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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,444 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

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.

Added by kaseydad on 02-07-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,444 | Ratings: 6,172
Photo of Jack_Frost79
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My rating for this beer fell as I continued to drink it. Started at a 4.25 or so. But, I was definitely glad when the beer was gone and glad I just got a single. It has an unpleasant maltiness that I associate with DirtWolf (although I like that one slightly better). Fans of DirtWolf will like this.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Pours a clear copper with 1/2" white head that recedes somewhat quickly. Retention is pretty darn good, lacing isn't bad either.

S: Lots of resinous hop with bitter citrus notes. Faint breadiness.

T: Big, burly bitterness up front leads into all sorts of hop characteristics on the mid palate- grapefruit, lemon, grass, pine. A bit of earthiness leads into the off-sweet hoppy finish which is capped off with a lingering bitter hit. Dense, but fairly well-structured.

M: Lowish carb & fairly syrupy body. Drinks heavy.

O: Pretty impressive DIPA.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Packed on 4/17/15.

LOOK: Clear orange-amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. Surprisingly good retention. Streams of bubbles and a bit of sediment are visible.

SMELL: Bitter grapefruit, sweet orange, a hint of sweeter fruits like pineapple and mango, tons of dank pine, and sweet malts with a bit of alcohol. Not as intense as I remember from last year, but it might be because this bottle is over three months old.

TASTE: Not as intensely bitter as I remember, but very tasty. Loads of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and pine. Sweet biscuit and toasted bread malt flavor. A little alcohol warmth on the swallow, but still pretty well hidden. Bitter piney finish.

FEEL: Full-bodied, but drinks like a medium. Very nice carbonation.

OVERALL: Still a good triple IPA. Worth purchasing at least once a year. Sierra Nevada never fails to deliver.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 10.4% abv.

Appearance- Pours a dark apricot orange with two finger head. Heavy lacing. Medium in terms of clarity.

Smell- Citric and tropical fruit. Grapefruit and mango are prominent. Quite dank.

Taste- Quite sweet with a pineapple/mango prescence being more stronger than grapefruit and orange tones that are also present. A sweet caramel malt blends in as well. The hops really build up fast and the bitterness increases towards the end. This beer appears less bitter since the citric qulaities are high, but this is one heavily hop flavored beer start to finish.

Mouthfeel- Lively carbonation. Heavy is body and viscous.

Overall- Well worth the acclaim, and a stellar offering from SN. A hop lovers beer. Very fresh and interesting sweetness that goes hand in hand with the heavy bitter hop flavors. A must try if you have access to this beer.

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Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Now this, this is an IPA to be excited about. Not since Stone's Enjoy By have I enjoyed a beer as much. The strong flavor of hops, bittersweet malts, pine as it was pulled right of the tree, dark golden in color, and a nice think mouthfeel. If you enjoy a fantastic IPA then look no further. This one is special. The only other beer that I can think of that gets as good as this is Stone's Enjoy By. Enjoy is still slightly better but this one gets as close as they come. Overall a 5/5 from me

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank about twenty beers last night and this was only one of three that I feel deserve a large review.

Look - Pours a deep amber with a three finger frothy off-white head that takes it's time sticking around and leaves a solid amount of lacing all over the glass as you drink it. due to the type of head it makes the body extremely creamy.

Smell - The hops are quite wet with this one. It certainly lives up to it's name for the most part but I feel it could have been danker than what it was.

Taste - Follows the nose to a tee with the addition of some nice ripe bananas.

Feel - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall - A pretty good IPA.

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Photo of pinyin
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This was ok for a DIPA, but it wasnt quite what I was expecting given the $11.99 price point for a 4 pack.

Served 39F in a golbet from the bottle.

Nose is very yeasty. The famous US-05 SB California yeast. That is the scent that rings strongest to my nassal cavity. I dont quite smell any hops up front, the hop smell is very subdued, and in the background behind the ever present yeast.

Color is good and very typical for a double ipa. Dark golden bronze.

Minimalist carbonation, as is typical for a double ipa.

Mouthfeel is heavy but typical.

Taste is where Sierra Nevada did me wrong on this ale. The most present or omnipotent taste is ethyl alcohol. It is barely masked by the supposed hop additions in this ale. Yes there is a dry finish and a strong hop afterbite, but I dont taste any malts, and I really do not like the hop blend in this beer.

I really wished I had purchased Hop Hunter instead, as that tastes so much better than this, and has a better yeast, malt, hop balance.

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

A - Pours a hazy cedar color with a fluffy, two finger head. Good head retention and lacing is present.

S - Was shocked by the aroma. Was expecting an overwhelming aroma of hops to hit my nose but could barley note hops all together; the ABV is well hidden too. The dominating scents of the beer are that of sweet malts and a variety of fruits, namely grapefruit and orange/ citrus aromas. A very pleasant sweet aroma overall.

T - Ah, now the hops come out to play. The aromas I noted prior have vanished and the beer does a complete 180 on me. Though present, the sweet malt flavorings are dominated but the piney hop flavorings present in the beer. For me, I cannot really note much else due the dominating flavor of hops; aside from perhaps some boozyness. I give the beer credit, it does not stray from its name.

M - Full bodied beer with an optimal amount of carbonation. Very crisp and dry feeling leaving a piney aftertaste in the mouth. Solid feeling beer and very drinkable.

O - If you like hops, you will love this beer. The nose will play tricks on your taste buds and shock you with every sip. A very enjoyable beer, with a solid feel and great presentation with a taste living up to its name. Well done S.N.

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Photo of Bugcatcher
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer lots of hops with citrus and sweet fruit notes. The alcohol taste is definitely there but isn't overwhelming. Very smooth and enjoyable beer I'm looking forward to my next 4 pack already.

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Photo of tango22
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A well-balanced hop bomb -- hoppy, at 100 IBU, but at the same time malty, sweet, piney, chewy. A good DIPA to linger over, as its character evolves without degrading as you sip. And at 10.4% ABV, this is not a session beer, nor is it one to "pound" quickly. Sip, and enjoy!

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/12/15 Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint glass.

L- Medium amber, great clarity, one finger slightly off white head.

S- Malty sweetness, grapefruit, orange peel, a little dankness, tiny bit of that Juicy Fruit gum hop thing. Abv hidden well.

T- Similar to aroma but with an added big piney bitterness. Alcohol come out some as it warms but it's never overwhelming and the sweetness really keeps it in check. On the sweeter side of DIPAs. Finish has some sweetness and a lingering grapefruit bitterness.

F- On the higher side of a medium mouthfeel but not that syrupy at all. Very drinkable for such a big beer.

O- Another great hoppy beer from Sierra Nevada and one of the best values you're gonna find. The thing that sticks out to me that most is how easy drinking it is for the abv.

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Photo of Beerds
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark amber copper color, nice off white rich head. Smell and taste the alcohol. Creamy like velvet and taste the alcohol all the way down with a nice mouth smacking after taste. Reminds me of Enjoy By for some reason

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Photo of golf_sierra
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding DIPA.
Darker copper, thick soft foamy head
Brilliant aroma. Sweet fruit and apricot.
Very hoppy but strong malt presence. Great tasting, prominent bitter citrus and grapefruit without the astringency that sometimes comes with overly hopped beers. Finishes clean with some lingering bitterness but not dry, well built beer. Alcohol is nicely hidden, I had no idea it was over 10% until I started to feel it, and looked for the ABV on the bottle.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely dark golden with finger length head and a soapy lace with good retention. Amazing aromas; sweet malts, citrus and tropical fruits, floral esters, piney and resinous hops and a big whiff of alcohol towards the end. A hop bomb of a taste. Very resiny. Good malt backbone. Grapefruit taste. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel with a strong and bitter finish from the hops. A great DIPA especially for hop lovers! will definetely have again.

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Photo of kitch
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 fl oz bottle packaged on 10th April 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Poured a clear copper colour with a one and a half finger white head that slowly dissipates into a thin foamy layer that lasts throughout.

Aroma: Strong piney hops and a light citrus grapefruit aroma. There is also some caramel malts.

Taste: Mainly pine hops and grapefruit citrus flavours along with some slight caramel malt which is sweet and sticky. There is also some alcoholic booze aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, medium carbonation, creamy and sticky.

Overall: I really liked this beer and its hoppiness. It’s very close to a must buy for me. I think the two things that hold it back for me are that the caramelly flavours make it a bit too sweet and the booziness that comes through towards the end is stronger than I would have liked it. But having said that, I would buy more from time to time.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Liked this offering from our venerable friends at Sierra Nevada. It is quite different than other DIPA's I've tried, specifically in the mouthfeel and taste. The taste is actually quite subtle at first, and very smooth. Once it warms just a tad, all of the hop flavor floods your palate. I really liked it, but it took a while for me to appreciate what was going on in this beer.

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

From a 12 oz into pint glass..minimal amount of head and lacing..dirty and murky amber like color....lingering hoppy satisfaction on the roof of my mouth...mmmm yummy..Prost❗

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Photo of NCMatt
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Overall, it was a good DIPA, no doubt about that, just nothing really stood out and made this beer shine. Better than your average run-of-the-mill DIPA, but nothing I would anticipate the release or go out of my way to buy again.

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Photo of rugger_ant
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 4.5

Serious, big West Coast style IPA. I enjoyed this monster at The Butcher Shop in Miami.
The Hoptimum is a study in extremes: from the hoppy aroma to the bitter finish, this Sierra Nevada masterpiece is the epitome of West Coat IPAs. On par with Green Flash Pallet Wrecker.

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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
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.