2015 Celebration Fresh Hop IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA, USA)

2015 Celebration Fresh Hop IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. , 6.8% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (Chico, CA, USA)


on the bottle neck:

“A special ale for the holidays, Celebration IPA features the first hops of the growing season. This pioneering ale is full of complex flavors and aromas from the generous taste of whole-cone American hops.”

on the back label:

“We first brewed Celebration IPA in the winter of 1981. Each year, we use only the first fresh hops of the growing season to create this complex and robust ale. Layered pine and citrus hop aromas balance delicately against the rich, malt sweetness to shape this bold wintertime classic.”

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  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Sweet toasty biscuity barley malt light tangy pine dandelion medium bitter hops
  • Where I got it: Bottle Jockey / N. Bby
  • How much: $3.50 (after 12.5% off) – 12 fl.oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not really

Visual: Pours dark copper brown with a small dissipating head, ringed retention with almost a full layer, singular tight steady streams.

Nose: faint generic light citrus hop oils, faint barley malt. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, tingly-micro-fizzy

Mid-palate: toasted biscuity barley malt (lvl–sweetness), tangy-almost lemony citrus, medium bitterness

Finish: pine, dandelion, lingering bitter hops on the tongue.

Summary: Is this really a fresh hop IPA? I don’t get any green in the hops at all; The barley malt body is quite big and almost too aggressive without letting any fresh hop shine through. Overall it’s above average, but unstructured and incoherent at points. (10/31/16 Note: mine had a packaged date of 10/19/15 so that’s undoubtedly why I didn’t get fresh hop oils in it.)