Thursday, December 17, 2009

The 12 Beers of Christmas: Day 9
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Note: I'm a fan of holiday ales, and I want to use this forum this year to lay out 12 beers that just seem essential for holiday party drinking. Plus, I want to actually see if I can sit down and write for 12 days in a row, a feat I've never pulled off on this blog.
A few sips into this seasonal, you begin to say to yourself, "How exactly is this a Christmas beer? There aren't spices, there isn't a profusion of dark malts. In fact it really tastes like a classically hopped , excellent northwest pale."

Then, a few sips later, the thought crosses your mind that you don't really give a damn if Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale meets some kind of style guidelines, because this bigger (6.8% ABV) offering is just a well-made creation that works well in any season.

Celebration Ale leaves an almost spicy hops lick on the back edges of your tongue, tinging your taste buds with its dry-hopped assertiveness. It deposits a penetrating back taste that envelopes your mouth for quite a while. And, like Santa leaving presents, it leaves you no doubt that it's come to visit.

This is one of the oldest holiday beers made by an American brewery, and it remains one of the finest. It's good to know that some things don't change.

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