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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: 9,925
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: 9,925
Photo of CTbrew32
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Dark orange-red, amber color with very little visibility through the glass. Pours a two finger pillowy/soapy white head.

Aroma- Very big on the pine aromas with a little bit of citrus sweetness as well.

Taste- As the nose indicated this is big one the pine flavors which is big upfront and reemerges in the finish as well. Towards the middle the pine is balanced out citrus and orange fruit flavors along with a mildly sweet caramel malt. Finish is rounded out by slightly toasted malt and the pine bitterness as mentioned before. As far as the "spice" goes if I hadn't read up on it already I think I could have confused of the piney flavors at the end for being spice.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with an almost chewy mouthfeel. On the bitter side as first but as it warms up the malt helps mellow out the big bitter pine flavors. Clean finish and highly drinkable.

Overall- Easily one of my favorite Ipas, which is kind of weird because I'm not usually a fan of pine forward ipas. However, there is just enough citrus/orange fruit flavor and caramel malt to balance the pine, which is really evident as the beer warms up a tad. Very glad I bought a case of this, but I doubt it will last the winter as planned.

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Photo of BitteBier
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very attractive, not-quite-clear amber orange. Active carbonation feeds a substantial foamy, light head that dissipates rather quickly but laces quite impressively down the side of the glass. Even when well-chilled, this beer has a strong, wonderful nose--very crisp and hoppy with some sweet fruit notes as well. Hops are omnipresent in the taste, muted at the start by soft fruitiness and by some dryness at the end. A bit oily in the mouth but a good mouthfeel nonetheless and eminently drinkable.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012, and it's the 6th year in a row I've picked up this favorite of mine.
12oz bottle, a rocky, ivory head tops a bronze colored ale; excellent head retention & lacing is left all over the glass. The pleasant aromas of fresh, dank, piny hops coupled with caramely, bready malt fill the nose. Huge, fresh, piny hops (some pungent grapefruit in there as well) prevail through the healthy dose of malt. Notes of rye bread crust and caramel (a little burnt) try to balance out the pine, but can't stand up to it. Pine lingers & lingers on the palate while finishing dry and bitter. Medium body, smooth but resiny reminiscent of pine tar. Overall, although it's fairly one-note with not a whole lot of complexity, I love this seasonal IPA. I'm not sure why some complain about it being too piny...that's exactly the point they're trying to make.

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Photo of MP72
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-deep amber to almost orange color with a thick white head that lasts for days. Superb lacing.

S-Grapefruit, orange, and I could have swore maybe some corriander and of course HOPS!

T-Hops to the nines , and a strong malt presence.
Just enough bite to make you pucker and want more. This stuff is very good.

M-Medium bodied and not too much carbonation. I found it to be smooth for such a hoppy IPA.

D- Scary high,, I could drink several of these ,,, or at least I think I could. Cant say for sure how well I'd function but I am willing to find out.

If you see it buy it,, I had the 2008 and it was worth every cent.

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Photo of mrpicklerelish
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance- This one poured a nice orangish copper color. The head was a nice light tan color that seemed to pretty much stick around the entire time that I drank it. Or maybe I just drank it a little to fast because of how great it tasted.

Smell- I smelt a floral and ctirus smell right off the bat. Along with a hint of herbs and spices.

Taste- A very nice hoppy IPA, one of the best that I have had. While strong on hops, it tasted very smooth and went down even smoother. There was also a glimps of malt which left a nice sweeteness in my mouth.

Mouthfeel- Despite the massive hops in this brew, it seemed to go very smoothly. Not a crisp beer by any means, but not to heavy either, just right.

Drinkability- Not a session beer do to the 6.8% ABV. But I will say, everytime I run into this brew I must pick up at least a six pack.

Comments- Wow, my first time with this beer and it sure made the last part of 2003 and the beginning of 2004 a blast. When I can no longer get this very special seasonal brew it will be a sad day. But it will sure give me something to look forward to next winter. One of my now all time favorites that I will be sure not to miss towards the end of the year.

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Photo of totallyrelaxed
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First review of Celebration-

A- What a beautiful beer. A nice redish copper color which really fits the season. Beautiful off-white head about a finger thick.

S- Tons of juicy grapefruit. Some pine as well. A really crisp citrus smell with some nice malt in the background. A really great smelling beer.

T- Once again a ton of grapefruit and some resiny pine. The malt backbone in this is perfect. Just barely tames the bitterness from the fresh hops. Its what makes this different than other Sierra Nevada IPA/PA offerings. One of the most pleasant tasting beers i've had.

M- So drinkable. Not too creamy and some great carbonation.

O- I can't speak highly enough of this beer. Its not the best beer I've ever had but its definitely one of the most enjoyable to drink. Every Christmas I grow to love this beer more and more. It is Sierra Nevada's best beer IMO. It is perfectly balanced in a West Coast IPA kinda way. It is super drinkable and unique. I hear people say this is overrated but I personally think its underrated. What a treat. Worth the wait..

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Photo of mwolfe
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is truly a great beer. Pours a nice copper orange color. A bit thicker but not as dry as the sierra nevada pale ale I am used to drinking (I prefer this for sure). Nice lasting head with decent lacing afterwards. The taste has nothing out of the ordinary but it has everything you need from a great tasting Ale. Hop flavor is strong but not overpowering. Its similar to a stone Arrogant bastard with a bit less hoppiness and abv.
There have been few beers i've enjoyed more than this beer. A definite winner all winter. I'll be purchasing this again for sure.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first ever brew I had from the Sierra Nevada company, and what a way to start off! Absolutely slammin'... pours a dark brown copper color with carbonation present that gave way to a decent-sized frothy head... Smell is full of fresh hops and a faint aroma of spices... Taste is sublime... a great mix of hops and spices balanced out by the awesome freshness of the sample... Mouthfeel is equally great, but some points were lost to drinkability because of the relatively high alcohol percentage... Otherwise, an outstanding selection and a great example of a winter-warmer... Certainly recommended - an awesome brew...

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009 edition into pint glass.

Beautiful orange amber with nice foamy white head.

Hops, hops, and more hops. Touch of maltiness.

Sweet nectar of the gods. Pure bliss.

Smooth and glorious.

Six down and if I didn't have to go to work, I would drink these until I disappeared. Beer glorious beer. I raise my glass high.

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Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got my first 2003 six pack, and I was in heaven. Poured a amber / orange color with a thick bubbly head that remained through most of the drink. Lacing was beautiful. Aroma sported strong hops, with a sweet / sour sensation. The taste is great - strong hops with a nice balance of sweet malt. Some citrus seems to arrive on the tongue with the bitterness after swallowing. The carbonation level is perfect, giving some crispness to the mouthfeel. Alcohol level is barely detectable. One of the most drinkable beers I know, as several can be consumed in an afternoon or evening.

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Photo of twilight
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this before, but I now realize the taste of other beers had influenced its flavor. So I'm reviewing it with a neutral palate. 2003 edition, 12 oz. bottle in nonick pint glass.

Beautiful bronze colour, with a ring of head around the outside that leaves beautiful lacing around the glass. The smell is a subtle and beautiful scent of hops, almost as though you were walking through a field of hops, but not overpowering. Taste is heavenly. Major hop taste without being too bitter or acrid. Perfectly balanced with malts. Neither sweet nor sour, but just inbetween. A delicately balanced beer. The other surprise about Celebration is that it goes down super smooth. Aftertaste is pure hops without being overly bitter. Just that nice smooth bitterness. All around an exceptional beer. Too bad I got the last sixer from the beer store. It's a crime to have this beer be only seasonal. But then again I suppose one will appreciate it better.

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Photo of jcompton
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: pours a reddish, very comparable to a red rye ipa. a 2 fingered head with fantastic retention

smell: hop dominant, with no questions about the style of this winter seasonal

taste: hop up front with a great finish. this is a west-coast IPA that isn't just hops kicking you in the teeth. well balance for the style

mouthfeel: once again SN has the ideal amount of carbonation to compliment the great flavor

drinkability: it's no wonder this is one of the highest "looking for to one of those this winter" beers. give me a sixer and i'm happy, give me a case and i'll send you a Xmas card every year for the rest of my life.

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Photo of lic217
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: light red, clear, with nice lasting head and lacing
Smell: Pine, Citrus, light malt
Taste: stars sweet, finished dry, bitter, with citrus, pine, and floral hops
Feel: Perfect thickness for style, not water, but not chewy, and nice carbonation level
Overall: a great brew

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Photo of TPoling
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was my last coveted bottle of 2002 Celebration unless I get lucky and find some tucked away before late October when the 2003 comes in.

I still remember my first Celebration Ale several years ago. I thought I had found a close to perfect beer, and still go into ectasy when pouring the first one of the new batch each fall.

This ale pours an incredible bright reddish amber and has a creamy head that carries drapes of lace down the glass. Hoppiness is very pronounced in the nose and flavor, but does not take over the complexity of the malt.

2002 was not the best of the years, but was still one of the greats.

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Photo of strata39
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-orange, like a shiny penny. Poured aggressively into a pint glass. I got a good 1.5 inch head, super fluffy like a vanilla ice cream cone that dissipates quickly into a thin lacing that lasts to the end.

Smell: Bright, like a flower growing on the x-mas tree farm. Tingly on my nose hairs.

Taste: Smooth malts hit first, then the hop fruitiness, then the hop bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Cuts well, leaving a fresh coolness. The XL head is creamy.

Drinkability: 3 of 6 in one night, max.

I only tried this because it was on special, and now it's one of my favorites. The only thing I don't like is that it's not always available.

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Photo of Hokies
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic glass. Pours nice amber color with a massive off white head that leaves tremendous lacing on the glass.

Aroma is absolutely tremendous with a floral aroma of hops with grapefruit, citrus and pine.

A sharp taste of hops start off the flavor of grapefruit and light citrus kick through and then a slick oily pine flavor take over. It is balanced out by a nice malt taste that allows for this ipa to finish pretty clean with a nice bitterness at the end that is not overwhelming.

Not to much carbonation in the mouth which is nice and makes this beer dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of ely2000k
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Giant head and lacing. Extremely pretty red amber color. Perfect for the season. This is one I want to drink by a fire. Smell of cherry, hops, and some malt. Love the bite in the taste. Definitely a piney, hoppy taste that I love, mixed with some mild fruit. Honestly this is quite a good beer. Love the bite of the carbonation.

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Photo of latackbeer
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a perfect copper with red at the edges. Poured a 2 finger head into a Pint glass and it climbed down the glass.

The smell is pine and woody perfect brew for our first snowfall.

The taste is the same as the smell just with some lemony notes.

Very drinkable, for the season it has become my favorite I.P.A.

Get it While you can!!

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Photo of dcook11
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Great, thick, white head! Best head ive seen on a brew hands down! Pillowly and fluffy. Just awesome. Great lacing as well. The body of the beer is a light orangish with ample yeast particles floating about the bottom of he glass. Perfect look.

S- Fresh hops, tomato plant, basil, thyme, herbs, and pine as it warms. Note: I am aware that there are no actual herbs or spices added to this beer, this is just my impression.

T- Hops, herbal, piney with a slight caramel.

M- Medium bodied.

O- An absolute must try. One of my favorite beers of all time, hands down. Near flawless.

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Photo of tharper
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As a small brewer Sierra Nevada is the company I aspire to meet or at least approximate.

Aroma: fine citrus and spicy, piney hops.
Appearance: rocky 2 finger head, down to 1 inch after 5 minutes
Taste: Perfect IPA with caramel toasty.
Overall: This is the definite American middle ale India Type.
As a small professional brewery, this beer is the perfect example of what there is. Perfect bitterness, tastes, presentation, and finish; this is what we can only aspire to match. Hooray Sierra Nevada! Thank you for the ultimate benchmark.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., with an ABV of 6.80% This brew pours out a reddish amber color with a nice off white head. The look of this brew put you in the hoilday sprit. The smell of this ale is rich with hops, grins, and malts. You also pick up a hit of spices and sweetness in the smell of this brew. The taste of Celebration Ale, is rich with flavors. You first pick up on the hops and spices in this brew. Then you pick up on the smoothness of grains and malts. There is a lot going on in this brew. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale , has a nice balance to it there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I like how this brew is different from most IPA's on the market. This IPA seems to be smoother, not saying that is a bad thing. The mouthfeel of Celebration Ale is, rich, bold, smooth, clean, spicy, and refreshing. You really can't pick up on the 6.80% ABV in this brew, it is just that smooth. Overall, I'm giving Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale a 4.75 out of 5. This was way better than what I was expecting. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., did a real nice job with this one I would buy this brew again.

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Photo of Stro23m
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my favorite sesonal beers of all time.

Served from 12 oz. stubby brown sierra nevada trademark bottle.

Aperance- dark copper like snpa just darker.

smell- like u stuck cascade and chinook hops in your nose.

taste- very very hoppy, i used to hate how hoppy it was but now i love it. its very hoppy in other words.

mouthfeel- kinda silky and smooth

drinkability- well this all depends... if your a big hop fan than this is def. drinkable however on the other hand if u hate hops than u wont be able to drink this.

Im reviewing the 2008 edition of this celebration ale and in all honesty i liked the 2007 edition alot better even though its the same beer the 2007 seemed little more balanced to me.

i bought a 12 pack of this 2008 and ima save 3 bottles and cellar them.

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Photo of stonecutter2
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark Amber color, smells hoppy and has a rich head that leaves excellent lacing. Has a satisfying bitterness that the malt profile fights against in a wonderful way. The cascade hop flavor shines in all of its glory. My favorite American pale ale 3 years running!

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Photo of jadpsu
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours less than clear amber/copper with an off white abundant head with good retention,and sticky side glass lace.
Aroma: Fruity citrus hops. You get its stringent bitterness in the aroma before you get to taste it.
Taste: Has plenty of rich bold malts to go with the hoppiness. Starts with creamy, sweet malts that give way to orange/lemon rind and herbal hops and finishes dry and bitter.
The 6.8% ABV is quickly noticed as it warms.
This is an outstanding Ale.

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Photo of SpecsBEERMAN
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great change of pace for the holiday season. When everyone else throws out Old Ales and Strong Ales, SN puts out an IPA. The deep amber color and the amazing fresh hoppy aroma is very inviting. The hops are balanced by a nice malt backbone. Slight spice notes are also present.

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