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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.

7,919 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,919
Reviews: 3,159
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 222
Gots: 493 | 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: 7,919 | Reviews: 3,159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chuke
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a pint glass...so much carbonation I nearly "beer commercial-ed" it. Nice head, great copper color

S- Piney, slightly woody hop aroma with a little malt scent

T- Smooth...almost too smooth. Very easy-drinking for a 6.8-er. More hop aroma than taste...easy, not too bitter finish.

M- Silky!

D- Almost done...think I'll head to my local spot for a 22 oz. draft refill! You could probably do a couple of these but I'm sure it would sneak up on you.

This is one of the better seasonals I've had this year. I'm not fond of the big alcohol presence - none of that here. Another solid beer from SN.

chuke, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of afausser
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I reviewed this the first time, I think I severely underscored it, which is the reason for this update.

Appearance: clouded copper and peach-tinged amber, with a huge, fluffy two fingers of head and sticky lacing all over the glass. Starts out with huge carbonation, which slows down but is persistent.

Smell: Sweet pine, hops, light citrus (juicy oranges) and malt notes are all present. The pine and citrus definitely are dominant, but the yeasty notes should not be underestimated. I'm also getting a slight peach hint from it.

Taste: The pine scent is also present in the taste, along with mint, both of which are complimented by the bitter taste of the hops. The citrus in the taste is more grapefruit than orange, though a lemon zest and orange juice certainly come through. The aftertaste is very, very hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Not bad at all, though I'd say it comes across as a little bit foamy in the finish, and maybe slightly TOO bubbly. But other than that, crisp, bubbly, and piney.

Drinkability: Very versatile and easy to drink--at 6.8%, surprisingly so. Glad I picked up a six-pack--but there will be none left to age :(

afausser, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of tjd112
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this into a Flying Fish pint glass. Appearance is an deep amber color with white head and some lacing. The smell is that of your average IPA, but when it reaches your palate, it tends to be more of a burnt sugar mixed with hops taste with a slight bit of roastiness. It is a dry beer with a smooth finish, and this is a very drinkable beer, though I wouldn't have it with my holiday meals

tjd112, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of 1759Girl
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance> Hazy, dark amber. Very lively. Huge vanilla head with good retention, some lacing.

Smell>hops, clove, burnt sugar

Taste> sweet, crisp start, nice, smooth. Cascade hop resiny hang at the finish that lasts for days, seriously.

Mouf> Easy, average.

Drinkability> Not as good as Celebration last year nor the AMAZING 2007, but still great.

1759Girl, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of Mit
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one seasonal that I have really looked forward to for the last three years.

A-Nice amber colour with a sizable head...rapidly dissipating.

S=Grapefruity hoppy goodness are at the forefront with some minor malt character that I may have imagined(but I had a cold).

T-I found this less of a hop bomb this year and more balanced than in previous years. Not sure if this is so or more due to the fact that I have been drinking Torpedo all year...Either way it's very tasty with a nice earthy hop flavour rounded out by a nice maltiness. Finishes almost spicey.

M-Def in keeping with a 7% beer.

D-The drinkability is ridiculous on this beer despite the higher than norm abv. Had several of these over the course of a night at a friends place and ended up walking home. Totally snuck up on me.

Mit, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of cassanoj
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Amber reddish with a beautiful head. Yeasty and leaves a lot of lacing.

First I smell the hops, lovely. Citrus, grapefruit, some hints of pine, and maybe some caramel.

Tastes bittersweet. Some hops, banana, grapefruit, mint, caramel. I taste meat, too...crazy.

The mouthfeel is great. Tingly, bitter, stays on the tongue. It's rich and complex but light and refreshing.

Great brew, really complex. I had a really hard time putting my finger on all its components.

cassanoj, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of vkv822
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into pint glass.

Pours orange, mixed with a slight amber color. Has a frothy off-white head with fair retention and ok lacing. Appears to have strong carbonation.
The scent is floral, piney and hoppy and a similar taste to it.
The taste becomes a quite prominent mix of resinous pine and citric hops. There is a light but definite caramel malt backing.
A very nice, full mouth feel, leaves a slick feel to the mouth, carbonation feels just right. A wonderful winter seasonal.

vkv822, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of TheSarge
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Produces a good two finger thick light tan crown, with a slightly hazy copper colored body.

Aroma is hoppy with pine being the most prevalent trait. Pineapple fragrances are here too, and the malts are pretty well masked by the hops presence.

As far as taste goes, it is sweet in the way of toffee/caramel up front, but is quickly shoved to the side by the ripping of hops, which is mostly citrusy.

Pretty prickly and dry up front, and has a slightly warm ethyl finish.

Overall a good beer, and a treat for the holidays.

TheSarge, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of coldwarkid
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint. Pours a mildly hazy, light caramel colour with golden edges when held up to the light. Moderate pour yields a one inch, creamy, beige head that settles to a decent cap. Leaves nice rings of lace throughout the entirety of the glass as I'm drinking.

smell: pineapple, mango, tangerine, brown sugar coated grapefruit rind - papaya as it warms up! Very impressive dry-hopping. I never would have thought that Centennial and Cascade hops could yield this complex of a bouquet. All very lovely aromas - in fact, probably my favorites, although they aren't too pungent and in your face as other IPAs i have tasted.

taste: Piney with orange wedge and grapefruit pith hop goodness! Not over the top hoppy, but just right for a session IPA. A slightly sweet brown sugar malt character peeks its head in the finish (thanks to some caramel malt), followed by a bitter orangey hop aftertaste, which lingers on just like any other good IPA.

mouthfeel: medium-thin bodied, with prickly carbonation. I would have appreciated a little more body to the beer, but a subtly complex and flavorful session IPA isn't beyond me!

drinkability: A solid session IPA that displays a very delicious hop aroma and taste, along with a little sweetness to carry the hop flavors forward. This is the kind of beer that I've come to expect with Sierra Nevada regular and seasonal offerings: solid, true to style beers that are sure to please but perhaps not to amaze and astound (although I've yet to try Bigfoot).

coldwarkid, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the beers I always enjoyed pre-BA days. So it brings back fond memories, and am always happy to have it again.

Appearance - Nice rich copper/amber color. Two inches of off-white head. It laces nice and thick all the day down. Nice and rocky.

Smell - Very nice rich hops. Some pine, and good citrus. Malt backbone, grapefruit. Very rich.

Taste - Good hop bite. A little sweet up front. The hops come through with good citrus. A honey hint. Some nice grass. It's got a hoppy dankness that I like. Malt supports it well, but it's quite hop-forward. Good fruits.

Mouthfeel - Very nice. Good carbonation, not too thick.

Drinkability - Very solid. Always happy to have another.

This really is a nice little beer. It's a nice change from the malt-heavy winter beers most breweries put out. One of my favorite SN offerings.

callmescraps, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of MVotter
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale pours into a chalice a gorgeous amber, with a cream-colored one-inch head which leaves thick lacing in its wake as it settles.

S - Grapefruity hops and some roasted malts, very fresh and pleasant aroma.

T - The first impression is of an incredible balance in the flavor of this brew. It starts with a tinge of mild hops and malt flavor combination, and transitions to an extremely pleasant hint of peach. The finish is roasty malts with a combination of hop flavors ... and a sort of sweet citrus/peach finale. WOW!

M - Medium. Plenty of effervescence. Extremely smooth.

D - Delicious. Incredibly drinkable.

This is a masterfully brewed beer.

MVotter, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of colts9016
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this through my recent BIF, glad to get another beer that I never tried. Poured into a pint glass at 41 degrees.

Appearance: A light tan head that has a little retention. The body of the beer is medium amber color with copper hues. The is a little effervescence with yeast floating in the beer. The clarity of the beer is slightly hazy.

Nose: A very light floral fragrant with citrus esters and pine. The malt has a biscuit aroma.

Taste: A bright floral, pine, and citrus esters. The malt has a bread flavor.

Overall: The mouth feel is astringent, slightly carbonated, and coating. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is full. The beer taste like it has simcoe hops. There is an edgy aggressive pine flavor that is similar to simcoe. It is a super IPA for a hop head.

colts9016, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of blackearth
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN. This is the 2006 vintage, tasted 11/28/09. Pours a light copper body with a rocky golden-white head. Aroma is lightly toasted malt and grassy hops. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with spicy malt flavors and sticky, teeth coating hops that produce a long finish that eventually dries out your mouth. I can only imagine how bright the hop flavors might have been from a fresh bottle, but the flavors held up well over 3 years.

blackearth, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of FickleBeast
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 2009 vintage

A - pours hazy orange with two fingers of pillowy foam - lacing is abundant

S - refreshing citrus hop aroma - yum

T - solid hop flavor, but not overpowering - well balanced by the malt backbone of this beer. I seem to remember this beer being more hop forward in the past, but I really enjoy this version as well.

M - hop oils leave the mouth feeling slick. carbonation is moderate

D - insanely drinkable - alcohol is well hidden and this just goes down smoothly

FickleBeast, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of Offa
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is, for me, absolutely one of the best things Sierra Nevada makes. Hoppy it is, but not dominated by grapefruit, and well balanced, with solid, well-rounded character.

Pale, bright copper, it has a very big, pale tan head steadily shrinking to a thin, foamy frothy ring and leaving some nice rings of lace.

Aroma is orange, pine, grapefruit, caramelly raisin, caramelly grain. Grapefruit, though present, is not dominant even amongst the hops, so the hops have a good range of elements and overall it has nice complexity.

Taste is similar, light with grapefruit up front on the first sip, but soon fading into the balanced, complex mix of orange, pine, spicey leafiness, light toastiness, raisiny grain, and caramel underneath. It is overall very juicy, spicey, and aromatic, with alcohol just adding a warm fullness. It has balanced bitterness and sweetness, with lingering, faintly bitter spiciness. The feel is soft and full but light and not quite oily. It is excellent, complex, just assertive enough while still being restrained and balanced, and very drinkable.

Offa, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I figured this was a great beer for this time of year for my 150th review so here goes.

A - Pours a nice orange body small head very nice clear body.

S - Piney, fresh citrus grapefruit perhaps?

T - Really Good I really like IPA's and this is one that I really like the taste not as tart as a Torpedo but delicious none the less.

M - Again good sorta creamy a bit tart after the drink but none the less good.

D - Rate this a 5? Well let me tell you This one is a must buy and have every year and you can not say that with every beer (perhahps) but with this one there is no doubt given the availabilty and affordability.

Casey10, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle (2009 vintage) served in a standard pint glass. Poured a hazy amber with a dense, two-inch, off-white head with excellent retention - this is a beautiful beer to behold. Head eventually settles into a solid, quarter inch cap with thick, semi-concentric bands of lacing forming as the brew recedes. Mild nose - a hint of citrus and some floral hops aromas. Aromas translate to the flavor profile; however a malty character comes out to form the backbone, before finally culminating in a lightly lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a background carbonation that falls just shy of prickly. Sierra Nevada is definitely a workhorse brewery - I'm rarely disappointed with anything I buy from them, and Celebration is no different. A nice example of the style; however, definitely gravitating towards the more bitter end of the spectrum.

Jwale73, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of Kromes
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy deep gold color with large, dense off white head. Great lacing down the glass.

S: A little on the malty side with some piney hop aroma.

T: the grassy and piney hop flavor is the star in this beer, but there is a solid malt backbone that holds up and balances out the strong hop flavor. The beer is bitter in the finish, but it is rather mellow and smooth for the strength of the hop flavor.

M: Pretty good mouthfeel. Nice and smooth and good carbonation. May be a little thick, but still good.

D: The beer is strong, but delicious. Can't have too many as the strong hop does sort of kill the taste buds after a while.

Kromes, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of seand
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent amber with a foamy light tan head. The head dissipates to a thin film fairly quickly, but what sticks around is enough to leave thick lacing.

S: Floral hops with a touch of earthiness. No grapefruit or piny scents as far as I can tell, though maybe a touch of orange citrus.

T: Full of fairly flavorful hops from start to finish. There's certainly some sweetness, but it's just as certainly in the background. The citrus is more prominent here than on the nose, and the finish strongly hints at grapefruit. The alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium smooth carbonation, relatively full bodied. The dry citrus finish is huge.

D: Drinks easy enough if you like hops, but not exactly sessionable at 6.8%.

The winter imagery on the bottle suggest more of a porter to me than an IPA, but if you're looking for a winter seasonal IPA this beer is worth checking out.

seand, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of cavedave
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge light beige head tops a gorgeous amber brew. It recedes ever so slowly, leaving bas relief lacicles and swathes thickly on the glass.

The smell is all the scents of citrus, lighter pine, even lighter grain and yeast notes. There is a sweetness to the aroma that isn't malty, very clean backbone, with just a hint of earthiness at the edge. Not the strongest, nor most aromatic or perfumed of bouquets, but a pleasant sojourn for my nose on the rim.

This is a beer that bursts with flavor, not tongue-rakingly, nor viscously, but with a clean zing that is delicious, vibrant, and ends well. It starts with a blast of citrus, a bit of citrus rind, a lightly-resinous piney flavor, a sweet breadiness beneath, into textures of earth, bitter, and the less sweet citrus flavors as it finishes long and dry. The finish is drier than the flavor profile suggests, it is lighter in flavor than Torpedo for example, and it is a wonderful sip. The balance is what you expect from SN, which is to say just right.

Mouthfeel is medium body, medium carb, medium viscosity, no off flavors or cloying textures in the cling. Nice.

Drinkability is off the charts. I could drink this non stop until Zelaya is re-elected in Honduras.

cavedave, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of Lerxst
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage

A-Pours a nice orange/copper color with a one finger head that fades quickly but leaves some nice lacing.

S-Pine and citrus hops dominate with some nice caramel/malt notes. Smells very good.

T-Pine and citrus hops and a subtle malty sweetness. Not terribly complex, but very enjoyable.

M-Medium body, the carb level is a bit high for my personal preference, but its not bad. Nice dry, bitter finish.

D-Very drinkable, as are all of SN's offerings.

Another job well done by SN. These guys don't do anything badly.

Lerxst, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of noslenwerd
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright orange color, off white head.

S: Smell is strong with this one, but it was a good thing. A little fruity, clean, hoppy.

T: I am not one for hoppy beers but this one just straddled the line for me. Hoppy but the malt quickly covers up the hops. A slight caramel aftertaste with a ton of good carbonation. The more you drink this the more tasty it becomes, and the hops become a bit subdued (a good thing IMO)

Summary: If I am ever in the mood for a hoppy beer I will probably have to go with this one again.

noslenwerd, Nov 27, 2009
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 mtnbikerpa
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber dated 2009 into a large snifter. Foamy, frothy head that disappeared quickly. Left sticky lacing on the glass. Copper, amber color that is very appealing. Pine, grapefruit scent in the nose very aromatic. Taste also hoppy, perhaps cascade hops. I think the hops might be more mellowed than other years. But still none the less a very drinkable beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky a bit oily. I really enjoyed it as it has warmed and the alcohol has warmed me. It paired very well with some BBQ pulled pork sandwiches today.

mtnbikerpa, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of wspscott
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass

2009 edition

A: Orangish copper color, crystal clear, thick off-white head, lots of lace.
S: Sharp piney hops, a little citrus as it begins to warm up.
T: Hops completely dominate the malts. The malts are much more dominate here vs SNPA or SNIPA. A little bit of caramel with lots of base malts (makes me think of british malts) would be my guess. Lots of hops but well balanced with lots of malt.
M: Oily hops and a "richer" mouthfeel , tingly carbonation make for a nice beer.
D: This is a great beer, one I look forward to every year for a change of pace. SN doesn't make a bad beer, this one comes across as a "little more", a good way to celebrate. Highly recommended.

wspscott, Nov 26, 2009
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,919 ratings.