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 Dope
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Born on 2011-11-29. Coming up on 2 years old.

A: Pours a deep dark red-brown. Big and effervescent light brown head.Head fades out slowly with a nice island remaining. Substantial checkered lacing.

S: Big maltiness - sugary sweet. Mainly sweet caramel with some brown sugar. Decent figs and raisin. Very pleasant.

T: More malty goodness but not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggested. Toffee is prominent up front. Very bready, like dark bread crusts. Syrupy, burnt and heavy caramel helps sweeten it up a little in the finish. Some molasses maybe even? Bitterness is fairly substantial on the back end for a doppelbock. Gotta be some heavier american-style hopping going on here. More lingering breadcrusts in the aftertaste.

M: Pretty medium bodied and smooth.

O: Excellent doppelbock. Very malty - bready type malts. Grainy to the core. It's quite good but just doesn't do it for me compared to some traditional german doppelbocks like Celebrator or Korbinian.

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Photo of 57md
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy brown with tan edges and a thin layer of head. The nose had the essence of dark malt and a tart note, as well. The flavor was smooth and malty. The body may be a bit light for the style, but this beer is still plenty tasty. There is a slight sweetness on the finish that is accompanied by a touch of hop bitterness as well.

The alcohol essence on the finish became more apparent as the beer warmed. This is not meant as a criticism, as I think overall the alcohol bite was kept well in check.

This is a very well balance beer and ranks at or near the top for its style.

Note: This bottle had some age on it - 10 months to be precise. This was my first taste of this offering, so I cannot say how this aged version compares to a freshy. Given that, the age may very well have smoothed out this beer, because it was VERY smooth for a Doppelbock.

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Photo of tone77
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with amber highlights and a 1 inch head. Smell is bready, malts, some alcohol. Taste is dark fruits, caramel malts, some alcohol, a touch of sweetness. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to beersndrums for this one!

12 oz bottle poured into a mug at cellar temperature.

L – Ruby brown color with a 1.5-finger bubbly, tan head that fades fairly rapidly into a ring of bubbles that hangs around for a while.

S – A blast of malty aromas including caramel, molasses, dark fruits like plums and currants, and a touch of chocolate. This has everything you could want in a doppelbock.

T – Just like the aroma, the taste is brimming with maltiness. It’s sweet all the way through with bready, caramel, molasses, milk chocolate, and juicy dark fruits. There may be just a touch of earthy, spicy, and mildly bitter hops at the finish that pair well with the rich dark fruits. Man, this is tasty.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and creamy mouthfeel, and a sweet, dry finish. Sweet malt flavors linger along with a mild throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This is an awesome beer and a fantastic doppelbock. It’s just loaded with brilliant malty aromas and flavors, is extraordinarily tasty, and is frighteningly drinkable for clocking in at 8.5% ABV. Jared, thank you so much for giving me the chance to try this!

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

Delicious, solid as a rock, amazing combination of dark fruits and chewy goodness. Just a bit too much carbonation for my liking, I prefer a less-effervescent dopplebock. Regardless, it's always a treat when it's on tap at the Hooker Brewery on their Friday brew sessions.

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Photo of sommersb
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 02-01-2013
Freshness: Bottled on 10-04-2012
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black beer, with ruby highlight colors. Retention is fair with a good lace.

S: Dark, bready malts in the nose, plus a smoky quality. Other aromas are of earthy/woody hops.

T: Tastes of heavily roasted grains, with a bitterness like you get in a dark coffee. Just as in the aromas, I taste woody and smoky flavors, which gives it an unpleasant astringent character.

M: Medium-bodied with an average amount of carbonation. Finishes with roasted grain bitterness and woody flavors, plus a slight smoked presence. More astringency as well.

O: The aromas and flavors are not what I expected for this dopplebock, with the dominance of the wood and smoke characteristics. I don't think this is intentional so perhaps this bottle has some quality issues? I have some more bottles in the fridge so I'm curious to see how they fare.

Thanks to davey101 for this one!

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Photo of diddly
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Color is a dark brown, with hints of red. Tan, thin head.

Smells sweet and roasty, with hints of wood from aging.

Tastes fairly sweet, but more roasted. Little to no bittnerness, but some dark fruitiness for a well-balanced flavor. Slight warmth from alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very smooth from sweetness.

Overall pretty good, but it doesn't seem superb. The 4-pack I bought was about 11 months old, so that could certainly play a part. Very rich, and seemingly thick, but it doesn't feel it as you're drinking.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marked down to 2 bucks at my local House of 1,000 beers.

A - Must be a tad old but still gave me a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head. Beer is a very dark shade of Oak brown, very clear at the base.

S - Smells of deep caramel malt, touch of oak and some raisin/plum, very typical for the style. Very deep and very heavy smelling.

T - Has a bit of sour cherry thing going on as others described as a "sour grape". Must be the clash of lager yeasts and caramel malts. Other than that I am just getting sweet malts and a touch of bread.

M - Despite the high ABV it drinks with a medium body.

Overall it's more of a lager than a dopplebock yet it is very drinkable. Worth the price of admission.

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

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

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Photo of acceptmj
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this in a bottle finally for my birthday

A: Pours a white head which disappears quickly. Color is a very dark roasted ruby red. when held up to a light you can barely see through it.

S: The smell is amazing. Very malty with hints of a wine characteristic and also figs or plums. You can smell a hint of the alcohol but not much due to the amount of malted barley that they use.

T: This beer has a subtle sweetness all around from start to finish. You recieve all of the malt flavors and just a hint of bitterness to balance it out. In the after taste you get some raisin or plum again.

M: With all the 8 different malts they use in this recipe it is not filling at all. It is a full bodied beer which coats your mouth completely. But you can drink 2 or 3 of these and still feel like another one if not for the alcohol content.

O: This is the best Doppelbock i have had. I love how even though it is a thick and heavy beer after you finish a bottle you dont feel full or "sluggish". This is a great beer to start expanding your palate with.

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Photo of slim2043
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a DFH pint glass. Been meaning to try this from my local Hooker brewery. My first doppelbock besides Spaten but have read the style notes.

A: pours a deep brown w a ruby red hue. Nice off white head w some retention

S: malty sweet smell w grape notes kind of smells like wine or raisins

T: a sweet raisiny grapey taste w nice bitter and sweet notes. Pretty big malt profile. Warming alcohol presence is subtle.

M: very slick and smooth pretty full bodied but easy to drink

O: makes me want to explore doppelbocks (hence the high rating) a strong beer w beautifully strong flavors. A showcase for this style.

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

Poured from bottle into NB globe. Pours a nice deep brown color and red hue, with a good amount of off white head. Aromas of sweet malts, with a small bit of dried fruit/date. Taste is malty, with hints of slight hop and dried fruit notes. Its a bit bitter, but mellow. Alcohol is present, again; mellow.
Its a bit macro or ordinary, but it had some good finishing qualities. Overall, a pretty good doppelbock.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.24/5  rDev -70.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer pours a very dark brown with no head or lacing. It's aroma is of coffee and burnt toast with a hint of anise. The flavor is coffee with notes of black licorice and cough syrup. There is a long lasting dark roasted malt aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thick and syrup-like. Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock is a bit of a disappointment. Not recommended.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This a good tasting beer bitty not a doppelbock. Had on tap at the ginger man- pours a pretty clear blades brown color with a one finger carmel color head. No lacing.

Smells like coffee too strongly for a doppelbock. Strong dark malt character.

Tastes also like a mocha porter- coffee and chocolate and dark malt come through pretty clearly.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good stuff- not a doppelbock.

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

12 oz bottle poured into celebrator glass

A - dark brown body with a thin wisp of a head. whats there stays there all the way down with some great lacing as well.

S - lots of dark fruit in there as well as some hints of cherry as well. molasses and sweet malty goodness sit behind the fruit.

T - dark fruit again plum raisins some tartness (raspberries but faint) molasses brown sugar ride out behind.

M - medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. as mentioned there is some tartness in there as well as a tiny bit of a hop bite.

O - a superb take on the style.

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