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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

2,928 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,928
Reviews: 1,478
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 69
Gots: 160 | 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: 2,928 | Reviews: 1,478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of willgro
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is an excellent, perfect example of what an american pale ale, and really, most american ales, should taste like. this is the standard. very hoppy, american beer, with great undertones of slight citrus. a bit acidic aftertaste, but good in a lot of ways. its great being an american.

willgro, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of ToggleEyes
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is on par with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale but a bit hoppier. Poured a nice copper orange and had just the right carbonation. The smell is floral and has hints of pine and spice. Mouthfeel is average I guess, just right? Taste is smooth at first then bitter with a lingering aftertaste that you get used to. Very refreshing. I like it.
I would recomend buying a six pack after trying a single.

ToggleEyes, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor steam liberty is the perfect 4th of July beer and can be drank anytime!! Interesting, very hoppy brew. Has a terrific head, nice appearance, and if sipped on for awhile, can taste the floral banana mixed in the brew. Very good price for a high quality beer and can be used as a terrific session beer. Big, big, hops for the hopheads!!

bigdeuce, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of BRoberts914
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Simply put, this is my favorite Pale Ale of them all. That being said, I find it to be distinctly, and pleasantly, different from most other pale ales. The appearance is quite appealing--the color is a dark amber that suggests a healthy dose of malt was used to brew this beer. The smell is what you would expect for a Pale Ale--plenty of robust english and american hops to go with some enticingly earthy malts. First taste is delicious--the malt flavor is sweeter and stronger than I expected, and is very tasty. I detect a prominent citrus note, perhaps the result of some cascade hops present in the boil. Mouthfeel is excellent; let there be no doubt, this is a man's brew. I generally find most pale ales to be a little sharp for session drinking, but the perfect balance of this brew certainly promotes multiples. Damn good beer.

BRoberts914, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of wingnutter
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4.5's almost across the board. This has been a favorite of mine ever since I first tried it in April 2005. Nothing bad to say about this beer.

Pours a delicious looking golden amber with a nice head, and the smell is dominated by twangy hops and floral notes. Twang is the only way I can describe it.

Taste: Hop twang with a nice spiciness and citursy kick Excellent balance.. This is one of my go-to beers when I need a hop fix, as its easily found and priced reasonably.

Almost perfect mouthfeel. Just the right amount of carbonation, and it feels a tad thicker than it is. At 6%, I wish it was a bit stronger, but when it tastes this good, who cares?

This beer goes great with pizza or anyhting spicy, and is a great session beer. Its the perfect 4th of July beer.

wingnutter, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of joecast
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thick frothy white head. stable with lots of lacing. light orange tinge to the beer that almost glows when held to light.

light lemony citrus aroma. that lemon makes for a very refreshing, appetising smell. gives the impression it is highly hopped, but doesnt have any of that grassy/herbal/vegetal smell that sometimes comes with it. just comes across very fresh.

seemless flavor between bitter and sweet. the hop flavor is very well rounded. good bitterness keeps everything in line, but doesnt attract too much attention to itself. malt never gets too sweet, the yeast was allowed to do its job and not on point more. i could keep going, but you get the picture.

effin fantastic. ive been debating myself (and my wife) about how i could knock this down from a 5. i just cant do it. sometimes i think i/we expect too much from a beer. this one has it all, and it deserves to be rewarded. thanks to the people at anchor.

joecast, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of davidchollar
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this has to be the best pale ale available to me, and i consider myself lucky because it's a pretty good one. it's tasty, bitter but balanced and so smooth you could enjoy several, highly drinkable.

looks a nice golden orange, medium carbonation but head dies real quick leaving this looking good but not great. smells better, not really strong but very nice and appealing. citrus and pine hoppiness with a nice malty presence.

such a pleasure to drink, this is obviously a microbrew masterpiece and my new favorite APA.

davidchollar, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice beer. Much better than I had given it credit for. Very easy to drink due to a medium malt flavor, pronounced (but not overbearing) hop flavor and aroma, and a light - medium body. Carbonation and hop drying causes a refreshing and palate clensing drink. Enough play on hop and malt character to add a much needed complexity. Hop spiciness with sweet malt profile makes, in every sip, something different to find. Mildly rusty and thin in the finish. A good beer, but not enough umph to score over a 4.0.

BEERchitect, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours really pretty. It is a slightly hazy true golden color with a half inch of tight white foam on top. The head is really creamy, and looks like it is going to be around for a while. There are quite a few bubbles rising to maintain the head. After a couple minutes, the head is still there and is leaving some pretty thick lacing in its wake on the way down.

Aroma: Through the thick foam, all I can pick up is some floral hops. I get a tad of caramel also in the background. As the head settles, the malt is coming out a lot more. Very reserved aroma for the most part.

Taste: There is a sweet and buttery malt feel that you get in the beginning of the flavor profile to go along with the floral hops. The malt is a big player in the majority of the whole flavor experience. There are plenty of hops to support, but I am pleased with the balance. The finish has hops to support, but finishes slightly balanced toward the malt. Really clean water was used as it comes across the palate really refreshing and not harsh at all.

Opinion: I really like this beer, and after this review, I think that it has pushed its way to the top couple IPA's on my list. It has plenty of body and mouthfeel, while still having an aggressive hop profile. What I like the most about this beer, is the same as I do for the Great Divide beers...they are mostly balanced in the finish and reflect some clean water. It seems that a WHOLE LOT of breweries over "Burtonize" their water in an effort to make an IPA...the result is a harsh and almost undrinkable beer. This example is very palatable.

SkeeterHawk, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of Kookiekwan
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy golden/orange has a thick two finger white head with great retention and moderate lacing. The aroma is very inviting spicy, nutty, grains and floral hops. The taste is of toasted malts and an explosion of citrus hops. This is a beer that I could drink everyday, and I highly reccomend it!

Kookiekwan, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of Gattopardo
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Huge head, consistency a cloudy brown rather like apple cider.

Smell: Very hoppy.

Taste: The flavor of hops hits first with a bitter edge that smoothes out quickly into more subtle flavors, including light floral and malty tastes.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, with a good bite and some nice complexities.

Gattopardo, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of crwills
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting a lot from this beer, and sadly it didn't happen. Nothing awful, just... meh.

The bottle's nice. Poured it into a standard pint glass, as usual. A neat looking orangy-amber colour with a big fluffy head. Smell is a little skunky, with lots of citrus -- orange, grapefruit. Some earthiness in there was well.

Taste is... well, watery and ordinary. Some surprisingly bitter hop flavours for this style, almost IPA-esque. Citrus, grass or hay, earth, and malty sweetness are in there too, especially is it warms up.

Again, this beer gets the 'meh' sticker. Nothing I'd go out of my way to find, but certainly better than the average macrobrew.

crwills, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of GuinnessHero
2.28/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is probably the worst beer I've had from the fine people at Anchor.

Appearance - Not bad, a very dark, golden yellow with a great head on it.

Smell - Just too plain, not special at all, smelled way too much of corn.

Taste - Wow...just...ugg. I don't know what to say. This is way too bitter. It's almost got that nasty taste to it that St. Pauli Girl beer does. I am a huge fan of the Porter and Steam beers from Anchor so this was a true dissapointment.

Mouthfeel - Not a strong aftertaste, not a weak one...right inbetween.

Drinkability - The taste of this brough my rating down a lot. Also this would be hard to get through more than one a night. Very sad showing from Anchor.

GuinnessHero, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of NEhophead
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Foamy white head that evaporates rather quickly leaving a few trails of condensed lacing. Hazy, bright peach in color.

Perfume-like floral hop aroma; some whaffs of juicy hop oil. A hint of honey and cream; touch of unobtrusive diacetyl. Sweetened peach and apricot fruity esters.

A sweetened diacetyl prior to a burst of almost oily, floral hop flavors. Peach, lemon zest, a touch of green apple. A mild bitterness at mid-sip followed by butterscotch and an oily floral aftertaste.

A light medium bodied; creamy, yet a bit gritty due to the hop profile.

Good hop character and intensity, yet a little too buttery for the style. Easy drinking, especially for warmer weather.

NEhophead, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of timbeer
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is another solid offering from Anchor Brewing. The Liberty Ale has some of the hoppy, bitter characteristics of many American Pale Ales, but is more balanced in it's flavor. There are elements the remind me of the Anchor Porter, as well as a mild spiciness. It is a fairly complex flavor that improves as the beer warms in the glass. At the same time it is very easy to enjoy.

My opinion of Anchor was raised after revisting this beer.

timbeer, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of rowew
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Distinctive Anchor style bottle - short with a twist cap now. Label features a drawing of an anchor and a bald eagle. Cryptic date code on the back.

Appearance: Poured in a large dimpled mug. Orangish color with a nice white head. Good retention.

Smell: Good malt base - clean grain aroma with a hint of biscuit. Decent hops in the aroma as well - mainly floral.

Taste: Very good drinkability. This beer is incredibly well balanced, with nice floral and citrus hops to keep things interesting, and a tasty malt base.

Overall impression: This beer is the benchmark for American pale ales. Well made, drinkable, and interesting enough to keep you coming back for more.

rowew, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of JasonCoop
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

probably my favorite beer, ill try to be unbiased

pours a hazy light amber color with nice white head that forms great lace.

smells great, citrus, nice leafy hops, a little breadiness and of course the subtle sweet malts. its great.

tastes like nice bready malt, a little sweet at first. then it goes into a quite fruity malt taste. all the while perfectly balance by flowery hops. simply delicious.

mouthfeel is nice and light with a good bite. i love this beer its my absolute favorite to reach for in the fridge any time. ive put down many a 12 pack. it doesnt get much better than anchor liberty.

JasonCoop, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of waldowin
2.7/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy yellow, with a white head that fades to a ring. Good lacing.

Smells very faintly of grapefruit and raisins.

Tastes of light malts, and apricots. Has a bit of a sour finish, with the hops not really complimenting the malts quite so much as fighting with them.

Mouthfeel is thin but decently carbonated. Little aftertaste.

It's a good enough beer for me to not pour out, but not so good that I'd spend more money on it, when I can find better beers for the money.

waldowin, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of sopor
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly orageish-amber with a thin whitish head quickly reduced to a splotchy film. Smells of toasty malt touched with some caramel and just a note of citrus under bitter hop. A nice APA that comes off on the sweet and juicy side. Seems to have perhaps some German malts in there, caramel malty flavor and much less biscuity malt. Hops are bitter, but well-balanced, knowing just when to bite. A light refreshing brew, but not enough carbonation for "crisp." Pretty drinkable, but not super APA.

sopor, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of NClifestyle
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor’s Liberty ale is a hazy, bright orange/light amber color when poured into a pint glass. The beer shows a monstrous, creamy head of champagne-like bubbles, and leaves a thick painting of lace all down the sides of the glass. Smells of juicy citrus hops, maybe apricot, and grass greet the nose, followed by a slight warm bread aroma of malt; quite a nice mix.
The fruity, hop-bitterness glides across the tongue, as a warm bread and honey malt flavor settles on the cheeks. Although the hops are a bit more prominent, the ale is extremely well-balanced, superb flavor.
The label on the bottle claims that the traditional brewing process involved with Liberty ale produces an “uncommonly delicate carbonation” which is spot on. The beer has a light to medium mouthfeel, but the bubbles are perfect, and the dryness is obvious from the first sip, crisp and very creamy smooth.
This is a great example of an American pale ale, and despite the rich flavors and complex balance, this is an easy beer to drink.


NClifestyle, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of SurgeonGeneral
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving temp: 50F Serving glass: Pint Glass

Presentation: Brown 22oz bomber with a drawing of an eagle holding a red white & blue shield behind the Anchor trademark. Info about the beer around the neck, no dating.

Appearance: Cloudy, light copper coloring with soft pillowy head. Retention is excellent throughout the drink and lacing all up and down my glass.

Aroma: Floral hoppines present at first, not overpowering. A mineral smell in the background, too. Not unpleasant, though.

Taste: A very satisfying taste, reminding me of green apples, caramel, some grassiness in there, too. I get fleeting notes of salt in there too, maybe that's where some of that mineraly smell came from. Interesting. The apple taste stays with me a while, along with a medium bitterness, and they work well together.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Smooth feel to it along with good tight carbonation. Finishes a little dry despite some lasting fruitiness.

Drinkability: An interesting pale ale. After a bomber, the fruitiness is getting a bit much. I think just a bit more bittering hoppiness would be to my liking, but still a fine brew.

SurgeonGeneral, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of alemakesmestrong
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer to me, has set the precedent on what an American Pale Ale should be. Beautiful semi-hazy pour with a delicate head and an awesome smell of hops that are getting ready to kick the bad day I just had right in the ass. This beer with any spicy dish would be a likely candidate for my last meal on death row.

alemakesmestrong, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep golden color and a fairly creamy head were the first things I noticed about this beer when I gave it a pour. Not the strongest aroma to it, but it packed a bit of a punch when tasted. The dry hops hit up front, then the maltiness settles in with a bit of a bread and lemon mix in the back as the first taste goes down. The suds go right down with the level of the beer - very little residue on the side of my pint glass.

Almost tastes like a pale ale, the bubbles are just as noticable at the top as further down along in the sample. The hops are felt less and less the more you get to the bottom, but the substance of the beer remains the same and subletly reminds me of the flagship Anchor Steam - nicely brewed, enjoyable, and slightly addicting. The Liberty Ale is definitely worth a shot and nice to watch progress from the first sip to the last swill.

JerzDevl2000, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of jaluria
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a gold color with off-white head that doesn't hold for very long. Heavy amount of carbonation and very translucent. I detect some malt and hop aromas, but not much else; not really appealing. The taste is rather plain for this style with equal amounts of hop & malt in the taste. This beer is well-balanced in that the bitterness is offset by a malt presence, but there is little else going on in this beer. Not as interesting and flavorful as other pale ales. There isn't much of an aftertaste. Overall, I think this beer falls far short of Anchor's other brews and can't compare to other beers of this style.

jaluria, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of Derek
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unlike most people, I generally don't drool over Anchor's brews...

A: Golden yellow, some head/lace.

S: Fruity citrous.

T: Citrousy, soapy, bready malt, finishes dry.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate-high carbonation.

D: Easy drinker, though I'm restrained by that soapy flavour.

Derek, Oct 31, 2005
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,928 ratings.