1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

5,315 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,315
Reviews: 1,324
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 259
Gots: 575 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,315 | Reviews: 1,324 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stanowsf
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

stanowsf, May 26, 2013
Photo of Stevotex
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Stevotex, May 26, 2013
Photo of NateMac13
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

NateMac13, May 25, 2013
Photo of MPSTARR
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

MPSTARR, May 25, 2013
Photo of BillHem
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

BillHem, May 25, 2013
Photo of dcloeren
4/5  rDev -4.3%

dcloeren, May 25, 2013
Photo of vidguy17
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

vidguy17, May 25, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This beer is intense. In a good way.

Pours a caramel-tinged golden-amber with some light foam.

This has a beast of an aroma. It’s intensely piney with some orange citrus notes. Big and assertive, even at first sniff.

This has a sharp, bold bitterness upfront that’s full of hop intensity—piney, citrusy orange, and resiny with a long bitter finish. I found this beer much more of a palate wrecker than the eponymously named beer.

This seriously scratched my itch for a big, bad, over-the-top bitter DIPA. Fan-tas-tic! And with such great distribution. A great value too.

elNopalero, May 25, 2013
Photo of foxyaardvark27
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

foxyaardvark27, May 25, 2013
Photo of HeadyMusicalTopper
5/5  rDev +19.6%

HeadyMusicalTopper, May 25, 2013
Photo of Bones10
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Bones10, May 25, 2013
Photo of adamhand
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

adamhand, May 25, 2013
Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

(copied from blog - written May 6th, 2013)

Appearance – Slightly cloudy light-goldish-orange in color. Actually doesn’t look much different than a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Solid one finger white head. Leaves heavy lacing that washes away quickly.
Smell – Allergies/cold prevent me from revealing the scent… From what I can tell through a mostly stuffy nose – strong pine and citrus with an earthy note.
Taste – Up front a blast of hoppy bitterness and orange juice, grapefruit, underlying caramel sweetness. Lingering bitter piney flavor.

This big imperial offering from Sierra Nevada is quite the monster. Its appearance is OK… surprisingly straw looking for the huge amount of flavor that comes out of it. As I said, I unfortunately can’t smell much out of my nose, but then again that might say something about this brew since I CAN smell something from the top of the glass! The taste when you drink it is pretty cool because it starts off basically tasting like super hoppy OJ (or otherwise just regular grapefruit juice) and there is this caramel sweetness that weaves in and out making it appear balanced at one moment and at the next next seem like a hop head’s wet dream wrapped in pine. The 10.4% only reveals itself once you stop drinking for too long and you feel that boozy warmness in your belly. After one and a half beers I’m feeelinggg quite niiice.

RummyRedbeard, May 24, 2013
Photo of BigEZ_VZ
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

BigEZ_VZ, May 24, 2013
Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

RedneckBeerz, May 24, 2013
Photo of Spaz7
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Spaz7, May 24, 2013
Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Boone757, May 24, 2013
Photo of Icarus
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Icarus, May 24, 2013
Photo of henskejk
4/5  rDev -4.3%

henskejk, May 24, 2013
Photo of Tom_Gilman
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Tom_Gilman, May 24, 2013
Photo of falloutsnow
3.35/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Friar Tuck, Savoy, IL
Date: None, "2013" on bottle label (showed up in stores last week)
Glass: Tulip

I had high hopes for Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum, but the overall beer is a mess of ethanol heat and hop bitterness, malt character and hop/yeast fruit esters oftentimes being lost in these major two players. To me, the ethanol obviousness during tasting detracts from this beer, as it takes up "flavor real estate" that should be devoted to hops and hop-associated flavors. In the end, this comes across as a fairly run-of-the-mill DIPA: high in bitterness with moderate fruit flavors, and far too pronounced and obvious in ethanol that ravages and withers the complex malt profile used.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of slightly off-white colored foam, made up of small bubbles, creating a fairly dense-looking froth. Retention is for about one-and-a-half minutes, somewhat above average for the style, eventually leaving a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a fairly large, wispy island of foam sitting atop the body of the beer. The lacing that's left is thick and heavy, a nearly complete wall of foam adhering to the walls of the glass. The body is a transparent copper-brown color, with bringing out bright orange-copper hues. Carbonation is visible in the beer, it being moderate in number, but frantic in movement.

Aroma of candied orange peel, grapefruit sections, slight honey, and enough pale malts to create a caramel-like sweetness. Good, but not as bold or dank as I was expecting, given the IBUs and, well, name of the beer.

The major flavors are strong hop bitterness, pine resin, grapefruit, a surprising amount of spicy ethanol, and a moderate caramel malt sweetness in the background. Tasting opens with bright fruit flavors including peach, guava, and orange, hints of oncoming hop bitterness, and spicy, peppery ethanol. Mid-palate of strong hop bitterness, pine resin, spicy ethanol, grapefruit, orange peel, minor guava and pale malt sweetness. Back of palate features strong ethanol, hop bitterness, grapefruit, and slight pine resin; most flavors are obscured by the ethanol at this point. Aftertaste of ethanol, long-lingering hop bitterness, and sweet pale malts giving the overall impression of an alcoholic hop candy.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body with carbonation of medium intensity. The result is a slightly foamy, somewhat smooth mouthfeel, with an unfortunate heat and burn brought on by ethanol. Ethanol is easily and quickly felt on the tongue, throat, and in the nostrils for most of each sip, again detracting from enjoyment of this beer. Closes semi-dry, with astringency around the sides of the mouth, and substantial stickiness lingering on the lips and across the mouth.

falloutsnow, May 24, 2013
Photo of PaleZombie
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A - Nice copper/tangerine color with about 1 finger of foamy white head that quickly dissipated.

S - Big grapefruit, pine, some citrus, slight note of some sweet malts. Only a mild alcohol sent as it warmed.

T - Very bitter grapefruit followed by pine then the slight slight citrus and malt to clean up the pallet. Bitter in the finish though which lasts quite long. Surprisingly I barely detect the alcohol it seems more like a 6-7% as opposed to a 10.4.

M - Fairly slick oily feel with a medium body and perfect carbonation.

O - The more I drank this and let it warm the more I liked it. The flavor and aromas were awesome and for a 10.4% beer I could hardly detect the alcohol. This beer is extremely well crafted and another great beer from Sierra Nevada. Cheers!!

PaleZombie, May 24, 2013
Photo of Ish1
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Ish1, May 24, 2013
Photo of tmaestro
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

tmaestro, May 24, 2013
Photo of bostonryan
5/5  rDev +19.6%

bostonryan, May 24, 2013
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,315 ratings.