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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

3,002 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,002
Reviews: 1,484
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 71
Gots: 179 | 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)
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Ratings: 3,002 | Reviews: 1,484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gthornton
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Overal: A great beed that is nice to have on hand for when you want something tasty and easy to drink. Also a good gateway beer for your friends that are still finding their beer-legs.

A: Pours a vibrant golden yellow with a thick head that reduces to about 2 cm, and lasts throughout the drink, leaving medium lacing. I drank this beer pretty quickly because it was refreshing, and its been a long day, so I suppose lasting throughout doesn't mean that much in this case, but nonetheless.

S: A rich buttery overtone, with some mild hop and caramel characteristics. Also some pretty strong whiffs of toffee and butterscotch. Overal, some relatively subtle aromas.

T: Dry biscuit malty forwardness, with some hops rounding out the back of the tongue. Has a little bit of citrus tartness on the tio of the tongue, but certainly not fruity.

M: Heavy carbonation adds to the over refreshing mouthfeel. Has a medium bodied feel on the tongue, between creamy, and watery.

D: I am enjoying this beer very much right now, and have any other time that I drink it, which is not very often, but I do plan on keeping this in my regular rotation, for it is a great beer for the end of this long week. I recommend this beer for anyone that wants to have a solid drink choice around. Would make a great choice for one of the beers that you stock your cooler with for your next BBQ.

Photo of jhoban19
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A: bright orange color, hazy, with a bright white foamy head, a solid two fingers worth. Head settles quickly into a thick rim with some decent lacing that mostly holds its place around the glass.

S: loads of bright citrus hops at the outset, with some spicy herbal notes coming out as it warms. A bit of doughy malt also shows up, but hops are most definitely the big brother here. Further warming brings out a bit of honey sweetness.

T: The malt backbone in Liberty shows more strength in the taste than in the aroma, but again, bright citrus hops still dominate. All the flavors- doughy malt, sweet fruit and bitterness- dance around and take turns stepping forward. In the end (well, about halfway through the bottle), the hop bitterness takes hold and doesn't let go.

M: Liberty has quite a complex mouthfeel- medium bodied, slick/oily, well carbonated yet crisp all at the same time. The hop bitterness, once it finally pushes aside the merry-go-round of malt and citrus, really lingers, leaving a pleasant hop bitterness that I expect from a brew in this style. The hop oil also leaves a tremendous sticky residue on the lips and keeps the saliva glands working over time.

D: Drinkable? To simply answer "yes" would be an understatement. Liberty is a classic American Pale Ale and I expect nothing less from one of America's finest and most revered breweries. It was one of the brews that introduced me to craft beer and it's still as good today as I remember it was 15 years ago when I drank my first. I shall not let myself go another 15 years before drinking another.

Photo of MrHall
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Nice fluffy white head with some good lacing. Pours a dark straw almost a light amber colour. A little cloudy. A very pretty looking beer actually.

Smell is citrusy and floral. In the nose, it's hops all the way.

Taste is bitter, but nicely balanced with the malts. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and just how they get the balance right.

One of the best APAs regularly available in Ontario.

Hey California: you sure know how to make ales!

Photo of TexIndy
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottling code on back that I have the decoder ring for so can tell it was bottled on 12/4/09. Was a slightly hazy golden color with lots of carb streams. It had a large white head that very slowly settled into a constant 1/4" foam cap fed by the carb. Good sticky lace.

The aroma was a good mix of C-hops, floral/pine resin and bready malt. Bitter. The aroma follows the taste with the resin leading the way. Had a good bitter hop bite without being overly bitter. Good malt balance. Really enjoyed this one. Mouthfeel was medium with crisp carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall, an excellent APA that really highlights the style. Highly recommend. Rotation - avail here in TX. Good for couple six packs a year.

Photo of rarbring
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This amber nearly orange beer pours with a large off-white head leaving some lacing.

The smell is from typical american hops, citric and floral, grapefruit but also some bitter notes and a little sweetness from caramel.

A very good bitterness balanced with sour notes in the taste.

A tingly good carbonation makes the beer very refreshing.

A nice hoppy beer, suites both food (e g a steak and fries) and being on it's own.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle served in a shaker glass.

A: Pours a clear orange colour forming a big and very bubbled light yellow head. Medium retention forming some lingering thin lacings in the glass

S: Very malty. Strong notes of sweet malts and flowery and grassy hops. Caramel malts, roasted malts. Notes of dark fruits and grapefruit. Bubblegum :)

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Strong notes of sweet malts: Crystal malts and roasted malts. In overall, the taste is dry and light bitter. Notes of caramel, grapefruit and grassy hops

M: Light body. Good and fizzy carbonation. Sweet caramel malts and grassy hops in the aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability. Classic American Pale Ale. Recommended

Photo of Daniellobo
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite the pale ale, it borders on IPA qualities but sure is an impressively well rounded brew.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Classic label design around the central image of an anchor surrounded by hops, malt, and an US eagle and emblem. Neck label offers a narrative highlighting style and history and a description of the brew. Shows bottling code (9FR, which if actually means February 09 would suggest this has been sitting of a shelve way too long for this style), and notes Alc. by Vol. (6.0%) Served into a tulip glass.

A - Deep gold to pale amber pour, a bit hazy, rich frothy head that clings and stands above the rim, rich retention and lacing. Nice surface memory... A total looker.

S - Fresh, and soft but present hoppy aroma. Citrusy, touch of resin, a bit floral with a scent of malt in the back.

T - Malt and hops working in nice sync. The hoppy bite retains the resiny touch, albeit not too assertive, and finishes on a bit of a bitter note over a malty palate.

M - Light to medium body. An initial swing to a watery feel fades quickly as an adequate carbonation picks it up and is held by the bitter closing.

D - Very nicely drinkable. Offers a great balance, that leans on the hoppy side, but provides a rather nice and delicately woven PA.

Notes: I had my doubts, after I bought the beer, once I was able to decipher the bottling date code. However the brew feels outstanding, the hop profile is very rich, and there is not a minimal hint of skunkiness. I´ll try to be far more aware of this dating system when I pick it up in the future and see if there is a difference. Maybe a tad too hoppy to offer it as a PA to non-craf beer aficionados, but it is not too extreme, and works wonderfully.

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Lightly hazy amber, with a fluffy white head. Some pretty good lacing.

S: Malty and floral, very nice.

T: Pretty hoppy for an APA. Bitter and floral, with a malty aftertaste.

M: Really smooth, yet crisp. A light to medium body.

D: Would be a pleasure to put a bunch of these down.

Photo of californiakulak
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into my Anchor Steam pint glass.

A. Poured an orangy amber type color. Nice off white, one inch head with good retention. Decent lacing, though I have seen better.

S. Booming cascade hop aroma. Citrus, piney scents as well. A little bready malt aroma is present as well.

T. Very good beer. Somewhere between an IPA and an APA. In fact, when I did the brewery tour they called this beer an IPA. Anyway, the taste is like the smell, citrus along with hop bitterness.

M. Good carbonation and medium bodied.

D. I could drink these beers all day long. Smooth and refreshing.

Photo of FireStarter6
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Comes in a fat 650ml brown bottle. Round label featuring a pair of wings and an anchor.

Pours out an amber-hued gold with the tiniest bit of haze. Medium sized white head that settles down to half its original height and retains as a thicker looking foam.

Smells of strong hops. Zesty, citrusy.

Mmm... Very nice hops. Zesty, of citrus and fresh pine and mint. Smooth, mild malt background. A touch of fresh honey in the finish. Lovely taste. Like a good IPA, but slightly milder, and more defined.

Mid-strong, yet smooth carbonation.

Overall, what a lovely hop-heavy ale. I really enjoyed this one. Lovely, strong, well rounded taste. Its wonderful to see such a great beer come out of America, from a small brewery still making its beer by hand. Never had a better American beer than this one. Cheers to them for brewing it, and to anyone who picks up this beer and tries it.

Photo of Stigs
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Fat Head's Pittsburg...ping glass

A - very light straw with about a finger of bright white foam, minimal lacing.

S - not too much here, touch of grass and piney hops is about it.

T - crisp piney hops with some sharp biscuity and grainy malts that flash towards the end. a perfect example of this hop characteristic.

M - bright and clear, well carbonated. good for the style.

D - pretty drinkable, but the one-sided hop display starts to wear near the end of the first one. two is definitely my limit.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

What an underrated beer from Anchor. Actually, most of the people here seem to get it, but I digress.

Pours like a darker version of a pale ale, but impressive with its body and carbonation. A good amount of aromatic hops hit you, I've always wondered if this was a combination of cascade, chinook and liberty hops. Tastes delicious, minimal notes of pine, more with the citrus, and a decent malt backbone.

Mouthfeel restrains itself down the home stretch, remains drinkable as anything. Strange to me the Anchor Steam gets all the notoriety, but I guess its more unique, but its not necessarily better when you don't give any points for history.

Photo of Minotaur
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm not a big pale ale drinker but this was brought over by a dinner guest. Tonight I had curry so I decided this may compliment it nicely.

The color is a deep gold with just a bit of brown-amber in the shadows. The head is dense and leaves a foamy and attractive lacing on the glass.

Some present but not over the top hop aroma. It has a grassier and slightly sour scent that mixes well with a toasty malt.

For a style that often can be either one dimensional in blandness, or over the top in hops - this is neither. It is well balanced with a warm breadiness beneath a slightly citrus, floral hop.

The mouthfeel is very much like a pils or lager - clean and refreshing at the finish. And despite a lingering nutty and bitter after taste, Liberty was very drinkable.

Perhaps in the end it was a bit too mild for the heat of the curry but provided a refreshing accompaniment none-the-less.

Photo of Brabander
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got his one from the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam. Untill now i haven't seen and drank a lot of good American beers. This one however is not bad at all.

Drank this beer in my Westvleteren chalice, mabey not the best glass to drink it with but you can see and smell the beer better.

After pouring the beer in the chalice the head is very nice, a bit broken white to slightly yellow. Good carbonation. The head becomes a bit thinner but nevertheless the beer shows itself from its best side.

The taste is rather good for an American beer, sorry to say that it can not compete with the European styles. The hop gives this beer the taste i have noticed in more USA beers.

Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Despite drinking this beer on numerous occasions, I've never taken the time to fully appreciate the superb quality of Anchor Liberty. It's a shame really, because this is a wonderfully intricate, first class pale ale. 650ml bottle poured into an oversized Mill Street shaker. Freshness date of October 2011.

Pours an orangey-yellow hue with golden edges and one finger of bone white head. A few dots of lacing cling to the pint glass. Smell is a sumptuous bouquet of Cascade hops: perfume, clementine, and traces of mint, very green and aromatic. Taste is white grapefruit, blood oranges, a bit of cookie dough from the malt, and a leafy, citric hop bitterness to end. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied, spritzy carbonation, big whack of tangerine with a tingly, thirst-quenching bite to finish. Just a beauty of a beer.

I think Liberty is overlooked and under-appreciated by too many craft drinkers, myself included. We are quite fortunate to have it available at the LCBO. One reviewer said this beer used to be good but is now simply ordinary. I beg to differ. Liberty compares to the best of them, a delicious brew in its own right that has withstood the test of time. As one of the hoppiest beers and probably the best retail pale sold in the province, I plan to enjoy this more often. Thank you Anchor!

Photo of Mistofminn
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The benchmark for all American Pale Ale's. I never bothered to give it a try, until at home for the holiday's I was shocked to see this in my fathers fridge.

Pours a slightly hazy golden copper color with a very nice off-white head. Amazing retention and lacing on the head.

Solid Pale Ale nose, Citrus and floral hops on a solid caramel malt backbone. Simple, yet solid.

The taste showcases a crisp bitterness, and fruity and floral hops. Again, a solid malt backbone, but this one is about the hops and the beautiful marriage of hops and malts.

Crisp on the mouth, with a bitter bite. Very refreshing. Drinkability is fantastic.

Overall, there is a very good reason why this beer is known as part of the start of the craft movement, and there is a reason why this beer is just as good today as it was way back when. Sorry dad, I might be drinking the other three in the fridge.

Photo of BeanBone
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A slightly hazy golden-amber body capped by two fingers of creamy whitish head that feature terrific retention and lacing.

Aroma: Bright, fresh, citrusy, and floral hops over a slightly grainy caramel malt body--I can already tell this is going to be solid.

Flavor: Up front, a wave of brassy and somewhat juicy citric hops lead the way. Underneath, there's an understated biscuity malt backbone keeping everything in check. The end result is a well balanced English-style Pale Ale with some extra American-style bite. Leafy bitterness and biscuity grain in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy with smooth carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: A perfect session choice, this is a beer that aches for repetition.

Verdict: Back in the dark days, I'm sure it took a pretty exceptional beer to get people back into drinking the hoppy stuff. Liberty obviously fit the bill back then, and still holds up as a tasty brew today.

Photo of sprucetip
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Fluffy white head with decent retention and lacing, active, slightly hazy, soft golden color.

SMELL grainy with grassy and floral hops. A touch of sweetness, bit of peach like fruity esters. Subtle complexity. Pleasant.

TASTE Grainy like hte nose, some faint malty sweetness, grassy hops and bitterness that starts sharply and diminishes into drying finish. Some fruity alcoholic flavors.

FEEL Mildly shart fiz, alc warming, light/medium body, drying bitter finish.

OVERALL Medium bitterness, kinda dry, with modest complexity. Easy drinking quality ale.

Photo of woosterbill
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Moan & Dove into a shaker pint.

A: Clear pale amber body with one finger of creamy foam. Good retention and a bit of lace. Straightforward and appealing.

S: Light grains, maybe some grassy hops hiding in the background. Underwhelming.

T: Rich and balanced, with toasted malt, floral hops, and a bright, fruity finish. Dry, astringent aftertaste, though.

M: Fairly light bodied with abundant, assertive carbonation.

D: Flavorful, balanced, and eminently sessionable.

Notes: Nothing too exciting, but a very drinkable session brew.


Photo of chickenflea
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12-oz bottle. Citrus aroma, but something else, maybe a little like wet bark.

Bright light golden. A substantial head that dissipates slowly. Plenty of lacing.

Very lightly sweet. Moderate bitterness, then more bitterness as the beer settles in your mouth. A touch sour, too.

Very pleasant on the palate. Light bodied, but creamy. Nothing strange here.

Typical in a good way. Very drinkable, too. For the cost, a very nice sessionable ale.

Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a hazy, pale golden color with a fluffy white head and amazing lazing.

S: The smell is very citrusy, mostly orange and lemon, along with a fair amount of spicy hops. The malt smell is present, but definitely not the main attraction.

T: The taste is fairly light, but enjoyable. There are the same citrus and spicy hop flavors that were present in the nose, and a nice bready malt.

M: The body is a bit thin and light, and the carbonation is quite abundant.

D: This is a great session pale ale. I haven't had one of these in quite awhile, but I remember why I used to enjoy it so much.

Photo of KyleMWood
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer, well hopped, but still has excellent balance. Floral hop smell on the nose, makes you want to go back for more. Very drinkable for a well-hopped beer, could put 5 or 6 of these back without thinking twice about it. I think this is Anchor's flagship, not the Steam beer.

Photo of bob3701
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. Has a great golden yellow clear color. I could smell the hops. The taste is sharp and crisp. I feel this is the granddaddy of all west coast ales and it is still one of the best ones out there. Respect this brew but even more important enjoy it.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on Sept. 26th. Confusing bottled on date code, but I was able to figure it out. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a shaped pint. It's a bright, light golden color with an incredible head. The head is pure white, small bubbles, and has a fluffy texture with great lacing. A small amount of bubbles stream up the middle of the glass giving it a lively look. There was no way this doesn't score a 5 for appearance, and that's before factoring in the cool bottle shape.

The first thing that popped out of the aroma was a very slight skunkiness. As far as I knew it was kept out of light. But this doesn't completely cover the aroma, and towards the end I didn't even pick up on it. The aroma is moderately hoppy, perhaps a bit below the average. The hops are initially floral first and then citric. There is also a slight pine that provides some sharpness.

The flavor is a good balance between slightly toasty and grainy malt and bitter hops. The hop flavor adds a pine like bitterness of moderate strength. Finish is dry and bitter. Besides the use of American hops, this has some pilsner like qualities. In the end, it's not good enough for me to recommend to anyone as a good tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is dry with a hoppy bite to it that adds some sharpness. Carbonation is moderate and doesn't stand out or get in the way. The drinkability is okay. It's a nice, hour long bomber. There isn't enough there for me to crave more, and it's a bit big to consider a simple session beer.

Photo of drpimento
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old school American IPA. Think it's the first IPA I ever did have. Great label too. Nowadays in comparison it's not that great, but still. Poured with a decent medium sized head and a little lace. Color is a hazy medium amber. Aroma is an earthy, slightly grapefruit hoppy, malty, spicey and a bit floral. Flavors about the same. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is a long hoppy bitter sweet. Could be a session.

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 3,002 ratings.