Re-posted from my blog: Malted Musings.
First up is the Hooker Imperial Porter. This beer pours out an opaque, very deep chestnut color. It smells of coffee and caramel with just a hint of chocolate. At first taste I get a medium, sweet chocolatey sweetness that's tinged with caramel and a deep maltiness.
This ends with a medium bittersweet dark chocolate which sits heavily on the palate This beer is medium to heavy that starts sweet and mild, and ends heavier with a lingering dark sweetness. This beer starts out sweet and malty, but it pulls together well by relying on a sweet and bitter chocolate note and hearty aftertaste. A great anytime beer for cold weather!
Next I had Hooker's Nor'Easter. This is a 6 percent spiced beer. It pours out a transparent red gold with a lively head. I couldn't discern much of a scent off of this one, besides a vague sweetness. This beer tastes spicy, with a distant dull-berry taste that gives way to a bright, blunted citric note. This cuts out quickly and leaves me with that dull, slightly sour taste on the back of my pallatte. This is a more traditional "easy-drinking" Hooker style beer, but it's been kicked-up with spicy/sour notes. It still is a fairly easy-drinking medium-bodied beer that's light enough to enjoy many glasses of, but the spicing makes it a beer that will warm you right up.
The last beer I had was a special one: the Chipotle Chocolate Truffle Stout. This beer pours out a deep black brown color and has a deep, dark smell of chocolate. This beer starts off with a deep, dark chocolate tone with a lighter body, that quickly switches to a spicy, peppery flavor note that then stretches into a lingering spicy burn. This burn lingers all the way through the taste and then sits smoldering on your tongue This stout is light to medium, with a burning, smoky spicy flavor (think Sriracha sauce). It is very tasty, but also legitimately spicy: the chocolate notes balance out the spice and visa versa, leaving your taste buds to dance a sweet, fiery tango!
If you think that Thomas Hooker is all just summer beer: you're wrong. But it's ok, check out these beers and be grateful that CT has a brewery putting out a variety of great winter beers to bring fire to your bones this winter season! I did a post on Hooker's new beer styles here. Check it out and then follow me on Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook for more tasting notes and news from the beer world!