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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: 292
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 tbern007
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear, amber/copper. Thick, frothy tan head, slowly disintegrates, leaving nice lacing.
Mild hop/earth scent, a little sour.
Taste is very pleasant. Mild IPA or maybe an IPA with hops that are different from some I've had before. Not sure but good. The label says "first hops of the season" called full cone American hops. This is the 2010 bottle. Bubbly on the tongue with the initial sip. Bitter up front, pine, floral in the middle, mellows out into some sweet malt at the end.
Nice aftertaste of hop and malt.
Very drinkable. Does this have to be a seasonal? I could have this anytime.

Photo of mikeborglum
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

very clear amber color with white frothy head about 2 fingers. Definite hoppy aroma and some earthy traces. Nice dry and of course hoppy taste and nice touch of sweet maltiness. Really smooth creamy feel, medium body and great finish that last forever. Poured from 12 oz. bottle in pint glass.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice clear amber color with almost two fingers of off while head that dissipates quickly and leaves splotchy lacing.

S - Fresh hops, lemon and grapefruit citrus, muted malts, pine, grass and spice.

T - Fresh hops dominate this beer. Pine and grassy notes, more of an orange citrus, mild toasted malts in the background, a little bit of spice and a somewhat bitter finish.

M - Medium body, creamy and smooth, very well rounded.

D - I remember really loving this beer last year (2009) and this year I am not as impressed, however it's a well rounded solid brew.

Photo of wcintula
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I love the way this beer looks on the golden side of amber has a big ole puffy tan head that sticks around a long time and clings to the glass like crazy. The smell is strong piney with citrus lightly behind it/ The taste follows with strong bitterness, a touch of alcohol. It has long lasting carbonation and good body. My problem is that the more you drink of it , the more you taste the alcohol. I think those are the hops scraping my taste buds. Yum!

Photo of kwjd
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 2009 vintage bottle from City Beer in San Francisco. I was told this can age well, so I decided to go for it. Pours a bright orange colour with thick white head. Nice lacing around the glass. Smells of faint herbal hops, brown sugar and caramel. It almost smells more like a barley wine than an IPA, but it is from 2009 so that isn't surprising. Flavour is quite sweet, still enough bitterness though. Carbonation level is nice. I would like to try this fresh someday.

Photo of jaycount
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a dark, golden, almost amber hue. Lots of foam on this one. Plenty of lacing as well. Smells like light hops, dark fruit, spices. Tastes are similar. Like a fruity/spicy pale ale. Some citrusy undertones. Maybe nutmeg or clove, some other spice. Very drinkable.

Photo of JamisonM
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a very nice amber color 2009 slightly darker I think head is off white

S: hoppy with Fresh Pine and citrus notes I think mostly fresh pine.

T: Fresh pine with some citrus in the background dry finish leaves the pallet with fresh pine notes as the beer finishes dry.

M: med to light mouth med carbonation

D: very drinkable very enjoyable to drink 2-4 of these on a cold winter night.

Overall: A classic! cheers to SN for this one I do love the stuff.

Photo of Bobby12many
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Brilliant amber hue with a huge billowy head. Plenty of of frothy lacing.

S - Robust flowery hops with a light and zesty citrus note.

T - Bright lemon and grapefruit up front that transition perfectly into fresh hop bitterness that lingers. Somewhat spicy, in the finish with a nutty malt tinge that really evens everything out. Very tasty.

M - Fuller bodied than I expected. Enough to do away with any resinous bitterness.

D - Crisp, fresh, and easy drinking while still being interesting to the palette. A delicious, highly sessionable IPA. I will definitely visit this one again.

Photo of dwarvenfriend
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium Tulip

A~The color was a brilliant red with just a slight haze to it. Great lacing!

S~I got lots of flowers, a little bit of citrus and just a twinge of fruit. Lovely smell altogether.

T~Lots of fruit with just a little spice to it. Malt flavor hat just a little caramel, however it seemed a little out of balance with the hops which seemed overly bitter in the end.

M~Very nice body, started fresh and continued to linger. Almost a perfect balance!

D~Very nice, drinkable beer for a cold winter day.

Photo of DAVEnHOPS
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into Pint Glass.

My first ever review:

A - reddish amber, off white head.
S - some pine, and mostly citrus, with a hint
of sweet malt. Nice and fresh
T - similar to smell, with pine, and citrus hops
at the beginning, very fresh and tasty. not over bitter, with a nice light caramel malt right on the backend of the pallat.
M - good
D - excellent, 6.8% is hidden very well with a nice balance of flavors.
Will be a seasonal I drink every year from now on.

Photo of jsanford
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh 2010, poured into a pint glass

A - Hazy copper with a thick and creamy white head. Retention is amazing and the lacing is out of this world!
S - Fresh, clean hop bouquet packs a pleasant wallop, tons of orange juice, grapefruit pith and pine resin. Caramel malt provides the balance.
T - Again, the hops dominate, very fresh and crisp with more orange, grapefruit and pine resin. Caramel/toffee malts smooth out the hop bite, but the finish is rather bitter (in a good way). Flavor and bitterness lingers on the palate for some time. Delicious!
M - Very creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and medium-high, crisp carbonation.
D - Drinkability is off the charts for me, I blew through this Sixer pretty quickly.

Photo of climax
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 version: Fresh from Sacramento

It pours a fairly murky burnt orange/copper color with a pretty massive solid foam head. The retention and lace notches are excellent.

The nose is bold but by no means pungent or brutally hoppy. The hop bouquet is fresh and clean to say the least, sporting fresh cut grass and juicy orange citrus notes. The malt backbone has a respectable presence, keeping in the background but not letting the hops run away.

The flavor follows the same trend as the nose, but with the added intensity I was hoping for. The flavors really flirt with each-other nicely. Fresh juicy hops up front have orange, pine, and grass flavors. Into the finish, toasty malt, a kiss of sweetness and spice surface before being burnt in the end by grapefruit esters.

The feel is very creamy and body is really pretty thick. The carbonation is fairly mild, but perfect in my eyes with this much viscosity. It's a beautifully fresh and clean IPA, has all of the qualities I think a good one should posses.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Celebration pours an copper amber color, slightly hazy with a 4 cm off-white head with a sea foam consistency. Great lacing sticks all over the glass.

Smell: Quite a bitter hop aroma, some citrus but mostly floral. Caramel malt in the background. A bit of sticky pine as well.

Taste: It starts out with a nice soft malt flavor, just a bit sweet. Bitter hops step in, with some sticky pine, grapefruit, and floral hop flavors stepping in. The bitterness really builds, and by the finish is quite strong, lingering well after the sip has finished.

Mouthfeel: Overall there is a great creamy smoothness, and it is a touch grainy. It never really gets to a juicy level before finishing a little bit dry.

Drinkability: The bitterness in the end lingers a bit, but this is an enjoyable brew.

Photo of AdamBear
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-medium amber with a good amount of cream colored head

S-oh yes..it smells beautiful. its smells like sweet sugary hops. its just smells...comfortable to me. its a good strong scent. i smell vanilla in there as well for some reason.

T-its definitely good, but its a bit of a let down after that aroma. it hits with a good amount of creamy hops that quickly fades in to a great amount of bitterness. some may like this but its not my thing. i think IPAs are best really hoppy with a minimal amount of bitterness....this beer just doesn't have the right balance to it.

M-really good creamy carbonation that finishes surprisingly dry

D-well its not that terrible of a drinker. I got a 6 pack and i'm sure to drink a few of them at a time and even tho the taste didn't fair amazingly well with me, i'm excited to have some more.

Photo of JayS2629
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful amber with a frothy white head that leaves spiderweb lacing.

S- Pine hops, citrus tones, buttered popcorn

T- Toffee background with lots of pine, hops, and citrus driving. Fresh hops leads this beer.

M- Light, crisp, clean. Buttery with a dry finish.

D- The hops lingers after the dry finish. Very fresh and refreshing beer.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Celebration has a very thick, frothy, off-white head, and a clear amber appearance. Carbonation is moderate to high, and the aroma is of pine and hop oil. Taste is excellent, with a hop preponderance, and maybe a faint citrus aspect. Barley flavor really doesn't play a role with this beer. Mouth-feel is light and watery, and Sierra Nevada Celebration finishes very satisfying and wet. I would rather have enjoyed some barley notes with this, due to my preference for it, and the ale is pretty one dimensional, but this is not a complaint. Overall, this is an outstanding ale. I love it.


Photo of mbusster88
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Wonderful amber color with tan head. Large bubbles in the head, which is not dissipating to quickly. Absolutely the most carbonation I have ever seen, so many bubbles coming off the glass it looks like a snow globe.

S: Great astringent smell, with citrus and pine notes. Tons of great fresh hop aromas with the citrus style bite in the nose.

T/M: Very nice hop bite up front, gets malty in the middle and finishes dry with the hop flavor lingering. Great smooth taste and well defined. Great balance makes this a very drinkable beer, hard to keep in the glass. The freshness of the hops makes the flavors very robust and clean. Love the palate cleansing feeling with this one.

D: This beer is meant for celebrating! This one is easy to drink, with big flavor and no let downs. Another wonderful beer from SN!

Photo of Daniellobo
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice seasonal IPA, rather fresh and rich.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Festive red Sierra Nevada seal label, snowed house in the mountains surrounded by poinsettias in the framing. Brief neck label describing the composition, and intent of the brew. Shows release date as 2010. Notes Alc. by Vol. (6.8%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Faintly hazy medium amber pour with a towering rich frothy head, superb retention, nice surface memory and lacing.

S - Pleasing nose, not too assertive but with a nice fresh hoppy sense. grapefruit with a dash of resin and perfume.

T -Taste offers a nice hoppy range, citrus and resin, pine, maybe some light spice woven with the bitter touch. Nice malt in the back with a caramel touch.

M - Medium to medium-light body with low carbonation that works rather well, and a creamy sense leading to the soft hoppy bite with some dryness.

D - Very easy and pleasing flow. Looking to open another as I type...

Notes: Setting aside some of their bigger bottles this might be my favorite Sierra Nevada so far.

Photo of begforme4484
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker amber with a brown hue. 2 fingers of off white head that doesn't like to go down. Chunky thick lacing on the glass.

Smells of spicy hops, and sugary malts.

Taste is of strong hops. Not overly bitter though. A nice spiciness on the tongue, and earthy hop kick and a nice lingering slight bitterness. Not much malt to speak of, but I'm not complaining.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lingering, and nice carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I like the uniqueness of it being a seasonal, end of hops season, IPA. It seems to extract a much different focus from the hops. Much more earthy and spicy, a nice beer. Cheap cost too!

Photo of RickS95
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little darker than a normal IPA, looks like you mixed orange juice and ginger ale. A thin, but fluffy white head that sticks to the glass as it dissipates.

Has a flowery, citrusy smell, and seemed to have a scent of hard candy as well.

A big taste of citrus greets you with each sip. A little bit of pine is present as well.

The malts do a good job of masking the bitterness. It's still there, but it's gentle makes each drink enjoyable.

Like all things Sierra Nevada, this is a keeper. Good flavors, good alcohol, just a shame it's a seasonal.

Photo of Kitt
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to pint glass, a rich brick red with an ivory two-finger head that persists.

Aroma of strong hops and spices with a malty background.

Dense bitter hops and spices. Bitter taste lingers. These hops kick, and kick, and kick! Lingering as long as the frothy lace. Spices a rather unique peppery flavor. I'm not picking up much malt backbone here as the hops & spices are overwhelming. In general, I favor a hop flavor a wee bit more eclectic; although strong and bitter as I like, hop flavor is slighly monotonous.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability is excellent. Alcohol is prevalent and indeed warming, but the smooth nature of the beer and spiced bitter flavor keeps one wanting.

Overall, an excellent holiday brew.

Photo of beerdown77
4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This ambrosial brew is truly the "nectar of the gods". It's one of my favorite beers because it is not overwhelmingly seasonal in taste. It doesn't have any weird, funky spiciness that guides you down a path of regret half way through. It is super refreshing and crisp; I think I could enjoy one of these in the summer. I pick up some pinyness. Thats right, pine, and do I taste poinsettias and sprigs of holly? No, those are just on the bottle. The big head lasts all the way to the end...great overall appearance. The subtle approach to this being a seasonal beer makes it awesome and drinkable. Plan to have a couple of these in a row, no problem.

Date: 2010

Photo of aasher
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a light bodied auburn in color with a light off white head that sits atop the brew. It is light and well carbonated, releasing bubbles from the bottom of the brew the entire session. It smells very dry and hoppy and has a little musk to it. It drinks like dry, very dry and gives me cotton mouth. It's very hoppy but not piny or citrusy. I'd say it's better than the Sierra Pale. It drinks very crisp and light bodied. I like this one. You wouldn't know it's 6.8%.

Photo of DoppleJock
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.
2010 Edition.

500th beer I've tried, so I had to pick a beer with "celebration" in the name!

A: Pours a crisp reddish/amber. Two-finger head and great lacing around the glass. Carbonation originating from one point at the bottom of the glass. Looks like smoke rising from a chimney.

S: Fresh hops and spices. Actually pretty earthy -- smells like a pine forest in the fall.

T: Spicy. Lots of hops. Slightly piney.

M: Warming sensation and bitter aftertaste.

D: Good beer for a cold, cloudy day. Looking forward to drinking more of this beer in the coming months.

Photo of Chaney
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing gets me more in the mood for the Christmas season than this brew!

A: Poured a beautiful mildly cloudy, Christmas red, with a whopping three finger + off-white head, that stayed part of the brew's culture throughout the session.

S: Wowsers, the dry-hopping gave this thing a truly awesome flair. Chinook as the bittering agent, combined with Sierra's hop profile was miraculous!

T: The bitterness really hit the tongue hard on the front of this brew, then the thick, full-bodied flavor, with chock full of hoppy goodness (Cascade and Centennial) flood the palate in a truly delightful way. The tempered sweetness is perfect here!

M: The bitterness was not unpleasant in any way, and it set up the floral component very nicely. The carbonation was bubbly and perfect for the style.

D: Hmmm.... which on is better - Torpedo or this one? Since it's been a few months since I've had the former, and I honestly don't remember it being this good, I'm going to go with Celebration. I could easy pop a few of these.

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