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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.

5,385 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,385
Reviews: 1,332
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 265
Gots: 607 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,385 | Reviews: 1,332 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bronze with an off-white head, thin ring of retention leaves a little leg.

S: Not a huge aroma, but there's plenty of depth: Pine, sponge toffee, mango, candied pineapple, papaya, marmalade, tangerine, nectarine, somewhat floral and herbal with a hint of steelie grass. A bit dank. What are those hop geneticists up to now?

T: Assertively bold bitterness. Plenty of piny resin, grapefruit rind, candied pineapple, mango, papaya, steelie grass, sponge toffee, alcohol is remarkably well-hidden under all that flavour.

M: Moderate body has a slight residual sweetness with PLENTY of hop acidity. Slightly drying alcohol finish.

D/O: This bold and the hopping is rather unique. Makes me wonder what they're cross-breading... have they been playing with Nugget?

Another big thanks to Rutager!

Derek, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of threeviews
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (Bottled on February 17, 2012 @ 8:16AM) into a 14oz Libbey snifter glass

A- An aggressive pour yields a 3 finger, soapy, eggshell white head with a rich, semi-hazy, golden body and beautiful lacing.

S- Overwhelming...aroma for days! Orange and grapefruit citrus, pine resin astringency and sweet tropical fruit are immediate. As the head subsides, the bitter citrus rind mellows while pine and and notes of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple) introduce themselves...delicious, inviting and complex. This is going to be one heck of a DIPA.

T- Sweet malt (and very honey-like) is followed by citrus which is then followed by a piney tackiness along with a subordinate rye spiciness. Simply awesome. For a DIPA clocking in at 10.4% ABV, a substantial malt bill is expected and some residual sweetness is expected.

M- As some have stated, sweet and hop-oil slick, btut ultimately finishes with that classic, Sierra Nevada piney tackiness. Very enjoyable and deserving of another sip.

O- Although I have yet to sample Bell's Hopslam, some say that this is close...and I can only imagine that the sweetness I get from Hoptimum would be reminiscent of the honey added to Hopslam. For me, this is an absolute winner...high gravity, copious hops and robust aroma/taste. What's there not to like!?

PS- Be warned: If not an ardent fan of Sierra Nevada's more hoppy offerings (Torpedo, Celebration Ale, Ruthless Rye), I would suggest you pass this one up...but for all you hop heads and Sierra fans, you just have to check this one out...awesome! (As for me, I've got to pick up a couple more 4-packs to enjoy)

threeviews, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of loren01
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a nice clear orange color big head with great lacing down the glass
S: Strong citrusy scent, like some of the freshest strongest hop scent i've ever smelled in a beer. Very nice!!!
T: Slight caramel malt up front with big piney and citrus flavor, very bitter but very well balanced out too
M: Medium bodied beer, carbonation seems about right
O: This is an excellent DIPA, I only bought 1 bottle wish I had purchased more. I will be buying this again for sure. Sierra Nevada really knows how to make a great hoppy beer.

loren01, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of Kinsman
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear light-amber colored body with a big creamy white head on top. Sierra knows how to make a good looking beer, no doubt.

Big piney and resiny hop aroma initially before the citrus and grapefruit get a chance to come in. Faint hint of alcohol underneath all the hops.

A potent and flavorful hop character hits the palate with a nice variety of grapefruit and orange citrus with a health dose of pine and floral notes alongside. The 10.4 Abv does come through a bit stronger than expected but it's not all that unpleasing. Little room is left for some malt character to come through.

Full bodied feel, rather thick compared to many a DIPA. Overall, a nice tasty hop-bomb from Sierra.

Kinsman, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of DelicateDelirium
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

DelicateDelirium, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of IPx
5/5  rDev +19.6%

IPx, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of punkhim
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

punkhim, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Watered-down marmalade champagne, with a 2 finger retained bleach-white head. Icky-sticky-slicky lacing.

S: Huge, walloping pine hops.

T: Like the nose, but with a sweet and tart backbone. Loads of tropical fruits (pineapple, gf, starfruit, orange zest) and candied hops. Has a vodka-like boozy finish which is slightly offputting, but I can live with it.

M: Oily and biting, with a pungent dry linger.

Heavenisbeer, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of mscudder
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden amber with a nice thick white head. Lacing was evident after the beer settled.

S - Hops and grapefruit. Some notes of citrus and pine, fairly standard for a good IPA.

T - As expected, this one is packed with hops. The carbonation compliments the bitterness nicely. There is also a nice caramel malt behind this making it quite unique. The ABV is well hidden and I must say this is spectacular.

M - Medium body with a taste that is almost oily, although I use this word with modest hesitation.

O - Overall this is another hit from Sierra Nevada. If I could request improvement in any area, I would request a bit less oily mouthfeel, perhaps a tad more robust. That said, anyone who enjoys a good DIPA should not be disappointing this one.

mscudder, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of ortie
4/5  rDev -4.3%

ortie, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of nitro0292
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clear golden color with an almost 2 finger head that lingers for long time. Plenty of stick down the side of the glass.

Smell is classic SN, with some malty sweetness to balance. 60/40 ratio of hops to malt. SN claims the aroma hops are Simcoe and a "proprietary variety." Smells like grapefruit covered in pine needles and malt. Appetizing.

Taste is malty up front, with solid bitterness on the back of the tongue and a bitter finish and aftertaste. Very dry with very little residual sugars. Leaves you parched.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the heavy side, and with light carbonation. Mouthfeel is expected given the ABV, but it could be a touch lighter. Viscosity helps hide the alcohol.

Overall this is a good DIPA. Not a complete hop bomb as there is malt to balance the flavor, but it is very bitter. Only criticism is that I would like the hops to contribute more than bitterness. More hop flavor may be achievable by dialing back the malt a bit; particularly the Munich malt, which can be rather sweet.

nitro0292, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of cssosprey
4/5  rDev -4.3%

cssosprey, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of BrianOhio
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a clear amber, thick 2 finger head that lingers pretty well.

Aroma is classic west coast DIPA, juicy pineapple and mango, apple, with mild grassy notes.

Taste again is juicy citrus, thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Well balanced, with some sweet notes of toffee and butterscotch. The finishing bite you expect in an IPA is more subtle, much like that of a Hopslam. Warm and boozy. Delicious.

As someone who tends to set the DIPA bar at Hopslam, this beer is damned close. This is as excited as I've been about a new beer in a long time. Close to perfect for my taste.

BrianOhio, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of Nate
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Nate, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 12oz bottle into a duvel snifter

A: pours a clear golden amber with a little less then a finger of off white head, nice lacing

S: smells like hops and caramel, bitter earhty resinous pine, over a nice malt backbone ... A nice smelling beer.

T: bitter. Grassy hops develops into bitter pine, heavy sweet malt and even heavier bitterness on the finish, a few hints of fruit in there, grapefruit... Not very well balanced, resinous

M: medium to heavy in body, chewy and oily, coats the mouth with a looong lasting bitter pine resins, medium carbonation, but not enough to keep this beer from feeling super oily

O: far from my favorite dipa, kinda just a bitter bomb IMO, not very well rounded, and the aftertaste is a killer, I'm sure other people like this brew from people I've spoken with and the high rating.... But this is deffinatly not for me.... I'll stick with my double trouble and green flash palate wrecker.

PeterIngemi, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of RunForYourBeer
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden orange with a thin white head and visible carbonation.

S: Lots of hops. Grapefruit, citrus, pine and grass stick out.

T: Follows the smell. Starts with citrus and grapefruit hops that lead to piney and grassy hops and some light caramel/bread malt. The finish and aftertaste are of hops with a hint of alcohol warming.

M: Medium and a bit oily with proper carbonation.

O: Very good.

RunForYourBeer, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of bound4er
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Golden copper appearance with a three finger off white head. Leaves a boatload of lacing. Nice looking beer.

S. Pine, citrus and hop oil goodness. The smell gives you a pretty good indication of what this is going to taste like.

T. Plenty of pine, citrus and hop oil flavors. There's just enough grainy malt to keep this from being completely unbalanced.

M. Medium bodied with a slick, somewhat oily mouthfeel.

O. This has been my favorite SN beer to date. It is a hop bruiser but manages to just steer clear of that searing bitterness of most other hoppy SN brews. It is really easy to drink for a 10.4% ABV beer. Overall, this is well crafted stuff.

bound4er, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of atone315
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

atone315, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of b3shine
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter. Looks good; deep burnt-orange with nice lacing. Smells good too; nice and hoppy. Tastes solid. It's hoppy without being too heavy. Mouthfeel was nice as well. Overall, a very good brew, and my favorite I've tried from Sierra Nevada.

b3shine, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of jvillefan
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A beautiful golden yellow with a two finger head that dissipates a little too quickly.

S: It has a nice mild (a little too mild) hopy aroma with subtle caramel tones to it.

T: Bitter, that's about it.

M: A little grainy. The beer has sub-par carbonation and excellent retention.

O: Not a session beer, but if you like intense hops to the point that it is the only thing you can taste then this is worth a try.

jvillefan, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of DrewV
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whoa, Nelly! This is a boozy hop-bomb. Bitter as all get-out, but tasty enough if you can get past the heat.

I love a good DIPA, but this one's a bit one-dimensional. Needs a bit more body and maybe a bit more flavor from the hops to offset the bitterness. This one just leaves me wanting more.

DrewV, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

sabitu, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of secondtooth
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Attractive amber, with substantial head. Serious 3-fingers of lace.

Aroma is, of course, deeply hopped. I can sense the citrus-pine burn almost, just in the nose. Superb!

This is a heavy-bodied and sticky hop-bomb. It's a bold assault on the palate, nicely malted, but definitely with a surplus of citrus-pine hop wonderfulness. A treat, but one to enjoy in moderation. Tasty!

secondtooth, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev -4.3%

shelby415, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of halo913
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

halo913, Mar 25, 2012
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,385 ratings.