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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,290 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,290
Hads: 9,400
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.64%
Wants: 321
Gots: 1,315 | 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: 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: 3,290 | Hads: 9,400
Photo of martincm
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Head pours overtop the rim and stays there like it is gelatinous. The smell is pure aromatherapy, I can understand why old-timers used to place fresh-picked hops in their pillowcases. Pure hoppy smell with a hint of citrus notes. The taste is one of my favorite parts, the beer is one of my favorite beers, I look forward to it every year because that hop profile is so damn good! Cheers (387 characters)

Photo of Mahgeetah527
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Allagash chalice.

Smells of fresh piney & resiny hops. There is a little bit of malt in the background to round out the massive hop presence.

Pours a golden amber hue with 2 fingers of white fluffy head There is significant lacing left behind with each sip.

The taste starts off with fresh bitter grapefruit. Some pine and more citrus come through in the finish. Much like the smell the malt backbone rounds out the hops making this not a true "hop bomb" but a pretty well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel and carbonation are medium.

Since I'm not really a fan of typical Winter Seasonals, this beer is one to look forward to this time of year. (654 characters)

Photo of JasonL
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good IPA. I am a very big SN fan and this one didn't disappoint me. Celebration reminds me of SN Torpedo but has a fresher hops complexity so I find it a little more bitter than Torpedo but I find I love the hops bitterness. The taste lingers in your mouth for quite a while but its a good flavor so I don't mind it at all. It is a strong beer at 6.8% so it does creep up on you and can hit you hard but its a slow sipper so I know when to stop and take it easy. Overall this is a great winter brew or, for a matter of fact, its good all year round. Enjoy!!! (573 characters)

Photo of dav3290
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always in my rotation around the holidays. Just a solid IPA. Nice color in the glass and smells of fresh picked hops. Readily available and super cheap too (paid around $7.99 for a six pack). Would recommend if you are on the fence about it. What to you have to lose? (267 characters)

Photo of SlamKing
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Edition:

It's a good beer no doubt, but I was a little disappointed by the lack of hoppy flavor. There isn't a whole lot of what I would expect from an IPA. Tastes maltier, which I would expect from a winter beer, but not enough pine to balance it out. Could use a little more carbonation. Good stuff overall. I would drink it again.

Gave it a 4, maybe I'll change my mind next season. (392 characters)

Photo of JerryT
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible on tap . Beautiful to behold in the glass and a wonderful aroma. I wish I had the vocabulary to describe the balance of this fine Ale. I have to give it a perfect rating.
I will look for it again at my local (220 characters)

Photo of odeed
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i celebrate every year when this comes out.it is my favorite of the sierra beers and one of my favorites over all.its an amber style ale with a nice "winter brew" kick if ya know what i mean.its september now so we only have a few months to go!!!! (247 characters)

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

12oz bottle.. 2005 vintage.. opened today 12/15/10.. Thanks Greg from Woodstock Wine and Deli..

Pours a rich honey with ruby hints, with minimal light tan carbonation- yet long-lasting due to the overall age of this beer.. Rich pine resin mixes with ripe fruit, very complex hop aromas, mixing with the barleywine-esc dark fruit malt flavors..

A wonderfull blast of sweet malt is overthrown by a viscous tongue massage of hop flavor, sticky and green, working its way to a robust, fruity, boozy bittering...

Very enjoyable, indeed.. Aged very well!! (555 characters)

Photo of bunn4funn
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reveiwed from a bottle 2005

Apearence- Beautiful caramel, clear color with a nice pancake colored one finger head. Great lacing effect from this bottle i mean incredable.

Aroma- Well its definatly hoppy/piney with a short following of caramel and baking spices like nutmeg, even some grapefuit/lemon

Taste- sharp bite from the hops upfront. They are piny and leave a definate "spike" in the tounge. Im getting that lemon bready feel from this brew as it warms. Now that it has matured (out of the bottle) and my palete is more accoustomed to the hops i can tell that there is a whole other side. Like some caramel and baking spices. Just what you would expect a celebration ale from Sierra Nevada to taste like.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and lightly carbonated, slightly oily.

Drinkability- Good even though it is 6.8% abv, Though you might want to pace yourself it will creep up on you after two or three. Its just so good i dont want to stop drinking it!!1

Overall- Fine brew, love what it has to offer!!! Great to drink with family and friends. We all have a lot to be thankful for and this brew is definatly one !!! (1,133 characters)

Photo of Brillig
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Version, bottle.

I've been trying this beer each of the last three years. I found 2006 to be exceptional, 2007 to be a bit of a let down, and now the 2008 version is back to form.

Pours a dark coppery brown with a nice head. In fact, if you serve this at the correct temperature (an important thing for everything about this beer) and not refrigerator temperature, it will keep a foamy head until long after you've finished drinking.

Taste is great strong malty base with nice hops overtones (subtle by Sierra Nevada standards). Medium mouthfeel complements the flavor nicely.

Drink this beer at cellar temperature and it will be one of the highlights of the season. (675 characters)

Photo of paulfear
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a nice deep amber color with a very thick fluffy head. it had a strong aroma of hops and floral qualities. i found it to be rather mild the first time i drank it, but when i sat down to review it i thought it had a sharper bite to it with hints of floral and hops flavors. i almost think it had a slight berry taste to it. mouthfeel was of a medium body with smooth consistancy. (385 characters)

Photo of wvmi
2.6/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Side poured about 1/2 inch head. Good lacing. Rusty red color, slightly hazy.

S- Smelled average. Nothing remarkable, good or bad.

T- Heavy malt at the start. Very piney, acidic. Decent hops finish.

M- not a pleasant feeling. Over carbonated, irritated the back of my tongue and throat. Oily and sort of Nyquil feeling.

D-I won't go looking for this.

The age of this bottle may have affected it's quality. Brewed in November 2006, drank in July 2007. (468 characters)

Photo of drummerben
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

Celebration 08 recently tapped as part of Christmas in July. Nice amber color, very little head. Floral fragrance with pine and hops. Taste is much less hoppy than when first released, as the hop character has faded, but still a great balanced taste. Tastes of pine with grassy notes and a malty backbone. Very easy to put these away in short order.

This one is still great with a little age on it. Probably a good option for those who considered SN to be too hoppy, if that's even possible! The age downgrades a great beer to really good. (572 characters)

Photo of apr3940
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer I wait for every winter! I've never meet a Sierra Nevada I didn't like, and the Celebration Ale is no different. Full boastful flavor, with a great moutfeel, and even better after taste. Like with all Sierra Nevada products great whole cone hop taste, definitely a beer that will make you "merry" for the holidays! (323 characters)

Photo of FordBrewing
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle
2008

Amber color that pours an average off-white head. If served too cold it diminishes quickly. Body is closer to cloudy but not unappealing. Nice malt aroma with scents of grain, straw, and a roasted almost nutty smell. The hops bring hints of pine and spruce. This definitely smells like a "winter" beer.

It is medium bodied and has average carbonation. The taste lasts a long time, almost too long, and sits right on the back corners of the tongue well after your last sip.

This celebration ale has great aroma but is very bitter, even for an IPA. This is a good attempt at a Winter Ale that comes across as an IPA in disguise, but its almost as if it tries to be something that its not. Better than last year, but not great. (745 characters)

Photo of bc2208
2.33/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I had a hard time with this beer.

Appearance: Nice golden-reddish color. Pour produces a decent head, but it dissipates quickly.

Smell: Fruity, hoppy smell.

Taste: I don't know what to say. My first reaction was good - up front it is fruity and floral and quite pleasant. Unfortunately, there's a lingering aftertaste that sticks to the sides of my mouth. It might be cinnamon, but it's really just medicinal. I wanted to like this beer, but I had a hard time finishing it.

Drinkability: Don't know if I'll be drinking the 5 I have left over. (548 characters)

Photo of kittylitter
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice head. Lovely smell of grapefruit and freshly mowed grass, and maybe a hint of blackcurrant! If you swirl it vigourously, you can feel a smell of pines, and juniper.

Perfect bitterness with a clear taste of grapefruit. Very nicely balanced bitterness, fruitiness, and a tiny sweet note. The best beer I have bought in Sweden. (330 characters)

Photo of bshirley
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark golden with hints of red; small fine carbonation leaving a small and creamy head.

Poundingly floral nose, assertive and slightly resinous.

The taste is dominated by the hops, they're there at every level. Not exactly balanced, with the malt, but it's not intended to be. The malt is still there. The back of the tongue bitterness is almost overwhelming, and the alcohol can be perceived.

It has a nice feel on the palette, but the strong bitterness will numb out the tongue quite quickly. The bubbles are fine and smooth.

For hop-heads, this is an extremely drinkable and delicious brew. And with the alcohol content of 6.8% ABV, quite potent. (654 characters)

Photo of AstroAcks6
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Pint Glass

Gold appearance with a 1 finger head in a snifter glass.

Citrus and the awesome smell of Hops.

Tastes like I would expect a beer from Sierra Nevada. Caramel and spice notes are great compliments for one another.

Medium-bodied and well-balanced feel.

It's too bad this beer is a seasonal, I'd drink it year around without a doubt. (359 characters)

Photo of HopTaco
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out a growler.

A- dark copper and filter clear--no haze. Nice white cap with lacing throughout.

S- Moderate hop smell and carmel?

T- smooth yet somehow crisp ale. Not quite what I was expecting with a name like "Celebration" I was figuring more spice but I like what is here.

M- slightly sweet. Nice mouthfeel.

D- a very drinkable 6.8abv.

I enjoyed this SN offering and will continue to look for it in winters to come. (434 characters)

Photo of lstorie3
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a good beer, perhaps a great beer, but it's not what I want in a winter seasonal. It's about what you'd expect from Sierra Nevada in terms of taste and aroma. It shows off the hop harvest well, so I guess it's mission accomplished on that part. If I'm judging it on it just on taste, it's a probably 8/10, but as a seasonal I'm giving it 7/10. (348 characters)

Photo of freewheelinbob
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011

Bright/clear copper color.
Great three-finger fluffy head.
S: citrus, buttery, heavy floral.
T: all hops up front, all the scents come through, bitter kind of agrarian finish.
A bit over carbonated for my tastes

One of my favorite IPAs, I buy a sixer every year, but this year my local wholeseller had cases. I'm glad I have 23 more to enjoy. (349 characters)

Photo of OysterMonkey
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-- Beautiful deep coppery color. full head and nice lacing on the glass

S-- Crisp hoppy aroma, very nice

T-- Delicious, complex. Strong hop flavor. Not exactly balanced, but enough malt character to hold the thing together.

M-- Light, smooth

O-- Fantastic beer. One of my favorites. (287 characters)

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

A: Great looking beer. On the light side of amber, a bit orange; just a little haze. Dense head leaves very sticky lacing that coats most of the glass.

S: A formidable scent. Strong piney hops profile supported by a darker malt tone and accented with citrus notes on the top.

T: The bitter hops make the body of this flavor. As the bitterness crescendos towards excessive, the toasted malt sweetness steps in to relieve your palate.

M: Small, fizzy bubbles give playfulness to the otherwise smooth mouthfeel. The lacing is still very sticky, clings to your mouth. The alcohol gives this beer a wonderful warmth.

O: The result is a super drinkable IPA, perfect for a chilly evening. Has a very friendly character that imparts itself upon the drinker. (755 characters)

Photo of Kerin
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh, this really is exquisite. Reviewing this live, although I'm off to a late start with the glass halfway gone!

Pours a rich, melodious amber body with a frothy, creamy butter-colored head about four fingers thick. Screwed up the pour, but what can you do?

Smells floral, fruity, a little like jam croissant. Really impressed here, there are a lot of different scents here but unlike a lot of complex beers I've had the scents are very integrated, part of a cohesive whole instead of being a sequence of complimentary but disparate components.

Tastes a lot like it smells, but with a deep draw of malty, bready delightfulness. Hops come in briefly at the start and end, bitter and just right. Almost tastes like honey for a moment, and then it's gone. Need another sip.

Mouthfeel is similarly impressive. Carbonated to a crisp but defined perfection, it manages to prickle the tongue without being fizzy and manages not to be fizzy while not being flat. Just a hair more carbonated than a lot of cask ales I've tried.

Overall, this is a great beer. Definitely in my top five, and I'll be sorry when it's gone for the year! (1,129 characters)

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,290 ratings.