Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,170 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,170
Reviews: 1,522
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 82
Gots: 290 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-18-2000

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.
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Ratings: 3,170 | Reviews: 1,522
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.59 overall rating is accurate.

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Manzanita pint glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Mission Valley (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $8.49 for a variety 6-pack
Purchased: June 26, 2015
Consumed: June 26, 2015
Misc.: Can says 6 percent ABV

Poured a honey, pale, clear color with 5-to-6 fingers of khaki white, rocky head. Settled to nice look on the top after a few minutes. Lots of bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Above average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Great retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 4.13)

Smelled wet Cascade, pine, lime, dish soap, floral, faint watermelon, faint cucumber and caramel. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted similar to the nose, albeit with buttery notes. Got wet Cascade, soapy pine, lime, dish soap, buttery malts, caramel, honey, peas and green beans. (Taste - 3.50)

Medium-to-light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, buttery, bitter finish. (Feel - 3.63)

I didn’t this was that good. Maybe six years ago this would have been good, but just an average IPA. (Overall - 3.50)

3.59 | 81 | B

Photo of furballkazoo
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It claims to be the beer that "started the IPA revolution;" and though that may be true, this beer itself is a simple IPA that pails in comparison (to say the least) to the plethora of fantastic IPA's available today.

Photo of Humbaz
3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Too sweet. I guess it's just not my beer style preference, but the taste does not amuse me at all.

Photo of ricke49
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer. Not sure why it's called an American IPA (above) - fits more into an English ale category with those distinctive dank metallic British flavor notes - highly desirable characteristic to my palate. Love a beer that has both obvious hop and malt components as this one does. One of the best features: a darned attractive price!

Photo of Chickenshack
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. Exceptional. Seems to me as good as it gets. I have been a fan of Anchor Steam Beer for years but had never tried this one until reading on this site that this is the beer that started the craft beer, American IPA, dry-hopped cascade hops movement forty years ago (I realize this comes from the brewery but it doesn't seem unjustified). A slightly heavier, hoppier brother to the equally classic Steam Beer.

Pours a thick soapy head with an oh so slightly cloudy copper body.

Aroma has a slightly metallic, piney/ floral cascade hops scent with bright citric and fruit notes.

Taste is well balanced: hops are very piney, a little citrus, alcohol is slightly present with nice sweetness to balance the hoppy bitterness but its not cloying, big taste at first, then a little yeasty in the middle but finishes bright and clean with lingering hoppiness that doesn't overwhelm and make the jaw pucker.

Body is somewhat thin with crisp sparkling carbonation that makes the beer very crisp and then the hops extend the finish and then it's crisp and refreshing but then hoppy again and you want another drink. Goes down very easy for nearly 6 abv with some hoppy bitterness.

This is the real thing- what more could you reasonably want from a beer?

Photo of Aprice34
2.54/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bland overall. Not much taste

Photo of DanielGryschka
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great taste. It looks amazing.

Photo of duffgardens
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Intense hops with a quite sharp, bitter finish. Not as drinkable for me as other hoppy ales. Wouldn't order again.

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a nice two finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of citrus and fresh pine, bready and light bisquit malt; slightly floral and quite pleasant. Flavor of light neutral malt with a hint of wheat, light citrus subdued at first, but then developing a good citrus and pine bitterness that lasts into a lingering hoppy finish that reveals the light biscuit from the aroma. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Kind of old fashioned by American IPA standards and less malty than an English IPA, this must have been a bright, fresh look at the style when it was introduced. It still is quite enjoyable, smelling good and leaving a great aftertasted of flavorful hops with a good level of bitterness. The general profile reminds me a lot of the base for the holiday ale, but without the spicing. Nicely done and a credit to the early craft days that it has stood up so well.

Photo of erikkk
2/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pending pending pending pending pending

Photo of loubar
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nose combines malt and floral hops. Taste is bracing and rich. Features a rich hops presence with limited bitterness on a subtle roasted malt base. Assertive, yet enjoyable. Along the lines of an IPA but not over the top. Dry finish. Tasty and well done.

Photo of SteveMcQueen36
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a delicious Ale from Anchor. The smell is a bit faint but it tastes wonderful. Very strong flavor. It's amazing.

Photo of Moose90
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served into Nonic Pint glass

A – Pours a deep honey hued amber with a tall off white colored head. Nice consistent lacing left behind.

S – Smells of rich and sweet malts, balanced by a light piney and bitter hop note.

T – Tastes predominately malty and sweet, light hop bitterness, very mild for an American IPA, drinks much more like a British IPA.

M – Medium bodied, light to medium carbonation levels.

O – Nice beer from Anchor, predominately malty though.

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Clear golden body with streaming CO2 and a massive rocky head of white foam that has good retention and leaves decent lace.

Smell - Passion fruit, grapefruit and blood orange up front with a bitter more hoppy front followed by some malt sweetness and a wet dog aroma in the back.

Taste - Malty front from breads and sugars to caramel. Ten the fruity hop kicks in again bitter with grapefruit and blood orange to sweet with passion fruit and mango. Bitter in the back end so that this is well balanced but the taste is not as fruity as the aroma.

Mouth Fell - Good and well sustained linger. A little thin towards medium bodied even with a nice dry end.

Overall - Tasty and well balanced the MF is good but nothing to write home about. I rather like it and it goes well with dried pork.

Photo of MrDell
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty average, not bad but nothing to write home about

Photo of MarkLinton1
4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have heard and read great things about Liberty Ale for a long time. Was surprised to see it at my local Kroger this weekend, although the do stock an outstanding selection of craft beers. Have always been impressed with Anchor Brewing, and Liberty Ale is no exception. Amazing is an understatement. New go to IPA for me.

Photo of baileyb622
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.75

Drinkable, but a little too hoppy for me.

Photo of ajchocholousek
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beauitful, albeit slightly hop-hazy, light copper orange. 1 finger white soapy head that is sticking around a bit. A touch of soapy lacing on the glass. Aroma gives a sweet, yet subtly spicy, grapefruit and orange bouquet. Bright, effervescent carbonation on the tongue gives way to a delicate, slightly creamy, malt-supported, citrus bitterness. The hop character is bright and fresh, and the malt has a nice sweetness on the finish. Very Clean and very good overall. Could drink a lot of this.

Photo of archyquaffer
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A moderate pour from a bomber into a Pilsener glass produces a nice one inch frothy white head. The beer is a pale copper color, crystal clear, with moderate carbonation.

The aroma is excellent, with subtle floral qualities and a dank fruitiness suggesting citrus and maybe apricots. The flavor is subtle and only moderately bitter, with notes of light citrus, a vegetal quality, and perhaps light apricot and pineapple. These hop flavors meld with a rich malt base that lends a slight molasses or sweet tobacco note and some malt-o-meal graininess in the aftertaste. The mouth feel is frothy and creamy.

This is a complex IPA with a toned down bitterness that makes it easy to drink. It was also a pretty good deal at $3.79 for the bomber. This beer has apparently been around awhile but I don’t think I’ve seen it much around my neck of the woods.

Photo of Daktah
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love all things Anchor. Liberty is no exception. Grainy and hoppy smell, crisp hop and biscuit undertone. Just a little sweetness to round things out.

A great beer to pair with all types of food, and one of my go to purchases.

Photo of iRaven99664
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

L: looks amazing! Has a nice apple juice appearance. Its deep amber but not too dark. And its clear with no mirk. When opened there was jsut a hint of smoke. Lacey head, seems to stick as it goes down.

S: Cracked it open and the first thing I noticed after the smoke was "this is that ideal beer smell". In the "this is the smell I smelt in high school and in college, but better". It's not bad as the aroma is spot on perfect for what its going for at the time it was brewed. It's just not "ale" smell. It's definitely an adjunct lager smell.

T: Again, it feels like an ideal product for what it must be going for back in the day. Seriously it makes me feel that they were trying to do an operation of taking the taste of lager into the world of ale [which seems blasphemous today, but what was probably preferred in the day]. Fruitish, caramel, and slight hop dominate front and back on the tongue, and lingers pleasantly on the tongue. As I saw with another review it may have raised an eye brow in the late 70's, but not too par to todays standards. Should it be knocked for that? No. It's Old Gard. It really truly reminds me of PBR that's filtered for impurities. And as a new found lover of PBR for lower end beer, I'm okay with that. It's just not an IPA, not even English. Hell its not even an ESB or Pale Ale.

F: Again, an ideal quality to this. For being as light as it is, its perfect. It's just a tad thicker than water, with a hint of sudsy carb. rather pleasant. The coating is nice, and the lingering taste reminds you "Oh yeah, that hint of alcohol reminds me I am drinking an adult beverage, but the fruity malt sweetness says its wonderfully soothing".

Overall: If like most of us that started with the BMC adjuncts, but has a preferred taste for PBR and its fruity sweetness, you will enjoy this with its "less than insta-hangover" quality. I can see where this was a hit after decades with Bud and Miller. Todays standards, it doesn't seem high quality or over the top. But I can see this as an American style that screams "I'M FUCKING PATRIOTIC AND THIS BEER SAYS 'MURICA!". Though, it's not a Sam Adams.

Photo of Chris_Burton
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange with a small, bubbly head. Very resinous smell, reminding me more of a very light American barley wine than an IPA. Flavour is fairly subdued by American IPA standards, although I can imagine this raised a few eyebrows back in 1975! Nice combination of caramel, resin and a hint of fruit, with a rather dry aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth and fairly full for the style.

A very decent and pleasant beer but somewhat unremarkable. I respect it, but I won't rush to have it again.

Photo of Kale99
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

smooth and clean tasting. drink occasionally

Photo of Brews_N_Chews
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

tried and true just think there is better

Photo of Wiffler27
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

poured into a tulip pint glass from a bottle that was born on November 11, 2014. salty that i wanted this beer but my local store only had it from Nov2014. would like to get this within 60 days of brewing though.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,170 ratings.