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Thomas Hooker's Big Winter Beers: Spice, Chocolate, Coffee and Caramel

A rundown of three winter beers from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company.

Re-posted from my blog: Malted Musings.

Happy New Year! It's been a nice Holiday break for me, but now I'm back with some great bigger-styled beers from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company that I had a few weeks back at Eli Cannon's Tap Room.

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 BloggerTwitter, and Facebook for more tasting notes and news from the beer world!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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