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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.

7,887 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,887
Reviews: 3,156
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 217
Gots: 482 | 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:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,887 | Reviews: 3,156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neonbrown82
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

neonbrown82, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ommegangpbr, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of kbnooshay
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

kbnooshay, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

tempest, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of ChrisA
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

ChrisA, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of stodbrew
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

stodbrew, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of akahn
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

akahn, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of joedon
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

joedon, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of LarryV
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

LarryV, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

KarlHungus, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of sopor
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

sopor, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of alemakesmestrong
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

alemakesmestrong, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of Luigi
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Luigi, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of orsulacp
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

orsulacp, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

ghostwalker, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of sacfly
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

sacfly, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of Bcant
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Bcant, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Dithyramb, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of hopsaplenty
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

hopsaplenty, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of nortmand
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

nortmand, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

DaPeculierDane, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Litterbean, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of JasonCoop
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

JasonCoop, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of silver0rlead
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

silver0rlead, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of orfeu
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

orfeu, Nov 04, 2005
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,887 ratings.