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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

5,281 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,281
Reviews: 1,324
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 261
Gots: 562 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A group of hop-heads and publicans challenged our Beer Camp brewers to push the extremes of whole-cone hop brewing. The result is this: a 100 IBU, whole-cone hurricane of flavor. Simply put —Hoptimum: the biggest whole-cone IPA we have ever produced. Aggressively hopped, dry-hopped, AND torpedoed with our exclusive new hop varieties for ultra-intense flavors and aromas.

Resinous "new-school" and exclusive hop varieties carry the bold and aromatic nose. The flavor follows the aroma with layers of aggressive hoppiness, featuring notes of grapefruit rind, rose, lilac, cedar, and tropical fruit—all culminating in a dry and lasting finish.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 02-07-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,281 | Reviews: 1,324 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Bills453:
Photo of Bills453
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - poured from a bottle into a goblet. Beautiful red orange color. Very nice off white two finger head that leaves great lacing.

Smell - very floral. Smells strong of hops. Amazing smelling beer.

Taste - a nice hop bitterness. I also taste something a bit sweet on the forefront of my tongue.

Mouthfeel - very smooth. Very refreshing.

Overall - a fantastic imperial IPA!

Bills453, Tuesday at 10:25 PM
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a recommendation from a friend of mine. Pours a nice golden-yellow color with a super fat, bright white head - don't pour this one too quick or aggressively, the head will tower up and over the glass. The lacing is magnificent, almost majestic, leaving a new ring every time you take a sip from the glass.

The aroma escapes as soon as you crack the beer open. Heavy, heavy, heavy hops, up and down. Pines through and through, insane hop oils, mildly dank and extremely resinous. Deeper inhales bring to light the balance of sweet citrus that goes hand in hand with the hops; grapefruits, orange, and lemon zest come to mind. Hugely aromatic and perfume-like. Some spices are present and even the alcohol is noticeable upon sniffing.

Then you taste it. BOOM. MF'ing hop explosion on your palate. Hops hit long and deep on all surfaces of the tongue and the mouth. Heavy pines, dense resin, thick and viscous hop oil flavors run amok. Immediately after, it starts to sweeten up with the grapefruits and citrus flavors coming alive. Maybe even some tangerines and pineapples. All of a sudden, you are thrust back into the clutches of the hops. Floral notes are rampant; like throwing a pine tree and a bouquet of roses into a blender and taking a swig. Malts aren't very present until the final moments of the sip; upon swallowing, your mouth is left with a yeast-like coating of flavors, biscuits and bread-like in character. But the bitterness doesn't go away - it stays and lingers and far outlasts the malt. It leaves your mouth dying for another dose of hop explosion. A warm alcholic presence from start to finish will scare away any newcomers and light lager lovers - this beer is for seriously heavy beer drinks only. Thick, sticky, heavy body and a tight, medium-level carbonation on this one.

Hoptimum is a must have for anybody who loves hoppy, bitter, and floral beers. Its main criticism is that the citrus and tiny malt backbone do not balance out the hops well. Well, it's true to a certain degree. The hops are heavy in this one. VERY heavy. But sometimes, that's what you're looking for. This beer must be sipped and cared for tenderly. It will stretch your taste buds to the extreme, and then throw them from the cliff. If you're looking for a hop bomb, look no further.

tectactoe, Monday at 07:22 PM
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's about time that Sierra Nevada brings out the big guns with their take on the fastest growing style of beer- Imperial IPA.

Bright golden with copper highlights, the beer carries a froathy off-white head that eventually falters with the immense alcohol stresses. No lace with only moderate retention. Light legging clings to the glass with a gentle swirl.

Moderately strong aromas of caramel and grapefruit sing the praises of a big IPA. Citrus piths (as revealed on the label) is fused with orange zest, fresh-cut grass, and gentle pine notes for a rounded, juicy aroma. The scent is balanced with maltiness that reminds me of caramel/barley malt.

Stong hop flavors of those citrus, grass, and pine character carry over to taste. But the malt influence is felt much more than the aroma suggests. Caramel maltiness make the hops flavors seem as if they are candy-coated citrus fruits. Definately closer to balance than most hop-forward Imperial IPA's. Alcohol flavor comes in just before the finish with the characteristic of nail polish remover and though it helps to dry the beer and crispen up the malt influence, it does provide a harsher, solventy finish and aftertaste.

Robust sweetness to the feel because of the malt creaminess and gentle carbonation. And with a full mid-palate, the malts begin to fade as the hop bitterness and dryness play more boldly on the finish. But the beer holds onto a bit more sweetness and maltiness even in the drying finish than is generally prefered in a big IPA's. Growing alcohol sensations eventually numb the palate as the solvent flavors intergect.

This is a very good Imperial IPA that, surprisingly carries a heafty malty-sweet maouthfeel, despite Sierra being known for their malty-dry, effortlessly clean, and error-free beers. The beer gets closer to 90 Minute and Maharaja than it does Dreadnaught or Pliny.

BEERchitect, Friday at 02:17 AM
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear copper color with a massive head (just what one would expect from a Sierra Nevada hoppy beer); clumps of foam stick to the side of the glass

Smell: Tropical fruit salad, with tangerine, pineapple and a hint of mango; the crystal malt also leaves a sugar subtext underneath

Taste: As the beer warms, the malt makes a stronger impression, with the caramel sweetness laying down a backbone from which the hop flavors are suspended; and what a load of hops there are, with the citrusy, pineapple flavors detected in the aroma marching all over the taste buds, and creating a menthol-vanilla that lingers into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; just a bit sticky; moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Another signature Sierra Nevada IPA, but elevated a notch or two for the hopheads; this one is very aggressive on the tongue and a bit raw in character; a fine beer, but I find myself taking smaller and smaller sips to mitigate the tongue-lashing

brentk56, Saturday at 08:24 PM
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a goblet a slight chill hazed burnt orange tinged copper with a sticky one finger head that held for quite awhile.A mix of overripe tropical fruit and big pine resin in the nose,a whiff of sweet alcohol is there as well.Just like the aromas the big tropical fruit and pine resin really hits at the start,the alcohol plays much more of a role as the beer warms a little,the sweetness really comes on keeping the drinkiblity just a tad low.A beast of big hops and big sweet alcohol,tread lightly.

oberon, Thursday at 10:26 PM
Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev -4.3%

aszatk01, Friday at 12:43 AM
Photo of ExtraStout
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Mews Tavern in RI.

I love 2XIPAs that pour a nice bright copper orange color like this one. One finger white head, bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass and sticky lacing around the sides. Fainter aroma than anticipated, but hoppy with aroma of citrus and tropical fruit dominant. The flavor shines on this beer.

Starts of bitter and malty, then waves of citrus, tropical fruits and clean fresh hops waft over your palate. The finish is sticky and just on the passable side of cloying. For such a big beer I find myself wanting more!

ExtraStout, Friday at 12:35 AM
Photo of DavyJones
4/5  rDev -4.3%

DavyJones, Tuesday at 02:51 AM
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes scrawled on 2/9/11.

Hoptimum (how long will it be until all possibilities for hop-named beers are exhausted?) appears a gorgeous amber-gold with about one finger of head after I empty about half of the 24 ouncer. The carbonation bubbles move quickly up my snifter. The lacing is quite, well, lacy and racy.

Very resiny pine is the biggest impression on my nostrils, with dry grapefruit right behind. Earthy and grassy hops make their presence know for good measure. A little bit of malt sweetness is evident, but hops are THE STAR of this particular beer show.

A bit sweeter of a taste than the smell had led me to believe touches down on my palate. Don't get me wrong, dry pine resin, and grapefruit hops still rock and roll, but a sweet caramel malt presence fills in the middle of the taste between bursts of hops. The finish is a very back-of-the-palate resiny sizzler, while the aftertaste is very vividly green grassy.

The mouthfeel is quite biting throughout from the copious hops, but that bite is juxtaposed by a hearty, medium to full body for an Imperial IPA. This is right in my wheelhouse for the MF of a big hop bomb brew. The finish on my palate is dry resin.

Maybe it's just me right now, but I do not detect much booze in this guy. I find it drinkable on both counts; it goes down easily and is very titillating to my palate. I love hops and these are just what I was looking for- grassy, earthy, citrus-y, pine-y, and resiny. One big YUM from me.

TCHopCraver, Friday at 06:06 PM
Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

OhioBobcat, Saturday at 11:28 PM
Photo of MadScientist
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brilliantly clear deep gold with an orange tint showing almost no carbonation capped with a long lasting off white head.

Intense hop aromas of pineapple and moderate pine with along with with lemon and a resinous, herbaceous character. There is a slight maltiness and light earthiness in the background after you get through the field of ripe luscious hop cones.

Huge hops flavors of pineapple and pine hops flavor with a smooth high hop bitterness. There is good malt support showing some carmel which lets this be very bitter and yet very, very tasty. There are flavors of moderate bitter orange peel and a low white grape fruitiness as well. The alcohol shows some heat just as the flavors stretch into a long bitter finish.

There is moderate carbonation despite the appearances. It has a medium body and a smooth warming sensation on the palate that continues down the through. No astringency noticed.

An imperial IPA very worthy of the hophead logo on the bottle. Another outstanding beer from Sierra Nevada.

MadScientist, Thursday at 02:03 AM
Photo of Zakk
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Zakk, Sunday at 12:03 AM
Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

jono0101, Tuesday at 05:39 PM
Photo of FLASH
4/5  rDev -4.3%

FLASH, Sunday at 04:40 AM
Photo of hopivore
5/5  rDev +19.6%

hopivore, Friday at 05:30 AM
Photo of npala86
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

npala86, Thursday at 03:47 PM
Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Schlais, Wednesday at 01:07 AM
Photo of Tiernan
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Tiernan, Wednesday at 04:54 AM
Photo of tbryan5
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

tbryan5, Tuesday at 02:25 AM
Photo of ynalak
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

ynalak, Friday at 10:42 PM
Photo of GameOfBeers
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

GameOfBeers, Thursday at 01:51 AM
Photo of Someguy1989
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Orange-Amber color with a decent white head

S: Like liquid sex. Smelt of the hop bomb it is, lots of fruit in the hops. Pineapple, grapefruit, piney, and a tad herbal. I can't think of many better smells on this earth.

T: Hoppy citrus flavors at first, an almost pineapple flavor at first.. As the beer warmed the hopiness became a little bit harsher and piney on the tongue.

M/D: Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy with a pleasant carbonation. However due to its heavy carbonation and palette nuking hoppiness, its not the most easy bomber to finish.

Overall a pretty damn good DIPA. not perfect but I'm glad I got to try it

Someguy1989, Thursday at 12:31 AM
Photo of woodchipper
5/5  rDev +19.6%

woodchipper, Sunday at 10:14 PM
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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,281 ratings.