1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,611 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,611
Reviews: 1,349
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 335
Gots: 726 | 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:
Beer added by: kaseydad on 02-07-2010

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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,611 | Reviews: 1,349
Photo of StaveHooks
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fresh off the truck from the Biergarten. Thanks Freddy!
12oz. served into a snifter glass.

A - Golden orange with a hefty white head that stays through the entire session.

S - Wow! Smells very fresh, floral, leafy green, sweet grapefruit, pineapple, green pine resin, mild onion,

T - Dense perfume hops, sweet mango, cantaloupe, tangarine, grapefruit, intense pine resin, all backed by candy like sweet malt. The finish is provides a ridiculously long bitter finish.

M - Smooth thick feel with moderate creamy carbonation.

If you like hops, this is your dream come true. I've had insanely hoppy beers in the past but none come close to pulling the aroma, bitterness, juicy flavor, and balanced malt that this perfect beer provides.
As I rate this I find myself going back to every IIPA that I've tasted trying to find a better candidate...but I can't.

Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Nice and light. Head is very large and remains for a good amount of time.
S: Very floral with hints of sweetness. Can you be allergic to beer? After smelling this guy I can't stop sneezing. But I digress...
T: Pretty solid. A good amount of spice and floral notes really come through especially on the finish.
M: This is really where this beer shines. This has the creamy texture of a nitro beer. Sits bubbly and extremely smooth. Goes down great.

Overall a very nice beer. The taste is certainly above average in terms of other IPA but the mouth feel is where this beer really shines through. Seems like a great beer for any occasion.

Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of beaker30
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Forgot I had this left over from a pick-six...poured it into a pint glass and enjoyed.

Head not too thick, but lacing still hanging around awhile as I drink.

Hops in the nose, in the front, in the middle and down the chute. But not to the point that I tasted nothing else. I was surprised by the sweetness, at least at the beginning. Smelled like citrus and pine, but like an earlier reviewer said, there was some other fruit in there too.

Felt thick in my mouth, kind of like their Bigfoot Barleywine. Bitterness lingered on for awhile. Completely refreshing.

A hop-head, I love this thing. Enjoying the whole beloved thing.

Photo of phishphorce
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of bigefoise
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of DAVEnHOPS
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange and hazy with a one finger head that had some staying power and left decent lace.

Smells like hops! I like that in a beer! Piney and fruity hops dominate the nose, leaving little else in their wake.

The taste follows the nose with a hop bomb from the very depths of the ninth layer of hell. Bud drinker's hell, that is. It's kind of sweet with a dry finish, bitter as hell, monstrously hoppy, with a little (very little, that is) malt balance.

It's a pretty one way beer, but enjoyable. Finishes dry, oily, and bitter with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

Enjoyable, but not overly stupendous. I brewed a homebrew that kind of approaches this, and essentially I just pounded a red ale with gobs and gobs of hops, especially late.

Hops head alert: buy this beer.

Photo of baybassboy
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of TWStandley
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Salty Pig in Boston...

Poured a golden orange color with a 2 finger bleach white head.

Smelled up front of some piney hops, a bit of grapefruit and lemon.

Taste was pretty good. Hid the alcohol well behind the hoppiness. Wish there was a bit more malt to balance it out more.

Mouthfeel was solid, no heat given the 10% abv.

Overall pretty good, but still not close to touching the top IIPAs.

Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoptimum 2012
2075211 (number on bottle)
Deschutes tulip

A: Like a lot of SN beers, very pretty clear bright orange color. Half finger eggshell white head. It's nicely carbonated. I definitely get some alcohol feet. The swirl leaves some nice lacing bits.

S: Wow, I am surprised by how hoppy this actually is. Tons of piney hops. But I also was surprised to pull fruity hops: mango, papaya, peach, pineapple, etc. Not picking up too much malt but it's there.

T: I certainly get those hops up front. Its a very rounded hop bite on the tip of the tongue that encapsulates it a little bit. By no means how crazy other WC hop bombs are. The malt bill helps to try and balance a little in the middle. It's very sweet beer. The close is nice and dry and bitter. Leaves me wanting more.

M: Medium bodied.

Photo of fergster75
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of djohnse
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a Tulip glass. Really like the art work of the dignified hop all dressed up. Now down to business.

Appearance - bit of a darker amber color, nice head formation when first poured, nice/thick lacing remaining. No haze at all, absolutely clear through the glass.

Smell - There's pine, and pine and pine, did i forget to mention how i smell pine? There are some hints of citrus as well but it's pretty dominating pine.

Taste - This is the first Imperial IPA I've been able to get my hands on but I had warning before hand. If you aren't into hop bitterness then this isn't for you, it's all about the hops really. Strong citrus and pine, getting some grapefruit as well.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thick and syrupy. Leaves a thick coating on my tongue and rest of my mouth. Fairly dry as well, just makes you want to keep drinking.

Overall - Feels like a great introduction to the world of Imperial IPA's. Really love the challenge of the extreme hops and bitterness.

Photo of olympicgatorade
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Mikeymcglynnigan
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of MickeyHops
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of kscaldef
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
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
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
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
3.54/5  rDev -15.3%
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
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
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
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,611 ratings.