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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.

7,876 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,876
Reviews: 3,155
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 216
Gots: 479 | FT: 2
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: 7,876 | Reviews: 3,155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of harrymel
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010

A: Pours a copper ale with exceptional clarity and a three finger loosely compacted peanut head dissipates slowly to a thick quilt of the same.

S: Oh yes. This is caramel, toffee, pine, hoppy resin, brown sugar, imperial in nose. Very nice.

T: Nice and malty with healthy hop bittering and complexity. The hops offer a fine manly flavor profile. I really don't need to say much. This beer is good. 'nuff said.

M: medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. The beer has a creamy feel to it. I am excited for next year to try the beer and try it fresh!

O: Very well done. Very good beer.

harrymel, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of tito42
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at a Pizza Luce in MN.

A: Rich amber color with a good head. Not much carbonation from appearance. Excellent lacing.

S: Citrus, hops, toasted grain.

T: Piney hops with a malt backbone and citrus flavors that balance the hops.

M: Medium bodied, with a hops bite that doesn't dry the mouth out too much. Very pleasant.

O: I didn't think I was a hop head, but after trying this on tap and Hopslam in the bottle this evening, maybe I am? This is an example of top notch execution of a hoppy ale with balance. Very enjoyable, I'll be trying this when it's fresher next winter.

tito42, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of bondjedi
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle at my parents' house.

Poured right down the middle with a soft manageable head. Creamy foam topped a gorgeous, translucent copper body.

Well-balanced, sophisticated taste - bitter start, sweet finish.

This was the perfect compliment to a Farmer John premium frank with Gulden's mustard.

bondjedi, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of TheGarvenator
2.53/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - A murky orange color with a remaining head

S - overwhelming citris smell from the hops

T - tastes extremely bitter with the sting of citris and hops

M - medium bodied with carbonation, sting from citris

I clearly am not a fan of IPAs since the taste immediately threw me off and it went down hill from there...Amazing color and smell but the bitter taste of the hops, pine, and other spices were just not balanced right for me...I'll stick with the pale ale...

TheGarvenator, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of secondtooth
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somehow neglected to review this one a couple of months back in it's prime! Regardless, this one is a true winner.

Nice copper in color, with big yellow foam. Rich lacing. Exquisite in appearance!

Nice clean scent of citrus/grapefruit hops. Nice.

Flavor is a deep pine/woodiness, followed by a slow, mellow flavor roll into a spicy bitterness. Absolutely delicious, and a really complex and enjoyable brew.

Will be buying again next year, for sure.

secondtooth, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of r3o
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To the eyes is a dense copper like color, with a very thick head that leaves generous lacing and lingers. Smells kind of mint at times and hoppy, the taste is a fight of malt and hops with a gentle bitterness in the aftertaste. It feels medium body like that makes it an easy drink. Very good overall.

r3o, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As I finally get around to reviewing this beer, I am transported back to my old front yard in Turlock, CA, sitting under the big shade tree in my front yard in late afternoon, with a good book and a couple of amazing vintage bottles of Celebration (purchased at Corti Bros. in Sacramento). But I digress...

Pours a beautiful translucent reddish color with a good finger of ecru foam on top. Big hoppy aromas (grapefruit and pine) get the mouth watering. Medium bodied, with nicely integrated hops and a sturdy malt background. Excellent.

emmasdad, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of nataku00
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Last bottle from the six pack I bought when the 2010 release hit the shelves. Beer is a dark orange/amber color and very hazy. Initial two fingers of foamy khaki colored head, with a few small bubbles mixed in there, slowly dissipates as it sits in the glass. Some light lacing as the head drops to a half finger collar around the edge of the glass. A little carbonation can be seen at the edge of the glass, but it's hard to see through the haze.

Hops are slightly faded but still there, mainly pine, floral hops, with a dark caramel and candied orange rind sweetness.

Taking a sip, bitter hops right away, pine, floral orange blossoms, and earthy. Some sweetness from the malts midtongue softens the bitterness a bit, caramel and dark breads. Light lingering floral hops on the tongue after you swallow.

Light to medium bodied and very well carbonated with ample soft bubbles easing the flavors onto your tongue. Fairly dry finish with only a hint of alcohol in the back of the throat. Always nice that Celebration is so well made every year.

nataku00, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seems funny to be drinking this for the first time in over a year, but in the beginning of Spring!!!

Pours a nice, clear orange amber. Bountiful, foamy head. At least four fingers, and it never really dissipates, leaving sheets of nice lacing. Well carbonated, too. Beautiful in every aspect...

Nice, fresh hop aromas greet you straight away. That must be the fresh hops they add. Atypical for SN in that it's not an overly malty aroma. Very subdued, actually.

Flavor is big and complex. Intro is bitter in a hoppy way, and the whole ale stays very hoppy thorughout. Not like typical big Lefty IPAs, though. The hops are really established and prevalent, but don't overpower you. The malt backbone never really comes to the forefront, but holds the whole together...When the hops start to fall off, and another hop character rears up, malty is still in the back getting you a little sweetness to back it up. Great, flavorful, well-balanced, yet still hop forward. Very nice. Now for the nice: $3.99/24 oz. bottle and 6.8% ABV. Drinkable too...

What I like most: Pretty much everything, but the appearance is top notch.

What I like least: The lower than hoped for ABV in a Winter ale...

Verdict: World class ale, perfect for anytime of year really and well-balanced enough for almost anyone. Get some folks.

SolomonGrundy, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of atomicbeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a half inch off-white head that dissipates into a fine blanket. Hops blew me away the first time, but after several now I kind of like the big citrus aroma and now find the sweet malt behind it. Taste is grapefruit followed by grapefruit. Fine selection for a big thirst. Goes down easy with a nice bitter/sweetish linger.

atomicbeer, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Lets see what some age does to it

A-orange body with white head and sediment floating throughout.
S- sligbt bit of piney hops but had a hard time bringing anything off of the bottle
T-very hard to put a finger on. Very dry finish. Not bad at all, just can't place a description on it.
M-medium bodied, smooth and crisp. Very dry finish.
D-very drinkable. My taste was gone in no time. Would love to see what this is like fresh

brew3crew, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage bottle cellared for a year and a half

Pours a crisp reddish amber. a good amount of white foamy head. Smells VERY hoppy still. I can't even tell that its aged. Tastes very malty and rich. A lot of great hops still on the tongue. Piney and grapfriuit heavy. Lots of floral aromas and tastes. Solid thick mouthfeel and very drinkable. I'm amazed its held up so well. Very nice brew

Urbancaver, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of notalagerlugger
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice rich head

S - pine and citrus full of awesome

T - the fresh hop has lots of pine oil that dominates a grapefruit and pith flavor also comes through. It is Fresh Hoppy Hoppy Joy Joy. If you do not like fresh hop beer do not try it. I can hardly wait until next year. It is better fresh as time goes buy the hops mellow but I still have some from November and is still good in march.

M - good

D - if you are having food or other beer have it last the pine flavor lingers

notalagerlugger, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Reviewed December 2010.

A: Great lacing, nice head, tawny-coloured beer.

S: Crisp and pleasant piney hops.

T: Good, but boring. Malty and balance with a clean aftertaste. Hops are gently pleasant throughout. Some citrus.

M: Watery, but not unpleasantly so. Malty, round, and unobjectionable. A light hop dryness.

D: Damn plain, but easy drinking.

AgentMunky, Mar 02, 2011
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 THECPJ
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: amber orange with 2 finger white head

Smell: citrus, hops, malts, spice

Taste: bitter, crisp, hops,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, dry, clean, bitter

Drinkability: enjoyed this alot. don't let the name full you and think your getting a winter warmer. this is all hops.


The cpj

THECPJ, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of kaips1
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- a reddish amber for about 3/4ths of the glass and very pale at the bottom, clearer in the pale sectors at the bottom and gradually getting more opauge as you get to the top. Had a 2 finger head of whitish thick froth. Looks very lively in the glass.

S- very immediate hoppiness, followed directly by citrus. Slight possible grapefruit too. Some malt hints that sneak through the citrus.

t- not far from the smell at all, very hoppy lots of citrus, nice bitter ending to the beginning of a nice easy sip

m- light, very viscus, tingles the tongue, very smooth

d- this is a very hoppy beer and it may be a bit much for some people to be able to drink more than a couple, most "hopheads" I wouldnt doubt crush a 6er easy. I feel its very drinkable like most Sierra products but I also have a slight biased opinion because I love a hoppy beer.

kaips1, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of iamsemigloss
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/31/10, taken from notes.

Appearance: A large impressive head leading to an amber beverage. Body was clear and the lacing good.

Smell: A hop bomb, complex sharp citrus, herbal and perfume notes, even some pine. Light malts present, toasty and caramel.

Taste: Caramel hits the palate first, leading into the barrage of citrus and a little pine. A warm bitter alcohol kick on the finish. I detected faint hints of dish soap, which honestly was a real distraction...

Mouthfeel: Creamy and drying.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer but probably wouldn't buy another. It's my understanding that this beer changes somewhat from year to year, and I liked it enough that I will revisit it next year, for sure.

iamsemigloss, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of nickd717
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review transcribed from notes taken in February 2009.

Like a holiday IPA, except not so pale. Dark reddish brown with an off-white head.

Aroma is hops, spices, and caramel malt. Smells very nice.

Flavor is rather IPA-like with more caramel maltiness than your typical west coast IPA, and a slight spiced note to go along with big piney west coast hops. Bitterness is too much for some amateurs, but not me of course! I eat it up like Rosie O'Donnell eating an entire cheesecake.

Medium-plus bodied with good hop resins and average carbonation.

What else could you ask for Christmas ? (and don't say a pony - it's NEVER happening!!!)

nickd717, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of Luk13
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 2008 vintage, consumed 1 year later. Thanks ritzkiss. Beautiful color here, nice hazy red pour. Quite the hop bomb for 1 year old IPA, taste is nicely balanced IPA complex mix of hops and leafs. Surprisingly good for the age and wish I could try a fresh one in the future.

Luk13, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of camp0474
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 11/24/10

2010 Celebration Ale

A: Pours light orange amber with tan head. Abundant lacing.

S: Skunky moist pine and floral hops. Fresh hoppy smells with sweet malt. Smells somewhat balanced.

T: At first I almost thought it was flavorless, the flavors were very faint and subtle. The fresh hop oils make a gradual appearance and then peak up hard as wet piney flavors. The sweet malt does a good job balancing the heavy hops. Slightly bitter hop lingers.

M: Medium to heavy body, the hop oils weigh this one down. Good carbonation.

D: Pretty drinakble for the fresh hop style. Smells good, tastes good.

Good display of fresh hops. Good for the occasional "celebration". I will definitely have more next year.

camp0474, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of deadliest
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Two fingers of ivory foam leaves a coating of lacing down the walls of the glass as it recedes into a golden hued dark copper body.
S: A medley of citrus, pine and flowery hops. The only balance here is among the hops, but I'm good with that.
T: Citrus hops take over the hop profile, and the taste is a bit more balanced than the smell with its sweet malts.
M: Medium/medium-light body. Crisp finish.
D: As good as it gets.

Wish this was year round instead of torpedo :(

deadliest, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 2010 Celebration into tulip glass.

A- Very nice orange color that poured a giant cream colored foam. Some lacing on the glass remained. Beer was very very hazy...

S- Smell starts with citrus and slightly floral hops, hits a sweetness in the middle, then finished with very lemony and grapefruity hops again.

T/M- Not bad, but the bitterness here is a bit harsher than I expected. The beer initially is a bit bland when it first hits the tongue then gets a little sweet and bready with a big bitter cloud coming over you to end. Some of the citrus hop flavor is there, but mainly bitterness. Not quite as pleasant as I hoped. Medium body and medium carbonation make the mouthfreel proper.

D- I like it, I don't love it. I wish there was a bit more hop flavor to match the bittering qualities. I could be drinking this a bit too late, in which it is my fault; but as is I have reviewed honestly. I don't think I would go back for a second one considering almost 7% alcohol I would move to something else before I got too buzzed.

TheGordianKnot, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/16/11

A: Huge three finger head on a good pour. Really sticky lacing remains as the head slowly dissipates. It's resiny and cloudy; it's opaic burnt umber in color.

S: Sweet hops and marshmallow fluff. It's woody and spicy, yet balanced and inviting.

T: Rich hop oil and pine resin. It's not cloying like some within the style. There's a long bitter finish which is mild, balanced and delicious.

M: Creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. It's warming and heavy, just what you want around the holidays.

O: I've had a lot of these this winter, and a I look forward to having a lot more next year too. One of the better values around Christmas time. It's easy to drink, well balanced and just damn tasty. SN's Celebration is a great way to escape from the in-laws, even if it's just for a few sips.

Rhettroactive, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes

A friend had a 2.5 gallon keg of this at his condo for Christmas party.

Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass.

The beer pours a nice, rich amber bronze color that is slightly hazy. Creamy inch or more of head that slowly dissipates, leaving heavy, thick lacing that stick to the sides of the glass.

The aroma's are of fresh hops, with hints of citrus/grapefruit and pine. Not too much on the malts side.

The flavors in the taste are crisp, well balanced, and full of flavors. Ranging from hops, grapefruit/lemon, as well as the pine mirrored in the aroma. Some light spicy wood notes there in the middle, with a great finish.

Mouth feel is sticky, bitter, with a smooth mild finish. Well carbonated, and a nice change during the winter with so many stouts around.

Overall, can easily drink one or two of these, perhaps even more than that, though I tend to jump to different beers in a sitting. The beer has some nice subtle flavors, that meld well with each other, and strike a balance between flavor and a clean finish.

Last time I had this, I was not impressed, though it was in late April (2009) and from a bottle. To me, there is a difference when it's fresh and on tap, and based on my experience, fresh and on tap is my preference.

Retsinis, Feb 15, 2011
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,876 ratings.