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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

3,067 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,067
Reviews: 1,496
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 74
Gots: 224 | 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: 3,067 | Reviews: 1,496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mlazzaro
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Liberty Ale, 12 oz bottle.

A: Dark amber, almost straight orange in color. With a creamy-cream colored head.

S: I don't know if it is my nose, but I just am not getting very much from this beer. It could be on the older side as well as I am from Massachusetts, far from the source of this beer. It doesn't smell bad by any means, just extremely faint.

T: Nice sweet maltiness. Ultra citrusy in flavor. Obviously acidic in PH as well as hop selection. Grapefruity hops and yeast esters. Really suiting bitterness that fits right into the beer. A slight tartness at the end of the sip. Just delicious at the moment.

M: Smooth beer, especially considering its extremely citrus notes. It is hard to balance out a beer like this and Anchor has done a really nice job here.

D: Very refreshing, more so than the anchor summer ale in my opinion. Smooth and drinkable. I quite enjoyed this beer.

I would call this beer a A.A.A. = American Amber Ale. hoppy citrousy ambers are my favorite. I feel like this yeast strain could make a really nice IPA.

good beer.

Photo of Bfarr
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber with big frothy off-white head. Good floral aroma with a little sweetness. Very grassy sweet and earthy with light bittering and slightly unpleasant lingering. Good crisp mouthfeel.

I really enjoyed the taste of this beer although for me there was a slight unpleasantness on the palate after swallowing. I'm not sure if it was the beer or just me. Something I'll definitely have to try again.

Photo of david18
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised that I've never reviewed this beer. I'm also surprised that this is called an APA on BA. I've always heard of it as an India Pale Ale. In any case, i'm not sure where the line is drawn. It's a little more "India" than Sierra Nevada Pale and a little less than the more extreme versions of IPA's. Light gold to straw color. Good carbonation with a lingering white head. Aroma is perfect west coast hops and flavor is bitter but not outrageous. A great beer for any time and a great gateway beer.

Photo of philbe311
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A fingers worth of slightly rocky rich frothy egg shell colored head... Impressive retention, especially by style standards... Loaded with carbonation that picks up pace as it rises... A moderately hazed medium gold color with a slight orange hue... Some foam sticks to the sides of the glass...

S - Mango... Orange zest... Caramel... Toffee... Fresh cut grass... Slightly nutty... Bready toasted malts... Slightly floral bouquet... A really pleasing aroma all the way around...

T - Biscuity... Toasted malts... Touches of caramel and toffee... Diacytel... Some minor citrusy notes... Nutty... A bitter pungent hop aftertaste...

M - The creamy head touches the lips first... Medium bodied... Smooth... Creamy... Sturdy... Smooth... Refreshing... Slightly chewy...

D - A very solid APA all the way around which should be no surprise from Anchor... Sophisticated and unique... Stands as a wonderful example of the style... Nothing pretentious about this one...

Photo of JMad
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 24oz bottle into a chilled glass mug.

It was a nice cloudy, light copper color that had an off white head that turned into a thin ring after a few minutes. It did leave a small amount of lacing on the glass, and had a good amount of sediment.

It smells of sweet malt with a bit of citrus. As it warms up you get a hint of molasses.

When you take sip you can taste caramel and citrus with a slight bitterness. It goes down very easy and has almost a velvet-like feeling to it, and left the mouth feeling a little dry.

Great Beer.

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

First time I've one of these in a while and I'm reminded how nice of a little beer this is. While it's not truly outstanding in any aspect, it's pretty good all around. The beer is just above average in all categories, and is a welcome go-to option when choices are limited.

Photo of appenzeller
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, moderate head dissipating quickly. Bubbles streaming through the glass.

Scent is mostly bitter hops (Cascade?)

Bitterness predominates in the taste, hops are strong, taste is almost acidic, underlying is a significant base of sweet malts, maple syrup comes to mind. Mouthfeel is very full, goes down full yet easily.

In summary, a very nice beer but comes off as an American IPA to me as much as a pale ale-- in any case, I can think of many that I would place above this one.

Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, average head that forms a crater as it falls, slight haze, orange amber coloring.

s- hoppy, citrus, some pine with a nice malt backbone balancing it all out.

t- balanced once again, caramel evening out the citrus kick from the hops. very nice.

m- medium bodied.

d- very nice apa, better than most that i've had, this would be great on a summer day, very refreshing.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass this brew pours a straw yellow, with an impressively frothy head.

Not to much in the aroma, much like it's cousin Anchor Steam, bready malt, and fresh mild hop notes are present. These hops, however, are more citrus and much stronger (compared to Anchor Steam).

The taste is refreshing citrus hop bitterness, with a slightly sweet tingle. More bready malt is present.

Over all, this is an excellent Pale Ale. I love how it's dry-hopped enough to bring out the color and bitterness in the hops, but maintains excellent drinkabilty and doesn't over power it's malt.

Photo of ADZA
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours an impressive clear golden hue almost pilsner looking with really decent carbonation that leaves a smoggy three finger head that slowly recedes to two and leaves heaps of frothy sticky lacing,the smell of this brew is very herbal with alot of spicy,apricot hops and a light caramel malty background,it has an above average mouthfeel that feels very sessionable while still being able to leak its true tastes with a rather smooth caramel/toffee malty start that finishes with a hint of passionfruit hoppy bitterness but the bitterness is not much for a hophead like me and to be honest makes it a very easy brew to session on and would drink again if i saw.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle with what appears to be a stamp of 0JD on the back, Jan 10 perhaps? Pours a mostly clear, light gold color with a gorgeous cap of dense off-white foam. Retention is good and the lacing is excellent. Impressed thus far.

Earthy and herbal hops mingle with a biscuity grain and yeast aroma to make quite the classic smelling pale ale. Fresh, clean and good are all good descriptors here.

Pretty tasty little ale here, I cannot believe it has been more than a couple years since last I had it. Delicate but commanding floral and herbaceous hop flavors. Plenty of bitterness on the finish too. Malts are clean and light and supported by a biscuity, earthy yeast undercurrent. While the blend of hop varietals may not be my favorite of all time, it is clearly a well crafted and delicious pale ale. It is almost unfathomable to think that there was this great of an American craft beer available in 1975. Fritz, you are truly tha man!

Photo of bskrtz
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, served cold in glass beer stein at "Boundry" in Chicago.

A) Appears as unfiltered wheat beer -- hazy golden light ale with ample white head

S) Citrus fruit and mild spice -- clove, orange peel and corriander

T) Smooth and complex. Mild but apparent hops and sweet malt. Refreshing & crisp.

M) Feels like beer? Alcohol is high according to the bottle but no bite. Very smooth and drinkable.

D) A great beer and truly an excellent example of this type -- Pale Ale

Photo of paco1029384756
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a wheat color with a large rocky white head with a somewhat underwhelming retention.

Scent of sweet, fruity hops, crisp, dry malts, with a light spice and crisp bread.

Taste of clean bready malts, lightly spicy, citrusy hops, sugars, and finishing dry and bready. I would take this over Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if I had the choice, but they are both damn good beers.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied and crisp, but a little syrupy.

Photo of andyfrancis
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear yellow with a couple streams of bubbles. Poured a tall head that reduced to a froth I could eat with a fork.

Smells of pilsner-like malts, with a bit of orange.

Interesting combo of flavors right away. Still, the malt stands out to me. A little ting from the carbonation. Some lingering sour/bitter aftertaste.

I appreciate anchor brewing, but this not my favorite of their offerings.

Photo of BeerNemesis
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Liberty Ale | 330 ml. | 6.0% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Anchor Brewing Company, California
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
Glass: Ommegang Witte pint glass

Presentation:
As always, I enjoy Anchor's design aesthetic. The "fatty" bottle has old-school charm, and the weathered, nautical theme works well.

On the label:
"San Francisco's famous Liberty Ale was first brewed on the 18th of April, 1975 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's historic ride. It is virtually handmade by the brewers of Anchor Steam Beer in one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world. Liberty Ale is made with the finest barley malt, fresh, whole hops, top fermenting yeast, pure water and the simple, natural methods which reflect our exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. It is "dry hopped," a classic ale tradition, and slowly completes its fermentation in sealed vats in our cellars. This unique process creates Liberty Ale's distinctive bouquet and uncommonly delicate, entirely natural carbonation."

Appearance:
Pours a hearty frosted yellow. Unfortunately, the resemblance to urine is uncanny. On the plus side, the head is big, snow-white, and rocky. Lacing is equally bold -- coating the side of the glass in generous clumps of foam.

Aroma:
Bitter citrusy hops and a grassy smell round out the aroma. Some fruity esters, raw honey, and earthy malts fade into the background. Nothing to write home about.

Taste:
Much like the aroma, bitter, citrusy hops make first contact. The taste is modulated so as not to be too harsh. Nonetheless, there's a lot of bitterness and little malt backbone to round it out initially. As the beer warms, the malts come forward -- a nice blend of honey, peach cobbler, and light biscuit. The finish is bitter, fresh, and grassy. Not bad. I'd imagine this would cut some greasy pub food extraordinarily well. On its own though, I'm not as impressed.

Mouthfeel:
Light bodied, slick, almost oily. It seems to slip down the gullet without depositing much flavor. That said, the carbonation is strong but subtle, truly excellent. The aftertaste is a bit damp. It's sort of like drinking great-tasting water.

Harmony:
Not a bad brew by any means, just not a standout. I think there could have been more attention put into coaxing out more of the malt character. Otherwise, it's solid. I would drink it with food.

Notes:
I found that the flavor improved substantially as it warmed a few degrees. I poured it around 40° (the style's minimum) and I wasn't all that impressed with the taste. As it warmed 5° or so, I noticed a remarkable transformation (which made me rate taste 0.5 points higher). Keep this in mind when trying for the first time.

Bottled on: [no date given]

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in San Francisco. Poured into a small 6 ounce fluted glass. This beer is dry hopped but I'm not picking up a huge hop aroma. Taste is crisp, nice bitterness, nice flavor. Nothing too outstanding, but pretty tasty. Wish this one was just a touch hoppier.

Photo of JamisonM
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: orange color good lace white head with good head retention

S: orange hops with malt in background but the smell or orange dominates

T: orange peel orange rind and orange juice malt is there but is faint it is a very crisp dry beer

M: light mouth good carbonation

D: its really drinkable

overall: well crafted and really good enjoyable beer that holds true to the style of the brewery. I cant explain this but the brewery has its own style that is really kind of cool. it makes me want to try more from them and I am sure I will.

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

I'm really digging Anchor's style.

From the top: dimpled, marshmallowy one inch head, vanishing slowly but not completely - thin cover of teeny suds all the way down. Sticky, crystalline lacing. Herbal tea/honey color - bright with specs of suspended yeast. Looks smooth and easy.

Piney, nutty scent. Just about perfect - behaved and far from overpowering. Nicely balanced with a hint of the malt character peeking through.

Spectacular zing in the flavor and feel at the back of the mouth. Zesty hop bite and oh so subtly sweet on the tip of the tongue.

I want to abuse this beer. Damn good.

Photo of meeekyh
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beer sellers recently got this brewery's wares back in, so I thought I would try it. There is every chance I have had this in the past but it illustrates the reason I started this beer reviewing in the first place, I don't remember.

I poured this golden honey colored elixir into my Fin Du Monde tulip. The head is tall off-white and thick with nice lacing. Much lighter color than I expected and quite pretty.

Smell is hoppy, not piny or citrus but hoppy with a healthy dose of grain and a bit of floral niceness. This beer smells like beer, and that is a good thing.

Taste is a lightly hopped full grain experience with nice citrus and the round hops from the nose. The grain bill must be large as the beer holds a lot of flavor in spite of the relatively light color. The hops are a nice accent and a bitterness is there but light and balanced as opposed to being a star player.

Mouthfeel is medium with nice, natural carbonation and a refreshing dry finish. I think the drinkability of this beer would stack against most any. Its yummieness and 6% ABV make it just sessionable enough.

All around this is a solid ale. Full of flavor and representing both the hops and the grain that make beer the joy it is. I will be buying more of this fine American ale and enjoying it as I quaff the recently sold brewery's beer. I pray the quality remains high.

Slainte.

Photo of jpittman80
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very nice pale gold, crystal clear with a large white head that lasts and leaves good lacing.

S - Light citrus aroma with bready malts.

T - Citrusy hops, leading to a sourish, malty middle and a dry hoppy finish that lasts.

M - A little too carbonated, but otherwise nice, smooth medium body.

D - Very drinkable if you're in the mood for a sour hoppy pale ale.

An interesting take on the style. Usually less sour, i think.

Photo of ne0m00re
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a hefeweizen glass.
A: Hazy pale golden, it poured with a nice fluffy white head that stuck pretty well.
S: Yeasty mild bread with citrus. In general, it is clean, floral, and slightly sweet.
T: Bread, citrus, blackberry tartness that is slightly dry, and floral hops. It is surprisingly more flavorful than expected.
M: Slightly syrupy, but frothy.
D: Really good.

Photo of Mr3dPHD
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip pint glass with a nice plate of chicken nuggets. Mmmmm!

A - Nice dull golden color with a medium eggshell head which dissipated rather quickly with no real lacing. A bit hazy.

S - Strong citrus hops, a nice lemony sourness. A very slight malty scent makes it through as well.

T - Wow, this is a very dry brew! There is a blunt hoppy start where you almost feel like you're tasting alcohol, but it quicky falls off into a more mild and smooth finish. You get some of that citrus in the aftertaste, but nothing like what you get in the smell. Very unique flavor, I must say.

M/D - The finish is smoother than the start, but I still wouldn't call it a smooth brew. It's pretty heavy on the fizz, but I think it compliments the dry flavor. I could easily drink several of these.

This would be great with Asian cuisine in my opinion, particularly sushi. It is somewhat similar in style to Asahi, but it has a great deal more flavor. Very nice brew!

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

Pleasant and drinkable American-Style pale ale. The taste is dominated by American hops, but is more herbal and piney than bitter (there's some nice bitterness too, but it's not as over-the-top as some beers). The best part of this beer is the mouth-feel -- it's thick and oily, and really works well with the herbal hop flavor.

Photo of djbreezy
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

appearance - cloudy gold in color, great lacing for a pale, bright white head that recedes gracefully

smell - subtle notes of hop and malt, citrus

taste - citrus/lemon, slightly bitter, smooth finish

mouthfeel - light body with bold carbonation

drinkability - refreshing, leaves a bit of a dry finish on the mouth

Photo of MikeBrandman
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours into a hefeweizen glass with 5 fingers of rocky white head. Leaves white lacing all the way down the glass. Body is transparent with a rich brown/amber hue. Good, honey looking beer.

S - Strong hoppy smell. Good soapy lemony smell. Very rich and delicious.

T - Hop taste that goes well with the smell. Light and crisp. Lemony taste is still there. Very refreshing. Not too bitter, but enough to give it a nice bite.

MF - Just like the taste, very light. More carbonated than usual APAs. Slightly syrupy.

D - A very drinkable APA. Complex enough to make you want more, but not overwhelming or intimidating. Light and crisp, so definitely refreshing and satisfying.

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,067 ratings.