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Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,039 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,039
Reviews: 1,492
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 75
Gots: 212 | 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: 3,039 | Reviews: 1,492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KoG
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of GreenWBush
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bigbubba
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Beersignal
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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 . . . .

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.

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.

Photo of FormatKid
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
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!).

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.

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of meathookjones
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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.

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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.

Photo of mobyfann
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of soper2000
4.2/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of mrpicklerelish
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of moocey
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of stevef
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of walleye
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
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

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,039 ratings.