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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.

8,439 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,439
Reviews: 3,216
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 258
Gots: 692 | 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: 8,439 | Reviews: 3,216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iceball585
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber/copper color, semi-clear, thin lacy head that lowered to a ring around the glass, lots of carbonation bubbles rising, also mild sediment floating throughout

S- Mostly spices, hops, flowery, slight pine smell

T- Flowery hops, spices (black pepper), grapefruit, fairly bitter

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, bitter, slight oily finish

D- Worth trying but slightly too spicey to drink more than one

This is one holiday beer that is worth trying. I wouldn't say this is one of my favorites but still good none the less.

iceball585, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite of the Sierra Nevada brews and was happy to see the 2007 batch hit the shelf.

A: Pours a nice golden orange color with a thunderous head. The head is thick foamy. It dies down but enough stays around to leave sheet after sheet of lace.

S: Nice piney aromas with hints of grapefruit. There is a hint of malty toffee sweetness in the background as well.

T: Nice IPA taste. Tons of citrus and a hint of pine. It's a well brewed warming beer. One of the better tasting IPA's out there.

M: Medium bodied yet filling.

D: Soo drinkable. I will be sessioning with this one by the six pack until the shelves are empty.

Overall: I love christmas for all the unique spiced ales. But this is the one I pound season after season. I like to drink all the special brews the best brewers but it's this macro micro that I love. I am a sucker for IPA's and any brewer that would put one out as its christmas brew earns extra points with me. This beer shows that IPA's are for all seasons. Cheers to Sierra Nevada for being different.

tpd975, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of mat5175
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this to try a little fall tour of the Winter Ales.

This pours a nice tan colored head, about a finger thick, that didn't last all that long and left some lacing. Great light amber color with pretty active carbonation.

This has a typical IPA smell. Floral, not as spicy as some of the type, 471 for example. Not as much aroma as some.

This has an average body in on the palate. Nice small and active bubbles.

The taste is very true to the type. Having said this, it isn't impressive for the type either. Very bland on the front, then the hops take over in the aftertaste. Very clean hop taste, bitter, but not as spicy as the IPA's i tend to like better than this one.

This is not a bad IPA at all. If you like IPA's a lot, give this one a try to add to your repetoire. Otherwise try some of the more varied and interesting special winter releases.

mat5175, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of nickfl
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 1.5 fingers of slightly off-white head on top of a slightly hazy, copper colored body.

S - Strong resiny, piney hop aroma. Citrus, caramel, some pine... spicy, peppery.

T - Strong hop flavor and bitterness up front. Black pepper and lemon flavors. Slightly roasty caramel. A little bit of alcohol.

M - Medium body and high carbonation.

D - For such a bitter beer this is quite drinkable. There is a good bit of hop flavor and especially aroma, but this one is really all about the bitterness. I am normally a bit cynical when it comes to super bitter beers from the west coast, but this is a classic. The bitterness is overwhelming, but characterfull. This beer pairs magnificently with rare, tuna soft tacos and hot mango salsa.

nickfl, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of saintwarrick
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally get to try this brew after years of it never being available. Light cloudy amber with a big pale ale head that clings to the glass; a perfect looking beer with a big nose, pine needles, fresh cut grass and some maltiness in the background signal this as a nicely balanced beer. Taste backs that up, the hops are big without being too overwhelming, nice bitter sweetness to the brew. Very smooth and the hop kick at the end gets you good.

Would love to have a keg of this around Christmas with a nice fire. Awesome brew, probably the best I have had from Sierra Nevada.

saintwarrick, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle, 2007 edition. Purchased at Canal's Discount Liquor Store, Black Horse Pike Egg Harbor Twp. NJ.

A: Amber colored. Nice Carbonation rising to a small head. Lacing left up and down the glass

S: Plenty of Hops. Citrusy and piney.

T: Just like it smells. Grapefruit like hops start to finish. Good and not overpowering

M: Crisp and tingly

D: One to savor and enjoy slowly. Glad I have five more from the six pack waiting in the fridge.

Jerzdevil1116, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Pours a gorgeous amber-copper body, clear with ample carbonation. The head is sizable, light tan in color, and shows good retention and lacing. I served this one at ~46 degrees, and the hops were a bit muted in the aroma. As it warmed, though, the foresty, hoppy smell really pulled through. Hints of citrus, pine, and sweetbread are also detected.

The taste is definately in-your-face, with hoppiness to boot. It's a bit one sided, however, and the piney, medicinal hop flavors reminds me more of an English IPA than most of the fruity, resinous american counterparts. Some malts eventually show up as the beer warms, bringing with it a muted sweetness. The mouthfeel is crisp, with a sticky body and a lingering hoppy aftertaste. I like. This isn't an exceptionally easy drink. It does however, pack a punch that hop-heads will love, although fans of english-style IPA's might find it more up their alley.

wagenvolks, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2007, served in a pint glass.

A - orange/amber color with a tan head that settled some, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

S - citrus hop aroma, a bit of malt was detected as I lifted the glass to take a sip.

T - ahhh, hoppy goodness. Hop flavors dominate the taste, malts are barely noticed.

M - medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

D - good beer, goes down easy, celebrate!

JoeyBeerBelly, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of Black7Blue
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - beautiful Amber color and a small, but appetizing head.

Smell - Very aromatic. Not too strong, but light and fresh

Taste - Very original taste. Good classic IPA taste, good out of bottle, but great from the tap.

Mouthfeel - Very nice actually. Most IPAs tend to dry my mouth out, but the Celebration Ale leaves my mouth wanting more.

Drinkability - It's a great beer to enjoy, but you don't want to overload on it. It's the holiday treat we all wait for. Try it any where you can find it, you won't be dissapaointed.

Black7Blue, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean copper color with a light tan head. Aromas of grapefruity/ citrus hops. In the taste, a citrus hop right up front, with a sticky sweet malty backing. A quite smooth, with a small bitter mouthfeel, and a sticky-sweet to dry hoppy aftertaste. Great hop characteristics, easy to drink, and usually the start of my Christmas beers.

OWSLEY069, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of pwoods
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. brown bottle from Krogers in Winton Place, poured into a pint glass.

A: Bright rusty orange pour that's completely transparent. 2 1/2 fingers worth of rocky white head with some great rentention. Finally dies down to a bunch of clumpy islands. Big chunks of lacing at the top followed by good patching.

S: BIG floral, pine-y, and citrus hops all at the same time... All the while having a Christmas-y backbone to it. Smells amazing.

T/M: Bitterness is just amazing. Very strong with just enough malt rescue to save your tongue. Unfortunately, that's all you see of the malts; A slight sweetness to hold back the hops at the last second. Other than that, the hops are awesome. Big juicy grapefruit and lime oily notes and a pine-y and grassy backbone. Body is medium light with a surprising smoothness to it. Finishes nice and dry with lingering bitterness.

D: I'll have quite a bit of this throughout the holidays. Only thing holding back the taste(though not much) is the lack of a more defined malt character. I know hops are supposed to be the mainliner, and I love that, but it needs a bit further touch of complexity from the other side. I also think this would help the mouthfeel a bit, too Appearance was close to a 5, also, but I like my IPA's hazy instead of clear. Knit-picking, maybe. This brew is very close to perfect scores.

pwoods, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of ewright
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a DFH snifter, I got a decent finger's worth of head that was slow to dissipate. There was a small amount of lacing on the side of the snifter. The beer pours a beautiful copper color. The aroma is outstanding... would have received a 5 if it were a bit more bold.

This beer hits the tongue with a vengeance. Hops up front, hops on the back side, malt showing through in fits and spurts. The lupulins dance on the tongue, producing a tingling sensation that cannot come merely from the carbonation. Unlike many winter beers, this one has no added spices... with such a big hop profile, none are needed.

This beer is a bit too strong to be a session beer, but it is an outstanding example of an IPA, which happens to be my favorite style. I'd love to see this one year round!

ewright, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of yemenmocha
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with tan brown head. Small dollops of foam.

Nose is a sharp, herbal, pine cone with lemongrass.

Palate has a nice medley of malt in the background with assertive & pleasingly spicy hops in the forefront. Some sharpness is present, with pine juicyness. Yum.

Finish is long and dry.

yemenmocha, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of JDK
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.5 across the board!
Poured a crystal clear honey amber with a nice 1 finger head that reduced down to 1/2" and stayed throughout the drink, actually had a nice foam ball at the last swallow.
Medium lacing that was quite heavy in some places. Nice clinging that was better than most any other brew I've tried.
Medium mouthfeel with perfect carbonation.
Nice smell of hops, very clean.
Taste was very good, very crisp with a nice citrus after taste. Very refreshing and a great year around beer.

JDK, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of MMAJYK
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Orange, brown (copper) with bright yellow tint. White 1 finger head after a semi aggressive pour. Lacing goes away and is just a little bit sticky.

S- Strong smell of hops, honey, cinnamon and citrus.

T- Very hoppy and bitter. Honey, citrus, and a bitter butterscotch complete the taste.

M- Bitter and semi thin. Carb leaves a sting on the tongue. Mid to high carbonation.

D- Too bitter for me to have a lot. While it is a good beer, there are others out there for the winter that are better. This is an offering that is very unique, and you have to applaude that.

Overall- You must keep in mind that it does carry the "winter brew" name, but not the characteristics. For what it is, an IPA, it is a nice beer. It is hoppy and dry, just like an IPA should be. If you think of it as the typical winter beer, you will definitely be let down.

MMAJYK, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of Traquairlover
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the 2007, drunk from a Guinness pint glass, refrigerated.

A = Nice clear dark amber, light copper colour, one finger of head.

S = Awesome on the nose. Clear and pleasant hops, but not overly aggressive. Some spice apparent after the initial floral impact of the hops. Brings to mind SN's IPA but better balance between the hops and the malt.

T = Taste follows well on the nose. Good healthy taste of hops, slight bitterness but not overdone, with a definite malty backdrop. Should note that though I detected some slight spice in the aroma, I cannot really taste it. The astringency from the hops reappears in the finish which is good but dissipates a little quicker than I would have liked. Above average but not quite distinguishing enough to be great.

M = Slight carbonation tickles the tongue and the felling a pretty smooth but somewhat thin even given the style. Good, but not really anything to set it apart.

D = Very good drink to end a hard day (as I am doing now as I write this). Absolutely nothing against this beer.

There are a lot of beers I might rather drink but would not hesitate to serve this to anyone who comes over. I would echo some other reviews in saying a great IPA, not necessarily a standard approach to a winter brew though.

Traquairlover, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of david131
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A ever so slightly cloudy copper liquid with absolutely no streams of rising carbonation. The head is big, thick, and craggy that simples the top of the liquid and leaves some lacing.

S- Grassy, citrus, a little earthy and a hint of cinnamon. Very malty. I love how subtly spicy this is.

T- Wonderfully hoppy with a smooth, caramel malt backing. A little spicy. Alcohol is just slightly noticeable. I still find it hard to fathom aging this.

M- Very crisp and smooth. Not overly drying. The carbonation level is great.

D- A very tasty and easy to drink beer. I missed this over the past year.

david131, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: 12 ounce bottle w/a freshness date (although a bit challenging to find if you aren't familiar with Sierra Nevada's freshness dating method).

S: Nose of this brew is simply exceptional. The deep cascade hop character is simply fantastic. There are a few other scents in there as well, but the cascade hops purely dominate.

T&M: Just a touch of caramel sweetness and then this brew takes off into one huge cascade hop bite--in an awesome way! The hops linger for a very long period of time, but the whole way through a very faint caramel backbone keeps everything well in check. Especially during the first few sips, the aftertaste of the hops is very prevalent. Mouthfeel is awesome, as it firm, a little creamy, and then thins out just a bit at the end leaving you wanting more.

D: This is simply an awesome brew, something I actually wish Sierra Nevada would just brew year round, as it's without a doubt one of the top IPAs I have ever had. The thing is, if you want a "Holiday Beer" or "Winter Warmer", this may not be you beer, as it doesn't have the holiday spices or typical "Winter Warmer" feel. That being said, the drinkability is very good, although after a few, I think I might have to slow it down, as the high hop character as well as the high ABV are nothing to be fooled around with. To sum up, this is one awesome offering from Sierra Nevada. Buy it while you can. Better yet, buy a lot and save some up, as IPAs tend to age fairly well.

AustinBeerLvr, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of YankChef
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle poured into pint glass. 2007 VIntage

Appearance: Pours a very light brown with a very strong crimson hue, it almost looks like a red ale. 1/2 inch fluffy white head that leaves clinging lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Fresh hop oil hits the nostrils first, subtle fruity aromas penetrate the nostrils next. Fresh grapes, peach,apple and there is definitely a subtle freshly cut grass aroma as well.

Taste: This beer is fresh and the hops dominate. The malt has been given no time to pull through so the flavor is bitter and earthy, not in an unpleasing way. As you drink it the more subtle fruit flavors come out, but this beer is certainly an example of IPA balanced imbalance

Mouthfeel: Dries the mouth out and leaves an alcoholic astringency. Medium carbonation and moderate bodied

Drinkability: The bitterness keeps you wanting more as it seems to taste more and more balanced as you drink it since you palatte has been hammered by the hops

YankChef, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of PhageLab
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 brew poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Nice frothy head on this roasted brown IPA. Took a while for it to disappear too. Laced very well in well rounded layers that reminded me of sedimentary rock.

S - Hoppy pine with some spice and perhaps even nutmeg. Can't even detect the alcohol on this one.

T - Actually not as potent as it smells. Slightly bitter, the hops really shine through and although I wouldn't necessarily consider this a hop bomb, they are without a doubt the dominant force here. Finish is somewhat caramel and sweet.

M - Medium bodied and very dry. Pine aftertaste lingers and yet no residue. Pretty impressive.

D - Good, I could easily kick back with a few more. Overall this is a great beer and I'm actually glad they only release it around the winter, gives me something to look forward to again next year. Recommended.

PhageLab, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A dense wall of white, fluffy head forms from a moderate pour, nearly four fingers worth when allocated to a curvy Samuel Smith pint glass. The head dissipates incredibly slow, leaving behind small trails of lace on its descent. The color is a deep ruby-amber, clear and letting in much light so that it shimmers a bit, looking rather enticing.

S: The aroma of floral hops pervades the nose, with a bit of spiciness, a grassy touch, as well as even a small showing from citrus hop notes. Smells rather well-rounded, and definitely not a hop bomb, but a beer with a defined array of bitterness, in addition to a somewhat sweet side.

T: Introduction is rather mild, but eases right into a hoppy middle that asserts itself, but doesn't kill the palate. A rather herbal and grassy set of flavor profiles enter gradually and lead to a smooth finish. Aftertaste of hop oil lingers pleasantly and then fades out nicely.

M: Solid carbonation and full mouthfeel, which is creamy and effervescent. Hops leave an oily feel on the palate, but as mentioned above, the taste is enjoyable.

D: This is one I look forward to each year, as I find it to be a mild IPA that still brings forth a great deal of hop flavor. Even though it's a seasonal release, Celebration Ale seems quite versatile, as it could work really any time of the year. Great hop profile, plenty of aromatic goodness, and quite a level of drinkability make this one a perfect go-to beer around the holidays.

CharlieMopps, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of MmmIPA
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

I picked up a single bottle of this and plan on buying a case sometime soon.I really enjoyed last years and look forward to trying this years.I have three 06's left and im gonna do a vertical in a few years if i can hold off on the 06's Oh well heres my review.Drank from a tulip glass.

Very clear amber carbonated body with a nice one finger white head.The head is very thick and looks like its going to leave stunning lacing.

Sweet malts,some funky assness,spicey hops.

First sip is some spicey hops then bitterness with some malt rounded out along the front of your tongue.

The CO2 is a bit harsh, just a bit.If that was toned down this beer would be better but the beer is already stunning.The mouthfeel is awesome.Just perfect.

What else could be said about this beer that hasnt been said? Its almost a perfect beer in my eyes and its a shame its only sold during the hopidays.SN,Just a note.Can the Pale Ale and make this a staple in your every day line of brews.

MmmIPA, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of SargeC
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber-gold. Foamy off white head with staying power.

Smell: Strong hops, pine and citrus.

Taste: Hops, citrus peel and pine. Minor hints of malt and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Warm with a good level of dryness.

Drinkability: Good brew. Too bad this celebration is not available year round.

SargeC, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of genog
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage:

Pours an amber, almost burnt orange color with a cloudy body. Rocky, foamy off white almost three inch head that takes a great deal of time to die down. Some excellent lacing that lingers at the top of the glass. Smell is of pine, citrus, caramel malt with a good deal of sweetness in the aroma. Taste is hoppy and a little bit of an oily texture that lingers with some stickyness. A nice deal of warming presence.

genog, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of HombreWing
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Eyes: Pours frothy, dark orange, nice little bubbles,bright

Nose: very little of anything, some hops ...I will smell again another night and update

Tongue: A fine balance of light sweet caramel malts and spicy NW hops

Texture: Quite lively in the mouth, very mildly soapy, smooth as it breathes in the glass

Mouth happiness: I'll take it every time...the fact it's a seasonal spaces it out just right, the desire for it, in a land now filled with great IPA's

HombreWing, Nov 12, 2007
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,439 ratings.