Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Celebration

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Celebration Ale

Finally got around to reviewing the celebration. I have seen it everywhere but never bought it. It definitely was not what I was expecting. Fortunately that is a good thing. I expected this to be standard holiday spiced ale with cinnamon and allspice and instead I found a wonderfully hoppy IPA style beer. I am not 100 percent certain that this is an IPA but it has more malt and more hops than a pale ale so in my book that is an IPA. The celebration pours a rich amber color with an astounding head that can only be produced by masterful hopping. Aroma is rich with hoppy goodness. Some sharp cascade hops.

Flavor is Sierra Nevada at their best. This brewery makes arguably the world's best pale ale and that skill is not lost on this IPA. There is no shortage of hops here. The bitterness is through the roof. While, the malt is bulked up a bit (6.8% ABV) I still wish there was a bit more.
I enjoy one-sided beers but this should lean a little more toward hop aroma and flavor rather than the large amount of bitterness. It's just very abrasive on the tongue.

Overall, this is a great seasonal release. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't think there is such a thing as enough hops. Malt lovers should not seek this out. Where Sierra's pale ale is classic for it's rich balanced hoppiness this falls a little short for lacking the kind of malt needed to counteract the tongue blistering bite of the hop flower. A great beer, but not without it's flaws.

Final Score: 85% (Very Bitter and Hoppy, Needs More Malt.)

1 comment:

Scott-TheBrewClub said...

I'd have to agree with your assessment if this beer. Definitely a quality brew that will make hop-heads jump for joy! It was a little too much for me though, but I'm glad I tried it! Happy 2009!