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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.

9,297 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,297
Reviews: 3,344
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,222 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,297 | Reviews: 3,344
Photo of misternebbie
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a dark amber,edging into red, with a huge, handsome, off-white head. Aroma explodes with hops, calling forth sensations of citrus, grapefruit, orange, peach, lemon, a beautiful, albeit bitter, fruit bouquet. Texture's tasty, body's light/medium, finish is quite delicious and lasting,. Overall, an exceptional overboard IPA!

My tiny complaint, though this is a brew that I sample and enjoy every year, like all beer lovers, is that it's character doesn't offer much than you'd imagine of a super-hoppy IPA. When I think of seasonal wintertime beers, I expect something darker, with extra flavors, suitable to the chilly days we have have to endure. (At least, those of us who have winter...). It's a pity they don't release this year 'round as an IPA, as that's the only staple missing from their portfolio.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip; copper-orange, clear, with periodic big bubbles feeding a thick, fluffy white head. Head holds firm for a minute or two, then collapses into a chunky cap of foam that leaves spotty lacing as it breaks.
Smells awesome, as soon as I opened the bottle I was already whiffing hops. Powerful hop aroma consists of dank herbal hops, along with pine and lighter citrus and other fruits.
Taste is sweet malt balanced with a hefty dose of hops; pine and citrus rind, along with lesser flavors of earthy herbalness. Bitterness finishes it off in the aftertaste with some lingering malty sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and smooth, finishes wet and sticky.
Overall, another solid beer, and another solid IPA from Sierra Nevada. It's a quality beer that isn't full of itself, unassuming and delicious, as SN always is.

Photo of Bills453
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2012 version bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance - a beautiful copper color. Nice two finger frothy off white head that leaves some fantastic lacing down the glass.

Smell - hop, hoppity, hop, hop, HOPS!

Taste - a perfec mixture of hops comes through in this beer. Not overpowering, just perfect.

Mouthfeel - nice.

Overall - what a fantastic wintertime beer!

Photo of BuckyFresh
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a large wine glass. Beautiful golden/copper color and slightly hazy. Large, frothy off-white head about two fingers thick that lasts quite awhile. Nice even collar of lacing on the glass as well.

Smell: Bright hoppy aroma here with some citrus notes and and underlying malty sweetness. Maybe a tiny bit of yeast and spice in the nose as well.

Taste: I was pleasantly surprised at first with how creamy the taste was with this one. There is significant hop bitterness, but the beer finishes smooth and is quite a treat for the palate. Good malty character and an almost a bread-like back-end help balance out the citrus notes and bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, with good carbonation and a very smooth finish. Right amount of bitterness and a warming quality make this one a pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for an IPA and I'm sure I could knock back a couple of these. The ABV might sneak up on you though.

I really enjoyed this beer. The creamy flavor and bread-like quality were a pleasant surprise and not something you typically see with an ale of this variety. It was like an IPA wrapped in a comfy Christmas sweater, sitting by the fire.

Photo of fmccormi
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a 20oz nonic pint at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse, NY.

Appearance (4.5): There’s a thin, off-white head falling to a haze that leaves some fuzz on the surface of the body, which is a deep copper and more or less clear. Very attractive.

Smell (3.5): Lightly toasted malts, some grapefruit and some pine. I’d like some more in the nose, but it’s pretty good stuff regardless.

Taste (4.5): PINE + DANK. Some mild caramel sweetness underneath the hop profile, but nothing will undercut the hops here. Toasted and biscuity, with a light caramel component. Hops are lemon, pine, and dank weed. So good, though. The hop profile kind of morphs from the aforementioned combination into a mix of grapefruit and pine. Bitterness cuts through all of it, with a long but mild, pine finish. Yeast? Classic Chico, totally neutral.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Active, fine carbonation—slightly prickly, and on the lighter side of a medium body. This is very, very hard not to drink faster.

Overall (4.5): This is the archetypal fresh hop IPA, in my mind. All beers of this style aim to be something akin to this: even if they’re aiming to be more or less than what this beer is, they’re aiming for something in the region defined by this beer. Absolutely wonderful.

Photo of John_cavanaugh
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Puddleglum
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yummy. Someone pawned this six pack off on me because it didn't taste like the label I suppose. I was more than happy to receive it and enjoy it thoroughly. It has a nice amber, chestnut color with a head that fizzled out pretty quickly. Other than that I was very happy with the snap of the hops and the twang of the malt. I thought it was a nice balance. They may have overdone it with the bitter hops if they were hoping to make it highly drinkable. But one or two will do for me.

Photo of mobyfann
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid a mere $5.99 for a growler at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY...

The beer pours a clear amber colored base, large white head, excellent retention and lacing on the glass. Smells of oak and hops with a touch of maple syrup.

Low Carbonation, full bodied, incredibly smooth and high quality ingredients... perfect hops in this one. Easy going and smooth in the mouth and a perfect session beer, the only way it isn't is if you drink it too quickly, which is a possibility!

Final Thought: This is a great IPA from one of the big 3 in the micro-brew industry, fantastic!

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly darker and definitely more red in color than SN pale ale. Could be the pour, but the head also fluffed up more than the pale ale I had just prior. Just as clear, less fizzy, and more red (almost pinish, even)--for me those are all positives. Less hops and more malt both in the smell and in the taste. This is a very nice beer--somewhere between a red and a pa/ipa--and that suits me just fine. It's not as big as many seasonal releases; I expected it to be a slightly bigger beer, closer in that regard to Bigfoot. But there is nothing to complain about and plenty to enjoy. As it warms, a nice malty sweetness becomes more noticeable. This is definitely a beer that you could drink all night at a holiday celebration.

Photo of BBP
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a typical hop orange hue with a good head, nice retention, and pretty good lacing.

The aroma is of floral hops. Not really blasting aroma, but it's a little past optimal freshness so some aroma could have faded.

The taste is superb. I really think this has to be one of, if not the best deal on IPAs out there. It's full of hop bitterness, flavor, and leaves a really nice pine and citrus. The aftertaste and followthrough is the icing on the cake. The flavor lasts for quite a while.

The mouthfeel is medium heavy, and medium thick. Carbonation is lively, but not aggressive. The finish is dry and slightly sticky.

Overall, this really caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting a tone, as I figured it was past it's prime, but I think if I had it fresh, it could easily be one of my top five favorite IPAs. I can say without a doubt, this is a beer I would buy by the case if it was readily available to me.

Photo of InlandTaipan
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic Rich deep copper IPA. I look forward to this every year. Classic!

Photo of rembrant
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There is a wonderful and quaint myth that Celebration contains punkin pie spices or some coriander or minced up christmas trees...Then again you also may hear reindeer on the roof if you guzzle the whole 12 pack. For some beers...guzzle the 12,would seem absurd. With celebration,I find it a rather tempting notion.

There are no added spices just the elemental BEER things.

I love that art on the label/6pk/12 pk with the Poinsettas and the cabin in the snow. I gotta scan that and photoshop up christmas cards to all the kind relatives who stopped by in the last month bearing Cel;ebrations. Ironically, in my decades in Calif...I didn't have so many of these as I've had this month.

Pours slightly reddish amber,lots of cream colored froth and will lace the whole glass as you empty it.

Aromas a whiff of Citrus,breadiness,caramel.
Flavor - A brief hint of caramel toasted malt and then the hops. In the winter,I chill a bit less aggressively-and likely that accounts for some added malt substance.
The Malt side is the backup band here and several hops do a Do-Wop harmony with Grapefruit leading,but some piney,spicey and Ganga Resin detectable. Quite a nicely designed show. I think there's more malt background than SNPA and a bit more complex hops. I recall Torpedo being a bit more bitter but here the hops get to show off flavor more.

All in all, a superior IPA and that's something as there's a lot of good IPA's. That $15 12 pack price...obviously is a factor too as I seemed to snatch them up passing through the supermarket.
I would not quite say the mouthfeel is sticky,yet there's a bit of that from the hops,and the body is "right".

Drinkably, not the lightesrt and wettest but I'm reviewing the second bottle which I'd opened about 15 min after finishing the first. Usually, I space my beers. I even peered into the bottle to be sure it really was empty. Alas...it was.

Makes the grey skies of winter a bit more cheery. Not a budget killer. Each bottle seems to feel like a damn good idea. Not sure why this seems more than it is...must be those mythical spices. Jingle all the way.

Photo of loosey
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i dont buy presents for christmas, i save my money to buy this for myself

2008 12 oz bottle, pours into a pint glass... im looking at a raggedy brass bar rail, years of use by the bottoms of miserable shoes, like jimmy stewart on xmas eve ... sudsy and sticky head, a bit hazy with yeast flakes.. laces heavily

powerful, aroma is sweet and citrusy, hops are dominant and unchallenged... this is aggressively attacking my nose

taste is robust, sharp grapefruit cascade ... slight toast is almost hiding behind all the hoppiness, earthy herbal spiciness, bitter in the mid and late palate, flowery and mouth smacking dry finish ...medium bodied, smooth... almost a tongue numbing effect... strong warming effect too, forehead warm, getting warmer.. strong beer

induce a fever with this to get out of your family holiday party, throw away your yule log and make room for another fridge, go outside in your underwear and shove snow in your crotch, bite an ice cream cone with your sad, deteriorating front teeth, wait to take a dump for 2 days until that cold feeling comes... none of it matters, just keep drinking this!

Photo of ardmoreryan
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with an off-white, rocky head, lacing the glass as the beer goes down. The head stayed solid for about 5 minutes; after that, it became rocky and dissipated quickly.

Tastes like a stronger Pale Ale with an oily pine scent followed by a nearly overwhelming hops-grapefruit flavor behind. No one does hops nearly as well as Sierra.

As far as drinkability, the Ale goes down similarly to Pale Ale. However, despite the higher alcohol content, there is an easiness to it. The hops don't stick to the back of the tongue in the same way that they do in IPAs and other APAs.

All in all, a remarkable example of American "craft" brewing with hops!

Photo of Beric
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into snifter
Served: 22 November 2014

Appearance: Pours a nice copper red color with a soapy one finger white head. Looks awesome. Leaves great lacing.

Smell: My biggest take from the smell is how clean it is- the smell is just nice crisp citrus hoppiness without being too overpowering on a similarly crisp and clean maltiness.

Taste: I finally understand why people go nuts for this IPA. It's truly quite world class, easily one of the best I've had. The biggest impression I get from this beer is how balanced it is for the style- everything compliments each other. The malts provide a nice core to the beer and enough sweetness to balance out the hops, while the hops provide a strong assertion of bitter citrus fruit and some herbal spiciness. Really marvelous.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with good carbonation. I'd like to see the carbonation turned down half a notch in this one. This beer on cask would be godly.

Overall: An incredible beer, and one that I intend on drinking much more of before the holiday season is up. World class. Highly recommended.

Photo of AJacob81
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Natellis123
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of michaelsmith11
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kevin-Wieken
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, California
---from bottle to stemmed tulip glass---

Foggy ruby amber, thiiiick head that eventually settles to a nice cap, excellent thick lacing - Beautiful

Slight tropical fruit aroma, herbal hops, bready and grassy.

Grapefruit pulp, caramel malts, hints of lemon, bread.

Very bubbly, medium bodied, extremely hoppy. Good balance of bitter from season fresh hops to malty sweetness. Finishes dry with notes of grain.

Hits all aspects of the american IPA. Earthy, herbal, citrusy - All while remaining drinkable, bitter, sweet, and delicious. Can it not be winter forever??

Photo of cratez
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz (355ml) bottle from a 6-pack purchased at Ryan's Party Store in Port Huron, MI.

Pours a slightly hazed copper bronze with a thick ring of cream coloured head. Globs of stringy lace cling to the tulip.

Subdued nose is floral hops, Clementine, citrus zest, and fruity, toffee-like aromas.

Taste is orange peel, pine, caramel, bright and juicy tangerine, and a spicy, citric hop bitterness to end.

Mouthfeel is silky, medium-bodied, oily texture mid-palate, crisp and tangy bite from the hops with a firmly bitter finish.

Big, satisfying flavours on this holiday IPA with high drinkability despite the ABV. I look forward to savouring the rest of my case over the next little while.

Photo of degerbah
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with two finger so of head into a normal pint glass. Lots of lacing left over. The smell is a ton of flowery hops that smell absolutely heavenly. The last celebration I had was over six months old and was very tasty, but nothing like this. As hoppy as any IPA I could want, but with some malty backboneto follow it up, this is an absolutely fantastic beer all around. Maybe not the best beer for someone who is not a hop fan, and definitely not the samew type of winter seasonal we get in the midwest. This is fantastic and always worth it.

Photo of caddybuyer
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 version, hot off the truck.

A-Pours a veiled peach copper amber with a creamy eggshell head with AMAZING lacing.

S-A whole lotta C hop going on here, and it is all good. Carmel malts are present in quantity to balance it all out.

T-Pungent mouthpuckering citrus hops are balanced by robust caramel malts in a medley of IPA. Astringent grapefruit rind finish that goes on forever and ever. This is a robust full flavored IPA that takes full advantage of both hop and malt.

M-Full bodied for an IPA with balanced carbonation.

D-I rank this up there with Racer 5 as one of the best IPAs on the planet, but with a higher malt bill than racer and more body. This one never lets me down...

Photo of RickS95
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little darker than a normal IPA, looks like you mixed orange juice and ginger ale. A thin, but fluffy white head that sticks to the glass as it dissipates.

Has a flowery, citrusy smell, and seemed to have a scent of hard candy as well.

A big taste of citrus greets you with each sip. A little bit of pine is present as well.

The malts do a good job of masking the bitterness. It's still there, but it's gentle makes each drink enjoyable.

Like all things Sierra Nevada, this is a keeper. Good flavors, good alcohol, just a shame it's a seasonal.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the good fortune of finding a sixer of this at Kappy's. Ran about $8. Had an deep amber color with a decent head. The twist off makes it way too easy. The taste was hoppy, but not over powering. The label said 2003, but I don't think the taste changes much year to year. Bitter sweet, this is a fantastic beer. If only store 24 carried it!

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,297 ratings.