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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
3,412 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
3,412
Ratings:
10,006
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
19.76%
 
 
Wants:
363
Gots:
1,796
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,412 | Ratings: 10,006
Photo of mactrail
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, deep, dark copper body with a small, white head.

Smell: Fragrant blanket of hops with scents of citrus, soap, and pine overlaying a rudimentary pale maltiness.

Taste: Pale malts with a clean, though transient malt sweetness. Big push by the hops, with flavors of rosin, lemon-scented soap, and grapefruit pith. Moderate bitterness throughout. Oh, but the humble malts fight valiantly to regain some ground, but, sorry, it's game, set, match for the hop bitterness. Slight grassiness. Long, lingering bitterness on the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very light stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A Celebration of brash, simplistic bitterness which, if that's your bag, is fine, but I never ever quite understood all the hoopla for this beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With so many reviews available it would seem stupid for me to add my standard analysis. I would, however, like to simply note what makes this beer as good as it is. The hazy borderline-copper body is quite welcoming, but it's the magnificent creamy head that holds all the way through the glass that clearly shows how well made it is. The beautiful lace throughout the entire glass also adds to its majestic appearance - it's almost as if it were a nitro-beer! The beautifully fresh nose expresses an herbal, citrusy and spicy character that's as if you'd just stuck your nose into a bag of fresh hop flowers!
But it doesn't stop there; a juicy underlying fruitiness from the yeast adds to its vibrancy. The body is light enough to be highly drinkable, but also full enough to combine with the very fine natural carbonation giving it an exceptionally smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The flavor, like the aroma, is dripping with fresh floral and citrusy hop character - but it's not so bold that it's over-powering or minty. Instead, it's delicately balanced against a softly sweet, nutty and bready caramel-soaked maltiness that emphasises the hops. It showcases the soft, and almost sweet character of the Cascade hops! Balance is what this beer is all about, and it's bitterness is no exception. It's not intense (which would ruin the palate and overshadow it's supple maltiness, but it is quite solid and becomes drying in the finish. It pushes and pulls throughout the pint but never becomes the centerpiece. Finesse, not bravado, wins the prize here!!!

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Photo of drewone
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahh, the return of an old friend. I await this one to come out every year, and every year pick up a couple cases and have one every night from now until New Years. This years I have to say is fantastic. A big hop presence was added and it really showed. Poured a nice amber, not as dark as years past, but with a very sticky and foamy head on top, this one was here for a while. The smell was obnoxious, it was so sticky and fresh with hop resin, I did not even know what to do. Such a great mix of pine nugget freshness with a little bit of spice mixed in, dare I say perfect. The flavor was nothing short of extraordinary with a deep rich and stick hop profile, it was much better then any I had tried the last few years. Overall this was great and far exceeded last years version. This is a huge hop monster this year and it really needed to be. I am thrilled to see this back around and it is a real treat. Go out and get some, you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 release on-tap at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: It has a very hoppy aroma, as expected, along with caramelized malt and hint of citrus. Overall, however, the smell is kind of faint.

T: Good hops burst up front, which is quickly followed by a very sweet citrus flavor and then goes back to the hops bitterness that stays in the after-taste.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily isn’t filling, this is definitely a beer to stick for an evening.

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

2010 issue ("Fresh Hop Ale") served in standard pint glass

A - nice reddish amber with modest and lingering tan head. Very slight haziness; tiny amount of sediment in bottle.

S - hoppy with significant pine and malt undertones. Clean and fresh but with herbal notes.

T - pronounced citrusy hop flavor and bitterness [IBU = 65] but without an objectionable bite and some balancing sweetness. No off-tastes. Clean and pleasant finish with a hint of caramel malt. True to style.

M - adequate but low carbonation

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 10/2/2014. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/brady malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly creamy/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent wet hop IPA. All around great complexity and balance of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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

Just picked up a sixer of the 2009 release. I love this beer, so I had to grab some.

A: SN Celebration pours a hazy amber color. It starts out with about a finger of off-white foam that dies down to a thin layer. There is excellent lacing on the glass.

S: The smell is full of citrus hops and has a fairly big malt backbone. This is not quite as aggressive and powerful as your typical west coast IPA.

T: The flavor is a bit more assertive than the nose. It starts off with a nice dose of citrus and piney hops, and has a nice crisp, bitter finish. There is still a solid malt component to this, beer however.

M: A rather full body for an IPA, with the carbonation is on the light side.

D: This beer is quite drinkable, but hits surprisingly hard for 6.8%.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  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.

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Photo of mothman
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams sensory glass. Decent layer of head with excellent lacing Color is an orange copper.

Smell is of floral hops. STRONG floral aroma that is. A note of pine is also observed. Taste is quite similiar, but there is a citrus fruit noted (I would have to say grapefruit).

Mouthfeel is very bitter and 'tarty'. Leaves a slight dry feeling in the mouth, similiar to all ipas.

Overall, this is a staple. A great beer from Sierra Nevada and a must try. I would recommend this beer to anyone.

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

I picked up a six pack of this at the Ft. Indiantown Gap PX.
Decanted cool at approximately 50 degrees into a goblet.

A - A brilliant honey color of ale, deep amber w/ a copper shade. The off white head is a big 3 finger and creamy is appearance like cool whip w/ spaces along the sides and an indented center that formed like a beer head atoll. Th lace is smooth and clings well.

S - Whoo Whee! - such a special hop aroma, so fresh and intense. The allusions to the quality of this beer seem to be on the money. Such a big aroma w/ a citrus and oily hop quality. A slightly candy like sweet malt note is there under the green piney scent. It is an aroma so big you can almost see it.

M - A gently astringent feel w/ mild acidity and a rich malty feel w/ a lemony zesty citrus and leafy oily hop texture that has just the right amount of carbonation.

T - When great hop flavor and beautiful malt flavors collide they make a very, very flavorful ale. The yeast just amplifies the beautiful marriage of malt and NW hop character just brings an inner smile wih each sip. I have tasted this beer almost ritually over the years but this version really hits the mark. A great winter beer, IPA that could be something I would drink year-round. 2007 is a great year of SN celebration, better than I have ever remembered.

D - Just magnificent and was well worth the $6.85 I spent at the PX to get the sixer. I will definitely need to pick up a case or two of thes wonderful beers, just get a Celebration ale for a great taste - I'm a believer. Is 2007 the year of the hop?

2008 - bottle
A -4.5 S-4 M-4.5 T-4 D-4.5
A -Fiery amber w/ bone white cap - great lace! only slight haze
M - Mild bitter, full med carbonation, crisp and slightly resinous w/ a nice acidity/sweetness balance

S- The aroma is a c-fest, lots of grapefruit w/ subtle floral elements

T - The taste is slightly strong at first w/ alcohol and a nice citrus rind-like astringency w/ the july sweetness of a clementine and the bitter pinch of ruby red. The malt supports the hop intensity well w/ the kind of backbone it needs

D - A great IPA, substantial beer overall w/ west coast hoppiness. I want more w/ each sip - this is excellent w/ simple foods like a starchy baked potato and butter.
Sierra deserves love from hop heads for the awesome consistency -a beer you can rely on yearly

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

It pours a clear straight amber topped by a firm finger of cream foam. The nose comprises a nice level of citrus hops alongside a pleasant bit o' sweet caramel. The taste generally follows, but the hops, which add a bit o' pine to their repertoire here, seem to dominate the caramel, which is no longer as sweet as it once appeared. The new piney-ness lingers on through the aftertaste. The body is pretty light, with a moderate carbonation and a very easygoing feel. A very solid IPA, a credit to its style.

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

12oz brown bottle with a vintage 2010 date on the label.

What an impressive head, very few beers show a thick lacing like Celebration does. Brassy amber color shows a bright clarity. Sharp citric and minty hop notes in the nose with some toasted grain in the back, a pretty big aroma. Medium bodied with a deep crispness. Hop bitterness is pretty sharp as it easily cuts through the malt from sip to sip. Hop flavors range from tobacco to mint, grapefruit peel to green tea. Toasted grain and a mild caramel maltiness lay deep beneath the hop character. Warming alcohol pokes through with a quick fume and clean fruitiness. Finishes bitter with a quick kiss of malt. This is the typical veteran hophead's first pick for winter seasonals and a great pick at that.

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Photo of russpowell
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will probably be the first beer I max on reviews, that ought to tell you what I think about it. Let's see how this year's stacks up:

Pours an effervescent amber with 4+ fingers of sand colored. fluffed out head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Some citric & herbal hops

T: Piney hops & chewy caramel up front. Resiny & grapefruitty hops dominates a this warms along with some caramel & cakeyness. Finishes dry with tangerine & grapefruitty hops along with a bit of baker's chocolate & cakeyness. A hopheads delight

MF: Medium-bodied, chewy & low carbonation. I detecting a bit of softness & stickyness, weird.

Drinks very easy, hops are asserting themselves this year. Not a perfect offering, but well worth stockpiling

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Photo of orangesol
4.02/5  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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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

2010 Version

A: Pours a clear ruby/copper color with a chunky, off-white head, 1.5 inches in height. Has great retention.

S: A good amount of piney hops, smells like a christmas tree almost. Some citrus mixed in, but more pine.

T: Nice wet hop flavor, a very nice combination of pine and some grapefruit citrus. A malt sweetness backs it up.

M/D: Medium bodied, has a sweet finish, not very bitter at all. Overall a very solid IPA, I like the sweet finish even though it is not overly malty.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours amber in color with a thick two finger off-white head. Excellent head retention and lacing. This is pretty much a perfect looking beer.

Aroma had some floral and light citrus hops with some sweetness from the malt. Taste is both hoppy and malty. it has some citrus and pine from the hops but also some bready and biscuit tones from the malt. It's pretty well balanced between the malt sweetness and the hop bitterness, which makes it very drinkable.

Always a pleasure drinking one of these, this is one of my many regular purchases, and will continue to be.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SNCA 2003

Appearance: Immaculatey forms with deep copper amber tone and a two finger sized cream colored head leaves behind scattered lacing very nice brew. Aroma: This one doesn't take you by the hand, it just wallops you with cascades and a huge layered malt profile, floral and piney with a caramel malt like sweet scent this one is amazing. Taste: Well, I this beer and I met early in my beer journey a few years back when I was first getting into beers I ran into this on tap in Fuel and Fuddle in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh. To this point my brother Dante' and friend Kolby had tried many different beers together, however after ordering the SNCA my bro and friend were totally turned off making statements like "this tastes like pine sol" and "that's overkill on the hops" well I am proud to say I didn't have that reaction. I absolutely love this beer from the first time I tasted it. Cascades slide upon the palate with an oily resin given them their lubricant capable of being so silky and smooth, while the hops do steal the show I still find this one balanced enough with caramel sweet sticky maltiness so good. Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, hop burps come after only three or four sips medium bodied well textured I love it. Drinkability: Definitely need to pick up a case of this beer this coming winter enough hops and malt to keep me happy for a long time.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006. Off notes from 12-15-2006.Pours a clear very clear amber. Nose is a hop head heaven. Tan head. Flavor continues on the apparent hop theme. Hops. I don’t need to say more than that. Feel is basic and standard. Typical stuff. Drinkability? High. You could down a lot of these all night…or day. Whichever your preference may be. Whereas it is nothing special or unique as far as offerings go, it is very well crafted. Smooth and even and worth trying. Or worth buying more than one of.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's the most wonderful time of year.

The beer is a fairly hazy dark orange hue with a substantial head that generates a healthy amount of lacing.

The aroma is very hop forward, with a malt profile underneath.

Tasty beer. Hops play the lead role here. I really prefer this beer fresh, with the hop character at its boldest.

The feel is thick and coats the palate with bitter hops. The aftertaste has considerable staying power.

I look forward to the release of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale every year. Recommended.

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Photo of stakem
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,412 ratings.
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