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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.
very good

1,080 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,906
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 85
Gots: 641 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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: 1,080 | Hads: 4,906
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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.

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.

Nothing special.

Not a bad beer, just forgettable.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red clay color with off white head. Aroma is citrus, slight bread and a bit of sweetness. Taste is citrus, with rye bread and a bit of spice from the rye. Mouthfeel is medium but dry. Overall not my favorite fron SN, I think because the rye dries it out to much for me.

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Photo of GNWBC
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a fan of IPA's but they are growing on me slowly, picked this over the SA alpine Spring.
P: pours a sexy reddish copper color with a decent head and nice lacing that lasts all the way down.

S: lots of sweet rye, roasty and sweet

T: you get a awesome citrusy hoppy note up front and as it settles the rye spiyness comes out with the sweet malt

MF: for being so hoppy it goes down clean, almost no resin lasting in the mouth.

OA: a good way to bring in spring, nice and refreshing while enjoying some good weather! and a grilled bbq chicken pizza.

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Photo of kcrosson492
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #3 in my Trader Joe's surprise pack. I think this is the one I have been most excited for thus far!

A-The bottle rocks, fields, farms, and a female grim reaper!?

S-Tasty rye IPA smell mmm!

T-Has a delicious taste that is very hoppy.

M-Full flavored IPA

O-I would buy this beer again and again...deliciouso!

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Photo of harrymel
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 28DEC11

Pours a nice copper color with a little over a finger of peanut foam. excellent clarity and near web lace. Smells dank, some resin, pine, grapefruit, skunk and a little soil. Interesting, not sure if I dig it.

A bit nutty up front with a good grainy backbone and even some corn. An interesting malt profile I must say. The hops are herbal and theres even a sage flavor in here to me. Some sweetness and nutty flavors, almost a hint of oxidation on the malt. I'm really intrigued by this beer, I can't really say I like it, but I don't really dislike it.

Mouth is a bit heavy with higher carb and a dry finish for the style. This beer is not feeding into any of my expectations.

I really am having a hard time deciding on this beer, but I'm thinking it may be a little too rustic for me. The malts are weird, but the hops match the weirdness, I'm pretty torn on this one. It's above average, but not great. I will likely revisit just to creep the intrigue.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice mix of a doughy, bready beer and an IPA. The rye really stands out in this beer and the mix of hops balances it nicely. A bright amber pour with a small white head. Nice lacing on my glass that sticks throughout. Aroma of malts, rye, and hops. Flavor is citrusy hops and rye bread. A really nice brew.

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Photo of predikit
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark amber, creates a white head that leaves plenty of lacing behind.

Smells mostly hoppy, I had this awhile back and a peppery scent tickled my nose, but it doesn't seem to be present in this batch.

Takes like an average IPA, citrus notes up front, malt middle, slight bitter in on the end. The rye aspect is very underwhelming compared to my tasting of this one year ago.

Medium light body, crisp and clean. Alcohol is fairly present for the finish.

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Photo of WEBBEER
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer didn't disappoint, it poured a deep copper color with a very rich frothy head, long lasting lace clung for the entire 12 oz. serving.Smell of fresh grass, bread and citrus. Nice alchohol viscosity. Super malted, hoppy flavour with a hint of the rye. This I will try again.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1102nd Review on BA
Draft to Guinness Pint

On tap @Chaparral300 Chino Hills, CA

App- A good and deep amber with some lighter golden highlights on the bottom. A very panacake on the griddle looking 1/2 in head that feel to a ton of cling and lace.

Smell- It had a nice opening hop bitter note with a fair amount of flaky rye behind it. Smelled a fair thick and malty. Was okay aromatically but not out the world.

Drink- I was fairly let down by this one. The rye seemed to fade off of the nose and was just a fairly malty beer with only a small amount of bitter behind it. Not very layered or balanced IMO.

Mouth- A nice medium body with a good medium low carbonation. A bit creamy and full. Residual rye and bitter were remaining.

Drink- It's a fair offering. A bit thicker than most and a little one sided but it's a valid option for an intro Rye beer.

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Photo of AMack11
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks great. Copper with a lovely tan head when poured into my ilkey brewery tasting glass.

S - Somewhat muted. The usual IPA notes are there but I expected more hoppy notes, more citrus more spice, especially from the addition of Rye.

T - As above. The taste is the same as the smell. There is however, a hint of the grapefruit, but this is not all that different to any other bog standard IPA

F - it's okay. A little thin.

O - It's not bad.a easy session ale, but for the price, somewhat of a let down. I'd drink it again, but I doubt I will. Pay the extra quid and get the Torpedo.

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Photo of hardy008
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper with a finger off-white head with very good retention and lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, pine, and rye.

The taste has a light amount of sweetness, and a good deal of bitterness. Has the tastes of rye, grapefruit, citrus zest, pine, and bread.

Medium bodied with average carbonation, and a bitter aftertaste with a dry finish. Oily and resinous. If you are in the mood to have a bitter beer, this one will do the job.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep orange with a touch of cardinal tint. A flat buff head quickly turns to a thin skim coating. Small speckled lace. Inside a fine misty effervesce.

S: Small presence of pepper and flowery citrus. Some light dry toasted grains, not much rye spiciness or strength overall.

T: Peppery toasted grains for flavor. Dry bittering citrus, with a strong peppercorn sense. Dry hopped really well, very pronounced, with some caraway seed and solvent alcohol character that seems to distract at times. Pungent bitterness upon the swallow.

M: The mouthful is tight with a bubbly sense of carbonation. Spicy dry peppercorns and alcohol dominate with a medium body.

O: Overall a rye that delivers a strong and pronounced peppery punch, but the other rye aspects seem to be masked by the strong peppery nature and solvent like alcohol tones. Abv% feels a bit higher with a spicy dry drinkability that no doubt will limit this in numbers. 1-2 is fine with me.

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Photo of MickeyD
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

Appearance: Nice and golden brown with a nice head however it dissipates quickly, good carbonation.

Smell: Perfume with floral and pine. Not much malt that I can smell. I am really looking for the rye in this one and am not finding it.

Taste: definite pine from the hops, a crisp bite from hops and carbonation.

Mouth feel: Slight bite more spice and floral hops, a slight malt taste is detected once swirled around the mouth.

Overall: I have had one other rye/IPA and I must tell you that that one was much better balanced. This seems to be an IPA ONLY with very little to no rye. Good beer however and I would buy it again but not often. If I want an IPA I would buy one! I wanted that balance with the rye.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.