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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.

8,948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,948
Reviews: 3,261
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 278
Gots: 938 | 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: 8,948 | Reviews: 3,261 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of babaracas
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sure it's the same every year, but re-reviewing for myself.

(2008) Pours a hazy copper with iffy head retention, nice lacing. Smell: pine, citrus hops, sweet with a decent amount of malt, graininess in the background. Taste: hops: grapefruit, pine, earthy, flowery, herbal are all given their due. The only thing not hops is a sweet, yeasty, toasty malt that keeps it from being one sided. Feel and drinkability are pretty spot on for an IPA. Substantial with lots of hops, nice. 11/08 (4/4/4/4/4)

(2009) Hazy red-tinged orange, lots of sediment. Smell: floral and citrus, pine, caramel sweetness beneath, SN yeast. Taste: pine, tangerine, leafy and a bit grainy, nice dose of bitterness backed by a solid caramel sweetness, yeasty. Mouthfeel: medium bodied, fluffy, prickly and drying. A tasty offering worth looking forward to each year. (4/4/4.5/4/4)

(2010) Mostly clear orange with lots of fine sediment, fluffy two finger head, half inch sticks around. Smell: floral, resinous, citrus peel, pine in that order; slight house yeast charcter, lightly bready and sweet. Taste: resiny, oily, caramel and pine, fades into a splash of grapefruit, mild graininess. Mouthfeel: damn near perfect, medium fluffy body, prickly, drying fights with residual hop oils. Exceptional. Bottled 9/24 (6 wks old). (4/4/4.5/4.5/4)

Photo of jeremyd365
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh my oh my! This 2008 batch poured a delightful coppery amber with a bit of light tan head. It smelled of rich, sweet hops. In the mouth it doesn't feel too thick and the bitterness can begin to be sensed. The taste isi wonderous! A crisp, hard hop bite while remaining quite sweet and piney as well. It finishes with bitter hops which leave a great flavor behind. Very drinkable and the 6.8% isn't noticable at all..at first. This is a great IPA which I think I'll be stocking up as my winter sipper of choice so far! YUM! Highly recommend!

Photo of Pauly2X
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Slightly hazy copper, two finger head.

S- A blast of citrusy hops greats the nose. I just can't stop smelling this beer.

T- Crisp fresh hop taste with a light caramel/grainy sweetness. A little more hop bitterness comes through toward the end to more or less dominate the finish.

M- Just about where an IPA should be.

D- A hoppy beer at 6.8%, yeah I can do this.

It really great to see a good hoppy beer clock in at less than 7%. Too bad it's seasonal.

Photo of gory4d
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always look forward to this one: my favorite SN brew. This year's pours a deep orange with some yeasty cloudiness; the head's three fingers high and leaves nice lacing down the sides -- good retention. The smell is pine with some malt and citrus. The taste starts with some biscuit notes, moving though rich malts and some diacetyls to a sharp hop bite with lots of juniper and tangelo; the alcohol is masked for at least the first few sips. It's nicely carbonated, not too overpowering, and fills the mouth well. It's all too easy to drink: you have to watch it with this one. A fine, enjoyable IPA.

Photo of loosey
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i dont buy presents for christmas, i save my money to buy this for myself

2008 12 oz bottle, pours into a pint glass... im looking at a raggedy brass bar rail, years of use by the bottoms of miserable shoes, like jimmy stewart on xmas eve ... sudsy and sticky head, a bit hazy with yeast flakes.. laces heavily

powerful, aroma is sweet and citrusy, hops are dominant and unchallenged... this is aggressively attacking my nose

taste is robust, sharp grapefruit cascade ... slight toast is almost hiding behind all the hoppiness, earthy herbal spiciness, bitter in the mid and late palate, flowery and mouth smacking dry finish ...medium bodied, smooth... almost a tongue numbing effect... strong warming effect too, forehead warm, getting warmer.. strong beer

induce a fever with this to get out of your family holiday party, throw away your yule log and make room for another fridge, go outside in your underwear and shove snow in your crotch, bite an ice cream cone with your sad, deteriorating front teeth, wait to take a dump for 2 days until that cold feeling comes... none of it matters, just keep drinking this!

Photo of Spidey13
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Celebration Ale pours a beautiful, slightly hazy deep amber color with big off-white head that leaves all kinds of lacing on the glass. The nose is all kinds of hoppy, with grapefruit and tangerine notes, along with hints of spice and caramel.

The taste is also all about the hop flavors and bitterness that is really nice and sticks around just long enough. There is also some spiciness to it, but all the flavors seem to come from the hops. The mouthfeel is nice and full.

Overall, this has to be one of the best IPA's I've had.

Photo of djwilson
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 celebration ale.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an hour glass shaped beer glass.

Pours a nice dull orange copper color with tiny bubbles rising to a thick foamy head that lasts, slowly disappearing to a thin layer sticking to the sides of the glass. When sipped leaves a nice lacing behind.

Smell is heavy on the hops with a sweet toasted malt aroma in the background, maybe a little caramel.

taste is what I expected since it's one of my favorite seasonal beers. Light toasted malt on the tip of the tounge, with a nice hop bite hitting in the back of the mouth and throat. Slight alcohol finish also.

Full bodied beer, like a maltier IPA. Very smooth.

Drinkability I would have to say is pretty darn good. Can drink plenty of these on cold Cleveland winter nights.

Will be comparing soon side by side with the 2007.

Photo of FordBrewing
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Amber color that pours an average off-white head. If served too cold it diminishes quickly. Body is closer to cloudy but not unappealing. Nice malt aroma with scents of grain, straw, and a roasted almost nutty smell. The hops bring hints of pine and spruce. This definitely smells like a "winter" beer.

It is medium bodied and has average carbonation. The taste lasts a long time, almost too long, and sits right on the back corners of the tongue well after your last sip.

This celebration ale has great aroma but is very bitter, even for an IPA. This is a good attempt at a Winter Ale that comes across as an IPA in disguise, but its almost as if it tries to be something that its not. Better than last year, but not great.

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

12oz bottle
2007 vintage

The beer pours a slightly hazy orange brown with a medium sized white head that sticks around the entire glass. The nose is hoppy still, nothing foul going on here. The hop character yes has mellowed somewhat in the taste, but its still got plenty of bite. The spices have died down to a balancing,mild intensity and the malt profile is way higher than i remember it being. The nutmeg and cinnamon are intensified on the finish by loads of spicy hops. the hops live on indeed!! reminds me more of a winter beer now actually. Medium bodied and very drinkable.

Photo of Brillig
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Version, bottle.

I've been trying this beer each of the last three years. I found 2006 to be exceptional, 2007 to be a bit of a let down, and now the 2008 version is back to form.

Pours a dark coppery brown with a nice head. In fact, if you serve this at the correct temperature (an important thing for everything about this beer) and not refrigerator temperature, it will keep a foamy head until long after you've finished drinking.

Taste is great strong malty base with nice hops overtones (subtle by Sierra Nevada standards). Medium mouthfeel complements the flavor nicely.

Drink this beer at cellar temperature and it will be one of the highlights of the season.

Photo of beernut
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This years (2008) batch. Pours a clearer amber/copper color than from '07. Couldn't say there was any head here. Good carbonation, and the same lacing throughout. A little less citrus/grapefruit aroma from the '07, more of a hoppy aroma. Taste is not too strong with hops,some citrus/grapefruit present. No bitter aftertaste. 2007 is a tad better, but I would still recommend and drink this years edtion.

Photo of sliverX
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poored a cloudy copper with large amounts of off white head that slowly dissipated to a film but leaving a lot of lacing in the process
smells floral, lemon, with a bitter hop smell
tastes of the same as the smells just much more prevalent finishes with a lemon after taste.
light crisp feeling in the mouth very pleasant
very drinkable especially for IPA fans

Photo of nbblondie
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my very first review...

Appearance: Clear, reddish copper color. Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass.

Smell: I couldn't really smell much.

Taste: Definitely bitter, but in a good way. The bitterness stays around for a while. I enjoyed the spices used.

Mouthfeel: Very nicely carbonated, feels pretty light.

Drinkability: It's a beer to sip on. I can see myself getting it again. The more I drink it the more it grows on me.

Overall, I'm glad I bought this beer. It's only my second experience with Sierra Nevada and I'll definitely be back for more of their beers!

Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Drafting Room, Exton.

A-Pours a slightly hazy reddish amber. Nice white head with a little lacing.

S-Strong pine hop aroma with a nice amount of balancing malt behind it.

T-A very pleasant bitter hop experience. Sweet malt creeps in at the end to smooth the finish but up until then, it's all piney hops with a bit of graininess.

M-Nicely carbonated, crisp and clean.

D-An annual favorite, I look forward to having many of these while supplies last.


Photo of 2LBrew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had two different bottles of this years release from two different six packs.

The appearance of this beer as I poured it into my Sierra Nevada (Chico baby!!!) logo pint glass was a nice amber with a creamy finger and a half head and good lacing on the glass.

The smell was a bit of a disappointment from what I had remembered in years past. The spicyness wasn't as prevalent but the hops were definitely there.

What was lacking in the smell department was more than made up in the taste. I love this beer and look forward to this time of year when it is released. The hoppy bitterness seemed to be toned down a bit and a bit of citrus.

The mouthfeel was good, not overbearing and not lacking. I could defintely taste the beer when I was done with it, which was not a bad thing.

The drinkability is good and does not feel like a close to 7% beer. I definitely could drink a few of these in a night and have a great evening.

Photo of weasbri
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely sticky lacing on a good frothy head.
Not much aroma detected, and the initial feel is watery. But the beer comes back strong, with a nice hoppy bitterness. It is balanced a bit by a bit of malt sweetness, but still is mainly the hops that dominate, and not much else. Still pretty good for all that.

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.03/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/ golden color. A decent head stays a while and tries to lace. Smells of spiced hops and light malts. The taste follows the same suit, a very bitter big hop flavor up front that bites at the tongue, then finishes with an easier malt flavor in the background. Mouth wasn't so pleasent with the hop bite, and drinkability wouldn't have lasted long, I did not want another. I guess I was just expecting something else, this isn't my style of beer.

Photo of mugglesandhops
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I thought I reviewed this last year around thanksgiving as my first review but I looked back and theres nothing there so here we go...

Poured 12 oz. bottle into pint glass, dark golden orange color, good carbanation, 1 finger head faded fairly fast, good lacing, smells hoppy, citrusy, floral, some pine notes. taste as it smells, some spicyness, great strong finish. mouthfeel is good and fizzy. drinkablity is good, this is a great example of an IPA.

I think I appreciate this beer more this year than I did last year.

Photo of electricfields
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a murky golden red with a creamy head. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Smells like spicy, piney hops, mostly. Definitely smells good.

T: Spicy, hoppy bitterness with a little bit of a piney bite to it. Slightly spicy bread aftertaste. This beer is delicious.

M: Good and thick without being syrupy. Just enough carbonation.

D: I couldn't pound these all night, but I would rather just slow down and enjoy 'em anyway.

Photo of peck95
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

amber orange appearance with some good lacing
a nice piney hop aroma followed by a bread malt aroma
reletivley the same as aroma
a well balanced thickness and really smooth
a very drinkable beer no indication of the high abv and a really smooth finish

Photo of Bookseeb
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Celebration Ale.
Appearance has a dark amber hue with a nice pillowy head. Smell of seasonal type bread with spice, malt and hops. Taste is of sweet malts, pine, citrus and a good amount of hops. Mouthfeel has a good medium body that goes down slick. Hats off to Sierra Nevada, this is a great seasonal to be had.

Photo of naterock
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cloudy, golden red, one finger head. a lot different than a winter seasonal would usually look.

smells of glorious hops, simcoe, cascade and possibly goldings. A good malt foundation in the nose. very floral and inviting.

Jesus CHRIST! this is hoppy as hell. almost too hoppy and unbalanced until the finish comes and the malt comes through.

the carbonation could be a bit more subtle, but I think the body is pefect for an IPA. this is highly drinkable and a true hop-heads delight. I am a winter seasonal fan and think this beer has a little bit of a winter feel.

Photo of schellsbeer
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clean and crisp. Pours a beautiful burnt orange. Like a late autumn sunset, this is a good looking beer. Nice head that seems to last for the duration. Once can tell that this beer is fresh just from the look.

Smell is clean and refreshing. Once again, bitter hops explode out of the bottle. Lemon and orange can be observed. Smells like a light winter snowfall day in Northern Minnesota. What the heck is this beer being made in California for. Nice.

Taste. Very strong IPA flavor. Top notch. Clean. Fresh. Pine. Hops. However, the bitterness is not overpowering. Nicely done Sierra.

Mouthfeel is light. Not heavy. I do wish the flavor would linger a little longer. Seems to disappear as soon as the brew hits the stomach. Could have stayed around. We are friends my beer and I. Why rush away so soon?

Drinkability - Overall, I feel that this is a very good IPA. I would seek this beer out again. However, I do enjoy a stronger bite but the clean and crisp taste of a recently made beer says a lot. I really appreciate how "new" this beer tastes.

Photo of Greggy
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a burnt orange color with slight sediment haze. The head is a massive 2 finger fluffy clouf. As it recedes it leaves some lacing.

S- Extremely fresh hoppy aroma of fresh squeezed grapefruit and pine, with hints of sweet malt.

T- Notes of very malty sweetness right off the bat with some nice spiciness then moves into a great dry grapefruit hopiness that lasts all the way to the long finish.

M- Large mouthfeel, very balanced

D- This is one extremely well made IPA. It's definitely sessionable even though it shouldn't be. Be careful with this one.

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

Appearance: Copper-colored, fairly good clarity and with a solid off-white head that retains reasonably well. Looks like beer, so it's successful on that front I suppose.

Smell: Generously hopped and pleasantly citrusy, grapefruit and blood orange come to mind. There's a touch of tobacco in there as well.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very clean and hop-forward. Citrus and tobacco, notes of grapefruit being particularly strong. Fairly light bodied for being near 7%, and perfectly dry for the style, but the hop flavor could use a bit more oomph - it's good, but not enough to make me celebrate. In any case, I'll have no trouble finishing my six pack.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,948 ratings.