Anchor Liberty Ale
Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
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American IPA
Ranked #2,362
Ranked #12,326
3.9 | pDev: 11.54%
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
Notes: The champagne-like bubbles, distinctive hop bouquet, and balanced character of Liberty Ale® revives centuries-old ale brewing traditions that are now more relevant than ever. First introduced in 1975, Liberty Ale® is brewed strictly according to traditional craft brewing methods, and uses only natural ingredients — pale malted barley, fresh whole-cone Cascade hops and a special top-fermenting yeast, and water.

The yeast used during fermentation produces many of Liberty Ale's subtle flavors and characteristics. A natural process called "bunging" creates gentle carbonation, and the practice of dry hopping (adding fresh hops to the brew during aging), revived by Anchor, creates its unique aroma.

Liberty Ale® was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride. As the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop ale and dry-hopped ale, Anchor’s Liberty Ale® is the original craft brewed ale and the historic beer that started a revolution.
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Reviews: 1,589 | Ratings: 3,522
Reviews by robear:
Photo of robear
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Forget Ballantine- this is a craft beer lover's trip back in time. Bright in the glass (if somewhat thin on the head), Liberty Ale is inviting in the glass. That invitation continues in the grassy, lemon-laced aroma. Flavor follows suit, a touch of lemon followed by more robust fruit salad and finishing with a pleasing bitterness.

I'd recommend this if you're studying old American IPA's, or want something with a bit more earthiness than today's "light" IPA's.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TongoRad
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Label dated 5NB (November 2, 2005)

Hazy amber yellow with a lovely long lasting tall head.

Fresh juicy/citrus aroma- particularly tangerine and maybe a touch of grapefruit. Some caramel lurks in the background. It comes across as a bit mild, though its refined nature works in its favor.

The palate follows through on the nose yet adds a toasty dimension as well as the perfect amount of bitterness for the residual malt. The bitterness and the citrus are wonderfully entwined on the lengthy finish that finally ends with a kiss of toasted bread.

Just a superb beer in every way that counts.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Pours slightly hazed amber orange with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like leafy earthy pine, caramelized orange citrus, grapefruit, herbal grass, papaya, with toasted crackery biscuity malt. Tastes like caramelized orange citrus, bitter leafy pine, earthy herbal grass, papaya, sweet white grapefruit, with dark toasted crackery biscuity malt. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice classic IPA.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Oldie but goodie. Pours a lightish honey-gold amber with full head and a bit of spotty lace. Nose be honest...a bit on the AAL side with grain and only feint hops and malt. Taste is a bit more on the pale ale side...I'm seriously trying to figure out who defined this as an IPA. Crisp for sure, some more hops and bitterness coming through than you'd think from the nose. Especially nice on the finish as the hops linger. Mouthfeel is very nice...champagne like. Overall, the kind of beer you pray for at a BMC event, but not something you'd go looking for any more now that there are so many great craft options.

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Photo of Brolo75
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a golden orange with a white creamy full head, lots of lacing and carbonation, good retention.

A: Floral, citrus like grapefruit peel, and slight spice notes, slight honey/lager like malt aromas on the backend, nice balanced aromas.

T: Follows the nose with floral, grapefruit and spice notes, moderate amount of citrus peel like bitterness in the middle, finish has more floral and citrus notes with nice balance of malt, citrus peel lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a very dry citrus peel like finish, easy drinking.

O: Enjoyed this one, not a "hoppy" IPA but enough hops and bitterness to satiate my taste buds, nice malt balanced aromas and flavors, moderate bitterness and a dry finish. This is another Anchor beer that I could drink everyday without being overwhelmed by the ABV or wrecking my palate.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a hazy golden with fine sediment floating around. Rocky white head. There's some big grapefruit on the nose. Very piney on the palate. Spicy. And oily. A little resin kick adds some ooomph. I don't get a lot of bitterness though. Light to medium in body. Malt character is sufficient and slightly caramelly and bready. Solid IPA.

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3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Oxymoron
2.63/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

An eagle with blue wings? Pours a semi-clear light amber color. Some golden hues throughout. A soft white head that hides to the side of the glass. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is limited but some grainy notes come out. Some generic malt aromas, some minor bready and sweet caramel notes as well. There is a light hop note with some citrus and earthy aromas. The yeast is very noticeable with a light drainage/butyric aroma. Some minor oxidation notes as well.

The taste is similar. The malt comes out more verses the nose. Some grainy and husky notes with a light nutty finish. The bitterness is really strong and is not balanced well with the finishing hops or the malt. A light toffee and caramel as well. The yeast notes also come out more as does the butyric. Some light esters with an almost rose like finish.

The body is a bit light but this is enhanced by the stronger bitterness notes. Some astringency from the hops. Overall some off notes and unbalanced beer makes it not really that great of a beer.

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Photo of argock
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in an 8oz clear taper tasting glass

A: Robust-appearing rusty-tan with frothy peaking off-white head with rings of lace despite the on-tap pour

S: Leafy Cascade and Centennial hops aromas are met deliciously with medium-roasted caramel and pale malts

T: A one-of-a-kind English-style IPA with a strong oily earthy hops contribution paired with generous pale and lightly roasted caramel malt flavors

M: Superb coating, oily mouthfeel with low carbonation and bold bitter, leafy hops aftertaste

D: One of my favorite English IPAs - a go-to beer that thankfully has a wide distribution in bottles, but is a real treat on-tap at the brewery

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from my notes. Poured from high above into the center of a 16 ounce fluted glass at the Lion's Pride. Liberty has a dirty, tarnished gold color. The gravity pour gave it a huge white foam head that has created a mountain of foam on top of the glass. As it settles, it leaves behind lots of patchy lace. The liquid is translucent and there isn't too much carbonation rising within. The aroma is very good, with lots of grassy and citrus hop scents. It's a little earthy as well. It isn't exceptional, very very solid for the style. The beer, once I finally taste it, makes me think of a hoppy graham cracker. It's a little bitter, a little sweet, and there are pleasant hops throughout. This is a excellent hoppy pale ale. It has a medium body. The carbonation is at a level where I can really feel it, especially when I swallow. It leaves behind a bitter and sticky coat. It isn't overly sweet though. I find Liberty to be exceptionally drinkable. It could very well be the textbook example of a drinkable hoppy pale ale (even moreso that Sierra Nevada Pale). This beer is good in any situation where craft beer is welcome, in any amount.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle poured into 400ml dab glass sept29 2009

A Hazy golden orange with lots of carbonation. It has a massive head that coats the glass with lace, and stays right to the bottom.

S Some nice hops with a fair amount of malt and some tropical fruit.

T Lots of malt with some citrus and caramel. The hops balance well with the heavy malt and make for a well rounded beer

M Medium bodied and very lively, great carbonation.

D I have few complaints with this beer and will drink it again.

I've only ever had Anchor Steam, their Christmas Ale and this one from these guys. I hope they have a big line up of this quality.

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Photo of skmann
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Columbanus
4.79/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - Golden straw colour, slightly cloudy, 2 finger white head with lots of lacing.
s - strong pine/woodsy aroma that just keeps on going.
t - Prominent hop and barley flavour up front, smooth and malty in middle, hoppy bitter finish, dry and crisp. Flavour lingers for quite a while after swallow.
m - smooth, medium light body
d - extremely drinkable. Great session beer, but does not really fit the apa style. More like a cream ale. Probably the best light ale available in Ontario, where our micros are hop shy.

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Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Oddment
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of BlueRidgeBeerHound
2.75/5  rDev -29.5%

Photo of kushlash23
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of gatheredwaters
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kakehead
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mickeymac
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It explodes into the glass, a nice golden-orange with a foamy head. Citrus smells dominate, especially grapefruit, with a noticeable hop scent rounding it out nicely. This probably sounds strange, but with the citrus flavor and slight honey undertones, I can almost imagine having this as a hot drink in a mug. Not to worry, however, I won't put this one over a flame in a teapot. Liberty is a classic APA and well-deserving of its spot on the BA best beer list.

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Photo of Luigi
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a slightly hazy light orange color with a big fluffy head that reaches three finger in height with the right glass. Carbonation bubbles are light and the head retention is at least a finger high through out the life of the ale.

The aroma is dominated with pine and citrus hops. There is a sweet and mild bread aroma that pulls through. Otherwise is aroma is mild yet to the point! that would be the hops.

The taste is balanced so well... bitter pine cone and citrus up blended perfectly with a biscuit malt that balances out near perfect.

Has a nice semi dry bitter finish. The hops linger on the palate and I would not have it any other way!

This is everything I expect and want out of an American Pale Ale. Anchor brewing has perfected this!!! I love this beer!!!

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Photo of Enola
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a straw color with a thin head. There is a fair amount of lacing. There are a good deal of floaters. The taste is fairly bitter. There is not much sweetness here. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth. The bitterness is just right. A good beer I could certainly drink again. A fair example of the style.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of CityBoy1986
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. The bottle date is 6 Jan. 2009.

The pour is golden with a tall white head. Retention and lacing are nice.

The nose is citrus (especially orange and apple) with some bready notes. The taste is more of the same with just a mild bitterness toward the finish. Some spices are also in there.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high; I could have a few.

This is a very nice example of the style, and I will definitely enjoy it again.

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Photo of hurshybear
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 3522 ratings