Review of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

13 Mar
Hello again good craft beer people!!!  For today’s review I’m going to be trying the Sierra Nevada Hoptimum made by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company located in Chico, California.

I’ve actually never tried this beer before, so I don’t really know what to expect.  Hops, I guess.

From the website,, we find this 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.

How ’bout we try it?

This brew has an ABV of 10.4% and it comes in as 12 oz. bottle.

It poured a semi-clear, deep orange to copper color with an off white head of very, very nice size.  It was tremendously smooth, frothy and soft.  The retention time was outstanding and the lacing looked spectacular.  It hung on for dear life, but once it finally did settle it left a gorgeous skim on top of the liquid.  This is a beautiful looking beer to say the least.

The nose wasn’t nearly as strong as I thought it was going to be, however it was still very prevalent, well balanced, complex and worthy.  Hints of dank grapefruit, pine scents and resinous hop oils were noticed first followed by a light, whole wheat breadiness and relaxed caramel notes.  A light dollop of honey brought forth a bit more sweetness accompanied by a subtle, but clear alcohol note.

The taste came forward with grapefruit citrus and orange zest.  Some sweet, thick and sugary caramel malt exploded right off the bad.  It was actually a bit too syrupy.  Way more malt than I was anticipating to be honest.  Further savors of pine needles and a substantial dried breadiness.  The alcohol was not so much tasted, but rather felt.  Again very dank and resiny.

The mouthfeel was medium to darn near full bodied.  It was very dry, sticky, smooth, slick, oily and chewy.  The carbonation was only average I thought.  A bit of warmth was felt deep in the chest and a good amount of flavor was left covering the palate.

Well, there’s no doubt that this is a good beer and one that could definitely be enjoyed by Hophead’s everywhere.  However, I didn’t think it quite had the ease of drinkability that some of the other big, hoppy beers have.  It was a bit thick and oily for my liking considering the style.  Now, that’s not saying that I didn’t enjoy it or that I wouldn’t want another because I had a blast slow sipping this thing, but it did become a bit sweet after a little while.  I will say that this was one of the best looking beers that I’ve seen in some time.  Very aesthetic and appealing looking.  With that being said, give the Sierra Nevada Hoptimum a try if you see it and let me know what you think.  If you’ve already had it, what was your impression?  Does it deserve to be ranked as high as some of the other “big” IPA’s and DIPA’s?

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+          

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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Country: USA, Sierra Nevada


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