Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

6,274 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: 6,274 |  Reviews: 1,470
Photo of Mersh
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of martyl1000
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of sd123
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of beagle75
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 1,660 characters

Photo of Tine802
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Cartr1dgeBased
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
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 -0.2%
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 -0.2%
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.

 550 characters

Photo of Gotti311
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of metmorg
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of beebs22
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gasc0igne
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

 850 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 796 characters

Photo of JPDOG
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of willjschmidt
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a Sierra Nevada hop tulip glass.

A: Pours a light copper color with a decent sized white head.

S: Lots of glorious hops! Piney and citrusy.

T: A hop bomb for sure. Pretty good balance for a such a huge DIPA. Lots of american hops balanced by a semi-sweet caramel and bready malt backbone.

M: Medium bodied.

O: A solid DIPA at a good price from my favorite brewery.

 401 characters

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

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

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

Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just doesn't flavor my palate like a Bell's hopslam

51 characters

Photo of nlb802
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer - but I expected more complex flavors and aromas typical of this style.

92 characters

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

Photo of Beric
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: 2015 iteration, from the bottle into a tulip glass
Served: 26 July 2015

Appearance: Pours a pink gold color- there are orange yellow highlights or a distinct 'strawberry blonde' characteristic to it. The beer is crowed with a pearl head that quickly collapses under pressure from the high ABV.

Smell: Bright piney hops, grapefruit, lemon grass, and a pinch of cajeput. Nice hop nose. A pinch of sweetness detectable but just barely- this one is all hops up front.

Taste: Big bitterness, much more so than other DIPAs (e.g. Hopslam). The beer finishes with a distinct herbal bitterness which begs another sip of the juicy hops. At first this was okay, but I found that constantly being smacked by the bitterness led it to taste a bit earthy at times near the end.

Mouthfeel: I felt like this one was smaller on the tongue than other DIPAs. Not very resinous or sticky like others, which is sort of the standard with DIPAs.

Overall: Another great beer by Sierra Nevada, and one that I certainly enjoyed. In the end I think there are better DIPAs available though, and this one is actually a solid step down from SN Torpedo, which is one of the best, widely available IPAs on the market. Save yourself the money and get a sixer of Torpedo- you'll be two beers happier you did.

 1,287 characters

Photo of GarrettMD
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Perfectly clear, light orange color with 1 finger off white head. Head retention is amazing. No visible carbonation bubbles.

S - Good hop/malt balance. Lots of orange, lemon, and just general citrus hops with a sweet caramel undertone.

T - Very malty taste. A lot of sweetness to it, starts out as a hop-bomb, but moves very quickly to mostly sweet caramel malts. Up front it is just bitterness, no real flavors associated, then the malts, then it turns to being as balanced as the aroma. Same flavors associated with the aroma.

M - Heavier than I anticipated, though still medium bodied. Fairly low carbonation. Finish is sticky sweet with some piney hops.

D - I forgot this was 10.4% until I got to this section. Not a trace of alcohol was noticeable to me. They did a very good job hiding it behind the malt base. Aroma is simple and balanced, taste is complex and ever-changing, this beer gives your taste buds a ride, would definitely get again.

 959 characters

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,274 ratings.
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