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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.

9,200 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,200
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 282
Gots: 1,134 | 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: 9,200 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cavedave
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge light beige head tops a gorgeous amber brew. It recedes ever so slowly, leaving bas relief lacicles and swathes thickly on the glass.

The smell is all the scents of citrus, lighter pine, even lighter grain and yeast notes. There is a sweetness to the aroma that isn't malty, very clean backbone, with just a hint of earthiness at the edge. Not the strongest, nor most aromatic or perfumed of bouquets, but a pleasant sojourn for my nose on the rim.

This is a beer that bursts with flavor, not tongue-rakingly, nor viscously, but with a clean zing that is delicious, vibrant, and ends well. It starts with a blast of citrus, a bit of citrus rind, a lightly-resinous piney flavor, a sweet breadiness beneath, into textures of earth, bitter, and the less sweet citrus flavors as it finishes long and dry. The finish is drier than the flavor profile suggests, it is lighter in flavor than Torpedo for example, and it is a wonderful sip. The balance is what you expect from SN, which is to say just right.

Mouthfeel is medium body, medium carb, medium viscosity, no off flavors or cloying textures in the cling. Nice.

Drinkability is off the charts. I could drink this non stop until Zelaya is re-elected in Honduras.

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

2009 vintage

A-Pours a nice orange/copper color with a one finger head that fades quickly but leaves some nice lacing.

S-Pine and citrus hops dominate with some nice caramel/malt notes. Smells very good.

T-Pine and citrus hops and a subtle malty sweetness. Not terribly complex, but very enjoyable.

M-Medium body, the carb level is a bit high for my personal preference, but its not bad. Nice dry, bitter finish.

D-Very drinkable, as are all of SN's offerings.

Another job well done by SN. These guys don't do anything badly.

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

A: Bright orange color, off white head.

S: Smell is strong with this one, but it was a good thing. A little fruity, clean, hoppy.

T: I am not one for hoppy beers but this one just straddled the line for me. Hoppy but the malt quickly covers up the hops. A slight caramel aftertaste with a ton of good carbonation. The more you drink this the more tasty it becomes, and the hops become a bit subdued (a good thing IMO)

Summary: If I am ever in the mood for a hoppy beer I will probably have to go with this one again.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely golden orange-red, with a thick head of creamy bubbles. Head disippates, which is a bit of a disappointment, but it still leaves a collar, and some really intricate lacing down the glass. Overall, it looks really quite good. And I do love the colour.

Absolutely delicious nose. Really full and fruity, and jam-packed with those wonderful west-coast IPA characteristics. Notes of passionfruit, pine, sour-cherry, with overtones (possibly from the spices) of vanilla and cinnamon. Really gorgeous nose, balancing between sweetness and fragrance. Delicious.

Taste is somewhat thinner than I would have hoped, and the texture also leaves something to be desired. Some green hop-leaf bitterness mid palate, and a long astringent finish. There are hints of sweetness, but it's never really delivered to the tongue, leaving the palate feeling flushed and not caressed.

It's a pretty nice beer, all things considered, and once again, Sierra Nevada come up with an interesting beer, thoroughly reminiscent of California (to me, at least). I wish it had more body and substance, and more sweetness on the palate, but it's very drinkable as it stands.

Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber dated 2009 into a large snifter. Foamy, frothy head that disappeared quickly. Left sticky lacing on the glass. Copper, amber color that is very appealing. Pine, grapefruit scent in the nose very aromatic. Taste also hoppy, perhaps cascade hops. I think the hops might be more mellowed than other years. But still none the less a very drinkable beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky a bit oily. I really enjoyed it as it has warmed and the alcohol has warmed me. It paired very well with some BBQ pulled pork sandwiches today.

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

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass

2009 edition

A: Orangish copper color, crystal clear, thick off-white head, lots of lace.
S: Sharp piney hops, a little citrus as it begins to warm up.
T: Hops completely dominate the malts. The malts are much more dominate here vs SNPA or SNIPA. A little bit of caramel with lots of base malts (makes me think of british malts) would be my guess. Lots of hops but well balanced with lots of malt.
M: Oily hops and a "richer" mouthfeel , tingly carbonation make for a nice beer.
D: This is a great beer, one I look forward to every year for a change of pace. SN doesn't make a bad beer, this one comes across as a "little more", a good way to celebrate. Highly recommended.

Photo of Hullabaloo2
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma - Piney resinous hop aroma. Malt sweetness. Mild esters. Smells like hops just out of the bag.

Appearance - Amber with a nice copper hue. Hazy from the hops. Frothy offwhite head poured two fingerwidths and dissipated to one fingerwidth. Good lacing and head retention. A lot of visible carbonation.

Taste - Immediate piney hop flavor. This is followed by some malt backbone and a smooth bitterness. Like in any good IPA the bitterness dominates, however, it's smooth, not assulting. Also, the bitterness doesn't coverup the hop flavor. I don't know if this beer is dry hopped, but it tastes like it is. The malt really takes a back seat. There is just enough malt to keep the beer somewhat balanced instead of being a total hop bomb.

Mouth Feel - Medium/thing body. High carbonation, but very smooth. No carbonic bite. A smooth bitterness through out. The bitterness lingers.

Overall Impression - The is a good IPA. I can immagine that this would be great pared with some good Italian. The hops would cut right through. This beer is on the verge of just being an assulting hop bomb, but there is some malt and flavor to save it. It's not my favorite IPA, but it's worth buy each year. Try it if you haven't.

Photo of chickencoop
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a holiday classic. Seems a little diluted now, but back in the day, retailers would load up and hoard this stuff for months, now it's everywhere, but still solid. This is the bigger tougher brother of the pale ale, but still has that hoppy, citrusy taste that the pale ale offers. Very drinkable and balanced, a must have october to february.

Photo of AgentZero
3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very attractive beer, dark-reddish color with a nice 2 1/2 finger, foamy head that slowly dissipated and left some chunky lacing. Pretty nice.

S - Very hoppy with a decent amount of malt backing. I'll be honest, I never bothered to realize that this was an IPA, so the hops kind of surprised me. Little dark fruit in there too.

T - It's good, but I felt a little let down. Hops, with some malts, not sure I ever really like malts in my IPAs. Decent citrus, slight pine, pretty bitter on the finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with some nice carbonation that leaves the mouth decently refreshingly.

D - Fairly easy to drink, but unless I'm in a real hops type of mood is hard to put down more than one of.

Photo of jantonius
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber color, with slight one finger head

S: Strong hoppy smell, with some malt scents, a lot of citrus and pine. Very nice in the winter.

T: Great citrus and pine tastes, nice hoppy taste

M: Medium body, dry finish, light carbonation

D: Great winter Ale!!! This is the best in the Sierra Nevada Seasonal line up. Buy a few cases to hold for next year.

Photo of NStLincoln
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with a bit of haze, the head is thick, long-lasting, and a creamy white.

The nose is very floral and hoppy. Reminds me of the golden alexanders I grow in my back yard. The more I smell it the better it gets, now a little gingerbread action.

Trying to nail down the flavor is tough. Right when I think I've got it the hops kick in and beat up my tongue. It's spicy, a tad of citrus, and pretty good.

I haven't always been a big fan of Sierra Nevada, but this version of Celebration is solid. Particularly fun to smell.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a regular, good ol' craft brew. The smell is amazing. Piney, but not the massive piney you come across a lot more these days with the advent of summit, amarillo etc. . . hops.

Big citrus pine hop flavor as well. Perfectly balanced. This is the best holiday beer in the world. This might be the best beer in the world. A lot of beer geeks probably rate it lower because of its widespread availability.

I could drink these beer all day, every day. I think we bought 5 cases of it from Costco this year.

Photo of jamiesessions
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Amber colour with a white head that leaves a nice lacing. Hop smell is imminent immediately, the grapefruit and pine being at the forefront of the nose, with a bit of lemon and orange also finding their way in there. Tastes incredibly bitter at first, but the citrus and the hops subside quickly to create a very interesting flavour. The carbonation is a bit strong, but the taste is still quite pleasant. Sierra Nevada is one of the best breweries out there, while they don't make the best beers, they do make the best that you can easily find in your local market (around here at least). This is the perfect example of that, are there better IPA's? Sure. Are there better "holiday" themed beers? Sure. However, this is a quality brew that is not to be missed by anyone who calls themselves a beer-lover

Photo of hooliganlife
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a harp tulip. color is fairly clear and ruby orange in color. giant creamy head and intricate lacing.

strong malts and a nice pine like christmas scent.

pine bitterness up and down with a slight white grapefruit through out. malts are fairly big but very much dominated by the hop bitterness.

fairly bodied with a light to moderate carbonation.

always a pleasure! i look forward to this every year and for good reason. one of the easiest drinking beers ever despite the intense bitterness. it appears to me though, that this years is less bitter and spicy with stronger malts.

Photo of lenin2040
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Just outstanding. Pours a rich amber with solid head and gorgeous lacing. Great nose, pine resin and grapefruit. Exceptionally balanced malt sweetness with the hop overload. Sticky sticky dank mouthfeel - can't get enough. Careful with these, don't want to go through a sixer on your own.

Photo of Ezone024
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours amber with thick spongy head lots of lacing and retention.

smells like rows of herbal hops with slight citrus in the back.

tastes full bodied and like you ran into a wall of hops. very herbal hop flavor. with a solid not overwhelming malt backbone.

obviously a solid beer made by Sierra Nevada.

enjoy in moderation

Photo of JTahoe
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with 2009 vintage on neck label.

A - Really nice clear golden amber color with red-ish glowing tones. Rocky two finger off white head slowly recedes to a chunky layer with chunky lace all around the glass.

S - Sharp hops with herbal (nearly minty) quality, along with biting citrus and toasty malt aroma.

T - Nice bite of pine sap and grapefruit pith with earthy green tea undertones. Caramel malt and toasted grain plays second fiddle, but makes a solid foundation.

M - Medium body and carbonation with lingering bitter, dry finish.

D - A great cold weather IPA. Drink up!

Photo of obywan59
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Celebration Ale

P: 12 oz. bottle with snow-covered mountains, spruce trees and cabin which is decorated for Christmas.

A: Reddish-copper ale and a substantial head with moderate retention which together reminded me of a Santa suit. Lacing all the way down.

S: The first bottle was fruit and spice--very Christmasy. The second was all hops.

T: Wow! Huge hop presence. The first sip reminded me of my first Arrogant Bastard. A sweet malty character as well, but the hops definitely won out. The sescond beer gave more subdued taste in both hops and malt, so maybe the hops were a bit numbing to my taste.

M: Medium+. Not much oiliness. Very pleasant

D: The first bottle wasn't what I would call a sipper, but it definitely wasn't a guzzler either. I had to pause a bit between swallows. The drinkability improved with the second bottle.

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

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- The beer pours a somewhat brownish light amber color. There is some carbonation activty after the pour. There is barely a one finger white lace and no cling to speak of.

S- This beer smells like a quintessential west coast IPA. Hops, pine, and citrus.

T- This beer has a nice bold hoppy presence to start the taste. The boldness really never leaves as you get that nice bitter hop flavor all the way through. Very nice hoppy IPA.

I decided to give this beer a try along with their Celebration Ale. This selection is a lot more comparable with the Sierra Nevada regular rotation beers I have had. I like this beer and would certainly get it again. I guess I should hurry up before its all gone.

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

Sierra Nevada's holiday IPA pours slightly hazy copper orange color with a coarse 2 finger off white head, which gives way to a soapy lacing. An attractive beer but with Sierra making so many APAs and IPAs how does this one stack up.

The aroma of this beer is as hoppy as it is malty. There are pine and grape fruit notes from the hops. Other aromas gathered are green tea, tobacco and fresh bread.

Upon tasting you realize this is a very balanced and subtle IPA. Rather then in your face hop assertion the malt and hops blend together, giving way to piney hops with citrus undertones, tobacco, tea and earth tones.

Bitterness is generally kept at bay in this brew and I'd describe it as an IPA of average bitterness. Body is medium and carbonation is about perfect for any beer.

This is perhaps one of the most balanced IPAs I've ever had. You get all the hoppiness you'd want out of a beer, but with plenty of malt as well. Seems well suited to many variety of cuisines and although an IPA this somehow seems well suited to colder climates.

Drink up, your six-packs not going to last long, mise well buy a case.

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

2009 vintage.

Pours a nice golden color with a fairly decent head and nice lacing. Very pretty beer.

Smells nice and hopy. The malts come out nicely. Unfortunately the smell fades rather quickly.

The taste is quite a bit like the nose. Lots of nice hoppy taste with a fairly smooth and sweet malt backbone. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Smooth and clean with nice carbonation.

This one is fairly drinkable. Very refreshing.

Photo of davod23
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An old standard. One of the myriad reasons to enjoy the season. Poured from the bottle into a stemless wine glass.

Beautiful beer. Deep, rich reddish golden color with a billowing white head. The head eventually recedes to a chunky, thin cap, but never goes away completely. The reason this beer gets top marks from me is because of the lacing. Massive chunks of white lace all around the glass. Absurdly thick chunks. Absolutely gorgeous.

Smell is quite floral, with citrus zest and a hint of malty sweentess mixed in. It's not overly aggressive, which is fine with me. Instead of punching you in the face with out-of-control hoppiness, this beer plays with you a little bit. Nice.

Taste is how I remember. A decently solid malt backbone gives way to a well-balanced hop flower characteristic. This beer is interesting in that the hops are very prominent in both bitterness and in the floral/citrus taste, but they don't override your taste buds and destroy your palate. Although assertive, the hop characteristic of this brew is kind of soft and gentle. Weird and contradictory to say it, but I don't know how to phrase it better. OK, maybe I do. If IPAs were women, this is the kind of beer you would want your girlfriend to be. A beer like Green Flash West Coast IPA is the kind of beer you'd want to have a sleepless weekend in Vegas with - bold, assertive, take-no-prisoners craziness.

Mouthfeel is good, if unremarkable for the style. Good carbonation. Dry-ish finish.

I will never, ever, ever get sick of drinking this beer. Never. And at about 6%, I'll never have to.

Photo of burnerfinger
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy Holidays! left work early and was able to snag a six pack of this.

A: pours orangey-copper red with a generous 3 finger head that slowly settles with nice lacing.
a bit hazy against a bright light...

S: the nose is s bit understated, especially for an IPA type brew. the hops are "suggested" at best here.

T: WHAM hops full on hop blast. somehow it projects a sense of balance while still being very very hoppy.

M: this is a BIG beer, full in every way. the alcohol is there but discreet. Plenty of carbonation.

D: This is way too good for guzzling - smooth is not what it was trying for - but it's a really great beer and I would defintiely have another.

Photo of Cakanator
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle on my 1st year at the store. Love SN cele each year, this one was no exception. Pours a nice dark golden hue with a thin white head, plenty of bubbles. Some soft notes of carmel and hops in the nose, its not overbearing. Loads of hops in the mid to finish with a sweeter malty intro. Finishes crisp with a little citrus. Solid effort once again, I'd actually like to see where this one goes in a year.

Photo of californiakulak
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just got a keg of this brew for my kegerator and I poured a pint into my Anchor Steam pint glass.

A. Pours a slightly hazy amber orange color. Big firm head with excellent lacing.

S. Stong floral scents and Cascade hops. A spicy, citrus aroma.

T. Fresh hop taste. Also taste grapfruit and other citrus flavors. Good IPA.

M. Good carbonation and a very dry finish.

D. With the bitterness and the high alcohol it is not the best beer to have in a kegerator, but it sure is tasty. 165 will be tough to finish but I will definatly give it my best shot.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,200 ratings.