bsour (78) - Boise, Idaho, USA - NOV 3, 2003
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(2003 bottle) This was a good beer, but not what I expected for an IPA. Very nice amber/gold color with good head. Lacing stuck to the glass for a while. The aroma was slightly bitter with a hint of hops. Yes, only a hint. It smells like it tastes. I thought this was supposed to be a pale ale at first. Maybe a little bitter for a pale, but an IPA? After getting over that, it was a great beer. The hops were pronounced, however weak. Some citrus flavors buried in there as well. Very nice beer, but lacking for an IPA.
AlabastorJones (800) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 2, 2003
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 24, 2003 ~2003~ IPA's have a lot of potential for aroma, and this one didn't really jump out at me. Amber/gold color, thin and transparent with a nice milky head. Pretty decent hop flavor, with some hints of citrus and apple. I helped this random starving artist, who i met in a strange alley of industrial Portland, move a box for his pet turtle to his house on the top of my roomates car, and in return he bought us this beer. Finish has some moderate hop taste, not a bad IPA.
MarkR (68) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 2, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2003 Bottle
Warm, reddish-copper with perfect clarity. Tan head starts well, then fades to a strong cap. Sharp aroma of Chinook hops: pine resin and grapefruit, along with some faint caramelly malt and fruity esters. Hint of breadiness too. The flavor is quite hoppy, with that clean, piercing bitterness that screams ‘Chinook!’ The malt backbone seems thinner than year’s past, as there’s only a small suggestion of caramel and bread. Some fruity esters try to bring some complexity to the table. The hops are a bit lacking in depth, as they’re a bit one-dimensional. On the lighter side of medium in mouthfeel, with a dry, alcoholic finish. While it doesn't quite have the same character as before, it's still a solid winter seasonal.
drinkbeer (281) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - NOV 1, 2003
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2003 Similar to the pale ale, yet hoppier. I love my hops, however, I was looking for more malt character along with some holiday flare (spices, etc.) perhaps. Who cares though. If I want that I'll drink an OSA. Slightly cloudy copper color and awesome sudsy tan head. Big piney hops up front then mild malts kick in. A great IPA.
NateDawg (12) - Arlington, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 1, 2003
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2003 I'm editing my last review...
Upon further review, I really enjoyed this beer a lot more then next time I had it. The hops jumped out at me and the finish was pleasant and spicy. The body was robust and the mouthfeel was full and crisp. My first review was written after I had tried the beer after eating and I guess my palate were a bit cluttered...
Silphium (3167) - 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 (1494) - 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 (1019) - 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" that’s 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, it’s been awhile. in any case, i’ve downrated. 2005 bottle, an IPA that is reminiscent of Founders’ 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.