Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

9,373 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,373
Reviews: 3,357
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 305
Gots: 1,285 | 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: 9,373 | Reviews: 3,357
Photo of freed
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My mouth started watering when I read the name of this ale. I admit I've got a 'thing' for hops, but this is a wonderful example of a full bodied ale with strong hops. I'm not sure if this is considered a seasonal, but its my favorite of the bunch. Its like having a great winter beer and a great IPA. Great for drinking outside during the winter.

addendum: market found 10 cases hidden, so its on sale. Seems extra good compared to the lagers I've had lately

Photo of Burt
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass.

A. Amber, copper with off white head with good retention that left tight lacing all the way down.

S. Nice citrus hops with some malt.

T. Hops up front with a caramel middle then nice bitter finish.

M. Little carbonation with a smooth finish

D. This is a great beer that I always look forward to every year. I can have more than one at a sitting.

Photo of argock
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle

A: Rusty with thick sticky head

S: Aromatic hops with slight maltiness -- very earthy

T: Smooth but sharp hops character with just enough malt complexity to make this stellar. Alcohol is not prominent. Tastes as good as it smells.

M: Exceedingly smooth with even carbonation and pleasurable aftertaste.

D: Exceptional offering for hop-lovers who still love some balance.

Photo of brantadid
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light amber color with a half inch white head. The head diminished quickly to a nice thin foam. A little lacing.

Really pungent aroma to this beer. I get a green tea like smell followed by citrus rind. Really nice.

Taste is orange rind. Incredible length of flavor. Bitterness lasts a really long time. Wonderful crispness to this beer. Heat from the alcohole comes through a bit as it warms.

Mouthfeel is really creamy.

This is a very drinkable beer. Great for a winter night.

Photo of nsb318
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Never a big SN fan but this beer has a terrific taste and smell. I'm new to reviewing beer but this IPA definitely stands out. Fortunately a local store still carried a few bottles. Can't wait till this comes out over the holidays.In my opinion the smell and state compliment one another well.

Photo of Growlerguzzler
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers. Hoppy, fresh, floral. A great value.

If you are an IPA fan, you'll likely love this release.

I was able to get this at a discounted price as a seasonal brew. It's not as great with age, but still great.

If you favor spicy, sweet seasonal brews move along.

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahh, the great Sierra Nevada, the craft brew pioneers and one of my favorite breweries. I always look forward to there seasonals, which has never dissapointed me.

Iwas stoked to see this is out again, so I figured it's time to prepare for the holidays. It is my tradition to celebrate the holiday season with lovely, warm, flavorful and potent seasonal ales like this classic.

A=dark amber-orange/ruby-red with thick creamy white head,leaving a trail of sticky lacing,staying around for a good while.

S&T=Spice,some good malted barley,nuts, piney hops come through in the end. But not as hoppy and malty as previous years.Hmmmm...

Body is medium to fairly above. Well balanced as always. Fairly heavy as well.

Very pleasent and drinkable, can have a few as long as they are spaced out.

Not quite as hoppy/malty as previous years, but still damn good. One of my favorite IPAs. I look forward to these every holiday season.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007
holiday beer without all the spices and stuff.

A- poured into my lightbulb-shaped hue-separating tulip glass, this slightly hazy brew was a beautiful ruby-red grapefruit copper up top in the bowl with golden amber in the stem. huge amount of color difference. 2in of chunky wrinkly off white foam with great retention left lots of tiers of wavy lace and settled to a thin soapy disk.

S- fruity citrus pine, woodsy spiced fruit maybe cranberries, orange, and grapefruit with just a hint of nutmeg. JUST A HINT. earthy malty aromas along with alcohol to warm your face a little.

T- bitter tangerine, lemon, parsley, oily resinous pine tar with another citrus/grapefruit kick. the hops linger throughout, malt meets em half way with some toasty bread and tobacco, fruity again towards the end this time with a currant/cranberry/kiwi zap behind the bitter dry puckering woody herbal finish.

MF- smooth, slightly thin feeling yet oily and resinous in the mouth. slick and coating with medium carbonation, finishes dry and tart and makes you want another drink.

D- limited availability and intense flavor would make it hard to session.

2008 review: A+
A- same nice reddish copper amber but with a softer, less rocky, melting ice cream type head and of course plenty of crusty lace
S- outstanding pine and grapefruit aroma, cascade and centennial being one of my favorite combinations. toasty malt underlay with a little sweetness.
T- woodsy, herbal, and resinous with notes of bitter orange, cranberry, and thyme. some burnt caramel at the finish with a hop flavor that last forever.
MF- resinous body with velvety medium carbonation, hop oil coats the palate along with some dryness.
D- a masterpiece i look forward to every year, perfect combination of hops and toast.

review of 2007 batch one year later:
a year has done much to mellow this all-star and many small bits of yeast are spattered at the bottom of the glass. hops have toned down into a seamless line of pine and grapefruit and malt is toasty burnt caramel as it will ever be. slightly more in balance, and not quite so aggressive.

Photo of Thelonious_Mahler_Crate
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: It's a nice darker amber that lets just enough light through to see how cloudy it is. Surprisingly little head on this, with a moderate pour. The next one will get poured more aggressively... Lacing on this one is thick and refuses to disappear.

Smell: Sharp, citrusy, piney hops. Nice.

Taste: I think I've died. This must be the afterlife. As echoed by many others here, this one isn't very balanced, but great nonetheless. The hops cut through everything else, but a spicy maltiness is present as well as some grapefruit citrus. Adult candy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body with a smoothness that's top-notch.

Overall: Wow... I've seen this beer hyped in the forum so I had to try it. No disappointment here. It might be in my top three favorites now. I'll have to see how I feel after the next five of them. My guess is fantastic. (Note: I am a hophead. If you are not, you won't like it as much.) Getcha some!

Photo of Dusty6467
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: warm, amber, cloudy body, 2 finger head with excellent retention

S: hoppy, pine, sweet, not overwhelming on any attributes

T: awww nice, hits with some hops, a little spice... then malty carmel... then the dry hops and faint yeast finish it out for a very well balanced taste

M: good body, clean but very full

O: This is certainly one of my favorite beers out there. They don't mention on the package that it's pitched with yeast which gives it a great taste similar to a belgian IPA. For the price, it's the best value I've been able to find (paid $13 for a 12 pack). Pick it up around the holidays - worth a try!

Photo of Schmittymack
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this as a twelve pack back in January. Pours an orange-red color. Still has nice citrus smell; hop "bite" has mellowed since I had it on draft in November. Actually more sessionable now. I pick up a bit of fruitness but after four swallows, can't quite pinpoint it. I picked up a bigger hop bite back in November when I had it on draft; I actually like it better now! Very sessionable; I'll be disapointed when I run out.

Photo of Winston_Smith
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 Celebration Ale... my first try of this hyped beer.

Appearance: It's a nice darker amber that lets just enough light through to see how cloudy it is. Surprisingly little head on this, with a moderate pour. The next one will get poured more aggressively... Lacing on this one is thick and refuses to disappear.

Smell: Sharp, citrusy, piney hops. Nice.

Taste: I think I've died. This must be the afterlife. As echoed by many others here, this one isn't very balanced, but great nonetheless. The hops cut through everything else, but a spicy maltiness is present as well as some grapefruit citrus. Adult candy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body with a smoothness that's top-notch.

Overall: Wow... I've seen this beer hyped in the forum so I had to try it. No disappointment here. It might be in my top three favorites now. I'll have to see how I feel after the next five of them. My guess is fantastic. (Note: I am a hophead. If you are not, you won't like it as much.) Getcha some!

Photo of Joey7F
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW!! I am so stoked! I just turned 21 (end of January) I pounded the pavement looking for this beer around beginning of February. Everyplace says "No sorry, we are out for the season" Today I went to Mr. Dunderbak's in the mall looking for Spaten Optimator and asking off handed, "I noticed you had a box of SNCA on display, you don't have anyfor sale do you?"

"Sure, we have about 10"

Wow, Ben Franklin said "Beer is proof there is a God, and that He loves us." This beer is proof that God truly loves His children (or those 21+ ;)).

The appearance is something I cruise by usually but this is a fantastically amber brew. A thing of beauty. It smells really good, very hoppy and spicy. It tastes better than any light beer I have ever tasted.

The taste is hoppy...more so than the Pale Ale. I had my first IPA the other day, I consider this FAR above Red Hook's offering. It is slightly thin in the mouth, but few light beers can compete there.

It is HIGHLY drinkable. Seriously, this is the best beer day ever. Hopefully many more to come ;)

My favorite IPA/Seasonal brew. Two thumbs up!

--Joey

Photo of alexipa
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Clear amber-red with a very thin head that laces heavily. A thing of beauty.

S: Piny hops but with a malty-yeasty backbone. A really balanced scent, if such a thing is possible.

T: Caramel malts hit up front, completely unexpected from an IPA. The hops start creeping in after, lots of pine and a hint of citrus. Nice bitter back end without over doing it. Definitely some yeast flavors going on that I can't pin down.

M: The ABV is hidden perfectly. Has a great full body and low carbonation, which really lets the full palate shine.

O: I can't find a fault with this beer. I expect no less from the king of IPAs, Sierra Nevada.. but this just might be their best.

Photo of silks636
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. 2003 edition. Served at cellar temp.

Beautiful clear amber with a rocky white head. Excellent retention and large sheets of lace. You can smell the hops when you open the bottle... serious citric/floral/pine aromas and upon closer inspection a touch of sweet malt and spice are detected. Starts off sweet before you get hit with a smack of bitter hop... serious flavor, but not at all overwhelming. A sweet bready malt accompanies the cascades to keep things in control. Finish is dry and pleasantly bitter. Mouthfeel is smooth with nice carbonation. A very warming and comforting brew.

Yep, I could live on this stuff. Always a treat year in and year out. Can only see this one getting better with age... have put aside a few just for that purpose. Has been tops on my list of special holiday ales for a decade now.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into pint glass.
a beautiful golden color with a foaming white head that never settles. Smell of hops and pines. Taste's of citrus and other fruit's. An awesome IPA for the winter season. I believe I may have over done it though and drank way too many but I could somewhat read my notes for a little review.

Photo of xfactor9600
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - amber color with a thick foam that dissipates slowly.

S - A deep citrus aroma.

T - Both Bitter and sweet all in the same sip.

M - Carbomtion was excellent and just right.

D - My first year catching this beer. I can't believe i've held off this long.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Marty
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of beerluvr
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Broke out a sixer tonight to see how a five months in the cellar has had on this classic. It pours into the glass with an off-white head...a bit of yeast haze to boot.The nose is predominately malty with a bit of hop in the background. First sip reveals more malt, with a nice long bitter finish. The time spent in the cellar has mellowed out the "green" hop attack it has when initially released, but not to worry...it's still kick-ass bitter. I plan to drink the last of the 2001 when the 2002 is out, so I can compare side by side. A holiday classic that should never be missed.

Notes from 2000: Another winner from S.N. Great fresh hop nose when poured into the glass. Wonderful head on this too. Be prepared for a blast of hops on the palate. A loooooonnnnnggggg hoppy finish on this one makes it a world classic, widely copied, look for it!

Photo of AaronRed
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hops all the way. Smooth and tasty, with a creamy taste that makes this beer richer than their ales. Not heavy, but hearty.

Photo of Murph
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yummy, I've got to make sure that I get some more of this stuff before it is all gone for the year. Beautiful copper beer with a big white sticky head and great acing and ringing down the glass. Nice piney and citrusy/floral hop aromas dominate. Quick hop bite right at the start of the brew before it turns into some nice mellow malt through the middle before the fruity hoppy flavors take over and the beer eventually finishes with a nice lingering hop bitterness. Smooth and tangy with a decently heavy body that is appropriate for the season. I'm tempted to run out and buy more of this right now. I'm definitely going to put some of it away so that I can enjoy it as the year goes by.

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a white label and the the same feel as other sierra nevada labels. banner across the top with "sierra nevada", and below that is a small winter wonderland with a cozy lookin' cabin. holly and poinsettas frame the scene and another banner runs across the bottom saying "celebration ale". sn's interpretation of their winter ipa is on the neck label. there is a black bar on the right of the label with the number: 5287. batch number? no abv or freshness date.

appearance: pours a beautiful, clear, heated copper with bright red highlights in a tulip glass. inch and a half off-white fluffy head with perfect retention and sticky lacing. a stream of bubbles rise emphatically from the stem of the glass.

smell: lightly spicy with intense citrusy, piney and floral hop aromas. excellent piney christmas tree aroma for the season.

taste: strong hop character. grapefruits with herbal, spicy hop flavors. good bitterness that dries the edges of your tongue. more fruit as the brew warms. oranges and even a nasaly apple flavor as well. there's a lightly sweet nutty malt flavor that's mostly noticible as the brew warms. finishes dry with a spicy hop bitterness. aftertaste is mildly bitter grapefruit.

mouthfeel: seemingly crisp and creamy medium body. super smooth although there's a good amount of carbonation. swallow is silky. near perfect mouthfeel for this style.

drinkability: beer is almost gone by the time i get to the drinkability.
6.8% is nowhere to be found. tasty with an excellent finish and aftertaste that keeps you sipping, or gulping, what have you. excellent quenching winter session.

overall: just an excellent winter ipa every year. i look forward to this release from the second i run out. bitterness is just a touch less than alpha king, but the hop flavor is better. perfect mouthfeel and excellent drinkability. drink it while you can. it seems to disapear as quickly as the season.

Photo of greebz
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers that I actually seek out to buy every year. Unfortunately it's not readily available here on the east coast. Once again this yrs version did not disappoint if you like this type of ale. Nice copper color with decent head that leaves a nice lace on the glass. Slightly bitter, this is not the type of beer that you chug nor do have several at a sitting. Also it help to pair with the right food - spicy work well. I've never seen this on tap but would certainly love to find it, let me know if anyone knows where in the Boston area!

Photo of Zorro
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very mildly cloudy Bronze color.

Smell is sharply hoppy, as an IPA should be. Malt doesn't get overpowered by the hops and shows up. Also has a fruity scent to it.

Taste is sharp hop, and malt, and fruit and spice; all that in the first sip! All the flavors dance on your tongue as you continue to drink it. This is some good stuff.

Mouthfeel is quite thick for its style.

Very drinkable, I also know where there are 4 more six packs of this stuff are. Bye! need to go to the store!

Photo of bk3nj
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very hoppy brew; spice hints abound. Very smooth, and easy to drink. Thank god for Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,373 ratings.