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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

5,367 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,367
Reviews: 1,331
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 262
Gots: 602 | 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:
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: 5,367 | Reviews: 1,331 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

MarkyMOD, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excited to try this one.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the orange and pine from the hops. The flavor is similar. I get some caramel, orange and pine. The bitterness is about medium. The beer is also very boozy, much more than I expected. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very tasty, I just wish the alcohol was a little bit more subdued.

Mora2000, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of jwc215
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours golden amber with a foamy, lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of citrus and tangerine with a bright "Sierra Nevada" house character.

The taste is of upfront citrus and tangerine that mixes with a honey-like caramel sweetness. The sweetness fades in the end to leave a fruity, leafy, bitter finish.

Despite the bite from the aggressive hops and the alcohol (which is relatively well-hidden) the malt backbone and on-spot carbonation give it a smooth character.

This is a hop-head's delight! Hops are tasty. A wonderful, enjoyable DIPA!

jwc215, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

beernads, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Rochefort10nh, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of smcolw
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good three-finger head. Slightly off-white. Leaves abundant spider web lace. Neutral amber color with a mild chill haze. Minute bubbles continuously float to the surface. The head never seems to die.

Fulfills the advertisement--lots of raw, floral hop. More citrusy than anything else.

Initial sip show some malt, but it's gone in no time. Strong grapefruit hop bitterness in the swallow and aftertaste...completely dominant to any other flavors. In fact, long after the swallow, my mouth still feels as if it is sucking a hop pellet. The alcohol content, although quite high, does not show up. The body is as expected.

For a DIPA, this is an amazingly easy drink.

smcolw, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at 1702; March 2011
This beer arrives from the tap with a pale head and a copper-gold hue that shows quite clear in the light. The nose smells of tangelo, lychee, lots of floral bright citrus and peach aromatics from the ample hop character. A cracker like malt character is joined by a hint of biscuit like maltiness; as the beer warms up the malt backbone becomes a bit more noticeable in the nose.

The beer tastes of super fruit hops as it first hits my tongue; this accentuates a sweetness, though this beer finishes dry with a biting bitterness that is not to overly aggressive. There are lots of floral hop flavors here that boost and accentuate an ample hop fruitiness; tropical fruit definitely, lychee, super ribe tangelo zest, amp’d up floral peach and even some mango notes are all contributed by the hops. This is all anchored by a menthol and herbal hop character, big lingering pine like notes and a bitterness that is always prevalent. The body has a certain fullness to it , but it is not cloying, but it is a touch heavier than I would absolutely prefer in a Double IPA.

This is quite nice and really enjoyable as I can always use a good hop fix. I wish it was a touch lighter in the body, though this is certainly not heavy when compared to many a Double IPA out there.

Gueuzedude, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10.40%. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm in the mood for a good IPA.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of khaki colour, nice thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Piney oily hops, floral hops, some hop bitterness, clean malts, some caramelization, and cream. An average strength aroma.

T: Lots of pine on the backend is what I notice first, with floral character and caramelization throughout. Clean malts comprise the foundation of the body. Crystal malts. Slight cream emerges underneath the body. The piney character is overdone, negatively impacting the balance. Otherwise, it's nicely built. I like it for what it is, but it lacks real complexity or subtlety. There's nothing unique or special here.

Mf: Coarse and somewhat dry. It doesn't fully commit to either characteristic, leaving a middling unconfident beer. Good carbonation. Some nice cream. The crystal malt tingle/coarseness is a nice touch. A bit heavy on the palate. Too thick.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. I'd try it on draught, but it's nothing exemplary. Hop heads might like it, but its lack of balance really holds it back.

C+

kojevergas, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -4.3%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
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!

oriolesfan4, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
2.78/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a light amber with a soft white head, good retention and lace, looks the part.

S: Piney hop notes, light tropicality, some booze, not wowing me.

T: Fairly mild malt profile with standard white grapefruit and pine hop characteristics that aren't really in DIPA territory. Noticable ethanol.

M: Medium-bodied, boozy, resiny, OK here.

D: Has its bright points, but a boozy mess at other points. After the first few sips I got pretty disinterested. Not one of SN's better efforts IMO. I'm glad I didn't pop the $10 for the bomber.

Halcyondays, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Gavage
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a lovely orange color with a 1" head that falls to a thick spotty surface foam with some large bubbles. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: loads of floral hop bitterness, grapefruit, lemon, pine, and a quite woody and earthy tone.

Taste: big malt sweetness is well balanced with an floral hop bitterness. Grapefruits, pine, earthiness, and some honey sweetness rounds it out. Alcohol is well hidden here but the warming arrives late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout with a mildly oily feel at the finish. Aftertaste is long lasting.

Drinkability: this beer is very quaffable despite going deep on both ends of the sweet malt and agressive hop bitterness. One bottle went down surprisingly quick. Great beer from Sierra Nevada.

Gavage, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -4.3%

InspectorBob, May 19, 2013
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

drewone, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
1.65/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

24 oz bottle shared by 321Jeff. Thanks, jerk.

Damn, this was a disappointment; a borderline sloppy mess. Appearance is a filtered golden amber with a frothy whitish head that quickly fades to a thing crown with little lacing. Extremely mild, boring aroma of dirt and biscuity malt, with trace amounts of grapefruit and citrus rind hops. A solventy, medicinal tinge is troubling. Onto the flavor. Oof! It get's worse with no balance or cohesion between strong solvent and alcohol, bitter grapefruit rind, sweet carmel malt and dry breadiness. Body is thick and well carbonated, but extremely hot and boozy. After a few ounces I poured this out, so I give this a White Birch trademarked 1.0 on drinkability. I'm probably being overly harsh on this, but we tried this against some hoppy beers from Three Floyds, Shorts and Lawsons tonight and this was the uncontested failure champion. Sorry Sierra Nevada, I need a SN Pale Ale to get this out of my mind.

yourefragile, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of corby112
1.85/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On draft at London Grille.

Pours a clear golden yellowish orange color with pale golden yellow hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy white head that slowly fades into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Earthy hop aroma with hints of pine as well as citrus and tropical fruit. There's also a prominent sweet alcohol aroma which takes away from the hops significantly and a nice biscuit/Graham cracker malt character. Subtle grapefruit and citrus peel but the nose is overpowered by an earthy/soil like and sweet alcohol presence.

Chewy body that's on the fuller end of the spectrum with a blast of earthy bitter hops up front that lingers throughout but fades toward the sweet, hot finish. Slick and oily feeling with a one dimensional hop profile. Very faint citrus/tropical fruit character and again, a way too powerful alcohol presence that kills the better qualities of this beer. Sweet pale malt backbone that lacks the graham cracker biscuit character that the aroma suggested. The ABV is well masked as far as heat is cncerned but there is a lot of alcohol flavor.

This beer is kind of a mess really. Not very hoppy, especially when the palate adjusts to the original earthy pine flavor. Half way through the glass it tastes like a mildly hoppy sweet phenolic failure. I'm a big fan of SN and I was really excited to try this one but it was a huge disappointment. I'm glad I didn't sprig for the bottles.

corby112, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of orangesol
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber purchased at Shady McGrady's and poured into a snifter. Thanks to my buddy bones for purchasing this one for us to try.

A - Pours deep amber orange with a thin film of white head, dissipating down to tiny spots of head, leaving light rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Still pretty smokey in this place so this could have been a little bit better I am sure. Plenty of grassy hops, rich caramel malts, and some dulled tropical fruits. A touch too sweet for my liking, almost smells like hoppy syrup.

T - A good amount of grassy citric hops up front mix well with the caramel malt sweetness and some light grapefruit acidity. Finish is sticky sweet with plenty of lingering hop bitterness. A touch hot once it warmed up a bit. Pretty good but not the best.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Pretty heavy in the feel, almost syrup like. Tons of hop bite in the finish with a good bit of it lingering for some time.

D - Decent stuff. I liked it but I could really only have one glass. The combination of the higher ABV. and the sticky sweet feel really got to me. Still a good beer tho.

orangesol, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -4.3%

weeare138, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of stakem
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby 12oz bottle into a pub glass. The brew appears a clear copper color with some particulate stuck in suspension keeping the brew from being perfectly clear. A yellowish stained cap that is about a finger strong composed of large bubbles stays atop due to streaming carbonation maintaining a thin lace atop for quite a duration. As the cap fades, it leaves some strings of webby lacing effect sticking to the glass.

The aroma is a pretty intense wack of fresh hoppy goodness. The nose initially is fresh and fruity with a floral bouquet that rapidly changes into more of an herbal aspect that gets quite dank with some pine inclusion. As it warms up, it gets a little grassy which is just an extension of the previously mentioned dank aspect mixed with a touch of alcohol tingle to the nose.

The taste is absolutely resinous with hops but surprisingly the hops carry quite the punch of flavor without getting excessively bitter. The resinous bite includes flavors of herbs, pine, grass, rinds and pulp. A bit of grass inclusion mixes with some fusel alcohol and towards the back it gets more focused on herbs and a bit of catty touch. Despite the assault of enjoyable hop flavoring, underneath is a respectable amount of contrasting caramel malt flavoring that is a bit toasty which provides enough sweetness to keep things enjoyable and rounded.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. I regret waiting this long to partake in this brew. In some ways, this was minorly reminiscent of that most fantastic experience I had with Ghidora back when it was originally released as a beer camp brew. This is a pretty intense brew from tip to hilt. It is sure to satisfy the most profound hop craving.

stakem, May 22, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Edition

A: Pours a clear golden orange in color. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the entire surface of the beer, a thick patch, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of hops - strong floral, grapefruit, and citrus along with lighter amounts of pine.

T: There is some upfront caramel malt sweetness but that is quickly dominated by the hops flavors. The primary hop flavor is the grapefruit but that is supported by floral and light pine flavors. There is some moderate bitterness in this beer but it is not overly aggressive.

M: On the fuller side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: For as big a beer as this is from a flavor and ABV perspective, this beer is quite easy to drink. I'm really enjoying sipping on this one while watching the Euros. Easier to drink than I expected with the hoppy flavors/aromas and bitterness because it is not overly agressive.

dbrauneis, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear, lighter amber. Middle of the road/respectable lace. Enticing floral and resiny hop nose. Hop lovers rejoice, cuz this one delivers with a noticeably fresh tasting and crunching hopped presence. Sweet malt undertones and undercoating provides the bring it all together counter point. No surprise when SN puts out another outstanding and obviously well crafted and high quality brew. California style and very enjoyable DIPA

Billolick, May 28, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a orangish copper color with good carbonation and a nice white cap.

S: Nice fresh hops with a good hoppy aroma. Very green, fresh, citrus, floral notes

T: Some caramel, booze sting, good amount of hopoils and sitrus, floral notes. The bottle tasted more hop forward then the draft version to me

M: Medium bodied with a biting feel with a boozey, hop bite

D: Pretty good but after i fnished the bottle I diod not want another

barleywinefiend, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely delicious double IPA- especially when fresh. Juicy hops, a balanced pine and citrus blast, interplay nicely with just enough sweet, clean malt to support the hops. Long, slightly sweet finish that finishes nicely piney. A little bit of crackery malt in the nose rounds things out. Agreat beer!

Georgiabeer, May 18, 2014
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,367 ratings.