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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,537 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,537
Hads: 3,299
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 17.05%
Wants: 97
Gots: 369 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,537 | Hads: 3,299
Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 650 ml bottle and into a pint glass, on to the beer:

It's a darker blonde in color with an alright head. Smells of lemon pastry, cereals, and faint hops. The flavor reminds me of buttered bread, with tart lemon that sticks to the tongue. The barley malt shines through as well, with a limited appearance from the hops. It doesn't have as many by-products in the taste as other pale ales do.

American brewing has come a long way since this brews introduction back in 1975. If you're looking for an "old school" beer, you can't go wrong with Liberty Ale.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazy, vibrant, yellow-gold coloring with a sparse film covering the surface. Slow, steady carbonation bubbling throughout the beer. Aromas are flowery and citrus sweet, with a subtle hops presence in the background. Flavors are light and effervescent, with grapefruit and blood orange citrus sweet flavors, and a mild, dry hops profile that cleans up the palate. The malty representation is mild, with a slight, full body sweetness in the backbone of the brew. The aftertaste is slightly roasted, with the citrus sweet blend taking the biggest space on the palate. Good, clean, slightly drying finish, with the hops bitters and citrus tart both doing their part to clear the palate. Great beer.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The main thing I'm getting out of this beer is crisp hops. There's a backbone of coppery caramel, but it's really dominated by the hops. The hops profile seems a mix of american and european to me. It's fairly grassy but there's also a citrus edge to it that keeps it from getting too earthy.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper color., pours with a solid cream colored head. A definite citrusy aroma wafts from the glass to my nose. There is a good amount of body to this beer, and it goes along well with a nice American hop (Cascade) character, in both the aroma and flavor departments. This beer finishes with a nice pleasing bitterness that hits ones tongue. At its best this beer is overflowing with American hop character, a wonderful hop-citrus character. Backed by a solid amount of malt backbone that helps this pioneering beer stand tall. Unfortunately this beer does not travel well. Anywhere I have had this beer a significant distance from the brewery, it is merely a solid good above average beer. When it is fresh though it is world class. So all of you Liberty naysayers get thee to the brewery to really experience this beer.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale straw yellow with yellow highlights that had a thin head a left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: right off the bat I got big bready malty notes with slight hop and citrus notes. There is also a little cream aroma as well in the mix.

T: I guess there is some cream characters cause its also on the taste buds which was quite surprising on a pale ale. Along with the cream notes I got a malts, citrus, and very slight hop notes.

M: the brew was medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation that had a sweet creamy and very slight hoppy finish.

D: this beer really drank quite welll but was a little too sweet for a pale ale, don't get me wrong it was still a tasty beer.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a translucent, yellow-orange, with a thick, white head which lasts for the whole glass.

S: Fragrant, juicy American hops, definite Cascade with the pine, also some grapefruit and other citrus.

T: Beautiful mix of pale malt and hops, lots of citrus - orange and grapefruit, straightforward pale ale flavors, but very well done.

M: Quite dry, for an APA, smooth, crisp, and refreshing, while being full-bodied and creamy.

D: Great drinkability, probably the best APA that is easily available to me, this is a step up from the quality of SN Pale Ale, which is a great beer in its own right.

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Photo of liamt07
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6-pack from the LCBO, 330ml into a pint glass. Best before October 2013. Listed at 5.9%ABV.

Poured a golden orange with a great white head and above average retention. Sheets of lacing. Nose has some grassy hops and pale malts, crisp crackery notes and ligth grains. Taste is again lightly grassy, lightly caramelized malts, pale malts, grains a good hop flavour. Very mild citrus in the finish. Medium body with a good bitterness in the finish. Medium high carbonation with a touch of alcohol. Good drinkability, with some likeness to some Kellerbiers and EIPA's I've previously had.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to reviewing this one. Poured in to Bruery tulip. Best Before Date of 3/2014??? Is that right?

Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Cloudy peach colour with some yellow glow around the edges. Half a finger of bright white head that receded to a thin film on the top of the beer.

S - Floral/earthy/grassy hop aroma up front with moderate bitterness. Not much of a malt presence.

T - A good bitterness up front with a big grassy and herbal flavour. The hop flavours are very fresh. A touch of sweetness from the malt bill is present.

M - Medium body, slightly dry. Nice resiny hop oils are present. Low to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. 12 oz bottle poured into a mug. Murky strange colored body, burnt orange. Some lace.

S. Clean yeast and bread notes.

T. Pretty solid and malty, with a very delicate hop character. Toffee notes. Pretty solid overall.

M. Medium bodied and fairly smooth.

D. Another quality beer from the anchor brewery, though I think their Christmas Ale is lighter than in past years.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Solid orange gold. Bone white head is creamy with nice retention.

S – Sweet malt, lightly floral. Tart wheat and honey as it warms.

T – Waxy herbal bitters up front. Touch of malt in the center into a dry, almost dusty finish.

M – Medium light body. Dry, lightly tart finish.

O – Surprisingly dry with a nice hop character.

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Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours copper/yellow. One-finger DENSE off-white head that makes me smile. Lotsa lacing left.

S- Spicey, piney, citrus.

T- Crisp, more citrus. Delicious.

M- So refreshing!. the hops sting your tongue and leave you wanting more.

D/O- Drinking about 3 or 4 of these would leave me one happy camper. Good example of when session beer meets something that actually tastes like something worth drinking.

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Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy orange beer.

Smell is very fruity and citrus, faint grain and malt smells.

Taste is mildly sweet and very malty. Nice crisp bitterness and multiple dimensions to the hops. A superior pale ale.

Mouthfeel is very good; the carbonation level is quite high and makes it seem thicker than it really is.

Really drinkable, this is a very well balanced beer. Much better than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Anchor Steam Glass. Was golden in color with excellent carbonation, but a small head that disappeared fast. Not much lacing afterwards as well. Nice malty, hoppy scents. It does taste a little different than other APAs I've had. Goes down really smooth, not much of a bite afterwards though. Very drinkable and would make a nice session brew at 6%.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for around $1.50... poured into a standard shaker pint still listening to Digweed's Transitions V.3.

Big Big head that towered close to an inch out of the glass while never leaving a dribble trickle down the side of the glass... very gradually leaving behind a very sticky lacing that clings to the entire glass. Slightly hazy but still with a nice polished gold color.

Citrus and floral hop notes dominate the aroma... fruity yeasty malt follows.

Very good bitterness with the perfect amount of malty sweetness to balanced... there is still a slight yeasty fruitiness mid palate that cuts to a subtle earthiness.. everything is balanced very well by a toasty caramel maltiness.... finishes with a fresh citrus blast. Great body... with a classic dialed in creaminess.... I love this beer... a true pioneer in the craft beer movement... A big cheers to Fritz.

This is another of the APA's I should always have on hand, but others cloud up my purchasing judgement.... No doubt a session APA, but be careful.. the drinkability could leave a mark.

When I have this beer, I always think about what others thought when it first came out 30+ years ago... I bet many thought the hops were going to strip the enamel off their teeth... leaving them in pain and with no useable taste buds... Ahhh! How times have changed?

Edit... intitially reviewed this as an AIPA, changed my review for the better to a APA.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to drrink this long ago and realized I had not only not reviewed it, I hadn't even drank any in a long time, so I decided to get a six pack of it. Pours dark golden with a big white head that fades to a cap. The smell is all piney and citrusy hops. There is a light malt profile lurking in the background. The taste leans to the piney side, but with a grapefruit peel backbite. Mouthfeel is clean and a bit on the thin side like some of the other classic West Coast IPAs. Drinks well with its refreshingly bitter bite and huge pine aftertaste. It is essential to drink this beer fresh to really experience its glory- I'd forgotten just how good this stuff can be. I think I'm going to add itt back into my IPA rotation.

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Photo of Tone
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, dark golden color. 5/4 inch head with good retention and good lacing. Smells strongly of hops and fruity aromas. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Smooth and thick/chewy mouth feel. There was an extremely high amount of carbonation that inhibited the drinkability a little. Tastes strongly of fruit along with some hop bitterness. Overall, the taste was lacking, in my opinion. With the appearance and smell, I was really looking forward to this beer, but the flavor just wasn't there in the concentration I was hoping for. Still a pretty good beer though.

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Photo of plaid75
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice deep copper hue with a one finger creamy head. Good retention and lacing as well.

The smell was a very complex arrangement of hop, citrus, apricot and clove. Really a very nice aroma.

The tatse was in line with the smell. Very complex and spicy, with a bit of a sweet finish.

The moutfeel was nice, but a bit on the thick side.

The heavier mouthfeel detracted from an otherwise very drinkable ale.

Overall an above average APA in terms of flavor and aroma complexity. If you like this, check out Blue Point Hoptical Illusion.

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Photo of weeare138
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a slightly hazed light gold with a fluffy white head that seems to stick around forever. Solid tubes of lacing ate left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, citrus, ripe fruit and orange candies.
Taste is of the aromas with a perfect balance of hops, fruity flavors, and citrus.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied from the yeast strain, creamy, and excellent in terms of being rounded.
A true classic beer... Can't believe I've never rated this before!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours hazy faint golden, with a thick even white head that takes it's time before it dissipates and leaves great lacings.

S: A little faint but there is citrus and some yeast mixed with floral hops.

T: Nice hops, both floral and bitter. There is also nice cirtic notes mixed with caramell malt.

M: This mediumbodied beer is dry, bitter and a bit rough - really nice.

D: Fritz Maytag sure knows what it's all about. I still haven't had a Anchor-beer that I didn't fall in love with

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Photo of aasher
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a light auburn in color with a light white head. It doesn't really have any overpowering aromas. Both the hops and malt are pretty subtle. It doesn't stand out in that category. It is very tasty and has a unique kind of sweetness to it. It's really kind of hard to describe but it is very appealing. I really enjoyed it. It drinks well, pretty light in consistency and has good carbonation to it. It's very drinkable, especially for a pale.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.46/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a five-fingered white head that fades slowly leaving a ton of lace. Clear, light amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts as a mix of sweetness and hops but then the hops really assert and finish is hoppy with lingering bitterness. A very good pale but not for my tastes. $2.25 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

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Photo of corby112
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark golden-orange color ith a thin foam head that quockly dissolves leaving minimal lacing. Clean and crisp aroma with hints of citrus and floral hops. Very crisp and clean tasting with a nice maltiness that balances out the floral hops.

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Photo of wl0307
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been a year since my last pleasant encounter with this brilliant brew, I just can't wait to pop open another bottle tonight with a BB date of July 2007. Served cool in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: bright and dark orangey golden in colour, wearing a moderately-thick and quite foamy white cap with reasonable retention; very settled in carbonation.
S: assertive fruit-esters and perfumy hops dominate the nose, comprised of dried juicy longan-fruits, strawberries, orange-jelly, wild-flowery hops, oily and richly aromatic... backed by a solid undernote of honeyish malts with a profound edge of melted rock sugar. Extremely pleasant... albeit a touch too sweet for me, slightly like a very malty Triple for that matter.
T: a profoundly flowery hoppy flavour comes hand in hand with an ever-intensifying juicy fruitiness like ripe lychees (on skins) and tangy-sweet orange-peels... turning increasingly bitter in the aftertaste, with a constant kick from the tannic+tangy edge of hops that brings an utterly soothingly dryish bitterness surrounding the wings of the palate in a rather skilful and gentle way. Plenty of hop aroma as well as aftertaste lingers in the end...
M&D: softly-carbonated, medium-bodied, utterly smooth on the palate, with a healthily-balanced palate and a clear hoppy from the nose to throat... The bitter-hoppy flavour sits in contrast to the semi-rich malty+fruity aroma, and is very much my cup of tea! An utterly enjoyable APA which is bound to be one of my all-time favourites!

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,537 ratings.