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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
88
very good

4,570 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,570
Reviews: 1,051
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 72
Gots: 360 | FT: 1
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: 4,570 | Reviews: 1,051 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden orange and cloudy complexion

smell: heavy citrus, orange peel and some nice floral aroma, strong pineapple and tropical aromas.

taste: Lots of citrus mixed in with tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. A sweet malty IPA. well done.

mouthfeel: medium full bodied

drinkability: very nice offering from this brewery and I look forward to many more like this. Thanks

CampusCrew, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Kadonny
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tasting glass.

A: A darker amber orange color with some reddish tones. A large 3 finger head. This was a little warmer thus the larger amount of head.

S: Wow, damn I'm loving this smell. I get a large amount of citrus on the nose first mixed with some pine notes. The rye comes out too but after the citrus and alongside a baked bread and pepper notes. I can also pick up the distinct SN yeast smell.

T: This really does follow the nose. The citrus flavors come out first and heavy mixed with some pine that lead into the bready biscuit malt. The malt then gets tramped down by the spicy rye and pepper flavors that finish the beer out with some bitterness. Clean finish. The rye in this is however not overly done, it seem seems just right.

M: Medium mouthfeel that is resiny, prickly and very crisp on the finish. No hints of alcohol at all and carbonation seems fine.

Overall this is a quality beer that seems to be the perfect blend of spicy rye with the bright citrus IPA type flavors. What I really loved on this beer was the nose when it warmed, just fantastic.

This is the perfect spring seasonal for SN. You still get the dark spicy rye flavors, but you get mixed in the bright citrus spring like flavors. This is a total upgrade compared to the Glissdale and a beer I will enjoy each and every year. Watch for my tap review as I have a keg of it coming home soon.

Nice job SN, you done good.

Kadonny, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this offering pours a clear chestnut brown and wells up a thin off-white head, that fades a to a sticky lace after just a minute

S - strong IPA aromas hit first and pack a punch strengthened by huge rye elements mingled with the powerful grapefruit/citrus/pine notes typical of an IPA

T - the rye peppery spiciness hits the palate simultaneous with the hops characteristics, nicely offsetting

M&D - Sierra Nevada doesn't let you down, a layered and intriguing beer that makes you crave the next sip, balanced and drinkable, a superb beer

sinstaineddemon, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of killianf
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

120z bottle into Duvel tulip

A: Nice coppery amber tone, generous 2-3 finger head that retains a nice film all the way down. Decent lacing too. Carbonation was generated mainly by the etched glass, but it was otherwise medium.

S: Very hoppy, more so than the Pale Ale and Torpedo. The citrus and grapefruit tones are there along with the typical pine you immediately recognize from the above beers. But this has got another layer to it in the form or spice and a definite peppery scent. It's almost hot smelling. Really interesting.

T: Very well balanced, malty right at the front, and nice and hoppy at the back. There's a nice subtle breadiness throughout, as well as the citrus and floral flavours. Pine is in the middle towards the back and there's a strange peppery taste to finish off. The aftertaste is all hops.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and drinkable, big enough to carry all those flavours but small enough so as not to be overpowering.

Overall: Very nice beer, really enjoyable. It certainly competes with the Pale Ale and the Torpedo, which are both favourites of mine. It's really well balanced and I'd definitely recommend it.

killianf, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of ahq514
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

Pours a clear dark amber color. Lots of bubbles rising to the surface, seems to have a higher amount of carbonation. Solid two finger head, that is a fluffy off white. Good lacing throughout the glass.

Fairly straight forward aroma. Lots of rye and a healthy dash of citrusy and floral hops. Reminds of a less intense, more malt focused Founders reds rye.

Very nice. Right up front is a malty sweetness followed by a moderate amount of rye, with a light spicy character. Then the hops come through, a bitter herbal quality with some bright citrus undertones. I want to know what the experimental hops they used were, because I dig it. Definitely a more malt focused ipa, but I like it. A good hop character that doesn't outshine the malt. Lingering dry bitterness.

Good medium body. A little high on the carbonation. Very drinkable.

A great beer from SN. So glad they replaced Glissade with this. Not as hoppy as the top Rye Beers, but just as good IMO. Glad I invested in a 6 pack. If it was year round I would definitely keep this regularly stocked in my fridge.

ahq514, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of Teleweizen2
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a coppery orange color with a thick head. Foam is off-white. Leaves very thick lacing.

S - an intense cerial grain herbal fest. Bitter orange peel jumps out quickly as the rye blends with barely to create the enticing grainy notes while floral and citrus aromas round out the nose.

T - dry on the front of the tounge. Notes of bitter citrus enter mid palate along with ceral grain notes and a peppery spice finish.

M - full bodied. Medium carb.

O - an excellent take on a rye/IPA.

Teleweizen2, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of NatetheGreat
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This IPA is a beauty: deep amber with hues of mahogany and red beneath a huge, tight, white head. Sweet aroma of honeyed fruit, grapefruit and pine noticeable; very enticing aroma. taste begins sweet with a burst of hops bringing the palate to life; finishes with a spicy, peppery note. smooth mouthfeel with a substantial body, alcohol warmth comes through, especially as the beer warms.

this is a very fine IPA; I think I prefer it to SN torpedo IPA, because of the complexity. cheers!

NatetheGreat, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of bum732
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Very dank smelling, rye apparent, some grapefruit and some pine.

L: Crystal clear mahogeny, off-white head that dissipates. Good lacing.

T: Spicy and quite bitter overall. Medium high bitterness leading to a dry spiciness. Lots of grassy and citrus notes. Finishes quite dry with lots of hops.

M: Medium body, medium high carbonation.

Solid. Almost like torpedo with rye added. Really enjoyed this beer.

bum732, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The artwork on this one is great.

Pours a bright and crystal clear amber color with a huge off white head. Looks wonderful in the glass.

Aromas are typical for Sierra IPAs. Grassy, resin like, with some hard candies, and is quite floral. Smells like a fresh hop beer.

Taste is malty sweet up front, notes of hard candies, tea, and some grainy spice. Finish is resiny, earthy, pine like, lightly bitter, with some citrus, and fresh floral hops. People that want hoppy citrus flavors in their IPA might not care for this, but I like the raw earthy hop and rye notes.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and very well carbonated.

Overall, an excellent new offering from Sierra. I know it's another "IPA", but this is different. Reminds me of some of the Harvest beers, but with more graininess, and nice spicy rye notes. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

flexabull, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown -served in a standard pint.

The color is resplendent shade of deep copper with great clarity and visibly carbonated with rapidly rising fine bubbles and pale tan cap w/ ultra fine bead. The lace is sticky and it is a pleasure to look upon in the glass. The smell has a fruity tangy yeast ester with a citrusy hop smell that is very pleasant and mild caramel odor from the malt with light pine accent from the hops. the feel is a true west coast IPA in that it has a nice malt backbone but the rye is giving a toasty edge which absorbs some of the hop acidity - the balance is toward the hop with a nice bite yet there is some oily texture and a nice dry spicy finish with mild sweet accents.

The flavor is toasty and fruity with a light sweet taste up front w/ rye giving a light nuttiness and slight caramel leads to an orange and tangerine citrus flavor w/ light pine notes adding depth to the hop character. the pine takes the wheel and steers into hoppy rye territory fast with a spicy/fruity and mildly earthy hop flavor which pairs well with the rye. There is a lot of different flavor components overlapping which I really enjoy with juicy tangy citrus a focal point that blends very nicely with the toasted grain elements. The malt doesn't really distract from the tropical fruit notes which come forward mildly as it warms. There is an ample amount of bitterness in the finish.

Overall I love a good rye and this has it all -the finesse and flavor that coexist in a hoppy rye beer. It is smooth enough to be drinkable and bold enough to excite the palate, Kudos to Sierra Nevada.

Slatetank, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of wl0307
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(2013 Version) Coming in a 12 FL. OZ. short brown bottle, no freshness info. is printed on the label or bottle, apart from a number 302311159; served faintly chilled (10 centigrade?) in a tall tumbler. Notes: The back label states the beer is “brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors – combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavours of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring”.

Appearance: pours an almost clear, dark amber or even tawny colour, coming with rather lively fizziness and a thick and tight light beige froth settling slowly to a thin cap to last.
Smell: pungently citrusy and spicy at the same time, on top of mildly caramely/toffee-ish pale malts and bitter oranges; given a good swirl, interestingly, the camouflaged resinous, piney and flowery aroma of hops gets freed up in the air, yet soon suppressed again by the frothy head... Very nice, but not conventional for Sierra Nevada’s beers.
Taste: bitter-sweet orangey-citric and zesty initially, with a touch of overripe fruity esters, then turning peppery and chalky bitter in the middle, as deepening tannic bitterness and a nicely rounded semi-nutty and semi-sprigy elements of malts (and rye?) chimes in; the finish is soothingly warming (for a 6.6%abv. beer?), showing aromatic flowery undertones of hops and a decent level of tangy bitterness, somewhat dry as well.
Mouthfeel & Overall: well-attenuated, dry-ish on the palate, the fizziness is not as sharp in the mouth as it appears in the eyes, medium-bodied, with an usual warming kick for the alc. level, and very very satisfying at the end of each sip; this American IPA, brewed using rye and whole cone hops on top of quality malts, has indeed an "usual" (which I can't explain, maybe just for the sake of saying something...!!) element to it, but not quite in the way as I expected really. Interestingly, the citrusy-peppery hop quality, the juicy crystal malts, and the well-tuned attenuation altogether give me an impression of a stronger type of Kentish Pale Ale brewed with Kentish citrusy hops and spicy Styrian Goldings even! This has to be my very first rye-related beer, and I’d say, well done!

wl0307, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of MichPaul
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had great anticipation for this beer, from hearing the ravings on the forum. So my expectations were very high. I was only slightly disappointed. I guess I just expected a big, almost Barleywine taste to it, but it was a little bit more tame than I was hoping especially with the word "Ruthless" in the title. Don't get me wrong I was only slightly let down. This beer actually drank spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Poured a nice clear, dark amber color with a nice thick head. Lots of lacing was apparent all the way down the glass to the very end.
This was not a big bitter beer and went down really easy. I would easily pick up a six pack of this next time it is in season.

MichPaul, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of matjack85
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at Trader Joe's cause they let you buy one bottle at a time instead of the whole 6 pack. $1.50 for a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date, but the neck label says 2013 Ruthless Rye and this is only February of '13 so it can't be more than 2 months old.

The beer poured a clear copper color with a half finger of white head. The head lasted a little over a minute, but even after it receded it left a thin layer of foam on top. Lots of slippery lacing that slid down the glass with each sip, but nothing that would cling to the glass.

Very mild smell. Some earthy hops, light malt, and a touch of spicy rye.

Thankfully, the flavor is a little more robust. Nice, but not overpowering grapefruit/pine hop flavor balanced with a good dose of caramel malt. Bitterness is low for an IPA at just 55 IBU's, but the rye gives it a nice spicy finish. Very tasty.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel with medium body and medium carbonation.

I like this one enough to go back and get the other 5 bottles.

matjack85, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of hail_seitan
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A - Wonderful amber, almost tigereye, color. The head is thick and foamy and clings to the sides of the glass.

S - Pine, black pepper, and grapefruit. A burnt sugar sweet scent intensifies as the beer warms up.

T - First citrus and resin. Then a caramel sweetness from the malt. The finish is spicy from the rye with not too much lingering bitterness.

M - Appropriately thick and creamy for the style with moderate carbonation.

O - A wonderful beer I always look forward to come springtime. The blend of spice and bitterness with just enough heft in the body makes it a ideal brew for an overcast 50-degree spring day. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for the great label artwork, too.

hail_seitan, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of msondel
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm a big fan of Sierra Nevada and haven't tasted one I wouldn't buy again. I don't taste much of the pepper they describe in this one or know why this would be considered a "transition to Spring" as it says on the bottle. It tastes similar to their normal IPA, but with a little less flavor. Still a great beer (great head, color, smell), but wouldn't put it in front of their other IPAs because it doesn't have the same level of taste.

msondel, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of Sark
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- not sure how I screwed up the pour, (maybe the altitude?) but this came with a monster head, the golden orange amber was a sight to behold

Smell- does Sierra Nevada use cascade in every beer of theirs? Super-citrusy with a spiced rye side.

Taste- a bold sweetness well balanced by the hop oils but not oily. A light toastiness makes the bulk but light fruit flavors become noticeable.

Mouthfeel- mellow medium bodied, the malt smoothness is accentuated by a kick in hop crisp at the end.

Overall- Sierra Nevada kicks out another solid one. The rye isn't under nor over-played and keeps things complex.

Sark, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic a clear rich copper/bronze with a large blooming head that left a few broken rings of lace behind as it settled slowly.Not as assertive in the nose as I expected,it does have a decent shot of grapefruit-like hop aromas with some mild rye spice.Much fuller flavors with a nice mix of nutty malt mixed with spicy rye and a healthy dose of citric hops,well rounded.A very solid rye offering from SN wich frakly I expected,I could drink this all day.

oberon, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of weonfire
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap at Patrick Osheas in Louisville, KY poured into a Irish Pint Glass.

A - Very frothy tremendous head. Head lasted a full 10-15 minutes which i found to be a negative. Copper color.
S - Smells like a lot of hops Not sure of the IBU but I think it would be high. Very good dose of citrus and pepper.
T - Taste of carmel. I may be off but I don't taste any rye. I may be confusing the bitterness in for some of the rye taste. Again tastes like high IBU.
M - The bitter taste stays with you all the way down your throat and into the proceeding nest few minutes.
O - Descent IPA. I wish I could decipher the rye more- but that might be my own fault. I would order this again.

weonfire, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep crystal clear copper, with 2 fingers of slightly off-white head. This retains with a big frothy dollop in the middle of the glass, drenching the sides with a heavy latticework of sticky lace. This has quite the robust look to it. Wow, the rye has a huge presence here, with a bold spicy graininess that just drives the nose forward. This mixes with underlying notes of caramel and citrus to really impart a rich spicy twang, with some leafy floral edges that lend this a bit of airiness in the nostrils as well.

The taste really had some kick to it, with that rye being just as bold here and sticking to a fresh citric bitterness, propelling spice and pith out into the mouth. A caramel sweetness hangs on the edges, barely getting the hops balanced out before a final wave of rye swoops in to finish this dry and spicy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and feels equal parts crisp and smooth in the mouth, thanks to a good bit of oily slickness to the carbonation that really keeps this sleek feeling.

This is about as good of a Rye beer as I’ve had in a while. This just has a perfect amount of rye here, working with that bright feeling IPA base to really give this a crisp and flavorful bite. This was so easy drinking as well, especially considering the higher ABV and the overall intensity of the flavors. SN really nailed this. I think I’m going to go have another…

Kegatron, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Topher78
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Upon pouring this beer left a fingers worth of a off white head and had reasonably good lacing. The color of this beer was perplexing, from different angles it had very different and unique colors. From table level it looked mahogany, from over top it looked slightly red and from an angle it looked more amber in color. Well, whatever color is was it had a beautiful aroma to it. Strong peppery notes mixed very well with sweet citrusy hop notes. From the first sip you can tell you're drinking a rye beer; the spiciness of the rye added a big kick to the malt and worked very well with this beers hop imparted bitterness. This beer finished very clean and dry on the palate, which left you wanting more.

Topher78, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of musicforairports
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottled Jan. 10, reviewed Jan. 24.

A true amber color, Jurassic Park style. Clear. Big head goes quickly and leaves some lacing.

Smell is a lightly dank citrus profile and some bread.

Flavor starts and ends with the rye -- nice and spicy, bread-like, notes of pumpernickel and pepper. A typical Sierra Nevada citrus hop profile asserts itself as well. I really like the rye flavor in this one--it's impossible to miss, but smoother than some.

Mouthfeel is medium and somewhat creamy. Enough, but not too much. Sierra Nevada does this category well.

This is a good beer, and it uses rye very well. The hops compliment the smooth rye character nicely. For the price, I'll buy a lot of 12-packs of this.

musicforairports, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of david18
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been drinking a lot of this while it was on tap at my local beer bar. Sierra Nevada has not been known for IPA's, I guess since they're so well known for the pale. Then came the Torpedo, which was good but I think this is one of their best beers.

Appearance was typical of an IPA. Dark pale, good carbonation, very inviting looking.

Aroma was almost perfect. Great hops balanced with the malt and alcohol.

Flavor as well was a great balance of bitterness, hop flavor, malt and alcohol.

Great IPA, that I highly recommend.

david18, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of dfillius
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate to aggressive pour yields 1 finger of pillowy off-white head with soft peaks and great retention! Ideal head. Hazy crimson orange liquid is also spot on.
S: Centennial hops, rye tang, light citrus hops. Very nice. Only down side is slight unfermented wort aroma.
T: Delicate but assertive hops and bitterness grows with each sip. Good enough malt backbone but great hop strength. A tad boozy on the finish.
M: Chewy, moderately strong bitterness. Definitely a palate wrecker by the end. A tad warm for me also at the end.
O: Better enough than Glissade to replace it? Maybe. I preferred the lightness of Glissade for the season it is released in. But that is not something I can rate this beer based on. I would buy this again and order another. A solid offering.

dfillius, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of david131
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 4,570 ratings.