Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 510
Photo of Arenbeer
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Snifter Glass

A- Pours a dark dark brown with a slight reddish hue in the light. On top is a Thinner light brown head that leaves little lacing.

S- Roasted darker malts dominate with a slight coffee or chocolaty backround.

T- Much like the smell the toasted malts and coffee dominate with a slight molasses or toffee taste in the backround. As it warms the alcohol comes out a bit, maybe too much. Not very complex, a little disapointed.

M- Full bodied for sure! Thicker syupy mouthfeel with lower carbonation amd a slight bitter finish. Not to dry either.


 588 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
3.02/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Hey look! It's the headless horsebeer! This puppy is strictly neck down. Blackest doppelbock possible. Why? Cause it's black.

Smells like a doppel though. Very faint odor.

Well, in five words or less: I don't like it. Pretty damn nasty actually. Smells OK, tastes less than OK, and feels like an old bottle of flat coke. Like the ones you get at 7-11 when the CO2 runs out. Coke syrup. Zero carbonation.

Oh well, I can't like 'em all. This one is not for me.

Overall: yuck

 477 characters

Photo of vonnerbeer
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of datalager
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of SHerninko
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ObiBeerCanobi
3.67/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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 troegaarden
5/5  rDev +19%

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

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

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

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

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

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

 455 characters

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

1 liter swing top bottle. 2006 on a sticker across the top.
Pours a very dark but not opaque red. Thick, creamy looking tan/brown head. Aroma is a pleasant blend of coffee, toffee and roasted malts. Taste is surprisingly not sweet. There is a hint of caramel sweetness, but nothing like most syrupy sweet dopplebocks. Mostly dark chocolate, coffee, and toasted malts. A bit dry in the aftertaste? Very smooth and drinkable. The 8%ABV is not a noticeable character while drinking. Unique experience in this style for me in a good way. Excellent drinking experience. Thanks goodbyeohio!

 585 characters

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

Presentation: 500ml swing top bottle ("Bottled In 2006" cap seal) in a classic Pilsener glass

Opened with a nice "pop" and poured thickly, smoothly and with some amusing gurgle.

Rather flat nose, deep malts, molasses, macerated cherries for sweetness, a hint of baking chocolate. With some bloom the dark cherry & chocolate qualities rise but are still rather subdued, some echoes of stale bread. The pencil's worth of loose, latte hued foam dissipated quickly into a semi-transparent sheen with a edge ring, which does lace nicely with tree like glass rings. The color is striking - a deep, rich, ruddy, rhubarb infused cherry amber, just slightly warm & brassy...very lush looking.

Smooth, soft malts, silky yet quiet chocolate, there is a full, syrupy quality that adds to the overall "hushed lush" aspect and mouthfeel. Bittersweet at best with molasses and burnt caramel, this is more about mouthfeel than taste, which is just fine with me. If you could taste what a 19th century Victorian chamber parlor feels like, this is it. Providing some balance & life to the rich mouthfeel is a nice semi-dryness (this would be Victrola music in the background) with a very faint crunch.

There is a subtle sophistication to this. Its not in your face, not a taste bomb, but subdued, coy, flirting, seductive...a glimpse of some hidden yet ample cleavage down a lazy sweater when she's not aware its hanging open. Its smooth, alarming easy to drink, and relaxing.

It grows drier (but still semi-dry) on the palate, crisper, a little spicy with a slight bite (nibble?), even & balanced with the roast malts taking the lead. The alcohol (completely hidden until warned) finally shows up and softly warms the mouth, departing bittersweet & wet, leaving a thick, warm, semi-sweet, slightly fuzzy mouthfeel that is nice and surprisingly clean and unchewy.

That was a sexy beer, a "burlesque" beer. It always leaves a little to the imagination in that it doesn't show you everything immediately but rather, Gypsy Rose Lee style, slowly reveals almost everything and leaves you wanting...more. Yes, I would love another of these. An excellent beer that is very well crafted and shares the mouthfeel qualities of their incredible Porter. This would be dead on with a great steak prepared simply, or even some just slightly spiced beef dishes, and could probably do well with a nice, soft (albeit mild) stinky cheese. This would be a great Friday night, lights low, smooth jazz high beer, and I think I will make a date for some Friday in the future to do just that. A great beer, and highly recommended.

 2,617 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 xgrigorix
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One liter brown swingtop bottle. Bottled in 2005.

Deep burgandy in colour. Fluffy off white head that retains rather well.

Toasted malt aromas invite a sip.

Malty sweet toffee surprise. Plenty of caramel flavour as well. Well hopped herbal note running throughout. Medium-full bodied, robust carbonation. Not your average doppelbock.

 342 characters

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the one liter swingtop bottle into a wide flute glass the beer was a dark, "wood stain" shade of brown. A solid finger of tan head sat atop the beer and had excellent retention.

The nose is rich and bready. A little sweet malt upfront with a warm bread or warm bakers yeast aroma. Some slight alcohol in the nose with hint of sweet caramel and mollasses.

The beer is deceptively smooth and not overly cloying or sryupy. A nice big malty rich flavor comes through with notes of caramel, some brown sugar and toffee. Some rum soaked raison and fig also on the palate. A bicutty chew body but not "heavy" so to speak, more a fullness and robust character. Slight alcohol creaps into each sip along with a faint bitterness near the back of the tounge. The aftertaste holds some soft chocolate notes and a slightly increasing bitterness with warmth.

Mouthfeel is big, rich, and chewy. The beer never got cloying and the sweetness was not overpowers.

An enjoyable beer for sure. Easy to drink despite its relative "bigness." A little surprising bitterness for a malt dominated style was interesting, but well done in the beer.

 1,144 characters

Photo of diverite
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

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

It's just about everything I expected from a Doppel Bock... just about.

Pours a nice dark chestnut amber with streams of tiny bubbles materializing within the heart of the brew.

The head was scant but not without character receeding into a swirling thin tan-amber covering upon the beer.

Nose was nothing special. I've sampled some Doppel Bocks which produced such prominent whafts of delight-- and I had hoped it would have happened here. Some hits of alcohol and a tid bit of hops but I had to strain to detect.

Flavor made the whole thing worth it--
A nice robust up front and center flavor, well balanced-- not too hoppy, but just a wonderful balance of hops and malt to satisfy my taste buds with a flavor gravity that lingered upon my tongue with what seemed like a never ending finish echoing the big bang of flavor at the start.

The mouthfeel was quite cordial-- a nice heavy body to go along with the flavor boquet. I wish there was some more carbonation, but probably it's right on center for this brew style.

Drinkability-- Lordie my pint bottle is empty-- already, and it's my last one!

Since this brew is seasonal, and I've just polished off my 2006 stock, what a wonderful thing to look forward to-- spring flowers, birds chirping and more Hooker Liberator Doppel Bock!

 1,292 characters

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

Unfiltered chestnut color. Tall, heavy head that builds slowly. Alluring nose, plum juice and crystallized sugar. Hints of smoke, licorice, and port wine. Lightly carbonated. Soft, spongelike body. Tastes of medium-roasted malts coupled with more candied malt notes. Mineral notes and vague plum acidity combine for a leathery effect at the back of the throat while smokiness persists. Mild mineral, roasted barley twang, spicy anise, and woodsy notes diffuse the sweetness at the finish while the understatedly juicy hops remain in the background. Delectable flavors, overall. This brew was recommended and it did not disappoint.

 630 characters

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

 583 characters

Photo of Mavajo
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a brown color with a good off-white head. Minimal lacing. Aroma and flavor are of toasted malts, caramel, toffee and bread. I also get something that reminds me of unsweetened tea. Mouthfeel is good - hits all the right notes and no major criticisms.

All in all, a good beer, but I didn't find anything special about it.

 327 characters

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

2006 swingtop received in a trade from RustyDiamond

A - A deep mahogany brown color. Head is light brown and settles to a patchy eighth inch.

S - Very intense smell dark raisiny sweet toasted malts. Smell is a little earthy and the fruity sweetness has some nice cherry like complexities. A nasaly alcohol feeling in there as well.

T/M - Smooth, with a mild carbonation bite at first, flavors come in creamy and slightly bitter. Dark cherry fruity tastes enter in with some roasted malts, in an oily like texture. Aftertaste is a light coffee flavor.

D - Very easy to drink. Would like to have this one again.

 614 characters

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.

 361 characters

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

On tap at Eli Cannon's Taproom in Middletown, CT. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Black as midnight, with a frothy, tannish yellow head. Decent lacing and retention down the glass.

Smell: Alot going on in here, roasted bready malts pop huge, a nice, almost "charcoal" aroma sits in the nose as well. I also got a faint smell of some caramel maltiness subdued in the backdrop.

Taste: Again, that roasted malt is way up front. Caramel, toffee, and a tinge of some cranberry. Hops are here but are very very minimal. The malt isn't overly sweet either, which makes the overall balance of this almost perfect.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy and robust. Carbonation is decent, and this medium bodied beer stays up well on the tongue.

Drinkability: Never really ventured into Doppelbocks but I'm glad I did, this brew is excellent, especially the way the maltiness is placed in here, it's not overbarring with sugar and it has alot of character to keep me interested. Well done.

 976 characters

Photo of SteveO1231
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First release in Hooker's new short, fat 500ml swing top bottles. Bottled in 2006 according to yellow tape across the cap. Literally POPPED! when opened. Pours incredibly dark black with caramel highlights. Hugh frothy tan head, creamy lacing. Aroma is very appetizing (Like a big slice of German chocolate cake), German malts, subtle hints milk chocolate and caramel touch of alcohol in the back. Full bodied with a velvety mouthfeel. Large amount of caramel sweetness up front, tastes of chocolate, light roasted character. Finish is seems to combine the hops and alcohol with a hint of smoke to make up a complex bitterness that leaves the palate dry and the belly warm. This beer is incredibly smooth and drinkable. Awesome Dopplebock. Let it warm a bit to enjoy the full experience.

 787 characters

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

Pours a really dark garnet with a nicely capped eggshell colored head. Plenty of retention and lacing to go around. Smells slightly chocolatey with a hint of fruit in the back. Massive tasting dopplebock. Full of those huge fruity flavors with a real rough edge to it. Perhaps a walnut like tang that grabs your tounge and shakes it. Nice malty burn that cleanses and refreshes. Huge beer. Mouthfeel borders on epic. Alcohol becomes apparent quite quickly. It's kind of hard to tire of this. My first Hooker beer and definitely not my last.

 540 characters

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1L bottle courtesy of ppoitras..thanks Pete!
Pours a very nice reddish brown hue with an off-white head. Very good lacing.
Smell is very malty (as to be expected). Caramel, burnt sugars, and sweet bread round this one out. There is a small, spicy, hop addition as well.
Taste is amazing. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, light hops, burnt sugars, and toasty malts. The balance of this beer is just about perfect.
Overall, this beer is so smooth and well made, it's amazing that it even stays on the shelf long enough for bottles of it to make it all the way down to me in FL.

 582 characters

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

    Founded 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.