Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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

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1,391 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,391
Hads: 5,944
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 379
Gots: 943 | 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:
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,391 | Hads: 5,944
Photo of craftbeersweden
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little hazy, amber-golden beer with a two finger high, white head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Nose: Hops, citrus, grapefruit, resin, herbs and orange.
Taste: Grapefruit, grass, resin, mandarin, hops and orange.
Body: Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. A great bitterness that grows at the end. Great texture.

I LOVE this beer! Amazing! (350 characters)

Photo of BigBry
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle, one of a few singles from CA.
Pours a clear, dark orange with a foamy tan head. Foam settles to a thin floating film, small lines of lace.
Smell is all hops, citrus, herbal, grapefruit.
Taste is the same, lots of hoppy bitterness, citrus and pink grapefruit, herbal and grassy. Despite the huge amount of hops, still some malt to balance and keep from burning your tongue with the bitterness. Alcohol is hidden behind, slightly oily mouth feel.
Good level of carbonation, finishes crisp, not too heavy.
A very tasty, balanced Double IPA. (556 characters)

Photo of snilsen13
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is, for a beer available in 6-packs, the hoppiest one I've ever had, hands down. The truth is, it is hoppy I can't drink much of it straight up and I applied my license at mixology to make very interesting hybrid beers using this like hop head jet fuel. So you don't get the wrong idea, I do enjoy Ruination and West Coast IPA. In summary, this beer is pretty special. (376 characters)

Photo of magpieken
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 FL OZ bottle. PKGD 07/08/14. Pours a slightly hazy, deep gold colour with a dense, creamy, off white head which refused to settle. On drinking it left some nice lacing. Very floral aroma, pine, citrus, resin. A big whack of hops but pleasantly so. The bitterness dominates the taste but there is also a nice underlying malty sweetness. Medium to full bodied, thick texture, semi dry finish and a gentle alcohol warmth. Plenty of hops but some lovely balance to this one makes it very approachable. 9. (503 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle in a stemmed tulip glass.

A- Pours a bubbly golden-orange color with a 1f firm white head. Slightly hazy. Lots of sticky lacing.

S- Hops rule. Grapefruit, spice, woody, and a bit boozy. I wasn't buying the "rose" description until I smelled for myself. It's so floral, in fact, "Rose"? - I'll give it that.

T- More hops: grapefruit and orange citrus. Floral, spicy and earthy. Sweet bready malts, too.

M- Full body. Syrupy, resinous, boozy. Tangy with a hop bite and enough sweet balance for a pleasant finish.

O- I like that it's not a sugar bomb. At 10.4% abv, it's under control. (600 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a light orange and amber, looks like apple juice. Forms a generous and foamy two fingers of slightly off-white head. Head lasts for ages. Nice soapy lacing on the walls of the glass is left behind.
S - Sweet sweet oranges, grapefruit, apples, tangerines, persimmons, hops and a light touch of caramel. Fantastic nose on this IPA.
T - Jaw droppingly good. An immediate an intense bitter bite which fades and develops into a lovely sweet bouquet of citrus. Sweet apples, oranges, grapefruit meat and hops. Lots of boozy warming goodness.
O - An absolutely amazing IPA. Something any true IPA fan needs to try in their lifetime. Fantastic.
V - Four pack of bottles, worth it at any price for an IPA fan I'd imagine. (726 characters)

Photo of PintOh1759
2.68/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Had on draft. Expected wayyy more from all the hype around this beer. I'm a hop head and this sint my cup to tea. The alcohol overwhelms this beer from first smell to the last sip that's virtually all you taste other then piney notes. (236 characters)

Photo of henkmudi
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange body with a mostly white head. Aroma made of herbal hops and fruity cake. Palate was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Wonderful bitter flavor of grapefruit, tangerine, pine, toffee and honey. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sticky, medium carbonation. The beer sticks to the tongue and leaves a strong bitterness,Ton of brilliant fresh hops, but not too bitter, drinkable although moderatly strong. (422 characters)

Photo of PolarBear3
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a golden colour with white frothy one fingered head that retains to a thin film

S - Wow..extremely hoppy, floral, herbal grapefruit, peach, pineapple, very tropical on the nose and sweet

T - Similiar to the nose, with grapefruit prominent, matched with some sweetness in caramel, toffee apple with a nice well balnced dry and slightly bitter finish

M - Low carbonation and medium bodied

O - Extremely tasty but sweet hoppy IPA that is balanced nicely. Love the dry finish and would definately recommend. (517 characters)

Photo of BBMuffins
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Great beer, super powered hops, tastes great. Can only drink it once in a while, though. It's great after working outside for a few hours, but you'll only want the one. Very powerful hops. Wonderful. (199 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial or Double IPA (India Pale Ale) what is the difference? Is beer terminology becoming too archaic? Which terminology do you prefer to use? In answer to these questions: Nothing, yes, and I prefer Double IPA (“Imperial” is a bit of an anachronistic term dating back to when English brewers were trying to sway Russian Imperial Czars into drinking their beers). Now that we have established that: #450 is another milestone review which warranted Sierra Nevada’s best - they declare this DIPA as their most insanely hoppy brew at 10.4% ABV and I say “Ave at it!”.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Hazy, bright ethereal orange body with a bold half centimetre cream coloured head atop. Fantastic that it even managed at head at such a high ABV. 9/10.

S: There’s a massive hop assault on the olfactory senses, but it isn’t as complex as expected... pretty much starburst orange, grapefruit and pine notes, that’s it. Still I’m liking the massiveness of the hops. 8/10.

T: It’s big and sweet, almost a sugar-bomb, then the hops come out and say “Uh-uh, sugar, time to succumb to my bitter glory!” and slap down with a nice big bitter hop finish that is very well balanced. There is a mixture of hop flavours swirling around: starburst orange candy, pine, grapefruit and juicy fruit chewing gum hints abound and easily make your tongue their slave. There are malt characters as well providing a tasty sweet caramel sheen to everything. The finish is impressive in how light the bitterness manages to be given the hop onslaught. That said it is not for the faint of heart - this DIPA is big and demands your immediate flavour attention, and I commend it for that. 9/10.

M: As well as having a big flavour profile the body is quite viscous and coats your tongue in its glorious hop resins like some sort of giant hop blanket. There is a minimal carbonation trying to compete with this viscosity, but overall you may need a glass of water to see this brew through. 8/10.

D: Well I didn’t expect anything less than a bolder, more viscous version of Torpedo and Hoptimum delivers well. I would have to say this is a damn fine benchmark to aspire to if you’re brewing a DIPA and it is definitely a beer that will see itself in my fridge again in the not so distant future. Cheers Sierra Nevada! 8/10.

Food match: Big ales require big flavours, in this respect I am recommending a Habanero Beef Stew or Chicken Vindaloo... If you do this please send me a video. (2,505 characters)

Photo of PaulFunTime
5/5  rDev +22%

Appearance - Gold, great lacing

Smell - Incredibly resinous with some grapefruit rind. A little of the alcohol heat coming through on the back end

Taste - Pine, Citric Rind, Alcoholic burn on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Medium-dry finish

Overall - One of the best DIPAs out there. No tricks with any of the new tropical, fruity (329 characters)

Photo of leantom
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

IMHO, this brewery can do no wrong. Will this beer prove otherwise. Here goes:

L: Orange-amber, clear and see-through, one-inch head and a ton of lacing. Good.

S: Very piney. Some grapefruit and lemon in the hops as well. Also a great honey-malt backbone. Reminds me of a more mellow DFH 90 min.

T: Excellent. Just like DFH 90 min, but somewhat not quite as good. Initial taste of caramel and honey followed by piney malt.

F: Excellent. Thick and sticky pine. Great.

O: Lovely IPA. Will have again. (519 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at The World Market in Helena Alabama. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Very good. Dark gold but no head at all

S- LOTS of hops here with tons of malt.

T- Hop bomb! Lots and lots of them. Good malt but a lot of sugar and hops

M- Nice and dry. Very good balance here. Good carbonation for a high abv DIPA

O- Very good. Wish I could get it here in Canada. Nice starter beer but only one at over 10%!

Food Pairing

This wonderful DIPA went well with...... Dynamite Sushi Roll. Bring on the wasabi!

Enjoy (524 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L- Pours a hazy orange with a thin head. Leaves some lacing.
S- Just what you would expect from an imperial ipa. Piney resin smell.
T- Tons of whole cone hop, yet a nice blend of the citrus that hides the high alcohol.
F- smoother feel than most imperial ipas due to presence of the citrus blend. (302 characters)

Photo of D9sus4
5/5  rDev +22%

Leave it to Sierra Nevada to put out one of the best Imperial IPAs in the world! Good body, malty and yeasty, with a bit of syrupy sweetness that helps disguise the higher alcohol content. (188 characters)

Photo of Retroman40
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%

I was expecting a lot from this one and wasn't disappointed!

Poured out from the bottle a golden yellow with a long lasting fluffy head that never dissipated and left large globs of foam on the side of the glass. The smell was a true "hop bomb" with pine and citrus almost overwhelming the senses. The taste was a great balance between the intense hopping and rich caramel from the malt. The mouthfeel was thick and almost chewy and with the great carbonation went down very smooth with a bitter yet sweet finish. I drank this with some rather spicy homemade chili cheese burritos and it stood up quite well.

Overall this is just a great DIPA. In spite of the rather high ABV (10.4%) there was absolutely no sensation of "hotness", just smooth flavor from start to finish. (779 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 07/08/2014 printed on the back label. The local beer store finally got some fresh Hoptimum, and got rid of the bottles they had from 2012. Anyhow, a 100 IBU double IPA, let's see what's good.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a nice golden orange with just under two fingers of frothy off-white head. Soapy strands of fluffy lacing that cascades back down into the glass. Looks very nice.

S - The aroma is fresh and hoppy. Herbal & floral. Lightly soapy. The aroma invokes lots of tropical citrus fruits - orange, grapefruit, lemon peel. Maybe not quite as intense as I'd expected, but it smells very nice.

T - Taste is the same - floral, herbal, & bitter. Orange, mango, lemon peel, grapefruit, and a pleasant sweetened caramel malt backbone. Mild alcohol warmth is apparent.

M - The feel is smooth and easy-drinking, especially at 10.40% abv. Bitter and dry on the finish.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum -----4/5. (965 characters)

Photo of AdamH
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

What a beer! The aroma during pouring started me to salivating. I just sinffed the bottle for a while and forgot to drink.
The colour is a gorgeous sun kissed orange.
Absolutely amazing balance between sweetness, alcohol warmth and the bitterness. The only reason I took some points off my score was because I was expecting more from the 100 IBU's - for the bitterness to stand out more perhaps. (395 characters)

Photo of yarnbomb
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

I need to try one of these a bit closer to its home. By the time I see any, it's usually a bit powdery with its bitters. Draft is great though- it's nice to see, but rare around here. (183 characters)

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%


Photo of Act25
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

I'm huge fan of Sierra. Howeva... I find most 10% DIPAs over shoot compared to their little brotha's. This is true in this case with too much cedar saw dust and medicinal flavors marring all the under-currents that exist in this pushy brew.

Much prefer Ruination and Green Flash.

A: 4.5 Looks like scotch, manages a steady cream colored floating head all the way down with tons of sticky lacing.
S: 3.75 Imagine a manufacturer of cedar medicine & liquor cabinets where the whole shop was covered with cedar dust, shellac pots were left open, paint brushes drying and several sample medicine cabinets smashed along with a few liquor cabinets. This is the personality.
T: 4 Follows the chaotic aroma, but with far more nuance and goodness. Clearly a 4 for any hop head like me, and higher for machismo's or scotch/whiskey drinkers.
MF: 3.5 Rather than body, I get alcohol as in strong 19th century chest /cough medicine or snake oil.

Overall - As other reviewers wrote the big brutha to BigFoot and a bullet to notch on your belt. Bragging rights. A must try, but other than apres ski, I dont see the setting for this beer in my world as it's too alcoholic, cedary, medicinal, scathing, tongue busting.

All the same - it's better than a glass of scotch.... (1,263 characters)

Photo of Qbdoo
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Very aromatic with the woody qualities of pine and cedar dominating though there's a bit a grapefruit and orange. The taste is similar but this hops produce a pretty bitter beer. The texture is thick and oily. Probably the beer's most appealing quality. It tastes to me like a super-charged version of their Torpedo.This is a solid DIPA but not a a terribly complex one. (370 characters)

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

I'm surprised I haven't seen this beer around before. Maybe it's just always sold out before I have a chance to pick any up. Read a couple of reviews and saw this being likened to Sierra's Bigfoot. That's a pretty fair comparison. Tweak some of the flavors into a darker, smokier, maltier spectrum and you'll have a very hoppy Bigfoot on your hands. Plenty of different flavors to be found depending on where your focus is. Varying citrus notes pulse on the palate with a substantial malt body. I paid $2.99 for a twelve ounce bottle and I'll happily do it again. (563 characters)

Photo of beerdedking
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

2014 release. Hoptimum. Yessir...
This is one of SNs greatest releases. Obviously SNPA is a standard bearer, and Torpedo too, but this beer
achieves that resinous tongue coating quality that is my favorite part of swigging down a DIPA.
Very piney with citrus taking the background, it's that awesome resin finish that will have me scouring the earth for
this one every year. Stands out in a very crowded field. Love Sierra Nevada since day one... (452 characters)

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,391 ratings.