Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,460 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: 1,460 | Ratings: 6,252
Photo of mbusster88
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 24oz bottle into perfect pint.

A: Pours with a good off white head and light copper colored body. Tons of carbonation off the bottom of the glass.

S: Smells like fruit juice. Tons of tangerine and grapefruit. Get tons of great hop aroma right up front in this one, really fresh smelling as well.

T/M: Right away get the drying hop flavors and the citrus. Very easy on the palate but also semi-dry. Good character throughout for the hops that are extremely fresh and very pungent. Great mouth feel that makes it an easy beer to drink. Love the overall palate and flavor as it is so well done.

D: This beer is well worth picking up. I think this is one of the better DIPA I have had to date. I will be returning to the store to get more of this as it is so dang good.

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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 gfthree7
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a discovery for fans of the Imperial IPAs! Here in Southern California the IPAs from Sierra Nevada, Green Flash and Stone have us all spoiled.

This Hoptimum from SN is on par with Green Flash Imperial as my favorite double/imperial IPA. IPA lovers that are willing to take the plunge into Imperial IPAs will be thrilled!

This beer went down like smooth beigian golden with a California IPA twist. This is easily the smoothest double IPA i've had, and i hope SN makes this a staple of the collection!

If you love IPAs you have to try this.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

$8.00 24 oz. bomber from Abe's.

Beautiful deep gold color, topped by three fingers of off-white super dense micro bubbles. Nice sticy lace down the ball of my Aventinus glass.

Big enticing aroma of pine and grapefruit.

Huge sweet slab across the tongue, like a flypaper covered phone book. After that there are explosions all around, drippy juicy fruit all over the mouth and a blast of bitterness that echoes on and on. Its on going on at once so the individual sensations can blur together.

Solid medium mouthfeel carries through well. Alcohol is tucked away nicely. Definitely in the dangerous drinkable category. I wouldn't have two of these in a night, but I definitely could go for more than the two bombers I bought.

Highly recommended if you are open to more IIPAs than Pliny and HopSlam.

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Photo of SigEp271
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Nice golden appearance with very little head.

Smell - Smells how a true IPA should. You get a nose full of hop, which I think it centennial

Taste - Right off the bat you get hit with hops. If you can imagine a hop literally slapping you in the face, that pretty much explains it. Nice after taste and as the beer starts to warm you get different flavor characteristics. For a 100 IBU this is very impressive, loved DFH 120 IPA and this is much more affordable and is just as equally impressive.

Mouthfeel - Crisp taste with a nice long after taste. With the IPA had a little bit more depth, but wonderful beer.

Overall - Great IPA. Normally hate Sierra Nevada but had to try this. Well worth it

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Photo of Beernoisseur
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great big beer. The hop flavors are enormous, in your face, and lingering. The maltiness of this beer comes through in a moderate caramel and candy sugar kind of way, but the hops run the show with this brew. Grapefruit rind, resinous pine and an almost sage like herbal quality are quite obvious on both the nose and the palate.

All in all a fantastic imperial.

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Photo of khmel
4.79/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. in a mug

A: Dark golden to light amber color. A little hazy. Creamy, off-white head, 1 finger at pour with medium high retention.

S: HOPS! The smell of this beer is incredible and screams that it is, indeed, a DIPA. Strong grapefruit and pineapple notes.

M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth.

T: All about the hops! Citrus moving to pine flavors as it warms. The malt and alcohol flavors play a far second to this hophead's dream.

O: Highly recommended! If you are a hop lover, get your hands on this one!

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Photo of BeerMaverick
4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is easily one of the best beers I've ever had...

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden with a reddish tinge. Pure white beautiful head with fantastic retention...bubbles were there the entire time. Lots and lots of lacing obscuring the wine glass almost completely.

S - Sweet smell for a DIPA, but the hops are definitely there.

T - the smell there is a lot of sweetness, but the hops and other ingredients balance it out so well.

M - Fantastic, the hops last and last with the sweetness and bitterness continually playing off each other. Fantastic lasting aftertaste that stays with you until the next sip.

D - Only have a couple of these...although it's hard because you won't be driving anywhere at 10.4%.

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Photo of burnstar
4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark gold with a big persistent rocky head. Stays the whole way down the glass. Smell is big citrusy hops. Lemons, grapefruit, some pine. Great hop flavors in this beer. Again lots of bitter grapefruit. Also some apricot. Sweet lemons. Nice sweet malt backbone. At first this has a great peppery hop bite followed by a mellow sweetness and then a pleasant and intense lingering bitterness. Nice full bodied mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable. Overall a really great double IPA. I expected this to be very good and it exceeded expectations.

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Photo of Farewell_Transmission
4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This bottle I think has been aged. I have no idea how to read SN dating system. Served the glass in a tulip glass. Nice deep reddish orange color. Nice big head. Smell is amazing. The aging on this bottle has subdued the super strong hop tastes that I have had before with this beer. Still amazing. The taste has a huge malt profile, which as a IPA you would not think it might not have. Overall I wish I could buy this beer all of the time. It is my favorite imperial/double IPA.

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Photo of biggred1
4.77/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brassy-orange with a sticky, rocky cream colored head that leaves crusty rings of lace on the glass. The aroma is excellent..resinous, piney and citric hop notes with some caramel malt notes. Big, muscular hop flavors of pine sap resin and grapefruit pith slathered in melted caramel. This is an amazing beer, huge hop flavors and bitterness with sublime malt richness to balance. Full bodied with smooth carbonation and amazingly well hidden alcohol. Too bad Hoptimum is such a limited release, I hope it makes it into the regular seasonal rotation for SN.

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Photo of --Dom--
4.77/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a slightly hazy copper, minimal head, doesn't stick around. Smells of strong piney hops and also sweet malt. The nose is full of sweet aroma.

All I can say about the taste is wow. It's just great. Opens up with huge piney hops, bitter grapefruit that is well in balance. The bitter is just spot on, all the right bitter flavor and none of the bad. Not to knock hopslam in any way, it's a world class beer. But this one has the hop profile I wanted to taste when I got hopslam. There is certainly a good malt presence but the hop always remains forward in this beer. It's near perfect for me.

Thick mouthfeel as to be expected. Carbonation is good. Overall, I love this beer. The flavor, the hop profile, everything about it is excellent. It's probably taking the number one spot as far as imperial IPA's go for me. Try it, you may not love it as much as I do, but it is definitely not something you want to miss.

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Photo of dhvnu
4.77/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all this beer is exceptional, secondly, I am a little confused of the low rating it have obtained. Thirdly, I really want to see what the bros have to say about it. I am sure it will be nothing less than a A minus.

Look- nothing more or less like an average DIPAm golden copperish. Have to mention the coolest label for 2010 DIPAs

smell- One of the main plus points of this DIPA; strong citrus + floral smell that retains till the last drop

taste- This is it, it has the strong bitter bitterness of Double Daddy ( Speakeasy) but WITH a sweet mask that makes it taste like a better Racer 5 ( Bear Republic) or the famous Two Hearted Ale ( bells).

Palate - Full,

Overall- Simply exceptional, one of the BEST DIPA I have tried !


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Photo of Brubaker
4.77/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a Hop beer for people that like HOPS. Malt only fans need not apply.

A- A radiant and inviting orange amber. A one finger head that lasts. Medium carbonation. Clear, clear, & clear.

S- Several hops (citrus, fruits) with a little caramel malt then alcohol. Fragrant

T- AWWWW YEAAAAHH! Sorry about that. I can be a hop head. Beautiful hop blend. Citra, cascade, others. With a little malt note sneaking in there to sew things up. A slight alcohol but you never guess it at 10%. A noticeable spice in the profile. Did i mention hops? Just clean & fresh.

M- Medium body with a light texture and low carbonation.

O- This beer makes me Happy! I could drink this all day long. Good, clean, & refreshing.

Would Drink
Would Buy
Would Make

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Photo of suspect
4.77/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz bottle into Duvel Tulip

A: Rich golden color with creamy head that leaves little lacing.

S: Holy sh** this thing really punches you in the nostrils with hops. It's the venerable "hop-bomb." Really piney/citrusy with hops all over. Faint malty smell but it more just dulls the hop-punch slightly.

T: Awesome. Up front hop, followed strongly by hops. Citrusy follow and malt comes through just before the bitter but doesn't last long. Alcohol presence clear but not overpowering. Balanced really nicely.

M: Sharp and biting with serious smooth.

D: I could drink this over and over. It might just be, for me, better than the 90 minute. Which is saying a lot.

Notes: Goddam I love this beer. I haven't had Hopslam yet but the bar for seasonal DIPA's has really been lifted high.

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Photo of ANiklaus
4.76/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into regular pint glass.

Appearance: Bronze color with little head. Light carbonation that moderately sticks to the glass.

Smell: Very bitter smell with hints of citrus. Could have used more variety and sweetness here.

Taste: What you expect from a double IPA, extremely hoppy with some sweetness and citrus. It's very good and one of my favorites.

Mouthfeel: Most likely this beer's strongest feature. It gets much better with every sip and the bitterness is fairly quickly replaced by sweetness.

Overall: An excellent example of what a double IPA is supposed to taste like and is one of my favorites.

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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 JeffBob
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured into a glass goblet a rich amber hue. with 1/3 inch of foam

S: mmm crisp clean hoppiness.

T: at first impact, super sweet, followed by IBU pine hopiness. a bitter but sweet lingering after taste.

M: could have used a wee bit more carbonation in my opinion. But other than that very crisp a clean

D: my one pint poured into a goblet going down good so far but dont think this is a beer to drink all night.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hoptimum 2014
Revisited once I found four loose bottles for sale at market. Now.
This stuff is best fresh, as in the past I've tried mild aging with Hoptimum, to no benefit, and sure that's expected when it comes to hoppy beers.
Something brings me back to this big beer whenever I can catch it. It poured ok, unassuming, with barely a head and a typical imperial ipa bodywise otherwise. Incredible aroma only a hophead could appreciate. But it drinks pitch perfect. Big dank whole hops, the whole gamut, just as advertised via the beverage's description. Get it fresh, and get it while you can. When I see it I get it, because it goes and stays gone. This DIPA is a guilty pleasure that pushes the envelope of sipping high abv. craft brews. It's delicious, piney, resinous, sticky, and if a sessionable ale can ever be a heavy one, this one has me rechecking the barometer, because it won't stop going down without rechecking the limit. I feel this hits a zen-marker with regards to hop intake. Stay local, stay in. If it's out on tap, have one and remember it for later.

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

This Double IPA is definitely aggressively hopped. The aroma was of freshly cut grapefruit with a bit of honey lingering in the fringes. The taste was a relentless hop explosion that seeped into every square inch of my mouth. It started with a clean bright citrusy hop that melded with a sweet malt honey flavor and ended with a resinous pine bitterness that lingered on my palate and would not let go. The flavors mellowed a bit as it warmed and created quite the hop thrill ride. The mouthfeel was syrupy and substantial and the high ABV creeped up on me even after one glass. The Hoptimum was an intense hop experience that was worth the ride and my palate will never be the same. This is one of my favorite Double IPAs and I look forward to its release every year.

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Photo of beerdedking
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

2014 release. Hoptimum. Yessir...
This is one of SNs greatest releases. Obviously SNPA is a standard bearer, and Torpedo too, but this beer
achieves that resinous tongue coating quality that is my favorite part of swigging down a DIPA.
Very piney with citrus taking the background, it's that awesome resin finish that will have me scouring the earth for
this one every year. Stands out in a very crowded field. Love Sierra Nevada since day one...

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Photo of Celtics17
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A big piney, tropical fruit 10% abv IPA. Some grapefruit. Big and bold all the way through. One of the best IPA's when it's out. This beer makes you want this offering year round. The spring time is the only time you can get it. The website says until August. But supplies won't last with this great tropical/pine forward beer.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, bottled on march 15, under one month, cash. Cool label

A: Pours a beatiful clear, amber/golden color, rather large white head. Subdues to a thin film that retains well, leaves a cascade of lacing.

S: Whoa deep tropical citrus, caramel too. Grapefruit, even cherries, very sweet smelling. Some grape malty

T: Very citrus/tropical up front, upon first sip its a lemon and powedered sugar combo, quickly you get assaulted with deep tropical mango/pineapple/grapefruit. Sweet honey, caramel malt backbone hides but is there. Insane hop oil flavors. Lingers forever. As it warms notes pine-y, and minty notes emerge in background. Leaves palate wet.

M: Super creamy, rich heavy body, abv med/low, super oily. ABV incredibly well developed. Its almost tiring to drink it as there so much flavor to comprehend, yet it doesnt overwhelm the palate with bitterness/dryness. A bomber is do-able 1 man.

O: Hop nirvana really, this beer aint for the bud light drinkers. Absolute homerun. Mandatory purchase for hop heads. Hop elixer, not sure what else to say. Hop bill might not be as complicated as others, but the dominate flavor/note in this brew is unrivaled in my experience up till now. I might have to buy this again, like now.

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Photo of ioconnor
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Very hoppy! One of my top 5 IPA'S for sure! I'm from Phoenix, so I've got my frosty mug ready for this! No warm beer here when it is 110 degrees out. Shalom my beer brothers and sisters.

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

After trying this beer a number of times I still enjoy it but it is no longer my favorite. The color and head are nice. It has a nice initial hoppy taste that returns for a second hoppier burst, I still keep it in the fridge as an everyday, affordable DIPA.

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Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,252 ratings.
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