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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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3,413 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Celebration AleSierra Nevada Celebration Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 3,413 | Ratings: 10,021
Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear orange-amber color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is a refreshing smell of pine. The taste is a great hop flavor. An excellent seasonal.

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Photo of Foyle
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass

Appearance: pours a 3" pillowy off white head that falls very slowly and leaves abundant lacing behind. Color is cloudy reddish-amber.
Aroma: strong pine and citrus dominate but there is an evident malt in the background.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied, viscous and quite sticky with a quite dry finish.
Flavor: fine balance between the hop notes with a bready-sweet malt.
Overall: extremely well done. I am a rare IPA drinker but this one is definitely worth having.

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Photo of kculrich
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz. Bottle, dated 11/03/15. Obviously, I forgot to look at the date.

Pours a deep medium-hazy copper with a scant finger of creamy head, decent retention and gobs of lacing.

Smells like apple juice... apple juice? Apparently so. Otherwise, the nose is very faint - some yeast, honey, something vaguely floral.

Tastes better than expected after three months. From the nose, I had expected sweet malts but what I get is undifferentiated bitterness at the start, with black pepper and balsam following and, finally, the apple juice taste which, I guess, must be the underlying malt shouldering through the fading hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, mouth coating and amply carbonated.

Overall, should I even be rating an elderly IPA? Well, yes. Ultimately SN is accountable for it's chosen distribution channel and the fact that I will never, apparently, get to try one of their beers before it's died of old age. I bought this bottle as part of a mixed sixer with five Smuttys that had all been bottled within the past two weeks.

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Photo of ABVmeansnothingtome
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks great in red with a thick foamy yellowish head.

Smell is dare I say vomity.

Turning off the nose at this point but the taste follows.

Feel is far to refined for a Michigan beer lover.

In fairness I gave one of these to a friend in an effort to get rid of them. He reported back that it was DELICIOUS caps lock on in his enthusiasm. I have a few left and will experiment with temperature and glass shape but I felt obligated to review this because the score is so far from what I tasted here.

I love most of SN's IPA's. Perhaps I got an old six pack. Top shelf under the bright lights of a 24 hour Walmart. Last warm back washed swig just now tasted great, but who has time to wait. Gonna try my next one at room temperature.

If you want a solid ABV in a reddish IPA I say you should sniff around a Safety Meeting. ;-)

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.69/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very nice deep golden orange color into a typical pint glass with plenty of off white colored head. Very good carbonation. The smell is much like their Torpedo but more settle. Initial taste is surprisingly smooth for being hoppy. The bitterness does not build up at the finish like many IPA's I've tried lately. The Lacing is very good also. Overall I feel that this is another solid SN brew that I would be glad to drink more of.

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

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's head is 2 fingers thick and off-white, with solid lacing, and a clear reddish brown body.

I smell a nice blend of the pine and citrus hops mentioned on the label.

Tastes pretty much just like the elements described above, with a very small malt sweetness. Very drinkable!

The mouthfeel I'm picking up is clean and smooth. No lingering hop oils.

Overall, I'll award Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. with a very solid 4.5. Definitely pick this up during the season.

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Photo of kitch
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A 12 fl oz bottle with a packaged date of 19th October 2015. Poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear dark copper colour with a two finger cream coloured head that had great retention and left lots of nice lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy lemon, apple, piney hops and sweet but slight biscuit malts. There was also some herbal and spice here and there.

Taste: Light citrus and hop bitterness before it kicks in with some strong maltiness and surprising booze but nice spice.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This was definitely more malty and boozy than I expected (and not in a good way). However, I will retry this again to make sure, but at the moment, I definitely prefer Hop Hunter and Torpedo IPA over this.

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Photo of jw4free
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful looking ale. Excellent hop flavor. Not over hopped, Not too citrus or pine. Malty warmth shines through and delivers a nice crisp mouthfeel.

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Photo of golf_sierra
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite dark copper orange, hazy.
Much darker and malty for an American IPA.
Nice bitterness but balanced against the grainy sweetness from the malt.
Good balanced IPA. Perfect for colder winter conditions.

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Photo of BottleOfPills
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a I guess a standard pint glass. It was a cold bottle, produced a small head that quickly dissipated. Dark coppery in color.

Smells citrusy, smells pretty good in my opinion. Maybe I can smell the pine like others below, but isn't pine kind of a citrus smelling scent??

Taste - I'm not typically a season type of beer person. Most beers I taste it seems like we're throwing all kinds of seasonal spices in the mix just because we can. Yes there are some that stand out for me and Seirra Nevada's Celebration Ale is going to be one in the future. It's pretty damn good. I like the grapefruit flavors that take over at the end. The malt is there and some hops of course like any IPA, just not over powering like some I taste. Then you throw in just the right amount of seasonal spices.. This is pretty damned good.

Mouthfeel is like all my other reviews if I like that crisp carbonation I give it a high score, and this beer is definitely crispy and plenty of carbonation if that's your thing.

Overall this is a pretty damned good beer - least that's my opinion - I would say it's easy drinking and heck would be a session beer for some of my friends. I hate to knock it because of the looks and smells but otherwise I like it.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper body under very light tan head that holds its own while producing a beautiful lacing. Smells sweet and piney, citrus. Layers of flavorful hops that really take you for a ride. Celebration indeed, this is an awesome IPA!

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a chilled, single bottle, dated 10/01/15 (it is now 1/7/2016). Purchased at a local HEB here in Beaumont, TX. Normal glass, nothing fancy.

Pours a rich copper with minimal foam or lacing to be seen. Smell is very muted, with the slightest malty, nutty, pine hints - along with some barely detectable biscuit/cracker tones. No citrus as the label suggests. Taste - almost exactly like the smell. Well balanced but also very conservative hop touch on the end. Where this one shines is in the mouthfeel, quite sessionable and easy to put a few back, I'd reckon. You'd have me fooled with the alcohol content, I swear I can detect a buzz before I'm done with the glass.

Overall a Very reserved, safe beer. Probably too reserved for many. Wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to purchase again given the amount of options available, especially as far as IPAs go. I must admit I have only tried maybe a half dozen IPA's, I am quite a new craft head. However I also would never turn it down if offered. I personally prefer something more exciting, but it was nice to give a try and widen my experience with the style.

Cheers and happy new years!

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Photo of Marraybay
2.8/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Attractive gold color; decent lacing; No significant
head formation.

Smell: floral-pine hops and citrus

Taste: The 1st small sip or two produced the fleeting ghost of some malt and spice
perhaps, but the tsunami of grapefruit flavor that presents almost immediately,
just annihilates any such presence overall. Just really extreme citrus that lingers
on the palate: (If you momentarily disassociated yourself from the realization that
you were drinking beer, you'd swear you were drinking grapefruit juice). It felt stronger
than a 6.8% ABV.

Feel: Full, nicely carbonated.

Overall: I had this many moons ago before becoming a craft aficionado, so looked forward
to revisiting. In spite of the amount of press & +reviews this beer continues to garner, it just didn't
work for me. In the end, just not enough depth and nuance in flavor--holiday or otherwise--to
counterbalance the massive tidal wave of citrusy hop bitterness.

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Photo of stonecutter2
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark Amber color, smells hoppy and has a rich head that leaves excellent lacing. Has a satisfying bitterness that the malt profile fights against in a wonderful way. The cascade hop flavor shines in all of its glory. My favorite American pale ale 3 years running!

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Photo of BrokenEdge
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was a tiny bit disappointed with this. It poured (perhaps a bit too vigorously) a reddish brown color with a colossal 3+ finger, cream colored head that never quite went away, beautiful beer. It smelled a lot more hoppy than I thought it actually tasted. The taste was much more malt, roasted nuts, and booze with dry bitterness mostly on the finish. Between the color and taste, this seemed more like an amber ale...which I love, but I was expecting much more hops than I got. I would drink another one (or six) for sure, it was a solid brew, but I didn't think it was quite worthy of all the hype.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., with an ABV of 6.80% This brew pours out a reddish amber color with a nice off white head. The look of this brew put you in the hoilday sprit. The smell of this ale is rich with hops, grins, and malts. You also pick up a hit of spices and sweetness in the smell of this brew. The taste of Celebration Ale, is rich with flavors. You first pick up on the hops and spices in this brew. Then you pick up on the smoothness of grains and malts. There is a lot going on in this brew. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale , has a nice balance to it there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I like how this brew is different from most IPA's on the market. This IPA seems to be smoother, not saying that is a bad thing. The mouthfeel of Celebration Ale is, rich, bold, smooth, clean, spicy, and refreshing. You really can't pick up on the 6.80% ABV in this brew, it is just that smooth. Overall, I'm giving Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale a 4.75 out of 5. This was way better than what I was expecting. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., did a real nice job with this one I would buy this brew again.

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Photo of FrothFanatic
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hop lovers will go nuts over this holiday celebration brew. Incredibly bitter thats the first thing that screams at you, and it gets evened out with a citrisy sweetness that is yet again overpowered by that forresty bitter flavor that I am not too fond of. This is a high quality premium beer but not one I don't think I would pick up again, still I can totally understand why people wait each holiday season for this annual offering, a spectacularly crafted beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Antc2382
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. It's nice to have an IPA for a seasonal holiday drink.
A: amber with lots of dusting of a beige head. This cascades down the glass. Nice looking beer. S: fresh hops and bready malts. T: nice and balanced.. Hoppy, piney, similar to their classic APA but more bitter. Nicely ending of that biscuity malt. Good stuff. F: pleasant bitterness left on the palate. Goes down fairly easy, depending on your preference on an IPA. O: a seasonal well worth the wait. I'll like to have this in 2016 again.

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Photo of sjdevel
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep orange brown color. 2-finger head upon pouring from a 12oz bottle. The head recedes a bit, but stays a bit foamy with the replenishing bubbles from below. This is fairly hazy as well.

It smells slightly tart and citrusy like from fruit and hops. There's an earthy aroma that smells woodsy.

Kicks in with bitterness that is pretty powerful. It quickly moves to an earthy funk that you can't quite describe. At first is seems like it has went bad as it is a strange and unexpected flavor. It fades rather quickly and kicks into sweet malty flavors. It starts to get bitter once again and the funk seems to come back. As the flavors fade, you are left with citrus / pine / bread and malt aftertastes.

Feel: Light side of medium on the mouth feel. Not thin and a bit slick. Stays fizzy which is quite nice.

Decent IPA. I believe that hops used for this (wild ones?) gives it the funky flavor. Tastes like they threw in the hops, the vines, roots, and dirt all in this one. Very earthy. It is ok to drink a few, but I don't see myself buying a 6 pack or a 12 pack of it. Worth a try though.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.69/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light brown with a prodigious head.. Managed to get some yeast into it so a bit hazy. Smell of sweet malts, some sherbet, bit of resin, bit more pine. a bit subdued to what I was expecting. Flavour is a good balance of malts and hops, although there are no clear flavours standing out. Some orange pith there maybe, bitterness doesn't hang around long. Good carbonation level, not watery and only a hint of alcohol.

Above average

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Photo of Myotus
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 45°F from a 12oz bottle (packaged on 01Oct15) into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Consumed on 30Dec15.
LOOK: Pours with a finger and half worth of dense, off-white foam. At 20 seconds, the foam head becomes rocky and spacious. After 3 minutes, the head has not yet begin to even dissipate. Amber in color with a moderate amount of cloudiness. There is a massive amount of both small and medium-sized rising bubbles that would explain why the foam head refuses to die. Lacing is moderate and both thick and very thick.
SMELL: Strong aromas of mango, papaya, peach, and apricot entangle with mild aromas of piney hops, grapefruit, tangerines, and subtle aromas of buttered bread and caramel. There is also subtle aromas of dirt, not earthy hops, but straight soil.
TASTE: Mild flavors of piney hops, grapefruit, and tangerine enter initially and are immediately followed by mild caramel and subtle bitter hop flavors. Mild mango, papaya, apricot, peach, and buttered bread flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is moderate. Goes down smooth and creamy. Finishes with a strong dryness.
NOTE: An exceptionally balanced and delicious American IPA. I felt like I just drank a rare bottle that I had to trade an arm and a leg for. Luckily, this is available at anytime during the winter.

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Photo of dbnarley
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fabulous beer. Great mix of fresh hops and malt. Just the right am out of spices. Pours copper with a full and strong head. Good lacing. Great beer.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12/24/15 Chicago (Pour from bottle into pint glass).

Copper pour with off-white head, decent carbonation. Aroma of pine, malt and spice noted. Nice mix of malt and sweet taste, enjoyed the texture and felt good going down. Very good beer and I'm looking forward to more of these down the road.

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Photo of emount91
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

thought I was going to love this one, but I was actually slightly disappointed. pours a pretty dark orange/brown color with no haziness. smell is very balanced between piney hops and bitter roasted malts. doesn't smell like a fresh hop IPA whatsoever, more like one of those run of the mill IPAs that are always on the shelf going bad. taste was slightly less than smell, those bitter roasted malts really take over the entire taste after the initial, short lived hop bitterness. feel was decent, wouldnt expect any less from SN. overall very underwhelming and underpromising. would not seek out again.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 2015 edition.

L: Pours a deep brownish amber color. Two fingers of off-white head with great lacing and retention.

S: Evergreen and herbal notes dominate the nose, citrus presence and grapefruit.

T/F: This a pretty big hop bomb for a non-Imperial IPA. Biscuity malts keep the beer grounded, and serve as a great platform for the hoppy goodness of this brew. Pine and spruce mingle with herbs on the hop profile, with subtle citrus flavors in the background. Medium in body... easy, easy, drinking, and a nice crisp clean finish.

O: A great winter seasonal IPA, and a fresh winter treat every time I have it... and amazing how consistently good they make it year to year. Sierra Nevada does some great things with their IPA's and this is one of their best.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 10,021 ratings.
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