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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.

3,355 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,355
Hads: 9,633
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.76%
Wants: 344
Gots: 1,495 | 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:
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: 3,355 | Hads: 9,633
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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Photo of Andrewharemza
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber with off white head, Fruity hop aroma, Good malt body with some caramel notes with a good hop profile with fruity tones and hints of peppers, Fruity hop finish that has some pepper in the back.

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Photo of 1ale_man
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into pils glass. Dark amber orange. S:Caramel, vanilla, and a fruit. T: Caramel, small vanilla, and maybe plum on that fruit. Bottle dated 11-19-14. This is really good. If fresher is any better I couldn't stand. SN beers do last.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada are like the Tiger Woods of beers - they play a sharp game of golf, and cheat on their Swedish wives... err, no, that analogy doesn’t work, how about Sierra Nevada are like the J.K. Simmons of beers - consistently undervalued for their work and quietly brilliant, plus they won an Oscar that they thoroughly deserved (or at least they would if there was a beer equivalent of an Oscar). I’m happy with that revised analogy. Now on to their Celebration Ale - this is a Winter Ale with a difference - all IPA, no spices. This will be awesome-sauce.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy toffee brown-tinged amber body with a sticky 1 centimetre off-white head. There’s a decent amount of protein in the head, Sierra Nevada have got to be happy with that, I know I am. 9/10.

S: Malt forward with a biscuit/caramel combo, followed by hints of piney/citric, it’s certainly not as big on the hops as Torpedo, we’ll see how it comes out in the flavour because sometimes you do get big hop flavours in brews without big hop aromas. In Sierra Nevada we trust. 7/10.

T: The good news: This is one smooth IPA. The bad news: Sierra Nevada’s own Torpedo IPA scuttles this brew [nautical puns anyone?] with hops, more and more HOPS! Palate-wise SNaCA (as I am henceforth calling this beer) has a big caramel/biscuit base with hints of pine/citrus hops and a rather sharp bitter finish on the edge of your tongue that carries through to the aftertaste. This needs more hop flavours and less hop bitterness (which is entirely possible - my last homebrew was all tropical hop flavour without bitterness). 7/10.

M: Medium bodied, slightly oily hop presence with a light but dense carbonation. Almost the exact same mouthfeel as the Torpedo. 9/10.

D: Missed opportunity from the makers of the mighty Torpedo. This is a fresh hop IPA that has bitten off more than it could chew - too malty, not enough hop flavour, unnecessary sharp bitter edge, above-average aroma. Those are the negatives, on the plus side it is a hearty, smooth and half decent IPA, I guess I’ve been too spoiled with Sierra Nevada’s other offerings (oh yeah and Founders, Deschutes, Ballast Point, the rest of the west coast, et al.) to give this a higher rating. [err, best before: 10.24.14... disregard my ENTIRE review now!] 7/10.

Food match: Staring at the label with the snow-cover log cabin made me think of a hearty beef stew by a nice warm fireplace watching the embers die, or cake.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm drinking and reviewing this a little late in its life, but it was well-stored and is a sturdy brew, so bear with me. Dark, hazy, amber in color with rocky, inviting, yellow-tan head that retains so well I'm having trouble pouring the rest into my glass (more than a film all the way to the end). Smells like oranges, then raisins or other dried or candied fruit. I also was just barely able to notice the caramel. Not very strong aromas in this IPA. Mild hop bitterness, grapefruit, citrus rind, caramel, and again raisins on the palate. Generally I would associate this last sensation with aging, but I think in this case (as in a number of other beers) it could be a combination of the hops with the caramel of the malt. Slight black pepper notes, also. Mouthfeel is as expected, a little stiffer and stickier than water at first but fizzing up and smoothing out if not swallowed too quickly. Overall, not a bad beer, a great one in fact, but overrated, not that I have any complaints. I say that having had it a few times when it was younger as well, enjoying it, but not being astonished.

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Photo of jpaulus
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: golden
Smell: floral, piney
Taste: similar to the Torpedo but with a more fresh hoppy taste
Mouthfeel: light, crisp
Overall: a very bitter fresh hop beer, great on a warm day

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Photo of pat61
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant copper amber under a 3” thick cream colored foam collar that hugs the glass.
S: citrus, malt and some grass.
T: Big citrus and herbal hop entry supported by a sturdy malt backbone leads to a bitter citrus rind finish.
F: Creamy smooth, medium soft, medium full body.
O: A hop driven beer that is at its best young.

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Photo of DevAJ
2.36/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I either am just not into hoppy beers yet, or I haven't found the proper hops. It's not bad for the first 1/4th of the beer, but after that, it's just too much for me. I guess I just don't like a ton of American hops, because I don't find Schlafly's Tasmanian IPA to be that bad (it supposedly uses Australian hops).

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Photo of MikeDL
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent IPA. The first time I tried it was today and it tastes great, it also gives off a nice smell. One of my favorite IPA's at the moment.

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Photo of ARoman
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

*transferred from old notes - 1/1/2014*
12oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip. There’s a sweet, roasted aroma that emerges from the pour almost instantaneously before my nose was anywhere near the glass. As it settles, pine and citrus notes become noticeable, as well as a very faint trace of chalkiness. The creamy, foamy, egg-shell white head lingers for awhile and laces the glass as it recedes. The beer itself is a hazy, bright orange (pumpkin color) with noticeable particulate floating within. At first sip, it starts out with a heavy hand of hop bitterness that gives way nicely into a mild sweetness and a more subtle bitter quality. It’s mostly a crisp beer, but not as dry as other IPAs - there’s some stickiness to it which blends nicely with some malty richness at the swallow. There’s also a pleasant warming effect to it to go with the above average carbonation. The aftertaste lingers for a bit mainly consisting of pine and resin with some toasted malt flavors. Nothing about this beer jumps out as "Christmas-y" as the name might hint at, but I don’t get the impression that’s was Sierra Nevada was going for - definitely a pleasing cold-weather IPA to keep warm with.

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Photo of CO-Bloom
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite IPA's and I love that it is a winter seasonal because it adds some variety in my malty selection of Imperial stouts, winter warmers and doppelbocks.

L: copper, amber
S: floral, piney and a hint of citrus
T: Piney, floral, balanced with a subtle sweet malt base with a hint of citrus.
M: medium/light
O: A well balanced beer that touches on everything I want from and IPA. Pine, Citrus and Floral. Not quite as good as some of the citrus/tropical bombs but that is personal preference. This is one of the best IPA's out there.

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Photo of JeffBlue
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

(Draft; revisited) at Main St. Brewery in Pleasanton. Not as good as back in December; probably would've rated it in the 4 range. Getting a tad stale but not bad overall.

Pale Ale (favorable)
Porter (favorable)
Kellerweis (favorable)
Torpedo (favorable)

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Deep orange colored and a little hazy beer with a huge 4-finger high beige, fluffy, head. A LOT of lacing stays on the glass!

Nose: Tropical fruit, orange marmelade, caramel malt, bread and pine.
Taste: Bitter hops, dried fruit, red berries, pine, caramel malt and grapefruit.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Great taste with balanced bitterness and sweetness.
Great beer!

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

This is the beer that got me info Craft in 2014. The first one I had I almost hated. A few later and everything changed. A year and over 100 beers later I'm drinking the 2015. This is a beautiful beer. The smell is smooth earthy pine. The taste is piney spicy hops followed by toasty malts and a bitter finish. yb

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Photo of stickydankhop
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle. Wow. By far the best winter seasonal I tried. Love the head and mouth feel. Found the last sixer at local beer store . Do not want to miss this one

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Photo of sdface
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am not going to do the traditional review on this ale as it happens to be the best seasonal beer that I've ever had...if you enjoy fresh hops, this is the beer for you! It is crisp like a cold and snowy winter night and yet the hops will warm your senses like the wood that's burning in the fire place...there is nothing that is so close to a perfect seasonal as this one! Sierra found a way to put the joy of winter in a bottle!

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

12 oz bottle from a 12 pack
Full disclosure; Total wine has a clearance section for seasonal beers near the the end of their season. I picked this up for $9.99. Label says it was packaged 11/25/2014.

Pours murky orange with a fluffy 3/4 inch, "surface of the moon", like head, that sticks around for a while. I can't say enough about the appearance of this beer's head .I'm giving the look my first 5 ever.. Good lacing all the way down the glass.

Smells of orange citrus with a little nutmeg - cinnamon .

The taste is slightly different then the smell. I couldn't smell the malts but I can sure taste em . Got that slightly bitter hop finish.

Great feel. It's got that "quaff my thirst" vibe due to the excellent head

Overall an excellent beer. It's nice to find a great IPA that only comes out in the winter. I usually switch to porters and winter warmers in late September but I will be looking for this IPA next winter.

Bravo !

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Photo of founddrama
3.06/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decently balanced. Hops are fairly strong but no stand-out flavors here. Quite drinkable though. The bottle talks about "pine and citrus hop aromas" and I get some of the pine but not so much the citrus.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,355 ratings.