Celebration Fresh Hop IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA
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IPA - American
Ranked #96
Ranked #2,173
4.17 | pDev: 11.27%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Celebration Fresh Hop IPACelebration Fresh Hop IPA
Notes: Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

We first brewed Celebration IPA in the winter of 1981. Each year, we use only the first fresh hops of the growing season to create this complex and robust ale. Layered pine and citrus hop aromas balance delicately against rich, malt sweetness to shape this bold wintertime classic.
Reviews: 3,634 | Ratings: 10,775 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by burnerfinger:
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burnerfinger from Texas

4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy Holidays! left work early and was able to snag a six pack of this.

A: pours orangey-copper red with a generous 3 finger head that slowly settles with nice lacing.
a bit hazy against a bright light...

S: the nose is s bit understated, especially for an IPA type brew. the hops are "suggested" at best here.

T: WHAM hops full on hop blast. somehow it projects a sense of balance while still being very very hoppy.

M: this is a BIG beer, full in every way. the alcohol is there but discreet. Plenty of carbonation.

D: This is way too good for guzzling - smooth is not what it was trying for - but it's a really great beer and I would defintiely have another.

Nov 24, 2009
More User Reviews:
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bassboneman from New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

I remember having this beer last year. I loved it then and I love it now!
The only issue I have is that the finish, to me, is slightly MORE bitter than I recall.
I am drinking this first brew of the season from the bottle - the next will be in a glass
Up yours!


Nov 08, 2014
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Beers-es from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a month-old bottle, pours a clear, deep copper. An inch of dense, off-white foam leaves lots of lacing.

Smell has an earthy quality along with hints of pine and grapefruit. Some malt on the nose as well. Taste is spicy, earthy hops balanced by the malt. Nice dry bitter finish. Feel is substantial but very drinkable.

Overall, this is an long-time favorite of mine, which I first enjoyed probably 30 years ago. Still really good, though what was cutting edge then has become an old-school classic. Like the Beatles, it's hard to explain how revolutionary Sierra Nevada's beers were back then, when all you had before were kegs of Bud and skunky green-glass imports. Crazy.

Oct 28, 2016
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GoodBeerFan2006 from North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review though I've followed Beeradvocate since 2011. Don't expect eloquence or flowery, descriptive language in this review.
A: Beautiful reddish amber with a two finger khaki head and nice lacing.
S: Describing smell is a weakness of mine. So I'll pass. It's nice, just can't describe it.
T: Awesome-- nice hop bitterness comes through. It reminds me of grapefruit rind and pine. Malty sweetness balances this out, but the finish is a nice hoppiness that's calling for me to have another sip.
F: Medium body, nice finish.
Overall: Perhaps my favorite IPA, seasonal, and beer of all time. It's solid year in and year out.

Nov 16, 2017
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california_republic from California

5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Very generous, foamy head that stays up a long time. As it subsides, it gets pillowy like cumulus clouds and leaves behind microfoam that clings to the side of the glass with a lot of coverage. Impressive and fresh, with a brew date of 10/3/17 being consumed on 10/31/17. Color is brownish amber and is actually pretty clear, unless you tip the bottle over all the way and let in the yeast to your glass.

Smell: Simply great. Fragrant apple, orange blossom and peel, pear, and berries. An amazingly American fragrance that will not fail to impress. I don't get much pine at all, maybe a tiny bit, which probably makes it unique among the high-quality hop-bomb American IPAs these days.

Taste: The taste is where the hops come back, with your familiar iconic west coast IPA pine and citrus. I also get orange peel and a lot of bright but not sour fruit flavors, which I interpret to be berries. There's also a bit of roasted maltiness to it, but the hops take center stage much more than in Pale Ale.

Feel: There's a creamyness to it from the many small bubbles in such a fresh brew. Sweet, but still crisp. Medium herbal bitterness around the level of Pale Ale but overall brighter than Pale Ale. Malts are of the roasted kind and not the crackery kind of lagers, but the malts are very slight. The finish is probably the weaker spot of this otherwise flawless American IPA as it's not as malty as Pale Ale and not as hoppy as Torpedo or Hop Hunter. But you have to keep in mind that Celebration has been around since 1981, a year after Pale Ale and long before craft beer drinkers got accustomed to the hop bombs of today.

Overall: Most brewers use their winter seasonal to concoct pumpkin spice dark malt agglomerations without the pumpkin, but Sierra Nevada was not founded on such gimmicks. They built themselves on being the one of the first masters of American hops, and Celebration reflects their history and focus. Despite being a winter seasonal, Celebration has nothing to do with Christmas or spice and instead is instead a celebration of the start of the hop harvest, featuring the freshest hops of the year. This is well reflected in the outstanding head, aroma, taste, and texture of this beer, even compared to Sierra Nevada's year-round beers. The only glaring flaw is that the finish is surprisingly not as hop-heavy as Torpedo "Extra" IPA or even Hop Hunter, which probably reflects the fact that Celebration is a much older ale than the hop bombs that craft beer drinkers have gotten used to.

Nov 01, 2017
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tectactoe from Michigan

4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just finished my last Celebration of the season. Time to rewrite this review. Pours a deep copper-amber hybrid color with some orange highlights. An absolutely huge, beige-colored head tops this one off - incredibly thick and creamy with extraordinary staying power, also coating all sides of the glass with fat, chunky lacing. Decent clarity, and you can see a nice stream of carbonation bubbles flowing from the etched bottom of my glass to the top of the brew.

The aroma is strong, with a super-fresh dose of hops. Sierra Nevada claims that these are "fresh" hops (not wet, mind you, but fresh) and you can definitely tell. It's like sticking your head into a recently cut field of grass, vibrant and alive. The character of these hops is largely resinous, piney, and somewhat floral. The pine aromas hit your nostrils with some power, very needley and pungent. Faint citrus hints, more so on the rind and pith side, as to not make things too sweet, rather keep with the solid bitterness profile. Some spiciness from the hops is also noticeable and works to tie everything together.

The taste is crazy delicious - despite the heavy load of hops, there is certainly a strong malt presence here that does more than just lay out framework for the other parts. Slight toasted malts, caramel, toffee, and a faint, musky, earthy presence can be found immediately. As soon as you start to appreciate this nice, malt-laden infrastructure (or maybe even before that), the hops come in and go buck wild on your palate. Pines, pine needles, resinous hop nuggets, Christmas trees, Christmas wreathes - yeah, I said it. Christmas wreathes.

The malt profile is ever-present for the duration of the hop take-over, which creates a nice cosmic balance, despite the hefty bitter overload of the hops. The spice character is not to be forgotten - there's a joke going around that SN adds spices to this beer, which they've debunked as false many times. But I can see where people are coming from. A nice, peppery, earthy, and warming "hop spice" flavor trills along for the entire sip, riding a wave right into the aftertaste. I really can't overstate how goddamn tasty this shit is. Medium bodied, carbonated to the max; not too sticky, not too dry, this beer is great in all aspects.

Whether you call this a malty IPA, or a hopped-up amber/red ale, or a winter warmer, or whatever - it doesn't matter. Call it a stout for all I care. Just know that this beer is delicious. And the fact that it's a seasonal release around my favorite time of the year (the joyous bridge from Thanksgiving to Christmas) gets me that much more excited to pick it up each year. The holidays would not be complete without this beer in my fridge. I always try to make it last far into the spring - usually doesn't make it that long.

Nov 08, 2012
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Ahypercube from California

4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Always enjoy seeing this one on the shelves this time of year. A reliable classic from one of my favorite breweries; the price to quality ratio is just damn impressive. From a 12 oz bottle into a chalice:

L: Pours with a beautiful brownish amber color and about one finger of fluffy beige head, with very fine bubbles. Carbonation persists fervently and the lacing forms very attractive wavy rings around the glass. Beautiful. I'll call this a 5.

S: Piney, peppery and a little sour. Very herbal too, with hints of mint, camphor and clove as well as a rich malt profile--including toasty french bread and nutty oat notes.

T: This is the second time I have been surprised with how tasty this beer is. One of the few IPAs I have tried that opens with malt flavors (which I strongly appreciate): the first that hits me is a caramelly sweetness, which immediately blends with bitter-piney and peppery-spicy hop oil, but is fought back against by complex roasted barley malt profile. Not much fruitiness to this beer. Perhaps some pear, apricot and lemon. A finish of pure pine and menthol. I certainly don't miss the overdose of grapefruit rind I find in almost every west coast IPA.

F: Perfect. Thick but not sticky, carbonated but not frothy, smooth but not oily. An expert balance.

O: Perhaps the most affordable seasonal beer worth getting excited over. Cheers!

Nov 22, 2016
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Todd from California

4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Balanced? No way. But who gives a rat's ass? 2001 is something to kick the Winter into gear, with its incredible raw hopped character and warming alcohol. A beer to look forward to, regardless. I do recall previous years being more pronounced in the malt dept. and more balanced. But hey, whatever. Drink a few of these and nothing will really matter.

To give this year's a perfect 5 is a little extreme. Everything was great overall, the drinkability ... like crack. I'm off to the pawn shop ...

Notes from 2000:

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist cap bottle. Lovely little X-mas scene on the label. Bottled on date, on neck of bottle.

Appearance: Rich, deep amber/copper. Excellent slightly off-white head ... very creamy, sticky and retains like its fighting for its life.

Smell: There's an absolutely incredible aroma on this beer! A nose full of big herbal hops and fruity esters. Some yeast aromas are also present, but very minimal.

Taste: Dreamy. So smooth. So rich. So fortified with malt goodness. So hoppy. At first there's a creamy feel on the palate, that then opens up to toasty, sweet malt flavours. A bold herbal hop runs rampid on the palate with a semi-prickly, puckering, lemon-rind quality. After a few more mouthfulls the brew begins to warm the body, and you can really feel the alcohol kick in. Finishes a bit dry with grain/husk flavours, and some breadiness as it warms.

Notes: At 6.8% this is one hell of a Winter seasonal! Warms the body and soul. A brew for hop heads too. One of the best Winter Seasonals that I have ever had, and one of the best Strong Ales. Drink with caution as this brew will kick your ass.

Nov 23, 2001
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gearinches from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rating IPAs is tough. Here in New England we have brewers like Tree House that turnout exceptional craft beers. But for many/most of them you have to drive an hour or two, stand in line, and pay $4 +/- a can. How can you compare that to beers like SN Celebration that, in season, are available almost everywhere at about $1/bottle? If money is not to be considered, and drive time is not to be considered, and standing in line time is not to be considered, then Tree House Alter Ego or Green or etc is a somewhat better beer than Celebration. But those factors have to be considered.

On a value basis, considering all above, this beer stands with the best. Easily. It's great fresh, in November thru January. But I just had a bottle now in August. The character has changed but not the satisfaction. Smoother, richer, still unique. Don't be afraid to buy several cases in late Fall and if you don't finish all of them you'll still have a treat 9 to 12 months later (I'm going to cellar a few and see what happens after a couple years, a la the Trader Joe's/Unibroue Christmas beer).

Spectacular value.

Aug 21, 2018
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mirp1 from New York

4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Celebration Ale is one of the first holiday beers ever released in the U.S. I first had it many years ago, and was blown away by it's classy simplicity. It struck me as an in-your-face, rock solid craft beer, having no intentions on faking anyone out. I looked forward to it's annual November release, and not just for the quality of the beer, but also for the striking holiday-winter theme packaging. Like many reviewers, I have had all kinds of beer over the years, from EKU 28, to Scaldis, to Heady Topper, Pliny the Elder, Ghandi Bot, Hi Res, KBS, Bourbon County Stout/Barley Wine, Bells Hop Slam/Mars, Seeking Alpha, Flower Power, Creeker, etc, etc. Consequently, my palate is conditioned to not be as impressed as I was with the more regular craft beers of the world. When I was told last week that Celebration Ale was now in stock at local beer stores here in Utica, NY, I quickly went out and grabbed some. Modern holiday beers have become spice crazy, and so have jumped the shark. Celebration Ale is that rock solid holiday craft beer that never sold out. Great color, malty, crisp, with cascade, centennial, and chinook. Nuff said.

Nov 17, 2015
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Glengosch from Washington

4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Nov 07, 2015
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foglemgs from Illinois

4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An excellent winter ale! Next to Torpedo, this is probably my favorite offering from Sierra Nevada. They don't try to dress this seasonal brew up (as other brewers do) with too many different flavors. Sierra Nevada sticks to what they're good at: hops, and it's damn tasty.

Nov 26, 2016
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ikapaMK from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Celebration 2016

Look - Pours a hazy, deep gold colour with a 3 1/2 finger off-white/gold head. Good retention.

Smell - Malt and orange zest stand out from the beginning with a suggestion of potential spice and an inviting freshness

Taste - Now, I'm not a huge IPA fan, but I can tell this is a good one. Sweet malt balanced by a bitter hop. That being said, there's a bright orange peel taste to the bitterness and a green, grassy, herbaceous flavour behind it all.

Feel - I wasn't expecting much fullness until I saw the colour and, again, I am not let down. There's a bready fullness to it that coats your tongue with a thick layer. This is a better mouthfeel than I've seen in many darker beers.

Overall - I was hoping for something special and I was not let down. I wish this was more available than only on Christmas.

Jan 09, 2017
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r-m-kaylor from New York

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

How do you rate an Icon of the style?

What is style, what are forms, what is beauty...What is a shared experience...How do we know what we perceive or sense is something translatable in a way that others (or the perceived others) can appreciate and understand in a manner which is consistent to the manner in which one understands...

The French say it best, "C'est la Vie!"

2016 Vintage

Poured into a generic tulip resulting in a clear deep hued brown with nice bubbles and consistent off-white head.

On the eyes, everything one would expect for a strong American IPA - dark, clear and promising.

On the nose, hops, hops and more hops - even though this is the 2016 Vintage - Please note that I tend to let these West Coast Types (Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, etc.) sit for a year to "take the edge off" the hops, as it were - just a personal preference...Candi sugar and malts on the nose as well -

Up front, through the middle and back follows the nose precisely - no surprises...What one would expect from an Icon...

Geez, has it been 20 years? Been partaking in this Seasonal Icon for the better part of 20 years and it has been consistent, but again, this is what one expects with an Icon.

Thanks for reading...

May 06, 2017
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t0rin0 from California

4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update: I should probably reveiw this new as that's how most people are going to be drinking it. Appearance and body are the same but the hop flavors and aromas are mostly floral with plenty of pine and woodiness. It can be a very nice beer if you drink it within the first month or so from bottling but it can turn into something fun after a few years. It oxidizes in a nice way.


I recently aquired bottles from a number of different years. These include 2006, 2005, 2002, 1999, and 1990. I tried them all this month (August 2007). Believe it or not the bottle from 1990 (almost 17 years old now) was still quite good. It seems to have mellowed more than the 1999 bottle though.

The appearance is as it has always been, a reddish color with a bit of brown in there. Nice color.

The fresher years smell spicy and hoppy but the older they get the sweeter and less hopy they smell. Not necesarily a bad thing, just the malt coming out.

Fresh celebration ale is fairly bitter. It has a very dry aftertaste. The flavor is malty but that is overpowered by the hop flavor, which is not a bad thing. The older they get the more chocolatey and sweet they taste. Its unfortunate that I couldn't try some more years between 1990 and 1999 because the 1999 seems to be the best that ive tried whereas the 1990 seems to have lost a bit of flavor and is most certainly over the hill. If I get to try some more years I'll update this post.

Mouthfeel was the same for all years. Very smooth and thin. That seems to be a characteristic of Sierra Nevada beers.

Drinkability is a tough one to describe. Judge for yourself based on the flavors that ive described.

Overall this is one of my favorite beers of all time (out of the 460 or so that ive tried)

Aug 20, 2007
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KennyDerenbecker from Louisiana

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Fresh Hop IPA is an excellent winter seasonal beer. Pours an amber color with a heavy off white head. Has great lacing all around the glass. Very fruity aroma with wonderful hops but nothing that overpowers the palate. The hops are present but are very delightful. A great IPA to have during the fall/winter season!

Dec 17, 2017
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peabody81 from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

I have enjoyed this beer many times over the years, but this year is the first that Sierra Nevada has been local to North Carolina, so I've never had one this fresh before. Bottled on 9/26/14.
Aroma: piney, but not overwhelmingly so
Appearance: very nice orangey-amber-brown with delicate lacing
Mouthfeel: just right, not too watery, but not chewy either (not that there's anything wrong with that)
Taste: More balanced than I remember, but my hop tolerance is so high now that what would be insanely bitter to others is meh to me. Leaves a very nice, just the right amount of bitterness, aftertaste. Very drinkable.
Overall: One of the all-time classics, getting it fresh - BONUS!!!!

Oct 21, 2014
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Jeff_whitman from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Does not drink like a wet hopped beer. Its missing the fresh hop smell and flavor. Not a bad beer but it wasnt great either.

Nov 10, 2014
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Skrumpy from Oregon

3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have been drinking this beer every holiday season for decades, & this years batch was excellent as usual. Coppery colored with a tan, foamy head. Streak lacing. Aroma is light citrus and tropical fruit with some caramel malt. Citrus and pine and some grass notes, well balanced with a sweet malt base. Medium body with a dry finish. Pleasant hops aftertaste. A great holiday tradition

Nov 22, 2016
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Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks amber/honey colored with a creamy head. Nice lacing in Spieglau IPA glass. Smells like pine cone, tangerine, buttered biscuit. Tastes piney,tropical, earthy. Feels sharp and almost dry. (Which is good), who wants oily,viscous IPAs. Overall this is a solid beer as always. (I used to believe there was actually some cinnamon, nutmeg) This is a fantastic fresh hopped ale which I am surprised I never rated-

Nov 11, 2018
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MoreBeer4me from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a good one folks and if you've never had it, get some. Has a little bit of many things going on. Malty, hoppy, slightly sweet with a little spice but nowhere near as spicy as some other holiday brews. I always buy some extra to crack open in the Spring.

Nov 14, 2018
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Riff from Virginia

4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber color with a thick off-white head. Smells of pine, a little of toasted malts, and a hint of tropical fruit. The first thing I noticed with the tastes was a hop bite, pine, a little toasted malts, and some citrus. Mostly the piney hops. Overall though it's a very solid IPA and I was finished with the glass before I knew it.

Nov 16, 2016
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rand from California

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just picked up a couple of 6 packs of fresh, 2015 vintage, and realized I hadn't reviewed this. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear, amber appearance, with a small, fluffy head. A couple rings of lacing are left after a few sips.

S: Hop-forward nose with a citrusy, floral bouquet. I just went through a lot of fresh-hop brews from the September harvest, adn this smells very similar.

T: The hop essence defines the flavors but it's floral, grassy and nuanced rather than bitter. NOtes of green apple and citrus rind are countered by honeyed biscuits and toasty grains. There is some bitterness toward the back of the sip, joining a touch of warming alcohol. Closes with a medium finish, with lingering bitter residuals.

M: Medium-light complexion with an oily slick mouthfeel.

There's good reason everyone clamors over this brew this time of year. It seems all of the fresh hop IPA's available have only made this more popular. Get it while you can.

Nov 24, 2015
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Tee76 from Michigan

3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As far as an IPA goes this is exceptional. Great lacing, great taste, very drinkable. My only complaint is its marketed and sold as a winter beer. There's nothing "Christmas" or winter about this brew. Sierra Nevada should sell it year round. I could easily drink this on hot day.

Nov 24, 2015
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doktorhops from Australia

3.66/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

May 08, 2015
Celebration Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 10775 ratings