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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.

5,613 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,613
Reviews: 1,349
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 335
Gots: 726 | 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: 5,613 | Reviews: 1,349
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!

Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of halo913
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of SortaAmbivalent
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
2.5/5  rDev -40.2%

Photo of nrs207
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a 2 finger off white pillowy head. Golden orange and hazy. Leaves a nice amount of lacing, and the head was slow to dissipate.

S - Not really getting a lot of hop smell. What I do get is a strong grapefruit and resinous smell. Maybe a sharp citrus mixed with alcohol. It's a sharp smell on the nostrils, probably the alcohol.

T - I get more alcohol than I'd like, but it does have the usual west coast hop profile. It's got some citrus and bitterness. It's above average, but the alcohol might be masking some extra flavors for me.

M - Even with the alcohol flavor, the beer is still quite drinkable and it's nice and smooth with a gentle carbonation that is right for the style.

O - I'm glad I only bought one of these. I wouldn't seek this out for the price I paid. One of my least favorite SN offerings. I'll stick with Bigfoot and Torpedo over this. Even though Bigfoot has a good amount of alcohol presence while fresh, it doesn't intrude as much. Definitely feel the alcohol effects on this one by the time you're trough. Try it once, see if the alcohol is a little much for you. If it's not, it may be a delicious DIPA for you.

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

12 oz bottle poured into goblet. 2012 Hoptimum

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a 1 thick finger white head. Bubbles visible rising toward the surface. Head dissipates to some fisheyes and film within a few minutes.

S: Fresh smell of skunky piney hop. Sweet malt gives it a nectar-like aroma. Alcohol isnt to noticeable. Little earthy with a resiny wood like quality.

T: Hits you with some hop right off the bat, smooth and subdued by the sweet malt it creeps up to a lingering mouth full of hop. The flavor stays in your mouth a while between sips.

M: Encroaching on the thick end of Imperial IPA's. Alcohol isnt over bearing and is certainly warming. Pretty low carbonation.

Overall I am glad to see Sierra Nevada pushing the envelope, dabbling in more extreme beers and creating their own hop varieties. 2014 update: Bumping this up a bit with how well it ages.

Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of brystmar
2.75/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This bottle just hit the NYC shelves last week; split with blatantdream.

Copper/orange body, nice head, better-than-average retention. Fresh, piney aroma holds tons of hops that smell slightly different than I'm used to in IPAs/DIPAs. A result of the whole-cone hops perhaps?

Taste: a hop bomb that ranks up there with the craziest of them. Unquestionably of the West Coast style. Doesn't taste anything like most DIPAs; very imbalanced with no perceptible malt character. This brew embodies everything I dislike about IPAs.

If you like hop bombs with zero malt, this one's for you.

Photo of Bito401
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of lenrex
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of joefc
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of bobarc
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of dejrrma
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

around $3.50 for a 12 oz bottle at Ale Yeah. Bottled March 14th, 2012. Julian dating. Poured into a dogfish head snifter.

a- pours an amber orange color. lots of tiny bubbles rushing to the top. about 1/4" of a white, creamy head that maintains throughout. thick lacing.

s- subtle scents of pine, citrus, sweet orange (candy-like). not much else.

t- piney and bitter hops, with lots of grapefruit. some spicyness. settles out into slight sweetness, a bit malty, and the alcohol is present but mostly noticeable by the (prolonged) warmth as it goes down.

m- medium bodied, well-balanced for the most part, some boozyness is there. ends with a dryness.

o- i enjoy (D)IPAs, and this one was great. i would purchase again depending on price per 4 or 6pack.

Photo of cwguy5
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - rich, clear copper color with a two-finger, eggshell head that slowly settled to a foamy, glass coating layer

S - fresh, green hop juice! soft, tropical notes with peach-y sweetness; touch of rubbing alcohol

T - quick, tropical notes then creeping bitterness that settles on the back of the palate; some alcohol warmth towards the end with lingering bitterness

M - medium bodied with fine, creamy carbonation; fairly strong bitter aftertaste

O - looks great. smells great. tastes good. this one is a bit unwieldy for me. the alcohol heat is a bit distracting. tasty still.

Photo of DaveONan
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of augie
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a goblet at San Diego Brewing Company on March 21, 2012. Color was caramel paleish. A good-looking beer. Minimal lacing on the top with bubbles on the sides. Light film on the sides of the glass.

Smelled citrus hops up front. Grapefruit seemed to lead the way. Could smell the bitterness. Tiny amounts of pine.

Tasted bitter hops up front but it balanced out after that. Could taste the alcohol, but it wasn’t overwhelming by any means. Smooth taste.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Smooth finish. Really just a perfect feel. By far the best part of this beer.

I went out of my way to try this beer (it was tapped earlier in the day at this place). Overall I was hoping for slightly more, but I did enjoy it and would try it again in a heartbeat.

Photo of Topher78
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a brilliant orange with a fingers worth of an off white head and left decent lacing. The aroma is of citrus and pine. Bitter as all get out on the front of the tongue but very balanced as it proceeds. Mouth feel was resinous leaving a long lasting after taste.

Photo of Treebs
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Founders snifter.

A: Pours a perfect clear amber with lively bubbly in the body and 2 finger pillow of white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thick collar that leaves lots of soapy lace on the glass.

S: Lots of grassy sweetness and pine bitterness up front in the nose. Very fragrant. Sugary sweetness with a caramel malt backbone and a touch of booze on the backend.

T: Syrupy sugar sweetness mixed with resin and bitter pine. There is slight bready and sweet malt that pops up in the middle, but the bitterness ultimately takes over and slightly overwhelms the beer. Still solid, but wish it was a little more balanced.

M: Slick and oily. Has a mild syrup quality to it. The finish is piney and a touch boozy.

O: This is hop bomb, but a solid one. You get exactly what you think it is. High ABV DIPA. Big beer, but I like it. Just wish the taste was a touch more balanced.

Photo of sailorastro
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into shaped Dogfish pint. Laser printed code deciphers to February 17, 2012 (9:23 AM), so just over a month old. Thanks, Jeff, for hooking me up with this.

A - Pours a bright copper color with total clarity. A few fingers of off white head dies to a thin layer and leaves a great tiered lacing.

S - Very strong sappy hop aroma with sweet citrus and some biscuit pulling it together. The hoppy aroma is powerful, but the smell is far from one dimensional.

T - There is an initial pine bite, then a very sweet tangerine and caramel malt center. The finish comes back to the whole cone hops and a little bit of alcohol. Strong pine aftertaste. Goes through a nice transition from bitter bite, to sweet, back to bitter in each sip. Very balanced.

M - Good carbonation and a medium feel. A little bit sticky on the tongue.

O - It is balanced, but that is not what I was expecting from "the ultimate whole-cone hop experience." I am usually not a firm believer in DIPA's falling off after a few weeks or a month, but I wonder what this tastes like super fresh. Either way, I really enjoyed it for the balance between bitter and tropical/citrusy/caramel sweet. Goes down easy for 10.4%. I will definitely get it again, especially if my local bottle shop ever gets it in.

EDIT: I have waited a while for this one to come back around and my palate has changed considerably since my review. I now find this beer to absolutely tasty. Resinous, citrus, pine, with a huge hop wallop. Well done. (Overall - 4.25)

Photo of CSQ1111
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of sammo
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,613 ratings.