Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA
BA SCORE
90.1%
Liked This Beer
4.18 w/ 6,313 ratings
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,160
Reviews:
1,486
Ratings:
6,313
Liked:
5,687
Avg:
4.18/5
pDev:
11.24%
Alströms:
4.2
 
 
Wants:
443
Gots:
1,213
Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 6,313 |  Reviews: 1,486
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feels like a thousand IBU, a lot of sweet malt backing it up. The alcohol is huge and is well hidden by the taste. Huge foamy retained white head. Hoppy aromas. Citrus lime and lemon, a little grapefruit.Some palate shredding. Very drinkable.Bottle from Premiere.

 263 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 version.

A: Very attractive beer. two finger head with decent lacing on a clear crimson with golden hues body. very good retention.

S: I was let down by the aroma. Its good but a little too weak for the major players in this genre. Nice sweet citrus aroma, mostly grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Ridiculously hoppy. The pine dominates this one and certainly lingers on the palate with a slight citrus note sneaking in and out. The malts are pretty much excluded from the flavor by this strong hop flavor and bitterness.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: The hop profile is good and improves as you drink it but the drinkability is affected by this. The malts may be there but good luck finding them. Certainly a memorable beer.

 758 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the 2nd Anniversary event at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest and herbal hops. Taste is of citrus zest, grapefruit, herbal hops, and slight malt on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good DIPA with a better taste than smell.

 560 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge huge ibu count on this baby, must be. pours a gloriously rich caramel color with one hell of a lively head, off white and lasting. smells like weed, straight up. this is an indica heavy hybrid with unreal potency. citrusy hops and some english smelling malts. flavor is bitter up front, and bitter in the back, with some nice malty sweetness in between. some pine elements and a very drinkable medium body on her. fair carbonation, maybe a touch low for this beer, but it seems to go down pretty easy for the alcohol content and bitterness. sierra nevada is the king of the hop as far as i am concerned, and this is just another wonderful illustration of what hops can be. superbly made beer.

 697 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had heard about this coming out and I kept my eyes peeled for it at my local shop. They got a small shipment in so I grabbed 2 bottles right away.

I put one in the freezer to chill it faster right when I got home. The suspense was killing me! I poured As much as I could into a rather large glass to took a big nose full of it aroma. It smells fantastic! An incredible hoppy aroma just bursting out of the bottle and glass. So many hops on the tongue with every sip you take. It actually has a stinging sensation in the aftertaste. The color was very nice like a light copper shade. Such a great DIPA!

 605 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

 508 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear orange in color and has a thin ring of off white bubbles encircling the edges of the glass. No carbonation is visible in the form of rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of floral hops in the nose--this beer almost smells like a marigold.
T: The taste is rather hoppy and like the smell tastes very similar to marigold flowers. The hops contribute a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink despite the hoppy flavors and bitterness because they do not overpower your palate.

 618 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's about time that Sierra Nevada brings out the big guns with their take on the fastest growing style of beer- Imperial IPA.

Bright golden with copper highlights, the beer carries a froathy off-white head that eventually falters with the immense alcohol stresses. No lace with only moderate retention. Light legging clings to the glass with a gentle swirl.

Moderately strong aromas of caramel and grapefruit sing the praises of a big IPA. Citrus piths (as revealed on the label) is fused with orange zest, fresh-cut grass, and gentle pine notes for a rounded, juicy aroma. The scent is balanced with maltiness that reminds me of caramel/barley malt.

Stong hop flavors of those citrus, grass, and pine character carry over to taste. But the malt influence is felt much more than the aroma suggests. Caramel maltiness make the hops flavors seem as if they are candy-coated citrus fruits. Definately closer to balance than most hop-forward Imperial IPA's. Alcohol flavor comes in just before the finish with the characteristic of nail polish remover and though it helps to dry the beer and crispen up the malt influence, it does provide a harsher, solventy finish and aftertaste.

Robust sweetness to the feel because of the malt creaminess and gentle carbonation. And with a full mid-palate, the malts begin to fade as the hop bitterness and dryness play more boldly on the finish. But the beer holds onto a bit more sweetness and maltiness even in the drying finish than is generally prefered in a big IPA's. Growing alcohol sensations eventually numb the palate as the solvent flavors intergect.

This is a very good Imperial IPA that, surprisingly carries a heafty malty-sweet maouthfeel, despite Sierra being known for their malty-dry, effortlessly clean, and error-free beers. The beer gets closer to 90 Minute and Maharaja than it does Dreadnaught or Pliny.

 1,866 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

8oz snifter, a surprising as hell find at our hole in the wall sandwich shop stop off on a day tour of the North Kohala valley region of the Big Island of Hawaii.

This beer appears a clear, medium golden amber hue, with one finger of foamy and rocky off-white head, which leaves some nice frozen hoar frost lace around the glass as it duly wisps away.

It smells of grapefruit and tropical citrus fruit, a slight pine resin note, and big caramel/toffee malt. The taste is bitter grapefruit, orange, and lime rind, pine oil, and hefty caramel nougat malt - a wee bit of booze warming bubbles up in the warm oceanic air. Ohhhh yeah.

The carbonation is a bit peppy in its down-low frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, with a moderate buzz-saw hoppiness that obliterates what I would assume to be an otherwise sexy-ass smoothness. It finishes pretty zingy from the you know what, and the you don't know what, but the malt is no mere pushover, keeping things precariously honest and in line.

Overall, a stellar West Coast DIPA - everything big and bold, and yet all in balance, with that lofty booze only threatening the gates, without actually breaking through. Thanks be to the Local Dish eatery in Hawi - 4 brews on tap, and all of them world class, very well done, and once again, Mahalo!

 1,298 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -22.7%
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+

 1,473 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Maybe the tenth or so Hoptimum i've had before it occurred to me to review it. It's good stuff.

Bright golden orange body, sheets of coating lace cover the inside of the glass. Head is billowing with a creamy texture. Concentric rings form over time.

Dank resiny tropical fruit in the aroma, mango and earthy papaya.

Smooth creamy feel with a resiny hop bite, plenty of fruit flavors and sticky bitterness. Earthy mango sweetness flashes by first, with a brief instance of pale malt, then long lasting resiny bitterness that lingers long into the aftertaste. Some traces of the abv bleed through but overall it's drinkable enough to have 1-2 in a sitting.

 659 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear copper color with a massive head (just what one would expect from a Sierra Nevada hoppy beer); clumps of foam stick to the side of the glass

Smell: Tropical fruit salad, with tangerine, pineapple and a hint of mango; the crystal malt also leaves a sugar subtext underneath

Taste: As the beer warms, the malt makes a stronger impression, with the caramel sweetness laying down a backbone from which the hop flavors are suspended; and what a load of hops there are, with the citrusy, pineapple flavors detected in the aroma marching all over the taste buds, and creating a menthol-vanilla that lingers into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; just a bit sticky; moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Another signature Sierra Nevada IPA, but elevated a notch or two for the hopheads; this one is very aggressive on the tongue and a bit raw in character; a fine beer, but I find myself taking smaller and smaller sips to mitigate the tongue-lashing

 1,017 characters

Photo of oline73
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Judge's Bench in Elicott City.

Appearance: This pours a very clear amber with an inch of fluffy white head. Head dissipates quickly but some remains throughout.

Smell: Starts off with sweet with hints of pine and tangerine. Smells amazing!

Taste: This one is initially quite sweet. Bitter pine hops and tangerine as well as quite a bit of alcohol. Sweet bitterness clings to the tongue throughout.

Mouthfeel: This one is fairly thick and sticky. It coats the mouth completely. The Carbonation is lower than average but that seems appropriate.

Drinkability: Perhaps there is a bit too much alcohol compared to the hops, but it is still very good. I would definitely drink this one again.

 705 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90.1% out of 100 with 6,313 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.