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The Liberator - Short's Brewing Company

The LiberatorThe Liberator

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

390 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 390
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.07%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jt31914 on 12-18-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 390 | Reviews: 192 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mailhouse


4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2013 22:37:36 | More by Mailhouse
Photo of DosBeerigos


4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C: Clear
H: Golden Amber
N: HELLO HOPS! Super Citrus w/ Hints of Grass & Sweet Sugary Honey

Bottle was reviewed on 03-24-2010. This is a draft review.

This beer smells soo good I accidentally snorted it up my nose when getting a good wiff of the scent. The beer is extremely balanced Double IPA….tons of hops and a solid malt backing. This really is a damn good DIPA, lots on piney citrus, followed with a mouth puckering flavor. Lots of sweet candy notes on the back-end of the taste. Overall a damn good DIPA, that I think is one of the best that I have had so far!

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 14:43:00 | More by DosBeerigos
Photo of Magpie14


4.3/5  rDev +8%
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

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2011 21:31:30 | More by Magpie14
Photo of dstc


4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft in a pint glass. Pours a deep copper color with a nice white head. Head falls to a minimal one. Thin lacing.

Big herbal hop aroma. Flowers and plenty of pine needles in the smell.

Big hop taste. Plenty of malt backbone but lots of pine flavored hops. Finished very bitter.

Medium bodies and rather smooth.

Nice beer, delicious fresh and on draft. Liked it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 15:32:31 | More by dstc
Photo of shivtim


4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Central City Tap House in Kalamazoo.
Served in a pint. Nice golden/copper color. Slight haze. Tiny head is just a frosting of off-white.
Nose is heavy pine hops. Strong pine is complimented by some citrus. Definitely an IPA.
Taste matches the smell. Pine and citrus hops. Lingering hoppiness.
A very good IPA all-around. Nice mouthfeel and drinkability. Very good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2010 20:57:24 | More by shivtim
Photo of homebrew311


4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy gold, white head forms and leaves a little bit of lacing. The nose starts with strong pine and lemon followed by some grassy notes and a little bit of bread. The taste has beautiful resinous pine notes throughout the palate with some bright fruit and citrus to back it up. The finish has a long and resonating pine quality that lingers on the palate. The mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Overall, very solid brew from Short's. I suspect the bottle I'm drinking is very fresh because the hops pop nicely.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 06:23:27 | More by homebrew311
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/13/2013. Pours moderately hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange zest, orange rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big citrus peel and citrus hop presence with moderate malt balance; and great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness. Large amount of pine resin bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, orange/lemon zest, orange rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice flavors with huge citrus peel and citrus/pine hop flavors with moderate malt balance; with a great malt/bitterness balance and minimal cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slightly creamy, smooth, and very sticky/resinous mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops, citrus peel, and moderate malt flavors; and nicely smooth to sip on even with the big bitterness that is present. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 22:44:04 | More by superspak
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with earth and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a better hop presence in the aroma in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 01:12:07 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of SportsandJorts


3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: reddish orange color. hazy and almost opaque. a finger of an off white head that leaves just a little lacing on the edge

Smell: citrus, lemon and grapefruit. super bitter. pale and sweet malts.

Taste: opens with a double dose of bitter from grapefruit hops and lemon zest. weak malt background of sweet caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: not to heavy, but definite warmth from alcohol. long lingering bitterness

Overall: a good super bitter DIPA. good but not quite my type. there are just too many great DIPA's for this one to be buy again beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 00:52:12 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of Emnmarko


4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark amber, slightly cloudy. Loads of course sediment. Light soapy head. Minimal lacing, if any.

S- Crisp citrus orange peel and lemons. Playfully bites you in the nose.

T- Overpowering citrusy hop character first, but strong malt re-enforcements quickly back up the attack to form a well balanced force to be reckoned with. A strong hop aftertaste sticks around for a while to make sure there's no funny business.

M- Crisp for a double IPA. But at the same time, heavy and warm.

O- Incredibly potent hop bitterness backed with equally with a fierce malt balance. This could be too much for some, but for me I say bring on the ibu's! Which I believe is this around 140.?. Go big or go home. Good job Shorts!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 21:10:54 | More by Emnmarko
Photo of TreyIsWilson


3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a burnt orange with a thin white head. Good amount of heavy lacing.

S - Lots of citrus (orange & grapefruit) and pine.

T - Lots of piney bitterness right up front. Slight citrus sweetness comes through in the middle. Finish is orange and lemon zest.

M - Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Sticky and resinous mouthfeel.

O - This is a big bitter DIPA. I thought the citrus would shine more, but overall a very decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 06:13:08 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of RaulMondesi


4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll tell you one thing: there must be something in the water in Bellaire, because what I have seen so far, they brew some gorgeous looking brews. (Coincidence that Kate Upton is a Michiganette? Raul don't think so.)

As Raul moves on, he gets a sharp poke of pine in the nose along with a sharp scent of malt. He likes...

Taste is along the same lines as what shows up on the nose. (And let me tell you, my children, just like a fine fine woman, that's a good thang.)

The Liberator ain't blowin' up at me like Disneyland's fireworks every night at 9:30, but that doesn't mean that it's not a mighty fine brew.


Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 03:00:40 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of Alextricity


4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/13/13 and drank 12/22/13. Poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance: An orange color with maybe a slight haze, though I don't exactly remember. Poured perfectly into the glass with a two/three finger head on it, and some really nice lacing throughout.

Smell: Phew! Pine and fruit. Lots of both of them. Bursting with freshness... it seems pretty obvious to me that this was a newly bottled beer, and the 12/13 date proves it. Really outstanding, and it's quite potent as well.

Taste/feel: Not quite as great as the appearance or smell, but still super tasty. I found it to be very bitter initially, but as I sipped it, it gradually felt like it got sweeter and sweeter with more citrus sorts of flavors and a very solid malt+pine finish. Drying, and begs you to drink more. Not a really high ABV either, so you can enjoy a few of these. Feel is medium with about a medium carbonation as well... not too heavy, which also helps. A touch too bitter for my taste at the start, which keeps it from being what I'd consider exceptional.

Excellent beer! I've had some of my favorite Short's beers recently, and they're showing more and more why they're probably my favorite brewery. They can make some good experimental brews, but then they can make really damn phenomenal "normal" ones like this one. If you can get it, get it -- worth it.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 03:57:26 | More by Alextricity
Photo of PaulyB83


3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A- Pours a bright slightly hazy burnt orange amber with a medium white head that dissipated to a ring. Good head retention on the glass.

S- Bright pine with some bitter citrus. Not much in the way of malt in this one.

T- Similar to nose with big bitter pine and slight bitter citrus. Also getting a slight toasted malt character but this one is all bitter hops.

M- Medium mouthfeel a bit light of an Imperial IPA.

O- Lots of bitterness in this one but it is a bit of a one note beer. Not much in the way of malt and pretty light at 7.4% for an Imperial. I've had several beers labeled as single IPAs with a higher ABV, not that ABV is everything. Was expecting more lemon and orange as it is labeled as being brew with zest of both. With all the other Short's beers and IPAs to choose from I might not pick this one up again for a while.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 04:25:19 | More by PaulyB83
Photo of jeonseh


4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 21:46:59 | More by jeonseh
Photo of chugalug06


4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 03:13:35 | More by chugalug06
Photo of samyoung


3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cost Plus Eastern Market Purchase - only one six pack on the shelf, it was fate.

It is a very cloudy beer, thick with head and lacing. It smells like a bouquet of flowers with a squeeze of citrus and a several pine needles thrown into the mix. Bold hop bitterness and grapefruit taste that dissipates into a sour, bitter and quick mouthfeel.

I've wanted to taste the Liberator for awhile and am not disappointed. It's a great Michigan IPA with plenty of hop bitterness and a complex blend of flavors and smells.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 22:47:54 | More by samyoung
Photo of tectactoe


4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 12:24:35 | More by tectactoe
Photo of andrewjraab


4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear orange with big fluffy head. Nice sticky webbing and film that clings to the glass. The nose on this brew is quite amazing. Bold citrus, orange and lemon zest, grapefruit. The taste follows the nose quite well. Huge hoppy and citrus flabors that have a smack you in the mouth zest. The big hop aroma and taste are kept in check just enough to make this highly and dangerously drinkable.

This is the second year I've had this and will continue to look forward to this seasonal release every year.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 23:47:57 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one seems to show the alcohol a bit too much for me. Burns somewhat. There are some good character points here, but it's not really coming together in the way that it should, or that it could. Decent, but not altogether working. Eh. Not really working for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 05:46:00 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of porcelli426


2.75/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into tumbler

A- Dark Orange with a finger head. Beautiful copper haze.

S-Light floral and orange smell

T-Strong lemon with citrus notes. Fairly strong bitter presence.

M-Nicely carbonated and well balanced

O- Overall decent DIPA. I would have liked a bigger hops presents up front. Clearly they were going for more lemon and orange flavors which they did pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 23:15:11 | More by porcelli426
Photo of dlello2


3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden and bubbly. Not much head. Smell is quite good. Citrusy and a bit dry. Lemony and fresh. Taste hits hard on first sip in as pleasant a way as possible. Then comes lemon lemon and more lemon. Finish is smooth but with a definite bitterness from the zest. Pretty good balance. Overall a decent double ipa!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 12:27:21 | More by dlello2
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.45/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Lightly hazed, orangey body with a wispy, white head.

Smell: Cutting citrus wafts, though leaning towards grating citric angle instead of something more fruity, more juicy, or more inviting. Some coiled resins and very low hint of bready pale malts.

Taste: Lean bready malts including one single, solitary drop of simple syrup. Head-first launch into the sharply citric, screechy synthetic resins with a hard bitterness. Remains so to the dry finish and beyond (or, at least until you grab for that glass of water).

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Liberator has liberated me from hope and good cheer. Tremendously one-note and that note is an utterly unforgiving assault on the tongue. Displeasingly harsh.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 15:53:26 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of sendsilk


3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Scoot1969 for this bottle. Always a pleasure to trade with you Scott!

Pours a nice dark orange color not much lacing and a small head that recedes quickly.

Smells nice and hoppy with some malt in the nose.

Pretty much a hop bomb but there is a weird aftertaste (malty) that immediately follows after the swallow. It starts to get annoying about 1/2 way through the bottle. It's a little spicy (?) which is odd. I like a cedar aged ipa and Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, but this doesn't seem to fit in to me.

Mouthfeel is average to a little lighter bodied than i think is appropriate.

Glad to have tried it but I'll stick to my regular IPA's from now on.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 23:47:10 | More by sendsilk
Photo of DrDemento456


3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks pretty hazy for an IPA a darker tone than expected but the head was a good 1/4 inch with excellent lacing.

S - This beer is all about the hops. Big pine with background of lemon and even some orange.

T - Wow I can't believe anyone can enjoy this. Even though its well over 2 months old the pine and earthy hop bitterness is unbearable. It's like a ate a grapefruit without even removing the peel, just biting right into that sucka. Very little malt to balance slight if any crystal malts or bready malts to make this balanced. Aggressive.

M - Well it's drinks pretty medium bodied but I found it hard to finish.

Overall if Humpa Lumpa is anything like this I am also going to be disappointed. Maybe I should have not worshiped a beer company that makes such a bitter biting brew that destroys the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 16:59:59 | More by DrDemento456
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The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.