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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.

9,190 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,190
Reviews: 3,324
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: 9,190 | Reviews: 3,324 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 & 2009 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale poured from the bottle although I have had this ale on tap as well.
A: Poured a nice cider like reddish brown with a nice fluffy head that slowly receded.
S: Mild smell of hops and spices. Piney aroma
T: hoppy from beginning to end. Slight malt flavor up front
M: Medium
D: Most certainly

Smooth up front with a definite hops back end! For an American IPA it is pretty tasty, although I probaby would reach for a Two Hearted first before this, it still is a great choice

Photo of atpben
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at the Tap House In Norfolk. Reviewed from notes taken. Poured into a pint glass. Poured a dark amber color, with a head that diminishes quite rapidly. Good lacing as you finish the beer. Lot of citrus and pines in the aroma. The taster had more of the pine, some grapefruit and wood? and mint which was just great and just the right amount of spice. Wow what a great beer. What a great beer from a great brewery. Can't wait to have some more, specialy on tap. Awesome.

Photo of drcarver
3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Bright amber color with a large off-white head. Good lacing left by a slowly fading head.

A - A strong smell of hops and alcohol comes with the pour. Not malt or yeast aroma to be found.

T - The flavors are very sharp. SLightly acidic and bitter in the finished. The bitterness hangs in the mouth long after finished.

M - Light bodied. Lively with carbonation

D - Goes down very easily

Photo of theBubba
2.23/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Celebration. Nice amber color...nice head...nice lace that sticks to the glass long after it's empty.

After that it's all hops that will leave your mouth searching for a piece of cheese and a good oatmeal stout or wit to "celebrate". Or some toothpaste. Your choice.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is a slightly spicy overly hopped adventure into a very bitter realm. For "hop-heads" only.

Photo of Martin2D
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby red mixed with amber with a huge white head

S - Hops and Christmas spice

T - First hit with Christmas spices, then the hop bitterness follows. Extremely balanced in both sweetness and the hop bitterness.

M - Medium-heavy carbonation and medium in body

D - This one completely threw me off. IPA is kind of a stretch. Should be a "Christmas IPA." So different from any other IPA, this one deserves to be recognized as a great. Could drink this all night long.

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a classic hazy burnt orange color. Deep brown tinges. Thick white head.
Smell of deep malt with some classic flowery hop smell on top.
Complex of flavor with some light hops and citrus rind up front followed by some spice and sweet malt faintly.
The finish is long and hoppy.
Very sessionable.

Photo of michaelgrant1983
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color and head on the beer are both great. Decent smell on the ale, not what I expected though. The taste itself wasn't bad, just not impressive either. For all the noise about how great this beer was I was not impressed at all. It tasted like a stronger SN Pale Ale. That idea sounds like it would be a great brew, but something missed in this beer. Just flat didn't like it.

Photo of NatetheGreat
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is just such a different beer for a winter ale. But when you need a hop fix in the dead of winter, I guess this is a lifesaver.

Absolutely huge head, beautiful ruby color glowing with orange and scarlet highlights. The aroma is hoppy, very fresh, with orange peel, fresh cut leaves and floral and spicy notes.

Taste is not very balanced, IMO, even hoppier than aroma. It's a hop explosion with very fresh leafy and flowery notes and some bitter citrus fruits - malt is there, not totally overwhelmed, but still overshadowed. Some sugery candy-like flavor. The feel is smooth and creamy and the drinkability could be better if not the alcohol were not so noticeable and the hops weren't so assertive. But, like I mentioned, if you're looking for a hop moment, here it is.

Photo of TheChauffeur1
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will skip the standards with this many reviews. This is a good looking beer with a spicy smell and great head. This beer is just plan awesome for the winter months. I always start off with this beer when we get into the Christmas ales. And what a great way to start a session. IMO this is what I did about a beer just damm well balanced and oh so good. You should really enjoy this one. Later

Photo of u2carew
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A) Pours with an active and frothy head. Copper colored. Some haze (from the chill?).
S) Floral hop notes with some earthiness. A slight sweet aroma.
D) Mild malty / caramel sweetness in the nose and through. Bold bitterness and earthiness in the aftertaste. Full of hop love.
M) Crisp and clean yet smooth and refreshing on the palate.
D) Sierra Nevada always puts together a great pale ale and this is one of them!

Photo of rodney45
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a ruby red good looking beer. Head sticks around for a bit, and the beer is well carbonated. Centennial hops really permeate off this brew and i get a slight caramel hit too, with all voices screaming drink me. Hops are fantastically well balanced in this beer along with the winter spices( ie nutmeg & cinnamon), and the beautifully balanced malt. If anything dominated this brew it would be the sincere craft feel and the way in which it captures the essence of a true holiday IPA. If I had to drink a single beer for the rest of my days, this would be it.

Photo of adamette
2.79/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from a bottle into my Great Lakes Christmas Ale goblet. 2008 version.

A Generous 2 inch head sticks around for several minutes over a burnt orange but translucent body with visible sediment floating around. Actually a nice look!

S Hops bitterness dominates. I do not like this smell but it is appropriate to the style.

T Hops are too much, grapefruit bitterness that is so disagreeable to me. This bottle is a bit aged as compared with the version that I had on tap so I think that the hops are a bit more muted (thank God) but they are still very much there. This is a one note beer and a big disappointment.

M Full with hops bitterness. Appropriate to the style and boring.

D Not good. One and done for me.

Notes: I was curious to try this, rate it since it has about 4 months on it. I was hoping that a bit more of the malt came through but I was dissapointed. The unimaginative use of hops in this beer is annoying.

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice tanned caramel brown with some amber colouring in there too. Slightly browned offwhite head.

Smells of malt and a little bit of fruity spice in there too.

Tastes of malt after a suprisingly hoppy initial hit.

mouthfeel of decent carbonation and medium body.

Just shy of 7% abv, and hidden well


Photo of jwhawkins81
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on 11/8/08: fresh 2008 vintage with some updates from a 2010 tasting

Aroma - Fruity hoppiness dominates this beer similar to DFH 90 min

Appearance - Plenty of carbonation off thick off-white head

Taste - Very similar to DFH 90 min but without the balance of a sweet maltiness

Mouthfeel - Decent medium body that fits this beer well

Drinkability - Sharp hops all day long upfront and on the way down. I wonder how it will age. The rest of the six pack went in the cellar for another taste in November 2009.

Photo of illidurit
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle to pint glass. Copper color with a light tan frothy head. Aroma is grapefruity cascade hops with some grass/spiciness. Flavor is dull semisweet caramel maltiness with generic cascade character. Astringent with moderate bitterness, slightly acrid. Overrated.

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

Deep and rich Red, almost crimson in color. Poured with an amazingly frothy head.
Aroma is earthy and pungent, almost turpy.
Taste- clean and bitter, rich with viscosity citrusy almost lemony finish with lingering bitterness that just seems to coat the mouth and tongue
Fabulous beer by SN. These guys have got this beer dialed right. It's an amazingly easy drinker despite it's 6+ % abv. Get some. Hands down one of my favorite beers.

Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Version - On Tap at the Fish Bowl

A: Darker amber body.. offwhite head with moderate retention and quality lacing.

S: Citric hops with a nice orange-grapefruit character... some piney and floral hops also outline the subtle malt body.

T: Much like the nose, this has a prominent hop flavor... pine and orange-grapefruit... balanced without losing touch with what we all want in an IPA, the hops.

M: Smooth carbonation, medium body. Crisp finish.

D: An all around quality IPA that is a welcome treat during the winter months.

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

12oz 2008 bottle pours a slightly cloudy amber (much darker than an average IPA) - you can see some suspended particles. Leaves medium lacing.

Smell is piney. There are some lighter citrus notes and a hint of honey-sweetness malt, especially as it warms. Some grass too.

The first sip is all about the piney hops, bold and bright. In the back of the mouth we add some grapefruit and citrus hops. There is a slight hint of malty presence, though with the color and smell I thought maybe there would be more presence. Leaves a biting dry mouth and higher carbonation leaves some tingle in the mouth.

Really a solid example of an IPA. Hops dominated, tasty - though that being said, I wouldn't want to sip on it forever.

Photo of dismal
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a really nice light copper, amberish color with a hint of orange. It produces a very nice head that sticks around for quite some time that leaves some very nice lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is very hoppy and piney. The taste is bitter in a very good way and right away you can tell it's pretty hoppy. The aroma, taste, and mouthfeel are all great in this beer. I could drink this all day easily. I love this beer, another great beer from a great brewery. It's to bad it's only seasonal, I guess it's good since I can look forward to it every year!

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

What a great idea...in a seasonal market flooded with winter warmers and old ales, Sierra Nevada comes out with a good old ipa. Way to be original, just because it is winter does not mean tongue doesn't need hops!
Pours a light orange with an off-white head composed of small bubbles that cling to the glass for dear life.
Smells of piney hops, the pine dominates the scent and flavor profile. There is a decent malt backbone that the hops ride in on.
The taste is the same, a pine front with a sweet finish, I am beginning to understand more why this is a winter seasonal. Like a lovely christmas tree in a glass.
The mouth is smooth and creamy with perfectly played carbonation.
This beer is very easy to drink, and the moderate abv means you can have a few.

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

In a goblet:

Really great webby lacing and a decent head over an attractive dark amber hue. Head looks a bit sticky and holds on tight to the class. The nose involves common IPA aromas of lemon and grapefruit, with a bit of clove in there. The taste is quite floral with an extremely pleasant bitter aftertaste. The body is unfortunately thin, but is well carbonated. The brew is not overwhelming to the palate through its subtle use of fruit flavor and good level of bitter, making it both delicious and drinkable.

Overall: I reviewed this beer when it was at least 4 months old, but the argument has been made that this IPA holds up well to aging. This is definitely a beer to stock up on: great value for an exceptional IPA.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer from a bottle into a glass. The color is medium-brown with a slight white lacing, with little retention. The flowery smell of the hops is pleasant and not overpowering. A nice, hoppy flavor hits the palate up front. There is a slgiht bitter that lingers after each sip, but overall the flavor is great for an IPA. The mouthfeel was average, but nothing impressive. Only a slight hint of carbonation, but it works well enough for the beer. For an IPA from Sierra Nevada, I expected this beer to be less drinkable, but surprising, this does not overpower with flavor or alcohol content.

Overall, this was a really good to great IPA. One of the best winter seasonals out there. Worth a try.

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

A: Poured a reddish amber color with a generous 3 finger beige head. The retention was fantastic, as was the amount of lacing left on the glass.
S: Piney, citrus,hoppy, caramel malt, and brown sugar.
T: Sweet with a very hoppy spicy finish. Pretty decent and tasty.
M: A bit thin bodied, but a good amount of carbonation.
D: Fairly drinkable, the hop taste is good. The price is pretty good too. Overall, a decent IPA at a decent price.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper amber color with about a finger and a half of beige head that slowly subsides and leaves some nice lacing.

Lots of pine and citrus from the hops show up in the aroma.

Hops definitely come through in the taste with notes of grapefruit, pine and also some subtle caramel notes. Mostly hoppy with a very faint malt presence.

Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. At first, I found this to be a little too bitter but I quickly warmed up to it. I would definitely drink these again but I probably wouldn't care to have too many in one sitting.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear light amber color with a huge reddish-tan head that slowly fades to a fluffy mesa surrounded by sheets of lace. A great looking beer.

Aroma is superbly fresh grassy hops and just enough honey-sweet caramel maltiness. Hints of clover, pears and Kix cereal.

Floral hop flavor profile while not going overboard on the bitterness. Smooth caramel and toasty maltiness provides just enough balance to keep it from being a hoppy mess. What I love about this beer is that there is no indications of oxidation or any other off flavors. A great beer and is quite possibly my favorite SN brew.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,190 ratings.