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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 487
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

fresh bottle from Champagne Cellars. Opaque grapefruit coloured body with a small retained white head, leaving lots of lace behind. High IBU aromas, akin to hop pellets. A cup of grapefruit juice, funny how the zest brings it to the forefront. Hits the style, Tingling palate. Very drinkable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by bring; thanks. Cloudy orange in the glass with a small white head. Big citrusy hop nose, orange and grapefruit. Very little perceptible sweetness. The taste lives up to the nose with a big juicy citrus hop flavor. Crisp and dry with a huge bitter kick, this finishes borderline astringent, but it's still enjoyable.

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Photo of emerge077
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy burnished orange, murky with micro-sediment. A decent head that recedes to a clump of larger bubbles on one side. Dark orange center, with a more yellow tint at it's edges.

Zesty orange and citrus aroma, sweet, dank, and resiny. As it sits, it has a pleasant woody, leafy, vinous scent that emerges. Really fresh and appealing.

Full bodied and almost viscous, with a strong bitter hop edge. Long residual bitterness on the finish that is very resinous and a little catty even. Citrus, spruce, earthy, pretty much a hop-delivery vehicle. The malt presence balances things somewhat, but the hops are on showcase here. Feels like 100 IBU, wonder what the actual level is. Very potent stuff. A growler of this would be dangerous!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few bottles from Holiday Market. Consumed on 12.27.2009.

A: Fairly-hazy peach and mango-colored with a nice bone-white head. A little bit of lacing as it comes down.

S: Strong bittering hops are the initial aroma, along with clear indications of the lemon and orange zest that are touted on the bottle. Lots of citrus, but balanced out by a strong bitterness. The aroma also includes some tropical fruits, namely mango.

T: Nice malty sweetness comes in behind a fairly-overpowering bitterness. Lemon, orange, and mango abound. Perhaps a hint of peach. A little bit of earthy pepper-ness comes through; slightly spicy.

M: Somewhat creamy with a medium body. A little bit of alcohol seems to make its way in with some spice, but nothing that takes away from the character of the beer.

D: Short's is brewed by people who care...and definitely who know what they're doing, especially when it comes to IPA's. I was most looking forward to Cup A Joe when Short's announced that it was bottling, but it was really this one that stole the show for me. An excellent offering and one I hope to have quite frequently.

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Photo of mothman
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebrews for helping me get this one.

I open the bottle and I can already smell the delicious hops. Poured into bud american ale glass.

Pours 1 finger of khaki head. Fades down to a thin layer but sticks around for the duration of the beer, so pretty good retention here. Leaves a lot of sticky splattered lace. Color is a hazed burnt orange.

Aroma: Big floral aroma. Tons of hops here. There is also the typical caramel malt flavors. Nice amount of citrus flavors. The lemon and orange zest are also present.

Taste: The orange zest comes right at the beginning and at the end it finishes with the lemon zest, which I think it pretty sweet. Lots of floral and grassy hops. Caramel malts balance this one out. Very well done dipa.

Mouthfeel: A nice bitter feel to it. Smooth and well rounded. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation for they style. Ends fairly sticky and hoppy.

Overall, I just got liberated. This beer was awesome. Easy drinking DIPA and I am glad I have another bottle. This beer is what a DIPA should taste like. It is definitely up there with hopslam. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of superspak
4.12/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My first Short's review thanks to ptwnblr

Pours a perfect large almost 2 finger head that just reaches the peak of my glass, and fades at a medium pace, with a bit of lacing, over clear copper toasty orange red color.

Nose brings plenty of fresh hops, lots of pine, some fresh hop resins, a slight bit of citrus with a bit of orange zest and tropical fruit, a bit of a spicy hop edge, and a slight sweet malt under that.

Taste hits fairly strong with bittering hops, some pine, lots of fresh musty hop resin, some light citrus and tropical fruits, a bit of bitter orange peel and very light lemon, a bit of an earthy hop starts to come on strong the more I drink. The bitterness also starts to overpower and hammer my mouth. A bit of malt under it, but the malt seems to fall out from under it and can't balance for the life of it. The orange zest comes out a little more late, as well as a slight sticky finish. A very long lingering bitterness that doesn't even seem to fade as time goes on. My mouth will be remembering this beer next week!

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation, a bit of an oily and sticky resin feel.

DRink is not the best, booze doesn't really play a factor, but a slight sticky feel, and the incredibly heavy bitterness that just besets the whole beer, which isn't very balance with a malt backbone and just ramps to infinity.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.51/5  rDev -36.6%
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 mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the pleasure of cracking this one open last night, and the word pleasure is really not a strong enough word for me. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/22/2010.

The pour was very nice, golden amber in color with a nice head of white that was about two inches at first but then slowly settled down into a rich lacing that coated the sides of the glass. Such a sweet, sharp citrus aroma coming off of this one, simply amazing. Like pineapple and grapefruit juice mixed in a glass and hit with a shot of orange, it was simply amazing. First sip sucked the moisture from my palate. Lip smacking good. Sharp, biting citrus flavor, pineapple and grapefruit rule the day here as the richness and juiceness is simply overwhelming. Each sip seemed to get sharper, crisper then the one before. I was in heaven.

Overall it was outsatnding, now I drink a ton of grapefruit juice every morning and if you can handle that kind of flavor this beer is right up your alley.

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Photo of billab914
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
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 womencantsail
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks go to hoppymeal for sending me this one recently. I can't resist a double IPA, so this one was enjoyed today after lunch.

A: The pour into my Stone nonic pint glass is a hazy burnt orange color with a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: I'm immediately struck by very pungent hop aromas. The combination of bitter grapefruit and pine is one of my favorites and this beer certainly delivers there.

T: It doesn't get much better than this. While the beer is not as intensely bitter as many CA IPAs (ie. Ruination and Pliny), it still has plenty of resinous pine. The Front end is very citrusy with the aforementioned pine taking over the finish. Not a trace of malt in the beer.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: These Michigan breweries really know how to make a fantastic IPA. This is just as good (if not better) than certain IPAs made by Bell's, and I would gladly enjoy a few more of these.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: The Liberator appears slightly hazy and light orange in color. The head is an off-white hue and measures in at about a half inch thick. Although it fades to a thin, wispy layer within a couple of minutes, it does generate numerous thick ringlets of lacing around the perimeter of the entire pint glass.

S: Aromas include tangy citrus fruits, hops, and malt, respectively.

T: My first reaction is that I am drinking a delicious and complex beer. My second sip confirms my initial supposition. The Liberator is a terrific double IPA. This beer doesn't have hints of grapefruit, it tastes as if I just squeezed fresh grapefruit juice into my beer. The lemon zest is wonderful, complementing a full bouquet of tart citrus. The malt component is just prominent enough to support the myriad of fruit and hop flavors that abound in this delectable brew.

M: Medium bodied, with a lasting tart and tangy aftertaste.

D: What a great beer. Short's hit their mark with this one. I definitely recommend it.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one seems to show the alcohol a bit too much for me. Burns somewhat. There are some good character points here, but it's not really coming together in the way that it should, or that it could. Decent, but not altogether working. Eh. Not really working for me.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebrews for picking up a sixer of this for me. Served in my trusty Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - Two fingers of creamy orange-tinged foam with superb retention and tons of sticky lacing. Hazy red-amber body with some bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass.

S - The label doesn't lie - plenty of lemon and orange zestiness, but also some pine and dank weed hoppiness. Not sure of the ABV, but it's quite well-hidden. The malt backbone is sugar cookie-ish, and stays in the periphery.

T - The taste is citrus zest, a touch of sugary malt, then pine and earthiness, followed by some pretty impressive bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Just the right balance of depth versus smash your palate hoppy goodness.

M - The carbonation isn't overly biting, but there's a graininess/chalk to the body that I don't care for much - could be a little smoother. Finishes dry with nice residual oiliness. A bit of heat shows up as well.

D - The first bottle went down in under 10 minutes - I know I was missing the hoppy beers while in Canada, but this is ridiculous! However, it's a bit too palate-numbing to be perfect. Still, it's one of Joe Short's finest creations!

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

Aren't doppelbocks the beers that are suppose to end with an "or"?

Poured from a bottle into a becher. Beer is amber and orange and has a slight haze to it. Forms an off white head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low.

Aroma is full of grapefruit and pine. Some pinapple in there as well. Smells good.

Beer is insanely bitter, overly bitter and finishes dry. Beer is lighter in body than I expected, carbonation helps the beer travel down the palate but overall its just OK as far as flavor. Not a lot of sweetness, not a lot of hop character. The bitterness overwhelms me and blanks my tastebuds. Its just OK.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BBP for this bottle.
Bottle date of 12/6/11? (sort of rubbed out). Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Medium orange/amber colour with half a finger of cream coloured head that reduced to a few bubbles.

S - Big citrus bitterness up front full of grapefruit, orange zest and lemon rind with a touch of pine. A very slight malt sweetness is evident in the background.

T - An assertive hop bitterness up front. Grapefruit, orange zest and a touch of lemon with the faintest trace of a malt backbone. Definitely a hop forward DIPA. The massive bitterness lingers seemingly forever in the finish.

M - Medium body and very slightly creamy. Some nice sticky hop oils that coat the tongue. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - A very good DIPA but it needs a slightly bigger malt presence.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tastetester for sending this bottle.

Pours a hazy light orange color with a white head. The aroma is strong orange with lemon at the end. The flavor is orange, lemon and a good bitterness. The lemon is the dominant flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An interesting take on using fruit in a DIPA that I think works very well.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

kbeals shipped me a ridiculous box... This was one of the many outstanding extras!! Too much homeboy... too much.

2 finger off white head.. the brew is only slightly hop-hazed honey.. crusty lace dries and tattoos the inside of the glass.

Nose is far and away the most citrus centered DIPA I've certainly ever had.. tons of orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, ETC... pith .. Absolutely no malts break up the Citrus blitzkrieg... Christ.. seriously.. a full frontal assault with no apologies..

Huge bitterness.. boat loads of citrus zest .... resinous and unholy oily.. I am seriously amazed.. I can't tell when the hops leave and the citrus zest begins.. just incredibly citrusy... the malts are here, but only very in the background.. the sweetness delivers the citrus front and center..

I think I need to clean up .. I swear, the oils are covering my face.. This is bruising .. my only regret is I wish I had done my research with this beer and shared it with the boys.. The teeth need new enamel.. and the inside of my mouth may need a couple of days to recover.

Kevin is my main man in Michigan.. no kidding ... no shit ... I want more of this one for sure just to let my friends know I am not making it up.


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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An extra received in a trade with Masterski. Thanks Alex! Consumed on 1/14/2010 in a snifter. The beer pours a color and there's a two finger head that is also looking a lot like a color. It's about two units of measurement and the length of retention can be best measured in time. Looks nice. Sometimes bubbles can be seen and at other times it's like they're in hiding.

The hop aspect of the aroma is mostly of pine with lesser notes of grapefruit. There's a firm caramel malt foundation beneath the lupulin. Upper low sweetness. The hops are pungent in the nose with a slight medicinal quality. Nice!

Bitterness is very high in the taste, but I don't find that hop flavor accompanies it. There's some pine, but citrus is minimal. Malt provides some caramel. The bitterness is a bit solventy and harsh. The mouthfeel is very dry and carbonation is at a moderate level.

Overall, a pretty decent beer, but the flavor is harsh and it's lacking the requisite hop flavor to accompany the high level of bitterness.

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Photo of corby112
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of iceicebaby. Thanks again Sean!

Pours a very cloudy dark golden coppery orange/amber color with hints of dark golden yellowish orange hues when held to a light source. Two finger frothy yellowish head that slowly fades into a lasting cap. sporadic chunks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Sweet citrus hop aroma with lots of earthy pine in the nose along with some sweet alcohol and biscuit malt. There's also a spicy peppery zest character but the aroma is dominated by the prominent citrus notes.

Chewy resinous medium body that's on the fuller end of the spectrum. Very dry with a huge bitter and earthy hop presence up front that is very piny. Spicy ans zesty with a nice peppery flavor to it which balances out the very sweet citrus presence. Lots of orange and lemon peel notes as well as some grapefruit and possibly mango. There's also a strong malt backbone with hints if biscuit and caramel but the hops profile is so strong it isn't lessened much at all. Strong sweet alcohol heat toward the end of the swallow and some warmth in the bitter dry finish. This beer is incredibly bitter and much fuller bodied than I expected. Not the best example of the style but decent.

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Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Telix (I know, I know, it's getting repetitive).

A: The DIPA is a full-bodied golden orange color, darker than Kind Ale for a point of reference. This ale generated the largest head, nearly 1/2 a finger, with the most resultant lace.

S: Pow! The ale has a powerfully strong hop aroma, bogged down by citrusy intensity. Citrus rinds rule the nose, bitter but so powerful.

T: The hops are far more vegetal in the body than in the nose. The leafy hops are strong, with citrus flavors gradually emerging. Peppery heat matches the citrus peel flavors, a zesty counterpoint to the fruits. A streak of mint, from the hops, runs through the ale too. The hop profile takes on added complexity the further into the ale that I get.

M: The ale is sharp, hop-forward and unashamed of it. Pepper, mint and orange peel all conspire to rile up the tastebuds. An appealingly complex DIPA.

D: The weight of the ale is never an issue, hiding behind the wealth of hop flavors. Short's is too good at the hop-centric ales...

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Photo of sweemzander
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a cloudy orange amber color that produced a good fluffy off-white head with some good retention. It is leaving some bits of lacing as it slowly dissipates.

(S)- Lots of grapefruit & pineapple citrus with some lemon rind in the background. Very fruity. Just a touch of toffee in the background.

(T)- Super duper dryness up front. Ridiculously bitter too. The same fruits come through from the smell, but this is so dry & bitter, that its very faint. Piney as hell within the bitterness.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Now, I am all for a huge hop monster of an IPA, but the immense bitterness of this really overpowers you to the point of not being able to taste all the other good things this beer has to offer.

(D)- A good beer that would be even better if it had a better balance to it. Tastes good, but it absolutely destroys your palate with bittering hops. Drink it fresh if you like that, as for me, its too much for me to enjoy fully. I might let my other one mellow out for a few months before revisiting this one.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
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 DefenCorps
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bunch of Short's beers from schro126, thanks Nathan!

The pour is quite attractive, a mostly clear deep copper with a dense off-white head with excellent retention and some lacing. I then proceeded to dump some dregs (by mistake), clouding it up a bit.

The nose is interesting, with plenty of fruity citrus, with the orange zest and lemon being quite obvious. Behind it is a pretty big caramel malt backbone lending a sweetness that intensifies the juicy character of the citrus. Some grapefruit is present as well.

The palate opens with a rather bruising bitterness with grapefruit and orange rind attacking the entire palate, leaving a character not unlike bitter fruit pulp. The flavor is nowhere close to what the nose would suggest, with an almost complete lack of hop flavor. The lack of an oily, resiny character is a little distressing too. Sweetness is not as prominent as on the nose, lending a mildly sugary sweetness. Drying and quite bitter on the finish, this beer is a little too harsh for my liking. Medium in body moderately high amount of carbonation, this beer is OK. Not something I'd want too much of.

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The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 487 ratings.
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