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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.
very good

4,393 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,393
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 66
Gots: 295 | 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: 4,393 | Reviews: 1,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

01-15-2012 21:30:15 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of HopsKeepDroppin


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

01-13-2012 05:39:46 | More by HopsKeepDroppin
Photo of hoplover82


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

02-07-2012 00:32:55 | More by hoplover82
Photo of nukem5


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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 .

01-21-2012 03:50:04 | More by nukem5
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

02-01-2012 03:39:23 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of ktblue22


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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

03-09-2013 23:41:29 | More by ktblue22
Photo of Eramen


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

05-29-2013 18:22:07 | More by Eramen
Photo of snaotheus


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

01-07-2012 02:45:42 | More by snaotheus
Photo of JizackFH

New York

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

02-01-2012 11:32:52 | More by JizackFH
Photo of silverking


4.14/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

01-18-2013 00:16:29 | More by silverking
Photo of bsp77


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

01-22-2012 21:24:41 | More by bsp77
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

01-14-2012 12:39:54 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of brewerburgundy


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

03-07-2012 01:09:15 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of RickS95


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

07-27-2012 02:16:05 | More by RickS95
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

01-29-2012 19:57:08 | More by Gmann
Photo of Bung


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

02-18-2012 03:46:47 | More by Bung
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

04-17-2012 21:20:25 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of RustyTide


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

01-21-2012 09:08:46 | More by RustyTide
Photo of JuicesFlowing


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

02-19-2014 21:52:32 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of bstave


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

12oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint.

A- Pours a nice 1-2 finger white head that forms SN typical nice lacing. The body is a translucent mahogany. Very nice looking typical of a SN beer.

S- Nice earthy hops and a spicy rye backbone.

T- Taste follows nose. Nice earthy hops up front and spicy rye really balances this beer out nice.

M- Nice carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Very smooth.

O- A really nice offering from a brewery that fails to make a bad beer in my opinion. I much prefer this over Glissade. I will definitely buy this again.

02-29-2012 03:38:48 | More by bstave
Photo of brewmudgeon


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

SN ruthless rye

a 4 clear orangey copper. a high pour is capable of raising a three finger head quite easily, which contributes a creamy feel to the resultingly less carbonated body. random lacework. nice, though i would have expected some cloudiness.

s 3.5-4 smells pretty similar to red's rye, ii recall correctly. the rye is obvious in the nose, along with c hops. but the aroma is a little muted.

t 4.5 this is where the beer shines, a good category in which to do so. again the rye is obvious, lending a dry spiciness and a certain powdery quality to the mouthfeel. underneath is an ipa along the lines of celebration mixed with the retired anniversary ipa. this is really good--having heard complaints that this beer is too similar to torpedo and the rye is hardly noticeable, i must say i strongly disagree. on the sweetmeter, this one is about midway between red's rye (dryish) and hop rod (wet), so about perfect.

m 4-4.5 while the medium body could be a touch more lush, this is a fine vehicle for transporting this brew down the old hatch. much rather have it this way than having a touch too much body, which would get annoying quickly. instead, this beer lends itself to having more than one class--practically begs to let it be so lent.

o 4-4.5 very surprised at how much i like this beer, so far. two bottles. two great experiences. this has to be one of my three favorite SN beers of all time, along with bigfoot and northern hemisphere.
on second session, seemed a tad drier than wanted it, still good.

02-07-2012 06:41:10 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of dorianmarley


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

Appearance is red-brown amber, with a massive, off-white head. Lacing is great.

Nose is peppery from the rye, with plenty of biting hops.

Taste is caramel malt, with black pepper and medium hops. It also has a whole-grain flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is smooth with medium-large carbonation.

Overall, this is a grain-lover's beer, with great balance and some real bite.

01-24-2012 03:50:23 | More by dorianmarley
Photo of soju6


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

A: Pours a rusty/ copper color with a good head and nice lacing.

S: Aroma of hops citrus and grain, primarily rye. There is also a bit of fruit sweetness in the background.

T: Starts with a nice bitterness with a nice touch of rye. There is a bit of fruit and spice that lurks in the background and a clean finish.

F: Fairly light body, smooth and refreshing. the blend of the rye and hops is not overpowering and balanced very well.

O: Easy drinker, much better than I expected. Another solid offering from the brewer.

04-25-2012 21:35:27 | More by soju6
Photo of yuenglings


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

Firstoff It took me a mounth of waiting to get a case of this.
Ya gotta love the label on it. The beer has a dark copper color with good head and laceing.
It tastes sweet right off the bat then a citrisyness and peperyness kickin with a bite at the end. The smell is about the same even down to the bite at the end.
Overall a really good beer would buy agian fore sure if i can find it.

02-06-2012 00:43:01 | More by yuenglings
Photo of sansimeon


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

I'm new at this, so here goes. I liked the beer in general. I compared this beer with a Coastal Fog IPA and suddenly realized what the "body" of the beer refers to. Before, I either liked a beer or didn't, without regard for why. The first word that popped into my head after a couple of sips of the Rye was "round", and the Coastal Fog was "flat" (not flat as in, no carbonation, just lacking complexity). Ruthless had a nice malt taste, which I'm still figuring out how to articulate, and just enough hops to keep me drinking it. I will say this; I don't know if it was the beer, but I had some pretty messed up dreams for the two nights I drank this beer.

01-11-2012 18:37:33 | More by sansimeon
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,393 ratings.