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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

1,537 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,537
Hads: 3,299
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 17.05%
Wants: 96
Gots: 368 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,537 | Hads: 3,299
Photo of BRoberts914
4.48/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of corey0212
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear light-orange color, smallish sized white head fades into a film on top of the beer, a few splotches of lace around the glass. Lots of floral hop aromas, bright & citrusy, with a nice bready backbone. Citrus hop flavors come through nicely, without being too over-the-top, some faint tangerine notes, slight piney bitterness, some sweet caramel flavors, all of this in extreme balance. Lively and refreshing, and a beer you could drink all day, all year. A longtime favorite of mine.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Nose spicy citrus with some grapefruit, light grains
Brilliant copper amber with a 2: finely bubbled off white foam cap.
Palate: citrus, apricot to peach, caramel and malt, assertive grapefruit rind finish.
Medium body, very rich and creamy medium carbonation.

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Photo of BeanBone
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A slightly hazy golden-amber body capped by two fingers of creamy whitish head that feature terrific retention and lacing.

Aroma: Bright, fresh, citrusy, and floral hops over a slightly grainy caramel malt body--I can already tell this is going to be solid.

Flavor: Up front, a wave of brassy and somewhat juicy citric hops lead the way. Underneath, there's an understated biscuity malt backbone keeping everything in check. The end result is a well balanced English-style Pale Ale with some extra American-style bite. Leafy bitterness and biscuity grain in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy with smooth carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: A perfect session choice, this is a beer that aches for repetition.

Verdict: Back in the dark days, I'm sure it took a pretty exceptional beer to get people back into drinking the hoppy stuff. Liberty obviously fit the bill back then, and still holds up as a tasty brew today.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an IPA glass.

Presentation: Fluffy foam head collapses and leaves a good amount of sticky lacing. Crystal clear body. Golden with the slightest tint of amber in color.

Smell: Sweet citrus. Floral esters. Minor presence of grains.

Taste: Good hit of the malts up front: floral notes, bitter citrus - somewhere between grapefruit and lime. The flavorful hops sit on a decent malt body: crackers and grains.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Medium-light body.

Overall: Anchor nailed this one. It is simple, tastes great, and is pretty friendly on the wallet.

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 05.09.14.

A: 1 finger head with an aggressive pour. Crystal clear orange.

S: Biscuity malt, citrus.

T: Caramel is first, then sweet citrus. Bitterness on the back end, then lingering sweetness again.

M: Crisp.

O: This one is a classic. It's not at all hop heavy in comparison to the IPAs of today. It's simply subtle and refreshing. The malt seemed more dominant than the hops, which is weird now, but it comes from a different time. It was a great gateway into IPAs for me.

Rating: A-

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Photo of TheSarge
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite beer of all time. God Bless Howard F. Maytag.

This brew pours with much CO2 and looks quite filtered from what I remember. It's almost totally clear. This produces a beautiful sticky and clumpy white head that lasts pretty much all the way through.

Liberty Ale gives off aromas of pine, floral, molasses, and toasty fragrances. This tastes great with a good hops presence, as well as a slight hint of celery.

This feels a bit bity, and a little coarse too. Also, this is very clean and crisp.

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Photo of Beer_I_Am
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Pours a beautiful golden Amber with a quarter finger head that is sticky and lingers for several minutes. Aroma is hoppy, floral, fresh cut grass. Mouthfeel is the best part of this beer. So creamy and wonderful. Front end is sour, then bitter hops. Very clean and drinkable. A great example of its type. Solid ale. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my long time favorites. I like to introduce friends to new beers and Liberty is the only one that I can say that everyone has liked. The lighter than "pale" color is deceptive for such a flavorful brew. The perfect sweet to bitter transformation sweeps across the tongue and satisfies all the way. It has enough bite for most hopheads but the beautiful balance and the pleasant floral bouquet erases any possible complaints. Even the mother-in-law likes it. The best introduction to the way of the hophead.

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Photo of Bogie
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For some reason I have not drank this beer in over a year and half.
I am not sure why but after drinking a bottle I have determined I was missing a great beer. The color was a slightly cloudy copper.
That not a negative. It produced a nice thick off white head that stayed with the beer. The bubbles were tiny, the kind I expect from a good brew. The aroma was very pleasant. On to the taste.
I had thought this beer would taste like a Strong Pale ale, but it did not. The flavor was subtle, slightly hoppy with a delicate malt that made a nice contrast to the Red Seal and Arrogant Bastard that I like. This taste was consistant from the time I poured until I finished the last drop. I am going to put Liberty Ale on my regular list of beers to buy.

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Photo of seanyfo
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

35cl bottle served aggressively into my spaten seidel.

A - Rusty red orange body with a tan 4 finger dense creamy head, with good retention and lacing.

S- Floral hop freshness surrounded by a biscuity toffee maltiness.

T- Floral fruity hops, a little banana, caramel and biscuit malts in the finish, a nice lingering malt flavour lingers

M - soft, dense, creamy mouthfeel

D- A well balanced tasty, creamy ale. Enough flavours to make it enjoyable for a session and a creamy texture which is easy on the tummy!

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Photo of SamN
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy golden color with a dirty white- soapy head. Sticky foam, I can expect lacing eventually. Nice deep color, mouthwatering APA looks. Smell is hoppy and sweet; honey malts, sweet fruit and pine noes from the magnificent dry hopping method. Big time juicy fruit aromas, delicious aroma. Taste is upfront with huge pear and apple notes, the sweetness lasting through the moderately hoppy and somewhat grassy finish. Remarkably sweet yet mature tasting. The bitterness factor is measured to a perfect pitch, never getting too overpowering. The hops is dominant but not overpowering, it really shows brewer prowess to maintain such a sweet fruity taste is light of aggressive dry hopping. Mouthfeel is exceptional, smooth and subtle. It's almost like you forget it's there's because it's so smooth, but if you focus on it, you realize it's firm and supportive of the big time flavor profile.

Overall, really quite an astounding APA. I've found Anchor to be somewhat lackluster in it's other styles, but this is a winner. Delicious, fruity, sweet and perfectly hopped. Great job.

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Photo of isaac
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. anchor-signature-bottle to pint glass.

pours a slightly hazy golden-orange, amber-y body with a big, soft head, sinking somewhat quickly into thick, fine-bubbled lacing and a clumpy, shiny film. the nose is fresh and fruity, somewhat lemon-like, less than the steam, but still strong. floral notes also climb the nostrils, with a sort of woodland piney-ness. savory malts are also detectable. now on to the taste... amazingly well balanced between the more-than-average-but-not-too-much bitterness and the complex, luscious, bready malts. medium bodied, fine-carbonated, this beer is absolutely sessionable and soft-spoken in its craftsmanship. fantastic. besides, it doesn't hurt to have the "made in san francisco" written on the bottle. it makes me proud, tearing up just a tad for my distant home. san francisco, this one's for you!

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Photo of jkrich
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with freshness code 7UN which means bottled on 06/19/07. Why not just put a simple date on bottle? Poured into pint glass a clear golden color with a sustained white two inch head. Some lacing on glass.
Smells of mild citrus hops and vanilla.
Taste: A very unique taste of restrained piney hops with a malty followup. Again, the beer has a vanilla smell as well as a slight vanilla and grapefruit taste. I do not recall ever smelling an APA like this.
Immensely balanced and drinkable, this could be a regular session beer except for the prohibitive price - $9.00 a sixpack. I suppose it is a beer to savor when you have it. There should be an easy to read freshness date as I have seen this ale over a year old stocked on shelves in numerous liquor stores. Having said that I still highly recommend this brew.

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Photo of rowew
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Distinctive Anchor style bottle - short with a twist cap now. Label features a drawing of an anchor and a bald eagle. Cryptic date code on the back.

Appearance: Poured in a large dimpled mug. Orangish color with a nice white head. Good retention.

Smell: Good malt base - clean grain aroma with a hint of biscuit. Decent hops in the aroma as well - mainly floral.

Taste: Very good drinkability. This beer is incredibly well balanced, with nice floral and citrus hops to keep things interesting, and a tasty malt base.

Overall impression: This beer is the benchmark for American pale ales. Well made, drinkable, and interesting enough to keep you coming back for more.

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Photo of budgood1
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

liberty ale pours out a very bright, albeit very cloudy orange-gold color. lots of "floaties"...an inch thick head reduces to a thin layer with ample lace. aroma of citrusy hops....man does this smell good! the taste surprised me....i was expecting an assault of hops, but what greeted my taste buds was a nicely balanced, full and creamy flavorful brew. a hint of belgian, with lots of toasted and biscuity malts....followed by an understated citrusy hop bitterness. this is the epitome of a restrained but flavorful hopped-up ale. dry hopped for sure, but not obnoxiously so. alcohol undetectable. this is a damn fine brew, lots of complexities without being hit over the head with massive hops. very tasty and highly drinkable.

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Photo of davidchollar
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this has to be the best pale ale available to me, and i consider myself lucky because it's a pretty good one. it's tasty, bitter but balanced and so smooth you could enjoy several, highly drinkable.

looks a nice golden orange, medium carbonation but head dies real quick leaving this looking good but not great. smells better, not really strong but very nice and appealing. citrus and pine hoppiness with a nice malty presence.

such a pleasure to drink, this is obviously a microbrew masterpiece and my new favorite APA.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite brews made better by finding it on tap! Beautiful, slighty hazey, glowing orange colour with a super cream head that stands tall and sticks all over. Strong, biting raw-hop nose with slight huskiness. Biting, raw hops that are bitter and citrusy. Slight malt sweetness fills the medium-light body.

Flavorful and biting mediumish body. Damn fine. A must find. I cannot belive I drank Liberty out of the bottle for so long. Now I know the meaning of beer. Cheers!

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Photo of hmk22
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an excellent beer -- I really want to believe this is what beer used to taste like. Lots of hops, but so well worked into the whole product it doesn't seem forced. As other reviewers have noted this is in the same class as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but I might give the edge to Anchor Liberty owing to its overall more uniform taste and that IMO the "gestalt" is just better. I'm also a fan of Steam -- Anchor is a class outfit.

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Photo of terryeckmeier
4.51/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Randomly picked it up looking for a bottle of brew to have with dinner. Read about the brewery in a local beer magazine and thought I would try it.

The smell was really pleasant. Nice citrus notes, little bits of spice and nice floral aromas.

Taste was awesome, never have been a big ale guy but this is the one to turn me I think. Nice bitter hop notes, clean finish with a nice aftertaste.

Looks a nice golden yellow almost like a Weiss Bier. Nice head that quickly vanished. Poured into a pint glass.

Mouth feel was pretty typical of an ale nice lacing.

Suprised at the size of the bottle 650 ml pint and half almost.

Will pick up again.

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Photo of CamuMahubah
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Amber with super little silky creamy bubbles...

Dandelions and honey and magnolia...

Succulent tangerine creamy...hint of bubblegum and maybe sea salt...

Possibly the best mouthfeel of any beer I have ever drank...

Boomshakalaka...this is definitely and Anchor offering...that tell tale something...maybe it's the same yeast...big fan of this brewery so I'm a bit jaded but I didn't really expect this beer to be this good...I was actually afraid to review after reading other reviews...have no fear...it's Anchor.

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Photo of BigTunaHaircut
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


Poured into a pint glass

Once poured the beer developed a slightly small head that dissipated quickly. Lacing was a bit thin but constant. Color semi-clear and was a very deep orange with a slight hue of brown.

This beer has great aroma. Its full of great perfumy/herbal hops. The aroma is mostly floral but does have a hint of roasted malt.

The taste of this beer was no surprise giving the great smell. It has great balance all the way through from the minute it hits your tongue to the swallow. The taste is very hop laden but not overpowering.

slightly low carbonation, but I think that this helps the overall mouth feel of the beer along with the taste because it is very smooth.

I could very easily finish my 6 and feel the same way from first to last. This beer is very refreshing. In the midst of February, I can't help but imagine myself sitting by the atlantic, eating some seafood and drinking this beer.

Overall this is one of my favorite ales

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Photo of goz
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Medium peach in color, with a large white head that slowly recedes to leave small amounts of lacing. Aroma is mainly dominated with cascade hops (pine needle & some citrus) with some bready maltiness and a bit of yeatiness hanging out. Taste is of piney hops, some sweet citrus, and hints of breadiness. Body is medium, flavor is very well balanced, and immensley drinkable.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours golden with orange haze. Decent head small lace. The aroma is fruity,malts, and floral. The taste is hops,yeast,sweet,malts,grains and citrus notes.
The overall feel is a mild carbonation with mild bitterness and a dry hop finish.Yeasty and well balanced.

Notes: A very fine brew. A pleasure to have and a very unique Ale. I will go out of my way to find this as this Brewery has given me some good experiences. I would say this is an American classic,perfect for all occasions. Session-Hell yes!

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Photo of CajunCavern
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle - Pours golden color with thick white head - I like a little foam. Good hoppy nose. Citrus, smack of grapefruit, hint of orange peel. Sourdough. Good balance of malt. When I get an APA like this one, and perhaps Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I really am a big fan of the style (APA). Kudos to the brew master. This would go well with Mexican food and crawfish etouffee.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,537 ratings.