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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,402 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,402
Hads: 9,924
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.76%
Wants: 349
Gots: 1,727 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,402 | Hads: 9,924
Photo of beerwolf77
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well the label looks like christmas so I will say this is my first christmas beer.

Poured into my chimay goblet the beer is dark orange brown. The off withe head is a least an inch high and fully envlopes the entire top of my glass. Lots of sticky lace clings around the rim after a brief rest.

The aroma is very hoppy. Plenty of grapefruit and pine sap. Some maltiness is there as well.

The flavor is subdued hops with loads of malt. Some grapefruit but not overloaded. The bready wheat cracker malt takes the reigns and drives this beer.

Medium body light carbonation. Nothing real noteworthy in the feel.

Overall a decent beer. I'm not sure what sets this apart from every other AIPA. Drinkable.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

friend brought it over while I was cooking. Love surprise visits.

pours a beautiful amber with a pillowy off white head that lasts quite well. decent lacing down the sides considering the glass I was using.
the nose brings the hops forth first and foremost. spicy pine tones lead off with almost a roasty hint underneath that I can't quite place.
the hops continue on the tongue just as they did on the nose, as that roasty malty note from above almost melts into a faint faint faint hint of butter. The citrusy hop taste is by far the dominant component here, though, and it lingers, coating the tongue with a bitter aftertaste characteristic of the style.
overall an njoyable IPA (coming from someone who is not a huge hop head). I feel like a late december night in the soggy northwest surrounded by conifers and earth is the perfect place to enjoy it (which is where I am now. convenient)

drink it.

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Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Consumer Beverages. Amber with a decent white head. Very spicy aroma which carries over into the taste. Lots of pine and citrus. The malts and hops are really well balanced in this. As it warms up it gets nice and resiny. This a great beer to enjoy anytime of the year.

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Photo of walkinginplace
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours into a beautiful red amber color with a major white head. Once it settles, there is a lot of lacing and the white top remains. You can smell the hops and grapefruit pretty clearly with a significant pine smell coming through as well. Celebration feels a lot lighter-bodied than I expected with average carbonation. Finally, the taste is overwhelmingly grapefruit with some hops and caramel coming through as well. The bitterness of the hops really comes through at the end (honestly, it was a little more strongly than I would have liked). I can see why hopheads love this one but it's just a tad much for me. All in all, I like it but it's nothing particularly special when it comes to IPAs.

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Photo of Drew966
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color with a fluffy head. Strong hop smell and taste. I couldn't drink too much of this, bit hoppier than I would want for a session beer, but it is a tasty brew, especially for those liking a nice hoppy taste. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of tjkurz
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass deep ruby amber a little hazy nice thick head - fairly tight - nice lacing. Smell - floral, hoppy. Taste - hops hit hard and citrusy grapefruit dry finish. Mouthfeel perfectly average. Drinkability - good - dry and hoppy - can't see having more than one or two.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.25] Somewhere between amber and red. the beer pourrs with a ful 1 1/2 finger head of dense off white head. I noticed some yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Leaves fantastic lacing on the glass. Very easy to read born on date (9/30/14). No visible IBU or ABV listed

A: [3.25] Sweet brown sugar. Some citrus fruit. A little subdues - not in your face.

A: [3.75] Initially I got malty breadiness. Some sweetness from the malts. After a second sip I started to pick up a little more bitter on the back end.

A: [3.50] Slightly elavated carbonation. The beer itself nice. Good mouthfeel.

A: [3.50] If I was handed this glass and asked to say what was in it I would guess a nice craft lager. It has all of the qualities of a really nice lager. I am really enjoying it. I am guessing there has been hop fade since bottling (around 70 days ago). Still this is a pleasant beer I would drink again

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle comes in at 24 ounces rather than the standard bomber which is nice.

Pours a beautiful amber which is my favorite part of this brew. Also a nice head that stays all the way down.

The smell is kind of faint but pretty sweet of only hops.

The taste is bitter whith no to little malt backing. Piney with a dry finish.

This beer is good but doesnt do a whole lot for me. Id much prefer Torpedo or SNPA.

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Photo of Duster72
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with less than a finger of head which leaves a fair amount of lacing. Aroma is pine and floral hops with a lean toward the pine. Taste is floral hops up front with the pine following through. Leaves a very dry, bitter taste. Not enough citrus hops for me. Not unlike GD's Titan IPA, IMO. Good IPA but I am not sure I understand the very high ratings on this one other than it being a seasonal/limited release.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange and red paint the colors of deliciousness under a cloud of foamy head... All sorts of resiny hops hit the nose in a great way.Hop bitterness leads with a malty background. Bitter fall leaves, and nettle, black tea and pine tree sap. Interesting flavors but this one fit just outside my normal IPA palate descriptions. Nice medium body, good amount of bubbly.

I nicely put together IPA, pour another.


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Photo of andjusticeforale
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Special Celebration Ale 2005 edition short stubby

This is a great looking beer, aggressively poured into a large pint glass, which left a nice white to off white head of moderate to good retention.

The immediate smell is strong grapefruit tinged hops, stronger than any IPA I’ve opened lately. Really quite unbelievable. My first thought was “over the hop” or “hopnoxious.”

The taste was sadly unbalanced in favor of hop aroma and bittering. This had a malty underbelly,. But the domination was hops. The finish was dry and bitter and left an astringent zip high on the palate.

Don’t get me wrong, if you like Stone Arrogant Bastard, or any of the hopped up 4000 minute IPA’s, you will dig this. But a “celebration ale in the ‘old world style’ ? Jesus Jones- only if the old world is Portland Oregon!

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a caramel color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops. Taste is not mild, lots of hops up front, a bit of citrus, considerable bitterness, a touch of malts. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of bowersdm
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a german pilsner

A - orange color with a 2cm stiff white head. a small amount of lacing

S - spices, cherries, some other fruit, hops, definitely citrusy and spicy

T - some malt, but mainly hops, floral and citrus, i didn't get any of the spiciness that I found in the aroma which disappointed me.

M - about par for an IPA

D - this doesn't really seem like a winter beer to me, more like a normal IPA

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Photo of FrothFanatic
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hop lovers will go nuts over this holiday celebration brew. Incredibly bitter thats the first thing that screams at you, and it gets evened out with a citrisy sweetness that is yet again overpowered by that forresty bitter flavor that I am not too fond of. This is a high quality premium beer but not one I don't think I would pick up again, still I can totally understand why people wait each holiday season for this annual offering, a spectacularly crafted beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pleasing orangy amber color, fairly clear with only light haze. Rocky white head, great retention and lacing. Smell is strong of piney, earthy and spicy hops. Faint kiss of floral and citrus plus a hint towards a nice malt presence. Taste is a big punch of piney, earthy hops - very cologne like, which is a slight turn off - faint floral and citrusy hops noted right before a slight malty backbone presents itelf. Finishes very bitter and dry with a noticible aftertaste. Not in my wheelhouse as far as IPAs go, had higher hopes for this but the hop profile just turns me off from full enjoyment. Still i respect this as an IPA.

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Photo of Wikipeteia
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As a hop head, I felt required to buy and drink a very nicely hopped IPA-slash-christmas ale. I'll say the following: I'm glad I have Great Lakes Christmas Ale as a local beer and benchmark. This is a great American IPA, and a fairly marginal Winter Warmer/Holiday Brew.

The first pour was much hoppier than expected, the bouquet of the hoppy aroma overtaking my nostrils almost immediately. The head was creamy, sticky and thick, hardly fitting the pint glass I poured it into. The lacing lasted a good long time after the head died down a bit.

The first sip was good, each sip getting better, and more flavors becoming clearer on the palate. I've tasted the slight hint of summer fruits (like peaches and plums in very trace amounts), citrus, and even the very hint of a smoked, almost hickory taste. The carbonation is actually a compliment to the beer -- It's neither too much or too little. Put some in your mouth and hold it for a few seconds, and you'll see what I mean. You'll get pure beer taste before you get the effervescence of the carbonation on your tongue.

All in all, this is a good AIPA, and one that I'd love in the middle of the summer, as I sit outside tending my grill. As a winter warmer, however, there's something important missing that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's the lack of seasonal spice, or maybe it's the abundance of my favorite hops. Whatever the case, I like this beer a bunch.

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Photo of willgro
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a great new generation brewery in the US and is in the mountains, near Chico, California. The brewery is known for beers full of character and complexity. This one is for winter and is aromatic and lively in flavor, with hints of oily dark chocolate and lots of lemony hop bitterness. I personally don't like a lot of hops, but this one is pretty good. Sierra Nevada is famous for India Pale ale, which to be honest, i'm not a huge fan of. But check this one out, it is a good christmas ale. Not quite St. Arnolds, but close.

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Photo of gabe23
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Reddish-orange color with a nice fluffy head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Hops, pine sap, and a bit of malt.

T - Very hoppy to the point of overpowering the spices and malt. Very 'green' tasting and bitter.

M - Lots of carbonation and fairly thin. Not the cleanest finish, either.

D - This one is definitely made for the hopheads, which I am not. When I think holiday beers, I envision something a bit more malty with spices. But this is more like chewing on a branch off the Christmas tree. But it's an interesting brew, and worth a try if you're looking for a bitter winter brew.

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Photo of unclejazz
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I finally got around to having one of these for the sake of review. It let me down a bit. It looked like a good winter ale and was not to sweet or heavy on spices. My problem was the classic SNPA hoppiness was all I really tasted. It wasn't bad, but I hoped it would differ more from the flagship pale ale.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz draught in pint glass at McGrath's in Harrisburg

A-a redish golden color, nice cloudy white head

S-faint aromas of spice, mostly cinnamon and maybe a hint of nutmeg balanced with some floral hops

T-light flavors of cinnamon, pale malt, some sweet caramel, and a light bitter hop finish that is also accompanied by a tinge of citrus

M-smooth texture, cooling on the back of the throat, medium body with a light carbonation

D-it goes down easy but the flavors are a little mild. I'd like to see more and expected as much from all of the previous reviews.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy burn orange. Under strong light, I can see a large amount of unfiltered sediment in the beer. The thick head reduces to a thin coating on top of the beer but there is a large amount of foam clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Piney, grassy notes. Smells like frshly cut in spring/summer.

T - Very herbal. A slight sweetness up front on the tongue but the bitterness rules afterwards. Bitter aftertaste is quite strong.

M - Thin but the hops stick to every part of my mouth, tongue, and throat giving a thicker feel. Mild carbonation.

D - For hopheads this might be a good beer. I prefer more of a malty beer but this is good.

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Photo of tmcelvain
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

L: Clear copper, with a very little head.
Very light malt smell, with lingering acidic bitterness.
T: I'm very unimpressed with this. I'll not go into the lack of adherence to a winter style, but suffice to say that this is a hop-bitter beer. Slighhtly piney with lemony-citrus overtones. Not a well-balanced taste - relying on too much hop character, which to me tastes too much like a bitter stalk of celery.
M: A little over-carbonated.
D: Pretty high, despite my low impression on the other aspects. The hoppiness and carbonation are refreshing and palatable when considered for a sessionable beer, but I would be putting in some effort to drink more than 2.
Overall, this tastes to me like an amped-up SNPA, which is ok, but lacks balance.

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Photo of barrelman
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007- served in a tulip in an unheated office, typing with Bob Cratchit type cut-off gloves. Ahem.

This beer even looks like it uses Cascades.

Smell is floral with wet wheat flour (take that snobs!).

I think from now on I'm going to list mouthfeel before taste because it's always a let down to do this one. Cut and Paste.

Taste is terrific, at first. The more I drink it, the stickier the hop aftertaste becomes. Don't get me wrong, I love the icky sticky, but an IPA can present an abundant amount of hops and still finish clean.

Drinkability took two steps back after about 6 ounces. Beer was certainly well hopped with decent balance, but it stayed with me for the next 2 to 3 hours.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been drinking this beer for years, first time I get to review it.

A: Pours a dark amber/ruby color. Opaque, cloudy. Generous foamy head that leaves nice lacing along the glass as it disappears.

S: Aroma shows up after the beer warms up a little. Lots of malt, some piney hops and spices.

T: You know it's a Sierra Nevada product as soon as you taste it. Bitterness up front, nice toasty malts to balance it out. Sublte hints of citrus and spice. Alcohol is noticeable.

M: Nothing to complain about here.

O: Solid beer but overrated.

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Photo of ImusBeer
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had a few of these for quite some time in the beer fridge. There was a bit of sediment on the bottom which got into the glass since I wasn't really looking for it.

It poured a copper-gold color with an off white head, about two fingers that stayed for quite some time and died to a small quarter inch that stuck around. There was a bunch of lace that accumulated on the glass as I drank.

My daughter even voiced that the pine sap aroma was quite strong. Also sensed some citrus in there as well.

The taste was dominated by bitter pine and all the hops you would expect. The mouth was bitter with a very dry aftertaste, what you would expect from a nice IPA and why it is one of my favorite styles.

It's a little too much bitterness for a session beer but a really nice and enjoyable brew.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,402 ratings.