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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.

8,549 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,549
Reviews: 3,225
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 261
Gots: 744 | 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: 8,549 | Reviews: 3,225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-colored, fairly good clarity and with a solid off-white head that retains reasonably well. Looks like beer, so it's successful on that front I suppose.

Smell: Generously hopped and pleasantly citrusy, grapefruit and blood orange come to mind. There's a touch of tobacco in there as well.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very clean and hop-forward. Citrus and tobacco, notes of grapefruit being particularly strong. Fairly light bodied for being near 7%, and perfectly dry for the style, but the hop flavor could use a bit more oomph - it's good, but not enough to make me celebrate. In any case, I'll have no trouble finishing my six pack.

largadeer, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really pretty clear, copper color with a large one inch off white head. Great retention and some lacing.

The aroma is nice. A good hop profile with a nice burst of citrus. Sweet caramel rounds it out.

The taste is great. A nice hoppy profile with big citrus and pine notes. Kind of spicey as well. The malt is in there, but really just lays low behind the hops. A really solid IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. A nice fine bubble tingle that isn't overboard.

Drinkability is high. It's a great IPA, really tasty and makes you want more. Definitely an easy drinker and a pleasure to have.

Goliath, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a fairly cloudy consistency. There was a big half inch, foamy head and good lacing.

S: A big aroma of hops, citrus and a piney scent. Also a bit of malt mixed in.

T: A well done flavor of hops, a mild grapefruit element and some malt. Well balanced and flavorful.

M: A vibrant amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer, to be sure. Lots of character and a well done taste.

avalon07, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of ncbeermonger
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

smooth, good, and hoppy

I read somebody didn't think the 08 version was very hoppy. I have to disagree

darker than most pale ales, works well with a burger!

decent head, great hops smell, and a smooth taste

the mouthfeel is good, not overly heavy by anymeans

this is a very drinkable beer, great job sierra nevada!

ncbeermonger, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of koopa
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Bottle received as an extra in a trade with HimerMan. Dude you're the best!

Appearance: Amber with some burnt orange streaks and a beautiful off white head that dissipates into a nice oily sheen with lacing all over the glass. This looks awesome.

Smell: The hops have really mellowed and I'm getting tons of sweet malt. Don't get me wrong you can still smell hops but they have taken a back seat and the malt is really stealling the show.

Taste: Oh baby is this a sweet vintage. Again the malt is full of honey goodness and the hops have just mellowed to the point of being a mere "spice" if you may. No alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Still has an impressive amount of carbonation and a nice medium body.

Drinkability: I could sip this nectar of the gods all day!

Again a big thanks to HimerMan who was so generous he stuck this in as a freakin extra!

koopa, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of scottyshades
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another fine offering from Sierra Nevada. Picked up two bottles in a mix n match 6pack in Clemson, SC at Plez-U Food Store for $1.59
A: Pours a rich golden color that almost has amber highlights. The head is a solid 2 finger off-white head that leaves a very thick lacing along the glass

S: Hops, pine, citrus, and other earthy notes accompanied by a nice malty backing that produces a nice balanced nose

T: Awesome! Very hoppy notes, along with citrus, earth tones, and a nice caramel malt backbone that balances this beauty nicely...The hops are pretty resinous, typical Sierra Nevada

MF: A light/medium body that has a nice aftertaste to it. Leaves the lips a little sticky, as other APAs will...

D: High...I wish I picked up a 6 pack.

scottyshades, Nov 04, 2008
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: Deep orange gold with a creamy light tan head. Leaves nice delicate lacing on the glass.

S: Pine, citrus, floral hops.

T: Upon the first cold sips, the hops and citrus flavors dominate. Upon warming, caramel, brown sugar and rounded grapefruit come through.

M: Light/medium body. Just about perfect for me.

D: This year's batch seems much more drinkable than I remember last year's (2007) being. Maybe my tastes are just evolving. I had no problem polishing off the six-pack in an evening.

FACEMEAT, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of smanders
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 6.8%ABV

Appearance - A strange, reddish-tinted copper color. Half-inch tall, billowy head.

Smell - floral, citrus. Caramel?

Taste - starts with a hop wallop, quickly followed by a touch of malt, and nicely finished with more hops dancing around on your tongue.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and smooth. Coats the throat without being syrup-like.

Drinkability - Very high. I'm always anxious for Sierra's seasonal releases. Celebration 2008 does not disappoint. Hops fans will be lining the trunk with cases this year.

smanders, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of hdofu
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle. This is one bitter beer, copper in color with thick foam on top. Beer smells strong of hops and pine needles. The beer tastes piney, a bit citrusy and fairly maltl.ke. The mouthfeel is fairly sudsy. Overall I'd say its fairly drinkable for a bitter beer and a quaility beer for those who enjoy bitters.

hdofu, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of Fatduck
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Crisp clear coppery brown, with a pillow soft head that lasts. Smells like hops, citrus and pine, tastes the same, which is good, its a damn fine IPA. Light and crisp on the tongue and its not a hard thing to drink several in a sitting, great drinkability.

Fatduck, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never got a chance to try this one last year so I bought a 12'er right when it came out this year and I'm glad I did. ($14.99/12)

One of the most beautiful beers I've seen in a glass... a huge fluffy head with a light copper-ish color, tons of ascending bubbles which just scream out freshness/deliciousness.

Taste is hop filled and bitter, but the hops seem to me a bit subdued more than the usual IPA. I catch more of a fruity vibe to it than the basic IPA and the bitterness seems to last through the swallow (in a good way). I'm finding this beer hard to review because the beer is almost too good to savor at all. Great work SA.

oriolesfan4, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice orange amber typical of the Sierra Ale family, and with a half inch of off white head. A bit cloudy in appearance, or perhaps hazy is a better word, quite welcoming. Head dissipates in a few minutes and shows brief lacing.

A bit of earthen hops on the nose, some resinous pine and just a hint of subtle cinnamon spice.

Taste is smooth with a slight bitterness, yet the malt structure balances nicely. Notes of cinnamon on the finish. The carbonation does dissipate too quickly in my opinion, even with a slow pour, and thus yields a slightly viscous feel to the brew in the second half even as the hop notes open up.

Similar to SNPA in many ways but with a bit more maltiness and a heavier body. I see this as a nice fortified version of their Pale Ale but it doesn't stand out in the IPA realm.

Note: 2008 Release....

HalfFull, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's and Mahaffey's last night. The beer seemed a bit fresher at Mahaffey's (which is to be expected - the owner loves the stuff and I think they blow through kegs pretty quickly).

The beer pours the expected copper orange color with very good head retention and incredible sticky lacing. This is the way all IPA's should look. On the palate I get a very nice intermix of hoppy citrus, set off with some nice underlying malt. The beer smells attractive. On the palate this beer is just delicious (as it always is). It's medium bodied and decidedly on the hoppy side, but with enough malt to easily balance the hop bill. The beer actually has a fairly light mouthfeel, and is not the least bit heavy or tiring to drink.

Have been drinking this beer for years now; it's a perennial favorite I have to say. While my taste in beer has changed over the years, this beer continues to delight. An absolute classic from Sierra Nevada.

John_M, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of KeefD
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Copper orange with dense rocky head and tons of fine particulates floating around. I love unfiltered IPAs and this looks like the best of em. The lacing on this thing is incredible as it quickly leaves my glass. Did I really drink this much in only a few minutes?? Nice citrusy aroma, orange, lemonpeel, grapefruit, pine. It has all you need, but there's always room for more. Very nice caramel flavor with citrus hop blast that makes me pucker up. Grapefruit and pine are present, which I like, good use of caramel malts, semisweet at first, but dry on the finish. It's pretty much everything you want and need out of an IPA. Creamy, smooth, yumm. Balanced and delicious. Probably the most drinkable IPA I've come across. Why is this not year round??? Well done SN.

KeefD, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of Clydesdale
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent copper color with a nice, creamy white head with great retention and nice lacing. Very attractive, like most other SN offerings.

S: Lots of hops, they bring to mind grapefruit. Some biscuity malts as well. Notes of pine and tart citrus.

T: Big, big hops. Piney, citrusy, and assertive. Malts are present, with biscuity and vaguely caramel touches. Hints of spice are noticeable at the finish, perhaps some cinnamon.

M: Tight, tingly carbonation. Medium to somewhat light body with a dry finish. A bit thinner than you might expect.

D: It's not the most balanced brew around, but it's very very tasty. Certainly drinkable despite the ABV. It's a festive, aggressive holiday IPA.

Clydesdale, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of erikm25
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a sharp looking balance of shiny copper coloring and crisp amber tinting. Aggressive pour yields a bubble capped mountain of off white pillowing fluff. Retention is great. Lacing is splattered up and down the glass.

S: Pine, floral, and candy cane aromas. The hops is in the forefront but still a honey sweet and peppered smell in the back. Pineapple and peach smothered in pine needles and sweeteners. Fresh and merry.

T: Straight and solid hops. Grapefruit and citrus sprinkle their tingles across the tongue. A little bit of malt helps to round things out. Slight cinnamon and caramel adds to a subtle sweetness. Overall, this is a nice hop treat with just a perfect splash of spice in the finish.

M: Creamy body and decent carbonation.

D: Night before Halloween is a celebration in and of itself. As previously established, hundreds of times over, this is an amazingly drinkable beer. Great anytime but especially from All Hallow's Eve through New Years.

erikm25, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of thespaceman
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Edition, Served from bottle, poured into pint glass:

Appearance: Nice golden/amber color, not too dark at all, with a minimal head that dissapeared pretty quickly. Nice retention and good lacing as well.

Smell: Spices is what comes to mind. Good malt character and nice florals. Caramel, nutmeg, & fruit really pop on the hops. Very welcoming.

Taste: Again, a good spice kick in the end, this one has alot of good characteristic, it's malty yet not over-malted, very flavorful with a nice bitterness in the end. Grapefruit pops out HUGE here, an excellent addition to this. Taste similar to the notes of a Samuel Adams Boston Lager but with the spiciness doing the work, an excellent tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Pretty carbonated, creamy, yet light on the palette.

Drinkability: I can drink these till the cows come home. I didn't think I'd be as impressed as I was but I am, a great tasting beer from Sierra Nevada.

thespaceman, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of kinger
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasty brew, but I'm not sure why this recipe would be their winter seasonal. Caught somewhere between a strong ale and an IPA this one has a great medium hop profile, but a generous amount of additional malts could take this through the roof. Mild bitterness to the nose, floral and light fruits backed with some light caramel malt. Copper pour with an amber/red tint, medium head and lacing. Good drinkability but it's thin. Spicy taste with a great hop balance. This warms the body and mellows the mind, it's a nice drink but I was expecting more complexity.

kinger, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of philipquarles
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper with a resilient, thick tan head that leaves great lacing.

Smells of grapefruit and citrus; the hops are strong with this one. Some sweet malt notes are also evident, but masked by the citric hops. The grapefruit is less apparent in the taste, which is more pure hop bitterness. Some piney notes, backed up by a bit of biscuity malt.

Overall, a nice IPA, but the bitterness/lack of malty notes leaves balance a bit lacking.

philipquarles, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Celebration comes from the tap sporting a tan cap over a burnished orange-brown body. Strong aromas and flavors of piney, citric hops - smooth, easy drinking with a huge hop presence that manages to avoid over bitterness. Mouthfeel is a little below the supremacy of the other characteristics, but the overall experience is wonderful.

BretSikkink, Oct 26, 2008
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a pilsner glass pretty fast, the head was a very nice light tan color about 3 fingers. I immediately smelled a great aroma of grapefruit and other citrus. It also taste a bit like grapefruit. The lacing was minimal. There is a nice balance of flavor and carbonation, I dont really like IPA's but could drink this all night for some reason. It is strong but not overdone. Overall I think its a great american IPA and I would purchase it again.

KALIKGOLD, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of abecall98
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 12-pack recently and had it in the fridge. Poured it into my personalized mug with my name on it, and am sitting here at my computer, consuming the ale.

A - Poured a beautiful head, and left a nice amberish tint, looks great.

S - Smells of hops and christmas - wonderful

T - Very light for an IPA, but still rather intense. The flavor is very powerful, tastes like the regular Pale Ale with an added hoppy bite.

M - Not as carbonated as the Pale Ale, but the carbonation is there. The mouthfeel is pleasant, and aids this beer in going down smoothly.

D - Drinkable - Hell yes! For it's ABV, this beer is session able beyond belief. The taste leaves that aftertaste of hops making you want more.

Conclusion - Buy this beer. It's a wonderful offering of the beer gods, and like we all know, Sierra Nevada doesn't disappoint, and this years Celebration Ale, is proof of that statement.

abecall98, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of Reino
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Celebration Ale

Appearance- Pours a beautiful mahogany base with light caramel highlights all over the place. I gave it kind of a pussy pour, which only produced one and a half fingers, but undoubtedly, a more vigorous pour would have produced a kickass head. The head gives way fairly quickly, but a nice thin layer of tight bubbles settle on top for the whole ride. This beer does a very nice job of lacing my goblet all the way down to the bottom.

Smell- The aroma starts with loads of sweet fruity hops. Sugar coated grapefruit, pineapple, and mandarin orange. The sweetness didn't stay long, though. In almost an instant, the hops take a turn to pine town. Spicy pine and grapefruit rind take the lead and hold it. There is probably some light malt aromas in there, but my nose is keyed in on the delicious pine, and there's plenty of it.

Taste- Bitter hops, piny hops, and fruit rinds (grapefruit, and orange) jump out first. That flash of sweetness I got in the nose is pretty much nonexistent in the taste. There is a bit of grapefruit juice, but it is surrounded by bitterness. There is a flash of biscuity malts in the middle that do a great job of breaking up the bitterness that comes right back in the finish. SN didn't pussy out and overly "balance" this IPA. They threw in just enough malts to keep things fresh, and then hammered home the delicious bitterness. SN seems to have hop profiles down to a T in their IPAs.

Mouthfeel- On the lower end of medium carbonation, this beer starts out creamy and chewy in your mouth, and then takes a turn towards watery on the finish. I can't decide if that's a good or bad thing. It's a bit drying on the tongue, but not so bad that it makes you want to stop after one...

Drinkability- I could sit down with a sixer of this during the Holidays and forget that I'm hanging around a bunch of insane relatives. I've had Celebration with age on it, and it just doesn't do it justice, in my opinion. Drink it fresh, and drink a lot of it. This is a wonderful, drinkable, affordable IPA.

Reino, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a fresh 12oz bottle of '08 celebration into a goblet.

a. A golden amber body with a thick and full off-white head leaving behind some very nice lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. This looks lighter than past celebrations, although it may just be my imagination?

s. Hops. Floral hops, citrus hops, and just a hint of pine. Some malts and caramels peek through the hopping, but just barely, even when warmed slightly.

t. Definitely hops. Granted, this is pretty fresh, but wow - hops. There's a definite floral and citrus hop presence, with some definite trailing hop bitterness. Caramel and roasted malts peek through ever so slightly, but at this point in it's life, the hops are pretty much the focal point.

m. Smooth and creamy, a touch light, but I wouldn't go as far as to say watery. There's an almost numbing bitterness from the hop presence, which is nice, but again, caught my slightly off guard.

d. Definitely drinkable... and the brew hides the abv fairly well. I could easily session this one. Worth a shot if you haven't before. This one, while a winter seasonal, definitely reminds you that it's an IPA more than anything else. which can be a nice change from the spices and elves.

It seems a bit less malty and a bit lighter in color than previous years, althought the color could be attributed to my weak memory, and the malt may just be drowned out by the incredible hop power that this bottle has fresh. I'm not sure I've had the pleasure of having one quite this fresh in years past. Regardless, a beautiful ale, and one of my favorites from Sierra.

djeucalyptus, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of ironlung
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 edition 12oz into celebration ale pint glass...

A: Deep amber. Soft pour. Almost no head. Great lacing.

S: Lots of hops, yummy citrus and yellow pine needles.

T: People say they notice diferences in this brew's taste every year.I've only been drinking this one since the 2006 edition and it always has tasted uniform. I wait with baited breath every year for this gem to hit the shelves. Sometimes I can't wait and head to liquor wherehouse where they age them all the way back from '98 or so.(hope I diden't let a cat out of the bag!)

M: Just damn smooth, you cant go wrong with celebration!

D: Great winter session beer. Can't wait to find a great sale (like 9.99 a 12pack) and stock up the spare room!!

ironlung, Oct 17, 2008
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,549 ratings.