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Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

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1,559 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

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Reviews: 1,559 | Ratings: 3,383
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very tasty, drinkable satisfying beverage. Not objectionable qualities of sight and smell. Easy mouthfeel, medium bodied. Just a well-made citrusy beer. Good C hops, and understated as U have found in Pales. Clean and crisp brought in fresh from LCBO.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear pale straw color with a 2 inch head that fades to a small cap. Good lacing.

S - Has a metallic and citrus like hop smell. Whiffs of biscuit too.

T - Citrus like hop taste to start with a malty back and slightly bitter finish.

M - Good carbonation you can clearly see in the glass with a crisp and smooth taste.

D - Excellent drinkability overall. A great pale ale up there with Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger off white head on a crimson with golden hues body.

S: pine with light sweet citrus, typical of an all cascade hops beer.

T: The flavor is a little mild, doesn't engage the palate very well. Mostly earthy, floral and woody notes and some hints of pine. Musty hop flavor.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: very drinkable but not very complex. Not a bad beer but nothing to make it stand out.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i dont care what anyone says about anchor, they still make some wonderful beers, and liberty ale is at the head of that list, with its rich red malt base, glowing amber in the glass, and its huge hop palate, shocking to the masses no doubt when it was released, but not fitting rightly into the ipa category range. i like the fusion here, its got an english type ale yeast that imparts a lot of flavor, along with great dryness of feel, but its also hopped like a west coast ipa, a cool blend of traditions and entirely its own. i like the amber malt base, it isnt the least bit sweet, but its a different launching point than we usually see for the cascade hops, which are everything they usually are, bold and bitter, fresh and dramatic. the grain does balance that all the way through, and the english yeast is a great touch. carbonation is soft and not aggressive, but it is prominent and more than enough. the body is medium but filling as it warms, and the finish is long and bitter and distinct to this particular beer, ipa may have evolved beyond this in some ways, or at least the american beer geeks palate has, but this stands as a baseline for what good american hoppy beer should taste like, and it always makes me happy to go back to this one. a staple in the american craft scene for me, for some reason always better on draft.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours out as a light copper color with a generous amount of head on it that fades after a little while. The aroma of the beer is mostly hoppy with a little bit of malt in the far back end of it. The flavor is pretty hoppy too, with the malts bringing up the aftertaste and drying things out it makes you go right back for the next mouthful. The mouthfeel is pretty good too, It's drinkable and not overly heavy ot light.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a very light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that slowly died down.
S: There are aromas of citrus and floral hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, flavors of citrus stand out in the taste, although they aren't that strong because they are balanced for the most part by the underlying malts. There is a bit of sweetness in the initial taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and is also very sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice beer. Much better than I had given it credit for. Very easy to drink due to a medium malt flavor, pronounced (but not overbearing) hop flavor and aroma, and a light - medium body. Carbonation and hop drying causes a refreshing and palate clensing drink. Enough play on hop and malt character to add a much needed complexity. Hop spiciness with sweet malt profile makes, in every sip, something different to find. Mildly rusty and thin in the finish. A good beer, but not enough umph to score over a 4.0.

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Photo of largadeer
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber in appearance with an unfiltered haze and a sticky cap of foam. Honey-like sweetness and bitter citrus make up the nose. Herbal and citric hops (lots of grapefruit) balance with bready malts to make up the foundation of this beer. It finishes dry and slow. This is pretty rich and complex for a pale ale - not exactly a session beer, it feels too heavy to drink a lot of, but it's exceptionally flavorful. A great pale ale.

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Photo of brentk56
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a frothy head that persists nicely and leaves lacing all around the pint glass

Smell: Subtle wafts of lemon and pine

Taste: Starts out with a biscuity flavor that is quickly subsumed by some lemony bitterness that persists through the finish, which has a bit of sulphur and pine in it

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a healthy jolt of carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshingly pleasant, almost Germanic in some respects

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Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml squat bottle, a pleasant enough surprise find at a friend's moving day after-party.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, glassy medium orange-amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, foamy, and kind of creamy off-white head, which leaves some broadly scattered swaths of fuzzy cloud lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of multi-toned citrus hops - orange, grapefruit, and lemon - some musty pine resin, and a decent offset of fruity, honeyed pale malt. The taste starts again with the orange and lemon citrus astringency, with a close-following grainy, biscuity pale malt caramel sweetness, and a hint of further leafy, spicy, and perfumed hops.

The carbonation is rather moderate, and hard to discern at times, the body an adequate medium weight, and mostly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready caramel malt well in balance with the now waning hop contingent.

A fairly well rendered, and tasty brew - maybe not the headiest of IPAs from their native turf, but quite drinkable all the same. I could see going with this as a party sixer for slow sippin' all night, with the aim of keeping my palate intact for other pursuits.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pourred a hazy light brown brew witn a nice foamy head with good retention. Nice aroma a strong hoppy taste (could it barley?). Complex mix of spice. Definitely one of the best american pale ale and looking forward to other Anchor products.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

20 oz. draft at the Anchor Brewing Bar in SFO, review from written notes.

Hazy brassy golden orange, with a thin layer of white foam that has a creamy surface texture. Spotty lace sticks to one side, as it is sipped there's a collared edge to the edge ring and a thin unbroken skim across the surface. Good retention on display.

Aromas of softly sweet shortbread, citrus rind, pale malt.

Flavors are similar, pale malt, mild citrus, lightly floral. Shortbread sweetness at first, with an easygoing bitterness in the finish. A little bit of herbal hop spice and fruity apple from the yeast. Overall easy drinking, simple and flavorful.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ive liked everything I had from Liberty so far, so I tried their flagship beer. Pours a cloudy orange with a nice fluffy head and tons of lacing.. off to a good start. Smell is quite hoppy.... moreso than I was expecting for a pale ale. First gulp of this was outstanding.. nice creamy, mouthfeel to it that just bombards your mouth with sweet, delicious beer flavor. Taste is slightly dry and leaves you craving more. This is a great beer and when I'm looking for a nice six pack to have on the weekend I will be choosing Liberty Ale!

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured out an orange/amber color with a pillowy, off-white, two-finger head. Left some lace.

S - It smelled of grasses, citrus and some malt.

T - It tasted of toasted malt, good spicy hops and a hint of coriander or orange.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A nice APA. Good blend of flavors.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

G: Poured into a pint glass.

A: Goldish-amber in color with a good white head with plenty of lacing.

S: Smell of malts and hops. Some caramel notes go along with a slightly citrusy and floral hop nose.

T: Somewhat of a letdown after the initial smell. Much of the smell is there in the flavor department, but I'm not getting as much from the hops as I'd like.

M: Medium-boded and a good amount of carbonation.

D: Good feel and smell, but the taste comes up a little bit short. A solid brew, and one that I'll definitely try again.

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden/amber color with a nice fruffy head,the aroma is somewhat dry and hoppy with some slight sweetness in the background.The flavor is zesty and citruis-like with a malty sweet lingering backbone but the hop profile is the main taste I got from this brew.A pretty darn good ale even better if your a hophead.

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Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a lightly hazy, copper colored body. The foam recedes slowly and leaves nice lace.

S - Aromas of spicy hops with some grapefruit. Some toasted malt in the background with a hint of caramel.

T - Spicy hops and dry caramel up front with some lightly fruity yeast. The hop flavor becomes more fruity in the middle with notes of grapefruit and orange. The beer finishes with lots of dry toffee flavored malt and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - A nice combination of dry malt and spicy hops with some fruity notes that come out in the finish. The malt is well balanced with enough sweetness to keep the toasted notes from becoming unpleasant. Moderate, herbal bitterness rounds things out. This isn't as pungent or pine oriented as many modern pale ales, but after 35 years it is still a good pale ale and an interesting glimpse into the early years of American craft brewing.

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Photo of jlindros
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A: Huge bubbly head almost 3 fingers, slightly clear golden orange color

N: Nose is pretty close to amber ale with some hints of lighter hops, some light malts, a slight pine, and touch of sugar, it has an interesting malt quality to it that I wish I could pick out the exact malt

T: Taste has a very light ale malt base with some slight spices, its pretty clean drinking, not a huge flavor

M: Pretty light on the mouth with some frothy carbonation

F: Finish has some more bitter hops that fade pretty quick, its semi sweet and light, finishes pretty clean

Final thoughts: Its a very light, clean, and easy drinking lightly hoped ale. It doesn't have much body or hop base, but its got a decent malt and enough hops. It doesn't try to do anything special, just a nice session beer. Its very crisp and refreshing. I would like something like this as a summer beer more than many summer style hefes (since IMO most American Hefes don't do it right).

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Photo of mothman
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark straw yellow. It is actually pale which is nice to see in a pale ale. Light off white head. Medium amount of lace observed.

Smell is of floral hops and oranges. Taste is quite similiar. Very heavy on the floral flavor and many citrus notes.

Mouthfeel is somewhat smooth, but leaves a very dry taste in your mouth, similiar to an IPA.

Overall, this is a pretty solid pale ale. When I opened it, I could immediately smell the hops and thought it was an IPA. Give it shot, it's worth it.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery gold, with several fingers of billowy bright-white head. This retains with about a foamy ½ finger, soaping the sides of the glass with heavy lacing. The aroma is grassy and spicy smelling in the nose, with a bold citrus character that blends with the sweetness of the grains, imparting a strong earthy tang.

Green citric bitterness gives the taste a refreshing bite, which is balanced by a solid graininess, extra sweet fruitiness, and a gentle herbal feel that runs throughout the profile. A dry pithy and spicy feel lingers in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness which matches that hop bite but then gets much more smooth and slick towards the back of the swallow.

This is another winner from Anchor, with a crisp and refreshing air (and overall drinkibility about it) that belies its 6% ABV. Hoppy yet approachable is the name of the game with this one.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 1/28/2015. Pours slightly hazy deep golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy of white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/floral hops and moderate bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, lemon/orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. This one straddles the line between an IPA and pale ale in bitterness and malt character, but I’d be much more inclined to think of it as a pale ale overall. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A classic! It's slightly hazy (bottle-conditioned) golden-amber body is topped by a frothy white head that holds really well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. Dry-hopped Cascades saturate the nose - perfumey, floral, lemony, and pine-like over some lightly caramel-tinged grainy malt. The hops are 'softer' from the dry-hopping, however, and not as 'sharp' as if they'd been added to the kettle. It's luxurious! The body is medium; and it's lightly crisp and then smooth and creamy in the mouth due in part to a very fine, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. Cascades carry over into the flavor in a big way; wrapped in sweet, caramelish malt and backed by a firm bitterness. It's very well-rounded and nicely balanced, without the aggressive edge that many beers like this have. Absolutely worth seeking out!

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Attractive amber brew with plenty of white foam. Spritzy on the tongue. There is a little bit of spiciness which gives this some interest. Otherwise it's a plain, woody, vegetal brew. Bitter aftertaste. I don't see how this can be considered a showcase for Cascade hops.

I think years ago, in the 70s, this was a breath of fresh air among the Olympia, Burgermeister, and Lucky Lager that provided the ubiquitous taste of beer. From the 12 oz can purchased at Elizabeth Station in Bellingham, Washington.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz undated bottle served in a pint glass. No sediment.

Hazy light amber color; Cream head after a light pour has decent retention, but leaving an uneven coat on top of the beer. Fine carbonation bubbling.

Aroma is very promising, with good level of citrus hops and some floral and herbal elements over a clear malt base.

Tastes a little more fruity than most Amer. pale ales slightly sweeter at first, but eventually ends with a mildly bitter and quite hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel - excellent natural carbonation; slightly dry finish; delightful.

O- Liberty Ale is an exceptionally well-crafted pale ale, largely true to style yet refreshingly unique.

(revised with bottle consumed Sept. 2013)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy goldenrod. The head is large after an aggressive pour, is cream in color and looks soft and pillowy. It leaves an average amount of lace in partial rings as it settles to an uneven film on top of the beer.

One sniff of the hoppy aroma is all it takes to tell me that Anchor Liberty Ale will be good beer. Citrusy and floral elements dominate. The hops don't make as much of a splash on the palate as they do in the nose, but this is still damn tasty beer. The malt provides the needed support as the bitterness weaves in and out.

Liberty tastes slightly sweeter than most pale ales and is a little more fruity as well. Some graininess peeks through, but it's easily ignored. The finish is medium in length and is both softly bitter and lingeringly sweet. The mouthfeel is on the substantial side for the style, which is a definite plus.

Anchor Liberty Ale doesn't appear to have any weak spots. There's no question that it's one of the better pale ales that I've had yet. Best of all, since it's readily available at my local grocery, I'll be coming back to it fairly often.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,383 ratings.
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