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RATINGS: 179   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7/5   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BlackForestCO (978) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - FEB 28, 2009
On tap at BSAF. Poured a clear orange-copper color with a half-inch, frothy off-white head that left some spotty lacing. Fresh, resiny, leafy hops in the aroma with some earthy spice, a hint of pine and cannabis, and some faint citrus undertones. Smooth, moderately sweet entry with some soft caramel leads into a leafy, moderately piny hoppiness with some dry resin and a moderately bitter finish. Low carbonation with a decent hoppy bite. The aroma was very promising, but the flavor wasn’t really anything out of the ordinary or exceptional. Solid.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - FEB 25, 2009
Draft at EBF. Pours an amber body with a white head. Big pine and grapefruit hoppiness. Caramel malt bill i could do without. But overall the pine and citrus were enough of a treat.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
GodOfThunder (1248) - Orlando, Florida, USA - FEB 24, 2009
Thanks to Northernbrews for getting me this special brew in a growler! Aroma is fantastic. Lots of piney hops in the aroma. Pretty flawless Double IPA aroma. Flavor is bitter, with a little sweetness from the malts. Flavor is good, but nothing out of this world. However, the aroma is perfect.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
smith4498 (3322) - Miami, Florida, USA - FEB 15, 2009
Growler shared by GodOfThunder. Pours amber color with off white head. Big pine hop aroma with some malt sweetness. Bitter hop flavors of pine and grapefruit with sweet caramel malts. Medium body with lively carbonation and a bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
juiceisloose (1204) - Windermere, Florida, USA - FEB 7, 2009
Growler courtesy GodofThunder. Pours a dark copper-orange color with a small cream colored head. The aroma shows a good amount of grapefruit and piney hops on top of a caramel malt base. The flavor is very hop forward with the grapefruit and piney hops to go with the toasted caramel malt in the background. Medium bodied with good carbonation and a lengthy bitter finish. Pretty good double ipa, but nothing crazy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 30, 2009
Growler, courtesy GodOfThunder. Pours a brassy, dark, orange-amber color. A small, foamy, cream colored head leaves minimal, spotty lacing behind. The aroma shows a sweet, lightly buttery toffee and caramel malt base, with ample grapefruit hops and notes of soft orange marmalade. Flavors are considerably more bitter than the nose hints, heaps of grapefruit countering the toasted caramel and toffee sweetness. Medium-full bodied, with balanced carbonation and a bitter, lightly astringent finish. It’s a pretty nice beer, but I’ve come to expect better from this great brewery.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hopscotch (10265) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 29, 2009
Growler... GSRARO Throwdown... Hazy, dark orange ale with a small, creamy, off-white head. Fantastic retention. Big toffee and earthy hop aromas provide a big note of damp pine needles along with lesser notes of cat pee and grapefruit. Medium to full-bodied and a touch oily with modest carbonation. The flavor leans a good bit toward the bitter side of balance - tangy, earthy, bitter hops. Low sweetness. Lengthy, crisp, medium to heavily bitter finish. Mucho thanks to GodOfThunder for providing the growler!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
PhillyBeer2112 (2679) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - JAN 26, 2009
Growler at throwdown, courtesy GodofThunder. Huge fresh hop nose: grapefruit, pine and dank. Resiny flavors with a clean bready background. Very bitter finish. Copper color.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
auerbrau (3199) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JAN 3, 2009
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2010 12oz Bottle labeled "The Liberator." Thanks Sean! My last rating of this beer was done in a cold, January parking lot at 11am, from memory. Hopefully, this one will be more succinct. Even from a distance, having only opened the bottle, not pouring it, I can smell a strong prescence of citrus peel. In the glass, the hops chime in, playing equally as loud and deliciously as the citrus rind. A really bold and wonderful aroma. Pours a hazed golden-orange, with plenty of frothy off-white head. Flavors begin with house yeast, spiciness and a hand-over-fist rush of bitter herbal and fruit flavors. Green apple peel, starfruit rind, and prickly pear. As with other hoppy Shorts beers, this comes with a terser, coarser, slightly aged bitterness. The malts are thick, but they need be, to hold up to the real dose of hop bitterness. One of the more intense double IPAs in my book.

Original Rating - 01/03/2009 -

Pour from a growler. Dank aroma heading into weed fields, pine groves, and olive branches. Spiced, aromatic, and leafy. Nice bronze-coppery amber, a bit clouded, with a thick whitish edge. Flavor is a bit peculiar. There’s some immediate grassy, dry dusty, and slightly celeried profiled. This is a character that seems to pervade the Short’s heavy hop beers. It always ends a bit dusty or celery-like, which ends up bothering me. A puckering edge to the backend. Alcohol very well subdued. Good, not great.

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