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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.

5,488 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,488
Reviews: 1,336
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 276
Gots: 642 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,488 | Reviews: 1,336 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JednoPivoProsim
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. 2012 vintage. Bottled on day 75 of 2012 (March 15).

Appearance: Pours an orange amber with a clean white head. Soft and pillowy. Quiet carbonation.

Smell: Aroma of grapefruit, bubblegum and pine. Little to no alcohol aroma.

Taste: A bit overpowering. Hoppy, yes, but also a bit harsh and not necessarily from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately thick and chewy.

Overall: With all due respect to Sierra Nevada, I've had other Double IPAs with much better flavor and character without exhibiting Hoptimum's harshness. Maybe this needs more than 5 weeks to mellow. As it stands, I much prefer the flavor profile, characteristics, and nuances of SN Torpedo over Hoptimum.

JednoPivoProsim, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Daniel9913
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Daniel9913, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of cashmier
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

cashmier, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of brwnchrstpher
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

brwnchrstpher, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of johnsilk
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

johnsilk, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of server222
5/5  rDev +19.6%

server222, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Gabany
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Gabany, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of howard12
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this in a bottle, second time ever having it. poured into a perfect pint glass.

A -- nice golden, lightly burnt orange coloring.

S -- I mean, I smell sweet piney hops right away, but also notice the sweet caramel and delicious light fruit as well. certainly going to be sticky.

T -- Echo the smell, but better. Big, piney, sticky hops. the sweetness comes out in the caramel and fruit quite well. Definitely malty, and did i mention sticky?. Piney/hoppy/resiny, but sweet, aftertaste. very good.

O -- I really enjoy this beer; it's delicious, one of my favorites in the style.


howard12, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Momar42
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 edition poured from 12oz bottle into a Duvel Eley Kishimoto tulip glass

A - about a fingers worthnof white, fluffy head. It lessens quickly but retains a thin clingy white top. Deep orange/amber hue. Lacing remains as I write this review.

S - piney, huge. Is it Christmas again already?? No citrus present but heavily hopped on the nose. I think I can smell it saying "drink me".

T - yep...here there be hops. Lots and lots of hops. Taste is similar to the smell. Nice bite on the sides of the tongue and as it goes down. Very smooth overall. Hops are everywhere. Booze is noticeable, but at 10.40% that is to be expected. Nice burn as it goes down.

M - heavy, coating and sticky. From front to back it coats all over. Not a clean finish, but who could expect that?!? Mouthfeel definitely let's you know it's there.

O - my first taste of this beast and I like it...alot. Might not share the remaining three after all. Booze lingers but so does the hop heaven flavor. Maybe not the "Best" Imperial IPA but certainly worth seeking out when available, I know I surely will. A great beer from a great brewery. Sierra Nevada seldoms disappoints.

Momar42, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of leeswagerty
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

leeswagerty, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 7/02/13
Poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish IPA glass

Appearance: (4.25)
Pours a lightly hazed golden yellow with a massive, thick, 3 finger off white head. The head has decent retention and leaves plenty of lacing along the sides of the glass.

Huge aromatics of spicy hops erupt out of the glass towards your nose; juicy grapefruit and grapefruit rind, generic herbs, resinous pine, light tangerine, fragrant peach, and a faint almost berry like tropical note. The hop aromatics are very layered and complex, but lean a bit too hard on the spicy, herbal side of the hop spectrum. There is a soft, doughy malt presence underneath the mountain of hops and unfortunately, some light alcohol phenols come out to play as the beer warms.

Taste: (4)
A huge, resinous pine character assaults your palate first, shortly followed by big grapefruit tones as well as more of that interesting berry-like note that is found in the nose.
Spicy herbs and a sizable chunk of a sweet, bready malt backbone close this gigantic Imperial IPA. The beer finishes dry and very bitter with long, lingering notes of sticky pine resin, light peach and berries as a hint of caramel from the malt. The alcohol is hidden surprisingly well, but it does warm as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: (4)
Robust, full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: (4.25)
A very, intense, complex and layered IPA from Sierra Nevada. The hops really do shine through in this beer, but they still take on that overly herbal, spicy hop characteristic that is found in most of their beers, I'm not sure why that is. Don't get me wrong; this is a fabulous Imperial IPA, that I will for sure buy again, but the herbal hops are not want I want usually in an IPA. This beer is very well crafted and I highly recommend checking it out because this is one unique beer that definitely sets itself apart from the myriad of different Imperial IPAs out there.

flayedandskinned, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Ted
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Ted, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of actionjcksn
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

actionjcksn, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Krakistophales
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours light red with a big fluffy off white head

S: Huge piney hops, hints of caramel/bready sweetness, and little bits of tropical fruit, pineapple mostly

T: Huge piney hops up front, bits of citrus after that, the middle being creamy sweetness, and the end finishing with a bitter, highly alpha acidic hoppiness. Awesome.

O: Quite nice, and at the price is an insane bargain. Definitely go get you a 4 pack.

Krakistophales, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear amber pour with a huge, billowing light tan head. Fades so slowly I'm bored. Huge puffs of lacing all over the glass. Takes a good 20 minute before I can even drink it. Almost annoying.

S: Loads of resin and pine hops. Not much else to note, somewhat sweet though. Perhaps just a touch bready?

T: Whoa, loads of hops up front. Again, mostly resin and some pine. Huge malt base which is mostly caramel with some bread. Big beer all around. Good balance, not a hop bomb (at least, an unbalanced hop bomb). Both elements are very strong but balanced.

M: Heavy, astringent and drying from all the hops needed to balance out that malt base.

O: I really enjoyed this one. Bigger than usual DIPA but with enough hops to balance out the huge malt base. Usually once a DIPA passes 8 or 9% it becomes a malt bomb. This is surprisingly balanced. Just wished it had a little more complexity of hops (some citrus or tropical fruit would be nice) - that would propel this into the 4.5 taste category I think.

Dope, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of cestlavie
4/5  rDev -4.3%

cestlavie, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of BeerShman
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

BeerShman, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of RickS95
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

A bit darkish, coppery bronze color, opaque. The head is brilliant white, and foamy, like a cloud. Big bubbles mixed in with little, a sloppy lace left behind.

Standard smell for the type, no surprises. Faint citric fruits, but mostly resinous pine. If you've had enough hop bombs, you can tell what's coming just from the smell.

Taste is similar to the smell with light notes of warm-weather fruits, but mostly pineforest.

For a split second, there's a malty feel, then the hop bomb explodes and let's you know what kind of beer it is. The bitterness curls your toes and makes your teeth hurt. Along the way, there is some sweet bite of the citrus. The finish is dry and sticky.

All ales from SN are exceptional and this is no different. It's hard to drink, but that's the style. It's high ABV, but it's hidden very well. It's a must drink for beer fans and hop bombers alike.

RickS95, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of nkp765
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

nkp765, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Jparker37
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Imperial pint glass.

A - Thick, dense vanilla head atop a light amber beer. Right near perfectly bright. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

S - This beer oozes fresh hop aroma, very resinous which runs the gamut from bright citrus to punishingly spicy pine. American hops with a little bit of some centennial that has a unique smell to it. Malt is present with that nice soft pale malt most forward. Some alcohol becomes present as it warms.

T - Malt backbone fights off a lot of the onslaught of piney hop flavors which eventually take control and yet stays delightfully balanced. Everywhere across my tongue can detect bitterness. A small amount of alcohol warming which the hop bitterness combats well also.

M - Relative to most double IPAs this beer is lighter, what I would deem medium to medium-full mouthfeel. The carbonation is moderate. Great dryness to it.

O - I truly appreciated the freshness of this beer, I am unsure of the date but it still overflows with wonderful aroma. I found everything I am looking for and then some in aroma. The malt flavor lacked some complexity but then again this beer is all about hops. The alcohol did not overwhelm, nor did the hops in the sense of balance. A true cornerstone of DIPAs. Goes great with my sharp cheddar and habanero pepper cheeses.

Jparker37, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of fox227
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Decent white head, and a nice amber coloring of medium darkness.

S: Lots of nice hop smells at play: pine, citrus, cotton candy, and maybe some mango.

T: The high alcohol content is forefront, dominating over what is the typical Sierra Nevada Pale flavor of pine and citrus like hops. I'm not getting a lot of the subtle flavors that I would expect from the aroma, unfortunately.

M: Fairly hoppy and dry - has a numbing effect on the palate, as I wouldn't expect to be able to taste my next beer much.

O: I feel that the more I explore, the less of a fan I become of Double and Imperial IPAs. There is a conflict of interest here: more alcohol and fresh beer makes it difficult to mask for many brews, and Hoptimum is no exception. I much prefer 'single' IPA offerings from this company, which allow the hops to play the lead role.

fox227, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of ChiPool
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see a stack of thes at Binny's/Clybourn today. Been looking forward to trying this one. poured into Guinness mug.

Looks pretty light for the class: nice, inch thick head that looks like eggshell. Lots of smell exploding from the mug: crawling hops, weed, grapefruit rind. You can tell this is gonna be good, and it does not disappoint. As the label promises, this is a bitter, citrusy, ballsy, whole cone monster. A bit of booziness, but hard to complain at 10.4%. Lingering bitternes; not quite a "palate scorcher", but the bitter citrus nature says its peace.

Overall: not quite as complex as a few of the titans of this niche, but firmly stands ground. Would definitely have this again. Probably my favorite SN offering. Well done...

ChiPool, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Lots of perfumey and musty hop aromas up front. Piney notes with melon, citrus, and tropical fruit character. Hop aromatics dominate. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber pour with a sudsy off-white head. Head retains well and leaves nice legs on the glass.

Flavor: Orange juice-like hop character up front. A touch of caramel and bready malt flavors that quickly get assaulted by the citrus and pine-like flavors. Balance is firmly bitter. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is citrusy, long, and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly creamy, a touch of heat, and moderate carbonation.

Overall impression: The sweeter malt character that is in the background blurs the line between a Double IPA and an American Barleywine. It's a little hot and I can see aging this just due to the hop load and it probably wouldn't lose a bit. Very enjoyable and glad I had the chance to get my hands on a 4-pack. Very reasonably priced and well done as is the hallmark for Sierra Nevada.

mattcrill, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
1.9/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

@ Gula Gula, Salem MA

Beautiful, pristinely clear amber color. Thin head quickly collars and fades away. Nice lace up top though.

Floral, super sweet malt aroma. Tastes really sweet with very little hop flavor. Hops come through more as pine sap and a lingering bitter. I'd like more hop resin. And hop aroma. And hop flavor.

Didn't like it in the bottle and like it less on tap.

donkeyrunner, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of buddyvelt
4/5  rDev -4.3%

buddyvelt, Apr 22, 2012
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,488 ratings.