alanC (36) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 6, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This was a little over one year old bottle (2002 vintage). Copper color with slightly orange hue - great clarity. Nice head. Aroma of deep, rich caramel mingles with pungent hoppiness and just a slight fruitiness (from hops or yeast?) Flavor is complex caramel malt balanced by sharp hop bite. Clean finish. IMO, one of the best beers around if aged at least a year - too bitter and not balanced if not aged.
sfontain (832) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 1, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 20, 2004 12 oz. bottle. Pours a fairly thick white head that eventually goes away completely. Nice pale red/orange color. The aroma is huge, very floral and mildly spicy. Probably the best-tasting IPA I have had yet; has the strongest IPA flavor before the swallow I have yet to experience, and there is an awesome dry hop bite at the end that lingers for a while. Refreshing and lasting in the mouth.
rhapsouldize (174) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 31, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 28, 2005 Copper-colored with an off-white head. Medium-bodied. Flowery, hoppy aroma. Bitter, spicy, almost citrusy, extremely hoppy taste with a bite. Delicious; one of Sierra’s finest.
rajendra82 (973) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - MAR 20, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2005 I am blown away. Pours out with a dark amber orange body and an extra tall beige head that is creamy and smooth. One of the loveliest display of carbonation I’ve ever seen in a beer. There is a near constant stream of tiny bubbles rushing to the top the entire time I drink this beer. The aroma is pure hops with citrus, pine, spruce, and spices in every whiff. Body is medium with an appropriate mouthfeel enhanced by the tiny bubbles that coat your tongue as the beer warms in your mouth. Bitter hoppy taste is a delightful departure from the sweet and syrupy winter fare from others. Malt backbone is solid and creamy, but hops are front, center, and back. Many thanks go to nvsblman for this trade. Hopefully next year this beer will be on the shelves in Georgia. When I see it in the stores, I’m going to be celebrating for sure.
It is now fall of 2004 and by the grace of God, HB 645 is now the law of the land in the State of Georgia. I just picked up a Sierra Nevada Celebration off the shelf from Green’s. When pouring it in the glass I notice something that was missing last year. This year’s version is cloudy. The bottle conditioned release is much less bubbly than the force carbonated 2003 version. The mouthfeel also seems more soft this year, and the spiciness has gone down a notch. Still a classic IPA.
Got a 2003 bottle as part of Cellar Meat BIF 18 from pentathlete. After a year and a half, the hops had faded, and the beer could be considered balanced. The taste had taken on shades of an Old Ale at this age, with some chewy sweet malt. The hops lurked in the back as a peppery wispy presence. I much prefer the assertive fresh taste, but still much to like here.
kbjames (244) - Utah, USA - MAR 17, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2005 trhis is one bitter beer that is very potent and strong. Careful not to drink when its too cold, let it warm up a bit and the flaovr really comes out. I had this on tap and it was pretty darn good, better than the bottled version.
balke13 (156) - MIssoula, Montana, USA - MAR 16, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
pours a hazy amber color with a nice white head...wonderful aroma of hops and carmel malt, hints of citrus and sweet grass. very smooth body with a great hoppy flavor, bitter, and a bit earthy. i'd like to be drinking this in the cabin on the label...by the way, very good IPA!!!
Shadrach (176) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - MAR 16, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
The 2003. Poured yellow/ornage/light amber with a good amount of head. Aroma was full with spice/nutmeg/cinammon/ orange peels and a bit of what I swear was brown sugar. Very smooth going down with a slight bitterness from the hops. Halfway through the bottle the hops opened up more almost to an IPA character. Not was much hops as I like but defintely a good amount.
Duke (117) - New York, USA - MAR 15, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark amber color. Hoppy floral nose. Very close to SN Pale Ale. Good but I just assume have the regular pale ale.
roder60 (1288) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 15, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2007 Nice amber color and aroma. Lot of hop in aroma and flavor, earthiness to it. First few times i tried it i hate it. now i love it. great beer.
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - MAR 14, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Upon release the hops are a bit caustic. I had one last night and already the hops are mellowing into a beautiful bitter spicyness and allowing the significant malt backing to come through. I also detect candy cane around the edges but I'm not sure if its the psychological impact of the name and label. A really good IPA.