Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,093 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,093
Hads: 4,956
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 90
Gots: 677 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,093 | Hads: 4,956
Photo of keanex
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip from a 2012 bottle with no freshness date.

A: Beautiful, clear dark amber with a towering light tan foam head. This is a beer that looks like it wants to be drunk!

S: Slight rye spice with earthy notes and slight citrus.

T: Really spicey from the rye from start to finish they really are ruthless with the rye. It sort of overpowers the flavor sadly, there's a slight grapefruit bite at the end, but this is very one-dimensional. I'm not liking this very much.

M: Medium bodied with sharp carbonation.

O: I was expecting more from this, it's not very well balanced, but thankfully it is priced decently. Even so, I won't be buying it again, Hop Rod is a much better option.

 704 characters

Photo of PatDreadful
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH Chalice.

Appearance: Looks great with a nice light brown color that is completely transparent. The egg sheall colored head is large and maintains throughout the session. Very nice.

Smell: There is the typical SN hop bill that I've grown to love. Lush tropical citrus with a touch of piney notes to really keep everything grounded. The rye provides an earthy spice that only serves to enhance the pine notes. Again, very well done.

Taste: Ah, that is what I'm looking for. The citrus hits you up front with grapefruit dominating which gives way to that wonderful piney spice acheived through the hops and the rye and then all of the sudden, it is gone. The flavor loses steam half way through my swallow and I am just left with a lingering taste of mild malt. No spice and certainly no hops. This is a huge dissapointment.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with medium carbonation. Very good for the style but I could have used just a bit more in the way of carbonation

I was left underwhelmed by the hops in this beer. It certainly wasn't bad but I think there are much better rye options and certainly much better pale ale options out there.

 1,184 characters

Photo of Dodt
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the box art work caught my eye thought what the heck. poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
with a nice bouncy head and a nice amber color it isn't to hoppy in smell. i was expecting more rye flavor but this beer doesn't dissapoint . for me this is another wonderful beer from the people at sierra nevada.

 310 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap at a few places around philly

Pours a clear auburn color with a light coating of white head. Tons of sticky and splotchy lacing on the glass with rings left behind after each sip.

Bitter piney hops in the nose with some light rye-induced spice. Faint sweetness with caramel and bread crust.

Starts off with a nice amount of bitter pine hops with some earthy notes. Spice from the rye attempts to creep in, tempered by some softer caramel. Decent malt backbone, touches of bread crust. Finishes bitter and light.

Thinner medium body, decent carbonation, feels a little watery and soft to me. I’m a fan of rye beers so I was looking forward to this but it fell a little flat for me. More rye spice and more hop flavor would really set it off nicely. For comparison’s sake, I had a Founders Red’s Rye after this and it blew it out of the water.

 861 characters

Photo of farrago
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You get a little over a finger’s worth of very even foam, dense with a few islands of larger bubbles, wispy lacing without much stick, retention is average and unremarkable. Deep bronze hued liquid, clear with an orange to yellow tint at the glass bottom, the bubbles are tiny and spread wide, shines brightly. The rye gives the nose a pleasing rugged to raw feel, scrubs deeply, fairly herbal with grapefruit pith and unprocessed grains, rock salt, you only get the powdered chocolate as it warms, any flowers or fruit muted. Medium-bodied, muscular in feel, flexes more than flows, the carbonation isn’t aggressive nor creamy, just nudges things now and then. The orange, tangerine to pink grapefruit citrus starts out sweet and then yields to the herbaceousness, pine cone and rye. The peach, apricot, pineapple fruit speaks more clearly here. Light toastiness but not doughy nor bready per se. Hard to find a distinct flavor profile to the malts, at most basic milk chocolate. Solidly constructed yet unremarkable, which is not really a slam at all.

 1,057 characters

Photo of BHopp12
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip

A: Poured an amber color that was very clear with a fluffy white head that leaves a very nice lacing behind.

S: A strong hop presences with a little bit of the rye behind it. Very hoppy presences though!

T: Very hoppy taste to it, almost like candy! Then the rye hits you with a bitter finish

M: Carbonation was medium to little very good in my opinion, bitter with a mild alcohol feel to it

O: Very good beer, definitly one I will have again and highly recommend like all Sierra offerings

 533 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a deep amber color with a small head which dissapates quickly and minimal lacing.

The smell is heavy on rye and citrus hops. There is also a bread like smell and the smell of spices, possibly pepper.

The brew hits the mouth with a bitter taste and the oil of hops resin is present. The oil lingers in the mouth after swallowing, the taste of pepper also lingers.

The taste is full of rye, bread, spices, mostly pepper and hops. One can also taste the oil of the hops.

This is my first rye beer; it was interesting. Bready, citrusy, and pepper. A somewhat complex and hoppy taste.

 599 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with packaged on date of 12/12/2013. Vintage 2014 printed on the label.

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A - Pours a nice bright bronze color, semi-clear with tons of carbonation bubbles and sediment rushing topside in the glass. Two fingers of frothy off-white head with excellent staying power. Leaves behind fat rings of lacing. Looks very nice.

S - The nose doesn't have much going on. Some fruity grapefruit hops, and some peppery rye spice, but little else.

T - Grainy and spicy. Heavy taste of rye and cracked peppercorns. Hoppy grapefruit bitterness with maybe a bit of blood orange in the end. Piney, some bready malt, but not what I would call spicy. Fruity, citrusy, juicy, and bitter.

M - Bitter and dry feel. Smooth and clean. Some hop resins hanging onto the tongue along with that touch of sweetness. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, I would call it an average IPA, approachable for the style, but I'd say it lies more toward the bitter side of things.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA ---3.5/5

 1,053 characters

Photo of wowbagger
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin pale orangish-red. Decent head that dissipates quickly.

From the bottle it reeks of hops, but that is dispersed much better in the glass. Smells as if there are a few different hops going on.

First sip gives a nice kick with some sweetness, fruit and a generous dollop of hop. A little dry, maybe.

A larger swallow comes of mellower, though the hops are a little one-note in a sense and it still dried out my mouth. A decent complexity in the back of my mouth that's malty and round, but I would have liked a little more balance from the hops.

Overall, it's a better than average IPA. Wouldn't be the best IPA to win over those who don't like the style but it's enjoyable for someone like me who likes less aggressive ones.

 740 characters

Photo of claspada
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber-hued body with a noted clarity and capped by a tall, off-white head. Fair smattering of lace on the way down.

Aromas begin mildly spicy, grassy, citrusy and piney. Grainy pale maltiness with a little underlying rye maltiness. Expected more from the malts given he color.

The tastes begin with grainy, pale malts with the expected spicy rye malt character. Lightly sweet upfront, a sweetness that soon fades away as the bitterness accumulates on the tongue. Citrusy flavors of pithy grapefruit and sweet orange zest. A bit more grainy on the back, with some lesser floral, grassy hop flavors. Dry, lingering finish.

The mouthfeel is mediumt to light bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is quite crisp and clean overall.

Overall, this was a nice beer but rather ordinary. I want more rye or more hops or something. It basically tastes like their standard pale ale or IPA with a little rye.

 913 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Look - Dark ruby with a half finger that presents as off white. Leaves a fair bit of lacing.

Smell - immediately citrusy with pepper in the middle fading to a strong punch of its namesake.

Taste - Rye bread everywhere. The citrus stays around faintly and the pepper hits your throat upon finish. Gets a bit of a lingering sour dough taste as you continue into the bottle.

Feel - Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation and a slightly creamy finish.

Overall - It wasn't as good as I was expecting. In my opinion, GL Rye of The Tiger has it beat. Still would be worth a shot if you don't mind or truly enjoy sour dough bread.

 634 characters

Photo of greybeardloon
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on February 3, 2012

A: Redish with a substantial head and lacing.

S: Mostly citric hops, but not all that pronounced.

T: Bitter citric and piney hops with a sweeter citrus hiding. The malt is a pleasantly fully and bread and faintly sweet. The finish is slightly dry and long.

M: Full and creamy.

O: Maybe I'm just not in the right mood for this beer right now, or maybe it wasn't stored very well, but it doesn't do much for me. That said, there's nothing bad about it. I'd rather have a Righteous.

 512 characters

Photo of Danno48
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I happened to pour this IPA into a crystal tasting glass at 45 degrees F.
A- It looks great. Lots of the beautiful caramel color that "RyePA's" have. The head was thin and didn't last more than a minute.

S- Smells fantastic. Personally I enjoy the smell of this beer more than anything. You can almost taste it with your nose. Its aroma is light and energetic.

T- The taste I found to be average. It has an ok bitterness factor, I personally like very potent IPAs. I felt as if the maltiness did not come through very much at all. Classic pine notes, floral, a sort of zesty spiciness like cloves.

M-I did not enjoy the mouthfeel of this beer. It was clingy and fuzzy. It left me scraping my tongue against my upper teeth for 30 min. Not what I am used to from IPAs.

Overall- It is a perfectly and wonderfully vanilla beer that I felt as if I needed to drink colder and colder as I made my way through the six pack over a period of 2 weeks. Over all I would award a 3.5.

 974 characters

Photo of creedence
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Am I going crazy? I pick up anything new from SN - well, at least new to me and I have to say I'm not that impressed. I don't have a very deep palette but I can distinguish a crappy beer from a quality beer. I found this to be just 'average' at best. Somebody tell me I'm not going crazy.

 288 characters

Photo of BeerRefugee
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color. Moderate off-white head with good retention and moderate lacing. Medium rye and herbal hops in the aroma. Flavor is mild caramel malt, grassy and piney hops and a moderate dose of rye. The spiciness of the rye and bitterness of the hops predominate--I would have liked a bit more malt for some sweetness and balance. This is a beer that couldn't really decide what it wants to be--it needs more hops and rye to be a really aggressive rye IPA. Or it needs more caramel sweetness to be a more "mainstream" beer. Instead, they split the difference and the result, while good, is not as good as it could have been.

 638 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$3.50 single from Wegman's.

Slightly hazy orange body, topped by a four fingers plus of just slightly off-white micro-bubbly rocky foam. Excellent lacing quickly evident.

Aroma mixes pine and grapefruit with rye, just as the name implies it would. Not huge, but clean, fresh, and inviting.

Taste begins with rye coming out strong and laying down a dominating foundation. Some citrus, some pine, then a lot more rye as it rides toward the finish.

Medium body with lively, almost prickly mouthfeel.

Overall, a quality beer, but not my personal choice when it comes to SN hoppy beers. If you're looking for a rye IPA though, or just curious, give it a shot.

 659 characters

Photo of pnelting
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber color with full off white head and plenty of lacing.

S: Hoppy with some spice. Just a hint of citrus.

T: Hops with some grain on the back end. Really smooth and easy to drink.

M: Clean mouth feel. A little on the thin side.

O: Really solid beer and well worth finding in the 4 way ipa pack.

 308 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to Pint.

Ruthless Rye goes in the Sierra Nevada Tulip easy with not any cap or nothing. There is just the smallest bits of white bubbles towards the edge of the glass that die when on the surface, lifeless beer, no stick. smell is rye malt to the max with some faint caramel and a spicy sense. Some piney resins come up to with more whiffs. Taste is even between the rye and the IPA. Rye comes first than a small hit of pined hops. Small traces of caramel throughout. feel is a bit thin, I would say bordering on thin. Carb comes and goes off of the tounge, leaving a resinous effect afterwards. Bitterness is not that large, the rye malt takes care of that. I can say that while this was a noble attempt, it just misses the mark for me. I will try more bottles and a draft to see what's what though.

 808 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I didn't really care for this beer. The only reason I gave it slightly respectable marks is that I do like IPAs over a lot of other styles of beer.

The rye was definitely present in the taste so they did get that right in making an IPA with rye malts. The hop taste just wasn't strong enough for me and the beer even had a bit of a watery aftertaste.

I do enjoy some other beers by Sierra Nevada but I don't think I will be buying this one again.

 449 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is nice and malty with a little bit of pepperiness. It actually smells like hot cereal, or a mash when making beer. Very fresh, very raw, it does not smell like an IPA though, and that is what I would expect.

This is a great looking beer, it's a really nice amber color with a very fluffy light tan head that hangs around indefinitely. Visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the etched glass just adds to the gorgeous look. This is how beer should look.

Ruthless Rye is very floral on the palate which adds to that distinct rye flavor that accompanies it. The maltiness from the nose comes out as bread and biscuits. The bitterness is well hidden, and I didn't really feel it until the finish.

Overall this is an above average beer. The carbonation comes out on the moderate side, and the body is medium-light. It is actually extremely drinkable, though I still wouldn't call it session able. A nice beer though.

 931 characters

Photo of eternalcow
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of IPA overall, or else I may not have even tried this beer.

I really can't comment too much on the beer's appearance, other than that it looked "okay" to me. The lighting wasn't good, as is probably often the case where beer is consumed, so I can't say I got a good look at it.

The first thing that hit me when I opened the bottle was the smell--this beer definitely has a powerful, distinctive smell. Not being an experienced reviewer or even a particularly experienced beer-drinker, I don't know how to describe the smell. Hoppy, maybe? At any rate, it made its presence known.

On to flavor. My general complaint about IPAs is that they're light on texture and overly bitter. Neither of these things is bad on its own, but combined it's enough to make me steer clear of them normally. Ruthless Rye has the bitterness I'd normally associate with an IPA, but it wasn't overpowering. The texture was also complex enough that it carried the weight of the bitterness, if that makes sense. The beer tasted balanced.

Overall, Ruthless Rye isn't enough to return me to the IPA fold, but I'm very glad I expanded my horizons and gave it a try.

 1,178 characters

Photo of Rope
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-
Golden orange with a finger white head that has some staying power.

Smell-
I am underwhelmed by the smell. The malt is that special kind of rich that Sierra Nevada has with its beers, but the hops and the rye are faint.

Taste-
Starts with the aforementioned malt, and then transforms into a sweet hop that ends pleasantly bitter. Really have to seek out the rye towards the end.

Mouthfeel-
Nothing special.

Overall-
Not a bad beer, just forgettable.

 465 characters

Photo of vkv822
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours a dark orange with a foamy, craggy off white head with decent lacing.

The aroma is of piney, peppery hops, with a very faint earthiness perhaps?

Taste follows the nose, piney and spicey notes. Decent, but nothing too exciting.

A medium body, a good bit of prickly carbonation.

A decent beer. I probably wouldn't have guessed that rye was used. I feel it did add a slight peppery spice, but it could also be written off as hops I would think.

 484 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking amber color with a white head on top. The smell of the beer has some nice hop aromas with the addition of the rye in there too. The taste of the beer had a pretty good balance of spicy rye with the fresh hop flavors. The mouthfeel of the beer was good, nice carbonation and drinkablity to it. Overall this beer wasn't too bad, I'd drink it again if I came across it and was in the mood to have it again.

 437 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Figured I'd do the two Rye Beers back-to-back. Couldn't be bothered figuring out the Julian date code. Thanks to Chris (spycow) for mixing a sixer of oddball wants for me. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A half-finger of yellow-tinged foam settles to a thin cap. Looks very similar to the Widmer's O'Ryely, but with a bit more in the way of lacing.

S - Yep - lots of rye. Spiced bread sort of aroma dominates, and it's supplemented with earthy and spicy hops flavors as well.

T - Taste is again very earthy and peppery, with spicy rye malt dominating the palate. Fairly assertive hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Super dry medium body, with a resinous and oily finish. Moderate carbonation level. No real complaints here.

D - There's a bit too much rye here and not quite enough IPA, at least for my tastes. I think I liked the Widmer a tick better, which came as a surprise.

 885 characters

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,093 ratings.