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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.

9,298 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,298
Reviews: 3,344
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 293
Gots: 1,222 | 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: 9,298 | Reviews: 3,344
Photo of vinylrooster
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of MikeM417
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Dantes
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: Stubby "heritage" bottle. No date guidelines. Neck label with blurb notes "2002 Celebration Ale" and "2284" on lower left poinsettia. Nice winter scene. 6.8% ABV.

Cost: $7.99 6-Pack at Shop-Rite

Presentation: Pint glass at 50º

Appearance: Coppery, strong-tea color. A bit cloudy. Loose, moist white head, settling to about ½”, remaining for most of the glass. Nice strings of small bubbles from the bottom.

Smell: Hops are very evident with strong lemon peel citrus notes. Spices and malt struggle up through the sharper notes. A bit off-putting at first, but evens out as the head settles. Intriguing.

Taste: More balanced than the aroma. I am not normally a fan of “overly” hopped beers, but it works here. Nice hops complexity. I’m not sophisticated enough to differentiate, but this is not a one-note wonder like many hoppy brews. First bite of hops and citrus are quickly moderated by the malt; notes of clove, allspice, ginger; and fainter hints of raisins, plums, and grapefruit. Clean and edgy without being sharp.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is well-matched to the fullness of the brew. Comparable to the Winter Solstice, with more body and viscosity.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. ABV is virtually undetectable and the body and flavors are both light and satisfying. I can see this both for savoring and as a regular quaffer.

In general, I’m not a big fan of very hopped beers. For me, it is the equivalent of salt or Habanero peppers. I love them, but used injudiciously, they dominate. Here, the Sierra Nevada succeeds. Its elements are well orchestrated, even with a heavy weighting on the hops end of the scale. Like a string quartet where the ‘cello dominates, the imbalance works if Yo-Yo Ma is the cellist, but would be a disaster otherwise. This works.

Backwash: This review is a tale of two Winter Seasonals. Compared to Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice, this brew wins hands down. My tastes don’t run to the “hop-head” end of the spectrum, but the execution of the Celebration Ale is great. I’m a big fan of Winter Seasonals and would add this my list of favorites, although less "wintery" than many. I still lean to the maltier British offerings, but this is an excellent change of pace. Should be made available year-round. If it mellows with age as noted below, could be perfect.

NB: Had on draught, this WAS mellower and even better.

Photo of leokbelo
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just finished my last Celebration, and can't wait for next winter season.
Pours a rich copper, excellent head, just looking at this beer is a treat in itself!
What an IPA! Very sharp on the nose, wonderful Cascade Hops, makes you wanna dive right in! Mouthfeel, again, very sharp, very hoppy, exactly as an IPA should be.
An IPA worth the wait!
Highly recommended!

Photo of Shakerman
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of KevinBrewer
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Brilliant clear copper color with a huge off-white head that sticks around, lacing the glass heavily.

N- Nice balance of resinous dark/earthy hops with bright/citrusy hops on top of a light toasty malt.

T- Toasty caramel malt balanced by a firm hoppy bitterness. Some brighter citrus notes provide an accent to the deliciously balanced base. There is a light, vague fruitiness in the middle. Pleasant grassy bitterness lingers into the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body. Crisp and refreshing with a fairly dry finish.

D- Deceptively drinkable. The perfect beer for a cold winter's night.

Photo of gdrydenc
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Gorgeous amber-orange color. I tend to pour aggressively, so I got a good amount of head on this bad boy, which slowly went away, leaving a thin rim of white-brown along the top.

Smell - Honestly, I can't smell a lot out of this. Even when I let the head die down, the only thing I can smell is a hint of piny hops.

Taste - Bitter, hoppy, pine-y. I like the bitterness, it tastes very fresh (2010 release).

Mouthfeel - Fantastic mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation, not overwhelming. I know immediately that the flavor is there and it lasts until the end... and then some. The flavor persists on my tongue for a while after.

Drinkabilty - Great drinkability. At only 6.8%, I can easily finish the bomber and desire more.

Overall, an excellent seasonal offering from SN, especially for the price.

Photo of ChesterHop
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of hogansct
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of acp21178
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of bpowers315
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Maltyduo
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%

Photo of modidia
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of rvajohn
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Radiosox
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of OneEye78
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of CraigP83
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice amber colored beer. The first thing I noticed was when I smelled it was the hops, I think I also smelled a slight citrus odor. I usually read the labels on the beer to see if their description lines up with what I notice while tasting. The description on this label was spot on. They describe it is a complex, robust ale layered in pine, citrus and hops.

Photo of johnrobe
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 edition. What a marvelous brew!! Admittedly, I'm a hop-head and this beer does not disappoint. Hops, hops and more hops in the aroma (of the signature citric/floral Pacific Northwest varieties). Dark orange amber with a cream colored head that sticks around. Hops dominate the palate with lovely grapefruit and floral flavors which are pleasantly bitter. Delicious sweet bready malt (like Hawaiian sweetbread) comes up for support around mid-palate but quickly gives way to...you guessed it....the hops in the finish. But they are such lovely, complex, well integrated, mouthwatering hops. Mmmm!!

7/4/03: I stocked up on '02 Celebration and it's been a real pleasure to see how it ages. The brash, overt hoppiness of new SN Celebration is still evident but has settled down and is now wonderfully balanced with the malt. I continue to be impressed with this brew.

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

One of the beers I have been looking forward to trying since I first started getting into craft beer almost a year ago. The label is somehow psychologically soothing, and I like it. It pours out of the bottle like beaten copper with a ruby tinge. A big bubbly head rolls up and clings in loving lace patterns in big chunks of froth. The vision of the beer itself is almost hypnotically soothing, watching the head slowly recede and leave those patterns of lace on the glass. Once I take a whiff I get somewhat of a wake up call though. Sweet sticky malts over-come by resinous pine aromas, lemon grass, and citrus rinds. The combination is almost candy-sweet, but brash and assertive at the same time. This beer tastes great as well. The malts are present and nicely sweet, but light on the tongue. The hops, obviously, dominate this beer…vibrating mid-pallate like I had a penny on my tongue. Resinous pine and bitter citrus rind present themselves toward the finish, very lovely. A great IPA with classic Sierra Nevada style. Let me say that I love this beer, but there are some behemoths in the IPA category that are really hard to touch, Sierra Nevada still does an awesome job with this beer.

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 JDK
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.5 across the board!
Poured a crystal clear honey amber with a nice 1 finger head that reduced down to 1/2" and stayed throughout the drink, actually had a nice foam ball at the last swallow.
Medium lacing that was quite heavy in some places. Nice clinging that was better than most any other brew I've tried.
Medium mouthfeel with perfect carbonation.
Nice smell of hops, very clean.
Taste was very good, very crisp with a nice citrus after taste. Very refreshing and a great year around beer.

Photo of sfoley333
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Delirium Tremens snifter. Poured a copper amber color with a thick white head. Smells of citrus hops with a slight yeasty sour note. Taste a little grapefruit and pine with a nice malty balance, not very bitter. Mouthfeel is medium body with a mild carbonation. Drinkability is very good in this beer which tends to be one of the smoother winter brews.

Photo of mjn5036
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 has arrived- it's a good night.

I love the bottle art on this one - not quite as much as the Tumbler bottle - but its close.

This one pours and amber and copper colors with a massive off-white head white, mostly due to my over zealous pour. The head slowly returns from whence it came leaving a ludicrous amount of sticky lacing clinging all over the glass. A generous amount of foam rests upon the meniscus long after the head has dissipated.

The nose is primarily of the generous amount of fresh hops added to this one - a lot of citrus, slight piney hop, faint spice and soft breadiness.

The hops hit the palate first - a rush of floral offerings and sweet citrus hops. Following the hops is a fantastic maltiness that balances out the flavor profile marvelously. It finishes with the Sierra hop bitterness I have grown to love.

This is a liberally drinkable beer with only a faint sense of alcohol presence. It is medium bodied and smooth on the palate. What we have here is a full-bodied IPA engineered perfectly to be drunk on a cold night whilst sitting before a fire. Not your typical winter warmer but a work of art in most ways - close to perfection in all facets.

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

Pours a nice burnt orange with a just barely off white rocky head. Leaves a nice lace as it recedes. Creates a beautiful bright orange when held up to the light. This is a really delicious looking beer. Some pine and then a wallop of grapefruit and other citrus notes hit the nose first. Has some sweet initially on the palate from the malt, which transforms into a floral hop flavor with citrus and a mellow bitter finish. It has a pretty light mouthfeel that is even creamy a bit sticky. I definitely had lower expectations for this beer, as I usually do with other Sierra Nevadas. Many people love all of their offerings, but what I've doesn't really jive well with my tastes, most notably the Pale Ale. However, this was a pretty balanced IPA, which I definitely did not expect from Sierra Nevada. I would drink this again and would suggest it to others. It is a nice winter ale.

Photo of dbmernin83
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first of many of this season. This is one of my go-to winter seasonals.
A stiff pour yields a big, fluffy three finger head over a copper brew. Lacing that Victoria has told secrets about.
Huge piney hops on the nose. Smells amazing.
Big piney hops, with a touch of bready malts and light booze warmth. The hops leave a lasting bitterness.
Fluffy, well carbonated, and very drinkable.
Definitely not your typical winter seasonal. This is however, a big, piney hop bomb of an IPA that would taste good sitting by the fire and a Christmas tree.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,298 ratings.