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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,441 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,441
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 66
Gots: 316 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,441 | Reviews: 1,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of david131
4.15/5  rDev +7%

A- Pours a burnt orange with some ruby red hues. The bone white head is creamy and leaves some nice lacing.

S- My first impression when pouring this was that of smelled like marijuana. As I get into it I get pepper, citrus, caramel, rye, and that typical Sierra Nevada-ness we all know and love.

T- Herbs, rye, caramel, black pepper, and citrus rind. The finish is bready and spicy. Has a strong Sierra Nevada finish. Very enjoyable.

M- Spicy and bitter. There is some lingering bitterness on the finish.

O- A very enjoyable offering from the brewery. Similar to Founders' Red's Rye, just a little less rich. A perfect beer for spring.

david131, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of DemoniChris
4.15/5  rDev +7%

DemoniChris, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of micromaniac129
4.15/5  rDev +7%

Deep amber color with a desent size head. The head is beige, solid and lingers for quite some time with sheets of stickly lacing covering the glass.
The rye malt aroma is quite potent but is nicely balanced with a bright citrus hop bouquet.
SN must use an abundance of rye malts because "it's in there". Very spicy and slick and smooth. Hops try to balance but don't, although they have a nice citrus taste.
Drinks smooth and yet course and husky,
This definitely ruthless and would take awhile to warm up to.

micromaniac129, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of JEdmund
4.15/5  rDev +7%

Rusty red color, medium head, clear. Foam cap sticks around and clings to the glass.

Smell hits me while pouring the beer. Big hops and some of it reminds me of the fruitiness found in Celebration Ale. I think I'm also getting rye, as there is another hint of grain involved.

Taste really builds on itself and finishes stronger than it starts, but I'm struck by how well balanced it is for an IpA. I'm not surprised by how perfect the body and carbonation are; SN always nails it. I get the rye the most in the finish where a rustic grain bite complements the hop  bitterness. It's not a hop bomb, but it has plenty of bitterness and is a real pleasure to drink. Hop characteristics are slightly fruity and herbal.

With every new release by Sierra Nevada, I'm further convinced these guys are the best American craft brewers. Ruthless Rye is a success and my favorite rye ale to date. I like it more than the beer it replaces--Glissade--but I would still be happy to see that beer return one day. Will have to buy more of this before it's gone!

Per website:
Bittering hops: Bravo
Aroma hops: Chinook and experimental
Dry hops: Chinook, Citra, and experimental
Malts: Pale, Rye, Caramel, Chocolate
IBUs: 55

JEdmund, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of lovindahops
4.15/5  rDev +7%

Another delicious seasonal from Sierra Nevada. Good change up from them

A- ruthless rye pours a reddish amber with clear vision through the glass. A thin, thin level of white foam floats on the top of the glass with some web like lacing that stayed around the edges of the glass

S- a clear cut blast of rye malt with spicy and peppery blasts of the theme. And these properties are pretty strong. What's even better is there is a fair citric hop presence that really becomes even similar to a pine scent. All these scents blend well. Impressive.

T- The rye is immediately at the forefront with a follow up of simultaneous pine, citric, and mango hop profile. The rye flavors even circle back to make another appearance. Really one of the stronger rye beers that pushes the spicy components with a hop presence

M- great feel from all the properties meshing on the pallet. The feel is smooth but full of flavor

O- Ruthless rye is very rare as far as a rye ipa goes IMO. Great rye flavors that mesh well with the spicy and bitter hop taste. I will always come back for this one

lovindahops, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of DrJay
4.15/5  rDev +7%

Clear and coppery with a thick yellow/beige cap. Good head retention, foamy lacing. Citrusy hop aroma, grassy and a bit spicy, slightly nutty and sugary malts. Sturdy pine resin bitterness, dry nuttiness, spicy and citrusy, a bit oily and grassy with some burnt sugar in the finish. Medium bodied, carbonation was a little creamy, light dryness from the grains, nice texture overall. A solid offering that's full of rye and hops. Recommended.

DrJay, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Jmamay22
4.15/5  rDev +7%

This Rye IPA pours a deep amber with a thick rocky ecru colored head. The foam refuses to to die down no doubt due to the sticky hops. The scent is a piney grapefruit that is expected from a west coast IPA and it is a delightful bouquet.

The taste is similar, but the rye plays a larger part adding a spices finish. It is a great progression of flavor from sweet caramel malt to a resinous piney hop bit punctuated by the rye. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a slight rich creaminess that adds to the character of the brew.

All around great beer, but I was sad to see it replace Glissade. I suppose hops are in.

Jmamay22, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
4.15/5  rDev +7%

Poured out of 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Deep copper color with two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Lacing all over.

S- Overwhelmingly grassy and citrus notes from the hops make for a very pleasant nose.

T- Grassy hops right up front with a little bit of citrus to it. The rye takes care of the bitterness and leaves you a beer with really nice hop flavor that finishes with a bready/rye flavor.

M- Light bodied, carbonation is alright. Nothing crazy.

O- Very nice offering from Sierra Nevada. I would absolutely pick up another sixer.

HopsKeepDroppin, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of hoplover82
4.15/5  rDev +7%

This may just be the best rye beer I've had to date. I mean the rye comes through in ways I've never experienced before. It really comes through as a very rye grain flavor. Makes me wonder if they used around 40-50 percent rye in this bad boy.
A-Pours a crystal clear amber color with a thick and creamy off white head that lasts forever and leaves excellant lacing.
S-The aroma is thick with rye grain and floral hops up front then mild pine hop notes in the back.
T-Tasts much the same as the aroma. Very spicy rye notes followed up with resinous floral/piney hops.
M-The spiciness from the rye paired with the bitterness of the hops give it a slight astringent characteristic, but other than that, it's a very easy drinkin, (full) medium bodied IPA that has a long bitter resinous hops finish.
O-My overall impression is this is what a rye beer should be like. I'm sure it could be improved on a little, but I really enjoyed this one very much.

hoplover82, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of nukem5
4.15/5  rDev +7%

A: Pours a great ruby copper color. Nice pillow of tan foam topping a very beautiful beer. Tons of lacing down glass.

S: Aroma is of citrus hop and well balanced malts.

T: Taste is of rich malts full of flavors, caramel, and sweet rye. Hops are in balance with a nice citrus burst.

M: Mouth feel is a medium bodied nicely carbonated.

O: Overall I would drink this over and over again, very satisfying and refreshing .

nukem5, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Gyle41386
4.15/5  rDev +7%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I was totally unaware of this beer until a friend gifted me a six pack.

Pours a copper color with a rich, fluffy off-white head that reaches about two fingers. Plenty of bubbles rising throughout. Retention is great, and there's tons of sticky lacing all over the inside of the glass. Can't look much better than that.

The aroma features plenty of peppery spice from the rye along with bready malt, and piney/citric hops. It's got that classic smell (plus the rye) that I've come to expect from hoppy Sierra Nevada offerings.

The flavor is similar in that I'm getting a lot of rye. It's spicy and peppery and mostly dominant until a bitter finish that's either citrus rind or pine, or both. There is a very light initial citrus sweetness as well as some caramel.

Body is medium with an oily, slick texture. Carbonation level is probably right at medium as well, maybe less, but appropriate. Finish is quite dry, and the alcohol begins to show itself as it warms. This beer is drinkable enough, though, that warmth probably shouldn't be something to worry about. The rye + hops were right in my wheelhouse, so my glass will empty quickly when I drink this again.

Gyle41386, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of ktblue22
4.15/5  rDev +7%

I really enjoyed this beer - in my opinion, a very straightforward Rye IPA but Sierra hit the nail on the head.

A - dark orange copper, frothy head of over half inch
S - crisp and hoppy - not getting a lot of smell but it could be that I don't have the right glass for this beer (just a standard pint glass - our craft beer glass is in the dishwasher....)
T- earthy, gritty, subtle hops with a great showcasing of rye. Perfectly carbonated with a danky moss aftertaste
M- medium body but the carbonation makes it feel lighter, grittiness that is appealing and also adds to the rye flavor.

Overall very drinkable and exceptional to pair with a hunstman cheese

ktblue22, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Eramen
4.15/5  rDev +7%

A - All orange and copper, nice half-finger but persistent head.

S - Wonderfully aromatic - I make out citrus, pine, woody notes, spices and grain.

T - Much akin to the aromas, the pepper and spice are very pronounced, though not a lot of malt heaviness. It's quite a hop-forward style of beer, with citrus/piney flavors dominating. Bitterness is high and well suited to the grainy malt present.

MF - Decent mild carbonation, yet it manages to be smooth drinking.

O - Lovely brew, something that I'd only have a couple of due to it's peppery, grainy consistency but a fine IPA nonetheless.

2013 Vintage, very fresh.

Eramen, May 29, 2013
Photo of snaotheus
4.15/5  rDev +7%

12oz bottle

Pours a coppery brownish color with a nice sized creamy looking head. Smell is malty with a hint of spicy hoppiness. A little grainy, a little tiny bit yeasty.

Taste is surprisingly dominated up fronts with nice hoppy bitterness, with a really nice nutty/hay/malty finish.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky, a little abrasively fizzy. Maybe it got shaken a bit in transportation. I think the checker might have tossed the whole case on its side.

Overall, I'm a fan. It's good.

snaotheus, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of JizackFH
4.15/5  rDev +7%

A - This beer pours a nice orangish copper color that has nice clarity. There is a big fluffy 2-finger head resting on top. The head has excellent retention, and it leaves a thick sheet of lace clinging to the glass as it recedes.

S - The nose has a nice bit of caramel malt and spicy rye. There are also some aromas toffee, fruit, and there is a nice piney hop presence as well. A little bit of citrus on the back end too.

T - The taste follows the nose. It starts off with some caramel malt sweetness and some rye spiciness. Then there is a nice piney hop presence that comes through and adds some nice bitterness. There are also some flavors of toffee and citrus. the finish leaves some lingering rye and piney hop flavors behind on the palate.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation.It goes down easy, and it has a nice feel to it. There is some initial sweetness, as well as some spiciness from the rye. There is a nice piney hop bitterness that lingers on the palate.

O - This has really good drinkability. The flavor is nice and it goes down really easily. I could have a few of these no problem. Overall, I think it is a really nice beer. The rye and hops compliment each other really well. I recommend trying this one out. I would definitely pick this up again.

JizackFH, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of silverking
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%

It pours a slighlty hazy copper with a light tan head. Head retention is excellent and the lacing is very nice after the head flattens out a bit. It smells grainy and spicy with strong notes of pine and citrus. The taste is citrusy, piney and bitter. The finish is bitter with some nice peppery spice from the rye. It has a nice crisp clean mouthfeel with a bit too much carbonation for my liking. Highly recommended.

silverking, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Somewhat dark copper with a nice sturdy cap and great lacing. Darker than expected but looks great, as SN beers always do.

Smell: Spicy, earthy and bready, with some orange-driven citrus.

Taste: Semi-sweet bread and toast backbone. Fairly earthy and citrusy (a little tangier than the aroma indicated), with a long pine and spice finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Overall: While not quite the taste onslaught of some other Rye IPAs (such as Founders Red Rye and the Summit India Rye Ale from two years back), this is extremely well balanced and immensely drinkable. The best "Spring" seasonal from Sierra Nevada yet.

bsp77, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Rocky textured foaming tan head leaves only gas and beer residue between an inch of air and glass known as head space, it's beautiful. Color wise bright ruby copper colored beer we need in this post holiday recovery mode for everybody. After drinking spiced ales with cinnamon, honey, and all spice for a month and a half, I fully praise Sierra Nevada for releasing this beer. Aroma has hints of pine and citrus with a spicy rye layer that definitely adds a layer of complexity to the mix. Flavor hits with a clashing layer of malt/rye versus earthy/pine hops, pretty intense here no bias noted, I'm a lover of both malts and hops. Easy to drink well balanced between the waves of piney/citrus hops and spicy rye malt, moderate carbonation slick oily hop textures going on. Overall a welcomed seasonal to mix up the ever changing lineup of Sierra Nevada, I'll be drinking more of this.

WVbeergeek, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of brewerburgundy
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, bottled 2/17/12.

Color wise, this rye beer defines copper, with brown and orange melded into a clear, clearly not orange body. The head is a quality affair that even after falling is a hefty half inch of off-white that clings well.

The rye is aggressive and definitely not going to be elbowed out of the way by the Sierra Nevada hop signature. Yeasty rye bread shares space with pepperiness and grapefruit citric hops. Alcohol becomes markedly aggressive when near room temperature.

The bitterness is certainly at a high level, but so is rough peppery rye that fights with the hops on every level. It perpetuates the bitterness and adds another element to it, while forcing the grapefruit juiciness to develop very late, which then fades leaving doughiness. Bitter alcohol just accentuates all the rye's assaults as well as the hop's.

It's very near a palate wrecker. Full, juicy body and pretty prickly carbonation.

As a rye beer this gets high marks from me, as it is the first one where I have really known the rye is there and a defining characteristic. I also really like it because I like what Sierra Nevada does and this is classic Sierra Nevada.

brewerburgundy, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of RickS95
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours a brownish orange color. A bit thin for something from SN. The head is thick and bright white. Good retention, it's got that classic IPA look where the top falls in on itself leaving a sticky lace in its wake.

You can smell it from across the room. It's all rye. Smells like a piece of rye bread is in a toaster.

I'll start by saying I'm not a fan of rye. I don't care for it in beer and I don't have the tongue for Scottish style beers. I love this. You can taste the chocolate and caramel malts working in conjunction with the rye for a nice balance. It's very balanced until the finish where the hop flavors win out.

Early on it's not much of an IPA. It's got a heavy feel. Then towards the finish, the bitterness kicks in, it becomes lighter, and leaves a sticky coat of hops on the tongue.

Another classic from Sierra Nevada. It's easy to drink, it's got decent alcohol, it's not very expensive. There's nothing not to like.

RickS95, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of Gmann
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours a clear copper color with a pillowy frothy off white head that slowly settles leaving a wall of lacing.

The aroma is big on the grapefruit hops; very fresh, juicy and floral. The rye provides a subtle pepper spice and sour scent. Aroma reminds me of a notched up SNPA.

The flavor is a mix of grapefruit and pine. Juicy grapefruit kicks things off, then transitions into some piney bitterness. This is supported by a bready malt; sour and peppery from the rye. Has a nice general toasty-ness to the beer.

Moderate feel is prickly carbonation. Bitter on the palate but not too strong; a bit of a hoppy metallic aftertaste.

Very nice IPA. The hops hide much the rye has to offer but that seems on par for the style.

Gmann, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Bung
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Tap at Macs Steel Creek. Light orangey/amber pour. Sticky white bubbles.

Aroma, I'm not getting that much to be honest. Maybe some pine and grainy spice.

Taste, great mix if the malt, spicey rye, mostly piney hops.

Love how the rye adds a creaminess too it. To the right of light, a nice carbonation, drinks fairly smoothly.

Almost like a hoppy amber, but the best rye pale U think I've had. Score one for the old guys. Very balanced, so many will not like, but I did.

Bung, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

2012 Vintage

Pours an amber color with a perfect sized head, fades at a slow rate with good retention, pretty fluffy looking, lots of lacing on the glass.

Smell has a piney floral aroma, good amount of citrus in the nose, picking up grapefruit and some other fruity esters, maybe even orange which is odd but probably mixing it up with the strong citrus presence.

Taste has a more malty presence than the nose would indicate, the rye definitely lends a bit more body to the beer, hop flavors are still quite evident with the citrus pine being the most prominent, light bitterness that doesn't overstay its welcome, very solid.

deltatauhobbit, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of RustyTide
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Just tried a 12 oz. bottle...ok a couple...and poured into a standard pint glass.

A- Beautiful clear dark copper color with a medium off-white or tan head. Good head retention and decent amount of lacing.

S- Pleasantly strong piny hops as well as rye, pepper like spice and citrus. Images of fresh whole-cones popped into my head every sip.

T- Nice Heavy hops/spice/bitterness, malty rye bread taste. Refreshing.

M- Crisp medium-bodied,balanced carbonation.

Overall- Gotta say I really liked this beer, pleasantly surprised how much I liked it, very refreshing unique IPA style. Well done Sierra Nevada, well done.

RustyTide, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a deep semi-clear copper color. A sea-foam cream colored head sits on too and doesn't want to recede. Nice webby lacing.

The aroma is both citric and fruity. Some spicy cedar-like woodiness as well.

The beer tastes like it smells. A nice spicy, woody rye body in the beginning. Some citrus rinds blend with faint tropical sweetness afterwards, with a bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium weight.

Overall, I hesitated to buy this. As usual, Sierra Nevada made a great beer in this.

JuicesFlowing, Feb 19, 2014
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,441 ratings.