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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.

9,254 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,254
Reviews: 3,333
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,192 | FT: 1
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: 9,254 | Reviews: 3,333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jera1350
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is for a 2003 bottle that I picked up at my local store. They had a vertical starting with the 2003 batch.

Appears a caramel brownish orange color with a one finger light tanned head.

Despite the age, this still has a nice hop scent to it. Slightly warm and boozy smell, but dominated by sweet caramel and toffee malts. A little buttery toast as well.

Light bittering hops, but the malts are the highlights in this one. Apricot, caramel, toffee and buttery toast are all present. Really interesting. There is a bit of citrus as well. Pretty complex malt profile. I like the age on this.

Medium bodied with an extremely dry finish. Almost like a tannic red wine. Some active carbonation on the tongue that mellows quickly.

Even with the age, it's still apparent that this is a very good IPA. I will have to pick up some fresh bottles to make my comparison. With the age on this bottle, I'm really excited to try some fresh.

Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce "2009" edition bottle into a standard pint glass
Golden amber in color, with a big, fluffy head of foam
Aroma-Definite hop nose, some biscuit
Taste-I didn't realize that this is considered an IPA until I saw the style type-It certainly makes sense as it has a definite hoppy backbone and some subtle spices to give it a little zing.
Very tasty and drinkable-A fine "Christmas" ale

Photo of atremains
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice look to this one. Orange amber with an off white head that boasts some exceptional retention. Lacing is also very good. Carbonation is strong in the appearance. The smell is kind of restrained. Malts and hops. Pine. Taste redeems the smell though, piney hops, wood-like flavor feel to it, malts. The hops linger and give a bit of a nice warming. Malts also serve to balance well, although the hops have more of a say. Creamy mouthfeel with a nice coating of hoppy goodness on the tongue, carbonation is good here as well. This may be my favorite of the SN offerings.

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

Pours an orangeish slighlty yellow amber with a nice fluffy, white head.

Smells like a slightly hoppier SNPA. But it is also malty, it basically smells like a SNPA on steroids.

Taste is pretty lemony with that sorta of meh SNPA bitterness. Some pine gradually hits the taste buds as you go along with the alcohol.

It is a good IPA, not the first thing I think of for winter though, seems like your typical west coast IPA but slightly more pedestrian coming out of Sierra Nevada. 3.00 a bottle isn't bad but there are some more barleywine type IPA's id go for before this one during winter. I like it better than the original SNPA, it is similar but has a bit more body, a bit more character, and a bit more substance to it. It tastes more like a small run brew than the massive operation SNPA is.

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

24oz (perfect size, IMO) bottle picked up today at Table and Vine. Pours a semi-translucent orange-amber. Matter can be seen floating in tiny pieces throughtout the whole glass. The head is very nice, three fingers to begin with but dies down to two fingers and stays nice and creamy, very good retention. The head already begins to leave thick lacing down the glass as it dies down. One of the best looking beers I have ever seen. Smell is pretty simple but good. Smells of basically light malts and piney hops, a good balance of the two. Also some citrus can be picked up here too. The overall strength could be a bit higher though. Taste here is also simple and basically the same as the smell. The balance between the malts and hops is great. The huge amount of piney hop flavor reminds me of the holiday season and is very effective. Some citrus can be picked up but it is tasteful and adds a nice element in the background of the pine hops. A downside here is the alcohol will come into play when it warms up and it ruins hte flavor for me, try and enjoy this one while its pretty cool. Mouthfeel is fitting. It is moderate bodied with a decent creamyness, nice medium carbonation and no alcohol warming(when its cool). The hops leave a nice coat on the tongue that will last for a long time after the beer is finished. The MF suits the flavors well. Drinkability is good. The taste is great, the only thing here is the hops that will die down and the beer will taste like alcohol. The price is great ($3.50 a 24oz). I will probably buy this one while it is out for some good sessions to come.

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

A: Slightly hazy copper color. A half finger of white head with some very impressive lacing.Visible carbonation.

S: Hops and I expect nothing more and nothing less from Siera Nevada. Has a little bit of spice to it.

T: Now it reminds me of a torpedo light with a touch of spice to it. How do they get that touch of spice? It is one of the most boring and great IPAs out there.

M: Very fresh mouthfeel. Nicely carbonated. Little bit sticky.

D: I remember having this beer about 10 years ago and I hated it. It tasted like a poinsettia to me. Now I want a keg of this in my house. There is a reason this has been around so long and is so popular.

Photo of portia99
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2009 release, poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a mostly clear with a touch of suspended yeast, deep copper color with a finger of dense white head. Head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a thick collar around the glass.

S - A nice mix of spicey and citrusy hops with some pine mixed in. Grapefruity and piney with a touch of caramel malt in the background.

T - Sharply bitter, a good blend of citrusy hop flavor, pine, grassiness, light caramel, a touch of alcohol.

M - Fairly light in body, gives a thin mouthfeel. Good carbonation that seems to bring the bitterness to the forefront. Mouth feels tingly after the swallow, like there is some residual carbonation left behind.

D - One of my go to beers in the fall/winter. This is an extremely drinkable IPA for me. Plenty of bitterness, tons of hop flavor and really well balanced, and at 6.8% this one won't kill you. Good winter all day beer.

Photo of BigDank
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a Slaapmutske glass a not too hazy medium amber with a tall creamy white head that is slow to dissipate, leaving a heavy lacing all the way around. The hops jumps at nose right from the pour. Slightly floral scent but not extreme. The taste is mellow, bitterness is medium. Not much of a bite to this one but to some that is a good thing. Carbonation is medium to high giving the hops an extra boost. Drinkability is good and I would say this would be a good one to drink on any occasion. Would be nice to drink a few on a cold winter day, just could use a little more alcohol. You know, for the warming. :D Overall one of the best offerings from this brewery.

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

a: Slightly cloudy copper color. Pours with a medium sized fizzy head.

s: Big hop aromas, mostly citrus with plenty of earthy pine. Sweet caramel balance as well.

t: Tingly, lemony hops with a little grapefruit and pine. Moderate caramel sweetness in the backround.

m: Creamy and full bodied.

d: A baragin at twice the price. Something to look forward to every year.

Photo of TommyW
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Slightly hazy gold body with a big, bubbly, off-white head.

S- A note of toasted malt but the mild-grapefruity hops really dominate the nose.

T- There is a brief taste of malt but then comes in a nice mix of hops ranging from a mild grapefruit to floral to almost tea like. The hops leave a short, lingering bitterness.

M- There must be a higher malt level (although not so noticeable in the taste) because this brew has a nice full feel to it. Nice carbonation as well.

D- This is definitely a great IPA to turn to during the winter months; the nice full feel makes it comforting when it gets cold out.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper, amber color with a nice rising off white head. Plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of a big delicious hop aroma. A big pine scent with some citrus and earthy notes.

Tastes of the big hops upfront with a solid malt backbone. The hops are a big chewy pine with some citrus. Plenty of bitterness to this one. But the malt is able to hold its own and has a nice toasted bread undertone to the whole brew.

Mouthfeel is a good medium with a good amount of carbonation.

Photo of OldYoda
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 version. Poured from the bottle into my Duvel goblet with an nice head and some lace. A very pretty dark copper color.

Smell is more subdued than I expected from other reviews, and not nearly as hoppy as I expected. Some citrus and pine but also a nice malty character.

Taste closely follows the smell. A very well balanced offering.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp with a nice bitter finish.

Drinkability is fine - several of these would be just fine with me.

Note: I like this better than last year's version.

Photo of PaleAlien2
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful copper color with a HUGE cream-colored head. Maintained an almost one-finger head the entire time I drank it.

A little disappointing in the smell department. Hops come through strong, but not much else.

Classic American IPA. Huge hop kick in the finish. Hop spices tingle the tongue long after swallow. Some citrus notes in there too. Quite good.

Medium body. Mouthfeel is just right.

I downgraded it a bit on drinkability just because of the hop factor. It burns up the taste buds pretty quick.

Photo of drunkboxer1
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep gold pour into a pint glass. Oily looking bubbles. Smells a little sweet, like pale malts. Also a good amount of hops. I honestly forgot this was a IPA, despite the fact that I know I've had it a few years ago. The bitterness isn't overwhelming, but its there. Hop flavor dominates. Definately some piney american hopes in there. There may be some British hops, giving some earthy/metally flavors. Can't really tell right now. Not bad. I think I like their torpedo a little better.

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

Pours a deep copper with a two finger head after a hard pour.Well carbonated as co2 leaps out of the glass.
Bready in the nose...remind me of bread dough rising at room temperature. Hoppy citrus notes permeate the nose.
Taste is great...hops,bitter, hops and did aI mention bitter?
Nice malty undertones and a very nice mouthfeel.

Photo of BarrelO
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

Ruby red body with a big white head. Smell is completely dominated by citrusy hops. The taste is another matter altogether. This is surprisingly malt-forward for an IPA, with the hops just kind of lingering in the background. It's very good overall, but it doesn't really feel like an IPA to me. I think of it as more of a mini-barleywine or hoppier than usual old ale. That's OK, though, since when I think of the holidays, "hop bomb" isn't really the first thing that comes to mind.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well the label looks like christmas so I will say this is my first christmas beer.

Poured into my chimay goblet the beer is dark orange brown. The off withe head is a least an inch high and fully envlopes the entire top of my glass. Lots of sticky lace clings around the rim after a brief rest.

The aroma is very hoppy. Plenty of grapefruit and pine sap. Some maltiness is there as well.

The flavor is subdued hops with loads of malt. Some grapefruit but not overloaded. The bready wheat cracker malt takes the reigns and drives this beer.

Medium body light carbonation. Nothing real noteworthy in the feel.

Overall a decent beer. I'm not sure what sets this apart from every other AIPA. Drinkable.

Photo of ImusBeer
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had a few of these for quite some time in the beer fridge. There was a bit of sediment on the bottom which got into the glass since I wasn't really looking for it.

It poured a copper-gold color with an off white head, about two fingers that stayed for quite some time and died to a small quarter inch that stuck around. There was a bunch of lace that accumulated on the glass as I drank.

My daughter even voiced that the pine sap aroma was quite strong. Also sensed some citrus in there as well.

The taste was dominated by bitter pine and all the hops you would expect. The mouth was bitter with a very dry aftertaste, what you would expect from a nice IPA and why it is one of my favorite styles.

It's a little too much bitterness for a session beer but a really nice and enjoyable brew.

4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's my favorite time of year again-- Sierra Nevada Celebation Ale is here! The 2009 version poured as beautifully as ever into a pint glass. The bottle had a bit of sediment at the bottom, so I poured carefully and stopped with about 1/4" remaining.

The first sip was as crisp and hoppy as I remembered from last year, and the year before that, and...well, you get the idea. It's the reason I only drink this beer from now until I can't get it anymore in February! The hops are floral but are balanced by an earthier or maltier quality. As the beer sits and warms it only gets smoother and tastier.

This is the perfect, hoppy beer for drinking one after another on a cold night. It can't get much better than this beer in my book, but I am an IPA lover!

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.02/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brown 2008 bottle, with 350ml of beer for 69 pence from a cut-price store in Wellington, Shropshire, couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them lined up on the shelf.

I poured it into a 'Hoegaarden Grand Cru' stemmed tulip glass, why not let it live a little before I drank it?

I allowed the whole bottle to enter the glass, so it looked a dull dark orange colour and was obviuosly cloudy. The head was a frothy off-white pile and the beer looked cool in its unfamilier glass.

Hops, hops and hops hit my nose, some yeast smells tried to get out too.

In the taste the hops took over again, wave after wave of them, nothing else could force its way through, a dry bitterness from the said hops appeared to be unchecked, but a slight fruity flavour (apples, pears and berries) did turn up in the aftertaste.

Plenty of body, not rich or creamy, just body.

Pleasant, but just a bit too hoppy for my palate.

Photo of kurp001
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle bought at Beltway Fine Wine

Pours a bright amber with about one finger of off-white rocky head that gradually dies down, leaving a fair amount of lacing.

A grassy, piney hop aroma is the predominant thing that comes through on the smell. A faint barley character is detectable somewhere in the background.

Taste features a well-rounded hop punch upfront that offers a sustained bitterness throughout, although some vague biscuit malt hints start to make their presence known midway. The finish is again dominated by the hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a perfect amount of carbonation for the style--not too aggressive, but enough to keep things interesting.

Celebration Ale is very drinkable, in my opinion; the hops are not overpowering, nor is the supporting malt backbone. This is my first Celebration Ale of the season, and I feel that I've been reminded once again of one of the many reasons I love winter.

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

The last time this brew came around, I wasn't into IPA's enough to bother trying it. I have come a long way since then (a very long way...) and I'm glad to say I finally got the chance to try this.

Poured into my Town Hall tasting glass. Surprisingly light golden amber. Clear to the naked eye, but when held into the light, you can see suspended sediment and tiny floaties all over. Nice smooth and creamy light tan head with good retention. Leaves nice lacing all down the glass.

The nose is nice and hoppy, so glad I can try this fresh. The hops are a subtle battle between floral and fruity hops against piney and earthy hops. In the end, I think the floral hops slightly out-duel the earthy hops in the nose.

The taste kinda goes the other way, in that the earthy piney hops win out over the floral hops. There is a light sweet malt backbone in between all the hops. This is some tasty stuff, can't imagine I would have enjoyed it a year ago, but at this point I'm realizing I was missing out.

Mouthfeel is a little lighter than I would have hoped, but it has a nice appropriate carbonation level. Easy going down with a light lingering bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is great, this is the ultimate session brew, and a great IPA for the holidays.

I'm glad I went for the whole 12 pack, rather than just a sixer. But then again...I have a feeling this 12 pack isn't going to last long...

Photo of WCBCFrank
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every holiday season there is at least a 12 pack of these wonderfully hopped beers in my fridge...pours a crisp bright amber with a great fluffy head; awesome amount of hops (dry hopped with Cascade and Centennial) and great crisp tasting, it makes you want another sip almost immediately....a masterpiece of brewing.

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

Poured 2009 vintage 24oz bomber into Pinot wine glass.
A-Poured a nice amber color with ample amounts of head that stuck nicely to the sides of the glass.
S-Not as good as I had hoped but opened up as it warmed up. Hops, sweet caramel malt.
T-Nice IPA fruit/pine taste on the front with a nice malty backbone to this one, little taste of yeast on the backend.
M-Great mouthfeel with good amounts of carbonation that has a medium body.
D-Very nice easily finished my 24oz and was looking for more.

Photo of charlieos
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really excited to try this, expecting it to be much heftier and spiced. Frankly, it tastes like SN Pale Ale with a bit of pumpkin spice at the end. Maybe I've been spoiled by darker, sweeter, heftier beers, but I was really disappointed here.

Its a tasty session beer for not too much money. Its vaguely spicy, and is (as SN Pale Ale is) a well balanced IPA.

It is not going to change your life or make you think.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,254 ratings.