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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.

4,974 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,974
Reviews: 1,298
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 230
Gots: 445 | FT: 6
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: 4,974 | Reviews: 1,298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of anichols70

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great clear orange with a thick head that dissipates quickly leaving some light lace on the glass.
S: Floral, herbal, dank hops. Some light citrus? A bit underwhelming considering the amount of hops involved. Doesn't stick around.
T: Some citrus, good bitterness, strong hop flavor. Alcohol, maybe a bit too much at times.
M: Medium mouth-feel, slightly syrupy, but not cloying. Light carbonation.
O: A good, solid DIPA that won't do you wrong, but not quite up to the hype, IMO. Could be a little more balance. If you really like hops, kind of hard to argue against it though.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 21:54:03 | More by anichols70
Photo of TheBigBoy


3/5  rDev -28.2%

05-29-2012 14:11:11 | More by TheBigBoy
Photo of TheMultiYeast


4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant, clear, bronze amber with lots of tiny rising bubbles. Three fingers of head form quickly, half a finger retains leaving spotty lacing.

Smell implies how good this brew actually is...Big citrus, resiny, oily hop aroma. Super juicy with aspects of tangy sugared fruit.

Taste is nothing short of a hop bomb.Puckering citrus and fruit upfront with a big oily, smacky hop punch. Big bitterness washes through, finish is dry, alcohol is hidden.

Contrasting feel between juicy, puckering hops and a dry finish. Nice carbonation, bitter aftertaste.

MUST HAVE for any hop lover.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 03:20:12 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of progression

4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

05-29-2012 02:56:19 | More by progression
Photo of Bitter_Echo


4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear-ish, tannic, dark, slightly yellow amber haze. Demonstrates a fine, but low foam, extensive, persistent lacing, nose bringing fine notes of pine, balsam resin, citrus and grapefruit, without a strong malt presence. Taste is a fast, wet, sweetish spike with a grapefruit fruit bitter blast that coasts and coasts: a terrific hop echo to boot! This one is reminiscent of Founder's All Day IPA, but less fruit and longer transmuting drift of hop floral notes. Wouldn't guess this at 10% ABV. Mouth-feel brings favorable scrubbing level of carbonation, but isn't overly fussy, and not syrupy. Overall I'm drawn to this brew for certain. Wow! An instant favorite!

2013 Seems less on the citrus and pine, and very strong floral, not fruit hop forward. I tmight be fresher on this case than in 2012, but the bitter backbone has remarkable sustain, and the initial taste delivers and highly floral, loud, and almost confusing profile of flavors. This is terrific, as always...different this year and just as compelling as ever.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 23:35:40 | More by Bitter_Echo
Photo of Gabbyaboutipa


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

05-28-2012 17:11:59 | More by Gabbyaboutipa
Photo of cwd


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

05-28-2012 17:05:20 | More by cwd
Photo of Satan70


5/5  rDev +19.6%

05-28-2012 14:33:58 | More by Satan70
Photo of oscarthebrody


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

05-28-2012 03:57:58 | More by oscarthebrody
Photo of ale207


4/5  rDev -4.3%

05-28-2012 00:12:45 | More by ale207
Photo of beerbully

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into pint glass

A-clear, copper 1/2 inch thick foamy head slowly dissipates healthy lacing

S-citrus, not a strong aroma

T-juicy citrus, alcohol well hidden, some mild sweetness, some piny notes, greatfruit finish, tasty brew

M- creamy and slick, fully covers the inside of the mouth,

O-solid DIPA that is very drinkable despite the high abv
worth drinking again and again

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2012 21:01:09 | More by beerbully
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a honey color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing and very little cascading.

S-Citrussy and slightly tropical hops

T-Much like the nose as the hops are citrussy yet have some tropical flavors as well. Caramel malt backbone plays a supporting role, but the hops dominate.

M-Relatively thick and chewy.

D-Very drinkable due to its good flavor, but the high abv. make this a sipper.

Overall, I had been wanting to try this beer for some time but was a little disappointed. This is good but nowhere near as good as Hopslam or Double Trouble.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2012 20:57:21 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of rwilde


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

05-27-2012 20:24:43 | More by rwilde
Photo of Slange3602

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

05-27-2012 18:31:15 | More by Slange3602
Photo of Rukasu

District of Columbia

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes close, but falls a little short of Hopslam.

Growler fill from Whole Foods Fair Lakes, VA.

A - Nice orange color with one-finger creamy white head, disipates quickly

S -Sweet up front with faint citrus and pine, but a big whiff will pick up a savory/umami bouillon hints from the high alcohol. Might seem off-putting, but works fairly well.

T - Certainly packs a punch. Big alcohol and grapefruit rind, some pine, still getting some of that savory taste.

M - Certainly full bodied, you almost need a glass of water to chase.

O - One pint was probably enough, but I went for two and that was probably a mistake. I think this beer is meant to just kick you in the face and walk away, because there was nothing really memorable about it other than the high ABV. There is little subtlety to this beer, at $10 for a growler, it was worth giving it a shot, but I'll stick with Hopslam.

Serving type: growler

05-27-2012 15:35:40 | More by Rukasu
Photo of ColSanders123


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

05-27-2012 04:33:24 | More by ColSanders123
Photo of JoshuaGoins

West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

05-26-2012 22:28:28 | More by JoshuaGoins
Photo of SAxDRC5


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

05-26-2012 03:38:22 | More by SAxDRC5
Photo of Dbrag


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

05-26-2012 01:27:37 | More by Dbrag
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a Corsendonk chalice- pours a pretty clear golden/copper/slightly ruby color. 1.5 finger head, good retention, nice sticky lacing. Looks great.

Also smells great- big, sweet, floral hops. Really juicy. Some pale malt mixed in, maybe a little caramel, and slight touch of booze towards the end.

Taste is very big- a little overwhelming at first. Definitely good bitterness going on, lots of juicy floral hops, pale malt sweetness, a little alcohol warming going down. By no means subtle.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick and resin-y; slightly detracts from the flavor. Medium bodied with little to no soft carbonation. Nice to have a big bombastic DIPA after several that were kinda wimpy. Give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 00:53:05 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of BostonHops


4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottler served in a snifter. 2011 vintage.

pours a clear, bright copper with orange highlights. creamy beige head demonstrates solid retention, slowly lapsing into a thin cap/collar around the glass; beautiful sticky lacing.

nose is big and aromatic, dominated by pungent pine, maybe a touch of citrus in the background. continuing the assault, hops storm the palate from the first drop... pine, grapefruit, a bit grassy, quite bitter. very good. not much in the way of balancing malts, just an absolute hop monster. some discernible booze.

oily, medium bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation. not a true hophead, so this will definitely quench my hop thirst for the night. would defintely be up a revisit at some future point.

originally reviewed: 01-31-2011

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 22:22:27 | More by BostonHops
Photo of TempeBeerMan


4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A – Deep amber hue with a two-finger off white head with great retention. Sticky lacing.

S – Dank, resinous hops. Somehow grassy and earthy at the same time. Strong overall aroma. Smells complex and intriguing.

T – OMG. Hops upon hops. Dank weed-like hops. Earthy hops. Piney hops. Floral hops. Grassy hops. Fruity hops. How many different hop tastes can be crammed into one beer? All brought into wonderful balance by a big butterscotch-like malt base with a hint of toffee. As many hops as there is going around here, the malt steps up and carries it’s own weight. Super lush, rich, and swirlingly complex. Finishes with expected bitterness. ABV mostly hidden but peeks out just a little in the aftertaste.

M – Suitably big and chewy. You can definitely feel the “weight” of this beer on the tongue. Nicely carbonated.

O – Outstanding. Unique. Brash to the point of “extreme”. It’s a lot to handle but worth the challenge. Not a beer I’d want more than one or maybe two at a sitting; just to big and too much flavor on the taste buds. But truly an amazing product from SN. A MUST for hop heads!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 05:05:35 | More by TempeBeerMan
Photo of TubaManJack


3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tulip Glass

Deep golden copper hue with a deep lasting pillowy white head. There is a deep hop oilly smell. This is a bit of sweetness & alcohol and no malt. The taste is very reminiscent of the nose. There isn't too much of the citrus or malt in the taste. This is a really powerful beer that struggles to really balance the alcohol and the oily hops. Its not my favorite but would do well for the hop heads that don't want a big citrus brew.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2012 05:00:54 | More by TubaManJack
Photo of DrHoptagon


4/5  rDev -4.3%

05-25-2012 04:42:47 | More by DrHoptagon
Photo of jsulko


4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

Pours a mostly clear golden orange color with a thick white head that tends to linger.

Smell is slightly sweet with an oily piney hop smell.

Taste is very heavy piney hop forward with a hard hop bite on the finish. Alcohol also heavy in the finish.

A quite hop powerful beer with a big alcohol taste. Not my favorite DIPA as I tend towards the citrus end of the hop spectrum.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 03:08:25 | More by jsulko
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,974 ratings.