Sierra Nevada “Hoptimum Imperial IPA” Review (#137)

Sierra Nevada "Hoptimium Imperial IPA"


Sierra Nevada
“Hoptimium Imperial IPA”
Chico, CA

From The Brewery

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

ABV: 10.4%
IBUs: 100
Malts: Two-row Pale, Golden Promise, Munich & Wheat
Bittering Hops: German Magnum
Aroma Hops: Simcoe & New Proprietary Variety
Dry Hops: Simcoe & New Proprietary Variety
Torpedo Hops: Citra & Chinook
Yeast: Ale
Original Gravity: 22.8 Plato
Final Gravity: 4.5 Plato


Appearance: It pours a beautiful glowing copper orange with a solid, half inch thick off white head, that is easily brought back, and left massive lacing.

Smell: HOPS! Huge citrus orange and grapefruit hops on the nose. Very pungent with a bit of sweet toasty malt on the back end.

Taste: Complex hops all over the place – pineapple with grapefruit, tangerines, and orange zest – with mild malt in the middle, with a yeast ester/heat finish. It leaves a very citrus forward sweet finish that lasts forever.  It is a big beer – 10.4% – which comes forward with warming. Very, very tasty and west coast.

Mouthfeel: Lower full bodied, creamy across the palate, with a sweet lingering finish.

Drinkability: High – the finishing flavor is awesome and makes you want more and more.

Notes: A very, very citrus forward, complex IIPA. This is not an entry level beer. I hope they make this one at least annually. Quite different from their Torpedo Extra IPA, which I also highly recommend (review found here).


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