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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

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

3,999 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3999
Reviews: 1026
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%


Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,999 | Reviews: 1,026 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dadofive
dadofive

Arizona

4.61/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful beer. Vegetal, complex and perfectly balanced. Brewing with so much Rye is a challenge but Sierra has pulled it off.

This is not a session beer, but a work of art. To me, it evoked memories of a late summer's day spent outdoors, helping in the fields.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 03:56:04 | More by dadofive
Photo of berliner07
berliner07

New Hampshire

4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another slam dunk from Sierra. Such an engaging, but drinkable beer. At first I expected more hop character in the nose, as is typical with Sierra. But, the subltety of the hops really let the rye flavor shine. I find that some rye beers are overwhelming in the rye flavor. This was just enough to keep the beer interesting, but not too much to make it overwhelming. Spicy, but drinkable. Yeah Sierra!

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 22:51:18 | More by berliner07
Photo of BeerRoach
BeerRoach

Texas

4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden amber, medium head fades into a thin head which sticks around for the long haul.

S: Floral notes combined with grapefruit and citrus make this aroma fresh and inviting!

T: Heavy on the hops, but more tart than bitter. The hops are nicely balanced with citrus flavors which linger in the mouth.

M: Refreshing and easy on the mouth.

O: One of my new favorite brews. The hops take the spotlight, but are perfectly balanced with the citrus flavors. It may be too bitter for some, but for others it will really hit the spot.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2012 13:31:33 | More by BeerRoach
Photo of Mosstrooper
Mosstrooper

California

4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz Pensacola Bay Brewery branded tumbler glass.

Appearance: Caramel color with an orangish/amber hue. Large yellowed head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves behind plentiful lacing.

Smell: West coast hops with rye spiciness dominate. There is a touch of citrus and a bit of biscuit as well.

Taste: Begins with sour lemon and sweet orange, before rounding out to biscuity goodness. Finishes with a pleasant hop bitterness highlighted by the spiciness of rye.

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: While the aroma of this beer left me thinking "this is going to be another good rye beer, not much more and nothing less." However, I tasted an excellent one- this is a beer where the rye and hops play off one another very well, while most ryes have one dominating the other (even if only slightly so). The true beauty of this beer lies in its balance.

Would give this a five overall, but it may just be that it's only the best rye I have had recently- and i haven't had many in close to a year.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 04:59:57 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of Auraan
Auraan

Arizona

4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful amber with a one finger off white head that receded quickly but left behind lacing down the glass. Scents of northwest coast hops and spicy rye. Flavor is pronounced northwest coast hops, rye spice, slight grapefruit and excellent pine notes. Mouthfeel is of medium thickness with medium carbonation that makes it easy to drink. It's a good IPA not the best of Sierra Nevada's many different seasonal IPA offerings, or even their year round, but it's a very good rye IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 04:21:06 | More by Auraan
Photo of stonecutter2
stonecutter2

Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is what I expect from a Rye IPA, but sweet in the Sierra Nevada tradition.

Beautiful copper color, smell is a bit subdued but the flavor is exactly what I could want.

Sharp spicy bitterness starts and then develops into piney citrus hops with a bitter backbone. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 00:23:46 | More by stonecutter2
Photo of Jparker37
Jparker37

Wisconsin

4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams perfect pint. 2012

A - Big pillowy off-white head that never receeds. Clings slightly to the glass. The color is a light amber to golden that is relatively clear.

S - Delicate pine and spicy hop notes right up front. Rye is very foreward and blends nicely with the hop canvas.

T - A delightful earthy/spicy light malt body with a wonderfully flavorful hop presence throught the taste. Big on flavor that quickly drys up to be very refreshing and somehow lighter bodied.

M - Light to medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Very dry.

O - Another hoppy beer from SV that has excellent hop characteristics. Throughly enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 00:11:37 | More by Jparker37
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
happy4hoppybeer

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A gorgeous dark amber/orange, shiny/clear, with luscious and elegant creamy white head. Very bubbly and beautiful head. About a finger thick. Good retention, with big lacing around the glass. All the usual great characteristics expected from the great SN.

Heavy doses of rye and lovely hits of hop and citrus feast upon the nose. Well-balanced on the nose, as the rye competes with the hops for the title. Very good.

The rye dominates the flavors, balancing and complimenting the citrus hops, with a good slight malt edge. It is well-done with a medium to heavy body, average carbonation level. The rye can be brutal for those not used to it, but this is a welcome experimental IPA.

I like this a lot, but then again, this is Sierra Nevada here, so I pretty much figured I would. Good to have an IPA that's not just a regular for a change.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 21:46:13 | More by happy4hoppybeer
Photo of lph0911
lph0911

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I will keep this one simple

it has a good aftertaste almost spicy cause of the rye but it is really drinkable for being an ipa in my standards. Not saying ipa is not drinkable beer but this one sticks with me as a really drinkable one. I would drink it if offered anytime.
love it

cheers

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 17:24:02 | More by lph0911
Photo of JednoPivoProsim
JednoPivoProsim

Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 350 of 2011 (December 16) - less than one month old! 2012 Vintage Ruthless Rye IPA.

Appearance: Pours a two inch thick, white bready, doughy head. Amber body, moderate carbonation. Decent lacing. Label artwork is awesome!

Smell: Aroma is classic citrusy Sierra Nevada IPA. A lot of people have referenced Torpedo and I concur. Must be the Citra hops?

Taste: Pure citrus. Not very bitter. I taste orange as opposed to grapefruit. Very similar to Torpedo. I do not detect the rye - maybe my amateur taste buds at work.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and light for such a flavorful beer. Drinkability is high. Minor spiciness in the aftertaste.

Overall: I can absolutely understand the Torpedo comparisons, but is that the absolute worst thing in the world? This is almost a more drinkable (less alcoholic) Torpedo in my humble opinion. I will be consuming plenty of this over the coming months.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 22:34:47 | More by JednoPivoProsim
Photo of jfrank85
jfrank85

Michigan

4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a dogfish head snifter. This beer has a sticky head that lasts for days. Copious amounts of lacing down the glass that sticks like glue. Deep copper red color, bright crystal clear. Beautiful.
S- Spicy. Touch of citrus hops, slightly earthy and grassy.
T- " ", crisp and fresh, pumpernickel bread taste. Touch of citrus from hops almost resinous, grainy.
M- Medium but crisp. Bright
O- Wow, I'm in love. I am quite partial to rye beers as it it but this one is amazing. From presentation to taste it is both appealing and tasty. Would recommend highly.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 01:03:01 | More by jfrank85
Photo of Garlicjosh
Garlicjosh

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pour
two finger head- thick,sticky, long linger

Appearnce:
light brown..like thin maple syrup
The bottle is also super attractive.

smell-
hops, rye, other grains slightly sweer

taste:
very smooth full body feel. Sweet. As it rolls over the palete, get the rye but it's not over powering. slight roasty as the hops really stars to stand out with a little earthyness..but in a good way. Bitterness lingers at the very end for a moment. It really tastes much like it smells

over all:
This is my first Rye Beer so I can't really compare it to anything. However, an interesting beer. I'm enjoying every drink I take. For the amount of hops I pick up I would expect it to not be as smooth across the palate. I'll have no problem finishing the six pack and returning back for more.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 04:29:26 | More by Garlicjosh
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye is a perfectly clear and sparkling light copper ale with a dense, lumpy, creamy head that has pockets of large bubbles in it. The retention and lacing is outstanding. The juicy citrus hops speak loudly of tangerines and grapefruit while conversing about spicy rye and muttering something about caramel. One whiff makes the mouth water. It's medium bodied and quite smooth and lively in the mouth. The finish is dry and crunchy. It tastes nice and bitter with the main flavor being tangerine peel. After the swallow, there's a wave of rye whiskey flavor. The taste of bitter citrus is sustained for a while. There's a juiciness throughout, but not really any sweetness. Wow, I see why all my friends have been going nuts about this. It's a pretty manly pale ale. It's hard to stop at one pint.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 15:12:10 | More by yesyouam
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think that this also came to me courtesy of local IP trader, tone77. I will be relieved to finish off the last of my on-deck bottles so that I CAN return to The CANQuest (TM)!

From the bottle: "Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with this rustic grain for refined flavors - combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring."

I employed an aggro pour so as to release the aromatics and at the same time, create so much tawny head that there was a cascading action at the junction between the foam and the liquid. My strategy was sound as I ended up with just better than two fingers of head that resembled the top of an ice cream cone, plus the kitchen smelled like I had sprayed air freshener. It smelled of pine, mint and black pepper and my mouth was watering in anticipation. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium and the admixture of the rye and hops on the tongue was literally breathtaking. It tasted of pepper and fresh mint and was just beautiful! The heavy, sticky lacing that began to appear was going to need a hammer and chisel to remove. Finish was likewise dry and peppery-minty. Whew. What a way to open the day!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 15:53:53 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Broden
Broden

California

4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard Pint Glass

A- Pours a very nice amberish color with a nice looking white head. Head dissipates and leaves a nice amount of lacing throughout. Very attractive beer.

S- Nose of this beer is a little subdued but has seems to have a very balanced smell. Neither hop, nor malt seem to dominate the smell. It definitely has a little rye spice to the nose.

T/M- Very well balanced beer. Hops, Malt, and the perfect spice from the Rye. Extremely drinkable with a medium body. Very difficult to detect any alcohol.

O- Such an amazing beer. Perfectly balanced, and soooo easy to drink. I wish this was a year round brew for SN!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2012 23:02:21 | More by Broden
Photo of CA_brewster
CA_brewster

California

4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this beer is spectacular. Crystal clear deep amber color with a good finger and a half of head. The aroma on this beer is nice and hoppy with the spicyness of the rye coming through. The rye gives a very unique malt backbone to this beer. It's great, as a IPA lover I am really enjoying this. Pick some up if you get a chance.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 23:21:46 | More by CA_brewster
Photo of ExtraStout
ExtraStout

Massachusetts

4.51/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ruthless Rye certainly has the look down; a body that mixes brown, orange and red is crowned with a towering head of light tan foam that has ridiculous retention and leaves behind some great lacing.

The aroma has a big dose of citrus, is a little bit spicy and has notes of caramel as well. Ruthless Rye is bright and citrus-flavored immediately, bringing the hop profile that I have come to expect from Sierra Nevada. Grapefruit, orange, hints of resin and just a touch of pine combine with considerable bitterness. The spicy, almost peppery rye flavors are noticeable without being overwhelming, with a little bit of caramel and even some powdery cocoa to back it up.

Slightly oily on the tongue with a fairly full body for an IPA. Ample carbonation gives a smooth and creamy feel.Ruthless Rye is a hoppy beer with rye in the background. If you like Sierra Nevada's other hoppy beers, then you will dig this one if you like rye.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 20:15:02 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A crystal clear copper color with a short yet creamy sandy colored head that leaves lots of lace clinging the side of the tulip.

Extremely fresh hop smell with citrus notes. A touch of spiciness from the rye also.

A rye bomb! Never thought I would say that. The rye is the highlight here. Right away I'm hit with this spicy, grain husk, caraway seed flavor of rye with a nice pop of pine from the hops at the end. Peppery spice in the finish. Some nice citrus notes intermingle throughout as well. So very good.

The carbonation is awesomely soft and creamy. Medium bodied and quite crisp.

Hey Glissade was good, but I'll take this over it any day. I'm a huge fan of rye IPA's, but with all of the rye coming through in this, I think I'm a bigger fan now. Rye and hops really do go hand in hand. Great brew!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 03:39:28 | More by jera1350
Photo of thegodfather2701
thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured rather hard into my Sam Smith's imperial pint glass. Pours a clear copper with a thick white head. There is some cascading and some nice lacing left on the glass.

S-Stong nose for sure; consisting of citrus hops-grapefruit and some pineapple along with some alcohol sweetness. Smells fantastic.

T-Citrus hops upfront giving a great grapefruit and lemon zest flavor followed by a spicy and somewhat bready and caramel malt backbone. There is a lingering bitterness. The rye gives it a nice balance and enhances complexity. Tastes great.

M-Somewhat slick, yet thick with a nice touch of carbonation.

D-Nice complexity and flavor make this a session beer all the way even though the abv. is slightly above average.

Overall, this beer is great. I know some people are disappointed that it replaced Glissade, but if you have the ability to create IPAs (I know this is technically a Rye Beer but its hoppy like an ipa) that taste this good, why not do it and make it available to the masses. I personally prefer it over Glissade and love it. Another great beer from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 22:38:13 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of industrialswill
industrialswill

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I'm met with is the very attractive, picturesque label.
Ruthless Rye has a reddish brown hue and a very pretty glow.
The taste is what I expect from a Sierra Nevada IPA...outstanding.
The balance of citrus and malt flavors are augmented with the bold flavor of rye. They have executed this combination in such a way to make it seem like this is a brew that they have been doing for generations.
As usual, Sierra Nevada has introduced an outstanding beer to a lineup that is already logjammed full of excellent selections.
It will be interesting to see if this one becomes a "keeper" or not.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 21:05:25 | More by industrialswill
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
2012, 6.6% ABV, 135012000 on label (Dec. 15, 2011)

A - From the brilliant art that adorns the label to the sexy appearance in the pint, Ruthless Rye looks stunning; light bronzy amber in color, it's chill haze and minimal condensation are the only two things keeping it from perfect clarity. The moderate light khaki head lingers quite lengthily before delicately decorating the pint in lace.

S - Sierra Nevada knows their hops, that much is certain. This beer's aroma cements that unequivocally. There's a pleasant, inviting quality to the juicy aroma of the hops that works so well juxtaposed to the rye! Pineapple, mango, and grapefruit put a tropical spin on the peppery, aggressive nature of the rye. A swirl brings fourth pine and grassy earth tones, adding further depth.

T - Hoppy through and through, the exotic fruitiness passively combats the hearty rye in here. Toasted malt falls just behind the peppery, raw, unrelenting rye flavor.

M - It wouldn't be a proper Sierra Nevada without loads of bitterness! Fantastic balance between the moderate carbonation, medium body, and sharp finish, Ruthless Rye is pretty smooth despite being rugged. This one's not too ruthless in fact.

O - Sierra Nevada strikes gold again! Behind the cutting edge band-wagon-jumping of rye beers, it's clear this beer was perfected before being unleashed into the market. Spectacular balance of aggressive hops, this review bottle went far too fast.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 23:32:15 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Luigi
Luigi

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear rich amber color with a massive off white head that slowly settles down to a finger high blanket covering the ale. The lacing sticks around the glass a little.

The aroma is hop bitterness at first. Pine and citrus notes are covered. But there is Rye bread aroma as well.

The flavor is full of citrus notes, pine notes. Sharp grapefruit and pine notes hit the tongue at first. Only, to be followed bye the sweetness of the malt and the grain of the rye. I can even detect some whiskey smokiness.

Medium/full bodied, lightly carbonated, and easy to drink if you love hops.

This brewery never disappoints and grab some while you can and enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 03:13:53 | More by Luigi
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

Glad that I remembered I hadn't reviewed this yet, I was working through my last bottle from the 12-pack I bought, and realized I was about to do something awful. It pours a beautifully hazy red-copper color with a large head. The aroma is fantastic, there's a great amount of spicy rye balanced with a very unique herbal, yet aggressive hop that works fantastically with the rye. The taste is also fantastic, the rye contributes such a great spiciness and just a touch of sweetness. Those flavors blend perfectly with the very unique hop flavor this beer has - it's hop forward, but not the typical citrus or pine hop you'll find in an IPA. It's a bizarre, yet delicious very strong herbal and earthy hop that blends fantastically with the rye flavors. The mouthfeel is spot-on, and the drinkability is fantastic. It's probably the best rye beer I've had, hands-down. For this beer to be this affordable is just about unfair for the other beers on the shelf. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 05:00:38 | More by shand
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours orange with a patchy off-white head. Ridges and chunks of foam cling to the glass. The aroma is a wonderful mix of fruity, juicy hop notes with emphasis on the grapefruit. The taste is of grapefruit, peach and floral hops intertwined with a doughy malt base and a little bit of rye (or hop?) spiciness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. bitterness but also malts linger in the long finish.

This is a great IPA. Lots of hop nuance and great balance with malts. I highly recommend this quaffable stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 00:46:09 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of HamFon
HamFon

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 2012 vintage dated bottle.

A: brilliant amber color with poofy almost-white large head that persists and leaves lots of lacing

S: peppery, bready, citrus, very inviting

T: black pepper, resiny hop flavors, substantial hop bittering, additional citrus hop flavors, bready

M: medium light body with creamy mouthfeel

O: Yummy! Great balance of spicy rye malt notes with big in-your-face hop aroma and flavor, with a substantial hop bittering into finish. A hop bomb, but with enough malt to back it up.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 23:29:51 | More by HamFon
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,999 ratings.