Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

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5,549 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,549
Reviews: 1,339
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 289
Gots: 671 | 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
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Ratings: 5,549 | Reviews: 1,339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Grinnerman
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of jminch
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of wedge
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled about a month ago...

Pours a solid orange hue, topped by a thick, lush looking head. Hops burst forth in the smell, heavy and aromatic. Deep, pungent citrus pulp, floral perfume, zesty hop oils, and a nice spiciness. A whiff o' the dank weed as well. Bitterness hits full force with the first sip, but oh man is this a nice tasting DIPA. Juicy grapefruit, pine resin dryness, peppery hops, wood, and some floral notes. Not too sweet at all, which is a big plus...there is some malt to balance, but this is a potent hop showcase. No booziness flavor-wise, but it does warm the throat (and head). Zesty, sticky, drying - very, very nice all around. Excellent.

Photo of Steimie
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of edfish
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pint glass, good looking beer. 1" head off white. Clear and dark golden color. Nice lacing.
Smell-The pine has arrived! with some citrus notes. Not overpowering but decent.
Taste- A hop assult! A dry hop taste that lingers. The hops hide the 10%.
MF- Very rich and full nice carbination. A full mouth of this is real good!!
Overall- A great addition to SN. Warms yours your belly.

Photo of awdturboiv
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of AgentMunky
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. 2012 vintage.

A: A finger of dense head floats atop a hazy-clear amber-gold beer. Very little internal agitation. Great lacing.

S: Hugely citrus with a heavy dose of pine resin. Loads of hops. Forceful, if straightforward.

T/M: Delicious! A model DIPA about which I cannot say enough nice things. Immensely drinkable and perfectly balanced. Akin to Hopslam, enough so that I wonder if honey has been added...there is a similar sweetness. Spicy, piny, citrus hops are the main show, with a lasting (but not dry) bitterness on the endtaste. Lightly but well-carbonated.

O: The flavours are extreme, but kept in check by one another; balance is the name of the game. Bittersweet. Very well done -- incredibly highly recommended. Will drink again and again.

Photo of harrymel
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 17FEB12, Reviewed 15MAR12
Pours a crystal gold with a finger of light yellow foam leaving decent lace. Smells of pine, grapefruit, honey, sharp spice and sweet malts come together beautifully. Flavor is hardcore - bitterness is combated with a sweet honey like malt and mid plane hops exercise their pungent and fruity flavors. The alcohol is noticeable, which I don't recall from the original release and the hops are certainly the main character here. Wowza, hoppy! Medium on light syrup body with a moderately tame carb and a semi dry finish. Great beer, if I were two more beers into the night, I might make the mistake of drinking this one fast and frequently - to much my dismay! 4/4.5/4/3.5/4

Originally reviewed 16JAN11
A: pours an amber golden. 1/2 finger, egg white head diverts to 1/4 finger within a couple minutes. Sporadic lacing along edges. Head easily agitated to original height with a spritely stir.
S: Pine. Classic SN nose with big gobs of Cascade and Centennial hops on the nose. Hints of spicy simcoe hang out in the background. Not much malt on this one. All hops, all SN.
T: Well balanced, much more balanced than I had anticipated. In fact, the malt makes a wonderfully sweet appearance here in the mouth. The hops make room on the stage as well. Super balanced for and Impy IPA - kudoes to SN, I think Ken took some time on this one.
M: Light, and dry. Lower carbonation help to highlight the flavors of the beer. Rather than applying standard carbonation and body, they seem to have taken time to make sure this one was balanced. Good whipped feel when swished around.
D: I find myself surprised giving this one such high marks. I think this is a great beer, gonna have to grab a couple more of these. Yum! 3/4/4/4/4-3.95

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1/2" cream coloured head over amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Pine, floral and grapefruit hops.

T: Grapefruit hops and toffee and biscuity malt.

M: Creamy mouthfeel. Medium viscosity and carbonation.

O: A decent IIPA, but nothing like estate IPA. Too much malt flavour and not enough hops for my liking. More of a beer to introduce Bud Light drinkers to craft beer than anything else.

Photo of JoshRadTxist
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Whoa, homerun beer.

A: Not an exceptional color, honey, good head retention, anyone else notice the amount of CO2 buried in the bottle? Pretty great explosion of movement there in the glass after the pour.

S: Like a big hop picked off the bine in August and crushed between my fingers.

T: Pine sap, sweet malt, and alcohol, every sip makes the tongue thicker with bitterness. This means each tastes more of pine sap, malt, and alcohol. Not bad!

M: Falls into the "dangerously quaffable" category, each sip becoming creamier.

O: This is an over the top beer! I had a 1.5 year old Burton Baton before this, which was much easier horse to tame. Yeah the Hoptimum is acerbic as other reviewers note. I do not think that is a totally unpleasant characteristic though, reminding the drinker to sip slowly and take the time this big IPA merits.

Photo of abanton
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of rockaday
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of nas4atu
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 version on-tap @ Brewforia Beer Market, Meridian ID. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a chill hazed darker honey gold, that regains its clarity as it warms...fluffy white recedes to a constant ring.

S: Resiny, pithy & piny hop assault, definitely more bitter smelling than sweet...malt is detectable, but this is hoppy.

T: Taste follows...waves of piny hops, very dry and bitter with that signature Sierra Nevada resiny/herbal note...bitter citrus rind, pine needle, oily and a bit earthy...hint of honey and bready malt, maybe a slight toasty quality but the hops are king. Alcohol is noticeable especially as it warms.

MF: Dry! Bitter, probably about medium in mouthfeel, the alcohol does cut it some.

O: Very very bitter, more bitter than I remember last years bottling being and almost too much for me to thoroughly enjoy. Its definitely every bit a Sierra Nevada beer.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color, small white head to it. Great hoppy aroma. Taste has great mouthfeel, for the amount of hops and the high ABV it remains pretty well balanced, but this is a hop head's delight for sure. The bitterness dances around the taste buds and finishes clean and smooth. Bit of an alcohol warmness but that's to be expected. A great beer, I'm convinced SN can't make anything less than a "good" beer and this is one of the better ones I've had from them. Definitely pick it up if you see it!

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

12Oz poured into a tulip glass

A- Slightly hazy golden orange with a two finger of a foamy white head and decent retention for 10.4 is quite the feat.
S- This is more balanced then I expected. A creamy caramel smell. Has a certain biscuit quality to it. Hops are astringent and skunky. Lots of pineapple and lemon and other citrus tones. Not as hop forward a I would like for it to have been.
T- I get a wallop of bitterness up front followed by a unique but smooth feel to it. Tastes are very creamy like caramel and biscuit. None of the hop flavors really stand out to me. Alcohol is big here, expecially as it warms.
M- This is a very warming beer at over 10%, not surprisingly so. Very bitter, a creamy feel but a boozy aftertaste. Not very easy to get down a lot of this.
O- There isn't much wrong with this beer, its just honestly disappointing. I had high expectations but still. A beer called Hoptimum from Sierra Nevada should be hoppier. This beer is too boozy and not enough hoppy in my opinion.

Photo of sukwonee
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of kevgod
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of neckbracesub
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Sierra Nevada has always been a fan of using a great amount of hops, but with Hoptimum they have clearly out-hopped even themselves.

The appearance is nothing out of the ordinary, pouring a golden amber with lots of activity before it's settled.

The smell is wear the overwhelming power of this beer really starts to take effect. Even a person with the weakest sense of smell would be blown away by the ultra-hoppy aroma, mostly due to its "Whole Cone" hop process in this beer's creation.

After the incredibly intense experience that is just the smelling of this beer, then comes the task of trying to fully consume this "Triple" IPA. It's certainly a potent India Pale Ale. It's so potent that I can't imagine anyone but EXTREME IPA LOVERS really falling in love with it. It packs not only a lot of punch but I would say something more like a wallop.

Being more of a stout and dark ale lover, this one took some time to get comfortable with. Sure enough, though, after a few swigs of Hoptimum I have to say that overall I did enjoy it. A powerful IPA.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a vibrant glowing orange color. Head makes me think this beer is incredibly resinous for some reason. Head is viscous but not uniform. Body is transparent but looks reasonably full-figured.

S-Smells like grapefruits dipped in pine oil. Thick nose. Pine and hefty citrus. Very hop-forward. Smells big and bold and...IMPERIAL.

T-Very resinous. Incredibly piney and bitter. Super concentrated flavor. Citrus hops are only defeated by the incredible pine. Hop forward. Mild malt sweetness. This is a big, bold beer. Frankly, I find this very enjoyable. Dank, dank, dank. As I sip, I find that the malt is quite rich as well and balances the hops out all the while making this a supremely rich brew.

M-Very thick and full-bodied. Bitter and blatantly resinous. Massaging carbonation. Heady. Sierra Nevada always displays a full body, and this may be the fullest of any I have tried.

O/D-This beer has gotten mixed reviews. I find there to be several genres of DIPA; and this is not my most beloved take on the style. However, this is a great brew. Huge flavors, huge body, and a big bout of booze. It has its flaws, but this is a great beer. A $10 four-pack is not a screw-job (especially considering the high ABV). To me, Hoptimum lives up to its billing. I really enjoy this beer.

Photo of woodenbones
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of jasinviso
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of bootsdomino
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of wvsabbath
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/mellow yellow, nice foamy 1 inch head and tons of lacing.

Smell - Hops, citric fruits, hop oils, lemon, grapefruit, orange, lime, some added sugars. And more hops!

Taste - Insane hop crush, sweet/bitter/citric hops. Slight malt and added sugars come out a little but this is straight up piney hop bite. Honey and lemon are also a main flavor. Alcohol is present in each drink and at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Mouth crusher! Tounge gets sweet and citric hops. Palette is numbed with the hops, and alcohol warms everything up. Finsih is bitter and very dry.

Overall - Just when you think that sierra nevada has become to commerical, or makes safe, easy to enjoy beers, this is released. A true monster, this challenges all the double ipa's out there. Its strong, bitter, and hoppy as hell. Hopheads dream, not for the casual drinker. World class!

Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,549 ratings.