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Liberator

Liberator

Judges Rating: 
80
Aroma: 
19 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
33 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Since launching in 2003, Thomas Hooker Brewing Company has pumped out a lineup of solid ales and lagers from the brewery in Bloomfield, Connecticut. While traditionally a seasonal, Thomas Hooker offers its rich chocolate and roasted coffee-accented Doppelbock year round – noteworthy considering an 8.5 percent ABV. Overflowing with hints of Belgian milk chocolate and acrid, highly-kilned espresso beans, the aroma is more aggressive than one would expect of the style. Tom’s first whiff was “dominated by a blast of alcohol, mellowing quickly to sweet chocolate and cacao nibs.” Overall, he felt the aroma’s overtly assertive smack was out of place in a doppelbock. Like Tom, Lee keyed in on the strong notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate, opining that they were “more befitting an imperial stout than a lager.” Though he had to burrow down beneath the slight acrid roastiness, Lee did pick out a deeply buried, sweetish alcohol twang. This beer is dark, brooding, and impenetrably opaque and throws a small head of loose, tan bubbles. While the flavors track with the nose’s assertive roasted aroma, the beer evinces an underlying sweetness that keeps the whole thing in balance. The chocolaty sweetness struck Pete as “a tad overpowering” and “conflicted with the beer’s overt roastiness.” He did, however, enjoy the warm, slightly alcoholic finish. Strong and bold with roasted flavor, Liberator is a powerhouse best served after the sun has set.

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