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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.

3,345 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,345
Hads: 9,589
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.76%
Wants: 344
Gots: 1,456 | FT: 3
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: 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: 3,345 | Hads: 9,589
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada- Celebration Ale

Appearance- Reddish brown with a thick white head.
Smell- Pine, grapefruit, and spice. Sweet malt.
Taste- Light citrus and pine with a dry maltiness.
Mouthfeel- Slighty bitter with a sweet malt twang.

Overall- Not as strong or potent as I recall from earlier years but regardless still a solid session beer.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice orange amber typical of the Sierra Ale family, and with a half inch of off white head. A bit cloudy in appearance, or perhaps hazy is a better word, quite welcoming. Head dissipates in a few minutes and shows brief lacing.

A bit of earthen hops on the nose, some resinous pine and just a hint of subtle cinnamon spice.

Taste is smooth with a slight bitterness, yet the malt structure balances nicely. Notes of cinnamon on the finish. The carbonation does dissipate too quickly in my opinion, even with a slow pour, and thus yields a slightly viscous feel to the brew in the second half even as the hop notes open up.

Similar to SNPA in many ways but with a bit more maltiness and a heavier body. I see this as a nice fortified version of their Pale Ale but it doesn't stand out in the IPA realm.

Note: 2008 Release....

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Photo of Tripphop
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada. Pours an amber orange, very attractive color with a frothy tan head that sticks around for a minute. Aromas are piney and earthy, no citrus notes, very dark hop profile. Malt backbone is solid, bready malt that matches the earthy, crisp conclusion to the taste. Nicely balanced, expected a little more in your face hops for a "fresh hop ale" dont recall seeing that on the bottle previously.

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Photo of MamaMeier
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Has a redish, brownish tint - good foam

S - Smells fruity and has hints of parfume

T - Very floral, with bitter after taste, parfume taste

M - Smooth, unfortunately tastes a bit watered down to me

D - Smooth, clean finish, have had better IPAs

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Lush, rusty and looking like trees in the fall. Very nice.
smell: subdued hops, a hint of spice. Not too complex out of the fridge. Let's see what happens at it warms.
taste: Very tasty, again not too complex just of the fridge. I do like the mellowness of the whole cone American hops.
overall: Very tasty IPA. I had high expectations from this. Very tasty but didn't quite meet the bar I expected after reading so much praise. Still, a fine brew.
Did not change much as it warmed.

12/12/11 edit: revisited this after all the enthusiasm shown here on ba. Still seems to be a good, well done ipa , but at least IMHO, not a superstar ( while fully respected that many others hold in high regard).

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Photo of tobeerornottobe
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep golden colour, not exactly clear, looks like a heavyish beer. Great head, thick with lots of nice bubbles.

N: Not terribly full but subtle and nicely balanced. Hints of tropical fruits.

T: Milder than I expected given appearance and taste. However, nice bitterness moving through from mid palate to back palate.

M: Pleasant and well balanced, nice that it's not too overcarbonated.

Very good session beer, loved how it is so well balanced.

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Photo of beercat11
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 12 pack of this years batch. I have enjoyed this beer for many years but I must say that last year and this years version are not up to par as in previous years. Not sure why but the flavors are off from what I remember. Its still good as most brews from SN but too close to some of their other offerings such as the Pale Ale and Torpedo. It just doesn't stand out like it used to. The hop bitterness is there but it seems as though they are using different flavoring hops then they used to. My friends have also noticed this. Maybe SN is getting too big and loosing touch with the importance of consistency.

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Photo of LeRose
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage in six packs.

Poured a red coppery color with a nice frothy head that persisted. About two fingers down to a quarter inch or so.

Aroma was like the pine forest. Very resinous, a bit of grapefruit provided the citrus punch.

Flavor followed along. Hops forward with pine resin and a bit of bitterness, but not overwhelming. A touch of grapefruit bitterness on the finish. Hard time finding the malt under the hops, but there was definite sweetness present. Enjoyed the green notes of the hops, but I suspect this would be miles better on draft.

A little coating, but not cloying. So overall an enjoyable beer that was good choice to share with friends.

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Photo of iceball585
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber/copper color, semi-clear, thin lacy head that lowered to a ring around the glass, lots of carbonation bubbles rising, also mild sediment floating throughout

S- Mostly spices, hops, flowery, slight pine smell

T- Flowery hops, spices (black pepper), grapefruit, fairly bitter

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, bitter, slight oily finish

D- Worth trying but slightly too spicey to drink more than one

This is one holiday beer that is worth trying. I wouldn't say this is one of my favorites but still good none the less.

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Photo of fosterific
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer looks great poured into a glass. It has a translucent golden-amber color with a solid custard colored head.

The glass explodes with the dominating crisp aroma of hops, lot and lots of hops.

As the smell foreshadowed, my palate is submerged in the bitterness and teasing of hops that encourages just one more sip before I set the glass down.

The carbonation level gives the beer a light, crisp mouth feel.

I always enjoy a well hopped beer such as this and am curious as to how this AIPA will age. With any hoppy beer though, I can only handle so many before needing a break of malty goodness.


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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Deep orange colored and a little hazy beer with a huge 4-finger high beige, fluffy, head. A LOT of lacing stays on the glass!

Nose: Tropical fruit, orange marmelade, caramel malt, bread and pine.
Taste: Bitter hops, dried fruit, red berries, pine, caramel malt and grapefruit.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Great taste with balanced bitterness and sweetness.
Great beer!

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Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge IPA fan, hence if you are your marks would probably be higher.
Still, this was a very enjoyable beer and I am going to store my other 2007 away for a year.
Would not recommend downing these as your tongue nor your brain might be able to handle it. Still, a nice quality drink to sip as winter continues.
I poured this into a pint glass and was amazed at the copper, auburnish body. I was expecting a more tan body for some reason.
Left two finger head that slowly descended into my mug, and there were some positive lacings left and the bubbles kept rising.
I didn't detect too much variety upon smell, I don't think they put in a lot of fancy or even "extra" ingredients like most winter beers do, this was just straight hops and malt with some citrus.
Unlike regular IPAs, this was only medium bodies, and the hops did not overpower the drink and overkill my pallete. Went down slightly smooth, for a change, and actually improved upon further drinking rather than dry my mouth out a litte.
I detected some citrusy in the beer, and I highly doubt it is in there but something like oak or wood or something to complement the backbite from the malt upon swallowing.
I will be buying the 2008, I just hope its popularity with the general public doesn't increase (at the local beer store here they had a huge display of this in front and it was about empty) so the price stays the same.

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Photo of PossumMunsen31
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good beer. Not exceptional is the least bit but enjoyable. Very hoppy with a good clean finish. About a 1.5 inch head. Citrus and pine notes. Reminds me of Bells Two Hearted but not nearly as good. Worth purchasing for some type of Holday celebration.

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Photo of Running4beer
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a copper/amber color with a thick frothy off white head very nice and it maintains for quite a while then slowly thins out never fading out completely. Carbonation was moderate and had a medium bodied mouth feel. Aroma was straight up hops, citrus hops, floral hops, spiced hops and a piney/grassy aroma. Flavor was much the same as the aroma straight up hops spicey and floral hops were the strongest flavors noticable a bit and tiny bit of caramel malt. There was a slight bitterness and aftertaste IMO. Good brew but not my favorite SN....

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Photo of Hautacam
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber....foamy head drops to a film quickly.
Smells strongly of aromatic piney hops.
Taste is very tangy, citrusy hops balanced with a smooth semi-sweet toasty malt. Alcohol hint as it warms up. Hoppy aftertaste.
Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.
All in all , a good brew..could have more tha one.

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Photo of beeroclock
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's hard to rate this one. I heard so many people discussing how great this years stock of Celebration was. I really do like it too.... but.... this isn't what I expected. I am a huge hop head so I like it. However, I was expecting it to have some more spice & complexity to it. It's really more of your typical IPA. Last years stock wasn't the best ever, but it had an excellent spice/cinnamon thing going on and I may have enjoyed it even more than this year. IMO, if they would merge this year & last it would be perfect. On to my review... A - Nice auburn with slight puffy tan head that laced the glass well. S - Hops, hops, hops. T - More hops, where's the spice? Some citrus & pine bite, but bitter hops all the way. M - A nice brew, I love IPA's so I enjoyed it immensely, just not what was expected from the Christmas winter brew. D - You can enjoy these all winter with no problem, either way... atleast as long as you like a strong kick in the mouth of bitter hops.

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Photo of KajII
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a clear dark amber brown with a large (2-3 finger) off white rocky head that lasted throughout and had some really good lacing.

The aroma had a moderate dose of pine hops, a generous portion of grain and barley malts and a soapy yeast with notes of caramel, citrus and some nice wintery spices (clove and coriander I believe).

The taste was mildly bitter with a note of caramel and just a little orange at first then became moderately bitterer and a bit hoppy with notes of grapefruit and a big dose of spices at the end. The flavor lasted a nice long time after the swallow with a nice strong hop presence and a touch of spice.

Mouthfeel was right between light and medium in body and a bit dry in texture with a nice lively carbonation.

Overall a nice full tasting hoppy ale that had everything it needed to make a wonderful Winter Seasonal.

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Photo of punkrkr27
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich orange-copper pour with a nice frothy off-white head. Smells of orange zest, spices, pine and caramel and a hint of lemon. Piny hop flavor with lots of caramel malt background and a generous amount of spice. Good medium body with lots of soft carbonation.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage, purchased at BevMo in Redlands Ca in a 6 pack for $7.99 (I think).

I have seen this beer around the block for many years, but always was under the impression that it was a spiced up holiday ale a la the Belgian "Noel's", which I don't care much for. So I always passed it by. But I was feeling spontaneous the other day, and picked up a sixer. Only to discover that this is one chock-hop-filled IPA, reminiscent (but bolder than) the Sierra Nevada IPA, which I first found this past summer. OK, enough of my back story.

Typical orange/golden of an IPA, with almost no head- a vigorous pour did very little. This runs against other reviews I've seen, so who knows?

Medium-bodied aroma dominated by sharp astringent hops. Flavor is all about the hops- sharp, oily,harsh on the back of the throat hops. A good IPA, similar to the regular IPA but with an "enhanced" hop presence. Good, but I prefer the fruitier hops.

A decent offering from Sierra Nevada, obviously popular, so maybe I'm missing something. I think it's good but not as excellent as some of my associates.

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Photo of ahking
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is nice IPA from Sierra Nevada that is a nice alternative to their standard IPA. A bit dryer and tad spicier. Hops are right there on the tip of your tongue tasting as citrusy as ever. Slightly toasted and a bit caramelly (at least more so than the standard IPA). Nice amber with very foamy white head. If poured well, the head will stand like sea foam and last the entire time.

Also, I found a 2002 version of this beer in my basement. The biggest difference is a pronounced caramel malt flavor. This beer did not cellar so well as there a bevy of off flavors (or at least flavors I don't tend to like). Also pours quite hazy as expected.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a red/orange color with a very small head that dies off quickly. The body appears thin.

Smell is mostly hops - floral and spicy.

Taste is full of hops as expected. There are some subtle sweet flavors that I can't place but round off the flavor nicely.

Overall, its great for long sessions, but doesn't offer much for a single beer experience.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Auld-Dubliner in Tucson, AZ. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width, fluffy white head. Deep red-brown color, well carbonated but no lacing whatsoever. Interesting.

S- Very hoppy, warm and dark brewing spices make their way forward.

T- Hoppy and bitter, the hops claim the beer, but for an IPA that's quite alright with me.

M- Medium bodied, decently carbonated and with a sticky finish.

O- Quite good, maybe too hoppy. The booziness is non-existent and I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of mcann2pu
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is an 09 bottle. Thanks to madtrixter for the trade,
a- pours into my left hand brewing glass a clear amber color with some redish/yellowish hues in it, not to much head on this one,
s-wow, I wasn't expecting this one to be a hoppy beer at all, I was expecting a malty spiced winter beer and thats not what I got, the only real smell I got was the hops,
t- good IPA taste, the bitterness of the hops was fairly well balanced here,
d-not bad, overall a good winter IPA to chase the cold away; I guess its god that everyone doesn't fall into the traditional winter ale line up, I'll be trying a few more of these this winter,

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Photo of RunDWP
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sorry, I just find myself a raving fan of this brew. It looks great, with a big flaffy light tan head floating on the bronz brew, but I found it went down hill from there. It's hoppy, with an earthy, resiny bitterness that just wasn't to my liking, and which I think clashed somewhat with the nutty and slightly caramel malt. Lot's of hops on the nose, this one is pretty aromatic. It's good, but I didn't find to as great as many people here found it.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a brassy orange hue - rosy in the heart, gold around the edges -- with two fingers of stiff beige foam. Thick bands of lace as the head mellows.

Smell -- Bright and bitter: Pine resin, earthy vegetation, and grapefruit pith. Toasted malt, dab of honey, drop of cane juice. Nothing off, though a bit ho-hum.

Taste -- More bright grapefruit hop notes in the taste than in the nose - pith and zest. Pine resin also very present, crescendos in the finish. Sturdy malt backbone, more than just a jumping off point to the hops - toasty with mild malt sweetness akin to dark honey. Lingering flavors of resin, pith, and honey.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with nice carbonation. Works well with the flavor profile. Immensely drinkable.

Drinkability - Not bad in the least. Very balanced, though still definitely an IPA. Easy drinker, good choice for the cold months ahead. Admittedly, I still prefer Torpedo over this tasty seasonal.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,345 ratings.