Celebration Libation | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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Celebration LibationCelebration Libation
Very Good
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 46
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Forceful head from a high level of carbonation, hazy sunset tawny hue. Lots of bubble race to the top and hold the head together.

Smell: Candied fruit, clove, anise, solvent alcohol, peppery herbal phenols and chalky yeast in the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Viscous yet high leveled carbonation that makes the body feel bigger than it actually is, lots of yeast on the palate and everything else in underneath. Though there are spikes of spicing, mainly clove and suggestions of nutmeg. Very dry malt flavour and dehydrated apples come to mind. The yeast bite still hangs on even in the dry spicy finish.

Drinkability & Notes: A sipping brew and something that should be shared and definitely paired, a baked spiral ham with side like candied yams and garlic mashed potatoes would be perfect.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I guess this a 04-05 what about 05-06?Poured a slight hazed auburn with a thin sticky white head,big ginger and orange peel aromas I also picked up like a yogurt covered nut not like yogurt culture and roasted nut I know weird but thats what I got.Nice flavors very winter spice in its profile,candied ginger and sugared orange peel with underlying cinnamon and clove flavors not much hop presence to be had,a tad thin in the mouthfeel department.A pretty good winter seasonal I personally dont think this is a a Belgian Dark more of a winter warmer and what vintage is this bottle?!

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Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint, 9.4 oz brown bottle, they call this "their winter warmer" Pours dark honey brown, murky, cloudy and low carbonation. Yeasty sediment settling to the bottom of the glass. Minimal head and lacking lacing. Nose is winter spices, cinnamon and ginger. Lovely warming brew, notes of honey, cookine dough,vanilla,mild spicing. Soft and pleasing mouthfeel, this is a fine brew to enjoy on a winter's night. Nicely done. Pretty tame for a "Belgian strong Dark Ale" This tastes and feels more like a winter warmer to me...

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Photo of Thrasher
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a sampler pack, featuring 4 different 25oz bottles of Cisco beer, along with a cd of awful music. Still, their heart is in the right place.

Light, cloudy amber with flecks; humongous, volatile head. The yeast is dominant, quite reminiscent of a Belgian. This authenticity is impressive considering the British pedigree of most of Cisco's other beers. At first all I taste is yeast. This slowly fades into the background as my tongue becomes accustomed and as the beer warms. Very light bready malts with subdued spices that do not overpower the beer but definitely tint it a different color. Not being a huge fan of spiced beers, I was glad they held back but could have done with even less. Unusual hop presence, in the nose predominantly. Very fragrant and quite different from other beers. Fruity, dry, yeasty, musty and clean at the same time. A complex and intriguing beer to say the least. Sampled with smoked gouda which is not an ideal pairing, but a beer as characterful as this would make an interesting combo with virtually anything, I imagine. Drink warm.

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Photo of edchicma
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
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 Franchise
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
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 pbrian
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like the blurb on the label about how this years version is less spicy than previous ones and uses hops grown at the brewery. Nice personal touch.

Poured murky brown with a nice lasting tan head. Aroma was spicy (white pepper, belgian-esque yeasty) and slightly piney. Taste was reminiscent of a spicy Belgian dubble with American hops. Spices reminded me of an Allagash Grand Cru, white pepperish, cinnamon but were mildly used. Their home-grown hops must have been some low-alpha variety because bitterness was very tame. Medium mouthfeel. Overall it was an enjoyable beer but I would have like some more oomph in any of the categories to make it a true celebratory libation.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt oange and maber with a tremendous strong plume of carbonation coming off the middle of the stem. Enormous off-white, pillowy head on the pour.
Aroma is cinnamon, coriander, slightyly peppery with some light toffee and a full on malt hit in the background.
Flavors detected were toffee, peanut butter, bread and a hint of butterscotch and tangerine.
Mouthfeel started with a tinge of sweetness quickly dominated by a spciy and bready middle and ending with a touch of light citrus bitterness.
Drinkability is OK. This beer has an odd combo of transitions between tastes. Solid beer seems like a bit of a work in progress.

Thanks to PBrian for this one.

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Photo of Murph
4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber/copper color with a creamy tan head that lasts for as long as you want to drink this brew (lasted me almost an hour.) Smell is loaded with spicy aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Smooth maltiness underlies the brew all the way. The first taste is all spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice are everywhere. There is also some nice warming alcohol that is perfectly placed in this holiday brew. Smooth and chewy maltiness make this an almost perfect holiday brew to quaff in large quantities. The warming alcohol and the chewinessdefinitely make me want to revisit this on a cold winters night.

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Photo of lou91
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up earlier this year at Chevy Chase and the bottle looks like just like the picture so I’ll assume it is this vintage. This beer looked great on the pour - big noisy thick head dying to be set free – looked picture perfect in my Chimay chalice. Given the list of wonderful ingredients, I wanted more of a nose. It was ok but nothing left of the cinnamon stick and fresh ginger. If they had a category for body it would be a 4.5. Rich, hearty and with a subtle honey sweetness. Still, it is pretty tasty and I hope to try this fresh.

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Photo of goz
2.64/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

25.4oz bottle. Carbonation erupted as soon as the crown cap was removed, spewing forth a large amount of big bubbled light tan foam out the top of the bottle, continuing to do so for about 1/2 hour...even after about 1/2 the bottle was poured into the glass.

As for the pour, it was a lightly hazy medium brown, with the aforementioned big bubbled tan head taking up about 85% of the 22oz Rapscallion goblet I poured it in. Aroma was slightly sour, slightly spicey, slightly citrus and pine hops. Flavor was sour, middle a little spice comes in, and a mild hop finish - tough to get a good read due to the overly carbonated body. Finish was fairly dry, and the carbonation seemingly still tingling long after the last drop is gone.

If you didn't already notice, I found this to be way too over carbonated, which took away points in almost all categories, especially in appearance and body, and makes it difficult to drink (and pour for that matter).

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Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an undeterminable deep amber color with head Antaean in size, creamy in texture, after its erosion, leaves a fine covering sheet of lace. The aroma of molasses, hints of cinnamon, lots of malt, fresh and clean to the senses. Sweet malt at the start, top is slender, the finish middling in carbonation the hops domineering in their bite, dry aftertaste with a slight touch of alcohol bitterness.

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Photo of carln26
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was pleased to see this on tap at Anam Cara when I stopped by this weekend. I’ve not had an opportunity to try this beer, and eagerly ordered it. It came in a tulip glass a deep mahogany to brown. Very cloudy with a thin tan head and a fine sheen of lace. Nose had some roasted malt and spice with a light fruit character from the hops. The taste had more malt some candy character and more spice. The candy profile was very pronounced. I went to Cisco’s site to see if they had an ingredient listing, but they don’t go into detail. I was hoping to see if they added some other type of sugar (rather than derived from the malt) No hops make it through in the flavor. Slightly oily mouth feel. Medium drinkability.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
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 plaid75
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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 geexploitation
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
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 ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
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 dickieb
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
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 sethmeister
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
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 hopdog
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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 smcolw
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cloudy amber, almost a maroon brown. Nice head of two fingers featuring sticky lace. The head is surprisingly

Strong malty sweet aromas. There's a slight aluminum smell to the beer that may come from the yeast. No discernable hop.

Well, there's hop in the taste. Less sweet than the aroma would let on. This is the first brew I've reviewed where the malt and hop are present throughout the tasting. Full bodied with a high carbonation. The aftertaste features the sticky malt and a fresh hop bitterness.

This is a complex beer that is missing the oily alcohol of similar ones in this style. Personally, I prefer this one over those.

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Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear reddish amber color with a 1" head that slowly falls to a surface foam. Some light lacing develops.

Smell: spices such as ginger and cinnamon are easily detectable, along with some brown sugar and a hint of hops.

Taste: nice maltiness with the ginger, cinnamon, and some mild toasted nuts. Decent bitterness levels. Well balanced even though the spices are pretty strong.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a light crispness at the start. The finish is smooth and the spices linger long on the tastebuds. A hearty medium-heavy body.

Drinkability: nice, but the spiciness grows slighty tiring. I would only like one bottle per session. But this is a nice slow sippin' fireplace beer.

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Photo of Deuane
4.2/5  rDev +12%
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 DogFood11
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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.
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 48 ratings