Sierra Nevada – Hoptimum: In Search of the Elusive Hopps Boson

Next up, Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum:

Hoptimum is a diabolical Imperial IPA with a gansy-load of whole-cone hops, including Sierra Nevada’s own secret proprietary hops. For bittering they use German Magnum. Later in the boil and for dry-hopping they use Simcoe and their secret hops. Then they “torpedo” Citra and Chinook. Sierra Nevada’s website is a little coy on the specifics of their torpedoing process, but it seems they run the hot wort through whole-cone hops on the way to cooling and fermentation. A little Internet research, however, reveals that Sierra Nevada actually built a giant, underground hop accelerator, which propels hops and wort at each other at high speeds.

Actual leaked photo.

So now we’ll know why the tear in the spacetime continuum happens in Chico, CA, and not the Franco-Swiss border.

We're all going to die! And it's Sierra Nevada's fault.

It pours a clear orange-gold. The white, rocky head quickly dissipates and leaves some scattered Maldives lacing. You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting hop aroma up in here…resin, grapefruit, mango, peaches. As for the taste: Resin, citrus, tropical fruit, woodiness, and a little earthiness. And as it warms, the resin and the tropical fruit really stand out. It has a nice bitter finish that lasts for like 10 minutes and is dry despite all the sweet stickiness lingering around on the glass afterwards. Their bittering hops, German Magnum, have a high alpha acid content (high bitterness) but relatively low cohumulone content (imparts more of a clean bitterness than high cohmulone hops)…but we’ll save the technobabble for the Hop-epedia Project.

I’ll definitely get this again. And even better: Although it’s a special release, I didn’t have to fight for it.

The Haybag: This beer is excellent. It’s a must try for any hop head.