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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

3,096 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,096
Reviews: 1,501
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 75
Gots: 237 | 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: 3,096 | Reviews: 1,501
Photo of Dithyramb
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in bottle at Red Star in Baltimore, just after a letdown from Sammy Smith's IPA. Strong aroma of herbal and piney hops with substantial malty backbone.
Flavor was stupendous. Great caramel and cocoa laden malty brew, with sharp hop bite on the front and smooth herbal/piney hops on the back. Just enough to know they are packin', but not enough to hurt your mouth. Strong, but tasty and just right. Worth several.

Photo of radshoesbro
4.61/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - gorgeous!! absolutely beautiful!! has a terrific head with some fantastic lacing! beautiful amber color.

s - faint hops, malts, and mild mild alcohol.

t - medium hops which brings a perfect mix of malt and bitterness. it's like someone put "good" all over my tounge!! man, this is really great!!

m - medium bodied APA with a good dry finish. comes off a bit strong at first, but after a few sips you're used to it.

notes: my goodness...that is a good beer. woo! definately going to get a 6 of this next time i buy beer. wow!

Photo of ghostwalker
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy, light amber, yellow/orange pour. Lots of head, white and frothy.

Sharp, citrusy nose. Makes you really want a sip.

Nice bite, with substantial body. Malt is certainly a presence, also plenty of hops there, but not a hop-bomb, (like so many of my other favorites). Citrus flavors from the Cascade hops, always welcome, but not dominating. Mild caramel highlights too. As it warms, the malty, bready flavors emerge and take a look around, there's really a lot going on here for a relatively mild beer. Overall, it has many distinct flavors, with none of them really taking over, but very tasty and pleasant none the less.

Mouthfeel is thick for the style, but smooth and slick, not acidic.

Very drinkable, much like Anchor Steam, one of my all time favorites. Easily could be one of my new favorite session beers.

Photo of DogFood11
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always liked the rounded edges to the bottle and the label looks classy as well. Poured into a pounder glass it forms a sticky off white head that maintains completely throughout, Leaving behind tread marks all the way down. copper to light orange hue. For the style its perfect to near perfect appearance.

Smell was a bit faint. I had a hard time picking up anything defining. Malted sweetness and a fairly challenging saucey hop presence was inviting. Biscuity, doughy as well.

Refreshing first pull, chewy but welcomed. Biscuity, incredible malt profile is sweet and well put together. Enough bitterness to balance but the main goodness is the malts. The body of the beer has a bit of a heavy mouthfeel as it rolls around. Carbonation balance is nice to sizzle the taste in.

Notes: I'm always impressed by this brew. Sierra Nevada, Stone, and Anchor to me are what brewers should look to as the king of pale ale's and strive to achieve their greatness.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle into a big ol' chalice.
Deep honey color with a big fluffy white head that goes away after a little bit.
Smells very inviting; I could smell this one while the glass was sitting on the table. A pleasantly sweet, hop aroma... herbal, almost like honey or clover.
Very fragrant and very appealing to the nose.
Sierra Nevada fans will dig this one but i do not like the kind of hop bitterness found in here... that sharp citrus rind bitterness that takes too much attention to itself and shouts down other flavors that might speak up. Some softer, sweet malt flavors are in there but they're too meek against the bitter citrus stuff that's happening.
It shows up in the mouthfeel and for me earns demerits there taste, mouthfeel and drinkability.
A very well crafted and interesting pale ale but it's not my thing. Those west coast hops are not always to my liking... those of you that enjoy them there hops should be all over this one.

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

The beer after its extraction from the 12-once brown stubby bottle sets in the glass translucent golden amber with a modest frothy off-white head, and after its erosion the resultant lace forms a thin covering upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt, crisp and clean almost lime-like, start is somewhat sweet with a nice grain profile, top is light to moderate in feel. Finish is sturdy in its acidity, the hops delectably spicy and the aftertaste desert bone dry, another long time favorite beer from a long time favorite brewery.

Photo of kosmoraios
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An excellent example of a true american pale.
Pours a nice clear copper color, with a small head that leaves a ring and some lacing. Aroma is fruity and spicy, with some apple and coriander present in the nose, strong hoppy smell. Taste is fruity, pleasantly hoppy, and perfectly bitter with the malt balancing it all very well. Some light wheat-like tastes linger in the mouth for a moment. Mouthfeel is just right, with perfect carbonation and phenolic smoothness balancing each other perfectly. A very drinkable, wonderful session ale.

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presentation: short squatty 12oz. bottle with an old paper colored oval label on the front. liberty ale is in all caps atop the label with the anchor-typical etch-line printed illustration of an eagle perched on hops, wheat and barley behind an anchor. anchor's explanation of their liberty ale is printed on the neck label. no abv or freshness date found. there is a rectangle on the back label with perforated letters and/or numbers inside, but they are indistinguishable.

appearance: pours a bright gold yellow-orange with a white fluffy 1 inch head. extremely bright with lotsa bubbles. lightly hazy with some floaties. head drops after a while to a ringed capper but laces well.

smell: first sniff is wheaty and floral hops. mild fruity esters and citrus aromas.

taste: lightly bitter at first with some mildly sweet malt undertones. biscuity with lightly piney citrus hop flavors. apricots after warming. finishes dry, a little sour and lightly yeasty bitter.

mouthfeel: crisp and fairly smooth. good carbonation but rolls around a little harshly. swallow is just average.

drinkability: fairly drinkable. almost finished before i started thinkin' about drinkability. finish keeps you drinking, but the whole time, i'm drinking hoping to discover more.

overall: i can't help but compare this apa to alpha king. not even close. may make a good session beer, but there are better out there. average in my opinion, but a must try as this is a legendary brewery and seems to hit the spot for others.

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

Head is big,white, and frothy on top of this clear light gold beer. Rings of lace make for a nice look. Aroma is balanced between rounded orangy fruitiness and doughiness. Flavor wavers between sweetness and bitterness, with a pleasant tingly bite at the start. The real beauty here lies in the gentle leafy character of the hops! So wonderful! Fades into a light citrus and cocoa aftertaste that seems a little muted. This is a very enjoyable, everyday type of beer. While the stupid bottle codes bother me, I will still buy this every once in a while.

Photo of fisherman34
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold with red hints. Smells of citrus, lavender and a bit of sulfur. Very hoppy in flavor, with white grapefruit and some white grape flavors. Not much caramel malt flavor at all, but that's not such a bad thing in this case. Good carbonation helps to give it a nice refreshing quality. Hides the alcohol very well. Long and pleasently bitter finish as well. I would definitely buy this again.

Photo of wedge
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, soft pale golden color - small white head is fleeting. Smells light and pleasant, caramel/buttery hints blend with spicy and floral hops. Good dry hop character in flavor - nice balance between the bitter hops and mildly sweet malts. Delicate and satisfying, rich and full yet rather uncomplex...in a good way. Slightly dry in the finish - perfect natural carbonation.

This is just a great anytime beer. Well rounded, not over complicated, and very easy to drink. Classic APA.

Photo of tastybeer
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mmmm. I've had this before, but this time I bought this in NH at a Shaws grocery store for the great low price of $6.99. Good deal.

I love the color of this beer. A topaz/amber fog fills the glass and is topped off with a creamy white colored head, and some partly sticky lace. The head has never been that large in most of my pours for this beer. The scents are very nice. Various light smells include earthy citrus, floral, some pine, a tiny bit of spice, a hidden maltiness, and a surrounding light mintiness, not to be confused with strong breath mints. There is a lot to the smell but everything comes together ultra smoothly. Taste is like the aroma. I get everything I mentioned above however the surrounding mintiness is much more subdued by or covered with malts. There are a good deal of hops that flood the mouth, though more like a hoppy pale ale than an IPA. Very nice mouthfeel. Real smooth and quite drinkable.

Real good, if you like beer and feel like a smooth, lightly complex and tasty brew, there's little reason to not get this occasionally or frequently.

Photo of whynot44
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice, slightly hazy amber/gold color with a decent white head that retreats to a decent lacing.

Medium bodied, very nice hops aroma, slight fruitiness. Flavor is dominated by a very pleasant hops taste.

Very smooth with a dry hops finish. Refreshing. Tasty and very drinkable..

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

Poured into a Anchor Steam Glass. Was golden in color with excellent carbonation, but a small head that disappeared fast. Not much lacing afterwards as well. Nice malty, hoppy scents. It does taste a little different than other APAs I've had. Goes down really smooth, not much of a bite afterwards though. Very drinkable and would make a nice session brew at 6%.

Photo of battlekow
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Man, Anchor makes some pretty beers. Liberty Ale is a clear golden color, light but not weak. It also maintains an attractive white head throughout. Smells and tastes sweet and florally hoppy, very simple, very fresh, very good. Rich, creamy mouthfeel. This beer would be an excellent example for the non-BA of how hops can be a great things. Just a really simple and tasty beer.

Photo of Illini5596
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Anchor beers, and this was a good beer, but it didn't strike me as being truly worthy of the Anchor label. It was decent, I'd have it again if nothing else looked good, and it by no means disgraces the good name of craft beers. It just doesn't do it for me, thats all.

Photo of Tim460
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazey golden color with a small head that turns to lace after a couple minutes. Smells grainy. The malt hits first as I tasted It with some hop bitterness at the back end. Quite different from many other APA's I've tasted.Goes down very smooth. An extremely drinkable APA that I find especially nice on hot summer days.

Photo of tgbljb
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a peach-amber color, slightly cloudy with nice white head that lasted throughout the glass. Smell is essentially hoppy with a background fruit and pine scent. Taste is hoppy, but quickly fades to reveal a nice fruitiness. Nice dry aftertaste. Good beer but nothing special.

Photo of beersarang
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper with a white head that holds its own and leaves lace all over. A healty and appetizing beer.

Grassy citrus aroma gently meets the nose, no harshness here.

Nice domestic malts upfront with a steady hit of hop bitterness with grapefruit hop undertones. A true west coast pale ale flavor. Citrusy hops give way and the most pleasant suprise is a very wonderful sweet grainy finish. A perfectly balanced APA.

Medium bodied with crisp but smooth carbonation.

I would buy this one again for sure, ranks at the top of APAs for sure.

Photo of bceaglejoe
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with "3DB" stamped on the back; no freshness date. Served in a traditional pint glass.

Presentation: Poured a deep-orange color; the beer was translucent and actually rather cloudy for the style. A blossoming slightly off-white head formed, about a finger and a half thick at the start, and retention was very good. It appeared to be a moderately carbonated beer. The scent reveals a malty, sweet aroma with estery notes. It was somewhat strong as well, making it a pleasant scent to behold.

Tasting: Malt sweetness came across on the front of the tongue, followed by wheat flavors across the middle. The aftertaste was a cross between "fruity" and "floral," as the beer had only a slight bitterness. The malt left a strong impression. It had a light to moderate body, but the composition of the beer did not cover the alcoholic warmth as much as I'd have liked it to, slightly lowering the score. The beer rolled across my tongue well, though. It had a great deal of character, inviting me to take subsequent sips.

Notes: It's interesting to me that this beer falls within the American Pale Ale category. It has more malt flavor than I expected, and far less hop bitterness. The aroma was similar to that of a Belgian Tripel, and the aftertaste was reminiscent of that style as well. The bottle claimed that the beer was "dry hopped," but I couldn't tell; hop bitterness really didn't come across. The only difference between this and beers of the Tripel style is that very little, if any, yeast is in the bottle. Reading the BeerAdvocate description of the style, it seems as though this might fall into the English Pale Ale category.

It was a highly enjoyable beer, one that I would like to return to in the near future. I can see this livening up a barbecue or other event, as its lightness, combined with assertive flavors, would attract even non-BAs. I highly recommend this beer, though I am not sure if it is the consummate representative of the American Pale Ale style.

Photo of dirtylou
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: orange/golden, white head which dissapears quickly

smell: not overpowering by any means, somewhat metallic, slight wheat smells. I am not getting much citrus/hop smell.

taste: sweet, lemon, pine, not very complex, very crisp

mouthfeel: light, carbonation present

drinkability: definately could function as a session beer.

I tend to think that this beer is a bit overrated but it is easily available and not a bad choice by any means.

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

Pours a clear amber/copper colour, ample white head and plenty of lace. Really pretty looking beer. Piney northwest hop aroma, but the malt backbone is very detectable in the nose, nice breadiness. Taste is all hops, citrusy hops from front to back, malt is detectable but plays second fiddle to the hops, but thats okay. Taste is very full, good body, real smooth. Excellent ale on a hot day, or any day for that matter. A classic.

Photo of quasimoto
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice clear golden orange color with a nice fluffy off-white head. The aromas were a mixture of floral hops , toasted malt and a slight caramel scent. The taste was of a very, very slight smokey caramel/malt/honey and finished up with a bitterness from the hops. The after taste stuck around of a bitter hop. Overall it wasn't a strong flavored beer, but it was very balanced. I love this brewery, I haven't been let down yet.

Photo of mshallah
4.87/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Liberty is an ale I have recently rediscovered. I first sampled it in my early "beyond Bud" days and remember it to be a hoppy ale. In recent tastings it proves to be a perfect example of an aromatic brew. Aromas of Cascade hops, ale yeast fruitiness, and malt background make for a great beer to keep under your nose. Fine(small bubble) natural carbonation and a creamy head give a quaffable mouthfeel. Some feel this beer should be labeled an IPA instead of a pale ale. Take into account this beer's birthday, April 18th 1975(I was 4) to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's ride, well before american IPA's gained popularity.(Ballintine IPA maybe?) This beer should be sought fresh and sought often. World class.

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

Appearance is a cloudy orange with some foam an lacing. Aroma has yeast, hops, bananas, crackers and malts. Initial taste contains malt, honey, and lemony hops with some wintergreen and spice. Yeast rises to the surface to remind us that this is an ale. Awesome crafting. A very good ale.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,096 ratings.