Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
2009 Celebration Ale
As usual, from Sierra, the signature golden color, like the rind of a perfectly ripe navel orange, and an angelic white halo of head form from the pour. Not that I’m biased or anything. The beer also has a slight haze, slightly more than the pale ale which also has sediment floating in the bottom. The carbonation is slow and fine.
The nose is certainly another Sierra trademark – rich citrus notes and cannabis. This brew has a sweeter texture, perhaps indicative of a maltier offering. There are sugary qualities to the aroma that remind me of pixi-stix or Sweet Tarts, but there is a breadiness of malt that comes across as sweet rolls.
The mouthfeel is very full, and starts off sweet and subtle with an orange-candy softness that rolls like a gathering wave into a full on smack of slightly floral hops that cascade into a slightly vinous aftertaste. There are fewer warming notes than I was expecting, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This beer is drinkable, and at nearly 7% ABV, maybe dangerously so.
The beer continues to open up as you drink, yielding slightly more resinous qualities that bring out touches of pine and ginger spice that indicate the more alcoholic nature of this brew. Elegant and heavy lacing hangs onto the chalice sides. Hops abound, as only Sierra can make them, and they are reasonably subtle here in that they don’t dry out your mouth as you sip. The florals do a lot to temper what might be an aggressive glassful for those not hooked on the hop. There’s a reason that this brewery made me love beer. And just when I think I couldn’t possibly love Sierra Nevada any more than I already do, I drink one of their beers and become giddy as a schoolgirl. Of course, that could be the 6.8% talking.
Because this beer is a Sierra stalwart, and doesn’t feel like you’re drinking Christmas dinner in a bottle, it is clear that this brew has not forgotten the secret of steel.