Silphium (3156) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 1, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 3, 2003 I consider it sacrilege to drink and rate this beer in October, but I am weak, and I fell prey to my curiosity. Poured a clear copper color, with an off-white creamy head. Pine and earthy hops aroma was somewhat harsh. Flavor was very piney and bitter with grapefruit and other citrus involved as the beer warmed. I didn't detect the sweet, cherry-like tanginess I noted in the aftertaste of the 2002 version. This year's batch could stand to rest for awhile! Still, Celebration Ale is, IMO, the best widespread beer this brewer produces. Update: I was lucky enough to find the 2000 edition today, and was amazed at how this beer has evolved. The 2000 edition was copper-colored but loaded with yeast sediment, unlike the clear 2003 version. Toast, bread, and caramel dominated the nose and the flavor. Hops were smoothed out and evident in the aftertaste, where they left a floral but only slightly bitter aftertaste. Truly a different beer when fresh.
stubby (334) - Santee, California, USA - OCT 31, 2003
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Big India style. Man, do you have to be in the mood for bitter hop flavor to drink this one. Not my favorite style but when you need the dryness of lots of hops, this one satisfies. I like the amber color and light tan head. Tastes better at 50-55 degrees.
guzzler67 (1477) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - OCT 30, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 Draft. Copper appearance with a resinous, piney aroma. Blast of hops right from the first sip. Heavy bitter flavor with a touch of citrus in the finish. Something I look forward to in the fall to help flush all those Octoberfests out of my system. (lcs)
steview (1012) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 27, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2005 2002: big light tan and rocky head. floral, piney, a faint "spicy" thatís nice, bittersweet, ... quite good. a bit too easy to drink. a little high, 7%, so it can be a dangerous thing. me likey! 2003 bottle, duvel tulip glass: semi-dark copper body, big and frothy off-white head. dry pine, bread, a splash of citrus and spice. i think i prefer the 2002, itís been awhile. in any case, iíve downrated. 2005 bottle, an IPA that is reminiscent of Foundersí Red Rye. a hearty IPA with a spicy bite; and primarily dry, piney.
xsketchyx (184) - Oregon, USA - OCT 27, 2003
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2003: Pours with a fairly thick head, lots of fruity hops in there, big-time grapefruit smell. Tasted like just another IPA to me, I was expecting more. Hoppier than average, but I can't find anything very unique about this one. Hops overpower anything else.
Steib (613) - Queen Creek, Arizona, USA - OCT 26, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2003 celebration. Has a root beer type appearance with a thick head. Soft inviting hoppy citrus aroma. Initial taste is bitter with a medium body. Flavor is not too complex. Smooth and somewhat watery is the aftertaste. Hops are too overwhelming for the malt to come through. I was anticipating this new arrival, but a little dissapointed. Still a nice seasonal.
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - OCT 26, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 27, 2006 Nice head. Copper color. Nice malty IPA. Good bitterness after the medium body malty palate. Not a bad buy. I would like to taste this next to another full body IPA like Yulesmith. Iím sure the Yulesmith is a bit stronger, but I think they maight have some similarities. Rerate 2004 vintage 032706. Tastes pretty darn good right now. Now as much hop bite as I remember, but doesnít taste stale. Help up very well over a couple years.
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - OCT 25, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Nice copper color with an excellent head and active carbonation. Aroma is very hoppy, very floral and spicey. Also smell malt sweetness. Very excited to taste this one! Flavor is excellent. Great "fresh" hoppy flavors. Floral and citrus balanced perfectly by the malt. Nice sticky body with an average dry finish. An excellent west coast IPA.
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 21, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 10, 2004 Re-rate. Bottle, 2004 vintage. Pours beautiful coppery color with a fluffy white head that lasts well and leaves good lacing. Aroma is delicious malty with dominant pine and citrus hops. Flavor is again dominated by hoppiness but has good sweet malt undertones as well. Medium body and good carbonation. A yearly treat!.
Rastacouere (6106) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 18, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2004 2003: Deep amber robe, hazy, well-laced white head from which a good part never disappears. Rich citrus (grapefruit) aroma with notes reminiscent of the christmas tree (piney, resinous, herbal). Good hop character, finish is moderately bitter, just hoppy enough I found. Medium body, good balance. Itís certainly good, but it doesnít impress me.
2004: Superb appearance, generous head never leaves. Earthy, creamy grapefuity, big hops flavor. Straightforward and classic. It makes you say itís well balanced, but at the same time, malt is kind of hidden. Probably a 3.5.