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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

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4,258 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4258
Reviews: 1238
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%

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: 4,258 | Reviews: 1,238 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hendry


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from a buddy, I finally got around to trying this one. Pours a clear copper with a super creamy two finger head,impressive lacing.

Pinecone and grapefruit peel aroma.

Taste follows the nose, malts lying low letting the palate stripping bitterness from the whole cone hops shine through with definite grapefruit tones & some solid pine needle vibes going on, moderate to full bitterness, pleasantly so. 10.4%? Wha?? Insanely drinkable for the abv, with no noted heat or warming in the throat or stomach,very impressive.

Medium mouthfeel,dry crisp finish,very solid IIPA.

Very much recommended for those that seek the tongue slapping hop bitterness over malty sweetness,and one of your higher quality 4 pack beers. Hopheads should by and large appreciate Hoptimum,and a nice effort from Sierra Nevada Brewing overall.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 05:24:28 | More by Hendry
Photo of drink_

New Jersey

3.14/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

First impression - the light color does not accurately indicate the level of caramel syrupiness that lives in ample supply below the thick resinious deeply complex but slighly too vegative hoppiness.

Its like like chewing on a hop caramel , there are some really interesting notes coming from the hops, unfortunately these details bring a lot of less interesting resin.

Im not sure if it the dry hop and the torpedo or the types of hops or both but if this was scaled back to something dryer and in between this and torpedo it would be a winner.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 03:17:51 | More by drink_
Photo of greenmtn1111


3.15/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a glass goblet.
Orange-amber in color with a light tan colored head, pretty sizable. Exceptional lacing on the glass. The beer is also fairly clear so it appears to be filtered. Lots of booze on the nose with some floral hoppy notes and slight pine…not getting as much hops as I was expecting. Alcohol is the first thing I taste as well, hot at the beginning and present in the aftertaste too. There’s a small amount of citrus and fruit but it’s mostly resin and pine and more resin. These aren’t my favorite hop profiles, but I respect well-crafted ones. Unfortunately, this is way too unbalanced for me. It’s just a boozy mess. It feels like it’s easier to drink as you go on, but that’s only because there’s so much booze in it! I think anything over 10% ABV is just pushing it for DIPA’s, the sweet spot being between 8 and 9. Otherwise it just comes off as abrasive.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 00:36:10 | More by greenmtn1111
Photo of sfprint


3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Between a light gold and a light copper, slightly hazy, little rising carbonation and barely a head.

The nose is both hoppy and sweet. The sweetness is like a fruity honey. Definitely vanilla and a degree of syrupyness.

Certainly dense and intense. Pleasantly dirty/grassy hops, particularly in the aftertaste. Very grassy for an DIPA. Intense yet the alcohol is well hidden. And syrupy.

Syrupy with mild carbonation sting, medium to heavy body.

Syrupy, intense but nice DIPA with a grass finish. Definitely interesting and good, but this particular combination of qualities has me rating it 3.75 according to my personal taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 01:17:44 | More by sfprint
Photo of Bills453


4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - poured from a bottle into a goblet. Beautiful red orange color. Very nice off white two finger head that leaves great lacing.

Smell - very floral. Smells strong of hops. Amazing smelling beer.

Taste - a nice hop bitterness. I also taste something a bit sweet on the forefront of my tongue.

Mouthfeel - very smooth. Very refreshing.

Overall - a fantastic imperial IPA!

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 21:25:16 | More by Bills453
Photo of kpoole25


3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a feeling this was an older bottle because the hops have definitely dropped out. I'll try to figure out the freshness code [added August 4: according to Sierra Nevada website, it was born on the 141st day of 2013 which is May 21] but the label says 2013, I picked it up from the cooler at a local Krogers. Looks like a typical IPA but very subdued aroma, I was really trying to pick up much else than some breadyness and slight pine. The taste and mouthfeel was like syrup, overly sweet malt and viscous, with a bit of booze. Again, I'm barely noticing the hops, even the bitterness came across as something in 30-40 range, was not balanced at all. Hard to detect any hop flavor, it might be hidden as a tropical fruit note in the malt sweetness? I kept thinking this can't be right, their standard pale ale has more hop character than this. I'm left thinking that imperial IPA type beers are much less stable in this respect, if you can't tell freshness or you know it's past a couple months, I wouldn't bother, the heaviness of the alcohol or malt or something just smothers it.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 09:12:48 | More by kpoole25
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip after a long day of work.

Appearance: Straight amber colored body with heavy bubbles all over the place that creates a slightly off-white head; maybe third of an inch.

Smell: Strong grapefruit skin, with a dose of hops...lingers inside the nostrils like fresh baked cookies in kitchen.

Taste: This beer is a true malt bomb, hoppy like mofo' and almost the complete taste of what a true IPA is. It's a little bitter and a slight sour, has a hardcore citrus feel makes you reminisce of the day you drank beer for the first time in your life.

Mouth: Medium heavy carbonation that is a touch dry.

Overall: The taste alone is worth every penny what this beer goes for. In fact I think the twelve bucks is cheap considering how much we pay at a bar for much worse here in New York. Will I buy it again, you bet I will. Glass plus beer, you're in heaven. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 05:21:29 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of jjboesen


4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is based on a shaker pint quaffed at Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore, Maryland on July 26, 2013. At 10.4% alcohol, this is your average – or not so average? – West Coast hopbomb that simply slaps you silly. The Hoptimum is copper in color, the body clear, translucent and void of carbonation bubbles. The head is minimal and the lacing sleek and thin. The nose is an intense miasma of pineapple and mango; the palate seems to be awash in a thick piney resin with bits of sourdough bread on the finish. There is some dryness to it as well; in fact, there is a heavy breadiness that appears to suck liquid from the palate. And yet, the hop balance is retained so that it evokes substance and warmth and not just bitterness.

Surely a beer worthy of the challenge – just keep the water at the ready.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2013 23:28:58 | More by jjboesen
Photo of bigflatsbeerman

New York

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - 2 finger head of an amber colored beer, Definately more amber colored than most IPA's
Smell -I am not getting a distinct smell which is disappointing,
Taste - Full Disclosure - Before I opened this growler had a 16 0z can of Heady Topper which is tough to beat. I am disappointed with Hoptimum vs, Heady Topper. Biggest disappointing is with how boozy it tastes, It is a big beer and it tastes boozy.

Mouthfeel - Medium.

Overall - I am disappointed but then a started out with Heady Topper which is hard to top. I would not try again as I do not like boozy beers.

Serving type: growler

07-27-2013 01:36:21 | More by bigflatsbeerman
Photo of JohnnyHopps


4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Admittedly, I am not a real fan of Sierra Nevada. However, I did think this was a very well done imperial IPA. Poured into a glass, the beer was a copper color with a slight white head. Though the beer is well hopped, the aroma does not necessarily demonstrate this quality. I was surprised by an enjoyable flowerly aroma. In the initial taste, one gets sweet and flowery hops. Over the tongue, the ale was warming and resiny. In the aftertaste, Hoptimum evolves into peppery and grassy hop notes that warm as they go down. For a beer that is well stocked on shelves, this a nice and well-rounded imperial.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2013 20:23:44 | More by JohnnyHopps
Photo of alaimoa


2.84/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wow what a disappointment... Was expecting awesomeness on par with elder, HT, Gandhi and was immediately unimpressed. The pour is amber with a limited head that doesn't have much legs. Taste and smell kind of resinous and I am wondering if I got a bad batch or skunked. Tastes horrible with hop bitterness and booziness shining through with a poor malt backbone that overall is unpleasant

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 23:29:02 | More by alaimoa
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is clear amber, with a medium to large sized off white head.

Big juicy nose. Grapefruit, orange and a big dose of caramel malt.

Taste is just like the nose. Bitter grapefruit hits first, with some orange and a nice amount of pine. Caramel malt beneath, giving a nice base to the hops. Quite bitter, very tasty.

Full bodied, strongly carbonated. Quite oily.

Overall, very good. For my tastes, the best Sierra Nevada brew I have had.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 23:39:55 | More by jrenihan
Photo of stella77artois

New York

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a dark orange-brown with a fair amount of haze. A suprisingly small, approximately 1 finger head developed. Not much lacing afterwards.

S - Oohh, dank ass hops. Lot's and lot's of strong hops. A very dank smell, with just a tad of cirtus fruit at the end. Wonderful smelling beer.

T - The dank ass hops are very, VERY noticeable. Very delicious. Other than the hops, there's not a whole lot going on. A small amount of malt up front, and a hint of citrus fruit at the end. At 10.4% ABV, there is a touch of alcohol heat, especially when warmed a bit.

F - Definitely a sipping beer. Felt very good when cold, actually was slightly refreshing, and easy on the throat and stomach for a DIPA. While the taste didn't change much when warmed, it seemed to thicken, which was just slightly unpleasant.

O - A pretty darn good DIPA. Not hoppy for bitterness' sake, but instead it features an immense amount of dank and tasty hops. It isn't the best DIPA I've ever had, but it's probably in the top 5. Highly recommended for any DIPA and/or extreme beer fans.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 19:07:26 | More by stella77artois
Photo of BlackDog

New Jersey

4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoptimum pours a medium amber with a fluffy white head. Retention and lacing are both as good as it gets.

The nose is exactly what you'd expect from a hop-forward beer made by such a great brewery: hints of spicy and earthy hops up front, followed by a slightly sweet caramel with a touch of orange peel.

It hits the tongue the same way it hits the nose. Some sweet orange paired with spicy hops up front, a sweet caramel body mixed with some juicy hops in the middle, and a nice bitterness in the end. There's a slight alcohol presence, but not what you'd expect from such a high ABV beer.

The mouthfeel is a medium-bodied beer with some chewiness and a good bitterness in the aftertaste.

When it comes to Double IPAs, it's up there with the best.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 14:56:08 | More by BlackDog
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada 'Hoptimum Imperial IPA' @ 10.4% , 2013 edition , from a 4pack of
12 fl oz bottles purchased for $15

A-pour is a clear gold with a small off white head leaving a fine lace along the stein

S-pine , citrus

T-hop bomb plus , such a bitter finish

MF-low/medium carbonation , full bodied

Ov-ok/good beer , I still prefer Lagunitas 'Sucks' as a DIPA , way better ,
butt try this beer if you are a hop head looking for a good night/rough morning !!

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 05:06:24 | More by LampertLand
Photo of cjgator3


4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours an amber color with golden hues with an off-white head. The aroma is faint malts with a lot of pine and citrus from the hops. The taste like the aroma starts with just a faint appearance from the malt up front with the hops quickly coming in and lingering well into the finish. Also, the heat from the alcohol intensifies as the beer warms in the glss. Overall, a really solid beer from Sierra Nevada that is highly recommended for the hopheads out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 02:19:08 | More by cjgator3
Photo of jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle with a bottling date of March 2013 (if I've read it correctly). Picked up recently from Trembling Madness in York. The label describes it as a 100 IBU monster IPA. The artwork is great...

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A clear sunset-amber hue with light carbonation. Produces a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a frothy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of exquisitely concentrated hops with notes of pine resin and cannabis. This is underpinned by a layer of sweet caramel malt and hints of earthy yeast, stewed hops and warming booze. This brew packs a punch.

Tastes of intense, resinous hops with a powerful bitter finish. Notes of pine resin, weed, caramel malt, mild barley sugar, subtle ale yeast and stewed hops. A twinge of alcohol in the background. Quite sweet but highly astringent - a maelstrom of hop oils tearing up your palate followed by a rampaging bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and spicy, with good body but lacklustre carbonation. Dries the mouth thoroughly. Aftertaste of aromatic pine/weed, bitterness and sweet malt.

Hops! Oh yes, by the truckload. This brew looks alright, but the aroma and flavour are where it really comes into its own. Being buried under a hop avalanche is an apt description of the experience. Intensely bitter yet balanced by a large malt bill. Decent body, though I wish the carbonation was more abundant to add texture. I'm also unsure whether this is bottle-conditioned, as there was no sediment in mine. However, minor criticisms aside this is a hop-head's delight. Well worth trying if you have the chance.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 00:26:32 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of Mailhouse


4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Overall I enjoyed the full body of this DIPA. Super tasty with a rich hop after taste that I certainly tasted. I never considered this brewer a micro producer so they must have tried hard to make sure this competed with the smaller guys. I recommend people that enjoy a full bodied IPA try this and another good IPA from Sierra Nevada is Torpedo.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 22:26:55 | More by Mailhouse
Photo of Suds


4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Excellent ultra-hoppy strong beer. It is a hazy golden colr. Thin white head and of light carbonation. The smell is rich....huge hop aroma. Earth, resin, pine, and grapefruit peel. Booze and apricot...some melon and peach underneath...subtly fruity. Powerful taste. Bitter throughout. Fleetingly sweet. Full, warming. Alcohol sneaks up on you. Hop flavor continues, blanketing, long through the finish, accompanied by a pleasant malt flavor. It is simply a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 21:47:15 | More by Suds
Photo of jbdpsu82


3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snifter pour, bottle. Comes out a vibrant amber color with very thin, quickly dissipating head. Hoppy aroma, but not the strongest I've had. Tastes similar to flower power. Goes down smooth with a nice biting finish. Not sure it's worthy of the $10.50 for a 4-pack price tag, but very good nevertheless

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 20:48:41 | More by jbdpsu82
Photo of smt1


3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: clear brown. Finger sized head that disappears to haze after one minute
S: strong pine smell
T: similar to smell but also has citrus hints
M: not much discernable carbonation.
O: obviously for the hopheads! Enjoyable for fans of hoppy Imperial DIPAs.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 23:05:37 | More by smt1
Photo of taylor714914


4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Once again, enjoyed while tailgating before the Dave Matthews Concert in Hershey

Deep copper color with a large semi-tight head that dissipated fairly quickly.

Smells of piney resinous hops and a strong malt backbone.

Solid brew here, with the hops punishing your mouth and getting your gleeker going.

Mouthfeel was spot on, nice and thick for the style, but not syrupy.

Overall I was glad i revisited this. Had had it when it was done in 22's and just didn't care for it. Tasted muddy and dirty, but this one nailed it.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 18:39:42 | More by taylor714914
Photo of zhanson88


3.23/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours out a clear copper color with 1/2" of white head. Decent retention and limited lacing.

Smell: Big caramel malt backbone, with big bitter citrus notes as well as a bit of booze. Pretty standard.

Taste: Aligns pretty well with the smell. Big caramel malt backbone up front, followed by a touch of citrus and a lot of bitterness. Decent amount of clean alcohol on the finish .

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Overall, I thought this was a pretty standard DIPA. For my taste it was too malty, with an appropriate level of bitterness but not enough complexity of other hop flavors (citrus, mango, etc.).

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 18:06:32 | More by zhanson88
Photo of ckollias


4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on tap at LURES in Maryland

A: Pours a copper hue with a white head that quickly dissipates in to a wispy lace.

S: Pleasant malty and hoppy aroma.

T: Hoppy bitter flavor with a decent malt bakcground.

M: Full body and medium carbonation

O: Solid DIPA – nicely balanced and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2013 18:55:40 | More by ckollias
Photo of lizardspring


3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I’ve been very much intrigued with the concept of an imperial IPA, so I decided to grab a bottle of this.

A: Poured an amber color with medium carbonation present. Head grew to a fluffy two fingers and reduced to about half a finger with some lacing.

S: It smells of sweet citrus and flowery hops, almost like a light lemonade.

T: There’s a harsh bitter bite on the front end with strong citrus and light herbal flavors. I feel this beer in my nose quite a bit. The finish feels very dry which isn’t surprising at 10.4% ABV

M: This beer doesn’t feel heavy, it feels fairly smooth in the mouth. I’m really feeling it on my tongue when I take a mouthful, and a strong dryness when I exhale. There’s a very tasty herbal lemony sweetness right before the burn hits.

O: I have to say, this beer was an interesting experience. I didn’t feel the dryness was a necessarily bad trait, but I’m fine with limiting myself to one of these. The short lived tones of sweetness were delicious. I’m glad I tried it, but I’m not dying to try this again soon.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 06:18:57 | More by lizardspring
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,258 ratings.