Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 4,263 | Reviews: 1,238 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by salvo:
4.28/5 rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Pours clear orange-brown with a half inch of foamy head. Head subsides in minutes, leaving a soapy ring that etches the glass. Tiny bubbles continue to feed islands of soapy foam.
Nose is far less hoppy than expected: faint citrus notes and hints of pine, but dominant smell is towards honey-sweet biscuit maltiness and astringency of black tea.
Bitterness unfurls in the first cold sip, smacking the palate. Unmistakable, strong bitterness: beyond dIPA, neither traditional British bittering or west-coast citrus hop-bombing, I feel the bitterness radiating from my chest like radiation, or swallowing lit sterno. Interesting thing: it's not unpleasant.
The beer has been warming as I began writing my notes. Now the pepperiness of the alcohol is more pronounced, but the bitterness is, if anything, increasing and becoming yet more prominent. Sour and biting across the back of the mouth and throat, I almost feel like I'm exhaling smoke. Again, none of this is bad; just intense.
There's something high in the roof of my mouth, the top of the palate, that I just can't quite place: it's a smokiness without smoke, almost like menthol, eucalyptus sensation, but without the specific flavor of either smoke or eucalyptus. Oddly satisfying, I'm getting a kind of chili-like buzz but from hops bitterness and not capsaicin.
Mouthfeel is big; intense and biting, bracing. Warming spreads from the front to the back. After swallowing, my mouth and palate feel raw, as if stripped of anything that had been there. Finish is sour and astringent, drying--parching. Drinkability is tough to say on this one. I'm enjoying it, but I've been looking forward to it and am prepared. But it is extreme and cannot be confused with a session or everyday beer.
Part of Snomageddon '11 tasting.
Serving type: bottle
02-01-2011 22:10:08 | More by salvo
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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,263 ratings.