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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,444 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

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.

Added by kaseydad on 02-07-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,444 | Ratings: 6,172
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is copper, head is off white with great lacing and nice lingering top.

Smell is resinous, spruce/pine, floral, lighter citrus like hop flavors, then a touch of clean, toasted malt.

Taste continues the resinous character, a bit sharp but totally expected at 10+% ABV, but then the malt backbone comes through and softens the flavor; hops are similar to the aroma, floral/pine/lighter citrus; malt is toasted with no real caramel sweetness but more of a sweet flavor to soften the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is incredible for a beer of this strength, it is bitter and biting, but the malt backbone balances but without any cloying presence. Incredible presence, strength and depth of qualities.

Overall, a great beer, one of the best IIPA's out there, but unique in that the there is a sweeter/maltier backbone and incredibly smooth bitterness.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another hop head dream come true. All the hops you could want in a beer. This was a great aggressive full on kick you in the face beer clocking in at 10.4% ABV and 100 IBU's. You get the hop bitterness and citrusy flavors and one hell of a burn going down. This is one of the best of you crave the hops!

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Photo of GeorgiaFunkadelic
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bought this 4-pack 12 oz bottles ($10.19) mainly because it boasts of a hurricane of flavor. Wow, this did not disappoint. Lots going on here, lots of hops!
Dark amber color, little head, with a little bitterness. Of course, the 10.4% will make you happy! This is a high quality beer, and not for amateurs.

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Photo of hasher
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L orange color, white head
S sweet hoppy smell
T a bit bitter after taste. Little boozy
F light carbonation, not flat

Good double IPA, better than most. Booze masks some of the fruit flavors.

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Photo of scurfie
4.99/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a 4 pack. Couldn't wait to try it so opened bottle and took a slow drink. I've enjoyed many double IPAs, and this is one of the best. Definitely will buy this again. Reminds me of their Torpedo, only not as bitter yet has that hops feel and bite. Really love this beer.

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Photo of Hoptimistic_Pissamesstic
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 out of a pint glass at room temperature. this year seems maltose than years past. Smells dense tropical but also dense malt tastes sweet tropical,there are hints of berries. Take torpedo ipa and double and more every aspect. this is a treat each year!

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This may be the highest rating I have ever posted. Incredible Imperial IPA. You will want to approach this beer the same way you would a glass of fine Kentucky bourbon. A definite sipper not only because of the 10.4 ABV...because of all the flavors going on. Grapefruit, tropical fruit, herbs, carmel and some flowery notes. Lots of hop bitterness yet extremely smooth and earthy with a dry finish. Each sip you will discover a new flavor. An absolute bucket list beer for any true hop head.

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Photo of TomMorris
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark apricot with about a finger of creamy head. The nose is aggressively hoppy and brings to mind ripe tropical fruits and very oily pine resin. There's definitely some discernible alcohol as well. The taste follows the nose with an explosion of bright fruity flavors and thick resin that leaves quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue directly following consumption. There's not much of a malt presence, which detracts a little from the beer's overall balance and mouthfeel (which is slightly thinner than I want it to be) but as a hop-lover, Sierra Nevada really delivered with this one. A pleasant surprise for me, and something I would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

700th full review. Purchased while in the US and excited to see this available. Served just above fridge temperature into a snifter.

Appearance - Gorgeous coppery coloured beer, that is clear with some visible carbonation. Nice finger and change of head, with impressive retention, staying around for more than few minutes. Nice wall of lacing that sticks to the edge of the glass.

Smell - a hint of mango and melon sweetness, accompanied by robust heat and spicy notes. Plenty of resinous hops follow that up with a steady caramel backbone.

Taste - resinous hops, sticky caramel, some bright fruit flavours of melon and mango. Then boom, a massive hops overload rips onto the tongue, leaving behind a very bitter flavor, and some slightly roasty and spicy flavours. Boozy finish, but this is a DIPA that is tasty. Mouth puckering finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth, lightly carbonated, and very syrupy in that it will stick to your mouth.

Overall - a very well crafted beer that deserves it's place amount the most intense of the style. Tastes like a beer that is close to the advertised ABV. Good stuff, enjoyed this more than some of my other recent Forays into the style such as RuinTen.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into IPA glass. The color is a beautiful amber orange with thick, milk-white and thick lacing. The smell is classic IPA: citrus, pine, and floral hops. Big, hoppy citrus taste but with a touch of malty sweetness at the finish. Really, really good. Medium-bodied with really nice carbonation. For 10.4 ABV, it's pretty easy to drink. This is easily one of my favorite IPA's.

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Photo of jhavs
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter tasting glass.

A= Golden color with a bit of orange tint. Off white head appears creamy and settles fast into ring around the glass. Tons of clingy lacing sticks to the glass.

S= Big and deep hop aroma that comes across as earthy/piney/resinous with a bit of citrus.

T= Like the aroma, big and bold hop flavors, resinous and dank with pine, earthy grass, grapefruit and other citrus. Good amount of bitterness and malt flavors.

M= Heavy side of medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= Big and bold with a ton of things to like. Not messing around with its blast of hop aroma and flavors.

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Photo of ScrewBud
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - typical IPA, not much head
S - great! Nice mix of citrus and pine, very unique
T - like it smells plus a little alcohol
F - refreshing, a little thick
O - unique hoppy flavor makes this a must try

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Photo of rjd722
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 Edition, poured into my spiegelau IPA glass. Huge, frothy head that hung around for quite a while and had phenomenal lacing throughout. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the enormous head, nice addition to the beer overall. Golden-amber color with big resinous pine and citrus aroma. The taste strikes a great balance between having a big hoppy taste, but still a powerful (and very present) malt backbone that hangs with you. The aftertaste is essentially a battle between hops and sweet malty goodness, will satisfy fans of both DIPA camps. Excellent brew and a shoutout to my brother who recommended it to me!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "Hoptimum"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded but without a freshness date: "041715 C1 14:44"
$3.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Absolutely stunning! In the past I've heard complaints that Sierra Nevada wasn't making hoppy-enough beers, and then when they stepped up their game, the same complaints were repeated again! Well, that's over - this Imperial IPA is about as hoppy as you can get while still retaining some modicum of dignity through balance and polished elegance (which is what Sierra has always done). It's not intended to claw your face and shred your tastebuds, although it is headed somewhat in that direction with it's 100 IBUs! As you progress through the glass you'll find that it changes as you adapt to certain flavors and become open to others. That journey will most likely be different for each imbiber, and even for each new serving that they try, but some notes that it will most likely include are: grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, pine/pine resin, lavender, apple, soft pear, dull herbs, rose, melon, orange/tangerine, and lemon. It's a sipper to be sure, and at 10.4% abv. that's not just because of the hops! Absolutely worth trying!

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Photo of taters21
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick, golden color with a thin white head fading while leaving nice lacing on the glass.
Smells of Grapefruit, resinous pine, and dank notes, faint malt
Taste is sweet malt, followed by pine, resin, with a lasting herbal bitterness in the mouth.
Mouthfeel is full for an ipa, more sticky than most.
Overall an excellent choice but was hoping for more of a hop bomb lol.

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Photo of Mathed
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. in a tulip glass

Very strong taste, a little on the bitter side but very "hoppy" and an excellent Imperial IPA. I found this at a specialty store while on vacation, otherwise I've never seen this at any of my local beer and wine stores. I'd drink it again because it's a very good beer and at over 10% ABV, it was a killer deal getting a four pack for $8.99

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Photo of Emersonio
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour: 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Clear golden amber with a thick white head. Aroma: Very hoppy with notes of tropical citrus fruits. Floral notes are present as well. Taste: Big, bold and powerful. Immediate hop blast. Aftertaste: Strong citrus...grapefruit notes on the back end. Piney and hoppy throughout. Overall: Big, bold and beautiful! Very good: 4 out of 5.

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Photo of RockRuler
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.

I wanted to try this and I was impressed. In the excellent range in double IPA's I've tried recently and I've tried some of the best - Snake Handler and Hopry. I'd have it again.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 5/12. Looks as if it were glowing. I pick up ripe papaya and mango on the nose. Big hops, big syrupy sweetness with the malt. Also pick up ripe tropical fruits in taste.....very nice

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Brilliant amber pour crowned by a 2” rocky foam collar that rapidly dissipates but produces cathedral window lace. S: Rich hop aromas and rich malt T: Citrus, caramel, bready malt with long lingering bitter aftertastes, almost a little astringent from the hops but the flavor of the malt creeps back in ot balance and tone it down. F: Creamy, medium bodied, soft carbonation. O: A very drinkable hop monster.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

August 2, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip

A – Medium amber with orange highlights. Mostly clear, maybe some chill haze. Slightly off-white head is a quarter-inch, dissipates quickly.

S – High in grapefruit, along with passion fruit and guava, deep tropical aromas. Some grassy notes, along with a hint of lemon-lime. Caramel malt adds a sweetness to the nose, along with some light bread crust. Smell is what I would consider “thick.”

T – Massive hop flavor, again grapefruit and guava, darker tropical fruit. Some lemon-lime in the background. Light caramel malt flavor along with some bread crust. Bitterness is high but subdued by high malt sweetness.

M – Sweet up front, a bit of a syrupy consistency, before the hop bitterness takes over the profile. Carbonation is medium, with the aforementioned heavy body. Despite bitterness, very balanced due to massive malt profile.

O – This is the way I like my DIPAs; very malty sweet, a balanced hop bomb. Really good stuff.

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Photo of Kelz87
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 bottle into pub pint. Bottle dated 5-2015, edited 8-3-15 after trying another bottle

A- clear golden, orange, lots of head with aggressive pour, some nice sticky lacing with white cap sitting a top beer, some small steady bubbles rising from bottom after pour

S- grapefruit, possibly pine, Citrus and a little tropical (pineapple) with some malty caramel notes too

T- quite bitter with some pine and grapefruit notes/finish, also some citrusy tropical notes. Booziness starts to make an appearance towards the end as it warms

M- average carbonation with medium mouthfeel, some CO2 sting and booziness. A little oily as it warms up

O- decent beer for the price, I don't know that you can buy anything better given their low bottle prices compared to other craft brewery's. The quality is consistent, just not a lot to talk about with this beer.

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Photo of DerAtomsmasher
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Deeply orange, bordering on red.

Smell: Mostly booze and pine in the nose; for as many hops as this boasts, I expected more of an aromatic blast when taking off the cap.

Taste: Bitter grapefruit rind without any sweetness from the malts.

Feel: Not terribly heavy but enough to give you pause.

This is probably one for hop-heads and big fans of this style. Being mainly a pilsner fan, this is fine but not as drinkable as what's in my wheelhouse.

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Photo of Beric
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: 2015 iteration, from the bottle into a tulip glass
Served: 26 July 2015

Appearance: Pours a pink gold color- there are orange yellow highlights or a distinct 'strawberry blonde' characteristic to it. The beer is crowed with a pearl head that quickly collapses under pressure from the high ABV.

Smell: Bright piney hops, grapefruit, lemon grass, and a pinch of cajeput. Nice hop nose. A pinch of sweetness detectable but just barely- this one is all hops up front.

Taste: Big bitterness, much more so than other DIPAs (e.g. Hopslam). The beer finishes with a distinct herbal bitterness which begs another sip of the juicy hops. At first this was okay, but I found that constantly being smacked by the bitterness led it to taste a bit earthy at times near the end.

Mouthfeel: I felt like this one was smaller on the tongue than other DIPAs. Not very resinous or sticky like others, which is sort of the standard with DIPAs.

Overall: Another great beer by Sierra Nevada, and one that I certainly enjoyed. In the end I think there are better DIPAs available though, and this one is actually a solid step down from SN Torpedo, which is one of the best, widely available IPAs on the market. Save yourself the money and get a sixer of Torpedo- you'll be two beers happier you did.

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Photo of twage04
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay dipa, not the in your face hoppiest dipa I've tried but it's still tasty and pleasantly smooth. I had a sample of this after sampling torpedo, hop hunter, and 5 other beers after touring the asheville plant so my pallet was already a wreck.

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.