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RATINGS: 178   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 116   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
corby112 (2214) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 22, 2010
Pours a very cloudy dark golden coppery orange/amber color with hints of dark golden yellowish orange hues when held to a light source. Two finger frothy yellowish head that slowly fades into a lasting cap. sporadic chunks of soapy lacing are left behind. Sweet citrus hop aroma with lots of earthy pine in the nose along with some sweet alcohol and biscuit malt. There’s also a spicy peppery zest character but the aroma is dominated by the prominent citrus notes. Chewy resinous medium body that’s on the fuller end of the spectrum. Very dry with a huge bitter and earthy hop presence up front that is very piny. Spicy ans zesty with a nice peppery flavor to it which balances out the very sweet citrus presence. Lots of orange and lemon peel notes as well as some grapefruit and possibly mango. There’s also a strong malt backbone with hints if biscuit and caramel but the hops profile is so strong it isn’t lessened much at all. Strong sweet alcohol heat toward the end of the swallow and some warmth in the bitter dry finish. This beer is incredibly bitter and much fuller bodied than I expected. Not the best example of the style but decent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
skoll (420) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - JAN 18, 2010
from a 12 oz bottle. The aroma has lots of citrus hops, oranges, pineapples, and tropical fruits. It pours a slightly hazy amber with a large off-white head that quickly disapated. The flavor starts with a quick dose of tropical fruits that end up completely dominated by a huge fresh grapefruit and light pine hops in the finish along with big grapefruit aftertaste. Light-medium bodied with soft carbonation and mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
sleestak (226) - Williamston, Michigan, USA - JAN 16, 2010
Bottle! Pours hazy orange-gold with a moderate off-white head. Aroma smacks of hops, predominantly pineapple and grapefruit. Malt might be there, but it’s begging for attention like a middle sister at a family reunion. Taste is all about the juicy, citrus hops, but the caramel backbone provides enough respite and balance. Moderate carb and a slick, oily mouth feel. Beautiful IIPA from one of my favorite brewers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
deyholla (7950) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 12, 2010
On tap at HopCat awhile back. Poured a clear amber with a bit of orange and a medium off-white head. Aroma had a nice citrus aroma, mainly citrus and lemon. Flavor built in hoppiness throughout with a nice strong orange finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hokiebrew (2) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JAN 4, 2010 does not count
Slightly hazy pour, minimal head but nice lacing and head ’film’ didn’t dissipate, orange-amber hue. Big juicy hop aroma with citrus and tropical fruit dominating. Taste is nice up front with lots of citrus hop flavor - they definitely brewed this with Simcoe. Couldn’t detect the lemon or orange peel through the hops. Aftertaste is a bit too bitter for my liking and a bit grassy on the back of the tongue. I think Simcoe is a hop that should be used in moderation and I think they overdid it a bit on the bittering hops. Overall, I enjoyed the beer and would get it again but it’s not my favorite DIPA. Reminds me a lot of Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA so if you like this a lot, try that one out as well and vice versa.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SrSilliGose (3309) - pouring bus, New Brunswick, CANADA - JAN 4, 2010
bottle. pours a hazy orange copper hue with a small dirty white head. Aroma is a big, orange, lemon, grapefruit rinds, caramel, flowers. wow. very pungent, nice. flavor is a quite bitter with a lot of grapefruit, citrus, caramel, and a hint of booze. like sucking on a grapefruit while smelling fresh oranges, lemons, and flowers. This was quite good. better than expected. Nice job shorts!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
gearbike (512) - West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA - JAN 1, 2010
Hazy orange color from a bottle that took a lot of searching to find. Big dry hops. The typical DIPA grapefruit type fruit. Just is not as drinkable as I would like to the high sweetness and floral aroma.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
milewide (1726) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 30, 2009
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2010 Overpowering hop smell and bitterness! Orange and lemon zest missed me, but I loved the hops so much that I don’t care! Cloudy orange color and medium body. Rerate: I bought a case of this, and only have one six pack left! It is now my number one double IPA. The aroma and taste is tangy and herbal, without the sweetness of some DIPAs. Alcohol is modest. Bitter aftertaste lingers!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HonkeyBra (3706) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - DEC 27, 2009
Pours an opaque orange amber. Big hoppy aroma with strong citrus. The Lemon and orange zest comes out strong. Flavor is strong hops and nice citrus. Malt is there enough to compliment the strong hoppy flavors. Nice mouthfeel, good carbonation. Overall, pretty great DIPA from Shorts.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrBunn (2560) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 27, 2009
Bottle. Pours a murky and dark amber with little head and aromas that are a pleasant mix if citrus and tropical fruit with a little bit of a wet dog hair edge to them. Mostly the dog hair smell is absent, but ever now and again... Flavor is better... lots of resin and pine hops flavors drive the show with enough of a honey and fruit sweetness to keep it from spinning off into hop craziness. At times it has flashes of brilliance, but other sips seem a bit lacking. Not bad at all, just seems like a small tweak would push this to excellence.

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