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 schoolboy
2.51/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmmm. I'm not sure if I have ever had a good beer from this company. This is no exception. It's not good. To be fair, it is following an exceptional tasting, but thiere isn't anything I like about it. I'd rather have a Bud (and I am an IPA person).

It has an unrefined, uninteresting bitterness that overpowers everything. The nose is similar. This is one to avoid, and I will avoid the brand in the future.

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Photo of Farewell_Transmission
2.57/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a. light golden color. Nice head that fades away quickly.
s. Super subdued hops smell.
t. this is weak for a IPA. It just tastes off. It tastes bitter, but with no real flavors, the bitter.
m. nice and liquidity.
o. this is not a great IPA, this is not an Okay IPA. It is just sorta a IPA flavored water.

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Photo of J_P
2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The appearance was to be expected. A light amber with a frothy and foamy top. Nothing exciting to the presentation. Certainly average for an IPA. No appeal to the looks.

It started out with a charismatic aroma blend of a plasticy grainy malt. lazily hopped and lethargic greeny smell.

The taste was nickle and orange combined. The hoppyness of it was diminished by a flat aftertaste of back-of-your-mouth unexactness. it had neither a strong sharpness or a pingy clarity that I expect with an IPA. It was a let down but not so bad that I will never drink one again. The plasicness of the taste was not as appealing as it sounds. Honestly one of the most well rounded IPA I have had taste wise but that is not the reason you drink an IPA. It just was not interesting enough to be a repeat drinker.

It has a sense of lacking of excitement but came around with a clean dry mouth and crisp feel.

Overall it was too modest. It is something that I will have in a couple of years maybe to remind me why other IPAs (Hopnotch, Great Lakes, Flying dog, DFH, and Sierra Nevada included) are more my taste.What was nice about it was that it seemed easy to drink and relaxing.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.96/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a pretty clear orangish amber color with a thin off white head. Head has great retention and leaves some really nice lacing.

S- Aroma is pretty floral. A solid malt back bone with some sort of metallic smell as well.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Very floral, a bit of pine, and a strong malts. Again the metallic taste is here.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- With all the other IPA's out there I find this one to be average at best.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
2.98/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Julian code on neck.

Pours a hazy deep-golden. Whitish ring. Smell is sweet and perfumy. More chemical likeness (as from the aroma) in the taste. Oily hops. Finishes pithy and very bitter. Not a whole lot of desired balance. Odd & "off" overall.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Given to me by Purplecloud. Thanks dude.

A: amber, clear, light creamy head
S: milder nose - fruitier grapefruit with good malt base
T: decent with malt and good bitter finish with some astringency that's distracting
M: astringency isn't right, metallic

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper gold in color. Nice fluffy head that recedes and laces the glass.

S - Malt sweetness and slight grain, but I can't smell the hops at all. Maybe I am a bit stuffed up, but I just can't smell them.

T - Nice bitterness and malt that are very balanced. The hops don't have much flavor at all, they seem to be adding bitterness rather than hop flavor(or a balance of both).

M - Smooth creamy and moderate to high carbonation. Modest gravity for an IPA, but there are some residual dextrins that add body.

D - Pretty drinkable for an IPA. This is not a big beer, I would put it between an APA and an IPA. There is nothing offensive about this beer, it just isn't very aggressive compared to other American IPAs out there.

Overall it is a bit of a boring IPA. Solid malt backbone and very balanced between sweetness and bitterness. I wish it had some hop aroma and hop flavor other than plain bitterness. I am excited for their brewpub that is planned to open next summer between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown stadium. It will be great to have a local brewery to visit on gameday!

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin, off-white head that does not make a point of sticking around very long.

S: Aromas of herbs, pine, grass, biscuit, and caramel are present on the nose, but not particularly assertive.

T: Somewhat muted notes of herbs, grass, pine, spruce, bitter orange, lemon, lime, brown sugar, caramel, cream, and biscuit flit across the palate. The finish is clipped for the style, offering fleeting notes of caramel, pine, and lemon.

M: On the lighter side of medium and slick. Carbonation is oddly harsh. I am not finding this one easy to drink compared to many other IPAs I have tried.

O: Personally, I think my review here is a little bit generous, as this is really lacking for an IPA. It also should be noted, however, that I encourage those who read this review to take it with a grain of salt (as one should do with any review of this type). Looking at some of the more recent reviews for this ale has caused me to note the disparity between my experience and that of others. Perhaps Moerlein changed the recipe, perhaps the IPA fad has become so pervasive that others are simply unwilling to give a very mediocre example of the style a bad review, or perhaps I stumbled across a bad bottle. Who knows? At this point, all I can say is that I may have to revisit this one in the not so distant future.

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Photo of titosupertramp
3.02/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Slightly cloudy, golden amber. Minimal fizzy head with very little lacing and a flimsy film.

S: Faint, but there is a toasty biscuit quality backed up with what seems like pine hops.

T: Not too bad of a taste, but there is a faint metallic quality that keeps this from being rated higher. Biscuit and toasted malts with the piney, floral hops. Fairly well balanced with a bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied and slightly dry.

O: Northern Liberties is a drinkable enough beer, but I would grow tired of it after two or three. I would probably pass on this in the future.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a light copper with a short head. In the smell is fruit and bread--it smells pretty nice but not much like an IPA. The taste is general bitterness. There's some fruit and bread in there as well, but not much of the hop flavors that I enjoy, and everything, other than the bitterness, is pretty mild. The mouthfeel is thin, but the beer is crisp and easily drinkable, making it a good session choice. Overall, this isn't very good, especially for an IPA. It just isn't very flavorful.

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Photo of Kelly88
3.14/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into my bruery tulip.

A- brownish red with a very solid and very resilient off white head. Can't see through this brew but you can see the tiny Carb bubbles racing to the top. A little to dark for me but a great head.

S- not getting much smell in This. A very weird plastic earthy vegetable smell. Not the most appealing.

T- much better than the smell. Some sweet candied malts, sugary sweet. Watered down orange hop bite is a transition taste into the very grassy earthy finish.

M- on the light side. Creamy with good carbonation. Nothing is unappealing so its pretty good.

Overall I don't really like this beer. Terrible smells and a strange taste. Now I know why this brewery Sticks to malt forward brews.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smells like a lager or a pilsner. Tastes fairly hoppy and bitter, but something seemed off. Wondered if it is old -- had a couple of iffy beers from Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati. A little tastier as it warmed and consumed with food. Not the best IPA in the local market.

 268 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle on 1-21-12

A - Pours a darker, cloudy orange with a smallish cream colored head. Good retention.

S - Grass, orange, and some carmel.

T - Oranges and sweet carmel.

D - Average body and decent carbonation. Bitter.

O - Ok, more malty than hoppy. Pretty underwhelming all-around.

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Photo of rlshep
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Aroma: Citrus, tangerines, piney. Dark sugar. Plums in background. Aroma, could be more assertive.

Appearance: Aggressive pour produces 1 finger off-white head. Dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing. Orangeish amber color. Very clear.

Flavor: Very piney. A sugary taste present. Possibly band-aidish. More of the dark caramel from aroma. High bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On thin side. Alcohol a little hot. Seems astringent, husky and harsh,

Overall: I find myself liking IPAs less and less. It is hard to say where the over the top bitterness/hoppiness ends and being just a bad beer starts. This is not an easy drinking beer, very harsh. I won't be getting this again.

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Photo of screamking
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours brown with a thick off white khaki head. Lacing is hanging on for its life around the edges Very dark for a IPA, but looks like a typical Moerlein brew. The smell is rather malt heavy, not a lot of citrus in there. Taste is rather the same as the aroma. This one style they need to rethink. I could totally see this as a beer they retire, there is no need to keep it around. Okay, that might be a little harsh. IPA's are becoming the biggest thing in craft beer lately and there are so many good ones out there. This is well below most.

 581 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- mostly clear orange amber with golden highlights and a frothy off-white head that leaves some tightly knitted lace. retention is ok. looks hoppy.

S- sweet shortbread and pine and grapefruit. some orange peel as well with toast in the background.

T- resinous and nicely bitter. pine dominates until it warms a bit and citrus flavors peek out. toasty whole grain bread. straightforward and not complex. burps have a nice orange flavor, always a plus. finishes hoppy with a respectable balance.

MF- juicy with delicate carbonation. cooling and dry on the cheeks.

D- a rather generic ipa with nothing special about it, but an acceptable brew and better than bad.

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Photo of gregshead
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received in a trade from sdsurfer217 (thank you). Enjoyed on 4/2/11. Reviewed from notes:

A: Half finger o'head. Amber light color

S: some bready malts his my nose first. Picking up some pine hops but not a lot on the nose

T: Good level of pine astringency up front. A large malt backbone to back it up.

M: Nice strong carbonatino on the tongue. A medium thickness/feel.

O: A average to good IPA. Nothing to cry home about but still enjoyable.

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Photo of stewart124
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Arnold's

Copper in color with little head.

Nice pine resin and citrus in the nose.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Medium caramel character with some bready notes but overall caramel comes through. Pleasing amounts of bitterness with nothing over the top. Blends well with the malt character.

Finish is pine and bits of citrus. Nice feel and a nice addition to Moerlein's portfolio.

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Photo of barczar
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly hazy copper with a frothy cream head that lingers.

Citrus, pine, resin, and fresh cut grass ride a bed of slightly sweet, bready malt. The balance is fairly resiny. Herbal notes surface as it warms.

Bready, lightly toasted, slightly sweet caramel malt forms the backbone, with a fairly resiny, decidedly bitter finish rounding things out. Underlying flavors of muted citrus, grapefruit and tangerine, add intrigue.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a harsh, astringent hop finish. There's a touch of alcohol warmth.

Way too resiny and bitter for my liking. Malt was a touch sweet. The citrus character was pleasant.

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Photo of b3shine
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the new Moerlein Lager House in downtown Cincinnati. Looks good; orange with normal head and carbonation. Smells average; hops are pretty subdued. Tastes decent; nothing too special, but a good local brew. Mouthfeel is good too. Overall, a good local brew that I'll definitely have again when I come back to the Lager House (which is SWEET!).

 354 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours a hazy amber color with golden highlights. It is topped with three inches of rocky, off-white head.

S - I get some citrus. Lemon seems to stand out. I also get some caramel malt to balance it.

T - The taste is a balance of caramel malt and citrus hops. The lemon comes through in the taste. It has a bitter pine finish. It's not overtly bitter, but enough to let you know it's there.

M - Medium

O - It's an above average IPA. I would call it a starter IPA. It is not a hop bomb. It has the characteristics, but nothing that stands out.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Single bottle (no date I could interpret - lots of numbers on the bottle, but meaningless to me) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange-yellow (towards darker orange with hints of brown) beer with an impressively thick and persistent 1/2" light tan head. Plenty of bubbles coming up through the beer. Sheets of lacing or islands of lacing/dense foam here and there as I drank it down.

Smell: When cold, citrus and pine smells, but as it warms up, the pine and citrus begin to fade and are replaced with some faint floral smells. Interesting.

Taste: Bitter up front and the bitterness gets stronger as the beer warms up. The malt attempts to cut through towards the end before the bittern aftertaste comes back. It's an IPA, but when cold I found it more balanced, and upon warming up it becomes very unbalanced in favor of hop bitterness. Sadly it's just a bitter hop flavor - not a lot of range.

Mouthfeel: Despite all the bubbles you see in the glass, there is very little carbonation on the tongue. Otherwise, the beer is very smooth and definitely thicker than water. I hesitate to call it creamy, but it's headed in that direction.

Drinkability: Went okay with a meal (Tuna casserole) but the lopsided bitterness of the beer definitely makes me want to stop at one. I think I would need something stronger in flavor for a meal to go with this one. I'm not sure if I would drink it alone. Good looking beer...just not the greatest AIPA I've ever had.

 1,480 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very unusual choice comming out of such a conventional brewing company that favors German styles.

Northern Liberties pours with a standard copper or heavy gold color. High carbonation fuels a froathy but volitile head that fell to stillness mid way through, with only a floating pocket of lace here and there. Farily standard but I like better head character from high-hopped beers. A mild haze from dry hopping is evident.

Citrus and pine resins take precidence while mild caramel malt flavors support but don't interrupt the hops. Lightly phenolic, the beer has a mild medicinal taste that at times seem plasticy. Bitterness is high and strays from the smooth citrus start and towards a grassy, straw-like or hay-like astringent bite in the finish.

The otherwise crisp beer has a well-attenuated character that leaves it less creamy early but dry late. If not for a leafy, stemmy, grassy finish the beer would fare much better.

 934 characters

Photo of Josiah2729
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass...

Appearance: Clear copper orange with decent effervescence. Two finger yellowish-orange head. Decent lacing throughout.

Smell: Strangely sweet with a hint of hoppy bitterness.

Taste: Bitter hops up front, then sweet bread, finishes with bitter hops again.

Mouthfeel: Smooth drinking with a lingering hop tingle.

Overall: Interesting experience, not at all what I was expecting. Will try again.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Another gift from my brother.

I got a finger of light beige head over a body the color of apricot candy. There are definitely particles floating around in it. Ok head retention, lace cannot stand up to gravity.

I smell light bread and caramel with a hint of tropical fruit mix.

The taste is a little disappointing after the nose. It has a subdued tropical flavor, that is complimented by the breadiness after the swallow.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Goes down easy, with a little bit of bite from the carbonation. Lightly coats the tongue and finishes dry.

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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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