I have had a few Celebration Ales Before. Sierra Nevada knows exactly what they are doing with it. So, here is 2011, 2012, and now we get to have 2012 and 2013.
I decided to save a 6 pack every year and only open one bottle from the collection as a vertical year after year. This is going to be my second year and I am so happy with the results so far.
The 2013 Celebration Ale had an opaque reddish orange hue with a tan to orangish head. Quickly building, and long lasting. Quite a bit of citrus and piney notes in the nose. Quite resiny. Light bready and caramel scents do come through as well. I think this year the hop character may have been a little subdued as opposed to last year, but not to say it was lacking any hop character this year. All of the piney hop character sticks to the back of your throat, bready and caramel notes come through and citrus notes peak in to say hello. Some sweetness as it warms. A nice full bodied ale. One you should not pass up.
Since I drank it back to back with a 2012, and I have notes from 2012, I can kind of do a comparison. Though taste from a year of drinking beers can have some effect. It had the same appearance as before. I thought the head a little longer lasting but I guess that could just be a relative adjustment. A lot more of the bready and caramel character came through after a year but it was still quite piney in the finish. I got a lot more citrus as it warmed.
When comparing notes from fresh to fresh, year to year, it seems that this years beer is more piney and resiny this year compared to last which had more clean and crisp flavors and had a big, bright, floral hoppiness. I don't think a bad change came about this year or even last years version aged, but it will be great to see how things continue to change. Another look at Beer Number 3!