Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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Thomas Hooker Liberator DoppelbockThomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
696 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 510
Photo of TrickKnee
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, another big win for Paul Davis and Hooker, not that I really needed to say anythign about this one. Poured a beautiful dark brown. YOu could smell all the coffee malt and it was unbeleivable. Had a nice big white head on it. Mouthfeel was great, smooth with no taste of alcohol at all. Time to buy al lthe 1 liters i can still get.

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

Pours a very dark, russet tinged brown with minimal head. Not a very volatile nose. There are some rich smells in there, mostly in the molasses/sweet malts vein, but they're very subdued aromas. What aromas are there carry over into the palate, though, which is rich in sugary, dark fruits like raisins and figs. Full and found mouthfeel, with fine carbonation and a noticeable hop bite of bitterness. Fabulous tastes in here, well varied, complex, and each sensation of high quality. This is an excellent doppelbock; I'll have to try some of the 2007 version as soon as it comes out.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One liter swingtop bottle with a bottling date of 2006. Opens with an audible pop, and pours a deep dark brow, almost black, with a thick tan head with good retention and a lot of lacing. Aroma is some sour fruit, with a hint of alcohol and just a whole lot of maltiness. Taste is almost a cross between a stout and a dopplebock, with roasted coffee flavors up front and a deep dark maltiness in the finish, with a nice warming sensation on the way down. I'm noticing a bit more hops in the finish as it warms up. Mouthfeel is thick and slick with fine carbonation. Very drinkable; I'll have no problem putting down a liter of this. A great beer, and much more complex than other beers of the style that I've had. Very good.

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Photo of jswigart
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the SECOND time that I have had this on-tap at home (admittedly, in 5 gallon logs, we're not talking about full kegs here)... I liked it enough the first time around to get it again, but I think I like it even more this time around - I did notice that this keg had a date on it that suggested that it was less than three weeks old - given that this keg is so young, I thought perhaps that the first one was older and that this beer is better younger - but I don't really know how old the first keg was, so this is just conjecture... Either way, this is really a good beer. The mouthfeel isn't great - in the mouth it sort of feels a bit light or carbonated (even though it doesn't look that way) - perhaps this is just a function of the high alcohol - but I love the taste. Speaking of alcohol, its high - that seems to take away from drinkability and I can smell it a bit on the nose... But overall, I recommend it.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Weizen glass it forms a deep tan head that retains itself nicely. Dark as night in the core with some ruby red outer edge highlights. Good looking brew

Deep dark and rich in a nutshell but I can't stop there as its much much more than that. Bakers chocolate comes to mind, bringing a bit of a drying aspect and chalks up the mouthfeel a bit. Toasted, Roasted malts are all encompasing. Little bit of smoke deep in the backdrop.

Notes: Rather dry all things considered. How can I best describe this offering, Rich, Clean, Focused. A good Dopple and the price is nice as well for such a big bottle but in the end its just above average to good for me.

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Photo of hero27
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Massive 1L swing-top bottle.
Bottled in 2006.

Dark brown/ruby color.
Aromas of dark fruits and sweet, earthy malts. Plums, raisins, and some toffee tagged on the end.
Slightly chewy mouthfeel and a nice, smooth body carry the flavors well. Chocolate comes out more in the flavor, and it has a surprising roasty aspect as well. Like a meal in a bottle really..the bready malts and pleasant toffee blend together nicely, and it's hard to set the glass down in between sips.

A tad (just a tad) disappointed only because I wasn't blown away by any aspect of this beer, really. That being said, my expectations were probably a bit high after seeing this permanently etched in the Top 20. Still a great beer? Absolutely. One of the best Doppelbocks I've had.

Thanks go out to bentley78 for the chance to try this classic.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: This poured a clear dark brown (color of coca-cola)..sudsy tan head that left spidery lacing down the sides of glass.

Smell: biscuity, slight sweetness.

taste: crisp clean, and no sickening sweetness, nice hop kiss, chocolate notes..slight sweetness.Peachy.
mouthfeel: again crisp, nice carbonation, slighly dry, but wet finish, medium body.

drinkability: this was a sheer joy!...great brew, probably one of the best "doppels" I've ever had!....highly recommended.

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

the cap sticker says "bottled in 2006"

this bottle is sick. i can't decide if i want to add it to my trophy collection or use it for the next batch of homebrew

bigtime foam: i think i've been storing it too warm. but as it falls fine, tan frosting forms down the glass. the brew itself is a deep magonay that is most likely clear

the aroma is extremely hoppy, actually. noble hops grapple for attention with rich german malts, though surprisingly little roast aroma (smells mostly of pils malts, i suppose). the flavor profile is a diffferent story, however. plenty of malty taste: toffee, caramel, brown sugar. though still very hoppy (hugely). there's some significant dark fruit going on as well—prunes, dates

the mouthfeel is thin for a dopplebock. it's really more of bock gravity, though it is velvety, not to mention very drinkable. this is good...not quite korbinian good, but good

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

Appearance: Deep and clear ruby color, with a moderate tan head, and thick, glass-coating lace, little carbonation noted.

Aroma: Profound aroma of port, vinous alcohol, and sweet chocolate.

Taste: Opens with a wave of sweet alcohol, followed by a solid backbone of toasted slightly nully malt, the finish is complex, with lingering notes of bitter chocolate, coffee, and licorice.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very full, with little carbonation noted.

Drinkability/notes: Dazzlingly superb, difficult to overpraise.

Thanks to HardTarget for sharing this wonderful beer.

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

appearance: The chunky, tan colored head gradually recedes to a think island of bubbles and a ring around the glass. The beer is an opaque chestnut brown in color.

smell: As dirtylou pours samples for the others into Great Taste 2006 glasses, I pick up notes of malt and booze from afar. Up close, I find moderately sweet aromas of light roast barley, some wood, burnt toast, and chocolatey dark toffee. These aromas are well carried on waves of dark alcohols. Considerable, aged hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is around medium, and the body a lighter medium.

taste: Deep toasted barley and light aromas of dark sugars...some dry cocoa. The hop flavors are moderate and muddy in character. The finish is pretty dry, and a subtle roast flavor lingers with a light bitterness. Not as rich or deep as the aroma led me to hope, but still quite good.

drinkability: easy, a well done doppelbock

Second in line at a doppelbock tasting with dirtylou (provider), golden2wenty1 (host), and expatsteve (conversationalist). Vintage 2005.

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Photo of cbl2
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8/21/2006 $8.29 500 mL 8.00% Bottled in 2006 taped across top of the ceramic swing top bottle.


Pours a brilliant dark brown that is speckled with crimson highlights topped by a quarter inch of tan foam.


Sweet gooey caramel and gobs of toasted malts with hints of smoked peat.


Nice chewy mouthfeel, smooth and viscous. Rich caramel and peat flavors with notes of ripe dark fruit. Alcohol is entirely masked making this dangerous. A spot on interpretation of the style, better than many of the German offerings I've encountered. Fairly pricey, but since it is only a seasonal, it is worth seeking out every spring.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to dirtylou for sharing this 2005 1-liter bomber with expatsteve, blackie and myself.

Pour: murky, opaque, boggy brown under a half inch of capuccino cream that fades to nothing in a few minutes.

Nose: Wow. Is this stuff barrel-aged? Notes of bourbon vanilla, peated malts, toffee/caramel and dark fruits (raisin and date).

Taste: Metallic dark fruits up front (raisins and brandy soaked cherries), burnt toffees and caramels, with some orange liquor in the finish.

Feel: certainly on the heavy side for the style, along the lines of a rich porter, with fine, tickling carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Just loads of complexity and subtlety in this one. Seems barrel-aged with the bourbon-vanilla notes and mellow body. Glad to have had the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of expatsteve
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to dirtylou for this offering from 2005--Golden2wenty1, blackie, and myself all had the opportunity to try this during a small doppelbock session. Well, it was small until this appeared...

Appearance: Almost black with chocolate hues, and no real visibility. In fact, this beer almost swallows light. 1/4 inch head from the pour quickly subsides to leave little lacing on the side of the glass. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Extremely rich and fruity nose--honey, molasses, chocolate, raisins and a few nutty notes. The combination of sweet fruity malts and earthy tones, while definitely appropriate to the style, is almost rich enough to belong on a stout.

Taste: Nice front palate of chocolate and oats, followed quickly by peppery peat hops. Cocoa and burnt toffee finish. Liberator has a nice earthy, almost grassy, background that is reminiscent of Salvator, with all the fruits of a Korbinian. Chewy metallic finish is heavy but impressive. Some fruit developments - orange and cherry - as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Great body--lighter than I expected, with full malt assertiveness. Nice sour bitterness in the finish, carried by low carbonation. Perfect doppelbock body.

Drinkability: Heavy for the style, but great nonetheless. A perfect "American big beer" rendition of the doppelbock style. In many ways, a more impressive and complete version of Capital Brewery's dark doppelbock. Nonetheless, this carries a much stronger flavor with much more finesse. Thanks again, Lou.

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

750ml swingtop bottle, split with Blackie, Expatsteve, and golden2wenty1 during a doppelbock session. 2005 vintage

appearance: poured into 2006 great taste tasting glass...pours a rich garnet-mahogany, light khaki head, very little lace

smell: explosive aromas for a doppel that depart from the norm of the first thought was that this beer mated with a barleywine somewhere along the lines. rich caramel aromas, rather boozy at first, interesting smoky nature, sweet caramel apple, strong earth tones

taste; big dark fruits dominate...raisin, plum, booze covered dark cherry, light roasty nature, syrupy malt structure, touch of chocolate becomes noticeable, strong woody character...a very interesting doppelbock indeed

mouthfeel: smooth and syrupy, abv evident but maked appropriately

drinkability: very tasty, pleasure to drink

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to goodbyeohio for this one.

Poured from a 1.5L swingtop and shared with a few other BAs. A vibrant telephone-pole brown brew filled my glass with a solid frothy finger and a half of cream colored head. Aromas of faint cocoa and toffee straight from Sees candy filled my nose. Quite fragrant.

A caramel and toasted malt goodness graces my palate then leans to a malty faint fig finish. Good blending of flavors and nicely balanced. i couldnt detect any alcohol flavors. Quite creamy and a little chewey this one. Rather reminescent of some brown ales i've been getting into. I really like this doppelbock.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to warriorsoul for this one.

When I popped the top of this 2006 swing top bottle it opened with a quick “squeak”. Once in my glass, I was a magnificent dark brown and burgundy with an uneven oatmeal-like head.

Smells of brown, woody chocolate with a slight lime rind hiding behind it with a pinch of brown sugar.

Tastes of a great combination of woody chocolate and barley that winds its way around a welcome alcohol that effervesces up into my nose with a sweet milk chocolate and a light, fantastically paired woody hops that is left in my mouth in the finish.

The mouth feel is medium to heavy bodied with a great swarm of micro-bubbles that give this beer a pudding-like feel.

The dynamics of this one are off the charts and the chocolate is really something else. I haven’t had a beer this good in ages. Find this one for sure!

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage

This dopplebock pours deep dark brown with a thick tight tan head on top of the glass. The head slowly fades to a thick ring around my glass. The smell is sweet malt, toffee and caramel with a hint of a roasted feel in the air. Taste is sweet and sticky with an all malt front. Not a syrup type of sweet but a well rounded malt sweetness. There is that bit of a roasted flavor washed in the middle but it ends up sweet in the finish. I enjoyed this beer. This is what a dopplebock should be.

Overall a well done dopplebock that I will try and enjoy again and again

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Photo of RedChrome
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour was a very dark brown. A thick fluffy, oatmeal colored head retained for a few minutes. No carbonation to be seen through the almost opaque body. Lacing was in big clumps.

A nice blend in the aroma mixed chocolate and caramel. There was a slight drawback in the after aroma with a touch of too much alcohol scent.

Huge malt flavor had a very chocolate aftertaste. The alcohol aroma that was in the nose wasn't present in the taste making for a smoother sip then I expected. Also noted a slight aftertaste of roasted almonds and peanuts.

Very creamy texture. Clings to all surfaces in my mouth. A nice beer that hangs on so you can savor the different flavors.

A nice thick malty beer to enjoy by itself as a dessert. I would only drink this with food if it were a tart dessert such as a citrus torte, otherwise it would overpower most food flavors.

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Photo of blitz134
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque, dark brew. Crimson highlights show through. Four finger tan head formed ont eh pour in my impy pint glass. Dense foam cap stayed around 'til the bottom. Lacing formed in a nice sheet but couldn't hang on as it slid down the glass.

Aroma is toasted malt. Slightly sweet chocolate and some nuttiness. Alcohol wafts forward as well. Smells really good.

Taste is toasted malts and lots of it, definately the backbone of this hefty brew. A bit of bittersweet chocolate comes in midway through. Finish has a bit of coffee. Some earthy, pine hops fight their way through as well. A touch of alcohol is noticable in the exhale after a sip.

Mouthfeel is just as it should be. Basically full bodied. Coats the mouthwell and the flavor lingers. A bit of prickly carbonation, but not overdone. Probably perfect for the style, imo.

Drinkability his awesome. Near creamy mouthfeel with a complex toasted flavor. Dangerously drinkable, a must try.

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Photo of dgallina
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter brown bottle dated "bottled in 2006."

Pours brown-edged black with large tan head, thick blanket of foam and lace. Smells of sweet chocolate and dark toasted malts. Quite strong for a dopplebock. Prunes, plums, and slightly medicinal dark fruits give way to deeply toasted coffee and chocolate malts. Finishes medium sweet with drying and somewhat leafy hop bitterness. Medium thick and very creamy body. Light carbonation with some prickliness from the alcohol.

Overly toasted and hopped for a traditional dopplebock, but very nice in its own right.

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

mad props to ddarden for this yummy offering. A very reassuring swooosh as the fliptop opens!

Pours ruby red to to mahogany with a healthy 4 fingers tan head. Great lacing & head retention

Smell: huge maltiness & spicyness (pepper & cinamon)

Taste: Malt & licorice upfront, followed by alcohol burn & fruiityness. I pick up a slight cinamon flavor & loads of caramel as it warms. Finishes malty& dry with alcohol notes. Could've let this one age if I wasn't so eager to try this! Very complex

MF: Chewy & perfectly balanced

Drnks pretty good, just needs to lose some fit rough edges, which I'm sure aging would take care of. One of the better dopplebocks I've come across. Loved the liter bottle, certainally needed the swing top lid, needed 2 nights to finish!

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

First off, let me explain what happened when I tried to chill this brew quickly.

I put this huge 1 liter flip top bottle in the freezer, which I do all the time with other beers and never have a problem. After about 45 minutes I took it out and slowly began to open the top. Big pressure rush and volcanic action all over the kitchen. That really pissed me off, but after I let it sit and released the pressure a couple more times, it finaly subsided. Not really sure why that happened but luckily it didn't seem to affect the beer.

Poured into some pint glassed, me and a friend gave it a whirl.

Appearance: Beautiful rich very dark color and creamy light brown big head which stayed for a while with thick lacing.
Smell: Malty, molasses, slight citrus, almost a perfume scent, really nice.
Taste: Very nice, all the things I mentioned about the smell but got better as I drank. One of those beers where you keep looking at the glass and saying "damn this is awesome"
Mouthfeel: Velvety, creamy, realy exceptional.
Drinkability: I felt I could have drank much more, not pissed I had to split it, but wish I would have bought another bottle.

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Photo of Liquids
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Upon presentation I am surprised that a dopplebock is this dark.
there it sits in a tall thin glass nearly black that is hardly opaque chocolate brown in the light--the perfect color. A light, slender, creamy colored head. Aroma is of dark burnt malt, with german hop aromas, intense but not overwhelming--inviting you to taste. The flavor is rather clean actually, roasty, multilayered in malts, focused, and delicious all around. The hops are a distinctive part of whats going on here and no afterthought--slightly citric and floral even....Mellow in their intensity, but lplenty of them. The finish is clean but notably hop laden for such a dark beer. To me, drinking this is better than most porters actually, due to it's focused intensity--sort of dark and stout like, but not quite a stout. There is something about a good complex lager and this is a fine representation of that. Mouthfeel is thick, nearly syrupy, with a healthy amount of carbonation. This is just far too drinkable for 8%...liquid bread! Alas, if only it came bottled in pints!

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Photo of bignick
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap @ the Linwood 6/2/06. Served in a pint glass.

This beer is pretty prototypical. It is not only one of the best dopplebocks that I have tried, it is also one of the best beers of any style. It is wonderfully smooth and creamy, making it exceptionally drinkable. It is fully of chocolate, but neither sweet and syrupy or abrasive. I get a little cherry too as it goes down. Great offering from Hooker.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

[About $10 for a 1-liter bottle at Downtown Wine & Spirits]

Very carbonated, with a big bang upon opening and a huge tower of fizz on top of the beer. Takes a while to pour, for this reason. This thing smells like a beer and a half. Malty, hoppy, and minerally. Chocolate-covered salted nuts with an earthy, leafy side. Oh-so balanced with its alcohol, dessert-like malt, and smooth velvety bitterness. A bit thinner than I expected, but still full and rich. A little candyish, but just enough so as to be dessert-like but not so much as to be cloying or to lose drinkability. This makes me think of an imperial brown ale (go to hell, you style nazis). Let me say that the liter can realistically be thoroughly enjoyed by one person. If I had to pick one doppelbock, it would still be the Celebrator, but this one has an awesomeness of its own, and it is made just a couple hours away from my hometown. Cheers to all at Hooker! You are a world-class brewery and you make New England proud.

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Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 696 ratings
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