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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.

9,255 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,255
Reviews: 3,335
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,194 | 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: 9,255 | Reviews: 3,335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of laituegonflable
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange colour with generous cream-coloured head, nice and bubbly but sinking steadily, leaving some beautiful trails of lace behind. Slow, light bead in the body with very slight translucency. Damned nice beer.

Smell is fairly fruity, quite malty as well with lots of light caramel on that. Nice, tart pineapple note and lots of enjoyable citrus aroma. Slight dry grassy aroma as well, and a very mild medicinal phenol on there. Decent, but a bit of a mishmash.

Taste is quite malty and boozey. Lots of sweet toffee flavours with brown sugar, then gets early hop notes with a touch of grapefruit and some grassy flavours as well, light phenols with a slight aspirin note and a touch of apricot as well. Slight woodiness on the back complementing a slight brandy boozey warmth.

Quite thick texture with a slickness as it goes down. Slightly sticky in the mouth, but pleasant.

Pretty nice, doesn't strike me as amazing but pleasant, sweet drinking.

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

Bottle - Poured a cloudy amber with a huge fluffy white head which lasted throughout. Lacing was intense and lasted as well. Nose was citrus, resinous and flowery with considerable sweetness apparent. Taste is citrus, some pine, spice and balanced nicely with some nuttiness and caramel malts. Medium bodied and good carbonation, a little sticky but with not much bitterness in the aftertaste. Instead, this IPA is on the sweet side but crisp, refreshing and sessionable for sure.

Photo of sk8man121
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up today at my LHBS while grabbing some supplies. Was shocked to see that it was a 2007 vintage.

12oz bottle poured into Unibroue snifter.

A: Pours a nice deep amber with a thick, pillowy head. Lacing abound.

S: Smells very sweet and malty; hops have dropped out completely. Dark fruit, a small hint of citrus and lemongrass.

T: Wow. It's amazing what 3 years can do to a beer. What was once rife with hops is now so malty that the flavors remind me of an aged J.W. Lee's harvest. Malt sweetness, a nice burn from the alcohol, honey, bread. Drastically different from a fresh bottle; hell, it tastes like a barleywine.

M: Coats the tongue and the rest of the mouth. Medium carbonation.

D: Fresh, I can easily go through three or four bottles of this. With three years on it, I honestly wouldn't want more than one. This has gotten extremely malty, which to some might be a blessing.

Great beer fresh, and quite good with age. Just very different.

Photo of pdoran10
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

really amazing looking ipa. pours out a dark amber haze with two and a half fingers of head with staying power. leaves behind some incredible lacing.

smell is pine and orange, nice mixture of hops. with yummy meduim roast malt.

taste is full of hops and well balanced with excellent mixture of well bodied malt. very very well made beer quality ingerdients. hop profile favors pine and resin mostly, not my favorite. reminds be of SA boston lager's malt profile, but in a larger dose.

mouthfeel is a winner. moderate carbonation with just the right amount of chewyness from the malt bill.

packs a lot of flavor and weight into and ipa, not the kind of ipa i could see me drinking more than a few of. like a mini barleywine.

Photo of uhhhaaron
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

consumed 11-17-2009, 12oz bottle into pint glass.

2009 vintage

Poured a beautiful dark orange/copper color with a nice soft, pillowy 2 finger head. Lacing left a lot of retention on the glass.

Initial smell is citrus hop. Then u get grapefruits and a lemon zest. has a deep caramel malt backbone to go along with the pine notes.

First drink was all hop up front that finished with a burnt finish. Then after the second, more flavors came through. lots of pine, light on the citrus, rich caramel malt, sweet toffee. a true hop heads delight.

mouthfeel is crisp with just the right amount of carbonation. medium bodied.

This is a spectacular brew. my favorite winter seasonal. I thought the 2008 version was a bit more maltier.

Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a dark orange in color out of the tap. It had some brownish notes as well. The head was puffy and very pretty. It showed retention the whole time I drained the pint glass and left some awesome lacing. The nice, sharp pine is what I first noticed in this nose. There was also some light citrus and maybe a few other hoppy notes. The healthy malt base gave this IPA a very good balance. The hop profile is very complex and reflects the scents found in the nose. The toasted malts come up slightly bigger at the taste and have a small nut compliment. As I said before, this is a very balanced brew. This one is a solid medium body

Photo of Beasticles
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 2 finger lacy head that stays with you for much of the duration of the beer. Reddish amber color and solid hoppy and and sweet aroma. Hops hit the buds first, followed by a smooth change over into a citrus spice and sweeter finish. Great brew. Had it on tap last year a couple times and it is better from the bottle.

Don't let the label fool you, this ale is appropriate for any time of the year. Seasonal only, so store up your nuts for the summer.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

It pours a clear straight amber topped by a firm finger of cream foam. The nose comprises a nice level of citrus hops alongside a pleasant bit o' sweet caramel. The taste generally follows, but the hops, which add a bit o' pine to their repertoire here, seem to dominate the caramel, which is no longer as sweet as it once appeared. The new piney-ness lingers on through the aftertaste. The body is pretty light, with a moderate carbonation and a very easygoing feel. A very solid IPA, a credit to its style.

Photo of ADZA
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After looking at this label its hard to recognise that is an AIPA it gives you more of an impression of a winter warmer but anyways glad i found out it was the first,it pours a nice light cloudy bronze hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a very frothy two finger caramel laced head and sporadic sticky lacing all over the place this looks spot on for an AIPA quite impressive looking,the smell is a nice mix with aromas of citrus mainly orange and lemon and some sweet toffee malts and is quite subtle compared to other highly hoppped AIPA's but it definately gets it's point across,it has a nice mouthfeel which is just under medium bodied and nicely carbonated and very sessionable with tastes of stonefruits,some light toffee malts and finishes with a nice passionfruit tinged bitterness which stays in your mouth and for me since im a big fan of this style i reckon they got it pretty spot on and if this brew was available to me all year round abit fresher and abit cheaper it would definately have a permanent spot in my fridge.

Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy copper color with a huge frothy white head that has great retention. Head leaves some very nice lacing.

S- A big citrus hop smell. A good sweet malt backbone here too.

T- Huge blast of citrus hops, fresh grapeftuit and oranges, with hints of lemon. Again nice malty backbone. Very good balacne here.

M- Fuller side of medium and carbonation is right on.

D- A very solid brew and easy to drink.

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

a: nice fluffy white head with good retention that leaves light lace on the side of the glass; the body is a nice amber/red color

s: a nice blend of bitter hop scent w/ fruity/citrusy hops and maybe the lightest hint of spice

t: great balance of both the fruity and bitter side of the hop flavors with an especially good bitter hop kick toward the end of the sip; definitely not a lot of spice presence for a winter seasonal

m: medium carbonation with nice crispness for a pretty creamy bodied beer

d: i really think that this is a good well balanced beer that really showcases the variety of hop flavors but for a beer with holly and a snow-covered cabin on the label i expect a little more festive winter spice than this beer gives you


alright! my first taste of a beer from my newly created cellar. a 6 month 2007 vintage

a: still has it; nice head sits on a definitely darker perhaps murkier than i remember it body with w/ a decent 1/4 inch of off-white and some lacing going on; lacing and head are maybe a little less dominant than they were earlier but the body color is definitely nicer;

s: nose still finds sharper citrus hops as the predominant scent but there are definitely more of the caramel malts here than were present before; there is still some spiciness as well as some darker malty toffee/chocolate undertones

t: caramel malts first followed by the slow rise of sharp bitter citrus hops; some light dust; i think hops have maybe subsided a bit fromn the last tasting but are still main flavor; light buttery toffee;

m: definitely less carbonation this time around; smooth and creamier

d: i've heard horror stories about the hops fading fast from beers in the cellar but this one's hops are still going strong and there is a more complex darker malt side that i find highly enjoyable; was and still is a great brew
so. same beer again, this time it is end of oct 2009. let's see what's happened.

a: very loosely bubbles off-white head foams up after the pour but fades very quickly leaving light wisps of foam on top of the murky red/rust body; there is still some very light lazy movement of tiny bubbles in the body. head fades a little faster and is a little bit murkier but still looks overall the same as the 6 month tasting.

s: slightly syrupy grapefruit of he hops is still the predominant flavor; thick malty undertone with some light toffee; some warm spiced cider as well

t: very mellow compared to its original incarnation; light toasted grainy malts; although the hop is present still in the scent, there is almost none left on the tongue except for just a light tart hint at the finish; mostly just mellow biscuit grains with a light bitterness at the end; basically became a good english IPA

m: very mellow; very light car; pretty soon there will be non left at all

d: i upped this a notch for drinkability since i think that it is very mellow and drinkable like a good english bitter; it has aged well but i think it is starting to lose flavor next year it may be a shadow of its former self.
ok, same beer - now almost 3 years later...let's see what's up

a: beautiful deep amber/red with dark purple highlights; 1/4 inch of fluffy white foam has decent retention but ultimately fades to leave a thick frothy white ring, some lace clinging to the side of the glass and a thin even coating of light foam on top; the color has darkened and the beer has become really rich and beautiful

s: warm malts with a spicy piney hop back; light toffee; some floral and citrus hop notes on the back of the nose; this strangely seems more pungent in terms of hop scents than i remember last time; a little bit of dust

t: buttery smooth caramel and toffee malts are the first to hit the tongue; then that spicy and slightly bitter hop follows; some more grassy notes in the bitterness; mild and smooth with some nice spice still left over from the hops; smooth smooth

m: very buttery and smooth; very mild with silky medium mouthfeel

d: i really enjoyed this beer this time around, very mellow sort of like a fullers vintage ale meets sierra nevada

Photo of chaswisler
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful orange / copper color. Evenly distributed, carbonation raising at just the right pace.

S - Spices and lots of bittering hops. It's bark is worse then it's bite.

T - From the smell I expected a bigger taste. But the spices hit you right up front. The bitter spikes immediately then subsides with a little bit of malt.

M - Nice middle of the road, not to light or to heavy.

D - I could probably do 2 maybe 3, but then I think I would get bored with it.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 edition.

A - Pours a hazy light orange color with a 1 inch white head that fades to a small cap. There is slight ring lacing going on.

S - Smells of citrus and pine hops with a sweet fruit undertone.

T - Tastes of bitter citrus zest/pine hops up front with a slight malt aftertaste. There is a lingering bitterness on the tongue from the hops.

M - Good carbonation makes for a smooth drinking experience.

D - This is a pretty good beer that I will buy again to try each year it comes out. I got this bottle from a Winter sampler pack on clearance and I am glad I got to try the 2009 brew.

Photo of itfitz
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Celebration Ale has caramel, cereal, hints of herbs and spices; the overwhelming prevalence of hops brings about a citrusy, floral note. Honestly, the holidays wouldn't be the same without Celebration Ale, and I buy as much as I can stock in my home each year.

This is without question one of my Top 5 beers. Incredible from the first taste until the last sip rolls out of the bottle.

Photo of djhowell
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bottle into a pint glass, and apparently a little too aggressively as I got a ton of very fluffy cream-colored head that just wants to stick around. Quite a bit of lacing as well. The body is a deep amber and is pretty hazy.

This a very aromatic beer when it is first poured. It smells sweet, almost flowery, and has a good dose of citrus as well.

A lot more pine flavor than I expected after the floral nose from the pour, balanced by some sweet caramel malts.

On the heavy side of medium bodied, definitely heavier than other IPAs that I've had recently. It finishes nicely bitter and dry and leaves me wanting another sip.

Crisp and refreshing. I've seen this available in the winter for years at the local grocery store and never gave it a second look but I'll be sure to keep an eye out for it again later this year.

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

Big, piney, resinous nose. Moderate grapefruit. A decent background malt character but this is about the hops.

Good, clear, orange-amber colour with a big, fluffy, off-white head. Good head retention.

Good, well balanced hop flavours. More pine and moderate cirtus. Big, gripping bitterness. Smooth, lightly caramelised malt.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A tasty IPA with big hop flavours and good malt balance. I like it.

Photo of dwilson01
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz into my arrogant bastard pint glass, pours a golden brown light maple syrup color with a beautiful off white tan head of small bubbles which makes for a thick cream puff on top. Head sticks around for a while and leaves solid lacing.

The smell is fresh floral hops, grapefruit and spices mostly, fresh growth of spring flowers. Smells like a very well balanced ipa between the bitter and floral hopping as well as the sweet malt body with the other flavors.

The tasting is so mellow and gratifying, the malt making up this beers body and sweeter character mutes the flavors and lets them all intertwine with each other to make an overall taste that hints at many different things but does not overtly try to overwhelm you with any one characteristic. Some citrusy grapefruit hopping, holiday spices, bit of cloverblossom honey.

What amazes me is how full bodied this beer is without being too sweet, the malt masks some of the flavors from emphasis on any one of them while at the same time taking a backside role itself, something that I have never seen before in a brew with such a thick creamy delicious mouthfeel. Makes it drinkable as hell, super enjoyable and I pretty much want to such it down. There are two words I have to describe this beer, "liquid gold," I am a huge fan of Sierra Nevada and I love this beer.

Photo of hayes31
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass.

When I stumbled upon this beer for the first time I was a little drunk, so I attributed the great taste to that. However, I had it sober, and it was still amazing. I was so surprised at how drinkable this beer was. A great hop taste, and it virtually dances across your tongue and tingles. It's drinkable like a BMC but it has so much flavor to it it's almost hard to take it all in.

A great overall beer that I will drink again and again.

Photo of SmasNadroj
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok. Its been a long time comin, and its taken years, but sierra nevada has finally impressed my happy ass. This beer is great, beautiful glowing amber color with significant, lasting head, stained glass window lacing, and plenty of little bubble friends to hang out with.

It smells sweet, slightly grapefruity and surprisingly malty. As one would suspect, the bouquet is much more significant when first poured.

The flavor of savory, almost toasted caramel hops come through- but the real star to me is the mesmerizing light burley pipe tobacco flavors that are found almost instantly yet linger on your tongue long after the sip is gone. Malty? Nope. Not really, just sort of smells that way... Very intriguing. Tangy grapefruit hoppy notes also linger, but not in an overpowering way at all... Simply put- bold and delicious

The mouthfeel is great, a bit tingly but sweet on the tongue. I'd love to have it on nitro...

Well, I can say it- I like, truly like a sierra nevada beer. Their stuff has always been pretty good but this is undeniably great.

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

Poured this into a clean pint and received a reddish orange amber beer with about 2 fingers of white head.

A. This beer looks delicious and I can almost taste it before I've had a sip.

S. Smells of toasted malts and fresh hops, sweet and enticing.

T. Good flavor with great depth. Starts with a fresh light hop flavor but not overly bitter. Pretty balanced maltiness and slight nuttiness followed by oils and some saltiness.

M. Even light and not as heavy as expected. Sort of rolls through the mouth and into the throat. Very nice.

D. Very good, although I would only drink 2 or 3 of these in a day I would think about going back for another one tomorrow.

Photo of gromis
2.85/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was given to me by a friend; as I'm really not into hoppy beers but thought I'd give this one a try.

The pour was surprising, as it had a very nice head that lasted quite a while. The lacing was excellent.

The nose on this is straight away pine hops. Actually very pleasant.

The taste is right on with the nose, pine hops. While I can appreciate that this is a good beer for the style, I really don't enjoy hoppy bitter beers; and thus my scores reflect that; although it is a good representation of the style.

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

This review is for the 2009 Celebration ale.

A - Alright, I may have poured this a little too aggressively. The brew poured a hazy orange/amber in color with an enthusiastic three finger fluffy off white head. Head retention is phenomenal (I have a hard time getting more than half the bottle poured into my glass) and it leaves a generous veil of lacing. I gotta tell you, the head is a monster on this thing!

S - Citrus hops are certainly a big player in this production, along with some sweet malt aroma, just to balance things out.

T & M - There is a nice balance between hop and malt in the taste. The hops are more piney than they let on in the aroma...I was expecting a more citrusy hop. Medium bodied mouthfeel, creamy texture, and it finishes with a bit of a bitter hop aftertaste.

D - This is a very well constructed IPA, and I can see why it rates so well. This was 2009 vintage...I'm looking forward to the 2010.

Photo of jbowers56
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy head which fades to a bubbly layer. Leaves a shitload of lacing. Reddy golden colour and is kind of cloudy.

Strong notes of Citrus, including a kind of orange/lemon sherbert smell. Some caramel present but really a hoppy nose. Really juicy and fruity nose. Very very good.

Similar citrussy hops to the nose. Some sweetness present but certainly a firm bitterness. I'd call this well balanced, but on the hop head side of things. Finishes with a grainy taste. Really very good.

Creamy and full in the mouth yet not overly viscous. A very hard beer to fault.

Overall, I love drinking this beer. Australian brewers, take note! This is a beautiful IPA.

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

12oz bottle poured into my Sierra Nevada tumbler glass...

A - Cloudy deep amber body to it. Very nice frothy caramel head. I didn't get much lacing, but the head retention was well impressive.

S - Mostly citrus-like hops, with quite a bit of pine and some pronounced caramel notes. The smell is pretty strong, though not too original or unique.

T - At first I was getting loads of bitterness, with very little sweetness, a hint of caramel, and lots of citrus notes. The finish was full of lingering dry bitterness.
It definitely opened up as it was warming up. The beer mellowed out, offering some extra sweetness that I didn't get at first. Some nice breadiness. Some pine notes. Even some hints of spices (maybe cinnamon).

M - Medium body to it, slightly chewy and definitely resiny. Some crisp carbonation which was so apparent at first quickly fades away. Some warming sensation from the alcohol

D - Quite good for a winter seasonal. Definitely a good beer to have on a cold winter evening, but this went down fine on the spring day I had it.

Photo of miket163
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an almost red-amber into standard pint glass. Not much in the head department, small and quickly dissipating. Very lovely and hoppy taste. Citrus and Pine dominated with and light crisp Grass note. This beer seemed a bit heavier than the standard SN APA, and was altogether a very nice ale.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,255 ratings.