Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
507 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 507 | Ratings: 691
Photo of Bitterbill
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with Nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

50ml swing top bottle, I notice it's marked 2006 on the side of the label.

It pours a very dark brown with reddish highlights and a small head of foam.

The smell has notes of chocolate, roasted malt and some dark fruit. Very nice.

The taste is deliciously sweet and malty with big chocolate, sweet and dark, molasses, and roasted malt goodness with just the lightest of hop presence that I can just taste when I swish the beer in my mouth. I also get a light touch of licorice and some nutiness. Overall, this is a malt lover's delight and the alcohol is nicely hidden here.

Mouthfeel is creamy and silky and full(!) and the carbonation is light. Head retention is not all that great and there's not much lacing.

Overall, very very tasty with very good drinkability but... I'm going to take my sweet ass time finishing this bottle. This is quite the Doppelbock! No wonder it's on the Best of BA list. Thanks again, Alan!!

 984 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle

A- 500ml swing top bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a very dark brown color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is big and malty with dark fruits, cocoa, toffee and a touch of hops.

T- The taste is sweet malt and dark ripe fruits with a little hint of coffee and a roasted bitterness in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, almost perfect!

D- Not exactly a session beer, but Liberator Doppelbock is a nice sipper that is recommended!

 500 characters

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

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

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

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

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

M-Medium body. Finishes quite sour.

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

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

Re-reviewed with fresh bottle

A-Still great. Nice head, lacing etc.

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

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

M-A big difference here. Fuller and smoother.

D-Easily much more drinkable.

Happy I tried it again quite nice.

 1,460 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle puchased from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a Mayflower nonic, formed a 1/2" tan head above a clear burgundy brown brew. Head lasts well, with lasting legs but average lacing. Aroma is minimal but sweet.

Taste is malty to start, lightly fruity in the middle, and a rich and lightly alcoholic close. Mouthfeel is thick but bubbly, and drinkability is alright. As the Imp Porter, not as good as it was.

8/11/04 - 5/4/5/5/5
1L bottle obtained via trade with Sulldaddy. Many thanks for the opportunity...

First imperial pint glass pours with a 1" dark tan head, which laces tremendously. Oh-so-barely translucently dark dark brown, mahogany if you will, with a nice roasted malt aroma, just not quite as intense as I would like. Taste is lightly chocolately dark malts initially, which almost melt in your mouth. Then it slowly segues into a bit more intense dopple flavor, with just the slighest tinge of alcohol. The flavor is one of the best constructed I think I have ever had. Mouthfeel is and drinkability are both incredible. You locals, stop talking up the Liberator, leave it in-state for the locals and neighboring states. :-)

 1,165 characters

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.

 695 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.47/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mostly brown liquid, some aspect of deep red running to the edge of the glass. Plenty of chunky yeast particles floating throughout. Couldn't hold a head. Aroma was a blast of alcohol, toffee, caramel, and sealant.

Lots of dark fruit, licorice, pruno notes. Alcohol too hot to call it smooth, dark fruit too pronounced to not give it a hefty bitterness.

Would be nice to get some of that malt smoothness people talk about, all I got was a hot alcohol experience with lots of raisins, prunes and licorice. Pass.

 522 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: toasted malt and caramel

Taste: caramel, chocolate, and hops--especially towards the end

Mouthfeel: medium-light, medium-high carbonation, sweet with a bitter backbone

Drinkability: A really good beer that is complex for the style. Certainly one of the better American versions of this beer that I have had. I could sit back with several of these in an afternoon.

 450 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006: Very dark brown with faint, deep amber highlights when held to the light. Looks clear too, but it's pretty dark so it's hard to tell. Short, fluffy tan head off the pour, which settled to a thin skim and rocky ring. Good retention with spotty lacing throughout. Rich aroma with lots of toasted malt, hints of chocolate, plum and raisin. Also a bit of subtle smoke character as it warms. The flavour starts off with lots of malt and fruit - caramel, cocoa, biscuit, raisin and prune. Light bitterness that lets the sweetness show, plus mild hops at the mid. There's a fair bit of alcohol presence in the finish, a little flavour and lingering warmth - it ends up being just a little much. Excellent texture with refined carbonation that leads to a pleasant creaminess. Very nice. This is a really enjoyable beer and I'm glad I found a bottle.

 847 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Large, flip top 500mL bottle poured into a tulip pint

I have been anxiously waiting the opportunity to try this guy. I was visiting my parents in CT for the weekend and went searching for it. Score.

Pours a dark mahogany with a thin black center. A remarkably clear body when held up to the light. Little to no carbonation. A two finger, foamy tan head hung around forever and left thick rings of lacing.

Big delicious smelling malt nose. Fresh, roasted, sweet malts. Brown sugar, baker's chocolate and slight raisin's/figs. I even get some chickory and a bready, doughy aroma.

Caramel, brown sugar, lightly dried raisins, but most of all robust, roasted malt. Slightly sweet, with a nice hint of molasses. Bordering syrupy, but toeing the line perfectly.

Medium to full bodied, perfect carbonation. A slight bit of an earthy finish. Crisp. Lots of delicious flavor packed into each sip.

This was a joy to drink. You'll want to savor the flavor slowly, but it's just too damn hard. Perfectly drinkable.

Arguably the best dopplebock going.

 1,045 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Swingtop 500ml bottle into my Sam Smith imperial pint glass.

A: Despite a terribly weak pop, this one has a decent one-finger thick light brown head capping hazy red body. Some lacework as the head fizzles out rather quickly.

S: Mildly metallic, bready, caramel and as it warms up, some sour cherries are apparent. There is some funk that is clearly the infection i feared. Still smells interesting, though, nothing like a dopplebock, should.

T: Opens up with a curious mix of bread and sourness that's got the caramel and the fruit character from the dopplebock and the sourness and a rather strange funk that doesn't really go well with the rest of the beer. Strange, compelling and interesting, 500 ml is a bit much, though

M: Carbonation is solid and the body is still rather big, strange given the infection. The finish is sour and funky

D: Glad I got to try this, I'd probably give it another go 5 years from now to see what the infection has done to it - but not at the cost of a slot in my cellar

 1,010 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.46/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500mL swing top bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to Beerwolf77 for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights. Produced a decent tan head that dissipated quickly to transparent bubbles.

(S)- A light roasted character with some figs and raisin. Hints of brown sugar and caramel. A light smokiness.

(T)- Very similar to the smell with a nice rum-raisin-like kick. Some brown sugar/caramel sweetness. Is starting to become a tad metallic/sour.

(M)- A nice carbonation level. Thinner than I expected, but still a mellow-rich profile and a good raisin sweetness.

(D)- Its a good Dopplebock. Rich and sweet, but is showing signs of decline.

 667 characters

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

Half liter swingtop courtesy of DrJay, thanks man!

Pours a hazy brown/red, thick tan head forms, nice lace spots, head really sticks for the long haul, settles to a nice layer. Smell is sweet, tons of toffee and chocolate, bread, some citrus, really nice, bit of roast. Taste is sweet up front, huge toffee and chocolate, little bit of coffee, bready chocolate after taste, some alcohol, nice bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, very smooth, definately a fine drink. Thanks Jay!

 528 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off. What a magnificient fucking bottle. A big 1 Liter shaft of glass sporting a tough ass looking Goat. And a flip-top to cap it off. I wish more breweries had the balls to put their special offerings in Huge-Ass bottles like this.

Boy, this beer is almost black. It's a deep russet brown that seems impenetrable to UV. A nice crop of bubbly light brown foam recedes ever so slowly to a nice, thick bubbly coating with a thick collar. The lacing comes in spots and patches. And it is quite full. Very sound nose. Wood and smoke. Rum and molasses. Bread and yeast. Cocoa. A little roasted malt. The mouthfeel is perfect. Just the right amount of prickly carbonation (fairly low) and a big, round body. Almost as viscous as some of the bigger bodied Imperial Stouts I've had. The taste is nirvana in a bottle. Just perfect. Sweet molasses and brown sugar blend with a Munich like breadiness and a Vienna malt derived graininess. Some slight fruity sensations blend with rummy and very subtle smokey notes. And chocolate. Yes, chocolate adds that final touch. And there's just a hint of a lingering alcohol-derived bitterness. Not a lot of alcohol noted otherwise though.

This stuff is killer. Easily the best Dopplebock my tongue has ever been blessed with.

 1,270 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.34/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brown pour, red undercurrents, dense, sediment afloatin' around, doesn't look super impressive, head or lace. Aroma was a big turnoff, just massive amounts of alcohol and rough mixture of wood and water seal, with a lesser degree of caramel and toffee to it.

Again, the taste was licorice, prunes, just stuff I don't like, much less in my beer. No hops. Can't call this smooth, it has such an alcohol presence, just a rough experience. Really not anything I'd like to experience again, especialy at this cost.

 510 characters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 947 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours out a very dark brown with a very nice tan cap that starts out huge and foamy, has decent retention. Head dies down to a Belgian-esque cloud and ring.

S- Smell is like a great oatmeal stout mixed with chocolate liqueur, simply fantastic. Also, smoke, dark fruit, raisins. Lots of stale caramel as it warms. Leads you to think this will be a strong, rich beer. Fades just a bit as I indulge.

T- Really great cocoa once again, melted chocolate level in the finish. It starts with a lot of smoked dark fruit and nutty roast malt compliments the cocoa in the end. Molasses, liqueur, vanilla and many things come to mind, complex and balanced. Old ale caramel hints come into play and really round this out.

MF- Feels just a bit thin for the flavor. The creaminess is there but in the end I would like a bit more pure body. Carbonation is ample and smooth.

DB- I started liking the nose more than the flavor but the flavor really opens up as this thing gets warm. It is complex but smooth and well balanced. One of those beers where you could just go on forever listing flavors that hit your palate. For the price, this one lands itself in the SNPA and Nugget Nectar category, affordable beers that are delicious.

 1,221 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 500ml bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours a very dark brown with not much of a head and light lacing. It looks watery.

The aroma is very light, you pull out some malty tones of caramel and a light malt.

The taste is also pretty light, I wish there was more distinct flavors going on. I get some caramel notes to start and light chocolate finish with some bitter smoke.

The feel is pretty light, not a ton of body or finish.

Overall, pretty disappointed here. There wasn't much taste, feel, or complexity.

 537 characters

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

Aromas of sweet caramel malts and brown sugar along with a touch of cocoa powder and dark chocolate with some dark fruitiness mixed in as well.
Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of sweet molasses and roasted malt up front with a mild bitterness. As the roasted malt flavors die down the chocolate comes out a bit more, although it's still subdued. No hint of the alcohol. Wow where has this beer been all my life.
Mouthfeel is stupendous; full and thick and sticky with perfect carbonation. Overall, delicious, really really delicious, period. Best Doppelbock on the planet, affordable and available and perfect, what else is there to say.

 644 characters

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

Poured from a very big bottle, 1L, at a poker game. Due to an emerging buzz from Stone 10th Anniversary and Ruination, I poured with an unsteady hand and achieved a huge frothy tan head which lasted until I finished the beer.

Nice malty aroma and taste, but less sweet than the German versions I've had before.

Thanks Almalkin for the trade. This isn't available in OH yet.

 380 characters

Photo of glid02
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at 5 Points (original) in Athens, GA. It's been sitting in my closet for some time and I finally decided it was time.

Pours a very dark brown but not quick black color with a one-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a very thin layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells very good. There's a lot of stuff going - roasted malts, sweet molasses and chocolate. The roasted malt aroma dies down as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of sweet molasses and roasted malt up front with a mild bitterness. As the roasted malt flavors die down the chocolate comes out a bit more and the bitterness gets a bit more intense, although it's still subdued. No hint of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is probably the smoothest I've had in a lager. Good thickness, mild carbonation, everything is good.

Drinkability is great. Lots of flavors that change with every sip, and not a single one of them is less than very good.

Overall this certainly lives up to its billing - thus far it's the best doppelbock I've ever had. Very smooth, very complex, very worth a shot.

 1,120 characters

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

A 500ml swing top bottle. The tape on the top said bottled in 2006. It sat in my cellar for a couple weeks, and was poured into a pilsener glass...Very dark brown, almost black, with red highlights. It had a medium tan head, with a little lacing. Aroma was mostly roasted malt and caramel, with a hint of fruit. Coffee/espresso taste, as well as dark chocolate, and some the aforementioned fruit. Very rich, big mouthful. Wonderful, wonderful beer.

 448 characters

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

Reviewed from notes 1/18/2011

A: malts, sweetness, roasted, slight sourness

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

B/T: mild carbonation, smooth, sticky

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

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


 325 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 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 style...my 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

 856 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.85/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml swing-top bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. No date or info.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for kicking the top100 night off with this!

A - No head, even for a tall pour, it's a mostly clear dark brown beer. Not bad in color but it's lack of head and lace is not a good sign so far.

S - No dopplebock nose in this brew at all. It's completely a Flanders Brown aroma; vinegar sourness and a crisp, lightly malty aroma with a lack of hops. No malty sweetness, only touches of coffee and roast come through, but there really isn't a malty profile. Raisin hints are in there too. It smells good, I'll give it that, but this doesn't smell anything like a dopplebock.

T - There's a better level of roasted coffee malting and sweet biscuit notes in the flavor but the vinegar sourness still overlaps it. Not as prominent as the nose, but it's still off. No sweet maltiness or bold malt profile, again, it's barely a dopplebock.

M - Medium-bodied and roasted with an acrid bitterness to the finish that mixes with the lightly tart aspect.

D - Not bad for drinkability but this is definitely not right. I don't know if it's infected, Todd talked about issues with the 12 oz bottles, but regardless, I'd love to try it fresh and clean soon.

 1,251 characters

Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 691 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!