The Liberator | Short's Brewing Company

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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 7ways
2/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Short's really fucks with me. I'll have a few great beers from them, and all of a sudden this comes along. It happens quite a bit.

Looks fine, nice continuous ring of almost-head, good lacing, orange-straw color.

Smell is pretty low key, but pleasant. Mango, orange, candy, no lemon. Seems like it would be a fairly sweet, mild pale ale.

But no. Not at all. It tastes SO FUCKING BITTER I want to sandpaper my tongue. It starts off just fine, resiny, earthy hops with a touch of orange and caramel, and then... medicine! Oh yes! The worst kind of bitterness, crushed pills, pith, and tree bark.

Pretty decent mouthfeel, but who is paying attention.

This is not OK.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.1/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Double IPA brewed with Lemon and Orange Zest. $14.99 for a 6 pack. Thin layer of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Pours out to a cloudy burnt orange, forming a decent sized poofy light yellow head with good retention and nice sheets of lace. The carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is of grapefruit and mango from the hops, with more mango when swirled. Not picking up any lemon or orange. The mouthfeel is rich, without being syrupy, with a medium dense body. The taste opens up, all too briefly, with the mango, then is replaced by a huge grapefruit pith bitterness. Way too bitter for my taste, as it burns all the way through the finish and you are left with an extremely bitter aftertaste. Very high alpha's here. Youch. Any subtleties of malt and hops are lost in this brew. 1/3 of a bottle is enough for me. I won't be buying this again. I don't think I could even give this one away. One of the worst, if not THE worst Double IPA I've ever had. I love ya Joe, but I can't drink this one. Sorry.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.27/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a murky orange color with a quarter finger of head and spotty lacing.

The aroma is a blast of mango and pineapple hoppiness. Very bright and citrusy. A bit of toffee sweetness.

The flavor is bitter as all hell without much juicy hop flavor to back it up. Very one dimensional, just a bitter assault. Not even any sweet maltiness to add balance.

The body is light and carbonation is too high.

Overall this is just a flat out bad beer. It is extreme simply for the sake of being extreme with no redeeming qualities to it. Stick with the Huma Lupa Licious if you want to drink a quality IPA from Short's.

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Photo of seaoflament
2.45/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to my buddy hoppymeal for this beer in the latest massive assault.

Pours a dark golden color with some reddish overtones and almost an inch of foam on top that doesn't seem to last too long but leaves a bit of lacing. A quick swirl brings back about half an inch of foam back to life and the beer maintains a nice ring of foam throughout the whole session.

Opens up with a big burst of various citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, mango, and pineapple. Aside from the citrus sweetness there is also a noticeable citrus acidity in the background. The beer has a "heavy" crystal malt aroma and meaty that could be either from the grain bill or the yeast. Not bad, the aroma is quite deceiving at hinting at a sweeter beer instead of a bitter/astringent mess.

Bitter and slightly astringent upfront with a long lasting bitterness. Citrus flavors pass by quite rapidly and are engulfed by the bitterness and grassiness. Bittersweet orange, citrus peel bitterness, lemon, medium-high caramel malt profile with some dry toast in the finish. Initially, the beer isn't too bad it starts off with the citrus bitterness and the malt tries to come through but quickly finishes in a long lasting dry bitterness that overwhelms almost anything else with a dry, grassy, piney, and intense citrus bitterness and a bit astringent as well. Definitely too astringent, my mouth feels like I've sucked on a tea bag after swallowing.

Moderate to high carbonation with a soft texture at first and then a very dry finish that, combined with the astringency, is not very refreshing.

Not really impressed by this one, the aroma was decent but the taste is lacking complexity and finness, mostly due to the aforementioned problem of the astringency/bitterness combination.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.51/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Lightly hazed, orangey body with a wispy, white head.

Smell: Cutting citrus wafts, though leaning towards grating citric angle instead of something more fruity, more juicy, or more inviting. Some coiled resins and very low hint of bready pale malts.

Taste: Lean bready malts including one single, solitary drop of simple syrup. Head-first launch into the sharply citric, screechy synthetic resins with a hard bitterness. Remains so to the dry finish and beyond (or, at least until you grab for that glass of water).

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Liberator has liberated me from hope and good cheer. Tremendously one-note and that note is an utterly unforgiving assault on the tongue. Displeasingly harsh.

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Photo of Spiekerbox
2.54/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours a deep orange-red color with a small off white head that is gone quickly.

S- Hoppy with citrus.

T- Hoppy with a nice citrus flavor. Finishes piney and is VERY bitter for the style. Some malty sweetness is there but it is not strong at all, overall though way too bitter and not enough hop flavor to balance it. Some of the bitterness seems to be from orange peel though, not the most pleasant of bitterness.

M- Crisp, clean, moderate to low body with low carbonation.

D- The orange-peel bitterness gets too overpowering at the end and i did not enjoy the end of this beer. Has potential but I would really love to have more hop and citrus flavors to balance out the bitterness.

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Photo of BulbMan
2.58/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Medium copper, cloudy. 1 finger head that is very slow to recede.

S - Blah. Bit of alcohol, little bit of grapefruit, not a whole lot else

T - Wow, bitter. Some lemon, but bitter, bitter, bitter.

M - Medium/average/not bad

D/O - This one is dominated by the bitterness which overshadows all else. Not really enjoyable. Would not seek out again.

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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 maximum12
2.74/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for a bottle of this IIPA - always happy to see another bottle of Short's in the house, especially one I haven't sampled before. Drank in despair on opening day 2011.

Pours a murky, unsettled orange. Smells orange too, mixed in with hoppy citrus. Nice.

The Liberator isn't quite my bag of tea. The hops are of the dank, earthy, muddied, nothing like the brightness of the nose. The lemon is tart underneath, but the orange is subdued by the dank. This tastes & feels like an older IPA to me.

Disappointing. It's not terrible, but I'm not wild about wasting liver & waist space to a beer that's borderline. Blah.

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Photo of porcelli426
2.76/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into tumbler

A- Dark Orange with a finger head. Beautiful copper haze.

S-Light floral and orange smell

T-Strong lemon with citrus notes. Fairly strong bitter presence.

M-Nicely carbonated and well balanced

O- Overall decent DIPA. I would have liked a bigger hops presents up front. Clearly they were going for more lemon and orange flavors which they did pretty well.

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Photo of kevinv
2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks again to beerindex for sending multiple Short's offerings my way.

The "crafted on" date for this bottle was sometime in December '10. Poured into a basic pint glass.

A - Pours a nice looking copper, dark-orange color with a thick 1.5 finger white head. Moderate head retention and lacing.

S - Very tropical and citrusy. Orange, grapefruit, pineapple. Piney, grassy hops. Slight caramel-y malt sweetness also pokes through.

T - Tongue-numbingly bitter, as expected. Lots and lots of hops. Where's the "lemon and orange zest?" Not much in the way of a malt sweetness to balance the hops. I'm unsure if it's just not there, or it's being overpowered. Not much more than a hop-bomb here.

M - Medium bodied, high carbonation. Fairly smooth.

D - Not very high for me. This one was just overly bitter without much else going for it. I enjoy this level of bitterness in other DIPA's, but this one seemed unbalanced to me.

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Photo of otto251068
2.95/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Westmalle chalice. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a glowing, dark orange/red color. Turns almost yellow when held up to the light (reminds me of Double Trouble) A thin layer of swirling white head appears, then disappears into only a few bubbles. A fair amount of carbonation sticking to the glass. Not a lot of light getting through this one.

Smell: Hops is the main smell, some definite citrus as well. Almost as if there is a few ounces of pre-ripe orange juice in there. The hops have a predominate grassy smell.

Taste: Hops take the lead, lots of hops. Not the be forgotten, the citrus kicks in. Mainly grapefruit, orange, then some pineapple. The citrus has an extreme bite. A tiny bit of sweetness in the middle. Lots of bitterness at the end of the drink, really makes me pucker.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, high carbonation. The texture is nice and smooth, carbonation seems to bring out the hop flavors a little more, really gives it a kick. Very lively.

Overall: I really took my time with this one. Every sip is filled with strong hoppy flavors. This is such a hop forward brew, and I was very thankful for the citrus flavors. Overall, a little too bitter for me, but if you enjoy hop heavy beers, this one will be a treat.

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Photo of billab914
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Redhook shaped pint glass. Poured a copper orange color with a dense one inch white head. Pretty decent head retention and good lacing on the glass.

The aroma has a tropical, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, hoppiness to it. It also has some bitter pine and herbal notes coming through. Some sweet malty, caramel flavors seem to come through a bit as well.

The taste is pretty hoppy and bitter as expected but it has a very herbal, somewhat unpleasant harsh flavor really coming through. Potentially it's the lemon peel that I'm getting and not enjoying given the ingredient list. Both citrus rinds really come through and add to the overall bitterness. Very dry and bitter overall.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability isn't that great for me, something is going on in the flavor that I really don't care for. If there isn't any herbs or flavoring besides the rinds listed it must be the lemon rind I'm not liking. Hoppiness and bitterness was pretty decent but overall I really couldn't get past that flavor in it that I've never encountered in a DIPA before.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.05/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. Thanks to semibaked for the trade. From notes scribbled together after the tasting last night.

A: Pours an amber body with off-white head. Retention is short and lace is light.

S: A combination of orange pump and orange rind, which introduces a substantial, earthy bitterness in the nose. The bouquet expresses a mild pale malt nose.

T: The flavors clash a bit, for me. Orange pulp is good, but there's a strong bitterness that leads into tea-like / tannic astringency in the finish. Craig likened this to cucumber skin, and I thought it was more like orange peel, which turned out to be an adjunct in this beer after all. It's an interesting flavor, but the bitterness is a turnoff.

M: Medium-bodied. Low-medium carbonation. It's smooth. The bitterness is harsher than I appreciate.

D: It was all right, but this was one of the bottles we didn't finish. And as a DIPA fanatic, I am exposed to a number of others that I feel are better.

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Photo of glazeman
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: The appearance of this beer if quite good. It is a hazy amber color and has a ½ finger off-white head that has excellent lacing and moderate retention.

S: The smell is of apples, oranges, a strange toast smell.

T: As far as the taste goes, this is a hop bomb. There is not much here other than intense bitterness as this beer lacks balance. I don't get hardly any of the lemon or orange zest that this is supposedly made with.

M: Nothing special, but not bad either. Nice viscosity and carbonation.

D: As far as DIPAs go the drinkability here is quite low due to the one-dimensionality of the taste.

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Photo of BrianOhio
3.12/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was thrilled to stumble upon this bottle from a colleague who is in a beer trade club. When I told him Short's was my favorite Michigan craft brewery, he gave me the bottle. Given my love for Huma-Lumpa, expectations were sky high. (maybe too high.)

Pour is a very cloudy amber, with a 1 finger head that dissipates quickly. Aroma initially struck me as hop bomb...I was excited.

The taste was extremely sharp - pine, grass, and very peppery. The only real citrus taste I could pull out was that of tart grapefruit.

I still love Short's and can't wait until I get up to Bellaire next time, but this one just isn't for me.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks pretty hazy for an IPA a darker tone than expected but the head was a good 1/4 inch with excellent lacing.

S - This beer is all about the hops. Big pine with background of lemon and even some orange.

T - Wow I can't believe anyone can enjoy this. Even though its well over 2 months old the pine and earthy hop bitterness is unbearable. It's like a ate a grapefruit without even removing the peel, just biting right into that sucka. Very little malt to balance slight if any crystal malts or bready malts to make this balanced. Aggressive.

M - Well it's drinks pretty medium bodied but I found it hard to finish.

Overall if Humpa Lumpa is anything like this I am also going to be disappointed. Maybe I should have not worshiped a beer company that makes such a bitter biting brew that destroys the palate.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received this beer as an extra from my man Bob in a trade, thanks again!

The beer was poured from bottle, without date, to a pint glass.

A - The beer pours a slightly hazy red/orange/copper color with a nice 1.5 finger white head with decent retention and lacing.

S - The first thing I noticed when cracking the beer was the hop character. It was strong with citrus hopes but noticeable pine/earthy tones in the back with an almost onion chracteristic.

T/M - A very unique flavor to the beer unlike any IPA/DIPA I've had. The beer starts out crisp with a slight malt chracter and then very quickly the flavor explodes in a variety of notable tastes: Big hop bitterness (how many IBUs!?), Pepper, Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Crystal Malts. Very interesting. Full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. The beer finishes with a sweeter flavor on the tongue that lingers. Very complex and very interesting though the peppered onion taste was a little much.

D - The complex variety of the beer makes for a nice experience though 1 is enough.

Overall, this is a beer the lies of which I've never had before. Glad to have tried it and fortunate to Bob. I wouldn't necessarily come back to quickly though.


Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-05-2011 04:12:33

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Photo of kagent777
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Another6Pack for this beer!

A 12 oz bottle poured into my goblet.

Appearance: A golden hazy beer sits under a one finger tall off white head. A little lacing is left from the bubbles that now surround the outside edge of the glass.

Smell: As expected a nice citrus tinged bitterness escapes from the glass. Grapefruit and some pine are the hops scents. They pretty well mask the malt backbone smells.

Taste: This beers is very dry and tastes like the smell. Some citrus flavors up front, light malts in the middle, and bitterness down the back end. Not really balanced at all, I do like a slightly sweeter IIPA. If I did not know this was brewed with lemon and orange zest, I am not sure that I would be able to pick them out, maybe if it were more fresh.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a long bitter finish. The carbonation is fine as well as the body.

Overall: I am not sure I love this beer, it is pretty one sided and does not offer anything new that I picked up on. That being said it is well made and a step up from beer available at a grocery store, or most ballparks; and I am glad that I was able to try it. I am not sure I would choose this one again.

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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 AlCaponeJunior
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange in color and almost clear. Fair head and lacing.

Smells a little funky, like skunked earth. Pine resin and grapefruits too.

Powerfully hop oily. Pine is bitter and grapefruits don't balance out, neither do malts, which are hardly present at all.

Extremely dry and overly bitter, medium bodied.

It's interesting but I won't seek it out again. I like this brewery, but their other beers have been more interesting than this one.

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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 ne0m00re
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

04/07/11- Review of a 12 oz bottle dated 12/15/10.
A: Hazy burnt orange amber, nice creamy sticky head.
S: Biscuit and wheat, toffee, earthy and peppery hops.
T: Orange rind citrus/metallic bitterness, biscuit, caramel, dry bananads. Lingering metallic earthy bitterness is a little off-putting.
M: Thicker and frothy with a dry finish.
O: Too heavy on the hops makes it a little unbalanced. It is also unexpectedly dry... but overall it is OK.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle from rayl101. Thanks Kevin!). Pours a hazy orange color with white head that quickly dissipates. Aroma has resin, some medicinal qualities, herbal notes and citrus. Taste is sweet with some sharp bitterness following. Medium bodied with an oily texture. Bitter finish. Feels like an aspirin is stuck in the back of my throat now. An interesting DIPA, and to this point, the highest IBU I’ve had (haven’t tried the Mikkeller 1000IBU). Probably wouldn’t want to drink more than one, but I’m glad to have tried this. Many thanks Kevin.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-hazy amber color with white lacing around the edges.
S-some lemon zest comes through. Not much hops here
T-nice amount of piney hops. Get some orange peel and lemon here as well.
M-medium bodied and smooth. Crisp with a hop aftertaste.
D-fairly drinkable, but not the greatest.

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