Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

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very good

3,009 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,009
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 71
Gots: 183 | 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: 3,009 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

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.

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 this too sweet? Definitely shocks of tang and shocks of salt, which made me 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.

Photo of beerceller99
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. with a bottle code date of 0LT2 ; bottled sometime in 2000.Sampled Oct.2003. From the cellar.
Pours a red / bronze hue with a massive tan colored head. Has a mild but fresh floral smell. Taste is caramel, vanilla sweet with a mildly bitter citrus flavor lingering in the background. Medium bodied with a very smooth , creamy mouthfeel. Highly drinkable for the glass was empty before I could savor the last bottle of this six pack from y2k. Should've done a vertical tasting with a " fresh " Liberty.

Photo of RocketWidget
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a strong gold color, with great carbonation and great pure white, lacy head. Smell is hoppy and fresh, but not crisp like a pilsner. Taste is excellent, with a well balanced and full bodied hoppy flavor and a subtle, malty taste. Doesn’t taste like other pale ales, but still excellent. A smooth mouthfeel. This beer is excessively drinkable, an excellent and a classic beer.

Photo of StuFox
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If i was designing a book of beer swatches, this would be my entry for the American Pale Ale. Are there better ones? Yes. Are there worse ones? Of course. But there is no APA that is more architypical than the Liberty Ale. It is pretty hoppy, as should be expected from a Pale Ale, but not too much. In the same vein, the bitterness and sweetness are also very moderate. There is a subtle fruitiness to it, but nothing too strong. A good beer for picky people. There's something for it in everyone, but at the same time, it isn't blazing new trails.

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

Ah, Liberty Ale, the beer that jolted my taste buds with hops so many years ago...

I seemed to have been blessed with a very fresh bottle of this beer. The aroma is full of citrusy hops with a tinge of lemon balm. The carbonation is good and not too fizzy. The foamy head falls to a ring of bubbles as most Anchor beers tend to do. The color is golden and much clearer than I remember. The flavor is of spicy hops played a against a background of what tastes like a single malt. The finish is clean and bitter. A very refined ale that I hope remains a classic.

Sure, there are hoppier and more bitter beers out there now, but Liberty Ale is still a damn fine beer.

Photo of tfinn
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured clear amber from 22oz bomber. plenty of head, and lots of lacing. chunks formed after the head fell (greasy lips?) and dissipated slowly. very attractive.

scent is floral hops. slightly resiny, heavy on the citrus and pine. very much alive with dry-hopped character.

taste is weighted towards strong hops, backed by lightly carmelized anchor malt. there's a nice continuous hop resin from start to finish.

mouthfeel is on the lighter side but stil full, and helped by a bit of residual carmel sweetness. it'd be easy for this to be thin, bitter, and biting, but the folks at anchor obviously know how to keep it balanced.

very tasty; very drinkable. the hop profile's sinuous tail only urges the drinker to follow up with another mouthful. mmm. refreshing.

this has really grown on me since I first tried it a few months ago, much
like anchor's other products I've tried.

Photo of Hibernator
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle served in a pint glass. Very attractive label and overall bottle presentation.

Beautiful 2 inch head on top. I smell pine, citrus and malt. Full scented aroma that promises to be a tasty beer.

Sticky lacings that leaves trails on the side of the pint glass. Citrusy and malt sweetness with every sip. A very well balanced beer with a bitter front and smooth finish.

Very drinkable and an excellent 6.0% ABV session beer for a night. I like everything I've ever had from Anchor. The Liberty Ale is no exception.

Photo of Ahhdball
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber throughout, light hitting the glass showed red, and the crown was a pale beige which didn't stay around except to leave good lacing down the sides.
Confusing at first, I couldn't decide what I was smelling but it dawned on me after a moment, apples. I've never smelled apples in a beer before but I liked it nonetheless. After the apples came small citrus and burnt nut tones.
Taste was very good, not the best APA I've had but up there. No apples in the taste but the citrus along with a decent proportion of hops made this a great brew.
Mouthfeel was smooth but carried a slight tinge on the toungue but very drinkable.

Photo of maccroz
4.78/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color. This has all the flavor of a higher alcohol brew without the malt-liquor feeling of sucking back a 9.5% beer.

Flavor is extremely hoppy, but not so much that it is overpowering, rather it has a complex array of flavors which can be appreciated for 5-10 seconds after swallowing. A very tasty brew.

That being said, this is not a hot day, suck back a 6 pack by the pool under the sun type of brew. A great choice for those nights when you really do want "just one beer"

Photo of Vipsanius
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this and Sierra Nevada Wheat looking for a good summer beer. While the wheat proved a better summer beer, this was still able to hold it's ground.

Poured a golden color with a small head and a little bit of lacing.

The smell is sweet, malty, hoppy, and citrusy all in one. It gives little warning to the bitterness you first sense when you taste it. Once you get past the bitter hops you can pick up on the herbal and floral characteristics of this beer.

This isn't exactly a beer I would go out of my way to buy, but with the poor selection here in Mississippi, this is a beer I am very glad I am able to find.

Photo of baiser
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650 mL brown bowling pin shaped bottle. Poured a bright amber colour, with a creamy beige head, good retention. Left a good ring of lacing around the glass.

The floral aroma rushes right out of the bottle. One of the best beers I've ever had in terms of aroma. The dry hopping really does wonders.

The taste is initially quite hoppy, but then the malt, honey, fruitiness comes through. But the bitterness lingers around and gives the beer great balance.

Mouthfeel is smooth, moderate carbonation.

This is a classic american ale, refreshing, well hopped, fruity and easy drinking. A great beer! Gonna head out and get some more. It's a good thing the bottle is 650 mL because a regular pint is just not enough.

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

I ordered this one to finish my day sampling micros and expected a good beer. (Regular Anchor is not my fave but thier porter was very good, so I thought I'd give this one a go. )

Light, fruity, hoppy aroma and a light cloudy amber color. First taste was well rounded, with fruity flavors/hoppiness taking control. It finished leaving a fruity note, and was a delight to drink.

Most amazing? Usually when I sample a "guest" beer at a microbrew, it lacks the freshness element of beers brewed on premises. Not this beer. It was just as fresh as others probably because of the extra life the hops instill in this ale. Outstanding beer from Anchor.

Photo of Hunter
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Anchor's APA pours a orange-gold, clear and with very little carbonation. Head of white foam, two-fingers thick with little staying power.

A nose of hops that might give Sierra Nevada's Pale a run for its money. There is malt, citrus, and wet hay in the nose, but they don't attempt to compete with the hops.

Sharp bitterness is the first thing to hit the palate. Did I say hit? Try assault. Malt and spice make an appearance, balancing out the hops somewhat. Mouthfeel is thin and seems to scour the tongue, leaving behind a pleasant hoppy bitterness.

A nice representative of the style. Not as complex as Anchor Steam, but good. Seems appropriate for light dishes like fish and poultry, particularly on warmer days.

Photo of 99bottles
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a nice hazy but still translucent golden color with a slight hint of orange. An ample head of white lace rises and fades to a thin lacing.

Smell: This ale has a distinct scent that has slightly phenolic sour-spicy-medicinal notes. I think this might be on the tail end of its freshness date. Hints of lemon rind and grapefruit arise and give this an interesting smell, with the slightest bit of belgian farmhouse funk coming from the yeast strain.

Taste: Much like the smell, this beer is citric and tart in ones mouth. The lemon and grapefruit still dominate, but there are also sweet notes of blooming foliage like honeysuckle. The finish is dry and tastes of dry cornhusk. The hops are used in such a conservative manner, that the bitterness melds neatly into the sourness and little actual hop taste pulls through, except in the aftertaste. Quite a light and fruity, flowery pale ale.

Mouthfeel: This finishes dryly and has very little weight in the mouth. It's actually quite thin, but it seems to work well.

Drinkability: Ah, the lightness of this beer makes it immensely drinkable. A great session pale ale, this is an interesting take on a popular style. Worth trying and enjoying.

Photo of tjd25
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head is beautiful: very dense and silky, fading slowly. The body is of a hazy orange copper color. The smell is very refreshing:hoppy, with very sweet notes of citrus; the fruitiness is very floral too. I like the smell a lot: sweetly citric without being tart. The taste is enjoyable but shows more citrus and tart than I expected. Floral notes of honey, hints of pine, and a whole bouquet of citrus: some lemon, some orange peel and a full grapefruit aspect, with a pronounced tartness. The mouthfeel is enjoyable; very floral and fruity hops bring a complexity without making the beer overly thick. This beer reminded me a bit of a mojito, probably in the citric and grassy/minty aspect. I like the floral hoppiness a lot, but I don't like the excessive aspect that much. A very hoppy beer, similar to some hoppy Belgian ales, enjoyable, refreshing. A good beer.

Photo of pootz
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle…5 weeks from bottling date. Poured a vibrant orange with a rocky 2 finger cap that takes a while to reduce to a 1cm surface cap that stays. Medium effervescence. Wonderful nose...pungent floral-fruity aroma (grapefruit) mingles with a solid peach-bubblegum of the best smelling crafts out there. Starts big with gravelly mouth feel that mellows to a sandy hop wallop (still not too over powering of the ample malt body)...flavors of peach, pear, lemon grass…complex, controlled astringency with solid underlying malt spine…finish is a slowly bittering affair as the malt drops away completely and the complex hopping leaves a dozen different impressions on the tongue…like 4 or 5 different metals… wadda ale! This is the one that set the pace for complex hop pronounced ales…a pioneer that took the risk for people like Rogue et al to follow. A well crafted American micro that will stand the test of time.

Photo of cokes
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fuzzy golden, but generally clear aside from a light smog. The head is white, compact, and durable- if only as a skimming.
Nose of toasted grain and floral bitters. I recall this being a loud hop explosion. But it's been awhile. That's not here now. Simplistic on the nose.
Redemption- on a small scale- is found in the flavor. Toasty, biscuity and pale malty up front. Maybe mixed with a stray peanut or two. Fruitiness is slight, but progresses throughout the beer. Nondescript upfront, it develops into a fried plantain and mango notion around the finish. Hopping is more behaved than memory recalls. It's still got a persuasive Cascade-driven bitterness; one mainfest of Spruce branches and flowers. But it's more of a "here you are, kind sir" rather than recollected, "Blam! Take this, bitch!".
Streaming carbonation befits a medium-light body.
A great beer of the fall back variety. I much prefer this to Cali's other mainstream Pale Ale.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

came in a cool looking 650 ml bottle. poured a light orange color with copious spectacular looking bubbles. Best carbonation Ive ever seen (aside from unibroue beers). It has a massive dense foamy head with endless retention and chunky lace. The aroma is of perfumey and floral hops. The taste is very complex but definitely dominated by hops; grapefruit, lemon, earthy, woody, and grassy hops. Very enjoyable, one of my favourite beers.

Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich golden amber colour with a bit of haze. Nice head retention and lacing as well. Strong smell of hops, mainly citrus and floral, with a light biscuit maltiness. It has a sharp hop bitterness at the base that carries all the way through, but with many other flavours on top. Malt sweetness is present, but doesn't get in the way of citrus and herbal hop flavours. Smooth, with a grain dryness at the finish and a citrus bitterness aftertaste, which reminded me of lemon peel. Very nice.

650mL bottle, 5.9% ABV listed, bottled March 9, 2004 (production code 4MI).

Photo of SetarconeX
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up in a sort of post-4th of July patriotic ferver, this proved to be an astoundingly good beer. A nice, ever so slightly amber color, with a lovely little lacing which never quite seems to go away. Only a slight syrupyness keeps this one away from a perfect five. A not too strong grainy scent tells you that what you're getting into might not be fiendishly complex, but it's built to near perfection.

The taste seems to be an almost perfect balance between the malts and hops. Nice and malty up front, and a viciously bitter hoppiness in back, I assume from their "dry hopping." In the background, with this balancing act going on, however, is an overwhelming yeastiness, keeping the hops from being dominant and making this brew surprisingly easy to drink.

Hands down, a fantastic beer. Highly recommended.

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

12 oz bottle. Pours with a very large, golden colored head, above a copper body. Head recedes fairly rapidly, lacing down the glass. A pretty pour.

Aroma is of strong hops with a fruity, citrusy character. Smell is strong but not overpowering. Taste starts hoppy and then recedes. Hops out front, a little hop aftertaste but not too much. A malty sweetness hides under the hops but comes out. Very tasty. The hop flavor is slightly cirtusy but with an additional flavor that is good but not great. Mouthfeel is there but not too thick, very appropriate for the style with a hoppy coating left at the end.

Drinkability is good, but its not a sessionable beer. All together, a very tasty american pale ale.

Photo of flaminghomer
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the new "American Style" s.a., goose island honkers ale, and this liberty ale. a crisp overly balanced (too much malt, equal hops) ale. it's good. it's real good. and it will one be known as the american style rather than the cheap swill shit today.

everything is good about this beer. but nothing great. that's what makes it so good.

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,009 ratings.