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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

8,992 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,992
Reviews: 3,278
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 276
Gots: 973 | 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: 8,992 | Reviews: 3,278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Rifugium
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

This review is for the 2010 batch, served in a bottle.

Poured into a pint glass, a clear amber, with reddish highlights around the edges, and a finger of merry white head. Floral and citrus notes in the aroma, hoppy, with a malty sweetness in the background. Much like the previous batch, a good balance of sweet malts and bitter but smooth hops, floral and slightly herbal, with a tad of spice. Medium mouthfeel and sessionably drinkable.

Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber in the pint shaker. Nice foam on top and sudsy mouthfeel. Nice aroma of flowery Cascade-like hops.

Spicy and flowery hop flavors. A distinct touch of the IPA kind of bitter burn, but it's well balanced by a load of malt. Some roasted flavors, a touch warm fruitiness, and a fair amount of sweetness. Really an ideal winter brew but a good thirst quencher. I've been drinking this for years but somehow never reviewed it before. I used to be very fond of it, but it seemed to get overly bitter in recent years. I'll be looking to try it next year.

Crisp and refreshing. On tap at Green Chile Kitchen in San Francisco.

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent dark orange color with two fingers of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, light pine hops, bready malts, and light caramel malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, caramel malts, spice, and bready malts. Some definite bitterness in the taste but not too much. Very nice taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth with some small bitterness.

d - A very nice, easy drinking IPA. Lots of citrus hops mixing with caramel malts in the smell and taste, and not a ton of bitterness in the taste. Would certainly have again and love how cheap it is compared to some other IPAs.

Photo of WesWes
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It is full of piney hops, pale, and crystal malts. It has a nice balanced aroma. The taste is great. It has the best of both worlds. It has a very intense hop flavor which is accompanied by a complex malt bill. The mouthfeel is also good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with excellent carbonation. This beer drinks great. It goes down easy and shows little sign of it's elevated abv. . This beer ranks along side the best I've had; a real good beer.

Photo of jwc215
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with thick creamy head that stays around the entire time. Beautiful rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of fresh, floral, citrusy hops. Spiced breadiness. Slight alcohol.

The taste is of citrusy, chewy hops over wintery spices. Slighty woody. Sweet graininess in the undertone balances things out. Long, dry finish. Well-balanced for style with hops dominating, but with enough malt to give it a deep, complex richness.

Incredibly smooth and delicious. The alcohol stays in its place. Like in years past, this one is not to be missed this year!

Photo of drewone
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 on label, pour into snifter

Deep orange color, hazy, lots of small floaties. Nice thick head, thin layer remains for a while, foam lacing sticks to glass.

Hoppy piney, but not hit you over the head. Woodsy and some sweetness too.

Malt sweetness and hops spiciness work well together, perhaps a bit sweet. Satisfying bitter finish/aftertaste.

Creamy mouth feel, smooth but with ends with a tang. Nice amount of carbonation.

Solid, holds up well.

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage.

The beer pours a nice amber color with a white head. The aroma is great. I get a lot of orange and resiny hops with some bready malt mixed in. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of bitter orange and papaya and some pine. Medium bitterness. There is a bit of bready malt in the flavor to keep things a little bit balanced, but the beer is all about the hops. Very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Excellent.

Photo of smcolw
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--Gorgeous rich bronze color; pleasant slightly off-white head that collapsed quickly. Extremely small carbonation bubbles providing for a long lasting lace on the glass

Smell--Predominate hop aroma that is more flowery than bitter. Very inviting.

Taste--Very short malt flavor up front which quickly becomes overwhelmed by the bitterness from the hop. The aftertaste is entirely bitter hop.

Mouthfeel--Consistant with the style, bitterness lingers long, long after the swallow.

Drinkability--I consider this to be one of the superior American IPA's. While I wouldn't quaff this, if I could only have one beer for an entire evening, this would be one of my top choices.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never got a chance to try this one last year so I bought a 12'er right when it came out this year and I'm glad I did. ($14.99/12)

One of the most beautiful beers I've seen in a glass... a huge fluffy head with a light copper-ish color, tons of ascending bubbles which just scream out freshness/deliciousness.

Taste is hop filled and bitter, but the hops seem to me a bit subdued more than the usual IPA. I catch more of a fruity vibe to it than the basic IPA and the bitterness seems to last through the swallow (in a good way). I'm finding this beer hard to review because the beer is almost too good to savor at all. Great work SA.

Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heard all the hype so I picked it up. Giving Sierra Nevada another chance to impress me. 6.80% ABV confirmed for the 2012 batch. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at BevMo! and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the hype, but I'm skeptical.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and good retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant copper-amber. Semitransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Decent lacing.

Sm: Toasted amber malts, cream, floral hops, caramel, murky tangerine, and cloying sweetness. Surprisingly malty; I expected an overly hoppy bright aroma. I see now why it's a winter beer. Shaping up to be quite nice so far. An average strength aroma.

T: Pleasant floral hops until the climax, where the hop bitterness breaks through naked, without anything to help hide it. Pleasant toasted malt foundation, with even some cherry fruit up front. Too bitter in the third act, destroying the balance of both the flavour profile and the structure. Nice interplay between hops and malts but the finish just tanks it. I do like it, but I wish the last third could just be snipped away. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Some murky grapefruit and tangerine; I suspect citra hops. Where's the bright crisp citrus and pine that I want? It's nowhere to be found here. Drinks like a decently hopped winter warmer. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Mf: Too dry and coarse in the third act, but pleasantly smooth and wet up front. A bit sticky and chewy. Good thickness and carbonation. Good presence. Clean.

Dr: Quite drinkable, especially considering the above average ABV. It's an enjoyable little seasonal, but current ratings are obscenely high given the quality here. I'm glad I have a six pack, and I'd try this on draught, but I doubt I'll pick up any next year. A solid macrobrew IPA for what it is, but don't expect it to live up to its current ratings. At this price point and availability, I can see why it makes it into so many refrigerators. But its severe lack of balance really holds it back.

High C+

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Gueuzedude
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, I freely admit it I am extremely biased when it comes to this beer. I used to buy cases of this stuff every year. I finally broke down and started to buy a keg of it instead. The first time I had this it absolutely blew me away. The hops where so intense so fresh the just screamed to break free from the confines of the bottle. This beer is definitely best when fresh, because it is all about the hop flavor and aroma. The hops lend a wonderful spicy citrusy greatness to this beer. And wonderfully the brewers saw fit to outfit this paragon with a solid malt backbone that just carries and delivers the hop celebration to every corner of your mouth. Just a plain awesome beer.

Photo of GClarkage
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in October 2004 at the Toronado on tap. Was the first time I have ever had a Celebration before. I've seen so many people rave about; so I figure why not have it from the tap for the first time. Poured with a decent head and left little lace while drinking through the pint. Smells of flowers, fruits and hops come out in the nose. Tastes of the exact smells. More hops that I expected. I was thinking there would be a heavier alcohol taste aproaching a weak style barleywine. A nice carbonated and crisp beer. Very drinkable. It still wasn't as good as I thought it would be though. Maybe because I thought it was a different style. Still a good-very good beer worth picking up.

Update 2003 version-

Tastes pretty much the same except maybe a slight bit less hops. Still an excellent beer. I have had several samples of the 2004 and now that I know what to expect, I think I will change my original rating. This is a very class beer.

Update 2005 version-

Finding myself now drooling over this beer. Purchased a case of the 2005 from Costco for about $24. This years seems very hoppy with a big pine or woodsy flavor to the hops. Almost feel like raising drinkability to a 5. Already looking to buy another case to get me by until 2006.

Update 2006 version-

This version is as good as it always is. Seems even more like a traditional IPA this year. Plenty of hops and a nice caramel malt base. Very well balanced.

Update 2007 version-

Again, a winner. Maybe one of the best yet. Of the three bottles I've had, they seem more sweet, but maybe not quite a hopped up. Compare this years version to Lost Coast Indica. Very good as usual.

Update 2008 version-

Seems to bit a bit more malty this year. Still very good, but I've enjoyed all the past years a bit more. Still won't stop me from buying a case each year...and from drinking the rest of this years stash. Still an above average IPA.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, 2006 edition.

A: Hazy burnt orange color, white head, with some lace.

S: Smells of piney hops, not incredibly robust, but nice nevertheless.

T: Malt upfront, but then it relinquishes its hold and allows the hops to shine through. Delicious grapefruit from the West Coast hops dominates the palate leaving a nice lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied, with a resiny, oily, almost medicinal character from the hops.

D: About as drinkable as an IPA gets, this beer is easy going down and only leaves you wanting more. I had this beer in November, and it was much more raw, the mild aging seems to have mellowed it out a bit, making it more drinkable. Can't wait for the 2007 editon, a must have this holiday season.

Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got my first 2003 six pack, and I was in heaven. Poured a amber / orange color with a thick bubbly head that remained through most of the drink. Lacing was beautiful. Aroma sported strong hops, with a sweet / sour sensation. The taste is great - strong hops with a nice balance of sweet malt. Some citrus seems to arrive on the tongue with the bitterness after swallowing. The carbonation level is perfect, giving some crispness to the mouthfeel. Alcohol level is barely detectable. One of the most drinkable beers I know, as several can be consumed in an afternoon or evening.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brown 2008 bottle, with 350ml of beer for 69 pence from a cut-price store in Wellington, Shropshire, couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them lined up on the shelf.

I poured it into a 'Hoegaarden Grand Cru' stemmed tulip glass, why not let it live a little before I drank it?

I allowed the whole bottle to enter the glass, so it looked a dull dark orange colour and was obviuosly cloudy. The head was a frothy off-white pile and the beer looked cool in its unfamilier glass.

Hops, hops and hops hit my nose, some yeast smells tried to get out too.

In the taste the hops took over again, wave after wave of them, nothing else could force its way through, a dry bitterness from the said hops appeared to be unchecked, but a slight fruity flavour (apples, pears and berries) did turn up in the aftertaste.

Plenty of body, not rich or creamy, just body.

Pleasant, but just a bit too hoppy for my palate.

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of orangesol
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours deep copper orange with a one finger tall white head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malt, pine resin, lightly toasted bread, and citric hops. The hops and malt are well balanced, neither really overpowering the other.

T - Starts off with a nice dose of citric hop bitterness quickly giving way to a mix of sweet caramel malts, fresh baked bread, and some sticky pine resin. It is fairly well balanced but the sweetness is beginning to creep up. The finish is a mix of light sweetness and bitterness, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, slightly sticky, feel that makes it ever so easy to drink.

O - This one remains one of my go to fall beers. The balance of sweetness to bitterness is spot on and it goes down easy. One of the rare IPA's that gets better with age.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Edition

A: Pours a lightly hazy deep amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and moderate amounts of small yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a two finger tall light beige head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering most of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit and pine/resin hops.

T: Upfront there is a decent amount of malts (with a very light amount of caramel notes) but the main flavor in this beer is that of the citrus/grapefruit hops with some lighter notes of pine/resin hops. Moderate amounts of bitterness which does not linger.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Easy to drink and very well balanced - the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of the malts are really in harmony. Very enjoyable and one I look forward to each holiday season. Definitely sessionable.

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

12 oz 2007 bottle. I've had this on tap a few times this year but waited for bottle since I never felt like I got a good taste in a smoky bar

A: Fairly clear deep amber color with a nice persistent white head, not overly thick. Leaves a nice, but not large amount of lacing in the glass.
S: Very strong aroma, lots of hops obviously overpowering anything else, but some floral and sweeter, citrus flavor
T: I like this a lot for a american ipa as hops as big and present throughout the beer but is never overly bitter or dry. Aside from hops there is a small floral taste and a sweet ctirusy fruity flavor. Never really picked up on alcohol flavor.
M: Medium body and carbonation, very smooth and slightly creamy. Very good, not overly bitter or dry and as it warms up a little becomes a little sweeter and less bitter
D: Just a great american ipa, nothing particularly remarkable, just very good and very drinkable

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

Pours a very clear light amber/orange color with more than a finger of slightly stained yellow head; pretty solid retension. Lacing is clinging all over the glassware. Aroma is a nice mix of citrus, floral, spice and well kinda mint-like hops with a little backing of malt. Bitter in both the front and the finish with lingering hop character. Thin feel with a moderate amount of carb. Overall a very enjoyable beer. Only thing I would discredit this beer for is the lack of malt in the taste.

Enjoying this with some blocks of aged sharp cheese, absolutely awesome.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,992 ratings.