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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: 304
Gots: 691 | 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 actionjcksn
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours light red with a big fluffy off white head

S: Huge piney hops, hints of caramel/bready sweetness, and little bits of tropical fruit, pineapple mostly

T: Huge piney hops up front, bits of citrus after that, the middle being creamy sweetness, and the end finishing with a bitter, highly alpha acidic hoppiness. Awesome.

O: Quite nice, and at the price is an insane bargain. Definitely go get you a 4 pack.

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

A: A clear amber pour with a huge, billowing light tan head. Fades so slowly I'm bored. Huge puffs of lacing all over the glass. Takes a good 20 minute before I can even drink it. Almost annoying.

S: Loads of resin and pine hops. Not much else to note, somewhat sweet though. Perhaps just a touch bready?

T: Whoa, loads of hops up front. Again, mostly resin and some pine. Huge malt base which is mostly caramel with some bread. Big beer all around. Good balance, not a hop bomb (at least, an unbalanced hop bomb). Both elements are very strong but balanced.

M: Heavy, astringent and drying from all the hops needed to balance out that malt base.

O: I really enjoyed this one. Bigger than usual DIPA but with enough hops to balance out the huge malt base. Usually once a DIPA passes 8 or 9% it becomes a malt bomb. This is surprisingly balanced. Just wished it had a little more complexity of hops (some citrus or tropical fruit would be nice) - that would propel this into the 4.5 taste category I think.

Photo of cestlavie
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BeerShman
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of RickS95
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

A bit darkish, coppery bronze color, opaque. The head is brilliant white, and foamy, like a cloud. Big bubbles mixed in with little, a sloppy lace left behind.

Standard smell for the type, no surprises. Faint citric fruits, but mostly resinous pine. If you've had enough hop bombs, you can tell what's coming just from the smell.

Taste is similar to the smell with light notes of warm-weather fruits, but mostly pineforest.

For a split second, there's a malty feel, then the hop bomb explodes and let's you know what kind of beer it is. The bitterness curls your toes and makes your teeth hurt. Along the way, there is some sweet bite of the citrus. The finish is dry and sticky.

All ales from SN are exceptional and this is no different. It's hard to drink, but that's the style. It's high ABV, but it's hidden very well. It's a must drink for beer fans and hop bombers alike.

Photo of nkp765
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Jparker37
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Imperial pint glass.

A - Thick, dense vanilla head atop a light amber beer. Right near perfectly bright. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

S - This beer oozes fresh hop aroma, very resinous which runs the gamut from bright citrus to punishingly spicy pine. American hops with a little bit of some centennial that has a unique smell to it. Malt is present with that nice soft pale malt most forward. Some alcohol becomes present as it warms.

T - Malt backbone fights off a lot of the onslaught of piney hop flavors which eventually take control and yet stays delightfully balanced. Everywhere across my tongue can detect bitterness. A small amount of alcohol warming which the hop bitterness combats well also.

M - Relative to most double IPAs this beer is lighter, what I would deem medium to medium-full mouthfeel. The carbonation is moderate. Great dryness to it.

O - I truly appreciated the freshness of this beer, I am unsure of the date but it still overflows with wonderful aroma. I found everything I am looking for and then some in aroma. The malt flavor lacked some complexity but then again this beer is all about hops. The alcohol did not overwhelm, nor did the hops in the sense of balance. A true cornerstone of DIPAs. Goes great with my sharp cheddar and habanero pepper cheeses.

Photo of fox227
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Decent white head, and a nice amber coloring of medium darkness.

S: Lots of nice hop smells at play: pine, citrus, cotton candy, and maybe some mango.

T: The high alcohol content is forefront, dominating over what is the typical Sierra Nevada Pale flavor of pine and citrus like hops. I'm not getting a lot of the subtle flavors that I would expect from the aroma, unfortunately.

M: Fairly hoppy and dry - has a numbing effect on the palate, as I wouldn't expect to be able to taste my next beer much.

O: I feel that the more I explore, the less of a fan I become of Double and Imperial IPAs. There is a conflict of interest here: more alcohol and fresh beer makes it difficult to mask for many brews, and Hoptimum is no exception. I much prefer 'single' IPA offerings from this company, which allow the hops to play the lead role.

Photo of ChiPool
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see a stack of thes at Binny's/Clybourn today. Been looking forward to trying this one. poured into Guinness mug.

Looks pretty light for the class: nice, inch thick head that looks like eggshell. Lots of smell exploding from the mug: crawling hops, weed, grapefruit rind. You can tell this is gonna be good, and it does not disappoint. As the label promises, this is a bitter, citrusy, ballsy, whole cone monster. A bit of booziness, but hard to complain at 10.4%. Lingering bitternes; not quite a "palate scorcher", but the bitter citrus nature says its peace.

Overall: not quite as complex as a few of the titans of this niche, but firmly stands ground. Would definitely have this again. Probably my favorite SN offering. Well done...

Photo of mattcrill
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Lots of perfumey and musty hop aromas up front. Piney notes with melon, citrus, and tropical fruit character. Hop aromatics dominate. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber pour with a sudsy off-white head. Head retains well and leaves nice legs on the glass.

Flavor: Orange juice-like hop character up front. A touch of caramel and bready malt flavors that quickly get assaulted by the citrus and pine-like flavors. Balance is firmly bitter. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is citrusy, long, and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly creamy, a touch of heat, and moderate carbonation.

Overall impression: The sweeter malt character that is in the background blurs the line between a Double IPA and an American Barleywine. It's a little hot and I can see aging this just due to the hop load and it probably wouldn't lose a bit. Very enjoyable and glad I had the chance to get my hands on a 4-pack. Very reasonably priced and well done as is the hallmark for Sierra Nevada.

Photo of donkeyrunner
1.94/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

@ Gula Gula, Salem MA

Beautiful, pristinely clear amber color. Thin head quickly collars and fades away. Nice lace up top though.

Floral, super sweet malt aroma. Tastes really sweet with very little hop flavor. Hops come through more as pine sap and a lingering bitter. I'd like more hop resin. And hop aroma. And hop flavor.

Didn't like it in the bottle and like it less on tap.

Photo of buddyvelt
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of GeoffreyM
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of ajkmetron
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of trixdout
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of Ajax84
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of GoGators
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of jewellrunner
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of oldp0rt
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the 2nd Anniversary event at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest and herbal hops. Taste is of citrus zest, grapefruit, herbal hops, and slight malt on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good DIPA with a better taste than smell.

Photo of RebornStussy
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Bytemesis
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber body with an off-white head.

S- All hops. Piney hops come through with some citrus.

T- Hops are definitely the focus, but the finish includes some malt to balance it out. A little booze in the finish as well.

M- Has that crisp clean taste apparent in all Sierra Nevada beers. Some stickiness is left behind from the hops.

O- Very good iipa. The booze is there but at 10.4%, it should be expected.

Photo of standorsey
4/5  rDev -4.3%

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