722. Sierra Nevada – Hoptimum Whole-Cone Imperial IPA

722. Sierra Nevada - Hoptimum Whole-Cone Imperial IPAWell, today I announced that I got a new job to some people at work. I start my new job in about two weeks and an really looking forward to the new adventure. After cleaning up the kitchen tonight after dinner, I decided to sit down and do a beer review. I don’t remember exactly where I got this beer, but I put it in the fridge a couple months ago with the intention of drinking it soon. I’m glad I finally got around to it. The label says, “Hoptimum is the biggest whole-cone IPA we have ever produced – a 100 IBU, whole-cone hurricane of flavor. Aggressively hopped, dry-hopped, AND torpedoed, Hoptimum delivers ultra-intense flavors to hop fanatics everywhere.”

Location: Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 10.4% ABV, 100 IBUs, 22.8° plato OG, 4.5° plato FG, ~200 Calories

Ingredients: Malts: Two-row Pale, Munich, Wheat; Bittering hops: German Magnum; Finishing Hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Experimental Variety; Ale yeast

Appearance & Aroma: It’s burnt orange in color, and it’s lightly hazy, with a thin and soapy/creamy head that left some nice lacing. There’s a piney-earthy hop aroma with some honey maltiness in the background.

Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is creamy. There’s a sweet honey maltiness and piney hop juiciness up front. The piney flavor and bitterness picks up quite a bit in the middle, with the bitterness peaking in the finish, with a good amount of piney and earthy hop flavors with some spiciness in the background as well.  The piney, earthy and spicy hop flavor and bitterness lasts a while in the finish.

Food Pairing: This beer has lots of hoppiness, and needs something strong to stand up to it. I’d probably pair this beer with a steak or burger, which could help to mute some of the big bitterness in this beer.

Overall Impression: If you’re looking for a big hoppy beer with lots of bitterness, then this is the beer for you. I liked the mix of hop flavors, but I felt like the bitterness overwhelmed the potential of this beer. I liked the piney hop juiciness up front, as well as the honey maltiness. Overall, I thought it was good, there was just too much bitterness for me to fully appreciate it.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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