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:
234
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 694 |  Reviews: 508
Photo of Knuckles
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So my buddy FirstMan had to move out to Worcester last spring, as his wife (darlinclementine) got a badass job at a badass museum that deals in badass weapons (this is the Higgins Armory, and she was responsible for the badass beerfest held there, the Higgins Festival of Ale). And he's been a little sad about it, mostly because he now cannot get all of his favorite beers on a regular basis (other than what I send or give to him). He was out for a few days, just last month, and brought me this Liberator from Thomas Hooker, in a bottle that looks like he stole it off of a telephone pole back in 1932. I've been putting off drinking it, trying to be disciplined, but tonight I just couldn't wait any longer.

Appearance: Wow. This truly looks like a brown sugar reduction. You can almost see the undissolved grains of sugar floating around in there. Just this gorgeously deep, unfilitered brown that borders on opaque. Ok, it actually is opaque, unless you happen to have a dive light that you can shine through it. Then it's just murky.

Smell: Even cold, you can smell the malts. Just this incredible sweetness attacks the nose. I'm roasting a chicken at the moment, so it's sort of overwhelming the aroma (but smells damn good), but the malty sweetness is still very evident. There is also just a hint of graininess.

Taste: Jesus eatin' beans, I think I'm in love. Cold, this is a very different beast than warm, as you can really taste the roasted malts in the finish. I don't know if they are using blown malt or what, but it's so roasty it almost tastes like a proper porter. You are met at the door with a sweet, sugary introduction, and then the roasted dryness takes over. However, as it warms, those sweet malts release themselves, and really overwhelm the roasted character. That is not a bad thing in the slightest. This is a goddam beautiful beer. I wish I had the words to do it justice. Zero lingering yeast flavor, just this teasing sweetness hugging the tongue, with a subtle roasted chaperone. Magnificent.

Mouthfeel: I'm just going to leave it at this: My mouth is a much lesser place when the Liberator has left the building.

Drinkability: Liberator, my ass. This is a conqueror. If you don't want to drink this bottle in one sitting, you need to go back to beer school. This is a spectacular beer, and one I need more of. Now. Immediately.

This is an 8% beer, so I could have cellared this bad boy and let it stew for some time. I'm glad I didn't. But dammit, I sure wish I had another bottle so I could lock it in the cellar and not let it out to play until it promises never to use any more wire coathangers.

 2,652 characters

Photo of twelvsies
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, I'm revisiting this beer. I had it on tap before, and I think I like the bottled version better. Or, maybe it's just that I have more of an opportunity to relax and drink this huge bottle than to judge it from a really cold pint with dinner one night. Either way, it seems like there's a lot more complexity to this brew than I originally thought. I definitely recommend getting the big bottle of this (reasonably priced at nine bucks for a huge thing) and taking it all in over a slow evening. Excellent head retention here, on top of a nice dark brown color, nearly opaque. Smell is a bit tough to pick out actually, which is surprising, since this brew is so full of flavor. But what I do pick out is actually a seemingly hoppy scent, which also strikes me as a bit odd, knowing that this beer is primarily a malty extravaganza. Definitely a roastiness as well though, with a pungent bitterness. Taste is all over the board. That milky flavor that I find to be ever present in dopplebocks is there, but first comes an array of dark, fruity, roasted malts and a burnt bitterness that balances it all out. The hopping of this beer, subtle as it is, is pretty perfect in my book - reminiscent of a Belgian pale ale, nice and spicy, and dusty. This definitely plays a big part in balancing the beer in my opinion, though one might overlook it at first. With out that nice subtle hop character, this beer would be just like your typical American over-done beer. But it's better than that. Much better. Excellent balance, to reiterate, yet still aggressive and unique. Surprisingly bouncy mouthfeel for this one also really separates it from other beers that just try to bombard you with darkness. A super thick mouthfeel, as much as we sometimes love them, would not work with this beer. Definitely a great American beer. Gotta get some more sometime, because it seems to get better the more I drink it. Evolve...

 1,915 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing brew... Totally blew me away. Poured out to a dark cherry brown color with a great 1/8 inch fine foamed head. Medium high carbonation. Wonderful lacing around the glass. Great so far. Aromas of chocolate, malt, wood and spice are all well balanced and present. Taste is excellent; flavors of smooth dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and some dark fruity flavors toward the finish, all the while remaining very, very smooth. Mouthfeel is full and rich, with the carbonation bringing the tastebuds to attention and giving them something to notice. High drinkability, even with the 8% ABV, I'm not gonna have any trouble taking care of this one litre bottle on my own! Special thanks to my Boston Counterpart rousee for this fantastic sample.Get your hands on this brew however you can, sell your first born for this beer if you have to. It's worth it. Highly Recommended.

 873 characters

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.

 870 characters

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

Thomas Hooker is coming to a festival that my wife is organizing, so I felt obligated to go the other day and buy one of each of their beers to try. It's always good to have an excuse to try beer, you know. This review is for the bottled version, but man am I looking forward to having this on tap.

Comes in a big-ass, heavy flip-top bottle that you could kill someone with. Of course, after drinking this you'll be in such a good mood that you'd never want to do such a thing.

Pours a deep dark burgundy-brown with a full, fluffy head that stays around for nigh on a coon's age.

While you are waiting for the head to go down, stick your nose in the glass (make sure you've got a broad mouth glass for this one) and suck in the raisins, cloves, and woody cherry notes. Lots going on here. As it warms up you really get a noseful of the alcohol-laced ripe fruit. Great smell.

As with a lot of doppelbocks, give this one a bit of time to warm up and you won't be disappointed. There go the cherry and wood notes up front. The alcohol is prominent in this one, but balanced very well with the malty fruit tones. Lots of hops bring up the rear - possibly just a little much when this is colder, but as it warms up the dry bitterness in the finish is much less pronounced.

A big chewy mouthfeel, with more dryness than I was expecting.

I could drink a lot of this if I didn't need to walk. It really sneaks up on you with the abv, which sort of affects the drinkability factor.

Overall just a great beer.

 1,525 characters

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

Shared my growler of Liberator with murrayswine, who got the surprise of his life when he opened the bottle and the beer exploded all over him and his counter. It was...very carbonated. Thus: big, BIG head, half the pint glass. The other half was a thick, syrupy dark brown color. Toxic beer sludge goodness that smelled and tasted very complex. There was sweet chocolate and caramel, toasted malts, some nuttiness, butter and toffee. Lots of toffee in the finish, along with a huge helping of bitterness. The more I drank, the more it tasted like chocolate. Overall, I would say that Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock is an excellent liquid version of a Snickers bar. Nice, thick mouthfeel too. Warm and loving, Liberator keeps giving and giving until you realize it's 8 PM and your girlfriend is, somewhere, very angry with you.

 831 characters

Photo of murrayswine
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a growler with a fellow Milwaukee BA, Battlekow.

When we opened it, this thing erupted with a caramel colored foam, wanted to towel it up and wring it into my glass, it smelled so good.

On pouring I was greeted with a solid 3 inch head that took a good 30 seconds to sink back to around an inch of head.

The body is like coffee with a hint of cream, just a meer hint only, with a burnt sienna halo around the outside.

The smell is strong with coffee, chocolate, and unsweetened butter.

The taste delivers with buttery chocolate, english toffee, cashews, and a creamy finish, it almost gets even better as it warms up.

The mouthfeel is slightly bitter, with a light tang. Mild carbonation rounds it out.

Over all, this beer is fuckin amazing!

 769 characters

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

08/23/05- Received two bottle in trade from Connecticutpoet, Stienlifter and Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 2005 bottled edition as stated on the label covering the swingtop. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Nice black colored pour, solid dirty brown 1/2 inch head and fair lacing.

Smell- Tons of dark chocolate in the nose with a nice whiff of dark roasted malt as well. Slight molasses smell too.

Taste- At first rather nomal for a run of the mill doppel, but then a huge chocolate coats your mouth in the swallow. Tons of dark burnt malt throughout. Not the mollasses/malty sweetness to put it over the top though.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated for a doppelbock. Semi-thick mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Definitely one of the better doppelbocks, but I still prefer Celebrator and even Weltenburger Asam-Bock. Still would buy this one if I could find it though. Very good brew indeed. Thanks for the bottles guys!

 930 characters

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

Brought back from Boston by a friend in a 1L swingtop bottle. Poured a very dark brown with reddish edges and a tan head. Aroma was slightly sweet with traces of roasted malts. A overlying sweetness carried through from start to finish with flavours of caramel, chocolate, roasted grains and a slight fruitiness.

I don't get a chance to drink many doppelbocks and this one was definitely a treat.

 399 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A “bottled in 2004” label is across the top of the 1-liter impressive looking flip-top bottle. Pours a very dark ruby, almost black, color with a tall and very creamy tan head that dissipates at a very slow rate. Lots of sweet bready malts and a roasted nuttiness dominate the aroma along with some scents of cocoa and dark fruit. Fairly full in body with a quite silky texture and just the right amount of carbonation. Taste begins with a very nice roasted maltiness along with a bit of hazelnut cappuccino and notes of candied plums. A dry coffee-like bitterness then helps to cleanse the palate a bit as the next wave of flavors come along with notes of chocolate liqueur and a touch of fine brandy to round out the finish. A truly magnificent beer, and one of the finest doppelbocks I’ve had the privilege to enjoy.

 822 characters

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

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Dark brown (almost black) color with a thin dark beige head that diminishes slowly. Thin film of lacing. Strong roasted aroma bursts through immediately, with a touch of malt underneath. Rich body and more bitter and roasty than expected. However it smooths out pretty quickly. Flavors of roasted malt, coffee and a touch of spice and hops. The finish is tasty with an array of hops, spice and nuts. Really this Doppelbock is on the other end of the spectrum from the smoother and creamier types, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

 560 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thin to medium blackness with crimson brown lit edges. Stocky, firm, billowing, dark sandy brown cap grows at a wonderfully slow pace to a thick despenseful foam of chocolate milk bubbly froth. Dense thickness proceeds to keep its position whilst engaging the liquid. The lacing is placed in creamy patches.

Aroma is delicate and lofty with a robust tangy malt base heeding to molasses and dark cherry/plum. Sensitive dark chocolate cookies and toasted spiced breads linger over the top with some nuts, cinnamon, seasame, and fresh clove. Turns a bit woodsy and oily after its been sitting along with a note of farmhouse yeasty must. The delicacies this has on the nose are outstanding. Its no beast mind you. Its soft and frail to the point of memory. Lovely!

Taste has a big malty start with a large portion of molasses and dark cherry bringing a sweet intial shock to the palate. Loaded and full of high and sweet tang. Levels off after some time in the glass and after the first few minutes of sipping. Middle reveals a slight chocolate underlay with a cookie dough sweetness keeping it a tad buttery and vanillafied. Turns darker with roasty malts and slight smokey earth as the chocolate helps lead away from the intial tang of sweetness. Finish smooths out with more delicate mannerisms then the front and middle. Nicely melded spices of nuts, cinnamon, ginger, herbal hops, and fig cross and mend the rest of it together as it floats off with a ghostly dignified dryness. It grows in complexity, which is by far the most intriguing thing about this beer. Sip to sip it keeps bringing more fragile layers within.

Body of this beer is huge. Continuingly full. Big on malts with tang at first, then toast and roast, then spices and smoothness. Has a unique Belgian-like crispness in with the tangy front that twists and drops into smoothened silky rich wonderment of malt complexities and airy spice. Wow, what a ride! This doesn't seem like 8% at all, it has a much bigger presense, without any alcoholic hints what so ever. The drinkabilty, however, is a bit more slowed down and appreciable. A damn fine Dopple.

A Dopple-dandy thanks to danadeny for the samples!

 2,182 characters

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

Deep dark brown..small tan head...nice roasted malt aroma...good choice of malt...first impression on the taste is chocolate..not so much sweet milk chocolate but more of a high quality chocolate bordering on dark chocolate...more chocolate flavor than any other DB I've had....also some really nice roasted malt flavors...

Full bodied...medium carbonation...finishes a little dry....alochol is hidden until it begins to warm my belly up....extremely drinkable..

Personlly I think this is a very unique doppelbock and a very good doppelbock....Not nearly as sticky and heavy as Sam Adams DB or Optimator...Probably closer in line with Celebrator...such a strong dose of chocolate is very unique and tasty..I love the roasted malt and the malt selection...tastes like high quality materials were used...

Overall this would rate in the top tier of Doppels for me...

Big Zap thanks to Warrior soul for this dandy

 921 characters

Photo of Excalibur33
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is, Wow! Not my favorite style, but some beers are just this good regardless of type. For a "heavy" beer, it's remarkably drinkable, with a wonderful, smooth carbonation. This is an all-around fantastic beer. The color is a deep brown with a small hint of red, and a full, tan head that hangs on forever. The slightly sweet aftertaste leaves me craving more.

 372 characters

Photo of JackTheRipper
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I try not to give strait fives anymore, but dayum, this beer deserves every last one.
HUGE thanks to fdrich29 for this sweet nectar of the gods.
Bottled in 2005 on the label across the top. Fresh beer! Yum!

A: Nearly opaque brown color with some faint reddish tinge. Head is a big pillow of tan suds that lasts forever and just lays down the lacing like there's no tomorrow. Uber cool bottle design.

S: Heaven. Dark malty aroma. Big aroma of home baked bread crust. Faint chocolate smell. Putting my nose way down into the oversized wine glass I'm using I get a bit of a spicy alcohol smell. Faint fruit smell in there. Wow does this smell good. If it didn't taste at all good, I could be satisfied just inhaling this heady aroma.

T: Thick chewy malt flavor just cascades all over. Toasted biscuity flavor. A delicate kiss of chocolate. Spicy alcohol taste that is just barely there. A touch of rum soaked fruits. So much going on here and all of it is not only good, but compliments the other flavors. Unreal.

M: Big full body that isn't at all too heavy. Carbonation is low and seems to give this an almost creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is smooth and warming, hard to believe that this one is 8%.

D&N: By far, this is the absolute greatest beer I've ever had. There is nothing about this beer that is anything less than exceptional. Better than a Westy 12? For me, yes. Perfection in a bottle, heaven in a glass. If you haven't tried this beer yet, do whatever it takes to get your hands on a bottle. Beg. Borrow. Trade. You won't be disappointed.

 1,562 characters

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.

 428 characters

Photo of OStrungT
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark red. It has a very thick fluffy light brown, tan head. It fades very slowly leaving a very good amount of laces. It smells spicy, and malty. It also has a very strong hop aroma. It also smells of chocolate, and slightly of caramel. It aroma of alcohol is very faintly present. It tastes quite spicy. It sweet malts. It is very sweet. The roasted malts give it a very appealing flavor. It has a slight hop flavor, but nothing to strong. It leaves a caramel sweet flavor on the palate. It goes down quite smoothly. I think that this beer might be a little overcarbonated. Not so much that it detracts from the flavor though. I think this beer would make a pretty good session beer. It is not too high in alcohol, so that wouldnt be a problem. The flavor, though slightly aggressive, is mild enough as to not become overbearing. I would recomend this one to anyone that likes Doppelbock's. If I had access to this beer, I would definately drink it again. Thanks to goodbyeohio for hooking me up with this great beer.

 1,036 characters

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

Arrived in my cup with a nice deep ruby colour; rather beautiful. The smell seemed a bit airy, yet nicely sweet, with tones of orange and molasses.

The flavour seeemed just a bit thinner than I had expected. It was nicely spicy, with a healthy maltiness and hints of fruit.

Mouth-feel was even and predictable. No real surprises here.

I found this one very nice and enjoyable. I look forward to getting my taste buds around more of it.

Be well
-UF

 460 characters

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

Well for the hype on this beer it easily lives up to everything. It pours a black beauty of a body and a off white head that laces my half liter glass the whole way down. I took this to poker night on Friday and with the women there it turned it to a game of trival pursuit. This beer was a pleasent distraction if for the few sips I lost to the curious. It smelled of fresh pulled wort that was already infused with noble hops. It was a real palate buster, of sweet carmalized wort but a silkyness that is close to heaven. There is a little alcohol in the finish and it coats your mouth with an aftertaste that invites you back. I had no problem finishing the whole 1L, a very nice beer.

 688 characters

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

Pours with a five-finger light tan head, fades slowly and leaves some lace. Black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee. Taste is more like a porter/stout, some sweetness, slight hints of alcohol in aftertaste. Very different dopplebock but its good. $8.75 for a 1000ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 337 characters

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

Not your typical dopplebock. I had been looking all over for the beer, then BAM, there it is on of all things the clearance rack ant Ryan and Casey in Greenfield. Came in a huge bottle with a swing cap. Initially the beer reminds me of a porter, if anyone is reading this remember that.

Out of all the beers that I have reviewed on BA this one maintains itself the best. Literally, lacing from the top of the glass on down. Held up to the light reveals that it actually is a lager and not a porter, deep crimson color.

Taste is smokey followed by mild hops and crawfish boil spice; an extremely interesting mix. This is all followed by a pillowed front to back in its taste. Very good, very drinkable, holds up to BA reviews "standards".

 744 characters

Photo of clvand0
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

From notes. Pours a very dark color with a medium head that has good retention and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma is almost totally comprised of roasted malts. They take the forefront and keep it. The flavor is a mix of large amounts of roasted malts and chocolate. Very little hops can be found here. This beer has a thick body and mouthfeel, but could probably use a little more. Drinkability is great on this one.

 431 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow, sometimes my scores are all over the place, but what are ya gonna do. Had on tap at 'bones in the past week or so. Goblet pour was very very dark brown with a frothy coffee like head. Aroma was low, and had some chocolate/malty notes. Tastewise, there's some prickly malt, with some alcohol showing through. What I found with this brew was the flavor was all up front, and then bottomed out quickly. What I also found was that the warmer the beer became, the less enjoyable it was. Sorry to be so harsh. It definitely wasn't awful, but I guess I expected more.

 565 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1L poptop, bottled 2005, purchased about 2 miles from the brewery. probably fresh. drank this beer so many f*ng times and just havent reviewed it. probably because a 1L bottle puts me in the sleep coffin.

pours a beautiful, active crimson with tightly packed head into a warsteiner flute. very carbonated body, champagne-like. bubbly with quick movement predicting a medium body.

aroma is a sweet and spicy candied malt with faint traces of hops. pleasant and unique.

taste is similar, heavy malt base with a real hop kick. sweetness coats everything and balances the bitter and smoky flavors. definitely some berry notes in the aftertaste of repeated sips. tingly going down reminding you of the well-hidden abv.

drinkability? mouthfeel? smooth. rich. goes down easy. dangerous. bewitching.. hey, now i'm picking up some chocolate. complex in flavor but masterfully even. not too thick, not thin. not too bitter or sweet. an exercise in perfection with that 56/100 % of play that makes or breaks a bottle (yes, there have been batches that would rate a whole .5 lower, at least)

05 is good. 05 must die, long live 05.

*gulp*

 1,145 characters

Photo of mentor
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 liter flip-top bottle provided by Sulldaddy (bottled in 2004). Bock is one of my favorite styles. Having review the Hooker Imperial Porter (ranked just 26 on BA) as a 4.9...I'm eager to try the Hooker Doppelbock (ranked 6 on BA). Poured an amazing three finger head over a dark caramel red liquid. Formation of the head proceeded with guiness-like qualities, a mesh of fine bubbles in the liquid settled slowly, jumbled about, to work their way to the top. While typing, the head has settled in clumpy lushious boulders of foam that have left incredible lacing on the inside of the glass. Goodness, what have I gotten myself into? The smell is actually disappointing. Has a rich noble hop character (Tettanger, I have little doubt), but that's about it. The beer is cold from the fridge and that may have subdued the caramel which can be found only with searching.

Taste is very interesting. Yes, has bock qualities, but this is a hop bomb the likes no German would make. The caramelly bock starts early and teasing allows a crisp rum-y alcohol to rise, only to be knocked down again. The bock character persists throughout, even when the alcohol drops out of site late to allow a strong caramel and light chocolate and molasses to come forward. A hint of wood-char with flat malty munich malts. The aftertaste is wet malty sweet with a balance hop bitter and flavor. Tettnanger hops stick throughout as a consistent main player upon which the changing malt, sweet, caramel, and bock characters play.

The smell has changed as the beer has warmed, allowing some chocolate and sugar character to arise. Munich (or Vienna) malt can now be detected beneath the very floral aromatic hops.

Whoa, what a silky smooth mouthfeel. A really fantastic 'oatmeal stout' mouthfeel, although I think it's actually only medium to med-light bodied. Carbonation is mild, but there is some acrid bubble formation on my tongue that persists well into the aftertaste. As the carbonation and hop bitter mix very well, it's hard to determine which I'm detecting (especially after drinking this glass on top of two other beers..my word, how is my spelling?).

Overall assessment: This is the first time I would classify a beer a American doppelbock. It's *way* too hoppy to be a classic sweet caramelly German doppelbock. It's very intriguing, has incredible depth of flavor, and is well-balance in regards to the flavors. A year of aging to settle the hops and alcohol seems like this beer would be much improved.

Whoa, I wrote alot, which says there is alot in this beer. Complex and difficult to dissect. Definitely one for you to seek out and try.

 2,642 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.