Northern Liberties IPA | Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

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Northern Liberties IPANorthern Liberties IPA

Brewed by:
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerman207 on 05-14-2010

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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 186
Photo of Matthew_Feist
5/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer's new recipe formulation is a huge step forward. Aromatics resemblant of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango bounce off the nose, likely from the Centennial and Simcoe dry-hops. Pale/copper color with good head retention, medium mouthfeel, firm bitterness, and smooth finish.

It is no wonder that this beer has received honorable mentions at GABF and World Beer Cup since the recipe reformulation.

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Photo of car2052
4.46/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to Stella Artois goblet.

A: Slightly hazy medium orange. 1/2 in. off-white head that leaves a small ring on the edge of the glass.
S: Strong piney hops with just as strong grapefruit aromas. Hints of berry, pomegranate, and earthy notes.
T: Very strong earthy hop flavors, especially pine and grapefruit. Some nice flavors I usually get from DIPA's. Bready malts and a hint of yeast balance the hop-forward bitterness and finish the palate. Finishes crisp.
M: Medium feel, nice crisp finish.
O: A curiously well-hopped IPA with strong hop flavors and a full malt body. I really like the dank, earthy hop flavors I usually find in Double IPA's. Seems a bit more alcoholic than it actually is, which isn't bad.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For the record, I am VERY happy that a Cincinnati-based brewer finally made a SOLID IPA... I don't live in Michigan or Cali, so brewers that make a good IPA in Cincinnati are rare (to non-existent!

Pours a crystal clear, dark honey into my traditional pint glass. The head is 1/2 inch after an average pour. Great, sticky lacing seen on the sides of the pint glass. Looks good!

I get light, sweet malts and citrus on the nose, like oranges and some grassiness.

Wow! Bitter citrus up front a moderately complex malt bill, characteristic in most Moerlein beers. This certainly feels like "Over-The-Rhine's (Pale Ale)" bigger brother. Less earthy hops though and an overall, larger hop presence. This is a nice example of an IPA.

Great, high carbonated mounthfeel with a touch of bitterness, but not overwhelming.

If you are a fan of well-balanced IPA's, you must give this one a try! Very nice. Looks like I have a new, local IPA to enjoy!

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Photo of Brenden
4.23/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is an opaque, heavy amber. Sticky lacing clings heavily from a thick foam left after a nearly white head two fingers high drops. While the head doesn't die too terribly quickly it could last longer, but the lacing is just astounding.
A definitively cannabis/hemp character comes out of the aroma right off. It's followed by some extremely herbal and floral hops bitterness and precedes a bit of citrus rind. A bit of bread and caramel from malts adds a touch of balance to this hoppy brew.
Pine resin bitterness and some raw, leafy and herbal hops characteristics are strongest in the flavor, with a bit of grassy earthiness to it. Malts add balance but allow for a heavy hop bill to shine, so that the light caramel and biscuit notes are that much more necessary and appreciated. Citrus rind follows, and a bit of lemon and orange peek out as this beer warms.
A medium body with moderate carbonation make for a very nice combination of creamy smoothness and gentle crispness. The smooth, even feel gives way to dryness about halfway through.
This is a great beer from Moerlein and I've heard people say they had some problems with medicinal, mineral or other off-flavors and wonder if the brewery had any quality control issues with previous batches. This, to me, is excellent.

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Photo of WagonJumper
4.21/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up from the Kroger brewmaster's choice sampler while on vacation at Marblehead OH. No date on the bottle or label, and coming from a grocery I'm not sure of the age. Bottle into a pint glass.

A: Light amber in color with a nice frothy off white 2 finger head. Lacing started within minutes. Really nice lacing with concentric circle down the glass.

S: Sweet with a hint of cirtus and floral. Really nice balanced smell.

T: Sweet, Bitter, Sweet! Nice, I get a nice citrus sweet followed immediately with a nice bitter hop and finishes with a mild sweet malt.

M: Good medium body with enough carbonation. Enjoyable.

O: Very nice IPA! Not overbearing in the hop department, but does offer a good hop flavor. Light enough, but could be a bit filling.

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Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Moerlein name once represented a line of quite good beers, but, over time, the name simply tagged contract brewed beers of average quality. Northern Liberties redeems the name. A quite good IPA, liberally hopped with nicely aromatic hops. Firm and crisp in the mouth, and a very good value, to boot.

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Photo of rembrant
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wrote a review months ago and it was among quite a backlog I'd yet to post Now with a revisit...I'm not tasting the same beer anyhow. Either my first was a bit old and faded or Moerlein upgraded this beer
Looks-If you've seen Hopslam and Nugget Nectar...same look Rich orange.a bit hazy,even a hard pour yields just a bit of offwhite head.
Aroma A scent of caramel maltand some mixed fruity citrus.. As I'd found previously there's a slight yeasty hint as though they wanted to have a hint of lager in it. This, however,has much better hops to it.
Taste The Malts only get a moment and then the hops take command,yet this is not a one-note. The malts do maintain some influence,the yeast add a little to the complexity. I'm not getting a single dominant hop ttaste,not a discreet fruit. It's like grapefruit,pineapple,green apple,pine cone,orange and lemon all have a voice in there. In the end, a German -like Nobel hop appears with a dry woodiness that joins the fruits for the finish.
In the past I'd felt it was more like a Pale Ale labeled as IPA. Now it's not just an IPA for real,but a good one. As I had my first of Hopslam and Nugget Nectar just lately..that says something
I like an IPA to be BEER,to have more than just a bang of grapefruit.
Mouth- The Orange-Haze look and the hop-slimed glass gave warning this should have good substance and indeed it does.
Carbonation is right. Aftertaste doesn't linger long relative to the hop flavor but is a clean and nice finish
Drinkability is quite drinkable. Elsewhere it's not seen much,but here it's available and budget friendly. Not in any way abrassive or weak,real quenching and complex enough to stay interesting

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.06/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Copper with a cascading head that dissipates to a small coat quickly and then sticks around for the whole session. A thin lacing is left on the glass.
S. Malt with subtle hop profile.
T. Sweet malty goodness up front with a hop backbone. The characteristic Moerlein malt profile is instantly recognizable. The hops come into the game late and stick around through the initial aftertaste only to once again make way for the sweet malt (and some sweet citrus- orange) in the ending.
M. Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation.
D. One of the more complex IPAs that I've tried recently. It's not terribly bitter, which helps make it a great session beer. Moerlein has made me smile again.

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lively copper coloured pour, with a somewhat hoppy aroma in the nose. Meringue-like foam develops as the head settles.
This is a good presentation. Tangy hops on the palate combined with substantial malt support , make this not an excessively bitter ale. I would say it favors better than Left Hand's 400 pound monkey, in that it is more focused on freshness, and of course, balance.
Very drinkable and worth seeking out.

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Photo of blakelyhallrQY
4/5  rDev +13%

A welcome change to the Hop bombs coming from the west coast, this is a more delicate take on the style. Complex hop aroma and bitterness with a dry finish.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - good looking golden amber tea color. Voluminous head with lots of staying power and lace.

Aroma - sharp and pungent hops with just a trace of sweet citrus. A little more fruit on setup, pretty nice balance!

Taste - some initial biscuity malts on the opening. The hops, far more pungent and bitter when fresh, are still knocking it pretty stiff but they have tamed somewhat. Still very piny and in better balance with the malts several months after purchase. Good resiny aftertaste and dry finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth feel. If you let it sit, the amped up carbonation burns off and makes for a crisp but mellow feel.

Drinkability - very tasty session IPA. Worth checking out.

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Photo of johncampbell
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this from a tap at Arnold's Bar and Grill in Downtown Cincinnati, OH.

Dark copper with amber highlights and a finger of head which remained intact through the first third of the pint before fading to a ring that lightly laced the glass.

The aroma was all Centennial and Cascade, and a lot of it - a very nice blend of citrus and grass with a promise of sweet malt.

The hop flavor was not as intense as the aroma, but had a good, crisp citrus flavor with a hint of pine. The sweet malt I detected in the nose was also lighter than I expected, but it gave the beer a toasty, caramel flavor that offset the hop bitterness. Combined, they provided a good balance for this medium-bodied, dry IPA.

The mouthfeel was crisp and vibrant with just the right amount of carbonation, body, and flavor.

This beer was much better than I anticipated and my first "new" Christian Morlein beer. I think I was expecting something tame and mainstream, proving again that I should leave my preconceived notions at the door.

I look forward to drinking more from these guys and following their new endeavors. Good job.

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Photo of beerman207
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at Party Town in Florence, KY. Saw it was recently announced and was pretty pumped to find it being a fan of Moerlein.

A: Very good - copper, clear, pours a huge head in the glass, leaving amazing lacing and just looks amazing for an IPA

S: Unfortunately, this part is a let down for me. Can't say that I can detect much more than some faint citrus and some malt. Towards the end of the beer,I begin to get a lot more maltiness and some sweetness coming through.

T: Taste is citrus, malt, some lemon zest maybe? Really crisp, great bite at the finish and overall just tasty.

M: Good mouthfeel - nothing too crazy just the right amount of carbonation.

D: I could drink these all night. Wish the nose was better but if I had my choice, I'd just pop the cap, throw it in a cozy and sip away all day mowing the grass or hanging outside sans glass. The price point for a single was about $1.60 which is also very reasonable for this brew.

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Photo of amidabha
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in a sam adam's perfect pour glass on a 60 degree night. like many of the new morlein beers this one is a nice recipe especially for the price.

northern liberties pours a fairly nice and slightly hazy appearance with a decent amount of carbonation and head. the smell and taste compliment each other in a very nice. the hops and malt are work together for a nice balance. this might be a bit too thick of a beer for a hot night but perfect for a cool evening.

this is probably not my go-to ipa but overall i think this is a great ipa for the price that falls in line with sam adams.

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Photo of generalnotsew
3.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look is kind of orangish cloudy fecal matter brown. It does produce a head so some marks for that. It doesn't look very satisfying. Smell is very spicy and herbal. Has a bit of a pilsner quality. Some sweet fruits in the nose as well. This beer is quite bitter for the abv. Didn't really expect that. More of an earthy piney bitterness rather than grapefruit. Yeah it is very bitter with very little sweetness backing it up if any at all. I am impressed with this part especially considering the abv. Hopheads will be pleased. Even if the appearance and smell aren't up to par it sure does make up for it in bold flavor. I will buy this again.

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Photo of rcwhiteky
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A a nice clear copper with about two inches of off white foam
S- Malty and hoppy at the same time like a candy coated pine tree
T- Much like the aroma hops with a strong malt backbone very good though

M- medium to thin little dissatified with this aspect
D-looked down and was suprised to see that the beer was gone went down very smooth

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Photo of chinchill
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from 12-pack sampler case purchased in Ohio. Served in a Sam Adams glass.

A: Orange-amber in color with a large, frothy off-white head. Superior lacing and retention.

S: Sweet with citrus and floral notes, and a bready malt base.

T: More fruity and appealing than the aroma. Mildly bitter hop finish.

M: Excellent medium body and medium+ carbonation. Near creamy smooth..

O: A mild IPA. More like a pale ale in terms of hops load and bitterness, and perhaps a bit light even then, but tasty and highly drinkable.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at Maifest in Covington, KY. It was poured with a large fluffy/thick head that stuck around for a while. The beer is a clear copper color and looks inviting. The smell is a bit underwhelming for an IPA. Not too much hop aroma, but if Moerlein's pale ale is any indication this will be a more malt-forward IPA than most. Yep, it is. The hop bitterness is there upon the first few sips but that fades away to the sweet malt base. Like their OTR the malt shines through more than the hops. This is more like a pale ale while OTR is more like an amber or something else. That's not to say the taste is bad... it is very fresh and flavorful while begging for another drink. I finished the pint pretty quickly and could see myself drinking this all night. Overall it's a pretty good beer but if you like a lot of hops from your IPA you may want to look elsewhere.

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Photo of keeganfrank
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thick, creamy looking liquid the color of iced tea. A sudsy head that hardly seem to be dissolving. Tons of lacing left behind as the ale leaves the glass. Smells really hoppy. Sweet, pungent grapefruit and roasted toffee are the dominant flavors. Very hoppy flavor as well, but not excessively bitter. Actually has quite a bit of sweetness to it. Tastes of toasty grapefruit and sweet lemongrass. A really well-rounded IPA.

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Photo of pwoods
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6er purchased at Krogers, 12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours an average amber color with some coppery hues. Good clarity. A finger or so worth of thick white head forms and holds for a bit. Good lacing.

S: I'm thinking this wasn't dry hopped. Some American hopping in there with a bit of fruit and citrus, with a touch of pine in the back. More of the grassy and floral Euro hopping, though. A likely sweet cereal malt bill in the back to balance things.

T/M: A decent bitterness level but not very clean... has a bit of chalkiness on the back end. The American hopping comes out a bit more in the flavor but it still has an assertive English hop profile. The malts are nice in this, not too sweet and adds a bit of complexity. I'd say the malts would be perfect with a slight boost in IBU's and more big American hops in a late addition/whirlpool and dry hopping. Body is medium or so and the carbonation adds a bit of a creamy feel.

D: Good ABV and pretty drinkable. I had high hopes with this beer, and I'm not completely let down as it's a pretty decent beer. I just think Cincinnati is ready for a big 'West Coast Style' IPA. I wish someone would give it a try!

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Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a proud head that refuses to give way; the color of the liquid was a slightly hazy amber

Smell: Balanced between the caramel and the hops, but the hops brought on minty and piney tones

Taste: Caramel, up front, followed by the piney hops; floral and minty elements develop by mid-palate, but the caramel hangs around through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: More of a hoppy amber than an IPA, but still a decent beer from a brewery that doesn't appear to get much respect around here

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Photo of Groomsy
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic - can't vouch on how fresh this is since there's no freshness date in view. Review taken from notes.

Appearance: The body of the beer is actually fairly dark for an IPA - a pleasant, deep copper with some hints of fiery orange, fairly hazy but no sediment in suspension. An aggressive pour yielded a 1.5 finger head of ivory white foam which slowly faded to a cap of wisps and left behind spotty lacing.

Smell: Bold, but balanced. There are the obligatory notes of citrus, particularly grapefruit and just a little bit of lemon; but there are also some notable floral/herbal scents in there accented by some pine resin, all backed by just a pinch of either pale or caramel malt, providing a slightly sugary scent to the beer.

Taste: A fairly rich beer. Citric hops dominate with flavors of orange rind and grapefruit, underscored by a backbone of floral and herbal spiciness on the middle of the palate, which carries into some pine resin notes in the finish. There's a small but substantial backbone of malt flavors, sweet and sugary, to provide some balance for the beer. Nice balance between very American and European hop characteristics. A good thirst quencher, and a balanced IPA that still knows how to kick it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body overall, not too highly carbonated. Lingering flavors from the hops create a slightly drying finish leaving me thirsty for another sip. Alcohol is well-hidden, even though the ABV is a little low for this style in this brew.

Overall: Pretty good IPA, a little bit of a surprise from Moerlein, who generally specializes in Euro-style beers. Good balance and drinkability, but nothing to get crazy excited over. This isn't a super-assertive IPA - in fact, I would venture to say it's either a very mild IPA or a slightly souped-up APA. If you want to support your locals and want a good beer with some character, check this out. Sessionable but not fantastic.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 7/16/10

Robust shade of copper with amber highlights. Nice clarity. Over one finger head thins slowly with decent swaths of lace clinging to the inside of the glass. Swirling keeps a thin layer; splotchy lace throughout.

This is an earthy smelling IPA; prevalent floral wisps, grassiness & a touch of pine. Modest hints of lemon zest & orange peel. Substantial malt backdrop with notes of biscuit, caramel & sweet bread. Yeasty undertones.

Similar to the aroma, the taste is very floral with a grassy twist. Piney bitterness is more apparent to taste; offering enough dryness to offset the malts. Malts are prominent but not eschewing balance. Caramel & toasty bread notes. Doesn't seem like citrus is a large piece of the equation.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation - just enough to keep things moving. Some grittiness. Piney bitterness & toasted caramel linger briefly on the finish.

Drinkability is fine. It's definitely balanced for an American IPA, but never tips the scale toward the malty side of things (in my opinion, it's more of an English IPA). In any case, it's tasty & easy to drink. I didn't even know Moerlein had an IPA. Thanks to my Uncle Todd for bringing some Moerlein brews when he drove up for the Dream Theater concert.

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Photo of brown2cu
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear copper color with a small head that leaves a very fine froth. minimal lacing was noticed which was suprising considering that most ipa's I have had are positively overrun with it. Just seems a bit dull and listless compared to some other brews in this style.

Not bad smelling. I am detecting a fair amount of sweet fruit with a layer of citrusy fruit topped off with a good amount of pine and grass. I would prefer it to be a little more pungent for the style. It seems closer to a pale ale than an India pale ale.

A bit watered down in my opinion. it is close to balanced but the hop profile wins out it seems. I noticed a good amount of caramelly malt and a cloying amount of floral hops that lays waste to the malt character somewhat sucessfully. a good bit of biscuty character is present at the front, this is again however, short lived.

This beer has a good mouthfeel. Nice and crisp, suprisingly so for an ipa. it cleanses the mouth after each swallow and leaves you wanting for another sip. Leaves a citrusy tang behind as well.

If you are looking for a sessionable ipa look no further. It has the right amount of flavor to be continuously quaffable over a period of time. The ABV is masked masterfully in this as well which boosts its' sessionable capabilities. It left me wanting though; I would have greatly enjoyed this is the flavor were more pronounced.

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Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Off white head. Lace walls down the entire glass. Color is a pale copper hued gold.

Flavors of biscuity and caramel malts. Come grapefruit and citrus fruit. Pine flavored hops. It is also kind of weedy.

Mouthfeel is very sticky. Bitter as well. Medium bodied. Ends sticky.

Overall, an okay ipa, but nothing crazy. It was drinkable, but nothing I'd seek out.

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Northern Liberties IPA from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 186 ratings.
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