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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

2,747 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,747
Reviews: 1,463
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 63
Gots: 98 | 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: 2,747 | Reviews: 1,463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arguemaniac


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

Pours a hazy orangish amber color with a frothy head that reduces to a heavy, sprawling lace. Sweet malt with a touch of hop spice in the aroma. Pale malt fruitiness (apricots, specifically) and slightly sweet grain balance with a firm but not entirely bitter hop flavor. Somewhat creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

One of the better pale ales out there; very drinkable, nicely balanced and the bright malt profile is superb. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2007 18:17:16 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of mattgert


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great pale. Pours a cloudy amber with a nice white head. Has a citrus/malt aroma leading more towards malt. Taste is crisp citrus hop with more malt presence than many of this kind. I like the malt dominance this APA has as compared to others. An excellent APA that is very balanced. It is a perfect complement to Sierra Nevada for APA lovers because it offers a different experience but still adheres to the style. I am glad I tried it and will have it again. It has high availability as well so it should be on every BA's list.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 02:24:03 | More by mattgert
Photo of tonistruth


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- cloudy straw in color with a 1/2" thin white head, decent retent that settles to a little ring, some lacing on the glass.

S- sweet, crisp, floral, citrus

T- crisp sweet malts, followed by much hoppiness, bold yet not overwhelming, biscuity

M- light bodied, smooth, crisp, semi-dry

D- good taste, not sessionable for me, i like it better in small doses, very well brewed pale, but not my pick.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 01:58:48 | More by tonistruth
Photo of lordofthewiens


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

A solid, respectable beer. It's an orange color with a small head. An outdoorsy, grainy aroma, with a little citrus. Mostly a hoppy taste, sweet. I think it had a nice balance. This is a beer you could drink a few of, and be very satisfied. I know I was.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 14:42:46 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of beerogre

New York

4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anchor Liberty Ale is a truely great beer that I could never get tired of drinking. Actually, I could say the same about most of the beers this brewery produces. They are all solid reliable brews that you can confidently turn to in times of crisis, or any other times come to think of it!

For me, Anchor and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale are so close to each other in terms of excellence of taste, but where I am SN is much more widely available, so it's always nice to pick up some Liberty when the opportunity arises.

Yep, there's no doubt about it - I could quite cheerfully drink this all night, despite my penchant for sampling several different during a session. From it's appearance through to it's finish, this is a true American Classic, and a first class session beer.

Simply brilliant and brilliantly simple.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 02:41:51 | More by beerogre
Photo of jpagewatts

New York

4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the beer pours a hazy tan. the head, 1/4 inch, is gone within a few seconds. malty nose, hoppy when agitated. the taste is a very citrusy hoppy taste that turns sweet after the swallow. good mouthfell and you can drink it all night. have yet to be dissapointed by anchor, and i don't think i'm alone here.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2007 06:07:45 | More by jpagewatts
Photo of treehugger02010


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

I got this brew at Tank's Taproom in Tampa, Fl. I poured it into a pint glass, and it gave great head. The retention was solid, not to fast, not to slow. It was a light redish color, or a darkish yellow. The smell was a great subtle hop aroma. The taste was the same, but just a bit stronger. The mouthfeel was wonderful, it hit the back of my mouth, and it was like a party in my neck. A soild brew. Don't drink and review.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 22:13:00 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of Jaynuze

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this both on tap and in a 12 oz bottle. It pours a nice light gold with a thin white head that follows the beer down the glass imparting a very nice Belgian lace.
The nose is subtle but fruity. The notes of hops let you know that this is well crafted beer that is moderately hopped with some mildly citrus hops.
The taste is very surprising ... especially since this is a West Coast IPA. One would assume to be overwhelmed with hops, but instead one's palate is lightly touched with smooth hoppy notes and a light maltiness with a very clean finish. This is an incredibly refreshing beer ... think Hefeweizen mixed with an IPA. Almost as light and refreshing as Anchor's Summer ale.
The mouthfeel is creamy and light with great carbonation. I didn't notice too much of a difference between the bottle and tap, however, as expected, the tap seemed a bit more foamy.
This is very drinkable. I could drink this at any time of the day ... it's just that good. Another winner from the Anchor family ... run out and grab a sixer or too. Btw, the ladies love this one as well. I would highly suggest newbies to try this out if they're looking for an IPA in its truest form.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2006 18:54:44 | More by Jaynuze
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer before on draft, and thought it was pretty good. This bottle pours a dull hazy gold...a bit light for an APA. Smell is sweet malt instead of hops. Taste is light and crisp but not at all hoppy...in fact I'd take issue with the classification of it as an APA, despite the claim on the bottle that it is dry-hopped. Tastes more like a Belgian Golden Ale to me. I found the label claim that it is naturally carbonated also very interesting for a large scale production beer that is not secondarily fermented or cask-conditioned. It results in a very smooth and mild beer. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, and this beer is highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 00:09:56 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of MVassar


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

A lovely hazy honey color with ample head. Looks very nice in the glass.

Very light citrus in the nose, with just a touch of brown bread.

Medium body, with sweet malt and some faint hops in the finish. Caramel and citrus add depth.

Feels balanced and smooth. Pleasant carbonation.

Very drinkable. A great lunch time beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 22:09:33 | More by MVassar
Photo of eberkman


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

Poured a hazy golden copper with a thick, rich cream-colored head. Lots of carbonation elevating to the surface.

Smell is citrusy hops and malt.

Taste is a refreshing hoppy crispness with lots of nice citrus malts.

Very drinkable.

I like this a lot. I could see this as a go-to keep-in-the-fridge to go with anything beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 00:40:45 | More by eberkman
Photo of tcfishler


4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Clear light orange-amber, the color of honey. Two finger beige-tan head that falls a bit quickly, leaving excellent lacing.

Dry aromas of hay and citrus, along with a sort of barnyardy funk that stops short of being offputting.

A bit thin in the mouth but big on flavor, with subtle but insistent malt and just enough hops to keep it dry. It's incredible how the malt and hops keep making their presence known at the same exact pace. There's never a moment from start to finish that is dominated by one or the other. Definitely a unique beer in that regard. A little mouthwatering lemony characteristic in the aftertaste. Chewing the beer brings up some brief caramel sweetness in the finish as well.

A beer that doesn't hit you over the head with everything it's got right at the start. Rather, a beer that you realize is great just as you're finishing the bottle. Great length of flavor and masterful balance, with a very attractive flavor profile (malt not too caramelly or fruity, hops not too citrusy or herbal).

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2006 00:24:03 | More by tcfishler
Photo of becktone


4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden-orange in color with a creamy egg white two finger head. The beer is very clear and is lively with millions of carbonation bubbles endlessly floating to the top of the beer or the bottom of the head-all depends on where you're standing. Head retention-excellent and lacing is also prtty good, a little more and ohh boy it might almost look like a stout or something-actually now that I'm down to the bottom of the glass the lacing is taking on qualities of Guinness...Sweet! Seriously a good looking beer.

To the nose this beer has good amount of hops in the foreground backed by a sweet caramel and malt component in the background. I would prefer a much stronger aroma, but perhaps my nose has just become accustomed to its aroma. Smells pleasing enough but nothing all that noteworthy. Hops contribute a floral aroma.

Liberty Ale is balanced very nicely. It has a strong malt and sweet caramel background. The malty sweet flavors are countered by just the right amount of hops so as not to overwhelm the malty flavors. The bitterness is in check with the sweetness, quite nice balance. Flavor hops are also in balance, not too much flavor from hops(floral in taste) but then again not too little. It has just the right amount, to give this beer a double sided flavor profile-hop and malt. The two entities blend very well. In truth I expected this to be hoppier as APAs are wont to be, but alas! A very balanced beer. Very unique in that it is more balanced than SNPA and Burning River.

This beer has a pretty balanced body as well. It is not heavy nor light. Rather the body sits right in the middle, carbonation is acceptable for this range, perhaps just a little less, and I mean a little-a miniscule amount. LIberty Ale was also quasi creamy when I first sipped at it with that nice head still quite large before the oil on my lips started to diminish its size. Overall this is a beer that I would readily buy again, however with so many APAs out there I probably won't get around to buying it again anytime soon. I definitely prefer GLBC Burning River or SNPA over this one, however this is also good. I guess it all depends on my mood. The two former are hoppier, if I want an APA that is more balanced then I'll choose the later. This is a beer that I could sit around and seriously drink all day.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 18:49:02 | More by becktone
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice beer. It had a good hoppiness to it. The only thing I didn't like is that it was a little dry on the taste. It was easy to drink however and had a nice hop aroma and a nice head and decent retention. I have grown to enjoy brews from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 08:20:48 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of AustinBeerLvr


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

A: A very light pale orange/yellow color. Kind of neat to look at in the glass, as it's distinctive. The beer poured a good amount of head.

S: A lot of hops and kind of a green apple hint to it.

T: Starts off with a fairly mild apple hop flavor to it and then moves to a little more biting bitterness that creates some spiciness at that finish of the sip.

M: Good for a pale ale. Nothing outstanding.

D: For the ABV of this brew, it's very dinkable, as it's not an overpowering pale ale by any means. This isn't the best pale ale I have ever had, but it's defenitely a good choice.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2006 03:27:58 | More by AustinBeerLvr
Photo of CharlieMopps


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

A: Not very clear, somewhat cloudy honey color with an amber hue. Half-inch head with no real lacing of note.

S: Hoppy and spicy scent that offers a fresh and inviting smell, almost floral and fruity.

T: Sharp fresh hop taste, slightly spicy over the palate with a flavor that washes across the tongue leaving little aftertaste. Also, citrus notes detected, adding a complexity. Very nice, and an enjoyable balance.

M: The smooth finish and crisp body leave a bit of an oily feel from the hops behind. Decent texture to this one.

D: Would definitely order another, an interesting APA that deserves a second or third order.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2006 23:30:30 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of dickroop


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

This beer pours a very light amber color with a fine-bubbled head that fades quickly. Lacing is ragged and minimal. The nose is malty with hints of citrus hops. IT's not big but it's definitely there.

This ale tastes light and fine. There is good bitterness without well-defined hop presence. I pick up flavor notes of celery with a nutty presence in the mid-palate, There is malt-sweetness that is well balanced with a tangy bitterness, leaving a clean, slightly bitter finish that is light and distinctive but hard to pin down. It's light on the hops for this style, but succeeds nonetheless.

Mouthfeel benefits from nice, perky carbonation, medium body, and a little malt stickiness. A very refreshing beer, this gets high points on drinkability. I will get more of this when I can.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 21:47:56 | More by dickroop
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

pours a deep yellow colour with a huge, thick off-white head. the head is huge, lingering for a long time and leaving tons of thick, clumpy lace.

aroma is nice. pleasant grapefruit hoppy aroma and a nice malty undertone.

taste is good. bready malt and a pleasant grapefruity hop flavour. nice moderate bitterness level.

mouthfeel is great. good body and a nice carbonation level.

drinkability is great. this is a nice beer that one could easily drink on a daily basis.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 20:16:23 | More by grub
Photo of DaveFL1976


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

A pretty nice looking pale. A candy-corn colored body (slightly hazy) with a nice frothy head.
The smell is bready, with a decent amount of piney aroma hops. This actually smells a lot like one of my homebrews that I make regularly. It's one of my better brews, so I'm not going to knock it!
The taste is a little tart. It's got some bittering hops going on, but this is the same fruity tartness that I have in my that homebrew recipe I'm thinking of. It's the same yeast that's used in Cooper's Ale. In fact, this tastes darn near like a Cooper's. Fortunately, Cooper's is one of my favorite Aussie Beers. My only beef is that it seems way too carbonated for my palate, and it's a bit harsh or abrasive going down.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2006 23:42:29 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of jdoherty

New York

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very cloudy, orangish color, very small amount of head which remained for about 30 seconds

Smell: Some fruity notes, you can smell the hops more distinctly though

Taste: It starts out fruity, and goes down very bitter, which leaves an aftertaste that is somewhat pleasant, but at the same time unsavory

Mouthfeel: Smooth, you can feel the bubbles popping on your tongue as it goes down which is very nice

Drinkability: For a sample or two, I would recommend it being a once in a while beer. Very good, but not completely endearing

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2006 02:12:31 | More by jdoherty
Photo of FuzzyGuy84


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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Cloudy, rich orange/amber appearance. High level of carbonation with lots of perfect tiny bubbles. Great full, white head.

S - Fruity & hoppy. Very pleasant.

T - Sweet and citrusy at the front, bitter and crisp on the way down. Really delicious but I do not care for the long and overly bitter aftertaste. Overall an interesting and above average offering.

M - Carbonation from start to end - bubbly and crisp. Full bodied and somewhat chewy.

D - Easy to reccomend and a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2006 17:02:46 | More by FuzzyGuy84
Photo of DrMaturin

North Carolina

2.93/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a hazy orange with two fingers of an almost white head comprised of medium sized bubbles which retreat rapidly leaving little in the way of lacing

white bread predominates on the nose with some grapefruit rind hoppiness also present; the aroma is not very strong

neither is the taste except for a bitterness that lingers; whats there is a lightly toasted malt which floats across the palette while a considerable bitterness sets up and stays around; the taste is rather lacking in complexity; the bottle claims a dry hopping step that just doesn't translate here

the medium bodied mouthfeel was just right for the syle and the drinkability improved porportionally with temperature as the malt asserted itself more against the bitterness

I have to say, from the reviews, I expected more from this beer; I will probably try again at some point in case this is just an out of date example

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 01:54:08 | More by DrMaturin
Photo of rrg1gb


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

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Golden hue with a thick, well retained head, almost looks like a snowcone.

S - Full floral aroma, hint of pine needles due to Pacific Northwest hops.

T - Tangy yet bitter taste that reminds me of grapefruit.

M - Well-balanced, not too heavy nor too light. A little coarse, but it is definitely thirst-quenching enough to make one take another sip!

D- This is a good APA, but it tastes a little mainstream (I guess that's a good thing?) Still, I have to give Anchor credit for making a good product and being able to sell it on a large scale. That's a tough thing to do these days.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2006 18:18:38 | More by rrg1gb
Photo of alehopman


4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I rarely preface a review with comments but this is truly the gold standard of American ales. I have consumed this periodically in the 80's, 90's and have now returned. I can say this ale has not waivered and as in so seldom the case, is as good as I remember it being in the previous 2 decades. Poured into a nonic glass achieved a beautiful 2 finger head, fine beaded carbonation. Head was vigorous and sheeted down glass. The citric hop aroma (I get tangerine) is fantastic. On first taste you get that and a flowery hop note. The malt then kicks in, then a great bitter hop finish. A classic that is one of a kind.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2006 21:10:52 | More by alehopman
Photo of hunteraw


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

Appearance: Pale amber in color, good head with some lacing.

Smell: Crisp smelling, good hint of hops.

Taste: Lighter on the hops than many APA's, but it works very nicely.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Crisp, with a light body. Good mouthfeel. Drinkability is high. Good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2006 02:21:30 | More by hunteraw
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,747 ratings.