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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 hopfacebrew
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixtel at Lukas after hearing good things. I've had about the half the keg and feel comfortable reviewing now. Poured from my system to a pint glass the beer pours a perfectly clear dark copper color with a 2 finger white/cream colored head with excellent retention with lots of lacing remaining. The aroma is big with a lot of peppery spice, rye, citrus, and piney hop character. I enjoy the blend of spice from the rye and west coast hop tones. The flavor starts with the same intense rye pepper spice on the tongue. The hop character found in the nose comes through and again melds well with the spice. A foundation of caramel malt. Medium bitterness. Finishes crisp and clean with a lingering pepper hop on the tongue. Upper end of medium bodied and well carbonated. Overall, this is a really good representation of a Rye IPA. I'm enjoying it very much and would easily recommend.

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Photo of rwrk42
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden copper color that has a nice froth and lace

Smell: HOPS, HOPS and more Hops. Very nice smell of hops with a slight fruity undertone.

Taste: A great amount of hops at first taste. Incredible character of hops but very smooth at the same time. Rye is very nice and the flavor is very smooth.

One of the best IPAs you can buy. Highly recommend.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body was pumpkin colored, clear, and formed a two plus finger thick head, domed above the rim of the pint glass. The aroma was typical West Coast IPA with grapefruit, and pine, but with a touch of earthy mustiness. The taste was very citric off the bat, providing a grapefruit and tangerine blast. The rye touch was light and presented itself as a minty, herbal presence. The body was medium dense, and the finish was creamy, with a lingering herbal note. Very easy to drink beer.

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Photo of YardmanFTB
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruthless Rye IPA is different than the typical IPA. It still has the all of the alcohol percentage and IBUs of a regular IPA but it finishes extremely dry, in a good way. Many people I've shared this beer with feel that it exudes a strong hint of Marijuana. Marijuana is the cousin of the hop so it is not that crazy of a description.

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Photo of dertyd
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pourd out of a 12 oz bottle a orange auburn color with a thin head that lasted a wile

S-a verry bitter skunky smell not to much hops more of a sour grainy smell

T-wow!!! Was not exspecting that at first it tasted like a light hoppy ipa and then all of a sudden boom I got hit with the rye this is my first rye beer and I think I am in love lol

M-mouthfill was nice long lasting taste in mouth kinda dry filling but its not bad at all

Overall this is a really goood beer I will buy plenty more of this and the lable has got to b one of the coolest I've seen

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Photo of Acforster2
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers back when it was the spring seasonal. Outstanding appearance, smell, taste and feel. Recent recipe changes may have weakened it.

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Photo of billybob
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

pours a dark copper color with about a two finger tightly formed head and good amount of sticky lace. you can smell the hops there and there is a nice freshness to it. medium mouth feel and a crispy carbonation. strong hop taste some citric and spice notes but its all about the balance there are some bready and sweet notes also. i'm not a big hop head fan but enjoyed this beer a lot and would buy again.

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Photo of NedShakeshaft
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a mug.

A- deep copper-brown color with a fluffy, white head that retained two fingers for several minutes.

S- Maybe it's just me but I didn't pick up a lot in the smell department. A bit of spicy bread perhaps.

T- One of the best-tasting beers I've had out of a bottle. Wonderful semi-sweet malts at the front remind of chocolate-chip pancakes. Peppery spice emerges, then the piney hops come in at the end with notes of fruit (black cherry?).

M- On the thick side, it hangs on to your tongue, which helps to release the complex taste at a moderate pace. Lingers. Not highly carbonated.

O- Very good beer. Big and complex, yet drinkable. Bargain at $14.99 for 12.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a deep copper color, alomst russet in fact, with a two inch cream colored head that slowly reduces with tons of sticky lacing.

Has a fragrant smell, with pear, vanilla, malt,and citrus. Despite its dark look, it has a very light and crisp smell, with a hint of creaminess underneath.

Starts with a crisp grassy bitter bite, with creamy malt, dry rye, and a bare hint of citrus before finishing with plenty of hop bitter. As I get further into the beer, it is a bit like a hoppy creamsicle, with the citrus becoming more pronounced.

Medium bodied, this beer manages to have both a creamy mouth feel that nonetheless leaves your tongue feeling dry, but never tacky.

A very nice brew, one that, quality-wise, I'd stack up against SN's Bigfoot or Torpedo for the title of SN's best 12 oz brew they put out. A definite one to try if you can.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy burnt orange color. The tall, densely frothy head has a light orange tint. Retention is very nice, and some sticky splotches of lacing cling to the glass immediately.

S: Some light caramel, with moderate bready/crusty notes. Rye definitely adds some breadiness to the aroma. Hop aromas are vibrant, with citric, spicy, and grassy notes. Faintly fruity and lightly earthy notes also open up after a few minutes.

T: Bready, toasty malt flavors up front, with some mild caramel sweetness. Hop bitterness is firm. Bright hop flavors of grapefruit and orange oil, with some lesser spicy and grassy character. A soft earthiness is present in an otherwise clean finish.

M: Very pleasant mouthfeel. A touch firmer than medium in body. Carbonation is supple and tingly. Hop bitterness gradually builds into a dry finish.

D: Not that there was ever any doubt, but this is a really nice rye IPA from Sierra Nevada. In many ways, it's similar to its other IPAs (which are excellent), but the rye does add a nice bready dimension to this beer. To my palate, rye really fits well with hoppy American styles. It's great to see it becoming more popular.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 2/12/12

What a nice looking beer. Utmost clarity. Gorgeous, honey brown color. Two finger head drops to a thin layer and a large island of bubbles. Good lace; not a solid wall, but caked across the glass.

Ah, the aroma is quite dry. Pine is in no shortage and there are pepperings of rye and orange pith. There is a solid bready malt aroma and a hint of yeast way in the back.

Ooh... This is a good'un. No surprise here, this is just like the nose - pungent, soapy hops. Mostly pine with a slight citrus nip. The rye blends in excellently; subtle upfront and building toward the finish. Quite dry, too.

Medium feel. Smooth, with a softly rolling layer of carbonation. Lingering rye notes with a moderate bitterness, too.

Yeah, this is really good. It has all the choice aspects of SNPA without all the "meh" of Torpedo.

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Photo of John1985
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ale pours a dark gold with an inch head that laces beautifully down the pint glass. Aroma of rye with citrus. Taste starts out with a mildly spicy rye flavor balanced with citrus hops. Medium body makes this very sessionable and finishes very smooth for IPA. Wow I never knew rye beers could be so flavorful.

Another home run by Sierra Nevada. I enjoyed this much more than last year's bock. This was affordable and full of flavor!

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The code looks like 2006th day but the 2 looks to be crossed out so I'll go with the 6th day...Jan 6, 2012.

It pours a deep golden red with a 1 finger head of foam and excellent lacing.

The smell has some citrus hops going on with a mild rye spiciness and an ample malt backbone.

The taste has the rye at the forefront; why not, it's in the name after all. Quite spicy/peppery with citrus backing it up to the hilt. Mild use of malty backbone keeps it from being too bitter but make no mistake about it; it claims to be an IPA and an IPA it is! Delicious!

A great mouthfeel and very easy to drink, I like this one muchly and I'll be drinking this often. Well done, Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of xShoWTeKx
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, has a good sized white head that holds for quite a while and leaves heavy lace. Color is a transparent copper.

S: Very strong spicy, citrusy hop smell with a slight rye bread and sweet caramel smell.

T: A nice spicy kind of rye bread taste with very light sweetness and a strong piney and citrus hop flavor ending.

M: Medium body with good carbonation, this beer is very very smooth.

O: This is a very dynamic and smooth beer that I thoroughly enjoyed and will enjoy again. Would definitely recommend trying this beer if you haven't.

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Photo of weizenbob
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This 12 ounce bottle was purchased at Shop-N-Save in Ludington, MI. According to the Julian date code on the label it was bottled 12/28/2011. I popped the cap and poured into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. The pour resulted in a finger tall head that is a shade darker than ivory. As with all Sierra Nevada beers, head retention is very good. Lacing clings in patches as well as glides slowly down the glass. The beer is copper colored and very clear, resulting in a nice translucent brew with little visible carbonation to be seen through the glass. It is pretty nice to look at. For what it's worth, I also love the bottle's label, from the graphic to the font and color selection.

The aroma is a wonderfully sweet citrus menagerie. It is more than vaguely reminiscent of both Torpedo and Celebration, Sierra Nevada's other large production IPAs. A little rye spice does creep through, but for the most part it's a supple tangerine dream: a toned down version of what seems to be the Sierra Nevada house aroma. I find it to be heavenly.

As with other popular rye beers of the day (Hop Rod, Red's Rye) the rye takes a back seat to the hops in flavor. This is not a complaint as the combination seems to work well. The attribute that makes Ruthless unique among its peers is that this beer is much less dry than the average "Rye PA". Piney hops mingle in a pool of honey-like malty sweetness to create a pleasant pairing. The hops are mildly resinous in the mouth. There is a flash of biscuity maltiness in the middle. A small portion of peppery rye is detected in the finish, though the bulk of the spice is felt rather than tasted, with a mild lingering heat forming on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is also very strong with this brew. The body is nicely medium with a fairly low carbonation level. The citrusy flavors and mild carbonation give an impression of fresh squeezed orange juice (strained of course). It is creamy, and as stated previously, rye adds a pleasantly subtle heat while softly resinous hops coat the throat.

Overall this is an all around great brew. It smells and tastes fantastic, being moderately hoppy while maintaining solid drinkability. Sierra Nevada's pricing and availability is always a big plus. As a result, I am as much or more excited about Ruthless Rye as I am Sierra Nevada's much touted Celebration winter seasonal. I might even like it more than the comparable Founder's Red's Rye, which is my favorite year-round bottled beer here in Michigan. I will look forward to this each year from here on out.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz about this new late winter seasonal. I'm loving this beer.

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Photo of willic
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a fun beer, great color, full mouthfeel, bright upfront flavors with a smooth, complex finish. This is a beer you will come back to! Fun, exciting, refreshing. Great job with the hop combinations used!

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Photo of CTbeerboy
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Ruthless Rye pours a beautiful dark brown (amber when held directly in the light). With a finger and a half of a beige or off-white head full of tiny bubbles (key in the song).
S- This is one really complex combination. I get plenty of wonderful west coast hops up front coupled with piny and resiny smells associated pales. I also get plenty of pepper, grapefruit, passion fruit and other citrus fruits thrown in as well. Very, very dank smelling on the end of the nose as well.
T- Im getting alot of the same flavors on the tongue as I got in the aroma. Plenty of west coast hops (Citra and Simcoe most likely). Lots of grapefruit and passion fruit notes as well as an almost grassy bitterness that coats the tongue well.
M- This one coats the tongue pretty well. I get it on all parts of the tongue and it really leaves a great lingering bitterness.
O- Overall Ruthless Rye from Sierra Nevada is a great addition to their seasonal line up. It conjures up some great flavors and scents that remind me of some of my favorite IPA's, while it has a kicked up spice profile from the rye that makes it just this side of mysterious.

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Photo of scot_chale
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful copper/amber/orange body with 2 fingers of heavy white foam and very active carbonation flying around. Lacing is solid and the head hangs out.

S- the peppery, spicy, bready character comes out with some citrusy hop notes and some yeast but it's faint. the overall aroma is pungent and inviting.

T- total herbal hops. it's floral yet spicy and mean. it's very cool. challenging, in a good way. you get a bit of that rye malt when the hop bomb fades.

M- very hard carbonation bite on the tongue. it's dry, medium bodied, and clean.

O- holy cow. this is ruthless rye 2013. it's spicy, hoppy, bitter, complex, and everything that makes the american IPA a neverending adventure in beer. I'll keep this around for brewing sessions. Skol.

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Photo of pkalix
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

super awesome dark golden color with a creamy, off-white topping which is still hanging around. without light shining through it directly, it is a dark apple juice color.
not getting much smell but my sniffer is a little locked up with the pre-spring heat we're having today. but there definitely isn't much on the nose. taste is peppery and rye-like, indeed. an edgy bitterness and slightly dry. some citrus but I like the rye in this one compared to other rye brews. no carbonation to speak of and medium feel to it. very nice. probably one of my more favorite sierra Nevada offerings....

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, clear amber color with a big, lumpy foam crater head. Glass bottom retention deposits multiple thick, impressive lace rings on it's journey south. I can't think of how it could look any better.

Aroma is grassy pine and then orange/pine sorbet that I typically get from Simcoe.

Spicier than I anticipated. I guess that's why it's called "ruthless." Bold move Mr. Nevada. Spicy citrus and pine hops add to the rye spice. Respectable bitter finish.

Because Sierra Nevada is so widely available and so affordable it's easy to forget they make some of the best damn beer around.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra’s new brew is a rye pale ale that’s a caramel-amber color with a billowy white foam topping. Its aroma is lightly hopped with grapefruit and some rye spice coming through. Full-flavored body with hops making their grand entry midpoint and tapering into a nice hoppy, resiny finish balanced by that good rye zestiness. I can’t complain that this one is going to be just about everywhere Sierra is. Try it.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear whiskey brown hue, with a big three-finger off-white head that seems to never dissipate. Great amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Spiceyness is what first comes to mind. You can definitely note citrus hops and hoppyness in general, but you can also smell the spicyness of the rye, with a bit of sweet malts lingering in the back.

Taste: This is really good! The mixture of citrus hops and spicy rye mix incredibly well and are very well-balanced throughout. There is definitely an earthy undertone here, mineral-like. A nice spicey bitterness lingers throughout, but it isn't a huge bitterness, just mild. The spice does linger for a bit afterwards though.

Mouthfeel: It fits the taste profile well. Moderate body with moderate carbonation, and it is damn smooth and pretty creamy as well. Not Boddington's creamy, but fairly creamy. Nice.

Overall: As my first rye beer, this one is just great. It has the noticeable hoppyness of an IPA, but enough spicey rye to let you know that it's there. Delicious.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Evolution Brewing pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a copper color with a 1/2 inch head that retains well until retreating to a thin ring around the edge of the glass leaving frost-like lacing behind it. Plenty of surface foam in a mold-type formation that indicates healthy yeast.

S- A sharp, hoppy nose that's grassy and fresh.

T- Solid bitterness that's backed up by the rye very well. Celery and green onion come to mind. Drinkability is right on point. The hop bite evens out with every sip bringing the drink as a whole to a smooth ride.

M- Soft considering how bitter it is. Dry afterfeel. Medium-high carbonation.

O- SN continues to uphold their reputation of producing quality brews that anyone can appreciate.

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Photo of plhiatt
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first rye ipa I have had.
Great hop flavor, very smooth and ballanced. With some spice notes thats a little different from other ipa's I have had.
Nice copper color, and the carbonation is just right. I will be looking foward to this realease every year now, very good.

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Photo of RocketRaccoon88
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the first Rye beer I've tried I think.. But so far so good.

A- considering it's in a bottle and I'm not gonna pour it out just to see it, this makes a this part a little difficult. But... I did pour just a sliver into a glass and it had a nice copper color.

S- the smell was good but there wasn't a lot there. I'm sure if I had a glass I would've enjoyed the smell more. But from what I did pick up, I could tell it was going to be a stronger first taste than I thought.

T- the first taste was spicy (if that's how you use that term). Definitely a little kick. Once that taste starts to leave you get hit simultaneously with a bitter orangey flavor that is just amazing.

M- once I was able to give my mouth a tour, it was just dieing for more! All of the flavors work well together.

O- so far, Sierra Nevada hasn't let me down. This is definitely a very great brew. I would have no problems buying a six pack or suggesting this to friends and family.

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