Liberty Brewing
from New Zealand (Aotearoa)
319th highest rated brewery (of 635)
Highest RatedSumm!t (79 / 100) Average score63 / 100 (Solid)
Lowest RatedS!mcoe (47 / 100) Number Tried19
Sauvin Bomb
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 31.01.17 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
Bottle given to me for Christmas by Jez. Tried on my own.

Pours a pale orange-tinged amber, with large generous head produced from - if I may say so - a pretty great pour, but it retains nicely and sinks in that marshmallowy pattern I like so much. Some nice thick clumps of lacing too. Looks pretty great.

Smells hoppy, of course. Big pungent tropical fruit aroma with overripe mango and passionfruit. Touch of lime in there as well as a dusty and spicy character. Almost smoky when you really plunge your nose in but I think it's just the force of the earth and fruit battling each other. Good aroma.

Taste is disappointing. Overly sweet, with a big buttery caramalt flavour all over the front that keeps on until the back and gets quite insipid when it does. Hops emerge late-mid but they don't have much edge to them, which is particularly disappointing from sauvin which has usually the opposite issue - it's overly bitter - for me. Just feel it's all later hopping and the malt, which is light bodied for the style and therefore not very well grounded, ends up being too sweet without enough bittering hops to balance and ground it. Some more early hopping would help, as would the addition of some earthier malt - like some crystal malt or even some rye - just to add that bottom base note.

Not a bad body upfront but kind of empty midway, although smooth and pleasant on the back.

Yeah, I mean I don't expect mind-blowing from this kind of beer any more because I've had a lot of them, but a good bit of balance is the minimum I require so it's fairly disappointing to have this smell so good but taste so unbalanced.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.25
Alpha Obsidian
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.08.16 on tap
Overall:
67 / 100
(Solid)
Tried on tap at GABS 2016.

Pours a dark-brown, slightly cloudy. Head is beige and clings to the cup beautifully. Looks sticky and inviting.

Smells hoppy, with a touch of roast. Pear, lemon and passionfruit give a decent fruity mix, and there's a decent bitter roast too. Good balance, but not amazing hop-wise.

Taste is fairly bitter. Dark malt character upfront that turns roasty towards the back where it's joined by grapefruit, orange zest and a big resinous note that together with the roast make it really quite bitter. Maybe could use some more late hopping to give it a bit more hop character as it's a bit simple especially midway.

Full body, decent texture.

Decent black IPA, and more in my style of IBAs than Akasha's GABS beer. But at the same time the hop character isn't quite as nice, and I feel like the balance here is sort of wasted potential as it's a nice drinkable beer that isn't ultimately very interesting.

This beer did really well on the Untappd ratings at the festival. Power to it but I wasn't a massive fan even though it's perfectly decent.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.75
Knife Party IPA
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 30.06.16 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Bottle given to me by Jez, drunk alone.

Pours a shiny gold colour, very clear, slow bead. Head is white, frothy and nice sparse bubbling on the top. Lace is webbed and quite nice. Looks fairly nice.

Smells spicy and hoppy. Huge new world character with pineapple, mango and passion. Touch of mildly spiced cake batter on the back as well. All smells very pleasant.

Taste is fruit salad: mango. Passion and pine and maybe a touch of lime. Sweet caramel malt underlying, with a big tropical sweetness standing over it. All very nice but the finish is really lacking; those hops just don't translate to bitterness at all. It's all front and fruit-heavy hops and is lacking balance on the back. Pleasant flavour but disappointing as an IPA.

Foamy upfront, bit of body through the back. Not bad.

Yeah it drinks alright but just needs more oomph on the back, it kind of trails off and lingers sweet.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Inde Saison Pale
Reviewed by Jez on 12.07.15 on tap
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a pale yellow colour with fairly solid haze in the body. Weight is decent, although it only holds some rather weak, insipid carbonation. Head is white, forming a very coarse, dull ring and no lace. I'm not inspired.

Nose has a touch of mild citrus to it, with a touch of hay and tartness giving a hat-tip to the Saison in its name. Some pickle vinegar comes through as well, with a bit of pepper giving it a slight savoury edge. There's some interesting notes here, but I'm not sure I like them.

Light and slightly fruity on the palate with a bit of stonefruit and citrus. Rounded Belgian notes on the mid-palate and an odd peppery sweetness to round out the back. Aftertaste is flat, but with a lingering almost meaty yeast note.

Feel is thick but light.

Eh. Overall, it's not great. It's not bad either, but it doesn't really do anything interesting or provide a truly interesting flavoursome beer either.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Inde Saison Pale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 12.06.15 on tap
Overall:
54 / 100
(OK)
Pours a gold colour, mildly hazy. White head, sparsely bubbled that sinks. Pale. Kind of meh.

Smells floral, with some nice piquancy coming through and plenty of funk. Horse blanket with a slightly peppery edge. Not a lot of hop but pretty pleasant.

Caramel malt upfront that needn't be so prominent for as long, before the true heroes take over. Barnyard funk with a slight woody character that then develops a slight damp wool/off note towards the back. Some fruit on the finish but it's weak, and a bit insipid really. Doesn't have the cohesion of the better hoppy saisons out there.

Thin body but works quite well with the flavour.

I've had better beers. Weirdly sweet actually, and saison notes are a bit too weak for me.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
The Brown Burn
Reviewed by Jez on 09.06.14 on tap
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Tried on-tap at GABS.

Pours a deep reddish-brown colour with some mild haze in the glass. Body is solid. Head is firm and fine, leaving a slightly orange-tinged beige cap to the beer. Not much in the way of lace or visible carbonation. But it looks good.

Nose is brown and toasty, with a slight aromatic vegetative quality like capsicum spice. It's a solid, if a little dull aroma—mild in its way, but otherwise pretty good.

Round brown toasty entry to the palate sets you up for what's coming up. No, there's a hint of coffee, that's not it... the back has a little vanilla and a mild capsicum character... Wait, did I say "mild"? Holy hell, here's the burn—huge spicy chilli fire wrecks the aftertaste with a heat that doesn't go away. It's more of a feeling that a flavour, and it hurts. Hot hot hot. By the time I took more than a couple of sips, I could not longer taste anything—and yet it's quite insidious the way it creeps up.

It's intense, and the flavours on the palate are quite nice until the wrecking ball, burn-and-salt-the-fields aspect of the chilli comes in. It's a bit much in the end, and I doubt I could take much more than a sample.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.25
C!tra Junior
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 05.12.13 on tap
Overall:
53 / 100
(OK)
Brewed for GABS Festival 2013 in Melbourne. Called a "1/2IIPA" which I assume translates as "IPA" :)

Pours a champagne colour, clear with large bubbly head that doesn't stick around. Looks a tad listless, but OK.

Smells of citra, yeah. Mango, slight touch of passionfruit and a reasonable malt base. Just mega citra hop character, reasonably enticing if you like that sort of thing.

Slight cereal grain on the front of the palate, touch of pearl barley. Passionfruit tang on the midpoint and then just all mango on the back. Fruity, sweet, light and airy with so little bitterness, tastes just thin and juicy.

Body is a little thin and meek. Thankfully the carbonation is decently handled.

Yes, I'm not a big citra fan. It can really help in a blend but the sooner we move away from the citra-driven pale ale/IPA trend, the better.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Yakima Scarlet
Reviewed by Jez on 22.05.13 on tap
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
On-tap at Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew during Good Beer Week 2013.

Pours a slightly red-tinged amber hue, with some very mild hazing. Body is decently weighted. Head forms a just creamy-white solid ring, with some film across the top. Very solid, intricate lacing. Overall, it looks good.

Quite sweet on the nose. Lots of malt, butterscotch and toffee, cut with some green, slightly fruity hops and a little pine fragrance. But really, the sweetness wins out. It's not bad, but very sweet.

Light malt on the front of the palate too, with a slightly balancing stewed orange character. Caramel through the middle, with a crescendo in the hop character that leads to a bitter, spicy, almost hot hop character on the back. Some resiny characters stick through to the aftertaste. Feel is full-bodied and strong.

It's a bit heavy to drink a lot of. The sweetness is a bit heavy and the malt and hops do tend to work against each other somewhat. But there are things to enjoy in it nonetheless.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Extra Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 22.05.13 on tap
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
On-tap at Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew during Good Beer Week 2013.

Pours a pleasant light yellow colour, with some hazing that makes it look icy. Light bodied, with a bubble-pocked, and decently solid white head. Lacing forms in solid sheets, and the carbonation is very fine, especially when tilted. It looks very good.

NZ hops on the nose: slight bite of metallic, some passionfruit, underpinned by a white bread character. There's something pleasingly vegetative and green as well. It's a little light overall, but not bad at all.

Light peppery characters on the front of the palate, with green mango and other slightly sharp fruit characters. The fruit drops out on the middle, leaving it quite light—heading towards the back, there's very little body left, leaving it crisp with some lingering bitterness.

Feel is a bit light overall, despite the depth on the front. It's crisp enough, which suits the style, but more body would help the hops.

Overall, it's a pretty decent and pretty drinkable beer. I like the Kiwi hops: without the balance from the body, they're a little bit heavy, but overall it works out rather nicely.

appearance: 4.25 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
Yakima Monster
Reviewed by Jez on 22.05.13 on tap
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)
Tried on-tap at Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew during Good Beer Week 2013.

Pours a bronze-hued golden, very clear in the body with a light, but smooth weight behind it. Head it very fine, solid white. Lace forms in patchy, spotty patterns inside the glass, and it's pretty solid. Very fine carbonation. It looks good.

Nose has some sharp citrus characters with a bright, brittle sweetness light glassy toffee. Along with the marmaladey citrus characters, there's also a little sharper green or underripe fruit notes and a slight grassy tone. Not bad.

Taste is light, again some mild, slightly sharp fruit like white peach, before a sparkling effervescence lifts the mid palate, while the body comes in providing a little more sweetness. Finish drops out a fair bit, leaving it light and clean, but a little dull. Feel is very smooth and quite pleasant.

Overall, yeah, it's smooth and nice and drinkable. It's not as exciting as some other beers, but it's still a very decent, very enjoyable drop.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Midnight Stout
Reviewed by Jez on 22.05.13 on tap
Overall:
75 / 100
(Excellent)
On-tap at Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew during Good Beer Week 2013.

Pours a deep brown-black colour, quite opaque, yet with a surprisingly light body. Head is an ecru bubbly ring that leaves some pretty solid lacing. It looks pretty good.

Nose is wholesome and oaty, with some speckled accents of star anise. Rich and bold, with a sharpness coming through more prominently than a smooth, richness. But that oaten wholesomeness really ties it together. It's lovely.

Smooth entry on the palate, with some anise and a seedy character. Sharp mid-palate as the roast character builds up. Some dark fruit notes also appear, stewed in a boozy hint. The finish has some smoothness just before the end: perhaps a slight uptilt of vanilla before the roast punctuates the finish.

Feel is lighter than I expected, but still pretty decent, and it works with some of the spicier characters which come through on the palate.

Overall, this is smooth, but with oomph. Plenty of flavour and plenty of interest. Yep, this is a very decent beer indeed.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Summ!t
Reviewed by Jez on 22.05.13 on tap
Overall:
79 / 100
(Excellent)
Had on-tap at Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew during Good Beer Week 2013. Like the other ! series beers, this one showcases a particular hop variety (with a convenient "i" in its name: this one being of course Summit).

Pours an orange-golden colour, with very solid hazing and decent weight and heft in the body. Head is a just-yellow off-white: full, frothy and decent that leaves chunks of sticky, chewy lacing. Very fine carbonation when tilted. It's a damn-fine looking beer.

Marmalade characters are immediately noticeable on the nose. Orange ice-blocks initially make an appearance as well. There are sharper notes, some pepper, lemon rind and something slighlt salty, or ionically metallic. It's just big and full and in your face. It's really lovely.

The palate is a little lighter, but still very good. Mild orange characters, some pepper on the front, before the body comes in to fill in the backbone with big, rich marmaladey sweetness. On the finish it gets rougher: gritty, earthy with a decent IPA bitterness. Aftertaste is bright and white.

Feel is smooth but sharp: perhaps just a little lighter than it could have been.

But overall, this is really great stuff. It's a really big full-flavoured IPA that has all the characters in the right place. Awesome work.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 4.25
Yakima Raven
Reviewed by Jez on 28.02.13 in bottle
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Labelled "2 of 3", so following on from my exploration of "1 of 3" Yeastie Boys' Motueka Raven is Liberty's entry in the series, this time brewed with US Yakima hops. 330ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.

Pours a deep dark brown, even when held to the light it holds more brown than ruby. Much less carbonated than the Yeasties Raven, with a fine film of beige that froths on pour and settles down to a thin, silky topcoat. Lacing is specked and spotted. Carbonation is present, however, and forms in a fine spread when the glass is tilted. Looks pretty good.

Nose is fresh and bright, layered with deep, sweet darkness. I get fresh, underripe oranges mingled with some coconut, chocolate and powdered sugar. Hints of faint, fragrant, fruity coffee beans, and a little crushed herb. Very pleasant stuff.

Taste is good, but a little muted. Some sweet fragrant fruity hops on the front that settle down into a restrained but somewhat noticeable bitterness; this dances away like orange aspirin dissolving slowly. Slight malt tones, but surprisingly little: indeed there's not a whole heap suggesting the colour in the flavour. And perhaps all you get is what remains from the aroma. I think it could use a little bit more roast and body.

Feel is smooth and light—in fact, the texture and carbonation might be the most striking difference between the two Ravens.

Overall, I think this one has a slight edge over the Motueka one. The body and texture, the more supple hop characters on the palate, and the lovely mingling of flavours on the nose really make this seem a little more sophisticated. It's good stuff.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
S!mcoe
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.12.12 on tap
Overall:
47 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours an amber colour, slight cloud to it. Cream-coloured head, foamy and sticks around nicely. Decent-looking IPA.

Lots of floral hop character, slightly US west coast character overall. A little bit cloying to be honest, needs more zip or tang.

Floral hops again on the palate, and not a lot of complexity to it. Gets very dour and bitter on the back, slightly astringent. Again the floral notes from the hops are slightly cloying and the back is very bitter.

Not a bad feel, really; just a bit muddy on the back and slightly bitty.

Just not really a simcoe advocate, and this has them in spades.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
S!mcoe
Reviewed by Jez on 26.05.12 on tap
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
On-tap at GABS in Melbourne.

Pours a pleasant hazy amber colour, very full-bodied with a firm ring of off-white/yellow foam. Carbonation, such as it is is small-bubbled. Lace is sheeting. Looks good.

Yep, it delivers what it promises on the nose at least: huge Simcoe aromas. That odd butterscotchy character, along with a bit of sweaty ass. It big and robust, but I really just don't much like Simcoe. Like I said, it delivers the classic Simcoe smell at least.

Taste is better, once the simcoe derives a bit of sharp, crisp bitterness. Clean entry before a herbal, somewhat minty mid-palate and an astringent vegetative bitterness on the back. Really big flavour profile, resiny finish.

Full but biting feel, partially from the hops and partially from the booze.

It feels pretty heavy-handed overall, and it's pretty one-dimensional, albeit intentionally. My notes conclude with "Yeah, it's a DIPA with loads of Simcoe. Woop de doo."

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5