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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Chico, CA

A huge but enticingly mellow hop bomb from Sierra Nevada.

In the words of the brewery, "A group of hop-heads and publicans challenged our Beer Camp brewers to push the extremes of whole-cone hop brewing. The result is the biggest whole-cone IPA we have ever produced. Aggressively hopped, dryhopped and torpedoed with our exclusive new hop varieties for ultra-intense flavors and aromas."

Hoptimum comes in at 10.4% ABV, with 100 IBUs. It is brewed with Two-row Pale, Golden Promise, Munich & Wheat malts, and bittered with German Magnum. Then it's aroma hopped with Simcoe and a "new proprietary [hop] variety," dry-hopped with Simcoe and the new secret variety, and finally torpedoed with Citra and Chinook.

As soon as you pop the cap, all those hops stand up and salute. The aroma is floral, fruity and wet with hops, and the flavor is more of the same. Big resiny hops, with lush notes of grapefruit and tropical citrus.

Despite the heavy hop bombardment, it's very easy-drinking, with a rich, bready malt palate that smooths out all the edges.

"All you smell is hops," said Tess Szamatulski, "and the taste is a wet hop taste, lots of grapefruit, and all that resin!"

"Mmmm, hot with hops!" said Tom Conti.

"Like biting into a hop," Greg Z. agreed.

"Tastes like grapefruit skins, this is a mouthful of hops!" exclaimed Gregg G.

"A total hop infusion, but enough malt body and sweetness to almost even things out," said Pete Reid. "A smooth drinking beer, and it's even better as it warms up."

"The perfect 10.4% abv breakfast beer!" asserted Marty Juliano.
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Title Annotation:Brew Notes: New and noteworthy
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jan 12, 2011
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