Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Northern Liberties IPA - Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Northern Liberties IPANorthern Liberties IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

53 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 53
Hads: 179
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 23.94%
Wants: 2
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerman207 on 05-14-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (34) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 53 | Hads: 179
Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a proud head that refuses to give way; the color of the liquid was a slightly hazy amber

Smell: Balanced between the caramel and the hops, but the hops brought on minty and piney tones

Taste: Caramel, up front, followed by the piney hops; floral and minty elements develop by mid-palate, but the caramel hangs around through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: More of a hoppy amber than an IPA, but still a decent beer from a brewery that doesn't appear to get much respect around here

 559 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very unusual choice comming out of such a conventional brewing company that favors German styles.

Northern Liberties pours with a standard copper or heavy gold color. High carbonation fuels a froathy but volitile head that fell to stillness mid way through, with only a floating pocket of lace here and there. Farily standard but I like better head character from high-hopped beers. A mild haze from dry hopping is evident.

Citrus and pine resins take precidence while mild caramel malt flavors support but don't interrupt the hops. Lightly phenolic, the beer has a mild medicinal taste that at times seem plasticy. Bitterness is high and strays from the smooth citrus start and towards a grassy, straw-like or hay-like astringent bite in the finish.

The otherwise crisp beer has a well-attenuated character that leaves it less creamy early but dry late. If not for a leafy, stemmy, grassy finish the beer would fare much better.

 934 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from 12-pack sampler case purchased in Ohio. Served in a Sam Adams glass.

A: Orange-amber in color with a large, frothy off-white head. Superior lacing and retention.

S: Sweet with citrus and floral notes, and a bready malt base.

T: More fruity and appealing than the aroma. Mildly bitter hop finish.

M: Excellent medium body and medium+ carbonation. Near creamy smooth..

O: A mild IPA. More like a pale ale in terms of hops load and bitterness, and perhaps a bit light even then, but tasty and highly drinkable.

 532 characters

Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Off white head. Lace walls down the entire glass. Color is a pale copper hued gold.

Flavors of biscuity and caramel malts. Come grapefruit and citrus fruit. Pine flavored hops. It is also kind of weedy.

Mouthfeel is very sticky. Bitter as well. Medium bodied. Ends sticky.

Overall, an okay ipa, but nothing crazy. It was drinkable, but nothing I'd seek out.

 360 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle on 1-21-12

A - Pours a darker, cloudy orange with a smallish cream colored head. Good retention.

S - Grass, orange, and some carmel.

T - Oranges and sweet carmel.

D - Average body and decent carbonation. Bitter.

O - Ok, more malty than hoppy. Pretty underwhelming all-around.

 292 characters

Photo of barczar
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly hazy copper with a frothy cream head that lingers.

Citrus, pine, resin, and fresh cut grass ride a bed of slightly sweet, bready malt. The balance is fairly resiny. Herbal notes surface as it warms.

Bready, lightly toasted, slightly sweet caramel malt forms the backbone, with a fairly resiny, decidedly bitter finish rounding things out. Underlying flavors of muted citrus, grapefruit and tangerine, add intrigue.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a harsh, astringent hop finish. There's a touch of alcohol warmth.

Way too resiny and bitter for my liking. Malt was a touch sweet. The citrus character was pleasant.

 650 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is an opaque, heavy amber. Sticky lacing clings heavily from a thick foam left after a nearly white head two fingers high drops. While the head doesn't die too terribly quickly it could last longer, but the lacing is just astounding.
A definitively cannabis/hemp character comes out of the aroma right off. It's followed by some extremely herbal and floral hops bitterness and precedes a bit of citrus rind. A bit of bread and caramel from malts adds a touch of balance to this hoppy brew.
Pine resin bitterness and some raw, leafy and herbal hops characteristics are strongest in the flavor, with a bit of grassy earthiness to it. Malts add balance but allow for a heavy hop bill to shine, so that the light caramel and biscuit notes are that much more necessary and appreciated. Citrus rind follows, and a bit of lemon and orange peek out as this beer warms.
A medium body with moderate carbonation make for a very nice combination of creamy smoothness and gentle crispness. The smooth, even feel gives way to dryness about halfway through.
This is a great beer from Moerlein and I've heard people say they had some problems with medicinal, mineral or other off-flavors and wonder if the brewery had any quality control issues with previous batches. This, to me, is excellent.

 1,288 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin, off-white head that does not make a point of sticking around very long.

S: Aromas of herbs, pine, grass, biscuit, and caramel are present on the nose, but not particularly assertive.

T: Somewhat muted notes of herbs, grass, pine, spruce, bitter orange, lemon, lime, brown sugar, caramel, cream, and biscuit flit across the palate. The finish is clipped for the style, offering fleeting notes of caramel, pine, and lemon.

M: On the lighter side of medium and slick. Carbonation is oddly harsh. I am not finding this one easy to drink compared to many other IPAs I have tried.

O: Personally, I think my review here is a little bit generous, as this is really lacking for an IPA. It also should be noted, however, that I encourage those who read this review to take it with a grain of salt (as one should do with any review of this type). Looking at some of the more recent reviews for this ale has caused me to note the disparity between my experience and that of others. Perhaps Moerlein changed the recipe, perhaps the IPA fad has become so pervasive that others are simply unwilling to give a very mediocre example of the style a bad review, or perhaps I stumbled across a bad bottle. Who knows? At this point, all I can say is that I may have to revisit this one in the not so distant future.

 1,335 characters

Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Moerlein name once represented a line of quite good beers, but, over time, the name simply tagged contract brewed beers of average quality. Northern Liberties redeems the name. A quite good IPA, liberally hopped with nicely aromatic hops. Firm and crisp in the mouth, and a very good value, to boot.

 303 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - good looking golden amber tea color. Voluminous head with lots of staying power and lace.

Aroma - sharp and pungent hops with just a trace of sweet citrus. A little more fruit on setup, pretty nice balance!

Taste - some initial biscuity malts on the opening. The hops, far more pungent and bitter when fresh, are still knocking it pretty stiff but they have tamed somewhat. Still very piny and in better balance with the malts several months after purchase. Good resiny aftertaste and dry finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth feel. If you let it sit, the amped up carbonation burns off and makes for a crisp but mellow feel.

Drinkability - very tasty session IPA. Worth checking out.

 690 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours a hazy amber color with golden highlights. It is topped with three inches of rocky, off-white head.

S - I get some citrus. Lemon seems to stand out. I also get some caramel malt to balance it.

T - The taste is a balance of caramel malt and citrus hops. The lemon comes through in the taste. It has a bitter pine finish. It's not overtly bitter, but enough to let you know it's there.

M - Medium

O - It's an above average IPA. I would call it a starter IPA. It is not a hop bomb. It has the characteristics, but nothing that stands out.

 600 characters

Photo of nrbw23
2.96/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a pretty clear orangish amber color with a thin off white head. Head has great retention and leaves some really nice lacing.

S- Aroma is pretty floral. A solid malt back bone with some sort of metallic smell as well.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Very floral, a bit of pine, and a strong malts. Again the metallic taste is here.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- With all the other IPA's out there I find this one to be average at best.

 460 characters

Photo of schoolboy
2.51/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmmm. I'm not sure if I have ever had a good beer from this company. This is no exception. It's not good. To be fair, it is following an exceptional tasting, but thiere isn't anything I like about it. I'd rather have a Bud (and I am an IPA person).

It has an unrefined, uninteresting bitterness that overpowers everything. The nose is similar. This is one to avoid, and I will avoid the brand in the future.

 408 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 7/16/10

Robust shade of copper with amber highlights. Nice clarity. Over one finger head thins slowly with decent swaths of lace clinging to the inside of the glass. Swirling keeps a thin layer; splotchy lace throughout.

This is an earthy smelling IPA; prevalent floral wisps, grassiness & a touch of pine. Modest hints of lemon zest & orange peel. Substantial malt backdrop with notes of biscuit, caramel & sweet bread. Yeasty undertones.

Similar to the aroma, the taste is very floral with a grassy twist. Piney bitterness is more apparent to taste; offering enough dryness to offset the malts. Malts are prominent but not eschewing balance. Caramel & toasty bread notes. Doesn't seem like citrus is a large piece of the equation.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation - just enough to keep things moving. Some grittiness. Piney bitterness & toasted caramel linger briefly on the finish.

Drinkability is fine. It's definitely balanced for an American IPA, but never tips the scale toward the malty side of things (in my opinion, it's more of an English IPA). In any case, it's tasty & easy to drink. I didn't even know Moerlein had an IPA. Thanks to my Uncle Todd for bringing some Moerlein brews when he drove up for the Dream Theater concert.

 1,281 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Given to me by Purplecloud. Thanks dude.

A: amber, clear, light creamy head
S: milder nose - fruitier grapefruit with good malt base
T: decent with malt and good bitter finish with some astringency that's distracting
M: astringency isn't right, metallic

 254 characters

Photo of pwoods
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6er purchased at Krogers, 12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours an average amber color with some coppery hues. Good clarity. A finger or so worth of thick white head forms and holds for a bit. Good lacing.

S: I'm thinking this wasn't dry hopped. Some American hopping in there with a bit of fruit and citrus, with a touch of pine in the back. More of the grassy and floral Euro hopping, though. A likely sweet cereal malt bill in the back to balance things.

T/M: A decent bitterness level but not very clean... has a bit of chalkiness on the back end. The American hopping comes out a bit more in the flavor but it still has an assertive English hop profile. The malts are nice in this, not too sweet and adds a bit of complexity. I'd say the malts would be perfect with a slight boost in IBU's and more big American hops in a late addition/whirlpool and dry hopping. Body is medium or so and the carbonation adds a bit of a creamy feel.

D: Good ABV and pretty drinkable. I had high hopes with this beer, and I'm not completely let down as it's a pretty decent beer. I just think Cincinnati is ready for a big 'West Coast Style' IPA. I wish someone would give it a try!

 1,187 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Single bottle (no date I could interpret - lots of numbers on the bottle, but meaningless to me) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange-yellow (towards darker orange with hints of brown) beer with an impressively thick and persistent 1/2" light tan head. Plenty of bubbles coming up through the beer. Sheets of lacing or islands of lacing/dense foam here and there as I drank it down.

Smell: When cold, citrus and pine smells, but as it warms up, the pine and citrus begin to fade and are replaced with some faint floral smells. Interesting.

Taste: Bitter up front and the bitterness gets stronger as the beer warms up. The malt attempts to cut through towards the end before the bittern aftertaste comes back. It's an IPA, but when cold I found it more balanced, and upon warming up it becomes very unbalanced in favor of hop bitterness. Sadly it's just a bitter hop flavor - not a lot of range.

Mouthfeel: Despite all the bubbles you see in the glass, there is very little carbonation on the tongue. Otherwise, the beer is very smooth and definitely thicker than water. I hesitate to call it creamy, but it's headed in that direction.

Drinkability: Went okay with a meal (Tuna casserole) but the lopsided bitterness of the beer definitely makes me want to stop at one. I think I would need something stronger in flavor for a meal to go with this one. I'm not sure if I would drink it alone. Good looking beer...just not the greatest AIPA I've ever had.

 1,480 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- mostly clear orange amber with golden highlights and a frothy off-white head that leaves some tightly knitted lace. retention is ok. looks hoppy.

S- sweet shortbread and pine and grapefruit. some orange peel as well with toast in the background.

T- resinous and nicely bitter. pine dominates until it warms a bit and citrus flavors peek out. toasty whole grain bread. straightforward and not complex. burps have a nice orange flavor, always a plus. finishes hoppy with a respectable balance.

MF- juicy with delicate carbonation. cooling and dry on the cheeks.

D- a rather generic ipa with nothing special about it, but an acceptable brew and better than bad.

 667 characters

Photo of stewart124
3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Arnold's

Copper in color with little head.

Nice pine resin and citrus in the nose.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Medium caramel character with some bready notes but overall caramel comes through. Pleasing amounts of bitterness with nothing over the top. Blends well with the malt character.

Finish is pine and bits of citrus. Nice feel and a nice addition to Moerlein's portfolio.

 405 characters

Photo of sixerofelixir
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Julian code on neck.

Pours a hazy deep-golden. Whitish ring. Smell is sweet and perfumy. More chemical likeness (as from the aroma) in the taste. Oily hops. Finishes pithy and very bitter. Not a whole lot of desired balance. Odd & "off" overall.

 260 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For the record, I am VERY happy that a Cincinnati-based brewer finally made a SOLID IPA... I don't live in Michigan or Cali, so brewers that make a good IPA in Cincinnati are rare (to non-existent!

Pours a crystal clear, dark honey into my traditional pint glass. The head is 1/2 inch after an average pour. Great, sticky lacing seen on the sides of the pint glass. Looks good!

I get light, sweet malts and citrus on the nose, like oranges and some grassiness.

Wow! Bitter citrus up front a moderately complex malt bill, characteristic in most Moerlein beers. This certainly feels like "Over-The-Rhine's (Pale Ale)" bigger brother. Less earthy hops though and an overall, larger hop presence. This is a nice example of an IPA.

Great, high carbonated mounthfeel with a touch of bitterness, but not overwhelming.

If you are a fan of well-balanced IPA's, you must give this one a try! Very nice. Looks like I have a new, local IPA to enjoy!

 944 characters

Photo of DeFaz
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a light copper with a short head. In the smell is fruit and bread--it smells pretty nice but not much like an IPA. The taste is general bitterness. There's some fruit and bread in there as well, but not much of the hop flavors that I enjoy, and everything, other than the bitterness, is pretty mild. The mouthfeel is thin, but the beer is crisp and easily drinkable, making it a good session choice. Overall, this isn't very good, especially for an IPA. It just isn't very flavorful.

 489 characters

Photo of rapayn01
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smells like a lager or a pilsner. Tastes fairly hoppy and bitter, but something seemed off. Wondered if it is old -- had a couple of iffy beers from Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati. A little tastier as it warmed and consumed with food. Not the best IPA in the local market.

 268 characters

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Another gift from my brother.

I got a finger of light beige head over a body the color of apricot candy. There are definitely particles floating around in it. Ok head retention, lace cannot stand up to gravity.

I smell light bread and caramel with a hint of tropical fruit mix.

The taste is a little disappointing after the nose. It has a subdued tropical flavor, that is complimented by the breadiness after the swallow.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Goes down easy, with a little bit of bite from the carbonation. Lightly coats the tongue and finishes dry.

 566 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.06/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Copper with a cascading head that dissipates to a small coat quickly and then sticks around for the whole session. A thin lacing is left on the glass.
S. Malt with subtle hop profile.
T. Sweet malty goodness up front with a hop backbone. The characteristic Moerlein malt profile is instantly recognizable. The hops come into the game late and stick around through the initial aftertaste only to once again make way for the sweet malt (and some sweet citrus- orange) in the ending.
M. Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation.
D. One of the more complex IPAs that I've tried recently. It's not terribly bitter, which helps make it a great session beer. Moerlein has made me smile again.

 695 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Northern Liberties IPA from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.