The Liberator | Short's Brewing Company

The LiberatorThe Liberator
Liked This Beer
3.97 w/ 491 ratings
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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Ratings: 491 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
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 ColdPoncho
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright, vibrant orange body with medium tan head. Beautiful colors. This is what beer should look like...provided it should be light.

S - Big citrus up front, with subtle but strong pine behind it. A light malt background balances it out pretty well.

T - Floral, citrus, piney, bitter hops. Good complexity, Very nice taste.

M - Nice and robust, without being very heavy. A big-bodied beer.

D - It's a great tasting IPA with nothing offensive and not too powerful. That gets high marks.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle
Pours a golden orange color with an off-white head that did not last long. Left broken light lacing.

Smells very strongly of orange citrus hops with lemon and grapefruit also noticeable but hidden just a bit.

Very sharp bite from the citrus hops. The lemon is also there with grapefruit and orange. No presence of malt ever, but the bitter hops last well into the aftertaste.

Medium body with strong carbonation that adds to the bite of the sharp citrus hop flavor.

Solid brew overall. Much of what you would expect from a Double IPA.

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Photo of BierFan
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured 3 12 ounce bottles of this brew into a very large mug.

Appearance: Appropriately sized off-white head and decent lacing. Hazy amber body.

Smell: Hops, malt, and a load of citrus.

Taste: A good IPA at first but the bitter oils from the citrus peels dominate the aftertaste and I don't find them that appealing.

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Photo of Spiekerbox
2.54/5  rDev -36%
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 alcstradamus
2.27/5  rDev -42.8%
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 otto251068
2.95/5  rDev -25.7%
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 StormKing47
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of cmurren 25, shared on New Years Eve with him and therealnomayo. Went a little something like this...

A- A very pleasing and nice looking orange color with a golden hue with a little haze. Has a low amount of carb leading to a thin off-white head. Looks like it needs a little more investigation.

S- What a nice clean and crisp smelling dipa. Has an immediate rush of citrus hops, grapefruit and a slight tanginess mellowed into the smell. As it warms there is a slight undertone of piney bitterness and a light caramel sweetness.

T- Very similar to the smell, it's an explosion of grapefruit and citrus right in your face in the beginning. The nice, subtle lemon zest is more like lemon rind and contributes to the piney bitter finish. The malty sweetness is barely detectable in the finish and just seems to be there to provide a balance to the hops. Nice, hoppy and bitter.

M- Has a nice medium body, some stickiness, but more of a tang that seems to linger on the tongue. Not as sticky as I would have liked from a dipa. It has an awkward tanginess that supplements the normal stickiness. Still very good.

D- Definitely, it has a great hoppiness and almost no maltiness which is exactly what you want. The high abv is hidden very well and just lets you enjoy every sip of this one without thinking about it.

Another great dipa from Shorts they continue to impress and are definitely a hidden gem on the third coast. If you haven't tried them please do soon!

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Photo of jmich24
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip
A: One finger off white head. Bright hazy tangerine color. Nice sticky lacing.
S: Super danky marijuana. Pine and citrus, mostly marijuana.
T: Starts sweet finshes with a nice sharp lingering bitterness. Well balanced DIPA.
M: Medium mouth feel, on the low end for carbination.
D: Great drinkability at ony 7.4%. Slightly sweet and overly bitter great combo.

After numerous Shorts disapointments (Smores Stout, Good Humans, Key Lime Pie) this is fantastic. Shorts should stick with the very hoppy beers. Huma and The Liberator Outstanding.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazed copper color with a rich and frothy off-white cap.

Wow, what an aroma! Pine, floral notes, rock candy and tropical fruit assault the nose.

The hop orgy continues with the taste of pine, flowers and tropical fruit followed by caramel malts for balance. Finishes with a lick of bitterness. The 7% alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied and slightly dry with a crisp carbonation.

This is a terrific, hoppy beast of an IIPA from Short's. A must try!

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Photo of beerhan
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acquired a single bottle and was told you probably would not want more than half. This is correct. This beer pours beautifully with a creamy head and nice golden color. Smells like skunky weed with a lot of floral notes and obviously some lemony goodness. Tastes super hoppy, one of the most bitter beers I have ever had. The hops really kill your palette and you probably cant taste much later. That being said this beer is delicious but completely undrinkable in mad quantities.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
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 nkersten
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Erik, thanks! Pours a peach skin orange with a thin off white head that sicks to the sides of the glass here and there before fading to a collar. Smell is intensely hoppy, this beer has a little bit of every hop characteristic. Tropical fruits blended with sweet citrus, orange dreamsicle, a bit of pine and floral aroma as well. Taste is not nearly as complex but still very good. Bitter and piney up front, spicy, earth hops follow with a good malty sweetness to help with a little bit of balance. Body is medium with a medium/light carbonation and a semi dry finish. One of the best Short's beers I have tried so far, a very tastey DIPA.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden orange color with a bit of haze. Head is a cream color, has good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S- I like this. Quite a few hops jumping out at me. Tropical fruits and pine eveywhere. Also appears to be a good malt back bone here too.

T- Very nice hop flavours. Quite a bit of a lemon flavour which dominants this brew. There is a bit of malts here but this one is ruled by hops.

M- Feels just about right for the style.

D- I found this one pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
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 WeisGuy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up by sarro at the brewpub on Sunday - thanks, Kyle!

Pours a deep burnt orange color with a one-finger ivory head. The retention and lacing on the head are good, and there's a great deal of fine suspended yeast. The aroma is dominated by a strong grapefruit smell with the lemon and orange notes taking a backseat. Some very light biscuit and caramel aromas are also present.

The flavor is also dominated by a juicy grapefruit bitterness with underlying flavors of orange and lemon citrus. The malt is pretty hard to find, with a very light biscuity malt flavor showing up on the finish. A slight boozy heat is also present on the finish along with strong citrusy bitterness. This is a hop bomb through-and-through. Medium-bodied on the palate with a dry, bitter finish and moderate alcohol warming. Pretty drinkable stuff overall despite the strong bitterness and light heat. This could use a slight bit more malt presence, but a really good DIPA overall.

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Photo of dstc
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft in a pint glass. Pours a deep copper color with a nice white head. Head falls to a minimal one. Thin lacing.

Big herbal hop aroma. Flowers and plenty of pine needles in the smell.

Big hop taste. Plenty of malt backbone but lots of pine flavored hops. Finished very bitter.

Medium bodies and rather smooth.

Nice beer, delicious fresh and on draft. Liked it.

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Photo of weizenbob
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's my first beer of 2011. DIPA brewed with lemon and orange zest. I guess the implied citrus flavors of an IPA weren't literal enough for these guys. 12 ounce bottle, dated 12/15/10. Poured into a pint glass. The pour yields a finger-tall off-white head. The brew is a fairly clear golden ruby hue. Visible carbonation looks heavy. Lacing is heavy and sticky.

Grapefruit leads the scent charge. Floral hops are strong and melt into sweet citrus undertones. There is a minor yeastiness that is detectable as well. It's quite aromatic.

Shorts seems to enjoy producing unique takes on established styles and the Liberator is no exception. The initial bite on the tongue is an overwhelmingly bitter attack. It is no exaggeration to say that it tastes like slicing a ripe grapefruit in half and sucking on the pulp. Shorts estimates that the Liberator tops 300 on the IBU scale. Of course the human tongue can't detect that type of bitterness; but darned if this isn't the most bitter beer I've put in my mouth. Once you get over the extreme bitterness, the lemon zest becomes noticeable and it adds a cool twist on the style. Floral hops sustain bitterness. The aftertaste is akin to scrubbing your mouth with lavender scented soap. Eventually the excessive bitterness makes it impossible to taste anything else (even the lemon zest becomes unnoticeable). It seems like the mission with this beer was to brew something as bitter as humanly possible with no regard for balance. Consequently, it is just too much for my palate. It is extreme with a capital X.

Shorts knows how to make an IPA that feels good in the mouth. Their Huma Lupa Licious has one of the best mouthfeels of any IPA, and the Liberator follows the same architecture. It is medium bodied and mildly carbonated in the mouth. It feels malty, and probably is quite malty. You just don't taste any of the malt bill it amongst all of that bitterness.

Drinkability depends somewhat on your ability to handle bitterness. The 7.5% alcohol is undetectable to the taste but I sure felt it by the time I hit the home stretch. It would take a man's man to session this stuff. But as bitter as it is, you probably couldn't taste your next beer anyway unless it was another DIPA. It's something to drink when you only plan on having one.


The Two-Schlitz Scale™:
I give a Schlitz about The Liberator. It's not the best value and I won't drink it often but when I want to destroy my tongue, this fits the bill.

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Photo of cadaugherty
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in my Stone IPA glass- thanks to kzoobrew for this brew.

Appearance- Pours a bright copper with about 1 finger of very white head. Light lacing.

Aroma- Bunches of grapefruit and tropical fruits from a generous hop addition.

Taste- Man that is bitter! Hops all the way through, citrus burst up front and strong bitter finish.

Mouth- Good carbonation, nice medium body.

Drink- Yeah this would be the only flaw I suppose. It is a wrecking ball of a beer. I couldn't drink more than 2 of these but 1 is enough.

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Photo of kohoutek
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A nice orange/amber color that is quite clear and bright. Head is a thin, but ever present white cap. Flavors and aromas of c-hops, geranium leaves, lemon, grapefruit, orange, lime, a touch of vanilla and a whisp of caramel, malty toffee. Very, very nice smelling indeed. I wouldn't have known there was citrus zest in the beer without the label telling me so. These citrus aromas overlap with those found in hops so well they really belong. The flavors are nicely integrated. The beer is fresh and hoppy and not hot or solvent-like. The bitterness is very present and stays with you for minutes after you take a sip. Perfect for a dIPA! The beer finishes very clean and refreshing, not too sweet.

A bonus: the imbiber's burps will be pleasantly tainted with citrus.

This is a very, very good beer!

At $11.99 for six beers this is a ridiculous deal!

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Photo of glazeman
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
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 DrJay
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a rocky cap of white bubbles. Good head retention with a lot of very sticky lacing. Fruity aroma, tons of hops, grapefruit, spice, pineapple, tangerine rind. Pretty intense, but not sharp or harsh. Sweet fruitiness dominated the flavour too. Citrusy up front, bitter grapefruit mostly, with a little bit of malt sweetness mid-palate, toasted and biscuity. Sturdy hop bitterness lingered in the finish, slightly spicy with a hint of alcohol. Medium to full bodied, lowish carbonation, off-dry, decent texture. Pretty tasty and easy drinking, partly due to alcohol being restrained.

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Photo of shivtim
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Central City Tap House in Kalamazoo.
Served in a pint. Nice golden/copper color. Slight haze. Tiny head is just a frosting of off-white.
Nose is heavy pine hops. Strong pine is complimented by some citrus. Definitely an IPA.
Taste matches the smell. Pine and citrus hops. Lingering hoppiness.
A very good IPA all-around. Nice mouthfeel and drinkability. Very good beer.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a golden amber color with a decent white head that disappears pretty quickly. It has good retention and nice lacing to it. The smell is of oranges, lemons and grapefruits and the taste is orange, lemons, coriander, and some hops. The aftertaste is a strong grapefruit. The mouthfeel is a sticky feel to the mouth and tongue and leaves a dryness to the mouth. It is pretty drinkable for a medium to full body beer, and seems to be made very well for an IPA, even if it is a double IPA. If your an IPA drinker than give this one a try, I might not again since IPA's are not my style of beer.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours clear, light golden-brown. sits crystal-clear burnished gold with plenty of active carbonation

Smell: assertive piney, citrusy hops with hints of grapefruit, lemon and orange. little bit of caramel malt sweetness

Taste: dry, assertive hop bitterness with piney, citrusy flavor overwhelming a light malt character. finish is mostly dry with medium bitterness and a restrained bready malt character

Mouthfeel: low-medium body with medium-high carbonation

Notes: outstanding DIPA, but i wouldnt say it has any more lemon or orange zest than what is standard for the style

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The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 77% out of 100 with 491 ratings
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