Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,569 Reviews
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kbub6f on 11-18-2000

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,569 | Ratings: 3,423
Photo of Brad007
1.72/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a paleish color. Aroma is spicy, malty and hoppy all at once. However, this gives way to a very sour taste that makes me wonder if the beer went bad or not. Completely ruins it for me. I'm not aware of pale ales ever being sour but this one sure was.

 256 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.2/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 6NH (I think)

Diaphanous apricot with soapy white sheet. Smells herbal hops, green apple, oxidized malts, some metals, some grass. Taste biscuity with some bitterness, a little tea, some white grapefruit spritz and a little artificial pistachio flavor. Medium bodied with hi carb and an off dry finish. Meh, seems like a pretty good English IPA, but a poor American IPA.

 377 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.29/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a golden, orange-ish yellow. Gigantic white foam head. Nice foamy residue patterning on sides of glass.

Smell is a major let down. I had to double check what style this is. I'm sorry, but is that a slightly hopped, slightly floral-noted cornish adjunct aroma I often get from "macro" lagers? Say it ain't so!

Not too impressed with the flavor, either. Taste is definitely "pale-ale-ish," but with a pungent, astringently sour aftertaste I do not care for at all. Kind of like curdled hops. There's a bit of sweet balancing malt, but it's not pleasant ... an artificial sweetness.

Seriously disappointing. Nice bubbly mouthfeel, though.

 645 characters

Photo of GuinnessHero
2.31/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is probably the worst beer I've had from the fine people at Anchor.

Appearance - Not bad, a very dark, golden yellow with a great head on it.

Smell - Just too plain, not special at all, smelled way too much of corn.

Taste - Wow...just...ugg. I don't know what to say. This is way too bitter. It's almost got that nasty taste to it that St. Pauli Girl beer does. I am a huge fan of the Porter and Steam beers from Anchor so this was a true dissapointment.

Mouthfeel - Not a strong aftertaste, not a weak one...right inbetween.

Drinkability - The taste of this brough my rating down a lot. Also this would be hard to get through more than one a night. Very sad showing from Anchor.

 701 characters

Photo of SaunaKing
2.34/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This liberty ale came in a big bottle with a little blurb about the brewers history on the label.
Pours a nice orange colour and is hazy, not clear. Little head and a pungent acidic smell. Unimpressive taste, sorty of grainy but sweet. The strong aroma hinders the drinkability of this beer.

 292 characters

Photo of Brewsmith
2.37/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a 22 oz bottle purchased locally. Aroma is citrusy lemon/orange. Orange gold in color with a one-inch white head. Flavor is lemony and a little oxidized. Malt is a little one-dimentional amd a little cardboard in there. Flat body and lacks richness. This is a bad bottle. I've had this beer before and I know it's much better.

 331 characters

Photo of MisterClean
2.37/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz from liquor store.

A - Golden-orange in color, nice off-white foam, protein clumps present in head, foam is very firm.

S - Light, earthy hops, tones of malt, and slight alcohol presence in the nose.

T - Crisp malts, lightly malty, and bitter. Batch may have been wet-hopped in excess.

M - Lightly spicy w/ a moist finish.

D - Nothing really sets this beer apart from other ales. Probably would not seek this one out in the future.

 441 characters

Photo of kjyost
2.42/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bomber BB 3 / 2012. WTF? Who stores a pale ale for 2 years?

Looks very nice upon the pour with a clear amber body with a nice white head that descends at a slow pace, and laces well. I am initially taken aback by the aroma of the beer. It claims to be dry hopped and yet I get no real aroma. Nothing. No hops. No malt. I clear my nose and smell again. Nothing. Later I get a distinct sweet malt once the head has descended. The body of the beer has a bit of sweet malt without much character. The bitterness is only evident over time. There is no hop flavour that I can discern, save a slight earthiness in the brew. Strong carbonation prickling the mouth. Too bitter without hop flavours to be drinkable.

Sadly, I was looking really forward to the 'original IPA', but man did it disappoint me.

Reviewed 01-16-2010
Poured a hazy orange with a strong head that left moderate to light lacing. The nose was quite light with a balance of hops and grain letting you know the beer's light flavour profile. This is not to say the beer was watery nor simple as it had a light malty body with a fruity hop finish. The carbonation balanced the body of the beer and the beer seemed to me to be quite sessionable, if not for its premium expense here in Manitoba.
A: 3.5, S: 3.0, T: 3.5, M:3.5, D:4.0

 1,291 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
2.45/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

From a 12 0z. bottle this pours into a decent inch head then subsides into just surface skim leaving minimal lacing. Color- was a meduim orange amber. Aroma- slight hops, but mostly sweet malt. Taste- harshly sweet- diacetyl- yuck ! This was too sweet- the diacetyl would not quit. Mouthfeel was thin with moderate carbonation. Drinkability, I do not like this and will avoid it.

 379 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.46/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a five-fingered white head that fades slowly leaving a ton of lace. Clear, light amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts as a mix of sweetness and hops but then the hops really assert and finish is hoppy with lingering bitterness. A very good pale but not for my tastes. $2.25 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

 364 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.49/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz stubby poured into on of those half pint tasting glass things.

A: Pours out a slightly haze golden orange with a just the slightest red tint, but maybe that's just the artwork on the bottle that's making me think that. Head is reduced to a thin but sturdy cap after starting off at a billowy one and a half inch mountain.

S: Rather faint hoppiness on this, more of a woody, English kind of hoppiness rather than a big pungent American hop punch and this been an American pale ale I am sort of wondering what's the deal with that. Maybe the hops have faded out of this after too much time in the storeroom cooler?

T/MF: Sort of a vinous or medicinal kind of hop flavor that I'm getting out of this rather than a fruity taste, can sort of feel it coat the lining of your stomach as soon as you swallow. I really am making this beer sound worse than it actually is. Not really getting too much in the way of balance here, just a sort of washed out mix of vague hops and malts. I cannot for the life of me tell you (dear reader) what this beer tastes like. I can describe the sensation of bittness and swettness but it tastes unique, and not in a good way. Halfhearted melon, maybe a dusting of sweet toastiness but other than that it just tastes like something that only slightly resembles a pale ale.

D: I really think that this is not the best this beer can be. I've had this beer before and remember it popping a bit more in the flavor department, and for a beer that describes itself as "dry-hopped" but doesn't bring it in the aroma department makes me think this beer is a bit past its due date. Disappointing overall.

 1,632 characters

Photo of JDV
2.51/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Draft at the Brewery in SF. Bright fresh hops aroma and a touch of honey like sweetness as it warms. Near perfect smell. Medium gold colored pour with a little head. Very Drinkable for an American Pale Ale, bitterness-wise, to me at least. Noticeable bitter bite, but not over the top, with a clean finish. Very nice for the style and a good all around beer as well.

Rerate in bottle back in Tx, left me with a much diminished impression of the beer. Below average with a strange eggy flavor ala the Anchor Summer beer. Didn't care for it 2nd time around...

 558 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
2.63/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

 1,018 characters

Photo of prototypic
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Beer pours a cloudy, golden color with about a 1.5 finger head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Smells a bit fruity. I'm picking up some banana and maybe a bit of orange. Hints of some sort of spice are also there. Also has a biscuity-yeast aroma to it. Decent malt and hops coming through.

Taste: It's a bit spicy to me. The banana flavor is there. Malt and hops are decently blended. Definitely leaves a biscuity and spicy taste in my mouth.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's pretty light bodied. But, I'm not a huge fan of the taste. Overall, it's not a bad beer by any stretch. But, it's not very good. I don't think I'll be drinking it again.

 668 characters

Photo of Vendetta
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
October 26, 2008

Pours orange with a small white head. Nose of spice. Tastes fair- dry, some hops but nearly as many as I expected. This isn't a great pale ale. This is the second Anchor beer I've had that's disappointed me, I doubt I'll be trying any more of their brews.

 295 characters

Photo of far333
2.72/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale golden color, bright white head that disappears too quickly. Very light aroma, so light that I can't really detect any discernable smells. It feels highly carbonated, which maybe contributes to the weak flavor across the tongue. There is a slight hop flavor, but no malt or other accents that come to mind. This one didn't really do it for me.

 348 characters

Photo of waldowin
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy yellow, with a white head that fades to a ring. Good lacing.

Smells very faintly of grapefruit and raisins.

Tastes of light malts, and apricots. Has a bit of a sour finish, with the hops not really complimenting the malts quite so much as fighting with them.

Mouthfeel is thin but decently carbonated. Little aftertaste.

It's a good enough beer for me to not pour out, but not so good that I'd spend more money on it, when I can find better beers for the money.

 486 characters

Photo of pvsob
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Very light copper color with a one-finger head. Average to below average retention with very little to no lacing.

S- Floral hop aroma, butter, sweet orange, and some malt.

T- Sweet malt flavor up front that allows a hint of citrus (orange) hop flavor to rear its head before being swallowed by a sticky sweet finish.

M- Medium feel that becomes sticky as you progress through the pint. Low to medium level of carbonation.

D/O- Sweetness in the aroma/taste categories as well as the sticky mouthfeel, really cut down on the level of enjoyment I get while drinking this beer. I don't plan on purchasing or drinking this beer anytime in the foreseeable future. There's just too many other fish in the "APA" sea. Cheers.

 724 characters

Photo of Hagbard
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Anchor's Liberty Ale is obviously an extremely well-crafted ale, unfortunately it isn't to my taste exactly. It is a pale gold color with a thick white head that leaves a nice lacing. The hops dominate the aroma. They seem a bit harsh and have a rotten fruit component to them. The taste is a actually a bit harsh, dominated by a hop character that doesn't appeal to me. Very bitter and full of a rotten fruitiness that dominates a malt base that is looking to come forward, but is never really able to. The abrasiveness lingers through the finish. This beer doesn't work for me as an APA because there isn't enough blance between the hops and malt and it doesn't work as an IPA because the hops just don't taste good enough. The mouthfeel is good with an appropriate amount of carbonation. The drinkability isn't very good because I just don't really care for the taste of it.

 877 characters

Photo of Cresant
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 12 oz. into an IPA glass. Created three fingers of head. Chill haze faded to a clear golden hue. Label was perforated 5DF. No dates noted.

Smell was clean, biscuity, grass. Alcohol appeared as it warmed. Alcohol smell obscured the other subtle aromas.

Taste was bitter at first and sweet following. Hop oil flavor.

Medium bodied. Oily. Finished dry.

The alcohol smell and flavor obscured the beer. I did not want another.

 445 characters

Photo of Philousa
2.79/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear tawny yellow with two finger head and spotty lacing. Very grassy hops attack the nose. Light and easily evident that it was dry hopped. honey sweet malt, mostly pale, light characteristics. Light biscuit flavor hits the tongue first, followed quickly by honey and orange sweet malt. Turns slightly bitter for a while, then grassy strong hop bitterness lingers. Tart and acidic aftertaste is a bit unsettling midway through a 12 oz. bottle. Medium mouthfeel, well balanced.

I had this on tap in SD over the new year and loved it, but out of a bottle it really isn't the same. Or I was just feeling generous that first night, I don't know. I like the dry hopping, but the sweetness of the malt just gets to me after a while. The bitterness needs to be stepped up a bit for me to thoroughly enjoy this beer.

 819 characters

Photo of magictrokini
2.8/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sorry, didn't really care for this one. Copper pour with a mild head. Floral aroma with some sweet hops. Astringent, metallic taste ruins the build-up of what I expected to be a good beer. The copper color may come from actual copper in the beer, either way it had an antiseptic bite that overpowered everything.

 312 characters

Photo of gentlebubbles
2.8/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A strong fragrance leaps out on the pour, high-pitched with a sour note. The pillowy white head swiftly subsides to a film over a watery, pale, brassy yellow. All down the glass, I continue to smell sourness. It gets a half-point for persistence, but I don't care for it.

Amid the sharp and fizzy carbonation, I find it hard to taste much of anything. Between the bit of cooked corn, the slight mustiness, and the sour finish, I find it generally unpleasant.

It's better when I stop paying attention, and let the offtastes fade away, so I can enjoy the quiet toasty malt.

 578 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
2.8/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured clear yellow, with a surprisingly decent head.

S: Very, very subtle citrus, but with some unpleasant bitterness as well.

T: Was very disappointed. Didn't pick up much of the citrus that I did in the nose.

M/D: Mouthfeel was decently medium-bodied, but the flavor didn't have me running to go grab another one.

 322 characters

Photo of juju7
2.81/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An apparently well liked beer in the States but I don't see it. Looks fine though. The aromas were a little too strong in the disinfectant kind of hop way. I'm not talking about pine-like hop resin, I mean it smells like I'm drinking it in a hospital toilet. On the palate it didn't get much better; some nice malt nuttiness, angry bitterness and astringently dry. Somewhat unbalanced too. Lacking body and direction. I didn't hate it but I did drain pour it-only because I had too many other good beers to get through to drink any more of it.

 543 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,423 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.