Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale
BA SCORE
88.8%
Liked This Beer
4.15 w/ 10,234 ratings
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fresh Hop Ale; no spices.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,398
Reviews:
3,468
Ratings:
10,234
Liked:
9,092
Avg:
4.15/5
pDev:
11.57%
Alströms:
4.35
 
 
Wants:
384
Gots:
1,963
Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,234 |  Reviews: 3,468
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2000 edition, scooped at Route 59 Liquor in Monsey, NY. 5 year IPA that still rocked. More like a top Belgian, still well hopped with spicey yeast and barley and grapefruit hop, tastes up front, followed by honey and then bitter finish. Drying. Copper with sizzling white head, lace. Rich full mouthfeel.This is the rating.
2007 edition, still a very good IPA with citrus, above average carbonation, and lacing grooming the glass. Very drinkable, but the 2000 was an award winner.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3 finger frothy off white head with excellent retention and lacing. Body is cloudy and golden with amber/crimson hues. Nice sweet citrus aroma with subtle floral notes. Flavor is mostly pine and woody hops, a little bitter with a subtly citrus sweet finish. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall a nice complexly hopped ale. Becomes more drinkable throughout the expierience, excellent

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 edition.

A - Pours a hazy light orange color with a 1 inch white head that fades to a small cap. There is slight ring lacing going on.

S - Smells of citrus and pine hops with a sweet fruit undertone.

T - Tastes of bitter citrus zest/pine hops up front with a slight malt aftertaste. There is a lingering bitterness on the tongue from the hops.

M - Good carbonation makes for a smooth drinking experience.

D - This is a pretty good beer that I will buy again to try each year it comes out. I got this bottle from a Winter sampler pack on clearance and I am glad I got to try the 2009 brew.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick white firm lasting head.

Nose is very yeasty, assertive and pleasant; nice bread nose character.

Flavors are strong citrus/pine hops with a little malt. Nice hints of pine. Pleasant and drinkable, although very predictable.

Long bitter hop finish.

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Photo of spycow
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Celebration Ale
Poured into a Nonic glass from the 12oz bottle

A - Poured an amber-light brown color with small but constant head. It coats the glass nicely when drinking.

S - Smell of a good hoppy beer. Chinook hops are noticeable with a smoky, strong yet pleasant smell with a light floral character.

T - Can taste the use of the various hops typical of a good IPA. IPA's are one of favorite styles. I love the bitter but not overwhelming flavor that leaves an aftertaste that lasts for minutes after. Even though slightly strong you can't taste the alcohol.

M - It has a great feel in the mouth. I like how it coats your mouth for an IPA leaving you wanting more.

D - Extremely drinkable and excellent example of an american IPA. One of those you can sit down and drink several wanting more.

A great example of an american ale that is worth spending the extra dollars for. It is always a staple for me during the holiday season.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

has a finer looking glass of beer ever been poured? i doubt it! absolutely sensational festive red color with a 2 inch head that resembles the first big pillowy snowfall. smells like whole cone hops, delicate and passive, but confident and obvious. resiny, floral notes hit the nose, with none of the spice warmer stuff the packaging suggests. taste is less than a standard american ipa in terms of hop bitterness, in fact its not bitter at all, but just a good well balanced ale, perfect for any season in my opinion, not just christmas time. a really well crafted beer, with a perfect mouthfeel, medium body and carbonation that lets you taste it all. nice finish as well with one last hop kick. really fresh and delicious. as big as sierra nevada has gotten, its products only continue to get better. great great brew. looking forward to the other 11 bottles left in the box...

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had picked up 2 bottles of this around the holidays this passed year and was pretty excited to have this again. This beer pours out as a really nice looking Christmasy red color with a tan head on top that settles pretty quickly. The aroma is mostly hops which I like, it makes me want to dive right into this beer. The other aromas are subtle enough that they are almost nonexistent in this one. There is a little bit of spiciness coming through in the nose as well. The taste is just hoppy, I guess there are some malt flavors in the far background of this beer but mostly all hops here. The mouthfeel is medium I'd say. It's a really nice brew though and worth checking out.

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Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t0rin0
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
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)

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.44/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy light amber in color and poured with a two finger high off white head that slowly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible along with some particles floating in suspension.
S: There are moderate aromas of grapefruit and pine resin hops in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the hops contribute lots of citrus flavors to the overall taste along with a mild to moderate amount of bitterness, yet they do not overpower the taste because they are well balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: If the alcohol content was a little lower, this beer could be considered as sessionable because it is rather easy to drink.

Note: 2010 vintage

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

Riding on the heels of recent hop harvests, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company takes advantage with a hop-dominant, yet malty-rich beer that is both hearty enough and zesty enough for a compliment to many winter dishes.

The pour delivers a bright classic amber color with a modest haze. A dance of carbonation fuels a consistent and foamy head that retains as well as beers can and lacing with rings and intermitten patterns throughout. Foam of eggshell color takes on a moussy texture. Could this be the poster child for how IPA's should look? Aside from the richer amber color, I'd say so.

Pungent with citrus and grass, the nose delivers a lush and delicate blend of ruby red grapefruit, pine resin, and floral/flowery notes burried a bit under the malts but come in late in conjunction with sweetly alcohol scent. Spicy and bready, the beer takes on a graham cracker-like aroma that compliment the hops well.

Bread crust flavors of French baguette work with caramel and graham cracker dry/bready yet spicy flavor sets the tone for the malt base, of which provides the springboard for an exquisite display of hop dominance. Sweetness steps aside to allow for sharp, spicy, and vibrant citrus flavor and bitterness delivered by the Cascade hop in such a maner as only Sierra Nevada can deliver. Just shy of sharing the juicy and lush tropical flavors of Centennial, Citra, and Amarillo, this beer's hop profile is nearly ideal. Slightly grassy and vegital because of the leafy residue of whole hop cones, the beer carries a pungent bitterness that compliments the malts as much as it detracts from the crisp hoppiness.

Medium to start, the modestly creamy textures transition to a consistent fade toward a malty/dry mouthfeel just before the finish. Obviously the beer concludes with a long and resiny bitterness with a hoppy dryness that accompanies a minty warming/cooling feel deep into the aftertaste.

A remarkable beer in that it's complex with the malty/hoppy interplay- interesting that such balance and variance in taste can be found in such simple recipe profile. Yet, the beer can be tasted with such ease that it's dangerous at 6.8%. An absolute delight of a beer and a welcome to my drinking rotation each winter.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, many thanks to DoktorZee for fulfilling a longtime beer want of mine for Christmas 2012.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of rocky, chunky off-white head, which leaves some decent fuzzy cogwheel lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of somewhat musty citrus rind and pine tips, lightly toasted bready caramel malt, a touch of toffee, and softly sassy grassy hops. The taste is more orange and grapefruit pithy fruitiness, a wee bit of lemongrass, some leafy spruce resin, and a somewhat overmatched bready, almost crackery malt, the caramel morphing into a echo of lingering expectation.

The carbonation is averagely competent, being all that I want it to be, the body a sturdy, just reconstructed medium weight, and smooth with that tacit acknowledgement of hoppy interlopers. It finishes off-dry, sure, but in a general, brown sugar sense, as the various hoppy notes play on and on and on.

I may have just given off an air of hop fatigue, but that's just not the case. What is true, however, is my weariness of late of brewers who claim an all-satisfying balance in their big-ass bitter offerings, in the hope of worldwide acceptance, I suppose, when nothing of the sort is actually on offer. So, to summarize, this is indeed a pretty stellar IPA, but there's nothing particularly wintery, in terms of malt-upsizing, about it. Glad to have finally made its acquaintance, though, certainly.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

---
01/24/15: I found the 2014 vintage much more balanced and enjoyable. It had a great hop-forward flavour profile with ample complexity for the style and ABV. I found myself buying multiple 6-packs over the course of the season.

B-

High C+

***
11/11/16: 2016 vintage impressions (bottled). 6 pack ran me $9.99 at a beer store in Brooklyn, NY.

Clear copper-amber body. Translucent and transparent. Frothy off-white cap. Nice lacing. ~7 minute retention. Looks decent for an IPA; not the usual vibrant clean copper you'd see.

Aroma hints at toastiness, with a more amber malt-driven malt backbone than most IPAs offer, putting amber malts on equal footing with pale malts. Hop profile is floral, somewhat piney, a little oily, a bit resinous...it caters to eclectic tastes, ticking almost every traditional box in terms of traditional hop aromatics (everything except juicy/citrusy fruity hop notes).

A coating texture and medium body combined with an atypically coarse and dry somewhat dragging presence on the palate give the subtle bubblegum and oily piney hop notes more oomph at the expense of the cleaner floral and resinous hop notes (which would be better accentuated by a more smooth, wet, light feel). A slightly toasty slightly bready amber malt backbone gives this a slightly sweeter taste than most IPAs go for, which plays to its holiday theme to an extent - at the expense of drinkability. Deliberately imbalanced with a chaotic clash of hop bitterness and amber malt toasty sweetness in combination with a rough texture, Celebration is anything but a dialed-in beer, but I nevertheless find myself enchanted by it. It's far from great in terms of traditional style conventions, bending more towards an imperial amber (or heaven forbid a nonsense designation like "red IPA"), but there's an intangible element that keeps me returning to it year to year...and at a very reasonable $9.99 per sixer, that's easy to do.

B- / WORTHY

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Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007

Purrs into a large Spaten mug, really nice deep amber coloration, with 3-4 fingers of foam initially. The head deflates after several minutes, but is ever present. there is a soapy ring of drippy lace hanging around the edge.

Caramel, bready malts in the nose, some vague citrus.

Full bodied, it feels really silky and rich. Not especially harsh, but there is a good deal of hop flavor, more resiny and herbal. The malts seem to have stolen the show, after sitting half a year in the bottle. Toffee, caramel, spicy hop, and citrus rind.

Really balanced, verging on double IPA. Tasty stuff. I'll be looking for the '08 this winter.

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Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a lovely head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Wonderful citrus orange aroma

Taste: Although this beer is very hoppy, it has a nice caramel malt backbone that supports the citrusy hop flavors; it gives you a nice sweetness up front alongside a long bitter flavor, with a floral aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Always a seasonal favorite, this one has a great hoppy taste and is extremely well-balanced

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Photo of oline73
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber with a finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt up front with some citrus hops coming into the fold as you take a whiff. A little bit bready with some citrus fruit notes in there as well.

Taste: The malt and hop balance in this beer is really nice. Just enough bready malt to back up the fresh citrus peel hop flavor. I'm getting more orange peel than grapefruit in this one. The hop bitterness stays with you through the finish.

Mouthfeel: This one is just on the thick side for the style if you ask me. Aggressive carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I look forward to cracking one of these open every holiday season. Great balance and hop profile. I'll definitely have more in the future.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88.8% out of 100 with 10,234 ratings
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