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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,409 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,409
Hads: 6,007
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 387
Gots: 984 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: kaseydad on 02-07-2010

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,409 | Hads: 6,007
Photo of tango22
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A well-balanced hop bomb -- hoppy, at 100 IBU, but at the same time malty, sweet, piney, chewy. A good DIPA to linger over, as its character evolves without degrading as you sip. And at 10.4% ABV, this is not a session beer, nor is it one to "pound" quickly. Sip, and enjoy! (274 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/12/15 Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint glass.

L- Medium amber, great clarity, one finger slightly off white head.

S- Malty sweetness, grapefruit, orange peel, a little dankness, tiny bit of that Juicy Fruit gum hop thing. Abv hidden well.

T- Similar to aroma but with an added big piney bitterness. Alcohol come out some as it warms but it's never overwhelming and the sweetness really keeps it in check. On the sweeter side of DIPAs. Finish has some sweetness and a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

F- On the higher side of a medium mouthfeel but not that syrupy at all. Very drinkable for such a big beer.

O- Another great hoppy beer from Sierra Nevada and one of the best values you're gonna find. The thing that sticks out to me that most is how easy drinking it is for the abv. (810 characters)

Photo of Beerds
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark amber copper color, nice off white rich head. Smell and taste the alcohol. Creamy like velvet and taste the alcohol all the way down with a nice mouth smacking after taste. Reminds me of Enjoy By for some reason (224 characters)

Photo of golf_sierra
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding DIPA. Very hoppy and great tasting without the astringency that sometimes comes with overly hopped beers. Good aroma, well built beer. Alcohol is nicely hidden, I had no idea it was over 10% until I started to feel it, and looked for the ABV on the bottle. (270 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely dark golden with finger length head and a soapy lace with good retention. Amazing aromas; sweet malts, citrus and tropical fruits, floral esters, piney and resinous hops and a big whiff of alcohol towards the end. A hop bomb of a taste. Very resiny. Good malt backbone. Grapefruit taste. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel with a strong and bitter finish from the hops. A great DIPA especially for hop lovers! will definetely have again. (449 characters)

Photo of kitch
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 fl oz bottle packaged on 10th April 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Poured a clear copper colour with a one and a half finger white head that slowly dissipates into a thin foamy layer that lasts throughout.

Aroma: Strong piney hops and a light citrus grapefruit aroma. There is also some caramel malts.

Taste: Mainly pine hops and grapefruit citrus flavours along with some slight caramel malt which is sweet and sticky. There is also some alcoholic booze aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, medium carbonation, creamy and sticky.

Overall: I really liked this beer and its hoppiness. It’s very close to a must buy for me. I think the two things that hold it back for me are that the caramelly flavours make it a bit too sweet and the booziness that comes through towards the end is stronger than I would have liked it. But having said that, I would buy more from time to time. (910 characters)

Photo of Chcshammonde
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Liked this offering from our venerable friends at Sierra Nevada. It is quite different than other DIPA's I've tried, specifically in the mouthfeel and taste. The taste is actually quite subtle at first, and very smooth. Once it warms just a tad, all of the hop flavor floods your palate. I really liked it, but it took a while for me to appreciate what was going on in this beer. (383 characters)

Photo of raiderob
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 oz into pint glass..minimal amount of head and lacing..dirty and murky amber like color....lingering hoppy satisfaction on the roof of my mouth...mmmm yummy..Prost❗ (176 characters)

Photo of NCMatt
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Overall, it was a good DIPA, no doubt about that, just nothing really stood out and made this beer shine. Better than your average run-of-the-mill DIPA, but nothing I would anticipate the release or go out of my way to buy again. (229 characters)

Photo of rugger_ant
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 4.5

Serious, big West Coast style IPA. I enjoyed this monster at The Butcher Shop in Miami.
The Hoptimum is a study in extremes: from the hoppy aroma to the bitter finish, this Sierra Nevada masterpiece is the epitome of West Coat IPAs. On par with Green Flash Pallet Wrecker. (273 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been waiting for this beer to return for months. I kept checking the shelves of my local beer warehouse and at long last I saw a stack of them in the back that looked like a mountain of gold. I picked up a fresh 4-pack and immediately placed it in the fridge.

Look: It pours a deep amber gold that is crystal clear. Really this beer has a beautiful copper hue which you can gaze straight through. The head is ample, but quickly settles down into a foamy delicate layer.

Smell: I get a smell of maltiness and pine, biscuit and hops.

Taste: The taste is very interesting. I get a syrupy maltiness that is a tiny bit too sweet. It doesn’t ruin the beer at all, but I definitely didn’t expect that from the king of Imperial IPAs. I taste pine, citrus, grapefruit, clementine, black pepper, buttered biscuit, olive oil, pineapple rind, resiny bitter earthiness, clover leaves, and a bitterness that stays through the whole time. Well, it starts out sweet and syrupy with a tinge from the alcohol and then quickly gives way to the flavors I describe above with the light carbonation fizzling through most of the action. I get a lingering thick resin coating on the tongue that stays for a while.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy, thick, and syrupy (as I’ve said a few times already) and lastly oiled and buttery on the finish.

Overall: This beer has 100+ IBUs and 10.4% ABV and a lot of flavor. The slightly too noticeable sweetness and light carbonation caused it to lose a few small points in the taste department, but nothing too significant. It’s definitely a great beer and fun to drink, because it keeps you guessing what exactly are the varieties of subtle flavors you are experiencing. Be sure to pour this one into a nice glass and serve very chilled. Cheers! (1,798 characters)

Photo of stevoj
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Near perfect Imperial IPA, amber body with creamy off-white head., adequate sticky lacing. aroma of soft citrus, piney hops. Taste is mildly astringent pine forest and grapefruit. Soft hoppy finish lingers. Wow! (211 characters)

Photo of HipCzech
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz bottle ("PKGD 04/01/15") poured into a stemmed Pilsner (beer tulip) glass.

Appearance: Bright gold color; beautiful, sudsy white foam head and intricate lace.

Smell: Caramel malt, honey, pepper and spice, grapefruit rind, and vegetal (celery) notes.

Taste: Big malty body balances massive hops: herbal bitterness, grapefruit rind, pine resin. Slightly raw hop and alcohol edge.

Mouthfeel: Medium, almost full body, creamy feel and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Hugely hopped, boozy, but still balanced. A nice hoppy sipper. (544 characters)

Photo of car2052
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to snifter.

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange, with a small layer of foam at the top.
S: A lot of pine, orange zest, pineapple, and some dark fruits.
T: A slight sweetness up front, followed by a piney bitterness. The bitterness sweetens to more fruity notes, mostly grapefruit, and sticks with you to the finish.
M: Medium-Full mouthfeel. Kind of sweet and sticky.
O: Some flavors remind me of Torpedo, but with a lighter color, and more sweetness. Maybe just a tad too sweet. (499 characters)

Photo of ElJacobian
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer - very floral and resiny on the smell, similar to the Double Jack but with a little more pineapple. Taste is pretty well-balanced. Just the right amount of bitterness, leveled out by the fruity and slightly piney aftertaste. It also masks the alcohol well. Very solid imperial IPA. (292 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Hopslam glass.

A: Pours deep golden amber with a thick creamy white head that lingers for awhile and leaves behind some beautiful lacing.

S: Pine, citrus, biscuit, cedar, resiny floral hops.

T: Pine, citrus, grapefruit, black pepper, tropical fruits, biscuit, olive oil, rind, resiny bitter earthiness. Great and unique flavor.

M: Full bodied (for an IPA), lightly carbonated, oily and bitter on the finish.

O: What it lacks in the nose in makes up for in taste. A solid sipper with great flavor. (535 characters)

Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The smell is a bit malty and spicy. The taste is strong and very bitter and it has an earthy, spicy quality to it. It reminds me of the original Stone Ruination. nb (165 characters)

Photo of funkydrumma
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's funny but I don't taste the hops in this. Just kidding...it's ridiculous. And what a blend of flavors to balance it all out! So much bitter, so much malt. Love it! And very drinkable for 10%. (196 characters)

Photo of Moneypenny
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't even like hoppy beers, but this is more floral, bitter and aromatic than it is sledgehammer to the frontal lobe hoppy. I prefer this to many beers that are considered far less difficult. Then again, a great beer is like a great fragrance, and Hoptimum is symphonic. (275 characters)

Photo of ChrisCKrueger
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not a huge fan of Hoptimum, but always pick up a 4 pack this time of year when super fresh. 9.99 for a 4 pack with 10.4% - that raises the score somewhat. I'm not going into too much detail, because there's not a lot to report. Personally, I don't find it intense or abrasive. Maybe my taste buds are shot but it's not complex, and it's one dimensional. Pine, dry, but not overwhelming, pretty drinkable. I doubt it's 100 ibu as it possesses a bitterness, but nothing overwhelming. Its fleeting at best. A very average IPA, that basically gets picked up because it's cheap and has a high abv. One interesting note. The bottle was packaged 5/12/15, with a second date of 2035 next to it. Cellaring a 10.4% beer for up to 20 years could be acceptable, but NOT a full hop IPA. (773 characters)

Photo of Atatum
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a gorgeous orange with a thick, frothy head. Smell is full of malt, with great citrus fruits lingering. Lots of lemon, grapefruit and simple hop. First sip is sweet on the tongue, syrupy in feel. Very sweet but it really dries out. Extreme hop with a resinous coating. There is a surprising lack of booze in the big imperial,but I really enjoy that it is so very drinkable! This is a tasty summer treat for all the hop heads out there. Enjoy (447 characters)

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of those beers that will undoubtedly be downplayed simply due to its widespread availability, and that is unfortunate. Sierra Nevada hit a major home run with this DIPA. Tons of citrus (grapefruit, lemon, apricot) in the nose and those flavors dominate the profile. Some malt sweetness for balance and that perfect Sierra Nevada grassy, piney finish. This is a fantastic beer. (388 characters)

Photo of hoagzzz
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My 100th BA review. Liked this more than I figured I would. Much more balanced than I expected, and at 10.4% only slightly boozy finish. Close to being absolutely world class. (175 characters)

Photo of RacerX5k
2.84/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

The good: not expensive.
The bad: look, aroma, taste, mouthfeel.
The ugly: I still have 2 more to drink.

Because this beer fucking stinks. Kinda sorta malty with citrus, pine, and some bitterness that never quite comes together. Add that to it's too pale, and doesn't really sit well. Actually I think I enjoy the bitterness most of all, because the hop flavor is all wrong.

Pass. (383 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Massively, bitterly, hoppy. Huge pine notes, w/ some grapefruit and maybe some lighter fruits. With as hugely hoppy as this is, its kind of one-dimensional as you just get flooded with pine. Almost salty.
Incredibly dry, which suprised me just because i expected more malts w/ the higher abv. But its truly west coast style in that its dry and bitter from start to finish.
The malts i do get are sticky, sugary sweet.
Definetly an enjoyable DIPA, but the hops are too one-dimensional to take the beer to next level status. (522 characters)

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,409 ratings.