Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
One 12 oz bottle as part of mix-six pack, $9.90, 8.1% ABV
Purchased at Copaco Liquors, Bloomfield
While I’m no fan of the Nazis (who’s with me here?), it’s tough to say “doppelbock” without conjuring up an image of an SS guard sidling up to the bar ordering one with an Aryan sneer. “Doppelbock, macht schnell!”
And when it comes to Hooker’s version, macht schnell! is apt, because this is darn good beer. I should make the point right off the bat that I’m not really a fan of too many German beers. The whole German/Czech/Polish green bottle family of beer is just terrible in my opinion. But something magical happens when you take a traditional bock and double it up, making a doppelbock.
Since this is the only one I know of brewed in Connecticut, a quick history lesson on the style in in order. It is a dark, malty, lightly hopped ale first brewed in the 14th century by German brewers in the Hanseatic town of Einbeck. The style from Einbeck was later adopted by Munich brewers in the 17th century and adapted to the new lager style of brewing. Due to their Bavarian accent, citizens of Munich pronounced “Einbeck” as “ein Bock” (“a billy goat”), and thus the beer became known as “bock”. To this day, as a visual pun, a goat often appears on bock labels.
Yup, the Hooker label has a goat on it. I don’t know why they call it Liberator though. For some reason to me, “Liberator” sounds like one of those non-alcoholic beer names. Geeze, imagine the surprise when some bloke on the wagon sucks down a few of these 8.1% babies. Whoops.
Me, not on the wagon, very much enjoyed the Liberator. I tend towards hoppy IPAs rather than the malty side of beers, but there was something very appealing about this one. It didn’t have that grainy feel I sometimes find with beers like this and the alcohol, though definitely present, didn’t overwhelm the flavor at all.
Oh, and since my beer rating skills are justifiably disrespected by beer geeks the world over, I should point out that I knew this was really good beer before I saw that Beer Advocate clowns gave the Liberator a very rare 100 score. Impressive to say the least.
Thomas Hooker Doppelbock Lager blends huge amounts of imported Munich, Vienna and Moravian malts with select dark roasted malts to achieve a malt lover’s dream of a rich and creamy brew. Subtly hopped with noble German and Czech hops and cool fermented with a Bavarian lager yeast, this beer will leave you happy to give up solid food for a while. No dessert necessary.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A