Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,448 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

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.

Added by kaseydad on 02-07-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,448
Ratings:
6,213
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
23.84%
 
 
Wants:
432
Gots:
1,161
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,448 | Ratings: 6,213
Photo of aggiearcher13
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange hued and crystal clear. Not much of a head on this but that's really my fault for being too gentle in the pour. Some really nice lacing rims the glass.

S: It may be a little cold, but the aroma is a little disappointing. I get some lemon and pine with an underlying sugary note.

T: Bitter citrus peel, pine. Surprisingly lemony and quite dry.

M: Moderate to light body and low to medium carbonation. It works well, but not the best body I've ever had with this style.

D: Drinkability is middle of the road for the style I think. Better than average, quite bitter, but lacking a little bit of hop flavor and aroma that would really make it great.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint 8 fl. oz. bottle a little above fridge temp poured into an SA perfect pint glass. julian dating code indicates it was bottled on DEC 17, 2010 (1 month, 3 weeks, 2 days in the bottle).

pours out a fairly clear golden orange color with a shiny, velvety, 2-3 fingers of white to slightly off white head, great retention. thick strands of lace stick to 50% of the glass.

first whiff is of that classic SN piney hop aroma, only amped up a bit. as the head dies down a little, a very DANK aroma is revealed. some light floral and very light citrus behind the dank pine. alcohol and a sweet, bready malt try to even things out.

lots of dank pine, yet still has a nice malty balance. behind the dominant pine is some floral and citrus notes. a sweet, candied, bready malt and a warming, almost spicy alcohol trys to balance. bitter for sure.

rolls over the tongue so smoothly, carbonation is fine yet aparent. heavy body, dank, sticky, resiny, with lots of bitterness during the sip and after.

one bomber is no problem, the alcohol is apparent both in the feel and taste, but it still drinks like a lower ABV DIPA would. overall a piney bomb! classic SN taste yet amped up to big DIPA levels. this was a good try and i would gladly drink it again.

edit: the last glass is almost gone and i really want another. even more drinkable than i originally thought. so nicely balanced. (changing from a 4 to a 4.5)

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Photo of ppoitras
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into my 2010 Pioneer Stein (#42), formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear golden amber brew. Head lasts and lasts, with ample sporadic lacing. Aroma is powerful aromatic hops, all citrus and pine.

Taste begins sweet, goes citrus hops in the middle, and closes with powerful pine cones. Alcohol warms after the swallow. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is dangerously easy. Worth the search.

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Photo of heebes
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

Pours a clear, crisp golden amber with a finger width off white bubbly head. Nose is sweet citrus grapefruit hops, piney auromas with slight malt scent. Taste is deep pine flavour, like succking the trees needles! Mild caramel malt middle then a return to a bitterness for a dry finish. Aftertaste lingers. Mouthfeel is resiny, juicey and overall mid heavy mouthfeel. This is what I imagine sucking on a whole cone hop is like. Large format bottle is an interesting choice, limits drinkability to one per session but for me that's ample given I'll likely ration my remaining Hoptimums since availability for me is scarce. Seriously bitter experience, props to Sierra Nevada; one of my favourite breweries.

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Photo of RichScherle
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was great - but oddly enough seemed like more of a showcase of malt flavors.

A - Rich orange with nice voluptuous head.

S - Deeply sweet malt with an evergreen sharp piney note from the hops

T - Favors the malt more than the hops imo. At first sip, it just explodes with juicy sweetness of fresh barley. The hops seem to play a background role and seem only noticeable on the backside of the palette. The malty notes quickly subside and a very elegant pine flavor comes to the forefront which dries it out. Remarkable how intense the malt flavor is without being cloying and the hops I think are what do it. And for such a high abv, the alcohol is very finely woven into the beer - almost unnoticeable fumyness.

M- hedonistic full-bodied experience.

D - I rate drinkability low because this beer is crazy strong and quite pricey. (it says 10% but I suspect its higher). I was drunk after one bottle, and i drink craft brews very regularly (and the kind of drunk where it hits you all at once well after finishing the bottle). The drunken feeling reminded me almost exactly of Dogfish's 120min IPA - unique feeling which is weird but true. Not all beers get me the same way.

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Photo of Pencible
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear gold with some white head.
S: It smelled like sweet pineapple and bitter resin, with some honey malt.
T: It tasted like sweet honey and bitter grapefruit and citrus zest and resin. Very hoppy. It had a lasting and strong bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was surprisingly good. I have to admit that SN had become a little routine for me to try, between Torpedo and all their various Estates, etc. But this one was different. Very clean and hoppy with more tropical notes than usual, along with a nice body and fairly well hidden alcohol. Aside from the lasting bitterness, this wasn't difficult to drink. Very well done.

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Photo of PBoegel
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I picked up two bottles of this brew at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, not cheap either, what I'd expect to pay at a bar for a draft pour. Reviewing after the second bottle.

Popped the 24 oz bottle, label bottled on December 15, 2010, nice audible carbonation hiss, served at about 55 degrees to maximize aromas.

Poured into a Sierra Hop Tulip Pint, bright shiny bronze and golden, perfect clarity, some amber tones, a nice inch tall cloud white head. Decent lacing, however, the head breaks down to a thing but persistent topper.

Aromas are very subdued and overall clean fermentation profile for a big beer, but a lot of perfume like floral alcohol tones. Some mellow citrus and tropical fruit and an underlying malt honey crisp sweetness.

Flavor profile is where this beer shines. Not the most explosive flavor from an Imperial IPA but nice, clean and interesting. Good cantaloupe, honeydew melon tones, with some sharp grapefruit acidity and bitterness. Some raspberry and a layer of resinous spruce pine coats the tongue before a deep bitter finish, which is not taxing but cleans the palate along with the warming floral alcohol across the tongue.

The beer has a nice medium light body, excellent for the style, not cloying or sweet with an intense dry and bitter palate cleansing finish. No harsh astringency or numbing alcohol heat.

For its heft it is drinkable, with good and interesting flavors, very unique character. The aroma is subdued, much like I believe Torpedo is, but with consideration of the 10% abv, you can sip your way through a 24 oz bottle in an evening without struggle, but good enjoyment.

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Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: amber colored with a finger of white head that leaves a thick layer of lacing.

S: Sweet juicyfruit

T: Very fruity and grapefruit dominant with a strong sweet malt backbone.

M: medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

D: this is a well crafted DIPA with an interesting bittersweet flavor that is heavy on the malt. It masks the high ABV well. This is the first DIPA from Sierra Nevada that I've tried and they have taken an interesting approach to the style.

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Photo of SirRuss
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The cavernous amber body boasts crystal clarity, and an eggshell-white head dominates the upper third of the glass. The retention holds itself with confidence, and it's got the lacing to back it up.

S - A canopy of aromatic pine suspends citrus expressions from its boughs, which come forth as freshly peeled orange zest and a clean lemon mist. Hints of malts also rise from far below offering a slight glimpse of the brew's sponge-bread root bed. But the overall intensityn is more akin to a soft mountain breeze than an alpine storm.

T - The hops are far more prominent in their bitterness and fruitiness on the palate than on the nose, but it's the malt expression that really ambushes the senses on first taste. They appear in unexpected abundance on the fore-palate as they rush forth in a biscuity barrage that bowls itself down to the mid-palate in an augmenting avalanche of sweet, bready characteristics. This is just as well, considering the Hops are equally eager to race to the open slopes, brandishing grapefruit, zest, and resin; and the competition culminates in a battle of titanic proportions - or as a friend put it, "a bear fight in your mouth". On the finish, a long expression of a dry and hoppy bitterness roars the loudest, but the malts leave their own sugar dusted scars to match. Ultimately, neither beast vanquishes the other, and the only K.O in this fight is the host's oral arena.

M - The mighty malt backbone barely even stoops to accept the herculean hop gauntlet, and the result is one of the chewiest DIPAs about. But the oral onslaught is far from over, as a greater challenge looms in the form of 10.5 ABV. There's no denying that this is a brain-addling brew, but it's equally potent in all dimensions and somehow gets away with its unabashed booziness. Assisting the blaggery is perhaps the only reasonably proportioned element in sight: the carbonation. It's big, but not excessive, and effectively referees the terrorizing trifecta with surprising success as it keeps the flavors from crippling the palate.

D - Desire to drink this all night easily outweighs physical ability, but that wont stop me allocating a high score in this category, nor will it prevent me doing my damnedest to bodily encage as much as possible.

O - There are many DIPA's out there with far more complexity and finesse than this recently released beast from Sierra Nevada. The displeasure of having to throw down eleven bucks for it should also be noted - especially when the great category captains are being sold for half that price - and a solidly established personal opinion of SN as a middle-of-the-road brewery doesn't beg forgiveness either. Yet these complaints seem to pale into insignificance in the shadow of the brute force of this brew, and as far as I'm concerned anyone that can offer ringside seats to a back-of-the-woods bear pit is ok in my book. (Metaphorically speaking of course, peta)

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Photo of dwilson01
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body color is a clear yellow tinted with orange and brick red to give it the look of the browned top of a buttermilk biscuit. The carbonation rises quickly through the beer keeping a nice half finger of head atop it.

The smell is amazing, I get a sweet citrus scent that refreshes my nostrils. The orange smell is great, it smells so fresh like it was just bottled a week ago. There is a slight sweet matly scent on the back end and the bitter hops are just barely intermingled there. Must have dry hopped like crazy to get that aroma.

The flavor has a profile and a half. It starts right where the smell left off, citrusy sweetness hilts your palate and washes out anything that was there beforehand. This is followed by the body of malt which imparts a sweet bread and clover honey flavor. The last part is the bitter hopping, it comes in slow but it definitely comes, that pine flavored bitterness reminiscent of Sierra Nevada brews comes out with a vengeance to let you know just what you're getting into. No alcohol flavor at all on the back end, the bitter nops linger for a long long time.

The mouthfeel is perfect, just before you take a sip your lips touch the light fluffy head which is ultra soft, the beer itself is smooth as I can remember any IPA being with a strong malty creamyness.

The drinkability is amazing, I feel like I could session on this beer...of course there is no way I could keep that up for any length of time, but it's definitely that good. If you're not into the super bitter IIPA's then this is definitely one to try out.

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Photo of jonnybackpack
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep copper

S- Surprisingly similar to torpedo IPA. Very fresh, with a yeasty aroma.

T- For us hop heads, PURE GOLD. A bitter bitter beer.

M- From the lacing I knew this was gonna be a mouthful. Creamy head really adds to this.

D- This is a rare beer that fills my pallet, yet delivers the experience. This one deserve a whole lotta medals.

Bottom Line this is the kick in the tongue I needed. This is a MUST if you are in for a hoppy night.

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Photo of bamadog
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken 2/8/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a pretty rich coppery color and it starts with a big 2 and 1/2 finger head of slightly off-white, creamy head; body is very clear and shows pretty strong carbonation bubbling up throughout; head eventually fades to a full and even frothy cap and leaves fair swaths and patches of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Pretty much what I would expect from something called "Hoptimum" -- hops. Plenty of bitter hops come through and there's a bit of spiciness to them, as well as a bit of grassiness and pine

Taste: Wow, definitely spicy hops, and plenty of them -- I find this is more of a characteristic of beers that use the whole cone -- has a ton of bite to them like garlic or onion (but I'm NOT saying it tastes like garlic or onions, just hot and spicy like them); a firm malt backing provides an attempt at balance but the hops really own the beer; definite presence of alcohol lingers as well. I'm not sure what the bottling date is on this one, but I seriously have to wonder if a few weeks (anywhere from 4-6) may help take some of the "burn" out of the hops.

Mouthfeel: Body is of near-medium in weight and it's oily and slick; carbonation is strong and present, and just about spot on as it doesn't come across flat at all, and it resists coming across sharp; a thick and very sticky coating is left all over the palate; gums and belly are left tingly from the strong carbonation and ABV of nearly 11%.

Drinkability: Well, the spice is a bit much and the ABV is a bit high for too much, so I'm going to give this one more of an average score in this department. Very nice though, and I have to wonder the IBU is on this one, because it's easily one of the better offerings in terms of palate-wreckers. Kudos to SN.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into DFH signature glass

Pours a clear copper color with some reddish hues. A frothy white head retains well with some thicker film on top and a wall of lacing on the glass.

Strong scents of piny hops and resin along with a bit of bready citrus and some alcohol driven heat.

An immediate blast of strong, almost stringent pine hops with plenty of sticky resin. Lighter touches of grapefruit and rind ratchet up a citrusy twang. The backbone is on the lighter side with some doughy breadiness and a bit of biscuit. More pine hops with a noticeable dose of warm alcohol towards the end. Finishes long and bitter.

Medium body, somewhat lighter carbonation, very dry and sticky on the palate, lingers for a long time. Definitely a beast of a DIPA, and I can definitely see some people being turned off by the heat on this. It's still solid, but compared to some other DIPAs that also recently came out (hopslam, double trouble), this feels slightly little hot and unbalanced.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for half of this bottle

Review adapted from notes taken 2/6/11

Appearance: Remarkably clear golden orange/copper - fluffy head and great lacing

Smell: Fresh, fresh, fresh leafy, herbal, and citrus hops - not particularly intense but good - some pale, biscuity malts in the background

Taste: Certified hop juice - very hoppy, mostly resinous but also citrus (grapefruit, orange) - super bitter, but also super malty - an excellent toasted malt background to support the hops - alcohol, too - definitely tastes like a SN beer, but it is far more complex than comparing this to something like a double-Torpedo...

Mouthfeel: Smooth, moderately heavy, pleasantly sticky

Overall: Great and well-rounded, I would be happy to sip this for hours

This is truly an excellent beer from Sierra Nevada. But does it compare to other heavyweights like Pliny? Nope. But it's good, and I hope it gets brewed more often.

Update, March 2012: This year's batch is more aggressive and abrasive than I recall from last year. Very good, but not excellent, score remains unchanged.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into my De Struise glass... The body is super clear clear dark copper, looks great. A huge tope head with great retention and superb lacing... The aroma is super strong with tons of sweet yet citrusy grapefruit on the front. The hops are present as well and on the, pine resin and alcohol. Not your typical stinging dipa notes, really balanced... The taste is more hops than anything, tons of alcohol and pine resin, but for some reason I like it, not annoying. A little one-dimensional but good...Mouthfeel is good...Totally crushable, I drink the whole bottle in about 20 minutes, no clue its 10%.

Recommend, best Sierra Nevada IPA.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a very nice strong copper color with some slight orange hints. A awesome looking 1.5 inch head develops with nice tight dense bubbles and some slight medium sized ones on top. The color is ecru.

S - Sweet hop juice comes up front quickly and deliciously. Slight tropical fruit notes. Some tangerine, grapefruit and some nice citrus mixed in with the resiny sweet hop notes. There is some slight bread notes but mainly hops. The aroma is nice but not too intense.

T & M - Flavor starts off with some delicious and intense resiny pine hop notes. I love how the aroma seems more tropical hop notes and the flavor is a bit more piney and resiny. There is some slight citrus notes in the flavor but its predominantly pine. There is some delicious bread notes that follow up the piney hops and add some balance. There are some flowery notes as well as some slightly peppery and spicy notes as well but the resin and pine flavor is pretty strong. Good but strong. Body is nice and medium with good carbonation and a slightly sticky mouthfeel at the beginning with a then dry bitter finish. It is quite a boozy beer.

D - Pretty good IPA but not a groundbreaker. Still solid SN offering as always.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 oz. bottle poured into a Stone IPA speciality glass.

A: Light amber in color with an orange hue into the light. Great fluffy off-white head and just the most stellar lacing found on the glass.

S: Tame on the the nose front, you get a bit of the skunk out of the whole cone hops and a bit of a grain sense in the back.

T: POW! Blow to the face. The hops it you right away, then comes the emergence of the heat from the high alcohol content. The latter is nothing to worry about though, it comes with the territory. Pine tar comes out with a bunch of bitters somes it up nicely.

M: Medium in body, very sticky, great carbonation, abv detectable, telling you to slow it down.

D: For what its worth, its a MUST try beer. After that it depends how much you want to invest. No regrets for me, stoked that I had the opportunity to wale it down.

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Photo of peabody
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a really clear weak ice tea color with two and 1/2 fingers of very foamy suds that lace the glass.
Smell is strong hops. Is this Sierra N's attempt at Hopslam? Very good aroma with the alcohol being very faint. The hops and the strong malts are at work here.
Taste is bitter at first then sweet then boozy. Hops and malt sugar are king and the queen is the alcohol.
Mouthfeel is sticky but the alcohol burn is the star here. I am talking a good burn.
10.4% huh, well they hid the alcohol well. But one bottle of this hopmonster is more than enough.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hoptimum is copper, clear, and holds a pillowy head that marks your progress on the rim of your glass. The delightful torrents of lacing are also admirable, and worth noting.

S: Bouquet is pungent, with heavy doses of juniper and rosemary, with a touch of tropical grapefruit and star fruit at the end for balance.

T: Hoptimum's biting bitterness is marked by gin, vermouth, and brine. I am pleased that this brew delivers all of the flavors that I adore in the classical concoction: the martini. The immense hop presence is able to keep the malt offstage almost entirely, except for the slight cameo it makes towards the end of the third act, in which it demands a soliloquy regarding the deliciousness of honey-coated toast with a candied pecans on the side.

M: I was, at first glance, worried that this beer would be overly sticky and viscous due to its high ABV. I am, however, pleased to announce that it is light and dry, as a DIPA should be. There is also a noticeable astringency due to the bountiful hops that have surely been added during the boil.

D: A delicious attempt, by SN, to contend with the ever-popular Hop Slam for the title of greatest DIPA on the market. Does it accomplish this task? Delightfully so.

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Photo of ToddT
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear copper/amber topper with a thick off white head. Head last forever and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Grapefruit, pineapple, floral, and grass hops dominate the nose. Interesting blend of hop notes with nothing being dominate.

T- Taste follows the nose with no one flavor being dominate, citrus, floral, and grass notes trade back and forth for control of the palate with nothing being overpowering on dominate. What a fantastic balance of hops in this beer.

M- More than medium and well carbonated, the finish is amazingly clean for all of the hops that must have gone into this. The final note is hard to pin down and trades back and forth between the hop flavors just like the rest of the flavors in this beer.

D- Oh so drinkable, the 10.4% ABV is nowhere to be found, but don't try and session it.

What did I say about sessioning this one, I woke up the next day with my head feeling like the picture on the bottle.

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Photo of shand
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a nonic.

This is an great looking IPA. It pours a clear copper colour with three fingers of head that retains and laces for miles. The aroma is fantastically hoppy and vibrant, with bright grapefruit and tropical fruits, and great piney and floral, slightly dank hops. There's just a touch of caramel malts and alcohol in here too. The sweet tropical fruits come through first, followed up by an alcohol and hop double team. Yeah, this is another boozy DIPA, but it works well with the super strong grapefruit and earthy hops to help make it less astringent. It's a big beer in all aspects.

The mouthfeel is very full-bodied and mouth coating. The hop aftertaste is absolutely ridiculous on this one, I took my last sip a minute ago and I can still taste hops on the back of my throat. It's a fairly drinkable beer for the ABV though, I wouldn't drink more than a bomber though at a time. A DIPA that really approaches greatness here, the booziness stops it from being absolute hoppy perfection though.

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

Bottle into The Bruery tulip.

Pours deep, clear copper, with a two-finger off-white head that settles down into a thin, soapy cap. Nice lacing, though.

Nose is beautiful - bright and vivid, loaded with grapefruit and pineapple, lots of pine, with undercurrents of clear, bright caramel and a nice dose of alcohol heat. The pineapple note underneath somehow linked up with the caramel to give off the most amazing pineapple upside-down cake whiff at one point. May be a bit sweet for some of the hardcore west-coasters, but this is beautiful, and unbelievably fresh to me.

Taste is near perfect for what I would consider to be a somewhere between a west-coast and a midwest-syle DIPA. Loads of grapefruit coming through here, decent amount of pine, moderately bitter, some tropical pineapple notes as well that really link up with the caramel sweetness to swell a bit as you drink. Malt body underneath provides a big, heady dose of sweet caramel, lightly bready, just a bit of a toasty side, with alcohol heat noticeable but not overwhelming for the size of the beer. Finish is moderately bitter, a bit of alcohol burn, exhale is big on the tropical fruits.

Mouthfeel is smooth and mellow. So soft, just a bit of fluffiness, with the only bite coming from the alcohol and the sharpness of the hops. Smooth, with a soft but perfectly balanced carbonation over a full body, just barely sticky.

Drinkability is good, but the alcohol is very clear in this one. Very fresh, fantastic balance, exceptional flavor. I didn't really mind the heat, but I never forgot it was there either.

It's funny, I never bought much Sierra Nevada when I lived in Brooklyn. Now, having moved to Tennessee where the selection is a shadow of what it was in the city, I buy tons of Sierra products - and am almost invariably unbelievably impressed. One of the best overall breweries around. This one doesn't disappoint either; would love to see this become a year round presence. Excellent beer.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into tulip glass.

A: Honey colored; slightly hazy but mostly clear. Great head retention and carbonation throughout.

N: Pine--not as strong as I anticipated based on the reviews, but there is a hint of tropical fruit in the background.

T/M: No doubt a Double IPA. Lots of pine then a sweet pineapple/peach note comes through. Very alcoholic, but the bitter "earthiness" of the hops melds well with it. The malt backbone is weak but does well to keep the flavor propped up. Very good; just the way I like it. Dangerously drinkable (if you are a hop-head), despite its oily mouthfeel and the high alcohol.

This is exactly what I would have expected from Sierra Nevada had I not spoken with others about it or read any reviews, which can be somewhat misleading because of the hype. A great IIPA for the price. Thank you SN for finally making a Double IPA!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

A: The beer pours an orange-amber sort of color with a finger of khaki colored head.

S: Smells pretty dank and funky. I get some feet and armpit at the beginning, but it seems to subside. A decent amount of citrus comes through in the form of grapefruit and there's a good pine note. A fair amount of booze and some mild malt (bread).

T: The grapefruit and pine flavors are "large and in charge" here with a lot of big hop bitterness. Unfortunately, there is a strong alcohol flavor that brings a bit of a burn. Some toffee and toasted malt flavors provide the malt character.

M: The body is on the full side for a DIPA, and it's pretty heavy on the tongue. The carbonation is moderate.

D: A rare miss from Sierra Nevada. I would have liked a lot less booze and a lot more hop flavor here.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright, clear orange/amber color. Poured a 2 finger pillowy off-white head with excellent retention. Decanted lazily. Lots of sticky lace.

S: Big floral and pine hop aromas. Caramel malt and unfermented survey offset the alcohol.

T: Bitter resiny pine bite up front. Thick caramel sweetness follows. Grapefruit rind builds in the bitter finish. Resiny and dry with lots of alcohol.

M: Full body. Moderate carbonation. A little harsh though thick. Flavorful, resiny and very dry and warming.

D: Drinkable. Very big beer though; hops, malt and alcohol. ABV make it hard to be too drinkable.

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,448 ratings.
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