The Libertine
Fulton Beer

The LibertineThe Libertine
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Red Ale - Imperial
3.97 | pDev: 11.08%
Fulton Beer
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
The LibertineThe Libertine
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 181 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Mindcrime1000
Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Libertine makes a cameo comeback in Fulton's latest variety sampler.

Pours a dark reddish brown and slightly hazed with a nice lingering head and lacing.

Plenty of caramel malt aroma and flavor, with some toasted notes on the nose and the tongue. Although the booze is detectable, it isn't distracting. Drier than many of the style, this is no sweet treat. Very crisp, particularly for the ABV.

Overall, a pretty solid representation of a decidedly American brew

Mar 01, 2020
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out a clear, golden red color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled malty with pine and hints of orange. Big toasted/roasted malt taste with a piney/resiny bitterness.

Jan 05, 2017
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

2.58/5  rDev -35%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

The Libertine pours a hazy cloudy red color with no head. Very sweet aroma, much like cherry cool-aid. Taste is cherry and earthy. A bit hard to swallow. Very flat, not feel. Overall, no.

Feb 10, 2016
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jwc215 from Arizona

3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours reddish amber with a thin head that becomes a wisp. Minimal lacing.

The smell is of lightly roasted caramel with a touch of pine.

The taste is of caramel and alcohol. Some red apple mixes in. A touch of pine and a hint of roast balances some of the sweetness, though it remains mainly sweet (and boozy). Sweet finish.

It is medium-to-full bodied. A bit sticky. Could use an extra bubble or so...

A sweet malty brew. I liked the second half less than the first. It becomes rather flat a bit too quickly, and it is sweet without much complexity in my opinion. Overall, it's decent enough for a malty, boozy brew. But, to me, it lacks much in the way of character. It's okay, but not really a fan.

Dec 22, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

for me, this is the new benchmark of american red ale. this is all its been dreamed of being, and all it can really be, everyone who ever made one has probably strived for this, and those seeking to make one next would do well to have a long deep drink of this bad boy. on tap at the public kitchen in minneapolis, in the downstairs area, which is worth checking out. beautiful beer in the globe, brick red with some density, and a nice khaki head slowly accumulating from the lazy bubbles. not sure if the bottles people drank in the reviews below were flat, but no issues at all from the tap. it smells and tastes a little more like a red than like an ipa, but there is a whole lot of hops in this. the hops are moderately bitter, with a pungent orange, almost floor cleaner aromatic. the malts are big and chewy, a little english in their toffee complexion, but sturdy earthy and sweet at the right time. tons of body, but broken up sufficiently by the carbonation, this drinks a lot easier than it should at this abv, you cant taste the booze hardly at all. this is a style where, a lot of times, i think they all taste the same. finally the mold is broken, and balance is achieved in a new way. its really quite a profound beverage, one of my favorites from my trip. highly serviceable as an after dinner sipper, but i would wake up with this too...

Oct 27, 2015
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Evilyak from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

dracula would like this beer. stanley kubrick would put this beer in an elevator. you should stop when you see this beer. it's, you know, like really red and stuff.

really red. not any head to speak of, and no lacing. just red beer.

smell is cherries, alcohol, and maybe a little banana.

taste is cherry coke. forget those guys above; max headroom would go nuts for this one. seriously, i get cherries, maybe watermelon jolly rancher, and just a hint of hops at the end. really sweet.

this one is viscous and the alcohol is the dominant taste at the end.

i could drink a couple of these, but at the same time, it's not growing on me. too much cherry and candy sweetness for me.

Oct 16, 2015
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Metalsnota from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I aged some bottles of Libertine and I believe that they turned out fantastic. Time appears to have given this beer some characteristics of a scotch ale/wee heavy (one of my favorite styles). I can only wait to see how more time changes this beer. Currently, this is a great and interesting red/scotch ale hybrid.

Jul 20, 2015
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

When they say red ale, they mean red ale. The Libertine has deep red color. The aroma is light, a little burnt sugar, slight banana ester scent. Flavor wise the first thing to hit me is a caramel and chocolate sweetness. The hops come in later, maybe a bit piney, but very understated. This is not a hoppy red, it is focused on sweet and yet savory malt. At the start of the beer I was not convinced, but it grew on me as I drank. Worth letting warm up.

Jul 10, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this from a growler, on tap at several palces and from a bomber.
A: Pours brilliant ruby brown with a thin white foam collar that clings to the glass leaving thin sheets of lace.
S: grassy hops, malt, grain, rich malts, fruit, fruity floral.
T: Slight port qualities, some toffee notes, some anise or coriander, starts slightly sweet and then dries out with a touch of alcohol and a little pepper in the finish.
F: Thick, chewy, luscious, medium low carbonation.
O: A big bold beer with a perfect balance between the bitter, alcohol and malt sweetness.

Apr 10, 2015
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zeledonia from Washington

3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Happy they put this in 4-packs. Tasted 28 January 2015.

Pours murky rusty amber. Little head, just a thin layer on top.

Smell is rich and uber-malty. Feels like a barleywine. Figs and cherries, avd sweet whisky-like notes. There's some herbal hops riding the barley wave, but they're like a thin layer of icing.

Taste is big and powerful, but lacking the yumminess of the smell. It's kinda like an unflavored energy bar - it's sweet, and there's stuff in there, but it's a mystery to me what it is.

Feel is syrupy, heavy and lacking carbonation. The low carbonation works okay with this beer, though.

An interesting beer. Drinks like a light barleywine. A pretty tasty in-between beer.

Jan 29, 2015
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Taybeh from Minnesota

3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Republic
A: beautiful rich dark ruby in a tulip, with a thin cap
S: caramel, toffee, sweet dark fruits (cherries, berries, plum) almost kool-aidy sweetness
T & M: Like the nose. Malty sweet with very little hop bitterness. Vinous, chewy, low carbonation, but somehow it is still a lively mouthful. Hides the alcohol fairly well, though not entirely. Finishes with a leathery rich sweetness.
Overall: this is quite the contrast to the all the hoppy ambers out there. It is an interesting take, and I give it credit for that. In the fall/winter, in the right mood, this is quite nice.

Dec 17, 2014
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Mdog from Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazy red, ok head.

Smell: Dark fruits, maybe a bit of oxidation.

Taste: Malty, fruity, caramel, some earthiness. Kind of reminds me of a dubbel, but more sweetness than normal dubbels.

Overall: Fulton started putting this in 12oz bottles so I tried a single. I've had this before on tap and it seemed a little hoppier then. In the bottle it seemed more malt centered, nice and flavorful, good for a cold fall/winter evening.

Dec 07, 2014
Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
Hop-Droppen-Roll from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours cloudy dark red with almost no head, amost looks like a Barleywine - but it's an amber instead. Sorry, I won't carry on rhyming like that. If I accidentally rhyme once, I tend to start busting them out. Fulton pride themselves on making beers that are both complex and approachable - and while I can't see too many non-craft lovers really getting into this one, it really does manage to be smooth quite complex (at least to this plebian). The ABV is up there but not terribly evident, the finish is pleasant (as are the aroma and overall taste, though I won't attempt a detailed examination). I have only had two 'Imperial Amber' ales, and have like them both. I would like to see more beers like this on the market. I will be picking up a 4 pack of this one yearly.

Nov 22, 2014
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surlyseth from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

On tap at Roat Osha. Flatish pour Redish amber. Smell of tea and booze. Taste of ripe, dark fruit, but drier than a strong ale. Surprisingly lively body. I love this beer. Best yet from Fulton.

Sep 29, 2014
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mwilbur from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a murky golden caramel brown (hint of orange with backlighting). Just a wisp of white head.
S: Sweet caramel malt, nutty, and toasted grains.
T: Sweet caramel malt, fruity esters, toasted grains, and a hint of citrus.
M: Silky smooth and sweet. Medium body.
D: A very drinkable and fairly straight-forward imperial red ale. The fruit note in this one is very times berry-like, other times more candi sugar, and even melon-like.

Dec 06, 2013
Photo of Monkeyknife
Monkeyknife from Missouri

3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle a dark orange-amber with no head.

Aroma of sweet caramel malts, tea, and booze.

The taste had a watered down booze thing going on with a really sweet tea finish.

Medium bodied and wet with a flat carbonation.

I didn't really enjoy this beer. Too sweet and too flat.

Nov 04, 2013
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bsp77 from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from tap into Pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy, burnt reddish-orange. Not much head at all, but that may be due to the bartender pour so I will not ding it.

Smell: Caramel and very ripe fruits. Not getting much depth out of the aroma.

Taste: Very malty and sweet, with caramel, overripe fruits, and toffee. Some light grapefruit and orange notes from the hops, as well as a light spiciness. Not bitter at all.

Feel: Full body with moderately low carbonation. The alcohol is completely hidden, but I could have used a drier finish.

Overall: A very malty Imperial Red, which was somewhat of a shock as I am used to these being very hoppy. However, once I tempered my expectations, this is a tasty brew.

Oct 04, 2013
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very deep and dark amber ruby red with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that quickly fades away. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A fairly sweet and very malt forward aroma. Toasted malts with big hints of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. A nice whiff of rye spices. A little molasses and hints of dark fruits including dates and cherry. Light hint of apple. Hop presence is very subtle with some light hints of grapefruit and grass. The caramel malts stand out the most here.

Taste: Like the smell indicates, a very malt forward taste with subtle hints of fruits and hops. Toasted malts with a big taste of sweet caramel, toffee, and bready biscuit. A solid kick of rye spice. Some burnt sugar and hints of fruits including apple, dark cherry, and dates. Hops are laid back but do provide some balancing bitterness with some notes of grapefruit and earthy grass. A bready taste that is very double bock like.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, sweet, and somewhat chewy. Finish is somewhat drying.

Overall: A good malt forward brew. Not what you might expect from a typical hopped up red. This is very malt forward and bready. Its good at that.

Nov 04, 2012
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herman77 from Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber with a light khaki head. Fades to a cap and collar. No lacing.

S: Semi sweet toasted carmel malts with a bit of grapefruit hops peaking through. Some earthy notes. A bit of molasses and dark cherries as well.

T: A mix of carmel malt, toasted malt and some citrus/grapefruit hops. Sweeter than I expected. More dark cherries and other dark fruits with a touch of molasses. The hops are not that strong, though they might be overtaken by the sweet maltiness. A bit of hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body. Average to lower carbonation. Feels pretty smooth.

O: Pretty good drinkability. I remember having this awhile ago at the taproom and it was hoppier, not like this is an old bottle since this just came out. Not bad, not great. If this was hoppier and a bit drier, it would be real tasty.

Oct 31, 2012
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gatornation from Minnesota

3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap @ northbound smokehouse 10 oz pour

A- pours a dark crimson color with a light tan head that settles to a fresh cap/collar

S-toffee,molasses and malt with some hops and earth notes just a touch of fruit

T- malts and caramel first but a nice dose of hops are present dark fruits linger with a sweet finish

M- nice balance of smell and taste fruits and hops are good with sweet malts

O- great on tap 10 oz was a nice dose i liked the hops that were in this which made it more enjoyable for the style

Oct 29, 2012
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jjanega08 from Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No freshness dating on the bottle.
This is the first of the new Fulton 750 mL release.

A= Pours a thick syrupy looking deep amber color with a thin skin of head on it that holds nice retention for being a thin skin and leaves a sprising amount of lacing.

S= The smell is a nice balanced sweet malty aroma with a little bit of a hop bite to it.

T= The taste is again a nice blend of malt and hops. It almost has a nice sort of roasty malt flavor if that makes sense. The hop bite is just enough to be noticable but it doesn't play an overpowering role. Most reds are on either end of the spectrum but this one falls neatly in the middle. A solid sweet malty base with whisps of hop presence. It actually tastes like a the individual ingredients in beer. It's strange in a way.

M= The mouth is a little more carbonated than I would have liked.

O= At first I was a bit turned off by Fulton's beers. This somehow falls into the same realm as the other beers I've had from them but it is somehow sort of warming and nice. They aren't making beers that are going to blow your mind or over the top envelope pushing beers but they do make solid well balanced examples of the styles they brew. The beers they make I think are extremely drinkable making it great for someone whom is just starting into craft beer while staying subtle enough to let a craft beer enthusiast stay interested. This beer is no exception. The geek in me is underwhelmed but the beer lover is excited for how "to style" this beer is and the balance is amazing. It's super drinkable and a lovely beer. Try this out and don't be as close minded with Fulton as I have been previously. Maybe I'm just now "getting it" when it comes to Fulton but this is a beautiful beer.

Oct 26, 2012
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FightingEntropy from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

By coincidence, my stop at Fulton Beer for the tour just happen to be the tapping of their seasonal brew The Libertine. Besides having it on draft, there were three firkins of spiked Libertine: added cherry or hard maple, and one aged in red oak.

Pretty beer in the glass that's maroon at the center and blood red with light. 8.5% alcohol is apparent, leaving a peppery note that blends with light hops, cherry, caramel and a hint of chocolate. Rich, oily mouthfeel that's surprisingly light with dark cherry and a trace hop bitterness. I drank my draft at the tap room too fast and warming balances the beer for my home pour.

Not a new top ten brew for me, but I like sipping it at home on a fall evening while watching a movie. Smooth and relaxing warmth on a chilly night.

Oct 11, 2012
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oline73 from Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the brewery. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish brown color with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Rather sweet and malt forward. I'm getting notes that remind me of brown sugar and dark fruit along with the grain.

Taste: Sweet malt with a rye spice in the background. I'm getting some dark fruit and hop bitterness in the finish. This is really smooth beer.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with aggressively tingly carbonation and a finish that isn't very dry.

Overall: I thought this was a really smooth beer given the abv. I liked it and thought it had a nice balance. I'd have more.

Oct 06, 2012
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TCMike from Minnesota

4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Produced a 1 finger, off white head, which faded quickly, no lacing.
The smell was strong, of malt, and a hint of dark fruit, and alcohol.
The taste was same as smell. It has a little sticky sweetness, and slight hop bitterness.
Very good beer....somewhere between a sipper, and a session beer.

Sep 23, 2012
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PurrMonster from Minnesota

4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another worthy entry from Fulton. As a big fan of worthy adversary(is it back out yet?*SIGH) and s.c.o.v. I've had high hope for what will be the 4th beer of there's i've tried. Been E-stalking their w-site for a few months wondering when this beer will hit taps around mpls. Luckily the crew at acadia aren't slacking about putting this beer quickly into their always tasteful tapline.
Had some ideas about what this beer would taste like just by viewing the color on fulton's page, but wait, this beer is quite the curveball, imo, for the better...I expected a rich toasty malt bomb by the standard of red ale characteristics, and no doubt there's the malt...As expected, however this beer does what others seem to fail to do...repeatedly. Most malt centered beers(especially of this abv) have a heavy sugar content that can overwhelm the taste of this much loved grain and tend to "paint the tongue" in a syrupy finish. This beer scales back the sugar accordingly and much like the s.c.o.v. FINISHES CLEAN. The flavor and body are all there, but the finish makes it highly sessionable and makes my tuna melt on pumpernickel EVEN better. The rye rounds out the grain flavor nicely without getting heavily bitter. 2bros rra and summit unchained iira seem to be slightly(altho good) guilty of this to some extent and i think it took this beer to bring that to light for me. My only question: When will this be in bottles?

Dec 23, 2010
The Libertine from Fulton Beer
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 181 ratings