Anchor Liberty Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

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very good

1,512 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,512
Hads: 3,198
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 85
Gots: 306 | 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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Reviews: 1,512 | Hads: 3,198
Photo of CajunCavern
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (370 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Blind Tiger.

Appearance: Burnished golden yellow. Clear with a nice frothy head. Decent lacing as this heavenly brew was quaffed.

Smell: Great hop profiles on this one. Anchor used more of the floral/fruity aromatic hops than the ones with piney/bitter notes. Slight lemon/citrus scent.

Taste: Floral/citrusy hop flavors balanced nigh-perfectly with the pale malt.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, good drying sensation on the palate. Great medium body.

Drinkability: This has got to be one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I had forgotten how truly great some of Anchor's products are as it had been awhile. This will definitely become a staple in my fridge. (696 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was excited to see this offered as a sixtel at Paul A. Smith's in Pottstown. Even more excited after having one!

A: Poured with a UUUGE ED, and had a burnt yellow complexion.

S: Light, piney-hopped floral scent... enticing!

T: Wow, this is a fantastic pale ale. Complexity was apparent, as I noticed a bready/yeasty flavor up front, tightened up by a very well balanced piney hop tang in the finish.

M: Relatively dry, and refreshing - exactly what you would hope for in an APA.

D: Nice drinkability, with just the right balances of ... well, everything! Not too much of any aspect.

I'd highly recommend this fine APA! (and very glad that I have 5 gallons worth to enjoy with friends in the coming weeks!) (726 characters)

Photo of alehopman
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I rarely preface a review with comments but this is truly the gold standard of American ales. I have consumed this periodically in the 80's, 90's and have now returned. I can say this ale has not waivered and as in so seldom the case, is as good as I remember it being in the previous 2 decades. Poured into a nonic glass achieved a beautiful 2 finger head, fine beaded carbonation. Head was vigorous and sheeted down glass. The citric hop aroma (I get tangerine) is fantastic. On first taste you get that and a flowery hop note. The malt then kicks in, then a great bitter hop finish. A classic that is one of a kind. (618 characters)

Photo of bmills1608
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This ale has a cult following and seems to be pretty legendary. After my first sip I could definitely see why. Anchor is the granddaddy of 'em all. Ales like this must have shown like a beacon of hope back in the 70's early 80's when the U.S. was still stuck in it's Dark Age of fizzy yellow crap beer.

It says on the label it was first brewed in 1975 to commemorate Paul Revere's ride. The British are coming! Well, not in this case...."Better beer is coming". Pours out a slightly hazy, nice deep golden color. On the nose is heaps of herbal hops, very fresh, with hints of lemon and citrus. Really inviting dry hopped nose.

My first sip, I new we had a winner, big time. A smooth but sturdy foundation of very lightly toasted malt provided the perfect backbone for this beer. A slightly honeyed maltiness start things off, followed by a spicy and herbal, rather complex hop twang, a bit of nice tingling bitterness, fresh hops, more lemon/citrus in the middle pallette. Dangerous drinkability and a prototype beer in terms of perfect balance. Beautify hopped. One word comes to mind - harmony. A light fruitiness also appeared toward the end of the glass as the beer warmed a bit. Finished with a slight malt sweetness combined with more fresh hop oils. Mouthfeel was awesome. A soft and light creaminess, incredibly soft. Perfect carbonation.

I was literally stunned at how much I enjoyed drinking this beer. I did not have overly big expectations. But every mouthful was a treat. For a pale ale to give this much satisfaction to the drinker says a lot. It's not an "extreme" beer, it's not over the top, it does not hit you over the head with heavy flavors. What it is however is a perfectly balanced ale with class and style. (1,740 characters)

Photo of xhcadamx
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - medium honey with a with huge long lasting white head and lots of lacing.

S - Cascde hops and a background of grain

T - this is a true masterpiece. It has the base recipe that all Anchor beers have. This isn't a bad thing. Perfect balance between malt and hops.

M - all of their beers are krausened which gains so much respect from me. take the tour it will change your life.

D - Anchor is in the top five of my breweries ever for good reason all their beers are approachable but amazing. (497 characters)

Photo of luvND
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy golden color. Perfect head, thick, white, creamy, invites you to drink it. Aroma is crisp with plenty of hop and some citrus. Taste is absolutely perfect for a session beer, plenty of hop with a smooth malt balance. The mouthfeel is like silk, this stuff just feels good on your tongue. Exceptional drinkability. I would have no problem making this my house ale. It's a nice session beer in winter and would make a great companion to any summer BBQ. (464 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a hazy yellow and orange.

The aroma is quite big on fresh grapefruit and then some biscuit malt. A very nice aroma.

The taste is fantastic as it hits you with tons of grapefruit. Then it has a nice amount of malt and a lasting bitterness. It's very citrus hoppy and then a great malt backbone.

I would say this is more of the hoppy American pale ales than truly an IPA. It does push the boundaries though. I was pleasantly surprised by this. Fantastic citrus hoppy pale ale.

It's darn impressive that this was brewed in 1975, before Sierra Nevada's groundbreaking pale ale. This beer is an under appreciated classic. (633 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Liberty American Style Pale Ale is, without a doubt, Anchor Brewing's best year round offering. The wonderful hop bouquet is immediately noticed and appreciated when poured into the glass and unlike most American pale ales, the aroma lingers, albeit more subtlety as the brew disappears. The rich copper color shines brightly. I believe Maaco should offer this color in a car paint. They could call it 'Liberty Deep Copper'. It would certainly look great on my Jeep!

After taking the time to fully admire the fine hop nose and rich copper color, the next outstanding trait of Liberty Pale Ale one notices is the hop distinctive taste. The fresh whole hops are in abundance, yet not overwhelming. There's a crisp metallic sharp-edged bitterness with light citrus undertones. The sharpness diminishes slightly as you drink it down and the hop to malt difference becomes less exaggerated and more balanced and smooth. The medium to full malt body is lightly sweet with a hint of nuts. It seems to me that a lot of care has been taken in the malt roasting process. My hats off to the Brew Master.

Liberty Ale is truly a world-class Pale Ale! (1,146 characters)

Photo of TrevorGW
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

look- Beautiful copper color. A bit cloudy, which I appreciate.

feel - great because it is lightly carbonated but still gives the mouth that great sensation. Nice and wet, refreshing.

taste - great deep, soft hop flavor that doesn't kill the malt. The bitterness is balanced perfectly.

Great beer, which I slightly prefer to regular Anchor Steam. Thank god this beer is widely distributed! (393 characters)

Photo of roddwolff
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted 10 february 2010, at 12 pm, while watching the game of FC Bayern for the DFB Cup. Once served in a pint glass. Look: Amber color, a finger of foamy head, wth good lacing; Smell: Citrus hops and fruit essences, predominant guava and orange, slightly malt cookie; Taste: Pine-Wood and earth hops, plus a cookie-scented malt, the fruit essences of the smell lost; Mouthfeel: Dry, woody and very bitter, medium to robust body, almost creamy, low carbonation; Drinkability: Excepciontal American-freedom beer. (511 characters)

Photo of Mark
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light in color, strong in taste. The alcohol is very prominent. Excellent aroma, good mouthfeel, nice solid lacing. Taste seemed to change a bit as the glass was emptied. Very complex solid beer from the brewery that started me on the road to beer snobdom. As an update. The last few bottles have been very refreshing with much less alcohol strength in evidence. A real tremendous beer from the pioneers! (404 characters)

Photo of Ardon
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber appearance with a nice smooth frothy head. Mild malty aroma, very earthy smell but with a sweet balance. Soft malty taste on the pallet with a long bitter hop finish. Slightly sweet with that same earthiness as in the smell. Fantastic balance of malt and hops. I used to think this was a good session beer, yet now, like Anchor Steam, I find it very filling, like a meal in a glass. (393 characters)

Photo of Crundy
4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: hazy orange color, white head

smell: fruity, bubblegum, floral

taste: floral, hop, fruity, slightly sweet citrus flavor

mouth feel: nice bite from the carbonation, nice balance of bitter and sweet, medium body

overall: Good beer, pleasantly surprised by the smell and taste, very floral even on the aftertaste, very pleasant. I enjoyed it very much. (365 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A classic! It's slightly hazy (bottle-conditioned) golden-amber body is topped by a frothy white head that holds really well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. Dry-hopped Cascades saturate the nose - perfumey, floral, lemony, and pine-like over some lightly caramel-tinged grainy malt. The hops are 'softer' from the dry-hopping, however, and not as 'sharp' as if they'd been added to the kettle. It's luxurious! The body is medium; and it's lightly crisp and then smooth and creamy in the mouth due in part to a very fine, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. Cascades carry over into the flavor in a big way; wrapped in sweet, caramelish malt and backed by a firm bitterness. It's very well-rounded and nicely balanced, without the aggressive edge that many beers like this have. Absolutely worth seeking out! (838 characters)

Photo of Hobbz
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, my old fav, grassy-assed but respectful friend has paid a visit.

What can I say about a beer that was the first real one!? It's like the one-in-a-million chance meeting of the person/place/thing that changes your life and you realize you won't ever be alone any more (though you never were -- it just seamed that way)...

Finding this beer was not the one-in-a-million, but its effect on me certainly was. In this sense and more I ascribe it perfection -- on BA, I will play by the rules and not by my emotions!

This is a bold, assertive beer in flavor and taste. I absolutely love its balance. And yet separated out, each of the main components -- for example grain-bill and hops -- has its own discernable characteristics worthy of notice (grain bitterness with malt sweetness; oily hop bite yet with a strong dry, Cascade dry-hopping). This is THE flagship American pale-/India-pale- ale before all others.

1989 perhaps, in a small, long-forgotten East Village bar where the proprietor was proudly serving up ALL Anchor products on will never be forgotten.

(PS: in this review whatever unsappy, man-ridden facades I might chose have long lost out) (1,184 characters)

Photo of WGO
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Love the Anchor bottles, they seem so quaint but hold so much liquid. Great labels.
Very dense thick foam, slowly dissipates, never leaves the edges. Cloudy amber brown colour.
Nose is citrus, but with a bit of tropical fruit ripe banana, mango hint of pineapple. Some bready malts also show through.
Taste is a number of orange fruits. Clementines, satsumas. Possibly dried apricots.
Mouthfeel is almost thick but not quite. Great carbonation, makes it interesting but still very drinkable.
One of my favorite beers. (518 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
4.56/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: January 16, 2015... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky Tavern pint ... OCCASION: a good week done... APPEARANCE: a storm of effervescent bubbles whirl violently below an absolute dreamy cloud of thick white head; hazy orange amber in color; lacing is ribbed and substantial... AROMA: sharp orange peel; some sugarlike cookie, vanilla, grapefruit and spring flowers... PALATE: creamy at the lips; slight pings of sourness at the teeth; effervescent but swift to the throat; light and mega-sessionable ...TASTE: citric flavors of grapefruit and lilac, orange and vanilla make this already a winner; the malt settles nicely, providing balance...OVERALL: why so long to revisit this most perfect example of the genre--as refreshing and flavorful as a pale ale can be... (763 characters)

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly amber tinted golden, with a light white head that fades to a thin covering layer. Aroma is interesting, hops evident with light perfumes and a good dose of spicy hops. Taste is also quite interesting. Regardless of reputations, this is my first time trying Liberty Ale, and it leaps out to me as exactly what an APA should be. Flowery hops merely flesh out the spicy hop flavours, with quite a bit of sweetness to keep that all in check. Light (in a good way), refreshing, and ever so good. A fabulous beer, and a permanent fixture at the LCBO, so I have a new option for backup for when I can't find anything new. (631 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a slightly hazed light gold with a fluffy white head that seems to stick around forever. Solid tubes of lacing ate left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, citrus, ripe fruit and orange candies.
Taste is of the aromas with a perfect balance of hops, fruity flavors, and citrus.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied from the yeast strain, creamy, and excellent in terms of being rounded.
A true classic beer... Can't believe I've never rated this before! (459 characters)

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of magpieken
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

355ml bottle. Pale gold to deep gold colour with suspended sediment. A towering, dense, creamy head with a buttery tinge. Wonderful head retention and some lovely lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops, biscuit, peach, honey and some caramel. Light to medium bitterness and light sweetness. Light to medium body, smooth texture; a wonderful mouthfeel. The finish is semi-dry but still managers to linger with a beautiful balance between the sweetness and the bitterness. A cracker of a beer. (482 characters)

Photo of cracgor
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out an orangish color with a nice creamy little head. The beer is a little too hazy, maybe from the refrigerator, who knows. Smells nice and citrusy. Has a great cascade hop smell. The beer tastes perfect. Exceptionally well balanced. The hops have a nice fruity, citrusy flavor. A nice sweetness. Not very bitter. The kind of beer I could drink all day. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. (390 characters)

Photo of MarkLinton1
4.59/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have heard and read great things about Liberty Ale for a long time. Was surprised to see it at my local Kroger this weekend, although the do stock an outstanding selection of craft beers. Have always been impressed with Anchor Brewing, and Liberty Ale is no exception. Amazing is an understatement. New go to IPA for me. (322 characters)

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It appears a golden color with good head retention. The aroma is belgian-esque with a hoppy and cereal smell. The taste begins with the belgian flavor, a kind of estery citrus perhaps. It is followed by a light and hoppy finish. A well balanced ale as the body remains medium to light. I'd drink six. (300 characters)

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,512 ratings.