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 RblWthACoz
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
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 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 dlello2
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden and bubbly. Not much head. Smell is quite good. Citrusy and a bit dry. Lemony and fresh. Taste hits hard on first sip in as pleasant a way as possible. Then comes lemon lemon and more lemon. Finish is smooth but with a definite bitterness from the zest. Pretty good balance. Overall a decent double ipa!

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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 sendsilk
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Scoot1969 for this bottle. Always a pleasure to trade with you Scott!

Pours a nice dark orange color not much lacing and a small head that recedes quickly.

Smells nice and hoppy with some malt in the nose.

Pretty much a hop bomb but there is a weird aftertaste (malty) that immediately follows after the swallow. It starts to get annoying about 1/2 way through the bottle. It's a little spicy (?) which is odd. I like a cedar aged ipa and Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, but this doesn't seem to fit in to me.

Mouthfeel is average to a little lighter bodied than i think is appropriate.

Glad to have tried it but I'll stick to my regular IPA's from now on.

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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 mobius387
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to splax23 for this one!

poured into a deschutes snifter

appearance: pours a firey orange with a thin white bubbly head. looks awesome, screams out "drink me!"

aroma: very nice nose of oranges, grapefruits and honey. very light pine scents

palate: this one doesn't sit great in the mouth. its bitter and carbonated, the alcohol seems stronger than 7.4%. not a brew to let linger

taste: a little disappointing after how awesome it looked and smelled. the spruce/pine way over power any of the citrus picked up on the smell. its an extremely bitter taste that doesnt offer a robust flavor profile.

overall: a nice brew by shorts, but really just a taste-bud burner. looks fantastic, smells great, drinks ok, and tastes ok. was glad i got to try it, but ill stick to huma-lupa if i want an ipa by shorts

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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 cocoapuph
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks TheGr8BeerState for this one!

Opened with a small hiss and poured with a very tiny head. Little bubbles can be seen floating upward through the pinkish caramel color brew.

Smells of pine trees, orange rind and tons of grapefruit.

First sip was very bitter. Made the inside of my cheeks tingle. Tastes of sour lemons and grapefruit. Aftertaste is that of chewing on pine needles.

The body was light to medium and kept the lingering flavors or citrus peels on my tongue. Quite refreshing. Reminds me a little of Pliny... maybe this could be called Piney the Elder. Glad to have tried this.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of WeisGuy. This one has a bottled on date of 12/6/11 and was poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

The Liberator pours an opaque burnt orange. Proper backlighting yields some straight orange highlights, and about a finger and a half of white foam comes together. Head retention is alright, and lacing is good at the apex of the glass, and spotty underneath. The nose is a little tame, but I can appreciate what's there. The usual grapefruit citrus aroma was supplemented by the zest added to the brew, with orange coming though much moreso than the lemon. There's also a bit of mango-peach fruitiness. There's some sweetness at the open, a bit each of biscuit and caramel, that's interrupted by a solid, but not overbearing blast of hop bitterness. The hops on the back end lean a little more towards the fruity end of the spectrum, with some pineapple acting as a bridge to grapefruit and orange notes. The body's not bone dry, there's just a little bit of firmness to it. Carbonation is definitely on the low side, and in my mind helps keep some of the citrusy flavors from really popping. I like the idea of adding some citrus zest to an IPA/IIPA, and The Liberator is is a solid double IPA, but it's also not a great one.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into Duvel tulip. Medium caramel color and bright orange hue. Completely clear, dusty white froth on the top.

S: Grapefruit, pine, caramel, slight malt aroma, but quickly overtaken by hop profile.

T: Wow, tons of grapefruit and pine mixed together. Bitter to a finely chiseled point but not tannic at all. Fresh hopping profile, love the combination of hops put into here. Citrus peel and lemon zest on top of a caramel malt backbone. Grapefruit rind at the end.

M: Light to medium body for a Double IPA, but the carbonation is very pleasant, making this a very drinkable DIPA.

O: I would definitely get more of these if they were available. I would love to live in Michigan to enjoy this fine brewery in person.

Thanks again to Scoot69!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
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 Sammy
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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 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 uno99
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a 330ml sized standard "pint glass"

A: slightly caramel, with bright white head. Laces well and good head retention.

S: defiantly very fruity, but not like sticking your head up to a glass of OJ. Subtle enough that if I did not know there were orange and lemon zest in here, I would assume it be from the hops alone. Scent is rather sweet in general.

T: lots of oily hop juice in here. Finish is quite grainy and lots of caramel.

M: quite thick and juicy. No dryness here at all. Does not help the drink ability.

Overall: similar to a nelson Sauvignon hopped IPA. Everything is quite well balanced and alcohol is well controlled. A toutch of dryness on the palate would be really welcome however.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to surlytheduff for this surprising extra!!

Pours a great colored, slightly hazed amber orange. There is an inch of white head that holds up good. There is a moderate amount of spotty white lace as well.

The nose is really showing off that lemon and orange zest. A citrus punch blasts the nostrils and dominates. There is a fresh hop resin intertwined within the citrus fruit. Not much malt but I could care less.

The taste is also citrus packed with notes of lemon and orange. There is a malt backbone behind the citrus that resembles a biscuit-like malt. Nice and bitter.

The mouthfeel is possibly one of the driest feels I have experienced. So dry, like gin as it goes down. It is light-medium bodied with a nice mellow amount of carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this brew. It's like the load of citrus made the beer finish very dry and I love it. This is where it's at. Wish I lived up there in the MI.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Short's The Liberator last week for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. I missed out on this beer last year and didn't want to miss out on it this year, so I made sure to buy a bottle, so lets see what I have been missing. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks OK, the lack of color makes it look a little plain but I like the hands crowd surfing the pint glass. It poured a nice orange/amber color with two fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice sticky rings of lacing. Pretty good looking DIPA.

S- The aroma of this beer really hits you in the face and is all about the citrus fruits. I pick up some bready and caramel malts, but the main player here is the citrus fruits that dominate the aroma nicely. The orange and lemon zest are pretty evident and give this beer an aroma that smells like a mixture of orange juice and lemonade, there is also a little bit of piney hops going on also. This beer has a nice aroma that is heavy on the citrus.

T- I get a quick glimpse of some bready and slightly caramely malts then comes citrus and hops which pack a big punch. The lemon and orange zest show up nicely along with a little bit of grapefruit and a pretty good amount of piney hops to give this beer nice citrus and piney aspect with the citrus sticking out the most. It had a pretty high amount of bitterness with a fruity and slightly caramely aftertaste that really stuck in my mouth. The flavor follows the aroma nicely and is exactly what it is advertised to be, I like it.

M- Somewhat smooth, pretty bitter, medium bodied, and it had a medium amount of carbonation that suited this beer nicely.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty damn good beer and a nice citrus heavy DIPA. The lemon and orange zest addition really made the citrus aspect of this beer pop and it went well with the malt base and some piney hops. This beer has OK drinkability, I think one would be enough for me because of the high amount of bitterness. What I liked most about this beer was pretty much everything, there were no off flavors, it looked good, smelled good, tasted good, and felt good. What I liked least about this beer was the high amount of bitterness, it was a little too bitter, but that may be because I haven't had DIPA in a while, but I don't remember Hopslam, or Double Trouble being this bitter, so it might just be me, so I am not going to hold that against them since it's a DIPA and it is suppose to be pretty damn bitter. If there is still a couple bottles left at the store I may have to pick them up and you can count me in for a six pack if it is released next year. I would recommend this to anyone who likes DIPA's or citrus heavy beers, this will for sure cure your craving for a citrusy DIPA. Short's did a great job with this beer, the added flavor from the citrus zests worked really well with this DIPA, they can do some great things when it comes to experimental beers, but they also got some major skills when it comes to the hoppy beers, the more beers I try from Shorts the more they make me believe that they are the jack of all trades of the Michigan brewing industry.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a really nice clear orangish amber color. It has a fluffy 2-finger white head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves a nice sheet of lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a big citrus aroma right away. It seems to be mostly lemony citrus, but there is some orange as well. There is a nice citrusy and piney hop aroma. Some scents of bready malt, caramel, fruit, and earthiness are also present.

T - The taste starts off with some bready malts and an explosion of citrusy piney hops. There is a ot of citrus and lemon zest flavor going on. There is some caramel in the background to balance the hops out. The finish leaves a strong lingering citrus hop flavor / bitterness.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some bready and caramel sweetness, but it is outweighed by the strong hop bitternesss. There is some eathiness, as well as some dryness on the back end. The strong citrus hop bitterness lingers on the tongue for quite a while.

O - This has great drinkability. The flavor is great and I was just hard for me to put this one down. Overall, I think this is a great beer and an awesome example of the style. I definitely recommend checking this one out. I really enjoyed it, and I would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of westonhood
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very little if any head to this brew, Color is light goldish brown and smells hoppy with a little citrus. Taste also contains a strong citrus flavor, mostly lemon and maybe orange. Also has a nice and bitter hop taste. There's an ok amount of carbonation even though there is no head. So yeah, this is a good beer. Only complaint is the $15 a six, though maybe worth it.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into DFH pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a copper color with a beautiful orange tinge around the edges. White, two finger head, dissipating slowly leaving behind some nice rings in the center of the pour and decent lacing around edge of glass.

Smell: It has a nice malt body to balance out the big pine and citrus body.

Taste: Tons of citrus, mostly orange and some lemon zest. This beer has little sweetness, and mostly some big hop bite. Fairly well balanced.

Mouth: Mouth has the perfect amount of carbonation, and supports the sticky hop.

D and O: Overall, this is a fairly well balanced DIPA, with a great drink. Easier to enjoy several of these, than say a Double Trouble or Hopslam, although not as complex.

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Photo of clint1019
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium amber in color with a thin cream colored head.

S - Very Piney aroma with a citrusy aroma and a sweet malt aroma.

T - Has a sweet toffee like flavor for a moment, but it is very quickly replaced by a very piney hop flavor and a hint of citrus flavor.

M - Medium bodied.

O - A great example of a double IPA. Has a nice sweet toffee flavor followed by a punch of piney hops.

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Photo of JayQue
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good DIPA obtained in a trade with TMoney2591. Pours a cloudy iced-tea orange into a pint glass. Good size white head...average retention and thick 3D bands of lacing on the glass.

Good citrus hops aroma.

The taste is the aroma but taken to the max. No malty balance here, a good straightforward hoppy bitter beer. Citrus hops dominate - grapefruit and some orange...a little lemon as the beer warms up. Good and bitter, a milder version of Avery Maharajah.

Mouthfeel is crisp...maybe a hair light at first, but the tongue numbing hoppiness takes care of that quickly

Overall a good DIPA for hops lovers. I certainly would like to have more of this!!!

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Photo of warnerry
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 2/1/11

A - Pours deep orange with two fingers of head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Citrus heavy up front with some notes of pine also present. Lots of orange, not really getting any malt.

T - Orange zest is predominant in the taste, with lemon zest coming behind. One of the most citrusy DIPAs I've ever had. Nice hop bite up front, with bitterness and citrus carrying all the way through. Nice.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but not really in a bad way. Crisp and clean, finishes somewhat bitter and dry.

O - For such a bitter beer, the drinkability is high. Nice flavor profile and not overly heavy. A good one from Short's.

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Photo of KDawg
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice dark gold color, but with little head to it. Good aromas of citrus', hops, caramel, and oranges. Medium/full bodied with some roast coffee on the finish too, which is a little odd. Good, but a pretty straightforward Double IPA that isn't all that amped up but pleasing

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