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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.

5,544 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,544
Reviews: 1,337
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 286
Gots: 666 | FT: 6
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: 5,544 | Reviews: 1,337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kscaldef
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Classic copper color, excellent clarity, with moderate carbonation evident. Only raises a 1/4" head when poured in a shaker pint.

S: Sticky citrus hops with milder floral and spice notes. Toffee notes under the hop aroma. Overall, a little muted, though.

T: Surprisingly dominated by sweet malts when it first hits the tongue, then quickly turns into a bitter barrage of hops. The relatively high sweetness keeps it from being excessively bitter, but at the same time something feels a bit off here; like the malt and hops are fighting for dominance rather than complementing each other.

M: Medium-heavy body, moderate carbonation. A bit on the sticky side for a DIPA, but not totally out-of-style.

O: I don't want to complain about this beer, and it's hard for me to pinpoint what it is, but something about this beer isn't quite working for me. It's good, but it doesn't really shine for me. I grabbed a 4-pack when it came out, but it's been slow to disappear from my fridge. I keep hoping to like it more, but it doesn't seem to be growing on me.

Photo of gustogasmic
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice copper, dull in color and almost totally clear. Tiny white head sticks around, and light but lasting carbonation is present.

S- Yeah buddy! A very clean and deep hoppiness with honey notes. More on the pine-y side of hoppiness, I'd say, with a nice stingy citrus.

T- Clean bitterness, sweet but not overly so, pine and citrus. Incredibly well-balanced, not shying away from a good malt body.

M- Sticky and full. Becomes lightly syrupy on the tongue after the swallow. More intense in terms of feel than flavor, which is nice, because it keeps the drinking speed in check.

Photo of Mitchster
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed with Two-row Pale, Golden Promise, Munich & Wheat malts. German Magnum bittering hops, Simcoe and "a New Propietary variety" for aroma hops, dry hopped with the same and "Torpedo'ed" with Citra and Chinook.
10.4% ABV, OG=22.8P, FG=4.5P, 100 IBU, $2.69 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear dark gold, forming a nice white head with good retention and lacing. Moderately brisk carbonation ~2.7 carbs. Oh, the nose...rich, pungent, fresh skunky, piney, resinous hops. Wonderful. Mouthfeel is rich and thick with a dense syrupy body. The taste opens with pungent skunky hops followed by intense grapefruity bitterness. The bitterness just stays and stays and stays...almost too much. Suggestion of pink bubblegum towards the end and a touch of grain husk. Cleanly fermented with no appreciable off-flavors. Did I mention tongue peeling bitterness? The malts barely contain it. Teetering on the edge of being drinkable for me.

Honestly, it's a bit much. I prefer my DIPA's a bit more balanced, think Hop Slam or Double Trouble...which gets you as much hop flavor and aroma but in an infinitely more balanced and drinkable beer. I think the key to brewing this style is to get a balanced beer that makes you want to finish the bottle and have another. This is not that, but it's still a well-brewed beer for those that don't care about such things.

Photo of jrohrbacher
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of vic21234
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter straight from the fridge. I was excited to find this one at my local shop.

A- Pours a great looking cloudy orange. A finger's worth of head sticks around for awhile before fading. Some lacing is apparent around the glass but not much. Awesome looking beer.

S- Nice pine and citrus notes dominate the smell, not much else to say here.

T- Starts off rather smooth and almost sweet, before the hops come into play. The hop characters seem to be pine more than anything.

M- Bitter, hoppy, yet smooth, and nicely carbonated. The alcohol isn't noticeable but I'm sure it'll sneak up.

This is a great beer, and I'm happy I finally found some. It really reminds me of a DFH IPA/ DIPA.

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of smerrell
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a terriffic beer. Where the aroma is lacking, the taste makes up. Piney and resinous, this beer coats your tongue. You feel the alcohol rather than taste it (and you do feel it before you are done with the bottle). This is a beer that I will happily go back for more. Well done SN!

Photo of Kadonny
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh bottle into a snifter glass. 2012 version of the beer. Let me preface this by saying I tried this last year and was totally unimpressed...but not this year.

A: A medium golden color with some hints of orange, lighter than I expected. Glass lacing is full and sticky. Pour yields a nice fluffy white head.

S: The hops jump out with massive citrus notes. Some floral and slight pine is mixed in. There is a huge caramel malt sweetness that allows the alcohol to be picked up. You just want to keep smelling this beer, thanks to the massive dry hopping.

T: I got sweet fruit first with grapefruit, orange, candied pineapple and some lemon from the just massive amount of hops used. The sweet fruit is mixed with some caramel sweetness that sticks until the very end where some pine and floral flavors kick in to produce some bitterness and a (surprise) dry finish. Dry for a 10.4% DIPA? Yup. Some alcohol pokes at the end but it is very welcomed.

M: Full, coating, prickly but dry to the finish. Alcohol is felt.

O: Not a super complex overly thought out DIPA, but a very enjoyable one that is surprisingly drinkable for the abv. Quality beer for sure, I am now impressed.

Ok, I had this beer last year and was totally unimpressed and thought it was a sweet mess. I'm glad I did not review it last year and saved the review for this year. I am now officially impressed and enjoyed the hell out of it. Bang for the buck on this beer? Crazy good at +- $50 for the case. I will drink these over the next few months and enjoy the hell out of them, I almost drank a six pack already. Lovin it. Great work SN.

Photo of bmur112
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of RobertColianni
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of cwxc818
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Pat316
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of brealbg
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Kips
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of PoppaK
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Darles_Chickens
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of closisinthehouse
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of tizride
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of jtmartino
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Grape and Grain, San Mateo, CA. Poured into a snifter.

Beautiful vibrant orange color. Two fingers of head that cling to the sides of the glass.

Smell is huge. Big floral, citrus, and boozy malt.

Taste follows the smell. A very mild sweet malty base...you can really taste the alcohol. A boozy, bitter, fruity, and citrusy hop profile round out this beer. Surprisingly balanced for the sheer size of this beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy for a DIPA. Heat from the high alcohol level, but excellent carbonation leaves a creamy feel. Really really nice.

All in all this is an excellent beer. One of the boldest West Coast DIPAs out there...reminds me a bit of Pliny the Younger in its color, flavor profile and mouthfeel. An excellent beer overall.


Photo of JeffTheJuice
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of chodinheaven
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully clear amber orange beer with a steady stream of bubbles feeding an ivory head that sticks around forever. Sticky lacing as it slowly disapates. Fresh and florally hoppy notes with lots of citrus and bit of pine on the nose. Nice breadiness backing it. Not incredibly aromatic, but definitely a very pleasant aroma.

Well this one packs a punch on the taste buds. Between the incredible amount of hops and the prickle of the alcohol, its almost overwhelming. I say almost because it has an element of malt that manages to provide just the right amount of balance with a slight breadiness and a hint of caramel, letting the hops flourish. The hops are piney with a ton of grapefruit, maybe even a bit catty. Lots of pleasant bitterness but so much flavor that the bitterness can't run away with it. Again, the malts provide just enough to counteract the bitterness without compromising the flavor of these hops at all. Surprisingly not a whole lot of resin, definitely a smidge but in the end it remains pretty clean and crisp. There is a pretty sizeable alcohol feel to it, but its not cloying at all, matched by the sharpness of the bitterness. The mouthfeel is prickly in the middle but smooths out into the finish, providing a long, dry and warm finish. Just a touch of a juicy burst in the end that evens it all out. The aftertaste lingers for a bit but is almost all grapefruity hop flavor and a lot less bitterness than expected.

Don't get me wrong; this beer is bitter as hell. But the flavors that stem from this bitterness more than match it, leading to a complex and enjoyably refreshing sipper of a DIPA. Definitely recommended if you are a hop head.

Photo of volta
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Jamstone714
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,544 ratings.