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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.

7,822 Ratings

(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 haver
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked this up (5/21/09) on clearance for under $5.00 a six. It is out of date and I didn't car because I wanted to see if the flavor changed with age. Wow this Beer changed. The hop flavor went way down and the malt and spice went up. If you tried this beer a few months ago and see this on sale get it and see what I mean. I loved this when It came out and drank a lot of it. Before it was a rich IPA. This is now a different beer. The hops were hiding the malt and spices before and now they have come to play.

haver, May 25, 2009
Photo of vacax
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass. I've had this one fresh and saw it today and figured I would try it and am quite impressed with it. This being one of the few IPAs people age, I am interested to see how this holds up long term. Right now it is smelling incredible and drinking just as well.

A: Not quite amber, but an orange hued deep straw. Large off-white head has random sized beads that seems to have low to medium retention and some lacing.

S: Some of the most exotic fruits I have ever smelled in a non-fruit beer are coming out of this. It smells just like mangos and the essence of apricots. Slight resinous pine and maybe a hint of fruity yeast. My nose is seriously confused that the tropical fruits are this serious.

T: Begins fairly bitter with sharp and complex fruitiness. Apricots, mandarin oranges, lemon and grapefruit. Fruity, and increasingly spicy and bitterness follows along with resinous pine. Finish is lingering pine needles and apricots. An intense and complex beer that combines a rare intense fruit bouquet with its bitterness.

M: Medium body and a thick, pleasant, prickly carbonation.

D: Intense tropical fruits and high bitterness and a decently high ABV... it in a way is a sipper but its complexity has me taking drinks over and over trying to pint point its depth of flavors. A big beer that begs to be drank, I must say. This beer has me thinking about it more than most IPAs do, but in a very good way.

vacax, May 25, 2009
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple in my fridge from a little while back so I thought I'd have one. I've had it on tap too which is even better, so if it's available to you go for it! It has a nice very strong hoppy taste to it while being very refreshing at the same time. Goes with almost any type of meal or snack. Has a rich amber color to it with nice clarity to it as well, so the amount of flavor is a bit surprising. Very little bad to say about it, but if I had to be picky about it I don't find the aroma exceptionally strong, but still a nice hoppy smell to it. Very drinkable you could chug it if you want, but I would never recommend it, very much worth savoring this one.

AndyAvalanche, May 25, 2009
Photo of youngblood
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just found my notes from this. Dated 11/15/2008

Pours a deep amber with some signs of copper bursting out the sides of the glass. Rocky limestone head sitting on this one. It's gonna be lovely.
Smells very citric. Bits of pine, some sweetness floating around in the nose as well. Quite impressive.
Tastes yummy. Grapefruit, bits of grass, some strongly bitter green tea all floating in hop oil flavor. Sweetness is similar to subdued caramel. Very delicious, very nicely balanced.
Great mouthfeel. Has some nice body to it. Goes down very smoothly as well. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

youngblood, May 15, 2009
Photo of Schmittymack
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this as a twelve pack back in January. Pours an orange-red color. Still has nice citrus smell; hop "bite" has mellowed since I had it on draft in November. Actually more sessionable now. I pick up a bit of fruitness but after four swallows, can't quite pinpoint it. I picked up a bigger hop bite back in November when I had it on draft; I actually like it better now! Very sessionable; I'll be disapointed when I run out.

Schmittymack, May 14, 2009
Photo of wingman14
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy redish orange with a frothy white head that fades fast and leaves lacing. The smell is mostly hops with sweet notes, with some subtle spice notes. The smell could be subdued due to the cellaring (this is a 2008 release). The taste starts with a bite with some bitter hops followed by the spice and sweet notes, and finishes with the bitter hops again. The aftertaste is a long drawn out hop flavor. The mouthfeel is ok, the harsh bitter bite can turn some away, but the veteran hophead will fall in love. The flavor is deep, not very complex, but good. This is definitely a celebration of hops, and delicious beer. A good beer, great flavor.

wingman14, May 13, 2009
Photo of Scriba
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber, with a high beige head. A little cloudy. After a while, the head leaves a finger thick lid and a lot of lacing.

S: Malts, caramel and American hops.

T: Follows the smell. A very bitter aftertaste (and that's ok with me)

M: A lot of CO2, and it leaves a little sticky felling in the mouth. Still not bad at all.

D: Yes!

Scriba, May 08, 2009
Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 & 2009 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale poured from the bottle although I have had this ale on tap as well.
A: Poured a nice cider like reddish brown with a nice fluffy head that slowly receded.
S: Mild smell of hops and spices. Piney aroma
T: hoppy from beginning to end. Slight malt flavor up front
M: Medium
D: Most certainly

Smooth up front with a definite hops back end! For an American IPA it is pretty tasty, although I probaby would reach for a Two Hearted first before this, it still is a great choice

kbutler1, May 05, 2009
Photo of atpben
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at the Tap House In Norfolk. Reviewed from notes taken. Poured into a pint glass. Poured a dark amber color, with a head that diminishes quite rapidly. Good lacing as you finish the beer. Lot of citrus and pines in the aroma. The taster had more of the pine, some grapefruit and wood? and mint which was just great and just the right amount of spice. Wow what a great beer. What a great beer from a great brewery. Can't wait to have some more, specialy on tap. Awesome.

atpben, May 04, 2009
Photo of drcarver
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Bright amber color with a large off-white head. Good lacing left by a slowly fading head.

A - A strong smell of hops and alcohol comes with the pour. Not malt or yeast aroma to be found.

T - The flavors are very sharp. SLightly acidic and bitter in the finished. The bitterness hangs in the mouth long after finished.

M - Light bodied. Lively with carbonation

D - Goes down very easily

drcarver, May 03, 2009
Photo of theBubba
2.1/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Celebration. Nice amber color...nice head...nice lace that sticks to the glass long after it's empty.

After that it's all hops that will leave your mouth searching for a piece of cheese and a good oatmeal stout or wit to "celebrate". Or some toothpaste. Your choice.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is a slightly spicy overly hopped adventure into a very bitter realm. For "hop-heads" only.

theBubba, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of Martin2D
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby red mixed with amber with a huge white head

S - Hops and Christmas spice

T - First hit with Christmas spices, then the hop bitterness follows. Extremely balanced in both sweetness and the hop bitterness.

M - Medium-heavy carbonation and medium in body

D - This one completely threw me off. IPA is kind of a stretch. Should be a "Christmas IPA." So different from any other IPA, this one deserves to be recognized as a great. Could drink this all night long.

Martin2D, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a classic hazy burnt orange color. Deep brown tinges. Thick white head.
Smell of deep malt with some classic flowery hop smell on top.
Complex of flavor with some light hops and citrus rind up front followed by some spice and sweet malt faintly.
The finish is long and hoppy.
Very sessionable.

ThaBobfather, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of michaelgrant1983
3.08/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color and head on the beer are both great. Decent smell on the ale, not what I expected though. The taste itself wasn't bad, just not impressive either. For all the noise about how great this beer was I was not impressed at all. It tasted like a stronger SN Pale Ale. That idea sounds like it would be a great brew, but something missed in this beer. Just flat didn't like it.

michaelgrant1983, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of NatetheGreat
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is just such a different beer for a winter ale. But when you need a hop fix in the dead of winter, I guess this is a lifesaver.

Absolutely huge head, beautiful ruby color glowing with orange and scarlet highlights. The aroma is hoppy, very fresh, with orange peel, fresh cut leaves and floral and spicy notes.

Taste is not very balanced, IMO, even hoppier than aroma. It's a hop explosion with very fresh leafy and flowery notes and some bitter citrus fruits - malt is there, not totally overwhelmed, but still overshadowed. Some sugery candy-like flavor. The feel is smooth and creamy and the drinkability could be better if not the alcohol were not so noticeable and the hops weren't so assertive. But, like I mentioned, if you're looking for a hop moment, here it is.

NatetheGreat, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of TheChauffeur1
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will skip the standards with this many reviews. This is a good looking beer with a spicy smell and great head. This beer is just plan awesome for the winter months. I always start off with this beer when we get into the Christmas ales. And what a great way to start a session. IMO this is what I did about a beer just damm well balanced and oh so good. You should really enjoy this one. Later

TheChauffeur1, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of u2carew
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A) Pours with an active and frothy head. Copper colored. Some haze (from the chill?).
S) Floral hop notes with some earthiness. A slight sweet aroma.
D) Mild malty / caramel sweetness in the nose and through. Bold bitterness and earthiness in the aftertaste. Full of hop love.
M) Crisp and clean yet smooth and refreshing on the palate.
D) Sierra Nevada always puts together a great pale ale and this is one of them!

u2carew, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of rodney45
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a ruby red good looking beer. Head sticks around for a bit, and the beer is well carbonated. Centennial hops really permeate off this brew and i get a slight caramel hit too, with all voices screaming drink me. Hops are fantastically well balanced in this beer along with the winter spices( ie nutmeg & cinnamon), and the beautifully balanced malt. If anything dominated this brew it would be the sincere craft feel and the way in which it captures the essence of a true holiday IPA. If I had to drink a single beer for the rest of my days, this would be it.

rodney45, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of adamette
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from a bottle into my Great Lakes Christmas Ale goblet. 2008 version.

A Generous 2 inch head sticks around for several minutes over a burnt orange but translucent body with visible sediment floating around. Actually a nice look!

S Hops bitterness dominates. I do not like this smell but it is appropriate to the style.

T Hops are too much, grapefruit bitterness that is so disagreeable to me. This bottle is a bit aged as compared with the version that I had on tap so I think that the hops are a bit more muted (thank God) but they are still very much there. This is a one note beer and a big disappointment.

M Full with hops bitterness. Appropriate to the style and boring.

D Not good. One and done for me.

Notes: I was curious to try this, rate it since it has about 4 months on it. I was hoping that a bit more of the malt came through but I was dissapointed. The unimaginative use of hops in this beer is annoying.

adamette, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of Chelsea1905
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice tanned caramel brown with some amber colouring in there too. Slightly browned offwhite head.

Smells of malt and a little bit of fruity spice in there too.

Tastes of malt after a suprisingly hoppy initial hit.

mouthfeel of decent carbonation and medium body.

Just shy of 7% abv, and hidden well


Chelsea1905, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on 11/8/08: fresh 2008 vintage with some updates from a 2010 tasting

Aroma - Fruity hoppiness dominates this beer similar to DFH 90 min

Appearance - Plenty of carbonation off thick off-white head

Taste - Very similar to DFH 90 min but without the balance of a sweet maltiness

Mouthfeel - Decent medium body that fits this beer well

Drinkability - Sharp hops all day long upfront and on the way down. I wonder how it will age. The rest of the six pack went in the cellar for another taste in November 2009.

jwhawkins81, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle to pint glass. Copper color with a light tan frothy head. Aroma is grapefruity cascade hops with some grass/spiciness. Flavor is dull semisweet caramel maltiness with generic cascade character. Astringent with moderate bitterness, slightly acrid. Overrated.

illidurit, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of deanhead
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and rich Red, almost crimson in color. Poured with an amazingly frothy head.
Aroma is earthy and pungent, almost turpy.
Taste- clean and bitter, rich with viscosity citrusy almost lemony finish with lingering bitterness that just seems to coat the mouth and tongue
Fabulous beer by SN. These guys have got this beer dialed right. It's an amazingly easy drinker despite it's 6+ % abv. Get some. Hands down one of my favorite beers.

deanhead, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Version - On Tap at the Fish Bowl

A: Darker amber body.. offwhite head with moderate retention and quality lacing.

S: Citric hops with a nice orange-grapefruit character... some piney and floral hops also outline the subtle malt body.

T: Much like the nose, this has a prominent hop flavor... pine and orange-grapefruit... balanced without losing touch with what we all want in an IPA, the hops.

M: Smooth carbonation, medium body. Crisp finish.

D: An all around quality IPA that is a welcome treat during the winter months.

callmemickey, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz 2008 bottle pours a slightly cloudy amber (much darker than an average IPA) - you can see some suspended particles. Leaves medium lacing.

Smell is piney. There are some lighter citrus notes and a hint of honey-sweetness malt, especially as it warms. Some grass too.

The first sip is all about the piney hops, bold and bright. In the back of the mouth we add some grapefruit and citrus hops. There is a slight hint of malty presence, though with the color and smell I thought maybe there would be more presence. Leaves a biting dry mouth and higher carbonation leaves some tingle in the mouth.

Really a solid example of an IPA. Hops dominated, tasty - though that being said, I wouldn't want to sip on it forever.

ritzkiss, Mar 17, 2009
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,822 ratings.