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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

5,273 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,273
Reviews: 1,322
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 259
Gots: 560 | 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
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Ratings: 5,273 | Reviews: 1,322 | Display Reviews Only:
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%

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%

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
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%

Clear pale orange. Big frothy oily beige head. Thick tight lacing.

Very hop pungent. Pine, resin, spicy, Grapefruit pith, ganja, floral. Light sweetness of malt is hidden below the hops dominance.

Big resinous pine, ganja, and grapefruit. rounded out a bit by some toasty sweetness and alcohol. big bitterness with piney resinous aftertaste.

big sticky resinous and oily medium body. astringent. drying. good carbonation that just gets through the oils.

hoppy beast. drinks very well. great piney resinous profile.

CHILLINDYLAN, May 23, 2013
Photo of Sludgeman
4.39/5  rDev +5%

$12.99/4-pack. 2013 vintage. Bottled March 26, 2013. Poured into a chalice

A very nice beer! A unique taste profile that I cannot completely describe, but which I totally love. One of the top SN products out there today. Drink this one fresh. I previously had a 2012 vintage, which I just drank in March 2013. I gave that beer a 3.75 "had." Age definitely affects hops and definitely affects this beer.

A - Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger rocky off-white head. Average lacing.

S - Primarily citrusy/grapefruit notes, then some resininess and then finally some slight
malt sweetness. No alcohol.

T - Starts with a sharp resiny bitterness (100 IBU). Some slight sweetness creeps in along with grassiness and then a smooth finish. No lasting bitterness compared to some brews. A fairly well balanced beer for an Imperial IPA.

MF - A medium body beer. Starts sharp, ends smooth wth a bitterness. Not a palate killer.

This is a re-review. First review was a 3.75 Had on 3/30/2013.

Sludgeman, May 23, 2013
Photo of andysc83
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

andysc83, May 23, 2013
Photo of Brewphish
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Brewphish, May 23, 2013
Photo of amcaleh
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

amcaleh, May 23, 2013
Photo of ipas-for-life
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

ipas-for-life, May 23, 2013
Photo of mmcnaughton
4/5  rDev -4.3%

mmcnaughton, May 23, 2013
Photo of arfenhouse
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%

A: Hazy orange-copper with off-white head. Good retention and some lace.

S: Spicy hops and tangerine. Pine needles and a bit of floral hops. Very light on the malt and a just noticeable alcohol. The aroma is small compared to the taste, about 2 mo. so maybe that's the problem.

T: Upfront grapefruit, pine needles, and some pineapple. Decent amount of malt sweetness and floral hop that reminds me of honey.. Pine, resin, and tangerine at the back end going into the aftertaste.

M: Medium-full mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Coats the mouth and has a dry bite.

O: Bitter, hoppy, and high ABV. Great if you're looking for something with a a big hop kick.

arfenhouse, May 23, 2013
Photo of JesseMurdock
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%

this was my first DIPA so take this review with a grain of salt. when i popped open the bottle, a wave of hops hit me. the smell was pungent and delicious. the first taste is pretty good, lots of pine and grapefruit. however, there is a strong lingering bitterness that stays with you long after you swallow. there is also an astringent alcohol taste. when i swallow, i'd wince a tiny bit as if i was drinking hard liquor. the initial flavor and aroma is great, but the bitterness and booziness did not make for an enjoyable drinking experience.

JesseMurdock, May 23, 2013
Photo of rhizomatic
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

rhizomatic, May 23, 2013
Photo of Dave_Treat
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

Dave_Treat, May 23, 2013
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4/5  rDev -4.3%

UWBadgerFan4Life, May 23, 2013
Photo of J10Jordan
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

J10Jordan, May 23, 2013
Photo of Omnium
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice orange yellow color, shy of a finger of head that fades quick, medium lacing.
S - Orange preserves, toffee, hop oil, earthy and herbal hop scents, sweet caramel malt.
T - A bigger and strong assault against your palate, orange candy, lots of pine and hop resin, syrupy malt, and a tad boozey.
M - Overly sticky feel, and very very heavy. Not something you'd want more than one of.
O - There's wayyy too much of everything in this beer, too much IBU, malt sweetness and over the top alcohol flavor. I cant remember what I thought when I had it last year, but I'm not really a fan. Its not god awful, but if you're looking for a full forced palate-obliterating beer, this would be one.

EDIT: After having again a few months after its release, its a bit more tame, and quite drinkable when very cold, I'm not waiting around for it to get warm.

Omnium, May 23, 2013
Photo of morefackinghops
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

morefackinghops, May 22, 2013
Photo of hodak1172
5/5  rDev +19.6%

hodak1172, May 22, 2013
Photo of hoptualBrew
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%

Light copper in color near glowing shade of orange. Clear without any sediment or cloudiness. Cream white head with active carbonation rising. Sticky lacing.

Aroma of wet pungent piney grapefruit hop varietals. Very perfume forward hops with a complimentary floral bouquet and caramel malt sweetness to balance out. Clean, no yeast esters.

Bitter floral, pine and sweet citrus. Sticky hop oils, sweet caramel malt and building astringency. Bitterness stays around for a long time, balanced by character of the malt bill. Very easy to drink, the 10.4% abv is not transparent with the exception of a very mild heat in the back.

Carbonation is perfect, lets the hop oils stick while also allowing it to be easily drinkable. Medium full mouthfeel with lasting bitterness and hop flavors.

Great IIPA, by one of the best in the business. Sierra Nevada nails just about every beer they put out, with this being the epitome of their style.

hoptualBrew, May 22, 2013
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,273 ratings.