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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,258 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4258
Reviews: 1238
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%

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: 4,258 | Reviews: 1,238 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerImmediately


4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

20oz nonic pint from home draft line #1

Pours with a rich, slightly off-white head over a lightly chill-hazed amber body. Very slight carbonation flowing up. Some chunky lacing

Aromas are pretty light, given the style, ABV, and flavor. The malty sweetness and cedar wood aromas may actually come thru stronger than the hops. Touch of booze is masked well by the pine straw quality of the hops.

Rich, smooth, and thick mouthfeel. Light carbonation. Flavor- wow, I sure don't give a lot of 5's, but this is one. Rich, and insanely well balanced. Northwestern hop qualities, with plenty of pine sap, plus blood oranges, caramel and butterscotch sweetness, and a bit of pineapple and apricot juice. So well balanced.

Clearly this was brewed by beer geniuses.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2013 01:14:08 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of RaulMondesi


3.61/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Raul heard nothing but good things about Hoptimum; but unfortunately, like Kiera Knightly in general, Raul is just a bit let down. Raul is into the ultra hop presence, but woo doggy is this son of a mischievous woman bitter! And Raul means, bitter! Raul himself would like to see more juice, or a solid malt backbone to even this sucker out. The bitterness just kind of kills Raul's palate like Del Taco after midnight.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2013 03:26:25 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of brodericksloth


4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

grapefruit rind, pine, herbs and tropical fruit, nose not as pleasing as you would think
Magnum, Chinook, Simcoe hops
on the bitter side....their stainless steel torpedo does not subdue the bitterness. more than the 100 IBU's they claim
alcohol well hidden; ranges from 10-12% by batch
try Rogue's Double Dead Guy for a toned down version of this searing beer. not for wimps
draft version is still over the top

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2013 19:31:53 | More by brodericksloth
Photo of jjboesen


4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is based on a shaker pint quaffed at Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore, Maryland on July 26, 2013. At 10.4% alcohol, this is your average – or not so average? – West Coast hopbomb that simply slaps you silly. The Hoptimum is copper in color, the body clear, translucent and void of carbonation bubbles. The head is minimal and the lacing sleek and thin. The nose is an intense miasma of pineapple and mango; the palate seems to be awash in a thick piney resin with bits of sourdough bread on the finish. There is some dryness to it as well; in fact, there is a heavy breadiness that appears to suck liquid from the palate. And yet, the hop balance is retained so that it evokes substance and warmth and not just bitterness.

Surely a beer worthy of the challenge – just keep the water at the ready.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2013 23:28:58 | More by jjboesen
Photo of ckollias


4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on tap at LURES in Maryland

A: Pours a copper hue with a white head that quickly dissipates in to a wispy lace.

S: Pleasant malty and hoppy aroma.

T: Hoppy bitter flavor with a decent malt bakcground.

M: Full body and medium carbonation

O: Solid DIPA – nicely balanced and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2013 18:55:40 | More by ckollias
Photo of JMUbrewz


4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10 oz pour on tap at Jack Brown's in Harrisonburg. $4 for the glass.

Looks good. It's a nice golden color. Not too light, not too dark for an Imperial IPA. There's a solid, fluffy cap of head that leaves some lacing with each gulp. The smell is fantastic, with grapefruit and pine dominating the nose. The taste is very similar, a wonderful combination of grapefruity citrus and pine. The alcohol is slightly more noticeable than I would like, but it still goes down smooth and has great balance for 10%. Mouthfeel is right on point for the style. Medium body with a slick, oily, resiny character that I really enjoyed. Not my absolute favorite 2XIPA, but a very, very good one nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2013 01:05:04 | More by JMUbrewz
Photo of ExtraStout


4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2013 23:35:31 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of MWolverines66

New York

4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Savor NYC. Poured a nice golden color with a white head. Had the aroma of citrus, peach and pine. The taste was a nice blend of citrus fruits and peach at first, followed by a strong slam of hops on the back end. Overall it was a really solid beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2013 03:04:07 | More by MWolverines66
Photo of FLima


4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful copper color with a good thick off white head with good retention.
Wonderful aroma of peaches and passion fruit.
Initial malty sweet flavor that gives room to a bold bitterness. Notes of sweetened grapefruit, honey and toasted malts. Dry, even a bit astringent aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Full and liquorish body with a low carbonation. 10.4% ABV is very timid against his flavors, hops and body.
Very good DIPA, I just would like to see it a bit less sweet (though I had it slowly until got warmer).

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2013 01:36:39 | More by FLima
Photo of Rosanne


4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap: 4.5 Mid aroma, hoppy taste, hoppy sweet linger. Yum.
On cask: 4 less flavor except for the bitterness

Shared a taster on-tap and on cask as part of four flights at the brewery; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, USA. As part of a six-week West Coast beer tour. I rate to taste, not to style. See my blog for more details: carbeers.wordpress.com

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2013 07:54:22 | More by Rosanne
Photo of dar482

New York

3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a clear amber orange color.

The aroma has stinky sticky resinous pine, grapefruit, malt sweetness, and even a bit of booze.

The flavor follows huge pine needle and dank resin. It's hugely bitter with the Simcoe character, a slight citrus. Then there's a crystal malt honey sweetness that cleans up the beer. However, on the end, it's quite boozy. There's lots of alcohol here.

I would have preferred if this beer was toned down a bit with the alcohol percentage. Something like Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA hides its 12% so well and you would never know. This does not however. Having a 10 oz. serving, I wouldn't want more. If anything, maybe even 8 oz. of this beer is enough.

I do enjoy the large qualities of this beer. It's in your face with the pine and resin, it has a lot of sweetness to it. Therefore, it is not for people who can't handle huge hop bombs. Then again, the booziness of this beer is a distraction. Good, but disappointing.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2013 21:09:36 | More by dar482
Photo of seanwilson530


3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ok, so here goes another review. I felt this one needed a review just because it's a relatively low score for such a great brewing company. C'mon, it's Sierra Nevada, one of the grand daddy's of them all! I feel like there was just to much push to have a lot of hops in this beer and it wasn't designed properly with the style.

Appearance: Obviously good, it comes from Sierra Nevada and they know what they are doing. Polished for a high lupulin resin beer. Good carbonation.

Smell: A blend of citrus and earthy hops. Not as pronounced as other DIPA's that I like though.

Taste: Here is where the beer fell short for me. Overly bitter. The beauty of DIPA's is to have the hops shine through from the flavor and aroma, in my humble opinion. This beer was excessively bitter. More late kettle additons and less high alpha acid hops, again in my humble opinion.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was also lacking as I felt my jaw cringe from the hop bitterness. Not balance enough with the malt sweetness to offset the ever present harsh bitterness.

Overall: Not my favorite beer from Sierra Nevada. Might have to try it again to see if it changes my mind.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2013 23:21:11 | More by seanwilson530
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes, pours a clear golden color with a substantial white frothy head which recedes to leave some solid lacing.

Aromas begin with tropical fruits, citrus and orange. Light crackery maltiness which smells sweeter as it warms.

The tastes follow the nose with some bitter citrus, lemon rind hoppiness up front and some lesser orange and pineapple in the background. The bitter citrus overwhems the more pleasant tropical fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. FInish is quite hefty in the bitterness column with some spicy alcohol adding to the dryness.

Overall this a slight improvement to the Harvest, North and Southern Hempisphere Imperial IPAs but really doesn't shine about the everygrowing aroma forward DIPAs or even the more balanced ones. Increased bitterness and ABV just don't make a great DIPA in my opinion, they can make a good one, but the real stars have equal amounts aroma and bitterness or even more aroma than resiny astringent bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2013 19:07:50 | More by claspada
Photo of jhutch31


3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess we all have different pallates and mine usually loves big, hoppy beers. However, I was really disappointed with this beer. The appearance and aroma were great, but it fell on its face after the first sip. (atleast for me). Very bitter, not just in flavor but in the mouthfeel as well. My jaw started to cringe and cramp up, like when you eat a very sour lemon or sour candy. In my opinion, to many early hop additions and not enough mid to late hop additions to equal out the flavor to bitterness ratio. Again, I maybe way off compared to what others experienced, but I only got half of this beer down before sending it back. The ABV's were a litte high as well without enough malt character to mask the ethanol flavor. Maybe i'll try this one again and get a different experience.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2013 18:54:21 | More by jhutch31
Photo of Rifugium


3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Served in a flared pils glass, a slightly hazy golden-amber color with a small foamy cap of white head that receded to a ringlet; bubbly carbonation visible. Herbal hop aroma, not too strong. Taste is a bit subdued for an imperial IPA, crisp herbal and piney hop bitterness, lightly toasted grains, biscuity hops. The weakness in flavor is made up for in the mouthfeel department; this is one drinkable beer, smooth and light on the tongue for the style, clean aftertaste, with the higher ABV almost unnoticeable. Nice beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 01:13:32 | More by Rifugium
Photo of ChBass


4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip at the Hay Merchant in Houston.

This beer is as golden as I could ever imagine a beer being. Perfectly clear with a thick crown of foam and heavy lacing.

The smell is HOPS. Herbaceous, dank hops. As it should be.

The flavor is surprisingly complex for a DIPA, and surprisingly free of booze for 10.4% ABV. Lots of dry malt and complex sweetness fight before finally giving way to hops.

The beer has great mouthfeel; if Lucky 13.alt didn't exist, it'd be one of the best.

Overall, this beer is trouble. Stay away from it, and if you get some...you better just send it to me.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2012 23:42:47 | More by ChBass
Photo of challenja


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served On Tap at Westover Market, Arlington, VA.

A: Extremely light for a double IPA. Looks like a slightly orange pilsner. Low Carbonation slight bubble foam mat chilling port side of the glass.

S: Sweet lemons, sugar coated grapefruit and fragrant warrior hops.

T: Damn smacking good! Lots of sour boat bitter simoce and bang through and lingering pine resin lays waste to the back of the tongue. Stingy and swishing lemon bitters. Subtle poker face while drinking it.

M: Nice popping medium carbonation that swishes forward on the palate and take foam inducing shape. Sticky wet and smooth. Not overly dense but very appealing in taste length and character.

O: The best offering from Sierra Nevada! A four pack worth buying. Impressive bitter length and pine resin aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2012 22:34:23 | More by challenja
Photo of BMMillsy


4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a pleasant surprise by SN. This is among the top DIPAs out there. Had this on tap at Vinology in Ann Arbor a few times now. Pours a beautiful clear dark amber color and perfect white froth on top with plenty of lacing. Smells of pine and grapefruit, some caramel and toffee, and then a bunch more grapefruit. Tastes of bitter hops with grapefuit candy on the back end. Really like drinking grapefruit candies here with some slight booze. But, alcohol is barely detectable at the 10+ percent. Fantastic!

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2012 17:14:33 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Con-a-sewer

4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this at BC's pizza in Clovis ca

Pours a nice orange with a hue of amber at times white foamy head with good lacing

Smell is very inviting floral citrus bouquet hint of spice and pine hops

Taste of sweet citrus with a rush of piney hops

Very drink able because the hops blend in great and there is hardly a sense of a 10% abv nice carbonation

Over all a sensational brew that has a refined appeal that other DIPAs are missing, "I'll have another!"

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2012 01:36:48 | More by Con-a-sewer
Photo of Chico1985


3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a snifter dark orange with some haze, small off-white head quickly becomes a slight cap and ring.

Nose is decent, kinda weak strength though, but a good amount of resiny and fruity hops coming through.

Taste is better. Big oily hops, lots of earthy pine, orange peel, grapefruit, some pineapple. Though this is obviously hop-centric, malt makes a good effort at balance - a mix of toasty malts and sweeter caramel and toffee.

Nice creamy mouthfeel, good thickness and level carbonation. Feels big but drinks well for the ABV. Nicely done.

Overall quite good. At this ABV it still maintains a double IPA feel rather than moving into barleywine territory. Pretty good deal on the 4-pack.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2012 14:34:38 | More by Chico1985
Photo of tylerprince


4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a pint on tap at Falling Rock in Denver.

A: Hazy orange copper with one finger of off-white foamy head. Retention isn't great but lacing is.

S: Hits the nose with hop oils, citrus, and some pine, with a subtle fresh bready malt toward the end. All the aromas are in the head of this beer...once the head fades, which happens quickly, it gives off nothing.

T: Delicious. Starts with a grapefruit-like citrus that gives way to an extremely mild malt backbone - perhaps too mild. Finishes with a hoppy bitterness, which lingers with a nice alcoholic bite.

M: Crisp and clean with the alcohol evident only at the end. Ever so slightly resinous. Low on the carbonation, which is nice.

O: A solid DIPA but not as killer as some make it out to be. It's pretty well described in the name, but I don't think a hop fad should make it OK to dismiss the malt backbone a beer of this caliber really should have.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2012 21:20:23 | More by tylerprince
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
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 TubaManJack


3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
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 tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap during the Sierra Nevada keg debut at Beer Deluxe. Rough notes on my phone.

A - Poured dark copper with good carbonation, one finger of creamy white head. Film of retention and good rings of lace.

S - Lot's of pine, honey, grass, and citrus.

T - Booze, honey, citrus hops, and boozy pineapple.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and quite bitter.

O/D - Pretty nice stuff. A solid DIPA in the American vein. Tasty and pretty drinkable, yet a bit boozy, but for 10% I understand why.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2012 05:31:06 | More by tbeckett
Photo of phishsihq


3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hoptimum pours a dark orange, with some amber highlights and an inch of off-white head that clings to the glass. Sweet caramel tones quickly give way to BIG aromas of floral, piney, and citrusy hops, hints of resin, orange, grapefruit, lemon and grass make for a BIG nose. The BIG hoppy flavors of citrus, pine, and grass all carry over onto the pallet before blending very well with a sweet caramel malty backbone, hints of alcohol linger in the finish. Hopitumum is well balanced for a staggering 100 IBU brew, and features a medium-full body and moderate levels of carbonation. BIG, BOLD, Delicious!

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2012 01:56:02 | More by phishsihq
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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,258 ratings.