Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

6,278 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: 6,278 |  Reviews: 1,471
Photo of PeteRiz
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Goldfishman
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of ATXRyan
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of bonbini26
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of datalager
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of jeremy13586
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer was a slightly hazy copper color with a big, fluffy, off-white head. My pour was a little bit too vigorous and the beer ended up overflowing. Left some big sticky lacing on the glass.

Citrus, grass, and resinous hops. There is a little bit of a malt profile, but I can't get more than a little bit of caramel.

There is a nice malty backbone that hits you up front, but then the rest is all hops. Pineapple, lemon, grass and earthiness is the general hop profile. There is a lingering hop bitterness, but overall, it finishes clean.

Pretty bubbly throughout. Medium bodied. A pretty slick finish.

Thoroughly enjoyable and very well balanced. The lack of super-complexity was a plus for me, but I didn't dig the oily finish. Beer was still bangin'. I can't think of anything from SN that I didn't like, and this is another hit. Try it!

 847 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 release. Tulip glass.

A: Pours medium gold, excellent clarity, with two fingers of nice off white head. Good retention and copious lacing.

S: Beautiful, nuanced dried flowers, a couple different malts. Really nice.

T: Huge, thick resinous pine and crystal malt, hints of caramel and floral; the hops tear apart your palate. Medium-high bitterness which is balanced by the subtle sweetness of the malt. This is a tad too "big" for my taste.

M: Full bodied, slightly sticky, and with light carbonation.

O: Most definitely a pine bomb of an IPA. Hides the alcohol pretty well. This is a bit thick for my taste, and I tend to prefer more citrus in my IPAs (or at least a mix of pine and citrus), so that cut my enjoyment a little. Also, I rarely, if ever, find myself wanting a 4 pack of a > 10% DIPA.

 810 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of let8it8grow
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of sadiekay
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of BradFCL
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of szmnnl99
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a hazy orange color with a off-white orange tinted head. The head is big and billowy with large bubbles seen entrapped within. The head has good retention, but eventually fades over time to give a wonderful amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a sweet caramel base with tons of pine hop aromas. There are lighter citrus notes as well of sweet orange/tangerine and lemon with a lighter hint of grapefruit. There are other subtle hop aromas of floral nature as well as a somewhat candy sweet aroma. Overall the smell is of nice sweet hoppiness.

Taste – The taste is quite full of transitions between more bitter and sweet. Right up front it starts out with a big shot of bready maltiness with a good helping of some bitter grapefruit hop. Carmel sweetness then quickly comes right after the initial bitterness. With the advent of the caramel sweetness the hops that were of more grapefruit initially transition to more pine in nature with the lighter orange and sweeter lemon present in the nose mixed in. The pine flavors are the most dominant in the taste and last the longest. With these flavors there are some hints of tropical fruit as well. Toward the end the brew bitters some with lemon hop and the grapefruit that was initially present mixing in with the heavy pine. At the very end a light alcohol flavor comes into the mix, and with the other flavors, creates a pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – The body is very creamy. The beer coats the mouth, basking the tongue in all the nice flavors the brew possesses. The carbonation level is just below average and very fitting for the high abv. and all the sweet and bitter flavors

Overall – This is a nice heavy IPA. A bit on the sweeter/maltier side with some good hop flavors. Not what I would consider a session brew (due to its high abv. and swinging taste profile) but a great beer to go to from time to time and sit back and relax with.

 1,964 characters

4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. 2012 vintage. Bottled on day 75 of 2012 (March 15).

Appearance: Pours an orange amber with a clean white head. Soft and pillowy. Quiet carbonation.

Smell: Aroma of grapefruit, bubblegum and pine. Little to no alcohol aroma.

Taste: A bit overpowering. Hoppy, yes, but also a bit harsh and not necessarily from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately thick and chewy.

Overall: With all due respect to Sierra Nevada, I've had other Double IPAs with much better flavor and character without exhibiting Hoptimum's harshness. Maybe this needs more than 5 weeks to mellow. As it stands, I much prefer the flavor profile, characteristics, and nuances of SN Torpedo over Hoptimum.

 723 characters

Photo of Daniel9913
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of cashmier
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%

Photo of brwnchrstpher
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of johnsilk
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of server222
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of Gabany
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of howard12
4.74/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this in a bottle, second time ever having it. poured into a perfect pint glass.

A -- nice golden, lightly burnt orange coloring.

S -- I mean, I smell sweet piney hops right away, but also notice the sweet caramel and delicious light fruit as well. certainly going to be sticky.

T -- Echo the smell, but better. Big, piney, sticky hops. the sweetness comes out in the caramel and fruit quite well. Definitely malty, and did i mention sticky?. Piney/hoppy/resiny, but sweet, aftertaste. very good.

O -- I really enjoy this beer; it's delicious, one of my favorites in the style.


 593 characters

Photo of Momar42
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 edition poured from 12oz bottle into a Duvel Eley Kishimoto tulip glass

A - about a fingers worthnof white, fluffy head. It lessens quickly but retains a thin clingy white top. Deep orange/amber hue. Lacing remains as I write this review.

S - piney, huge. Is it Christmas again already?? No citrus present but heavily hopped on the nose. I think I can smell it saying "drink me".

T - there be hops. Lots and lots of hops. Taste is similar to the smell. Nice bite on the sides of the tongue and as it goes down. Very smooth overall. Hops are everywhere. Booze is noticeable, but at 10.40% that is to be expected. Nice burn as it goes down.

M - heavy, coating and sticky. From front to back it coats all over. Not a clean finish, but who could expect that?!? Mouthfeel definitely let's you know it's there.

O - my first taste of this beast and I like it...alot. Might not share the remaining three after all. Booze lingers but so does the hop heaven flavor. Maybe not the "Best" Imperial IPA but certainly worth seeking out when available, I know I surely will. A great beer from a great brewery. Sierra Nevada seldoms disappoints.

 1,154 characters

Photo of leefx
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 7/02/13
Poured into the Sierra Nevada/Dogfish IPA glass

Appearance: (4.25)
Pours a lightly hazed golden yellow with a massive, thick, 3 finger off white head. The head has decent retention and leaves plenty of lacing along the sides of the glass.

Huge aromatics of spicy hops erupt out of the glass towards your nose; juicy grapefruit and grapefruit rind, generic herbs, resinous pine, light tangerine, fragrant peach, and a faint almost berry like tropical note. The hop aromatics are very layered and complex, but lean a bit too hard on the spicy, herbal side of the hop spectrum. There is a soft, doughy malt presence underneath the mountain of hops and unfortunately, some light alcohol phenols come out to play as the beer warms.

Taste: (4)
A huge, resinous pine character assaults your palate first, shortly followed by big grapefruit tones as well as more of that interesting berry-like note that is found in the nose.
Spicy herbs and a sizable chunk of a sweet, bready malt backbone close this gigantic Imperial IPA. The beer finishes dry and very bitter with long, lingering notes of sticky pine resin, light peach and berries as a hint of caramel from the malt. The alcohol is hidden surprisingly well, but it does warm as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: (4)
Robust, full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: (4.25)
A very, intense, complex and layered IPA from Sierra Nevada. The hops really do shine through in this beer, but they still take on that overly herbal, spicy hop characteristic that is found in most of their beers, I'm not sure why that is. Don't get me wrong; this is a fabulous Imperial IPA, that I will for sure buy again, but the herbal hops are not want I want usually in an IPA. This beer is very well crafted and I highly recommend checking it out because this is one unique beer that definitely sets itself apart from the myriad of different Imperial IPAs out there.

 1,929 characters

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,278 ratings.
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