1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

5,281 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,281
Reviews: 1,324
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 261
Gots: 562 | FT: 4
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: 5,281 | Reviews: 1,324 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FanofHefe
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip; bottled dated with code and if I'm interpreting it correctly, bottled on March 15, 2012, so fairly fresh.

Pours a deep cooper color with bit of orange tint. Big three-finger creamy tan head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lacing.

This smells great. Nice piney hop aroma blended with citrus notes. A bit of sweetness that reminds me of honey as much as sweet malt.

The flavor is equally as good as the aroma. Although at first it seems a bit sweet, the flavors that follow make the bitter piney and citrus hop notes shine. Just an overall good blend of the bitter hoppiness and the sweet maltiness.

Medium texture with only the slightest note of the alcohol. I don't normally compare, but this is very close to my favorite, Hopslam. An excellent DIPA.

FanofHefe, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of Chugga06
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Chugga06, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of poppyjohn
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

poppyjohn, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of raythealeman
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

raythealeman, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of smi
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

smi, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of thebrood1987
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow I get a very deep rich potent smell of fresh whole cone hops its so deep and rich the smell with some tangerines grapefruit and a bunch other tropical fruits.

The taste is that same deep potent and rich whole cone hop flavor which is so rich you'd have to try it to understand. You get the sweet sweet candy malt and then back to the rich potent hops with the tropical fruits and piney grapefruit bitterness. Its just a total hop beer with a very nice sweet bready candy malt.

Definitely Sierra Nevada's best beer in my opinion. The taste and full flavor is off the charts. Its a big beer and its absolutely delicious. One of my favorite IPA's I've had.

thebrood1987, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of TheBishopco
4/5  rDev -4.3%

TheBishopco, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +19.6%

CEDAMA, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of RWNay
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

RWNay, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of xanok
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottled poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A-Clear copper/orangey type color here. Nothing special here. a finger or two of white head. A bit of lacing.

S-Super hoppy, sweet, citrusy. Very intense and a lot going on.

T-Holy hops Batman! Hops come through larger here than the smell would you lead you onto. Grapefruit and floral notes come through next, with some booze/alcohol warmth to finish.

M-Carbonation is a bit sharp, but it works well. Body is medium. Aftertaste lingers for decades.

Overall-Probably my favorite SN offering to date. This beer is the real palate wrecker. Unbelievable dipa from SN. At $9 per 4 pack, this beer is top of the class.

xanok, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this dandy piece of an IPA in a tulip glass.

Appearance- A good pour results in a brilliant white bit of foam about a finger in width. The lid is silky smooth, and each sip results in a band of sheet lace.

The clear body has a few columns of slow moving bubbles rising to the cap. The golden body has a hue of reddish copper throughout.

Smell- This one has an amazing bouquet of flavor hop scents that jump out of the glass. It is very sweet and citric with notes of oranges and grapefruits. This one is also a little soapy and herbal. Holy smokes does that smell good!

Taste- Yowza! The bitterness builds as the drink progresses, that first sip is intense! It is hard to tell much other than the citric qualities transferred well to the palate.

After a few more sips, I begin to notice the intense booziness that is present. Underneath the scald, the citric taste of orange, peach, and grapefruit find their way out. The finish is long on resiny hop bitterness, some orange, and a biscuit malt character.

It is very good, and the bitterness is impressive, but I could do with less heat.

Mouth feel- This has a wonderful feel for a DIPA. It is very creamy and has good heft for a medium body. The long finish is also enjoyable.

Overall- This is everthing a DIPA should be. It is bold, flavorful, and the you can really feel the IBU's. Its only major drawback is the booze that is so easily noticeable on the palate. I understand this is a big beer, but the scalding nature of the high ABV should not do the work of the bittering hops.

Pintofbrown, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of TonyTalon
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

TonyTalon, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of 2814
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great addition to the Sierra Nevada library of beers. The pleasant hop aroma gives an impression of the rich, citrusy bitterness contained within the coppery-deep orange hue of the first bottle poured and tasted. Once it hits the palate, rich, deep caramelized grapefruit hop essence strikes your tongue and delivers instant refreshment. The ABV (10.4%) does not overpower the flavor, and in fact, helps to deliver a drinkable imperial IPA for the West coast style aficionado without pushing it's way down. Each sip is to be savored and appreciated for the true achievement that it is.

2814, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. 2012 edition.

Clear tangerine copper body. Solid inch of dense, thick, light beige head. Very good lacing. Nose shows plenty of hops. Lots of clean pine and citrus (grapefruit). Notes of caramel and fruit malt as well.

Toasted malts and herbal bitterness up front. Rich, malty sweetness right on the heels. Rummy tropical fruits mid-palate. Herbal, piny, and minty hops mingle. Bitterness increases into the finish. There's a swell of warming, alcoholic hotness going on here as well and it takes away from the letting the hops do their thing. Medium-full body with a creamy feel. Not bad, but a little boozy.

alexgash, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of H0rnedFr0gs
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

H0rnedFr0gs, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of Glibber
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer again on tap at the Front Door in Boise- the first time I was overcome by the hops, but this time I was more preparred and in the mood. I am not necessarily a hop head, but this beer had good complex flavors on the front end before the hops slammed you on the back end.
A nice light clear amber color and very thick white head with heavy lacing. Served in a small tulip glass (10oz pour).
When you consider the 10.5% ABV, this is pretty impressive beer.

Glibber, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of javincik
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

javincik, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of Shango42
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Shango42, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of Anything
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Anything, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of Myst
1/5  rDev -76.1%

Myst, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of teenwolfmansbro
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

teenwolfmansbro, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of depechemode1983
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Medium copper in color. Head is has only moderate density but great retention. Lacing is minimal but present.

S - In this one you get your bitter citrus notes along with a great spicy floral aroma. Its a little different. Smells fresh.

T - Damn. Straight up bitter, piney and citric, with an excellent spicy crisp finish. Perhaps the most thirst quenching Double IPA I have had to date.

M - Very clean. Carbonation is in a neutral zone. Just feels right.

O - This beer is fantastic. One of the better DIPAs I have had the pleasure of drinking. This one should be purchased in mass quantities and drank fresh and straight away. Another thing. I didn't even know this was at 10.4% abv till I was 3/4 through the bottle. Alcohol is very well hidden in the taste and smell.

depechemode1983, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of blmar311
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

blmar311, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of Richard33
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. Pours a medium copper/orange with nice head of different sized bubbles. Very clear.

s. Fresh squeezed hops with citrus, grass, and tropical fruit.

t. Taste bites a bit and gets it pine on a bit more than the nose. Citrus hops battle the piney earth to the death but then decide to get along... real well. A bit of malt sweetness acts to balance the beer from afar.

m. Suprisingly creamy for the style but that doesn't bother me.

o. First time for this brew. A really nice imperial from SN. ABV is hardly noticeable. I don't get so much of the pallete wreckage I have noticed in previous reviews. Despite it's 100 IBU's, this beer drinks much easier than others in that range.

Richard33, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of jpbebeau
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

jpbebeau, Apr 04, 2012
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,281 ratings.