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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.

7,780 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,780
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 196
Gots: 451 | 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: 7,780 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of ghostwalker


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

2005 edition.

Reddish amber pour with high frothy white head. Nice lacing.

Sharp citrus nose, grapefruit.

Piney, citrus bite up front. More hops on the finish. In between, hops. This is absolutely not what I expected from a winter seasonal, but I like it! Some spice flavors hidden in there too, but hard for me to pick out from the hops. I guess I agree with the black pepper mention from other reviews, but the glory that is Cascade hops is the star here.

Mouthfeel is typical of a good IPA. Crisp, sharp, highly carbonated and tasty.

Drinkability is great! I will be getting a couple of more 6 packs for a birthday party this weekend, cause I know it will be a hit. Or, if not, I won't mind drinking them all myself.

11-09-2005 23:48:41 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of sacfly


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

2005 version
Pours a deep amber color with a thick tan head of large bubbles. Head dies down quickly, but maintains a thin layer.

Aroma is of sweet grapefruit. First sip rips at the tongue with a harsh astringent bitterness. But in a good way? For some reason the astringent character works here. Bitter, unsweetened grapefruit flavor wrapped in a medium bodied package.

At first the malt is undetectable but a hint of sweetness builds as I drink. Somewhat dry finish on the sides of the tongue, but the rest seems to be continually watering. Perhaps some Pavlovian response to hops I’ve developed begging me to drink another. And drink another I shall. Can’t argue with Biology/Psychology- at least if it tells me to drink more Celebration Ale!
Better than the 2004 IMHO.

11-09-2005 21:39:58 | More by sacfly
Photo of Bcant


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

2005 vintage.

Gorgeous copper with exceptional clarity, toped by a white head made of tiny bubbles that leaves good lacing. The bouquet exhibits some light apple notes as well as delicate spice (nutmeg and coriander) and citrus, and gives only the smallest indication of the wonderful hop-bath your tong is about the take. When it comes to taste, the malt characters detectable in the nose are set aside and a strong American hop profile dominates, though some of the malts do come through briefly in the middle. The understated malts do not indicate a lack of warpath, you still get all the fireplace fuzziness you want from a winter seasonal.

11-09-2005 05:22:17 | More by Bcant
Photo of Dithyramb


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

2005 vintage, purchased as a six pack from Chesapeake Wine in Bmore.
No discernable difference from previous years. You will receive a beautiful copper brew with a sticky off white head. Great carbonation, lacing, and retention. Big grapefruity piney aroma bouyed by a hefty caramel/bready malt body. The flavor will be full of Cascades, but expertly matched agains a caramel malt and slightly alcoholish background. You will want several. Though on the heavier side, this one will be enjoyed by non-beerknerds during holiday parties.

11-07-2005 21:20:38 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of hopsaplenty


4.2/5  rDev +1%

2005 release. The glowing copper body puts up an off-white head of bubbles of all sizes. Plenty of carbonation streams laze their way to the top, while the yeast sediment finds its way to the bottom. Big piney, grapefruit hop aromas along with some caramel and hints of bread crust. The signature SN Cascade hops wash over the tongue, followed by some warming malt sweetness with hints of alcohol, while balanced, this one and leans towards the hops. Highly drinkable.

11-07-2005 03:08:07 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of nortmand


4.97/5  rDev +19.5%

A vigorous pour produces a big, fluffy off whitish head atop a copper body.

Piney, resiny citrus aroma dominates. Some sweet malt in their somewhere.

Raisin, citrus, resin, so much going on in the front of the tongue. Ends at the back of the tongue with a bitter plumminess. Simply exquisite.

Full bodied, yet refreshing and very drinkable. Can't wait to get this by the mug at Crunchy's again this year.

11-06-2005 23:41:26 | More by nortmand
Photo of DaPeculierDane


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

On tap at Wonder's Pub.

Nice amber with a fluffy white head. Good lacing.

Big western hops bring a hefty dose of juniper berries to the aroma. Citrusy. Herbal, maybe coriander and thyme. The cascade hop level isn’t quite Mt. Ranier but it is a close Mt. Hood.

There is a decent amount of malt in here to balance the bitterness of the hops but hops still rule the day. Citrus floral notes dominate the flavor. Esters swish throughout, warming the brew. Also touches of nuttiness and grain.

Dry, crisp, and quite drinkable.

11-06-2005 17:16:36 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of Litterbean

New York

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours an amber orange, with a rising head that dissipates to a thin white cap. Some lace left behind.

Hoppy, leafy smell. Lots of citrus in the nose with an underlying sweetness.

The hops are prevalent in the taste as well, with a very earthy abundance of flavorings. There are sweet fruity notes as well, with grapefruit being the most obvious. Carbonation is biting and prevalent. Easy to drink.

11-06-2005 02:50:37 | More by Litterbean
Photo of JasonCoop


4.83/5  rDev +16.1%

poured into a regular pint glass. pours a good dark amber color with a nice white head. lace stays throughout.

very aromatic, hops jump from the top of the glass. a little piney, a little spicy. good smell

taste is great. agressive hops right up front, really from beginning to end. a little alcoholish. somewhat of a spiced taste. quite a bite. not balanced in that the hops dominate here, but i love hops and i'm not complaining. a great warming winter brew.

the best thing about this winter brew is that they dont add too many holiday style spices or additives and it tastes like a more genuine ale.

mouthfeel is somewhat full. hops dry it out in the end. really nice. very tastey and very drinkable. I really like how the sierra brews tend to have generous hops tastes. this is one of my favorites. i wish i could get it year round. one of the best IPAs i've sampled yet, and consistently good year to year.

11-05-2005 10:12:01 | More by JasonCoop
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a beautiful deep copper color with a huge, frothy beige head that leaves sticky lacing all down the glass. The aroma is very hoppy, with notes of citrus (grapefuit and lemon), pine, spices, herbs, hearty bread and caramel. The taste begins with a big blas of hops: citrusy (grapefruit orange and lemon), pine resiny, and herbal followed by a spicy flavor, and a big toasted bread and caramel malt character that balances the hops. The mouthfeel is full and rich, but not overbearing and drinkability is quite good. An awesome holiday IPA, balanced and complex...one of the best.

11-05-2005 05:13:36 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

bright, orangish amber with swirly particulates (hop bits?) and a decent head with largeish bubbles. nose is faint, but i'm mostly getting a mild citrus fruit hoppiness. the taste is bitter hops up front with peachy, citrusy juiciness. juicy is also the predominant mouthfeel, medium body. a nice bitter finish. this is really delicious and easy to drink. easily one to buy by the case every year.

11-04-2005 23:29:51 | More by orfeu
Photo of cubedbee


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

2005 version, 12 oz bottle, seems like it's out a little early this year. Pours a nice looking orange/amber, absolutely clear, 2 fingers of desnse cream colored head, good retention and moderate lacing. Smell is fragrant hops, mainly pine but a little bit flowery, with a slight bit of spices. Taste is a flavorful burst of hops, grapefruit and citrus primarily, trailing into a bold spicey bitter finish. There's a malt taste lingering somewhere in the background, but it never really comes forward, but they do just enough to keep the hops from overwhelming. Medium body, dry finish, and a very smooth feel. And at 6.8% this is no slouch in the alcohol, but I could down these all night. Definitely a great drinkable IPA, wish they would produce it all year, as it is I'll just have to stock up in season.

11-04-2005 00:04:05 | More by cubedbee
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Amber orange in color. Shows a little more red when held to the light. Solid 2 finger lightly golden head that last. Well laced.
Hint of spice with some sweetness and hopiness in the nose.
Nice balance of malty sweetness and some spice with a bitter backend taste.
The balance of sweetness, bitterness, crispness and dryness gives Celebration an excellant mouthfeel.
Very drinkable because it is just so good!!!
Do not wait for the holidays. If this beer is available go get it now.

11-03-2005 21:00:40 | More by wcudwight
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

2000 edition, scooped at Route 59 Liquor in Monsey, NY. 5 year IPA that still rocked. More like a top Belgian, still well hopped with spicey yeast and barley and grapefruit hop, tastes up front, followed by honey and then bitter finish. Drying. Copper with sizzling white head, lace. Rich full mouthfeel.This is the rating.
2007 edition, still a very good IPA with citrus, above average carbonation, and lacing grooming the glass. Very drinkable, but the 2000 was an award winner.

11-03-2005 03:32:28 | More by Sammy
Photo of Naes

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

This brew is amber /orange in color with a one finger white head that leaves very little lacing.
The aroma is a nice blend of hops, malt and spice.
Hops and spice are the major players in the flavor. There is a nice bitterness near the finish, with a bit of grapefruit presence.
Mouth feel is medium in body and nicely carbonated. There is also a bit of oiliness.

This is a beer worth checking out, much better than I expected. It's not an in your face IPA, but still damn good.

11-03-2005 02:30:54 | More by Naes
Photo of Px2GrafX


4.72/5  rDev +13.5%

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a white label and the the same feel as other sierra nevada labels. banner across the top with "sierra nevada", and below that is a small winter wonderland with a cozy lookin' cabin. holly and poinsettas frame the scene and another banner runs across the bottom saying "celebration ale". sn's interpretation of their winter ipa is on the neck label. there is a black bar on the right of the label with the number: 5287. batch number? no abv or freshness date.

appearance: pours a beautiful, clear, heated copper with bright red highlights in a tulip glass. inch and a half off-white fluffy head with perfect retention and sticky lacing. a stream of bubbles rise emphatically from the stem of the glass.

smell: lightly spicy with intense citrusy, piney and floral hop aromas. excellent piney christmas tree aroma for the season.

taste: strong hop character. grapefruits with herbal, spicy hop flavors. good bitterness that dries the edges of your tongue. more fruit as the brew warms. oranges and even a nasaly apple flavor as well. there's a lightly sweet nutty malt flavor that's mostly noticible as the brew warms. finishes dry with a spicy hop bitterness. aftertaste is mildly bitter grapefruit.

mouthfeel: seemingly crisp and creamy medium body. super smooth although there's a good amount of carbonation. swallow is silky. near perfect mouthfeel for this style.

drinkability: beer is almost gone by the time i get to the drinkability.
6.8% is nowhere to be found. tasty with an excellent finish and aftertaste that keeps you sipping, or gulping, what have you. excellent quenching winter session.

overall: just an excellent winter ipa every year. i look forward to this release from the second i run out. bitterness is just a touch less than alpha king, but the hop flavor is better. perfect mouthfeel and excellent drinkability. drink it while you can. it seems to disapear as quickly as the season.

11-02-2005 04:34:46 | More by Px2GrafX
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

2005 version, poured into my Corsendonk tulip, because I think this deserves something more than a pint glass.

Appearance: Great reddish / brown with slight hints of yellow haze at the bottom of the glass. Lacing's pretty sticky, nice wave-like patterns on the top of the glass, and the head, though dying slightly in the middle although slowly, is still thick around the edges.

Smell: Beautiful oily, piney hops, with some sweeter floral charactertistics and some citrus zest, orange and grapefruit mostly. Balanced as all hell. Also some yeastiness and slight dark bread notes.

Taste: The best thing about this is the slight malt balance that not immediately, but soon after it's swallowed, curbs the biting hops. Certainly for a hophead, so if you're not one you should at least try it, though it may not be your bag. The aftertaste is wonderful, lingering hops and citrus left on the tongue with some yeastiness.

Mouthfeel: Not silky but certainly creamy, a moderately thicker body than I expected. Moderate carbonation. Certainly extremely well done.

Drinkability: Wow, I think I'm going to have to snag a 6-pack to cellar for sure. I had this last year when I didn't know as much about beer, and still enjoyed it then. But now I'm liking it even more. I could see this doing well after just a year, though it's great now. I'd also like to pair it with some food and see what happens. All in all this is a great brew, and it certainly should be tried; it's a celebration after all, I suppose.

11-02-2005 03:36:40 | More by asabreed
Photo of Terp96

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

Always one of my favorites but was knocked down a notch this year. Pours a deep clear amber with a half inch thick off-white head. Very aromatic. Hints of citrus and pine. Good head retention throughout. Nice hop flavor but not as expected. The aroma did not follow through as strongly in the taste. Definitely a strong hop presence with a complimenting malt flavor but there was an almost pungent finish. Very drinkable. I had three because I couldn't quite figure it out. Not SN's best year.

11-01-2005 15:14:39 | More by Terp96
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,780 ratings.