1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

5,475 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,475
Reviews: 1,335
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 276
Gots: 636 | 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
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: 5,475 | Reviews: 1,335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GoldHorde
2.5/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured my first glass of SN's HOPTIMUM tonight. Cap popped revealed no aromatic nasal sting. I thought this surprising for a DOUBLE IPA and especially for one named HOPTIMUM. Who wouldn't expect DOUBLE IPA's to always 'slap the nostrils' when popped? The color of pale gold was fine enough but the flavor was well under that expected of even an IPA - much less "double". That is NOT to say that it is not an enjoyable beer - I could place it above a few commercial hop-kicked pilsners or lagers. I think Sierra Nevada has great beers - this beer is not bad - just low for this category (DOUBLE IPA).

GoldHorde, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of KevdoggNasty
4/5  rDev -4.3%

KevdoggNasty, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of xHopHeadx
5/5  rDev +19.6%

xHopHeadx, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of marshmeli
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

marshmeli, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of joefeidt
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Looks so good I almost don't want to drink it. Almost! Pours a nice two-finger head. Deep amber.

S - Citrus and alcohol but I've got a cold so I'm not smelling good... so to speak.

T - Oh boy, this is so tasty! What a beautifully balanced beer: very hoppy but not over the top. It dominates the malt but not by much. Reminds me a little of Surly Wet but not as extreme as Wet.

M - Really coats the mouth and tongue with resiny hops and caramel malt. It almost like the mouth demands that you let it linger before swallowing.

O - One of best flippin' beers I have tasted. Period. I am a confirmed hophead so this is right down my alley. Good work, Sierra, you people waited and got it right. Do not alter your recipe and start making more of this excellent elixir!

joefeidt, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of Shilt
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Shilt, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of andruke
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

andruke, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of tony223366
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Gorgeous beer! Yet another almost perfect looking beer. Three fingers of fluffy white head with a rocky head. Rich caramel color with lots of action from the carbonation. Lacing is really dramatic. A beaut

S: Huge citrusy, pepper-filled hops. Really floral and bright. Smells really great. Caramel malts with a huge bready note. Some grain on the finish. Can smell some of that huge alcohol.

T: Whoooaaa... this is a hop heads wet dream. Leafy, earthy hop flavors from the full cone. Love the grapefruit. The hops are so peppery. Past that I get lots of caramel, bread and the grain too. The beer is absolutely hot though. Which doesn't matter much to me in a beer this big. Love it.

M: Huge carbonation, slick, smooth mouthfeel from all of those hop oils. Medium body.

O: Huge flavors and a really bold beer. I couldn't wait for this release and now I know it was worth it! I'm really loving sierra nevadas seasonal releases.

tony223366, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of jriggins6
5/5  rDev +19.6%

jriggins6, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of bluesplit63
5/5  rDev +19.6%

bluesplit63, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of bennetj17
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This IPA is visually outstanding. Two-finger thick head with massive staying power. Clear, pale-coppery hue, and abundant streams of carbonation. The aroma is nice, sort of a signature Sierra Nevada hoppiness, with loads of pine, light citrus, and not much sweetness in the mix. It's good, but nothing that really jumps out at me.

The taste is overwhelming with piney hop resin. It's sticky, but not overly sweet, and there is a heavy sharp/bitterness. It might just be the alcohol that puts it over the top, but it's like all the good things about a hoppy Sierra Nevada beer, just pushed a little too far. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, but not heavy and overall appropriate.

A massive IBU monster, it's just a bit too strong for my liking. While it's certainly west coast, it doesn't have the same aroma hops that draw you in like those San Diego style IPA's. If you like Double IPA's more than singles, and you don't mind some alcohol bite, than maybe this is for you.

bennetj17, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of kawilliams81
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a nice caramel with a 2" whited head. Half of the glass is covered in lacing.

S- caramel, big citrus and spicy hops.

T- sweet citrus and caramel, lots of citrus rind and spicy hops.

M- medium body and carbonation. Nice creaminess with slightly dry finish.

O- very good dipa. Has a nice amount of citrus with a spiciness that's different from most dipa's.

kawilliams81, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of egrace84
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

egrace84, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of OTB
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally ! All of us in So Cal finally get our hands on this baby. This pours a nice amber orange with a dense one inch cap that has fantastic retention leaving thick patterns on my tulip as I sip down. Attractive nose of dank hops, bitter citrus, pine resin and grass. The flavor is mind blowing, so much better than last years effort. Intense sweet red grapefruit, mangos,super ripe tangerine, perfect malting, amazing. The mouth is full with crisp hoppy bitterness, a sweet component from the malt bill but overall it is pitch perfect, it really is quite refreshing with absolutely no tell tale sighns of the 10+ abv. The finish lasts for at least a half minute. Bravo to SN for producing a world class DIPA/TIPA on a large scale format. World class on every level.

OTB, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev -4.3%

ohtheguilt, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of will1256
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

will1256, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of GJDitzler
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

GJDitzler, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Zaphog, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of Nage37
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Nage37, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of haddyhustle302
5/5  rDev +19.6%

haddyhustle302, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of sentomaster
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- gorgeous pounr into a Bruery tulip with a massive, frothy, soapy looking 3 finger head. The foam dies slowly into a soapy blanket leaving awesome lacing. Each sip produces a new walls of thin and thick lace, making a maze on the side of the glaze.

S- Pine sol at first, soapy seems to be a word I'm liking with this beer so I'll use it again to describe the initial smell of hops. Opens up to grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel and pineapple among the still dominant pine forest. Awesome again.

T/M- Hefty, juicy body is lifted squarely along by an equally hefty and tight carbonation. Big hit of pine and lemony citrus. Grassy, earthy hops mingle with tropical and grapefruit notes. All the while there's a significant malt presence fighting to get away from second fiddle status. Sweet buttered toast and crispy caramel wafers really come out in the middle and it almost seems chocolately for a second.

O- Insanely good. 10% alcohol?? nowhere to be found.

sentomaster, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of BrokenStones
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

BrokenStones, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of lowflite
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

lowflite, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of RingnesExtra
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hoptimum pours a semi-translucent golden color with about a one inch head. The mouthfeel is oily and resinous with a lingering sheen on the tongue that lasts a very long time. This is a very well balanced DIPA which is remarkably improved over last year's version.

Given that many DIPA's are becoming a luxury purchase due to their high price, Hoptimum is an outright bargain at approximately $2.50 per 12 oz. bottle. Thank you Sierra Nevada.

RingnesExtra, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of AlexChillton
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

AlexChillton, Mar 28, 2012
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,475 ratings.