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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.

9,188 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,188
Reviews: 3,323
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 284
Gots: 1,127 | FT: 2
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: 9,188 | Reviews: 3,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/24/09 and consumed 12/22/09.

A: Dark amber color with an off white head and totally sick lacing on the pint glass. Very nice start indeed.

S: Diggin deep down you can seek out the sticky pine and some sweetness for kicks. It works, but its nothing over the top kind of shit.

T: Kickin hops with a cense of some christmas spice. Its the best part of this brew and the reason in which I continue to pull this off the rack every December.

M: It sticks, carbonation (check), ABV noticeable (proceed with caution), good sipper over time, let the beer warm up and contrast between temps. is my motto.

D: Not even a question, end of interview.

Photo of sweethome
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been my favorite beer since before BA existed. Just a note for perspective.

Pour is bright amber with white haed - nice lacing.

Nose describes what the beer is about - fresh cascade hops balaced with sweet malty goodness. Ahhh...c-hops.

Sharp and crisp entry of bittering hops, flavor hops, citrus, and just right amount of malts.

Long, long finish...lush yet bitter.

My favorite session beer - guess it depends on defintion of session.

Photo of Florida9
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light copper in color with a slight haze. Pours with a big foamy head, leaving copious amounts of lacing.

S: A pleasant mix of floral and citrus hops. Maybe a little pine thrown into the mix, but not much.

T: Malty sweetness followed by a firm bitterness. Short finish.

M: Medium in body. Medium carbonation. Decent bitterness.

D: A very good and very approachable IPA. I look forward to drinking more of these.

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

A: Ruby color with creamy, lively head.

S: Citrus, grass, and faint pine, but surprisingly balanced by some sweeter, bready notes. Festive.

T: Pleasant bitterness spread out around palate. Fruitier front-end gives way to somewhat grainy mid-palate and a lingering, hoppy finish.

M: Very much in balance. Rich, but not overbearing, with moderate carbonation.

D: One bottle will inevitably call for another.

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

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

A: Poured a honey-golden amber with a generous tan head that reduced to a thick skim leaving a sticky network of lace.
S: Citrus hops with a bit of grass. Smells a lot like a tangerine. Hints of caramel malts come through as well.
T: Piney and grassy hops with that characteristic grapefruit bitterness. The sweet caramely malt comes through under the hops. Finishes fruity and lightly bitter.
M: Nice carbonation. Goes down easy. Medium body, not oily. A bit of a bitter bite at the end that doesn't take away from the smoothness.
D: A darn fine beer as usual from SN. Definitely one of the best (especially for the price) IPAs out there, and I look forward to this beer every year.

Photo of wknight167
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours a slightly hazy golden copper with a solid 1 finger white head that doesn't stay aropund too long, but leaves great lacing.

Nose- Grapefruit and pine hops, almost grassy, with a slight malt sweetness.

Palate- Fresh grapefruit and pine hops are the showcase with a background of caramel malts.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, medium carbination, slightly astringent.

Drinkability- Easily a session beer.

Photo of alleykatking
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes.

A- Pours a semi-hazy amber copper color. Half finger off white head that dies down leaving wisps of foam on the top of the beer. Leaves soapy lacing that clings to the glass sides.

S- Sweet light malts is something that I pick up on at first. This is then over ran by lots of citrus and pine hops. Everything is blending in well. Pine hops come through first along with grapefruit notes behind that. There is a light biscuit malt present.

T- Bitter hops come through in full force with citrus notes at the front. Sweet biscuit malts come into play in the middle. Seems like there might be a light spice note in the middle as well before another light hop bite on the end of this.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation like most Sierra Nevada beers is right on. Clean and crisp tasting in the mouth leaving bitter resiny hops on the palate. Piney aftertaste with this beer.

D- This is a very drinkable beer that I always wait around for. Nice IPA with a Sierra Nevada twist to it.

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

Poured from 12 oz. bottle intp chilled pint glass. Pours a copper burnt-orange color 1/4 inch off-white stayed all the way to the bottom of the glass. Citrus and pine notes. Nice hop bite, bitter grapefruit and pine. Retains a generous malt balance. Nice winter warmth.

Photo of Genuine
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a clean pint glass.

Poured dark amber in color ,with a slight off white head. Very thick head ,which came from a higher altitude pour. Leaves very nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S - I detect a good deal of pine and citrusy notes come across the nose. Maybe a dash of sweetness and holiday memories.

T - At first, the ones reminds me of their torpedo ale, maybe it's because of the citrus notes and cascade hops. This one does become more distinct though, when it warms up a bit. Perfect for the holidays. Just the right amount of hops to go with the malts. I think it's a great balance.

M - Medium body. Nothing too heavy but it's not light either. Prickly, if that is even a way to describe it.

D - I could definitely have a few of these. Awesome for the holidays. Pairs great with food.


2010 Review

Pours a very nice and dark copper/amber, which is has a slight cream in color, head. Very nice lacing.

Smell - I think it smells just like last years, oh it brings back the memories. Hops come through, grapefruit, pine, citrus.

Taste - I will have to say that this one is just as good as last years, but it is balanced and quite delicious. I don't know what it is that they add to this one, but it's just different enough that it begins with the hop bitterness, then the malts come in to round things out, but not totally even...then the finish showcases a very slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium, awesome carbonation, perfect amount, nice and prickly.

Drinkability - No problem having a few of these, that's for sure. I believe my 12, 12 packs shows my love for Celebration. All around awesome American IPA, that I can't wait for it to show up next year. Definitely a beer that I look forward to every season.

Photo of Chico1985
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a hazy orange with some sediment floating around, kind of weird soapy head. All I can pick up for smells is a little hoppiness. Taste is great, very hoppy with tastes of grassy citrus, pine and a slightly bready aftertaste. Citrus definitely starts to show through more towards the end. A little bitter but not overly so. A little more carbonation than what I prefer. Drinkability is the highlight though, easy to drink and session, very good for the price, and tastes great. I will be buying this for hopefully many winters to come.

Photo of everetends
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Smokin Joes outside J'ville, AL. I think I paid $9 for a sixer. This is the last bottle of the sixer because the other 5 were just so easily drinkable. Served up in my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

A: Off the pour, I am getting a light amber in color. Has a bit too much in the yellow and orange hues department to be amber I suppose. Held to the light it absolutely has a more orange appearance. Pretty clear body, maybe just a bit of haze, may be a stretch to call it haze. The pout got me about 3 fingers of white head, was a bit vigorous I suppose. The head creates a good amount of lace all over the glass, keeping a thick webbing all the way down. Nicely done for sure.

S: Forgive me, I have a bit of a sinus infection so my description the smell and taste may be a bit off. As far as the smell, I am getting a good amount of piney hop aroma. The resin is pretty potent. Behind that I am getting some grapefruit hints as well. Malts are light but present, biscuity. It is pretty fragant, and the aromas go very well together, meshing.

T: Yet again, we start off with the hops. A hearty helping of pine resin is pretty present. Dig it very much. Grapefruit is has a nice mix and balance to the hop profile. Malts mingle with these hops but I wouldn't say they balance, absolutely stays on the hoppy area. There is just enough of a Christmas baking spice presence to let me know its there, but its not enough to let me know what it is or overpower anything going on here. This is an IPA flavor with a touch of Christmas cheer.

M: Light side of medium in body. Carbonation isa touch high, maybe a bit too bubbly for my total liking but it doesn't kill the experience. Light alcohol heat on the throat. Resin does sit on the palate a bit. Aftertaste is pine and grapefruit.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. This is the first time I have had the chance to have it here in Alabama, and I am more than please. So easily drinkable. Not the most complex beer but the flavors are very well crafted in my opinion. I would be more than happy to see this beer as a year around because it is so easy drinking and pleasing. Dig on it.

Photo of unclejimbay
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.80 %

Pillowing foamy violent head. Copper in color with excellent head retention and lace.

Hop aromas. Various hop aromas. Hoppy, Period.

Taste as it smells, aggresivley bitter, surpassed my bitterness expectations. A whisper of a malt bill with medium caramel malts may exist, but little trace if any.

Mouthfeel is bitter dominance with medium body and carbonation, right on IMHO.

Drinkability is a high for an IPA. Bitter for sure, but not to heavy or high ABV for an IPA so it makes it addictively sessionable. Suprassed my expectations for sure!

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

Holy smokes. Troegs Hopback made by Sierra Nevada? or vice versa(sorry west coast folks). This may be better. There's so much going on here..

Pours a dark amber with a huge, frothy white head. Kind of caught me off guard on the pour. Yowza! Heavy lacing going on here. Candy, fruit, spicy cider and piney, floral hops on the aroma. Very x'masy. Fairly sweet and malty on the front; astringent, grapefruity hops punch through the back. Tasty. This is a winter beer? Mmm. Good drinkability. Mouthfeel is refreshing and lively. I'm going for seconds y'all.

Dang, three finger head on that second pour. I'm poppin' up the appearance rating. Beautiful brew.

Photo of beergod1
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber, well-laced white head from which a good part never disappears. Rich citrus (grapefruit) aroma with notes reminiscent of the Christmas tree (piney, resinous, herbal). Good hop character, finish is moderately bitter, just hoppy enough I found. Medium body, good balance. just a hint of caramel malt. And for years I thought this was a Christmas ale...Idiot. The label has been tricking me.

Photo of jampics2
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint from the Lizard.

Amber with red highlights, small white head.

Smells of sweet malt, toasted malt, and hops. Nothing too definitive.

Taste is hop bitterness atop sweet malt. Amber caramel, piney hops, ok but nothing too great.

Mouth is lively. Perhaps too much so.

Drinkabilith is average. Goes down like another mediocre Sierra Nevada offering.

Photo of Dijeriduster
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this many times but first review. I prefer this on tap but its nice in the bottle as well - I hear it ages very well and have a few cellared....

A - Dark ambery tones with a slighty hazy look. Good almost reddish head that doesn't linger too long.

S - Rich amber notes with plenty of hops hidden in there. A hint of spice, but really its the hop nose that comes thru

T - Kinda rich like a IIPA with lots of hops coming thru. Starts off with the amber malt tones then quickly succumbs to the massive hop flavour.

M - Somewhat chewy and thick - this is a holiday beer after all. Carbonation is kinda high, but this is good as it holds up the hops a little more. Good swisher.

D - Pretty high. While its not the venerated SN Pale Ale this is a close second. A little less of a drinking beer due to the heavy malt and chewy mouthfeel but a great beer for the holidays and wonderful with meals. I LOVE finding this at lame Xmas parties trying to vie me with peppermint schnapps and candy martinis.

Photo of srandycarter
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours deep honey with bright highlights, nice .23 inch head, stays for awhile, leaves ring and lots of cling lace.

S - Very hoppy on the nose. Deep malt underlying.

T - Not as sweet as I had hoped. Definite bitter bite at end. Nice enough.

M - Medium body, thin to start, bitter at end, but fine, overall.

D - Would tire of the astringency.

Photo of heliosphann
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz snubby poured in a pint glass.

A: Half a finger of light brown, soapy head. Fades moderately quickly and leaves a nice oil slick on top. Looks a crisp, crystal clear amber in the glass. Good visible carbonation and some decent lacing for an IPA.

S: Upfront are bright, resiny hops. Some biscuity malts in the mix add some sweetness. Not overly fragrant.

T: Pretty similar to how it smells, hops are there with plenty of pine and resin. Malts are there providing some balance, but fall short. Sweetness, followed by a very sharp bitterness on the finish.

M: Pretty typical of the style. I found it to be slightly over carbonated however.

D: Sessionable to a degree (for me it could be) with an under 7% ABV. The strong bitterness on finish though would wear your palate down quickly. After one 12oz serving, I'm already feeling it.

I'm somewhat disappointed with SN's Celebration Ale as I found it overall to be too unbalanced. I remember really enjoying it a few years ago. I think that bottle might have had a year of age on it, which could really cut down on the bitterness factor. I think I might pick another bottle up and see how it ages for myself. Especially since a lot of people think this is a solid IPA for cellaring.

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

This year's celebration poured a hazy, burnt orange amber color, sporting a dense, frothy and sticky head on top. Aroma is full of nice citrusy candy-like notes, along with some atringent, crisp grainy-like aromas. The flavor opens with fruity caramel malts, and is quickly followed by a rush of strong piney and citrus hops, with a pervasive bitterness lingering in the mouth afterwards.
Mouthfeel is moderate, with appropriate carbonation. Drinkability is good. An excellent beer, as usual.

Photo of jhammel01
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color thats a bit hazy..looks almost unfiltered. Starts out with a nice thick head that sticks along the glass as it keeps a lacy ring.

Smells like hops with perhaps a little bit of malt in the back ground. Hops are a bit over powering in the smell.

Tastes of Grassy hops and caramel malt. Some citrus notes as well. A bit of Bread in the finish with a little bit more hop bitterness. Its all about the hops though..the alcohol is there for sure, it finishes a bit warm from the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is a creamy and heavy bodied. Not overly heavy or anything, its just right. Plenty of carbonation as well.

A good beer! I think that it reminded me alot of SA "torpedo. Its a a good beer to spread the holiday cheer!

Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Black Friar in Dallas, TX.

A - Copper with good clarity, a moderate white head and nice lacing.

S - Citrusy hops with a touch of spices and a biscuity malt.

T - Very nice citrusy hops joined by toasty, bready malt. This beer has a lot going on but it all works well together.

M - Very creamy and silky with a low moderate carbonation.

D - This is a fantastic beer with lots of flavor.

Photo of pittpenguin
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: slightly hazy copper amber with a fantastic head and excellent retention. Lacing lasted to the bottom of the glass.

S: Slightly muted from what I would expect of this big tasting beer. Citrus and pine.

T: Grapefruit and its citrus cousins. Alcohol well hidden. Malt backs up the hops, but its all about the hops, with a long hoppy finish.

MF: medium body, nice carbonation

D: high, could have a couple without blinking, but i fancy the hops.

Photo of patobandito
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light coppery color with a thin white head. leaves some lacing. Smells like an IPA should. Nice and hoppy. citrus notes mostly, with a bit of floral as well. The hops hit esspecially hard on the taste, before mellowing out with a bit of a malt sweetness on the finish. The high-ish ABV and the heavy hops flavor keep it from being easily drinkable, but for a hop-head like myself, it is very enjoyable.

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

Had this out of a six-pack last night, and yes, it was my first time having it. For how much good beer I drink, I was always a bit ashamed, but now I've got my chance at it. 2009 vintage.

Appearance: Amber-orange, standard IPA coloration with white head and nice wave lacing. Foamed up pretty billowy actually, and considering the serving temp was around that of a cellar, i was a bit surprised. Looks inviting.

Smell: Very balanced nose, one of the more balanced I've smelled that actually still had a nose to it. Cascade for sure, but maybe some Chinook? Slight spiciness and hint of malt, and the surefire SN yeasty quality. Nothing knocks your socks off, but still friendly and inviting like I like and IPA to be.

Taste: Balance is the calling card here, and this is no exception. For an IPA near 7%, the hops are perfectly in tune with the malt. Cascade piny and grassy hops play alongside a residual sugar sweetness, but the spicier hop blend prickles in with the alcohol that is in no way boozy to make a harmonious little concoction. The taste is relatively light, but it works so well that you have to applaud the synergy.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated perfectly, despite my initial concerns with the degree of head. Finish is neither resinous or too dry, just refreshing and mildly bitter.Spot on.

Drinkability: Went down like a champ. Certainly a beer that begs to have more than one of. The ABV is sneaky thought, and approaching DIPA territory and yet no real sign of the alcohol til after the fact due to the flavors working so well. A tough beer to rate, actually, as the flavors are more mild than some IPAs, but they work so well together that you can't help but admire it. Recommended, like all 2,000 other reviews seem to.

Photo of drperm
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz pour into an Allagash footed glass.

Ap: Lovely glowing translucent reddish-apricot hue. Thick antique white/vanilla head reduces to nice lacing meringue foam.

S: Up front, something of a malt bomb. Nice biscuit notes with lovely grassy floral hop aroma coming through. As it warms, the hops take over big-time, with a big dry-hop note coming to the forefront. Don't take this one directly from the fridge into your gullet, because you'll miss out!

T: Excellent strong ale qualities (to me this is more of a hoppy strong ale than an IPA). Malty without being sweet, hoppy without turning my mouth inside-out. A slight metallic edge is present, but not unpleasant. Huge dry-hop Cascade action.

M: No complaints here. Fizzy, wonderful fat-scrubbing bubbles would make this great with rich, buttery foods.

O: Not my favorite SN (that one's still the Anniversary Ale) but I have no complaints AT ALL here. I suggest letting it warm up somewhat in order to unleash its full profile. Drink it too cold and you'll miss out on a lot. Excellent on its own; finicky with food (all that dry-hopping, perhaps?), but try spicy Senegalese peanut (curry) soup, or earthy cheeses.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,188 ratings.