Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

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very good

3,009 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,009
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 71
Gots: 183 | 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)
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Ratings: 3,009 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claybeer
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor Liberty ale is a bright straw like shade of yellow. the frothy white head pours a good two fingers thick. I let this beer sit for a good minute or two and the head hasn't moved. NICE!! A big aroma of floral hops fills the nose and a little grassy. those little grassy notes that are barely noticeable in the nose really come through on the taste. I get some lemon zest too. The finish hangs out just for a little while which is perfect for this ale.

Photo of Anthony1
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice light amber color with a small head and better than average lacing. Heavy citrus scent. At first I thought lemons, but now I am thinking of a more sweeter fruit. More hops than I was expecting. Nice malt flavor. Tastes like sweet honey and a kick of hops to go with it. A bit of a bitter finish. Carbonation works well with this beer, thus it goes down very smooth. Happy I finally tried this one. Have been an Anchor Steam man for a while, but never got around to tying the Liberty. Guess I'll hit the porter sometime soon.

Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle drank into a pint glass at Bricks for my buddy's birthday...Pours a darkish light brown not very clear, dark for a pale ale, night light head good retention...The taste and aroma are both light citrus to start, some malt backbone, but not a ton of hops. Lightly hoppy but want a little more. Not a bad little pale ale, nothing special though.

Photo of mralphabet
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Hazy orange in color, very nice head, about a finger & 1/2 worth. Settles to a very nice layer of foam, very little lacing.

S: Hops, citrus (little orange or lemon) and a hint of malt.

T: At first the hops really hits you up front and balances out with a nice caramel malt at the finish.. aftertaste has just a hint of bitterness on the tongue. But.... as it warms up the malt notes get stronger...

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is right on for the style.

D: Good ABV, nice balanced brew.... Not a bad little beer on a hot summer day.... A good APA... worth a shot.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Slightly hazy orange with faint amber flares.

S - Clean citrus hops, very clean & fresh floral. The aroma is something I've never smelled from an APA. The aroma is light and extremely clean. Did I say this beer smells clean?

T - Citrus hops up front, light honey malt, earthy grain, floral hops start building up and then a pungent citrus kicks off a slow bitter road that ends dry and wanting more.

Just a wonderful American Pale Ale. You just get an experience with this beer that I can't explain. It's not over the top. It's just a fantastic beer. This always hits the spot. This beer is great in any season. One of my favorite PA's.

Photo of trevorjn06
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper/golden color with over 2 fingers of off-white head that recedes slowly and leaves a thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma (while cold) is light citrus and grass with some caramel. Overall it's a mild aroma so I'll let it warm a bit. As it warms hints of honey emerge as well a slight bit of earthiness.

Taste is pretty dry with some toasty grains, mild caramel, a moderate hop bitterness and a hint of mineral accent. It starts with up front graininess and a touch of caramel that moves into some hop bitterness and light floral/orange notes. The finish is fairly long with grain, minerals and light hop accents.

Mouthfeel is medium/light with moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a pretty easy drinking and well balanced ale that is a bit drier than many of this style.

Photo of Mit
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the first hoppy US beers I tried many years ago...I can't believe I never reviewed it.

a-pours a nice golden colour with a respectable head. Pretty clear, very slight cloudiness.

s-citrusy hops at the forefront, very mild malt smells coming through to round it out.

t-hoppy but not overpowering, stays true to smell with a nice malt finish to balance it out.

m-Heavier as you may expect by the elevated ABV.

d-Wow...this stuff is fantastic...I could drink it all day. I would love to find it on tap somewhere but will settle for now in bottles.

Photo of cdizinno
4.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz short brown bottle.

A: Hazy light amber color with a nice creamy white 1-1/2 finger head.

S: Floral and citrus hops in the nose. Some grains too.

T&M: Medium bodied with a light malt sweetness. Mild balanced hop flvors are mixed in with the malts. Citrus fruitiness and bitterness. Finishes dry with raw hop coarseness, hop oils and some grain flavors.

I used to prefer the Anchor Steam, but this stuff is way more refreshing and drinkable. Excellent APA!

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

Pours a fizzy yellow amber, with a relatively thin head. Soft aroma, a slight scent of hops with a mild yeast touch. Good moderate flavor, good balance of hops and malt, definitely an ale. From what I remember tastes better on draft than in bottle, but still worth picking up a 6 pack.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a 400ml New Belgium tulip glass.

Appearance: Golden amber color with large white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind spotty lace.

Smell: Has biscuity malt aromas and floral hops smells.

Taste: Buttery and sweet at the beginning with a nutty and herbal bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with sharp carbonation upfront that balances out and leaves a dry finish.

Drinkability: Very sessionable pale ale, although this has a higher ABV than most session beers. A well-balanced beer I would enjoy having again and something that is a satisfying drink overall.

Photo of aeminter
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Straw yellow with about two fingers worth of fluffy off-white-to-bone-white head. Head retention and lacing are excellent.
S - citrus and a little grassy and earthy

T - nice hop bitterness especially in the back of the mouth...there is a little bit of grapefruit and very subtle hints of toffee. Very clean.

I'll say this is a good all-around APA. Not necessarily the best but a solid contender and a good go-to beer.

Photo of jsprain1
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Copper/orange with a thick head.
S- Smell is of pale malts, a bit of hops, a bit of biscuit and caramel.
T- Taste is initially hoppy, fading to light malts.
M- Light body but the carbonation adds a creaminess dimension.
D- Not an exceedingly great pale, but I would recommend it if you come across it.

Photo of kjyost
2.42/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bomber BB 3 / 2012. WTF? Who stores a pale ale for 2 years?

Looks very nice upon the pour with a clear amber body with a nice white head that descends at a slow pace, and laces well. I am initially taken aback by the aroma of the beer. It claims to be dry hopped and yet I get no real aroma. Nothing. No hops. No malt. I clear my nose and smell again. Nothing. Later I get a distinct sweet malt once the head has descended. The body of the beer has a bit of sweet malt without much character. The bitterness is only evident over time. There is no hop flavour that I can discern, save a slight earthiness in the brew. Strong carbonation prickling the mouth. Too bitter without hop flavours to be drinkable.

Sadly, I was looking really forward to the 'original IPA', but man did it disappoint me.

Reviewed 01-16-2010
Poured a hazy orange with a strong head that left moderate to light lacing. The nose was quite light with a balance of hops and grain letting you know the beer's light flavour profile. This is not to say the beer was watery nor simple as it had a light malty body with a fruity hop finish. The carbonation balanced the body of the beer and the beer seemed to me to be quite sessionable, if not for its premium expense here in Manitoba.
A: 3.5, S: 3.0, T: 3.5, M:3.5, D:4.0

Photo of ocelot2500
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a thick white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of citrus and floral hops.

Tastes of the hops up front with a solid malt background. Hops are floral with a touch of citrus and offer a moderate amount of bitterness. Malts are grainy and give a sweet counterpoint to the hops.

Mouthfeel is light with a crisp amount of carbonation.

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

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A - Hazy medium amber. Formed a very thick (3+ fingers) foamy, off-white head upon pouring.

S - Malt, but with a very definite citrusy hop background. Floral and sweet.

T - The hops are a bit more forward than I would have guessed from the smell, but the malt sweetness butts in after a second. Finishes with a nutty aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with noticeable carbonation. Fairly typical Pale Ale feel.

D - A nice pale ale, but not the best I've ever had. Very drinkable and enjoyable, but I think I'd rather have a SN or Mirror Pond.

Photo of bdupree
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden orange, pours with a massive creamy foam head.

S: Fruits, esters, great blend with grassy hops. Hard for me to pick out specific fruits, so well rounded.

T: Somewhat of a dry aftertaste as it rolls over the palate. Malty, with that dry hop flavor and some sharp fruity tastes in the background. All is so very well blended together.

M: Crisp, but so very smooth and somehow dry as well.

D: Of all American Ales, this is by far one of the best. I can just think of perfect balance with Liberty Ale.

Photo of endovelico
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before date: 07 / 2011. Served in dimpled stein.

Appearance: Pours a semi hazy yellow-orange brew with voluptuous white head and light effervescence. Appealing overall.

Smell: Intense aroma of grapefruit, lemon and orange peel upfront. Theres also some Hop greeness, hay and pollen on the back.

Taste: The taste is well balanced with notes of lemon drop, grapefruit and biscuits upfront and hop greeness and bubblegum on the back.

Palate: Medium light carbonation. Silky smooth texture. Medium low to low bitterness. Lasting citrusy / grapefruity taste.

Drinkability: Great balance and a pretty arch typical representation of the APA style. Pairs well with a number of dishes. Unique and irreprehensible. I could see myself having this as a luxury session beer.

Photo of mlazzaro
3.85/5  rDev -1%
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
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,009 ratings.