The Liberator | Short's Brewing Company

very good
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The LiberatorThe Liberator

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jt31914 on 12-18-2009

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 489
Photo of Gear54
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Color is hazy orange with lots of carbonation and 1 finger of heavy foam.

Big aroma of citrus peel sociocultural grapefruit and orange.

Taste follows the nose exactly with big hop flavor on top if the grapefruit.

I've had several from shorts now. I continue to be impressed!

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Photo of hardysf
3.27/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer is just an absolute bitter bomb. Looks nice and orange in the class with appropriate carb. Nose is surprisingly underwhelming for the taste. Taste is bitter and orange zest. Grassy and earthy flavors too. Very little malt sweetness. Completely unbalanced beer.

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Photo of Hutch76
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz bottle.
Look - semi hazy but nothing to be concerned with
Smell - smelled like peanut butter, which i dig, but a little shocked for this beer.
Taste - earthy
Feel - wet earthy
overall - I would drink this again because I love Short's

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Photo of 98green
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle to a snifter. Look is a pretty medium orange. Smell is earthy. Taste is maybe the most bitter beer I've ever had. Gotta be the citrus zest I guess but I'm not a fan. Malt build is light so the hops and that insane zest is all that comes through. And not in a good way. Some boozy burn in the feel. I love a juicy citrus hops beer, but this is all bitter and earthy, and maybe dank if that goes for you. But it isn't bright citrus, like Akari Zest from Half Acre. I gave this one a couple of bottles but still can't find a positive spin. I love Shorts but this one isn't my jam

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Photo of justinp444
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass this beer is a reddish orange with a nice quarter inch head. Smell is of grapefruit, floral, orange pulp, grass, lemon, with minor earth and malt notes. Taste of bitter. Lots of bitter. Some piney resin, grass, earthy flavors, and citrus. Has a medium mouth feel with a okay amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3rd tasting of the evening. Pours clear golden amber, fluffy, bubbly head. Fruity, piney scent and taste follows. Goes smooth, with a tiny bite. I shall now liberate the rest of this brew from the glass.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter that left good lacing throughout. the body was a dark amber color.
s - big citrus aromas like grapefruit and orange. hint of pine and floral hops too.
t - same as the aroma with a little more pine flavors.
m - medium mouthfeel, great carbonation.
o - hops really done well here, very drinkable too.

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Photo of MIbeer27
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, dated 12/17/14

The bottle pours with a deep amber hue and a quickly dissipating, one finger white head.

The aroma is a huge hit of citrus, namely grapefruit and orange. I also pick up some sweet, resinous pine. Awesome, balanced bouquet.

The taste generally follows the nose with the resinous pine taking the lead slightly to begin with, and the grapefruit jumping in quickly. The finish favors the pine. Sweet malts linger in the background throughout, letting the hops shine.

Mouthfeel is, as previously mentioned, resinous and sticky. Bitterness is definitely on the higher end, but it works well with the grapefruit and pine flavors. Carbonation is medium.

Overall, The Liberator is easily one of the best beers that I have had from Short's! I tend to notice the malt too often in double IPAs, but this beer is just such an awesome display of hops, showcasing the grapefruit, orange and pine flavors that they provide.

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Photo of barnabasdog
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter glass

A- Reddish Orange rusty color, zero visibility, small head with little retention.

S- Bread, pine, and citrus

T- Grapefruit up front with a hint of orange, sweet malts, hints of caramel, and a TON of hops and bitterness.

M- Little carbonation, heavy and chewy, a tad creamy.

O- I absolutely love IPA's and found this a little much on the bitterness. A decent double IPA but not my favorite. It did grow on me the more I sipped it.

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.71/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle from waston (thanks!). No bottling date. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours a semi cloudy orange amber with a half finger off-white head. The froth recedes to a mild haze and a decent sized ring, leaving a fair bit of lace.

Nose is piney, floral and earthy but with an unfortunate note of wet cardboard.

Bitter flavors dominate. Pine, grapefruit rind, lemon zest, earthy, floral, resin, pepper and that cardboard aspect from the aroma that tells me something may have gone awry here. Overly bitter without much hop flavor or malt sweetnness.

Body is a little oily and has a medium feel with highish carbonation. Finishes bitter with floral notes and something I can only describe as old hops.

Either the recipe doesn't agree with my tastes or this is a little too old (when a brewer doesn't bottle date they get zero slack from me in this area) but this is not up to what I know Shorts is capable of. Just seems overly bitter and old. Maybe I just missed what they were going for.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy gold, white head forms and leaves a little bit of lacing. The nose starts with strong pine and lemon followed by some grassy notes and a little bit of bread. The taste has beautiful resinous pine notes throughout the palate with some bright fruit and citrus to back it up. The finish has a long and resonating pine quality that lingers on the palate. The mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Overall, very solid brew from Short's. I suspect the bottle I'm drinking is very fresh because the hops pop nicely.

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Photo of superspak
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/13/2013. Pours moderately hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange zest, orange rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big citrus peel and citrus hop presence with moderate malt balance; and great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness. Large amount of pine resin bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, orange/lemon zest, orange rind, floral, grass, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice flavors with huge citrus peel and citrus/pine hop flavors with moderate malt balance; with a great malt/bitterness balance and minimal cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slightly creamy, smooth, and very sticky/resinous mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops, citrus peel, and moderate malt flavors; and nicely smooth to sip on even with the big bitterness that is present. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,547 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with earth and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a better hop presence in the aroma in my opinion.

 597 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: reddish orange color. hazy and almost opaque. a finger of an off white head that leaves just a little lacing on the edge

Smell: citrus, lemon and grapefruit. super bitter. pale and sweet malts.

Taste: opens with a double dose of bitter from grapefruit hops and lemon zest. weak malt background of sweet caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: not to heavy, but definite warmth from alcohol. long lingering bitterness

Overall: a good super bitter DIPA. good but not quite my type. there are just too many great DIPA's for this one to be buy again beer.

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Photo of Emnmarko
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark amber, slightly cloudy. Loads of course sediment. Light soapy head. Minimal lacing, if any.

S- Crisp citrus orange peel and lemons. Playfully bites you in the nose.

T- Overpowering citrusy hop character first, but strong malt re-enforcements quickly back up the attack to form a well balanced force to be reckoned with. A strong hop aftertaste sticks around for a while to make sure there's no funny business.

M- Crisp for a double IPA. But at the same time, heavy and warm.

O- Incredibly potent hop bitterness backed with equally with a fierce malt balance. This could be too much for some, but for me I say bring on the ibu's! Which I believe is this around 140.?. Go big or go home. Good job Shorts!

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a burnt orange with a thin white head. Good amount of heavy lacing.

S - Lots of citrus (orange & grapefruit) and pine.

T - Lots of piney bitterness right up front. Slight citrus sweetness comes through in the middle. Finish is orange and lemon zest.

M - Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Sticky and resinous mouthfeel.

O - This is a big bitter DIPA. I thought the citrus would shine more, but overall a very decent beer.

 443 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll tell you one thing: there must be something in the water in Bellaire, because what I have seen so far, they brew some gorgeous looking brews. (Coincidence that Kate Upton is a Michiganette? Raul don't think so.)

As Raul moves on, he gets a sharp poke of pine in the nose along with a sharp scent of malt. He likes...

Taste is along the same lines as what shows up on the nose. (And let me tell you, my children, just like a fine fine woman, that's a good thang.)

The Liberator ain't blowin' up at me like Disneyland's fireworks every night at 9:30, but that doesn't mean that it's not a mighty fine brew.


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Photo of SerialTicker
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 12/13/13 and drank 12/22/13. Poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance: An orange color with maybe a slight haze, though I don't exactly remember. Poured perfectly into the glass with a two/three finger head on it, and some really nice lacing throughout.

Smell: Phew! Pine and fruit. Lots of both of them. Bursting with freshness... it seems pretty obvious to me that this was a newly bottled beer, and the 12/13 date proves it. Really outstanding, and it's quite potent as well.

Taste/feel: Not quite as great as the appearance or smell, but still super tasty. I found it to be very bitter initially, but as I sipped it, it gradually felt like it got sweeter and sweeter with more citrus sorts of flavors and a very solid malt+pine finish. Drying, and begs you to drink more. Not a really high ABV either, so you can enjoy a few of these. Feel is medium with about a medium carbonation as well... not too heavy, which also helps. A touch too bitter for my taste at the start, which keeps it from being what I'd consider exceptional.

Excellent beer! I've had some of my favorite Short's beers recently, and they're showing more and more why they're probably my favorite brewery. They can make some good experimental brews, but then they can make really damn phenomenal "normal" ones like this one. If you can get it, get it -- worth it. I'm gonna stamp this with a 3.75/5 overall though because it's so bitter that I doubt I'd want more than one at once.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A- Pours a bright slightly hazy burnt orange amber with a medium white head that dissipated to a ring. Good head retention on the glass.

S- Bright pine with some bitter citrus. Not much in the way of malt in this one.

T- Similar to nose with big bitter pine and slight bitter citrus. Also getting a slight toasted malt character but this one is all bitter hops.

M- Medium mouthfeel a bit light of an Imperial IPA.

O- Lots of bitterness in this one but it is a bit of a one note beer. Not much in the way of malt and pretty light at 7.4% for an Imperial. I've had several beers labeled as single IPAs with a higher ABV, not that ABV is everything. Was expecting more lemon and orange as it is labeled as being brew with zest of both. With all the other Short's beers and IPAs to choose from I might not pick this one up again for a while.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark reddish orange that looks a bit like copper. Clear reflective body with a small white head on the sides

S - Orange, pine, grapefruit, and sweet candied orange peel.

T - Pine hop bitterness up front. Strong grapefruit comes in the middle to give a bite to it. Orange and lemon zest come in near the end to give it a light citrus and a zesty bitterness.

MF - Sticky and resiny hops that leaves a hop resin in the tongue. Rather astringent finish from the bitter hops

O - Big, bitter, and sticky hop beer that gets an additional level of bitterness from the zest

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Photo of Mailhouse
4.87/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bold clean full tasting beer. This is surely in my top 5 of all Shorts ales and maybe even of all beers. Bam is the taste you'll have once this hop filled tasty hits your mouth. Drink it colder than normal and it seems like the hops are great enhanced.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown-red colored brew, head is off-white and made of bubbled foam. Nice lacing.

Tropical, pine, sweet, nutty, orange, tons of crystal sugar. Lemon is well hidden.

Whoa. Nice strong earthy buttery bitterness. Not sweet, yet elegantly tropical. A very unique IPA. I get a lot of orange and grass. Buttery carbonation. Awesome unique blend of flavors.

Shorts nailed this one.. Great blend of awesomeness. Strong robust bitterness with nice tropical flavors and mild sweetness. Highly recommended. Thanks Abanton for sharing!!!

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Photo of samyoung
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cost Plus Eastern Market Purchase - only one six pack on the shelf, it was fate.

It is a very cloudy beer, thick with head and lacing. It smells like a bouquet of flowers with a squeeze of citrus and a several pine needles thrown into the mix. Bold hop bitterness and grapefruit taste that dissipates into a sour, bitter and quick mouthfeel.

I've wanted to taste the Liberator for awhile and am not disappointed. It's a great Michigan IPA with plenty of hop bitterness and a complex blend of flavors and smells.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color, mild haziness, only slightly transparent at the edges of the beer. Gray-ish, off-white head fades quick and leaves only little bits of lacing on the way down. Very floral nose, abundant grapefruit and hop oil with some light white pepper acting in the background. Taste first hits with a heavy splash of grapefruit and citrus but quickly turns into a myriad of hop flavors; florals, roses, oils, resins, heavy pine sting on the end of the tongue. The latter half of the sip is 100% full of HUGE oil, perfume, pine, and resin with a hefty dose of white pepper playing secondary to everything but remaining for the entirety of the sip. The first half carries over a bit of its grapefruit and citrus into the end, but the aftertaste is made up mostly of hop bitterness and spiciness with only a slight, reminiscent flavor of grapefruit left on the tongue. Medium body, medium-high carbonation.

Definitely a decent DIPA, lots of perfume aromas and flavors, including a huge floral and pine essence. Grapefruit is abundant on the nose and in the first moments of the sip, but the oils and resins take over quickly and certainly maintain their staying power. It's fairly low at 7.4% ABV, too, which is typically a good thing.

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear orange with big fluffy head. Nice sticky webbing and film that clings to the glass. The nose on this brew is quite amazing. Bold citrus, orange and lemon zest, grapefruit. The taste follows the nose quite well. Huge hoppy and citrus flabors that have a smack you in the mouth zest. The big hop aroma and taste are kept in check just enough to make this highly and dangerously drinkable.

This is the second year I've had this and will continue to look forward to this seasonal release every year.

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The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 489 ratings.
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