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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.

4,986 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,986
Reviews: 1,300
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 232
Gots: 447 | FT: 6
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: 4,986 | Reviews: 1,300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of matttttYCE


3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 12oz bottle served in a tulip glass. The appearance is very nice with a big, frothy, 3-finger tall head that retains well, some nice lacing, and a brilliantly clear red-orange color.

Very resinous hoppy aromas here. Plenty of sharp (in a pretty good way) citrus and sticky sweet grapefruit, and other fruity tropical notes, but also bitter, minty, floral, pine, and sap qualities. Some caramel malt and lots of sweetness hang in the back overtaken by the fresh hops type of smell.

Bitter and resinous hops, biting citrus, bittersweet grapefruit, floral, pine, and mint leaf notes. Not so much tropical fruits as in the aroma but still some present. Sweetness for days. Caramel and malty/doughy notes as well. A present and supportive malt backbone, I would say.

Carbonation that's medium, consistency that's hinting at being syrupy but isn't, body that's medium-full, and a lasting, dry finish. A bit heavy overall.

Highly above average appearance and a very nice aroma put this one up there from the start. However, the taste and mouthfeel don't quite match up to the first two. Nice and above average respectively. Overall it's an above average double IPA, and one that shows Sierra Nevada is well-versed in good, hoppy brews, but not one you should go crazy trying to track down, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 05:03:30 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of draheim


4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (2012) into a tulip. Pours a gorgeous coppery amber w/ a thick 3-finger off-white head, good lacing, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is a nice blend of tropical citrus & pine. Smells clean & fresh, grassy & oily. Alcohol profile increases as it warms.

Taste is sharply hoppy and bright. Reminds me a bit of Heady-Topper in that "scour your tongue w/ hops" way. And wow! 10.4% ABV? I would never have guessed that, booze is so well hidden.

Mouthfeel is oily and slick; hop bitterness dominates from start to finish.

Overall another solid offering from Sierra Nevada. Having recently enjoyed Pliny the Younger, I'd say this is somewhere in the same league as far as high-ABV DIPAs go. Yes, I just said that.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 04:11:51 | More by draheim
Photo of BillMueller


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-06-2012 03:41:37 | More by BillMueller
Photo of marine1975

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-06-2012 03:06:50 | More by marine1975
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing this beer. 2011 version got "Look: 4 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 3.5 | Feel: 4 | Drinkability: 3.5." The written review could be summarized as "Powerful grapefruit and tropical fruit hops, overly aggressive solvent booziness, heavy bitterness, small malt backbone."

2012 version is much better. 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1.5 inch fluffy, bubbly white head that dissipates steadily and leaves a web of lacing. Pours a translucent orange/gold and leaves sparse spots and arches of lacing.

Smell: Dank, pungent marijuana-like hops is the dominant aroma. Slight melon, along with citrus and tropical fruit. Some toasted grain aromas underneath.

Bold hop aroma befitting the name and label.

Taste: Heavy bitterness carrying thick flavor; reminds me of Summit hops but very light on the onion/garlic and heavy on the pungent weed + sweet melon. Citrus undercurrent. Same mild toasted malt / cracker backbone, though hops and bitterness are the major players. Finishes dry and leaves some warmth in the chest, but no solvent flavor at all.

This is an excellent DIPA. Tons of hop flavor, and extremely drinkable. Could be off-putting if you don't want maximum bitterness, but this isn't a flaw... this beer is exemplifying bold, American hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Soft feel underneath the aggressive bitterness. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish. While not really a complaint, I would like this beer to be "juicier". As is, it's a good feel.

Overall: This beer supplies as good a hop fix as the best beers that come out in wet hop season. That you can buy it pretty much anywhere in America is icing on the cake, and further illustration of how grateful beer drinkers ought to be for Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 01:35:12 | More by Pahn
Photo of Kopfschuss


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-05-2012 23:45:43 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of JohnnyMc


4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a perfect pale, deep orange color with a decent amount of head. It's the perfect look for an Imperial IPA.

The aroma has an amazingly citrus blend of grapefruit, mango and apricot with the touch of hops. These same aromas permeate the taste along with orange and an intense amount of hops. While the mango, orange, apricot and grapefruit are in full force the hops really pack a punch and this makes for the hoppiest beer I have ever tasted.

Even though this is an extremely unbalanced Imperial IPA, I love it and that's how I prefer all forms of IPAs. It's very easy to drink even though the hops brutally attack your tongue and the bitterness is not bad at all.

This rivals Bell's Hopslam in my opinion and is my new favorite Imperial IPA. I can't wait to try this again next year.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 04:08:54 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of JustinQ


2.98/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into Pint glass

Appearence: clear, golden orange hue. light carbonation

Smell: Spicy, malty, not as hop forward as expected, flowery or floral

Taste: Some hop, Good dry hop finish, Not nearly as bitter as expected, some maltiness

Mouthfeel: Dry, Low co2, some enamel ripping feeling

Overall: its ok. I waited a year for myself to develop a taste for IPAs before purchasing this beer. and i have had alot better

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 01:24:05 | More by JustinQ
Photo of arizcards


4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack yesterday from BevMo for $9.99.

Beer poured a golden orange with a decent white head upon initial pour.

Nose is wonderful, citrus city all the way!

Taste is well balanced, huge malt backbone is balanced very nicely against an assult of grapefruit and tropical fruit hops.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, quite smooth.

Overall this is a solid beer. The alcohol is not noticeable at all in the taste. Sierra Nevada once again shows why it is one of the most consistently good brewers out there!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 23:12:18 | More by arizcards
Photo of bpfrush


3/5  rDev -28.2%

03-04-2012 20:53:17 | More by bpfrush
Photo of Swervine44


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-04-2012 08:41:01 | More by Swervine44
Photo of Hanzo


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-03-2012 23:04:02 | More by Hanzo
Photo of syrupjoe


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

12oz bottle into pint glass enjoyed at home after some Thai food. Pours a crystal clear light-medium amber color with a 1.5 finger bone colored head that recedes a bit but hangs out for awhile.

Nose: Vegetal, onion, dankness that pierces the nostrils, also with subtle notes of grapefruit

Taste: Candy sweet and teeth curlingly bitter hopsplosion. Mango, cotton candy, piney bitterness with bitter but tight aftertaste.

Overall this is a holy crap of a beer. Intense sweetness and hop bitterness that lingers for minutes. Not super well balanced, but a great way to get a hop fix. Won't seek out, but would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 14:36:43 | More by syrupjoe
Photo of imbuckeye


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-03-2012 02:47:08 | More by imbuckeye
Photo of natemort13


4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange with hints of amber with an off white head that sticks around forever.

Aroma is super resiny hops. Reminiscent of the elder. graperfruit, mandarin, bright piney and floral hops. It's all there. A sweet malty backbone to it too.

Taste is piney hops up front that fades into beautiful floral bouquet. Finish is a subdued pinyness. The strong citrus aroma turns into faded notes that nicely complement the strong floral piney flavors. Nice mint characteristic.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. Decently carbonated.

Overall an amazing DIPA from sierra nevada. Super happy with this one, just grabbed one but i need to get a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 02:40:49 | More by natemort13
Photo of yamar68


4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on Feb 17 and poured into a pint glass:

The nose is unreal - huge, sweet citrus. It almost smells like some high grade sativa. A bit of spruce to follow. There’s enough malt to balance but the pungency of the hops is what makes this appealing. Pours a bright amber gold with a swelling off-white head and distinct laces. The taste echoes the nose with a stronger malt presence: caramel and simple syrup. A cloying orange peel bitterness dries things out in the end. Overall, this is a must-try and, for me, a repeat purchase.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 21:55:57 | More by yamar68
Photo of Impfan


5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hops, hops, and more hops...resinous grapefruit, mandarine orange, tangerine, pineapple, guava, mango with a very long, candied resinous finish. Nice body with enough malt backbone to make it an utterly enjoyable hop-bomb. I'd stock this regularly if it were available year round.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 17:00:02 | More by Impfan
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a huge bitter DIPA. Agressively hopped with a big "torpedo" dry hop addition. Hoptimum comes off the tap a grassy yellow amber. It comes with a creamy double finger white head. The hops make a definite impression, they are intensely bitter resins, dank and like a fresh cracked hop cone. There are big hits of stingy pine and cutting grass. The alpha oils add a lemon zest, lemongrass, and green tea.

The taste is big and mouthwatering. This is a northwest hop lover’s delight. If you enjoy sticky pine and mouthwatering grapefruit this is your beer. The firm malt base makes the big hops more palatable. There is a slight funk to this beer as well. It’s hop farm fresh. The mouthfeel is oily and sticky.

This is a fine Double India Pale Ale. Sierra Nevada demonstrates there ability to make the most of the fresh northwest hop harvest. Enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 08:28:41 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up tonight at the Boise COOP... poured into my small CC goblet... decent off white head... nice retention and lacing... the brew is a polished orange.... nice.

Nose is pretty huge grapefruit zest and some lesser piney notes... just enough pale malt sweetness helps balance..

Good bitter bite up front.. seems a touch sweet throughout.. the hops are plentiful, but seem muted by the heavier malt profile... finish shows the same pithy citrus, but trails off pretty quick.

Body is a bit hefty IMO... carbonation is creamy small bubble that accentuates the bigger body.

Good beer, especially for the $$... but I would prefer it to be quite a bit drier.


Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 05:53:51 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Buzzerben


4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just crushed this one...deceptively drinkable.

A - golden hued appearance characteristic of many DIPAs. Crystal clear.

S- big bitter hop nose. Sharp pine and citrus notes.

T- deliciously bitter at 100 IBUs. Sticky sweet.

M - sticky leftovers...divine coating.

O - Great DIPAS at 10 percent. Wish it was more readily available in the Midwest.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 01:03:56 | More by Buzzerben
Photo of kiki3drt292


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-01-2012 16:36:54 | More by kiki3drt292
Photo of Fitzmke


4/5  rDev -4.3%

02-29-2012 07:50:11 | More by Fitzmke
Photo of EricCioe


3.28/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours medium gold without much head and no lace at all. On the nose there is a huge pine resin note backed up by an acetone aroma. I guess you could call this phenolic. It might be a combination of the big hops and the high abv, but I've had other big DIPAs that don't have this particular note or intensity. In the mouth the phenols disappear a bit and the hops come out, almost with a juniper note buried somewhere. Lots of times with big barleywines I mention rum-soaked raisins or figs, but with this one I want to say gin-soaked hops. The body is medium heavy with a slick finish of mostly bitterness but also some heat.

I would call this beer a hopwine if I could.

Overall, this beer is too hot for me. I'm always one to say that one should not be surprised that a big beer has an alcohol taste, but this one was too much for me. I've had bigger barleywines and DIPAs and enjoyed them, but this one drank way above its abv for me. Others may like it. There is no denying the quality, it simply doesn't sit right for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 06:06:27 | More by EricCioe
Photo of Gatch


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

02-28-2012 20:29:33 | More by Gatch
Photo of bstave


4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Dogfish Head tulip pint

A- Light translucent copper with massive white head that sticks around with nice lacing. Another beautiful Sierra Nevada beer.

S- Loads of piny resin hops and a sweet caramel malt.

T- Big hops. Wow! This is a big beer. Palette wrecker indeed. Sweet too. Alcohol warming is big too.

M- Nice medium to thicker mouthfeel. Carbonation creates nice creamy mouthfeel.

O- A BIG beer that demands attention. One and done with this one. Glad to see it in 12 oz bottles now.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 03:27:34 | More by bstave
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,986 ratings.