Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,392 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,392
Hads: 5,946
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 380
Gots: 944 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: kaseydad on 02-07-2010

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,392 | Hads: 5,946
Reviews by dborginis:
Photo of dborginis
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not too much to say about this one. Looks nice. Smells amazing of sweet American hops. Piney and citrusy. My issue is that it is so thin and with limited flavor with a 10.5% ABV. So many better DIPAs at lower abv. At such a high ABV I expected much much more. Tasty but should be so much more (292 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.06/5  rDev -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. (2,302 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,866 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been waiting for this beer to return for months. I kept checking the shelves of my local beer warehouse and at long last I saw a stack of them in the back that looked like a mountain of gold. I picked up a fresh 4-pack and immediately placed it in the fridge.

Look: It pours a deep amber gold that is crystal clear. Really this beer has a beautiful copper hue which you can gaze straight through. The head is ample, but quickly settles down into a foamy delicate layer.

Smell: I get a smell of maltiness and pine, biscuit and hops.

Taste: The taste is very interesting. I get a syrupy maltiness that is a tiny bit too sweet. It doesn’t ruin the beer at all, but I definitely didn’t expect that from the king of Imperial IPAs. I taste pine, citrus, grapefruit, clementine, black pepper, buttered biscuit, olive oil, pineapple rind, resiny bitter earthiness, clover leaves, and a bitterness that stays through the whole time. Well, it starts out sweet and syrupy with a tinge from the alcohol and then quickly gives way to the flavors I describe above with the light carbonation fizzling through most of the action. I get a lingering thick resin coating on the tongue that stays for a while.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy, thick, and syrupy (as I’ve said a few times already) and lastly oiled and buttery on the finish.

Overall: This beer has 100+ IBUs and 10.4% ABV and a lot of flavor. The slightly too noticeable sweetness and light carbonation caused it to lose a few small points in the taste department, but nothing too significant. It’s definitely a great beer and fun to drink, because it keeps you guessing what exactly are the varieties of subtle flavors you are experiencing. Be sure to pour this one into a nice glass and serve very chilled. Cheers! (1,798 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
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 (1,017 characters)

Photo of pitcherpreacher
2.42/5  rDev -41%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I have had this beer multiple years in a row. Normally a great beer. I bought a 4 pack bottled on 4-1-15 and it tasted like a malt beverage you would buy at a local gas station. Buyers be ware. (193 characters)

Photo of Senechaux75
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This hop bomb, when compared to others of it's ilk, comes through to me as the gnarliest, crunchiest beer around. And I mean that all in a good way. (149 characters)

Photo of CtyLineBeerBlog
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Prehistoric amber color. The foam dome wasn't having it with the humidity but it was pretty tame and got the whole bottle in there no problem. 2 finger length head.

S - Cascade hops hits your nose through the entire inhalation. Cascade heaven =]

T - very similar to the Pale Ale but with the same character as a Double IPA. Citrusy hop notes all the way with a nice bitter finish.

F - So drinkable, it's dangerous! Slight ABV burn on the palate but overall citrus-bitter character.

O - First All-Five rating I have ever given. Must-have for all Sierra Nevada fans and Double/Imperial IPA drinkers alike. They did a fine job in making and branding this beer and it should be duly noted as such.

Hopheads Unite!!! (770 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial or Double IPA (India Pale Ale) what is the difference? Is beer terminology becoming too archaic? Which terminology do you prefer to use? In answer to these questions: Nothing, yes, and I prefer Double IPA (“Imperial” is a bit of an anachronistic term dating back to when English brewers were trying to sway Russian Imperial Czars into drinking their beers). Now that we have established that: #450 is another milestone review which warranted Sierra Nevada’s best - they declare this DIPA as their most insanely hoppy brew at 10.4% ABV and I say “Ave at it!”.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Hazy, bright ethereal orange body with a bold half centimetre cream coloured head atop. Fantastic that it even managed at head at such a high ABV. 9/10.

S: There’s a massive hop assault on the olfactory senses, but it isn’t as complex as expected... pretty much starburst orange, grapefruit and pine notes, that’s it. Still I’m liking the massiveness of the hops. 8/10.

T: It’s big and sweet, almost a sugar-bomb, then the hops come out and say “Uh-uh, sugar, time to succumb to my bitter glory!” and slap down with a nice big bitter hop finish that is very well balanced. There is a mixture of hop flavours swirling around: starburst orange candy, pine, grapefruit and juicy fruit chewing gum hints abound and easily make your tongue their slave. There are malt characters as well providing a tasty sweet caramel sheen to everything. The finish is impressive in how light the bitterness manages to be given the hop onslaught. That said it is not for the faint of heart - this DIPA is big and demands your immediate flavour attention, and I commend it for that. 9/10.

M: As well as having a big flavour profile the body is quite viscous and coats your tongue in its glorious hop resins like some sort of giant hop blanket. There is a minimal carbonation trying to compete with this viscosity, but overall you may need a glass of water to see this brew through. 8/10.

D: Well I didn’t expect anything less than a bolder, more viscous version of Torpedo and Hoptimum delivers well. I would have to say this is a damn fine benchmark to aspire to if you’re brewing a DIPA and it is definitely a beer that will see itself in my fridge again in the not so distant future. Cheers Sierra Nevada! 8/10.

Food match: Big ales require big flavours, in this respect I am recommending a Habanero Beef Stew or Chicken Vindaloo... If you do this please send me a video. (2,505 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of mojohawk21
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ExtraStout
4.18/5  rDev +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! (561 characters)

Photo of DavyJones
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (1,492 characters)

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of MadScientist
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (1,037 characters)

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Zakk
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of FLASH
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of hopivore
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of npala86
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Tiernan
5/5  rDev +22%

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,392 ratings.