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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

2,744 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,744
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 63
Gots: 96 | 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: 2,744 | Reviews: 1,463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BWMKappaSig


4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer with a well balanced taste. Citrusy hops provide some initial bitterness but the beer is mellowed out by a nice malty afternote. It smells maltier than it is. Bright orange color and a moderately foamy head add to the taste. Overall this is a pretty enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2007 21:12:52 | More by BWMKappaSig
Photo of JudgeRoughneck


4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Big fluffy two fingers of eggshell head with little cake in the middle. I love that. Beer is hazy orange color. Head leaves slowly, reducing to a thin layer, leaves fractured lace.

Aroma- bready english malt, lively ale fruit, bright yeastiness, maybe shortbread or poundcake, forceful hop spice and alcohol punches through it all.

Taste- For starters, this brew is ludicrously balanced. It makes it very difficult to review becaus the flavors all hit the palate at the same time and meld togther beautifuly. I get a wonderful crisp red apple character, softed by very subtle diacetyl, full bodied, bready malt supports it all and gives the esters a nice home, hops creep in mid-sip and while never forgrounded, leave the final impression with a nice spicy/ juicy, bitterness that lasts into a slightly soapy aftertaste. Lemony taste emerges with warmth. Very interesting and artful interpretation of the style.

MF- Mid-wieght, full and fuzzy. Nice natural carbonation.
Drinakability- Had trouble keeping it in the glass long enough to review it.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 06:11:43 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a pretty decent pale ale. It poured a yellow orange colour with a little bit of chill haze and about a quarter inch this white soapy head. The smell was quite pleasant with nice juicy, citrusy hops. Taste was very well balanced with bitter hops up front, and a subtle but noticeable biscuity maltiness on the finish.
It went down smooth, but was certainly full bodied and very solid. I was pleased with this ale, and could see my self ordering it again. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 21:36:36 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of Drew966


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Liberty Ale pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The hops are noticeable up front in the aroma, fading into a caramel malt. Piney hops jump out first in the flavor, there are some citrus notes too. The malt is in the background here. A very tasty ale, recommeded.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 00:24:01 | More by Drew966
Photo of brucepepper

Ontario (Canada)

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

A - Golden, lots of head with a whipped/foamy top. Great lacing.

S - to be honest, nothing really jumped out at me.(I was a bit rushed)

T - Very balanced. Nice bitterness with malt flavour. Interesting aftertaste in the back of my mouth.

M - Just average.

D - very drinkable.

This is a very nice beer. It wasn't what I expected, and I think that there are other pale ales that I prefer, but I will definately buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 22:05:19 | More by brucepepper
Photo of Brad007


1.6/5  rDev -59%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a paleish color. Aroma is spicy, malty and hoppy all at once. However, this gives way to a very sour taste that makes me wonder if the beer went bad or not. Completely ruins it for me. I'm not aware of pale ales ever being sour but this one sure was.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 03:05:05 | More by Brad007
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured one of these out into a nice, glass mug. It poured a golden body with a pretty thick, white head. Solid retention keeps the head of the beer with you the whole way through it. The smell was not anything too significant; slight sense of malts and hops had me expecting a well-balanced beer. The taste was a little bit different than what I was expecting. The malts were up front and present fairly strongly with nice hints of hops that offered to balance the beer even though the malts were much more evident. As you drink more of the beer, the hops begin to recede into the background of the beer, becoming more of a nice aftertaste than a balancing taste with the malts. The mouthfeel was pretty solid and full-bodied. Overall, the beer was fairly drinkable; easy to drink and very smooth. The taste was crisp and refreshing as well. This beer good come in handy on some warmer nights later this summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 02:59:00 | More by maddogruss
Photo of bosco7


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

Crystal clear pale amber with big rocky head. Big floral hop aroma with some malty aromatics. Very bright orange and grapefruit hop flavors upfront with some bitterness rounded out with floral and mild malt/caramel flavors.

An above average American Pale Ale (borderline IPA in my opinion) that will always hold a soft spot in my heart.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 05:07:37 | More by bosco7
Photo of Marty


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber hue with a lively head -- well carbonated. Did not smell particularly exciting (perhaps a result of a recent but persistent case of sinusitus -- blech!!). The taste, however, was very pleasing. I could drink a lot of this beer. Hops are in the front row, but nicely balanced by a nutty maltiness. This beer might not have the claim to fame of Anchor's Steam beer, but it is a terrific beer in its own right.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 21:56:15 | More by Marty
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is for the 22oz bottle.

Light amber copper color with very decent head.

Smells roasty, and slightly fruity, maybe banana.

Tastes a lot like it smells. Definately has that roasted character that was noticeable in the nose. A little sourness follows the roasty flavor and thats where I pickup the banana or buttery flavor before the fairly dry finish.

Feels softly carbonated in the mouth with some sourness.

Despite my description of this beer being sour, I do enjoy this pale ale quite a bit- a good British/American hybrid.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 02:58:39 | More by BeerZack
Photo of PlaywrightSam

New York

3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter. A: Light amber/orange, head goes down pretty quickly, not much lacing. S: Strong citrus, hops are present but not overwhelming, a bit of a wheat/bread smell. T: The citrus carries through under the hops, finish is dry and clean, a very slight bitterness remaining. M: Smooth and inviting. D: Not the most amazing beer I’ve ever had, but very easy to drink. Definitely a good beer, but personally I’d buy an IPA over this.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 04:32:44 | More by PlaywrightSam
Photo of bark


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is brass; the liquid is a bit hazy. The finger high white head sinks slowly leaving some fine lacing.

The smell is hoppy; some citric notes, maybe a bit sour (yeast). Some sweetness, balanced flavours. Not bad, not very impressive either.

The taste is bitter with an accompanying lightly roasted malty flavour. Yeast, some fruity hops. Lots of diacetyl: Butter, meat stew. Medium dry bitterness. Well balanced and pleasant. The aftertaste is dry with notes of apples, dried apricots, yeast, and lots of malt. More British IPA in style than expected.

The carbonation is strong, medium sized bubbles. Mouth feel is creamy. A bit too tickling on the tongue for my taste.

A classic in its own right, but there are better ones out there now.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 16:50:35 | More by bark
Photo of Butch


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 15 April 2007
12 oz bottle, poured into Sam Adams Glass (Thanks Bailey!)

Color & Head: Clear, honey-colored. Head was great, thick and long-lasting.

Aroma: Not overly hoped in aroma, which is nice.

Taste: Great. Just the right amount of hops, plenty of body to carry it, and stays with you after you swallow.

Notes: My new favorite year-round pale ale. Lazy Mag’s Lighthouse is simply outstanding, but this one is easy to find and available 12-months a year. Sierra Nevada PA was a “gateway beer” for me, but the other night I had one of each at the K&B and I was amazed at how much more flavorful and crisp the Anchor was. It’s one of my mainstays that I try to keep on hand.


Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 16:34:40 | More by Butch
Photo of brdc


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

Golden brew with a rapidly dissolving white foamy head that leaves a nice lacing behind.
The nose is generous, and quite pleasant, even "perfumed". Hoppy, grassy, frequently "flowery", an accentuated fruitiness with lemons and oranges, and an associated maltiness to balance it out. Smells like a garden in spring, very nice.
Taste is also well balanced, if not so complex as the nose. Hoppy at times, with balancing malts, and a nice dry finish.
Lighter bodied than I expected, it goes down very easy and although I had only one, it could certainly make for a very nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 14:31:56 | More by brdc
Photo of meadhead


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bit of hops
bit of malt
bit of yeast;
and its spice

all blended together
into something quite nice

{that may make you sick}
this beer,
will not.
a full flavor and taste
of the classic "ale" spot:

sweet nut malt
bitter pine-citrus hops
slight wild
ester spice
well balanced
with carbonation
you could drink it all night

pours a tan amber haze
with a slight retained head

smells malt nutty
and hoppy
in a moderate sense

mouthfeel hits a great balance
of flavor and fizzle

drinks like an ode
to the flavorful middle

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 05:51:47 | More by meadhead
Photo of BretSikkink


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

Unfiltered orange, slightly off white head. The aroma is mainly horse blanket yeast and some citric hop, along with some sweeter fruit and pale malt.

The flavor is very solid, comes through with nice bitterness, and sea-side yeast taste. There's a fair balance to the bitter, there's some honey depth to the malt sweetness. The hops are really strong; there must be a few different ones used as I get some citric and herbal notes, and later on, there's some mint filler as well. As it warms, more fruity ester flavors emerge as well.

This is a great APA, recommended with plenty of cuisine and for a night out as well. Fairly complex for such an easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2007 22:14:46 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Hammarby


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

A: Amber with foamy, white head.
S: Red berries, pears, raincoat fabric, hint of yeast. Roasted malts.
T: Tea, bitterness, rye bread, roasted malts, raincoat fabric. Bitterness lingers in the aftertaste, and honey sweetness. Hint of apricot - and pez.
M: Light body, moderate carboration (tiny bubbles).
D: Very good.

This was the first american beer I learned to love, some 15 years ago. Really no downsides. A beer that should work for everybody, beer lovers as well as lager drinkers.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2007 20:06:42 | More by Hammarby
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a slightly hazy golden straw, a half-inch head of off-white foam settling down to a film, slight lacing in small streaks and bubbles. The aroma has that classic Anchor signature to it, that which I can never describe but always pick up. Fresh light fruits, citrus and malts in harmony, its nice, well tempered, well crafted. The taste is similar, more hop bitterness in addition to fruits and citrus, again the malts are well balanced, the finish is long drawn out. The body is great, carbonation is right, the alcohol not very noticeable but perhaps slightly warming. I've never been very into Anchor's beers, but this is definitely a tasty beer that I'd be happy to have any day.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 02:07:40 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of Redwood21


4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass, i poured a little too vigorousl and got mad head, but it subsided leaving a nice golden color(lighter than the steam) with a thin veil of head on top
the aroma did not jump out at me but its very enjoyable, i guess slightly hop like with malty goodness
the taste is great, its subtle but delicious. there is asome fruit sweetness with some hop bitterness. Like all anchor beers its extremely well balanced. One of the best tasting apa's i have tried because of an all around great taste.
Mouthfeel is medium in body and has a slight drying effect in my mouth, very smooth with no poor after taste very clean
drinkability is very subjective, i could drink this beer all day long for the rest of my life so i gave it a 5, i could do the same with other beers too. That said it earned the 5 and i enjoy it alot.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 01:21:10 | More by Redwood21
Photo of alexskovan

New York

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

Poured a cloudy pale orange, with a big white head. Aroma is. . . oh hell, I DON'T KNOW! IT SMELLS LIKE BEER FOR GOD'S SAKE!

Excuse me, sorry. It was a tough day at work today. But really; it smells like a light ale. What more can I say? There is nothing that jumps out at me; a little estery, a little hoppy, a little little mostly. The aroma is understated.

Taste is . . . light but full, a twang of grapefruit hops and a toasty malt finish.

It's getting better as I approach the bottom of the glass (funny that!). The aroma seems to be opening up too; toasty and a bit of honey.

OK, I like it. I don't love it. It's a micro APA, but not an overly grapefruity one, and that is always a good thing. It isn't as frustratingly complex and trecherous as Anchor Steam ( a beer I am constantly trying to like and don't) it is a solid APA that you can drink without thinking about it too much. Or something.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 21:39:25 | More by alexskovan
Photo of Poser


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a typical golden with decent head and lacing and noticable carbonation. Subtle fruit aroma with a distinctly spicy power behind them. The spice is upfront in the taste, which melts into some sweet fruit zest in the middle before it finishes with a cascade bitterness. Very complex, balanced flavor with a bite. Perhaps a little too strong flavored and grainy for more than two or three, but a wonderful sipper.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 01:23:02 | More by Poser
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like Anchor Brewing.
Their Christmas beer is one of the best out there and the classic "steam" is just that... classic!

This pours a typical (for the style) amber color with a good head and decent lacing.

It smells like an APA... malt baby, malt!

It has a real fine taste, sweet malt, reminds me of a Marzen, (maybe that's just because I'm missing my Oktoberfests!)

It's good, no bite, nice malty taste, clean sweet finish.

Drinkability is always a tough score for me, if I don't feel like I wanna dump it down the sink, I usually give it a '4'.
Oh well, you'll have to try this one for yourself, bro...
don't base your purchase on my review!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 00:17:48 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of Duster72


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a relatively clear golden with ample carbonation. Smallish head dissipates quickly while carbonation bubbles continue to rise to the top for several minutes. Aroma is mild with some floral hops and sweet malts. Taste is herbal hops and bitter with a decent malty sweetness to keep it from being too bitter. Finish is very dry and invites another drink. Excellent to drink and perfect session beer. It's not really a memorable beer, but it is very very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 23:10:41 | More by Duster72
Photo of joe1510


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bottle
Sam's Downer's Grove

This is another one of those beers I always pass by because it's always there. Liberty Ale pours golden into my pint glass. Large carbonation bubbles rise to the 2 finger white head that formed on the pour. The head fell to a frothy, craggy half-finger. Leaves small spotty lacing after each drink. Looks good.

Smell is a pretty unique combination of hops along with a biscuity background. A touch of caramel in there as well. The hops come across very floral such as rose petals. The floral hops mix with a hay/fresh cut grass hop quality. Neither of which are that unique but together it's something I haven't encountered too often.

Biscuits are present in the flavor and present solid backdrop for the hops that take center stage. The hops are in no way huge but do edge out the biscuit maltiness. There's a squeeze of lemon juice on top of the floral hop flavors that show themselves mid-palate. On the finish the hops transform into the hay and fresh cut grass that was in the aroma. Grass clippings leave a nice lingering bitterness.

Medium body that gets lighter as it works it's way through. I didn't realize it on the first few sips but after a few more my tongue is taking a beating from the hop presence.

This is a good session beer. I can see myself buying this in the future when I feel like sitting down and enjoying a few beers.

Anchor's Liberty Ale is an all around quality beer. Very well made and a pleasure to sip. I need to stop taking these beers that are always available for granted like I so often do.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2007 04:07:35 | More by joe1510
Photo of prototypic


2.63/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Beer pours a cloudy, golden color with about a 1.5 finger head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Smells a bit fruity. I'm picking up some banana and maybe a bit of orange. Hints of some sort of spice are also there. Also has a biscuity-yeast aroma to it. Decent malt and hops coming through.

Taste: It's a bit spicy to me. The banana flavor is there. Malt and hops are decently blended. Definitely leaves a biscuity and spicy taste in my mouth.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's pretty light bodied. But, I'm not a huge fan of the taste. Overall, it's not a bad beer by any stretch. But, it's not very good. I don't think I'll be drinking it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2007 03:35:28 | More by prototypic
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,744 ratings.