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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.

3,402 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,402
Hads: 9,924
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.76%
Wants: 349
Gots: 1,727 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,402 | Hads: 9,924
Photo of pinyin
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Celebration 2015 bottled on October 30th.

Served 38F into a 16 ounce goblet.

Color is probably the best feature of this ale. Dark bronze, with little to no translucence. Typical Sierra Nevada carbonation.

Smell is very fresh and clean, but not a huge aroma here. I understand that this recipe is almost 40 years old, so I would assume no dry hop schedule used. On the nose I smell some light hop aroma, and a big bready malt scent.

Taste here is good, but nothing earth shattering or breathetaking. Very well balanced and the hops do not outshine the malt backbone. A little on the sugary side.
Not a very big fan of the hops blend used here though.

Mouthfeel is a little bit thin, slightly watery and doesn't quite match the color.

Overall this is a very solid ale in terms of balance and freshness. I get that it is the original hop season harvest Ale that every other brewery seemed to copy. I just don't seem to have the same level of nostalgia for it that many others here do.

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Photo of puck1225
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer! Poured from a bottle a deep orange brown. Nice head and great lacing. Earthy smell. Taste is a bit sweet and bitter. Also some malty notes and pine. A tasty fall beer.

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an IPA glass. A striking copper-amber color, moderately hazy, with a thick dense soapy light tan head that lingered for a long time. The aroma was surprisingly muted to me, with some pine straw, orange, and bread. The taste was huge as expected, with pine up front, followed by orange, grapefruit, bread and biscuit. On the bitter side even for an IPA but beautifully balanced by the malt. Clean bitter orange finish. Medium bodied with a really great feel, anticipated with the foamy head on the pour. Another masterpiece from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of thebeers
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reddish amber color with thick brown-tinted off-white head and good lacing. Pine on the nose, with some citrus in the background. They carry over, to a lesser extent, into the flavor, pairing with some biscuits-and-caramel malt up front, and heavy hop bitterness on the back end. I remember years ago when the hops in this beer seemed like a (delicious) assault on the taste buds; today it comes across as pretty well balanced compared to many hop bombs. Somewhat light-bodied, but with a creaminess to it. A winter classic.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark red / almost red-brown color with a thick white head. the head subsides slightly but a solid white head remains, even after 30 minutes! great looking and lively beer.

smells like sweet roasted malts. a slight smell of sweet hops exist but it is not prominent in the aroma.

the taste is fantastic, nice combination of grapefruit and toasted malt. not overpowering but very solid. goes down very smooth, easy drinking!

overall this is a pretty good IPA, nothing mindblowing but it does everything right. not overly hoppy or malty, utilizes a few different tastes.

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Photo of RockRuler
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had read all the hype and wanted to try it for myself. Bottled 10/14/15. Fresh. Good hop smell and sweet malt taste but not too malty. Not very bitter. Nice balance that finishes clean. Worth a try and will have again.

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Photo of Glengosch
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I seem to remember this beer being called Celebration Ale in years past, now it's called Celebration IPA, and hey, IPAs are all the rage, so why not call it that? But on to the taste and stuff...

*Taste - The flavor of this beer is primo, superb, deluxe, fasmatasmic - or some other word that is better than good. Seriously. One of my favorites. In a blind taste test, I don't know that I would know that this is an IPA. Normally with an IPA, (a good IPA) I am punched in the face with pine or floral citrus (and I don't mean that in a bad way). This here ale is the perfect balance that makes it almost unrecognizable in the field of American IPAs. Maybe it solidifies itself ahead of the rest.

On the back end, it's like you get the bitterness without the burn - if that makes sense(?). I guess what I'm trying to say is the taste is as pleasant as the minimal aftertaste.

You get a good balance of maltiness too. Bonus.

As far as taste/flavor is concerned, it's hard to find better.

*Smell - it smells great, but I taste the hops more than I smell them.

*Feel - it feels good. Smooth. Easy to drink with a high ABV.

*Look - Amberish/goldenish/a little darker than a Sam Adams BL (for your reference)

*Overall/bottom line - Depending on what I'm in the mood for, probably my favorite beer. Great hop taste, balanced with some (great) malt taste. Do yourself a favor, if you like beer, and drink this. You're welcome.

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Photo of TheWolf
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper nice fluffy head. Piney aroma with pepper and holly. Taste consistent with nose. I agree with a prior reviewer with the torpedo analogy. Sort of like a spiced up torpedo. I like it better than last year.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A - Pours a clear copper amber color with a massive creamy white frothy head and moderate carbonation.

S - Citrus and pine aroma with minimal malt and a touch of light spociness. (Poured on tap and the serving temp is a little colder than usual so some of the aroma has been muted initially).

T - Minimal toasted malt presence with hops taking the front seat in the glass, pine and citrus abound from start to finish. Grapefruit, lemon rind, and lingering citrus pine bitterness to wash away any toasted malt on the palate. Bitterness is sharp but perfectly done.

M - Solid medium body with some carbonation pickles on the back of the tongue.

O - Haven't had this beer in awhile and it's better than the last time I had it (which was a few years ago).

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Photo of Davidstan
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The 2015 version is different or my palette is off. This tastes a little like Torpedo which I like so no issue for me at all especially getting a 12er at Publix for 13.49. Peppery, spicy and very slight fruit feel. Still, Torpedoish for me this year and will buy again!

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Photo of ihazabucket7
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a IPA glass

Look: Dark, amber, golden color. Clear with some bubbles and a frothy head. Poured aggressive.

Smell: Pine notes, citrus, little bit of malt, some spice notes to it as well.

Taste: Loads of hops, bitter, citrus, tad bit malty.

Feel: Mouthfeel is a little thick it coats the inside of your mouth with hoppy goodness.

Overall: Great beer, lots of character, always love the holidays when this comes out!

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Photo of youcantmakeme
2.84/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

look: a nice copper brown, it looks to me that the head has a drop of brown in it too.

smell: smell mostly malt with a little pine. I don't smell any fruit at all.

taste: hops, grassy, bitter, slightly sweet (cinnamon?) And a hint of tang, and dry.

feel: medium.

overall: a six pack of 12 oz bottles was $9.50 + tax and it's not available all the time so for what it's worth (to me of course) I would have to say that I wont pick this up again. To me it taste a lot like the sn pale ale not much difference but the color? It's drinkable you are not going to get any off flavors in this but it won't knock your sock of either, with lagunitas born yesterday being also available right now I think that I will take that over this. Maybe I have been just getting used to drinking too much fruity stuff which this isn't or maybe it's just not my style.

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Photo of Chris585
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best fresh hop ales out there. Still impressing me to this day. Just the right mix of hops and malt. Prior year releases at least in last two years were a little hot, this year is absolutely amazing.

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Photo of hopalongcassidy2
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I buy this one every year when it comes out (around November). I've always liked it, and this year especially so. This years version strikes me as exceptionally balanced and highly drinkable. This recipe's a little maltier than in previous years, possibly the slightest bit sweeter, but not at all cloying. 6.8%, but no noticeable taste of alcohol. Enough piney hops to keep things interesting.
Possibly the perfect all-around winter brew.

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Photo of DoctorD
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a distinctive red color, and with a very faint smell. The hop taste is very up front, with a decent bitter kick at the finish and a moderately thick feel. But what makes this beer work is the exceptional balance - the initial zing melds with just the right amount bitterness at the end. This beer shows that IPAs don't have to be citus-laden, bitter hop bombs.

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Photo of TLWalsh
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden copper color, persistent creamy milky head. Definite citrus piney aroma. Has a complex balanced flavor, both malty and hoppy. Has a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Finishes peppery, piney and grassy from all those hops. This stuff is delicious, I'll be looking for some more as the season goes on.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 12 pack of this and am thoroughly enjoying it. Fresh bottle date (about two weeks old). A nice balance of piney and earthy notes in the aroma and the malt backbone in the taste makes this beer full bodied and delicious.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This appears to be highly sought after, but here in Portland I'm finding the bottles a month old which is truly disappointing. The hop aroma is very faint basic forest scents, although the beer poured beautifully in the glass near perfection. After the first initial sips the beer does grow on you with a balance of hops and malt, and I can see what the fuss is all about.

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Photo of Beertsipper
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First time since 2012. 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Golden/copper in color with a one finger tan head. Very faint nose of hops, citrus, maybe some pine. Surprised how little of a nose I was getting. Taste is hops, caramel, toffy, a little pine and citrus. Some bitterness on the back end. I remember this beer with a more pronounced hop bite with plenty of orange and grapefruit pith. This years version was somewhat of a let down.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper, reddish amber hue. The head is between cream and tan. Light aroma of citrus fruits. It's got a very creamy feel with tempered earthy spiciness, especially on the finish. While it's a distinctly west coast IPA, it doesn't destroy the palate. It's pleasant, but it doesn't really have distinct or outstanding qualities. It's a very good option and value for something you can find in your grocery store, but it's not comparable to the elite IPAs that we see nowadays.

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Photo of anonymoose
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer has a red color. The aroma is mostly muted with some fruity and malty notes coming through. The taste is lightly bitter with caramel malt, and almost lager-esque malt quality. I might not guess this was an IPA in a blind taste test

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Photo of frasergrove
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: white, thick head which leaves a good amount of lacing. Almost amber ale colored, definite tinges of red.

S: characteristic Celebration ale nose - earthy, peppery, a hint of citrus, akin to Estate Ale.

T: also similar to Estate ale, sweetness and creaminess up front, fades to a nice earthy bitter bite, smooth around the edges and finishes crisp

F: creamy and smooth to start, bitter and crisp to finish, lingering bitterness on the tongue

O: one of my all time favorites, a killer amber IPA, Sierra Nevada rarely fails to impress (or do they ever?)

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Photo of wumpshire
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$8.99 six pack. Very good Winter IPA. The fresh hops are there, but not overwhelming. The dark malt adds a level of caramel which balances out the strong hops. Definitely would buy again.

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Photo of kbwalters
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a wine glass. Bottled on 10/2/14 and consumed on 10/31/14.
Look = 4.5 Pretty, deep amber color; 1 finger of thick off white head with great retention and lace. Great color.
Aroma = 3.75 Very balanced, way more than I expected. I must be use to some big time hop bombs. I get pine and citrus hops balanced with sweet candy malts - more on the malty side though. I can almost pick up the fresh hop “spice” notes everybody claims they get with this.
Taste = 4.0 Also balanced; follows the nose. Sweet candy malts lead the way with pine hop notes providing some balance. Mild bitterness on the finish.
Feel = 4.0 Medium bodied with high carbonation. Crisp and fizzy, a little resiny. Good for style.
Drinkability = 4.5 Easy drinking, very balanced IPA.
Overall = 4.0625 A true classic IPA. Formally a hop bomb is now dwarfed by the hop explosion we’ve seen the last several years, but the balance and drinkability of this winter time brew can’t be understated.

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Photo of Barracudas
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The go to beer around Christmas time in my household! Even the guess seem to really enjoy it. It has a great taste and makes the celebrations come alive!

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,402 ratings.