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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

2,774 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,774
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 64
Gots: 109 | FT: 0
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: 2,774 | Reviews: 1,463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright and hazy toasted orange color with a small creamy egg-shell head that dissipated into a sudsy looking cap. The smell is of pale malt, lemon, and a slight earthy yeast/hop combination. The brew starts off bitter but not in a citrus hop sort of way. The initial bitterness is followed by a bready pale malt and lemon twang. A tin like metallic bitterness shows in the finish. The feel is light and very fizzy, it kind of numbs the tongue. The finish for the most part is neutral but does have an odd metallic bitterness. A different sort of APA that is uniquely bitter with a lemon twang. Definitely not my favoriate APA, I think I'm not a fan of the hops that Anchor uses.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 18:34:17 | More by Gmann
Photo of stephendr


3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. glass bottle- color of medium honey, with a nice off white head - nose of red fruit, light hops, and some light citrus – taste of light hops, light red fruit, and citrus - body is medium, dry, and with medium high carbonation – dry aftertaste of light hops, light red fruit, and citrus

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 04:19:38 | More by stephendr
Photo of jar2574


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nice big frothy head made up of averaged sized bubbles. Lacing is nice on the way down, and clings to the sides of the glass.

Smells hoppy, but not overpowering. Nice. Refreshing. A hint of lemon or citrus of some sort. Kind of reminds me of summer, and it's freezing outside, so that's good.

Whew. An interesting concoction. Very smooth upfront. Inviting and hoppy. Then malts and bananas as it goes down. Pretty cool, complex beer, with a unique mouthfeel.

I will definately enjoy the six-pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 00:49:32 | More by jar2574
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a short fat 12 oz bottle copped singly from total wine and more in union. Pours an amber gold color with a decent head. Smell is very bready with a slight caramel aroma. Flavor compliments the smell with a noticible vanilla aftertaste. Slight bread and biscuit flavor with a clean, clear crisp finish witch gives way to a slightly bitter aftertaste that goes down smooth and clean. Easy drinkability, very refreshing. My favorite brew from anchor. Def Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 15:23:39 | More by dsa7783
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy gold with just a little head. Nose is slightly citrus-esqe with obvious hop influence. Flavor is not what I had expected. Starts off with a deep but not overdone hop flavor. Moves to a slight citrus accent. Then to a smoothly bitter tone. Then you are left with a clean hop flavor on your tongue. High marks for such a ride through the flavors. Mouthfeel is thick with a good carbonation. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 06:51:14 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of scruffwhor


3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a mild to medium pale amber, but with a lot of bubbling and a little lacing. The aroma is a little skunky, but maybe in a hoppy way, I'm not sure. Very light malt in the nose. The taste is a lillt e unky, but still mildly malty and strongly hopy. Dried hop taste with some stl bread mixed in. Not bad, just not as sessionale as I thought it would be.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 09:02:23 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of beeroclock

United Arab Emirates

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden clear liquid with a small white head. Little lacing, good carbonation present. Smells of hops and grain, some citrus hints. Tastes of citrus and grassy hops, good bitter aftertaste and holds the tongue well. I enjoyed this brew and cannot believe I haven't picked it up before as I've seen it for years.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 17:30:31 | More by beeroclock
Photo of brewdoc75


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorite pale ales.

Poured into a glass from the bottle.

Pours a nice, smooth head that simmers down to a beautiful white layer. LIvely carbonation. Lovely golden color. The aroma is solid as well w/ a good hop presence. Great citrusy aromas, followed by a strong fruitiness. This aroma lives on in the flavor with a strong hoppy bitterness initially w/ flavors of grapefruit and lemon peel. This is backed up by an excellent fruity flavor from the esters. Finishes crisp and clean. Light bodied and smooth. Overall, an excellent example of an APA. Delightfully crisp and clean citrus flavors, with a bit more fruitiness than most APAs I've had. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 01:52:31 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of ndekke39


4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank a bottle of this with the Anchor code "7SZ," meaning it was bottled on September 26, 2007. Poured a clear golden yellow into a pint glass, with a small white head. Little retention on the head. Smells of honey, orange, and mellow malts. Tastes of orange, citrus, crisp malts, with a light, hoppy finish. It drank like a crisp lager. Light-to-medium mouthfeel. This is an excellently drinkable beer, a fine example of the American Pale Ale. I will always refer to this as a very strong stand-by.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 20:37:57 | More by ndekke39
Photo of NCBeernut

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 finger foamy head quickly drops to a thin layer, but sticks around, leaving plenty of lacing. Very mild aroma, but it smells pretty balanced between malts and hops. Pretty tasty. The key here is balance. Citrus and pineapple flavors burst from the hops, and with backbone malts there to balance. Very drinkable and refreshing. Actually tastes kind of similar to the Brooklyn lager with more of a pale ale kick.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 01:56:34 | More by NCBeernut
Photo of fitzy84


3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out with a murky gold appearance with a thin head. The aroma is full of hops with some malt smells. It had a good, but a bit mediocre citrus flavor. The drink had an average carbonation that did make it refreshing. This was, overall, a pretty balanced pale ale

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 18:46:37 | More by fitzy84
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2007 09:12:29 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of SargeC


4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear, golden color with a creamy white head. Low carbonation

Smell: Mild hop aroma, moderate malt. Overall a very clean aroma.

Taste: Nice blend of hops malt and yeast. All three flavors are apparent, but present themselves in a very good balance. Each seems to star, but still make room for the others throughout the brew’s flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slightly acidic with a semi-dry finish

Drinkability: Very good ale. Nice balance. This brew begs you to have another.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2007 07:06:54 | More by SargeC
Photo of xpatriate

Quebec (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Because I am a simple guy I will keep all any of my reviews simple.
I discovered Liberty Ale after a friend was raving about Anchor Steam.
I thought I would try the Liberty.Wow.I enjoyed it alot more than the steam.
Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle.Looked nice in the light.Smelled nice in the nose and tasted great to me.As the beer warmed to the room the smell reminded me a little of Leffe.I could drink a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2007 02:47:00 | More by xpatriate
Photo of peabody


3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out cloudy straw yellow to amber with two fingers of the white stuff. No lacing.
Smell is peppery with a strong floral aroma . Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Taste is very perfumy with an oily floral hop flavor coming through. I am getting spices here like anise and sugary licorice.
Mouthfeel is mostly clean with just a little hop oilyness left in the palate.
Not a bad ale but needs a tad more in the flavor dept.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2007 04:38:20 | More by peabody
Photo of buzzworthy

New York

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Liberty Ale pours out of the bottle to a hazy golden color with orange highlights. The good size head appears dense, with a little lacing as things proceed. Hops make the first impression on smell with citrus and herbal scents followed by a malty sweetness. The taste is much the same, with the initial subtle hopiness balanced beautifully by a caramel malt tastes. Balance is the key to this brew - it doesn't need to shout to proclaim its greatness. Very drinkable as a result.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2007 01:47:54 | More by buzzworthy
Photo of ewright

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a vigorous pour into a Duvel tulip yielded 3 fingers of head with good retention. As it dissipates, the head is getting very rocky, with large bubbles suspended under the cap.

A: Aside from the head, the beer pours a nice amber with a hint of orange.

S: A bit more subdued that I would like, hop aroma is there, but hardly overwhelming.

T: At first, the beer doesn't taste overly hoppy until swallowed. There is a decent amount of bitterness in the back of the throat. Maybe I'm just too much of a hophead for this beer.

M: A little thin in body, the beer does produce a bit of hop tingle on the tongue. Again, I want more of a hops bite!

D: I'd have a couple at once... it's not quite smooth enough for a session beer, nor is it a knock-your-socks-off-over-the-top beer that demands to be sipped slowly.

A good example of an APA, but if you couldn't tell already, I prefer the hoppier IPAs ;-)

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 02:26:34 | More by ewright
Photo of shabbtastic

New York

4.8/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After needing a secret decoder to decipher the bottle date stamped on the label you're in the clear.

A - Rather average in color with a medium orange completion. Head was big and thick / foamy

S - Nice balanced bouquet of hops / malt and citrus. All bases were covered in this aroma.

T - Crisp, with a malty aftertaste that was not too overpowering. Very, very clean.

M - Everything worked with this brew. With all its character it's hard to drink slowly.

D - An excellent APA and well worth the price ($10 / 6pk). Good drinking for any season, borderline session type drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2007 18:12:39 | More by shabbtastic
Photo of drinkininthewood

Ontario (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 650 ml brown pop off bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Foggy golden in color with a nice thick head that sticks for the whole beer.

S- Malty sweet with nice/grassy floral hop aromas .

T Nice malt flavor countered with a fresh floral hop taste with lots of lemon/citrus flavors mid palate. Finishes somewhat tangy (due to the vast fruity flavors) also a little dry in the end. Very nice hop profile.

M- Smooth, medium bodied beer with good carbonation and hop acidity.

D- worth having a couple for sure.

Overall a pretty good APA. Not readily available in Canada so when ever I find it I usually stock up. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2007 16:30:39 | More by drinkininthewood
Photo of bboven


3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Muted gold brown body; slightly hazy, lasting, sticky head.

There's a little too much malt in this one, but the hop selection is great. The fruitier hops play off the larger malt profile nicely.

Sweet for a pale ale, the mellow hops once again compliment it nicely for a very unique flavor in a pale ale.

mellow carbonation that I personally really enjoy. It makes the beer very quaffable.

If it wasn't so expensive I would definitely buy this more often; a great, easy pale ale when you want a slight break from hop bombs.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2007 02:15:51 | More by bboven
Photo of snpub540


3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice orange copper in color. A tad hazy with little carbonation. There is a nice fluffy white head to top it all off.

Smell was sweet and malty. There was also a hint of yeastiness as well as some floral hops in the mix.

First sip drew up a rather nice nuttiness as well as a hint of toastiness. A slight hop bitterness at the end lend to a dry finish.

Medium bodied feel to it. Alcohol is hidden and the sweetness is nicely balanced out with the hops. Could turn out to be a nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2007 23:26:59 | More by snpub540
Photo of UFGUY2122


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is becoming a reliable beer to have on occasion. It pours a cloudy orange with a finger width snow white head. There's a thin layer of lacing left over. The smell was of dry flowery hops. Taste was pretty much the same with an interesting sequence. The hops were present immediately with a dry bitter taste, then they gave way slightly to the malt, and it finishes again with dry hops. The mouthfeel is one of the high points, leaving a crisp dry feel. I could only drink a couple at a time but this is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2007 00:39:56 | More by UFGUY2122
Photo of phisig137


3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light amber color, with a two finger head. Decent retention, and minimal lace.

S- well rounded. piney hops, cooking sugar, raw grain and grass. Pretty nice pale ale aroma.

F- Bright hop acidity, with abundant citrus flavors blended very well with the malts. Not your typical west coast anything... Just well made, well balanced and refreshing.

M- medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, and lingering bitter finish.

D- Quite nice.

Overall, one of the better beers from Anchor. Very traditional recipe, and I loved it. Great session beer, although some may say that the ABV is just a tad high to be a session. But in the end.... you don't think much about it, but every 10th sip or so you say, "damn, this is pretty tasty"...

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2007 02:27:40 | More by phisig137
Photo of CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice pour with an inch of head and a steady load of bubbles keeping it nicely carbonated. Pale, fairly uninteresting peach colour.

Get alot of floral notes in the aroma along with some really fragrant hops. I found the hops were right at the forefront, the bitterness immediately making itself known. Bitter citrus closes in just as you start to feel your way through the hops. Hops aren't finished yet though. They come through really piney and the aroma bursts in your mouth... tasted like I was munching on a urinal puck. Most enjoyable for me was the end of the finish, where the malt seems to finally come into its own. Really nice orange zest and the floral note from the aroma carries through. Dryness follows but the fruit keeps you salivating.

Very nice mouth feel, very smooth and great carbonation. Not for me during a session but it could make it if it was my style.

My first real APA as far as I can remember. Nice, but I'm not a hophead. Not saying that this beer is that hoppy, just a matter of emphasis. From what I understand, a great representation, but I'll take an English one thanks.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2007 03:46:46 | More by CanuckRover
Photo of hustlesworth


4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a hazy golden peach with a sticky clumpy 1 1/2in cream colored head with decent retention and lots of wavy lace. a few bubbles rise here and there, this is a very attractive brew, with shimmering rays of bright golden orange where the light passes through the bottom of the glass.

S- buttery biscuit and sweet malt with a faint hint of cocoa, citrus pine hops, grapefruit, passionfruit, alchohol, mineral water, earthy aromatic wood

T- dried wood, earth/mineral and copper! the copper is very noticeable, but it's not like chewing on a penny. it's more like a fragrant essence of the metal coming out into the beer through the mash tun complementing the other flavors- sourdough bread yellow grapefruit peel, bitter spiced lemon, herbal piney hops from start to finish with a dry floral leafy aftertaste. this beer could really set the standard for how an APA should taste.

MF- initially silky becoming slick and coating as it goes down. finishes dry with a slight pucker that feels leafy and resinous.

D- a new addition to my list of widely available go to beers. anchor liberty ale, sierra nevada pale ale, and TD hoppus maximus.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2007 04:50:54 | More by hustlesworth
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,774 ratings.