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Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,546 Reviews
For Trade:
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

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.

Added by kbub6f on 11-18-2000

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Reviews: 1,546 | Ratings: 3,338
Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a DIPA. Pours hazy orange with a nice head that settles leaving some lacing on the side.
S - Earthy aroma is not like an IPA.
T - Malty, bready and some caramel.
M - Medium mouth feel.
O - I opened this as a change of pace from all the hoppy/piney/citrus IPA's I've been drinking. Forgot how good this beer is!

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Photo of vish747
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor's Liberty Ale tastes much better out of a glass, which reduces its dryness considerably (but not entirely). The color is wheat-like, a somewhat hazy light-orange, and the smell is nothing special. The taste is surprisingly nice, but definitely not refreshing. It goes down relatively smooth at first, but with a very-slight bitter yet fruity aftertaste, and leaves your mouth feeling fairly dry and dehydrated. The Liberty Ale is not very hoppy, and true pale ale fans will be disappointed; however, it has more flavor than a typical blonde or golden, but is a bit too dry to appeal to the lighter-beer fan base.

Drink if you want a good American ale with flavor, but specifically one lighter than true pale ales.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orangish gold color, with a huge pale white head. Lots of carbonation and plenty of lacing. Nice Citrusy smell. Taste unexpectedly like an IPA with bold hoppy flavor with a dry grapefruit finish.

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Attractive amber brew with plenty of white foam. Spritzy on the tongue. There is a little bit of spiciness which gives this some interest. Otherwise it's a plain, woody, vegetal brew. Bitter aftertaste. I don't see how this can be considered a showcase for Cascade hops.

I think years ago, in the 70s, this was a breath of fresh air among the Olympia, Burgermeister, and Lucky Lager that provided the ubiquitous taste of beer. From the 12 oz can purchased at Elizabeth Station in Bellingham, Washington.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale has a nice golden color, with a very huge white head that takes a while to go away. Has a faint malt smell to it. Tastes malty , has a little hop taste also with a fruity finish.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is one of those beers with a lot of claims on its label. Claims like "virtually handmade" (whatever that means), "pure water" (as opposed to "fake water"?) and the claim that it started the micro-brew "movement." I thought the last claim belonged to Sam Adams. Let's see if all the self-proclaimed importance is backed up by a quality brew.

Appearance 3.25: Pours out a typical golden color. OK head, non-existent lacing.

Smell 3.0: Bouquet is decent. Certainly not impressive. Some hops, but a strange soapy smell is -to a certain extent-- off-putting.

Taste 3.75: Front is dry and that is about it. Middle is also dry, with some nice hop bitterness. Interesting and pleasing pear and fruit tastes at this level. Finish is dry with nice green apple tastes. Aftertaste fades quickly leaving just hop bitterness and dry-mouth behind.

Mouthfeel 3.25: A bit too dry in the mouth. Decent level of CO2.

Overall 3.25: A good ale. Way, way, too dry for sessioning. Good for tasting, I guess. I could see this going well with food, especially greasy food...like a plate of Belgian frites and some bleu cheese fondue dipping sauce. If this beer started the micro-brewing movement, let's all be happy that the movement has evolved light years past it on every level.

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Photo of JOldewurtel
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty hard to believe I hadn't had this beer up to this point. For me anyway, it's a little too bitter. I'm glad I gave it a chance but I can't see myself seeking it out again.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, no apparent freshness date. I had this once - about 7 or 8 years ago. I'd say it's well overdue for a review!
A - deep golden hued ale with a persistent off-white head
S - earthy and piny nose with some biscuity grain & caramel malt
T - bold malt profile with bread crust, caramel, and biscuity grain. Earthy and piny hops round out a nice balanced, but moderately bitter pale ale
M - lighter side of medium for body, pleasant carbonation, with a piny and peppery semi-bitter finish
O - a little better than I remember, but I don't plan on buying this one again any time soon.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright citrus cascade hop smell with sweet malts in the background. Taste is exactly the same with a smooth sip the whole way with a grapefruit bitterness on the after taste. Full bodied and the malts come through with a nice sweetness to balance out the building bitterness from the cascade hops.

Its like a single hopped IPA totally showcasing the cascade hop. It really makes me appreciate this hop and I definitely get why its still one of the most popular and widely used hops in the states. If you love cascade hops get this beer huge tastes of cascading goodness in this beer!

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Photo of TH28
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. No code date visible. Appearance: Hazy light golden. Nice white foam cap. Aroma: Bready with light citrus. Taste: Bready, sweet malt that gives way a light citrus a moderate bitterness. Bitterness is not nearly as sharp as Sierra Nevada Pale. Grapefruit is very prominent. Mouthfeel: Moderate body and carbonation. Finish: Leaves a pleasant grapefruit flavor and lingering bitterness. Overall: compared to Sierra Nevada Pale, this is a better balanced, less hop forward pale ale. A really nice easygoing pale ale. Could stand to benefit from a slightly stronger hop aroma.

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Photo of Ian_B
3.09/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bright earthy flavours with a touch of burnt toast. Sounds stupid but a bit too much of the burnt malt / hop bitterness comes through on the finish. Slight metallic flavours. Good beer, but there are other/better beers I'd prefer with similar taste profiles.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark honey with a big head of foam and good lacing. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: Pine and floral hops, sweet malts.

Taste: Sweet malts up front, followed by citrus and pine hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a mild hop bitterness in the finish.

The Verdict: Not bad. Well balanced and tasty, it’s more of a British ale than an American IPA. Good session beer.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Manzanita pint glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Mission Valley (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $8.49 for a variety 6-pack
Purchased: June 26, 2015
Consumed: June 26, 2015
Misc.: Can says 6 percent ABV

Poured a honey, pale, clear color with 5-to-6 fingers of khaki white, rocky head. Settled to nice look on the top after a few minutes. Lots of bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Above average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Great retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled wet Cascade, pine, lime, dish soap, floral, faint watermelon, faint cucumber and caramel. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted similar to the nose, albeit with buttery notes. Got wet Cascade, soapy pine, lime, dish soap, buttery malts, caramel, honey, peas and green beans. (Taste - 3.50)

Medium-to-light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, buttery, bitter finish. (Feel - 3.50)

I didn’t this was that good. Maybe six years ago this would have been good, but just an average IPA. (Overall - 3.50)

3.59 | 81 | B

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Photo of furballkazoo
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It claims to be the beer that "started the IPA revolution;" and though that may be true, this beer itself is a simple IPA that pails in comparison (to say the least) to the plethora of fantastic IPA's available today.

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Photo of ricke49
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer. Not sure why it's called an American IPA (above) - fits more into an English ale category with those distinctive dank metallic British flavor notes - highly desirable characteristic to my palate. Love a beer that has both obvious hop and malt components as this one does. One of the best features: a darned attractive price!

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Photo of Chickenshack
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Exceptional. Seems to me as good as it gets. I have been a fan of Anchor Steam Beer for years but had never tried this one until reading on this site that this is the beer that started the craft beer, American IPA, dry-hopped cascade hops movement forty years ago (I realize this comes from the brewery but it doesn't seem unjustified). A slightly heavier, hoppier brother to the equally classic Steam Beer.

Pours a thick soapy head with an oh so slightly cloudy copper body.

Aroma has a slightly metallic, piney/ floral cascade hops scent with bright citric and fruit notes.

Taste is well balanced: hops are very piney, a little citrus, alcohol is slightly present with nice sweetness to balance the hoppy bitterness but its not cloying, big taste at first, then a little yeasty in the middle but finishes bright and clean with lingering hoppiness that doesn't overwhelm and make the jaw pucker.

Body is somewhat thin with crisp sparkling carbonation that makes the beer very crisp and then the hops extend the finish and then it's crisp and refreshing but then hoppy again and you want another drink. Goes down very easy for nearly 6 abv with some hoppy bitterness.

This is the real thing- what more could you reasonably want from a beer?

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a nice two finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of citrus and fresh pine, bready and light bisquit malt; slightly floral and quite pleasant. Flavor of light neutral malt with a hint of wheat, light citrus subdued at first, but then developing a good citrus and pine bitterness that lasts into a lingering hoppy finish that reveals the light biscuit from the aroma. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Kind of old fashioned by American IPA standards and less malty than an English IPA, this must have been a bright, fresh look at the style when it was introduced. It still is quite enjoyable, smelling good and leaving a great aftertasted of flavorful hops with a good level of bitterness. The general profile reminds me a lot of the base for the holiday ale, but without the spicing. Nicely done and a credit to the early craft days that it has stood up so well.

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Photo of loubar
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nose combines malt and floral hops. Taste is bracing and rich. Features a rich hops presence with limited bitterness on a subtle roasted malt base. Assertive, yet enjoyable. Along the lines of an IPA but not over the top. Dry finish. Tasty and well done.

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Photo of Moose90
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served into Nonic Pint glass

A – Pours a deep honey hued amber with a tall off white colored head. Nice consistent lacing left behind.

S – Smells of rich and sweet malts, balanced by a light piney and bitter hop note.

T – Tastes predominately malty and sweet, light hop bitterness, very mild for an American IPA, drinks much more like a British IPA.

M – Medium bodied, light to medium carbonation levels.

O – Nice beer from Anchor, predominately malty though.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Clear golden body with streaming CO2 and a massive rocky head of white foam that has good retention and leaves decent lace.

Smell - Passion fruit, grapefruit and blood orange up front with a bitter more hoppy front followed by some malt sweetness and a wet dog aroma in the back.

Taste - Malty front from breads and sugars to caramel. Ten the fruity hop kicks in again bitter with grapefruit and blood orange to sweet with passion fruit and mango. Bitter in the back end so that this is well balanced but the taste is not as fruity as the aroma.

Mouth Fell - Good and well sustained linger. A little thin towards medium bodied even with a nice dry end.

Overall - Tasty and well balanced the MF is good but nothing to write home about. I rather like it and it goes well with dried pork.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have heard and read great things about Liberty Ale for a long time. Was surprised to see it at my local Kroger this weekend, although the do stock an outstanding selection of craft beers. Have always been impressed with Anchor Brewing, and Liberty Ale is no exception. Amazing is an understatement. New go to IPA for me.

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Photo of drmeto
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

-lemons,oranges and mango upfront
-slight pineapple and passionfruit notes
-high carbonation
-lemons and lightly bitter on the finish

Very tame but good

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Photo of ajchocholousek
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beauitful, albeit slightly hop-hazy, light copper orange. 1 finger white soapy head that is sticking around a bit. A touch of soapy lacing on the glass. Aroma gives a sweet, yet subtly spicy, grapefruit and orange bouquet. Bright, effervescent carbonation on the tongue gives way to a delicate, slightly creamy, malt-supported, citrus bitterness. The hop character is bright and fresh, and the malt has a nice sweetness on the finish. Very Clean and very good overall. Could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A moderate pour from a bomber into a Pilsener glass produces a nice one inch frothy white head. The beer is a pale copper color, crystal clear, with moderate carbonation.

The aroma is excellent, with subtle floral qualities and a dank fruitiness suggesting citrus and maybe apricots. The flavor is subtle and only moderately bitter, with notes of light citrus, a vegetal quality, and perhaps light apricot and pineapple. These hop flavors meld with a rich malt base that lends a slight molasses or sweet tobacco note and some malt-o-meal graininess in the aftertaste. The mouth feel is frothy and creamy.

This is a complex IPA with a toned down bitterness that makes it easy to drink. It was also a pretty good deal at $3.79 for the bomber. This beer has apparently been around awhile but I don’t think I’ve seen it much around my neck of the woods.

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Photo of Daktah
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love all things Anchor. Liberty is no exception. Grainy and hoppy smell, crisp hop and biscuit undertone. Just a little sweetness to round things out.

A great beer to pair with all types of food, and one of my go to purchases.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,546 ratings.