1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

5,597 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,597
Reviews: 1,347
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 320
Gots: 714 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,597 | Reviews: 1,347 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of let8it8grow
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of sadiekay
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of BradFCL
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of szmnnl99
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a hazy orange color with a off-white orange tinted head. The head is big and billowy with large bubbles seen entrapped within. The head has good retention, but eventually fades over time to give a wonderful amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a sweet caramel base with tons of pine hop aromas. There are lighter citrus notes as well of sweet orange/tangerine and lemon with a lighter hint of grapefruit. There are other subtle hop aromas of floral nature as well as a somewhat candy sweet aroma. Overall the smell is of nice sweet hoppiness.

Taste – The taste is quite full of transitions between more bitter and sweet. Right up front it starts out with a big shot of bready maltiness with a good helping of some bitter grapefruit hop. Carmel sweetness then quickly comes right after the initial bitterness. With the advent of the caramel sweetness the hops that were of more grapefruit initially transition to more pine in nature with the lighter orange and sweeter lemon present in the nose mixed in. The pine flavors are the most dominant in the taste and last the longest. With these flavors there are some hints of tropical fruit as well. Toward the end the brew bitters some with lemon hop and the grapefruit that was initially present mixing in with the heavy pine. At the very end a light alcohol flavor comes into the mix, and with the other flavors, creates a pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – The body is very creamy. The beer coats the mouth, basking the tongue in all the nice flavors the brew possesses. The carbonation level is just below average and very fitting for the high abv. and all the sweet and bitter flavors

Overall – This is a nice heavy IPA. A bit on the sweeter/maltier side with some good hop flavors. Not what I would consider a session brew (due to its high abv. and swinging taste profile) but a great beer to go to from time to time and sit back and relax with.

4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

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

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. 2012 vintage. Bottled on day 75 of 2012 (March 15).

Appearance: Pours an orange amber with a clean white head. Soft and pillowy. Quiet carbonation.

Smell: Aroma of grapefruit, bubblegum and pine. Little to no alcohol aroma.

Taste: A bit overpowering. Hoppy, yes, but also a bit harsh and not necessarily from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately thick and chewy.

Overall: With all due respect to Sierra Nevada, I've had other Double IPAs with much better flavor and character without exhibiting Hoptimum's harshness. Maybe this needs more than 5 weeks to mellow. As it stands, I much prefer the flavor profile, characteristics, and nuances of SN Torpedo over Hoptimum.

Photo of Daniel9913
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of cashmier
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of brwnchrstpher
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of johnsilk
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of server222
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of Gabany
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of howard12
4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this in a bottle, second time ever having it. poured into a perfect pint glass.

A -- nice golden, lightly burnt orange coloring.

S -- I mean, I smell sweet piney hops right away, but also notice the sweet caramel and delicious light fruit as well. certainly going to be sticky.

T -- Echo the smell, but better. Big, piney, sticky hops. the sweetness comes out in the caramel and fruit quite well. Definitely malty, and did i mention sticky?. Piney/hoppy/resiny, but sweet, aftertaste. very good.

O -- I really enjoy this beer; it's delicious, one of my favorites in the style.


Photo of Momar42
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 edition poured from 12oz bottle into a Duvel Eley Kishimoto tulip glass

A - about a fingers worthnof white, fluffy head. It lessens quickly but retains a thin clingy white top. Deep orange/amber hue. Lacing remains as I write this review.

S - piney, huge. Is it Christmas again already?? No citrus present but heavily hopped on the nose. I think I can smell it saying "drink me".

T - yep...here there be hops. Lots and lots of hops. Taste is similar to the smell. Nice bite on the sides of the tongue and as it goes down. Very smooth overall. Hops are everywhere. Booze is noticeable, but at 10.40% that is to be expected. Nice burn as it goes down.

M - heavy, coating and sticky. From front to back it coats all over. Not a clean finish, but who could expect that?!? Mouthfeel definitely let's you know it's there.

O - my first taste of this beast and I like it...alot. Might not share the remaining three after all. Booze lingers but so does the hop heaven flavor. Maybe not the "Best" Imperial IPA but certainly worth seeking out when available, I know I surely will. A great beer from a great brewery. Sierra Nevada seldoms disappoints.

Photo of leeswagerty
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 7/02/13
Poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish IPA glass

Appearance: (4.25)
Pours a lightly hazed golden yellow with a massive, thick, 3 finger off white head. The head has decent retention and leaves plenty of lacing along the sides of the glass.

Huge aromatics of spicy hops erupt out of the glass towards your nose; juicy grapefruit and grapefruit rind, generic herbs, resinous pine, light tangerine, fragrant peach, and a faint almost berry like tropical note. The hop aromatics are very layered and complex, but lean a bit too hard on the spicy, herbal side of the hop spectrum. There is a soft, doughy malt presence underneath the mountain of hops and unfortunately, some light alcohol phenols come out to play as the beer warms.

Taste: (4)
A huge, resinous pine character assaults your palate first, shortly followed by big grapefruit tones as well as more of that interesting berry-like note that is found in the nose.
Spicy herbs and a sizable chunk of a sweet, bready malt backbone close this gigantic Imperial IPA. The beer finishes dry and very bitter with long, lingering notes of sticky pine resin, light peach and berries as a hint of caramel from the malt. The alcohol is hidden surprisingly well, but it does warm as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: (4)
Robust, full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: (4.25)
A very, intense, complex and layered IPA from Sierra Nevada. The hops really do shine through in this beer, but they still take on that overly herbal, spicy hop characteristic that is found in most of their beers, I'm not sure why that is. Don't get me wrong; this is a fabulous Imperial IPA, that I will for sure buy again, but the herbal hops are not want I want usually in an IPA. This beer is very well crafted and I highly recommend checking it out because this is one unique beer that definitely sets itself apart from the myriad of different Imperial IPAs out there.

Photo of Ted
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,597 ratings.