Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

6,308 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,308 |  Reviews: 1,485
Photo of turne10
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of gefinley
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of TheLevi4000
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Nitty703
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of kevwcamp
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Ranz
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From my local Whole Foods on tap in a 32oz growler.

A: In my Firewheel tall tulip, it pours a crisp brown amber color with thin lines of carbonation across the glass. The head is luxurious and full, with good lacing as the imbibed liquid goes down.

S: With the slightest hint of brettanomyces, this has some incredibly strong hop profile on the nose. Mottled, dank pine with a sharp astringency to it; quite presentable. This would certainly spook any hop-detractor.

T: Ridiculously bitter, the taste is not as complex as I would like, but it is enjoyable and easily drinkable, so there's that. The high ABV certainly comes out here as well, and the finish is definably dry and characteristic of the style.

M: Thick and meaty with good syrup qualities, the carbonation makes this silky on the tongue, which is the best quality to this beer.

O: I've had some fantastic DIPAs in my day, and while this doesn't hit the highest ranks, it's still a very solid and respectable experiment.

 989 characters

Photo of buyyourfreedom
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of jlechner33
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of jerk
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ChristopherTenore
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mythaeus
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of FrankK
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of jmich24
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of NODAK
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aroma here really is of a sticky hop bomb. The thick, sweet malt is apparent but there's a huge tropical hoppiness there, with perhaps a bit of pine as well.

Man, this is a sturdy beer on the palate. The taste buds are smacked around immediately here with a huge amount of tropical and resinous pine bitterness....just really overwhelming. Did I mention resinous?? Yeah, that. I have had many DIPA's, and this really is at the top when it comes to sheer amount of bitterness. There's also a sticky sweet malt backbone behind it, likely covering up the huge ABV of this beer....but there's no question that this is one huge beer.

I can appreciate what they were trying to do, but it does seem somewhat out of balance here. I like bitter beers as much as the next guy, and I've had plenty, but this one really throws it into overdrive and I think it effects its drinkability. That said, after having one with its high ABV, you start to mind less and less and it becomes more palatable. And believe me, at 10.4%, it doesn't take much more than one to feel happy.

 1,063 characters

Photo of Drknight
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Eric908
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of HelpMeBloody
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of gwiedman1
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of hotsudge
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Userme59
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Hopbomber
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of scotorum
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought this and a twin (which went to IIPA heaven that evening and somehow missed getting reviewed) almost two months ago in Maryland. Bottle neck label dated 2013. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

a: Nearly clear amber with lots of carbonation showcased by the narrow base of the IPA glass, inch thick white head receded to heavy surface foam and considerable lacing.

s: Moderate citrus.

t: More an alcohol bomb than a hop bomb, given the 10.4 ABV, but it does not show in the taste. Resiny hops lead the way. Pleasantly bitter aftertaste lingers.

m: Moderate, surprisingly smooth considering the 100 IBU/10.4 ABV.

o: An excellent IIPA, easier drinking than Torpedo. However, not sure the extra smoothness and alcohol are worth paying more than twice the price of Torpedo. OTOH I may feel differently when the alcohol starts working its magic.

UPDATE 7/23/14: Drinking a bottle from the 2014 release, SN seems to have changed their bottling date info code, this reads 041114, so April 11 2014? If so the three months on this might explain the raging and not entirely pleasant bitterness. Still exceptionally smooth, would lower the smell score from 4.25 to 4 and raise the mouthfeel from 4 to 4.25, so it balances out. Served this at 48 degrees F, will chill the next bottle to 38 to see if that helps. This is a monster IIPA and probably needs to be served as cold as possible to keep its massive 100 IBU bitterness from being annoying.

That said, I consider this to be one of the best values in IIPAs at its ABV (10.4%) and IBU level .

 1,575 characters

Photo of MAJ85
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of icehawk
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


 Appearance: Dark golden orange with robust foamy white head 

 Aroma: Citrus, orange juice, rose 

 Taste: Tropical fruit, slightly bitter grapefruit 

 Palate: Slight warm, slightly bitter, foamy finish. Coating mouthfeel. 

 Overall: Bold fruit flavors, with some unique flavors (rose/floral). Does a great job creating a unique beer in a crowded domain.

 414 characters

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,308 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.