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The Liberator - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The LiberatorThe Liberator

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

407 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 407
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.07%
Wants: 49
Gots: 18 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jt31914 on 12-18-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 407 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CortexBomb
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

CortexBomb, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy burnished orange, murky with micro-sediment. A decent head that recedes to a clump of larger bubbles on one side. Dark orange center, with a more yellow tint at it's edges.

Zesty orange and citrus aroma, sweet, dank, and resiny. As it sits, it has a pleasant woody, leafy, vinous scent that emerges. Really fresh and appealing.

Full bodied and almost viscous, with a strong bitter hop edge. Long residual bitterness on the finish that is very resinous and a little catty even. Citrus, spruce, earthy, pretty much a hop-delivery vehicle. The malt presence balances things somewhat, but the hops are on showcase here. Feels like 100 IBU, wonder what the actual level is. Very potent stuff. A growler of this would be dangerous!

emerge077, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked this up on a recent stop at merchant's in dearborn.

12oz bottle. sampled jan 17/2010.

pours super hazy deep dark orange, nearly red, with a small dense off-white head. the head slowly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves plenty of spotty lace.

aroma is great. tons of big citrus. orange, tangerine, mandarin orange, touch of resiny grapefruit. light alcohol. hint of pine. white bread and cracker. bit of caramel.

taste is great. resiny pine and grapefruit. orange and tangerine. light alcohol. white bread and cracker. bit of biscuit. medium-high bitterness level. light caramel. nice citrusy hop presence.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body but with a fairly dry finish. very fine medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. nice hoppy depth. good stuff.

grub, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a cloudy orange/amber, some golden highlights, big thick off white head forms, drops to a thick ring around the glass, good lacing sticks, covers the glass, looks nice.

Smell is intense, tons of fruit and grapefruit, floral, big pine notes, orange peel and lemons, very spicy too, like fennel, really neat hoppiness, lots of fruit, apricots and peach, malt takes a back seat but some caramel and biscuity malts comes through.

Taste is intense too, tons of citrus, some neat toasty and biscuit maltiness, some caramel sweetness, lots of rind character, grapefruit and orange peel, pine, a little rough but a ton of character, very bitter and herbal in the finish, pithy roughness.

Mouthfeel is light to medum bodied with medium carbonation. ABV is well hidden, this is nice stuff. I dig the rind character. Thanks grub!

Viggo, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of BMoney575
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 1-16-10

Pours a golden orange color, super cloudy with a thin white head. Lacing is thin, but long-lasting in rings around the glass.

Smell is all floral hops, strong notes of pineapple and citrus. The hop aromas are very thick and resiny, with just a slight malt backing.

Taste totally floral hops, so strong it is borderline perfumy. The bitterness is intense, and balanced only by the the huge citrus flavors. Different than most DIPAs, and immensely enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the flavors, thick so the lemony bitterness sticks on your palate.

Drinkability is very good, super tasty with a reasonable abv.

Overall, I wouldn't call this "Imperial", the alcohol and malt are not strong enough. Still, one of the best I've ever had.

BMoney575, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a cloudy orange amber color that produced a good fluffy off-white head with some good retention. It is leaving some bits of lacing as it slowly dissipates.

(S)- Lots of grapefruit & pineapple citrus with some lemon rind in the background. Very fruity. Just a touch of toffee in the background.

(T)- Super duper dryness up front. Ridiculously bitter too. The same fruits come through from the smell, but this is so dry & bitter, that its very faint. Piney as hell within the bitterness.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Now, I am all for a huge hop monster of an IPA, but the immense bitterness of this really overpowers you to the point of not being able to taste all the other good things this beer has to offer.

(D)- A good beer that would be even better if it had a better balance to it. Tastes good, but it absolutely destroys your palate with bittering hops. Drink it fresh if you like that, as for me, its too much for me to enjoy fully. I might let my other one mellow out for a few months before revisiting this one.

sweemzander, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Mitchster
1.95/5  rDev -51%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Double IPA brewed with Lemon and Orange Zest. $14.99 for a 6 pack. Thin layer of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Pours out to a cloudy burnt orange, forming a decent sized poofy light yellow head with good retention and nice sheets of lace. The carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is of grapefruit and mango from the hops, with more mango when swirled. Not picking up any lemon or orange. The mouthfeel is rich, without being syrupy, with a medium dense body. The taste opens up, all too briefly, with the mango, then is replaced by a huge grapefruit pith bitterness. Way too bitter for my taste, as it burns all the way through the finish and you are left with an extremely bitter aftertaste. Very high alpha's here. Youch. Any subtleties of malt and hops are lost in this brew. 1/3 of a bottle is enough for me. I won't be buying this again. I don't think I could even give this one away. One of the worst, if not THE worst Double IPA I've ever had. I love ya Joe, but I can't drink this one. Sorry.

Mitchster, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An extra received in a trade with Masterski. Thanks Alex! Consumed on 1/14/2010 in a snifter. The beer pours a color and there's a two finger head that is also looking a lot like a color. It's about two units of measurement and the length of retention can be best measured in time. Looks nice. Sometimes bubbles can be seen and at other times it's like they're in hiding.

The hop aspect of the aroma is mostly of pine with lesser notes of grapefruit. There's a firm caramel malt foundation beneath the lupulin. Upper low sweetness. The hops are pungent in the nose with a slight medicinal quality. Nice!

Bitterness is very high in the taste, but I don't find that hop flavor accompanies it. There's some pine, but citrus is minimal. Malt provides some caramel. The bitterness is a bit solventy and harsh. The mouthfeel is very dry and carbonation is at a moderate level.

Overall, a pretty decent beer, but the flavor is harsh and it's lacking the requisite hop flavor to accompany the high level of bitterness.

HopHead84, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of CraftAle
4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
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!

CraftAle, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of crossovert
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What this isn't a doppelbock!? 12 oz brown bottle from a 6 pack purchased in Troy, MI. A Double IPA with Lemon and Orange Zest. That does sound yummy.

Pours a hazy brownish amber with light orange on the edges. The head is billowing and foamy and leaves a decent amount of lacing. It is a pretty pure white with a bit of off-white character.

The smell is a cornucopia of citrusy hop mania. There isn't as much malt in this one as you would normally have in a DIPA. The malt is biscuity and sugary.

The taste is predominantly hop nectar. it is a hop bomb. There seems to be a unique choice of hops here too. The nose would alert to you citrus but it is much more piny and bitter on the palate. There is also some spiciness in these hops. The malt is there but it provides only a backbone. A great comparison to this one in style would be Dreadnaught from Three Floyds. The citrus intensifies as you go.

Overall it is hard to find but highly recommended, a huge and solid DIPA.

crossovert, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of danielharper
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy orange/brown body, thin white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Sweet citrusy aroma, strong crisp hoppiness. Definitely getting the "lemon and orange zest" listed on the front of the bottle. Slight bready maltiness way down deep. Very nice aroma.

T: Crisp hoppiness up-front, lots of bitter stings on the tongue, followed by a citrus flavor and with a very dry bitter finish. A bit one-note, but good.

M: Fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, high hoppiness. Very nice for a DIPA.

D: Again, it's a little one-note, but fans of hops will really like this beer.

danielharper, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of SpinachEater
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

SpinachEater, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of SaucyA
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy rusty orange into my St Feuillien balloon. I know, this is the wrong glasswear, but I didn't feel like washing a pint glass, and I just rinsed this out from the Cantillon I was drinking. Now that that's outta the way, the head is a fat creamy mass, that hardly dissapates, and leaves fat lacing. Love the look.

S - The smell is far and away the standout of this beer. It smells like my family's recipe for Italian easter bread, which, not coincidentally, contains orange and lemon zest. Among the citric vibes given off by the zest, the hops bring another fruity/citric element, that really helps complete the nose. Is it zest? Is it hops? Who knows, it smells tasty.

T - The taste is reminiscent of many Short's beers, which is a good thing, in my opinion. To me, it tastes like something they'd have on at the brewpub, which is an awesome feat seeing that this was actually bottled. I love their standard bottles, but they didn't capture the essence of Short's as well as I'd hoped. This brew IS Short's in a nutshell. The hops are huge, but balanced somehow by a nice malty sweetness, and the zest is just another element in a wonderful melange of flavors. It's not the biggest DIPA, but it's hugely drinkable.

M - Thick and oily on the palate, with a nice amount of carbonation to keep it going. It's a standout brew in every sense.

D - I love this brew, and will be sad when it's gone. I've made my way through a six since X-mas, and definitely want to get some more before it disappears.

Notes: Cheers to Short's for bottling all these goodies up.

SaucyA, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
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!

GbVDave, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebrews for helping me get this one.

I open the bottle and I can already smell the delicious hops. Poured into bud american ale glass.

Pours 1 finger of khaki head. Fades down to a thin layer but sticks around for the duration of the beer, so pretty good retention here. Leaves a lot of sticky splattered lace. Color is a hazed burnt orange.

Aroma: Big floral aroma. Tons of hops here. There is also the typical caramel malt flavors. Nice amount of citrus flavors. The lemon and orange zest are also present.

Taste: The orange zest comes right at the beginning and at the end it finishes with the lemon zest, which I think it pretty sweet. Lots of floral and grassy hops. Caramel malts balance this one out. Very well done dipa.

Mouthfeel: A nice bitter feel to it. Smooth and well rounded. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation for they style. Ends fairly sticky and hoppy.

Overall, I just got liberated. This beer was awesome. Easy drinking DIPA and I am glad I have another bottle. This beer is what a DIPA should taste like. It is definitely up there with hopslam. I highly recommend this one.

mothman, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Alex (MasterSki) for handing me this beer while at his place. I opened this while at my new place in Chicago...my first beer here and it's time to celebrate!

A - Pours a golden color with two fingers worth of white head starts things off and disipiates down to a decently thick cap that covers the beer. There's def evidence of lacing left behind on this one, long after the initial pour.

S - A nice scent of hoppy bitterness and citrus right form the start. This one has a perfect DIPA aroma...lots and lots of citrus and bitterness with a slight touch of malts.

T - I have drank this beer, therefore, I have no more teeth enamel. Lots of pine, citrus, hoppy, bitterness in massive amounts. If there was a Midwest version of Pliny, this could be it. Impressive.

M - Medium, crisp and refreshing (for a DIPA). Good carbonation, very solid bitter finish that's a bit oily.

D - This is a wonderful DIPA from Short's. They sure know how to make some awesome beer. I feel lucky to be able to sample this stuff since the bottles were so limited. Once again, excellent!

Sean9689, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebrews for picking up a sixer of this for me. Served in my trusty Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - Two fingers of creamy orange-tinged foam with superb retention and tons of sticky lacing. Hazy red-amber body with some bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass.

S - The label doesn't lie - plenty of lemon and orange zestiness, but also some pine and dank weed hoppiness. Not sure of the ABV, but it's quite well-hidden. The malt backbone is sugar cookie-ish, and stays in the periphery.

T - The taste is citrus zest, a touch of sugary malt, then pine and earthiness, followed by some pretty impressive bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Just the right balance of depth versus smash your palate hoppy goodness.

M - The carbonation isn't overly biting, but there's a graininess/chalk to the body that I don't care for much - could be a little smoother. Finishes dry with nice residual oiliness. A bit of heat shows up as well.

D - The first bottle went down in under 10 minutes - I know I was missing the hoppy beers while in Canada, but this is ridiculous! However, it's a bit too palate-numbing to be perfect. Still, it's one of Joe Short's finest creations!

MasterSki, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
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).

alexgash, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of moosiz
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

moosiz, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of md655321
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

md655321, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Popkas
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Popkas, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of soupyman10
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

soupyman10, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few bottles from Holiday Market. Consumed on 12.27.2009.

A: Fairly-hazy peach and mango-colored with a nice bone-white head. A little bit of lacing as it comes down.

S: Strong bittering hops are the initial aroma, along with clear indications of the lemon and orange zest that are touted on the bottle. Lots of citrus, but balanced out by a strong bitterness. The aroma also includes some tropical fruits, namely mango.

T: Nice malty sweetness comes in behind a fairly-overpowering bitterness. Lemon, orange, and mango abound. Perhaps a hint of peach. A little bit of earthy pepper-ness comes through; slightly spicy.

M: Somewhat creamy with a medium body. A little bit of alcohol seems to make its way in with some spice, but nothing that takes away from the character of the beer.

D: Short's is brewed by people who care...and definitely who know what they're doing, especially when it comes to IPA's. I was most looking forward to Cup A Joe when Short's announced that it was bottling, but it was really this one that stole the show for me. An excellent offering and one I hope to have quite frequently.

Thorpe429, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of rudylaw
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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!

rudylaw, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful transparent dark amber color with a slightly off white head. Smell is unbelievable. Super IPA hops with citrus overtones. Aside from the massive IPA flavors orange peels come through quite pronounced. Overall a very citrus taste, well done. Quite A good beer. I would expect nothing less from the creators of Huma Lupa.

JordanEllwanger, Dec 25, 2009
The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 407 ratings.