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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.

1,424 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,424
Hads: 6,075
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 24.09%
Wants: 393
Gots: 1,040 | FT: 7
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,424 | Hads: 6,075
Photo of hopphead31415
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been waiting for this beer to return for months. I kept checking the shelves of my local beer warehouse and at long last I saw a stack of them in the back that looked like a mountain of gold. I picked up a fresh 4-pack and immediately placed it in the fridge.

Look: It pours a deep amber gold that is crystal clear. Really this beer has a beautiful copper hue which you can gaze straight through. The head is ample, but quickly settles down into a foamy delicate layer.

Smell: I get a smell of maltiness and pine, biscuit and hops.

Taste: The taste is very interesting. I get a syrupy maltiness that is a tiny bit too sweet. It doesn’t ruin the beer at all, but I definitely didn’t expect that from the king of Imperial IPAs. I taste pine, citrus, grapefruit, clementine, black pepper, buttered biscuit, olive oil, pineapple rind, resiny bitter earthiness, clover leaves, and a bitterness that stays through the whole time. Well, it starts out sweet and syrupy with a tinge from the alcohol and then quickly gives way to the flavors I describe above with the light carbonation fizzling through most of the action. I get a lingering thick resin coating on the tongue that stays for a while.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy, thick, and syrupy (as I’ve said a few times already) and lastly oiled and buttery on the finish.

Overall: This beer has 100+ IBUs and 10.4% ABV and a lot of flavor. The slightly too noticeable sweetness and light carbonation caused it to lose a few small points in the taste department, but nothing too significant. It’s definitely a great beer and fun to drink, because it keeps you guessing what exactly are the varieties of subtle flavors you are experiencing. Be sure to pour this one into a nice glass and serve very chilled. Cheers!

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Photo of stevoj
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Near perfect Imperial IPA, amber body with creamy off-white head., adequate sticky lacing. aroma of soft citrus, piney hops. Taste is mildly astringent pine forest and grapefruit. Soft hoppy finish lingers. Wow!

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Photo of HipCzech
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz bottle ("PKGD 04/01/15") poured into a stemmed Pilsner (beer tulip) glass.

Appearance: Bright gold color; beautiful, sudsy white foam head and intricate lace.

Smell: Caramel malt, honey, pepper and spice, grapefruit rind, and vegetal (celery) notes.

Taste: Big malty body balances massive hops: herbal bitterness, grapefruit rind, pine resin. Slightly raw hop and alcohol edge.

Mouthfeel: Medium, almost full body, creamy feel and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Hugely hopped, boozy, but still balanced. A nice hoppy sipper.

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Photo of car2052
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to snifter.

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange, with a small layer of foam at the top.
S: A lot of pine, orange zest, pineapple, and some dark fruits.
T: A slight sweetness up front, followed by a piney bitterness. The bitterness sweetens to more fruity notes, mostly grapefruit, and sticks with you to the finish.
M: Medium-Full mouthfeel. Kind of sweet and sticky.
O: Some flavors remind me of Torpedo, but with a lighter color, and more sweetness. Maybe just a tad too sweet.

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Photo of ElJacobian
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer - very floral and resiny on the smell, similar to the Double Jack but with a little more pineapple. Taste is pretty well-balanced. Just the right amount of bitterness, leveled out by the fruity and slightly piney aftertaste. It also masks the alcohol well. Very solid imperial IPA.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Hopslam glass.

A: Pours deep golden amber with a thick creamy white head that lingers for awhile and leaves behind some beautiful lacing.

S: Pine, citrus, biscuit, cedar, resiny floral hops.

T: Pine, citrus, grapefruit, black pepper, tropical fruits, biscuit, olive oil, rind, resiny bitter earthiness. Great and unique flavor.

M: Full bodied (for an IPA), lightly carbonated, oily and bitter on the finish.

O: What it lacks in the nose in makes up for in taste. A solid sipper with great flavor.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The smell is a bit malty and spicy. The taste is strong and very bitter and it has an earthy, spicy quality to it. It reminds me of the original Stone Ruination. nb

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Photo of funkydrumma
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's funny but I don't taste the hops in this. Just kidding...it's ridiculous. And what a blend of flavors to balance it all out! So much bitter, so much malt. Love it! And very drinkable for 10%.

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Photo of Moneypenny
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't even like hoppy beers, but this is more floral, bitter and aromatic than it is sledgehammer to the frontal lobe hoppy. I prefer this to many beers that are considered far less difficult. Then again, a great beer is like a great fragrance, and Hoptimum is symphonic.

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Photo of ChrisCKrueger
3.57/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not a huge fan of Hoptimum, but always pick up a 4 pack this time of year when super fresh. 9.99 for a 4 pack with 10.4% - that raises the score somewhat. I'm not going into too much detail, because there's not a lot to report. Personally, I don't find it intense or abrasive. Maybe my taste buds are shot but it's not complex, and it's one dimensional. Pine, dry, but not overwhelming, pretty drinkable. I doubt it's 100 ibu as it possesses a bitterness, but nothing overwhelming. Its fleeting at best. A very average IPA, that basically gets picked up because it's cheap and has a high abv. One interesting note. The bottle was packaged 5/12/15, with a second date of 2035 next to it. Cellaring a 10.4% beer for up to 20 years could be acceptable, but NOT a full hop IPA.

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Photo of Atatum
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a gorgeous orange with a thick, frothy head. Smell is full of malt, with great citrus fruits lingering. Lots of lemon, grapefruit and simple hop. First sip is sweet on the tongue, syrupy in feel. Very sweet but it really dries out. Extreme hop with a resinous coating. There is a surprising lack of booze in the big imperial,but I really enjoy that it is so very drinkable! This is a tasty summer treat for all the hop heads out there. Enjoy

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of those beers that will undoubtedly be downplayed simply due to its widespread availability, and that is unfortunate. Sierra Nevada hit a major home run with this DIPA. Tons of citrus (grapefruit, lemon, apricot) in the nose and those flavors dominate the profile. Some malt sweetness for balance and that perfect Sierra Nevada grassy, piney finish. This is a fantastic beer.

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Photo of hoagzzz
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My 100th BA review. Liked this more than I figured I would. Much more balanced than I expected, and at 10.4% only slightly boozy finish. Close to being absolutely world class.

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Photo of RacerX5k
2.84/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

The good: not expensive.
The bad: look, aroma, taste, mouthfeel.
The ugly: I still have 2 more to drink.

Because this beer fucking stinks. Kinda sorta malty with citrus, pine, and some bitterness that never quite comes together. Add that to it's too pale, and doesn't really sit well. Actually I think I enjoy the bitterness most of all, because the hop flavor is all wrong.


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Photo of OrangeMen
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Massively, bitterly, hoppy. Huge pine notes, w/ some grapefruit and maybe some lighter fruits. With as hugely hoppy as this is, its kind of one-dimensional as you just get flooded with pine. Almost salty.
Incredibly dry, which suprised me just because i expected more malts w/ the higher abv. But its truly west coast style in that its dry and bitter from start to finish.
The malts i do get are sticky, sugary sweet.
Definetly an enjoyable DIPA, but the hops are too one-dimensional to take the beer to next level status.

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Photo of StuB2485
3.31/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Really high expectations unmet. Good but more like a standup double than a home run. Not a complex IPA. Straight ahead single line hop. Balanced but bland malt.

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Photo of HopHunter19
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No hop character, or malt character with comparison to most other imperial ipas out there. I really tried to get something out of this one but it's just not there, at least not compared to the other big IPAs - I like to get more pine, dank, fruit, garlic/onion and all I really got was a bitter pine, but not even really pine. I'll probably keep picking this one up once a year because it's so readily available but I wouldn't buy much of it. Luckily Sucks was released at my go-to store the same week and I picked up plenty of that!

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Photo of questmason
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

super hoppy double IPA, I kind of wish it was fruitier though. Picked up a 4 pack for beer week here in Asheville. Also attended a Sierra Nevada beer deconstruction event for their hop hunter. That was amazing, it really makes me respect sierra Nevada for doing a local special beer event, plus tons of free goodies.

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Photo of do_ob
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a clear copper with about 1 finger of sticky, off-white foam. Sweet fruit and floral notes on the nose, including grapefruit and mango. The sweetness is balanced well with a dank, piney aroma. Medium weight, and a pleasantly creamy mouthfeel. Floral notes up front on the taste, followed by an ever-increasing bitterness. Some fruit notes, but not much. The taste is primarily dominated by a hoppy bitterness that really comes to life on the back end. Finishes creamy and leaves behind a little alcohol burn.

Overall, pretty good. I'll admit that this beer didn't live up to the hype for me. Obviously, this beer is meant to be an in-your-face barrage of hoppy goodness, and I think it achieves that. However, I feel like there's a fine line between pushing the limit and brewing a beer that's a gimmick. I'll stick to Torpedo and Hop Hunter.

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Photo of MLDucky
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 for me was less boozy than the past two years. The same big pine, big bitterness was still present. Even as it warmed I didn't notice the abv I also didn't get the overwhelming sweetness, but a bit is expected and experienced given the abv. Overall, I always enjoy hoptimum. Not something I buy or drink a lot of, but a fresh bottle is always a treat.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Strong, clear amber with pink hues and creamy-tan, foamy head. Fine, sparse, haze or flecks. Medium head retention, superb, fine lacing on glass and film on liquid surface. Aroma is piney, resiny, mildly sweet of citrus, and herbal, promising dankness. Palate is exquisite: resiny, dank, spicy, peppery, faint citrus up front but stronger in finish, with citrus rind/flowers and black pepper in the background but heavier and long-lasting in the aftertaste. Retro-olfaction yields fruit, alcohol, olive oil notes. Decent balance for the IBUs (100). Can barely taste malts or caramel, the closest you get is raisins or dried fruit, but it's not overly bitter, either. Feels chewy, sticky, and choppy as you slosh it around, mediocre carbonation, not super smooth, but medium to full in body. Pretty crisp for the amount of booze, and mildly astringent. Warming and prickling aftereffects detectable but not overwhelming. Deceptively drinkable, but do sip and appreciate this beer!

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Photo of dlee5
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional DIPA. The taste is a bit oily but I think it compliments the finish really well. They weren't kidding about the 100+ IBU!!! My taste buds need a breather!

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draft in tulip glass at the Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Beautiful copper amber color. Thin white head. Citrus, resin, grapefruit, a little caramel, with a nice bite to the finish. Almost no alcohol burn, which is amazing at 10.4 ABV. Thick and chewy for an IIPA, but mouthfeel really complements the rest of the package. Well done.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bottled 4/17/15. Poured a lovely clear dark Amber color. Kicked up a big fluffy two finger head, great retention and lacing.
Smell: Very piney, with just a touch of citrus and sweet caramel.
Taste: Just like the nose - huge piney bitterness, with a nice sweet caramel finish.
Mouthfeel: Fairly thick and oily feeling. The hops just seem to languish so nicely on the tongue.
Overall: One of my favorite DIPAs, I can't wait until this one gets released each new year. Simply outstanding!

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Photo of CtyLineBeerBlog
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Prehistoric amber color. The foam dome wasn't having it with the humidity but it was pretty tame and got the whole bottle in there no problem. 2 finger length head.

S - Cascade hops hits your nose through the entire inhalation. Cascade heaven =]

T - very similar to the Pale Ale but with the same character as a Double IPA. Citrusy hop notes all the way with a nice bitter finish.

F - So drinkable, it's dangerous! Slight ABV burn on the palate but overall citrus-bitter character.

O - First All-Five rating I have ever given. Must-have for all Sierra Nevada fans and Double/Imperial IPA drinkers alike. They did a fine job in making and branding this beer and it should be duly noted as such.

Hopheads Unite!!!

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,424 ratings.