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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.

5,601 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,601
Reviews: 1,347
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 324
Gots: 713 | 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: 5,601 | Reviews: 1,347 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bashiba
3.18/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice clean amber color with a creamy and sticky tan head.

The smell was very green and pungent.

This starts out very sweet and biscuity but is quickly overtaken by the hops, has a very fresh floral flavor with a big long lasting medicinal bitterness to it. Tastes sort of messy.

The mouthfeel is very thick and oily.

Not a great double IPA, to sweet and seems to lack focus.

Photo of BigTrubble
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Jfatora3
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of zenwatts
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of rah1734bones
1/5  rDev -76.1%

Photo of Stumpy29er
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of KingRascal
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of andrewborstein
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of cardern
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of Irishmafia
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of WritersBlock
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright orange/amber with nice 2 finger white head. Dissipates quickly.

S - Very citrusy with a strong pine/resin backbone. Definitely can smell a lot of the hops in this one.

T - Taste begins very very bitter. Wow. This one is mouth-puckeringly bitter. After it goes from some sweet fruit to bitter pine.

M - Again, quite bitter, a bit drying.

Overall - Wow this was a really strong whole-cone IPA, I still really did enjoy it. It wasn't a perfectly balanced IPA, but still tasty. Definitely for hopheads.

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass at cellar temperature.

L - Medium-to-deep amber color with a 3 finger thick, bubbly cream-colored head. A few carbonation bubbles, awesome retention, and very nice lacing.

S - Unlike any other DIPA that I’ve ever smelled. Lots of hop aromas including the usual suspects of grapefruit, tropical fruits, spices, and maybe a little pine. However, there’s another hop aroma that I’ve never smelled before in any other beer. The best way that I can describe it is a very earthy floral smell. I cheated and looked at the Sierra Nevada website regarding what aromas they’ve elicited from this thing and the best one that I can match it to is lilacs. It’s a very pleasant smell but tough to figure out exactly what it is. On top of the hops, there’s maybe the slightest bit of caramel maltiness. No alcohol to be found, which is great for a 10.4% ABV monster.

T - The slightest bit of caramel malt sweetness quickly gets replaced by a powerfully bitter hop profile including grapefruit, tropical fruits, spice, and that earthy-floral-lilac sensation I described earlier. In terms of balance, the scale is very much tipped in favor of hoppy bitterness. A little bit of the alcohol is present in the taste as well.

F - Medium-to-full bodied, mouth-coating stickiness, nice carbonation, and a very bitter and dry finish. The bitterness lingers for a while around the tongue and the back of the throat. There is also a nice throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O - This is a very unique, hop-heavy DIPA. Very tasty for sure and very bitter for those that are into that sort of thing. Also, it hides the alcohol extremely well, which is always a plus. It’s hard to explain, but this is very true to the Sierra Nevada style, perhaps in terms of hop profile and mouthfeel. The bottom line: this is a must-try for hop-heads and Sierra Nevada fans alike.

Photo of BlackBearForge
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoptimum pours a clear golden amber with a big foamy bone white head that leaves Sierra Nevada characteristic heavy sticky lacing all over the glass.

The aroma is of bright citrusy resinous hops with a floral character with a fresh baked bread background.

The flavor is all about the big resinous hops, resin wins out over citrus which is fine by me but citrus character hangs right in there. Big sweet bready malts balance thngs out with a touch of caramel thrown in. Even with the sweet malts the finish is hoppy bitter. This is a big tasty IPA!

The mouthfeel is medium, smooth and a touch creamy and nicely carbonated.

I wish this IPA were more readily available throughout the year and somewhat less expensive, but then I'd be drinking it all the time which would be both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time!

Photo of stercomm
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 version, poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A - light coppery red, slight white head that recedes quickly, nice lacing. Thin layer on top.

S - Funky nose, getting grapefruit, some pine resin.

T - Nice hops profile, grapefruit, dry finish, slight malt taste on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

O - Nice hoppy brew, very nice

Photo of hollyisaway
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

4pk from Tommy's Pizza in Gettysburg, PA when it first came in, so very fresh.

Poured into a Troegs Mad Elf goblet/chalice.

I have only heard of this beer in the same circles that revere Hopslam and Pliny, so when one of the owners came to the table to offer me a 4pk I took him up on it immediately.

Smell is enchanting. Can't identify the exact type of hops, but smooth and warm. Poured at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and it wafts from the goblet to my nose over three feet away. Just beautiful.

Appearance is standard for an imperial. Amber pale best describes it, with a minimal but frothy bone white head. Lacing is lacking, but I don't quite understand the appeal anyway.

Immediate taste is hops, but that's obvious. A nice heat, likely dry hopping and/or alcohol, takes over the cheeks and throat. A wonderful sipper; I am inclined to treat it more like an imperial stout to continue appreciating the warmth on an oddly cold spring day. The hops smooth out, bitter but not to the point of excess. There is a slight malt backbone in the throat, but most likely out of necessity for the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is perfect. I can't describe it any other way. There is a hoppy stickiness that lingers around the gums and cheeks, with an incredible smoothness for such a big beer. Could see overdrinking if I wasn't sure what I was buying.

For $10, I am amazed.

Photo of wdarcy77
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of deanhead
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of KevSal
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Halos25
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Powerful. Beautiful. BIG.

Poured deep amber in a tulip. Foam head was two fingers-faded quick.

The smell was a biting, yet delicious, blend of marijuana and wet hops (hops is a close relative of the cannabis plant).

Once this brew enters the mouth, it hangs on and on and on. The sides of the back portion of the tongue are stained with the stinging bitterness of the hops minutes after consumption. Hints of grapefruit and other sweet fruits offset the bitterness.

Hoptimum is boozy. I noticed a warmth in my stomach similar to sipping on Whiskey after about half way through.

For every Sierra Nevada fan who savors that particular SN taste this offering needs to be a bucket list beer. For everyone else, especially, ESPECIALLY if you are a so called "hop head" this is a must try.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip; bottled dated with code and if I'm interpreting it correctly, bottled on March 15, 2012, so fairly fresh.

Pours a deep cooper color with bit of orange tint. Big three-finger creamy tan head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lacing.

This smells great. Nice piney hop aroma blended with citrus notes. A bit of sweetness that reminds me of honey as much as sweet malt.

The flavor is equally as good as the aroma. Although at first it seems a bit sweet, the flavors that follow make the bitter piney and citrus hop notes shine. Just an overall good blend of the bitter hoppiness and the sweet maltiness.

Medium texture with only the slightest note of the alcohol. I don't normally compare, but this is very close to my favorite, Hopslam. An excellent DIPA.

Photo of Chugga06
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of poppyjohn
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of raythealeman
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of smi
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,601 ratings.