Sierra Nevada‘s newest beer label recently made news because of a skirmish with Lagunitas, but I’m not here to talk about that label today. Instead lets take a look at a Sierra Nevada label that has been around for years. Created by artist Nate Duval, the Hoptimum label is one my favorite beer labels ever. Hoptimum is also a delicious seasonal Imperial IPA.
Hoptimum is a hurricane of whole-cone hop flavor. Hopped, dry hopped and torpedoed for incredible hop flavor and complexity, Hoptimum is the pinnacle of whole-cone hoppiness and the biggest Imperial IPA we have ever produced. It features resinous hop varieties: Magnum, Chinook, Simcoe and a new experimental hop variety exclusive to Sierra Nevada. With intense hop flavors and aromas of grapefruit rind, pine, herbs and tropical fruit, Hoptimum is an aggressive drinking experience. Originally created as part of our Beer Camp program, Hoptimum throws down the gauntlet to all other IPAs.
As noted, Hoptimum has intense hop flavor. It varies a bit by year, but it can be a bit over the top with the citrus hop notes, bordering on overly catty for my taste, but I still look forward to it every year.
The label features a hop-headed man in a 19th century suit. I don’t know who this fragrant gentleman is, but he makes for a striking image. The portrait is framed by hop bines and topped with the the beer’s name, Hoptimum, in an equally striking font. The vibrant green background completes the impression that this is going to be an extremely hoppy beer.