Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

6,276 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: 6,276 |  Reviews: 1,470
Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

(copied from blog - written May 6th, 2013)

Appearance – Slightly cloudy light-goldish-orange in color. Actually doesn’t look much different than a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Solid one finger white head. Leaves heavy lacing that washes away quickly.
Smell – Allergies/cold prevent me from revealing the scent… From what I can tell through a mostly stuffy nose – strong pine and citrus with an earthy note.
Taste – Up front a blast of hoppy bitterness and orange juice, grapefruit, underlying caramel sweetness. Lingering bitter piney flavor.

This big imperial offering from Sierra Nevada is quite the monster. Its appearance is OK… surprisingly straw looking for the huge amount of flavor that comes out of it. As I said, I unfortunately can’t smell much out of my nose, but then again that might say something about this brew since I CAN smell something from the top of the glass! The taste when you drink it is pretty cool because it starts off basically tasting like super hoppy OJ (or otherwise just regular grapefruit juice) and there is this caramel sweetness that weaves in and out making it appear balanced at one moment and at the next next seem like a hop head’s wet dream wrapped in pine. The 10.4% only reveals itself once you stop drinking for too long and you feel that boozy warmness in your belly. After one and a half beers I’m feeelinggg quite niiice.

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Photo of bump8628
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much anticipated. The Godfather of American hops brewing a big-ass Imperial IPA is long overdue. Clear copper with an inch of crisp, white foam on top. The alcohol and body is apparent with a quick swirl in the glass that shows off the legs of the beer. Almost sweet in the aroma with a blend of bright, citric American hops and alcohol esters. The palate reveals the slightly aggressive hopping I was hoping for with a big punch of vibrant pine and juicy citrus. A smooth ethanol note persists through to the finish along with a backing caramel flavor. I guess I was hoping for the malt-minimal, dry, West-Coast Double IPA. Hoptimum is more of "balanced" Imperial IPA, but an awesome beer, nonetheless. Despite the malt heft and alcohol, there is a smooth and vibrant hop flavor that manages to stay in the fore.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber-orange color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label. There is a freshness code on the neck of the bottle.
Thin film for a head that dissipates very quickly. Lots and lots of carbonation.
Aroma is extremely hoppy; lots of pine, citrus (grapefruit), sweet alcohol notes.
Taste is similar to the aroma, lots of hops upfront. Bitter floral hops, tobacco like notes and hints of malt notes wanting to rise above the hops. Alcohol warmth is noticeable.
A very well balanced hop-bomb.
Lots of lacing along the insides of the glass.
A big beer for sure and is a definite sipper.
Overall, a very good DIPA from Sierra Nevada that does not disappoint. A must try if you are a hop-head.
Highly recommended.

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Photo of bigpoppa67
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kaseydad
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Bistro's 10th Annual Double IPA Festival. Very excited to try! Hazy apricot pour with some nice lacing and a off-white head. Grapefruit pronounced smell with some light sweetness in the aroma. On the sip there is an initial sweet almost-candy like taste but then the grapefruit comes rushing in well after the sip. Awesome job! Subtle bitterness lingers on the buds. Very easy drink at 10.4%.

Overall I was very impressed by this beer, which was made by the "Beer Camp w/Vic". This beer has a little bitterness and a little sweetness for either consumers craving. Excellent work and hoping to have this again at some point.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright clear orange with visible carbonation and a white head.
S: Sweeter than one would expect, though maybe the fresh hops don't come through as well.
T: Sweet upfront with a bitter backend. I get oranges, big time citrusy character, and just the right amount of bitterness.
M: Moderate carbonation and a little sticky, but not overly so.
D: High drinkability, but I love IPAs

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Photo of Wheels2532
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tozz8
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A--Clear bright, golden amber body. Thick, 2 finger off-white head that matches the color of the body. The head lasts and lasts. very little lacing. Nice appearance, but its nothing special.

S--Pine and fruit as expected. Grapefruit and Strawberry? Yup, I'm going with strawberry. Not really picking up and malt characteristics.

T--Very bitter, but not a citrusy as advertised by the smell. While it not offensive or overpowering the alcohol is present as can be expected for an ABV of 10.4%. Malty sweetness is present to compliment the bitterness of the hops. I would say that it is a very balanced dipa(as balanced as they should be.)

M--Medium body. Not syrupy at all. Carbonation is nice, almost too light.

D--At 10.4% this is not a session beer. Considering that, I will jump at the chance to drink another the next time this one comes around.

Overall, Hoptimum has a great taste, but the alcohol distracts my palate so much that I am prevented from enjoying it. I much more enjoyed their Ghidorah IPA that was out this past summer/fall. I had high hopes that this would be the next Hopslam or even Pliny. While this is a good beer, it falls far short from being mentioned alongside those two.

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Photo of mrosenfeld32
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

4pack of 12oz bottles dated 5/2/14

A- Straw yellow with thin off white head that leaves lacing all the way down
S- piney hops all over this one. Pine Sap!
T- Just in your face hops. Very piney, so I'm imaging west coast hops. Resiny
M- Pretty standard IPA. Thicker than a pale ale, but still smoth.
O- Very good american IPA. You have to love hops to love this one.

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Photo of JWhat
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JasW
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As we all know, the key to a good IIPA is balance -- balance between being ridiculously if not insanely hopped, and cloying malt sweetness. Balance achieved here. This is a world class IIPA.

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Photo of schwemjw
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beautiful amber gold with a one finger soapy white head.

S: Lots of grapefruit at the front of the nose. Then come candied apricots with a fresh squeeze of lemon. A tad earthy before an onslaught of sweet honey

T: Nice floral hops that open up to a cascade of grapefruit, pineapple and citric acid. It gets pretty sweet mid palate with a nice caramel/ honey flavor. The end gets nice and bitter with some pine and a touch of resin.

M: Sticky and medium bodied.

O: I love this beer and look forward to it every year. You don't taste any of the 10% and this thing is just bursting with wonderful SN hop flavor. Delish! / 94

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Photo of JCarson410
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of msf1cnc
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer, but now what's expected from a typical IPA...
The aroma is more malty than hoppy, which initially shocked me. However, the citrus and sweet taste from the hops made up for it. A wonderfully complex sweet IPA (Imperial IPA to be exact) that really leaves you enjoying a beautifully crafted beer.

This drinks more like a wine than a beer, given its depth of flavor. Starts out with the hops slamming you, then immediately goes into a sweet malty characteristic. I could only imagine a creamy element if served from a cask or beer engine. it laces beautifully, and holds on to the head for quite some time (drank out of a stout glass, as opposed to a pint glass).

A typical IPA fan will be pleasantly surprised by this wonderful brew, as I certainly was!

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Photo of smutty33
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of skrabbenhoft
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PolarBear3
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a golden colour with white frothy one fingered head that retains to a thin film

S - Wow..extremely hoppy, floral, herbal grapefruit, peach, pineapple, very tropical on the nose and sweet

T - Similiar to the nose, with grapefruit prominent, matched with some sweetness in caramel, toffee apple with a nice well balnced dry and slightly bitter finish

M - Low carbonation and medium bodied

O - Extremely tasty but sweet hoppy IPA that is balanced nicely. Love the dry finish and would definately recommend.

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Photo of Can_has_beer
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crow
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Richter525
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eric_Leon
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RMentair
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of smanders
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love anything from Sierra so when I saw a single of Hoptimum sitting on the shelf for $2.99, I had to take it home. Wow, was I glad I did...

Appearance: not as dark as other Imperials, but a beautiful orange glow, nonetheless. Fluffy, white head with minimal lacing.

Smell: grapefruit up front with cookies right behind. The sweetness of Torpedo with an amped up citrus kick.

Taste: just as it smells; heavy grapefruit with the backbone of deep malt. I get a big tingle from the effervescence throughout, followed by the warmth of 10% ABV - not overwhelming, though.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style; medium without being cloying.

Drinkability: unprecedented for an Imperial. Although you may not be able to drink multiples of this high(er) alcohol ale, you may feel compelled to.

Overall: Awesome! If a friend/visitor hasn't experienced a good Imperial IPA, I'm handing them a Hoptimum. The perfect blend of maximum hops with sweet malt. Now I just have to find a case of it... Thanks Sierra!!!

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,276 ratings.
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