Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA
6,314 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,314 |  Reviews: 1,486
Photo of Bone53
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 3 week old bottle into a snifter at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Appearance: Clear orange/amber color with a finger off white head. Great lacing

Smell: Dank hops (pine resin, citrus (grapefruit, lemon); Undertone of cracker malts

Taste: Honey sweetness upfront that fades into a great combination and balance between resinous pine hops, citrus hops (grapefruit being dominant), and toasted cracker malts, with a mostly earthy, piney aftertaste that lingers which reminds me of Torpedo

Mouthfeel: Medium body; Very smooth and velvety, coats my mouth with oily hop goodness. I don't find it extremely boozy as others mention, but it is there. A dry, bitter finish

Overall: This was one of, if not my very first IIPA. It blew my mind and I loved it. I probably love it a little less now, but I still very much enjoy it. The warmer it gets, the more aromas and flavors I pull out. Most of the lower rated reviews I read point out how over the top this is with it being unbalanced and boozy. I get plenty of malt to back up the huge hop bill. I feel the abv as expected, but not enough to destract me from the other aspects. This one separates the men from the boys. I dont know if it stacks up against my favorites in the style (Head Hunter, Dirt Wolf, Chillwave, HopSlam, Hop Stoopid), but I look forward to having it each and every Spring/Summer, so it must be a winner!

EDIT: Having this for the first time since my review and i have to say its not nearly as good as i remember. Still solid, but theres several better easily available DIPAs out there

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Photo of Gkruszewski
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear, vibrant golden orange with an off-white 2 finger head, decent retention, leaving behind a thin but sticky lace.

Smell - Lots of citrus aromas on the nose; orange and grapefruit.

Taste - Starts with some floral hops, then big citrus character comes to the forefront and never leaves. Solid toasty biscuit malt backbone. Long, bittersweet grapefruit aftertaste, giving way to a high citrus bitterness before fading away completely.

Mouthfeel - Medium body to full body. Somewhat sticky. Carbonation is a tad flat, but doesn't kill it.

Overall - Really good Imperial IPA. Comparable to Lagunitas' Hop Stoopid. Little flat body wise, but a great flavor profile. I was worried about the amount of pine character this beer might have, given my track record with Sierra, but there was very little, if any.

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Photo of Meyertj
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into a Nonic pint glass an amber color with a significant white head that held for a long time and left a thick lacing down the glass.

Smells like earthy and citrus hops and alcohol. There's some ripe fruit in there plus some sweet malt. Quite complex in aroma.

The flavor is a big hit of herbal, citrus, and pine hops and alcohol. This is hot. I got the hops very much up front, followed by a layer of caramel and biscuit from the malt, with a strong kick of alcohol in the back. Finishes quite dry.

The mouthfeel is heavy and oily with an alcohol burn. The 10.4% is apparent, not hidden at all. A good amount of carbonation to hold up such a blast of hops, malt, and alcohol. A well-crafted, bold DIPA. Well done Sierra Nevada. I expected nothing less.

The significant presence of alcohol distracts from its drinkability. I got alcohol flavor and burn and the buzz from less than the whole bottle.

EDIT: I've had this on tap several times since the bottle review. I definitely did not get the boozy burn on tap that I got from the several bottles that I had. If re-reviewing from the tap, I would increase the overall score upward.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of broadway848
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 ounce bottle, bottled on January 17th, 2011. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a clear orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention is pretty good, with an average amount of lacing. Aroma is citrusy (tropical fruit, orange) and pine hops, along with some sweet malt. The brew tastes mostly like the aroma, it's pine and citrusy (grapefruit, pineapple) hops, sweet malt and a hint of floral hops. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and sticky, with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and goes down easy. I thought this was a good overall beer, hopefully Sierra Nevada will decide to make this again sometime in the future.

 686 characters

Photo of crbnfbr
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of zak333
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of Mersh
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of martyl1000
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of sd123
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of beagle75
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, light orange-amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains.

S: Aggressively herbaceous with wild mint and herbal spice, but also featuring pine foliage to add depth to the hop-forward smells. Bright vinous fruit is also detectable amidst fermented pale malt. Alcohol fumes are detectable but restrained.

T: Begins decadently sweet, with rich toasted malt, and concentrated floral and juicy citrus hop aromatics. Volatile alcohol adds a spirituous edge, while acidity peaks early then spikes again in the middle. There is also the introduction of bitterness that tastes of grapefruit peel and green plant stems, which continues to surge until becoming potent in the finish and lingering long.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and sticky on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: A fine DIPA, delivered right after the new year--at the front-end of what appears to be DIPA season. It is unclear whether Sierra Nevada had some benchmark in mind when they built this immense beast of a DIPA, or if they followed the "kitchen sink" approach. It lacks the smoothness needed to be an attempt to clone and bottle Russian River's Pliny the Younger. It could be a lesson in styles, intended to show those that want to pin the DIPA label on Bigfoot just how off the mark they are. Like something distilled and timeless it is best when slowly savored, reminding of Port Hop 15, Alpine Exponential Hoppiness, or Avery's The Maharaja. Hoptimum seems over-priced for a Sierra Nevada beer (I was hoping it would come in six-packs priced similarly to Bigfoot) but it is worth trying.

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Photo of Tine802
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AlexFreudenberg
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Cartr1dgeBased
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my Sam Adams pint glass. Served nicely chilled straight from the refrigerator.

Appearance: Nice golden orange in color. Very clear and plenty of carbonation. Nice two finger white and creamy head. Pretty good retention.

Aroma: Lots of pine and whole cone hop notes. Some citrus from the hops too. Very nice. A pretty strong malt background contributes a bit of caramel sweetness.

Taste: Nice full pine and grapefruit upfront. Not overly bitter from the hops at all. There is a pretty substantial amount of sweetness from the alcohol and malt backing. A slight bitter ending. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and pretty creamy. The carbonation does well to keep this light.

Overall, a really nice double IPA. I would definitely get this again. Another solid offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; color is a gorgeous, shiny gold. pours a medium amount of off white head that forms a nice layer of foam that retains very well.

smell; very crisp aroma of lime, ester, pepper, clementines, and burned sugar.

taste; oranges, grapefruit, lime peel, a certain, mild pepperiness, bread, caramel, bitterness in the fish.

mouthfeel; chewy, high carbonation, slightly dry.

overall; an interesting cross between an IPA and a barley wine, sips slowly but complex and very tasty.

 485 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper with a redish hue, and unfortunately filtered. Large carbonation bubbles make there way to the two inch frothy head resting above the liquid. Patchy lacing crawls behind.

Piney, resinous hop aromas with some toffee and biscuity malt aspects. A bit of stonefruit also.

Nice, good prickly carbonation, a bit hot in the mouth, well balanced. Herbal, grassy, piney, stonefruit in your face hops on the finish. A tad a floral and citrus in there but on the back end. Cereal type grainy middle with hints of toffee. Big alcohol hurts drinkability.

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Photo of Gotti311
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of metmorg
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of beebs22
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gasc0igne
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Batch

A: ~2" off-white head, short retention. Excellent lacing. Soft carbonation. Ever-so-slightly cloudy amber colour.

S: Very slight alcohol smell initially, large citrus and floral notes (I get large amounts of orange peel and some pine).

T: Orange right at the front of the mouth, morphs quickly into a burst of hoppy bitterness that lingers. Returns with heavier spice notes and grapefruit after a short while with a soft background bitterness. Not the most balanced IPA but still very tasty.

M: Medium bodied. Smooth on the palate with some amount of carbonation detectable on the back of the tongue. Very easy-drinking beer.

O: An excellent IIPA with almost no alcohol detectable (for a 10%+ beer). Bitterness could be a bit much for the uninitiated or the people who aren't big hop fans, a great beer and a must-try for any hophead!

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. 2012 vintage. Pours a translucent burnt orange with a loose, quarter inch, cream-colored head that eventually settles into a thick band around the shoulders and a dollop of cream in the center. Nose reveals sweet grapefruit notes, a trace of tropical fruit and a piney quality. Taste consistent with nose; however an earthy bitterness runs down the center of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to medium), with an assertive carbonation that is slightly prickly. Consistency is somewhat oily with a light viscosity. There's also some residual heat that lingers at the back of the throat. Overall, another solid brew from SN - these guys rarely fail to satisfy. I'd really like the opportunity to try this on draft, or better yet, on cask.

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 6,314 ratings
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