater weather, invite some friends over and enjoy a six-pack with company.

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Photo of njmoons
3.19/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Was kind of dissapointed. Nice beer, but nothing wonderful about it. Feel like I had a different beer than so many of the review here.

A: Deep reddish brown, light head that had some stickiness

S: Malty, and some smokiness which was a surprise. Interesting but nothing above average

T: Malty up front, some smokiness, and light hop flavor. Finish is where it lost me, thin no residual sweetness and without the sweetness to much hop bitterness for the style.

M: Nice

O: Nothing wrong, but nothing wonderfull, a solid C+.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a flip top 500 ml bottle on 1/3/10

Pours an opaque black with no foam whatsoever
aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla
the taste follows suit with roasted malts, chocolate and a bit of a burnt taste
smooth, creamy with a slight amount of carbonation
I probably let this one sit too long. the taste was ok, just not as good as is probably used to be.

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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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