Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

The Liberator - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The LiberatorThe Liberator

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

198 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 198
Hads: 453
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 52
Gots: 38 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 198 | Hads: 453
Photo of Mailhouse
4.87/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bold clean full tasting beer. This is surely in my top 5 of all Shorts ales and maybe even of all beers. Bam is the taste you'll have once this hop filled tasty hits your mouth. Drink it colder than normal and it seems like the hops are great enhanced.

 252 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a hommel bier tulip. Extra special thanks to Randalld for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours a protein hazed tarnished copper color with a damn near perfect cap of light orange foam on top that retained for ages and left a thick sheet of lace coating the inside of the glass.

S: As soon as I popped off the cap, I was greeted with the advertised "Lemon & Orange Zest". I found it to be more of a compliment (than fully realised seperate flavors) to the avalanche of pine in the nose. Unbelievable levels of pine. A bit of sweet caramel adds the perfect amount of harmony.

T: See above. It just doesn't get much better than this. The pine, citrus, and caramel work together in perfect balance. I am awed and humbled!

M: Initial mouthfeel is full and slick and then it turns spicy with a sharp hoppy bitterness. Very sticky and resinous, it stuck itself to every square inch of the inside of my mouth.

D: Oh please, oh please bring Shorts to IL! The few spring/summer/fall weekends we spend in west MI are not nearly enough to satisfy our cravings!

 1,084 characters

Photo of CraftAle
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The most pungent, herbal Double IPA that I have ever tasted! Cloudy, light amber color. Medium head and body. Much less malt sweetness than HopSlam. At $13.99 a six pack, it is much more reasonably priced than many DIPAs. I can buy almost every great DIPA here in Michigan, and this is the one I'll pick!

 304 characters

Photo of SpinachEater
4.74/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I am really impressed with this beer. I haven't tasted anything like this before. Right when you pop the cap and the citrus hops scrub out your sinus cavities, you know that it means business.

What I love about this beer is the lemony hops mixed with the dank hops. It almost tastes like weed TBH. Being a DIPA brewer, I would really like to clone this beer...that is how impressed I am.

This brew is exactly what I love in a DIPA. It has a nice dark copper-orange color, a potent hop aroma, a thick resiny body that coats your palate, and a hop kick that pulls on the back of your tongue and lingers for several minutes after a drink.

My new brewing quest is to try to clone this bad boy. Mmmm...if you are so lucky to even see this brew, pay the $16 and enjoy it while you can.

P.S. Don't even waste your money on Hopslam...Liberate yourself. You will be much happier.

 876 characters

Photo of soupyman10
4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Where the hell did this come from? I know Short's is known as a solid brewery, but damn this is a delicious DIPA. Nice copper-amber DIPA color with a small white head with lacing. Aroma is fruity as hell - citrus of all kinds and also maybe some apricot. Absolutely huge hops. One of the best smelling DIPAs I've ever smelt. Flavor is similar. Dirty, strong fruity hops that are somehow stay well balanced by a really nice caramel flavor. Man, what a taste. Excellent beer that I would unquestionably pick up again.

 515 characters

Photo of BBP
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours the typical IPA orange hue with a considerably thin head, and great carbonation. Very slight lacing.

S- The aroma of IBUs. I could just smell this beer all day long. There's also notes of lemon and citrus like the packaging suggests. It all comes together to blatantly say that this beer will be bitter, and for that reason I love it. It's blatant and unmistakable.

T- There's hops in the front or is it citrus? or is it citrus hops? It all blends quite well, and doesn't seem to lean more to the hops or to the citrus. Luckily for me, I enjoy the balance quite well. On top of the taste it doesn't take long at all for the bitter aftertaste to build up. Later on in the beer pine notes emerge too. After a minute or so I thought to myself that I may be missing something, and then it struck me; the malt bill. To be honest, there wasn't much malt to speak of. After a minute or two of letting it sit, I may have noticed hints of caramel. This is the kind of boldness I'd love to see in all DIPA's.

M- Medium thick, almost syrupy. Goes down pretty smooth and leaves a slightly sticky finish. Not actually too dry for a DIPA.

D- A hint of booze in a background way. Not really noticable unless you're looking for it.

Went on a trip to the states to pick up Hopslam and this. I feel that this get's buried by the HopSlam hype. It seems to be overlooked and it's a shame. I find not only does it compete with some of the best for bitterness, but it has a superb price as well. I plan to get this again before it's all gone. I'd recommend that any hop loving fan of bitterness picks this up. This beer does wonders for 7.4%. A more or less sessionable DIPA without not lacking flavor . It's a giant shame this is seasonal.

 1,737 characters

Photo of westonhood
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very little if any head to this brew, Color is light goldish brown and smells hoppy with a little citrus. Taste also contains a strong citrus flavor, mostly lemon and maybe orange. Also has a nice and bitter hop taste. There's an ok amount of carbonation even though there is no head. So yeah, this is a good beer. Only complaint is the $15 a six, though maybe worth it.

 370 characters

Photo of JizackFH
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a really nice clear orangish amber color. It has a fluffy 2-finger white head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves a nice sheet of lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a big citrus aroma right away. It seems to be mostly lemony citrus, but there is some orange as well. There is a nice citrusy and piney hop aroma. Some scents of bready malt, caramel, fruit, and earthiness are also present.

T - The taste starts off with some bready malts and an explosion of citrusy piney hops. There is a ot of citrus and lemon zest flavor going on. There is some caramel in the background to balance the hops out. The finish leaves a strong lingering citrus hop flavor / bitterness.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some bready and caramel sweetness, but it is outweighed by the strong hop bitternesss. There is some eathiness, as well as some dryness on the back end. The strong citrus hop bitterness lingers on the tongue for quite a while.

O - This has great drinkability. The flavor is great and I was just hard for me to put this one down. Overall, I think this is a great beer and an awesome example of the style. I definitely recommend checking this one out. I really enjoyed it, and I would definitely buy it again.

 1,340 characters

Photo of Frosty80
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours clear, light golden-brown. sits crystal-clear burnished gold with plenty of active carbonation

Smell: assertive piney, citrusy hops with hints of grapefruit, lemon and orange. little bit of caramel malt sweetness

Taste: dry, assertive hop bitterness with piney, citrusy flavor overwhelming a light malt character. finish is mostly dry with medium bitterness and a restrained bready malt character

Mouthfeel: low-medium body with medium-high carbonation

Notes: outstanding DIPA, but i wouldnt say it has any more lemon or orange zest than what is standard for the style

 585 characters

Photo of kohoutek
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A nice orange/amber color that is quite clear and bright. Head is a thin, but ever present white cap. Flavors and aromas of c-hops, geranium leaves, lemon, grapefruit, orange, lime, a touch of vanilla and a whisp of caramel, malty toffee. Very, very nice smelling indeed. I wouldn't have known there was citrus zest in the beer without the label telling me so. These citrus aromas overlap with those found in hops so well they really belong. The flavors are nicely integrated. The beer is fresh and hoppy and not hot or solvent-like. The bitterness is very present and stays with you for minutes after you take a sip. Perfect for a dIPA! The beer finishes very clean and refreshing, not too sweet.

A bonus: the imbiber's burps will be pleasantly tainted with citrus.

This is a very, very good beer!

At $11.99 for six beers this is a ridiculous deal!

 852 characters

Photo of dfillius
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of off-white tight head with great retention. Hazy reddish amber liquid. Perfect head and pretty. Perfect appearance for the style.

S: Very dankly hoppy. Marijuana, garlic, spice, Tropical fruit ester and orange zest comes out late in the aroma, interesting. Man Candy!

T: VERY bitter in a grapefruit rind way. Lemon/orange zest maybe causing that? I wonder how much was added? I didn't really taste the zest otherwise until late in the pint. Some piney notes apparent. Some late grain sweetness. as well. Wowzer, where's the alcohol? - very well hidden, also at the lower end of ABV for DIPAs. This is one of the best west coast style DIPAs I've had in a long while.

M: White fir needle bitterness. Bracing, spot on for the style

D: Good. I'd order another and I immediately went out and bought a sixer since I had only bought a single to sample!

 913 characters

Photo of knight84
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful hazy dark orange color with a frothy finger of dirty khaki-colored head.
N: Hops are assaulting my nose before I even bring the glass to my face. Very promising. Lots of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, and orange. A little candied sugar and caramel in the malt profile, some pine resin hop character too. The smell is almost overwhelming, and this after drinking a fresh Bell's Hopslam!
T: Lots of preserved lemon and orange zest. Very hoppy, incredibly fresh tasting. The bitterness really lingers and sticks to the palate. There is a tiny honey sweetness up front but nothing close to Hopslam.
M: Nice robust mouthfeel, good carbonation, doesn't detract from the hops at all. Not syrupy either which is nice.
Overall a top-notch beer. Very drinkable and the hops make this quite an experience. I'd definitely categorize this as an extreme beer because of the level of hoppyness, but still incredibly drinkable.

 930 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks go to hoppymeal for sending me this one recently. I can't resist a double IPA, so this one was enjoyed today after lunch.

A: The pour into my Stone nonic pint glass is a hazy burnt orange color with a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: I'm immediately struck by very pungent hop aromas. The combination of bitter grapefruit and pine is one of my favorites and this beer certainly delivers there.

T: It doesn't get much better than this. While the beer is not as intensely bitter as many CA IPAs (ie. Ruination and Pliny), it still has plenty of resinous pine. The Front end is very citrusy with the aforementioned pine taking over the finish. Not a trace of malt in the beer.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: These Michigan breweries really know how to make a fantastic IPA. This is just as good (if not better) than certain IPAs made by Bell's, and I would gladly enjoy a few more of these.

 944 characters

Photo of jt31914
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle:

A: Amber/bronze color - dark honeyish. Small amount of head with great retention. Not overly carbonated.

S: Hoppy/cloves with some nice sweetness.

T: Phenomenal - very strong hops and great flavor - almost overwhelming but if you love double IPAs this is for you.

D/M: Not overly drinkable due to the strength of the beer, but really quite a fantastic brew.

 376 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the pleasure of cracking this one open last night, and the word pleasure is really not a strong enough word for me. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/22/2010.

The pour was very nice, golden amber in color with a nice head of white that was about two inches at first but then slowly settled down into a rich lacing that coated the sides of the glass. Such a sweet, sharp citrus aroma coming off of this one, simply amazing. Like pineapple and grapefruit juice mixed in a glass and hit with a shot of orange, it was simply amazing. First sip sucked the moisture from my palate. Lip smacking good. Sharp, biting citrus flavor, pineapple and grapefruit rule the day here as the richness and juiceness is simply overwhelming. Each sip seemed to get sharper, crisper then the one before. I was in heaven.

Overall it was outsatnding, now I drink a ton of grapefruit juice every morning and if you can handle that kind of flavor this beer is right up your alley.

 997 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: The Liberator appears slightly hazy and light orange in color. The head is an off-white hue and measures in at about a half inch thick. Although it fades to a thin, wispy layer within a couple of minutes, it does generate numerous thick ringlets of lacing around the perimeter of the entire pint glass.

S: Aromas include tangy citrus fruits, hops, and malt, respectively.

T: My first reaction is that I am drinking a delicious and complex beer. My second sip confirms my initial supposition. The Liberator is a terrific double IPA. This beer doesn't have hints of grapefruit, it tastes as if I just squeezed fresh grapefruit juice into my beer. The lemon zest is wonderful, complementing a full bouquet of tart citrus. The malt component is just prominent enough to support the myriad of fruit and hop flavors that abound in this delectable brew.

M: Medium bodied, with a lasting tart and tangy aftertaste.

D: What a great beer. Short's hit their mark with this one. I definitely recommend it.

 1,042 characters

Photo of moosiz
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Frankenmuth brewery pint glass. A steady pour introduces a orange brew with hazed copper hues into the world. Good carbonation with a fast fading, creamy, slightly off white cap leaves a strong ring and film atop the brew. Lacing like a cheap paint job.

Smells of pungent hops backed by citrus fruit. Grapefruit with a faint malt sweetness.

Lemon, grapefruit and grass. The hops keep the malt in serious check on this one. Assault on the tastebuds. Any alcohol is well hidden in this bunkerbuster.

Full and slick mouthfeel with nice carbonation. Sticky in the finish.

Even with the strong flavor this brew possesses. Which I think was the point. Drinkability is very good.

 702 characters

Photo of chugalug06
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown-red colored brew, head is off-white and made of bubbled foam. Nice lacing.

Tropical, pine, sweet, nutty, orange, tons of crystal sugar. Lemon is well hidden.

Whoa. Nice strong earthy buttery bitterness. Not sweet, yet elegantly tropical. A very unique IPA. I get a lot of orange and grass. Buttery carbonation. Awesome unique blend of flavors.

Shorts nailed this one.. Great blend of awesomeness. Strong robust bitterness with nice tropical flavors and mild sweetness. Highly recommended. Thanks Abanton for sharing!!!

 535 characters

Photo of rudylaw
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
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!

 435 characters

Photo of silentjay
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewing this from notes from 2 days after christmas. My apologies to Short's if I don't do this beer justice.

pours orange/brown and hazy. not too much head, but lacing is good.

Orange and lemon are clearly evident in the nose. I was expecting it from the bottle description, but I didn't think it would be so strong. Juicy smell of fresh squeezed lemonade and orange juice with a good zest kick of citrus rind. Makes my mouth salivate.

Taste has more pine hops than is evident in the aroma. a bit of grapefruit bitterness, but no malt to speak of. This is a hop-forward beer to the extreme, and I love it.

Mouthfeel is good. tingly due to the carbonation as well as the citric acidity. leaves a bit of an oily feel on the tongue.

Drinakbility is excellent for a hop-head. The citric acidity and sweetness works well to complement the piney and bitter hops. A very juicy and refreshing IPA.

Would be the ultimate summer-time beer after mowing the lawn. May be too much for many people, but If you like citrus and piney hops, this is a must-try.

 1,054 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

 308 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

kbeals shipped me a ridiculous box... This was one of the many outstanding extras!! Too much homeboy... too much.

2 finger off white head.. the brew is only slightly hop-hazed honey.. crusty lace dries and tattoos the inside of the glass.

Nose is far and away the most citrus centered DIPA I've certainly ever had.. tons of orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, ETC... pith .. Absolutely no malts break up the Citrus blitzkrieg... Christ.. seriously.. a full frontal assault with no apologies..

Huge bitterness.. boat loads of citrus zest .... resinous and unholy oily.. I am seriously amazed.. I can't tell when the hops leave and the citrus zest begins.. just incredibly citrusy... the malts are here, but only very in the background.. the sweetness delivers the citrus front and center..

I think I need to clean up .. I swear, the oils are covering my face.. This is bruising .. my only regret is I wish I had done my research with this beer and shared it with the boys.. The teeth need new enamel.. and the inside of my mouth may need a couple of days to recover.

Kevin is my main man in Michigan.. no kidding ... no shit ... I want more of this one for sure just to let my friends know I am not making it up.


 1,230 characters

Photo of Popkas
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Helix for this one.

A: Pours a cloudy peach/orange color with a nice finger and a half of head that leaves nice residual lacing.

S: Whoa, fruit all over the place! I get the citrus - lemon and orange - along with apricot. Smells great and I can't wait to taste it.

T: Big upfront bitterness overwhelms the tongue. Then comes the citrus followed by a bit dry spice. Interesting..

M: The body is nice with fitting carbonation.

D: The overwhelming upfront bitterness is the only "drawback" here.

Great brew, really enjoyed it.

 539 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Hazy, dusky apricot with a large, creamy, long-lived, very light khaki head. Great lacing. Vibrantly hoppy nose. Lots of pine sap, cannabis resin, catnip, spearmint, lemon zest, and marmalade. Some sugar cookie malt hidden beneath. Wow! I could smell this for hours.

Hop bitterness right off the bat. Starts herbal and lemony but soon grows in complexity with big notes of catnip, weed, pine, and lemon zest. Slightly fruity, sugar cookie-ish malt hides underneath the massive wall of hops. The finish is super resinous and dryingly bitter with notes of aspirin. It's almost like sucking on fresh hops! Full-bodied with a very creamy feel. Very dry finish. Pair with super funky cheese and water! This will ruin your palate (but in a good way).

 761 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I'm assuming is pretty fresh because it's from a Michigan local.

A: Golden amber, with a "fuzzy", still head and nice lacing.

S: Wow! The best feature of this beer. Really fresh pLiny smell, citrusy fruits, smell does not fade when you inhale, just what I'm looking for in a DIPA.

T: Light and refreshing at the start, melding into the hop profile in the middle, and finishes with a HopSlam-bam bitterness. Really nice blend of hops used in this if you like them IBU's.

M: Not-so-sticky like other DIPAs I've recently indulged, good carb levels, and feels a little on the thin side if anything.

D: Some may argue with the score here, but to me this beer is easy to take down because there is no alcohol present and is lighter-bodied. Bitterness beware!

Overall, underrated.

 812 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.