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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

2,980 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,980
Reviews: 1,484
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 70
Gots: 173 | 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: 2,980 | Reviews: 1,484 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CSimon
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 . . . .

CSimon, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of EagleTalon
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

EagleTalon, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of Jacobob10
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Terrific appearance. Golden brown color with a nice head and great lacing on the glass all the way down. What an ale should look like! Nice hop bitterness that hides the malts. Nice taste as well, slight hop floralness aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good but could use a little less carbonation in my opinion. Goes down easy and would make an excellent session beer.

Jacobob10, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About time I saw this one around here, I’ve been waiting for it forever. I poured it out of it’s uniquely shaped anchor bottle into a standard pint glass. The body is perfectly translucent, a little paler than a lot of the other APA’s I’ve seen and visually nearly devoid of carbonation bubbles. The head is aggressive and eggshell colored, I couldn’t even pour the whole twelve ounce at once, when I finally get it poured it gives that domed “ice cream float” appearance that I so love. Bright white lacing literally sheets down the sides of the pint. This is definitely a great smelling APA, all the right piney and citrus notes on the nose backed by a candy sweet, bubble-gum/cotton candy malt smell with a little pepperiness hanging behind it. The flavor bears witness to the nose, up front is packed with candy sweet malt, which slowly lets the dense, flat bitterness come through, and then the citrus flavors of the hops…without ever truly letting go of it’s foothold. The mouthfeel is softly carbonated and lightly slick. From what I’d heard of this brew I was expecting hop-tea, but really it is more of a “barleywine-lite”, much more well-balanced than what I had expected and the malt flavor is superb (don’t forget the hops, they were great too!).

FormatKid, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy amber with straw yellow edges. A thin white head that retains reasonably well and leaves some minor lacings throughout the session.

Smell: mild pine and citrus notes. There is some cider-like sweetness and malt presence that develops. A nicely balance smell. The citrus and the sweetness do not dominate or overpower.

Taste: A prickly, cider-like bite up front with pears and apples coming to mind. There is a mild pine presence at the beginning and the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel: light bodied and prickly due to the nice carbonation.

Drinkability: I think this would make a pretty good session. I can see doing one of these before a meal, having a nice chicken or steak dinner with the meal, and finishing off the meal with another one.

Notes: I felt it was my duty as a BA to try this American classic. It was nice but not over the top. Probably one of the most balanced brews I've had in a while. I think it's good to "reset the hard drive" with a beer like this every once in a while. After seeking out hops until my tongue explodes or imperial stouts that are over the top, it's nice to enjoy a balanced beer like this one.

Definitely recommended and may be a good one to convert a non-BA.

mattcrill, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with fine bubbles in a generous head. The smell is a very sweet hoppy smell.

This beer is exceptionally smooth. The flavor is bold and round - pulling together a good mix of hops and barley. Although it is very hoppy, it has more to offer than bitter in its taste. There is a richness when drinking it that I sense when eating thick desserts.

GuinnessSmurf, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After passing this up on the shelf to many times to remember I finally decided to give it a shot. Body is a golden orange with a tall white head that almost overflowed. Great lace and head retention while I drank this. Aroma was heavily citric with a touch of floral and sweet malt. Taste was more citric hops, with a good backing of caramel malt. Very refreshing clean and crisp flavor. While the taste is lighter than others it still is quite flavorful and pleasing. Body is light to medium with definitely boosts the drinkability and doesn’t really hurt it any. This stuff couldn’t be more drinkable in my opinion. I am glad I finally picked this up. I will definitely be revisting this on in the future.

meathookjones, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/29/04- Purchased at the local Safeway in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- Very nice light amber color with a small head and better than average lacing.

Smell- Heavy citrus scent. At first I thought lemons, but now I am thinking of a more sweeter fruit.

Taste- More hops than I was expecting. Nice malt flavor. Tastes like sweet honey and a kick of hops to go with it. A bit of a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation works well with this beer, thus it goes down very smooth.

Drinkability- Happy I finally tried this one. Have been an Anchor Steam man for a while, but never got around to tying the Liberty. Guess I'll hit the porter sometime soon. My second straight Anchor style 4's across the board review.

GClarkage, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very good pale ale. It is a light orange color and has a creamy white head that leaves tons of lace on my glass. It has a nice citrusy aroma and a ton of malt in the nose too. The flavor is very crisp and the floral hoppiness is nice and sharp, but does not linger long in the aftertaste. A very drinkable pale ale from a world class brewer.

RushLimbmalt, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Toasting a salute to all veterans today with a Liberty Ale. A toast to all active duty personnel as well (our future veterans). May your country honor your service and your sacrifice no matter how great or small. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

Appearance - slightly hazy, golden-orange color. Two-finger head is like what you get on an ice cream float. Very thick, creamy, and slow to break down. A wall of lace down the glass looks shiny, pretty cool.

Aroma - floral, orange citrus is all I pick up. A one trick pony, but a good trick.

Taste - rich grain flavor, but short-lived. Orange, piney hops throw a prickly cover on the taste and turn grapefruit bitter on the swallow. The finish is a warm burn of grapefruit rind, dry and a little spicy. Very flavorful and lively.

Mouthfeel - highly carbonated, a burper no doubt. That lightens up the feel of this smooth brew, keeping a touch of bounciness to the hops.

Drinkability - an all-season pick. Enjoy in good health and freedom.

brewdlyhooked13, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $1.49 for a single...

The appearence pours a golden-amber colored base with a small white head with good retention and minimal lacing. The aroma was quite nice, very floral hops.

The first taste has some alcohol to it, but after it settled it was one-of-a-kind. The taste adds some malty sweetness from where the aroma left off. The M&D are almost perfect. Nice on the palette and can be used as a session beer as for an ale it isn't too sweet nor strong.

Final Though: After the first taste I was a bit skeptical, but then this beer became a classic.

mobyfann, Nov 11, 2004
Photo of soper2000
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Election 2004 with a Liberty. I've waited awhile to finally try this one and I'm wondering why. Pours with a 1 finger creamy white head atop a pale orange body. Smell is predominately malty which surprised me for an APA. A little bit of piney (i'm not getting much citrus) hops poking through. Taste is extremely well balanced with a small hop kick giving way towards a huge wall of caramel malt before backing into a hoppy aftertaste. Nice experience. A very solid beer from Anchor Steam. I'm sure that this bottle isn't very fresh and it'd be nice to try this new to see the changes in the hop profile, but as is, it's very enjoyable.

soper2000, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of mrpicklerelish
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured a dark orange/amber color. Almost pure white head about 1/2 inch thick that quickly settled to a nice film with some nice left behind on the glass.

Smell - Huge citrus notes with what seemed like a little pine in the background.

Taste - Smooth malt with some nice floral notes followed by a nice spice bite from the hops. Very balanced tasting, nothing seemed out of balance or to overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Very medium feeling body with what seemed like the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink, not to heavy of a feel to it as it goes down.

Comments - Great all around pale ale, which also could make for a great introduction to the world of craft brew.

mrpicklerelish, Nov 02, 2004
Photo of moocey
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Sweet Lady Liberty. I must have a bad batch of this fine ale. The last time I drank it the hops were far more bitter and noticable. This time they are merely adquate. In fact, it tastes a bit watered down. I suppose this sat on the shelves for a while. Oh well, it still looks and smells Absolutey Beautiful. This great cloudy golden orange color. I'll try this again soon.

moocey, Nov 02, 2004
Photo of stevef
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden color with a thick creamy white head. Has a pleasing citrusy smell. Tastes of citrus with a hint of malty sweetness. Leaves a slight hoppy bitterness on the finish with an increasingly, pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Very carbonated. A very good beer, an American classic.

stevef, Oct 26, 2004
Photo of walleye
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

amber with a lasting head, aroma citrus some hints of grapefruit and some malts and a little bitter not to bad of a ale.flavor was grapefruit, hints of lemon and hops.

this is one of the beers that started me on the road to like ale a little bit more

walleye, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of slitherySOB
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

God bless friends from home. Anyways, Liberty ale pours with a beautiful head. Starts out huge, with at least four fingers. Disipates to a little less than two fingers, but still hovers like a thick, beautiful cloud. Bit of an orangy-gold colour, with a hazed chill. Lace lightly sticks to the glass. Light fruits, raw honey, honeycomb and biscuit malts, grassiness, yeast, hops and even a bit of sprig mint on the nose. Taste starts out biscuity sweet, with malts and honeycomb. Then it changes to an earthy, flower and grass taste. Aftertaste is bitter fresh. Grass and bitter hops, with a bit of sprig mint that's a bit off. Reminds me of a menthol cigarette. Had to take a half point for that. Finishes dry and raw. Definitely could tell this were dry hopped. I couldn't drink alot of this at one time, but I could still enjoy this occasionally. Glad I got this.

slitherySOB, Oct 22, 2004
Photo of skybluewater
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code "4L7" (although this beer is most definitely not square), which I translate as "July 27, 2004" (don't blame me if I'm wrong). Pours a nice honey color, quite a bit lighter than Steam. Nice rocky head that lasts for quite a while. Smell is a big burst of fruit and pine. Taste is a bit fruity, a bit piney, but with Steam in the background.

Overall, I like this one a bit less than Steam, but this is still a darn good beer.

skybluewater, Oct 07, 2004
Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange gold with a puffy white laundry-suds head, definite rich piney smell. Flowery hoppy flavor with a small amount of sugary (not malty) sweetness, really light mouthfeel with a bit of a puckery, citrusy finish. This is a clean and really refreshing beer, despite the hoppy flavor it is really quite mild, enough that you could easily rack off a six pack of these at a summer BBQ or a winter poker party. A bit gassy bit that makes the hops stand out even more.

PopeJonPaul, Oct 06, 2004
Photo of trumick
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber with a half inch head that lasts for several minutes and lots of lacing.

Scent is of bready malts and hops nicely sweet.

Taste is great starts hops then sweet malts and hops and ending with nice dry citrus hops.

Mouthfeel, wonderfull medium bodied with excelent carbination that compliments the hop flavor.

Drinkability is high. This is a great beer to have a six pack of and finish the whole thing.

Magnificent beer from Anchor. I have always liked the Steam and never tried this one. I like this beer better.

trumick, Sep 23, 2004
Photo of frazbri
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep straw-gold in color topped with bright white head. Floral bouquet of american hops. Grapefruit and biscuit in flavor. Ever present bitterness, on top of a malt backbone. Light to moderate in mouthfeel. Carbonated enough to keep hops on your tongue.

This is the standard bearer of American Pale Ale. The most striking part of this beer is the aroma. Put your nose in a glass of Liberty and enjoy. Anchor Liberty is still a beer to be revered.

frazbri, Sep 21, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
2.4/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a five-fingered white head that fades slowly leaving a ton of lace. Clear, light amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts as a mix of sweetness and hops but then the hops really assert and finish is hoppy with lingering bitterness. A very good pale but not for my tastes. $2.25 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Sep 16, 2004
Photo of Padron4KM
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Years ago I used to treat myself to Anchor steam once in a while, that is until I went to see the Dead in SF in the early 90’s.

While we were there we hit up several grocery stores looking for "cheap" beer to take with us to the lot before the show. every place we hit only had anchor and bud in the cold box, everything else was in the isles, warm.

I haven’t touched it since so I guess subconsciously I was boycotting the brand. Tonight I ended the boycott.

Pours an orange sunset color with a big tanish head.

Aroma is citrus hops with a slight malt background.
flavor is lightly lemony, a little fruity and has a nice smooth round mouthfeel. finish was lightly grapefruity biter.

nice session beer

Padron4KM, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of crookedhalo
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer's my 4th of July staple. Pours a semi-clouded light copper color with a short off-white head. Cascadey, piney nose, with some tea-like caramel malt aromas, too. Nice and hoppy without being overly aggressive. A sweetened tea-like maltiness rounds out a good orangey hop presence. One of the better APAs this fine country has to offer. Highly drinkable. A classic APA.

crookedhalo, Sep 10, 2004
Photo of donnebaby
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Semi-opaque, dark gold color body, still in the glass. Thin color of foam and film of haze. Little lacing. Nose is mild, sweetish hops.

Taste is mild, too, of fruity hops, quite sweet. I wondered...is this too sweet? Definitely shocks of tang and shocks of salt, which made me wonder...is this too rough? Yet somehow it overall mild, and refined. A pretty hoppy ale by all means, yet a refined hoppy ale.

Excellent mouthfeel and medium body.

donnebaby, Sep 09, 2004
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,980 ratings.