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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.

7,887 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,887
Reviews: 3,156
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 217
Gots: 482 | 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:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,887 | Reviews: 3,156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Marty
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! It's beautiful; pours a golden amber hue with a tall, foamy, lasting head that leaves a sticky lace down the inside of the glass. The taste is crisply hoppy and malty sweet. I was having trouble characterizing the smell, but one of my friends hit it right on the nose... peach! There are definitely hints of peach in this beer. One of my all-time favorites.

Marty, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of EmoBeerGuy
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed a bottle of this years Celebration Ale (2002). A little late but it seemed to be kept fine by the guys over at the beer yard in Wayne.

Not the first time I've had this beer and certainly not the last. Deep golden-amber hue, deeper than most IPA. Nose is straight hops, to warn you of whats about to hit your palate. The flavor is a hop lovers dream. Straight hops all the way, classic over the top American IPA. What I think is so amazing about this beer is the ABV which is totally inconito. I would have never know. This is a beer that, if drank in large quantities, would surely sneak up on you. While IPA isn't may favorite style (I find it a bit too one dimentional) this beer takes that dimention and does it perfectly. Want an IPA. Drink this!

EmoBeerGuy, Mar 29, 2003
Photo of Denali
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: 12 ounce bottle with a picture of house in the woods in winter. 2001 vintage.

Appearance: Slightly opaque orange-amber with thick off-white head that laces incredibly.

Smell: Very sweet malty aroma. Citrusy and hoppy as well. Alcohol is also noticeable.

Taste: Initial hoppy bitterness. Citrus flavor comes in next followed by a strong malt balance. Aftertaste is bitter and fruity, with some malt sweetness making an appearance every so often.

Mouthfeel: Slightly syrupy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Wow is this smooth. Very easy to drink. It did not last long.

Comments: Very fine brew. Great flavors and extremely well balanced. Thank you Keith (stegmakk) for the "other two bottles".

Denali, Mar 25, 2003
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2001--picked up at Blue Max.
Pours a dark orange with an initial sensational smell of hops and fresh fruit. The taste is primarily floral hops throughout with just a hint of orange peel, banana and very slight roasted malt, but overall powering on the hops. The ABV seems to be mixed in wonderfully for a nice, but not overpowering warmness. A wonderful beer all around, today I agonize over not buying the entire rack of this version.

GeoffRizzo, Mar 21, 2003
Photo of Scooter77
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’d been looking forward to trying this brew for the longest time and it was well worth the wait. Pours a beautiful reddish/copper color with fluffy 3/4-inch head, which leaves a medium-thin, sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is all about the hops! Hints of citrus peel were detected amongst the intense scent of hops. This is one great full-bodied beer that packs a full arsenal of hops. The sweet bitter aftertaste of orange peel and hops left me begging for more. I will most definitely seek this one out again, once it’s released next year.

Scooter77, Mar 19, 2003
Photo of stegmakk
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001

Appearance cloudy dark orange with a terrific tan head where the foam stays...
Aroma....slightly sweet hoppy
Taste...VERY good...hint sweet malt floral hops but nothing overpowering...nice mixture
Mouthfeel...medium...not thin but not too thick...

I wish I could find more but I think there is no more...these were the last 3 bottles I found (gave 2 away to a fellow BA)...

stegmakk, Mar 18, 2003
Photo of Valevapor
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, vibrant amber liquid. Fresh, citrusy aroma. A medium body and sharp carbonation transport a balanced fritterness (fruity & bitter) and maltiness over the fizzling taste buds and into the greedy gullet. A dry bitterness and raw, semi-grassy character remain on the tongue.

What we have here is a sturdy American-style IPA with a well-rounded personality.

Valevapor, Mar 17, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I look forward to this beer every year, and the 2002 version did not let me down.

Everyone knows the festive label on this 12 ounce brown bottle: the gold Sierra Nevada logo on unfurled parchment, with a log cabin in the snow below, poinsettias all around.

Inside is one of the best winter ales one is likely to encounter. Cheery orange-red color, and a nice, thick, frothy tan head. Excellent lacing and a slight hop aroma upon opening.

Taste is citrus at first, followed by hops. Then, a slow malty aftertaste, mingled with toasty caramel. Creamy, very creamy mouthfeel, especially as it warms, and this is a beer that you will not want to serve very cold.

Complex, warming, consistent, a great winter ale -- one whose passing I mourn every spring.

Darkale, Mar 05, 2003
Photo of Hobbz
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waiting on friends and having sampled the run of draft beers that I would order, I asked for an old stand-by Sam Smith's which was not carried any more. What other bottles, then? Celebration (and a host of mass-swill). Stared at the nice label graphics then poured into my waiting glass. Fine all-around look to this one -- deep hazy-brown and few, tiny foam bubbles of white, running for the sides. Bold, hoppy aroma. This beer held captive the Cascade hops that I love, only releasing the chain-gang busters once inside. And the flavors of this seasonal carried over nicely with each sip. De-lish hops, de-lish beer.

Hobbz, Feb 22, 2003
Photo of scottum
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the few great beers that is affordable to buy by the case. This is a very hoppy brew. Almost like a Kangaroo on steroids. Pours out dark amber with a nice head. Tastes of hops. If you let it warm up a bit, it becomes a more complex brew, but still a hop monster. You should always have a few of these on hand.

scottum, Feb 18, 2003
Photo of Bruiser81
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a copper color with sort of an amber color when held to the light. The head was off-white and about a quarter of an inch thick. The aroma was complex with hints of citrus, hops, and alcohol. The taste was basically the same as the nose with citrus up front and the spice of the alcohol in the middle. The finish is bittery with a nice bite, the citrus also comes back a little in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was nice with good carbonation and it went down smooth. This is my favorite winter seasonal and in my top three overall, what a great beer.

Bruiser81, Feb 17, 2003
Photo of jeffboo
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the classic strong pale ales out there. I'm a little surprised it's not a year round beer. This is a holiday beer for the hopheads if the sweeter seasonals are not your thing. This one pours a wonderful deep bronze color with a fluffy golden head. Citrus and pine jump out of the glass, most definitely a dry hopped beer. MMM
it has a solid malt base to play off the playful hops. It could do with a touch more body to equalize the bitterness but that's just nitpicking.This beer has a slight chewiness to the body that dances with the hops,maybe it is the yeasty fruitiness here with a tiny bit of caramel malt. The hops give a nice citrus flavor that's almost flowery and a nice long bitter finish.Nicely balanced.As it warms a very nice grapefruit flavor stands out. I like it.

jeffboo, Feb 17, 2003
Photo of greebz
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers that I actually seek out to buy every year. Unfortunately it's not readily available here on the east coast. Once again this yrs version did not disappoint if you like this type of ale. Nice copper color with decent head that leaves a nice lace on the glass. Slightly bitter, this is not the type of beer that you chug nor do have several at a sitting. Also it help to pair with the right food - spicy work well. I've never seen this on tap but would certainly love to find it, let me know if anyone knows where in the Boston area!

greebz, Feb 13, 2003
Photo of Reidrover
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2002 bottle i got the very last one at my local store..all gone so happy i got it now.
Good appearance pours a nice murky brown with a smallish head that leaves a lace down the glass.
The smell is unbelievable..marvelous the last few nights I have had some great smelloing beers this is another!..malt and big hop smell combine, a work of art.
very treacly taste bitter aftertaste on back of tongue..strong coffee even..a meal in a bottle.
Lovelly over the tongue warming..
Very drinkable for such a strong brew..and none of the stringent alchol taste..great beer.

Reidrover, Feb 09, 2003
Photo of paceyourself
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very different from most winter seasonals iv'e had. The copper color is hazed with a very fine sediment. The white pillowy head fades and leaves a thin lace as you drink. A strong citric aroma of hops and medicinal alcohol lets you know your in for something special. The taste is spicy and balanced at first then the hoppy bitter flavor asserts itself and lingers. A great choice to have with some spicy food, i enjoyed it with some hot wings.

paceyourself, Feb 09, 2003
Photo of vitesse
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a good looking beer. The color is a nice light amber color. The head is has that creamy texture on top that stays around a while. The beer leaves a nice lace around the glass.
Their is some haziness too.
The smell is another strong point. I detected some citrus, fruit and even flowery notes in the smell. pretty good in this area.
For an american IPA, i guess the taste they want above all else is hops, and to that end, they succeed. I was really disappointed with this beer, however. It seemed like the hops were just too up front. I know this is a sierra nevada brew, but even so...
If you like hoppy west coast-style beers, this is for you. If not, their are much better winter beers. I just don't think this fits as a winter seasonal when you live somewhere cold and snowy. That's the bottom line for me.

vitesse, Feb 04, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a dark amber,edging into red, with a huge, handsome, off-white head. Aroma explodes with hops, calling forth sensations of citrus, grapefruit, orange, peach, lemon, a beautiful, albeit bitter, fruit bouquet. Texture's tasty, body's light/medium, finish is quite delicious and lasting,. Overall, an exceptional overboard IPA!

My tiny complaint, though this is a brew that I sample and enjoy every year, like all beer lovers, is that it's character doesn't offer much than you'd imagine of a super-hoppy IPA. When I think of seasonal wintertime beers, I expect something darker, with extra flavors, suitable to the chilly days we have have to endure. (At least, those of us who have winter...). It's a pity they don't release this year 'round as an IPA, as that's the only staple missing from their portfolio.

feloniousmonk, Feb 04, 2003
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good beer, but not something that I would necessarily drink lots of on a cold winter night as it is designed for. The look is really good, with a nice deep, golden hue with a creamy, white head. The smell had nice fruity flavors and I was excited to drink it. the first taste was a bit of a let down. It came on much too bitter and the fruit flavors were way too citrusy for me. It did have a nice hop finish, and I must admit the further down the glass I got the better it tasted. I might try this again, this time letting it warm up for another 5-10 minutes, but I have had better IPA's.

GreatPondBrewer, Jan 29, 2003
Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange color with a vast off-white cloudtop head and an abundance of carbonation. Lots of thick and sticky lace coats the glass walls. Aroma of bitter orange, pine sap, very prominent medicinal hops, and lots of spices. Tasting yields devastatingly strong hops, riding beneath is a wave of smooth malt. Alcohol is prominent in the taste and quite warming. Towards the finish pine sap flavors appear, providing a counterplay to the hop bitterness. Finish is very smooth with a touch of lingering bitter orange peel. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. An absolutely superb beer; one that mere words are hard pressed to justify.

Pegasus, Jan 28, 2003
Photo of Admiraldinty
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber in appearance with abundant frothy head. Hops are quite evident in nose along with spiciness. Taste has obvious hoppiness and spiciness (somewhat herbal). I could not really detect anything fruity about this, although others have mentioned a subtle fruitiness. In all honesty, I wasn't terribly big on the taste. I like hops, but this was a bit overpowering. Although, it went pretty well with some spiciness food. Very warming - no wonder this is for the winter. Mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth. Drinkable enough, although I wouldn't drink too much of this one.

Admiraldinty, Jan 26, 2003
Photo of avylover
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My friend had a keg of this brew for his birthday a few years ago and I've been hooked ever since. I had to wait until I could sit down with one in front of the PC to give an honest review, else bias would have made this an all 5s brew... Pours a nice golden/ruby color with a small head that dies quick. Scent is all malt and hops. If you like hops, you'll love this brew. Right away the hops explode in your mouth, nice & raw, with the sweet malt there to balance it out. Spicy citrousy notes. One thing that makes this one of my favorite christmas brews is the fact it's not too spicy like some other american breweries that seem to go over the top with strange,unidentifiable spices. This brew is great malty taste + tons of hops. Hops linger in the mouth for awhile after a swig. I could drink this all night (and have on occasion). A great brew, one of my favorites regardless of style.

avylover, Jan 24, 2003
Photo of elmocoso
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally scored a sixer of this last night at the whole foods in Thousand Oaks, Ca. Home of Darva Conger from who wants to marry a millionare. That, though, will have no barring on my review - what-so-ever. The slot for the sixers was empty and i had to ask the guy behind the cheese counter to check in back. There were 2 six packs left, and if i wasn't a poor, out-of-work college boy, i would have splerged for both of them.

Now, for the review.

This glorious beer pours a deep carmel color, with a tight off-white head that dissipates into a very thick ring around the glass, and some slightly active surface lace. The head does kick back up when the beer is swurreled to release aroma. aaaahhh, and the aroma...

an excelent, and fully ritch and well ballanced aroma off of this one. Lots and lots of citrus-flowery aroma and a very present malt smell - together these attributes form on of the best aromas of any beer. Nose candy, for sure.

When drunken straight out of the fridge, the hops seem blunt and over powering, but after leaving the beverage on the counter for a 5 or 10, the maltyness peeks its head out and the bitterness forms itself into the perfect sharp acompanyment - resulting in a great sipping nectar.

The mouthfeel is definatly ritch and well rounded, and the overall drinkablity is great. Although, deffinatly not a session beer, this beer is one of those treats that makes being a Beer Advocate all the more rewarding!

elmocoso, Jan 19, 2003
Photo of ipogios
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

SN Celebration Ale 2002: Slightly different from the other strong hopped character beers i've tried so far. I am not a big fan of hopped beers but i found this one a bit different and more balanced. It pours a cloudy light brown/reddish colour topped by a thick head that settles down rather easily. Flavour and aroma are dominated by hops but this Ale is very well balanced. The taste is not that bitter as i would expect from a strong hopped beer. Quality seasonal brew...

ipogios, Jan 15, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled a 12 oz amber bottle with 1998 on the neck label. I could find no "bottled on" date on this bottle.

This ale poured to give a coppery colored, cloudy beer with very thin white foam that left nice lace on the glass. The aroma was interesting with the dominant aroma from barley and malt, but with some odor of hops and apples. The taste was dominated by hops - sharp and almost acrid with some fruitiness and spicy oakiness. There was a lingering aftertaste of bitter hops. The mouthfeel was smooth with a strong hop bitterness throughout but with a mild sweetness in the finish. The carbonation was moderate. The drinkability was good for this clean and crisp IPA.

UncleJimbo, Jan 10, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With so many reviews available it would seem stupid for me to add my standard analysis. I would, however, like to simply note what makes this beer as good as it is. The hazy borderline-copper body is quite welcoming, but it's the magnificent creamy head that holds all the way through the glass that clearly shows how well made it is. The beautiful lace throughout the entire glass also adds to its majestic appearance - it's almost as if it were a nitro-beer! The beautifully fresh nose expresses an herbal, citrusy and spicy character that's as if you'd just stuck your nose into a bag of fresh hop flowers!
But it doesn't stop there; a juicy underlying fruitiness from the yeast adds to its vibrancy. The body is light enough to be highly drinkable, but also full enough to combine with the very fine natural carbonation giving it an exceptionally smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The flavor, like the aroma, is dripping with fresh floral and citrusy hop character - but it's not so bold that it's over-powering or minty. Instead, it's delicately balanced against a softly sweet, nutty and bready caramel-soaked maltiness that emphasises the hops. It showcases the soft, and almost sweet character of the Cascade hops! Balance is what this beer is all about, and it's bitterness is no exception. It's not intense (which would ruin the palate and overshadow it's supple maltiness, but it is quite solid and becomes drying in the finish. It pushes and pulls throughout the pint but never becomes the centerpiece. Finesse, not bravado, wins the prize here!!!

NeroFiddled, Jan 08, 2003
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,887 ratings.