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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.

5,273 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,273
Reviews: 1,322
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 259
Gots: 560 | 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
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Ratings: 5,273 | Reviews: 1,322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meanmutt
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

meanmutt, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of DocJitsu
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%

Pours a clear golden copper with an eggshell, foamy head that retains well. Dried fruit, fresh grapefruit, and pine bouquet. Monstrous hop flavor that is balanced nicely by the grain. The unfortunate consequence is the alcohol that invades the finish. Sweet grapefruit and pine flavors up front, but the bitterness lingers a little too long on the palate. However, the olfactory and initial palate experiences combine to be nearly heavenly. Really good effort by Sierra Nevada.

DocJitsu, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of SgunnarW
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

SgunnarW, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Casterbridge
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Casterbridge, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip.
2012, 10.4 % ABV, 204820 810 on label.

A - Vibrant clarity shows off this gorgeous deep honey golden amber-colored beer wonderfully. A dense ivory head springs up only to lower slower than molasses caking the tulip in sheets of lace.

S - Abounding with hop resin, notes of pine fill in around the ripe exotic fruit aroma. Plenty of grapefruit and pineapple blend with balled melon in the voluptuous aroma. Traces of sweet honey and caramel-draped biscuit balance deliciously.

T - A splash of honey and caramel sweetness is quickly swept away by total hop domination. Bitter, sharp pine is closely followed by smoother, sweeter pineapple and lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M - Medium-full-bodied, the abounding hops are battled by plenty of malt. Rich with an underlying sweetness, Hoptimum kicks it into high gear with a bold bitterness that lingers through the finish.

O - Well-balanced across the board, Hoptimum showcases a bold level of citrus-fruity hops with pine notes and a sweet malt profile to back it up. Flavorful, powerful, but nicely drinkable.

BeerFMAndy, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Kirby
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Kirby, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of BrewtalAlement
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

BrewtalAlement, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of jimmah120
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

12oz bottle with no date

Pours cloudy orange-amber with a sudsy film and a small amount of spotty lacing. Smell is warm alcohol, numbing lemon zest, pine, and flowers. Taste is where the hops shine: oily pine needles, lemony flower buds, dank grass. The malt is warm and sweet but in the background. Mouthfeel suffers a bit as the alcohol is powerful and the hops make it slick on the tongue. Still, it's drinkable enough as it's extremely tasty.

Great tasting but expensive at ~$15 a 4-pack.

jimmah120, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of leprakhan
4/5  rDev -4.3%

leprakhan, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Permalater
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%

I poured this beautiful looking bottle into a pint mug. The head was average looking however the beer itself could not really look much better, the nice bubbly along with the great amber see through color is nothing short of awesome. When I went to go smell it, it was like taking a line of cocaine! I wish they had a deodorant in this sent because I'd wear it everyday. The taste is a very nice balance of hops and malt, very strong hops! Anybody who loves a good hoppy beer will truly appreciate this one. When the beer entered my body, I can feel the hops making love to my whole mouth. I feel like it could be a little more carbonated but nothing more to complain further than that. Overall, if this was $5 cheeper for a 4 pack, it would possibly be my go to beer, but it's not so it doesn't get that honor yet.

A good beer, defiantly worth a try!

Permalater, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%

A - Downright perfect appearance! Clear dark copper amber with a clear color and mild carbonation bubbles. Atop is a 1/2 inch of sticky white foam.

S - Smell is expected mostly citrus with mild pine and some sweet balancing malt.

T - Pretty great for a DIPA. Right next to Resin I get citrus pine then some balancing sweet malts and back to bittering pine which doesn't get too cloying. Leaves a pineapple like hop bitterness on the tough that lingers quite a bit. Impressive.

M - I have to give it up for the body it's around medium but no noticeable alcohol flavors, which is always appreciative.

Overall I would again gladly pick up a four pack if I saw one. Really quite a good DIPA which gives you the balance and bitterness any hop head needs.

DrDemento456, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Swim424
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

poured into bell's pint glass

Pours nice copper yellowish color. Nice half inch head falling into a thin layer of white across the top. When the aroma hit my nose I got really excited for this one. Smells like fresh hops. This is what I like the smell before I taste a DIPA. Definitely has a nice caramel sweet malt scent to it as well. Damn, nice. Has an interesting sweetness upfront, with a great Hoppy bitterness to finish it off. Sort of a citrus maltiness to it. Could use more of a maple syrup, or caramel type sweetner to improve on the citrus, but I'm not always a fan of the hoppy bitter and citrus bitter. Nice feel to it, a bit creamy, very smooth, and nice medium balanced carbonation and body to it. Overall this is pretty damn good. Again i'm not a huge citrus DIPA fan, more of a thicker heavier DIPA fan but this is delicious.

Swim424, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of TenHornsProud
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a big, fluffy white head that lingers and laces.

Smells of big grapefruit, citrus, pine, hop dankness and resin with just hint of bready malt. Big hop aroma that is all over the place in a good way.

Taste is up front tropical fruit/grapefruit that goes into a slightly boozy pine middle with some hop resin before finishing on a bitter kick with further stone/grapefruit notes with some malt and alcohol. Quite nice.

Medium body with medium carbonation works well. The alcohol is present, perhaps, a bit too much.

A good DIPA that has lighter fruit notes but is really a grapefruit bomb and has that house SN taste.

TenHornsProud, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of tsulli
4/5  rDev -4.3%

tsulli, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of tmarretti
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

tmarretti, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of jeanphony
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

jeanphony, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of GennyCreamAle
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

GennyCreamAle, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

kjkinsey, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of BB1313
3.1/5  rDev -25.8%

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a nice transparent golden, nice fluffy white head which eventually fades, nice retention and decent lacing; looks good. The aromas are pretty nice. Lots of citrus and strong pine notes along with some alcohol notes. There's some breadiness as well. Flavors start off nice, but damn it's so bitter and boozy. I understand alot of people might like this, but it's not as enjoyable as I'd like. You can really taste the hopcones, and that's a good thing! Pine resin dominates, but the booziness really diminishes the flavors going on. There's some caramel malts in the mix, but they get their ass kicked by the hops. If the booze wasn't so strong, we'd have something here. The mouthfeel is really nice, perfect amount of carbonation, smooth, creamy. This one is good for sipping.

If this was more refined, we'd really have something here. Too boozy for the style, IMO. But they're going all out on this one, which you gotta respect.

BB1313, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Lightly hazed dark orange color. Two fingers of creamy off-white head. Retention is a touch above average and moderate amounts of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Pine, mango and papaya citrus, grapefruit, and hints of cat piss. Light caramel maltiness. Good.

4.0 T: Sugary hop flavor with pine and grapefruit dominating. Mango, papaya, and orange after that. Caramel and bready malts. The booze is perceived at what the actual ABV is.

4.0 M: Heaviery medium to heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth enough with a boozy aftertaste.

3.5 D: Good and tasty. I would give this a 4.0 as well if it was a bit less boozy or bready.

DavoleBomb, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of morimech
4.18/5  rDev 0%

Clear brass color with a massive head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left behind on the glass.

Smells green and dank. Nothing else can get past the hop blast.

Plenty of raw hop flavor. Seems there is some malt sweetness underlying the hoppiness, but it does little to distract from the star. I do not know if the alcohol is well hidden or my taste buds have been laid to waste by the bitterness. I would say this is over-the-top.

Maybe as good as a mouthfeel a huge DIPA could have. The texture is subtle despite the nature of the beer.

This just might be the Ultimate Whole Cone Experience. The nature of the hop flavor is not my favorite, but it does deliver.

morimech, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This is the 2012 vintage.

Appearance: good light-orange hue with a touch of haze and a nice effervescence. Head poured two fingers of frothy ivory foam. I like it.

Smell: fresh whole-hop aroma with a citrusy, piney, slightly spicy, slightly resiney character. Quite good.

Taste: nicely malty body with bit of sweetness and more fresh hops, though here presenting as quite citrusy. This complements the malt very well. Bitterness is there, but it is surprisingly low considering the style and strength.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a good carbonation and slow-building but steady creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a very good imperial IPA. It doesn't throw any curve balls, but it is solidly made, solidly tasty and surprisingly drinkable for its hi-test ABV.

flagmantho, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of hagbergl
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

hagbergl, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of seth72104
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

seth72104, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of MattyG85
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big four finger white head with decent retention. Good amount of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: Big hop aroma with lots of dank, spicy pine resin up front. Also a good citrus hop presence with hints of grapefruit, orange, mango, and pineapple. Some bready caramel malts in the background. The piney hops stand out the most here with a spicy onion like hint.

Taste: Burst of fresh hops give a good bitter whack on the tongue. Big taste of pine resin hops with some good notes of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, and mango. Some caramel malts add a little balance in the back end. Very hoppy and bitter. Very good tasting.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very bitter, chewy, and drying. Alcohol heat isn't really noticed under all the hops.

Overall: A very good double IPA. Almost hoppy enough to be considered a triple IPA. Definitely for a hophead and not for the faint of heart.

MattyG85, Mar 31, 2012
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,273 ratings.