Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
BA SCORE
72.5%
Liked This Beer
3.88 w/ 3,457 ratings
Anchor Liberty AleAnchor Liberty Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,365
Reviews:
1,577
Ratings:
3,457
Liked:
2,507
Avg:
3.88/5
pDev:
11.6%
Alströms:
3.98
 
 
Wants:
104
Gots:
449
Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,457 |  Reviews: 1,577
Photo of bluetravlr
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice frothy one full finger of initial head. Fairly clear orange/yellow coloration. Lots of visible carbonation. Retention is good, leaving plenty of lacing.

S: Citrus and pear (apricot?). Hints of bread with little hop presence.

T: Caramel and fruits (like the smell; citrus, pear, and apricot) hit initially. Definite bread tones as the yeast is pretty noticeable. Nicely complex flavor. Hops definitely finish this one out as the dry-hopping adds a nicely bitter touch to the palate. Still, very nicely balanced between hops and malts. Perhaps just a tad on the bitter side for a pale, which I like.

M: Nice medium body, but overly carbonated. Some yeast seems to linger on the palate for a bit too long dirtying the nicely bitter hop aftertaste.

D: Smooth and crisp and very drinkable at 6%ABV. The yeast and bitter finish are the only aspects of this beer that detract from its drinkability.

I don't know why I hadn't tried this until now. This is a great pale, possessing a uniqueness while maintaining the balance this style dictates. My only real complaint is that the yeast seems to be a bit overdone.

 1,118 characters

Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear golden-orange...single finger of fluffy white head...nice lacing throughout

S - Could smell the floral hops before I got close to the pint glass...swirling brings out a bit of a malty backbone as well as some citrus notes

T - Kind of earthy overall...Grassy hops and a bit of a grainy presence...nice lingering of hop bitterness at the back of the tongue

M - Thin and a little bit prickly...balances out nicely as it warms - not too bitter, not too sweet; but a little bit of each

D - This is a nice drinking ale...I'll look for this again

 553 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had one in a session that included two-hearted (yeah, an ipa). also compared to smutty, both ipa and pale ale. (7 and 6.7% abv, so not that out of range) those two just blow anchor away. not just that they're more flavorful and aromatic--liberty is so bland and thin the alcohol, even at 6%, is able to poke through in a big inappropriate sort of way and make this a very unpleasant drink. at this level of flavor, the abv needs to be more in the 4-5% range.

having tried again,
a 4 s 3.5 t 3 m 3 d 3

prior thoughts:
Anchor Liberty
4 clear golden, leaves cap and ring, good lace.
4 citrus backed by bready cracker malt, cheerful smells like brooklyn lager meets bigfoot. happyfoot.
3.5-4 not big on flavor, the fairly modest bitterness is accentuated by the lack of much else going on, but concentrate and it's something like a much weakened bigfoot. drier than expected.
3.5 fine but prickly c02 enlivens the lightish body. thinner than steam?
4 an easygoing pale ale.

 978 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours an unexpected very pale amber. More orange yellow than anything. With a 1.5 inch head that goes down to a mat in short time.

S - Floral hop smell immediately present and very inviting with a citrus finish in the nose. Some faint malt with earthy and bread tones as well.

T - Delicious hops all through the tongue. Floral and citrusy just like the nose. I like to know you can expect consistency between the nose and the taste. A faint bitter and citrussy finish. Some oats and bread at the end as well. Nutty flavor as well especially as it warms.

M - Very crisp and well balanced. Medium bodied.

D - Refreshing and not to overpowering with the hops. Leaves a faint dryness on the back of the tongue.

 742 characters

Photo of Colt4540
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint mug.

A- A hazy golden brown color with a one finger light tan head that has good retention. It laces nicely down the glass.

S- It has a pretty up front hop smell with a roasted malt smell on the backside. It is pretty well blended.

T- Pretty much the opposite of the smell. The first thing that hits you is the kind of sweet maltyness that finishes with the slight zesty hop bitterness. It is a fairly well balanced beer.

M- Real smooth with a slight crsip to it that makes it finish clean.

D- It is not to filling and doesn't have so high an ABV that keeps you from drinking to many. You could easily put down a six of this.

 668 characters

Photo of Albinoh
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color, from the looks you can tell the beer is crispy. The beer is satisfying, the hops are there but not to overpower the whole taste of the beer. It has a smooth ending, which leaves a clear mouth feel.

I enjoyed this beer, I would say this is as a good "afterwork beer", fresh, hoppy, quality, leaves you happy.

I wouldn't go saying this is my favorite beer but I will definitely buy it again.

 421 characters

Photo of berkey
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly clear light orange yellow. Large cloudy white head with very good retention. Delicate natural carbonation.

Initial aroma is of fresh bready malt, flowery and then bitter hops. Also some light citrus with some traces of yeast.

Malt leads off again on the palate along faint honey sweetness. Bitter, slightly grassy hop flavors follow with what vaguely reminds me of a lemon tea flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy and balanced and the slightly prickly carbonation is exactly right for this beer.

Drinkability is amazing on this one. Medium ABV makes this a beer of choice for bbq's. While not a hop head's APA I find this one well constructed and one of the main reasons I hold Anchor in high esteem as one of the worlds great brewers.

 745 characters

Photo of katan
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Golden in color - high amounts of head retention, light white in color. Carbonation is obvious. No hazing - very clear.

S - Citrusy and sweet hops profile dominates the aroma. clearly an american hops dream. Some orange notes are present as well.

T - Starts off with a fairly balanced combination of simple malt sweetness and bitter backbone. Mid-stream develops some of the american hops - although not as overt as I would have expected. Some citrus edge. Finishes with a bitter aftertaste.

M - Moderate to light body. Carbonation bite is a more dominate attribute. Light amount of oily texture left in the aftertaste.

D - Moderately drinkable, abv is manageable. Hop profile is probably not intended to be a total session beer as it can wear down the palette. carbonation is surprisingly not filling.

 837 characters

Photo of bruningmd
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear orangish-amber color with a thick white head

S: HOPS!, malt, citrus(lime and grapefruit), honey

T: initial biting hops, a wave of lime, the malt is smooth, balances the bitter hops

MF: Thin without being watery, refreshing on the pipes, some dry prickly tannins, goes down easy though

D: This is a solid brew that I could drink repetitiously.

 355 characters

Photo of drtth
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled and poured into a Duvel glass.. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Pours out a nice amber gold color with a 2" thick fluffy white head that shrinks down to about ¼" thick with layers of foam on the sides of the glass and some nice long trails of lacing. Eventually it fades to a ring around the glass and a thin layer on the surface but with lots of foam and speckled lacing along the sides when sipping. There is a light haze to the beer.

Smell: The aroma contains floral and grapefruit elements balanced by some pale malt sweetness.

Taste: As the nose suggests, the flavor is light caramel malt sweetness showcasing the citrus and floral notes of the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is soft, creamy and medium bodied. The finish is medium long with bitterness and sweetness coming and going but ending in soft sweetness.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable. Each sip leaves me wanting more and I could easily finish off several of these without wanting to change a thing. This beer will have a place on my shopping list.

 1,070 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange color with a big fluffy white head that lasts for a good while.

Smells of piney hops and light citrus.

Taste is piney with a hint of grapefruit and a bit of a honey sweetness. Medium carbonation.

Overall this is pretty good and right up there with SNPA. The downside for me is the price...I really can't justify paying more for Anchor when SN is just as good if not better. Taking price out of the equation, this is definitely a winner though.

 468 characters

Photo of uno99
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before oct. 2010. Purchased from the LCBO, $4.10/bottle

A: Clear yellow liquid with nice foamy head- thick with good retention

S: A mild smell of citrusy hops. Malt is there too. Much milder nose than I remember

T: Flowery and Citrusy hops. Good malt backbone. Kinda reminds me of what my first sip of dads beer was like.

M: full mouthfeel. Not much in the way of carbonation - I may have knocked it out with my aggressive pour

D: I like the 650ml bottles- saves me from having to open another one. A good, tasty drinkable APA.

 537 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

notes from 2/23

pours a little hazy golden with a 3 finger white head - leaves notches of lacing all down the galss- smells like every other anchor beer very macro - taste is so much better then the smell but all anchor beers taste similar with pear flavor up front - overall solid a apa with great drinkability

 312 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a clear orange-gold with a clingy white head. Smells of aromatic, piney, slightly floral hops and a hint of sweet maltiness. The malt becomes much stronger on the palate; while the hops decline, they do lend a very nice floral, citric character and give it a dry finish. Medium body with good carbonation. Nice and drinkable.

 344 characters

Photo of washburnkid
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Finger of bubbly white frothy head over a slightly hazy light golden color. Good head retention and lacing.
S: Ripe mandarins, sweet malts and honey, and crisp hops.
T/M: A sweet honey glaze balancing out with a touch of bitter hops. Yeasty/bready notes and grains, with more ripe citrus. Seems like a pretty straightforward and subtle APA. Somewhat watery at times, and there's no a ton of flavor residue left behind.
D: Very easy to drink, but not a ton of flavor for an APA. I'd get Liberty Ale again, and I'd recommend it in a heartbeat (as I would with all Anchor year-rounds) for those just peeking their heads into the craft world for the first time.

 660 characters

Photo of IMincedTheKing
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A tawny pour with a thick pillow of head.

Malts on the nose with a sharp hop aroma. Balanced and unremarkable, but exactly what a pale ale should smell like.

A wave of malt, and the citric hops fitly play their part. The malts are sweet, but nothing I can easily characterize as sugar, caramel, or toffee; it's an intriguing, well-rounded sweetness, and it's highly enjoyable. The hops are low-key, and, while they could stand to be more forceful, I do appreciate how well this is balanced.

The medium body and even, tongue-coating carbonation make this an easy beer to down, and I could definitely have at least a few of these at a time.

 641 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a golden orange color with a large white 2 finger foamy head.

Smell - Citrus with floral hops.

Taste - Lemon, grapefruit, hops, with malt and some sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Lightbodied and refreshing.

Drinkability - Nice beer, could have several of these.

 276 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
2.81/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

**Please tolerate my 'Short Review Series' which come from sparsley populated notes.

Pours a clear golden orange with a huge mushmellow head. Rather nice looking. Smell is a lightly malted hint of orange (it's my nose and I say it smells how it smells damn it). Weak. Taste is of a grossly unbalanced bitter bite. Bunk. It is smooth however, with a dry tail and low carbonation.

Apparently I'm in the minority as I didn't really enjoy this brew all too much.

 460 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.29/5  rDev -41%
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 Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

 537 characters

Photo of BrewsCrewSA
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Easily within my top 5. Anchor's Liberty Ale combines great taste with exceedingly great drinkability. And what better theme than our sacred patriotism

A - Pours a golden amber color with a great quarter-inch lacy, creamy head. Head still hasn't dissolved after a few minutes. Left several well-balanced layers of foam along the sides of my glass, about a half-inch distance apart. Very impressive.

S - Smells of pears and apples; a solid, craft bouquet. Faint buiscuit aroma.

T - Taste. All about taste. Spritzy, citrus-like and light. A cool breeze in June. Notes of orange and over-ripe lemons (you know, when they get a little sugary) followed briefly by a present yet not overbearing alcohol note. Bright, illustrious, and one-of-a-kind. This is what American craft beers should taste like. The taste of true accomplishment.

M - Extremely easy on the palate. I started getting into these Belgian beers and forgot how distracting the mouthfeel is in a heavy, alcoholic beer. This is a refreshing reminder of something a little smoother against the tongue.

D - Amazing. It's as natural as drinking water.

 1,112 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear orange-amber color. Nice white head with decent lacing.

Smell: A nice blend of hops, citrus, and floral aromas.

Taste: Grains, malts, and hops up front. A bit fruity and then floral at the finish. Aftertaste is a bit hoppy and buttery.

Mouthfeel: Generally light-bodied, with light carbonation. Mostly smooth, but a bit of grainyness that fits.

Drinkability: Nice ABV, works pretty good as a session beer.

A nice offering from Anchor. This is closer to an English pale ale, in that the hops aren't so strong, etc. Like most Anchor beers this is a bit pricey, so I won't get it too often. But it is an enjoyable one and I'll be getting it again in the future.

 724 characters

Photo of yelterdow
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally... I've got the chance to sit down and review this classic APA. On tap this is awesome, so here goes a bottled example from a fresh sixer. The code reads 80W on the back label, and we'll serve this in an imperial pint glass at fridge temperature.

Appearance- A beaming pale to medium gold, this beer exudes a gorgeous four-finger crown that stands firm, popping away at a snail's pace but becoming more condensed over time. The lacing is setting up nicely, it's a beautiful beer just to sit and admire.

Smell- Huge aromas of honeyed grapefruit leap from the glass, even making their debut as the beer is being poured. After a few minutes, the air of Christmastime, with notes of fresh sap and pine needles, come through and add another dimension. There is a firm enough malt backbone to the nose, but the dry hopping far outweighs it.

Taste- Amazing... I taste the foundation of Anchor's OSA Ale in this... there is a very distinctive house yeast I would imagine that puts the thumbprint of the brewery in the flavor. Obviously the hops are huge, bittering the tongue with their citric character... but there's a hint of spice, almost like cinnamon or allspice buried in there. Interesting... the malts are buried as with the aroma.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A bit harsh, remaining quite prickly throughout. A tasty hop lover's APA that won't disappoint.

 1,364 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a pint glass. A 1+ finger white pillowy head settles over a slightly murky honey-yellow body. Good rings of lace.

S: Nice hoppy nose immediately leads me to conclude there are Cascades in there. Citrus fruit and floral hops over cereal grains is the basic idea.

T: Grainy malt up front, with dry, fruity, citrus hops following. Dry citrusy/lemony finish that's more fruity than bitter. Not terribly complex or complicated, but straightforward -- tasty and clean.

M: Light-to-medium in heft, with nice active but soft carbonation.

D: Deserves a 5 in drinkability, as this one goes down easily and enjoyably.

Notes: Got a sixer as a gift. It'd been years since I'd had this beer. It won't be years before I buy it again, however. Forget SNPA as the quintessential APA; this may be it.

 802 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. No date but a series of 3 numbers/letters punched into the back label.

A - The Liberty Ale poured a slightly hazy nice golden wheat but the head was the shining part of the appearance. Big and lumpy, the white head went down slow and left patchy, sticky lacing like crazy!

S - Liberty was full of hops on the nose with some wheat and spiciness with a semi-fruity aroma/ citrus hint.

T - Hoppy but not overwhelmingly so. The hop level is well above the malt, so much so that I didn't detect the malt, so the balance is off but what is there is incredibly good. Not overpowering but refreshing.

M - Almost no carbonation coming up really leaves the mouthfeel smooth on this guy. Its slick and light as well as refreshing.

D - Despite its unbalanced hoppiness its an easily drinkable brew. Good for a tasty refresher on a summer day I'd imagine.

 890 characters

Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 72.5% out of 100 with 3,457 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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