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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.

5,578 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,578
Reviews: 1,345
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 306
Gots: 689 | 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
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Ratings: 5,578 | Reviews: 1,345 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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%

Photo of luvbier
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of jar2574
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a nice 1.5 inch head that stays for awhile, over orange-yellow beer with low level of carbonation.

Smells nice and hoppy, with both citrus and pine hops. A 7 out of 10 on the strength scale, but less overwhelming than some other double IPAs.

Taste is hop forward but not hop dominated. There are some sweet malts that balance it out, so the hops don't kick you in the teeth.

High ABV. On the 2nd one, you can feel it hit you. Pretty well disguised though, so quite drinkable.

There are better double IPAs. This one is just fine, but not a stand out.

Photo of Kevin79
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge huge ibu count on this baby, must be. pours a gloriously rich caramel color with one hell of a lively head, off white and lasting. smells like weed, straight up. this is an indica heavy hybrid with unreal potency. citrusy hops and some english smelling malts. flavor is bitter up front, and bitter in the back, with some nice malty sweetness in between. some pine elements and a very drinkable medium body on her. fair carbonation, maybe a touch low for this beer, but it seems to go down pretty easy for the alcohol content and bitterness. sierra nevada is the king of the hop as far as i am concerned, and this is just another wonderful illustration of what hops can be. superbly made beer.

Photo of justintcoons
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a crystal clear gold with 2 fingers of head that dissipates slowly. Moderate carbonation and excellent lacing. Wouldn't expect anything less from SN.

N: Big bursts of orange citrus, lemon zest and resinous pine. Lighter notes of tropical fruits and caramel drizzle.

T: Explosively hoppy and bitter. Lemon zest, pine needles and orange rind are upfront. Grapefruit comes in mid-palate along with only a drop of caramel rendering the malt useless. Finishes just as it started with rinds and pines. Some vicious florals come into play as well.

M: Medium-full bodied. Excessively bitter and dry.

O: This is a little over the top for my tastes. There's hardly any noticeable malt while the hops are out of control. Insanely hoppy losing a lot of nuances due bitterness. If you're looking for a punch in the face of hoppy bitterness, here it is.

Photo of bodymarks
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to a Philadelphia Eagles Pint Glass. I finally get to try this beer after two years of searching and waiting and searching and waiting. I was starting to think Hoptimum was a myth.

The beer slides into the glass very nice like with a penny gold bronzish color. A nice whisp of off white semi tan foam graced the top for a few, than bounced. The beer became still looking after time, no lace.

Smell is very bright with floral hops and some citrus coming into play. Some grapefruit and mango and slight piney note. A nice malty build as well, and yes, the 10% is not entirely hidden. All in all nice, a blend of west and east, BOLD.

Taste is pretty much what I expected, A nice citrus bite with some juicy floral notes as well up front followed by a big malt hit. SN manages to keep the hops at the forefront though, with this huge beer. Alcohol comes out to play in the end leaving a taste in my mouth.

Feel reminds me of Sixpoint resin on some level with the harsh aftertaste. There is some heat while the body is a definite medium, and the carbonation loses steam over time. The hops shine and so does the heat, I could only do one of these at a time. A good beer, but the hype is a bit much.

Photo of Chaney
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an Olde Hickory shaped glass.

A: Crystal clear, gold-apricot color, with some bubbles piercing through it underneath. The head was about a finger or so and stuck to the glass like Spider-Man.

S: SN hop profile in spades, that was sort of like an uber intense version of their yummy Pale Ale. Floral and sweet, yet I could tell it was West Coast in style.

T: The bitter finish even had a decadent floral bouquet that stained the palate. The sweet elements weren't too intense due to the whole cone hop compound.

M: This beer is almost a sensory experience in that the hops are so intense that it actually stings a bit. Definitely a sipper, but not because of booze, but hop sizzle.

O: Not for the faint of heart for sure, but you hop lovers have met your match!

Photo of Blargimus
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip. Bottled 2/17/2012.

Pours a crystalline straw with a hint of orange. A finger or so of beautiful white head that clings to the glass strongly. Streams of carbonation. Very attractive beer.

Smells like sticking your head into a but bucket of hops and inhaling deeply. A hint of malt at the end, but very hop-forward.

The taste follows the smell closely. There is a definite bite, either from the sheer strength of hops or the alcohol. This is west coast - what little sweetness there is gets overwhelmed pretty quickly.

The alcohol is definitely present in the aftertaste, but not overbearing at 10.4% ABV. Still, I feel like they could have made it 8% or so and be the better for it. Not super-thick and sticky like some DIPAs. The bitterness sticks around, but doesn't feel like it coats the mouth.

Certainly one of the hoppiest beers I've ever tasted, that's for sure. I'm a fan of balance in my IPAs, and this is definitely tilted. Like the label implies, best served to true hopheads.

Photo of leeo
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Lordquackingstic
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Dark yellowish copper, decent carbonation for a DIPA, very beautiful lacing. Sticks like hoppy glue.

S: Hops, hops, hops! Lemon-peel, orange rind, fresh pine trees.

T: Juicy hops full of citrus notes. Slight maltiness, but not overpowering. Very pleasant pine flavors.

M: Very crisp and pleasant aftertaste.

O: A very drinkable, crisp, fresh DIPA by SN. Wish it came in six packs! Would happily buy again.

Photo of John_M
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the bottled version of the 2012 Hoptimum.

The beer pours a very attractive copper amber color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. Color is a bit darker than SNPA, and the head is pillowy and long lasting. The nose is equally attractive, as I get coniderable dry citrus, pepper and dank earth, as well as considerable tropical fruit. I get the impression this intensely hoppy beer will have a considerable malt backbone (which it does). On the palate, this is quite good. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, and I'm impressed by how well balanced this massively perportioned beer is. The hoppy bitterness carries the day on the finish, as the malty sweetness dries out. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, malty, bitter finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there a bit.

Not that I would expect anything else, but this is a pretty impressive beer from SN. It's a bit malty/sweet for my taste, but is still a beer I can admire and appreciate. Impressive.

Note: Found this beer on draft the next day at Max's, and found I preferred the bottled version. The draft version was similar, but was a bit sweeter and maltier than the bottled version.

Photo of brez8791
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of n00blar
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of notchucknorris
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper color with a 1/2 finger tan head.

S: Lots of overripe mango and citrus hops. Some caramel thrown in as well.

T: Lots of overripe citrus notes with a good amount of piny hops as well. A touch of resin and bready malt on the finish. Feels a bit heavy for me, but I suppose that's to be expected with the alcohol as it is.

Photo of Njstoutlover23
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,578 ratings.