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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.

4,929 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,929
Reviews: 1,294
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 225
Gots: 423 | 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: 4,929 | Reviews: 1,294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SalukiAlum


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

03-09-2012 03:51:57 | More by SalukiAlum
Photo of eawolff99


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-09-2012 03:49:55 | More by eawolff99
Photo of znichols


4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep orange with an eggshell white head. The head sicks around for about 10 minutes and the lacing lasts a decent while.

S- Toasted malt, harsh pine, pungent lemon, stinky herb. Perhaps a tough of alcohol in there too. Lots of enticing, resinous hop smell here.

T- Slightly malty right on the tongue; maybe english toffee. Hops dominate the middle and end with sticky pine sap, grapefruit, and orange peel. Maybe slightly catty. The alcohol is prominent on the end, maybe this one could use 2-3 months of proper aging to be in its prime. Bitterness lasts and lasts.

M- Moderate carbonation and a slick, oily mouthfeel. I've hear this had wheat in it, maybe that adds the touch of slickness on the tongue.

O- This is a really good DIPA. It has the iconic hoppy, yet very balanced Sierra Nevada character. The hops dominate with lots of resinous tones but the malt shines through a bit, too. I might not seek this out too hard, but if you see it, give it a try. Big, bitter, but drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2012 01:39:21 | More by znichols
Photo of beerFool28607

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-08-2012 23:11:28 | More by beerFool28607
Photo of StoicBeast


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-08-2012 22:06:24 | More by StoicBeast
Photo of SHODriver


4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a light orange to deep yellow with a small slightly off white head
S: Smells dank and resinous with wisps of pine and citrus
T: Taste is dominated by an oily hop presence with tropical fruits, pine, a slight citrus, and a solid caramel sweetness that fights to make an appearance. Huge resinous and lasting aftertaste coats the entire mouth.
M: Slick and full bodied on the palate white ample carbonation
O: If you love Imperial IPAs this one will make you believe in a god. This is seriously good stuff and drink it when it's fresh. Sierra Nevada knows how to make outstanding IPAs and this one is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 05:28:59 | More by SHODriver
Photo of troutmask96


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

Confirmed: Sierra Nevada continues to amaze.

Pours a thick, syrupy nectar. Smell is really something: heavy hops, fruit, and alcohol. Yeah, this is a DIPA alright. Sticks to the tongue as syrupy as the pour. Nice, spicy lingering hoppiness. If it weren't for the sweetness that is characteristic of most DIPA's, I'd never know that this is a 10.4 ABV.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 03:13:27 | More by troutmask96
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

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

I cant help but mention the pine aromas that come from this beauty. Like given a blind smell, id think i was drinking pine needle extract. Still those spicy notes characteristic of SN IPAs, but theres just alot more pine. It almost feels like a rye beer, but the spice comes straight from the hops. oily alpha acids come to mind. They coat your mouth, leaving the pine notes and slightly sweet malt only to bounce around your mouth. It feels dank in the mouth, like Sucks (that is a huge compliment from me). Those flavors linger, but theres a semi-sweet sticky malt that comes through in the finish.

The pine hops arent for me, but overall, its a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 00:07:34 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of trginter


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

03-07-2012 18:19:01 | More by trginter
Photo of PicoPapa


4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a dark amber color with an inch of head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of spicy, pine hops with citrus. Taste is damn bitter. Spicy and piney hops upfront with some citrus bitterness near the end. Some apricot flavor. Creamy mouthfeel. Flroal, spicy hop finish. Very dry and resinous. Doesn't taste like a beer with a 10+ abv. Pretty drinkable considering the abv and bitterness. Overall, great Imperial worth seeking out for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 18:06:36 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of rogueleonardi


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-07-2012 16:12:33 | More by rogueleonardi
Photo of juhl31


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

-orange/brown/red in color with a nice off white head with all the positive head credentials. stands out in its clarity

-has a big pine hop nose right up front. after a bit there is some type of white bread malt smell in there as well

-has that usual big pine flavored hop taste we have all come to know and love but on a massive scale. the hop flavor really continues to grow on the mouth as the sip continues. i also pick up some apricot and a good balance of sweetness through all the bitterness

-this is a teetering mouthfeel for me. on one hand i really enjoy big thick, syrupy beers and for that i enjoy this. on the other hand, you also want IPAs to be crisp and refreshing in mouthfeel. so the score goes up and then back down to a 4 for me

-this is right up there with one of my favorite 10+ abv ipas. and the thickness would lead you to believe otherwise, but this tastes and drinks more like an IPA than barleywine which is tough for the 10+ers to pull off

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 04:10:20 | More by juhl31
Photo of millelacsmark


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-07-2012 02:19:47 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of ADTaber

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

03-06-2012 21:40:10 | More by ADTaber
Photo of greencovesteve

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: golden orange, looks like gasoline. Slow forming thin head.

S: sweet floral piney smell.

T: sweet piney intro with a quick fade to bitter.

M: allot going on here. Smooth start with building carbonation that transforms into a bitter tongue twister. A real dry finish.

O: I'm glad I found this one. Sierra Nevada took it to another level with this one. It's hard to mask a 10.4%er, but hopped this one out the park. This badboy is loaded with hoppy goodness. They overdid the hops and it still turned out great.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 18:57:58 | More by greencovesteve
Photo of carrollmel7

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-06-2012 18:50:53 | More by carrollmel7
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-06-2012 05:24:35 | More by ObeMaltKinobee
Photo of tut2528


4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass, pours a nice orange/gold color with about 2 fingers worth of head formation, and great retention that lasts well over a minute

S: obviously hops dominate, but there are also notes of citrus and mild grains, the alcohol is pretty well hidden

T: this one has a oily character. Piney hops are well balanced with spices, loads of citrus and mango, biscuit, and I even get a very slight hint of honey. The alcohol is well hidden in the complexity of this beer, but it is slightly noticeable.

Overall, I thought this was a decent beer and complexity is rather high for the most part. I'm not too sure what it is, but the taste is a tad off during the finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 05:17:45 | More by tut2528
Photo of matttttYCE


3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 12oz bottle served in a tulip glass. The appearance is very nice with a big, frothy, 3-finger tall head that retains well, some nice lacing, and a brilliantly clear red-orange color.

Very resinous hoppy aromas here. Plenty of sharp (in a pretty good way) citrus and sticky sweet grapefruit, and other fruity tropical notes, but also bitter, minty, floral, pine, and sap qualities. Some caramel malt and lots of sweetness hang in the back overtaken by the fresh hops type of smell.

Bitter and resinous hops, biting citrus, bittersweet grapefruit, floral, pine, and mint leaf notes. Not so much tropical fruits as in the aroma but still some present. Sweetness for days. Caramel and malty/doughy notes as well. A present and supportive malt backbone, I would say.

Carbonation that's medium, consistency that's hinting at being syrupy but isn't, body that's medium-full, and a lasting, dry finish. A bit heavy overall.

Highly above average appearance and a very nice aroma put this one up there from the start. However, the taste and mouthfeel don't quite match up to the first two. Nice and above average respectively. Overall it's an above average double IPA, and one that shows Sierra Nevada is well-versed in good, hoppy brews, but not one you should go crazy trying to track down, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 05:03:30 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of draheim


4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (2012) into a tulip. Pours a gorgeous coppery amber w/ a thick 3-finger off-white head, good lacing, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is a nice blend of tropical citrus & pine. Smells clean & fresh, grassy & oily. Alcohol profile increases as it warms.

Taste is sharply hoppy and bright. Reminds me a bit of Heady-Topper in that "scour your tongue w/ hops" way. And wow! 10.4% ABV? I would never have guessed that, booze is so well hidden.

Mouthfeel is oily and slick; hop bitterness dominates from start to finish.

Overall another solid offering from Sierra Nevada. Having recently enjoyed Pliny the Younger, I'd say this is somewhere in the same league as far as high-ABV DIPAs go. Yes, I just said that.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 04:11:51 | More by draheim
Photo of BillMueller


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-06-2012 03:41:37 | More by BillMueller
Photo of marine1975

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-06-2012 03:06:50 | More by marine1975
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing this beer. 2011 version got "Look: 4 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 3.5 | Feel: 4 | Drinkability: 3.5." The written review could be summarized as "Powerful grapefruit and tropical fruit hops, overly aggressive solvent booziness, heavy bitterness, small malt backbone."

2012 version is much better. 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1.5 inch fluffy, bubbly white head that dissipates steadily and leaves a web of lacing. Pours a translucent orange/gold and leaves sparse spots and arches of lacing.

Smell: Dank, pungent marijuana-like hops is the dominant aroma. Slight melon, along with citrus and tropical fruit. Some toasted grain aromas underneath.

Bold hop aroma befitting the name and label.

Taste: Heavy bitterness carrying thick flavor; reminds me of Summit hops but very light on the onion/garlic and heavy on the pungent weed + sweet melon. Citrus undercurrent. Same mild toasted malt / cracker backbone, though hops and bitterness are the major players. Finishes dry and leaves some warmth in the chest, but no solvent flavor at all.

This is an excellent DIPA. Tons of hop flavor, and extremely drinkable. Could be off-putting if you don't want maximum bitterness, but this isn't a flaw... this beer is exemplifying bold, American hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Soft feel underneath the aggressive bitterness. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish. While not really a complaint, I would like this beer to be "juicier". As is, it's a good feel.

Overall: This beer supplies as good a hop fix as the best beers that come out in wet hop season. That you can buy it pretty much anywhere in America is icing on the cake, and further illustration of how grateful beer drinkers ought to be for Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 01:35:12 | More by Pahn
Photo of Kopfschuss


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-05-2012 23:45:43 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of JohnnyMc


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

This pours a perfect pale, deep orange color with a decent amount of head. It's the perfect look for an Imperial IPA.

The aroma has an amazingly citrus blend of grapefruit, mango and apricot with the touch of hops. These same aromas permeate the taste along with orange and an intense amount of hops. While the mango, orange, apricot and grapefruit are in full force the hops really pack a punch and this makes for the hoppiest beer I have ever tasted.

Even though this is an extremely unbalanced Imperial IPA, I love it and that's how I prefer all forms of IPAs. It's very easy to drink even though the hops brutally attack your tongue and the bitterness is not bad at all.

This rivals Bell's Hopslam in my opinion and is my new favorite Imperial IPA. I can't wait to try this again next year.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 04:08:54 | More by JohnnyMc
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,929 ratings.