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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.

9,253 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,253
Reviews: 3,333
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,190 | 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: 9,253 | Reviews: 3,333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dayswonder
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 version pored into a goblet

After being pored into the goblet, the head starts off small than continues to rise to about 2 fingers. The head then subsides until it becomes a think creamy top to the beer. Definite notes of spice, citrus and pine in the nose.
The tastes starts off rather spicy but gives way to a slight biscuit backbone. The hops hide the alcohol well.
This slightly creamy beer is very easy to drink.
I look forward to this one each celebration season.

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

12oz bottle into my favorite goblet.

Appearance- Nice, medium caramel color. Light colored head of decent size. Strong lacing grasps the glass as the beer disappears.

Aroma- Pleasing aroma of pine and some citrus. A hint of sweet malts makes it through also.

Taste- The first sip reveals those nutty malts paired with some smooth caramel flavor. The hop bitterness comes later identifying this brew as an IPA (though I think less bitter than last year). Well-balanced and inviting.

Mouthfeel- A bit creamy which I think has to do with the tiny size of the bubbles.

Drinkability- While the bitterness is very pronounced in the aftertaste, the warm smooth feel of a pull of this beer keeps you begging for another sip.

Final thoughts- A well-balanced IPA from a top tier brewery. On a side note, I love the name. I always feel like I have something to celebrate when I pick up this winner.

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

A- filtered reddish brown. Pours a nice rich head with good lacing and retention. Nicely carbonated.

S- Fresh hop aromas, mostly pine.

T- Pine hop flavor in the front and roasted malt flavors balance out nicely on the back end.

M- great carbonation and full bodied feel. The hop bitterness and malty sweetness linger on the palate.

D- Well balanced. Not as hoppy as I remeber it, but great flavors. A successful winter IPA... I love it!

Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Looks nice. A nice amber with an inch of head.

S - Mostly hoppy with a bit of citrus and spice.

T - Pretty smooth IPA. A bit of bitterness and a nice hop bite. Slight citrus that finishes with a bit of pine.

M - Very smooth and medium bodied. ABV is well concealed.

D - Well I did like it in the bottle and it drinks dry hopped on tap so it does change drastically. A nice seasonal that is a nice spin on a winter beer,

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just saw it hit the shelf and just had to pick one up. The first IPA I fell in love with, now it is a staple every year.

Pours a beautiful glowing amber orange with a solid 3 fingers of head. Pour slowly. Lacing is fantastic, following you the whole way down the glass.

Floral hops attack the nose with a very nice citrus profile. Grainy malts can be found underneath, providing some balance.

Hops in the forefront, citrus to start, though as it receeds you get a mild sweetness from the malts. Malt base is quite balanced, something hard to do with the fresh hop addition, making this one a very complex, though enjoyable, beer.

Slightly oily mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation.

Take it slow with this one, which may be hard with how dang good it is.

I've heard of the controversy as to enjoy this one fresh or cellar and honestly, it is up to your personal preference. When fresh, you best enjoy the fresh hop addition, but cellaring better brings out the complex underlying malt profile. Either way, this is one seasonal that I will keep looking forward each year.

Photo of Liverpool08
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is for the 2010 edition.

Pours a dark copper with a big white puffy head. Aroma is PINE forest. Big pine notes with some grapefruit and wet grass. Taste is a once bitter but crisp with that big hoppy pine flavor. But all is well balanced as a slight malt kick evens it out and brings you back for another sip. Its just another great hop delight from SN.

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

A bottle split with onix1agr.

A- a stiff pour yields two big fingers of billowy off white head that settles after the first sip leaving small sudsy island and a thick foamy ring. Good amount lace spots all around the glass. Perfectly clear copper orange in color.

S- good amount of pine and grapefruit from the hops with a nice spice and some wet veg to it as well. Some brown sugar cinnamon toast comes to mind.

T- piney up front with the bitter grapefruit and a touch of orange just behind. Significant layers of spice interwoven in the hops. Good malt backing coming off with a lots of toasted bread and some brown sugar. Long bitter finish.

M- less then medium in body with a just right carb. dry almost tannic finish.

D- this is a solid ipa and a great one for the winter. Good spice and toast that lends well to the season.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Piraat tulip.

Pours a light amber/red color with a small bubbly white head. Nose is piney and a bit harsh.

Taste is sweet, harsh and piney. It's crisp and drinkable. Very tasty and sweet, a bit harp and acidic but easy drinking.

Photo of nkersten
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kind of happy to see this one on the shelf, for some reason I thought it was discontinued.... Pours an orange amber with one finger foamy white head, good retention and lacing. Smell is malty sweetness, pineapple and tropical fruit malts, a bit of pine. Taste is bitter and fruity up front, pale/light malts provide a bit of sugary balance. Mouthfeel is medium body with a medium carbonation, clean but flavorful. This is a very drinkable IPA, not too bitter and not too sweet. One of the IPAs that is actually balanced.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep translucent amber with a fluffy head. Looks quite handsome.

S-Nice grapefruit and floral hop aroma. Very attractive smell. Not overly pungent but still smells splendid. Complex.

T-Sierra Nevada scores again. I've had this before but not that i'm sitting down reviewing it and noticing the intricacies of I am fully impressed. Big hop flavor. Not too bitter. Citrus and flowery hops. I'm getting some honey as well as a bit of pine.

M-Creamy but not too thick. This has a crisp, satisfying mouthfeel.

D-High drinkability. 6.8% is almost undetectable.

Can't be beat for its price.

Photo of CASK1
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a tulip. Deep amber color, and exceptionally clear. Thick, dense, beige head drops somewhat quickly to a thin layer of foam, but it leaves lace to the bottom of the glass.

S - Piney hops, with a little citrus thrown in for good measure. Sweet caramel malt aroma is very subtle at first, but becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

T - A hop showcase, for sure. Balance of pine, citrus, and woody hop flavor up front, fading to a long, dry, bitter finish that builds and builds and stays long after the beer is swallowed. There is some toasty, bready, lightly sweet malt to balance, if you look hard for it. As the hops fade, a light alcohol flavor remains.

MF - Medium-full body, a bit higher than expected, but OK for a seasonal specialty offering. Medium carbonation helps.

D - I look forward to this one every year, and the 2010 version doesn't disappoint. Hope to find it on draft soon!

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

Poured from bottle aggressively into Duvel tulip. Wow, huge 4 finger fluffy white head that leaves tons of lacing. Clear dark amber color.

Nice piney hop aroma. Citrus notes with a slightly sweet malt smell.

Taste follows the aroma with some great citrusy, piney hop flavors. Good balance of sweetness that does not diminish the bitter hops.

Rock solid IPA. Highly recommend.

Photo of Daktyls
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice amber-orange color with a big foamy two fingered head that hangs around for a while before lazily retreating to a fine lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Definitely an herbal and floral hops nose is present along with some citrus notes. Nothing too overpowering, the scents mingle with each other with none being more present then another.

T: The initial taste is somewhat sweet and malty. This is followed by the floral and herbal hoppiness from the nose and adds a nice, but not overwhelming, bitter component to the taste.

M: Mouthfeel is good with a medium body and not a whole lot of carbonation.

D: Delightfully drinkable for a slightly higher ABV beer. I'll definitely be finishing the bottle and I'll certainly be sharing this one with family come holiday time.

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Version poured into a mug

A: Pours a light reddish amber color with an inch of bubbly head. leaves a nice amount of bubbly lacing

S: Smells very slightly of hops with a slight spice note and possible pine notes

T: Nice hop notes as well as a great depth of spices

M: Nice carbonation tingle and honestly warms the mouth and body in the most wonderful way straight from the first drink. Leaves a lingering bitterness on the tongue that begs for the next sip of the brew

D: Great easy drinking brew

Overall, an IPA without the super strong citrus or hop notes seen in most but a nice depth of spices, absolutely incredible and wonderfully unique

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

2010 version, hot off the truck.

A-Pours a veiled peach copper amber with a creamy eggshell head with AMAZING lacing.

S-A whole lotta C hop going on here, and it is all good. Carmel malts are present in quantity to balance it all out.

T-Pungent mouthpuckering citrus hops are balanced by robust caramel malts in a medley of IPA. Astringent grapefruit rind finish that goes on forever and ever. This is a robust full flavored IPA that takes full advantage of both hop and malt.

M-Full bodied for an IPA with balanced carbonation.

D-I rank this up there with Racer 5 as one of the best IPAs on the planet, but with a higher malt bill than racer and more body. This one never lets me down...

Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Young's real draught beer dimpled mug. Orange colored with a fresh hops nose. If you want this to be extra bitter serve it cold. Otherwise, a proper ale temperature is in order, where the rich smoothness of this time honored recipe comes to the forefront. The American fresh hops remind me once again that it was Sierra Nevada who ran first with the notion that an India Pale Ale style could be used as a holiday beer, and I for one, am overjoyed that they did so.
This 2010 version is the best I have ever tasted in the many years I have enjoyed Celebration. Not only is it celebratory in hops, but also malts, with plenty of strength (6.8%), putting aside its incredibly drinkable nature.
Having sampled holiday offerings this year from Anchor, Breckenridge, Avery, Samuel Adams, Samuel Smith, Shiner, so far, I have the distinct feeling that Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2010, is the best of the best.

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

A- Good fingers worth of off-white head. Decent lacing. Color is ruby/amber.

S- Piny hop resin up front, followed by faint citrus notes and malt.

T- Rich malt mixed w/ a lot of hops and Christmas cheer spices resonating throughout. A little biscuit taste is present on the end. Good carbonation and pretty balanced given the complexity.

M- Strong balance throughout, good carbonation. Not too dry or bitter on the end.

D- This brew is a delight and makes the Holidays even more exciting. A great IPA that's great to drink.

Photo of apbarwood
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A warm, translucent copper color with a thin sheet of lace. A lively carbonation feeds a two or three foamy islands on the surface of the beer. Definitive pine notes on the nose with a bright, juicy grapefruit aroma all backed by a firm malt character. These aromas persists on the palate though the hops take a stronger lead. The citrus is a bit more bitter than the aroma led me to believe but it's a pleasant surprise. It starts with a nice semi-sweet orange flavor leading to grapefruit and a dry, bitter pine needle finish. There's a certain earthy quality to it, like a pine forest after a rain shower, which I assume is due to the use of fresh hops. The bitterness is aggressive but not overwhelming and doesn't go any further than the malt will allow which is a definite plus. The strong malt backbone to this one helps provide a full, smooth mouthfeel that accentuates the flavors beautifully. I found this beer to be incredibly easy-drinking and it seemed to hit almost every note. If I had to pick something to improve I would say that the aroma could be amped up a little bit and maybe just a tiny bit more malt but that's my preference. As it is it's an outstanding IPA and a definite must try. I could see myself drinking a lot of these.

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

A-The beer pours into the glass the color of a copper penny. While it is clear that is a slight haze from the yeast. The head that caps the beer is an off white color and lasts for a considerable time while the beer is consumed.

S-Initially, there is a combination of aromas that I can smell. Citrus/Marmalade/Grapefruit, floral and herbal or pine-like aromas are prominent. The citrus aroma is dominant but there are also fruit-like aromas of ripe tropical style fruit mixed in also.

T-The first taste on the tounge is a sweet syrup/malt taste that is backed up by a solid bitter componenet. There are herbal and astringent flavors from the hops that seem balanced with the sweetness of the beer. The beer swallows with a refreshing cleansing taste of bitter hops.

M-Celebration Ale definitely has a fuller body than I would expect from an American IPA. I would characterize it as being somewhere in the "medium" range for mouthfeel. The carbonation is on the lighter side making the beer refreshing.

D-The beer is well balanced and dangerously drinkable while having a fuller mouthfeel. Overall it is packed with flavor and aroma and packs a bitter punch that makes for a great combo.

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

2010 bottle poured into belgian style stemmed glass.

appearance - enormous frothy head, brown amber, transparent, sticky lacing down the glass just from the head

smell - cannabis notes, floral mixed with sweet malt

taste - bold but seemingly balanced on first sip, malt body very prominent but hop bitters are there as well, taste alternates, sweet malts, resinous hops

mouthfeel - medium/high carbonation, frothy, medium bodied, dry finish

drinkability - a flavorful and robust brew, flavor is very strong for an ipa

Photo of infi
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 release, 12 oz. bottle.

Poured into a nonic pint.

A translucent, honey-hued brown color with a thick and frothy, white, two-fingered head with like a 5-minute retention. Lots of carbonated activity going on throughout the liquid, as well as amazing caked on retention- thorough stratification. On the nose is a true balance of malt and hop. The first half is a nice aromatic bouquet of the wet hops - grapefruit citrus - while the second half, however, lingers more on a delicate malt sweetness. As a whole, the synergism of the aromas work very well.

Taste is very smooth and balanced as well, with the earthiness from the hops being identified first then moving into the malt sweetness. Not as much of a hop presence in this beer, in terms of bitterness, which was surprising considering how vibrant the Pale Ale is. Regardless, not a big deal. Very subtle in all flavor components, but still mesh well overall. Also, I didn't get any "spiced" flavors as others have said before.

Mouthfeel is really medium-bodied for an IPA with a thin carbonated feel. Coats the mouth and tongue very well. Drinkability is very high on this. The 6.8% ABV hits you after one bottle though, especially if the pace you decide to drink it is only a few minutes. Definitely a holiday beer: Thanksgiving and Christmas-worthy. Considerably tasty.

Photo of obrendano
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

great find given it's from a local 7-11

A - awesome nutty autumn brown

S - misleading a bit, not as much hops aroma as taste, but lots of very nice caramely, toasty tones

T - just about perfect, a sharp bite of hops up front and soon after a rush of dark malty taste, smooth buiscuity finish

M - super smooth, just right

D - could drink this anytime, any day, would even choose over most other Sierra Nevadas in fact. superb

Photo of DNICE555
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a great beer. Got a 12 pack and had a bunch of times at Eli's fresh on tap. I think the tastiest one I had was the one I enjoyed when I was playing black ops. So smooth and drinkable. Hops are so refreshing. Very dangerous at 6.8 percent. I could drink a ton of these. Very crisp. Sierra Nevada is such a BA brewery. Their stout, torpedo, pale ale, celebration, bogfoot... ect ect. They rarely miss for me.

Photo of awalk1227
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/11/10, last bottle of the sixer. Time to review.

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A: Pours an orange/amber brilliantly clear with two fingers of thick off-white head. Not much lacing, but pretty decent head retention.

S: Not as ridiculous as some of the fresh IPAs I've had. However, it's a pretty nice mix of malts, pine, and citrus. Overall, it's a slightly sweet malt competing with a tart citrus for strongest scent.

T: Pleasant mix of malt and bitter. The citrus/grapefruit in this one is small, perhaps slightly muted by the noticeable malt and bitterness on the finish. It's a good ride though, as any solid IPA should be. Creamy and malty in the beginning as it slides along the tongue, finishing with a citric bitter bite.

F: Pretty medium body, maybe even thicker than most under-7% ABV single IPAs. Even with no head, pretty creamy beginning mouthfeel (if you ready my other reviews, this is one of my favorite qualities in quaffable IPAs). Beneath the malt is enough carbonation and prickle from the hops to show up on the sides of my tongue.

D: My winter IPA of choice. Stays in my fridge, and I can drink anywhere from 1-4 in a night, maybe even the whole sixer if I'm with good company.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,253 ratings.