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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.

8,952 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,952
Reviews: 3,261
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 277
Gots: 947 | 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: 8,952 | Reviews: 3,261 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MOB210SA
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried 10-30-09 (6-Pack)

I was on a mission to try this beer when I saw it stocked on the shelves in the local HEB. I had it couple hours later. Ive always been a big fan of SN. During my second review of this I can go back and say this was the main staple of my entire Winter beer drinking. Probably have picked up over a dozen times.

Awesome large 4 finger dense pillowy head. Retains really well, and only slowly subdueing. 5 minutes later is a thick unever layer atop. Pretty good amount of sticky lacing thats clinging. Great looks. Best described as dark strawberry mixed with golden-orange .

Very hoppy, malty smell with some citrus

AWESOME tasting, good dose of hoppiness. I thought it would be a winter type ale (when I first tried it) but I didnt know It was going to be just an amazing IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium body with really nice carbonation that goes down well and nice on the tongue.

Drinkability? I loved this beer. I finished the 6 pretty quick. Im going to def. buy again. (Ohh which I did again, and again, and again.)

*Edited from original review.

Photo of ugaterrapin
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. It has a nice golden amber color. Poured with a nice two finger head that dissipated slowly. It has an excellent hoppy pine aroma. The aroma doesn't lie. The first sip is an incredibly awesome pine hop attack that is well balance with a solid malt backbone. This is my favorite Sierra Nevada offering with Southern Hemisphere and one of my favorite IPAs overall. It made my day to see this in the liquor store today when I was picking up beer for the GA vs. FL football game.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New beer Friday!

Appearance - Pours a great looking hazelnut color with about two inches of head which dissipate in a few minutes but leave nice, chunky lacing.

Smell - Honestly the first thing that pops in my mind is this smells remotely like an Arrogant Bastard (no joke). From the aroma I can gather hops, pine, a b it of citrus, but honestly I smell spices after the initial sniff. This is followed by just a tad of sweet, biscuity malt smell.

Taste - A bit bitter (again, for some reason this initial taste reminds me just a bit of Arrogant Bastard) , hops, defiantly some pine, and some citrus such as orange peel. After the initial flavor a malty backbone appears and finishes crisp and a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and fitting carbonation. I can feel the hop oils slide on the tongue just a little bit. Pleasant.

Drinkability - Remarkably so. I could session the heck out of this thing. At almost 7% abv and at sixteen dollars for a twelve pack, this is a relatively cheap, great tasting IPA. I will admit, I was hoping to taste more spices seeing as this is a "Christmas" beer...I guess I will get my fix with SA Winter Lager and Ole' Fezziwig for that! But overall a great beer.

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked up a sixer of the 2009 release. I love this beer, so I had to grab some.

A: SN Celebration pours a hazy amber color. It starts out with about a finger of off-white foam that dies down to a thin layer. There is excellent lacing on the glass.

S: The smell is full of citrus hops and has a fairly big malt backbone. This is not quite as aggressive and powerful as your typical west coast IPA.

T: The flavor is a bit more assertive than the nose. It starts off with a nice dose of citrus and piney hops, and has a nice crisp, bitter finish. There is still a solid malt component to this, beer however.

M: A rather full body for an IPA, with the carbonation is on the light side.

D: This beer is quite drinkable, but hits surprisingly hard for 6.8%.

Photo of brow1901
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice big three finger head after a violent pour. Color is a nice orange amber with a bone white head. Good retention and great lacing.

S- Lots of piney hops. That is the so most obvious, something about the smell seems to remind me of a pilsner. Maybe the used some pils malts or a special yeast or I could just be crazy. I like it though, not overpowering, some complexities.

T- Bitter hops, no citrus or earthy hops just bitter. Strong malt backbone sorta shines through the hops in a nice way. Very different from a typical IPA especially a west coast IPA. Crisp and clean taste.

M- To light for my tastes, instead of being refreshingly light it just feels sorta watered down. Good carbonation and leaves the mouth a little slick.

D- Highly drinkable, right in the average range for an IPA, in my opinion this beats the pants off any spiced winter beer. And the name is PC too.

Photo of jhoban19
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, 2009 edition, just picked up a sixer today.

A: this is one inviting brew. brilliant orange/copper color with loads of tiny bubbles that create a bit of haze. solid white foam that lingers and then settles into beautiful ring present all the way down to the last sip. the lacing sticks to the glass and stays right where it landed- no movement what so ever. just a wonderful looking beer.

S: nice balance of sweet bready malts and citrusy hops, mostly grapefruit and pine, with a bit of orange. detecting some subtle hints of dark fruit but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. not quite cherries, not quite raisin... luckily I have 5 more in the 6 pack to try and figure it out!

T: more of the same- nice balance of citrus/pine hops and the sweet malt. excellent hop bitterness and toasty malt on the back end.

M: crisp and a bit dry on the finish, with a bit of fizzy carbonation that tickles the tonsils. medium bodied with just enough alcohol to make you take notice. hop bitterness really lingers throughout the entire pint.

D: I look forward to Celebration Ale every year. the 2009 version is a well crafted IPA and I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the 6 pack. it's not quite as smooth as I was hoping it to be, but a damn fine IPA that doesn't disappoint.

Photo of mikey711
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter has arrived with the 09 celebration ale

A: A deep orange with a thick white foam head. Not much lacing and good head retention.

S: Oily pine hops and caramel sweetness. very fresh and pleasant

T: Bitter and piny with a good amount of sweetness to balance it out.

M: Full bodied and creamy.

D: I almost finished an entire six pack last night. Very tasty and very enjoyable all around.

Photo of TheViolator666
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 fl. oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a nice light amber color with a huge bubbly white head that simmers down to a fingers-width cap. Leaves beautiful layers of lacing.

S: Smells of citrusy hops as well as some grapefruit and pine, touch of sweetness from the malts.

T: Similar to the smell, the taste of this one is powered by citrusy and piney hops balanced incredibly well by a malty undertone and aftertaste.

M/D: Nice medium body with perfect carbonation and high drinkability.

Overall, a very nice standard American IPA that is balanced very well.

Photo of bsp77
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Ah, it is that time of year again. Actually, it is a little early, but screw it, I want me some Celebration.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Rich reddish-amber with large creamy head and very nice lacing rings.

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, pine, spice and semi-sweet toasted malts.

Taste: Perfect balance of pungent hops (grapefruit and pine predominately) and slightly sweet toasted malts that are reminiscent of a Red Ale. Turns bitter and spicy at the end.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, smooth medium body with a long dry finish.

Drinkability: My favorite IPA, although Stone and Two Hearted are damn close. Even though the balance is superb and it is immensely drinkable, I just can't quite give any IPA a 5 on drinkability due to the bitterness.

Edit from 2010 release: this does deserve a 5 on drinkability.

Photo of bump8628
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on date of the 267th day of 2009 (Sept. 24, 2009). 1.5 12oz bottles poured into an Imperial pint glass.

A rich copper, bordering on amber, beer with 2 fingers of dense white head that rises over the rim of the glass. The head transforms into a thick meringue-like froth that sticks to the sides of the glass. I can't imagine how this could be a more attractive looking beer.

The aroma is classic pine and citrus American hops. A soft sweet barley smell comes through at the end hinting at the perfect balance of this brew.

The hops are the first thing that hit the palate. Pine, citrus peel, and floral flavors rush over the tongue followed quickly by a solid caramel malt backbone...beautifully balanced. The hop bitterness is solid but doesn't linger on into the clean finish.

This beer is my absolute favorite seasonal beer...meaning any season, any brewery, this is it. I easily go through 3-4 sixers of this every year. Strong, hoppy, but supremely balanced. Screw the over-spiced holiday ales that invade the shelves this time of year, give me a Sierra Nevada Celebration!

P.S. Drink it fresh! And long live the poinsettia-covered label.

Photo of Dspohn
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2009 batch, super fresh, reviewing from notes taken last weekend.

A. Nice bronze/copper body with a couple inches of tan head.

S. Delicious grapefruit smell with a hint of pine and bready maltiness.

T. Bitter hop flavor of orange/grapefruit with some pine lingering. The malts seem toasty and biscuity with a slight floral spice to it that I cant identify. Finish is smooth and hoppy.

M. Nice smooth medium mouthfeel. A nice robust winter IPA.

D & Comments. My favorite selection from SN. I think the hop profile in celebration beats out torpedo. Overall a great fall/winter beer.

Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the 09 batch. This was literally FRESH. Hops were very present. Very nice head and lacing. Poured a color similar to honey. This is a very spicy IPA; extremely bitter. You can definitely tell this is a SN beer. It went down almost too smooth. I really like this batch, great on a cold night.

This is a classic.

Photo of Procrastinator
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle with 8 28081642 noted on UPC label. I've had this beer 12-pack after 12-pack over the years. This is my first review of it.

Appearance: the body is a hazy copper color with a yellowish, soapy, yet creamy head with bubbles of differing sizes. As the bubbles explode, the head becomes craggy and lacing holds together a web of delicate foam. Carbonation is extremely active as bubbles dance off the glass bottom.

Smell: the scents have somewhat subsided since this beer's suggested date of enjoyment, but piney hops seem to hold on while a slightly sweet caramel maltiness brings around a completeness.

Taste: the piney hops are still the predominant factor, while subdued, still have qiute a bite. The caramel malts, while sweet, are definitely here to show balance, though slightly still to the bitter end.

Mouthfeel: as with most SN beers, the mouthfeel is delightful with adequate carbonation and a more than medium texture. The slight astringency is showing that these bitter hops never die.

Drinkability: this is always a wonderful beer to drink. Even many moons after the month of "Celebration", this one's a keeper.

This review is from notes several months old.

Photo of velosuds
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness data on bottle.

A-Poured an orange-amber hue with a two+ finger head that receded into a modestly sticky lace.

S-Piney and citrus hops, but nothing especially prominent. Also some biscuity malt.

T-Hoppy bitterness with a nicely balanced malt sweetness I find very pleasant.

M-Very smooth and well balanced. Nice carbonation level.

D-This went down very easily and I would readily reach for another.

A very good IPA. I like this better than their Torpedo. Would drink again. Would buy again, depending on what else was available.

Photo of lester619
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the stuff that expanded my mind beyond high life light from the can. It looks fantastic. Deep, dark copper to amber brown. Gigantic creamy rocky head. Lacing that slides down the entire side of the mug. Perfect. Very fragrant fresh hop smell. I've never been to a hop farm at harvest time, but this is what I imagine it smells like. The taste is ideal for an IPA. Thick, chewy bready backbone. Understated sweet toasty caramel malt with the perfect amount of fresh complex oily hop bitterness. It doesn't go too far with the hops and produce a bitter aftertaste. Again, perfect. This is hands down my favorite beer. It might be my favorite part of Christmas.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark copper, almost reddish hue, with an average head, but good lacing. The smell was surprisingly dominated by hoppy pine and citrus, and an ever so subtle apple essence. I was expecting more spiciness for a winter warmer/ipa. The taste did reveal more biscuit and maltiness, but it was also still heavily dominated by pine and citrus. Nice medium body and little carbonation resulted in a beer that rolled smoothly over the tongue. Drinkability was certainly apparent, but again, I was unpleasantly surprised by the lack of spiciness for a winter release.

Photo of GregSVT
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 2008 bottle into a New Belgium 1554 glass.

A: Pours a hazy amber with a big white head that reduces to a small layer and leaves a great deal of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The smell is intoxicating...almost resembling a DIPA like Hop Stoopid. Hops, fruit, and a bready malt aroma jump from the glass.

T: The taste mimics the smell with a lot of fruity hops and the malt backbone. Great stuff. I'll have to say that aging the bottle mellowed the hops and let the fruity/malt flavor come into play a bit more.

M: Very bubbly and slick. Again much like Hop Stoopid but nothing like a really thick DIPA.

D: I really like this and the aging has done wonders for the flavor. The slightly lower ABV makes this a bit better in the drinkability department than something higher but not much.

Back when I bought this I thought the hop flavor was way too over the top but it seems to have mellowed dramatically. It also could be that I wasn't a fan of IPAs/DIPAs but I've gotten into them a bit more this year after finding some exceptional examples. I look forward to putting another 6er of this away this year to try around the same time next year.

Photo of GRG1313
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick white firm lasting head.

Nose is very yeasty, assertive and pleasant; nice bread nose character.

Flavors are strong citrus/pine hops with a little malt. Nice hints of pine. Pleasant and drinkable, although very predictable.

Long bitter hop finish.

Photo of tdawgydog
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had two of these sitting in the cellar since last Christmas, thought it was time to make way for this years seasonal brews... Poured the 2008 Celebration Ale into my Maudite Goblet.

A - Pours a nice copper red color with a good two finger head that dissipates to almost nothing with a decent lacing left around the rim of the glass

S - Strong Hoppy scent with a little bit of oak barrel scent. Something that you would definitely look forward to on a cold winter day.

T - Strong Hop taste, otherwise a slight cinnamon and biscuit taste.

D - Enjoyable as long as your not mixing and matching. I could have a few of these to warm the soul on a chilly day. They don't go well if your sampling other beers. Stick to these if that is what you like.

M - Good body, I'm not sure that I notice any difference after cellaring the beer for 10 months.

Definitely one of my favorite winter warmers. I hope this years is as good as last.

Photo of ipazilla
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer in a 12 oz. bottle at a Christmas party last year it was excellent and went well with a spicy venison chili that was served.
Nice strong hop flavor, really floral and bitter. I wish it was a year round offering. I would definitely drink regularly and I can't wait till it's released again.

Photo of thepeter
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this at the supermarket a couple years ago, bought a bunch, put the last one in a box and forgot about it. This is a 2007 bottle poured into a British pint glass.

A - pours the color of honey with a huge bouncy overstuffed mattress of a head that stuck to the glass and would not die. It eventually shrank into a dirty meringue ish cap on the top of the last few sips.

S -Lot's of fruit! Citrus, apples, maybe even some lychee fruit. Also, obviously some hops and a bit of sweetness, maybe honey.

T - Flavors were definitely subdued. Light on the hops, but could still taste the citrus and pine needle flavors. The finish was sticky and bitter with a small amount of metal coming through.

M&D - Smooth, full bodied and very nice carbonation. Could easily drink a couple more and would, if I could ever find them.

Still prefer this one fresh but glad I had one sitting around to try with some age on it. In the end everything was great, the flavor had just faded which is to be expected of this style.

Photo of drummerben
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

Celebration 08 recently tapped as part of Christmas in July. Nice amber color, very little head. Floral fragrance with pine and hops. Taste is much less hoppy than when first released, as the hop character has faded, but still a great balanced taste. Tastes of pine with grassy notes and a malty backbone. Very easy to put these away in short order.

This one is still great with a little age on it. Probably a good option for those who considered SN to be too hoppy, if that's even possible! The age downgrades a great beer to really good.

Photo of BWMKappaSig
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Celebration Ale, aged 22 months at 45 degrees.

A: Cloudy deep honey-amber with a thin off-white head.

S: Citrusy hops and mildly sweet malts are a pleasure on the nose.

T: The hops have severely dimmed over the time it was aged. The malts aren't as sweet as the smell indicates, but do help to balance the hopiness. A slight cardboard taste indicates some oxidation, but the starting point to this beer was clearly a strong but well balanced west coast IPA.

M: Medium bodied with a little bit of sticky hops notes on the roof of the mouth.

D: I wish I'd not aged this so long, though despite its age, it is still well done.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle.

Pours a dark amber in color with a slightly frothy head. Tons of floaties suspended throughout the beer.
Smell is hops. Piney and grassy hops. Still a good amount of bitterness in the flavor. You can tell that this has some age on it, but it's still drinkable. There's a god enough base beer underneath that when the hops start to fade, you're still left with a solid beer. Medium in the mouthfeel and fairly drinkable.

Photo of PartyBear
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy ruby red, with a creamy white head.

S - Complex smell. Hoppy, with a hint of chocolate. It also has a fruity quality, possibly melon, and lemon. I also got the impression of honey.

T - Lemon zest and grapefruit. Perfumy, with a bitter aftertaste.

M - Managed to pull of a light yet oily feel in the mouth.

D - This is a very interesting beer, there is a lot going on. It has complex flavours and aromas, and it's the sort of beer that could taste slightly different each time you drink it.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,952 ratings.