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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

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very good

3,097 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,097
Reviews: 1,501
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 76
Gots: 240 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-18-2000

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,097 | Reviews: 1,501
Photo of wmmatt41
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My friend bought me a six-pack of Liberty Ale but I was hesitant to try it, as I don't enjoy too many ales. I find many to be too bitter and hoppy. Imagine my surprise, then, to find that Anchor Steam's Liberty Ale is a wonderful beer. Its taste is full, rich, and entirely pleasant. If finishes surprisingly clean.

This has become my favorite ale and one of my favorite beers.

Photo of geexploitation
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've often heard this beer described as some kind of ode to the Cascade hop, and after trying it I can see why. Appearance is quite solid -- the beer itself is a beautiful just-shy-of-clear orangey amber, and the head is substantial at first, although it eventually fades into a thin white film on top of the beer. Smell is full of those great citrusy Cascade smells, but there's also some creamy notes in there. Taste is outstanding -- sweet and sour hop flavors combined with the malt mean that every part of your tongue is active with this brew. There's no acrid feeling to this beer -- just spicy, flavorful hops. Extremely well balanced. Mouthfeel is a rarity, in a good way: this beer, according to the bottle, contains no artificial carbonation, and it certainly feels that way when drinking it. There's a very fine carbonation, enough certainly to tickle your tongue but no large carbonation bubbles... it's the difference between California sparkling wine and Champagne (with Anchor Liberty playing the part of Champagne, duh). Overall, a wonderful, quaffable beer.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours rusty gold, with decent clarity. The dense, snow -white head rushes to fill the glass, then gracefully settles out at two fingers, and retains very well. Some sticky lacing is left over lively streams of tiny bubbles. Toasted malt and wheat nose, with some citrus/apple fruit aromas and faint, indistinct hops. Malt is sweet and estery, with a strong toasted character; and herbal hops wash over in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel never becomes dry, but also never gets slippery...very smooth. Medium body and a light, even carbonation. Finish retains some mild ester, and hints at diacetyl, but totally approriate and balnced for the style. A well-balanced and and near perfectly executed APA.

Photo of danielharper
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

I don't much care for Anchor Steam, so it took me awhile to get to this beer. Now I wish I'd tried it a little earlier.

Pours a deep yellow-orange hue with a one-finger white foamy head. The head sticks around for awhile and creates decent lacing. Pleasing to the eye.

Aroma is heavy on the citrus, pleasant and yeasty. Reminds me more of an English IPA than an APA -- could use some crisper hops and a bit more definition to the nose.

Taste is much like the aroma, heavy on the oranges with nice touches of mild hops in the background. Finishes clean.

Mouthfeel thick and enjoyable. High carbonation, but not extreme.

Overall drinkability is really high. I could drink quite a few of these so long as they didn't catch up to me too fast.

Photo of acrawf6
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a orangish amber, slightly hazy. nice white head.

Smells lots of floral hops. Lemon citrusy and apricot fuityness, a little bit of mint in it too. It has a very earthy and natural tone to it.

Tastes nicely bitter and hoppy, but not overhoppy. caramel sweetness undertone. Lots of malts in this one, hops overcome them though. I do get the alcohol sense to it though. Aftertaste does have a dryness to it and then a citrus taste.

Mouthfeel is good. Good balance with this beer, and this bottle has a ton of carbonation, maybe a little too much for my liking.

Overall a very good beer. I reviewed it in the bottle, but i think i prefer this one on tap.

Photo of bennetj17
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Only a one cm head on this one, although the carbonation appears pretty active. The color is a beautiful clear copper/orange. Smell is of strong hops, piney, dank, and resiny. Taste is not not very sweet at first, but very clean. Hops start to dominate and it yields a modest bitterness at the end. After a few more sips the malt flavor starts to come out, but it is still a bit timid. The beer feels slightly thin, but not bad overall. There is plenty of carbonation present in the mouthfeel. A good hoppy flavor, it could have used more malt balance, but it still went down pretty easily and got better toward the end...

Photo of Hagbard
2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Anchor's Liberty Ale is obviously an extremely well-crafted ale, unfortunately it isn't to my taste exactly. It is a pale gold color with a thick white head that leaves a nice lacing. The hops dominate the aroma. They seem a bit harsh and have a rotten fruit component to them. The taste is a actually a bit harsh, dominated by a hop character that doesn't appeal to me. Very bitter and full of a rotten fruitiness that dominates a malt base that is looking to come forward, but is never really able to. The abrasiveness lingers through the finish. This beer doesn't work for me as an APA because there isn't enough blance between the hops and malt and it doesn't work as an IPA because the hops just don't taste good enough. The mouthfeel is good with an appropriate amount of carbonation. The drinkability isn't very good because I just don't really care for the taste of it.

Photo of Byeast
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to me pint, poured a pleasant dark orange with a little haze , medium and quickly fading head. Aroma is of citrusy,floral, and clean-green hop smells. Taste is great! More on the bitter side with hoppy-herbal citrus and some yeast. Balanced with some sweet-smoothness and good natural carbonation. This is one good beer. Very unique , very fresh , and very drinkable. Nice use of cascade hops. I will be buying alot more of these tasty APAs from San Fran.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours a cloudy amber orange with a nice white head that holds well but does not lace that much. Overall it is a "good" looking pale ale. The beer smells of a nice mixture of floral and citrus sweetness. The taste brings back these floral and citrus flavors but also balances with a nice amount of bitterness. There is a good mouthfeel. This is fairly thick pale ale with a good carbonation and a bit of dryness. Overall it is one of the best pale ales I have had and would really enjoy drinking it again.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear light brown/orange with a good chunky head and some lace.

S: Fruity, floral hops. Barely a hint of skunk, and a touch of citrus.

T: Well balanced. Floral, citrusy hops at the forefront. Sweet-ish malt as well. Bitter aftertaste lingers long enough, but not too long.

M: Pretty smooth and medium bodied.

D: Easy to drink for sure. Very nice.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very tasty, drinkable satisfying beverage. Not objectionable qualities of sight and smell. Easy mouthfeel, medium bodied. Just a well-made citrusy beer. Good C hops, and understated as U have found in Pales. Clean and crisp brought in fresh from LCBO.

Photo of Riggsy
2.97/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a hazy golden-orange. Off-white head peels away to the sides of the glass

Smell – Faint grassy hops combined with grainy aromas

Taste – Kind of unbalanced to me. Hops dominate and not backed up with enough malt.

Mouthfeel – Thin and watery. Carbonation is satisfactory.

Drinkability – Goes down pretty easy could be satisying on a summer day but this one didn't grab me

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very inviting vibrant golden with a small head.

Strange aroma. I pick up a hop aroma with a strong field-of-grain scent right behind that. The smell kind of reminds me of some summer ales I've had (Samuel Adams, Mendocino). I feel like the scent of alcohol is also pretty noticeable too, though, which is a turn-off.

Taste is interesting. In ways, the grassy flavors remind me of a macro lager, which is wierd. I would like a bit more hop-kick in the finish, instead of the slight wateryness I pick up.

Mouthfeel is also a bit watery, but satisfying enough.

This beer was decent, but not as good as I expected. If I was choosing an APA, I would definitely opt for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale instead.

Photo of bahumutx
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange/copper with a two finger head that is dissipating slowly.

Smell: Citrus dominates the aroma with a slight grain and bread smell.

Taste: Starts off with a citrus taste and then moves to a biscuit malt taste. Very balanced. End with a slight pine and hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could easily have a few of these in a sitting.

Good APA very close to an IPA in my opinion. It is very balanced and I will definitely be looking for this when the warm weather shows up. Another good beer from Anchor brewing. Keep up the great work!!

Photo of joeskirkie
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body is gold with a light red tint in it, slightly cloudy. It has a robust light biege, almost white head that definately holds its own.

Ahhh, a piney/grassy aroma that tells me right away: hops live here. And do they ever, the aroma gives way to a piney flavor with a bitterness that lingers. Exquisite!

Photo of BeerNutta
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liberty Ale.

A = Poured a dark orange with little lace. Beer looked dirty, not quite like it was unfiltered but not quite crisp and clean like it was filtered.

S = Smelt of citrus oranges and lemons.

T = Initial burst of citrus orange with sweet malt undertones. There is a very herbal hop finish. Refreshing.

M = Medium carbonated making it easy to drink.

D = Very drinkable. See myself drinking a few per session if it was cheaper.

Photo of danielocean03
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazed, rich golden amber into a pint glass with a rich, foamy head that lasted fairly long before falling to moderate cream-colored lacing. Carbonation is quite active and visible even through the haze of this ale. Smell is a bouquet of floral hops, with a hint of grainy citrus as well. Tastes bitter and hoppy, one of the hoppiest APA's I've sampled, can taste some grapefruit, leaves a similar bitter aftertaste. Dry on the tongue, finished crisp, enjoyable.

Photo of Celt44
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Eyes - Pours a beautiful, solid, and rich amber. Large frothy head lasts throughout along with lacing.
Aroma - Floral hop aroma is very pleasing - More characteristic of an IPA than any other APA that I've had.
Taste - Hops present with hints of citrus. Bitterness at finish is not unpleasant. Delicious
Mouthfeel - Very smooth - carbonation not overwhelming - Goes down easy.
Drinkability - A superior APA - I can't remember tasting a better one. It's closeness to an IPA, my favorite, most likely has influenced my opinion. Only it's cost here in the East ($8.50+/a sixer) prohibits me from adding this to my session list.
However, I'll be picking this one up again from time to time.

Photo of EStreet20
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this during my vacation down the shore this summer and loved it. Finally got some more.

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a very nice golden color with a nice white creamy head. A bit of a haze in the glass.

S - A very nice floral hop aroma with a small citrus tinge. A small amount of a grain smell behind the hops.

T - A nice dry taste with a bit of a hop bitterness. Some fruitiness and a dry finish.

M - Light bodied and smooth, the carbonation feels great on the tongue.

D - EXcellent. A session beer with enough flavor and complexity for one to fall in love with.

Overall: A very nice APA that one can drink all day in the summer or enjoy with a nice meal.

Photo of willgro
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of ToggleEyes
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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!!

Photo of BRoberts914
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of wingnutter
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | 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.

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.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,097 ratings.