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 MTB_Gnome
4.92/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I fell in love with this beer the first time I tasted it. It will however ruin anything you drink afterwards, so make sure you have plenty. This beer will also sneek up on you.

Great hoppy taste with every mouthful

This beer is up there on my top ten.

DO IT!!!!

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Photo of Halos25
4.92/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Powerful. Beautiful. BIG.

Poured deep amber in a tulip. Foam head was two fingers-faded quick.

The smell was a biting, yet delicious, blend of marijuana and wet hops (hops is a close relative of the cannabis plant).

Once this brew enters the mouth, it hangs on and on and on. The sides of the back portion of the tongue are stained with the stinging bitterness of the hops minutes after consumption. Hints of grapefruit and other sweet fruits offset the bitterness.

Hoptimum is boozy. I noticed a warmth in my stomach similar to sipping on Whiskey after about half way through.

For every Sierra Nevada fan who savors that particular SN taste this offering needs to be a bucket list beer. For everyone else, especially, ESPECIALLY if you are a so called "hop head" this is a must try.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.92/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Duvel tulip...

A: Pours a beautiful reddish orange with a thick and mousse-like head. Globs of lacing. The engraving at the bottom of the glass keeps the head creamy.

S: Aromas are of grapefuit peel, cedar wood, and rose buds. I hate to be un-original but I was checking the stats on this one at the website. I got to say, they were dead on in the description. Only a couple things I noticed was the booziness, just a hint however, and an evergreen aroma, reminding me of christmas.

T: Pure hoppiness. I was actually blown away on the first sip. Most imperial ipas are plagued by the excessive malt used and the alcohol character. After seeing this was over 10%, I would've bet money this was the same. I would've been wrong. Very sweet and fruity up front, with alot of orange flavor riding on a caramel steed. Very spicy. Gains a cotton candy flavor somewhere along the way then right back to a woodsy, piney finish, like you fell face first down a mountainside full of pine trees. I must've missed something. No trace of that 10.4% alcohol anywhere. I either drink too many big beers, or Sierra Nevada is just on top of their game.

M: medium full body with a resiny, warming and dry finish

Overall, I was more than happy with this overpriced purchase(or so i thought at first, it was $10, though i got it at one of the most expensive stores in Arkansas). A totally bombastic, in-your-face, manly-man IIPA. I would only suggest this to fellow hop heads. No amateurs.

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Photo of BrantleyJ
4.91/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hoptimum is one of the best tasting Imperial IPAs that sadly I have not been able to find since their original release. Hopefully Sierra Nevada will bring back this hop monster soon. Based on the price one can only assume it cost a pretty penny to produce but from a consumer's perspective it is well worth the money.

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Photo of alkemy
4.9/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

24oz. "stubby" bottle 2011

A - Deep golden orange, pretty clear. The off white head is big, frothy, and eventually leaves lacing all down the glass.

S - Yeah, this is all hops...and it's great. Mostly pine. The citrus is most definitely in the background. Aroma is a bit earthy and there's something that gets me thinking of a Belgian with the occasional whiff. I don't smell alcohol.

T - The piney hops smacks you right in the face. There are glimpses of grapefruity citrus, but they are kind of fleeting. I also taste a bit of vanilla coming from somewhere.
The resinous pine dominates and it is wonderful.

M - Feels oily and resinous. The alcohol is faintly warm in the mouth and then more noticeable in the stomach after a swallow.

D - The only thing that holds this beer back a little is the hotness of the alcohol. I'm a fan of the big IIPA, this one really does it for me.

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Photo of hopley
4.89/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is now a once a year 4 pack treat. Very aggressive imperial IPA. Fantastic taste, not overly bitter. Nice to look at, nice to smell and nice head. Nice label and marketing - love the green coloring and the whole cone tone. Sierra Nevada really did themselves out on this one - awesome beer!

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Photo of Oakenator
4.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper color with a nice solid head - creamy to start and really good lacing. Smell gives a hop aroma but is slightly more dulled than others in this style; strong sweet smell, possibly candy, is present. Flavor is piney hop but quickly enhanced with a sweet caramel malt. Hop lingers with spice. Well done.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is very close to the most perfect brew I have ever had. I dinged it on smell because I could take more finishing hops, but there is nothing wrong with it.

If I had to find things wrong with it they would be about being "too" something. Too expensive, first off. If somebody can figure out how to make something like this and sell it cheap they can take over the beer dringking world. Too strong (but that's not a negative when it doesn't TASTE strong, and it's not Dogfish Head 120 either). Too clear (if that implied poor taste, which it doesn't).

It's just too good. I don't deserve it. You aren't worthy either, but if you have eight bucks, get yourself a bottle.

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Photo of heterotopia
4.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Nothing exceptional about the over-all appearance. Translucent, medium amber.

S: Overwhelming redolence of hops. Intense and unforgettable, the scent is divine.

T: A bold amalgamation of hops that harmonizes efficaciously. Piney & orange peel oil: solid hop profile. Ghost of malt. As one would expect -- hoppy after-taste.

M: Medium body and surprisingly smooth for a double IPA. Slightly sticky. Solid carbonation.

O: One of the best double IPA I've had the pleasure of enjoying.

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Photo of aptea110
4.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky to score a bottle of the Sierra Hoptimum, I poured it into a pint glass it had a fantastic copper color to it and Amazing aromas consisting of hops, citrus fruits, and floral notes. Very consistant with the aroma the Hoptimum was full flavoured with even some earthy tones to it. It finishes smooth and is pleasently drinkable. Due to limited supply If you can find it buy a couple of them and savour it! Enjoy!

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Photo of nimrod979
4.87/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just picked this beer up Tuesday. Couldn't wait any longer to pop open this baby. Pours a brilliant orange-copper with a beautiful pillowy oft head that just floats on top of this exciting brew. You can smell the hops with this beer just sitting on the coffee table. No need to bury your nose in this one but when you do, you're in for a fantastic resin, floral and citrus treat. Theres so many different kinds of hops to give it a complex aroma and flavor. It starts with some sweet grapefruit and floral flavors then gets overtaking by a huge wave of hops bitterness than stays on the tongue for awhile. Can kind of detect the alcohol in the finish. Has kind of a chewy texture. Sticks to the glass like glue. This is just a phenomenal beer. Great job by Sierra Nevada. Any hop head will love this intense brew.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.87/5  rDev +18.5%
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!

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Photo of GNRoofDawg
4.87/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent, simply excellent. Very smooth beer, with excellent hoppiness. Easily Sierra's finest beer, which is saying a lot considering they have torpedo and celebration. Have this one in a goblet glass and enjoy it like a fine liquor or wine. I would give this an A+

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Photo of rajendra82
4.87/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer poured out clear, and was orange in color. The head was about one finger thick and long lasting. The beer was extremely aromatic, and each whiff revealed smells of pine and grapefruit, followed by tangerine and a hint of banana. The taste was piny, herbal, and very bitter, which made it just about perfect for the style. The malt backbone was sticky and sugary, but it was only their as a supporting actor. The hops remained evident from the beginning to the end of each sip, and lingered on in the spicy aftertaste. Mouthfeel was slightly thicker than medium, providing a nice coating action. A fabulous example of the style from this brewery doesn't surprise me one bit.

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Photo of beveritt
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Thanks go out to Doctor Dog for getting this one to me in my current beer drought. Poured from a 24 oz wide bomber into a standard pint glass. Label is predominantly green and shows a historic style portrait of a man in a high neck suit, but his head is a hop cone. Freshness date of 101721619; not sure what that translates to.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of light tan head. This settles very slowly, leaving behind amazing lace coverage now and at every sip. Beer itself is the color of bright, burnished copper. No sediment in bottle.

Smell: Strong aroma of spicy hops with hints of honey and floral against a backdrop of semi sweet caramel.

Taste: High tannins and enamel stripping hop precede a well bittered bready, caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level with very good body.

Drinkability: While not the hophead that my wife is, I can appreciate a quality hop bomb and this my friends, is just that. Captures the possible flavor profiles of the hop cone well; from blindingly bitter to sweet and flower like. Good stuff.

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Photo of tdogg30
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer - this is my go to and I wish I could get this year round. If you love hoppy beers, you need to try this. It will not disappoint. Started drinking this out of the bottle, moved to a Sam Adams glass and have now graduated to a tulip glass. I love all 3 options, but best with a tulip glass.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received a 22/24.oz bomber of this from a trade with BA smakawhat, so a big thanks goes out to him.

Poured into snifter a hazy but yet clear orange,with very little head that fades quickly. Quite surprised at the almost lack of head here. Small traces of tiny lacing,really small lacing that comes in little dots. Appearance is not too impressive here.

Aromas sure make up for the rather lazy outward design. Hops,hops,hops with sweet caramel malt hit the nose immediately. Very pleasant. One of the best aromas I've encountered in a while.

Hops attack first and foremost upon first sip.Excellent. Malt backbone comes through,but cannot fight the hops. Beautiful. Just what I want in a DIPA.

A medium to full-fledged heavy body, with maybe a little too much carbonation.

If you love hoppy brews like I do, then this should qualify as a masterpiece,IMO. Not too sweet, great emphasis on hops make this frighteningly drinkable for the hophead, considering the ABV.Wow.

I can only hope I can get more in the future, or soon.

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Photo of dbell23
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip from a bottle with no freshness date.

If poured aggressively there is a two finger head with little retention. Lacing is very good due to the hop oils, I would imagine. Color is golden dark orange and very clear. Nice looking beer.

Smell is all imperial ipa with great pine, grapefruit, hop aroma. Oily hops dominate.

Taste is astounding. Oily hops from start to finish. The tongue is coated with hoppy goodness. Just enough malt to add an attempt of balance. The alcohol is very well hidden. A smack in the face that makes you want more.

Mouthfeel is marvelous. Super smooth and oily. Really nice.

Overall, this is a world class double ipa. Seirra Nevada has hit it out of the park. One of my favorites because of taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of RMD579
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.
This is a ridiculously good beer. Definitely my favorite IPA that's readily available. It's quite bitter, but not too harsh due to the great malt backbone. Lots of complexity in the taste. Pine, hop resin, mango and other tropical fruits, maybe some hints of citrus. There's plenty going on but it blends so well together. Very hoppy, very refreshing, and not boozy at all despite being 10.4%! The mouthfeel on this one is perfect, it's hard to stop drinking. It's just a beautifully balanced beer for how hoppy it is and for how much alcohol is involved. I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed. I'll be keeping this in my fridge for sure.

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Photo of bpasquini
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Copper/amber in color, leaves a large head if not poured carefully, leaves nice lacing around the glass

S: Lots and lots of pine, honey and caramelized sugar, light citrus, and light bready malts as well

T: Very piney up front with a little honey sweetness to it, good bitterness level comes in, then leaves a slight sweet citrusy after taste and the bitterness slightly lingers, the bitterness is very light in the after taste

M: A little thick for an IPA IMO but still very smooth, a little oily and almost sticky, interesting but awesome mixture

O: Amazing IIPA, definitely one of my new favorites, wish there was a little more citrus flavors in it, but still outstanding from SN, definitely buy if you see it

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Photo of saison19
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hop ti mum, a tasty trip of the tongue. Poured into a Duvel tulip it produced a thick creamy head that lingered, nice lacing too. Big hop and malt aroma. The first sip was sweet up front with lots of pineapple and grapefruit, followed by a massive hit of hops; wonderful, bittersweet complexity. Syrupy and lucious mouthfeel. Bittersweet dry aftertaste that begs for another sip.

One of the best DIPA's I've had.

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Photo of mattffrost
4.84/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer, so many great IPA's I have tried this one is right up there with Pliny the Elder as the best love it.

The Hops just jump out at you. I am a hop head and this delivers for me. The taste of this beer is just world class.

Its a rusty copper color with very little carbonation and little head. A sweet taste where the whole imperial hops will just blow you away. Goes right to the nose :)

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Photo of racer2k
4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the contents of my bomber into a brandy snifter glass

A - Beer pours a shiny deep amber color which creates some thin white lacing that quickly dissolves in and around the sides of the glass. The color is vibrant in this beer and is accentuated by the large snifter.

S - Very forward citrus presence with strong aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, mango and sweet tangerine. There is also a strong pine earthy tone to the beer. There is a hint of sweet toasted malt but this is not the main event. Slight boozy smell but it is very well hidden.

T - Fantastic fruity hop presence that is quite tangy to the tongue and mouth. This beer just explodes in your mouth with a burst of fruity hops which transition to a pine and earthy finish. There is an interesting sweet grapefruity flavor to this beer which is excellent. You definitely have a back end warming alcohol sensation with the 10.40% abv but the fantastic taste of this beer hides it well.

M - Moderate body with a slight resiny feel consistent with an Imperial IPA. The beer starts off like fizzy pop rocks but finishes very clean and dry at the end. There is quite a transition with this monster.

D - Fantastic beer. I have had nearly every commercially released Sierra Nevada beer in the portfolio and this is in the top 2-3 of all time. I only got my hands on (2) bombers but if given an opportunity I would have paid $100+ for a case of bombers. Outstanding beer!
D - Exceptional.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a light orange to deep yellow with a small slightly off white head
S: Smells dank and resinous with wisps of pine and citrus
T: Taste is dominated by an oily hop presence with tropical fruits, pine, a slight citrus, and a solid caramel sweetness that fights to make an appearance. Huge resinous and lasting aftertaste coats the entire mouth.
M: Slick and full bodied on the palate white ample carbonation
O: If you love Imperial IPAs this one will make you believe in a god. This is seriously good stuff and drink it when it's fresh. Sierra Nevada knows how to make outstanding IPAs and this one is no exception.

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Photo of iPaleAle
4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 22 oz. hefewizen style glass...

A: Thick rich head.awesome amber/copper color. See through. Very clean looking brew.

S: The smell is good. Very hoppy smell. You can actually smell the whole-cone hops! Alcohol smelling. Really imperial like.

T: The taste is fruity to alcohol to hops. The hops is the finish like you would to finish an imperial IPA. Sour like a grapefruit.... awesome like a IPA

M: The Mouth-feel is light and crispy. Resonates on the Mouth lightly. The palate begs for More after a sip or two!

O: A very good style to an Imperial IPA. High Alcohol. Color. and sweet HOPS!!! If your a seasonal IPA drinking you cant avoid this HOP BOMB! worth checking out Maybe twice or three times!

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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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