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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.

5,410 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,410
Reviews: 1,333
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 269
Gots: 614 | 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:
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: 5,410 | Reviews: 1,333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alcoholinside
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

alcoholinside, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a perfectly clear beautiful amber color with a small amount of carbonation bubbles floating gently to the surface which has a finger of off white very creamy head that lingers nicely before dissipating and leaving a nice amount of lacing
S: very nice earth hop notes, soil and also a scent that reminds me of the way the air smells after a summer rain storm, pleasant
T: this beer really just explodes all over the palate, phenomenally complex, beautiful earth hop notes, slight citrus notes, quite bitter, the alcohol is present but not in the normal way more in a depth kind of way, leaves the mouth with a nice dry hop taste, very fresh
M: aggressive carbonation tingle, leaves the mouth bitter but not terribly dry, warms all the way down the throat into the chest
O: one of my all time favorite beers, just too delicious to pass up at any time, sierra nevadas quality is absolutely unprecedented and this beer stands up to that legacy

BigPlay1824, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of Dapperticus
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Dapperticus, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of briandaube
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

briandaube, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of ScubaShawn
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

ScubaShawn, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of Iowacraft
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Iowacraft, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of mulder1010
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355 ML poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a nice looking, clear, orange amber color. One finger dirty white head that fell off to a thick film and collar. Stays at a thick collar through swirling. Some spotty lacing and visible alcohol legs.

S-- Big forward floral smell. Lots of blood orange and blossom with notes of peach and grapefruit. Malt not so obvious or the ABV.

T-- Blood orange, bitter orange peel, peach, white grape, some pine and grapefruit.

M-- Full bodied and light carbonation. Oily and syrupy. Want to say thick and chewy. Bitter orange and grapefruit peel finish.

O-- Suffers in drinkability as one is sufficient (but good) and other DIPA's out there are just easier to drink multiples of in one sitting (PTE or Alpine). Still, quite complex and delivers in a big way. Not as much a grapefruit bomb, as more an orange bomb. Would be scary good as an 8.5%-9% DIPA.

mulder1010, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of magictacosinus
3/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

Great label. We'd all want to be a hop with all the hoppy beers us DIPA fanatics consume! Still, I do remember trying this when it was a "beer camp" offering a year or two ago... Anyhow, this pours a standard orangish color for DIPAs. Definitely pretty carbonated at first, although later appears more syrupy and dense. Not bad overall... inviting enough!

Holy crap... the aroma represents a DIPA lover's wet dream gone wrong, or perhaps horribly right, depending on that person. VERY dry hops, especially on the "torpedoed" side, according to the brewery, yet is so strong that is leaves an everlasting tingling sensation on the nose. The alcohol, at 10.4% ABV, is far more present than I expected. The concoction is spicy and unique, but really gets under my skin in the end.

Starts sweet, spicy, and lovably hopped, and then descends into a slight tailspin for me. While the flavors of grapefruit, blood oranges, and white grapes are wholly remarkable here, there's something about the overall progression of consumption of this beer that becomes difficult for me. The initial sweetness and fruitiness is great, but upon finishing the initial gulp it immediately becomes astringent, then an alcohol burn immediately follows. As for me, the beer's high strength seems to whack me at the front of the head to near dizzying results. This is like taking a spiced rum shot 4 times less stronger, and not in the best way.

Hate to say this, but as inviting as this beer seemed, the overall drinkability becomes increasingly low for me. I love these kinds of exaggerated hoppy beers, including all of SN's offerings, but this is a little over the top and overstays its welcome despite initial novelty fun. Sadly, it's too much of a hop hyperbole in the end - or shall I depressingly say, hop-erbole.

magictacosinus, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of Dwh689
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Dwh689, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of MDDMD
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-medium amber color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-citrus , pine, and some hints of bread and floral

T-citrus and pine flavors up front with a heavy malt character and solid bitter finish, some alcohol presence

F--medium body with moderate carbonation, rich and smooth feel

O-some decent flavors but balance is not there, while this is somewhat enjoyable, it doesn't measure up to the best Imperial IPAs

MDDMD, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of dlepeau
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

dlepeau, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of mrfrancis
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light copper with a huge, creamy white head.

S: Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin orange, pine, spruce, and lime dominate the nose.

T: Notes of lemon, lime, kumquat, grapefruit, bitter orange, mandarin orange, pine, spruce, biscuits, caramel, and brown sugar wash across the palate. The finish is bitter, long, and intense with huge pine, citrus, and biscuit notes underscored by mellow alcohol.

M: Full in body and decidedly not dry. Sticky and resinous in the mouth. Carbonation is unobtrusive, rendering this beer almost slick. Alcohol is very noticeable, but not quite overwhelming.

O: Like almost every other Sierra Nevada brew, this is solidly constructed and of a high quality. It's not the best or the most balanced DIPA I've had, but it does display a depth of flavor that is commendable.

mrfrancis, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of khargro2
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

khargro2, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of BilbosNuts
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, light copper color with a one finger, creamy white head. The head sticks around throughout the drink and leaves behind sheets of lacing.

S: The aroma is comprised of a wonderful hop profile of tropical fruits and citrus and a slight toasted malt backbone.

T: The taste has a bigger "dank" aspect than what the aroma hinted towards. The fruitiness and citrus components are still there, but take a back seat to the more dominant "dank" characteristic.

M: Creamy mouthfeel with a medium body. A moderate amount of carbonation allows the flavors to dance across the palate. A moderate bitter bite finishes it off.

O: A very good DIPA from Sierra Nevada. I'd expect nothing less.

BilbosNuts, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of sbanacho
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

sbanacho, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Fahz
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Fahz, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of kjb32812
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

kjb32812, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Shnanign
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Shnanign, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of DreaminBeer
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

DreaminBeer, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of abraxel
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear red-orange, with beautiful, pillowy head that clings to the glass like it's going out of style. A smattering of bubbles leisurely make their way to join their compatriots at the top of the glass.

S - Oh man... resiny, piney, juicy hops, with some malty, caramelly sweetness. Really inviting.

T - Waves of hoppy resin (or is it resiny hops?), with just enough of a sweet malt backbone to make me smile. Seems like it saves up all the bitterness for the finish, when it lingers for oh, (let me check my watch) just about forever. At first I really liked that, but by the end of the beer that lingering bitterness got a bit too lingery.

M - Moderately full mouthfeel, a tiny prickle of carbonation. The alcohol is entirely hidden.

Overall, I'm a fan. In the future I'll probably make a point of eating something that can cleanse the bitterness every now and then, but still, props to Sierra Nevada for a great brew.

abraxel, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of bump8628
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much anticipated. The Godfather of American hops brewing a big-ass Imperial IPA is long overdue. Clear copper with an inch of crisp, white foam on top. The alcohol and body is apparent with a quick swirl in the glass that shows off the legs of the beer. Almost sweet in the aroma with a blend of bright, citric American hops and alcohol esters. The palate reveals the slightly aggressive hopping I was hoping for with a big punch of vibrant pine and juicy citrus. A smooth ethanol note persists through to the finish along with a backing caramel flavor. I guess I was hoping for the malt-minimal, dry, West-Coast Double IPA. Hoptimum is more of "balanced" Imperial IPA, but an awesome beer, nonetheless. Despite the malt heft and alcohol, there is a smooth and vibrant hop flavor that manages to stay in the fore.

bump8628, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of SaintJonah
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

SaintJonah, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of danedelman
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thebeerbug for this extra in our trade.

A-very copper/orange with 1 finger head. Great lacing on glass as it is going down.

S-Very floral with a hint of citrus/grapefruit hops. Hint of malty sweetness in the background. Very fresh smelling, like I am standing in a hop field.

T-bitter hits first with a dose of citrus burst. Lingering in the back is the malt backbone and is a good one, little more on the sweet side to balance the hop bitterness. Ok, hops just made me sneeze. That means good IPA.

M-medium body and very easy drinking. Didn't know the ABV and that hides in there very well.

danedelman, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, $2.99 from the Village Pump. This *finally* made it here, eh? Bottled the 90th day of the year, consumed the 156th day of the year.

Amber with a dense, choppy, off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a great-looking DIPA. The nose has a wonderful, full, complex hop aroma that, while slightly deteriorated, is still great. A great blend of aggressive pine, grapefruit and a fairly mellow fruitiness (peach, melon) and a moderate floral character. A mild sweetness is noticeable, as is the alcohol. That said, it's definitely not at the 10.4% level.

The palate opens with quite a bit of bitterness, taking me by surprise. Full, resiny, bitter pine and grapefruit with some ripe oranges as well. Moderately floral and fruity, with the sweeter flavors melding in with the malt profile. I do get some caramel, but there's also a mild bready, biscuit-like malt presence. This pairs very nicely with the floral and fruity flavors (particularly the peach). Mildly sweet and moderately resiny on the finish, this beer is medium in body and moderately carbonated. The alcohol is a lot more noticeable on the palate (and your sobriety) than on the nose. Despite being sweeter than I typically like, this is very good. The sweetness does make drop the drinkability a little bit, though.

DefenCorps, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -28.2%

jenray, Jun 05, 2012
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 5,410 ratings.