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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

7,822 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,822
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 199
Gots: 463 | 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:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,822 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.8%

mendvicdog, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage.

The beer pours a nice amber color with a white head. The aroma is great. I get a lot of orange and resiny hops with some bready malt mixed in. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of bitter orange and papaya and some pine. Medium bitterness. There is a bit of bready malt in the flavor to keep things a little bit balanced, but the beer is all about the hops. Very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Excellent.

Mora2000, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent dark orange color with two fingers of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, light pine hops, bready malts, and light caramel malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, caramel malts, spice, and bready malts. Some definite bitterness in the taste but not too much. Very nice taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth with some small bitterness.

d - A very nice, easy drinking IPA. Lots of citrus hops mixing with caramel malts in the smell and taste, and not a ton of bitterness in the taste. Would certainly have again and love how cheap it is compared to some other IPAs.

mdfb79, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of jwc215
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with thick creamy head that stays around the entire time. Beautiful rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of fresh, floral, citrusy hops. Spiced breadiness. Slight alcohol.

The taste is of citrusy, chewy hops over wintery spices. Slighty woody. Sweet graininess in the undertone balances things out. Long, dry finish. Well-balanced for style with hops dominating, but with enough malt to give it a deep, complex richness.

Incredibly smooth and delicious. The alcohol stays in its place. Like in years past, this one is not to be missed this year!

jwc215, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -3.8%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of smcolw
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--Gorgeous rich bronze color; pleasant slightly off-white head that collapsed quickly. Extremely small carbonation bubbles providing for a long lasting lace on the glass

Smell--Predominate hop aroma that is more flowery than bitter. Very inviting.

Taste--Very short malt flavor up front which quickly becomes overwhelmed by the bitterness from the hop. The aftertaste is entirely bitter hop.

Mouthfeel--Consistant with the style, bitterness lingers long, long after the swallow.

Drinkability--I consider this to be one of the superior American IPA's. While I wouldn't quaff this, if I could only have one beer for an entire evening, this would be one of my top choices.

smcolw, Jan 17, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, I freely admit it I am extremely biased when it comes to this beer. I used to buy cases of this stuff every year. I finally broke down and started to buy a keg of it instead. The first time I had this it absolutely blew me away. The hops where so intense so fresh the just screamed to break free from the confines of the bottle. This beer is definitely best when fresh, because it is all about the hop flavor and aroma. The hops lend a wonderful spicy citrusy greatness to this beer. And wonderfully the brewers saw fit to outfit this paragon with a solid malt backbone that just carries and delivers the hop celebration to every corner of your mouth. Just a plain awesome beer.

Gueuzedude, Sep 20, 2003
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

MarkyMOD, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, 2006 edition.

A: Hazy burnt orange color, white head, with some lace.

S: Smells of piney hops, not incredibly robust, but nice nevertheless.

T: Malt upfront, but then it relinquishes its hold and allows the hops to shine through. Delicious grapefruit from the West Coast hops dominates the palate leaving a nice lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied, with a resiny, oily, almost medicinal character from the hops.

D: About as drinkable as an IPA gets, this beer is easy going down and only leaves you wanting more. I had this beer in November, and it was much more raw, the mild aging seems to have mellowed it out a bit, making it more drinkable. Can't wait for the 2007 editon, a must have this holiday season.

Halcyondays, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of BlackHaddock
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brown 2008 bottle, with 350ml of beer for 69 pence from a cut-price store in Wellington, Shropshire, couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them lined up on the shelf.

I poured it into a 'Hoegaarden Grand Cru' stemmed tulip glass, why not let it live a little before I drank it?

I allowed the whole bottle to enter the glass, so it looked a dull dark orange colour and was obviuosly cloudy. The head was a frothy off-white pile and the beer looked cool in its unfamilier glass.

Hops, hops and hops hit my nose, some yeast smells tried to get out too.

In the taste the hops took over again, wave after wave of them, nothing else could force its way through, a dry bitterness from the said hops appeared to be unchecked, but a slight fruity flavour (apples, pears and berries) did turn up in the aftertaste.

Plenty of body, not rich or creamy, just body.

Pleasant, but just a bit too hoppy for my palate.

BlackHaddock, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

beernads, May 18, 2013
Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Gavage, Nov 07, 2003
Photo of GClarkage
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in October 2004 at the Toronado on tap. Was the first time I have ever had a Celebration before. I've seen so many people rave about; so I figure why not have it from the tap for the first time. Poured with a decent head and left little lace while drinking through the pint. Smells of flowers, fruits and hops come out in the nose. Tastes of the exact smells. More hops that I expected. I was thinking there would be a heavier alcohol taste aproaching a weak style barleywine. A nice carbonated and crisp beer. Very drinkable. It still wasn't as good as I thought it would be though. Maybe because I thought it was a different style. Still a good-very good beer worth picking up.

Update 2003 version-

Tastes pretty much the same except maybe a slight bit less hops. Still an excellent beer. I have had several samples of the 2004 and now that I know what to expect, I think I will change my original rating. This is a very class beer.

Update 2005 version-

Finding myself now drooling over this beer. Purchased a case of the 2005 from Costco for about $24. This years seems very hoppy with a big pine or woodsy flavor to the hops. Almost feel like raising drinkability to a 5. Already looking to buy another case to get me by until 2006.

Update 2006 version-

This version is as good as it always is. Seems even more like a traditional IPA this year. Plenty of hops and a nice caramel malt base. Very well balanced.

Update 2007 version-

Again, a winner. Maybe one of the best yet. Of the three bottles I've had, they seem more sweet, but maybe not quite a hopped up. Compare this years version to Lost Coast Indica. Very good as usual.

Update 2008 version-

Seems to bit a bit more malty this year. Still very good, but I've enjoyed all the past years a bit more. Still won't stop me from buying a case each year...and from drinking the rest of this years stash. Still an above average IPA.

GClarkage, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heard all the hype so I picked it up. Giving Sierra Nevada another chance to impress me. 6.80% ABV confirmed for the 2012 batch. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at BevMo! and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the hype, but I'm skeptical.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and good retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant copper-amber. Semitransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Decent lacing.

Sm: Toasted amber malts, cream, floral hops, caramel, murky tangerine, and cloying sweetness. Surprisingly malty; I expected an overly hoppy bright aroma. I see now why it's a winter beer. Shaping up to be quite nice so far. An average strength aroma.

T: Pleasant floral hops until the climax, where the hop bitterness breaks through naked, without anything to help hide it. Pleasant toasted malt foundation, with even some cherry fruit up front. Too bitter in the third act, destroying the balance of both the flavour profile and the structure. Nice interplay between hops and malts but the finish just tanks it. I do like it, but I wish the last third could just be snipped away. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Some murky grapefruit and tangerine; I suspect citra hops. Where's the bright crisp citrus and pine that I want? It's nowhere to be found here. Drinks like a decently hopped winter warmer. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Mf: Too dry and coarse in the third act, but pleasantly smooth and wet up front. A bit sticky and chewy. Good thickness and carbonation. Good presence. Clean.

Dr: Quite drinkable, especially considering the above average ABV. It's an enjoyable little seasonal, but current ratings are obscenely high given the quality here. I'm glad I have a six pack, and I'd try this on draught, but I doubt I'll pick up any next year. A solid macrobrew IPA for what it is, but don't expect it to live up to its current ratings. At this price point and availability, I can see why it makes it into so many refrigerators. But its severe lack of balance really holds it back.

High C+

kojevergas, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never got a chance to try this one last year so I bought a 12'er right when it came out this year and I'm glad I did. ($14.99/12)

One of the most beautiful beers I've seen in a glass... a huge fluffy head with a light copper-ish color, tons of ascending bubbles which just scream out freshness/deliciousness.

Taste is hop filled and bitter, but the hops seem to me a bit subdued more than the usual IPA. I catch more of a fruity vibe to it than the basic IPA and the bitterness seems to last through the swallow (in a good way). I'm finding this beer hard to review because the beer is almost too good to savor at all. Great work SA.

oriolesfan4, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -3.8%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

InspectorBob, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of woodychandler
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Fresh Hop Ale iteration. I think that I am going to do some ticking for a little while and get all of my numbers to the 400 range.

From the bottle: "Celebration Ale is a special ale for the holidays. Featuring the first hops of the growing season, this pioneering IPA is full of complex flavors and aromas from the generous use of whole cone American hops."

I am wildly out of practice when it comes to pouring from a bottle, vice a CAN. Once the panic of a near-overflow subsided, I was looking at a rocky two fingers' worth of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both earthy and piney, like being out in the forest and taking a deep breath. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with an immediate burst of very piney hops on the tongue. Man, this is the kind of thing that caused me to become a hophead in the first place! Great Gaddang, but this was right in my skewed wheelhouse. It's a good thing that I liked it, since I bought a gigantor 24-ounce bottle and I could not find anyone to share it with me. Boo hoo. The finish swept through with a minty chill that really sent shivers up and down my spine. Peering into my glass, I took note of some lovely sticky lacing that looked like Jack Frost had been at work. A second, warmer pour released a really earthy aroma, like I had been out digging around in my backyard. I liked just letting it roll around on my tongue since the hops did not have a heavy bite, but more of a wintergreen flavor. Only $3.95 for this?!? A freakin' bargain and worth revisiting, if I could get people to come over/have me over.

woodychandler, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of corby112
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This rating is for the 2009 vintage. I've had this beer many times but have never entered a review of it.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange/coppery amber color with golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger bubbly/foamy white head. Excellent retention, only sluggishly fading into a thick lasting pillowy cap that coats the glass with chunky rings of soapy lacing.

Earthy floral hop aroma with a nice citrus presence and slightly toasty caramel malt character. Hints of sweet estery dark fruit notes, especially dark cherries. Slight biscuit notes and subtle medicinal undertones. The freshness of the hops really shine and make it complex and truly unique.

Heart, chewy and full bodied mouthfeel which is very hop forward. Lots of fresh juicy floral, earthy hops that lingers throughout over the slightly toasty caramel biscuity malt backbone into a bitter dry floral hop finish. This beer is uber-fresh and bursting with luscious dank oily hops. Subtle citrus notes and some nice earthy pine. Sweet dark fruit notes mid-palate, especially dark cherries, and a slightly medicinal presence. More wonderful fresh hoppiness in the finish without a trace of alcohol warmth. Dangerously drinkable and a beer I look forward to all year. Highly recommended.

corby112, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of yourefragile
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz 2007 bottle. I've had this on tap a few times this year but waited for bottle since I never felt like I got a good taste in a smoky bar

A: Fairly clear deep amber color with a nice persistent white head, not overly thick. Leaves a nice, but not large amount of lacing in the glass.
S: Very strong aroma, lots of hops obviously overpowering anything else, but some floral and sweeter, citrus flavor
T: I like this a lot for a american ipa as hops as big and present throughout the beer but is never overly bitter or dry. Aside from hops there is a small floral taste and a sweet ctirusy fruity flavor. Never really picked up on alcohol flavor.
M: Medium body and carbonation, very smooth and slightly creamy. Very good, not overly bitter or dry and as it warms up a little becomes a little sweeter and less bitter
D: Just a great american ipa, nothing particularly remarkable, just very good and very drinkable

yourefragile, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden orange-red, with a thick head of creamy bubbles. Head disippates, which is a bit of a disappointment, but it still leaves a collar, and some really intricate lacing down the glass. Overall, it looks really quite good. And I do love the colour.

Absolutely delicious nose. Really full and fruity, and jam-packed with those wonderful west-coast IPA characteristics. Notes of passionfruit, pine, sour-cherry, with overtones (possibly from the spices) of vanilla and cinnamon. Really gorgeous nose, balancing between sweetness and fragrance. Delicious.

Taste is somewhat thinner than I would have hoped, and the texture also leaves something to be desired. Some green hop-leaf bitterness mid palate, and a long astringent finish. There are hints of sweetness, but it's never really delivered to the tongue, leaving the palate feeling flushed and not caressed.

It's a pretty nice beer, all things considered, and once again, Sierra Nevada come up with an interesting beer, thoroughly reminiscent of California (to me, at least). I wish it had more body and substance, and more sweetness on the palate, but it's very drinkable as it stands.

lacqueredmouse, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of orangesol
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours deep copper orange with a one finger tall white head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malt, pine resin, lightly toasted bread, and citric hops. The hops and malt are well balanced, neither really overpowering the other.

T - Starts off with a nice dose of citric hop bitterness quickly giving way to a mix of sweet caramel malts, fresh baked bread, and some sticky pine resin. It is fairly well balanced but the sweetness is beginning to creep up. The finish is a mix of light sweetness and bitterness, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, slightly sticky, feel that makes it ever so easy to drink.

O - This one remains one of my go to fall beers. The balance of sweetness to bitterness is spot on and it goes down easy. One of the rare IPA's that gets better with age.

orangesol, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler from Finger Lakes Beverage on a saturday trip to Ithaca.

Looks pretty damn good. Pours a dark amber with great head and lacing.

Stong smell, very similar to taste. A strong, but well-rounded hops aroma. A little citrusy.

Tastes pretty good, but could use a little balance in my opinion. While the hops did taste great, the beer lacked complexity.

Nice in your mouth, but overall, a little tough to drink (especially and entire growler). Recommended for any hop head.

tempest, Nov 14, 2005
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,822 ratings.