Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

6,303 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

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.

Our Brewers selected the finest, most flavorful hops, pushed them beyond their limits and forged them into this all-new triple IPA. This reimagined Hoptimum is our hoppiest beer yet, providing a blend of tropical and citrus hop aroma that delivers a refined yet aggressive character.

Bittering hops: Simcoe
Finishing hops: Citra, Chinook, Simcoe.

Added by kaseydad on 02-07-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,303 |  Reviews: 1,484
Photo of gcasher
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper appearance with thick white foamy head that dissipates quickly. 12oz bottle. Smells and tastes of dank hops with bitter aftertaste. Strong in alcohol. Impressive imperial iPa.

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Photo of Tigerbrau
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was a nice looking hazy amber to brown color with a decent one finger white foamy head that lasts for about a minute and gently settles at a decent pace leaving some stringy lacing sticking to the glass. The smell was a strong resinous aromatic grapefruit drastically intensifying the more I sniff it. The more it warms, the more the bitterness qualities come out. The taste was almost a perfect combination of bittersweetness indulging my every taste bud and more than satisfying in every aspect. The aftertaste was a nice long lasting grapefruit of sorts pounding my taste buds into submission. The finish is long and dry. On the palate, this one sits about a medium on the body with a decent sessionable quality to it. The carbonation is just a tad abnormal than most DIPA’s as this one scorches me more so than any other DIPA. Overall, if Sierra Nevada ever wanted to rename this beer, they could call it "I Will Pound You Into Submission." Actually, I really do love this beer.

 999 characters

Photo of JWT3
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
12 oz. bottle
2017 version

Amber in color, Hoppy nose, massive amount of hop flavor. Citrus, grapefruit, pith, bitterness. Not hot given the strength of this beer that is an achievement. Great beer!

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

Photo of biggoon16
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.34/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pint glass, packaged 5/25/17.

Hoptimum is lighter shades of amber with a short off-white head. It retains just a thin cap with no lacing to speak of.

Alcohol heat underlies lemon, grapefruit, orange marmalade, melon, and clearly a lot of hop bitterness. However, the hops don't have the pungency that one would expect.

They used a giant dose of malt in this one; caramel and lots of it. It threatens the hops with two meaty fists and they whimper and skulk away. Don't get me wrong, the bitterness is huge, a combination of hops and alcohol, but the flavor is singularly citrus. It's tangy and turns a little soapy in the finish.

The body is thick, almost sticky. The carbonation almost keeps up. In the deep finish, once all the carbonation fades, is when it drys and tastes like that soap.

Hoptimum is a disappointment from Sierra Nevada in my eyes. The malts, sweetness, and alcohol fight the hops too hard. Even this fresh I'm not getting my face blown off by hop flavor and aroma the way I should.

 1,025 characters

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

2017 Edition

The aromas are first noticeable when the bottle is opened.

The beer pours out into a snifter glass a deep golden, almost reddish, color with a 1/2" slightly off white head that recedes slowly but visibly leaving no lacing on the sides of the glass. Before long there's a ring of foam around the glass and a thin layer of foam on the surface. Sipping creates arches, legs and small patches of lacing.

At first the aromas are dominated by the resinous and grapefruit zest of hops with some light fruits in the background but as the beer warms a bit more some of the fruits and the malt backbone become more noticeable.

While flavors are much as expected from they nose show more grapefruit zest bitterness than resin. There's also the mingling of some tropical fruit flavors, a bit of sweetness, and maybe even a bit of floral character.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some light but persistent carbonation. The long finish begins as the grapefruit zest and resin move into the background, allowing the fruits to move to center stage and reveal that some are tropical (e.g., mango and pineapple) and some are orchard fruits (e.g., peach and/or apricot). Eventually the fruits disappear leaving the closing of the show to some light but complex bitterness and just a touch of floral character as things draw to a dry ending.

Overall this is a pretty good beer if you are looking for lots of hops since it is mostly about the hops. It has lots of complexity with just enough malt backbone to smooth out but not conceal the very strong bitterness. Definitely enjoyed this beer. But that being said, for me this is a once in a while type beer rather than something to have as a regular thing. Also this is a beer to be consumed fairly fresh since when the hop bitterness recedes the flavor will show much more malt sweetness than it does now.

 1,870 characters

Photo of DaveCash
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mwvman
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/18/2017. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, light pepper, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, light pepper, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine/citrus peel/grassy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, lemon/orange peel, light pepper, pine, honey, bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt flavors; with and awesome malt/bitterness balance, and zero lingering hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky, and lightly resinous balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Zero warming alcohol for 9.6%. Overall this is an awesome DIPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with tame bitterness. Great juicy hop vibrancy and nice malt backbone, without being too sweet. A really enjoyable offering.

 1,796 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a deep gold with a full head. The aroma is bursting with grapefruit peel, with mandarin orange, pine, and sticky mango. The flavor is sweet with a touch of caramel and a big dose of grapefruit peel and ruby red grapefruit juice, guava, pine. mango, and pineapple. The mouthfeel is very full and rich with a lot of sharp, fizzy carbonation. Overall this is a really tasty beer, with a full body and a host of classic IPA flavors - very easy to drink as well for the ABV.

 485 characters

Photo of needMIbeer
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tlema1
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: beautiful clear, gold color, thin, lacing head
S: candied citrus fruit, some resin
T: follows the nose, citrus, trop fruit
F: lots of mouthfeel, sticky
O: better than I remember, I heard they redid the recipe

 213 characters

Photo of BFCarr
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On cask at City Tap. Pours hazy amber with a 1 inch white head. Smell is floral hoppy but not very intense. Taste is hoppy but not crazy bitter. Feel is very smooth and pleasing. Overall a hoppy experience you can enjoy.

 220 characters

Photo of gruves33
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Luckydog91
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Photo of jsmith313
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JPadilla
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GoochVa
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jkblr
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottled 4/18/17 poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass at fridge temp 9.6% ABV. The beer is a bright golden copper color with off white head. Lacing is strong. The aroma is citrus, grapefruit and peach. The taste is caramel malt first quickly transitioning to citrus, pine and fruit salad. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated and finishes dry. There is a hint of alcohol burn on the finish but nothing compared to previous years. Overall, very good. In the past, I would intentionally let these sit in the fridge for a couple months to take the edge off. This is good right off the shelf and $12/6pk makes it a great value.

 646 characters

Photo of acmurphy696
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer has a nice deep amber color and a rich smell. It brings the fullness expected of an imperial IPA, which is a bitterness balanced with a strong flavor that lingers nicely.

 181 characters

Photo of Kdizzle22
4.59/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,303 ratings.
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