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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.

1,427 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,427
Hads: 6,096
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 402
Gots: 1,051 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,427 | Hads: 6,096
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 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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Photo of Jack_Frost79
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My rating for this beer fell as I continued to drink it. Started at a 4.25 or so. But, I was definitely glad when the beer was gone and glad I just got a single. It has an unpleasant maltiness that I associate with DirtWolf (although I like that one slightly better). Fans of DirtWolf will like this.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Pours a clear copper with 1/2" white head that recedes somewhat quickly. Retention is pretty darn good, lacing isn't bad either.

S: Lots of resinous hop with bitter citrus notes. Faint breadiness.

T: Big, burly bitterness up front leads into all sorts of hop characteristics on the mid palate- grapefruit, lemon, grass, pine. A bit of earthiness leads into the off-sweet hoppy finish which is capped off with a lingering bitter hit. Dense, but fairly well-structured.

M: Lowish carb & fairly syrupy body. Drinks heavy.

O: Pretty impressive DIPA.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Packed on 4/17/15.

LOOK: Clear orange-amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. Surprisingly good retention. Streams of bubbles and a bit of sediment are visible.

SMELL: Bitter grapefruit, sweet orange, a hint of sweeter fruits like pineapple and mango, tons of dank pine, and sweet malts with a bit of alcohol. Not as intense as I remember from last year, but it might be because this bottle is over three months old.

TASTE: Not as intensely bitter as I remember, but very tasty. Loads of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and pine. Sweet biscuit and toasted bread malt flavor. A little alcohol warmth on the swallow, but still pretty well hidden. Bitter piney finish.

FEEL: Full-bodied, but drinks like a medium. Very nice carbonation.

OVERALL: Still a good triple IPA. Worth purchasing at least once a year. Sierra Nevada never fails to deliver.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 10.4% abv.

Appearance- Pours a dark apricot orange with two finger head. Heavy lacing. Medium in terms of clarity.

Smell- Citric and tropical fruit. Grapefruit and mango are prominent. Quite dank.

Taste- Quite sweet with a pineapple/mango prescence being more stronger than grapefruit and orange tones that are also present. A sweet caramel malt blends in as well. The hops really build up fast and the bitterness increases towards the end. This beer appears less bitter since the citric qulaities are high, but this is one heavily hop flavored beer start to finish.

Mouthfeel- Lively carbonation. Heavy is body and viscous.

Overall- Well worth the acclaim, and a stellar offering from SN. A hop lovers beer. Very fresh and interesting sweetness that goes hand in hand with the heavy bitter hop flavors. A must try if you have access to this beer.

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Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Now this, this is an IPA to be excited about. Not since Stone's Enjoy By have I enjoyed a beer as much. The strong flavor of hops, bittersweet malts, pine as it was pulled right of the tree, dark golden in color, and a nice think mouthfeel. If you enjoy a fantastic IPA then look no further. This one is special. The only other beer that I can think of that gets as good as this is Stone's Enjoy By. Enjoy is still slightly better but this one gets as close as they come. Overall a 5/5 from me

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank about twenty beers last night and this was only one of three that I feel deserve a large review.

Look - Pours a deep amber with a three finger frothy off-white head that takes it's time sticking around and leaves a solid amount of lacing all over the glass as you drink it. due to the type of head it makes the body extremely creamy.

Smell - The hops are quite wet with this one. It certainly lives up to it's name for the most part but I feel it could have been danker than what it was.

Taste - Follows the nose to a tee with the addition of some nice ripe bananas.

Feel - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall - A pretty good IPA.

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Photo of pinyin
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This was ok for a DIPA, but it wasnt quite what I was expecting given the $11.99 price point for a 4 pack.

Served 39F in a golbet from the bottle.

Nose is very yeasty. The famous US-05 SB California yeast. That is the scent that rings strongest to my nassal cavity. I dont quite smell any hops up front, the hop smell is very subdued, and in the background behind the ever present yeast.

Color is good and very typical for a double ipa. Dark golden bronze.

Minimalist carbonation, as is typical for a double ipa.

Mouthfeel is heavy but typical.

Taste is where Sierra Nevada did me wrong on this ale. The most present or omnipotent taste is ethyl alcohol. It is barely masked by the supposed hop additions in this ale. Yes there is a dry finish and a strong hop afterbite, but I dont taste any malts, and I really do not like the hop blend in this beer.

I really wished I had purchased Hop Hunter instead, as that tastes so much better than this, and has a better yeast, malt, hop balance.

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Photo of Zaktcc
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy cedar color with a fluffy, two finger head. Good head retention and lacing is present.

S - Was shocked by the aroma. Was expecting an overwhelming aroma of hops to hit my nose but could barley note hops all together; the ABV is well hidden too. The dominating scents of the beer are that of sweet malts and a variety of fruits, namely grapefruit and orange/ citrus aromas. A very pleasant sweet aroma overall.

T - Ah, now the hops come out to play. The aromas I noted prior have vanished and the beer does a complete 180 on me. Though present, the sweet malt flavorings are dominated but the piney hop flavorings present in the beer. For me, I cannot really note much else due the dominating flavor of hops; aside from perhaps some boozyness. I give the beer credit, it does not stray from its name.

M - Full bodied beer with an optimal amount of carbonation. Very crisp and dry feeling leaving a piney aftertaste in the mouth. Solid feeling beer and very drinkable.

O - If you like hops, you will love this beer. The nose will play tricks on your taste buds and shock you with every sip. A very enjoyable beer, with a solid feel and great presentation with a taste living up to its name. Well done S.N.

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Photo of Bugcatcher
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer lots of hops with citrus and sweet fruit notes. The alcohol taste is definitely there but isn't overwhelming. Very smooth and enjoyable beer I'm looking forward to my next 4 pack already.

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Photo of tango22
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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!

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of Beerds
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
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

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Photo of golf_sierra
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of kitch
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,427 ratings.