Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA
Liked This Beer
4.18 w/ 6,313 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,313 |  Reviews: 1,486
Photo of Danno48
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of tyleeis
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of fields336
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass.
bottle dated around March 15
A: An aggressive pour yields a thick bubbly 3 finger off white color head. Amber, butterscotch, caramel color. fair amount of bubbles. completely clear, no haze or sediment, obviously filtered.

S: smells of citrus, grapefruit, sweet caramel malt and slight bready notes. slight piney, peppery and herbal notes as well. Probably lost some of the smell since its older.

T: aggressively hopped. spicey, leafy/flowery, peppery, citrusy, this tastes like multiple different hop varietals were used. per SN's website it looks like simcoe/new variety, citra, chinook. Oddly enough i am not getting any simcoe from it, but i can detect the citra and chinook for sure. Is definitely a tasty blend.

M: Full bodied, good amount of residual sugar, hop bitterness hangs around nicely.

O: Great brew, much better than last year, less syrupy, more hoppy. Good balance, but nice hoppiness as well.

 970 characters

Photo of spamages
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of BlackDrongo
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BearsDitkaBears
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of evilkalla
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Release.

Serving: Bottle into an ale glass.

A: Pours a brilliantly clear copper color, with a quarter inch of somewhat thin head which dissipated fairly fast. Carbonation is on the low side. Very attractive brew.

S: Very astringent, piney hops, however somewhat muted. A hint of sweet malts.

T: Very malty and piney bitterness up front. Both aspects are fairly well matched. Bitterness lasts a fairly long time and this one is pretty bitter on the finish as well. The hoppiness remains in the mouth for quite a while after each sip. Very, very good. If I was to change anything, I would dial the malt back just a hair.

M: Feels just fine.

O: Very good DIPA, definitely a hop bobs, with a slightly different character than most offerings out there. Definitely worth buying the 4-pack.

 794 characters

Photo of Megahertz
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle dated March 30, 2012.

A - Rough pour reveals large and staying off-white fluffy head. Gorgeous bright amber color with modest carbonation. Extremely appetizing.

S - Cracking open the bottle immediately releases a copious, dank, deep pine aroma with earthy undertones. Fresh cut tangerine with a little orange zest on the side. This is hop perfection.

T - Initial deep sweet caramel is reigned in by the carbonation. Intense piney ssweetness throughout the mid, transitioning to a very leafy, green hop finish with a clean, distinct bitterness. Finish is quite dry. Dangerously drinkable.

M - Medium body with an oily hop slickness, cut through by relatively high carbonation. Very good.

O - This is what hops are all about. Not overly bitter for such a hoppy beer. I want more!

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Photo of baconman91
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of nosavingsaccount
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of TheRicker
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of C20Percent
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly clear gold with a half of finger worth of egg shell color head on top. This beer passes all my boxes when it comes to what I look for in appearance. Nice bubble action and little pieces of sediment swimming around in the body. And, good preliminary lacing. Very nice. Again, not a lot of complexity in the color, but very much so in the overall appearance.

S: Smells like someone just dropped a hop cone in my beer. Yes, a lot like Hopslam. A nice citrus -- somewhat boozy -- aroma. I've noticed that sometimes I think this is boozy and sometimes I think it's an addicting citrus smell. Nice malt smell in there too. Refreshing smell. Very nice.

T: A very balanced citrus, pine and malt taste that turns a bit -- just a bit -- boozy in the end before leaving a bitter finish. It coats the mouth in a somewhat astringent bitterness, but it more or less walks the line between crazy booziness and a well-balanced complex hoppy flavor. My opinion of the flavor changes often -- sometimes I like it sometimes I don't. I guess, in the end that's probably not good.

M: This is a smooth and creamy brew with a big medium body and superb carbonation. An oily feel to the lips. This is a good feel, not great, the carbonation carries this feature.

O: This beer, and beer like is, is quite interesting. There are beers that I can enjoy all the time and there are beers that my palette has to be ready for. I like Hoptimum; it's a good beer that I recommend, but sometimes I like it better than other times. I think I'll wait a year before purchasing more.

 1,569 characters

Photo of leokbelo
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, hazy copper into a snifter. 2 inch foamy head dissipates into an inch lacing that lasts till the end!
Rich pine scent, citrusy and crisp! The Hops at work!
Hop spices coming out in the palate, very citrusy, very sharp, with some malt sweetness to balance it all out, for a truly Imperial IPA kick!
This is one kick ass Imperial IPA, from the folks at Sierra Nevada!
Highly recommended!

 399 characters

Photo of SierraNevadaFanatic
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

IMHO and I told one of the gals at the brewery that this just might be the best beer ever brewed by mankind ... ok surely I was not kidding! The true beauty of this beer is the perfect blend of malt and hops ... with a specific gravity this high and an alcohol content like this ... the malt and hop balance is truely unique. Nice job guys this isn't easy and it came out of a "beer camp" and a challenge. Well that challenge was met and the world is better place for it! If you truly love beer, you must taste Hoptimum! It's optimum!

 534 characters

Photo of gradergator
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, pineapple citrus hops. In the taste, pine like hops, with citrus notes and a sweet to dry taste all the way through. A small bite and a medium bodied moouthfeel, with a dry citrus to pine hop in the aftertaste. Super IPA, nice hops, the only drawback is that I could drink a ton of these!

 369 characters

Photo of dianimal
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of macrosmatic
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: Somewhat hazy deep gold. Big, two-finger off-white head with a good bit of visible carbonation.

S: Not a big nose on this for a DIPA. Resinous pine, mild citrus pith, some melon and flowery hops. Biscuit malt with just a bit of caramel roast.

T: Pine hop bitterness to start, and it's big - can't find anything else for a beat. Then some grapefruit and bready malt. Some caramel sweetness in the middle of the tongue, more than the aroma would suggest, with some booziness. The caramel, booze and hop bitterness linger for awhile, before making way for the grapefruit hop hang.

M: Full-bodied DIPA here. Sticky, resinous mouthfeel, good carbonation sensation. Alcohol is quite noticeable and I think it does detract slightly, although I wouldn't have guessed this high of an ABV from the taste.

O: Well, I think this would be in the upper tier of DIPAs available, but doesn't come close to the elite of the class. Too much caramel, too little aroma, too much booze, and too little of the intricate hop flavors available to brewers now. I think the recipe could use some updating, but I suspect that might not fly well with fans of the beer. I'll probably grab at least a single (if not a four-pack) of this one each year when I see it, but I'm not going to drive around looking for any.

 1,343 characters

Photo of fortierv
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of anichols70
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great clear orange with a thick head that dissipates quickly leaving some light lace on the glass.
S: Floral, herbal, dank hops. Some light citrus? A bit underwhelming considering the amount of hops involved. Doesn't stick around.
T: Some citrus, good bitterness, strong hop flavor. Alcohol, maybe a bit too much at times.
M: Medium mouth-feel, slightly syrupy, but not cloying. Light carbonation.
O: A good, solid DIPA that won't do you wrong, but not quite up to the hype, IMO. Could be a little more balance. If you really like hops, kind of hard to argue against it though.

 580 characters

Photo of TheBigBoy
3/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant, clear, bronze amber with lots of tiny rising bubbles. Three fingers of head form quickly, half a finger retains leaving spotty lacing.

Smell implies how good this brew actually is...Big citrus, resiny, oily hop aroma. Super juicy with aspects of tangy sugared fruit.

Taste is nothing short of a hop bomb.Puckering citrus and fruit upfront with a big oily, smacky hop punch. Big bitterness washes through, finish is dry, alcohol is hidden.

Contrasting feel between juicy, puckering hops and a dry finish. Nice carbonation, bitter aftertaste.

MUST HAVE for any hop lover.

 590 characters

Photo of progression
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Bitter_Echo
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear-ish, tannic, dark, slightly yellow amber haze. Demonstrates a fine, but low foam, extensive, persistent lacing, nose bringing fine notes of pine, balsam resin, citrus and grapefruit, without a strong malt presence. Taste is a fast, wet, sweetish spike with a grapefruit fruit bitter blast that coasts and coasts: a terrific hop echo to boot! This one is reminiscent of Founder's All Day IPA, but less fruit and longer transmuting drift of hop floral notes. Wouldn't guess this at 10% ABV. Mouth-feel brings favorable scrubbing level of carbonation, but isn't overly fussy, and not syrupy. Overall I'm drawn to this brew for certain. Wow! An instant favorite!

2013 Seems less on the citrus and pine, and very strong floral, not fruit hop forward. I tmight be fresher on this case than in 2012, but the bitter backbone has remarkable sustain, and the initial taste delivers and highly floral, loud, and almost confusing profile of flavors. This is terrific, as always...different this year and just as compelling as ever.

 1,034 characters

Photo of Gabbyaboutipa
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90.1% out of 100 with 6,313 ratings
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