Liquid Bread, brought to you by Thomas Hooker

Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock – 8% ABV

Since I found another one from the somewhat immediate area (after all, this is a Tri-State beer) I decided to look into the stylings from the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company of Bloomington, CT. What better way to introduce yourself to a brewery than to try out something strong and hearty? This was a nice meal. The ram on the label should have warned me as such. As many doppelbocks have the characteristic of being hearty and filling, with plenty of malt influence, they are often considered “liquid bread.” (hat tip to my friends at the Iron Monkey for introducing me to the term when turning me onto Ayinger Celebrator, another fine brew in this style – review coming soon!)

This sucker packs a wallop when it comes to taste. At 8%, you know you’re in for a fairly strong beer, but you won’t believe your taste buds when you swill this down. The nose doesn’t really translate literally into the taste as some beers do. In other words – you smell caramel, you get caramel. This one had a whole lot more going on. A good whiff of this told me I was smelling some dark fruit, caramel and a yeasty/bready aroma. And of course alcohol. A pretty good amount of it too. The taste however was a surprise.

When it comes to closely associating what you smell with what you taste, often times certain beers will fall in line and only offer your palate exactly what your olfactory senses have told you you’re sniffing. I like the ones that have a few surprises in them, a little more complexity than just your standard options. Not only did I get the malty, bready feel, the earthy elements you would expect from a beer of this style, but I also got the taste of caramel and toffee, with some dark fruitiness and a lingering hop bite towards the end.  The bitterness is pretty minimal, but the strength of the beer really makes itself known. You know you’re drinking alcohol when you pull on this.

I should have expected nothing less, granted the color of the beer. Since my younger days, I’ve often associated darker beers as possessing greater strength than their lighter counterparts. When I poured this one into a tulip glass, deep dark brown was the dominant color. A nice thick puffy head formed above it, giving me that yeasty ester and caramel nose. When holding the glass up to the light, you could almost see some ruby red coloration in there, despite this being such a deep, dark brown beer.  Nice lacing throughout the glass even after I finished the whole thing. Just traces of memories very recently made.

This varied from other doppelbocks I’ve had the pleasure of trying. The all-around flavor offered up something a little different. I’ve made mention before of my love for the new trend in barrel-aged beers. The finish in this gave me a hint of sweet, syrupy character; with a trace of woodiness similar to oak. Kind of like what you would expect from a barrel-aged brew. Something different, that’s for sure. But something good enough to make me interested in another.

 

Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock

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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