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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.

5,201 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,201
Reviews: 1,313
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 253
Gots: 533 | 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: 5,201 | Reviews: 1,313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fDOTbear


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

03-11-2012 15:52:43 | More by fDOTbear
Photo of maximum12


3.65/5  rDev -12.7%

Picked up a four-pack of this at Princeton's last week, looking forward to trying another good SN brew (Rutherford Rye is still lingering pleasantly in my synapses). 12 oz. bottle, one for me, one for the lovely wife.

Pour is clear, cold-hammered copper, the kind the guys in 300 could have used more than rippling abs. Nose is surprisingly tame, threadbare malts, confused but distant hops. Huh.

Hoptimum lowers a malty, malty, malty boom on my unsuspecting ass. Malt blows like a nor'easter throught his beer, big, malty, blustery sweetness. Hops arrive late to the party, but does bring a piney, oily bitterness. Really sticks to the palate, & improves with warming. That stickiness you can't scrape off with a grill cleaner saves the beer at the end.

Good beer that could do with more hops & a lower bucket of malts. Good beer, but it's cursed with that "balance" that I hear of. Less balance, more hops!

03-11-2012 05:27:54 | More by maximum12
Photo of fmccormi

New York

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to my Bruery tulip, a Luettich balloon. Bottling date of February 17, 2012 printed in white just above the barcode on the label (“204820632”), so just over three weeks old at the time of consumption. Hopsss.

Appearance (5.0): Light khaki-colored head with a beautiful mixture of fat and fine bubbles, taking its sweet-ass time dying down. Starts at only about two fingers but it seriously just isn’t dying. Lacing is moderate and spotty, but what do you expect from a beer so strong it also leaves legs on the sides, like wine does? The body is a deep orange, nearly clear with a chill haze. What an impressive looking beer!

Smell (4.0): Sweet lord in heaven. Bright pineapple and grapefruit mixed with some pine, but dank, dank, dank as hell. Some booze, for sure, which masks an underlying malt sweetness. This is nothing, if not hoppy.

Taste (4.5): Hops and alcohol compete in the front and the end of the palate, though the midsection is interestingly left to show a bit of that sweet, blonde malt body—which is nice. At the front, the beer starts with a sweet citrus note lent by the hops, immediately overrun by pine sap and resin. The high ABV is apparent, no question there, but I’m fine with it—adds a deeper dimension to the hop profile, in a way. But again, this is just weedy. Damn weedy. Resin dominates in the finish, again mixing with the ABV to accentuate and prolong the bitter finish. The underappreciated component here is clearly the malt: bready with a honey sweetness, it offers a nice contrast and counterpart to the hop profile. Damn. Loving this beer.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Low-key but expansive carbonation brings this beer to every part of your mouth. It’s not the driest finish, but the ABV dries out your palate after the fact. The body, in contrast, is medium- to full- in character, and quite oily. God bless hops.

Overall (4.5): If you like your DIPAs big, then this is for you. Arguably the best DIPAs are closer to the 8-9% ABV range—think Elder, Heady, Citra, etc. Six of the top ten are 8-9%, and only three are 10+%. If you prefer your DIPAs in the 10+% bracket, then this is exemplary for that range of the style. Yes, it’s hot. Yes, it’s sweet for a lot of people. But that’s par for the course for a lot of those so-called Triple IPAs. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this is your beer.

03-11-2012 04:58:45 | More by fmccormi
Photo of roblund


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-11-2012 02:39:01 | More by roblund
Photo of projectstars


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-10-2012 22:39:30 | More by projectstars
Photo of wembly13

West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-10-2012 21:35:40 | More by wembly13
Photo of 1Adam12


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-10-2012 15:32:36 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of steveja57


4.08/5  rDev -2.4%

Poured from bottle into a Belgian tulip glass. A crystal clear gold/orange beer with thin white head that fades away fairly quickly. Super pine resin aromas hit you first, with citrus/grapefruits notes following along with hints of butterscotch/ toffee malt. You can't miss the nearly 11% alcohol on the nose, distracting from the hops.
The mouthfeel is massive, sweet from malt, nearly syrupy and cloying, but kept in line with aggressive bitterness from more hops.
The finish is quite bitter, malt sweetness coating your teeth and hop residue coating your tongue.
It's all a bit overblown, like Nigel's amp that went to "11." But with the glass nearly empty I've got a smile on my face and was wondering here I might get a few more bottles.

03-10-2012 07:44:46 | More by steveja57
Photo of davey101


3.58/5  rDev -14.4%

Julian date code of 048, making it bottled on 02/17/2012. 12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Nice clear amber body with a soapy 2 finger head. Nice lacing and retention.

S - Piney bitter hops, light grapefruit and some marijuana. Thats about it. I'm not really detecting any malts.

T - Similar to the nose. Very strong pine with some light fruity and dank notes. Surprisingly not that bitter. Its just seems to coat the tongue with pine. Mouth feel is medium bodies but sticky and oily.

O - I was expecting something a bit more intense. Its actually very balanced and smooth. The flavor and aroma is just very pine dominant, and I was hoping for something else. Fairly one dimensional.

03-10-2012 05:28:19 | More by davey101
Photo of Rocketman8911


5/5  rDev +19.6%

03-10-2012 05:05:50 | More by Rocketman8911
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours a white head. Good retention. Some lace. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: a ton of hops and a ton of fruits. Floral and pine hops. Grapefruit and lemon citrus. A little bready malts.

Taste: tons of juicy hops. Floral and piney. Grapefruit stIckiness. Some bready malts. Hop resiny. Very oily.

Mouthfeel: sticky and bitter. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, this was a tasty. It wasn't world class, but it was solid and definitely something I would drink again. Very nice iipa.

03-10-2012 04:56:29 | More by mothman
Photo of mfavoino


3.68/5  rDev -12%

Appearance: Translucent light amber color with some orange to it as well. A one finger head settles on top of the body. Lots of lacing left behind by this beer.

Smell: Incredibly pungent resiny pine scent. I've never smelled such a strong pine aroma before. Earthy, spicy, herbal, and dank.

Taste: This is a big DIPA that smacks your palate with a strong pine hop presence. Earthy and sticky hops dominate the palate, leaving a longer bitter finish. Not much of a strong malt backbone to balance it all out.

Mouthfeel: Warm alcohol to the point that I think it's too prominent. A touch too heavy in my opinion.

Overall: Interesting to say the least, and something that pine lovers will seek out. A bit too much for me and as a DIPA, I can't put this in the same league as the Hopslams and PtEs of the world.

03-10-2012 04:01:09 | More by mfavoino
Photo of IPA4LIFE

United Kingdom (England)

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-10-2012 02:08:33 | More by IPA4LIFE
Photo of jaidenjb


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-10-2012 00:51:20 | More by jaidenjb
Photo of johnnyboy76


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-10-2012 00:20:29 | More by johnnyboy76
Photo of theempire


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-10-2012 00:20:24 | More by theempire
Photo of beerherenow

4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

03-09-2012 20:23:07 | More by beerherenow
Photo of pavpav12


5/5  rDev +19.6%

03-09-2012 19:13:46 | More by pavpav12
Photo of ALLISON01


4/5  rDev -4.3%

03-09-2012 18:45:50 | More by ALLISON01
Photo of WastingFreetime


4.35/5  rDev +4.1%

Reviewed from session notes.

A. Orange tinted amber, two fingers of froth for a head that lasts for about a minute and a half, leaving decent lacing sculptures behind in its wake on the side of the glass.

S. Tropical fruit and pine resin mixed with dank sticky marijuana odor and a side of chives and onions. Especially notable for having such a strong emphasis on marijuana odor.

T. An epic punch in the face made of every single kind of hop spectrum, but once again the standout element is ganja. A caramel malt underneath all the hopping doesn't have quite the strength required to completely balance, but that is OK with me because the beer is marketed as a hop bomb, and hop bombs *should* be unbalanced in favor of the hops... complexity of the hop character does drop off slightly into more mundane grapefruit pith and pine resin towards the finish, but that's honestly a minor nitpick...

M. Fat heavier-side-of-medium body with decent carbonation to stir things up in the mouth, slick and smooth at the same time. Amazing!

I have to search hard to find things to nitpick about this beer, and that means that I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try.

03-09-2012 07:00:10 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Giovacchini


4.43/5  rDev +6%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A- deep amber appearance with 1 finger thick head.

S- pineapple, mango, grapefruit, and pine.

T- nice hop bitterness, subtle caramel malt, pine, grapefruit, mango, and alcohol.

M- the hop bitterness lingers on the palate and the 10% ABV brings a nice warmness. Mild carbonation and slippery/oily mouthfeel.

O- this is a nice beer from SN. I enjoy it a lot more than Torpedo. It has a nice blast of hop bitterness that scalds my palate and leaves me wanting more.

03-09-2012 05:04:10 | More by Giovacchini
Photo of therope

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

03-09-2012 04:41:36 | More by therope
Photo of SalukiAlum


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

03-09-2012 03:51:57 | More by SalukiAlum
Photo of eawolff99


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-09-2012 03:49:55 | More by eawolff99
Photo of znichols


4.48/5  rDev +7.2%

A-Deep orange with an eggshell white head. The head sicks around for about 10 minutes and the lacing lasts a decent while.

S- Toasted malt, harsh pine, pungent lemon, stinky herb. Perhaps a tough of alcohol in there too. Lots of enticing, resinous hop smell here.

T- Slightly malty right on the tongue; maybe english toffee. Hops dominate the middle and end with sticky pine sap, grapefruit, and orange peel. Maybe slightly catty. The alcohol is prominent on the end, maybe this one could use 2-3 months of proper aging to be in its prime. Bitterness lasts and lasts.

M- Moderate carbonation and a slick, oily mouthfeel. I've hear this had wheat in it, maybe that adds the touch of slickness on the tongue.

O- This is a really good DIPA. It has the iconic hoppy, yet very balanced Sierra Nevada character. The hops dominate with lots of resinous tones but the malt shines through a bit, too. I might not seek this out too hard, but if you see it, give it a try. Big, bitter, but drinkable.

03-09-2012 01:39:21 | More by znichols
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,201 ratings.