>Sierra Nevada Hoptimum


…And we round off the weekend with a ridiculously-named offering from perennial favourites Sierra Nevada. Although SN can’t do much wrong in my eyes, Hoptimum’s (10.4%bv) a puzzling one. Awesome label artwork aside (Reminiscent of Kevin O’Neill’s artwork), the name of the beer precedes it; you know what’s coming. Hops – and lots of them. Pouring that usual cracking SN shade of Amber, you bring Hoptimum to your nose and get….well, not a lot. A touch of Pine, some florals and that all-too-familiar Grapefruity fruity note. Oh well. Then the sip – Bang! A smack of hops, coming stealthily after some smooth, sweet caramel notes, but it’s the massive, high bitterness that catches you off – guard with this one; high, green and bitter. Really Bitter.

Don’t get me wrong – I like the concept of Hoptimum. The US market, and in some ways the UK, demand more hops these days – but there’s something about Hoptimum that doesn’t sit right. It’s a smooth beer – and as sweet as you’d expect, having to outweigh that formidable hop attack – but the finish is all jumbled up, and I can’t really pick out one hop aspect above all other. Simcoe, perhaps – as it’s Piney as hell -but aside from that, it’s just really, really bitter.

Maybe the size of the bottle helps this overwhelming feeling – a half, perhaps, served in good nick, would reduce Hoptimum to ‘An interesting Drop’. But when I look at the depth of hop freshness SN achieve with their Harvest series, I wonder whether Hoptimum is just a little too much. And to stress the O’Neill artwork link, Hoptimum, for me remains much like Alan Moore’s excellent comics – a strange Curio.

About leighgoodstuff

Blog: https://goodfoodgoodbeer.wordpress.com/ I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 06/03/2011, in Alan Moore, beer reviews, Kevin O'Neill, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. >Loving the blog. As a fellow Yorkshire(wo)man I've been known to appreciate a beer or two in my time. The pictures and content are great.

  2. >My bottle's waiting in the fridge still so I'll let you know what I think after I try it. I thought the (amazing) label was reminiscent of Tony Millionaire's comic art: http://www.maakies.com/?page_id=370

  3. >Thanks Cat – nice to meet you. Nicky – thanks man, I'll check that out. Waiting to hear what you thought of this badboy.

  4. >Interesting, I've a couple of bottles in the larder. The double IPA is extremely difficult to pull off. I've tried a few but Flying Dog Double Dog is the best I've found so far – worth a comparison Leigh?

  5. >Matt – let us know what you think but I think the FD was a little more balanced. Absolutely worth a comparison, though.

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