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May 9, 2013 09:28 PM

Trying another interesting Sierra Nevada

Here's another new SN on me: Hoptimum...

Just trying a bottle of the 2013 release... It's marketed as a "whole cone Imperial IPA"...

What I find interesting about this beer is the shift in flavor.. it hits my palate like a pretty singular dry pale ale and then seconds later opens up with a sweeter imperial bouquet...

That said, do I like it? It's alright... will I rush out to buy a 4-pack? Hmmm... kind of not sure...

The reason is I've never tasted a beer that evolves quite like this and what I'm learning is that I think I prefer it one way or the other... either straightforward bold dry, or a big sweet bouquet off the bat...

But an interesting beer nonetheless, highly recommend buying a bottle from the singles rack and give it a try.

At this point I'm sticking with ruthless rye as the most interesting SN offering I've tasted in awhile. To &^%$#@ it's a seasonal :( I have to wait til next Feb for it again?

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  1. Agree about Ruthless. I'm slowly coming back to SN. I haven't liked most of their special or seasonal offerings since the late Pale Bock (how i miss that). Their standard range is still pretty damn classic, well crafted and very tasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MOREKASHA

      "... their standard range is classic..."

      That's the way they strike me. Real solid, don't stray too far from well-made standards...

      Also, they really specailize in nice DRIER beers I think... SN Pale Ale, Ruthless, their Fresh Hops... they all strike me as benchmark dry ales.

    2. disappointed that the glissade was not made this year

      2 Replies
      1. re: AdamD

        The Glissade hasn't been made (or bottled, at least) in two or three years. Ruthless Rye replaced it as SN's spring seasonal; apparently, it moves off the shelves a lot faster.

        The Glissade was unique in SN's lineup as a strongish pale lager (Summerfest is a pale lager of 5% ABV) and I liked it -- though, on balance, their earlier Pale Bock was more interesting.

        1. re: Kenji

          Yup, the pale bock was more interesting and better tasting

      2. I have liked this beer in the past, but seems a little too sweet and boozy this year which detracted from the hop character.

        Interesting comments re: dryness of SN beers. The lack of dryness is why I have stopped drinking their "IPA's". Torpedo, the Harvests, Celebration all have hefty caramel/carapils malt bodies. I can never get passed one Torpedo in a sitting due to its cloying nature. Maybe its the hop bitterness that people aren't used to that's coming off as perception of dryness?

        1 Reply
        1. re: LStaff

          Agreed 100%. It's why SN is never in my fridge.

        2. Had a Hoptimum this weekend. Loved it. Multi-layered.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Chinon00

            Had Hoptimum on tap last year and thought it was fairly good. Last week I bought a 4 pack of bottles and was rather underwhelmed.

            1. re: Whisper

              I like their beers better in bottles. Bottle conditioned and the fact that no matter the bar, temps, turnover and cleanliness varies.

                1. re: Chinon00

                  DIPA? Hands down, gotta be the King of Beers:

                  .... 3 Floyds Dreadnaught.... on tap especially, if you can find it

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    I'm kinda off the whole mega ipa thingy. Looking for subtlety, not in my face. 2 hearted by bells is pretty good, but the whole green flash thing eludes me.

                    1. re: MOREKASHA

                      DIPAs aren't my favorite either which is why I was surprised to like Hoptimum so much. It has subtlety.

                        1. re: Chinon00

                          Definitely subtle but unmistakable....

                          Hoptimum has that sweetish DIPA finish, but the "dry pale ale" open...

                          BOTH are reasonably well produced nuances... just do they fit in the same beer is the question that each of our palates has to answer. I could definitely see this style growing on someone.

                2. This beer is known to my friends as the beer that made me want to murder someone--at least that's what I said when I first tried it. I tasted it in 2011 (important to note, because maybe it has evolved since its early batches), and I mostly tasted massive amounts of hops/bitterness without much balance. And the really, really high ABV (11%?) makes it something that I could never have more than a couple sips of. I'll take the balance and grand finish of Pliny the Elder every time over this beer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Fig Newton

                    I just wish I could find Pliny the Elder. Found it one time in an obsure market in Portland, OR.