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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
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Reviews: 198 | Hads: 453
Photo of DosBeerigos
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
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!

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rtepiak for this one!

A: Fully translucent light amber color. Head is off white and quite small. Retention is correct as well as lacing.

S: Sweet citruses up front: orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon juice and peel. But, there is also a lot of malty sweetness in this: caramel, vanilla, honey mostly. Also, pine.

T: It says on the bottle it is brewed with lemon and orange zest and they are the main players here. Although there is a quite good amount of sweetness in the beer (caramel, honey, brown sugar and light vanilla), the zests are so strong it feels bone dry. A little bit of orange and grapefruit juice as well as piny hops. Honestly, way too much zest in this.

M: Medium body with medium to low carbonation. Creamy.

O: IMO too harsh for its own sake. The added zest in the brewing is a little bit exaggerated. Could be much better if it had more moderation.

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Photo of BulbMan
2.58/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Medium copper, cloudy. 1 finger head that is very slow to recede.

S - Blah. Bit of alcohol, little bit of grapefruit, not a whole lot else

T - Wow, bitter. Some lemon, but bitter, bitter, bitter.

M - Medium/average/not bad

D/O - This one is dominated by the bitterness which overshadows all else. Not really enjoyable. Would not seek out again.

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

Perhaps the best beer I have had from Short's, but that's not really saying much.

Pours a hazy golden orange with nice carbonation. Smell and taste are dominated by piney and citrus hops and this is certainly a bitter beer. Not much malt to speak of which I respect. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a bit gritty. Lots of bitterness with a very dry finish. I would try this again, but would certainly not go out of my way to have it.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

04/07/11- Review of a 12 oz bottle dated 12/15/10.
A: Hazy burnt orange amber, nice creamy sticky head.
S: Biscuit and wheat, toffee, earthy and peppery hops.
T: Orange rind citrus/metallic bitterness, biscuit, caramel, dry bananads. Lingering metallic earthy bitterness is a little off-putting.
M: Thicker and frothy with a dry finish.
O: Too heavy on the hops makes it a little unbalanced. It is also unexpectedly dry... but overall it is OK.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I dug this one, personally.

A: Nice orange amber color with good lacing and a ring of white head. Semi clear.

S: Beautiful open aroma with citrus rind spotlighted and grassy hops also in there. Nice backup malts of mostly the biscuit variety. Some pepper, spicy notes as in there making it an enticing smell.

T/M: Awesome tangerine and lemon rind notes with nice grassy hops as was previewed in the smell, along with the peppery spicy unique malts as well. Sugary semi bitter back and smooth feel overall. Pretty full in the taste but not the hop bursting DIPA I usually enjoy the most.

D: Overall, I would certainly get this again but it's not mind blowing and not something I would go out of my way to trade for necessarily.

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Photo of 7ways
2/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Short's really fucks with me. I'll have a few great beers from them, and all of a sudden this comes along. It happens quite a bit.

Looks fine, nice continuous ring of almost-head, good lacing, orange-straw color.

Smell is pretty low key, but pleasant. Mango, orange, candy, no lemon. Seems like it would be a fairly sweet, mild pale ale.

But no. Not at all. It tastes SO FUCKING BITTER I want to sandpaper my tongue. It starts off just fine, resiny, earthy hops with a touch of orange and caramel, and then... medicine! Oh yes! The worst kind of bitterness, crushed pills, pith, and tree bark.

Pretty decent mouthfeel, but who is paying attention.

This is not OK.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another one sent to me by Mikesgroove in a recent trade. Thanks Mike!

The Liberator has a slightly hazy, dark orange color. The head is off-white and pretty small. It settles into a very thin collar on top of the beer, but immediately begins to stick to the side of the glass. Only a few spots of lacing manage to stick around.

The aroma has all kinds of both pine and grapefruit and maybe a little bit of lemon. Lots of bitterness for sure. There is definitely a noticeable malt base also, with toasted malt and sweet caramel malt.

Opens up with a big, citrusy hop flavor. Orange and grapefruit come in about equal amounts. Those fruits are followed by the flavor of pine, and the pine flavor is bigger than either of the citrus fruit flavors. The malt follows the hops, with a considerable amount of sweetness and a a lightly toasted taste to it, although that last part could be my imagination. The finish has a moderate amount of bitterness, with a bit more pine. It also features a mix of lightly herbal hop flavors as well as lemon. The hops stick around in the aftertaste, which reminds me a little bit of honey. The hop bill in this one is definitely interesting, as the citrus, pine and herbal flavors are all quite distinctive. Just a hint of warmth hides in the finish of this beer.

The body is normal, but the carbonation is pretty high. It works, I like it.

The hop profile in this one is good. Although it is bitter, it isn't insanely bitter. The Liberator balances sweet malts and a lot of hops.

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Photo of maximum12
2.74/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for a bottle of this IIPA - always happy to see another bottle of Short's in the house, especially one I haven't sampled before. Drank in despair on opening day 2011.

Pours a murky, unsettled orange. Smells orange too, mixed in with hoppy citrus. Nice.

The Liberator isn't quite my bag of tea. The hops are of the dank, earthy, muddied, nothing like the brightness of the nose. The lemon is tart underneath, but the orange is subdued by the dank. This tastes & feels like an older IPA to me.

Disappointing. It's not terrible, but I'm not wild about wasting liver & waist space to a beer that's borderline. Blah.

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Photo of JDizzle
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 0z bottle

This beer has a nice golden,amber cloudy hue that looks great in the light. The lacing grabs onto the glass for the duration of the beer.

The smell is of fress cut grass with grapefruit and citrus.

It taste a grassy, grapefruit, orange bomb!! Really bitter with a great hop profile and a bit of malt to back it up, although not huge. It has a very bitter after taste of lemon and grapefruit, almost pucker worthy.

There is no real alcohol taste with the 7.4%abv, so it's a few and out for me. The bitterness would start to kill me after two of these bastards, but... what a great beer to drink if your looking for a bitter IPA.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a beautiful amber orange, a little cloudy but the color is fantastic. It goes into my dogfish snifter with very little head buildup, but a generous swirl leaves curtains all over the side of the glass. Nothing but puffs of large bubbles remains on the surface after about 2 minutes.
Two adjectives, beautiful and fantastic i already used in the above paragraph, ill use them again to describe the aroma wafting from the glass. Huge orange and grapefruit citrus blasts just completely take over my nostrils. As it warms i even pick up a bit of maybe pepercorn to round out some heat on the backend. Just phenomenal.
Fairly bitter mouthful of orange rind, unsweetened grapefruit. Theres definitely a dryness that helps hold back the flavors a little bit compared to what overwhelmed me in terms of smell. After multiple sips i really start to get a lingering parched feeling in the back of my throat. I feel like ive been left hanging a little bit.
The first two categories really carry this one through for me, and i cant say anything was bad, just scaled back from what i was hoping. The aroma alone is worth seeking this one out.

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

poured into a tulip


Beer is a very hazy orange color. About 1 fingers worth of frothy egg-shell colored head. Decent lacing around the rim as well. A good looking beer IMO.


Big time hops in this one! Big citrus notes of grapefruit, orange (not sure if just from the addition of citrus rind or hops) and some slight pineyness to it. Very fresh smelling out of the bottle. A little different smelling aroma from a growler I tasted weeks ago. That had more of a dank/weed aroma to it which was ironically pleasant considering I've never touched the stuff! There might be some sublte earthy tones to the aroma but definitely fruit and pine. A little sweet malt aroma really ties it together. Such a great smelling DIPA.

*as it warms up the dank aroma does in fact start to come out*


Pretty big bitterness in this. Almost like chewing on citrus rind. Very bitter, but definitely tolerable. A little grassy taste, similar to like a daisy cutter/double daisy cutter, with just enough malt to make it pretty enjoyable. Probably a top 3 or 5 Shorts beer for me. A nice quality DIPA that drinks like one.


Medium bodied. Great carbonation in this beer. You get a lingering hop presence in the mouth that lasts quite a while.


A solid showing from Shorts. One of the better DIPAs I've had. I'd still take Pliny or Dreadnaught over this..perhaps even hopslam...but still a quality beer. A little hard to get in my area however, as with all Shorts beers.

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Photo of Lolli1315
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A very hazy golden orange that develops a small ivory head composed of creamy bubbles. The head begins to disappear as you are left with the patchy remnants. There is a ring around the glass with slight lacing following.

S- Hops are obviously the most notable. The smell starts with a citrus hop profile that concentrates in grapefruit, orange, and lemon. The hops then change to a grassy character with some slight pine and continue to the finish. Beneath the hops there is some noticeable sweet malt, but only briefly. Alcohol is apparent starting in the middle, but never dominant.

T- Malt front that is more noticeable than in the smell becomes a quick vocal point in the beginning of the taste. Hops burst forth in the middle with a slight amount of citrus character that is quickly swept away by a grassy and piney flavor that is more dominant. The bitterness picks up as well in the middle and peaks towards the end of the taste as it lingers into the aftertaste for quite some time. Alcohol is discernible in the aftertaste as well as a slight metallic taste that is a little off putting and could be a result of the grassy character.

M- Medium full in the body with moderate carbonation.

D- The hops were not as complex as I was hoping for in this leaving way for too much of a grassy character in the beer. Certainly not bad and I wouldn't mind having it again, but not sure I would seek it out.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.05/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. Thanks to semibaked for the trade. From notes scribbled together after the tasting last night.

A: Pours an amber body with off-white head. Retention is short and lace is light.

S: A combination of orange pump and orange rind, which introduces a substantial, earthy bitterness in the nose. The bouquet expresses a mild pale malt nose.

T: The flavors clash a bit, for me. Orange pulp is good, but there's a strong bitterness that leads into tea-like / tannic astringency in the finish. Craig likened this to cucumber skin, and I thought it was more like orange peel, which turned out to be an adjunct in this beer after all. It's an interesting flavor, but the bitterness is a turnoff.

M: Medium-bodied. Low-medium carbonation. It's smooth. The bitterness is harsher than I appreciate.

D: It was all right, but this was one of the bottles we didn't finish. And as a DIPA fanatic, I am exposed to a number of others that I feel are better.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this one in a recent trade with FrankenBrew. Had no idea what to expect here, but it started off well. Poured a nice amber color with an attractive white head. Good aromatics here, piney hops, lemon and orange oils; on the palate this one was fairly light bodied, initially refreshing, with flavors of caramel, biscuity malt and some light citrus, this one quickly becomes extremely bitter on the finish.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a stunning honey amber with a frothy 2 finger head into my capt lawrence taster tulip. beer was transparent along the sides but dark and ominous in the middle. not really any carbonation to speak of.

s - ah...nice. thick dripping piny hops. sweet n syrupy but super appetizing! more sweet than bitter.

t - first sip is knock me out bitter hops. once my palette adjusted to the brew, pretty much just bitter hops. not overly bitter, but doesn't really feel like a double.

m - now that i've had the pleasure of having several different short's beers this is easier for me to describe...all short's beers have an almost juice-like body or fullness. it isn't carbonation since the beers are all finely carbonated, but a thickness to the feel...i guess it would be called full bodied almost syrup like? leaves a bit of a bittery aftertaste.

d - much more like a hoppy ipa than a double. bitterness isn't my thing so not something i'd jump for again, but an easy drinker.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
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

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to ChadQuest for this brew!

Pours a nice deep honey color with an off-white less-than a finger head that doesn't stick around too long, but does lace well.

Aroma is nice, though tamed. Bits of bitterness, and mostly citrus fruits and a backing malt sweetness.

Taste is rather bitter, with some citrus and a caramel malt backbone. Bitterness is lingering, and while good, it's slightly one-dimensional as a whole. Intensely bitter, but doesn't stray too far from that ideal.

Creaming, medium in body, slick and juicy. Can't complain here.

The stark bitterness could reek havoc on the palate after a couple, so I'd stick to that. Overall, not a bad brew at all

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Photo of EROlsizzle
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Maybe the best balanced DIPA I can remember trying. The dryness and bitterness of the hops is augmented perfectly by the citrus zest included. This also boosts the aroma quite a bit. All of this citrus blends perfectly with the light sweetness for an extremely enjoyable drink.

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Photo of Brez07
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to kzoobrew for this one

A: Pours a burnt orange. Mostly opaque. Yields 1/2 finger white head the quickly settles to a thin layer

S: Citrusy hops and pine. Strong notes of lemon and orange. There is a bready malt presence too

T: Mostly pine here. Lots of hop flavor, but not so much of the citrus variety. Might have even gotten some crisp tart apple flavor. My guess is the orange and lemon zest are overshadowing the other flavors

M: Medium to full bodied. Sharp bitterness that lingers on the front of the tongue

D: This beer did a number on my palate. Would only drink one in a sitting. Lacked the balance needed to be a very drinkable DIPA

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

Revisited from last years vintage.

Poured from 2010 bottle (12oz) into pint glass.
Pours a beautiful orange/honey color and with a heavy hand- gives off a big rocky white head. The white cloud stays for a few moments and recedes back into the ale- slight lacing. Smells of citrus and pine mixed with real lemon and orange A bit of grapefruit present. Just a hint of honey sweetness. The taste follows with some sweet honey malts, floral hops and a dab of pine. More orange/lemon/grapefruit in the first few sips. Hop forward but the malt is hiding back there somewhere. Medium body and full carbonation dances on the tongue. Perhaps a slightly dry finish but the hops might be playing hard. This beer is amazingly drinkable and Short's has kicked out another interesting beer. Refreshing but not sessionable for long.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours an orange-copper color with a large head. Nose is caramel malt, fairly bright and hoppy with a nice minty, orange kind of touch. Oddly dry in the mouth. Hops are still bright and plentiful especially in the mid palate, I expected more sweetness from the caramel malts. Actually I really enjoy this, being dry yet bright, it works well. Strangely spicy on the finish. Good stuff!

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Photo of Pellinore1
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kdub87 for sending this bottle.

Pours murky orange, producing about two fingers of very light orange head. This eventually fades to some lacing.

The smell is bright, piney hops, backed by some citrus, and the merest hint of bread and sweet caramel.

This beer opens with pine and citrus, shows a bit of bread or biscuit malt, then hits with a harsh bitterness that lingers on the palate. Certainly not bad, but a bit too much for me. I prefer a little more balance in my DIPAs.

Medium-bodied with some nice carbonation, this has a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability is decent, and only hampered by the lasting harsh bitterness of this beer.

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Photo of joshrosborne
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a hop lover and this is a HOPPY beer. The smell is very floral, with a little citrus in there. Taste is hops up front, followed by the malts, and with a bitter finish. Not a big fan of the bitter aftertaste. Not a super carbonated beer; probably would saw medium to low. A bottle of it is drinkable, but I don't think I could do many more in a row b/c of the bitterness. A good DIPA, but it doesn't stack up to the best of the class.

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Photo of seeswo
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent orangy-gold color with a finger of white head that dissipates slowly to a thin white ring. It really looks beautiful. Smells strongly of piney hops and citrus. As you make you make your way rough the Shorts lineup, it seems you get acquainted with their bizarre strain of yeast that they use. Often, it comes out in the nose. In this case, it comes out strongly in the taste. This is a hoppy dipa with a good malt balance and the bready, yeast character that shows up in most of their beers. In some beers, this comes off as an unwelcome flavor. In this beer, it actually works well. It melds with the malt to balance out a pretty intense hop bitterness that carries though the finish. Interestingly, the citrus elements of the nose dont seem to come though in the taste. Either way, it is a good tasting dipa. Feels sugary in the mouth, with medium carbonation and strong lingering bitterness. Definitely big flavors and intensity in this beer, which limits the drinkability.

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The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.