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Anchor Liberty Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

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very good
1,560 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: 1,560 | Ratings: 3,390
Photo of palma
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold body with a very smooth beige head that leaves a long lasting smooth lace.
I was surprised by the smell. Extremely floral. Nice, but not really what I want to smell when drinking a beer.
Taste was light malt, fruity, honey, and a little spice. Clean and crisp. A noticeably dry end.
Mouthfeel was good with light to medium carbonation. Light bodied.

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Photo of IceAce
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'Twas New Years eve day and the holiday included a visit to an old friend in the town pub. I hadn't seen my friend at the pub in quite some time, so I was caught slightly off-guard by her appearance.

The gleaming new 'Liberty' tap replaced the recently departed OSA and we just had to spend some time together getting re-acquainted. The first pint was delivered in short order and sure looked inviting.

Liberty has always had the ability to make even the most bland of pint glasses (straight-sided Libby) look attractive, and today's version was no different. The deep bronze color was topped off with a 1" coller of rocky head...not quite white, not quite carmel, but somewhere in between.

With a clean palate the tongue is awash with flavor...malt first and hops after the finish. The complex malty flavor seems to satisfy and not overwhelm...also a just description for the hops. If only one word were allowed for descriptive terms, it would be 'balance'.

While I have many new friends behind the bar now, it's always great to run in to the one that turned me on first...

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

This was a little bit hoppy for me, but good none the less. It was a cloudy straw color with a foamy white head. The head was pretty thick and lasted a short while. Pretty good head retention overall. The smell was kind of like an old boat with hops. I don't know where that came from, but that was the first thing I thought of. The taste was very similar, but had hints of citrus type fruits. All in all a good beer, especially if you like the hoppy type beers.

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

This is a great beer. Pours a nice amberish color and a good head that slowly dissapates. The smell strong and of a bouquet of flowers very pleasant. The taste is very well balanced between hop bitterness and maltiness with a crisp aftertaste. I really The mouthfeel was just right for this style of beer. I really enjoyed this one. Wish I could find it in Utah.

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Photo of niknar
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color with a nice frothy head that lingers fairly well. Noticably hoppy aroma. Excellent taste marked by strong hops and smooth malt. Bitterness lingers on tongue long after swallowing. I really like this beer. Somewhat akin to Sam Adams Boston Lager in the hoppiness, though not as malty in my opinion. Could be the ale vs. lager as well. Overall an excellent offering that I would happily drink again and again.

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Photo of Ardon
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber appearance with a nice smooth frothy head. Mild malty aroma, very earthy smell but with a sweet balance. Soft malty taste on the pallet with a long bitter hop finish. Slightly sweet with that same earthiness as in the smell. Fantastic balance of malt and hops. I used to think this was a good session beer, yet now, like Anchor Steam, I find it very filling, like a meal in a glass.

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Photo of surfmeister
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: amber/orange with fizzy, short lived head
Smell: floral hops,spice, strong point of brew
Taste: bitterness jumps out at you, overdone IMHO, otherwise has the hoppy, spicy tones appropriate to type, SNPA has it beat as well as others
Mouthfeel: hard bite, too hard, bitterness is strongest characteristic
Drinkability: again, bitterness out of balance

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Photo of loganmule
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved the citrus nose and the head, which starts big and then settles.

Also nice texture, slightly thick, but not overly so. Initial citrus is followed by malt and light hops. Might have a slightly bitter finish to those not into hops.

This is the tablewine of ales. Not spectacular in any way, but good enough across the board to drink day in and day out.

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Photo of AbePhroman
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack of this for $7.99. After trying it I think I overpayed. Not sure why but all Anchor beer in my area (NJ) is expensive. Maybe because it's from CA. Anyway, I did like the appearance of the bottle. Poured a golden brown with minimal lacing on the glass. Looked decent. Very hoppy IMO, more bitter than other ales. I enjoyed it, but I would rather have one of my local brews.

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

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19. Poured a golden amber, with a small white head. Collar of foam was this beer's constant companion as it journeyed down my glass. Smell was of mild sweet malts, floral hops and a touch of freshly mown grass - almost spring in a bottle. Ironic as when I bought this on Saturday there was several inches of snow on the ground.
Taste is a nicely balanced mix of mild, sweet malts and crisp citrusy hops. Really nice taste here - probably the best tasting American pale ale I've had. Mouthfeel is just what I'd expect for the style. Very drinkable. I wish there was somewhere in this area that had this - or any other Anchor product - on tap.

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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 SigEp
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excellent example of american micro. Had my first one this week. (why'd I wait so long?). pours a light-straw color with a low effervescence and minimal head. Nose is hoppy, but not over-powering, a little citrus and slightly piney. The taste is lovely, hits the perfect range of bitter for a beer that has distinctive character while still drinkable in quantity. Refreshing and uplifting. If you like Liberty Ale and you live in Fla, try Dunnedin's Piper's Pale Ale, it is remarkably similar.

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Photo of TerryW
2.94/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber orange with a good looking head. Great lace. nice looking beer.

I'm not too fussed on the smell. Initially, just out of the bottle it seems to have a chemical odour to it, like some sort of plastic. After it sits some you get lemon, malt and barley. Interesting if nothing else, buit a bit off-putting for me.

Bitter and dry to drink with a citrus finish like oranges. Tasty but doesn't blow me away.

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

Ahhh, my old fav, grassy-assed but respectful friend has paid a visit.

What can I say about a beer that was the first real one!? It's like the one-in-a-million chance meeting of the person/place/thing that changes your life and you realize you won't ever be alone any more (though you never were -- it just seamed that way)...

Finding this beer was not the one-in-a-million, but its effect on me certainly was. In this sense and more I ascribe it perfection -- on BA, I will play by the rules and not by my emotions!

This is a bold, assertive beer in flavor and taste. I absolutely love its balance. And yet separated out, each of the main components -- for example grain-bill and hops -- has its own discernable characteristics worthy of notice (grain bitterness with malt sweetness; oily hop bite yet with a strong dry, Cascade dry-hopping). This is THE flagship American pale-/India-pale- ale before all others.

1989 perhaps, in a small, long-forgotten East Village bar where the proprietor was proudly serving up ALL Anchor products on draft...you will never be forgotten.

(PS: in this review whatever unsappy, man-ridden facades I might chose have long lost out)

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Photo of grynder33
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light amber color, quick disappearing head, First sniff was extremely flowery. Taste was fine, malty fruity and sweet, very pleasant sweetish aftertaste. The taste was perfectly fine, but I can't get past that initial aroma. It was almost like my grandma
s worst perfume.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazy orange gold color with a medium white head. very floral malt aroma, with a little grassy hops. it has a sweet floral citrusy taste with a well balanced hop bitterness. a medium mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation, goes down real easy. this is very good beer, if people say this doesn't travel well, then this must be damn impressive at the brewery.

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

Nice golden copper-colored ale. A frothy off-white head that remains in a thin cap and leaves nice lacing. Aroma is initially big floral hops. As the beer warms, more fruity notes come out--apples, grapefruit, peaches,and bubblegum. Some yeast notes as well. A beautiful nose on this one. On palate, an astringent dryness upfront, followed by sweeter, fruity malt, some orange-like flavor, and a biscuity note.

A classic west-coast pale ale: a mouth-puckering dryness balancing fruity, biscuity malt. Clean, hoppy and full of character.

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Photo of TripelJ
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: Anchor Liberty Ale

This is one that I have overlooked for some time and as per usual have later grown to regret that. This beer pours a hazy golden apricot with a thick, somewhat "fizzy", off-white head. Not much lacing going on. Nice sweet citrus and mellow floral hop aroma going on. Taste has the same mellow hops balanced perfectly on a malt backbone with a crisp finish. I was also tasting some light peach flavors on the sweet end which was enhanced by the hop bitterness and bite. Overall, a very enjoyable and readily available pale ale. I still love my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale though.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my long time favorites. I like to introduce friends to new beers and Liberty is the only one that I can say that everyone has liked. The lighter than "pale" color is deceptive for such a flavorful brew. The perfect sweet to bitter transformation sweeps across the tongue and satisfies all the way. It has enough bite for most hopheads but the beautiful balance and the pleasant floral bouquet erases any possible complaints. Even the mother-in-law likes it. The best introduction to the way of the hophead.

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Photo of silks636
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Hazy light amber color with decent white head. Wonderful floral and citrus aroma with a slight touch of grain. Meets your tounge with pleasant carbonation and a terrific balance of sweet malt under piney and citric hops. Finishes off with a biting bitterness that turns to a sweet fruity aftertaste. Hops wins the battle for dominance in the taste profile, but is not at all overbearing. Light bodied and very smooth mouthfeel.

This is a damn good beer. Very drinkable. A first-rate American Pale Ale.

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

I’ve only had a couple bottles of Liberty Ale before, but I like this brew. Liberty Ale pours with a great frothy head that is about three quarters of an inch high. The color is clear amber-bronze. The head hangs around for a rather long length of time and eventually lowers to a thin lace. The aroma has a slight amount of caramel malt with hops being more predominant – slight citric/grapefruit hints. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. There is a light smooth malt start with just a hint of caramel. The hops are great! Towards mid swallow, the hops come in but don’t completely hide all notions of malt. There isn’t an overwhelming hop bite that takes over the beer, rather, the hops seem to fade in gently and take over. Hops are fairly citric, somewhat juicy and linger into the dry finish. The aftertaste is also of hops but is restrained with malt becoming slightly evident again. Overall, Liberty is quite well balanced, but definitely leans towards the hops. This is a very drinkable and enjoyable brew that is great for most occasions and worth keeping in the fridge on a regular basis.

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Photo of Webby64
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very very good beer!! Got a kick to it also! Poors a hazy copper color with a thick head that lingers a bit in my mug. Smell has some floral notes. Taste has some citrus and malt with the taste of alcohol in the background. I really like this beer and will get it again.


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Photo of chaduvel
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is brass/golden with a decent white head. Smells of juniper and crisp lemon peel and hops. Taste is almost gin-like and it tastes like it smells: juniper, lemon peel, enough malts to keep this from being too watery, and citrus hops. I would say this is almost the beer equivalent of a gin-and-tonic. Very refreshing and goes down easy.

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

Pours a pale copper in color with a rising off-white head. Aroma consists of a fruity hop bouquet, caramel malt, citrus orange peel and vanilla. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a pleasant carbonation. Initial malt flavor surrenders to a spicy and citrusy hop combination. Some sweetness detected throughout from the malt. The malt flavor and bitter/sour hops pair up rather well.

When I first tried Liberty Ale over a year ago I didn't care much for it. My tastes seemed to have changed. This is very good indeed. Liberty Ale would seem to be a great beer to pair with food. This is a solid American Pale Ale.

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Photo of Brian700
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed a few 6packs of the anchor steam and enjoyed them a lot. I feel stupid for not trying the Liberty Ale sooner. It was one of the best pale ales i've tried. I can see myself buying this a lot more.

It has a golden copper color and pours a good head; off white or tan. Decent lacing. It has a nice floral hoppy smell. Excellent, The taste follows the nose. Floral, malty, citrus. Good mouthfeel. I'd say medium bodied. Very drinkable, In fact I just ran out and I'm feelin a little down. Overall a great Pale Ale.

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Anchor Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 3,390 ratings.
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