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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

3,069 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,069
Reviews: 1,496
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 74
Gots: 225 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,069 | Reviews: 1,496 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

Photo of hopman333
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
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...


Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.85/5  rDev -1%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of t3hcho53non3
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
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

Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into SABL glass.

A. Poured a 3 finger head. Good lacing, and nice head retention. Dark golden color.

S. Hops, malt, floral piney hops, pale & caramel malt. Nice hop aroma.

T. Caramel malt sweetness. Not as much hop taste as you would expect from the smell. Hops flavor really only comes out at the end.

M. Light/medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Sweet finish/aftertaste.

D. Very drinkable. Good session beer. Not the most complex or extreme, but it doesn't need to be. Good at what it is, which is good pale ale.

Photo of NightINgale
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light golden/orange body, with loads of smaller bubbles and a foamy off-white head. Decent head retention and good lacing.

S - Very distinctive hoppiness in the nose, with strong pine-like and citrus notes. Some malts start coming through. Very powerful overall!

T - A massive hop bite right away! The taste starts opening up with loads of fruitiness and pine notes. Follows through into some sweetness and a bit of grain, then bringing some biscuit-type maltiness to the palate. The finish is super dry and quite bitter, which is not very noticeable until it warms up a little.

M - Very light and pleasant at first, the mouthfeel starts becoming a tad rough, courtesy of the finish.

D - Leaves me wishing for better. As it warmed up, the finish started really getting in the way of the overall merriness. If you aren't a true hop-head (and I am not), chances are, this isn't a super drinkable beer for you, despite its great taste and complexity. I should take in account that I drunk a bomber bottle; perhaps, if I had a small one, the drinkability would seem better.

Photo of bsp77
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Pretty pale orangish-gold with nice white head and abundant lacing.

Smell: Citrus and grapefruit hops, semi-sweet toasted malts with only a slight graininess, somewhat spicy. Smells more IPA than APA.

Taste: Very nice Cascade hops with evident citrus and grapefruit. Malt is more in the background and mostly dry and only slightly grainy. Ends with a distinct spice and hop bite.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium smooth and firm body, and very, very dry. Seems English in feel.

Drinkability: This is pretty much THE original ale of the modern craft beer movement that spawned both the APA and IPA. Plus, it is fantastic.

Photo of CoolJosh
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Why haven't I had this beer yet? Many regard this as highly as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. For an overwhelming amount of Beer Advocates, this was a gateway into the world of Craft beer.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer looks really nice, with a clear golden light brown body and a huge creamy white head that sticks around for a while and leaves a heavy trail of lacing behind.

The smell is alright. A lot of lemon and some stinky grapefruit. Unfortunately, it is a little bit too overpowered by lemon. The malt sweetness is prevalent. The same can be said for the taste, with a light caramel sweetness that unbalances the lemon citrus notes. All in all, a very nice easy to drink beer, and one that I would consume again.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle pours a burnished golden, just a faintest hint of cloudiness, finger of light head that maintains a thin lining on top of the brew and leaves some splotchy lacing down the glass.

Nose is pale malts, hint of grassy and floral hops.

Lots of pale malt, citrus, floral, and grassy hops mingle in for a nice bitterness. Slight metallic note, a light caramel sweetness, bitterness in finish borders on acridity, dry mouthfeel, pleasant carbonation, full finish.

Nice drinker, wouldn't mind having this again though nothing astounding. Solid all around.

Photo of DijonKetchup
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle.

Great lacing, golden color, clean as a whistle. Foam persists and will not fade. Smells fantastic - earthy, vegetal, inticing - Cascade dry hopping for sure, but not overdone. Tastes like the textbook for APAs - great body, mouthfeel and (once again) not overdone on the bittering.

Such a pleasant and solid beer, these guys know what they're doing.

Photo of sweemzander
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. "9AU" is printed on the side of the bottle.

(A)- Pours a golden yellow/orange color that is slightly cloudy. A massive foamy white head is sticking all around the inside of the glass. Rather thick clumps of foam are collecting in the center. Fantastic retention.

(S)- Delicate lemon and grapefruit with biscuity malts.

(T)- Dry, with a creamy grapefruit and lemon hop consistency.

(M)- Great carbonation with a light hop bitterness and citrus fruits. Mouthcoating texture; crisp.

(D)- A great beer that is a breath of fresh air from the normal; boring Miller/Coors/Bud products. Very well made and balanced all-around into a very easy drinking beer that I would gladly drink any day out of the year!

Photo of pd360
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful orange-amber with a foamy one finger head. I found the flavor to be sharp and a bit sour. The flavor also dies off very quickly with no lingering aftertaste. Some of that sharpness is probably coming from the alcohol, while AT 6% seemed even a little stronger than that. Overall, I was just not that impressed and I would not seek this one out again.

Photo of dasenebler
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden hue. A rich and foamy, but not creamy head readily forms. Aroma is very nice: citrusy and herbal, very pungent for a pale ale. You know this one is dry-hopped!

Flavor is nice and bitter. This is a hoppy and dry pale ale, but not unbalanced by any means. There is a nice malt presence and yeasty earthiness. Hop flavor is spicy and herbal, with a touch of citrus. Mouthfeel is medium-light, carbonation is medium. Here's a truly american pale ale that drinks like an IPA. Good stuff.

Photo of donniecuffs
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured clear yellow, with a surprisingly decent head.

S: Very, very subtle citrus, but with some unpleasant bitterness as well.

T: Was very disappointed. Didn't pick up much of the citrus that I did in the nose.

M/D: Mouthfeel was decently medium-bodied, but the flavor didn't have me running to go grab another one.

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

Poured from a date-stamped bottle into a pint glass. Liked the unique shape of the bottle.

A - poured a clear golden color. thin one finger creamy head with short retention turning into a whispy cap. uniform lacing.

S - clean floral hops come through right off. some citrus notes in the back end.

T - again, clean is the theme here. nice, easy taste with no one thing being dominant and overbearing. the floral hops are there, the resin is there, the citrus...

M - even though it's clean, it's not watery IMO, actually tastes towards the middle of my mouth which tells me it's not too heavy. better than average carbonation.

D - a nice find. i like it a lot. could easily settle into 2-3 of these at a time. good job Anchor Steam!

Photo of hosehead83
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into standard pint glass
Deep golden in color
Aroma--Biscuit, faint hops, mineral
Taste--Clean up front with a nice, subtle hop bite and a rather dry finish
Overall, very refreshing and drinkable-a lot of subtle flavors going on kept me coming back for more. A nice representation of the American pale ale style.

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

taste- sweet malt taste, bitter hops, biscuits

color- golden straw

clarity- clear

smell- sweet malt, cereal, cinnamon

body- medium body, bitter short finish

appearance- nice clear color, thick white foamy head

overall impression- subtle flavors and character, dry hopping contributes to the beer's flavor profile

notes and comments- i typically drink this beer once a year during the fourth of july. while i appreciate the beer, it's not my choice as a daily drinker.

Photo of jlindros
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A: Huge bubbly head almost 3 fingers, slightly clear golden orange color

N: Nose is pretty close to amber ale with some hints of lighter hops, some light malts, a slight pine, and touch of sugar, it has an interesting malt quality to it that I wish I could pick out the exact malt

T: Taste has a very light ale malt base with some slight spices, its pretty clean drinking, not a huge flavor

M: Pretty light on the mouth with some frothy carbonation

F: Finish has some more bitter hops that fade pretty quick, its semi sweet and light, finishes pretty clean

Final thoughts: Its a very light, clean, and easy drinking lightly hoped ale. It doesn't have much body or hop base, but its got a decent malt and enough hops. It doesn't try to do anything special, just a nice session beer. Its very crisp and refreshing. I would like something like this as a summer beer more than many summer style hefes (since IMO most American Hefes don't do it right).

Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A bright amber color with orange highlights...a 1.5 finger off white head that retains pretty well...good lacing

S - Citrus hops shine through the bread malts

T - This is a pretty well balanced beer...you go through a sweet malt flavor which transfers into a mild citrus hop ending...not much bitterness on the palate...a little inconsistent on which flavor you'll get...the hops of the malts

M - Medium bodied...crisp and refreshing

D - This was my first Anchor offering and I was very pleased...one thing I didn't like was the inconsistency on the taste...but it was pretty balanced and a solid APA

Photo of Dotcubed
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hearing that they use only one hop variety, I wanted to try this one.

Pours a nice thick foam in my Sam Adam's. Full to the top. Looks like the top of a cappuccino. Crystal clear, golden tint.

Smells lemony.

Crisp, refreshing. Cold refrigerator. Modestly bitter. Has a nice hint of malt to balance it off of being an IPA but still really close.

Everything I'd expect from one of the founders of the craft brew movement. A beer that goes with lots of foods and drinks well on it's own.

Photo of velosuds
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. From a six pack purchased for $8.29 in Northern California while on vacation.

A-Pours a deep golden, almost orange color with a one finger, off-white head with average retention and modest lacing.

S-A citrus hop bouquet with hints of zesty lemons.

T-Very well balanced. Bitter hops are balanced by a pleasantly sweet malt backbone followed with a slight hop presence in the finish. A nice effect.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced. Light and refreshing.

D-A very good APA. Very easy drinking. I could readily enjoy a whole six pack on a hot summer day into evening. One of my favorite APAs.

Photo of WCBCFrank
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Liberty Ale pours a golden amber and slightly hazy. The aroma is fruity, a great showcase for the Cascade hops. The flavor is crisp, citrusy, and some malt. Good backbone of light bitterness.

For the novice: A must to understand the evolution of American craft beers throughout the last twenty-five years.

Personally: One of the great beers, always have some in the fridge.

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,069 ratings.