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RATINGS: 179   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 116   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
Liberator was made as a 30th birthday gift to Joe Short. As a double IPA, this beast employs a sizable malt bill, but it is the crazy amount of hops added to the boil every 4 minutes, for 120 minutes, that really make this beer special. Fruity, floral, and piney hop flavors penetrate throughout the caramelized malt profile. Liberator is a well-balanced, full bodied brew that has a bitter finish due to the post fermentation addition of lemon and orange zest.

The original batch brewed on the Bellaire system had 42lbs of hops in it, compared to Huma, which has around 20lbs of hops per batch. Today’s Elk Rapids batches have up to 138lbs of hops. The name, Liberator, came from Joe’s name for the Short’s employees who carry out our company’s mission statement as “Beer Liberators”, freeing the masses from their misconceptions surrounding beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
illidurit (2243) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 9, 2010
12 ounce bottle courtesy iceicebaby, poured into a pint glass. Murky bronze color with a great fluffy beige head that leaves some sticky lacing. Aroma just jumps out of the bottle, and even more so from the glass. Very lemony but not sour, the citrus peel is immediately apparent and it complements the bright tropical hops (Simcoe perhaps?) perfectly. I can also smell a bit of crystal malt, which I usually hate, but it’s pretty subtle here. Onto the flavor. You know when you eat a grapefruit and after you’re done spooning out the flesh, you squeeze the rind to get the last remaining drops of juice and any missed drupelets into the bowl? Well this beer tastes like that, almost startlingly so. Huge unripe citrus and herbal resins with no malt at all. Absurd lingering bitterness begs the next sip. Upon warming there’s a minor caramel note that creeps in but this is not some Midwest sugarbomb euphemized as "well-balanced." This is a tongue-bruising west coast-style hop monster, and at only 7.4%. Unfortunately, Shorts overlooked the fact that citrus peel is naturally astringent, and this comes through in the mouthfeel, which is a bit overdry and chalky. But that’s a negligible gripe at this point. This beer is epic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
emacgee (4377) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - FEB 8, 2010
Pours a hazy gold with a tan yellow head. The nose is fruity and sweet, citrusy, resinous, hoppy for sure. Flavor is citrusy and resinous, lemon, mango, grapefruit rind. Palate shows a citrus rind bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 4, 2010
12oz bottle from hoppymeal. Pours a deep murky amber brown with a huge creamy off-white head that has excellent staying power and leaves thick clumps of lacing on the sides. Great looking beer. The aroma is dominated by sweet citrus, especially lemons and oranges with maybe some grapefruit as well. There is a bit of sweetness as well from the caramel malts though I also get a slightly herbal hop presence behind the massive citrus. The taste is all about the citrus as well with the sweetness of the fruit coming through but with a scathing bitterness that lingers after each sip. There is a lightly toasted malt presence underneath it all with some floral in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation and maybe just a tad more watery than I was hoping for. This is a super hoppy and extremely bitter DIPA, a little too out of balance for my liking, but still very good. The astringent bitterness limits the drinkability so one of these goes a long way.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jrob21 (2928) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 1, 2010
A sweet surprise from AtlAggie from her last trip abroad, or to detroit but it might as well be abroad. Incredible citrusy hop profile with some orange at first but that leads into some sweetness. Flavor profile is incredible as well with some pine and and a grapefruit bitter finish. Malt body giving a good balance here and some nice body. Smooth caramel malts work well in the background. I haven’t had one this good in a while.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (9856) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 30, 2010
12oz bottle. Poured a medium and hazy amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus (lemons and oranges), floral, toastiness, and citrus. Tastes of citrus, the same toastiness, floral, and caramel. Nice bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheEpeeist (3545) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 29, 2010
12 oz bottle. Misty orange brown with a sudsy white head. Vibrant nose of orange and lemon peel with caramel. Resiny medium body with a tingle. Taste is grapefruit zest, lemon and orange before kicking in with juniper and grass; quite bitter. Lingering peppery hops.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beastiefan2k (2830) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - JAN 28, 2010
From OHLRangers on TBS. When did these start going in 12oz bottles? Also, this is a pretty bad name for a DIPA, good name for a doppelbock but not for an IPA. The beer pours a thick hazy orange-amber color. I like the hazy aspect, its not clear but with the adjuncts in here I am not surprised. In the end its a low clarity. The head is not large but it is strong. The lacing it leaves is medium sticky. Aroma is strong on... guess what... hops. What I like about the aroma is the strong bitterness. Plus, nothing akin to sweet./caramel malts and we are on our way to a good hop-heavy brew. I guess I get a little more citrus aspect but I would just think hops if I did not know there were other citrus adjuncts. There is a bit of sweet hop presence and a leafy-floral thang. Taste is bitter, just the way I like my hop-heavy beers. Some bitter grapefruit skin comes in at the end. The cool part, the aftertaste goes on forever. Just encompassing, bitter dryness just sticks around especially with some spicy food (as I am eating right now). Its not supper clean or bright but plenty bitter and dry at the end.
12oz bottle in a Marin Cuvee Roge tall thinned tulip.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
TomDecapolis (4617) - Milton, Delaware, USA - JAN 28, 2010
Thanks to hopdog. Pours a hazy deeper orange with a medium creamy off white lacing head. Aroma of lemon pledge, dish soap, orange zest, caramel and floral notes. Flavor of dish soap, strong bitterness, pine, grapefruit, light caramel and floral notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
egajdzis (5581) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 28, 2010
Hazy amber color with a small, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of honey, lemon, mentholyptus, caramel malts, floral hops, citrus, and toast. Taste of citrus fruits, pine, lemon, orange peel, caramel malts, and a moderately bitter hop finish. Thanks to Steve for sharing!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BigBeer45 (1326) - Michigan, USA - JAN 27, 2010
Bottle from Champanes, has a burnt orange copper pour with a white and off-white average size head and some tiny floaties swirling around that gives the beer a haze, the head fades to a thin cover and ring, left generous lacing on the glass, this beer is not filtered the bottle had some light brown sediment on the bottom, has a good dose of citrus and floral hops along with aromas of orange, grapefruit, toasted malt and caramel, flavors of hop pine bitterness mixed with lemon citrus, toasted malt and caramel, drink starts with some malt sweetness but finishes dry, and there is residual hop bitterness trailing after the finish, mouth feel is a little light for a IPA2 but according to the BA site the alcohol is 7.4%, I thought it was more not from the aroma or taste but how I felt, so, this IPA2 is at the lower end of the alcohol spectrum, this ale was easy for me to drink, I can see this beer sneaking up on me, a nice drink with a good dose of hop pine and resin on the palate.

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