Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
3,442 Ratings
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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Ratings: 3,442 |  Reviews: 1,572
Photo of sstackho
3.14/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650mL bottle purchased from LCBO in Toronto. Pours an uninticing pale yellow, with a bit of head and little carbonation, although the current low carbonation could just be that I opened the bottle a couple of small pours ago. Weak hoppy aroma. The taste hits the tastebuds immediately with hops upfront but it ends sharply, almost a bit spicy. No fruitiness or well-rounded flavours, unfortunately.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed this beer many times in the past, but not recently and never with an eye towards reviewing it. Time to sit and ponder my thoughts on the classic.

This is a gorgeous looking beer. It pours a clear light amber color with some visible carbonation. The Head formation and retention is just insane. A lovely 3 finger creamy/substantial head forms and just sits there like a dollop of whipped cream. As you consume the beer it ever so slowly fades back into the brew or clings to the side of the glass in large clumps of lacing.

The label says this is dry hopped and I have to admit, I never knew that or sensed it from the aroma. Same here today. I would have thought that the aroma would have been a bit stronger. I sensed notes of citrus fruit and caramel. There also was a floral aroma that wasn't very strong, but evident none the less. You can tell there will be some malt backbone that you are going to taste.

I thought again of caramel when tasting this, but also of crusty whole grain bread. There certainly was a subtle sweetness but you also got a nice sense of the grains used. Really nicely balanced. There were grapefruit notes and other fruit flavors. Towards the end I really enjoyed what I perceived as a nice balance between a hop bitterness and a bread like flavor. Really nice. Good Hop presence but certainly no too much.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and silky smooth. I think this is very drinkable and was very happy to see I enjoyed it as much as I remember.

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Photo of spointon
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Sheffield's in Chicago.

A= This ale was a slightly cloudy golden-orange color with a ½" white head and a low to medium carbonation release.

S= This ale produced aromas of earthy and fruity hops as well as a solid malt backbone. Everything was subdued, nothing over the top here.

T= I found sweet malt and earthy flavors to be the most prominent, with a long slow hop bitterness in the finish. As with the aromas, everything was understated yet in balance.

MF= This is a medium bodied ale that is lightened a bit by the crisp and clean carbonation effect.

D= Deliciously fresh on tap. Not your typical American PA/IPA flavor at all though. Good drinking for a summer's day, and worth a go for anyone who appreciates pale ale.

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Photo of diabecktic
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer appears to be a shade of amber that leans more towards the yellow side of the color spectrum; the head is a lovely cream color. Plenty of carbonation rises seemingly out of nowhere. Head formation is excellent - it nearly jumped out of my glass even with the use of proper pouring technique; retention and lacing are also excellent.

The nose has excellent hop, malt, and citrus character. To me it seems like the malty/sweet aromas stick out the most. Overall it seems to be a very "starchy" type smell that's accented with a bit of citrus. This may sound strange but it smells "thick" and slightly metallic.

This beer really "bites." The hop character seems to be the most dominant flavor. It's definately more bitter than sweet; unfortunately it doesn't taste as balanced as the smell is. However, this does not mean it's bad by any means; I just taste far more of the hop character than anything else. The sweetness (remniscient of grapefruit) seems to kick in more near the aftertaste portion of the sip - pleasant bitterness remains.

The brew is moderately thick and slightly on the creamy side. It feels great in the mouth; the carbonation mentioned earlier delicately teases the tongue. My mouth is slightly dried, but I'm still enticed to take another sip.

Not too thick, not too watery - it's just right. I could easily see myself drinking these very quickly on a hot day. The bitterness and drying effect are not so great as to deter me from drinking this at any speed. I feel that these elements add a bit of character to the beer.

This beer is excellent; it comes on very strongly but wanes delicately and leaves you wanting more. For those of you who like the hoppier beers - this one's for you. Since this brew kind of strikes my fancy, I would really like to get the chance to try more beers from the Anchor Brewing Co. and see what else they have to offer in terms of other styles. Well-done!

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Photo of bobhits
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just did I go this long without trying this stuff? Maybe the packaging turned me off or something.

A. Big white head and a lightly on the yellow side amber color. Not many bubbles in there. Nothing special here.

S. There is a some malt (kinda of a bready smell). There is a nice citrusy fruity aroma as well. I just can't put how much like this to words.

T. Citrus. Hops that are on the sour side if that makes sense or maybe there's another flavor in here. Finishes with some sour flavor and some bready malt touch. This is a very unique taste unlike anything I've had, and it's just an APA?

M. Though you can't see bubbles, but there is plenty of carbonation. Odds are this is thicker than it feels because of the carbonation effect, but still wonderful.

D. I really could down a 6er of this. It begs to be consumed.

This is truly a special beer. It's too bad the bro's consider appearance so highly. This is without a doubt a solid A beer.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Color is a dark clear gold with a big white head. Healthy amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell - Very easy going. Smooth biscuity malt and a touch of honey to sweeten it up. Hops have a presence too.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Mild in the mouth. Extremely smooth with a nice touch of bitterness behind the biscuity malt. Hops give just enough to push the sweet honey flavor over the tongue. Refreshing mild bitterness in the finish, but a freggin delicious smooth breadiness bivwacks in the throat during the aftertaste.

Drinkability - A summer beer and then some! Another all around solid brew by a legend in the business. On a hot summer July 4th I could think of nothing better. So easy to drink and the breadiness in this one is otherworldly.

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

Liberty Ale pours a lightly hazy goldy tangerine with a fluffy lid of off-white.

Smells of lightly sweet apricots and oranges with lightly toasted grain. It is mellowly floral and fresh grassy hoppy.

Nice flavor balance of the lightly sweet fruits, bit of toasted, and evened by floral, grassy, piney hops softly bittering. Nice soft medium, lightly crisp and fuzzy feel.

It's a classic and it's good. Nice, mellow, balanced, and tasty.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Bomber" sized bottling.

Pours hazy gold color with thin white head that remains thin for awhile.

Nose is very lemony citrus and somewhat metallic.

On the palate, razor sharp bitterness cuts in right away, soft malt with more lemony citrus come through nicely. Medium bodied, soft and creamy as such. Finish is rather tart.

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Photo of champ103
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear golden/straw color. A small white head forms and leaves a touch of patchy lace.
S: Malty fruit flavors. A mix of passion fruits. Some doughy aromas come through as well. Very nice.
T: Oh man this is good. Very malty with some banana/citrus/passion fruit flavors. Some doughy/yeast/biscuit flavors. The taste lingers on with a good hop bitterness to balance everything out.
M/D: A light body that is very creamy. Perfectly carbonated for my tastes. This is very smooth and easy to drink. A quaffable and sessionable beer.

I enjoyed this. A very unique pale ale. Anchor did a great job with this beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears golden orange with a one and a half finger white head. Nice lacing down the glass.

Aromas are floral and earthy, grainy malt. A touch of citrus.

Flavor is similar. Now the citrus note is definitely lemon. Next up is some biscuity malt followed by a lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, almost medium. Good carbonation. Excellent on the swallow.

Overall, I found this one quite good. I could drink quite a few on a hot summer day, it's very sessionable.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smels a bit metallic with strong hop floral notes and grassy malts. Very earthy in the nose.
Taste was very mediocre in my opinion. Not good and not bad.
Some malts of caramel and hops about with a fairly bitter in the finish.
Mouthfeel was average for what i expected.
Very respectable beer. I can only imagine living her in West Virginia, it could have been fresher and much better.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer flowed from the bottle into the glass with a golden amber color. A modest white head floated above the brew. A fairly deep aroma wafts into the nose. Pine and citrus from the hops, an earthiness and also some grainy malt notes all contribute to the bouquet. The beer moves lightly on the palate while at the same time coating it. A bitter attack of hops wakes up the palate and drives this beer home. A slightly sweet, slightly bready malt character almost manages to break through the grasp of bitterness in the center, but is quickly over run by the raw yet pleasing bitterness at the end.

This beer vaguely reminds me of the Battle of the Bulge, with the Germans (i.e. the malt) making a run at the center of the Allies line (i.e. the bitterness). The malt never completely breaks through, but it definitely makes the situation interesting and in the end the bitterness wins out. Plus it goes great with Nuts!

Analogies aside, this is a great, classic American beer. Drinkable, enjoyable and brash.

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Photo of Durge
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This ale is a slightly cloudy yellow amber color with minor white head and modest lacing. The aroma is lemony malt but somewhat weak. The taste is a nice light lemony wheat with very solid, fine carbonation. Very drinkable and refreshing. Plenty of clean hop bitterness. Very nice but not much complexity from what I can tell.

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Photo of TrevorGW
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

look- Beautiful copper color. A bit cloudy, which I appreciate.

feel - great because it is lightly carbonated but still gives the mouth that great sensation. Nice and wet, refreshing.

taste - great deep, soft hop flavor that doesn't kill the malt. The bitterness is balanced perfectly.

Great beer, which I slightly prefer to regular Anchor Steam. Thank god this beer is widely distributed!

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep golden colour with a big fluffy head that dissipates quickly.

Not much going on in the aroma, fruity, citrusy.

Sweet citrusy taste upfront, finishes doughy, biscuity, sort of like dried fruit and nice and bitter.

A suprisingly heavy beer, I would not buy this again, although it was a nice treat.

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Photo of joshwlt
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tan orange color with a billowy white head that stays stick all over my pint glass. Smells malty/grainy. Tastes like light barley and of course cascade hops. However this is a little watered down compared to sierra nevada pale ale. The hops provide pine oils and orange peel zest in the flavor. The dry hop comes through and you get that whole hop/tea leaf dryness. Sorta spritzy, watery mouthfeel. Very drinkable, goes down easy... I would suggest this as a summer brew.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-ounce teardrop stubby poured into a pint nonic glass yields a gorgeous clear amber body crowned with three fat fingers of rocky white foam that retains at a fluffy sheet and leaves plenty of lacing stuck all over the inside of the glass.

Smell is buzzy green citrus and toasty pale malt.

Taste is of toasty brown bread with caramel-- smooth, sweet, rich and malty-- then is cut with a sizzle of citrusy, evergreen hops that dry, freshen, and crispen the finish, making for two distinct sensations in the drinking. Both flavor profiles are so satisfying, and the drink so drinkable, I caught myself gulping this to try and get another nuance from this beer. Quaffable, and very, very good, the beer finishes nice and clean with a solid bitter finish.

I wish this brew was more widely available in this neck of the woods, as I'd keep it on hand for sure.

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Photo of ommegoose
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. No one else makes bombers that look quite like Anchor's.

Pours out an orangey gold with a slowly building head that gets to about a half inch and then drops to a thin cap after a few sips. Plenty of visible carbonation streams. The color is a bit hazier than some other pale ales. It's a bright yellow when held to the light. With my second pour I was quicker and induced a more lasting head. At the end there are some floaties from the bottle conditioning.

Floral hops are the first thing that hits the nose, followed by some slightly buttery malt, with more sweetness than expected. Some herbal and nutty notes come through. For a California brewer, it's somewhat surprising to find so little citrus or piney aromas here. It's fruity in a vague sense, I believe. And as others have suggested, there's a little mint leaf aroma in there too.

A buttery start to this gives way to a mouthful of flowery, herbal (slightly grassy) hops. I love the way that bitterness hardly comes into play at all until the finish. Balanced for sure, although less emphasis on hops, namely hop bitterness, than other APAs. Still, you get a herbal, bitter finish, featuring some mint, and hints of grapefruit from the Cascades. Might be too buttery overall for some, but I like it.

Full and creamy, yet light and easy to drink. The somewhat large carbonation bubbles in the glass suggest that it might be too fizzy, but this is far from it. Very impressive. I don't think I drank my bomber slowly by any means, so I was a little disappointed to find that this flattened out pretty fast.

I like this better than I thought I would. It really reminds me more of Bass (taken up a few notches) more than something like SNPA. No trouble drinking it, although I wish it maybe was lower in abv. I would love to session this, but 6% can catch up with me a little quick. I would get it again if I was in the mood for pale ales. I was a bit sad when I took the last sip.

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

A - Poured a copper color with a white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of citrus hops has a good smell to it

T - Has a good citrus hop taste thats a little more mild than the other APAs I been drinking lately

M - To me it felt a little light with lighter carbonation to it

D - I think that this would be a very good beer to get people to like hops with a gateway beer to IPAs it has a good taste thats sessionable worth trying

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Photo of johanvond
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liberty Ale is a classic american pale ale orange amber in color with a good amount of hops. you can really taste the citric favors from the cascade hops. There a good solid body with a bit of hoppy resin. Liberty Ale bitterness is supported by a good amount of carbonation that cut through the body and livening the mouthfeel. Leaving you with a bitter yet pleasant aftertaste for grapefruit and lemon peel. Over all it's a good beer.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice looking brew. A clear, deep golden straw coloured ale, a nice two finger white head formed on the pour. Great retention, the almost whipped head wants to stick around, and is supported by a medium amount of carbonation. Some lace is already sticking to the glass as the head slowly recedes.

Citrusy, floral, and grainy aromas greet the nose. Multigrain bread with a touch of grain husk for the malts, and some floral and grapefruity hops. Simple yet inviting, and some pear like esters also present.

Taste is much like the aroma, a simple, straightforward and tasty brew.

Not quite medium bodied. Somewhat creamy, the pale malts are nicely balanced with the hops, and their almost piney bitterness. Also somewhat astringent, which helps to clean the palate, although the bitterness lingers.

Very drinkable, and sessionable ale. A well crafted, somewhat user friendly offering from Anchor. Would make a good introduction to american pale ales to beer newbies. It just keeps inviting the drinker back for more. Glad i picked up a big bottle at the local LCBO. May stop in for more before the summer ends.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Great pale yellow with a fizzy head.

Smell: Dry-hopping gives this beer an intense floral aroma. Very citrusy.

Taste: The hopping is more pronounced in the aroma. Very nice, mellow, and balanced APA. Lots of hop character but not to the point where the malt is overshadowed. A little grassy and grapefruity hops.

Mouthfeel: Great.

Drinkability: I'm not the biggest drinker and I was able to drink almost a 6-pack over the course of an afternoon and evening. It's really great stuff. The hoppy aroma never gets old and the easy-drinking taste demands more drinking. This will be one of my favourites for the summer here in hop-starved BC, Canada.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours with a mildly substantial head that leaves fairly quickly but leaves good lacing. Beer is rather hazy with lots of floating particles.

Smell- Nose of mild hops, some bitters, and floral notes.

Taste- A little on the bitter side, luscious hops, good barley taste, and some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Beer is full in the mouth and keeps the palate hoping with flavor long after the swallow.

Drinkability- A truly wonderfull pale ale, full bodied, flavorful, and lasting taste, one of the best.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear light amber with golden tints, small white head, medium lacing.

S = Light pine hops and slight notes of grapefruit rind, baked breakfast roll with sugar, well balanced.

T = Starts with a sweet malt followed immediately by the bitter kick from hops, at mid-palate get some of the grapefruit flavors of hops which meld into the biscuit malt tastes and both linger into a long dry finish.

M = Medium bodied, pleasant level of carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = Good drinkability, well balanced, refreshing, a very good APA.

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Photo of daythree16
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a very hazy golden orange with a 1.5 finger head that leaves a very solid lace.

The smell is a sweet malt and herbal hops. The taste is sweet up front with notes of citrus, some herbal hoppiness, and a good bitterness to finish it all off.

The Liberty Ale is a very well balanced APA that probably doesn't get the props it deserves. It's crisp, refreshing, sweet, and slightly bitter. I could drink these for quite a while.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,442 ratings.
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