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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,389 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,389
Hads: 5,937
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 379
Gots: 937 | 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: 1,389 | Hads: 5,937
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)

Photo of StuB2485
3.31/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Really high expectations unmet. Good but more like a standup double than a home run. Not a complex IPA. Straight ahead single line hop. Balanced but bland malt. (161 characters)

Photo of HopHunter19
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No hop character, or malt character with comparison to most other imperial ipas out there. I really tried to get something out of this one but it's just not there, at least not compared to the other big IPAs - I like to get more pine, dank, fruit, garlic/onion and all I really got was a bitter pine, but not even really pine. I'll probably keep picking this one up once a year because it's so readily available but I wouldn't buy much of it. Luckily Sucks was released at my go-to store the same week and I picked up plenty of that! (533 characters)

Photo of questmason
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

super hoppy double IPA, I kind of wish it was fruitier though. Picked up a 4 pack for beer week here in Asheville. Also attended a Sierra Nevada beer deconstruction event for their hop hunter. That was amazing, it really makes me respect sierra Nevada for doing a local special beer event, plus tons of free goodies. (316 characters)

Photo of do_ob
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a clear copper with about 1 finger of sticky, off-white foam. Sweet fruit and floral notes on the nose, including grapefruit and mango. The sweetness is balanced well with a dank, piney aroma. Medium weight, and a pleasantly creamy mouthfeel. Floral notes up front on the taste, followed by an ever-increasing bitterness. Some fruit notes, but not much. The taste is primarily dominated by a hoppy bitterness that really comes to life on the back end. Finishes creamy and leaves behind a little alcohol burn.

Overall, pretty good. I'll admit that this beer didn't live up to the hype for me. Obviously, this beer is meant to be an in-your-face barrage of hoppy goodness, and I think it achieves that. However, I feel like there's a fine line between pushing the limit and brewing a beer that's a gimmick. I'll stick to Torpedo and Hop Hunter. (879 characters)

Photo of MLDucky
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 for me was less boozy than the past two years. The same big pine, big bitterness was still present. Even as it warmed I didn't notice the abv I also didn't get the overwhelming sweetness, but a bit is expected and experienced given the abv. Overall, I always enjoy hoptimum. Not something I buy or drink a lot of, but a fresh bottle is always a treat. (360 characters)

Photo of Libeertarian
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Strong, clear amber with pink hues and creamy-tan, foamy head. Fine, sparse, haze or flecks. Medium head retention, superb, fine lacing on glass and film on liquid surface. Aroma is piney, resiny, mildly sweet of citrus, and herbal, promising dankness. Palate is exquisite: resiny, dank, spicy, peppery, faint citrus up front but stronger in finish, with citrus rind/flowers and black pepper in the background but heavier and long-lasting in the aftertaste. Retro-olfaction yields fruit, alcohol, olive oil notes. Decent balance for the IBUs (100). Can barely taste malts or caramel, the closest you get is raisins or dried fruit, but it's not overly bitter, either. Feels chewy, sticky, and choppy as you slosh it around, mediocre carbonation, not super smooth, but medium to full in body. Pretty crisp for the amount of booze, and mildly astringent. Warming and prickling aftereffects detectable but not overwhelming. Deceptively drinkable, but do sip and appreciate this beer! (979 characters)

Photo of dlee5
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional DIPA. The taste is a bit oily but I think it compliments the finish really well. They weren't kidding about the 100+ IBU!!! My taste buds need a breather! (166 characters)

Photo of dbl_delta
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draft in tulip glass at the Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Beautiful copper amber color. Thin white head. Citrus, resin, grapefruit, a little caramel, with a nice bite to the finish. Almost no alcohol burn, which is amazing at 10.4 ABV. Thick and chewy for an IIPA, but mouthfeel really complements the rest of the package. Well done. (348 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bottled 4/17/15. Poured a lovely clear dark Amber color. Kicked up a big fluffy two finger head, great retention and lacing.
Smell: Very piney, with just a touch of citrus and sweet caramel.
Taste: Just like the nose - huge piney bitterness, with a nice sweet caramel finish.
Mouthfeel: Fairly thick and oily feeling. The hops just seem to languish so nicely on the tongue.
Overall: One of my favorite DIPAs, I can't wait until this one gets released each new year. Simply outstanding! (497 characters)

Photo of sporklift87
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 edition poured into snifter from bottle. Pours a finger of light beige foamy head. Great retention, and eventually fades into a thin film. Beautiful solid amber in color, and clear. Floral and cedar on nose, with a light tropical fruit following caramel notes. Tastes much like aroma, with high bitterness, balanced with a slightly tart citric character. Feels somewhat creamy and syrupy, heavier bodied, with medium-high carbonation expanding in mouth and tickling center of tongue, and a long bitter aftertaste on back of tongue. Heat from higher alcohol is evident and relatively undisguised. I am very impressed with this IIPA from one of my favorite American breweries. If you like them bitter, strong, yet complex, I'd highly recommend this beer. On pricey side (~$2.25/12oz bottle), but well worth it. Will try ageing one of these for a year or so and revisit this review with any updates. Ideally, I'd like one of these in my fridge at all times. (960 characters)

Photo of CtyLineBeerBlog
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Prehistoric amber color. The foam dome wasn't having it with the humidity but it was pretty tame and got the whole bottle in there no problem. 2 finger length head.

S - Cascade hops hits your nose through the entire inhalation. Cascade heaven =]

T - very similar to the Pale Ale but with the same character as a Double IPA. Citrusy hop notes all the way with a nice bitter finish.

F - So drinkable, it's dangerous! Slight ABV burn on the palate but overall citrus-bitter character.

O - First All-Five rating I have ever given. Must-have for all Sierra Nevada fans and Double/Imperial IPA drinkers alike. They did a fine job in making and branding this beer and it should be duly noted as such.

Hopheads Unite!!! (770 characters)

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Darker golden than a normal IPA. It's expected for a double though. Not too much of a head.

This one is pungent with the hops and juices! Grapefruit and caramel come out as well.

Just like the nose, the taste is very juicy and hop-forward. Sweetness is up front like a truck (caramel or syrup). Then comes the pine, hop resin, grapefruit, lemon candy, and floral tones.

Mouth is fairly thick with little carbonation. It's creamy and full bodied.

Overall, the Hoptimum exceeded my expectations as far as flavor-packed. The taste is so intense but so good. It is definitely not for sessioning! Sierra Nevada did a great job on this one. (642 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into nonic pint dated 4/10

A: head looks creamy perfect clarity light amber in color looks like it laces well

S: very piney, resiny and floral

T: this beer bursts with sticky resiny pine with a bitter bite on the end with a lingering floral slightly sour finish

M: medium and a tad bit syrupy this thing sits on your tongue

O: This beer is like chewing on a hop cone it's very strong and very pleasant with a slight syrupy feel and a taste that lingers (480 characters)

Photo of pitcherpreacher
2.42/5  rDev -41%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I have had this beer multiple years in a row. Normally a great beer. I bought a 4 pack bottled on 4-1-15 and it tasted like a malt beverage you would buy at a local gas station. Buyers be ware. (193 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours deep golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles and laces beautifully.

S: Pungent spicy and pine hops, some herbal and dank notes, a little citrus, a hint of fruitiness, and some caramel malt sweetness.

T: Beautiful fresh hops, pine, spicy notes, some citrus, grapefruit, herbal and dank notes, faint fruity notes, peach and melon (came out more as it warmed), nice caramel malt sweetness, and a hint of alcohol.

M: Towards the fuller end of medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy with a little warmth.

O: One of the advantages of being right in SN's backyard is getting to have this super fresh. Big bold delicious brew. (684 characters)

Photo of username
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 6/28/14, so nearly a year old.

Decent retention and some lacing.

Smell is foremost alcohol. Behind that is a layer of floral, kind of sweet-piney feel with a tinge of mold.

Taste is dominated by the alcohol-floral tones. Certainly bitter to the point of almost being astringent, lingers for quite awhile. This is balanced by a peculiar sweetness however.

Satisfying feel, not as heavy as expected for the ABV.

Overall I think the age on this particular bottle robbed it of some of its merits. It just wasn't as intense as it presents itself to be, though I can tell the potential is there. Would like to try a fresher release in the future. (653 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little hazy, amber-golden beer with a two finger high, white head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Nose: Hops, citrus, grapefruit, resin, herbs and orange.
Taste: Grapefruit, grass, resin, mandarin, hops and orange.
Body: Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. A great bitterness that grows at the end. Great texture.

I LOVE this beer! Amazing! (350 characters)

Photo of BigBry
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle, one of a few singles from CA.
Pours a clear, dark orange with a foamy tan head. Foam settles to a thin floating film, small lines of lace.
Smell is all hops, citrus, herbal, grapefruit.
Taste is the same, lots of hoppy bitterness, citrus and pink grapefruit, herbal and grassy. Despite the huge amount of hops, still some malt to balance and keep from burning your tongue with the bitterness. Alcohol is hidden behind, slightly oily mouth feel.
Good level of carbonation, finishes crisp, not too heavy.
A very tasty, balanced Double IPA. (556 characters)

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,389 ratings.