Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,461 Reviews
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): 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

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Reviews: 1,461 | Ratings: 6,258
Photo of TomMorris
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark apricot with about a finger of creamy head. The nose is aggressively hoppy and brings to mind ripe tropical fruits and very oily pine resin. There's definitely some discernible alcohol as well. The taste follows the nose with an explosion of bright fruity flavors and thick resin that leaves quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue directly following consumption. There's not much of a malt presence, which detracts a little from the beer's overall balance and mouthfeel (which is slightly thinner than I want it to be) but as a hop-lover, Sierra Nevada really delivered with this one. A pleasant surprise for me, and something I would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

700th full review. Purchased while in the US and excited to see this available. Served just above fridge temperature into a snifter.

Appearance - Gorgeous coppery coloured beer, that is clear with some visible carbonation. Nice finger and change of head, with impressive retention, staying around for more than few minutes. Nice wall of lacing that sticks to the edge of the glass.

Smell - a hint of mango and melon sweetness, accompanied by robust heat and spicy notes. Plenty of resinous hops follow that up with a steady caramel backbone.

Taste - resinous hops, sticky caramel, some bright fruit flavours of melon and mango. Then boom, a massive hops overload rips onto the tongue, leaving behind a very bitter flavor, and some slightly roasty and spicy flavours. Boozy finish, but this is a DIPA that is tasty. Mouth puckering finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth, lightly carbonated, and very syrupy in that it will stick to your mouth.

Overall - a very well crafted beer that deserves it's place amount the most intense of the style. Tastes like a beer that is close to the advertised ABV. Good stuff, enjoyed this more than some of my other recent Forays into the style such as RuinTen.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into IPA glass. The color is a beautiful amber orange with thick, milk-white and thick lacing. The smell is classic IPA: citrus, pine, and floral hops. Big, hoppy citrus taste but with a touch of malty sweetness at the finish. Really, really good. Medium-bodied with really nice carbonation. For 10.4 ABV, it's pretty easy to drink. This is easily one of my favorite IPA's.

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Photo of jhavs
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter tasting glass.

A= Golden color with a bit of orange tint. Off white head appears creamy and settles fast into ring around the glass. Tons of clingy lacing sticks to the glass.

S= Big and deep hop aroma that comes across as earthy/piney/resinous with a bit of citrus.

T= Like the aroma, big and bold hop flavors, resinous and dank with pine, earthy grass, grapefruit and other citrus. Good amount of bitterness and malt flavors.

M= Heavy side of medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= Big and bold with a ton of things to like. Not messing around with its blast of hop aroma and flavors.

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Photo of ScrewBud
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - typical IPA, not much head
S - great! Nice mix of citrus and pine, very unique
T - like it smells plus a little alcohol
F - refreshing, a little thick
O - unique hoppy flavor makes this a must try

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Photo of rjd722
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 Edition, poured into my spiegelau IPA glass. Huge, frothy head that hung around for quite a while and had phenomenal lacing throughout. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the enormous head, nice addition to the beer overall. Golden-amber color with big resinous pine and citrus aroma. The taste strikes a great balance between having a big hoppy taste, but still a powerful (and very present) malt backbone that hangs with you. The aftertaste is essentially a battle between hops and sweet malty goodness, will satisfy fans of both DIPA camps. Excellent brew and a shoutout to my brother who recommended it to me!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "Hoptimum"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded but without a freshness date: "041715 C1 14:44"
$3.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Absolutely stunning! In the past I've heard complaints that Sierra Nevada wasn't making hoppy-enough beers, and then when they stepped up their game, the same complaints were repeated again! Well, that's over - this Imperial IPA is about as hoppy as you can get while still retaining some modicum of dignity through balance and polished elegance (which is what Sierra has always done). It's not intended to claw your face and shred your tastebuds, although it is headed somewhat in that direction with it's 100 IBUs! As you progress through the glass you'll find that it changes as you adapt to certain flavors and become open to others. That journey will most likely be different for each imbiber, and even for each new serving that they try, but some notes that it will most likely include are: grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, pine/pine resin, lavender, apple, soft pear, dull herbs, rose, melon, orange/tangerine, and lemon. It's a sipper to be sure, and at 10.4% abv. that's not just because of the hops! Absolutely worth trying!

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Photo of taters21
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick, golden color with a thin white head fading while leaving nice lacing on the glass.
Smells of Grapefruit, resinous pine, and dank notes, faint malt
Taste is sweet malt, followed by pine, resin, with a lasting herbal bitterness in the mouth.
Mouthfeel is full for an ipa, more sticky than most.
Overall an excellent choice but was hoping for more of a hop bomb lol.

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Photo of Mathed
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. in a tulip glass

Very strong taste, a little on the bitter side but very "hoppy" and an excellent Imperial IPA. I found this at a specialty store while on vacation, otherwise I've never seen this at any of my local beer and wine stores. I'd drink it again because it's a very good beer and at over 10% ABV, it was a killer deal getting a four pack for $8.99

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Photo of Emersonio
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour: 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Clear golden amber with a thick white head. Aroma: Very hoppy with notes of tropical citrus fruits. Floral notes are present as well. Taste: Big, bold and powerful. Immediate hop blast. Aftertaste: Strong citrus...grapefruit notes on the back end. Piney and hoppy throughout. Overall: Big, bold and beautiful! Very good: 4 out of 5.

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Photo of RockRuler
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.

I wanted to try this and I was impressed. In the excellent range in double IPA's I've tried recently and I've tried some of the best - Snake Handler and Hopry. I'd have it again.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 5/12. Looks as if it were glowing. I pick up ripe papaya and mango on the nose. Big hops, big syrupy sweetness with the malt. Also pick up ripe tropical fruits in taste.....very nice

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Brilliant amber pour crowned by a 2” rocky foam collar that rapidly dissipates but produces cathedral window lace. S: Rich hop aromas and rich malt T: Citrus, caramel, bready malt with long lingering bitter aftertastes, almost a little astringent from the hops but the flavor of the malt creeps back in ot balance and tone it down. F: Creamy, medium bodied, soft carbonation. O: A very drinkable hop monster.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

August 2, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip

A – Medium amber with orange highlights. Mostly clear, maybe some chill haze. Slightly off-white head is a quarter-inch, dissipates quickly.

S – High in grapefruit, along with passion fruit and guava, deep tropical aromas. Some grassy notes, along with a hint of lemon-lime. Caramel malt adds a sweetness to the nose, along with some light bread crust. Smell is what I would consider “thick.”

T – Massive hop flavor, again grapefruit and guava, darker tropical fruit. Some lemon-lime in the background. Light caramel malt flavor along with some bread crust. Bitterness is high but subdued by high malt sweetness.

M – Sweet up front, a bit of a syrupy consistency, before the hop bitterness takes over the profile. Carbonation is medium, with the aforementioned heavy body. Despite bitterness, very balanced due to massive malt profile.

O – This is the way I like my DIPAs; very malty sweet, a balanced hop bomb. Really good stuff.

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Photo of Kelz87
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 bottle into pub pint. Bottle dated 5-2015, edited 8-3-15 after trying another bottle

A- clear golden, orange, lots of head with aggressive pour, some nice sticky lacing with white cap sitting a top beer, some small steady bubbles rising from bottom after pour

S- grapefruit, possibly pine, Citrus and a little tropical (pineapple) with some malty caramel notes too

T- quite bitter with some pine and grapefruit notes/finish, also some citrusy tropical notes. Booziness starts to make an appearance towards the end as it warms

M- average carbonation with medium mouthfeel, some CO2 sting and booziness. A little oily as it warms up

O- decent beer for the price, I don't know that you can buy anything better given their low bottle prices compared to other craft brewery's. The quality is consistent, just not a lot to talk about with this beer.

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Photo of DerAtomsmasher
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Deeply orange, bordering on red.

Smell: Mostly booze and pine in the nose; for as many hops as this boasts, I expected more of an aromatic blast when taking off the cap.

Taste: Bitter grapefruit rind without any sweetness from the malts.

Feel: Not terribly heavy but enough to give you pause.

This is probably one for hop-heads and big fans of this style. Being mainly a pilsner fan, this is fine but not as drinkable as what's in my wheelhouse.

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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.

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Photo of twage04
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had again in a less chaotic setting, left with a better impression. Nice look, light crimson. Dank on the nose, lots of centennial and booze for taste. Will revisit.

Okay dipa, not the in your face hoppiest dipa I've tried but it's still tasty and pleasantly smooth. I had a sample of this after sampling torpedo, hop hunter, and 5 other beers after touring the asheville plant so my pallet was already a wreck.

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Photo of Jack_Frost79
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My rating for this beer fell as I continued to drink it. Started at a 4.25 or so. But, I was definitely glad when the beer was gone and glad I just got a single. It has an unpleasant maltiness that I associate with DirtWolf (although I like that one slightly better). Fans of DirtWolf will like this.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Pours a clear copper with 1/2" white head that recedes somewhat quickly. Retention is pretty darn good, lacing isn't bad either.

S: Lots of resinous hop with bitter citrus notes. Faint breadiness.

T: Big, burly bitterness up front leads into all sorts of hop characteristics on the mid palate- grapefruit, lemon, grass, pine. A bit of earthiness leads into the off-sweet hoppy finish which is capped off with a lingering bitter hit. Dense, but fairly well-structured.

M: Lowish carb & fairly syrupy body. Drinks heavy.

O: Pretty impressive DIPA.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Packed on 4/17/15.

LOOK: Clear orange-amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. Surprisingly good retention. Streams of bubbles and a bit of sediment are visible.

SMELL: Bitter grapefruit, sweet orange, a hint of sweeter fruits like pineapple and mango, tons of dank pine, and sweet malts with a bit of alcohol. Not as intense as I remember from last year, but it might be because this bottle is over three months old.

TASTE: Not as intensely bitter as I remember, but very tasty. Loads of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and pine. Sweet biscuit and toasted bread malt flavor. A little alcohol warmth on the swallow, but still pretty well hidden. Bitter piney finish.

FEEL: Full-bodied, but drinks like a medium. Very nice carbonation.

OVERALL: Still a good triple IPA. Worth purchasing at least once a year. Sierra Nevada never fails to deliver.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 10.4% abv.

Appearance- Pours a dark apricot orange with two finger head. Heavy lacing. Medium in terms of clarity.

Smell- Citric and tropical fruit. Grapefruit and mango are prominent. Quite dank.

Taste- Quite sweet with a pineapple/mango prescence being more stronger than grapefruit and orange tones that are also present. A sweet caramel malt blends in as well. The hops really build up fast and the bitterness increases towards the end. This beer appears less bitter since the citric qulaities are high, but this is one heavily hop flavored beer start to finish.

Mouthfeel- Lively carbonation. Heavy is body and viscous.

Overall- Well worth the acclaim, and a stellar offering from SN. A hop lovers beer. Very fresh and interesting sweetness that goes hand in hand with the heavy bitter hop flavors. A must try if you have access to this beer.

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Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Now this, this is an IPA to be excited about. Not since Stone's Enjoy By have I enjoyed a beer as much. The strong flavor of hops, bittersweet malts, pine as it was pulled right of the tree, dark golden in color, and a nice think mouthfeel. If you enjoy a fantastic IPA then look no further. This one is special. The only other beer that I can think of that gets as good as this is Stone's Enjoy By. Enjoy is still slightly better but this one gets as close as they come. Overall a 5/5 from me

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Photo of Raime
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank about twenty beers last night and this was only one of three that I feel deserve a large review.

Look - Pours a deep amber with a three finger frothy off-white head that takes it's time sticking around and leaves a solid amount of lacing all over the glass as you drink it. due to the type of head it makes the body extremely creamy.

Smell - The hops are quite wet with this one. It certainly lives up to it's name for the most part but I feel it could have been danker than what it was.

Taste - Follows the nose to a tee with the addition of some nice ripe bananas.

Feel - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall - A pretty good IPA.

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Photo of pinyin
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This was ok for a DIPA, but it wasnt quite what I was expecting given the $11.99 price point for a 4 pack.

Served 39F in a golbet from the bottle.

Nose is very yeasty. The famous US-05 SB California yeast. That is the scent that rings strongest to my nassal cavity. I dont quite smell any hops up front, the hop smell is very subdued, and in the background behind the ever present yeast.

Color is good and very typical for a double ipa. Dark golden bronze.

Minimalist carbonation, as is typical for a double ipa.

Mouthfeel is heavy but typical.

Taste is where Sierra Nevada did me wrong on this ale. The most present or omnipotent taste is ethyl alcohol. It is barely masked by the supposed hop additions in this ale. Yes there is a dry finish and a strong hop afterbite, but I dont taste any malts, and I really do not like the hop blend in this beer.

I really wished I had purchased Hop Hunter instead, as that tastes so much better than this, and has a better yeast, malt, hop balance.

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,258 ratings.
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