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 rowingbrewer
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is by far the best doppelbock I have had the pleasure of drinking. the appearance is dark brown to black with a 1.5 finger tan colored head. the smell is roasted malts with hints of chocolate and a tiny bit of sweetness to the aroma. the taste folllows the smell with a nice roasty slightly sweet flavor and hints of chocolate. the mouthfeel is medium bodiied with good carbonation. overall this beer is an A+. definitely worth seeking out.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep brown body that looks red when held up to the light. Off-white frothy head that leaves some lacing.

Smell - Dark fruit aroma followed by caramel and some chocolate. It smells like a Belgian Strong Dark Lager, without the yeast. Nice.

Taste - Not quite as impressive as the smell, but very nice nonetheless. Dark fruits and caramel malts. Some burnt toast in the back end, but it's not unappealing. Hardly sweet, despite the maltiness.

Mouthfeel - Good body. Not quite heavy, but certainly not light. Doesn't feel like a wimpy beer, despite that you can't taste the ABV. Medium-low carbonation makes it feel smooth and creamy.

Overall - The best doppelbock I've had. Better than Celebrator (gasp!). This is one of the few lager styles I really enjoy.

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Photo of mavbrew
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The color is a deep brown, very dark with some reddish highlights. The head is frothy and two fingers thick that takes a few minutes to dissipate and leaves some lacing.

S: Has a pretty malty nose (some breads or biscuits) but also has a bit of sweetness to it, maybe caramel. Some chocolate notes are also present with a slight bit of alcohol.

T: Excellent malt character coming through upfront and throughout. There is very little sweetness, a bit of some burnt undertones, very complex flavor but also pretty difficult to describe. Finish is dry and, of course, malty.

M: Light medium bodied with little carbonation. The feel is mostly malty.

D: I always find it difficult to describe the flavors in a Doppelbock. This one has less of a "Soy Sauce" flavor then some, but all of the flavors together kind of form that saucy characteristic. This is a very good beer and an easy drink, the 8% is hidden very well with the malts.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into cervoise.

A - Pours a cola brown to light black, nice off white to tan head formation with decent retention

S - Fruity, grainy, wheat, some caramel

T - Tastes pretty fruity (plums, raisins, currants) with a nice grainy malty backbone. Bread and sugar. A very nice bittersweet chocolate to it as well.

M - Super creamy, medium, minor carbonation

O - A nice creamy beer. One of the best Doppels I have ever had. Not too heavy or overwhelming. Great beer.

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

A 12oz bottle on the late poured into my sick ass hulmeville pint glass. Thanks Byrd.

A- a firm pour yields a big two fingers of tan rocky head that holds above the glass for a bit then slowly settles to a dense cm or two. Dark chestnut brown in color with a deep ruby red glow. When held to the light.

S- big dark toasted bready malts with some nutty touches and a bold caramel sweetness. Bit of a spiced fruit cake thing going on. Just what you want from a dopplebock.

T- toasted dark bread, burnt brown sugar, nice deep roasted malts giving a slight toasted nut hit. Dark dried fruits in the background with a touch of an earthy hopping. Long sweet yet clean finish.

M- a few steps bigger the medium with a touch of slip to it. Lighter creeper carb that builds just enough to work with the body.

O- this is a great dopplebock. Its fresh, in season, and just right for the moment. There's a lot to be said for drinking in season and its beers like this that really lets one just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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

442nd review on BA
bottle to weizen glass
12 oz

App- This was a great mix of amber/red/brown. A great color that was matched by a one finger head and cling that slide and showed each level down the glass.

Smell- This was a bit of a sweet bock but still retained its grainy qualities. It combined a lot of qualities of a bock and a quad. Lots of layered flavors and smelled great.

Taste- Wow, so flavorful yet restrained and light. This wasn't overly big but gave your a subtle flavor to match against the grain on each sip. A bit of hops, citrus and some chocolate were evident.

Mouth- Almost full bodied and a bit of a low carbed creamy feel. This sat nicely on the palate and was a bit lighter, but retains its fullness on the taste and the drink.

Drink- I can see why this is so highly rated. This was flavorful and balanced and resrained. I would love to have this one again. It was sweet, fruity, creamy and just plain good.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Very dark, ruby amber color with a two-finger head of creamy, tan foam which settles to a slick of carbonation, leaving behind traces of good, sticky lace.

S: Sweet, roasted grains, toffee, caramel, hints of dark, candied fruits, herbal hops, chocolaty notes and a slight bittersweet coffee aroma.

T: Very fruity, sweet and malt forward up front, with great, creamy, roasted malts that throw off flavors of coffee, chocolate, raisins and caramel. A burst of herbal, earthy hops brings the fruity malt flavors through the sweetness, leading with hints of plum, raisin, dates and a slight citrusy spice. A warming alcohol flavor flashes before a sticky, full, bittersweet finish with lingering hop resins. Quite nice and complex.

M: Rich, full-bodied and smooth doppelbock with a slightly sweet, malt stickiness and some hot alcohol burn. Very warming and satisfying, though.

O: Not saying this just to be a homer, but one of the most satisfying American versions of a doppelbock I've ever had. Liberator has the complex malt sweetness, nice roasted flavors and alcohol to warm you, then a very fruity and floral hop profile to cut that sweetness and make the brew dangerously drinkable at 8% ABV. Pushing the envelope to unseat Hop Meadow IPA as my favorite Hooker beer.

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Photo of claspada
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aromas of sweet caramel malts and brown sugar along with a touch of cocoa powder and dark chocolate with some dark fruitiness mixed in as well.
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, although it's still subdued. No hint of the alcohol. Wow where has this beer been all my life.
Mouthfeel is stupendous; full and thick and sticky with perfect carbonation. Overall, delicious, really really delicious, period. Best Doppelbock on the planet, affordable and available and perfect, what else is there to say.

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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.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much gratitude to ShogoKawada for this one.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock glass.

Seal brown liquid, nearly opaque, though there is a glimmer of chocolate and auburn towards the bottom of the glass when held to a strong light. A dense pixelated khaki head of crema rests up top. Superior retention,

Fragrant with brown sugar, brown bread, and an abundance of melanoidins along with a hint of Cheeri-Ohs.

Restrained palate entry, with cocoa, malt, and espresso emerging slowly. Mid-palate, the flavors begin to ripen and bloom - low bitterness and maybe a touch of tomato (that's a weird off note!) come out, and the malt grows much richer and leads into a lasting lightly drying bready finish with suggestions of hay and flax.

Medium-bodied, velvety, and well carbonated. ABV is well controlled.

A good domestic rendition of a doppelbock, though there are some very faint off-notes suggesting imperfection in the brewing process (or maybe I just don't like their yeast strain?). Very good, but with a little more care at the brewery, I expect this could be world-class.

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Photo of JesteR14
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark, like coffee or toasted malts. Creamy head that makes me want to sip on this and discover what it tastes like.

S- Toasted malts.

T- I taste toaste malts, slight booze but its covered very well... Smooth but nothing outstanding here..

M- Smooth, but malty and something i have had before..

D- Semi easy drinker, but not something i would drink all night. The flavor is very coffe, chocolate taste. And something that not all beer drinkers prefer in a nice beer. Not that drinkable...

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark brown color with a small dark brown head. Nose is sweet, a bit of iron, some light hoppy notes, but the sweetness prevails.

Taste is very grainy on the finish, something I just don't like. There's a oddly dry finish but my lips feel a bit sugary sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth and thick with light carbonation. Overall it's decent but not phenomenal.

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Photo of adam42381
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass.

Pours a deep mahogany brown with ruby highlights and a 3 finger khaki colored fluffy head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt, chocolate, dried fruits and a hint of sweet and smoky barbecue sauce.

Taste: Toasted bread and dried fruits up front followed by caramel and alcohol in the middle before ending with mildly bitter earthy hops at the finish. The alcohol definitely comes through, but not in a bad way. The aftertaste is bittersweet and long-lasting.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with a decent amount of carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: High drinkability. You could knock back a couple despite the alcohol being clearly evident throughout.

Overall: Very good beer overall. I would definitely recommend checking this one out, especially if you are a fan of doppelbocks.

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Photo of birchstick
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark cola color - very dark with hues of chocolate brown

S - some very sweet chocolate malts are blended with hints of coffee and a lot of dark fruits, almost vinous in smell.

T - starts off with sweet caramel and chocolate malt with really sweet, dark fruit flavors (grapes the most dominant with some spicy figs). There is a strong coffee flavor on the finish that is woven in with some dark fruit flavors. Really nice. More burnt malt flavors than a typical doppelbock. Pretty solid beer.

M - medium to full body goes down very smoothly and a little chewy. Good mouthfeel to it.

D - Really solid doppelbock. I got this from SamuelJackson45 in a BIF and was really excited about it - I have been wanting to try this for a while. Luckily I have one more bottle because I definitely want another.

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found a bottle of this sent as an extra one in a box that I got from naloxone. Thanks Evan.

Very dark brown pour. One finger of foam that quickly receeds.

Loads of fruits and sweetness in the nose. Berries, malts.

The tastes follows the nose pretty much. There's a nice hoppy bitterness on top of all the fruity flavors that all end with a little sourness.

A smooth creamy mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a really nice extra because it'sdrinking outside the box for me. I enjoyed the experience quite a bit but would not seek out this beer. If it would be on shelves here I might occasionally buy it.
Thanks for sending me this way Evan.

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

12 oz. Got this one from mob2332.
Fairly dark amber/brown pour. Massive light tan head, almost to the point I thought there might be a problem. Obviously retention was not a problem.

Aroma has quite a bit of fruit, a little tart and some caramel, chocolate and even some roast, coffee as it warms a bit.

Taste relieves my worries of a troubled bottle. Solid malt, currant and a bready fruitcake. Fades very nicely into a slight char and chocolates. Finishes with some light citrus hops and more prevelent coffee.

Drinks like a champ. Very creamy while being light side of mid bodied. No alcohol presence anywhere.

The only thing holding this back was the aroma, which also kept the drinkability a 4.5 for me. Possibly a little age on this one, one of the few times I'd say that maybe I should try a fresh one. Still very good and deserving of its standing.

2nd bottle I had of this was better on the aroma and outstanding on all other fronts.

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Photo of SeussMD
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally time to review a beer from my adopted home state. And what better to start with than Hooker Liberator?

Serving size: 12 oz. bottle poured into my trusty Buffalo Bills pint glass. They might lose a lot on the field, but I win every time I fill it with fine craft beers. When I pour, it's never "wide right."

Pour: Rich ruby burgundy/brown with aggressive khaki head, starts with a good inch and recedes to 1/4 to 1/8 inch. Laces exceptionally well.

Smell: Oh man, where to start. Coffee, chocolate, dried fruit (cranberry, fig). Heavenly.

Taste: Lovely blend of malty goodness with coffee, chocolate, dark wheat bread and fruit notes. Dry hop bitter on the back end but as it warms, less so and more fruit.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth on top, dry to the point of effervescent on the back end -- mouthwatering. That diminishes somewhat as it warms.

Overall: Thoroughly enjoyable. Nice kick to it, too, at 8 percent ABV. A serious beer that commands your palate's full attention. Lots of beers are interesting or refreshing; this is truly delicious. Yay, Nutmeg State.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hanks to Pabs311 for the bottle. Cheers, pal!

Appearance -- Pours a dark brown with a cap of creamy beige head.

Smell -- Cocoa, roast malt, dark bread, earthy hops, and a hint of coffee beans. Overall, dark and fruity.

Taste -- Roast malt, raisin, pumpernickel, toasted nuts, cocoa, gentle spice, dates and figs, and tangy dark fruit. Earthy and medicinal hops make themselves known toward the finish.

Mouthfeel -- medium body, perhaps a hair fuller, with medium carbonation. Coats the mouth well.

Drinkability -- Very nice, though the fruity tanginess was throwing me off - heading downhill already? Would like to try it closer to its release, but I was pleased overall.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another awesome Hooker beer sent to me by Shogokawada. Im glad to have gotten two bottles of this as well.

A- Poured into a New Glarus pilsner glass, this beer sports a a really active, cascading head that is a rich khaki or wet sand color. It has excellent retention and lacing. Looking like a chunk of coffee cake, the head floats on top of a deep chestnut colored beer.

S- A clean noble hoppiness is first noted. Its got lots of grassiness. Beneath that is a rich maltiness with notions of soy sauce, chocolate chip cookie dough, oak and light coffee.

T- The taste is very in line with the aroma. A grassy hoppiness is in the foreground with an awesome cookie dough flavor comprising the bulk of the underlying flavors. Really nice fresh coffee is all over the finish.

M- A velvety body with a medium carbonation. The finish is decently clean with a touch of lingering milk chocolate and coffee.

D- Wow, I really wish I had access to this. It is killer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Swingtop 500ml bottle, hope its still good. I'm seeing some brown dried beer residue on the base of the swingtop. Mildly nervous.

A-Pours a rich dark brown with deep amber highlights. Khaki foamy head sits and doesn't quit. Laces excellently.

S-I'm not sure if this is how its supposed to smell but its smelling pretty sour and acidic like a wild ale almost. I feel as though something isn't right. But I will drink it and maybe re-review it again in the future. Not nearly what I was expecting but I still like it for some reason.

T-Big sour tartness. Vinegar. I can feel it bubbling in my stomach. But I don't mind it. I have read many mixed reviews about this beer. Specfically the swingtops. I'm struggling to find much behind the find to describe. But I oddly like this taste.

M-Medium body. Finishes quite sour.

D-Ehhhh. This is infected or something. Not very drinkable but oddly not bad.

I will come back to this one. Behold the beauty of BeerAdvocate. I am able to see that this beer is not what it should be due to the reviews of others. Now I won't overly scrutinize this beer.

Re-reviewed with fresh bottle

A-Still great. Nice head, lacing etc.

S-Surprisingly a bit similar but more along the dopplebock style.

T-Getting all the dried fruits and deep malts that should be there. Considerably better and pretty good overall.

M-A big difference here. Fuller and smoother.

D-Easily much more drinkable.

Happy I tried it again quite nice.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 1/18/2011

A: malts, sweetness, roasted, slight sourness

Ap: dark brown with a red hue, 2 finger mocha head

B/T: mild carbonation, smooth, sticky

Af: malts, caramel, sweetness, raisins and/or figs, doesn't linger

O: not overly flavorul, but easy to drink, not exactly my style of beer


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Photo of pjs234
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark, deep red. Appears to be black when in the glass, but you can see the red hue to it when it was poured from the bottle. It had a two finger tan head.

S - Smells of sweet dark fruits (raisins and figs). Could also pick up a hint of coffee

T - Taste is very pleasant and was very similar to how it smelled. Additionally, I noticed a fair amount of hops. It also had a slightly bitter finish.

M - Very smooth, medium bodied.

D - Since it is pretty sweet and rich, this one is a sipper. But, I could see having more than one in an evening.

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Photo of Thads324
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another in my series of local CT beers...
poured from a bottle into a pint

A : 1 finger light tan head, crackling bubbles for about 30 seconds after the pour. Black color with a hint of red on bottom. The head stays constant throughout on top, slight lacing.

S: Smells sweet, a hint of licorice and almost oatmeal, but not quite distinguishable. I don't know why but the aroma is faint at best.

T: Starts with a tangy hit of biscuit and toffee. Just a hint of coffee. Great malt with the subtle hop in the front. There is a feeling of burnt caramel after taking a few sips. In short, pretty damn awesome.

M : it hits hard, but not in a boozy sort of way. Seems slightly over carbonated, as observed by the crackling bubbles after the pour.

D : delicious and full bodied without being too forward with the alcohol.

So far I've been pretty unimpressed with Thomas Hooker's beers, that is until now. This one knocked it out of the park. I have found their beers to be "ordinary" at best, but this is a great doppelbock and an excellent little winter beer.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bought in MA on my travels. Great to see this outta the swingtops and into a nice tight seal. Poured into chouffe tulip.

A- Big nutty, coffee brown and a substantial thick, creamy head. Head is sandy tan.

S- Big toffee and bready malt. Sweeeet.

T- Fruity, big bready malt, pumpernickel I swear. Rasins, figs, dates, brown sugar.

M- Heavy, but good carbonation keeps it moving.

D- Fair. Not one I'd have a few of in a sitting, but damn, it's tasty. Good stuff. One of the best American takes on the style, for sure. Not my favorite style, but this one is well-executed.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +6%
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).

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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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