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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

2,975 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,975
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 70
Gots: 172 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,975 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gehrig
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been hitting the high-test beers lately, so I decided to scale it down a bit and go with Liberty Ale, an APA from Anchor. Still a good choice, and a refreshing, easy beer to knock back. Really delicious; not overwhelming in any one facet, but solid all around.

One and one-half fingers of off-white head top an orange-lemon body. Citrus malt and hops confront the nose. The taste is primarily sweet-and-sour fruit--lemon, orange and orange peel, and berry, with slight hop bitterness bringing up the rear. Good and smooth, this is well carbonated. After the many hop-heavy DIPAs and stouts I've had lately, this is one beer I've been tempted to drink in a couple minutes. It's also good enough to and snag a second double-quick.

Not an APA that one would want for high hop content, but rather one that's restrained yet delicious. Very nicely done.

Gehrig, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of JEdmund
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, completely clear light orange with a good inch-thick frothy head. The color is lighter and more yellow than most pale ales I'm used to. It's much more in line color-wise with lagers I've had.

Great balance of malt and citrussy hops. There's a hint of biscuit breadiness mixed with lemon/orange zest. Nothing hitting you in the face here, but certainly an inviting aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel
It's immediately tasty and recognizable in its style. However, there must be a type of hop or malt I'm not familiar with as there's something new--and very enjoyable--coming through. The taste is not over the top, nor is it subtle in either hops or malts. Each profile comes through with good force and great balance. This lives up to the reviews and hype of being a quintessential example of an American pale ale. It's very enjoyable and certainly sessionable, if it weren't for the cost-prohibitive price. The mouth feel is spot on--not too thin or thick. The carbonation level feels just right as well. The finish is very clean, leaving a nice citrus aftertaste.

This truly is a great American pale ale and I would gladly drink it again and again. I likely won't revisit it any time soon though due to its high price. I really like the interesting malt and hops flavors that I'm not familiar with; they're very tasty in a firm and balanced, but subtle way.

JEdmund, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of BlackBearForge
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy golden copper from a twist off cap bottle. Forms a nice frothy one finger head which lingered and left some oily lacing.

The smell is pretty good, fresh hops and fruity citrus accents.

As it warms the flavor improves dramatically with a mellow biscuity malt, then citrus (orangepeel) which fades to a nicely bitter hop finish in the back of the mouth. I picked up a few sour notes which faded as it warmed.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, a little oily and the carbonation seems right.

Nicely drinkable, improves greatly as it warms. It may not be my favorite pale ale at the moment but I do need to try this particular beer some more before I make any hasty decisions. I will be buying some more!

BlackBearForge, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of genog
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pale golden yellow/orange color with a creamy and sudsy white head. Rests on top and dies down rather quickly. Smell is of grainy malt with some slightly dull floral aroma. Taste is very smooth and crisp with a nicely carbonated mouth feel. Nice sessionable beer.

genog, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A light colour, almost orange looking. A bunch of carbonation, yet doesn't have much of a head retention

S: Smells like oranges and a mix of other fruits. A bit of hopiness is there too

T: A different taste of hops first hit your mouth, mainly because an orange flavour mixes instantly with the hoppiness. The hops fade away but the orange flavour sticks with you the entire time. It almost feels like I should be drinking this when I get ill because such a strong orange taste too it. I'm quite surprised there aren't as much hops in here as I expecated.

M: Very Carbonated; however, the carbonation stays on your tongue almost the entire time in your mouth. The brew is quite thin but not watery.

D: The flavour isn't really that complex even though it has some depth to it, so it makes this brew extremely drinkable. The taste does not get old, especially because you cannot taste the 6% abv in this beer.

This is a great American pale ale, and it is all around a solid brew.

swizzlenuts, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of peck95
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a cloudy yellow with some yeast particles floating around and a very small head but some lacing.
s:sweat malts and some a clean hop aroma
t: the taste of this beer really surprised me, this is the best pale ale that Ive tried. A very balanced hop/malt
m:a little over carbonated
d: this beer is very drinkable possibly to sweet, but the 6% abv is barely noticeable. This could possibly be a session beer if i could get it by the 6 pack

peck95, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of mtullius
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This used to be my favorite beer. But it has changed, and not for the better. Is it the twist-off cap? That certainly doesn't help.... But there's more. I haven't had this on tap for a long time, and I really want to try it to see if it's better than the bottled version. But the last few times I've had this in the bottle, it's been a big disappointment. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad beer. But it's not up to the standards I expect from Anchor, which I consider one of America's greatest breweries. The hops just don't stand out, the malt is not full or complex enough, and there are some off aromas and flavors. Body is very thin, it's under-carbonated... I can't go on-- too depressing. As I said, I've always loved this beer. What's happened to it?

mtullius, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of Rayek
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't had this one in awhile. Well worth the return visit.

A: Gold color with a thick off-white head. The head dissipates over time, but leaves a good lace. Slightly cloudy.

S: Oak, lemon and cloves predominate. Quite hoppy.

T: Dry malt, with an oak quality hits first. Spicy hops dominate the middle. Clove notes from the aroma join in. Hops give way to a dry finish with only a small amount of lingering bitterness. A very well balanced beer.

M: Medium body with the right amount of carbonation. Somewhat slick.

D: Excellent. A nice beer alone or with food. Great for an evening session with friends.

Rayek, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite pale ales and a lot different from the typical pale ale, in my opinion. Pours a hazy, golden color with a nice, foamy head. Smells of breadiness, citrusy, and earthy. Flavors of bready malts, citrusy hops, yeast, and a certain "earthy" flavor...I dont know how else to describe it. This beer isnt as crisp as the typical APA but packs more body and depth of flavor. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, and good carbonation. Very balanced beer and extremely drinkable. Anchor doesnt let down.

Doomcifer, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of cbleary
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The beer poured nicely with a cloudy, light orange body and a medium head that left nice lacing in the glass. The smell of floral and citrus hops was immediately apparent upon pouring the ale. The taste was a strong, resolute and very satisfying mix of floral and citrus hops with fresh yeast that finished dry and clean. A great example of the style. I can't wait to try the Porter.

cbleary, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of WaveRebel51
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Previously, I only sampled it after drinking other beers. It never did it for me, but I decided to buy a six-pack to focus on it and I was glad that I did. It's a different style than SNPA -- it has a sweeter, floral aroma and taste with a hop bitterness that is pretty mellow. A very good pale ale and highly recommended.

WaveRebel51, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of SpencerT
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This golden clear ale produced a thin off-white head. The carbonation made for a very attractive pint.
Aroma of sweet malts and a nice citrus scent of the hops was present. An earthy undertone tops off the aroma experience.
The sweet flavors of the malts meld with spicy notes. The kick of the hops just keeps building and suddenly drops away.

SpencerT, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from bottle into a pint glass producing plentiful white foamy head with good retention and excellent lacing. Color is a dark yellow or light gold.

S: Floral hops - light but predominant. The faintest fresh yeast smell comes in second the the initial bouquet.

T: Very nice initial balance between pale & caramel malts with flavorful hoppy bittering. The finish is tight with a light bitterness.

M&D: Nice medium body and great carbonation creates a feel that is a bit light on the tongue but quite satisfying. Very smooth.

Fantastic brew! The complexity is subtle but is more than meets the eye. Though light in color and texture, the flavors range from light maltiness to light hoppy sharpness in the finish. This goes down so smoothly with such a clean taste that I can see how this could become a favorite. Excellent.

SIRIUS2, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to drrink this long ago and realized I had not only not reviewed it, I hadn't even drank any in a long time, so I decided to get a six pack of it. Pours dark golden with a big white head that fades to a cap. The smell is all piney and citrusy hops. There is a light malt profile lurking in the background. The taste leans to the piney side, but with a grapefruit peel backbite. Mouthfeel is clean and a bit on the thin side like some of the other classic West Coast IPAs. Drinks well with its refreshingly bitter bite and huge pine aftertaste. It is essential to drink this beer fresh to really experience its glory- I'd forgotten just how good this stuff can be. I think I'm going to add itt back into my IPA rotation.

Georgiabeer, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Draft at the Brewery in SF. Bright fresh hops aroma and a touch of honey like sweetness as it warms. Near perfect smell. Medium gold colored pour with a little head. Very Drinkable for an American Pale Ale, bitterness-wise, to me at least. Noticeable bitter bite, but not over the top, with a clean finish. Very nice for the style and a good all around beer as well.

Rerate in bottle back in Tx, left me with a much diminished impression of the beer. Below average with a strange eggy flavor ala the Anchor Summer beer. Didn't care for it 2nd time around...

JDV, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of littleshamrocks
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a bottling code printed on the back of the label. Served in a nonic.

Pours a medium amber with a slight orange tint, with a large, foamy, white head. Clarity is moderately hazy with some modest carbonation rising up through this somewhat dense looking brew. The head hangs around most of the way and leaves impressive lacing. At first whiff, I am picking up a good balance of aromas. There are hop scents ranging from citrus to floral to grassy, with malt smells from lightly toasted to grainy to bready. The hops take center stage in the flavor. A solid bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit and lemon peel is accompanied by more grassy notes and a sturdy malt backbone. Hints of honey in there as well. There is a lingering bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a coarse texture and adequate carbonation. Finishes mildly chalky.

This is a very well balanced, wonderfully crafted beer that is a credit to the style. The malts hold their own, but it is the hops that steal the show here. I like the depth of flavor and the overall ease of consumption. I find myself becoming a big fan of the Anchor Brewing Co. I have really enjoyed everything that I have tried from them and the Liberty Ale is a winner for sure. I look forward to trying more of their offerings.

littleshamrocks, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of albern
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice, dry, flavorful beer that is good, but isn't my favorite pale. It pours a rather light orange yellow with a white thin head, some retention, little lacing. The smell is yeasty bite and prickly carbonated hop essence. The hops here are aged rather than freshly ripe and dripping with ester and oil. The taste is strongly tilted toward the hop. It is a dry, very dry beer, with some maltishness in the finish. I'm detecting some complexity in the malt, perhaps some citrus, some herbal tea like flavors. The hops do overpower a bit. This is a lightish consistency beer, but there is some creaminess to it as well, and it does get better as it settles. The mouthfeel begins rather prickly but smoothes out. The aftertaste is a bit acerbic. It's a refreshing beer. I'm definitely getting more acerbic tea like flavors in the finish as I'm nearing the bottom of the glass. I just had a Smuttynose pale just prior, and I think I will give that one the nod over the Liberty.

albern, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
2.33/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz from liquor store.

A - Golden-orange in color, nice off-white foam, protein clumps present in head, foam is very firm.

S - Light, earthy hops, tones of malt, and slight alcohol presence in the nose.

T - Crisp malts, lightly malty, and bitter. Batch may have been wet-hopped in excess.

M - Lightly spicy w/ a moist finish.

D - Nothing really sets this beer apart from other ales. Probably would not seek this one out in the future.

MisterClean, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of mobud
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle into SA glass.

A- Straw with little head retention, but very active carbonation.

S- Malty smooth with a nice hoppy backround.

T- The malty sweetness really stands out for me. the hops are there, but not to the point of stepping on the malt.

M- Light to medium.

D- Ok. Have been a Anchor fan for a long time, but this is the first try of this beer. Would like to try fresh on tap to see if it opens up more.

mobud, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of IceEyes
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first thing I like, and have always liked, is the bottle. The Anchor bottles are very distinctive and classy. I know that doesn't effect the beer, but I think at some level is does increase enjoyment of the overall experience.

Liberty is a clean, crisp pale ale. I'd call it a golden ale, but it almost touched upon being a lager for its dry clean taste. The body is gently clouded with a good cap of white foam. Drinkability is high because it's clean and satisfying. A good all around beer for any occassion.

IceEyes, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of pittvkyle7
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- plae amber, small white head

S- lemon, yeast, kind of smells like a wheat beer to me.

T- again the lemon is strong, mild hops bitterness, the malts are slightly nutty and woody. Warming alcohol. The alcohol is not hidden at all and seems strong for just 6%. The finsh is bitter and dry.

M- crisp carbonation, medium light body, warming alcohol.

D- Crisp and dry, it makes you want more.

alot going on in the taste category. A historic brewery and a must try brew.

pittvkyle7, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Antilochus
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650mL bottle purchased at an LCBO into a tall lager glass (I was so interested by the aromas I poured it into a whisky glass).

Tried again on March 15 2008.

Tried again on April 1 2008. Noted more banana in the nose this time. Always a classic.

Appearance is clear rust orange-amber with lots of streaming bubbles. Substantial off white head with good retention.

Quite complex. Aromas of red grapefruit, malty biscuit, fruity esters, congealed honey, raw floral Cascades, acetic sourness. Some yeast. Metallic rust. Unripe pears. Passion fruit. Sour milk.

Carbonated mouthfeel, moderate body. Low malt sweetness, lots of dryness with some bitter notes. Citrus rind, apricot. Fuzzy peaches. Yum. Lots of grapefruit in the long finish. I love the raw hop freshness - almost oily. Fairly crisp.

One of my favourite APAs.

Antilochus, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of bobsy
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle it pours a light copper, with a degree of cloudiness, and a quickly diminishing white rocky head. The aroma is fresh and and full of hops and a hint of grapefruit. The initial creaminess in flavour is replaced by a crispy fruity taste with the grapefruit coming through somewhat. Bitter finish, and nicely refreshing. Medium-light body and medium carbonation.

bobsy, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Hoppington
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice light copper pour with an astringent hop nose. Had me worried after smelling it, but the taste is surprising. Red grapefruit, bread and muted florals. A nice balance and a fairly refreshing APA despite coming in at 6% ABV. Hard to believe that Anchor is connected to the Maytag family - best known for appliances and blue cheese.

I think Anchor makes some solid stuff but I would like to see something more extreme come out from them in the future. This beer is good, but it is kind of the Mr. Rogers of Pale Ales. It's nice, smart, and wearing a cardigan!

Guess I am going to have to try the bottle...

Hoppington, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of mattster
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into a Nonic Glass.

Head was about 3/4". Died down to light lace across top of nice light amber brew. Mostly clear with some small bubbles.

Smell is not real strong, but a little hoppy, nothing amazing. Taste brings more hoppy, pleasantly bitter, but finishes smooth. Nothing overly special about this one, instead they've produced a quality pale ale that taste as it should.

Excellent brew. I wish I had more.

mattster, Jan 08, 2008
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,975 ratings.