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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,883 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,883
Reviews: 1,472
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 68
Gots: 144 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
The champagne-like bubbles, distinctive hop bouquet, and balanced character of Liberty Ale® revives centuries-old ale brewing traditions that are now more relevant than ever. First introduced in 1975, Liberty Ale® is brewed strictly according to traditional craft brewing methods, and uses only natural ingredients — pale malted barley, fresh whole-cone Cascade hops and a special top-fermenting yeast, and water.

The yeast used during fermentation produces many of Liberty Ale's subtle flavors and characteristics. A natural process called "bunging" creates gentle carbonation, and the practice of dry hopping (adding fresh hops to the brew during aging), revived by Anchor, creates its unique aroma.

Liberty Ale® was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride. As the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop ale and dry-hopped ale, Anchor’s Liberty Ale® is the original craft brewed ale and the historic beer that started a revolution.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-18-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,883 | Reviews: 1,472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Indybeer
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Poured a hazy orange color, with a moderate head that quickly receded to a smallish ring, leaving some lacing behind. Aroma is floral and citrus from the hops! Very nice. Taste is slightly malty, witha good hop balance and with moderate carbonation, this is a very drinkable beer! Very enjoyable.

Indybeer, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of niklas0770
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a hazy orange/amber color with a one finger foam lid wich looks very inviting and a bit mysterious...

Lots of hops hits the nose wich develops to a more spicy tone after a while. Maybe a touch of butter in the end.

The taste is quite hopy with some distant sweetness up front. The aftertaste is still hopy and dry but with some spiciness. A very nice combo I must say.

The mouthfeel is dry and refreshing and quite low-carbonated. Very nice, not extreme in any way.

I could definetly buy a six-pack, hit the sofa and watch a bad movie. The beer would make the movie much better!

niklas0770, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of bosco7
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear pale amber with big rocky head. Big floral hop aroma with some malty aromatics. Very bright orange and grapefruit hop flavors upfront with some bitterness rounded out with floral and mild malt/caramel flavors.

An above average American Pale Ale (borderline IPA in my opinion) that will always hold a soft spot in my heart.

bosco7, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of tjd25
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head is beautiful: very dense and silky, fading slowly. The body is of a hazy orange copper color. The smell is very refreshing:hoppy, with very sweet notes of citrus; the fruitiness is very floral too. I like the smell a lot: sweetly citric without being tart. The taste is enjoyable but shows more citrus and tart than I expected. Floral notes of honey, hints of pine, and a whole bouquet of citrus: some lemon, some orange peel and a full grapefruit aspect, with a pronounced tartness. The mouthfeel is enjoyable; very floral and fruity hops bring a complexity without making the beer overly thick. This beer reminded me a bit of a mojito, probably in the citric and grassy/minty aspect. I like the floral hoppiness a lot, but I don't like the excessive aspect that much. A very hoppy beer, similar to some hoppy Belgian ales, enjoyable, refreshing. A good beer.

tjd25, Jul 12, 2004
Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-ounce teardrop stubby poured into a pint nonic glass yields a gorgeous clear amber body crowned with three fat fingers of rocky white foam that retains at a fluffy sheet and leaves plenty of lacing stuck all over the inside of the glass.

Smell is buzzy green citrus and toasty pale malt.

Taste is of toasty brown bread with caramel-- smooth, sweet, rich and malty-- then is cut with a sizzle of citrusy, evergreen hops that dry, freshen, and crispen the finish, making for two distinct sensations in the drinking. Both flavor profiles are so satisfying, and the drink so drinkable, I caught myself gulping this to try and get another nuance from this beer. Quaffable, and very, very good, the beer finishes nice and clean with a solid bitter finish.

I wish this brew was more widely available in this neck of the woods, as I'd keep it on hand for sure.

cvstrickland, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden-copper hue, with a smallish fizzy white head, not much lace.

S - Anchor Liberty has such a distinct hop aroma, nearly indescribable, it is just so ultra-dry.

T - Dry and astringent, likely owing as much to the super-pale malt as to the hop treatment. A very different Pale Ale.

M - Thinner and fizzy, but strangely it works well for this unusual brew.

D - I don't drink it often, but when I do, I am always stoked on the fresh, refreshing and unique flavor.

ktrillionaire, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of BeenJammin
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is pale/golden in color with a nice creamy head. Smells a lot like floral and herbal hops. The taste has a lot of citrus hops and some nice sweet caramel and fruity malts. It has real nice balance. Good medium body and mouth feel. It is very drinkable.

BeenJammin, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of Bruiser81
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a hazy copper color. The head was white and fluffy and the lacing was decent. It had a good aroma with floral hops jumping out the most. There was also a fairly strong citrus aroma. Sweet malt was barely detectable but it mostly cosisted of hops. Same with the taste, very hoppy. The citrus flavor hit up front followed by a strong hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was a bit sharp at first although it went down fairly smooth. I wasn't expecting to much from this beer but I was pleasantly surprised. This would definitely be a good beer to drink during the hot summer. I will surely drink this one again.

Bruiser81, Mar 12, 2003
Photo of k3n
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, date code 6AR.

A: Hazy amber color. A bit too agressive pour got me an overflowing head. Dammit! Head receeded to a persistent 1/4 inch of tiny bubbles. Plenty of nice lacing down the glass.

S: Clean malt with a slight citrus tint.

T: Very fresh and clean. A bit of green apple mixed in with the malt, and a mellow hop finish. Basically tastes like it smells.

M/D: Goes down easy. Nicely carbonated, even with my exaggerated pour. A reliable pour for any occasion.

k3n, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of WakeandBake
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear dark golden color pour with a huge lasting frothy offwhite head , lots of jagged lacing left , light carbonation. Aroma is zesty , spicy and floral light butter and biscuty malt notes , even hints of cherries. Flavor is crisp clean and hoppy , nice floral tones with a lightly toasted pale malt backbone ,nice light sweetness with a good level of bitterness and long dry hoppy finish , medium body , crisp clean mouthfeel ,and quite sessionable , a very good APA , nice .

WakeandBake, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of Illinick
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, golden orange in color with white, foamy head that dissipates to a 1/4 inch, than to a ring and island formation. Half-way decent lacing.
S: Citric hop scent at first (and throughout), finished with bread and yeast smell. Earthy and herbal scents in there too along with a floral hop profile late in the nose.
T: Nice, well balanced and more malt than I thought. Hops are citric-grapefruit, ruby red and bitter grapefruit, with a malt middle to middle-end, bread with hints of sweetness. Hops at the beginning and end. Earthy/herbal taste in there paralleling the smell. A nice bitter touch, nothing overpowering but its there. Really well balanced.
MF: medium MF, with a very semi dry ending. Finishes Clean!
Overall: One of the most well balanced brews out there (along with Red Seal Ale). A really nice rendition of a classic APA.

Illinick, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always liked the rounded edges to the bottle and the label looks classy as well. Poured into a pounder glass it forms a sticky off white head that maintains completely throughout, Leaving behind tread marks all the way down. copper to light orange hue. For the style its perfect to near perfect appearance.

Smell was a bit faint. I had a hard time picking up anything defining. Malted sweetness and a fairly challenging saucey hop presence was inviting. Biscuity, doughy as well.

Refreshing first pull, chewy but welcomed. Biscuity, incredible malt profile is sweet and well put together. Enough bitterness to balance but the main goodness is the malts. The body of the beer has a bit of a heavy mouthfeel as it rolls around. Carbonation balance is nice to sizzle the taste in.

Notes: I'm always impressed by this brew. Sierra Nevada, Stone, and Anchor to me are what brewers should look to as the king of pale ale's and strive to achieve their greatness.

DogFood11, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden in color, big fluffy head at first but now just a scant layer of suds.

S: Floral hop aroma. faint malts in the background.

T: Tastes like an IPA's baby brother. Nice big hop flavor up front that is citrusy. Malts are low and seem like Diana Ross' background singers, necessary, but the hops are what you'll remember. Late flavors are an almost sweet bitterness~weird way to describe it but I'm pretty new at this still. Aftertaste is a lingering pleasant bitterness.

M: Medium body. Carbonation feels high but tends to carry the flavors quite nicely. Alcohol is a pleasant warmth.

D&N: Super beer, and easy to see why this is a classic. Very drinkable. Definitely worth a try.

JackTheRipper, May 07, 2005
Photo of jabocu
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass.

A – A little hazy, and light golden color. Thick yellowish cap with good retention. The cap holds for awhile and leaves nice lacings up the sides.

S – Clean smell. Not too strong, but nice hints of citrus and piney hops.

T – Sweet at first, then lots of grapefruit, tangerine, and hops. Bitterness hangs on back of tongue for quite a while. More citrus than anything else. Carbonation is just about right.

M – Medium-Thin bodied. Carbonation is about right. A great beer all around

D – This would get even better after I’d had a couple to help mellow out the hops. Great beer, and finished the last little bit with pizza…mmm.

jabocu, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of PiecefulToker
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light amber orange, slightly hazy, with a quickly dissipating 2 finger head. Leaves a thin layer of head, nice thick lacing down the glass.

S: Wow, this beer smells great. Bubblegum, fruity smells, grapes, floral hops, pale malt, honey.

T: Lots of floral hop flavors, really taste it in my nose. The hops are not very bitter, but have lots of flavor. I am having a hard time describing it, but I like this beer.

M: Nice and smooth, medium carbonation and body.

D: Pretty high. Easily drinkable.

PiecefulToker, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of Wildman
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice reddish gold color with a nice fluffly off-white head that left some lace. It had a nice hoppy and citrus/floral aroma. A decent amount of carbonation. A flavor of malt and lightly of hops. A slightly dry finish too it. A good beer.

Wildman, Jul 03, 2002
Photo of brdc
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden brew with a rapidly dissolving white foamy head that leaves a nice lacing behind.
The nose is generous, and quite pleasant, even "perfumed". Hoppy, grassy, frequently "flowery", an accentuated fruitiness with lemons and oranges, and an associated maltiness to balance it out. Smells like a garden in spring, very nice.
Taste is also well balanced, if not so complex as the nose. Hoppy at times, with balancing malts, and a nice dry finish.
Lighter bodied than I expected, it goes down very easy and although I had only one, it could certainly make for a very nice session beer.

brdc, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of ericj551
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Liberty Ale pours a slightly hazy light copper. The aroma is bright, fresh hops, a bit citrusy, herbal and grassy. Sweet malt breaks up a bit of the grassy hop flavor and leads nicely into the bitterness. The flavor is almost creamy. I would say this leans towards the IPA range of pale ales. It's a delicious beer and a classic for sure.

ericj551, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of hunteraw
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale amber in color, good head with some lacing.

Smell: Crisp smelling, good hint of hops.

Taste: Lighter on the hops than many APA's, but it works very nicely.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Crisp, with a light body. Good mouthfeel. Drinkability is high. Good session beer.

hunteraw, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer flowed from the bottle into the glass with a golden amber color. A modest white head floated above the brew. A fairly deep aroma wafts into the nose. Pine and citrus from the hops, an earthiness and also some grainy malt notes all contribute to the bouquet. The beer moves lightly on the palate while at the same time coating it. A bitter attack of hops wakes up the palate and drives this beer home. A slightly sweet, slightly bready malt character almost manages to break through the grasp of bitterness in the center, but is quickly over run by the raw yet pleasing bitterness at the end.

This beer vaguely reminds me of the Battle of the Bulge, with the Germans (i.e. the malt) making a run at the center of the Allies line (i.e. the bitterness). The malt never completely breaks through, but it definitely makes the situation interesting and in the end the bitterness wins out. Plus it goes great with Nuts!

Analogies aside, this is a great, classic American beer. Drinkable, enjoyable and brash.

BeardedBoffin, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of bigdeuce
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor steam liberty is the perfect 4th of July beer and can be drank anytime!! Interesting, very hoppy brew. Has a terrific head, nice appearance, and if sipped on for awhile, can taste the floral banana mixed in the brew. Very good price for a high quality beer and can be used as a terrific session beer. Big, big, hops for the hopheads!!

bigdeuce, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of kwjd
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow-orange colour with thick white had. Little bit of lacing. Smells of citrusy hops and bread. This has a nice bitterness from the hops, with some malty sweetness to go with it. Nice level of carbonation. Classic beer that I can drink anytime.

kwjd, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This really is an American classic in that it really helped introduce hops in the pale ale. Mid gold with a worthy head this beer is redolent of hops and malt. When you get a few sips in you notice the real balance and complexity of this beer. Like Sam Adams Lager or SNPA this beer defines drinkability combined with a sense of care and attention. This is a go to beer for many including myself when I can get my hands on some.

canucklehead, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A distant yellow daisy that, thanks to a fuzzing haze, appears to be falling out of focus. The constant flurry of bubbles doesn't help to sharpen the image, instead it makes the focal point more dizzying. Still, the beer emits a healthy glow when up to the light and its head is ultra creamy, resilient and sticky. Fluffy blanket and soapy drapes make nice decor for any beer.

The aroma is infinitely one thing: hoppy. The vibrant, floral note of green hop combs perfumes the room like a budding summer garden or an enchanted fairy-tale forest. The fragrance doesn't perspire bitter resins or acidic citrus piths like the more modern examples; this is a bouquet redolent of mother nature in her most straightforward and pristine.

The pleasant, perfumed aura of hops is noticeably present in taste as well. This doesn't stem from an overly copious addition but rather from a simple and bare malt bill. The use of pale malt, plain and hardly toasted, leaves a flavour bare of any caramelization, any graininess, any abundance of sweetness. As result, it is a canvas left open for only hops to paint.

I can't say the bitterness isn't assertive but I maintain it's nature to be quite docile. It won't conclude your sips early nor will it linger in the aftertaste. It is just enough to assert quench. The carbonation is considerably low, which veers the beer away from the quaffing category and nearer to that of slow-paced appreciative sips. Actually, I think it bridges the two.

Although perhaps not by today's standards, this is an incredibly hoppy beer. For a time, it was one of the only hoppy beers and is arguably responsible for gearing people's tastes towards that style. I don't think it would be wrong to consider all definably aggressively hopped beers (DIPA's definitely included) to be descendants of Anchor's Liberty Ale.

The connection is greater than that these styles originated around that area of the country. The idea of upping the alcohol and cramming pale ales with gluttonous amounts of hops (in essence making the beer 'bigger, stronger, better') is undeniably reflective of an American mentality. As its name would suggest, there's nothing more American than a Liberty Ale.

biegaman, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of ectomorph
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange and gold in color with a tight off white head that leaves big clumps along the way down the pint glass.

S - Citrus and floral hops with a honey malt finish. Yeasty.

T - Considerable citrus hop bite up front is met with a smooth honey foundation. Bitterness is high for the style , but not overstated.

M - Unfiltered and medium bodied this is a more complex Pale Ale than most.

D - Very high. Great session brew and a good 2nd step for those looking for their inner hophead.

ectomorph, Jul 22, 2009
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,883 ratings.