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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.

7,773 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,773
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 195
Gots: 445 | 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: 7,773 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of indy169


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

I sampled this beer at a local watering hole and was floored by it. I was expecting a decent fruity/hoppy/spicy beer and was shocked to find all that plus some real conviction. The flavors really are alive and pronounced. light fruit and spice essence hinting at kiwi, pear and ginger, mixing perfectly with a killer bold hopping. Sierra Nevada has got a real winner here. My hat is off to you folks at SN. This is one beer worthy of joining your celebration. Happy Holidays

11-23-2005 20:54:59 | More by indy169
Photo of bunn4funn

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -14.7%

Reveiwed from a bottle 2005

Apearence- Beautiful caramel, clear color with a nice pancake colored one finger head. Great lacing effect from this bottle i mean incredable.

Aroma- Well its definatly hoppy/piney with a short following of caramel and baking spices like nutmeg, even some grapefuit/lemon

Taste- sharp bite from the hops upfront. They are piny and leave a definate "spike" in the tounge. Im getting that lemon bready feel from this brew as it warms. Now that it has matured (out of the bottle) and my palete is more accoustomed to the hops i can tell that there is a whole other side. Like some caramel and baking spices. Just what you would expect a celebration ale from Sierra Nevada to taste like.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and lightly carbonated, slightly oily.

Drinkability- Good even though it is 6.8% abv, Though you might want to pace yourself it will creep up on you after two or three. Its just so good i dont want to stop drinking it!!1

Overall- Fine brew, love what it has to offer!!! Great to drink with family and friends. We all have a lot to be thankful for and this brew is definatly one !!!

11-23-2005 19:56:32 | More by bunn4funn
Photo of charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Copper colour with a decent head which dissipates quickly. This smells wonderful. One can detect piney, herbal hops and sweet malt. Before it warms it smells a little metallic.

Well integrated flavour with a surprisingly citric bent. This is a little oily on the tongue but with good carbonation and a definite lemon rind flavour with a pleasant herbal aftertaste. The alcohol is rather more apparent than I would like, but that does little to detract from this winner.

11-21-2005 06:23:18 | More by charlatan
Photo of cheers2beers


3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

Poured into a thick mug

Appearance: This ale is copper tone with a slight off-white head that disapates fairly quickly.Meduim amounts of laceing can be found.

Aroma: Not as impressed with the nose as I would have liked.It was hops,piney,and slightly skunky.

Taste: The tongue discovers this beer to be hops in the start,malts on the sides, and slightly bitter in the finish.Not much alcohol detected,but it is present.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin,fizzy on the togue,with lots of small bubbles throughout the entire mouth.

Drinkability: This beer is definitely a good christmas session brew.I know I could drink a few of these easily, but I will say it is a good thing this one is a seasonal.


11-21-2005 03:55:53 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of Mark


4.45/5  rDev +7%

Wow! I have never paid much attention to this brew but now I'm regretting it. The 2005 offering is a knockout. A very clear amber body was topped by a white head that left nice rings of lacing. Slightly piney aroma did not prepare me for the piney, grapefruity blast of hops that assaulted me in a wonderful way. Refreshing and drinkable. Sierra Nevada, my apologies for always considering you a mainstream, pedestrian craft brewer, when in actuality you are along with Anchor one of the pioneers. Great beer.

11-21-2005 01:08:58 | More by Mark
Photo of LPorter33


4.8/5  rDev +15.4%

I'd heard great things about this beer and missed it last year. The 2005 batch was on sale at Martignetti's (6 packs for $5.99) so I picked up a couple.

Appearance = Clear, crisp looking light, honey amber colored. 1/2'' head which faded quickly, leaves a nice thin line with respectable lacing.

Smell = A Fresh hop blast. Pine and citrus smells seem to share equal weight. There's a ton of flavor here.

Taste = Wow! What an exceptional IPA. So friggan fresh and clean tasting and bursting with hops flavor. The hops are not astringent nor completely overpowering and a thin malt presence backs up the flavor creating an amazing tasting experience. Mouthfeel is soothing and soft, not harsh in the least. I can't get over how drinkable this is, yet still powerful and full of flavor. The 6.8% will hit you but you'd never believe it based on the taste.

Overall = This might very well be the best IPA I've ever tasted. It should be brewed 365 and knowing it won't last, I'll be buying a ton of it this season.

11-20-2005 22:34:13 | More by LPorter33
Photo of burnstar


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%

This beer is a dark amber with a thick off-white head which leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is all fantastic hops- spicy and citrusy. There are also some sweet and fruit notes in the background. The taste is also dominated by the hops. Again spicy and citrusy. Also some pine notes. There is also quite a bit of delicious sweet and caramel malt lurking in the background- which the pletiful hop easily keeps in check. Really just fantastic tasting stuff. Lots of nuances come together to really make this taste like the holidays without being at all gimicky. It really manages to have huge hop and malt flavor and still be very subtle. Mouthfeel is great- medium to full bodied, smooth and creamy. Definitely very drinkable. I don't find this at all cloying which I find can be a problem with other holiday beers' drinkability. I reallly love this stuff. I think it will definitely become a holiday tradition for me.

11-20-2005 06:03:22 | More by burnstar
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

A - A gorgous amber with a monster frothy head. Lacing clings all over the glass. The lacing's disregard for gravity is uncanny. This is one hell of a pretty beer.

S - Pine and citrus hops with a slight malt and floral character - crisp, clean and clear.

T - Pine hops dominate but the citrus ones are well meshed. Very elaborate. Slightly malty with a nice bitter finish.

M - Smooth, refreshing, nothing special, nothing bad.

D - Outstanding. This goes down well. ABV is deceptively high. The hops completely mask it. 6.8 is higher than I ever would have expected from this delightful brew. Works fabulously as a session beer. Very good.

11-19-2005 21:29:03 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of jakester


4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

I got this as a gift from my dad. I drank it in a goblet. This is the 2005 model.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with red tints. A nice thick head of cream colored foam forms on top, which eventually falls to a good coating and a ring. Very good lacing sticks to the glass.

Aroma is herbal/piney hops, not overly done, and rich, clean caramely malt. A wee bit of spicy hop smell is there, also. Smells are somewhat muted, but very clean and pleasant.

First flavor is hop bitterness, but not too much. Then, big, clean caramel malt comes through, followed by herbal pine hops. Residual sweetness is minimal. Aftertaste is a pleasant bitterness and caramel malt. This beer is delicious!

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with medium carbonation across the tongue. Medium bodied, with a decent grab at the back of my throat from hop bitterness. Finish is semi-sweet and bitter.

As winter seasonals go, this is one of the best. It's slightly different every year, which makes for some intriguing tasting debates, but it's always good. Highly recommended.

11-18-2005 16:28:59 | More by jakester
Photo of BrewRunner


3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Pours a light amber color with a nice white head. Looks nice in a glass.

Aroma is kind of disappointing. I couldn't really smell anything. That's better than having a bad smell, but there's nothing better than a strong aroma.

It's pretty bitter in taste, but not overwhelming. For some reason pine needles come to mind. But that could just be some odd mental thing I have from growing up among the conifers.

It is easily drinkable, with my 6 pack disappearing pretty quickly.

Overall, it's a very good beer, worth trying and I can't wait until they come out again next year.

11-18-2005 02:34:11 | More by BrewRunner
Photo of Sephiroth


3.7/5  rDev -11.1%

No date on the bottle, but this is fresh, from 05. Pours with decent head, the body is a burnt orange color. The smell is of grassy, piney hops with barely a hint of caramel malt.

The taste is west coast hoppy. Dry, piney, bitter hops with slight grassiness. Slight caramel malt profile. Mouthfeel is leaning toward the heavy side for an IPA. This is a good beer, but it's not one of my favorites.

11-16-2005 03:56:07 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of neonbrown82


4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

I've been waiting all year for this to come out since I didn't get around to reviewing it last year (and because it's really fucking good).

Pours to a dark amber color with minimal carbonation but a nice thick white head with a decent lacing. Yada yada yada, on to more important things...

This beer smells and tastes great! It's the next best thing to taking your cascade hops intraveinously. Very fruity and piney with a nice spiciness. Also a bit more of a full malt character than their Pale Ale.

I was so glad to see this on the shelves at work that I had to take home a case. Hopefully this will last past my birthday in a week, but the drinkability of this beer may prove me wrong.

11-16-2005 02:38:51 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Take their pale ale, turn up the volume (with some tinkering with the equalizer) and you have this concoction. I like this better than their pale ale because the use of hops here seems appropriate to me, with less of that discordant bitter twang than I find in some of the Sierra Nevada brews.
A big, strong IPA for the winter season.

11-15-2005 01:16:40 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

had this at MacGregors on tap (20 oz). This was a nice clear amber brown with a small head. The smell was very hoppy and piney. The taste is malty sweet but the hops dominate. Nicely bitter. Moderate mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. For some reason i found this less drinkable than other strong IPA's but it is very enjoyable to have 1 or 2.

11-14-2005 17:27:07 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of tempest


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%

Picked up a growler from Finger Lakes Beverage on a saturday trip to Ithaca.

Looks pretty damn good. Pours a dark amber with great head and lacing.

Stong smell, very similar to taste. A strong, but well-rounded hops aroma. A little citrusy.

Tastes pretty good, but could use a little balance in my opinion. While the hops did taste great, the beer lacked complexity.

Nice in your mouth, but overall, a little tough to drink (especially and entire growler). Recommended for any hop head.

11-14-2005 04:30:26 | More by tempest
Photo of ChrisA


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Good copper color. Poured a two inch head with nice lacing. Heavy hop aromas and flavor up front. Very strong hop taste throughout with not much malt balance. Hops may be a bit overwhelming here, but it definitely is a good winter offering from Sierra Nevada. Second beer was much better. I may have had a bad one mixed into my six pack.

11-14-2005 04:09:05 | More by ChrisA
Photo of stodbrew


4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

2005 Edition.

Pours a very slighty hazy deep copper, borderline red, color. Nice white head that lasts and lasts.

Aroma is all hops. Piney, citrusy, and a bit grapefruity.

Flavor is more hops. Grapefruit again, and some hop spiciness. All balanced with a very nice malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is full and round. Perfect carbonation.

This is a phenomenal beer. I look forward to this beer every year.

11-14-2005 03:10:09 | More by stodbrew
Photo of akahn


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

2005 batch, no date marked.

Pours a deep amber reddish hue, clear. A thick, creamy tan head that leaves ringlets of lace. In all a very good looking beer.

Smells of spices and fresh, citrusy hops, a bit of caramel sweetness in the nose too, maybe maple.

Moderate carbonation and a medium, smooth body. Very smooth, almost buttery. Earthy hop flavors. Slightly nutty, sweet malt flavor. Dry, spicy and floral in the finish, with alcohol showing up. The hops clearly dominate, with malt providing complimentary undertones.

Conclusion: This is one delicious beer. This is not as bitter as I remember it from last year. Very good again, though, and drinkable. Recommended.

11-14-2005 02:38:42 | More by akahn
Photo of joedon


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

Really excellent pale ale. A lot like their "Pale Ale" only better.
Nice copper color and long lasting pale tan head.
Nose has strong hop and malt aroma.

Perfectly balanced taste with lots of hops and malt as well as a little caramel-toffee flavor.

Very enoyable beer, easy to drink. Only had it from the bottle, never on tap. Not sure it is even available outside California from the keg.

11-13-2005 23:32:55 | More by joedon
Photo of LarryV


3.88/5  rDev -6.7%

2005 bottle. Poured a deep golden amber color with a minimal head. I expected to be greeted with the usual piney SN hop aroma, but damn, there's hardly any aroma at all. I buried my nose in the glass, but I still could not pick up much of anything other than a bit of maltiness. Hops are very present in the taste profile, but not much of anything else going on. Leaves a pleasant hop bitterness lingering on the palate, but overall, it doesn't seem very balanced.

To me, it just doesn't seem as robust as in previous years. Still a good beer, but not delicious. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. I don't think this years is up to par with previous years, somewhat underwhelming.

11/16/2005 - My palate/nose must have been off when I commented about the beer not being as good as previous years. I had a bottle tonight, and all the characteristics I love about Celebration Ale were present. It's easily as good as last years.

11-13-2005 21:44:31 | More by LarryV
Photo of KarlHungus


3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

This brew pours a clear amber color. The head is white and creamy. Lacing is thorough. The aroma is of pine. The taste is piney and grassy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this brew isn't bad, but piney, grassy hops aren't my deal.

11-13-2005 19:04:06 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of sopor


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Cear brilliant perfect amber with lots of active rising carbonation meeting almost an inch of creamy thick head.

Citrus rind, herbs and floral hop flavors are assertive and very appetizing.

HOPS!!! Beautiful hops! Resinous and herbal with touches of pine tar and citrus rind. Good toasted malt could be a little stronger, but is appropriate. Some sweet juicy hop flavor.

Moderate to light body and active but not frothy carbonation. Very drinkable and tasty!

11-13-2005 17:45:42 | More by sopor
Photo of alemakesmestrong


4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

Thank goodness it's Christmas time, a time when great seasonals are abundant and this is one of my favorites. I remember trying this beer for the first time last year and not expecting an IPA but I was pleasantly surprised. If one wants to know what a "floral hop aroma" is like then dip your nose into Celebration, god does love us. Hazy copper-orange color, appetizing head, and those great hops are up front on the nose. Upon your first sip you notice the great medium body mouthfeel and a dried grape fruit, orange marmalade taste. Long, long dry finish....man I need another sip.

11-12-2005 23:07:29 | More by alemakesmestrong
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%

Pours a rich amber color with a mild haziness. Large creamy white head. Sticks all over the glass with no end in sight. Love it! The aroma is rich in floral and piney hops. The flavor is a dream for hopheads. Has a nice sharpness on the tongue. Citrus and pine hop flavor dominate. There is a small amount of malts pull though. Has a semi-dry hoppy aftertaste. This is one of the best IPA's I have had in a long time. Gives me all the hops I need.

11-12-2005 05:31:04 | More by Luigi
Photo of orsulacp


3.45/5  rDev -17.1%

2005 Vintage
I poured this beer vigorously to get a huge egg-shell white head, with a clear light amber body. The smell is dominated by the hops, mostly piney some fruit, with a hint of nutmeg. The hops also dominate the taste, which is a good thing. I don't get much else in the taste. The malt is hidden by the hops, not getting much from the malts It has a medium body and leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. I would like to have a little bit more malt to balance the great tasting hops.

11-11-2005 01:44:10 | More by orsulacp
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,773 ratings.