Getting Blown Away by Thomas Hooker Nor Easter

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Thomas Hooker Nor’Easter Lager – 6% ABV

So I’ve been delayed writing about this beer and I apologize. I’ve already had some of Thomas Hooker’s varieties, but this was my first winter selection from the Connecticut-based brewery. Because it is definitely a seasonal, most of you folks up north still have time to go find it and let it warm you up nicely before spring really comes into play. I know Old Man Winter is a ornery old cuss, so maybe he still has some fight in him yet.

Getting my hands on this a little late in the game, I had wanted to review it when we were drinking the other winter warmers, but alas, time (and our collective thirst for nice brews) was not on my side. I did pick up a six of these because I wanted to really dive in and get a good appreciation for them. Having only one beer from a variety is good, but what does the second one taste like? Not too many people I know only drink one beer at the bar, or at home for that matter. I’m just trying to be as authentic and informative as possible. You know, something you can relate to.

The color of this brew is a nice maple brown, but you can see some dark ruby or garnet red in the glass if you hold it up to the light. The head that pours on this is thick at first, but dissolves and fades to a nice semi-thick film above the beer. Immediately after smelling this I knew this was going to pack a malty wallop. After all this thing is brewed with tons of malt – Canadian 2-Row, Munich Light, Carapils, Caramunich I and II, Vienna, Wheat Malt. Hello? That’s a lot of malt. I like my beers to be malty, so without regard for my own personal safety I dive in and find just that, and much more.

Upon tasting, I’m getting a fairly complex warmer that really hits me with a variety of stuff. These flavors that I’m getting are fairly nice, although I saw something that said “Lager with artificial flavors” right smack-dab on the label. Not exactly the disclosure you want to give people before they’ve even taken a sip. Regardless, there is a blend of (what seems to be) caramel with some nutmeg and/or cinnamon in there, maybe some allspice and clove as well, giving the brew a slight spice component. At one point I got the distinct feeling I was also tasting some kind of smoky wood flavor, as if this were barrel-aged. Would be nice, but after reading the label, I doubt they went to those lengths. Maybe it’s just the combination of roasted malts with the spices. Whatever, I’m kind of enjoying this one, albeit somewhat begrudgingly. The lacing around the glass is soapy and leaves a nice spotted area around the now-empty glass body. The finish was sort of dry and had a slight bitterness.

I’m not sure how the rest of the country is doing, but I know the winter in the Tri-State area has been unseasonably warm. The good thing is, on any given day the weather could go bipolar and we could have a blizzard. In fact, it’s funny I mention that. Just last week we had a nor’easter pushing through the area. Had there been more precipitation, we would have had a nice snowstorm. Regardless, this beer is good for those cold winter nights when you want something to keep you warm and toasty. And for those of you who are brave and don’t care what the weather is outside, grab it if you can. I know beer purists will swear I’m a blasphemer for saying it, but it’s a fairly decent brew in my eyes. Different strokes, ya know? Now, would I write home to Mom about it? Nah, but if I had nothing else on hand and needed a warmer, I’d grab it. And if all else fails and I have a few of these left and I didn’t want them? They would always make for great stocking stuffers…

 

Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter Lager

 

About Jason M

Texas Style - Having grown up down south, I've grown an appreciation for the "bigger is better" mantra. Bigger and bolder flavor is something I crave in my beers. Some people are hop-heads, all they drink are IPA's and other hoppy beers. Others are big on wheat beers. Some like it dark. Me? I'm an all-the-above kind of guy. I've had a love for all varieties since I was young and that has not changed. Good beer is good beer.

I'm constantly seeking out the latest and greatest new variety, because despite having an old-time favorite beer, drinking the same old flavors over and over gets old. That being said, I've got to try something new, explore my boundaries. After all, variety is the spice of life, no?

Favorite Beers - Unibroue La Fin du Monde, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine

Find me on Untappd.com

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