RATINGS: 1780   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 100   EST. CALORIES: 312   ABV: 10.4%
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 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.

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

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChadPolenz (1779) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUL 4, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark, hazy, burnt umber/orange marmalade hue. Forms an off-white, creamy head which dissipates rather quickly, but not completely, and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Intense pine sap and resin with a hint of tropical fruit syrup or extract sweetness.

Taste: If I had drank Sierra Nevada Hoptimum blind I might assume its an East Coast beer. Usually west coast brews of the style tend to be very citrusy and flowery, but this one is more in the dank style of pure pine sap, sticky resin, and an underlying earthy/astringent component. Its a very bitter beer for sure (it should be considering its 100 IBUs), but theres no hop bite per se, as its simply pure bitter energy from beginning to end.

Theres a sweetness throughout as well, but not in the usual style of fruit juice concentrate or liquefied flowers. Its closer to a confectionary extract or syrup: vanilla, toffee, or maybe even molasses. The rustic, almost dirty taste of tree bark is also present - especially in the aftertaste. This can probably be attributed to the fact its brewed with whole cone hops (but not necessarily wet hops - which would also contribute to such a palate). Its very delectable and intensely flavored, but I think this is something only hopheads would really enjoy. West Coasters might be a little disappointed by the fact its actually a really well-balanced brew, although those who prefer sweetness to earthiness might also take issue with it. I think its impressive for it is.

Drinkability: With a thick, sticky, almost chewy mouthfeel and a lingering resiny, bitter aftertaste, youd think Sierra Nevada Hoptimum would be in that barleywine/extreme beer sipper category but youd be wrong. I was delightfully surprised by the comfortable, lightly carbonated mouthfeel and extremely smooth finish. The hops definitely linger, though, so theres a significant bitter resiny aftertaste. Yet youd never know its 10.4% ABV since theres no alcohol taste or warmth at all. Not exactly a dessert beer, but something every beer nerd can fit in their schedule somehow.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
naglejr (2) - - JUL 4, 2012 does not count
Floral, alcohol over all enjoy this hoppy beer. It is a sipping beer nice over all. Citrus

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
RyanK (275) - Rhode Island, USA - JUL 3, 2012
Commercial description probably says everything better than me. Pours a very clear amber with lots of carbonation (bubbles) with a large foamy head that is slow to dissipate and stays. Smells very hoppy and piney, lesser citris elements, grapefruit and lilac. Taste is hops, hops and more hops. Other than that you can lightly taste the citrus and grapefruit. I dont taste any alcohol just bitter hops with a dry bitter finish. Somewhat syrup-y in mouth good for any fan of Imperial IPAs and hops.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
beergodd1 (400) - Conneaut, Ohio, USA - JUL 2, 2012
Pours a clear Copper color. Head is off white and over an inch. Lacing and head retention are both very good. Smell is full of pine, sweet citrus, and resinous hops. Sweet honey mixed with malt is on the back end. As beer warms, light alcohol is detected. Taste is of bitter, piney resinous hops, mixed with sweet tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Syrupy malts come in also with an alcoholic kick at the end. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a syrup like consistency, carbonation levels are a bit on the high side but not overpowering. Overall this beer is a good representation of its style. Packs a nice punch of bitterness and refreshing citrus. I remember liking this beer, but I think it was better this time. BUT.....I probably could only drink 1 at a time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Suttree (6264) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 2, 2012
Good stuff, man. Cloudy orange, big white head. Huge floral hoppy aroma, lots of grapefruit and citrus. Nicely sweet at first, then a big hop bite. Lots of bitterness in here, in a good way - grapefruit, oak, some resin. Tasty stuff...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
aleph (231) - - JUL 1, 2012
Bottle. Golden body with foamy white head. Bitter, alcohol hidden, fresh, piney, grapefruit, obvious resin notes, aroma and taste balanced, medium carbonation in a medium strong body.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
rdsanfbeerman (12) - Plano, Texas, USA - JUL 1, 2012
I cannot find a fault with this beer. Perfection in hop heaven. Goes good with watching golf tournaments and couch lock activities. Brilliance. Please note... how many raters of this beer refer to the "resin". Possibly pairs well with other resinous matter... food for thought.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
patrick767 (4038) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - JUL 1, 2012
bottle - Pours clear copper with a large off-white head that laces well. It has a big citrus and resin hop aroma. The flavor is intensely bitter with grapefruit and resin notes fueling this medium to full bodied brew and leading into a long, bitter, enjoyable finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
adrosson (148) - California, USA - JUN 30, 2012
Got a lot of resin. Enjoyed the beer. Tasted like a resiny stronger Sierra pale ale. A lot of alcohol. 4 pack from Mesa liquor ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jeffs515 (123) - Ogden, Utah, USA - JUN 30, 2012
The aroma is amazing it has a sweet piny scent with some hints of grapefruit. Pours a nice dark amber with loads of off white creamy head and lots of carbonation. Taste is a very strong piny sapp flavor with a lot of alcohol leaves a super bitter taste in the mouth. I do get some sort of floral hops in the end too with some oiliness. Not my favorite. I think I will stick to the torpedo when I want a good ipa from Sierra Nevada.

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