Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

6,310 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,310 |  Reviews: 1,485
Photo of Chaney
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an Olde Hickory shaped glass.

A: Crystal clear, gold-apricot color, with some bubbles piercing through it underneath. The head was about a finger or so and stuck to the glass like Spider-Man.

S: SN hop profile in spades, that was sort of like an uber intense version of their yummy Pale Ale. Floral and sweet, yet I could tell it was West Coast in style.

T: The bitter finish even had a decadent floral bouquet that stained the palate. The sweet elements weren't too intense due to the whole cone hop compound.

M: This beer is almost a sensory experience in that the hops are so intense that it actually stings a bit. Definitely a sipper, but not because of booze, but hop sizzle.

O: Not for the faint of heart for sure, but you hop lovers have met your match!

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Photo of Blargimus
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip. Bottled 2/17/2012.

Pours a crystalline straw with a hint of orange. A finger or so of beautiful white head that clings to the glass strongly. Streams of carbonation. Very attractive beer.

Smells like sticking your head into a but bucket of hops and inhaling deeply. A hint of malt at the end, but very hop-forward.

The taste follows the smell closely. There is a definite bite, either from the sheer strength of hops or the alcohol. This is west coast - what little sweetness there is gets overwhelmed pretty quickly.

The alcohol is definitely present in the aftertaste, but not overbearing at 10.4% ABV. Still, I feel like they could have made it 8% or so and be the better for it. Not super-thick and sticky like some DIPAs. The bitterness sticks around, but doesn't feel like it coats the mouth.

Certainly one of the hoppiest beers I've ever tasted, that's for sure. I'm a fan of balance in my IPAs, and this is definitely tilted. Like the label implies, best served to true hopheads.

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Photo of leeo
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Lordquackingstic
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Dark yellowish copper, decent carbonation for a DIPA, very beautiful lacing. Sticks like hoppy glue.

S: Hops, hops, hops! Lemon-peel, orange rind, fresh pine trees.

T: Juicy hops full of citrus notes. Slight maltiness, but not overpowering. Very pleasant pine flavors.

M: Very crisp and pleasant aftertaste.

O: A very drinkable, crisp, fresh DIPA by SN. Wish it came in six packs! Would happily buy again.

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

This is the bottled version of the 2012 Hoptimum.

The beer pours a very attractive copper amber color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. Color is a bit darker than SNPA, and the head is pillowy and long lasting. The nose is equally attractive, as I get coniderable dry citrus, pepper and dank earth, as well as considerable tropical fruit. I get the impression this intensely hoppy beer will have a considerable malt backbone (which it does). On the palate, this is quite good. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, and I'm impressed by how well balanced this massively perportioned beer is. The hoppy bitterness carries the day on the finish, as the malty sweetness dries out. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, malty, bitter finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there a bit.

Not that I would expect anything else, but this is a pretty impressive beer from SN. It's a bit malty/sweet for my taste, but is still a beer I can admire and appreciate. Impressive.

Note: Found this beer on draft the next day at Max's, and found I preferred the bottled version. The draft version was similar, but was a bit sweeter and maltier than the bottled version.

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Photo of brez8791
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of n00blar
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of notchucknorris
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper color with a 1/2 finger tan head.

S: Lots of overripe mango and citrus hops. Some caramel thrown in as well.

T: Lots of overripe citrus notes with a good amount of piny hops as well. A touch of resin and bready malt on the finish. Feels a bit heavy for me, but I suppose that's to be expected with the alcohol as it is.

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Photo of Njstoutlover23
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of superdan73
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%

Photo of jp110099
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of beer19
3.06/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - golden, copper, clear, poured into a Great Divide large tulip, initially a nice 1.5" head which quickly dissipates

S - dank hops, not a lot of citrus, can also smell the alcohol fumes

T - sharp, bitter hops, sweet, cloying malts and alcohol

M - medium carbonation, alcohol overwhelms any other attribute

O - some might describe this as a sweet, hot mess, but I did finish the glass, has potential if the alcohol could be tamed

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

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours light orange copper amber with white foam on top. Quite sticky and loads of lacing. Nose -pine, grass. Latent, not profound. Full blown oily bitter pine hop. Quite bitter throughout. Long lengthy finish. Loads of bitter but I think that is the point.

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Photo of Brewsed
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of duff247
4/5  rDev -2.7%

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

First let me say, "yummy". This is a nice beer.
On tap at The Old Mill, served in New Belgium brandy snifter.
Poured very well. 1/2 inch white head that settled slowly and left some lacing. Deep gold, slightly cloudy.
Aroma was great. Full deep slightly sweet, somewhat citrus, a little fruit, but largely hop oil aroma without excess. Tamed some later, but not too much.
Full on flavor, that is blended so nicely. As much as I enjoyed the hop flavors and the very well done big bitterness (that again pushed towards excess without hitting it) my mind keep going to the caramel malt character that lurked in the background and balance the drink so much.
Moderately large body.
Well done drink that also didn't overpower my food.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.51/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a clear copper gold with a huge creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is resiny, dank hops with a little fruit. It's a little subdued.

The flavor is sweet sugary caramel malt followed by a big dank resiny hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, it's a little similar to Deviant Dale's, but I like that a bit better. The sweetness didn't play well with the bitterness which was a bit harsh. Still a good DIPA.

 501 characters

Photo of Beer_Runner
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

No enjoy be date, but there is something that looks like a batch number just above the UPC.
Slowly poured into a standard pint glass.

A: It is a dark copper and just a little hazy with a few carbon bubbles raising through it. A thin, light beige head arose during the pour and then disapated quickly.

S: A powerful aroma of grapefriut and pinapple, and then some orange and lemon citrus with just a touch of pine.

M: A medium to heavy body, and leaves a slick coating. Just a hint of carbonation.

T: Big grapefruit hops right up front, some bitter bite and some pine and booze. Just enough malt to hold everything together but still stay out of the way.

O: An excellent hop bomb. A huge grapefruit hop blast right in the beginning sets the tone. And, there is a little bit of bitter bite that fits right in with the hops blast. This is an honest to goodness IPA. A first class brew from beginning to end.

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

Very close to Hopslam! I'll have to do a side by side comparison. I'm sure after it's on tap at more places, the rankings will go higher than the current score of 91. Tastes like the IBU's are 100. I haven't seen what they are. I got my 4 pack at Whole Foods on P street DC for $12. Def one of my favs overall and esp by Sierra Nevada!

 335 characters

Photo of Tumble
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Fattsmagee
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of B33R501
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

great value 4 pak $10 for such a big beer. pale amber color, too pale for me. smells musty citrus hops, big bready malts, aroma could be bigger. tastes follows, sweet but not cloying.
smooth and satisfying, no hint of the alcohol, very drinkable.

this is not a bad beer by any stretch, but i would prefer less sweet, more bitter. the first 2 were better than the second 2. on second thought, no real reason to get this again, unless you need the big abv. meh.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is dark amber; the pale white head has great retention. Grapefruity hops assault the senses upon opening. However, the strong citrus scent doesn't match up with the taste. From the taste, you can tell that this is a DIPA with huge malt character. There is a strong alcohol-like sweetness. The sturdy malt backbone requires big hop flavor to provide balance, and piney and floral hop flavors are there in abundance, providing a very sharp bite toward the finish, maybe a bit too sharp. Personally, I would prefer a stronger citrus flavor than pine/floral. Mouthfeel is oustanding, with hop oils noticeable on the tongue. This is one powerful DIPA.

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

A - Pours with half a finger of white foam on top of a clear, dark copper colored body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves nice lace.

S - Notes of pine and citrus with some caramel in the background.

T - Thick, bready malt up front with rich toffee and pine hop flavors. More pungent hop character in the middle as a bit of grapefruit and some floral notes come out. Finishes with thick, caramel and toffee malt as well as pine, grapefruit, mango and strong bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Despite the intense malt character the hops are able to push their way through and the beer is surprisingly well balanced in the finish. The aroma could be a bit more intensely hoppy, but everything else works exceptionally well.

 790 characters

Photo of breals
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,310 ratings.
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