The Hoptimum Triple IPA brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. strikes a wonderful balance between hops, malt, and boozy strength.

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The Hoptimum Triple IPA is brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, it was served in an IPA glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

Packaging art for the Hoptimum by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Packaging art for the Hoptimum by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Appearance

The ale pours a mostly clear copper hue and is topped by an inch-thick cap of bone-white foam that shows fine retention. The head’s reduction leaves behind a smattering of droplets on the glass. Tiny bubbles rise in the glass.

Aroma

The aroma is strong and fragrant, wafting a scent that mixes hoppy pine, resin, peach and then spiked with booze.

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Flavor

There’s a light citrus middling with lightly toasted bread at the front of the palate. A mellow sweetness of honey and peaches sloshes the middle before piney hops counter with a mild bitterness. The finish is flushed with boozy goodness and sweetened with a dash of tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel

This IPA has a very smooth draw that finishes dryly. There’s a mild astringency and a moderate warming sensation from the high alcohol content. The feel is slightly oily and has a medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

Label art for the Hoptimum by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Label art for the Hoptimum by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Overall

The Hoptimum certainly straddles the line between IPA and Strong Ale. In fact, I’d say its aroma and flavor are more boozy than hoppy. And that malty backbone certainly gives this brew some heft. All that being said, this beer is absolutely wonderful. The palate is wonderfully balanced and even though this brew’s IBU count is lighter than you’d expect, it still packs plenty of bite. Cast aside the fact that it might not be categorized properly, and what you otherwise have here is a must-try brew.

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