The Liberator - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The LiberatorThe Liberator

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very good

449 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 52
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jt31914 on 12-18-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 449 | Reviews: 201
Reviews by seaoflament:
Photo of seaoflament
2.45/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to my buddy hoppymeal for this beer in the latest massive assault.

Pours a dark golden color with some reddish overtones and almost an inch of foam on top that doesn't seem to last too long but leaves a bit of lacing. A quick swirl brings back about half an inch of foam back to life and the beer maintains a nice ring of foam throughout the whole session.

Opens up with a big burst of various citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, mango, and pineapple. Aside from the citrus sweetness there is also a noticeable citrus acidity in the background. The beer has a "heavy" crystal malt aroma and meaty that could be either from the grain bill or the yeast. Not bad, the aroma is quite deceiving at hinting at a sweeter beer instead of a bitter/astringent mess.

Bitter and slightly astringent upfront with a long lasting bitterness. Citrus flavors pass by quite rapidly and are engulfed by the bitterness and grassiness. Bittersweet orange, citrus peel bitterness, lemon, medium-high caramel malt profile with some dry toast in the finish. Initially, the beer isn't too bad it starts off with the citrus bitterness and the malt tries to come through but quickly finishes in a long lasting dry bitterness that overwhelms almost anything else with a dry, grassy, piney, and intense citrus bitterness and a bit astringent as well. Definitely too astringent, my mouth feels like I've sucked on a tea bag after swallowing.

Moderate to high carbonation with a soft texture at first and then a very dry finish that, combined with the astringency, is not very refreshing.

Not really impressed by this one, the aroma was decent but the taste is lacking complexity and finness, mostly due to the aforementioned problem of the astringency/bitterness combination.

More User Reviews:
Photo of barnabasdog
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter glass

A- Reddish Orange rusty color, zero visibility, small head with little retention.

S- Bread, pine, and citrus

T- Grapefruit up front with a hint of orange, sweet malts, hints of caramel, and a TON of hops and bitterness.

M- Little carbonation, heavy and chewy, a tad creamy.

O- I absolutely love IPA's and found this a little much on the bitterness. A decent double IPA but not my favorite. It did grow on me the more I sipped it.

Photo of MIbeer27
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, dated 12/17/14

The bottle pours with a deep amber hue and a quickly dissipating, one finger white head.

The aroma is a huge hit of citrus, namely grapefruit and orange. I also pick up some sweet, resinous pine. Awesome, balanced bouquet.

The taste generally follows the nose with the resinous pine taking the lead slightly to begin with, and the grapefruit jumping in quickly. The finish favors the pine. Sweet malts linger in the background throughout, letting the hops shine.

Mouthfeel is, as previously mentioned, resinous and sticky. Bitterness is definitely on the higher end, but it works well with the grapefruit and pine flavors. Carbonation is medium.

Overall, The Liberator is easily one of the best beers that I have had from Short's! I tend to notice the malt too often in double IPAs, but this beer is just such an awesome display of hops, showcasing the grapefruit, orange and pine flavors that they provide.

Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color, mild haziness, only slightly transparent at the edges of the beer. Gray-ish, off-white head fades quick and leaves only little bits of lacing on the way down. Very floral nose, abundant grapefruit and hop oil with some light white pepper acting in the background. Taste first hits with a heavy splash of grapefruit and citrus but quickly turns into a myriad of hop flavors; florals, roses, oils, resins, heavy pine sting on the end of the tongue. The latter half of the sip is 100% full of HUGE oil, perfume, pine, and resin with a hefty dose of white pepper playing secondary to everything but remaining for the entirety of the sip. The first half carries over a bit of its grapefruit and citrus into the end, but the aftertaste is made up mostly of hop bitterness and spiciness with only a slight, reminiscent flavor of grapefruit left on the tongue. Medium body, medium-high carbonation.

Definitely a decent DIPA, lots of perfume aromas and flavors, including a huge floral and pine essence. Grapefruit is abundant on the nose and in the first moments of the sip, but the oils and resins take over quickly and certainly maintain their staying power. It's fairly low at 7.4% ABV, too, which is typically a good thing.

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured into an over-sized wineglass. Has a light golden-copper hue with an almost 1-finger head the disappears quickly. Nice, thin lacing as the beer goes bye bye.

S: The orange and lemon zest really jump out in the aroma and mingles with grapefruit, floral, and grass smells. Hop-py.

T: Bitter grapefruit and pine upfront, which gives way to a very earthy, grassy finish. The hop and zest bitterness overpowers any malt flavor. A good hop flavor, to be sure, but combined with the zest, it really leaves a dry, resiny flavor at the end.

M: It giveth and then it taketh away. I really like the full citrusy feel at the beginning of a sip, but instead of exploding and dispersing on the palate, the beer kind of dies on the tongue with a zest bitterness. Really good feel to start, not great to end.

D: One of the drier beers I've tasted. The lack of a malt balance and the hop/zest combination made it less drinkable than other DIPAs I've had, but it was still enjoyable.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange red with off white head. Aroma is bursting with hops - citric and pine along with orange peel coming through. Mellow toasty caramel backbone. Rush of hops upfront citric and piney - good and pungent. Lemon and orange peel come through. Bitter finish, yummy! Smooth, creamy medium body. Good show.

Photo of nickadams2
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Burnt orange color with a foamy white head.Lacing coats glass.

S_Strong citrus upfront. Lots of grapefruit, orange and pine.Good amount of hops.

T_ The citrus hits first and is finished off with a tart crisp wave of hops. Has a nice hop kick to it..

M_Full bodied and sticky. Makes you smack your lips.

D_Goes down easy each sip make you anticipate the next.

Photo of warnerry
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 2/1/11

A - Pours deep orange with two fingers of head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Citrus heavy up front with some notes of pine also present. Lots of orange, not really getting any malt.

T - Orange zest is predominant in the taste, with lemon zest coming behind. One of the most citrusy DIPAs I've ever had. Nice hop bite up front, with bitterness and citrus carrying all the way through. Nice.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but not really in a bad way. Crisp and clean, finishes somewhat bitter and dry.

O - For such a bitter beer, the drinkability is high. Nice flavor profile and not overly heavy. A good one from Short's.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tastetester for sending this bottle.

Pours a hazy light orange color with a white head. The aroma is strong orange with lemon at the end. The flavor is orange, lemon and a good bitterness. The lemon is the dominant flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An interesting take on using fruit in a DIPA that I think works very well.

Photo of rudylaw
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

More Short's goodies thanks to eyebrews!

Pours a cloudy amber with an eggshell head. Thins out to a soapy rim.

Smells juicy and delicious! Orange and lemon zest, as is claimed, are stamped all over this beer. Grass, pine, citrus!

Tastes like Huma x2! Hoppy, juicy, piny, flat out awesome. Perfect carbonation with a dry finish. Could easily polish off a sixer of this at any given time. Short's does it again... and again and again!

Photo of FrognutUnl
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden amber in color with a single finger of slightly off-white head. Quite a bit of lacing and decent head retention.

S - Piney and resinous with large amounts of citrus and a hint of peaches.

T - A TON of hop bitterness reaches out and grabs one by the cohunes. Very resinous in flavor with a good amount of grapefruit coming through as the glass diminishes. Very subtle sweetness provided by the malts.

M - Medium in body, not much else to say

D - Pretty good beer that should satisfy any hop head. I wish it were a bit more balanced, but outside of that I can't find a thing wrong with it.

Photo of jeonseh
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark reddish orange that looks a bit like copper. Clear reflective body with a small white head on the sides

S - Orange, pine, grapefruit, and sweet candied orange peel.

T - Pine hop bitterness up front. Strong grapefruit comes in the middle to give a bite to it. Orange and lemon zest come in near the end to give it a light citrus and a zesty bitterness.

MF - Sticky and resiny hops that leaves a hop resin in the tongue. Rather astringent finish from the bitter hops

O - Big, bitter, and sticky hop beer that gets an additional level of bitterness from the zest

Photo of pwoods
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Main Party Shop in Ann Arbor, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a lightly copper tinted hazy orange. Decent sized head with some retention and decent lacing.

S: Loads of citrus and pine with plenty of resin. Lots of acidic grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and maybe some mango. Maybe a touch of mint. Malts try to balance a touch with a bit of sweetness from light caramel and some biscuity malts.

T/M: Nice bitterness level. More of the massive citrus with the strong acidic line. Pine and oily resin's are also prominent. Malts thicken up a bit and are almost chewy but they don't give as much sweetness or biscuity notes as I'd have expected. Body is medium full with average carbonation.

D: ABV is very manageable but it is a very bitter beer.

Photo of Magpie14
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Butchs Dry Dock

A: reddish copper wonder with soft orange tones at the rim and bottom of my glass. Minimal lacing (just a ring of soapy suds) and not much activity

S: crisp citrus and bright earthy hops. Plenty of malts and sweeter notes as well. A very well done amalgamation of flavors in the nose

T: big crusty green cone goodness. This buddy is bitter and more malt whiffs in the nose. The late end of each sip has peppery notes. Lots of citrus and fruity tastes (grapefruit!) in the hops. Mild hints of biscuit malts and sweet caramel. Overall, this is a tongue wrecker

M: smooth and clean within the bitter tastes. Medium body with carbonation at the forthright. Totally drinkable and oh so bitter

D: not for the faint of hop heart. Pretty bitter and yet very tasty. Another winner from Short's. I find that I have to be in a super hop mood to drink a full sixer. Me like

Photo of nkersten
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Erik, thanks! Pours a peach skin orange with a thin off white head that sicks to the sides of the glass here and there before fading to a collar. Smell is intensely hoppy, this beer has a little bit of every hop characteristic. Tropical fruits blended with sweet citrus, orange dreamsicle, a bit of pine and floral aroma as well. Taste is not nearly as complex but still very good. Bitter and piney up front, spicy, earth hops follow with a good malty sweetness to help with a little bit of balance. Body is medium with a medium/light carbonation and a semi dry finish. One of the best Short's beers I have tried so far, a very tastey DIPA.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

fresh bottle from Champagne Cellars. Opaque grapefruit coloured body with a small retained white head, leaving lots of lace behind. High IBU aromas, akin to hop pellets. A cup of grapefruit juice, funny how the zest brings it to the forefront. Hits the style, Tingling palate. Very drinkable.

Photo of prototypic
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle.

The Liberator pours a nice looking tangerine color. It's surprisingly hazy. I wasn't expecting haze, but this one's loaded with it. An off-white head covers it and rises to about a finger and a half in depth. It's relatively slow to recede and leaves thick, sticky waves of lace in its wake.

The nose kicks off with a healthy dose of hop-induced citric notes. Grapefruit, lemon, and mango scents are strong. I like that...a lot. There's also an earthy/floral element to them, as well. It smells a little sweet and slightly sugary. There's a malty side to it that smells like a mix of pale and caramel varieties. Caramel sweetness doesn't seem too imposing, but I'll reserve judgment for the moment. So far, it smells like hops win the day. Alcohol is blended well and isn't all that noticeable. This is really nice smelling DIPA. I'm impressed.

The Liberator is indeed a nice DIPA. I like it quite a bit. It certainly has a nice hop flavor. That's easily its strongest asset. That features an array of delicious, citric grapefruit, lemon, orange, and mango flavors. There's a little bit of a floral/earthy flavor that permeates throughout. The malt anchor is a mix of pale and caramel malts. The caramel variety adds a little bit of a sweet flavor and negates some its bitterness. It's hop forward and has a good, bitter kick, but it is diminished a little. Not bad altogether though. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but doesn't seem too strong. I don't really question the DIPA classification, but it's a close call. It's not a DIPA by much. It finishes dry and bitter.

The body here is medium. It is smooth through the assistance of light carbonation. Not bad at all in that department. Drinkability is good. I like the flavor. It's nice and bitter, and fits within my preferred style of DIPAs. It's not among the elite in the style, but it is good.

I really hope Short's extends its distribution to Ohio in the near future. I really like their beer. The Liberator is a nice, hop-forward DIPA that isn't so hop heavy that it offends anyone. Nonetheless, it has enough hop flavor and bitterness to keep the hopheads happy. I like it. Easily recommended. Thanks a ton, Derek.

Photo of nickd717
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to bring.

Cloudy orangish-amber in color with a small but lasting white head.

Aroma is sweet malt, earth, tropical fruit, and citrusy/piney hops.

Flavor is sweet caramel malt and lots of citrusy hops, with grapefruit, lemon, and orange, adding almost a tartness to it. Some pine as well, and a very slight medicinal note.

Medium body with lively carbonation and brutal hop bitterness on the finish that really kills your palate.

Overall good, but not really great for the style if you call it a DIPA.

Photo of beerhan
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acquired a single bottle and was told you probably would not want more than half. This is correct. This beer pours beautifully with a creamy head and nice golden color. Smells like skunky weed with a lot of floral notes and obviously some lemony goodness. Tastes super hoppy, one of the most bitter beers I have ever had. The hops really kill your palette and you probably cant taste much later. That being said this beer is delicious but completely undrinkable in mad quantities.

Photo of mobius387
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to splax23 for this one!

poured into a deschutes snifter

appearance: pours a firey orange with a thin white bubbly head. looks awesome, screams out "drink me!"

aroma: very nice nose of oranges, grapefruits and honey. very light pine scents

palate: this one doesn't sit great in the mouth. its bitter and carbonated, the alcohol seems stronger than 7.4%. not a brew to let linger

taste: a little disappointing after how awesome it looked and smelled. the spruce/pine way over power any of the citrus picked up on the smell. its an extremely bitter taste that doesnt offer a robust flavor profile.

overall: a nice brew by shorts, but really just a taste-bud burner. looks fantastic, smells great, drinks ok, and tastes ok. was glad i got to try it, but ill stick to huma-lupa if i want an ipa by shorts

Photo of alleykatking
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

May thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead for giving me this bottle. Eric I was amazed by this beer! Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a orange color with light amber highlights. One and a half finger white head stays for a split second before dying down to nothing. Streaky lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- This is a very hop forward beer. Citrusy hops dominate in the front end of the aroma. Sweet underlying caramel bready malts in the middle along with some orange rind. Light grapefruit in the tail end. Smells wonderful almost like a mini Pliny the Elder.

T- Huge citrus hops bursting with orange and grapefruit in the front of this! Some light grainy and bready malts in the middle. Runs into a bitter hop in the back end with some light orange to it. Not as good as the aroma lead on to but still a mighty tasty beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the stlye. Hops hops and more hops left everywhere on the palate. Hop resin left all over the mouth, lips, and teeth. Some alcohol and bitter hops left in the aftertaste. Clean tasting for the most part.

D- This is a very drinkable DIPA that I wish I had more of. This style is one of my favorites and this beer moved onto my favorite chart. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to try a big beer but also one that is very smooth.

Photo of md655321
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For me the surprising star of the recent Shorts releases. Huge hophead, but was still not expecting much as I was concerned about the addition of the orange zest.

Hazy golden orange with a relatively uickly dissipating white head. Incredible lacing throughout the process.

Smells like a nice grassy "herb"al IPA.

Taste is divine. That trade mark harsh biting bitterness from Huma is intact, with the added bit of zest incrasing the bitter even moreso. Absolutely none of the imperial sweetness that plagues so many DIPAs, especially east of the Mississippi. Just citrus, grass, and bitterness.

A touch too carbonated, as tends to be common in Shorts beers, at least imo.

Great drinkability as far as the lack of sweetness, but the bitter can be almost overwhelming. Almost impossible to drink with any food, but magnificent on its own.

Truly outstanding. Id buy this all the time if I could.

Photo of trappistlover
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle from rayl101. Thanks Kevin!). Pours a hazy orange color with white head that quickly dissipates. Aroma has resin, some medicinal qualities, herbal notes and citrus. Taste is sweet with some sharp bitterness following. Medium bodied with an oily texture. Bitter finish. Feels like an aspirin is stuck in the back of my throat now. An interesting DIPA, and to this point, the highest IBU I’ve had (haven’t tried the Mikkeller 1000IBU). Probably wouldn’t want to drink more than one, but I’m glad to have tried this. Many thanks Kevin.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another of the newly bottled beers by Short's. Liberator is a beer that I would hesitate to label IPA...the beer is more of a fruit-cake done right combined with a Belgian style pale mixed with holiday spice and bitters up the wazoo.

Light bodied, smooth, carbonated. The flavour on this has a variety of spices like orange peel mixed with a big lupulin hop presence that dominates the back half of the taste. I love lupulin, but it's not as on display for me here as it is in Hupa Lupa...I think that the sheer amount used here combined with the other spices might be overwhelming my palate a bit.

As I said, this beer is a bit odd in comparison to the other DIPA's that I've had. I understand why they label it that; as it definitely has enough hops to qualify, but I think of it more as an aggressively hoppy beer that is spiced up. As I said above, I love lupulin, but I think I'll stick to Huma Lupa for my fix for the most part, though this is an interesting variation.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to kzoobrew for this great beer. Cheers friend!

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a brilliant cloudy dark orange color. About two fingers of dense white head that dissipate relatively quickly but leave insane amounts of lacing (as in the entire sides of the glass are completely covered).

Smell - Whoa...tons of hops/citrus hit my nose as soon as I inhale near the beer. Slight citrus characteristics (mainly unripe grapefruit) hit the nose. Almost no malt/sweet characteristics to speak of.

Taste - Damn! An extreme amount of hops hit my tongue. An inordinate amount of hop bitterness. This gives way to a most definite taste of pine and oily resin from the hops. This one is a tongue destroyer for sure. I taste a faint bit of grapefruit citrus, and then oddly enough I feel this beer ends on a malty note.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, creamy, oily from the hop resin, and decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Honestly, a very bitter beer. I am having this with spicy Mexican food tonight and it is actually doing pretty well with it. I don't think I could have more than one of these in a sitting because the extreme bitterness just leaves your tongue panting for a breath of fresh air. There is definitely a lingering bitterness after each sip. I will admit, I enjoy the Hopslam kzoobrew sent me over this, but again, a good extreme beef from Short's (I am beginning to love this brewery).

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The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.