RATINGS: 1727   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.93/5   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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Sammer (1119) - Plano, Texas, USA - JUL 8, 2012
Taste is big, bold hops, pine, citrus and flowers, with a nice warm finish. Bravo Sierra Nevada!!

Lukaduke (3206) - Gray, Maine, USA - JUL 7, 2012
Pours a deep orange copper color with slight off white head. Aromas are sweet malts and earthy pine hops; On the palate it is alot of the same. Earthy bitter notes with touches of grapefruit and cedar. The malty sweetness round out the bitterness nicely. Not bad but Ive enjoy many DIPA a bit more.

AleWife725 (21) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 7, 2012
On tap in our living room (sixtel). Pours a clear golden amber with a thick off-white head. Pine sap aroma Lots of bright pine flavor that hits all corners of the palate. Notable sugariness from the high alcohol content. Finish is long and lingering, but after sipping the brew awhile, leaves a bitter hop oil character on the tongue, causing a very dry finish. Best served in tulip or wine glass.

kseecs16 (1216) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - JUL 5, 2012
Bottle. Pours a rich golden amber with a thick creamy off-white head. Potent dank grassy and floral hop aroma. Very flavorful, a full bitterness that lingers potently with a grassy aftertaste. Some mild floral sweetness in the body. Nice feel and carbonation in the mouth.

musinj6 (506) - Dedham, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 5, 2012
Pours slightly hazy golden with small head and no lacing. Clean pour. Primarily toasted malt and maybe a hint of caramel. Hops are predominate with strong bitter flavor overwhelmingly grapefruit peel up front with spruce that follows. The citra and chinook clearly stand out. Medium body with crisp moderate carbonation and chewy palate. Very long bitter finish. This is a fantastic beer.

ComradeK (1237) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUL 5, 2012
355ml bottle, 2012 edition. Pours a slightly hazy light copper amber, with a moderate off-white head, which lasts fairly well and leaves good lacing. Strong pine resin hops mix with a milder mango hops aroma and faint caramel malt on the nose. Very potent pine resin hops up front are again tempered by a sweeter mango hops flavour. Mild orange blossom and a touch of honey lead into a brief caramel malt flavour in the mid-palate. The finish mixes burnt caramel with more slightly fruity mango, and leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste. This is a quality imperial IPA. The blending of aggressively bitter hops with a sweeter, fruitier variety has given a great deal of balance to what is nevertheless a very hoppy ale. Good stuff.

BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 4, 2012
4th of July throw down

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum versus Stone Ruination IPA Tenth Anniversary . Two classic standards of the American microbrew revolution go head to head in this 4th of July faceoff with the lastest Imperial IPA releases. ENJOY

Appearance: The Hoptimum pours with a much bigger and creamier head but after that both beers look indentical, same color and same lace. (SN=5/Stone=4)

Nose: The Stone 10th Anno is more dank and resiny while the SN Hoptimum is more citric and herbal while less forceful. I like both for different reasons. The Stone smells of pure fresh dry hop while the Sierra Nevada displays a more classic PNW hop vapour. (Stone=9/SN=7)

Taste: The Stone 10th Ruination shows off the Citra hop big time with lemony notes and an added grapefruit tone of the Centennials... sometimes too much. The Hoptimum is a Simcoe delight, bright mangoes and dragonfruit. Pure tropical character here. The malt is beaten the death in the Ruination, almost no character to speak of whilest in the Hoptimum they are still a background player but at least allowed to speak on thier own behalf. (SN=9/Stone=8)

Mouth Feel/Finish: The Stone is aggressive and oily, brutal in it’s delivery and everything you would expect from the beer. The SN is a "bit" more user friendly (if the user is a beer geek), still twangy and aggressive, smoother finish but not as clean as the brash unruly soon to be teenager that Stone has created. Strangely the SN is far more boozy despite being the lesser of ABV of the two. A clear cut win for the Bastards here... (Stone=5, SN=3)

Overall: While each has it moment of greatness, neither are world class IMO. The Stone 10th Anno is too dank and the SN Hoptimum is too boozy. THIS IS A GOOD THING for so many other breweries have raised the bar for what we percieve as a extreme hopped beer. (Stone=15/SN=14)

ChadPolenz (1827) - 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 it’s 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. It’s a very bitter beer for sure (it should be considering its 100 IBUs), but there’s no hop bite per se, as it’s simply pure bitter energy from beginning to end.

There’s a sweetness throughout as well, but not in the usual style of fruit juice concentrate or liquefied flowers. It’s 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 it’s brewed with whole cone hops (but not necessarily wet hops - which would also contribute to such a palate). It’s 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 it’s actually a really well-balanced brew, although those who prefer sweetness to earthiness might also take issue with it. I think it’s impressive for it is.

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

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

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 don’t taste any alcohol just bitter hops with a dry bitter finish. Somewhat syrup-y in mouth good for any fan of Imperial IPA’s and hops.

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