Celebration Libation | Cisco Brewers Inc.

48 Ratings
Celebration LibationCelebration Libation

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with cinnamon and cloves in the mash.

Added by Murph on 08-10-2002

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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 46
Photo of davidwhatshisnam
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of jongullotti
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH snifter glass late at night. Thx Birradr14 for the opportunity to try something I can't get here in the fertile cresent.

A- Deep dark murky brown like something out of a old faucet, yet this is str8 out of the bottle. The loud hiss when the cap was popped told me this was alive but I was not prepared for the huge five fingas of dense caramel colored head leaving notches of lace.

S- This kind of comes off like a flanders red in smell with a slightly tart smelling nose and faint vinegar traces. There is a whole lot of spices in this, I really cant figure them all out since they are cluttered but I can make out cinnamon and tart apple slices.

T- This really is a unique winter warmer, some qualities and tastes i'm used too, but this one does those then some. Slices of tart green apples dipped in caramel and than sprinkled with a heaping of cinnamon and other spices, maybe a little nutmeg. This reminded me a bit like a vinegarete that you sprinkle on salad at points.

M- It is not tart like a flander's red, but it does have a bit of a spritz to it's step. This libation is medium bodied with a huge amount of carbonation that surprisingly does not burn off the tounge. It almost goes down like a little heavier bodied apple juice after 10oz or so.

D- While, the 750ml could of been handled by myself, sharing is the way to go on this one. It's great stuff, but could grow old after 1/2 the bottle. The alcohol is a bit high but who cares, it's wintertime, were supposed to be warming up somehow, even if it's not your preferred method of getting it done.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

07 Vintage pours a light amber color with an overabundance of foam that just wont quit. Reminds me of a root beer float...might just be the most carbonation I've ever seen. To say it was a gusher would be an understatement.

Gingerbread is the foremost scent, followed by some cinnamon, honey and apricots. Hints of cola and biscuits make this a very complex smelling beer.

Nutty, fruity and spicy flavors abound and alcohol is quite noticeable. Piney hop presence in the mouth near the finish. Allspice flavors come to mind with this one, nearly a hybrid of a spiced pumpkin ale and a winter warmer. Super high carbonation is a bit of a turn off, but it is medium bodied with a creamy, velvety texture.

Overall, quite an enjoyable drinking experience, I wish I had more of these as I think it would cellar for a year or so very well.

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Photo of hopdog
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared thanks to egajdzis.

Poured a deeper and slightly cloudy brownish color with a very large sized off white head. Aromas of ginger, light honey, cherries, and light cinnamon. Tastes of cherries, light cinnamon, honey, and caramel. Tastes were somewhat minty too.

Notes from: 1/19/06

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Photo of Shiredave
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

As with almost every Cisco beer I've had, this one gushed uncontrollabley when poured producing an impressive 5 inch head of clotted foam. Ok, not impressive to drink thru but shows lots of hops and protein are working in this brew. A murky amber liquid below the eventual lacing of the slumped head is clouded by p-haze and suspended sediment.

Aromas of toffee and earthy hop are mild as is the hint of cinnamon - sort of cookie-like. Nothing bad just mild and unimpressive. I top off the glass slowly a few times to allow the excess carb to blow off and the liquid to come up to temp.

The flavor reminds me of a straight forward Amber ale with a hint of cookie spice. Pleasant, mild and completely forgettable. Again, nothing bad just nothing there to make me go "wow". Giving it a 4 is generous but the flavors are unique just sort of bland - like store bought cookies compared to home made.

Body is on the light side of medium with hints of toffee ( and cookie) lingering around a mellow, dry finish. A bit of carb bite on the tongue detracts making this seem a bit thinner (tinnier) than I think was intended.

No way to tell how fresh this is but since it is a seasonal release, I'm pretty sure this was this years version as it was just recently delivered to the store where i got it. The alcohol is well hidden which helps its drinkablity.

These Cisco guys have yet to get the bottle conditioning / prime figured out for these bombers. If the gushing was not so common in these beers I wouldnt review it, and write it off as a poorly treated bottle. But since it has become the norm in my experience - even bottles purchased in MA - I consider it the nature of the beast and review accordingly.

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Photo of msolar
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Completely out of season, but it's cold and rainy so who cares.

Pours a nice amber brown with a nice, lacing. Tastes like cinnamon with a hint of honey but is far from overpowering. Tastes pretty good. It's a medium bodied beer, a bit lighter than I expected. The 8.5% ABV is pretty well hidden. This would make a decent session beer in late-autumn or winter.

I'd certainly buy this again and consider putting it on tap in the winter.

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Photo of corey0212
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in the discount bin at Blanchard's in Allston. I've had this fresher, but wasn't reviewing beers yet...

Pours a reddish copper color, surprisingly small head (for a Cisco offering), patches of lacing on the glass. Deep malty smell, some cinnamon and clove. Lots of gingerbread taste, some orange peel and pine. Creamy, ever-so-slight chewiness, some belly-warming alcohol. I'm drinking this in the middle of a brutally humid stretch of July, and loving it. I imagine I'll be a case deep into this beer come the holidays. Really nice beer from Cisco.

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Photo of Franchise
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Cisco pours a caramel reddish color leaving a thick tan head very nice and strong. The body is clear, the aroma is cinnamon, vanilla, cookies, fresh baked bread, a nice batch of homemade cookies comes to mind upon sniffing this beer. There is a herbal accent to this nose trying to tell you hops are there.

The taste is malty very smooth syrupy caramel sweet, ginger, orange, just a nicely rounded beer. The hops play a minor role in this beauty but give just enough spice to balance. Very good beer.

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Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky medium to deep copper hue with a three finger frothy with head. There was very good chunky retention and lacing.

The smell featured a grassy and floral hop followed by a sweet and spicy malt.

The taste consisted of a lightly sweet and earthy malt, complimented by an estery yeast and a a flowery biting hop.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style, with a creamy finish.

Overall a tasty and complex winter ale. Interesting and playful hop. Good drinkability.

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Photo of dickieb
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with a huge head, and excellent lacing. The smell is of cloves ginger spices and hints of hops. The flavor is a well spiced with cloves and a dash of cinnamon. Some light malts and a hop bite wrap it up. The mouthfeel is a bit heavy, probably due to the carbonation, and this is a good sipper best split with someone. One of the better winter warmers.

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Photo of adamdotson
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought A Bomber from Blanchard's in Jamaica Plain, MA
Served it slightly chilled in a Chimay glass.

Appearance of this is beautiful. Nice IPAish orange color with an amazing silky layer of ivory head. Fairly murky. Some serious lacing and significant legs. The head retention on this beer is unbelievable. I havent had a sip or swirled it in ten minutes and there is about a centimeter of head sitting on top. Best head I've had in a while!

The nose is also fancy smansy. Rich spicy winter warmer aroma of cinnamon and fresh cloves. Also some heavy hop citrus; particularly grapefruit. Also a layer of ginger. Definitely some sweetness present in the nose like light brown sugar. It smells a little like cookie batter involving some kind of citrus.

Definitely an assertive hop character. Very unusual balance of spices to hops. I love the blend of the citrus and cinnamon flavors. Not to hot on the alcohol. Nice bitterness of grapefruit or orange peels and some ginger again in the finish.

Overall, a great winter warmer. The best one i've had this winter. Moderately drinkable, with a great flavor and very cool process of spicing the mash. Its very well balanced and the hop character is so rich and lingering. I'll be buying this again soon.

 1,249 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was one of the daily specials at The Common Ground, and being from out of town, I looked for every excuse to try beer I couldn't find at home. On to the beer:

It was served in a shaker pint, and the beer arrived a clear copperish color. Up in the air rises the smell of spices and citrus. okay now, I'm going to put this beer in my mouth and see what I get...it feels mildly syrupy. Passionfruit and pinneapple tease the palate before spices like ginger and cinnamon devour it. The aftertaste leaves bready malts. The flavors sound good on their own, but melded together and it's high ABV (which I was unaware of at the time) add a little work to put down.

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Photo of brentk56
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cisco has a new label this year that is different from the one pictured. It features a snowflake and the text reads, "Deliciously malty, wih caramel and dried fruits mid-palate, laced with ginger, honey, cinnamon, and LOVE. This warming ale is like one of your grandmother's freshly-baked cookies in a bottle!"

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a modest beige head that sticks fairly well and leaves the occasional dot of lace

Smell: Musty, vegetal aroma predominates but there is an intermittent flash of citrusy hops that sneaks through; touches of honey and cinnamon, too

Taste: Opens with a ginger cookie flavor, with plenty of cinnamon as well; picks up some honey and stone fruit, mid-palate; the finish is earthy and unbalanced, with an odd herbaciousness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This beer is schizophrenic both in aroma and taste; interesting experiment, but not particularly enjoyable

Thanks, UncleJimbo, for the opportunity

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Photo of NEhophead
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bomber served in a nonic.

Pours a clean, light amber in color beneath a dense, finger's length of white foam. Some thick, condensed lacing around half of the glass.

Semi-sweet caramel with light floral hop aromas and a hint of citrus. Faint hints of mustiness; nutmeg and brown sugar.

Toasted biscuity malt with a semi-sweet caramel flavor. The floral hops are long-lived and fresh. Notes of date, raisin and hints of ginger in the middle. The mustiness builds throughout the sip leaving phenolic hints.

Medium in body; light due to the bright, floral hop character that becomes increasingly filmy as the sip progresses.

A pretty good version of the style with no major flaws, but no real highlights either. Worth a try, but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of Deuane
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Orange copper with a nice tan head.

S- Initial spiciness with hints of clove and cinnamon comming through. Also a bit of sourness...but pleasantly so.

T- WOW! Nice and spicy with clove prevailing. A slight tatrtness towards the end.

M- Rich and flavorful....an aftertaste of ginger lingers...very nice.

D - Good flavors meld throughout. A very cool holiday beer with a nice mixture of the classical spices without being overdone.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label reads "Celebration is our winter warmer, brewed with generous amounts of cinnamon stick and fresh ginger. We pile on the crystal malts and add a touch of honey." This is a different recipe than last year, if I recall correctly.

The beer pours slightly cloudy from disturbed lees. The color is a bright, ruby brown color, something like polished mahogany. Massive, sticky, long-lasting head. The nose is dominated by the ginger, but there are some citrus elements there as well, and the crystal malts have contributed some sweet smells. On the palate, juicy, fruity spice notes define this beer, with the ginger giving everything a refreshing kick. Very light for a winter warmer, with balanced sweetness and spice/bitterness. Nothing's overplayed, although the ginger comes perilously close. Mouthfeel is light, with relatively low gravity, especially for the style, and big carbonation. Overall, this is a tasty brew, and a unique take on the winter warmer style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown body with a foamy, dare I say, poofy off-white head.

Smell: A weak, hardly detectable aroma, but what is there is a thin scent of spices dulled by age.

Taste: Thin caramel flavor and sweetness rounded out by various earthy spices. Notes of wood. Faint sourness throughout. More of that ambiguous spice character on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. High carbonation. Prickly mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Definitely not the most exciting Winter Warmer I've come across.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Emailed Cisco and let them know about the oxidized bottle and they sent me a free replacement and a pint glass! Well done Cisco!!

Pours a softly cloudy reddish brown color with an energetic cream colored head which decorates the glass in lace.

Subtle spice notes in the scent. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Some grapefruit and orange zest.

Taste is complex and interesting. There's a mild grapefruit hop flavor, though bitterness is low. Caramel. A light fruity sweetness which also seems to turn tart and citric at times. Fleeting undertones of sugar cookie. Orange peel, spice, vanilla.

Mouthfeel could stand to be a bit thicker but is not bad. A slight astringency in the finish.

Drinkability is very good.

Although it seems to be different from tasting to tasting I have always liked this beer very much.

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Photo of edchicma
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No date on bottle....got for Christmas 06.

Appearance is inviting...a dark copper with a half-inch pillow head and decent lacing. Smell is a rich combination of malt, cherries, spices and a yeast undertone. Taste is good, a blend of malt, tarness and a hint of hops. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and smooth. Because of the previous qualities, the drinkabilty is excellent.

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Photo of bjohnson
1.35/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased two of these. They've been sitting in the cellar since last year, so I figured I'd break one out during these holidays.

A: Pours um...a ton of head with a slight bit of actual liquid. When the four finger head dissipates, a clear amber color could be seen. Pillowy and thick head has damn nice retention, but there was so much to begin with, I'm not surprised.
S: Zesty and wheaty overpowers the senses. All Cisco brews seem to have this same aroma, especially ones form the champagne bottles. This one seems to be more inline with Whales Tale. Slightly fruity with a cardboard like aroma.
T/M: Cider like notes of apple and pear. Big champagne like carbonation that runs right into a wall of pure flat. How can this beer have so much head and then become so flat, so quick. Thickness of the cider like flavors makes my teeth hurt. But it's also a bit thin in the body. Slight smokeyness--where did that flavor come from? This beer seems to be all over the board with flavors, body, and mouthfeel.
D: Um, a dumper. Quality control problems once again. I may dump the other one also. Quite disappointed. I'm so confused by this beer. Is it flat or carbonated? Is the body big or thin? Where does the smokeyness come from a belgian strong dark ale? I don't know...

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Photo of taez555
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Absolutely no date on the bottle so there's no way to determine what year this actually is. Could be 04-05, 05-06 even 06-07 for all I know. The website doesn't offer any clues either.

Smell is a mix of flowers and holidays spices. Not quite potpourri. Cinnamon, ginger, flowers, mild fruits, melons, apples,

Taste is mellow and light yet simple. Salt water, tart citrus peel, mellow ginger and dull cinnamon stick. Strong muted bitterness with a huge dulled hop leaf. A mild nuttiness, cloves, some lime and orange peel. Finishes rather dry.

A decent beer, after drinking it I'm starting to think maybe it is the 04-05. Could be amazing paired with a holiday meal.

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Photo of rodrot
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a capped 750 ml bottle a deep reddish amber color with a massive pillowy head that threatened to over flow all over the table. Aroma was spicy and yeasty with notes of cinammon, cherry and caramelly malt. Taste was sour/tart up front and then finished with notes of cinammon, pepper and malt. There was a slight sour cherry flavor throughout that reminded me of Flemish Red ale. Who entered this as Belgian Strong Dark Ale? Mouthfeel was medium to full in the palate. I didn't think I would like this beer at first, but as it warmed I grew to enjoy it. The bottle states that it's a winter warmer. If so, it's one of the most unusual ones I've ever had.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA. On sale as old stock.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy bright copper brew. Head fades in a meringey way, with heavy thick lacing. Aroma is sweet and fruity, with light spicing. Taste is puree fruity and tart upfront, malts out a bit in the middle, and closes with the merged flavors. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and drinkability is pretty good. Not sure if the tartness is supposed to be there, but it's not that out of place. It is nice to have a non-spewing bottle of Cisco, though.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Probably aged too long but it still has some good qualities. It forms a humongous frothy, sea foam, sticky, tan head that leaves continental lacing.

Herbal and spicey this is far from the norm in the belgian strong dark ale category. This has an annoying sour smacker about halfway through. A rather odd brew. Interesting for sure. Some funkyness comes through and some sweet grain. Light fruity esters as well. A bit on the sour end. 5 years of aging.

Notes: Kinda wierd that I've just now scouted this bitch out 5 years after its release. The Beer is still solid but far from spectacular, it may have lost its edge or never had it. Drink it fresh.

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Celebration Libation from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.71 out of 5 based on 48 ratings.
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