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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.

3,403 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,403
Hads: 9,927
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.76%
Wants: 350
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: 3,403 | Hads: 9,927
Photo of HerdNo1
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet

A: Incredible head. I had to pour, wait, pour, wait, pour wait, pour to get all 12 ounces out of this bottle. Lacing stuck around throughout. A beautiful copper but held to the light revealed some sediment. Not sure if that was supposed to be there or not and it wasn't chill haze as I poured this at cellar temp and the yeasties stuck around.

S: Hops. Just hops.

T: The first time I had this beer, all I got was hops. This time, I found some malt in the background. That may be because I allowed this beer to warm to cellar temperature rather than drinking it right out of the fridge. There is some malt sweetness but not much and you have to look for it.

M: Medium bodied with a crisp, bitter finish.

O: This is what I would call a barely balanced IPA. There is enough malt to keep it from being undrinkable but it's not as balanced as other IPA's out there. Then again, the other IPA's I'm thinking of are DIPA's so maybe I'm being overly critical in that regard. I supposed I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this beer.

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Photo of TheChauffeur1
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will skip the standards with this many reviews. This is a good looking beer with a spicy smell and great head. This beer is just plan awesome for the winter months. I always start off with this beer when we get into the Christmas ales. And what a great way to start a session. IMO this is what I did about a beer just damm well balanced and oh so good. You should really enjoy this one. Later

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Photo of scofielj
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from bottle into a pint glass with a nice amber color. Creamy two inch head which laced nicely down the glass after every sip.

S: Citrus hops very dominating.

T: Grapefruit hops...very nice if your into hops. Which I am.

D: Had two but felt as if I could have had several more.

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Photo of Stoutman88
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A - copper orange. decent lacing of foam

S - grains and floral notes

T - sweet malts. hops with bitter, spicy, and citric flavors. tobacco present. clean finish

M - carbonation and smooth lighter body.

D - a little heavier than your average ipa. easier to savor though. goes down easy.

notes - in comparison to SN torpedo, this is heavier and maltier but less hops.

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Photo of MisterNic
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep amber/red color with a 3-finger white head.

S - Aroma is citrus with a little pine. Has almost a grassy hop aroma.

T - Taste is sweet, bready malt and a piney hop flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is average.

O - Overall, I would say this one of my least favorite IPA’s. A little to much bitterness for the amount of hop flavor and aroma. It also has a lingering piney bitterness that I feel could be better supported by more flavor and aroma hops or more of a malt backbone.

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Photo of ctfixer
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Roosters Beak Augusta, GA

Sierra pulls off a great balancing act, managing to produce a warming, holiday brew while staying true to their signature west coast hoppy style.

A: This ale pours a beautiful rusty, orange color with just a slight haziness and a creamy off-white head. Beautiful.

S: Pine, spicy hops, and grapefruit dominate. Makes you want to taste it for sure.

T: The taste is of spicy, fresh hops with notes of caramel, apple and citrus, especially grapefruit. For me it finishes with a slight malt base taste, although dry. Amazing!

M: Good carbonation for 6.8 with a medium thick but smooth mouthfeel

O: The richer, spicier "holiday" taste elements are all beautifully tamed and balanced with bitter hops in what is a fantastic IPA. Probably the ultimate hophead holiday beer. This is one of the best IPAs I have had the pleasure of drinking. Do not pass on this one!

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Photo of Coagulater
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

This is the 3rd year in a row that I've had Celebration.
Great hoppy, fruity aroma upon opening!
Nice forward hop flavor.
The body is a bit thinner than the previous versions of this beer. As a result, It could be viewed as not thick enough or, very drinkable.
The finish is crisp and clean with the perfect amount of bitter.
I think I'll have another now. Cheers!

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Photo of wumpshire
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$8.99 six pack. Very good Winter IPA. The fresh hops are there, but not overwhelming. The dark malt adds a level of caramel which balances out the strong hops. Definitely would buy again.

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Photo of mattyb
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden/reddish appearance, white head.

S - Balance of pine and citrus with a little malt.

T - Aside from the pine and citrus picked up a nice crisp green pear.

M - Smooth, perfect carbonation, and the hops leave a nice coating aftertaste.

O - A delicious beer that can always be counted on. A classic.

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Photo of jcipa88
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh boy - this has been a flavor flav for quite some time. Each year I can't wait till this comes out. Copper in color yes, but the taste is pleasant and mouth watering. The delicious taste is over the hop, and I luv it. This is not for the simple, just picture SN PA with a kick in the you know what!

Enjoy it!

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

Very good. I love a good IPA and this one was no exception. Absolutely delicious. I like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale but to me this is much better. I wish it was available all year round.

Appearance: Copper colored with about a half inch head.

Aroma: Citrusy hops, lots of hops.

Taste: Bitter/hoppy, citrus, a little malt.

I highly recommend it and will definetely be buying more before the end of the season.

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Photo of 2LBrew
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had two different bottles of this years release from two different six packs.

The appearance of this beer as I poured it into my Sierra Nevada (Chico baby!!!) logo pint glass was a nice amber with a creamy finger and a half head and good lacing on the glass.

The smell was a bit of a disappointment from what I had remembered in years past. The spicyness wasn't as prevalent but the hops were definitely there.

What was lacking in the smell department was more than made up in the taste. I love this beer and look forward to this time of year when it is released. The hoppy bitterness seemed to be toned down a bit and a bit of citrus.

The mouthfeel was good, not overbearing and not lacking. I could defintely taste the beer when I was done with it, which was not a bad thing.

The drinkability is good and does not feel like a close to 7% beer. I definitely could drink a few of these in a night and have a great evening.

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Photo of rlparker3
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4-Jan-2009 Home

2008 CA poured a beautiful orangy brown with a fine, creamy head. Aroma of pine and (cascade?) hops. Flavor is rich with malt and clean hops in the mouth's back. It drinks warm with the malts stronger early but finishes with overwhelming (in a good sense) hoppiness.

In a side note, my father saved some 2007. The family beer drinkers tasted them blind side by side. Almost all of us preferred the 2008. After a year 2007 is still a good beer, just not as "bright" as 2008... and 2007 carried an additional flavor characteristic... something similar to the hoppiness of Fuller's ESB.

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Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this today from the Beverage Warehouse in Culver City with high recommendations from the salesman. Aside from the fact that the label looked like the work of Hallmark, I was very excited to try this after drinking SN's Anniversary Ale, which was superdelicious.

I poured the beer and loved the dark amber color of the beer. The head was slow at forming and didn't build up very much – only lasted a few seconds.

The aroma is quite light and subtle.

Now for a taste... hoppy but not a sustaining bitterness.

I didn't have last year's Celebration Ale, but if I were to compare it to the Anniversary Ale, it'd be lagging a bit in the race.

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Photo of xpoweruser
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very Nice amber/orange color. Clear with some sediment. Fluffy white head that sticks around and leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma: Lots of hops! Pine and citrus dominate. Some caramel and bready malt notes.

Taste: Piney and citrusy hops slam the palate, amazing, and also it has a very fresh taste. Nice caramel and bready malt undertones, with some fruity notes. Very slight alcohol kick.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, medium bodied. Perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Awesome IPA, with a nice hop bite! The beer is also very fresh tasting, which is typical with all Sierra Nevada beers. Sierra Nevada does not know how to brew a bad beer, top-notch brew!

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Photo of Buckmaister
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours an amber/copper color with a 2, almost 3-finger cloudy head that shrinks to about half it's size leaving a good bit of lacing behind

you can c smell the malts, slight citrus

somewhat bitter...the hops! The slightest caramel/creamy complexion. A taste that lingered at the back of my throat for a while...

nothing overly exciting about it...a general feel of faint carbonation which finishes pretty quickly

drinkability is a bit above average. This beer seems like a heavy one so more than about 2 servings would be pushing it.

Thoughts: All around decent. Nothing jumps out at me for this one but nothing offends either. So far the least liked Sierra Nevada brew out of Big Foot, Wheat, and Pale Ale.

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Photo of SmasNadroj
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok. Its been a long time comin, and its taken years, but sierra nevada has finally impressed my happy ass. This beer is great, beautiful glowing amber color with significant, lasting head, stained glass window lacing, and plenty of little bubble friends to hang out with.

It smells sweet, slightly grapefruity and surprisingly malty. As one would suspect, the bouquet is much more significant when first poured.

The flavor of savory, almost toasted caramel hops come through- but the real star to me is the mesmerizing light burley pipe tobacco flavors that are found almost instantly yet linger on your tongue long after the sip is gone. Malty? Nope. Not really, just sort of smells that way... Very intriguing. Tangy grapefruit hoppy notes also linger, but not in an overpowering way at all... Simply put- bold and delicious

The mouthfeel is great, a bit tingly but sweet on the tongue. I'd love to have it on nitro...

Well, I can say it- I like, truly like a sierra nevada beer. Their stuff has always been pretty good but this is undeniably great.

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Photo of TheMirrorOwl
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

I've always regarded this as one of Sierra Nevada's best IPA's. Poured this year's batch from a couple 12 oz. bottles into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Copper, nigh amber in hue. Puffy, dense white head, substantial lacing. Cloud of particulates makes the beer softly opaque. Sparse little bubble colonies make their way to the top through the golden haze of hop particulates.

Smell: Sweet grapefruit, hint of tin, bready malts, fruity ester, bit of spice, hint of pine. Very round and aromatic.

Taste: Letting it warm, the flavors just explode out of the glass. Grapefruit hop burst mingles with masked biscuity malt up front, leading to a pure sugar pine and sweetbread wave, washing into a grapefruity, bitter hop finish. Pine and grapefruit rind on the tongue in the aftertaste. Alcohol is quite present in mid-to-late stage of flavor. The balance is superb, especially after about 10 mins. of warming.

Mouthfeel: Full body, alcohol noticeable. The almost syrupy heft is balanced by the fuzz of middling carbonation.

Overall: Good lawd. I remembered it was good, but not that it was THIS good. This beer is admirable. Sierra Nevada really knocks themselves out with this seasonal hop-head's masterpiece. Get you one!

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Photo of neilgavigan
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Not quite clear copper color with a thick and resilient off-white head. Great lacing.

Aromas of citrus and pine from the hops dominate but the sweetness is detectable. The same goes for the taste, which starts with a bready sweetness but immediatly progresses through pine and citrus with a long hoppy and yet somehow sweet finish. The booze is hidden very well under the hops. Medium body and good carbonation.

Definitely a good IPA and great for drinking near a Christmas tree. The smell of noble pine from my tree mixed with the complex hops from this brew are a good combination.

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Photo of BugattiRoo
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an amber orange in color. A nice head forms with fairly good retention. Nice lacing.
Smell: Some citrus and hop notes with caramel notes in the background.
Taste: Citrus and hops balanced with a bit of caramel and tofee from the malt.
Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated with a medium mouthfeel. Very easy to drink.
Overall: This is a very balanced beer. A different take on a winter warmer. Very nice and worth trying.

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Photo of zeronumber
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

terrific ipa ! lost in all the flavors. rings the palate like a glockenspiel! hums the hops . smooth and wet. drinkability deluxe. i found another favorite. and i hesitate to say its almost amazing. almost...

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Photo of FFudnam
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at home

I must have left it in the freezer a few minutes too many, as the beer has frozen near the point of the bottle. Nothing adverse is noted as a result, however.

Pours cleanly into my glass, a creamy tan head one finger tall arises from the creation.
Excellent looking pale ale. A hazy gold-copper liquid which has presence in the glass. The head fades to a minimum.

Nose of lovely spicy/fruity cascade hops, sweet malt, and light/fruity alcohol notes. Similar to Two-Hearted, but less floral.

Taste is hops in front, for sure. A spicy rendition of the familiar cascade hop is apparent, but ultimately gives way to the expected citrus character. More sweet malt, some light yeast notes, and a clean bitterness that doesn't linger too long. Warms the belly.

All in all, a wonderful brew which should be done year-round, much like Bell's has wisely decided to do. Can't wait to find some more!

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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 Scheity
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

We had this at New Year's, so our season was appropriate for celebration. And after a few of these, the celebration was well-lubricated.

It pours dark amber, a nice shade for the dark winter months. The smell, well, very hoppy and citrus-y. Prepares you well for what's about to happen to your body.

The taste is an onslought of hops, and it fills your entire mouth and nose with the flavor. The hops aren't quite as flavorful as other great IPAs, but you do get the nice flowery scent and wonderfully bitter flavor that will warm you quite nicely.

Tough for a session beer because it's such a heavy and powerful taste. But, luckily, a session with SN Celebration isn't a long one, with its relatively large ABV

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Photo of haggis
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now this is a nice drop. Quality ale with a full body, good bite but isn't too busy on flavour or taste like some other winter brews. I've had it on tap and in a bottle. I have enjoyed it everytime. It's not a session ale, but if you are looking for 3-4 brews and this is available, don't think twice.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,403 ratings.