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RATINGS: 1469   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 100   EST. CALORIES: 312   ABV: 10.4%
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A group of hop-heads and publicans challenged our Beer Camp (#19) 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.

Hops, hops and more hops are the stars of this big, whole-cone Imperial IPA. Resinous Ďnew-schoolí 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 Ė all culminating in a dry and lasting finish.

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

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
sloth (2452) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - JAN 25, 2011
Large offwhite head, very good retention, lotsa stringy lace, lasting. Lightly hazy, amber orange brew. Nose is hoppy and alcoholly, light fruits, peach, but the booze sorta owns it. med/full body, soft carbonation, palate gettin tired of the booze. Tastes of alcohol and some shat upon hop flavors, citrus, pine, ink and faint bubblegum, grainy crystal malts. Dry raunchy finish. Lotta booze, astringent, evil and troublesome. Cmon guys you can do better than this, sheesh! Bottle from statelineliquors. Tasted at cellar temp, about 55 degrees. Oh yeah, ABV is noticable. Who wants the other bomber? BM me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
skylercampbell (25) - Berkeley, California, USA - JAN 25, 2011
To be fair, I am comparing this beer to benchmark double IPAís like Pliny the Elder and Ruination IPA. Perhaps if I were judging it against some "lesser" double IPAís, my review would seem somewhat kinder, but lesser double IPAís can be had in 6-packs for less than a single bomber of Hoptimum, so this review is going to be somewhat less flattering than it could be. The aroma is of herbal hops with a hint of citrus - not the citrus/flower bomb that I would expect. While not reserved, the aroma isnít particularly powerful, either. Somewhat of a letdown, this is reminding me of a more run-of-the-mill double IPA, like I would expect to find at one of many so-so brewpubs. Whatís right about this beer is that it is golden-orange and crystal clear, which is what I expect from a double IPA of the highest order. There is zero head retention, which is not unexpected in a beer thatís 10.4% ABV, but then again, it is also a little bit of a letdown. Taste is about 3/4 herbal hops and 1/4 sticky malt. I am not getting a full range of hop flavors, but some definite "old school" herbal-spicy qualities that one wouldnít expect with a beer marketed as featuring a "new proprietary variety" of hop. My guess is that this new variety was designed to sub for noble hops as well as being a powerhouse bittering hop. Sadly, I was hoping to pick up more from the Citra, but I am not getting the intense papaya-mango-pineapple thing that Citra tends to throw out. I canít taste the Simcoe hardly at all. The only specific hop presence I can detect at all (flavor or aroma) is that of the Chinook, which is not one of my preferred varieties. The malt I can taste is sticky and sweet, but very restrained. This beer that contains almost no fruity hop quality also contains zero fruit esters from the yeast or fruity notes from crystal malt. My thoughts are that this beer was brewed with drinkability and not pensive sipping in mind... which makes it reminiscent of BridgePort Hop Czar - albeit a much bigger cousin. The mouthfeel was smooth and neither creamy nor mouth-puckering. I would have liked greater carbonation and perhaps less of the sticky malt quality. The finish is clean and does not linger. Overall, a good beer and a solid double IPA if I got it at an ordinary brewpub, but not at all what I was expecting. The hype surrounding this beer has been pretty intense, but I find it as unmemorable as SNís Torpedo, which is similarly lacking in hop flavor. As a homebrewer, this is the kind of double IPA I wouldnít ever brew, since noticeably most of the hops were tossed in the first half of the boil and this beer lacks the intense, fresh, "green" taste that I look for in my double IPAís. If this beer were in six-packs and priced the same as SNís other offerings, I would consider it a godsend, but at $8 per bomber, I canít see myself ever buying this again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mattyb83 (736) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 24, 2011
Pour is clear amber with a medium sized white head. Nice head retention and a fair amount of lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is filled with orange citrus, slight pine, and some caramel sweetness. Oily and thick on the palate. Fairly bitter and astringent all the through with a strong alcohol presence. Bitter grapefruit in the finish. This beer sticks to the tongue and roof of your mouth which leaves a strong bitterness after each sip.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
DYCSoccer17 (3301) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 24, 2011
24 ounce bottle purchased at Nugget Market in Woodland, CA. Herbal, floral, and slight mintiness in the aroma. Smells of Chinook. Light underlying sweetness. Pretty nice aroma, although not overly mind-blowing. Transparent golden-orange body with a smallish off-yellow head. Starts with citrus orangey notes before this becomes a little sweet and chewy in the middle. Very thick-bodied and decadent, without being overly cloying. Finishes with more citrus orange and herbal hops. Light spiciness and a little warming. This has some awesome flavor and a really nice body to it. Very well-balanced. Awesome stuff!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 24, 2011
24oz bottle. Pours a deep, crystal clear amber with lots of bubbles sream to the top and feeding an impressive thick head that shows excellent retention and lacing. Great looking pour. Aroma is heavily hopped and full of citrus and pine but also with the distinctive citra aroma which is a combination of herbs and white wine. The taste is more of the same with white grapes, juicy pineapple and pine coming through. The finish is hoppy and astringent with the alcohol being felt pretty heavily. There is also that interesting herbal earthy character that Iím noticed in other citra-hopped beers. The mouthfeel is excellent, close to full bodied, with sticky hops leaving a seriously astringent, bitter finish. Overall, itís a solid effort from SN and really heavy on the hop astringency and alcohol burn which limits the drinkability a bit. Getting through a full bottle of this is no small feat.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
OldGrowth (2613) - North Carolina, USA - JAN 24, 2011
bottle, from Samís Quik stop. Good aroma, sweet, honey, citrus - orange and grapefruit. little mango type thing. clean brownish orange color, good head that faded quick, minor lace. Bitter sweet flavor, Medium to heavy body, thick creamy mouthfeel, bitter sweet, dry finish. Good brew, mouthfeel was heavy for what aroma gave me. Turned more grapefruit as warmed. very drinkable. Good stuff.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
madvermin (86) - California, USA - JAN 23, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 24, 2011 Pours a beautiful clear amber with a one finger offwhite head that retained not too well and left a bit of lacing on the glass and in the beer. Smell is intense, even when I popped the cap off this one pine and citrus was immediately recognizable. In the glass, pineapple is the strongest fruit, with some mango in there too, combined they kind of form that jackfruit smell which I find quite distinct. Piny hops are also really strong here, and while there is a bit of a caramel malt in the background, this basically is hops through and through, with pine present throughout. A bitter rush pervades the mouth upon first sip, with citrus of mango and pineapple really strong, along with a bit of peach. Malt comes in late, with some honey sweetness to balance the hops, but really this beer is all about the hops and pine. Finishes a bit more bitter than other DIPAs of similar strength, but is plenty clean and VERY drinkable for the 10.4% abv. Get this while you can. UPDATE: after having the whole bomber (my roommate didnít find it to his taste) at the very end it was like hvaing pinesol, it was so piny. Gotta downgrade the drinkability, but then again, who the hell is going to have a whole bomber of this anyways.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
iowaherkeye (2690) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - JAN 23, 2011
24oz bottle, no date from Amity Wine in Hamden, no idea on the price. Clear medium orange with a creamy and excellently retained off-white head. Orange citrus pineapple hop nose with a big dose of sweet malt following, light alcohol and herbal dry hopped notes at the end. Gets a little danker when it warms. Flavor continues with the same sweetness (maybe some honey), followed by moderate alcohol. Between the alcohol and hops, the finish is dry, as well as lightly peppery. I did end up picking up on some white grape as it warmed a bit. Actually pretty grapey. Bitterness peaked at a 6. Big full body with light carbonation. I did like this, but dunno how Iíll feel after drinking this big ass bottle--the sweetness may prove a bit much. Also have a review from a few weeks back on a scrap of paper, that I will probably never get around to entering, but I think I like it better now than then.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SphinxTX (2876) - Mata Gorda, Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2011
Bottle. Pours a clear, deep amber with thick off-white head. Aroma of grapefruit, pine resin, malt, strong fruity esters. Flavor is very sweet, grapefruit, grassy, pine resin, black pepper, fruit esters, woody, strong bitter in the finish. Heavy mouth feel with medium carbonation. Overall, generous big flavors offer a Hop Head Nirvana.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Doodler (312) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 23, 2011
24 oz bomber - pirs a golden hazy color with a nice, foamy, one inch head, Really nice nose. Full hop aromas with some light citrus characteristics. Has all of the tell-tale resins and bitterness up front, but has a sweetness and alcoholic heat that blast a hole in the finish. Hard to understand where SN was going here, Smells great, but the sticky sweetness and raw heat content seem out of place for a DIPA.

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