Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
6,308 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPASierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,308
Reviews:
1,485
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
11.44%
 
 
Wants:
440
Gots:
1,212
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,308 |  Reviews: 1,485
Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of zeff80
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a two-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine and citrus. A nice burnt toast aroma, too.

T - It tasted of burnt toast with pine and citrusy hops. It was a bit unbalanced.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry. It had a warm alcohol presence.

O - This is a nice DIPA, but a little unbalanced. It didn't live up to my expectations.

 476 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of largadeer
2.76/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft at Toronado, served in a pint glass. Clear, bright and caramel-colored in the glass, dark for the style, topped by a small white cap. The aroma is solventy, lightly citrusy and heavy on the crystal malt. Pine and citrus-like dry hops are evident but overwhelmed by the alcohol. The taste is similarly harsh, very strong solventy alcohol matched by resiny hop bitterness and substantial caramel malt. While it's not especially sweet, the malt backbone is heavy and cumbersome, too syrupy for a DIPA and lacking finesse. It finishes bitter, heavy and sharply alcoholic. This is OK stuff and signature Sierra Nevada; heavy on the crystal malt and bittering hops but not particularly delicate. Can't say I would drink this again.

 731 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.7%

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/18/2017. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, light pepper, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, light pepper, pine, light honey, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine/citrus peel/grassy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, lemon/orange peel, light pepper, pine, honey, bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt flavors; with and awesome malt/bitterness balance, and zero lingering hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky, and lightly resinous balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Zero warming alcohol for 9.6%. Overall this is an awesome DIPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with tame bitterness. Great juicy hop vibrancy and nice malt backbone, without being too sweet. A really enjoyable offering.

 1,796 characters

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a white head. Good retention. Some lace. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: a ton of hops and a ton of fruits. Floral and pine hops. Grapefruit and lemon citrus. A little bready malts.

Taste: tons of juicy hops. Floral and piney. Grapefruit stIckiness. Some bready malts. Hop resiny. Very oily.

Mouthfeel: sticky and bitter. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, this was a tasty. It wasn't world class, but it was solid and definitely something I would drink again. Very nice iipa.

 529 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fire Works Pizza in Arlington, VA over the weekend. Served in a sample glass. Pours a clear golden-peach color with a nice white head and some nice lacing on the way down. The nose carries some good tropical fruits behind some strong orange and citrus. The flavor falls back quite a bit from there, as the bitterness gets to me a bit too much for the hop flavor. Body is light-medium with average carbonation and a hefty bitterness paired with a fair amount of alcohol. Nose was by far the best part of this one.

 522 characters

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 chinchill
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage bottle; a large (~22oz) bottle not in the Camp Beer series.

Pours a crystal clear amber with a towering, sticky, highly durable, frothy off-white head.

Powerful hop aroma with some underlying sweet malts and alcohol esters. Floral, pine and citrus notes in the aroma and the flavor. The taste carries a strong hop hit, partly tamed by the addition of a significant sweet malt component. Long lasting, bitter-sweet hop aftertaste. Tastes like a high gravity beer, but still the high ABV (I'm surprised to see how high) is rather well-hidden.

M - Medium body; good, light-medium carbonation; smooth but with a mild hop/alcohol bite.

O - Near extreme hoppiness without the full bitter accompaniment. Hop nectar for hop heads. An able substitute for Bells Hopslam.

 781 characters

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

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a goblet a slight chill hazed burnt orange tinged copper with a sticky one finger head that held for quite awhile.A mix of overripe tropical fruit and big pine resin in the nose,a whiff of sweet alcohol is there as well.Just like the aromas the big tropical fruit and pine resin really hits at the start,the alcohol plays much more of a role as the beer warms a little,the sweetness really comes on keeping the drinkiblity just a tad low.A beast of big hops and big sweet alcohol,tread lightly.

 541 characters

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!

 1,195 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big creamy 1.5 finger head, sticky lacing, clear copper orange color.

Nose has some interesting pine hops, fresh hop oils, light citrus hops and hints of tropical fruit, light sweet malty backbone, very light must hop resin.

Taste is unique, fresh bettering hops, fairly bitter, hop oils and a bit of resin, light pine and citrus fruit hops, some spicy hops, light sweet malty base, light tingly booze and little sticky. Finishes dry with some lingering bitterness and fresh hops, bit of hop oil and resin linger.

Mouth is med with decent carb.

Drink is decent, touch of warming booze, somewhat bitter but balanced by bit of malts and dry finish.

 650 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains piney hops, a lot of fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a very strong burst of floral hops bitterness that is quickly followed by a very fruity citrus sweetness. There's a significant alcohol sting that comes through at times. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates some balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this a very solid 2IPA to drink for a long time but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

 876 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Edition

A: Pours a clear golden orange in color. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the entire surface of the beer, a thick patch, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of hops - strong floral, grapefruit, and citrus along with lighter amounts of pine.

T: There is some upfront caramel malt sweetness but that is quickly dominated by the hops flavors. The primary hop flavor is the grapefruit but that is supported by floral and light pine flavors. There is some moderate bitterness in this beer but it is not overly aggressive.

M: On the fuller side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: For as big a beer as this is from a flavor and ABV perspective, this beer is quite easy to drink. I'm really enjoying sipping on this one while watching the Euros. Easier to drink than I expected with the hoppy flavors/aromas and bitterness because it is not overly agressive.

 1,066 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Huge thanks go to sholland119 and vickster259 for hooking me up with a bottle of this. You two are awesome!

Pours a brilliant crystal clear copper in the glass, topped with 1-2 fingers of rich off-white colored head. This retains with a frothy ½ finger, which just absolutely DRENCHES the sides of the glass with creamy lacing. Man, what a nice robust look to this! The aroma is flowery and deeply herbal smelling, with some additional sharp pangs of grapefruit and pine. Juicy tropical fruit, caramel, and toasted grains do a nice job of sweetening things up some here. This just has a real nice balance of flavors here in the nose.

The taste is also a well balanced blend of hop flavors, with bitter grapefruit, spice, and dry sticky resins all running into a wall of luscious ripe fruit character. There is also a maltier splash of toffee and toasted grains across the back of the palate but it's mostly that heavy tropical fruit presence that coats the tongue and brings most of the sweetness to the profile. This finishes very dry, with a good bit of green bitterness and pine sticking in the mouth. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a crisp yet creamy chewiness to it that is undercut by a smooth undercurrent of oily slickness. Unfortunately, this is showing a bit too much alcohol warmth here in the body. This does lessen some as the warms and balances but it just retains an overall beefy warmth the whole way through that cuts back on the approachability of this.

Well this certainly was a full flavored but still well balanced hoppy punch in the face from SN but they really need to dial the ABV of this back a bit. If they could maybe get this in the 8-9% range, this could end up being something special. For now, it's just another tasty but ultimately overly warm big DIPA.

 1,829 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hugely aromatic, flowery, every hop descriptor you can think of. Yet it's not obscenely bitter in the southern California tradition. A bright, warm note followed by the fruity, malty richness.

Handsome orange amber, on the lighter shade. Attractive foam and carbonation. A touch of honey, lime and orange peel. Spicy with that eye-opening flavor. Crisp and sharp, with the mellow, rich base. As with every SN beer, it's well made and technically perfect.

The grapefruit flavors and the bitterness of citrus rind comes through loud and clear. But the overall fruity and warm character makes it quite, uh, sippable. More than a mouthful would be wasted. This must be one of the best strong DIPAs around. It's so hot, you might think it's some kind of crazy hopped-up gin.

From the 12 oz bottle.

 796 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Served in a flared pils glass, a slightly hazy golden-amber color with a small foamy cap of white head that receded to a ringlet; bubbly carbonation visible. Herbal hop aroma, not too strong. Taste is a bit subdued for an imperial IPA, crisp herbal and piney hop bitterness, lightly toasted grains, biscuity hops. The weakness in flavor is made up for in the mouthfeel department; this is one drinkable beer, smooth and light on the tongue for the style, clean aftertaste, with the higher ABV almost unnoticeable. Nice beer overall.

 573 characters

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 6,308 ratings.
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