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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.

5,133 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,133
Reviews: 1,308
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 248
Gots: 507 | FT: 5
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: 5,133 | Reviews: 1,308 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.18/5  rDev 0%

12 oz bottle poured into goblet. 2012 Hoptimum

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a 1 thick finger white head. Bubbles visible rising toward the surface. Head dissipates to some fisheyes and film within a few minutes.

S: Fresh smell of skunky piney hop. Sweet malt gives it a nectar-like aroma. Alcohol isnt to noticeable. Little earthy with a resiny wood like quality.

T: Hits you with some hop right off the bat, smooth and subdued by the sweet malt it creeps up to a lingering mouth full of hop. The flavor stays in your mouth a while between sips.

M: Encroaching on the thick end of Imperial IPA's. Alcohol isnt over bearing and is certainly warming. Pretty low carbonation.

Overall I am glad to see Sierra Nevada pushing the envelope, dabbling in more extreme beers and creating their own hop varieties. 2014 update: Bumping this up a bit with how well it ages.

03-24-2012 20:58:21 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of tbeq00


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-24-2012 20:46:07 | More by tbeq00
Photo of brystmar


2.65/5  rDev -36.6%

This bottle just hit the NYC shelves last week; split with blatantdream.

Copper/orange body, nice head, better-than-average retention. Fresh, piney aroma holds tons of hops that smell slightly different than I'm used to in IPAs/DIPAs. A result of the whole-cone hops perhaps?

Taste: a hop bomb that ranks up there with the craziest of them. Unquestionably of the West Coast style. Doesn't taste anything like most DIPAs; very imbalanced with no perceptible malt character. This brew embodies everything I dislike about IPAs.

If you like hop bombs with zero malt, this one's for you.

03-24-2012 18:09:50 | More by brystmar
Photo of Bito401

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-24-2012 17:27:41 | More by Bito401
Photo of lenrex


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

03-24-2012 13:05:22 | More by lenrex
Photo of joefc


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-24-2012 06:38:10 | More by joefc
Photo of scott2269


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-24-2012 01:27:29 | More by scott2269
Photo of bobarc

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-24-2012 00:26:01 | More by bobarc
Photo of dejrrma


3.93/5  rDev -6%

around $3.50 for a 12 oz bottle at Ale Yeah. Bottled March 14th, 2012. Julian dating. Poured into a dogfish head snifter.

a- pours an amber orange color. lots of tiny bubbles rushing to the top. about 1/4" of a white, creamy head that maintains throughout. thick lacing.

s- subtle scents of pine, citrus, sweet orange (candy-like). not much else.

t- piney and bitter hops, with lots of grapefruit. some spicyness. settles out into slight sweetness, a bit malty, and the alcohol is present but mostly noticeable by the (prolonged) warmth as it goes down.

m- medium bodied, well-balanced for the most part, some boozyness is there. ends with a dryness.

o- i enjoy (D)IPAs, and this one was great. i would purchase again depending on price per 4 or 6pack.

03-23-2012 23:02:34 | More by dejrrma
Photo of cwguy5

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

A - rich, clear copper color with a two-finger, eggshell head that slowly settled to a foamy, glass coating layer

S - fresh, green hop juice! soft, tropical notes with peach-y sweetness; touch of rubbing alcohol

T - quick, tropical notes then creeping bitterness that settles on the back of the palate; some alcohol warmth towards the end with lingering bitterness

M - medium bodied with fine, creamy carbonation; fairly strong bitter aftertaste

O - looks great. smells great. tastes good. this one is a bit unwieldy for me. the alcohol heat is a bit distracting. tasty still.

03-23-2012 22:36:56 | More by cwguy5
Photo of DaveONan

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-23-2012 21:21:16 | More by DaveONan
Photo of augie


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-23-2012 13:34:19 | More by augie
Photo of BucannonXC5


4/5  rDev -4.3%

Poured from a draft into a goblet at San Diego Brewing Company on March 21, 2012. Color was caramel paleish. A good-looking beer. Minimal lacing on the top with bubbles on the sides. Light film on the sides of the glass.

Smelled citrus hops up front. Grapefruit seemed to lead the way. Could smell the bitterness. Tiny amounts of pine.

Tasted bitter hops up front but it balanced out after that. Could taste the alcohol, but it wasn’t overwhelming by any means. Smooth taste.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Smooth finish. Really just a perfect feel. By far the best part of this beer.

I went out of my way to try this beer (it was tapped earlier in the day at this place). Overall I was hoping for slightly more, but I did enjoy it and would try it again in a heartbeat.

03-23-2012 07:13:06 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of Topher78


4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a brilliant orange with a fingers worth of an off white head and left decent lacing. The aroma is of citrus and pine. Bitter as all get out on the front of the tongue but very balanced as it proceeds. Mouth feel was resinous leaving a long lasting after taste.

03-23-2012 03:00:02 | More by Topher78
Photo of Treebs


3.8/5  rDev -9.1%

12 oz bottle served in a Founders snifter.

A: Pours a perfect clear amber with lively bubbly in the body and 2 finger pillow of white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thick collar that leaves lots of soapy lace on the glass.

S: Lots of grassy sweetness and pine bitterness up front in the nose. Very fragrant. Sugary sweetness with a caramel malt backbone and a touch of booze on the backend.

T: Syrupy sugar sweetness mixed with resin and bitter pine. There is slight bready and sweet malt that pops up in the middle, but the bitterness ultimately takes over and slightly overwhelms the beer. Still solid, but wish it was a little more balanced.

M: Slick and oily. Has a mild syrup quality to it. The finish is piney and a touch boozy.

O: This is hop bomb, but a solid one. You get exactly what you think it is. High ABV DIPA. Big beer, but I like it. Just wish the taste was a touch more balanced.

03-23-2012 02:47:38 | More by Treebs
Photo of sailorastro


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-23-2012 01:32:15 | More by sailorastro
Photo of NoLeafClover44


3.9/5  rDev -6.7%

12 oz. bottle poured into shaped Dogfish pint. Laser printed code deciphers to February 17, 2012 (9:23 AM), so just over a month old. Thanks, Jeff, for hooking me up with this.

A - Pours a bright copper color with total clarity. A few fingers of off white head dies to a thin layer and leaves a great tiered lacing.

S - Very strong sappy hop aroma with sweet citrus and some biscuit pulling it together. The hoppy aroma is powerful, but the smell is far from one dimensional.

T - There is an initial pine bite, then a very sweet tangerine and caramel malt center. The finish comes back to the whole cone hops and a little bit of alcohol. Strong pine aftertaste. Goes through a nice transition from bitter bite, to sweet, back to bitter in each sip. Very balanced.

M - Good carbonation and a medium feel. A little bit sticky on the tongue.

O - It is balanced, but that is not what I was expecting from "the ultimate whole-cone hop experience." I am usually not a firm believer in DIPA's falling off after a few weeks or a month, but I wonder what this tastes like super fresh. Either way, I really enjoyed it for the balance between bitter and tropical/citrusy/caramel sweet. Goes down easy for 10.4%. I will definitely get it again, especially if my local bottle shop ever gets it in.

EDIT: I have waited a while for this one to come back around and my palate has changed considerably since my review. I now find this beer to absolutely tasty. Resinous, citrus, pine, with a huge hop wallop. Well done. (Overall - 4.25)

03-23-2012 00:42:00 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of CSQ1111


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-22-2012 22:27:33 | More by CSQ1111
Photo of sammo


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-22-2012 20:49:15 | More by sammo
Photo of russpowell


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness, grapefruit, not much else

T: Follows the nose, intense pineyness, grapefruit rind & some dry caramel up front. Pineyness gains intensity along with orange rind, a bit of biscuitty malt & caramel sweetness tries to fight through the bitterness, dome woody hops & ruby red grapefruit. Finishes with massive citric & pine bitterness with a touch of caramel hiding in the background.

MF: Fairly chewy, slight carbonation, skews hoppy, but in balance for the most part

I really liked this, not the best, but one I'll buy again if given the chance

03-22-2012 13:56:15 | More by russpowell
Photo of kchannel9


3/5  rDev -28.2%

03-22-2012 06:46:03 | More by kchannel9
Photo of divineaudio


3.85/5  rDev -7.9%

bottled on the 31st day of 2012 (if i'm reading the code correctly).

a - pours amber in color and forms a two finger, creamy, off white head. retention is good, calming slowly to a thin film and leaving large swaths of lacing in the glass.

s - biscuity malt, grass, faint honey.

t - more of the nose really. bready and sweet with grassy hop character, occasional citrus notes and a lingering, piney bitterness for balance. alcohol content is well hidden.

m - full bodied, adequate carbonation, medium co2 profile.

o - solid overall, but not especially memorable. seems like the west coast version of hopslam, which i enjoyed more. worth trying if you're into super hoppy beers.

03-22-2012 01:55:43 | More by divineaudio
Photo of serottaboy


2/5  rDev -52.2%

03-22-2012 01:34:13 | More by serottaboy
Photo of geoffsm12


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-22-2012 00:45:25 | More by geoffsm12
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Poured from the bottle a clear amber-gold with two fingers of rich off-white head. A good amount of sticky lacing left behind.

Juicy aroma of grapefruit, pineapple and fresh grass.

The taste was quite balanced with grapefruit and pineapple and a hit of honey and caramel malts. Bitter bite to the finish. The 10% abv was very well-hidden.

Medium bodied and syrupy with a moderate carbonation.

Delicious. This IIPA from SN rates amongst my favorites without a doubt.

03-21-2012 19:19:56 | More by Monkeyknife
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,133 ratings.