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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

7,910 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,910
Reviews: 3,159
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 220
Gots: 490 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,910 | Reviews: 3,159 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuxMontBeerLover:
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

BuxMontBeerLover, Nov 02, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of peabody81
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

I have enjoyed this beer many times over the years, but this year is the first that Sierra Nevada has been local to North Carolina, so I've never had one this fresh before. Bottled on 9/26/14.
Aroma: piney, but not overwhelmingly so
Appearance: very nice orangey-amber-brown with delicate lacing
Mouthfeel: just right, not too watery, but not chewy either (not that there's anything wrong with that)
Taste: More balanced than I remember, but my hop tolerance is so high now that what would be insanely bitter to others is meh to me. Leaves a very nice, just the right amount of bitterness, aftertaste. Very drinkable.
Overall: One of the all-time classics, getting it fresh - BONUS!!!!

peabody81, Tuesday at 01:29 AM
Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice find in the middle of summer,a 2002 offering.Pours a nice copper clor with light to medium head that has some nice staying power,the aroma is hop zesty with a slight sweet background.The taste is very hoppy and citrus like but there is caramel malt taste that lingers as well.Very well done stays real well.

oberon, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice clear, amber pour with quite a generous pancake head. The nose is nicely hopped and has plenty of fruitiness kickin around as well...peach and apricot i'd have to say. The taste is big and hoppy right off the bat with underlying fruitiness and a nice malt backbone. Underlying caramel sweetness. This beer offers bold, up front taste and well balanced body. A very, very light and smooth mouthfeel make this one an easy drinker...dangerous with the 6.8% abv. The finish is of a lovely hop bitterness as the light fruity notes disapate towards the end. Great stuff!

Popsinc, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of Marty
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! It's beautiful; pours a golden amber hue with a tall, foamy, lasting head that leaves a sticky lace down the inside of the glass. The taste is crisply hoppy and malty sweet. I was having trouble characterizing the smell, but one of my friends hit it right on the nose... peach! There are definitely hints of peach in this beer. One of my all-time favorites.

Marty, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of mojohawk21
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

mojohawk21, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This poured a dark orange in color out of the tap. It had some brownish notes as well. The head was puffy and very pretty. It showed retention the whole time I drained the pint glass and left some awesome lacing.

Smell – The nice, sharp pine is what I first noticed in this nose. There was also some light citrus and maybe a few other hoppy notes. The healthy malt base gave this IPA a very good balance.

Taste – The hop profile is very complex and reflects the scents found in the nose. The toasted malts come up slightly bigger at the taste and have a small nut compliment. As I said before, this is a very balanced brew.

Mouthfeel – This one is a solid medium bodied, on the bigger side mind you, with a terrific lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability – One of the more quaffable beers that I’ve had. On-tap this thing is addictive.

RoyalT, Jan 14, 2005
Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

aszatk01, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Wonder's Pub.

Nice amber with a fluffy white head. Good lacing.

Big western hops bring a hefty dose of juniper berries to the aroma. Citrusy. Herbal, maybe coriander and thyme. The cascade hop level isn’t quite Mt. Ranier but it is a close Mt. Hood.

There is a decent amount of malt in here to balance the bitterness of the hops but hops still rule the day. Citrus floral notes dominate the flavor. Esters swish throughout, warming the brew. Also touches of nuttiness and grain.

Dry, crisp, and quite drinkable.

DaPeculierDane, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -3.8%

DanGeo, May 28, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just finished my last Celebration of the season. Time to rewrite this review. Pours a deep copper-amber hybrid color with some orange highlights. An absolutely huge, beige-colored head tops this one off - incredibly thick and creamy with extraordinary staying power, also coating all sides of the glass with fat, chunky lacing. Decent clarity, and you can see a nice stream of carbonation bubbles flowing from the etched bottom of my glass to the top of the brew.

The aroma is strong, with a super-fresh dose of hops. Sierra Nevada claims that these are "fresh" hops (not wet, mind you, but fresh) and you can definitely tell. It's like sticking your head into a recently cut field of grass, vibrant and alive. The character of these hops is largely resinous, piney, and somewhat floral. The pine aromas hit your nostrils with some power, very needley and pungent. Faint citrus hints, more so on the rind and pith side, as to not make things too sweet, rather keep with the solid bitterness profile. Some spiciness from the hops is also noticeable and works to tie everything together.

The taste is crazy delicious - despite the heavy load of hops, there is certainly a strong malt presence here that does more than just lay out framework for the other parts. Slight toasted malts, caramel, toffee, and a faint, musky, earthy presence can be found immediately. As soon as you start to appreciate this nice, malt-laden infrastructure (or maybe even before that), the hops come in and go buck wild on your palate. Pines, pine needles, resinous hop nuggets, Christmas trees, Christmas wreathes - yeah, I said it. Christmas wreathes.

The malt profile is ever-present for the duration of the hop take-over, which creates a nice cosmic balance, despite the hefty bitter overload of the hops. The spice character is not to be forgotten - there's a joke going around that SN adds spices to this beer, which they've debunked as false many times. But I can see where people are coming from. A nice, peppery, earthy, and warming "hop spice" flavor trills along for the entire sip, riding a wave right into the aftertaste. I really can't overstate how goddamn tasty this shit is. Medium bodied, carbonated to the max; not too sticky, not too dry, this beer is great in all aspects.

Whether you call this a malty IPA, or a hopped-up amber/red ale, or a winter warmer, or whatever - it doesn't matter. Call it a stout for all I care. Just know that this beer is delicious. And the fact that it's a seasonal release around my favorite time of the year (the joyous bridge from Thanksgiving to Christmas) gets me that much more excited to pick it up each year. The holidays would not be complete without this beer in my fridge. I always try to make it last far into the spring - usually doesn't make it that long.

tectactoe, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of ricke
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008. Serving date: 2009-02-11. Served in pint glass.

Presentation: 350 ml bottle with freshness date on the label (best before 2009-10-17).

Appearance: Amber colored with copper and red hues, semi-clear. A rather aggressive pour into a pint glass creates a 3 finger airy head that has a strange, light cappuccino color (it actually looks dirty). Good head retention, some lacings.

Smell: A big hop fruity hop aroma, primarily of red and yellow grapefruits, lemon and surprisingly distinct strawberries - dominates. An earthy hop aroma of pine-needles is there as well. Behind all of this, is a faint note or reasonably sweet malts. A quite refreshing smell.

Taste: At first, some malt flavors appear, but they quickly leave room for a massive taste of hops. They mostly echoes the smell - grapefruits, sharp citric notes and strawberries - but the earthy notes of pine are bigger and accompanied by grass, mint and some tobacco. Although the malts are most noticeable in the beginning, they appear in the middle as well but they get constantly overrun by the hop flavors. The finish is semi-dry, a bit perfumy, contains sharp hops and has a seemingly endless bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, quite lively carbonation. It's kind of sharp, but the foam residues smooth things out.

Drinkability: I really liked this beer, but I think I was expecting a little more from it, especially considering its hyped status. Although I like its unbalanced character and big hop flavors (the strawberry presence, both in the smell and in the taste, is really great), the bitterness is a bit too to much and overpowers both the hop and malt flavors.

ricke, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of ExtraStout
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage. Classic red amber color, comforting floral aroma with pine forest and vanilla notes. Flavor is sugar coated tangerines in a doughy blanket. As usual, great balance of gritty malt and rough edged hop bite. Finish is all about lingering resinous piney hop and a trickle of alcohol burn. Mouth feel is a bit light and dry - medium body is there, but the hops havent mellowed yet. IPA, Winter warmer, whatever you want to call it, SNCA is to me, one of the best large production beers available. A valid reason to look forward to Winter.

ExtraStout, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

OhioBobcat, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of MadScientist
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A light copper with good clarity. The head is long lasting, off-white with mostly compact bubbles that leave soem thick lacing on the glass.

S: It's like opening a bag of fresh hops having very strong citrus and pine hops aroma and some herbaceous notes from the fresh hops. There is a light malt aroma under there having a bit of clean malt sweetness and some caramel and biscuty notes. The yeast is a fairly clean American ale style.

T: Aggressive hops bitterness and strong hops flavor take center stage on this one and just enough malt for support. The hops flavors are again citrus with some pine. The malt is again just enough to support the hops. The balance is very bitter. A dry finish with a lingering hops bitterness aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with moderately-strong carbonation.

O: This has been a favorite IPA of mine every since I was introduce to good beer. It's an outstanding IPA that bring a lot of hops flavor and bitterness to the glass while letting you through back a few.

MadScientist, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

jono0101, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of brownbeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- rusty amber with a fluffy white head, great lacing.

S- Heavy pine resin, fruity, spicy hops. Becoming pretty typical for Sierra IPA's.

T&M- Pretty straight forward pine with a certain pomegranite fruitiness and some caramel which balances and lifts the body to a pleasant fullness.

D- It's easy to kill several of these if you like Sierra's hop profile. Still a classic winter seasonal.

brownbeer, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer sports a thin pistachio head and leaves an interesting looking sticky lace. It is a clear, light rust color. The nose is resinous, piney, earthy, and all around pretty light.

The taste is of course hoppy. Spicey hop flavors dominate, backed by floral flavors. This is over an almost transparent malt background. Bitterness turns a tad salty with warmth. This is pretty light for an IPA and I might even go so far as to call it watery. If you are looking for some straight hop juice, this is your beer.

JudgeRoughneck, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev -3.8%

npala86, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of bluesoul
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into pint glass, a nice dark translucent amber, about a finger's worth of white foam. Leaves a veritable sheet of lace down the glass.

S - Oh wow, what a beer. A heavenly perfume (this coming from a cologne reviewer!) of scent, tinges of orange, pine and cedar, and exotic spice on a bed of luscious malt. Absolutely wonderful. I wonder how this would do in an atomizer. Eau de Celebration, anyone?

T - Sold. One sip was all it took. Big and spicy opening, this is what a winter warmer should do for you. The malt and hops are in a good balance, keeping smooth until the end when it finishes with a nice hoppy kick.

M - This is a full-bodied ale, make no mistake. The finish is clean and definitely on the bitter side. That bitterness persists for a good while, a couple minutes if you can manage to set this beer down that long. You're not exactly going to be able to down this like water, but given how rich the beer is it goes down very smooth. Very sippable. Alcohol is completely masked, which is scary considering the slightly above-average ABV and how good this is.

D - Seems like a great session beer with fellow beerophiles. Seems like a near-perfect warming brew after being out in the snow and cold.

bluesoul, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of xVERITAS
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a glass into a tulip. A dark copper with a red hue to it. Smells of super fresh hops and pine.

Tastes very unique, there were some notes I couldn't quite pick out. It is indeed, as the bottle says, pretty hoppy. I have heard people say it isn't drinkable, and they are insane. I could drink this all day. It is very smooth from the first sip to the last. The bitterness is perfect...more bite than a regular IPA but not quite as intense as a DIPA. A very solid beer all around, would highly recommend.

xVERITAS, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Tiernan, May 30, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev -3.8%

tbryan5, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of TimBeaulieu
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

TimBeaulieu, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of woodchipper
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

woodchipper, Dec 08, 2013
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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,910 ratings.