The Liberator | Short's Brewing Company

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The LiberatorThe Liberator
Very Good
498 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 498 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of GRPunk
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- 1-finger, tan head drops to a light film that leaves nice, thick rings behind. Slightly hazed, gold-bronze body with moderate-heavy carbonation.

S- Really organic, leafy hops and a ton of citrus. It has a sugary-sweet malt backbone. It all seems really "earthy."

T- Lots of citrus. While brewed with lemon and orange zest, I get a lot of grapefruit (maybe from the zest combination or the hop profile?). Zest teeters on just the right side of becoming pithy and straight up bitter. Malts stay in the background, though present and lend a cracker or biscuit-like quality. Fairly dry in the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation. My lips were left a little sticky. It's slightly coating in the mouth. Very light alcohol tingle quite late.

D- Hops and zest get a little overwhelming on this one. I have to give credit and points because I see where they were going with this beer, though it's not quite my preference. It reminds me of a homebrew I currently have on tap where I feel I got a little overzealous with the added zest. It's very nice as a single serving, but as DIPAs go, it's probably not my favorite.

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

This beer pours an orange copper color. Slight clarity through the beer. A fluffy, cloudy half inch of head sits on top of this beer. As it disappears it leaves a soapy resin of bubbles on top.
Aroma is that of pine needles with oranges and some lemon zest.
Flavors of grapefruit, orange and lemon zest up front. Tons of pine and grass on the finish.
Smooth cool body with a slightly bitter finish.
Delicious beer, the citrus up front and bitter pine finish make this beer flavorful but not overwhelming. I would love to have another one.

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Photo of BBP
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours the typical IPA orange hue with a considerably thin head, and great carbonation. Very slight lacing.

S- The aroma of IBUs. I could just smell this beer all day long. There's also notes of lemon and citrus like the packaging suggests. It all comes together to blatantly say that this beer will be bitter, and for that reason I love it. It's blatant and unmistakable.

T- There's hops in the front or is it citrus? or is it citrus hops? It all blends quite well, and doesn't seem to lean more to the hops or to the citrus. Luckily for me, I enjoy the balance quite well. On top of the taste it doesn't take long at all for the bitter aftertaste to build up. Later on in the beer pine notes emerge too. After a minute or so I thought to myself that I may be missing something, and then it struck me; the malt bill. To be honest, there wasn't much malt to speak of. After a minute or two of letting it sit, I may have noticed hints of caramel. This is the kind of boldness I'd love to see in all DIPA's.

M- Medium thick, almost syrupy. Goes down pretty smooth and leaves a slightly sticky finish. Not actually too dry for a DIPA.

D- A hint of booze in a background way. Not really noticable unless you're looking for it.

Went on a trip to the states to pick up Hopslam and this. I feel that this get's buried by the HopSlam hype. It seems to be overlooked and it's a shame. I find not only does it compete with some of the best for bitterness, but it has a superb price as well. I plan to get this again before it's all gone. I'd recommend that any hop loving fan of bitterness picks this up. This beer does wonders for 7.4%. A more or less sessionable DIPA without not lacking flavor . It's a giant shame this is seasonal.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to kzoobrew for this one, a long time want. 12oz bottled 12.15.10, into pint glass.

A- Nice light brown/pale yellow hybrid with a slightly off white head. 1cm or so, settles into a little pancake and laces pretty heavily.

S- Nose is fantastic- full of fruity citrus hop goodness.

T- Scathingly bitter. Wow. Oranges are up front but there's a steady pine resin all the way through. Decent enough malt provides some depth, although there's not much in the way of balance (although I don't think a great IPA needs to be balanced). Pine sap bitterness rocks..

M- Great lingering bitterness. Good body and carbonation, no qualms here. No sign of ABV.

D- Moderate. At first I was put off due to the intense bitterness, but about 1/2 way through I came around and started to really dig it. Had to go back and bump the scores.. this one's a winner. Damnit, Short's, start distributing to Rhode Island!!

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Photo of xnicknj
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass - thanks to pmoore311

Pours a hazed auburn orange with a thinner white head. Fades into some spotty film with bubbled lacing around the rim of the glass.

Assorted scents of citrusy hops with lemon zest and fruit. Some lighter notes of bready malt.

Bitter almost tangy hops up front with grapefruit and orange. Juiciness with lemon zest and dry hop bitterness. Bready malt backbone with some slight fruit sweetness towards the middle. Long dry finish with lingering bitter hop presence.

Decent medium body and carbonation, slightly creamy but dry and bitter on the tongue. Drinks decent, alcohol is masked well, lots of citrus and orange is prevalent, but I didn't get much depth.

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Photo of tsatem
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, thanks to calbertb2.

A: Nice foamy two finger head that's made up of lots of large bubbles. Bright, hazy, cloudy copper color. Lots of nice lacing with larger and more well defined bubbles than I'm used to seeing.

S: Citrusy hops are the primary smell, which makes sense with the lemon and orange zest. As it warms I get some caramel from the malts and more pine from the hops.

T: Nice full bodied citrus bitterness at first, which leads into a resin-forward flavor, and ends with the bitterness becoming too citrus peel-y for me. This really ends up detracting from the taste for me as I get further into the beer. Hard to really pick up on the malts as this flavor takes over.

M: Great mouthfeel, really nice carbonation that works well with the hops.

D: The citrus peel takes away from the drinkability a little bit for me, because it becomes more and more prominent as I continue to drink. I enjoyed this beer more when I first took a sip than when I finished it.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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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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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The Liberator from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 498 ratings