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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.

9,197 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,197
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 283
Gots: 1,130 | 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: 9,197 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoppheadIPA
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of the bottle a deep hazy copper color with an pillowy white head that sticks to the glass producing some excellent lacing as I drink. Smells of citrus hops. A very clean crisp scent that matches the flavor of clean hops with some malt in the backround. A bit thicker than most IPAs but all in all an excellent beer. Drinkability is good. I could have a few of these. Yum

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

The beer pours a deep copper color which turns more orange when held up to the light. There is a good amount of carbonation present which adds to the brew being mostly opaque. There is a nice white two finger head that left lacing throughout the entire glass.

It comes as no surprise that the aroma is dominated by hops, hops, and more hops. The sweet malt is also present along with some citrus fruit. I am picking up grapefruit or some sour lemon.

The first thing I noticed was the sour citrus fruit. However, this was immediately overpowered by a blast of hops. There is a hint of malt but it is dominated by the hop flavor. I can catch a bit of spice toward the end, but very little. The beer finishes dry, very clean and simply refreshing. The aftertaste brings back a tad of the citrus fruits mixed with the somewhat bitter taste you come to expect from the style. Even at 6.8% abv. the alcohol is barely noticeable.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my last bottles from a 12 pack from Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH.

A: Pours amber colored with a white head....good lacing on the glass

S: Smells hoppy, fruity, citrusy

T: Tastes similar to the smell with some hop bitterness at the end with a crisp, refreshing finish...i have notice this tastes WAY more bitter when drinking while eating

M: thick for an IPA with above average carbonation

D: Highly drinkable, it's refreshing and solid flavor without tasting alcohol makes this a great session beer

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

A - Pours an amber color with great head retention. Lacing forms as the head recedes! Foam looks very frothy and thick. The beer itself looks clear with mild carbonation.

S - Instant hoppy aroma consumes the senses. Citrus and some spicy node follows suit.

T - Malts surround the palate, though bitterness ensues fairly quickly afterward with a lasting tingly feeling on the palate.

M - Almost creamy taste rushes over the tongue at first and thereafter numbs the sensation with hops. Though not spiced, some sort of spice comes across the palate, so possibly a specific type of hops or malt.

Conclusion - Great beer, very drinkable. Seems to taste better at cooler temps than when warmer. As always, great quality from an amazing brewery!

Photo of fosterific
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer looks great poured into a glass. It has a translucent golden-amber color with a solid custard colored head.

The glass explodes with the dominating crisp aroma of hops, lot and lots of hops.

As the smell foreshadowed, my palate is submerged in the bitterness and teasing of hops that encourages just one more sip before I set the glass down.

The carbonation level gives the beer a light, crisp mouth feel.

I always enjoy a well hopped beer such as this and am curious as to how this AIPA will age. With any hoppy beer though, I can only handle so many before needing a break of malty goodness.


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

2007, aged a little over a year.

A- murky dark golden/amber color with a foamy off-white head with great retention and lacing as the beer goes down.

S- citrus fruits and malty. a hint of hops, so they are still there, but they have definitely degraded over a year.

T- orange up front with some malts and a sweetness that i cant quite place. the hops are only noticeable in the finish when it leaves you with a lingering bitterness.

M- Medium bodied and smooth.

D- i could (and have) drink celebration all night. it goes down easy and begs you to have another.

overall i would say that i like them fresh more than aged. that being said, this is the third aged one i've had and ive found them all to be very good. with a year on it, it tastes more like a hopped up APA than an AIPA.

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Every winter I look forward to this beer, and now that I'm drinking my last one while listening to the hockey game I suppose I should review one. Of course I'll have another couple weeks of finishing off the stray bottle that the local bars have leftover...

A: I've always enjoyed the color of this beer. It's dark for your average IPA, maybe flirting with an amber a little. Pours with about a half inch of head on it.

S: I can really smell the cascades in this one, a very enjoyable wave of pine and citrus.

T: Kind of like winning the Stanly Cup, it never gets old. Hops hops and hops, with a little bit of malt too it.

M: If there is one problem with the mouthfeel, it's a little overcarbonated for my taste.

D: As I lie in bed each morning and ask myself why I should put both my feet on the floor there are precious few reasons I've been able to come up with. The chance to escape my girlfriend's morning breath, sure. Celebration Ale? It's too early to drink but people it is never to early to think about it.

Photo of Willamette
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 - 12oz - 45~50 deg. - nonic

This was among the ugliest beers I've drank (or is it drunk?). It had head, color and lacing so it wasn't all bad, but the iced-tea amber color with suspended grit and roaming chunks made it look really home-style. It's a good thing 'looks aren't everything', the aroma and taste easily make up for the appearance. Hops forward, followed closely by caramel and then malt. Tastes very much like it smells but has a strong, enjoyable bitter edge. It's getting prettier...
It's been a while since I've had Celebration and I don't remember it being this good. I want to say that this could be THE standard for an American IPA. Not too much west coast hoppyness (barely), and a clear caramel /malty core that I associate with eastern styles (as if I actually had a clue).
Others here have described it far better than I can but this is well worth drinking and should be sought out.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not having any more Wet Hop Harvest, I switched to the Celebration Ale.

A: A really deep dark amber color with a very nice and distinct off white head. Lots of lacing that is long lasting.

S: Mainly a hoppy scent of pine, citrus and other fruit. Some spice and malt undertones.

T: At first the beer tasty a little malty, but soon thereafter, the hops hit you. Not overly balanced, but very distinct flavors.

M: A little slick, left the mouth feeling a tad oily.

D: A very nice IPA, worthy of multiple in one sitting.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. I'm not sure what we're Celebrating, but I figured I'd snag a six pack since there weren't many left and see what the Celebration is all about.

Pours a very nice clear see-through amber. Huge foamy thick tan head that leaves abundant lacing. This one was an over pour.

Aroma is of piney hops and spice. There's also some fruity sweetness in there.

Taste is entirely hops. Slick, oily, piney hops. The malt is present enough to provide some balance and keep this from being ultra-bitter. Nice dry finish, with a little spicy aftertaste.

This is a beer that definitely leaves you wanting more. It clings to your tongue just enough to remind you that there's still some left in the glass and whispers gently for you to drink it. And then another. And then another.

This beer is definitely worth Celebrating.

Photo of Risser09
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy brown with hazy orange/red highlights. The head is 2.5" tall and has a cream color. Great retention and lots of sticky, foamy, spidery lace. Great.

Smell: Grapefruit hops blend with equally strong pine hops. An underlying malt base brings some balance to the brew.

Taste: Rich, malty base gives way to grapefruit and pine. Slightly floral with rose and hyacinth. Turns into a smooth winter ale as the bitterness diminishes.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, bitter, sweet and versatile. This could be one of the best winter type ales out there. Mild alcohol warmth. Medium body.

Drinkability: As usual, Sierra Nevada doesn't disappoint. Plenty of American style bitterness. A true classic of a winter release. Solid beer.

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

Pours a dark amber and a slight clarity. Retains a two finger off-white head that slowly moves to a nice collar and excellent laciness. Fresh aroma with some spice, but mainly piney. Good smell. Taste is mellow and balanced with pine and a slight malt taste. There is a slight bitterness, but smooths out. Texture is viscous but not heavy bodied. Good drinking beer, very enjoyable. A bit on the sweet side so only a couple at a time.

Photo of davexisxrabid
2.85/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This ale poured a nice clear amber color. You could see faint carbonation climbing its way to the thick and foamy 3/4" head.

Nice aroma of biscuit dough, citrus, pine and grapefruit.

Semi-sweet taste at first immediately followed by a sharp bitter hop taste and a rather unpleasant metallic taste.

The very bitter unbalanced flavors seemed to stick to my palate, which didn't bode well for its mouthfeel or drinkability. The bitter metallic aftertaste sticks around on your palate and detracts from what should be an enjoyable experience.

Not very drinkable in my opinion - it was a bit too hoppy for my taste, even for an IPA and the aftertaste did not make the experience any better. I know a lot of people enjoy Sierra Nevada stuff, but just about everything I've tried has been disappointing and unfortunately I had higher hopes for this ale.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Amber/copper colored poured with a 1 finger head that leaves good lacing.

S: Ruby Red Grapefruit kind of smell. Some piney hops working in the background.

T: Big grapefruit flavor with a nice hop presence. Leaves a nice oiliness from the hops in your mouth.

M: Nice hoppiness going on with a medium body. Again leaves a nice oiliness in your mouth.

D: I can and have drank Celebration all night. great beer and a very drinkable one at that and also at a great value! Something to look forward to all year long!

Photo of DeepSix
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Deep amber, almost red color. Was surpised to see this was an IPA when I poured it. About a half finger of head was made.

The smell was not overwhelming hop, actually smelled more malt here.

Ah...here's the IPA! Much more of a hop taste then I smelt. Not too overwhelming and there is a good bit of malt here. I like the "balance" for an IPA. Medium mouthfeel here, with moderate carbonation.

Great seasonal offering here, could drink it all day, just a good IPA too.

Photo of spycow
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Celebration Ale
Poured into a Nonic glass from the 12oz bottle

A - Poured an amber-light brown color with small but constant head. It coats the glass nicely when drinking.

S - Smell of a good hoppy beer. Chinook hops are noticeable with a smoky, strong yet pleasant smell with a light floral character.

T - Can taste the use of the various hops typical of a good IPA. IPA's are one of favorite styles. I love the bitter but not overwhelming flavor that leaves an aftertaste that lasts for minutes after. Even though slightly strong you can't taste the alcohol.

M - It has a great feel in the mouth. I like how it coats your mouth for an IPA leaving you wanting more.

D - Extremely drinkable and excellent example of an american IPA. One of those you can sit down and drink several wanting more.

A great example of an american ale that is worth spending the extra dollars for. It is always a staple for me during the holiday season.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly darker and definitely more red in color than SN pale ale. Could be the pour, but the head also fluffed up more than the pale ale I had just prior. Just as clear, less fizzy, and more red (almost pinish, even)--for me those are all positives. Less hops and more malt both in the smell and in the taste. This is a very nice beer--somewhere between a red and a pa/ipa--and that suits me just fine. It's not as big as many seasonal releases; I expected it to be a slightly bigger beer, closer in that regard to Bigfoot. But there is nothing to complain about and plenty to enjoy. As it warms, a nice malty sweetness becomes more noticeable. This is definitely a beer that you could drink all night at a holiday celebration.

Photo of froghop
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

vintage 2008.

pour is a semi-hazy dark copper with a large egg-shell head, and excellent lacing.

smell is hops, touch of spice, floral, some grapefruit, some caramel, and a touch of fruit, sweet in the background.

taste a little thick, spice, pepper, a little caramel, some citrus, and hops, ends a little dry with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Photo of clemtig76
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby brown 12oz bottle into my SA pint glass. Pours a clear amber color with a nice big fluffy head. Stickly lacing lines the glass after every sip. Fresh aroma of malt, citrus and strong piney hops. Taste is all about the hops, oily and piney with just enough malt to give it some balance but this beer is all about the hops. It is a shame this is not avaiable year round. I always say I am going to lay some down, but they are usually gone by February.

Photo of DannyS
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass, poured from a bottle.

A - A perfectly appropriate orange-brown amber color, long lasting tan-ish head

S - The hops here are straightforward and strong, with a subtle citrus backing

T - Very hoppy, as it should be. A bit bitter for my taste, and the bitterness lingers forever, but it's not really unpleasant. How an IPA should taste.

M - The bitterness REALLY hangs on, but the overall feel is smooth and easy drinking without being too watery.

D - Not being a huge fan of IPA's, I'm not sure how many of these I could stomach. One is a-ok for me.

Overall, It's not a favorite, but I'd definitely drink it again. It's bitter, but what self-respecting IPA isn't? Basically, I wouldn't specifically seek it out, but I'd definitely drink it if I was offered some.

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

Appearance: Poured into a mug with 2 fingers of light tan fluffy head, that dissipated to a thin layer after 3 minutes. The beer is a dark golden hazy color. There is some chunky lacing but not a lot.

Smell: I mostly smell the citrus aspect of the hops, some spiciness but only a hint. Small amount of malt on the nose. The smell overall is not very strong.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness, good citrusy hops. I taste a bit of some spicy flavors. All followed by a nice malt backbone. There is a harsh bitterness left in the mouth after drinking this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-light bodied, nothing too special, good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Really easy to drink, especially if you like hops at all. A good AIPA! Would recommend this one!

Photo of toweringpoo
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hooops. Spicy malty hooops. Very piney and resiny. Sticks to the tongue and fills up to the mouth. The citrus notes are present more in the nose than the taste. There's a distinct spicyness that really makes this beer special, and makes it one of the best winter seasonals out there. It's really not overpowering though which is something a lot of other winter seasonals fall prey to. One to look forward to every year.

Photo of MacDomer
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Maproom in Chicago. I have previously had several from a sixer as well, so we are well acquainted now.

The beer pours a medium orange-amber color, quite clear. There's a nice large head with tons of lacing. Nice to look at, but not the best part of the brew.

The nose has lots of bright grapefruit scents. Delicious, inviting, and again, bright!

The taste is delicious. Tons of hops. Mostly citrusy and floral, with some pine. A bit of spiciness as well.

Mouthfeel is good, but not great. Nice long dry finish.

Overall a really nice beer. Will seek out and recommend to others. I'll grab two sixers every Nov/Dec release and share with friends.

Photo of mjw06
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a review of the 2008 edition.

A - Cherry amber color with a rich tan head about two fingers high that last well and leaves a thick sticky lacing.

S - Sweet smell of spices, particularly clove and a little cinnamon, as well as a toasty caramel base and underpresence. does also carry a citrus scent most akin to grapefruit.

T - Sweet taste that doesnt completely match the smell. spices are not dominant, and are actually somewhat hidden in the taste, however the grapefruit smell is confirmed in its taste and lends to the bitterness in the hoppy finish. Impressed with the taste, but am again distracted by the hoppy finish.

M - Once again an excellent mouthfeel from a sierra nevada brew. perfect light carbonation that doesn't distract and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

D - This beer is without a doubt a very drinkable beer. however i would appreciate maybe a toning down on the hops in this brew so that i may appreciate its complexity of flavors. or maybe its not even the hops, but rather this continued grapefruit taste that im getting. never was much a fan of grapefruit. nonetheless i think ive found a winter brew that i can stick with, however it still dissapoints in some areas.

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

Consistently excellent. The San Francisco Chronicle said of this delicious beer... " Simply the best beer ever mad in America"-
and I'm not about to quibble - though I still have a penchant for Bell's Two Hearted Ale.

All in all, its color, aroma, mouthfeel and tatse are as good as it gets for an American IPA - beautifully balanced - a perfect winter warmer as its inviting label shall attest.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,197 ratings.