Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 7,383 | Reviews: 3,152 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Dantes:
4.4/5 rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Package: Stubby "heritage" bottle. No date guidelines. Neck label with blurb notes "2002 Celebration Ale" and "2284" on lower left poinsettia. Nice winter scene. 6.8% ABV.
Cost: $7.99 6-Pack at Shop-Rite
Presentation: Pint glass at 50º
Appearance: Coppery, strong-tea color. A bit cloudy. Loose, moist white head, settling to about ½”, remaining for most of the glass. Nice strings of small bubbles from the bottom.
Smell: Hops are very evident with strong lemon peel citrus notes. Spices and malt struggle up through the sharper notes. A bit off-putting at first, but evens out as the head settles. Intriguing.
Taste: More balanced than the aroma. I am not normally a fan of “overly” hopped beers, but it works here. Nice hops complexity. I’m not sophisticated enough to differentiate, but this is not a one-note wonder like many hoppy brews. First bite of hops and citrus are quickly moderated by the malt; notes of clove, allspice, ginger; and fainter hints of raisins, plums, and grapefruit. Clean and edgy without being sharp.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is well-matched to the fullness of the brew. Comparable to the Winter Solstice, with more body and viscosity.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. ABV is virtually undetectable and the body and flavors are both light and satisfying. I can see this both for savoring and as a regular quaffer.
In general, I’m not a big fan of very hopped beers. For me, it is the equivalent of salt or Habanero peppers. I love them, but used injudiciously, they dominate. Here, the Sierra Nevada succeeds. Its elements are well orchestrated, even with a heavy weighting on the hops end of the scale. Like a string quartet where the ‘cello dominates, the imbalance works if Yo-Yo Ma is the cellist, but would be a disaster otherwise. This works.
Backwash: This review is a tale of two Winter Seasonals. Compared to Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice, this brew wins hands down. My tastes don’t run to the “hop-head” end of the spectrum, but the execution of the Celebration Ale is great. I’m a big fan of Winter Seasonals and would add this my list of favorites, although less "wintery" than many. I still lean to the maltier British offerings, but this is an excellent change of pace. Should be made available year-round. If it mellows with age as noted below, could be perfect.
NB: Had on draught, this WAS mellower and even better.
Serving type: bottle
01-07-2003 11:11:49 | More by Dantes
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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,383 ratings.