845: Liberty Ale

845 - Liberty AleName: Liberty Ale
Brewery: Anchor Brewing
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: San Francisco, California
Style: American IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6.0%
First Brewed: 1975
Price: $1.99

Tasting Notes
The crisp aroma is dominated by citrus and a resiny hop charter with honey and light bready notes. On the palate, a gentle sweetness opens into a distinct hop bitterness.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I see this beer on the shelf all the time, but had no idea the history behind it. I just figured it was another beer in their portfolio. But to hear this was originally brewed as a Christmas beer was news to me. Also, a lot of breweries change the recipe every year. Fun to learn that this one was so good they decided to keep it! There are a few beers from Anchor on our list, and I have generally liked everything I have had from them. Their porter is amazing, and their Anchor Steam Beer is their most popular. Excited to see what Liberty Ale has to offer.

In the Glass: The beer is quite cloudy in the glass. It looks more like a pale than an IPA, as I feel an IPA should be more copper in color. The beer also produced a weak head, and it offers a meager lace. But I could smell this as I was pouring it into the glass. Knowing what I know about this brewing company, chances are I will enjoy this beer.

Nose: Whoa. That is a powerful aroma. At first, your nostrils are hit with some earthiness in the hops but you finish with a nice mellow citrus aroma. If you breathe deep, you can almost taste the Cascade hops as you swallow. I hope this tastes as good as it smells!

Flavor: Yep. It does! Very rarely do you find a beer that has a similar aroma and flavor profile. This flavor starts soft, but as you swallow your palate is hit with all the hoppy goodness from the dry hopping method they use here. Also, the carbonation is nice. This carbonation is naturally occurring, and provides a very thin line of bubbles as you drink the beer. Not enough to put down, but enough for me to keep drinking. This beer also gets better as you take a second and third drink.

Mouthfeel: At first, it’s boring. Then, as the beer slides across the palate, you are hit with the bubbles and you swallow to a nice flavorful finish. The flavor that remains is the best part of this beer.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is incredible. I wouldn’t say this is an IPA by traditional American IPA standards. (The burp is nice and mellow, with some dryness creeping in.) The aftertaste here reminds me of pine needles, but then as it sits, it becomes dry and while not overwhelming, keeps me begging for more. I took three drinks by the time I got to this part of the review.

Anchor Brewing has impressed me yet again. Plus, the price is right on. I am impressed with Liberty Ale. It makes sense that this beer became so popular. I am a hop head, and while this isn’t overwhelming with hops, I do like the profile that the Cascade hop provides. Well done, Anchor.

Liberty Ale – The bottle says: “San Francisco’s famous Liberty Ale was first brewed on the 18th of April, 1975 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s historic ride. It is virtually handmade by the brewers of Anchor Steam Beer in one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world. Liberty Ale is made with the finest barley, fresh, whole hops, top fermenting yeast, pure water, and the simple natural meths which reflect our exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. It is “dry hopped”, a classic ale tradition and slowly completes its fermentation in sealed vats in our cellars. This unique process creates Liberty Ale’s distinctive bouquet and uncommonly delicate, entirely natural carbonation.”

Rating: 3/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Well, it seems Ricky has us on a role, doing a beer pretty much every day now.  Today’s beer looks kind of orange in the glass, almost like a wheat beer.  It has that same thickness and lack of carbonation in it as a wheat beer.  It even smells kind of orangey or citrusy, along with a spiciness to it also.  There’s not a lot of head on it, though.  The smell that it does have isn’t super strong – you really have to stick your nose in the glass to get a good whiff.  Let’s see how it compares in taste to a wheat beer.

It does have a lot of orange taste to it, and also tastes a bit more carbonated than I expected.  The one thing that I didn’t expect from a beer that looks like a wheat beer is how hoppy this beer is.  It kind of sneaks up on you.  Once you realize that it’s there, the hoppiness almost overwhelms the citrus taste that I like about this beer.  It turns into an IPA flavor in my mouth, not something I’m really a fan of.  I bet Ricky likes it, since he is such a big IPA fan.

This beer is okay, but not really my style.  It’s probably not one I’ll really plan on buying again, but it’s probably better to people that are bigger fans of this style.

Rating: 2/5

844 bottles of beer on the wall…

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