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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

1,530 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,530
Hads: 3,270
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 17.05%
Wants: 93
Gots: 347 | 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.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Liberty Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,530 | Hads: 3,270
Photo of Cheshire_Crew_Al
3.29/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Overall, I was hoping for more, this beer is good, it does many things well, but nothing exceptional, a little bit of hops, that slightly sweet malty taste in there, some dryness on the palate on the aftertaste I think is what is off-putting for me.

The smell is slightly hoppy but has a sort of slightly fruity odor mixed in that, to me, does not appeal. I am not into hoppy beers but was hoping for a little more hops representation.

The taste is good, but not incredible to me, sort of a mixed bag, sort of 'I don't know what type of beer I want to be' kind of feel to it. But, I can't say it was unenjoyable, because it is a good beer.

Overall, I wouldn't search it out, would certainly drink it again, but would not add it to my must haves.

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Photo of Huffs
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, nice head developed, white in color, with mild retention and lacing. Appearance was a clear, golden color. Aroma had notes of citrus and malt with light spice notes. Tasted of mild hop and citrus. Medium mouthfeel with a dry aftertaste.

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Photo of tmm313
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a nice yellow straw color with a 2 finger creamy head. Good lacing.

Smell: That standard fruity Anchor smell comes out first, followed by slight citrus hops and bready and caramel malts. There's some banana at the end.

Taste: Sweet fruits, bread, and yeast up front, followed by nice caramel and a mix of citrus and bitter hops. Banana pops out at the end.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy with crisp carbonation. Really fruity aftertaste involving pears, apples, and banana. Some nice piney bitterness, too. Dries the mouth out pretty good.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. I love how all the Anchor beers I've tried have the same base fruity flavor and smell. I don't think I would call this an IPA, but it was still pretty good. I'll probably have this from time to time.

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Photo of Buller38
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decided to serve this baby in a traditional pint glass. I loved the aroma that was rushing out of the top of the bottle. With a perfectly poured pint, as well as you can from the bottle, the color and smells hit me immediately. I loved what hit my nose and immediately recalled bananas.

As the smell of bananas lingered in my mouth, I could feel how the subtle texture of banana pudding crept down my tongue and into my gullet. I really enjoyed this beer because of the smell, taste, and appearance that I experienced.

I would recommend this beer to anyone who appreciates a finely crafted and brewed libation.

This is the first time I have started tracking my beers on BA. I typically do it on untappd.

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Photo of Mojo
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> World Market tulip glass

A - pours up light gold with a generous foamy head, great retention, and tons of spotty lacing.

S - the usual suspects: pine, citrus (particularly oranges), grass, floral, etc.

T - extremely well balanced between malt and hops, but neither of them have the big flavor.

M - sort of unimpressive, but at least the carbonation is good.

O - This offering is decent enough. It is very drinkable, but I can name about ten IPAs I'd rather have.

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Photo of sam_bliss
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pale orange-colored ale sits under a well built whitefish bubbly head for a minute or two until the cap subsides. Aromas of grassy and fruity hops lift off the brew, while bready grains and clean hay underlie the citric and oily hop flavors. The ale smells sensational, or perhaps scent-sational; fresh hops and clean, almost lager-like yeast would make any beer sniffer swoon. Both dark and light stone fruits also present themselves in the nose, as well as sugary dough and barley malts.

Potent hop bitterness is applied tastefully, moderately. This brew contrasts from many hop-bomb American IPAs in that the flavors dominate rather than the bitterness The taste is sweet, sour, and as mentioned a little bitter, featuring notes of black pepper, dried peach, dry cider, sourdough, and floral hoppiness. The mouthfeel is pleasant––good carbonation and no stickiness in the medium-light body.

This beer is a great change-up for a man inundated with West Coast IPAs. The taste is almost as amazing as the aromatic smell.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.4/5  rDev +12%

I find this beer vastly superior to so many west-coast IPA's, partly because it is better balanced and more complex than most. I feel that so many California brewers think that if you add enough hops, the drinkers will come. Apparently, they are right.

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Photo of spoony
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle (coded 33A on the back) into a nonic.

A-An aggressive pour produces over two fingers of sticky, nearly-white head. The head hangs around for about two minutes and leaves some chunky lacing on the glass. The brew is light-golden in color and nearly clear. No real bubble show is visible.

S-The smell has nice, bright zesty lemon and orange peel scents, along with a semi-sweet, doughy yeast. There is a fair amount of grassy straw and grain, too. Interesting for the style, and inviting.

T-The taste is also zesty with sweet lemon curd, straw, and orange peel overlying a doughy, bready malt base. A touch of biscuit comes through, as well. The finish provides a light dose of pepper and vaguely bitter flavors.

M-The feel is pretty light for the style, with a semi-crisp carbonation that is moderate to above average.

O-I'm not sure this is a true-to-style American IPA, or maybe I've just gotten used to the bitter hop-bombs that dominate the style now, but this is a good, drinkable beer, nonetheless. The most interesting thing is the almost-Belgian like yeast, which is semi-sweet and quite doughy. The yeast flavor pairs well the lemon zest and orange peel flavors in this beer. This would be a great summer drink.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden amber color. There's about two fingers worth of off-white colored head with a rocky texture and decent retention. It leaves behind a good amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Interesting. It's hoppy, but in a restrained, delicate fashion. I pick up mainly grapefruit and even some mango at first, before turning mostly into a floral expression. There is enough in the way of both malt and even yeast esters (think orange marmalade) to help balance the flowery hops, but not enough to ruin it.

T: Again, it's balanced properly - the malt is there yet not suffocating, and there's enough hoppiness without being generically bitter. The first things I taste are some orange marmalade, apricots, and just a touch of toffee, before the floral hops build up on the back end. This tastes less like a typical 'Merican IPA and more of what an ESB *should* taste like - really, why aren't more ESBs this tasty?

M: This is nicely clean and crisp. It's not ridiculously dry finishing, nor is it sweet...it's just right. Okay, maybe it's a touch sweet, but it's a pleasant linger. Carbonation is mildly prevalent.

O: This feels restrained in all the right places. It's a reminder that this was one of the first 'Merican-made IPAs, and still has a significant English influence to it. Even in this era of EXTREEEME and MOAR HOPZ, I'd take this over many other modern IPAs any day.

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Photo of Desher
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I can't say enough about this beer. I finally tried it out today after years of passing it up... it's excellent it's the craft IPA everyone has tried to emulate.It's flat out hop balanced it has the 'bite" you want, it's the one beer your "lite" friend will say wow! Original. i'm having another nite! nite!

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Photo of Premo88
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(3UD printed on bottle -- June 4, 2013)

L: orange/gold with slight haziness but close to 90% clear; lives up to "pale" in pale ale; strong full head of almost full inch; little bit of stick, lacing

S: very hoppy, nice citrus note, simple but nice grain underlaid in there -- even a bit of an English pale ale note ... hard for me to describe but it's sweet; peaches; flower garden

T: good mix of hops and grain with some nice malt sweetness in there; the hops are bitter enough to overpower most of the other notes, but i'd swear i'm getting some sweet bread notes from the malt; the bitter bite shows up in the middle and late, not a full-on chunk up front ... smooth

F: pretty strong, lots of carbonation, very drinkable and light without being watery

O: this has been around since 1975? where the hell have *I* been?!? my gosh is it good, probably my favorite American IPA ... proof that more isn't better concerning hops, for Anchor strikes a tremendous balance between those citrusy sweet bitter American hops and all the other notes a good beer can possess. i don't know how high this brew rates in IBUs, but a single IBU more would be too much.

a perfect single-hop brew that gives you some great Cascade hops for the standard in floral/citrus character

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Photo of TTAmod
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Don't know what I can say about this one that hasn't already been said. This is one of the original pale ales, along with Sierra Nevada.

12 oz. stubby bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a fairly thick off-white head. Even after a few minutes, there is still quite a bit of head left on the top with lots of lacing down the sides. Looks good.

S: The smell is amazing on this beer: a full hop bouquet that's filled with floral, herbal, and citrus accents. There's also a nice little spice and spurts of toffee and caramel from the malts.

T: Nice, floral hop taste. Raw hop resin, touch of grapefruit and orange. There's also a touch of mint along with a substantial malt base. Not bitter at all.

M: Body is pretty much perfect. Mid-light body...smooth...no fuss at all. There's a nice creaminess to this one that just begs you to take another sip.

O: Definitely one of the better pale ales out there...the epitome of balance that still has enough assertive hop flavors to remain relevant even nearly 40 years later. This particular bottle was brewed back in May, but the hop flavors were still strong.

I prefer Liberty Ale over SNPA, but both are amazing. This beer is like a rite of passage for beer enthusiasts...although I know a lot of people tend to overlook this one.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a quite hazy orange-amber color with a two finger, thick and creamy white head. The head very slowly fades, leaving a nice level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is of a citrus nature overall with a good dose of sweet orange and some aromas of a more grapefruit like nature. Along with these aromas, were other smells of fruit, with apple, mango and pear all present. Some bready aromas and a bit of an earthy hop smell round out the aroma profile, producing a rather sweet and balanced IPA smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a biscuit and grapefruit hop taste. There is a little bit of a caramel sweetness upfront, but this is rather light with it growing even lighter as the taste advances further. While the caramel fades, some fruit flavors of lighter fruits comes to the tongue. Along with the fruit flavors, so too comes more hop with more grapefruit as well as an earthy hop flavor coming to the tongue. At the end, a nice floral flavor come to the tongue, rounding out the flavors nicely and producing a drier and nicely moderately hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average in terms of its creaminess and thickness with a carbonation level that is on the average side. Both are rather nice for the drier and moderately hopped flavors of the brew, making for a very easy drinking beer.

Overall – A very enjoyable and easy drinking, moderately hopped brew. Quite tasty overall.

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Photo of WGO
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Love the Anchor bottles, they seem so quaint but hold so much liquid. Great labels.
Very dense thick foam, slowly dissipates, never leaves the edges. Cloudy amber brown colour.
Nose is citrus, but with a bit of tropical fruit ripe banana, mango hint of pineapple. Some bready malts also show through.
Taste is a number of orange fruits. Clementines, satsumas. Possibly dried apricots.
Mouthfeel is almost thick but not quite. Great carbonation, makes it interesting but still very drinkable.
One of my favorite beers.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy unfiltered orange with a meringue like head of white foam that sat atop forever almost until if fell to some nice lace and a layer on top.

Nose is earthy and yeasty. Citrus and fruity hops character. Biscuit malt with a touch of the pale toasted grains and a little sweetness. Fresh honey. There's even a tiny hint of mint on the nose.

Taste is good , smooth malt and biscuit with honey. Nice bitter that settles int with the stronger than you thought citrus. The mint is light and refreshing. It's herbal and and crisp. The mouthfeel is coarse and not because the malt isn't smooth. The malt is smooth and the carbonation is medium. But, the flavors and the yeasty qualities combine for a coarse mouthfeel that's got a nice edge to it. It feels like it hasn't been tamed.

This beer is not what i was expecting. It has plenty of hop character but I think my favorite part of this beer is how the lightly toasted grain combined with the fresh mint and the honey. The fact that it wasn't smooth as silk made it even better to me. The bitter was strong but not aggressive and I really liked this one. You drink a few of these easily.

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Photo of swingdjted
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really like this beer. Anchor beers are usually pretty good, but so far this is my favorite from that brewery, although this is only my 4th beer I've had from them including 2010 holiday, steam, porter, and this one. There's no one aspect that stands out over others; it's just a really good well balanced beer.

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Photo of FLima
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber orange color with a thick head with great retention and leaving lots of laces.
Citrusy aroma, zesty orange and lemon.
Nice bitter and fruity flavor. Taste of citric hops, spicy and condimented yeast with notes of lemon, pears, pine and orange peel, all on a sweet malty base. Dry and bitter aftertaste with a very distant sourness.
Medium body with medium carbonation.
Very good ale, flavorful, balanced, pleasant and highly drinkable. A sure regret if bought in singles. Highly recommendable.
Ps. Really more of an APA rather than an IPA.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: It's a low carbonated beer with a orange body with almost no head at all. Interestingly, it leaves some lacing.
S: Citrus could be smelled a mile away but there's also some malt, honey and floral aroma coming in.
T: Orange peel with some spicy notes. I guess I can feel some pine in it.
M: Gotta love it. It dries the palate after the sip and adds in a slightly sour note which makes you want more and more.
O: First American IPA I've had. The citrus aroma is so prominent that it even remembered me Orval. This is pretty neat. I'm sure I'll have more in a not-so-distant future.

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Photo of BWED
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a craft beer pint

A- Pale orange, and a clear body. Half inch off white head, but lacing doesn't stick.

S- Baked malt, the smell of mash. A little spicy earthy hop stings the nostrils as well.

T- Very bready, toasty, with a bitter pine-like hop flavor.

M- Medium-light bodied, semi-dry finish. The hop hangs around.

O- Very nice drink. Good malt flavor balances well with the hop bitterness.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

ST: Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber with a nice white head and good lacing.

S: Some malt, mostly grapefruit and pine from the dry hops.

T: Toasted bread, grapefruit, bubblegum.

M: Medium

O: A solid ale with mild but enjoyable bitterness.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. One of the all-time great labels.

Appearance - Orange color. Hazy. Big head that sticks around for a while. Mild to moderate lace. A fine looking brew.

Smell - Big nose. Big citrus hit but the malt is also apparent. Very nice.

Taste - The hops leap out at you but, soon after, a substantial malty flavor makes it's presence known. Herbs. Slightly sweet. Slightly bitter. WOW!

Mouth - Tangy. Oily. Good carbonation. Substantial.

Overall - So this is the first California Pale Ale?! In previous reviews, I've been open about my bias towards all beers Anchor. This is yet another great beer from Anchor brewing! This beer is flavorful, complex, balanced, and wonderful. Go get yourself one or six.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

3JO bottling date, so this one is a bit overage.

A- Pours a light to medium orange to golden color. A good amount of haze on this one in the body, enough to make it pretty much opaque. A good, 2 finger head forms and sticks around with a fair amount of lacing.

S- Light to moderate in hops as far as IPA's go. Way more floral in the nose than pine-like. Fruity with a bit of pineapple flavor in the hops scent. Hops fade a little into a slightly sweeter note at the end.

T- Starts with a slight bit of hops bitterness, but very slight at that. Somewhat dry and astringent flavor rolls across the tongue, making me think of a light citrus fruit or pineapple. Quickly dries the palate and adds in a slightly sour note, similar to a subtle Berliner Weiss sour flavor profile.

M- Light and easy drinking. Medium carbonation, but light in body. Really drying on the tongue.

Overall, not what I was expecting from an IPA. I'm a little disappointed, but I'll go easy on the guys at Anchor because of the age of this one.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Dunno why I haven't ever tried this - it's been around here in the Bay Area for a long time now. 1975, no less! Poured into a tulip glass out of a 12oz "fatty" bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a pale amber color that looks almost exactly like the original Anchor Steam beer, only a little bit brighter and paler than the latter. Even when aggressively poured in the glass, this produces a modest finger of head that is slightly foamy in texture - almost creamy - to add a bit of charm. Bubbles are plentiful at first, but they die down ridiculously fast, which makes me wish I had used a pokal glass or something. But, alas, old habits die hard, especially in the realm of IPAs. Slight lacing, although not too resinous. Not sure how to rate to "style" here, especially given the fact that this a proto-American IPA, but it looks fine on its own.

The aroma contains little to no noticeable citrus or bitterness, however, and only as it warms up does it start to reveal itself. Slight lemon and orange peel, a dash of pine (from the Cascade), and maybe a little bit of honey. Other than that, there's the classic 2-row pale barley flavors that I've grown up with drinking Anchor beers, and indeed, this strikes me as a slightly hoppier, less toasted take on the beer. Slight sweetness, but really subtle overall.

The flavor is more of the same - a subtle, tame array of citrus notes, pine, honey, and cereal bready grains. The front contains a bit of sharp bitterness, but it is quickly subdued by the malts at hand, as well as the thickened, bready feel at the finish. Alcohol is well hidden. The entire beer is well carbonated. It's pretty balanced at first, but I admit it gets increasingly grating as the dried, malty notes open up, which makes this taste slightly bland, and in which the hops become bothersome in providing a tobacco-y, acrid flavor. Not necessarily something I'd sip on in a session - the hop profile gets a little too distracting over time. As always with these guys, this is still easy to drink and is well rounded in terms of being creamy.

This is definitely an important beer in the history of West Coast (and hell, American) brewing in developing the widespread style of the IPA today. It is somewhere halfway between a pale ale and an IPA, so it's hard to rate here except for what it is. Decently hopped, slightly dry, and definitely not one you'd want to have sitting around forever. Not my favorite, but I'd imagine this DID blow people's minds a bit when it came out, though!

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Photo of 57md
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cloudy straw color with a finger of head that lingered for a bit. The nose is fairly mild – perhaps there is a hint of oranges present. Light malt flavors and some hops, but not much. The finish has a sweet note, but also something that tastes medicine-like. I’m not convinced that this is best categorized as an IPA, but I’m not sure what might be a more accurate designation.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle that looks like it says 5FL ion the back label. Sampled on July 13, 2013.

The color is a hazy orange-amber with a soft off-white head that simmers on top throughout.

The hoppy aroma is more earthy than floral with pale malts, sugar, and herbs on the nose as well.

The body is decent and in the medium range.

This is quite easy to drink. The hop bitterness is more subtle than many American IPA's I have had and that makes it that much better. There is a different citrus thing going on the background that adds to the bitterness.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,530 ratings.