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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

2,853 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,853
Reviews: 1,469
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 67
Gots: 143 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,853 | Reviews: 1,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of troutmask96


3.73/5  rDev -4.4%

Decent brew here, though it smells better than it tastes. Very complex cloves and brown sugar smell, with a hint of raspberry. Taste is disappointing, though. Bitter lingering aftertaste and not much complexity to the palette. Very carbonated, so you gotta go easy on these to prevent gastric distress...

04-15-2005 02:14:02 | More by troutmask96
Photo of pjwilson


3.78/5  rDev -3.1%

Now here's a solid beer. A pale ale that doesn't really have anything to do with Sierra Nevada, Deschutes and the like. Goes down smooth very lager like, though there is a bit of a bitter aftertaste. This is one of the few craft around in my home town of Walnut Grove.*gonna start a brewery there one day

Anyways this isn't really anything to rave or write home about but it is tasty... I got it on sale for 5.50 a sixer and i don't regret it... A classic you might say ....i'm not fond of the regular west coast pale taste but this is quite different...

04-09-2005 04:23:30 | More by pjwilson
Photo of BeerFink


3.9/5  rDev 0%

Appearance is a golden amber marked by a slight chill haze. Foamy white heads springs up to top it all off. Good lacing. Smell is good, but subdued. Earthy notes with some pungent hops and a little toasty character. Taste is mellow yet complex. Hops are immediately apparent, but do not overpower. Some creamy pale malt leads to toasty and biscuity flavors. Finishes slightly bitter with a hint of alcohol. This beer is remarkably creamy and dry. Low carbonation increases the creaminess and thicker mouthfeel. This is an APA for people who aren't quite hopheads. Even if you are, you can still enjoy this easy drinking beer. So smooth, you'd almost think it was a lager.

04-03-2005 03:16:34 | More by BeerFink
Photo of 3Vandoo

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%

A shy color of inbetween orange and yellow. A nice foamy head that goes very fast, nice carbonisation as well.

Her smell is fruity, hoppy, very hoppy with some citrus flavors.

Taste as very hoppy, the hops hit you right away, some banana, fruity, apple, citrus and pinneapple flavours as well. That beer is also dry, the hops hit you then leave no real aftertaste, actually reminds me of a "hit and run" taste!

Very drinkable, and the moutfeel is good

04-01-2005 23:27:00 | More by 3Vandoo
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.6/5  rDev -7.7%

Unique ale. A touch of sediment was present, was suspended in the glass and no deposits at the bottom. Fruity, floral aroma. Flavors of sharp citrus and stewed hops were most present, with a slightly alcoholic and malty aftertaste. One of the better brews from Anchor Brewing. Recommended.

03-25-2005 00:10:36 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of SixpointJMH

New Jersey

2.98/5  rDev -23.6%

Having heard nothing but good things about this one and being a big fan of Anchor as a whole, I was surprisingly underwhelmed here.

Thie one pours a crisp amber colour with a slightly sticky, frothy off-white head. It's pretty standard stuff overall, and slightly above average looking, at best.

The smell is a bland mix of malty earth, some sweet citrus notes and thats about it. Very thin and very basic overall. The flavour is more of the same but with a slightly-off, buttery malt flavour to it in the middle and combiend with a dry earth flavour at the finish. The balance, along with overall power of the flavour, just seemed off, as did the mouthfeel. This one was overly carbonated and Just didn't sit right.

A shockingly average to borderline miss from the Anchor folks. Oh well, at least I still have the Steam and the Porter to savour.

03-18-2005 03:31:15 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +7.2%

Appearance: Golden, amber and transparent with a gorgeous meringue sitting proudly on top. I wasn't expecting that much head on it and was pleasantly surprised.

Smell: Some Cascade citrus and floral features, but with an extra spicy twist.

Taste: Good cookie malt presence, bitterness has more bite than your average pale ales, but smoother than an IPA. I really, really enjoyed this one. Proof once more that, for me at least, balance and nuance beats exaggeration and obstreperousness (my secret word for today).

03-16-2005 00:32:38 | More by Goldorak
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%

Funny how this is a common commodity in the market south of the border, a regular presence on most beer store shelves, been there, done that long ago, and much often looked over in the pursuit of something new and exciting. There is one store up in these parts that has finally recently started carrying this stuff, and without the bias of over-exposure, I've had the opportunity to sample it over and over the past little while. And hot damn, Anchor Liberty Ale has become one of my new favorites, and my standard go-to beer of the moment.

The first time I sampled this beer I immediately liked it. It had everything in all the right places, nothing overbearing, nor out of place, nicely balanced. No bottles have survived to review until I managed to use a little self-restraint for this one.

Poured out of it's Anchor style shaped bottle, a brown 650 ml one, abv listed as 5.9%. A chill-hazed deep apricot in colour, off-white head with decent retention, and a lattice-work of lacing. Pleasant grassy hops first on the nose, but with a balanced biscuity malt, and some fruit esters as well, most notably a peach character. In one word the flavour is crisp. Very clear. Difficult to break it down to it's seperate characteristics, the marriage of balance is done so well. Crisp grains a tad more notable at first, crisp grassy hops on the finish, with a touch of fruit sweetness in the middle when I really concentrate, but the moment I turn my head they all blend in with one another again, a manage a trois of harmony. One of the most satisfying, refreshing beers I have ever had. This beer has become my new best friend.

Perhaps taken for granted by those with easy, everyday access to it, and it's been around for quite some time, but I have to say this is one of the true exemplar standards of the American Pale Ale style, one that has held its own over the years, and deserves respect. My fridge should be full of this stuff. Anchor Liberty Ale, I salute you.

03-11-2005 18:42:55 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of brewQ


3.9/5  rDev 0%

Anchor is a most venerable Company.
(Even if I can't read the braille like codes on the back of the bottle).

The ale pours a honey gold with a slight haze. A 3/4" tight creamy tan head.

The nose was sweet and floral but did not grab me.
Well rounded blend of hops, malt and CO2 make this brew a solid tasting classic.

I have a lot of positive nostalgia for these guys- the rightful claim to craft beer's early crown- unlike the Boston Brewing crowd.

03-04-2005 03:29:40 | More by brewQ
Photo of blitz134


4/5  rDev +2.6%

Nice light yellow orange body with a white head on top which slowly disappeared to a thin layer of bubbles. Aroma is loaded with hops which range from grapefruit to a nice resin pine aroma. Overall very typical hop profile from a west coast pale ale. There is also a nice malty sweet balance. The flavor has less of the grapefruit flavors and more of the pine resin aspect. Finish is slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is medium, not as thick and oily as some, but definitely coats better than others. This is a typical session beer of mine so of course its highly drinkable. Definitely a classic.

03-02-2005 02:49:51 | More by blitz134
Photo of beertastegood


3.9/5  rDev 0%

Had this one out of the bottle.

Appearance is very pleasing, a beautiful orange/golden color with bubbles streaming upwards and a full white head that dissipated rather quickly. Smells of floral hops, a bit of citrus and also some malty sweetness.

Taste: Wow. This is one good beer. Initial flavor of malt, then the hops come right afterward, with a slight pine flavor that is not at all unpleasant. Towards the end, the malt flavor comes back to balance out the finish, which is floral and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: pretty heavy carbonation, goes well with the hop bite. Medium body, very pleasant feel.

Drinkability is medium with this one. Goes down pretty easily.

For someone who generally likes more malt than hop flavor in his brews, I really liked this beer. The Anchor Brewing Company has a winner in this beer.

02-23-2005 21:58:08 | More by beertastegood
Photo of allengarvin


4.2/5  rDev +7.7%

Appearance: cloudy orange-amber color, with a large creamy head.

Aroma: Beautiful nose of very citrusy hops.

Taste: Highly bitter, full of citrus hop flavor, tending toward fresh lemon. Light but firm malt base. End is forcibly dry.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, well-carbonated.

One of the great beers from the early microbrew revolution in America, this is a real classic, and far better than Anchor's flagship Steam, in my opinion.

02-22-2005 15:53:53 | More by allengarvin
Photo of ski271


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%

I guess I went in expecting too much. My friend used to drink this stuff all the time and raved about it. I wasn’t THAT impressed, but then again it was still good.

Appearance: Light brownish-orange with a frothy (almost creamy), slightly off-white, small, mostly-diminishing head. Heavily spotted lacing.

Smell: Non much, I think because it was way too cold, but it smelled a bit off, too. After it sat for five minutes, it smelled MUCH better. Cereal-like malts and spruce-like hops. A hint or pear, and a smell almost like coriander (had to pull out a bottle of coriander to compare, close... but not quite). Rather interesting.

Taste: Pleasantly hopped, malty but not too much. I guess I was expecting a bigger flavor, but instead this is a fairly mild, well-rounded taste.

Mouthfeel: A bit slick & oily. A nice lightly kicked-up bitterness on the finish gives it a nice crispness.

Drinkability: Like said, not as good as I expected, but I could definitely through down several of these while shooting some pool.

02-21-2005 21:41:43 | More by ski271
Photo of deejaydan


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%

Pours a hazy straw color. Good head and head retention on this. I was amazed by the lacing this beer left on the glass. There is a slight metallic aroma going on in this beer. This is an interesting take on the American Ale in the flavor department. It's bitter, with a hint of malt, but I don't get the overload of grapefruit/citrus that I get in other American Ales. Interesting. More malt should probably shine through in my book. Decent beer, a good solid standby.

02-19-2005 04:34:33 | More by deejaydan
Photo of KoG


4/5  rDev +2.6%

A very very nice APA on tap.

Brown orange liquid adorned with a frothy white cap. Head dissapates slowly and leavs a good lace trail.

Smell is floral hops and some citrus. Pretty inviting knowing that it shouldn't beat me over the head with hop flavor.

Taste is sweeter than others in the category. Sweet at the start, following to a slightly hoppy finish. Very tasty indeed.

At 6% it will catch up a bit quicker, but man it's pretty drinkable.

02-13-2005 00:22:18 | More by KoG
Photo of mmmbeer


4.4/5  rDev +12.8%

12 oz. bottle with a batch code on the back. Pours orange with a nice 2 finger head that leaves decent lacing. Smells like crisp floral/citric hops. Bitterness hits first with citric/pine/grassy/floral hops and malts in the back that contribute notes of bread and biscuits. Bitterness lingers. Malts are more pronounced near the end of the beer. Very prominent hops that coat the mouth well and the carbonation feels smooth. Last sips are heavenly. I could drink many of these. I just wish it were cheaper.

02-09-2005 22:57:13 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of GreenWBush


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Just an altogether sturdy, strong beer.

As jaded as our palates have seemingly become, its nice to have Anchor Liberty as an everyday "rock" in the beer universe.

On-tap (and presumably much fresher than in bottle in these parts) the beer is just a snappy, bitter refreshing beer. This is the type of beer that should be at the local tavern, flavorful and refreshingly hoppy, but not overwhelming, cloying, or really even too alcoholic for that matter. Just a damn fine quaffing brew that might have lost its place amongst other beer giants ... unrightfully so.

A beer that should be gone back to from time to time to see how far we've come ... and now NOT far we've come. 9/10 brewpubs couldn't make a beer that could stand up to this classic.

02-01-2005 14:34:08 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%

I remember when this was considered an IPA...

Pours slightly hazy gold with a 1/2 inch ivory head, lots of chunky lace. Smells of floral hops, bitter and lightly cirusy.

Taste is floral bitter hops up front. Tea leaf flavors. Crisp, lightly sweet pale malt. The citrus has disappeared. Not much to it but well balanced and a nice crisp mouth. I wouldn't say it's light bodied but relatively light on the tongue but stil full flavored. A well crafted treat that "goes down easy". This beer is a nice gateway drug for introducing people to hoppy beers, not off-putting like some pale ales can be.

01-30-2005 14:10:16 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.33/5  rDev -14.6%

Pours a cloudy cold with a thin white head. Very floral aroma, but also with some fruit and honey in there as well. Bitter taste nicely rounded out with some malty sweetness. Finish is very dry. There's some yeast in the taste, too, with a very evenly carbonated mouthfeel. There's something a little off in the flavor, though; something just tastes a bit stale in it. Not bad, but I feel like there's better offerings in the style comparable prices.

01-21-2005 23:21:49 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of neonbrown82


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

For a pale ale, this poured slightly cloudy. The head retention was also quite minimal, but at least stayed to a centimeter. The smell was awesome, though: a bouquet of hops and citrus. The taste was good too, beginning with a slightly bitter hoppy taste, followed by a sweet malty middle, leaving a slightly alcoholic and mildly hoppy finish. I will probably drink another in the future, but probably not until it starts to warm up around here.

01-21-2005 00:40:49 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of bigbubba


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%

This is a straw colored, slightly cloudy beer with a decent white head that disapates quick buts leaves lots of lacing. There is not much of a smell, just a slightly metallic hoppiness. It has a very nice hoppy flavor with very little sweetness. The mouthfeel is pretty good. It is a very refreshing and easy to drink beer.

01-21-2005 00:28:45 | More by bigbubba
Photo of mynie


4.38/5  rDev +12.3%

PRETTY! Perfect head, sticks around. All bubbly like bubble juice.

Complex fruit hops all throughout the nose. Citrus and hops, but a bunch of different kinds of citrus and hops.

Oh my goodness is that a fine tasting ale. Hops and weeds and flowers and citrus fruit and there's actually some malt that comes in, in the middle, balancing everything out with a great dull sugary sweetness.

Great beer. Perfect, crisp carbonation makes for a great session ale, too.

01-14-2005 05:40:13 | More by mynie
Photo of Beersignal

Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Served in a 650 ml bottle... absolutely love the label artwork on this beer.

The pour yields a deep amber liquid with copper/caramel highlights that is covered with a huge off white and billowy cap of foam that lasts and clings like a defector to liberty.

The bouquet is redolent of fresh cascade hops and notes of citrus fruits. Hints of pepper and malt manifest their presence in mid to late aroma and leave behind traces of oak.

The carbonation is nearly perfect. Firm and full mouthfeel leads in for flavours of hops to dominate the profile. Soft hints of malt surface but are soon buried by a long and biting hoppy finish.

This is a remarkably clean yet wonderful session ale that would also fit into the IPA category IMHO. The freshness and bitterness of the hops dominates this beer from start to finish without being overdone. I buy this whenever I'm in Ontario... Québec will not import this beer.

01-14-2005 02:17:43 | More by Beersignal
Photo of CSimon


4.6/5  rDev +17.9%

Anchor Liberty is a great beer.

However, there is a catch.

While many IPA-style beers improve with age, I have found that the quality of Liberty tails offf fairly rapidly.

It is rare that I have ever had a bad Liberty on tap. Almost always it is lively hopped, a beautiful pour, unbelievably drinkable (great for long, late nights at a pub), and just plain damn good.

On the other hand, out of a bottle, 50% of the time it has been great, and the other 50% . . . .well, not great. Rotten weeds and next day frat-house keg beer come to mind. I don't know the reason for it, and have often wondered. But, if you get a stinker, Liberty can suck out of a bottle.

Of course, if you get a good one, it's nearly as good as on tap.

So seek it out on tap. And, if you buy it in a bottle from a source that you don't know well, you're rolling the dice. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing . . . .

01-13-2005 23:56:22 | More by CSimon
Photo of EagleTalon


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours to orange color and white head with a little lacing. Aroma is mostly malty. Flavor is a nice balance of malty sweetness and intense bitterness. Very easy to drink. Nothing spectacular, but a good choice if you like pale ales. Makes a good substitute for Boulevard Pale Ale.

12-23-2004 02:34:48 | More by EagleTalon
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,853 ratings.