Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

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BA SCORE
87
very good

4,871 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,871
Reviews: 1,095
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 83
Gots: 611 | 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:
Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,871 | Reviews: 1,095
Photo of phantomwyse
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out a perfectly clear coppery caramel body with some scarlet red thrown in for good measure. Billowy two finger head of cotton white is typical of rye beers, but always impressive. Doesn’t really face, just dissipates and resembles a cappuccino.

S: Head long dive right into citrus hops – orange and lemony with pine overlaying the whole aroma. Underneath there is a peppery earthiness, arugula(?) and then a sweetness like cupcake frosting.

T: Flavor is much more restrained than the aroma. Mildly spicy with a moderate bitterness – again, a little earthy up front with mild pine flavors trailing. If the way soil smells after an April rain storm could have a taste - -this would be it.

M: Medium moving more to light bodied with an almost dry finish. Mouth fee is generally flat.

O: Not as much of a peppery kick as I was hoping nor as hoppy as I was expecting. Nice first go around, Sierra Nevada, but next time add a dash more of everything.

Photo of JackieTH
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber colored with a small khaki head that recedes quickly, leaving fits of lace. Smell overall is rather faint but there are citrus and tropical elements noted. Taste opens up bitter with grapefruit elements, bitterness fades into a base of lightly sweet and biscuity malt with some bitterness lingering on the edges of the palate.  Mouthfeel is medium and holds together well. Carbonation is ample. Bitterness of grapefruit pith lingers on the finish, but isn't overpowering.  Solid offering.  Not at all fantastic and frankly not a great Rye beer, it's essentially one dimensional...but enjoyable.

Photo of JMScowcroft
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada - Ruthless Rye IPA, poured into a DFH Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a clear dark amber resin with a nice soapy head that dissipates quickly but leaves some chunky lacing.

Smell - Not as much rye as I have come to expect from this sub-style. Peppery. Some citrus hops. Some yeast.

Taste - There's the rye! Pepper and rye with juicy citrus hops. Lots of pepper. Finishes hyper-bitter.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body with good carb. Rests bitter hoppy like orange rinds, a bit high on the AAU %. Rye is overshadowed a bit here. OK drinkability due to the hot malt and hot pepper.

Overall - Not my favorite, interesting combination of ingredients here, there are better rye beers. Founders still wins this one.

Photo of match1112
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

sorry to say the pour is my favorite part of this beer. massive three finger bone white head sits atop a clear copper colored body. excellent retention and lacing are noticed with this one. the nose detects hints of malts and hops with a little spice. taste is pretty hoppy, as expected with all s.n. beers. good citrus and pine flavors blend perfectly. a nice caramel presence is also appreciated, however it's hard to tell if the spice is from hops or rye. mouthfeel is typical of an ipa. medium to light body, good carbonation, oily and a long dry finish. the bad news that this is my fourth one from the sixer and they all have tasted soapy. i even drank them all on different days and out of different glasses. so my low rating would be duwe to the soap taste and lack of rye in the flavor profile. other than that it is a decent ipa.

Photo of JimKal
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass. Poured dark amber with a large light tan head.

Had a light citric hob odor with a hint of spice.

To me, the big hop flavor that I like in an IPA was not present. Again, there was a slight spice note.

The mouthfeel was light as well.

I was looking forward to this Rye IPA from SN. Don't get me worn, this is not a poor IPA but it doesn't stand up to other widely available IPAs. I followed this one with a Sweetwater IPA just to confirm my impressions. I would go with Sweetwater any day. The rest of the sixes is in the fridge and will be enjoyed but I won't go for a repeat.

Photo of Jadjunk
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Rye has been a staple grain for milennia-sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor, Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains 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." Sierra Nevada's spring seasonal returns for 2013, released annually around January-February. Brewed in the style of an American Rye IPA.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada pint snifter. Served north of 49º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Beer pours a frothy caramel-tinged white head of a fluffy cream consistency. Body color is a copper orange with mild sediment, a light haze and very low visible carbonation. Lacing is consistently light and curtained, retention is slightly above average. Head quality could improve a notch but otherwise this beer delivers well in appearance. 3.75

(Smell) Most noticeable is a moderate peppery bread note of rye for a full sweetness. Light citrus and floral hop notes compliment the malt profile, although they do not provide enough potency to challenge the specialty malt-centered beer. Additional notes of lightly toasted caramel, cracker malt for lightness, and a touch of fruity and spicy yeast esters, like raisin and nutmeg peek through as the beer warms. The potency is medium. Pleasant aroma overall, despite not being overly confident in the hop department. 3.25

(Taste) A nip of biscuity grain malt and citrus pith up front with a proceeding peppery rye midsection and a peppered, dry and boldly bitter finish with a dragging faint viscosity of rye sweetness to compliment. Although the hop flavor diversity has waned, this beer has otherwise held up remarkably well through the year. There's substantial bitterness and malt complexity to enjoy, yet the profile is quaffable enough to enjoy several in a single session. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mild slickness and a mellow stickiness build a subtle malt texture. Carbonation is busy, sharp and excited, very prickly on the tongue. Alcohol presence is low. Body is a medium for an American Rye IPA, and medium overall. The carbonation seems too aggressive for this beer. 3.5

(Overall) Sierra Nevada puts out a very tasty and flavorful, yet clean and easy drinking Rye IPA in Ruthless Rye. Chock full of clean, flavorful rye and a moderate thickness, this is a worthy drink for your IPA money, and a fair representative for the rapidly growing Rye IPA trend . 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's
Ruthless Rye IPA
3.63/5.00

Photo of nsabo
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

While this may be my least favorite of SN’s IPAs, I have yet to be disappointed by their IPAs. Ruthless doesn’t have the smooth, malty mouthfeel of Celebration or Torpedo, and the hops here taste more citrusy than grassy and piney. The bottle label touts the rye’s peppery quality, a spot on description and the pepper transitions into hop bitterness nicely.
It’s a bit odd to me that instead of a winter warmer, SN makes a seasonal winter IPA, only to be followed by a spring seasonal IPA. Ruthless is good, but with the brewery’s focus on IPAs, it better be.

Photo of FickleBeast
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber color with billowing foam that overflows the glass with a vigorous pour. Foam lingers and coats the glass as it recedes. Aroma is quite hoppy, citrus, grapefruit, with a touch of rye spiciness detectable on the nose.

First sip is... dominated by rye flavor, with a sharp bitterness in the finish. The rye imparts a very distinct spicy flavor, which is mixed with a substantial hoppy flavor of citrus, grapefruit, American hop taste.

Honestly, this is probably my least favorite SN IPA. I'd rather have Celebration, Anniversary, Torpedo, even SNPA over this. The rye flavor just doesn't click with me as much.

That being said, this is not bad by any means. It is still a very good IPA - I just don't care for the rye flavor. Will pass in the future.

Photo of callmemickey
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Somewhere between amber and copper. Nice clarity. Moderate sized white head. Spotty Lacing.

S: Spicy, grassy, piney hops. Strong component of grain and rye.

T: The hops wash out a bit, leaving mostly a spicy character. This combined with the strong presence of rye gives this beer a harsh/raw vibe.

M: Assertive carbonation + rye + spicy hops = prickly mouthfeel.

O: Can't say I "love" rye beers, but this is no Hop Rod Rye.

Photo of GoldHorde
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a solid introductory Rye IPA. It would never be mistaken for an aggressive double IPA. A nice introduction for those new to the Rye influence. It has the darker amber color of the rye and a nice balance of hops. The aroma doesn't trumpet and the mouthfeel doesn't sting. The rye provides the nice deep character that I've now come to expect from rye beers. I've decided I definitely like RYE beers. I haven't disliked a single beer with the word 'RYE' on the label. RYE has a robust, earthy bitterness that I favor whereas WHEAT [beers] on the other hand...has always gone the other way with off-sweet or sour notes.

AROMA: Not as aggressive or as sharp as most IPA's. Very fresh floral scent.
HEAD: 3 Finger head fading to thin; loose lacing - reminiscent of plumbers' pants
FLAVOR: Deep grain earth with floral accents - with a coffee edge

A very nice beer and I love these Ryes!

Photo of divineaudio
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

tulip glass.

a - pours copper in color with a finger of coarse, off white head. retention is good, calming very slowly to a thin cap. leaves thick swaths of lacing in the glass.

s - toffee, grassy hops, orange, grapefruit, faint earthiness.

t - peppery rye spiciness right upfront with a little carmel malt underneath. faint citrus notes, big herbal hop character. bitterness comes in quick and rides the rye spice all the to the finish.

m - medium in body with a sticky, mouth coating quality. adequate carbonation, though the coarse co2 profile feels prickly on the tongue.

o - pretty good overall and enjoyable, though not my first pick in rye beers. definitely geared toward west coast ipa fans.

Photo of MartzMimic
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper with a decent foamy off-white head that stays for a bit. Nice lacing. Aroma of pine resin, hay and grainy malt. The rye gives it an earthy taste with a bit of sweet spice. It also balances nicely with the hops. It's bitter, but not overly so. It does give a nice tingle to the tongue. Medium mouth without a lot of carbonation. Definitely a solid beer as you would expect from SN.

Photo of Spiekerbox
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Red-brown, relatively clear with a thin white head.

S- Hoppy with a noticeable rye-grain scent. Like other SN beers the hops have a citrus smell to them.

T- Toasted rye is the main flavor with hops as the secondary, more of an herbal hop flavor but there is some of the citrus-grapefruit flavor present. Not the most bitter of IPAs

M- Clean beer with a pretty crisp finish. Moderate body with medium-high carbonation.

O- Decent for a rye IPA but nothing exceptional. This is what I have come to expect from SN...beers that are good but nothing special and don't tend to push the envelope, not that that is a bad thing but it just doesn't set them apart

Photo of CamuMahubah
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

POurs orange amber like your typical IPA...

Wow! I taste some kind of plant that I have smelled in Florida perhaps...some type of garden flower...

I was so afraid of the rye spiciness biting me in the back of the throat...don't even worry! It's all on top of the tongue and quite refreshing...don't be afraid of this beer like I was...

Hops for days!

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby red with excellent foam and lacing.

Smell: Rye and black pepper. It could have been a bit stronger for me.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Rye and a hint of licorice. Thick mouthfeel that falls flat. Very syrupy.

Overall Drinkability: Not my favoriate rye, nor my favorite Sierra Nevada.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy dark copper color with decent head and spotty lacing.

Toasty, grainy, and spicey malt dominate the scent with only the slightest trace of citrus hops.

The hops pop a little more in the taste and there is some pine resin in addition to the citrus. Peppery rye finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, if not a little thin.

It's an ok rye pa. SN has done much better, though.

Photo of bbkd3b
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Great, amber-colored body that's complemented by a creamy, beige head with nice retention. The more I drink, the more the lacing sticks to the glass - just a classy looking brew. It's complimented by a fairly strong scent. Heavy on rye, which isn't surprising, but there's more to it than that. A soft undertone of citrus and earthy hops creates a nice layer of pleasantness. Inviting.

A smooth-as-silk body carries a very piney flavor on to the tongue. Along the way I get a mixture of rye, grapefruit, and an almost nonexistent dash of sweeter malts. Bitter flavor lingers for a long time after a sip. Solid, if unexciting mixture. Carbonation was spot-on for this style.

While this represents neither the best of rye or IPAs, it does do all of the big things right. I would have preferred a more explosive amount of rye, but as-is, this is just a solid, drinkable beer.

Photo of jsh420
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours clear dark copper with a 2 finger off white head that had good retention and left some lacing

smell is faint - some spice from the rye and some tangy hops

taste was more malt the hop for this ipa - semi sweet tangy spice rye malt next to juicy herbal and a little citrus hops

mouthfeel was a medium body low carbonation very slick

overall - while i did enjoy this offering over SN last couple spring offerings(esb & glissade) i just do not see this sticking around more then maybe another year or two - there just isnt enough difference from their other ipas

Photo of Beejay
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A beautiful orange amber, although it is hinting at red, crystal clear. Very large cream colored head.

S: Certainly a strong American hop scent. Strong pine, and grapefruit aromas, behind that there is a little juniper, and some sweet caramel. Maybe a touch of black pepper in the finish.

T: A lot more of the rye comes out in the taste than in the flavor. Definitely a hint of rye bread, and a certain spiciness that says rye. I almost wish that the hop scent carried over into the flavor more, but it seems like the hops are more focused on the bittering. Peppery with some resiny pine and grapefruit, but not the punch I though I would get from the smell. There is a solid earthiness to the finish.

M: Medium in body, the carbonation is higher than some, but it seems appropriate. There is almost a softness to it, but the finish comes in with an almost oily, or resinous feel.

O: Overall I think that the focus was a bit too much on the bittering hops, and that the rye almost takes a bit of a backseat. But it is new, and interesting, and tastes good!

Photo of Murphious
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Color is less red than a red ale, perhaps if a lager and red where mixed 50/50? Nice thick pale tan creamy head of at least an inch; could have been more if aggressively poured.
A bit of a citrus smell but very faint as poured into a pint glass. Piney hop aroma is less than expected and could just catch a hint of rye. Almost a wheat aroma of an average hefeweizen.
Not very bitter except at finish and even then it's slight. Citrus hint at first sip and then sweetens to a bread-like malty flavor with a little rye. Not bad and easy to drink. I would prefer more rye flavor but the low bitterness somewhat allows more flavors to be noticed. Recommended.

Photo of Pegasus
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish-amber body, with a huge, dense and fine-beaded cream-colored head, which retains quite well. The ethereal carbonation drifts slowly to the surface.

Aroma: Prominent, spicy rye and grapefruit hops utterly dominate the aroma. There are grassy notes as well, which are rather understated.

Taste: Opens with a surge of strong citrus hops and spicy rye. Mild pepper notes are present as well. As the taste progresses, some bread flavors appear. Finishes with a lingering, strong medicinal bitterness at the back of the mouth.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, soft, and quite full.

Drinkability/notes: The citrus hops utterly dominate this beer, overshadowing the spicy qualities of the rye. Would be more interesting with a slightly less heavy-handed approach to the hops.

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Source: Purchased at Wal-Mart in Texas as a selection of a Brewmaster's Choice build-your-own six-pack for $8.99.

Photo of mikehblack
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sierra Nevada balloon glass.

A- Pours a very clear dark orange, burnt amber color. Big white head leaving tons of lacing on the glass.

S- Piney hops, spice, breadiness

T- Big hop presence with tons of rye spicy character. The rye flavor rests on the tongue with a little bite.

M- Clean, well-carbonated. Drinks very easily.

O- Quite a tasty beer from a style I am not too familiar of. Think I will enjoy this as the new seasonal.

Photo of ZoomanCru
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ruthless Rye – Rye IPA (6.6%) - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (California)
☆☆☆½

App: Pours a solid reddish brown with some golden inclinations to the outside of the glass. Dense, creamy beige head rises one finger and retains strong. A really good looking beer. Slightest hop sediment swirling in the glass. Lacing is impeccable.

Smell: Hops dominate the aroma with a nose of grapefruit and earth, with some
slight alcoholic heat on the end. Considerable malt aromas as well come through mostly sweet with a slight toasted character.

Taste: Taste essentially follows nose, although much stronger. Foretaste is pure toasted malt which suddenly gives way to an earthy hops complexity that harmonizes nicely with the malt. Allowed to sit on the palate, the beer transitions to a more aggressive bitterness with hints of pine, and a citrus like astringency. Allowed to warm, hop bitterness mellows slightly, and the beer gains some welcome and balancing sweetness.

Mouth: Rye adds significant body to this brew which holds up well to the aggressive, drying nature of the hop profile. Alcohol is apparent and slightly drying, but heat is overall minimal. Carb is pretty heavy, but does well to compliment overall intensity.

Home tasting, 12oz bottle into Sifter. 2/18/14.

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured this American IPA from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear copper color, produced a very nice off white head, great retention and it left a very nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of spicy rye and piney hops. Medium in body, the foundation of this ale consisted of spicy rye and a decent amount of earthy hops. Overall the balance is a bit off, more spicy rye then bitter hops but a decent example of the style.

Photo of thedoubler55
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle Poured into a pint glass

A: A Light copper in color, almost brown, a nice finger of head at the top that goes away pretty quickly, nice lacing around the glass as you drink.

S: Spice, malts, hops, slight hint of brown sugar, and rye on the tail end.

T: An odd taste, not to hoppy, big up front taste of malts and spice, well balanced.

M: Medium bodied, good amount of dryness, slight carbonation

O: Not bad for a rye IPA, I was expecting a lot more from Sierra Nevada with this brew.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,871 ratings.