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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

2,887 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,887
Reviews: 1,472
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 68
Gots: 147 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,887 | Reviews: 1,472 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Mistofminn, Dec 25, 2009
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.

BeanBone, Dec 23, 2009
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.

sprucetip, Dec 22, 2009
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.


woosterbill, Dec 22, 2009
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.

chickenflea, Dec 17, 2009
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.

womencantsail, Dec 13, 2009
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.

KyleMWood, Dec 13, 2009
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.

bob3701, Dec 12, 2009
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.

jeffthecheff, Dec 09, 2009
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.

drpimento, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of AgentZero
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Orange tinted golden with a slight haze, nice bubbles (surprised to read it was naturally carbonated). Huge, very soapy head with amazing retention, and sheets of lacing. Lacing was present, but not particularly attractive.

S - Grassy, floral hops and some lemony scent. Can detect some faint malts.

T - Hoppy with citrus, grapefruit, a little grassy, but no real bitter twist like I was expecting when it started. Mild caramel malts follow.

M - Nice and bubbly, heavier side of light, leaves the mouth slightly puckered.

D - If I were in the right mood could do a few, but in the big bottle usually am going to limit this to one.

AgentZero, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of dudecandle
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light golden-yellow color, with a huge, billowy head, with excellent retention and lacing. Actively visible carbonation gives it something of a nice animation.

S: Mellow toasted smell. Very light citrusy hop scent, subtly floral. A hint of caramel rears its head in time.

T: Honey-lemony fresh on the front of the palate, some light caramel, with a long buttery toasted grain finish. A bit of a non-citrus fruit and herbal hop presence.

M: A little thin, relatively average for a pale ale.

D: Very easily drinkable. It goes down smooth, as the taste isn't aggressive. It's a very standard APA, however, it's missing that extra punch which puts some into that next level.

dudecandle, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of ZorPrime
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this one from Bobsy in a trade (Autumn 2009).

The beer is pale copper color, slightly veiled. It is pretty good looking in a glass! Nice head too that has a creamy looks. The aroma is hops, grassy hops with notes of citrus and grapefruits. Taste is hops again, however the taste is more citrus than grapefruits. Very refreshing, pretty simple beer however it is so good tasting and the mouthfeel is great. Medium body beer, with just enough carbonation to make it present in the mouth. Excellent session beer IMO.

Thanks Bobsy!

ZorPrime, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hadn't had this one in years and was looking forward to it. Somewhat of a let down. The head was nice, the color was nice and the nose was hoppy with a little cake batter character. The taste wasn't spectacular but it was quality, nicely hoppy although it seemed like the choice of hops used was off. Little vanilla and pale malt, citrus hops bring the bitterness, a malt toastyness as well. Mouthfeel was a little too carbonated and I didn't really want any more after the first-it was time to move on, for good. Not because it wasn't drinkable, because it just wasn't anything special.

natelocc787, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle into goblet like glass. Notes from the Saturday that Arkansas and Ole Miss played.

A: Tennessee Vols orange tinted. Full-bodied, pale ale appearance. White foam makes a quarter inch head at the pour and it quickly reduces to a ring and slick.

S: Juicy, fruity hop aroma that is reserved.

T: Mirror of the succulent juicy hops. Delicate bitterness and honey'd maltiness peeks in just before the bitterness tails off.

M: Light, great level of carbonation.

brewerburgundy, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of mwagner1018
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light straw, creamy white head, about 2 fingers in pint glass, nice frothy lacing down glass, head remains a good 1/2 in. through beer.

S- Crisp lemony, citrus, grapefruit, fresh, beautiful bouquet, some melon, even some butternut.

T- Nice fresh hops, slight buttery texture, clean, crisp, bitter on palate, aromatics are present in flavor...good grapefruit, lemon.

M- Clean pale ale, nice hop character, bitter, nice light to medium mouthfeel.

D- Very drinkable, nice beer. Along with Sierra Nevada, really sets the standard for the American Pale Ale style, crisp, refreshing, bitter, great beer.

mwagner1018, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of rpstevens
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint.

The beer pours a light amber color that fades to a more effervescent straw around the edges. There is a one finger frothy white head that fades to a thin ring, leaving some oily lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is light citrus hops with a very sturdy caramel background. Both elements of the beer are equally present and well balanced.

The taste is more hop forward than the smell. The citrus hop taste hits the tongue first and is followed by some mellow spicy hops and then some caramel malts and bready malts.

The best part of this beer is the bitter drying finish and the crisp mouthfeel. It's light and drinkable, a nice pale ale for sure.

rpstevens, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of kpoole25
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent beer, flavorful but not trying to out-do or be the biggest in a certain category. 12 oz bottle to glass. Dark golden color, poured a huge head even though I thought I was being pretty gentle. Nice bright aroma(tart, not so much sweet), mostly hops coming through. Flavors are well balanced, not too sweet, a pretty bitter finish (I think some of the double IPAs cancel out some bitter with a huge malt attack...not happening here, the IBUs may not be as high but they aren't masked at all). Some mouth watering tartness. The carbonation is a little high, but just short of too much. All this and only 6% abv. Good job Anchor!

kpoole25, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep shade of golden with a fluffy white head that dissipates to form a cap but leaves lots of lace on the way down. Smells of citrus, caramel, maybe a bit of fruit. Taste is sweet with caramel, slight grain midway followed buy some fruit that seems like pear, lots of citrus to balance it out. Finishes sweet and slightly bitter. Nice nice balance. Body is medium to thick, mouthfeel is creamy, carbonation is crisp. Its been a while since I've had this one, too long really. I remember trying this 15 years ago and thinking how bitter it was, now I find it incredibly balanced. This is a great beer!

johnnnniee, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of hopman333
4.83/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another classic that I have not reviewed yet. I'm 39 years old and when I first started my ridiculous drinking binge that is now still going strong ( 12 - 24 beers daily ) God my poor liver, this was one of the first IPA's, and still one of the best.

The color is that of a refreshing and crisp beer if you know what I mean, slightly cloudy almost straw like color, maybe a shade darker than straw but close.

The smell is almost entirely dominated by Fresh Cascade hops, ( and I do mean fresh )and a firm and earthy caramel malt flavor.

The taste is where this beer really shines. It start's off with the Cascade hop bite to the fore wich becomes more intense by the microsecond with a brisk and an almost harsh carbonation to help the hop flavor to become eclipsed by the sweet caramel malt flavours and then it subsides with a dry and hoppy bitterness. And when it is really fresh it almost has a Bazooka Joe Bubblegum like quality, and I mean that in a good way. Extremely refreshing and drinkable. And I really like the carbonation level as I feel alot of the more modern brews of today lack.

Ok, so I'm sure alot of younger folks are saying Oh this is one dimensional and not to complex, not hoppy enough, Ect Ect !!!! But this is the epitome of a true American IPA, Hoppy without being cloying, with just enough Malt sweetness coming through to balance the Bitterness, and a carbnonation level that I love and truly miss from alot of other American craft brewers of today, what ever happened to brews being crisp and refreshing, not flat and hoppy, like so many brews of today. This is truly an American classic that is definately worth every penny that you are paying for it.... Crisp, complex, hoppy and very satisfying.

Thank you Fritz Maytag for producing one of the first and finest beers of it's kind on American soil...


hopman333, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kept passing this one in the import shelves at the LCBO and finally went for it. Glad I did!

Poured into a nonic glass

A = A slightly opaque, copper-golden concoction. Superb lacing!

S = Malty, with notes of apple and pear.

T = Fruity at first, but gives way almost immediately to a traditional, hoppy APA flavour. Though not terribly original, it works well. Bitterness stays with you throughout.

M = Crisp, not overly-carbonated.

A fine brew and a great example of the style, but given its limited availability (and expense), will probably only sample occasionally. Nevertheless, a solid APA.

JohnnyBarman, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of Kristing
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pale and cloudy ale with a quite good creamy head. The aroma is hoppy with malty freshness, but not that distinctive.

The beer has a full-bodied taste with much malty texture, with some bitterness that puts itself on the palate. Their is a fair deal of carbonation, and the mouth-feel is full and malty, although not with much sweetness.

The beer does not go down as easily as, for instance, many English pale ales. But it is not too complex and it is therefore a relaxing brew to drink.

Kristing, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle poured into 400ml dab glass sept29 2009

A Hazy golden orange with lots of carbonation. It has a massive head that coats the glass with lace, and stays right to the bottom.

S Some nice hops with a fair amount of malt and some tropical fruit.

T Lots of malt with some citrus and caramel. The hops balance well with the heavy malt and make for a well rounded beer

M Medium bodied and very lively, great carbonation.

D I have few complaints with this beer and will drink it again.

I've only ever had Anchor Steam, their Christmas Ale and this one from these guys. I hope they have a big line up of this quality.

wordemupg, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of jacobseyb
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A=slightly cloudy, dark golden color with slightly off-white half finger head that dissipates quickly

S=malty, with hops following, floral notes

T=dry, crisp, malty, followed by floral flavors

M=great feel very crisp and carbonation is nice and strong, tight.

D=good, not overly bitter or sweet, yet still bold.

jacobseyb, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of t3hcho53non3
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark golden color with a finger of head that went away quickly

S: malts, slight hops, caramel malt, floral undertones

T: Caramel malt; sweet fruity notes that extend into floral notes. A bit of bready malt included to increase the complexity of this brew.

M: Very light with slight carbonation that is notice on teh backend

D: Very drinkable but not much complexity beyond the first beer

t3hcho53non3, Sep 27, 2009
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,887 ratings.