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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 CamuMahubah
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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!

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of bbkd3b
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of jsh420
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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

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Photo of Beejay
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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!

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Photo of Murphious
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of mikehblack
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of ZoomanCru
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Hoppedup616
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I love SN seasonal brews, especially Celebration. So, I saw this on the shelve at a local beer store and picked up a six-pack. Didn't know what to expect, since I've never seen or had a rye from SN. The appearance was a nice light copper, decent half inch tan foam head. Minimal lacing around the glass, but you can for sure see the hop oil drizzling down from time to time. The smell was citrusy, not as much rye as some of the others I've had (Red's Rye, Hop Rod, etc.) but it was still there. Taste was of an average IPA for me, not much alcohol bite (6.60%) decent carbonation on this one. Overall it was more of an IPA with a hint of rye, but enjoyable and worth trying none the less. When it comes to SN seasonal brews, I'll stick with the Celebration.

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Photo of pperrecone
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper orange with a nice head that last for about ten min. With nice lacing.

smells of sweet malt with a little spice not a ton of rye. some citrus hops but not overwhelming like most ipas i love to drink. still a nice beer.

Tast is malty up front with some rye but not much different then their pale ale for a malt bill. not as dry or asbitter as the pale ale, but not quite the ipa i like to drink.

Body is right on i can drink this beer all day and still be thirsty for more the way it feels on the palette.

Overall I think this beer stands up to what ever this brewery has to offer. Drink it while you can.

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Photo of JDFish
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was not expecting to find this at the local grocery store, but there it was. I had never heard of it before, but I deeply appreciate the drinkability of Sierra Nevada's offerings.

Poured a deep, beautiful amber into a S.A. anniversary glass. A nice head and thick rings of lacing down the entire length of the glass.

Tons of rye to the nose. Immediately, I got hops on the palate. Then the rye followed through, lots of it, by the bottom of the glass thats what I was getting. The mouthfeel felt really good to me, with ample carbonation. A little too much rye for me by the end, but overall a very good offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours caramel colored with a 2" light tan head. Lacing rims and remains at the top of the glass.

S- Spicy/earth notes from the rye and also pine hops.

T- Semi-sweet spicy malts, slight citrus flavor but earthy/spicy notes dominate this beer. Nice pine hop bitterness at the finish.

M- Medium body and carbonation, slight oily feel and creaminess in this beer.

O- This is a good beer but would classify it as more of a rye than a ipa. Definitely woudn't be a go to ipa for me but I will buy this again.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, not sure why I did not review this last year. Amber orange color, good head which is typical of Sierra Nevada beers, good lace. Smells slightly grainy with hints of citrus. More citrus in the flavor and the rye is distinct. Overall the flavors are solid yet subtle. This isn't a punch you in the face IPA. Not whole lot of bitterness, leans much more towards citrus with the hops. A solid beer but for my money I'd rather have Celebration.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage Bottle code 3351204 33 at 40 degrees into pint glass
Aroma light citrus
Head large (6.5 cm), white, creamy with a few large bubbles, slowly diminishing
Lacing good
Body light orange, clear
Flavor light citrus and spicey from the rye. Short lived. No alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, on the dry side, soft carbonation

A pleasant rye IPA, easy drinking

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Photo of sentomaster
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- gorgeous red brown which turns into a clear orange red when held up till like. Reminds me of the rock in Jurrasic Park with the mosquito trapped inside. Thick cap up fluffy white foam tops it off.

Great nose. grapefruit, pineapple, mango, citrus, pine- it's all there. pine and citrus dominate as it warms.

T/M- sour grapefruit and a touch of malty caramel sweetness up front ride into a biting bitterness and peppery spiciness. Citrus and pine visit the party, but take a back seat. Finishes with up biting, dry bitterness. Medium body with a tight carbonation.

O- the nose is awesome, but the taste is a little bit of a one trick pony- straightforward and assertive for sure, and lacking a fruity balance to the almost harsh bitterness and spice.

Just one of these is enough for me, it doesn't fit the bill for a good session.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a clear reddish-orange. Foamy, rocky bone-white head does not budge one inch. Clumpy lacing clings doggedly to everything it touches.

S: A hefty dose of rye. Earthy and spicy with a crusty, toasted pumpernickel rye bread scent. Hop scents are pithy, dank, and weed-like with citrus notes underneath.

T: Grapefruit hop bitterness opens, followed closely by a blanket of rye tastes. As in the nose, it tends toward strong spicy and crusty bread tastes. Citrus notes come mid-palate, and linger for only an instant. Hop flavors then shift to pithy, dank, and oily. Finishes with dank, pithy hops and grainy rye.

M: Medium bodied. Slick and oily from the rye. Fluffy. Moderate scrubbing carbonation further enhances the bite of the rye.

O: A bit heavy-handed with the rye. It has quite a bite. A little more balance would help. Not bad though. If you like rye, you won't have a problem. For those who aren't used to it, it may be a bit of a shock.

Notes: It's not a bad beer, though not anywhere close to the best rye beers. To tell the truth, I'd much prefer to have glissade back as the spring seasonal. Not sure why they made the decision to replace it, especially with something more on the radical side. I'm not sure this beer will be as widely appealing.

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Photo of aficionado
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed the dark amber body/head along with the malt backbone, and rye presence, but hated the yeast profile. Tastes like a hopped up English lager, not an American ale. Think of Sam Smith's Organic Lager with more bitterness and way more toasty malt presence. The grassy hops here provide some bitterness and brightness, but they aren't really reminiscent of a characterful hop forward American IPA.

Good beer, but I prefer Northern Hemi, Estate, and Celebration a bit more.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rtaps for letting me steal one of these

Look: Caramel in color with a 1/4 inch white head and no retention with some spotty lacing

Smell: Piney hops and rye

Taste: Similar to the nose. It's piney and resiny with a touch of citrus not bad at all

Mouthfeel: Just under medium body and medium carbonation and a bit dry and bitter

Overall: Pretty darn good rye IPA

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eh I kind of hate rye IPA's since they leave the palate so dry but this one was pretty nice.

A - Looks pretty dark, darker than a normal IPA with a good amount of sticky foam. Lacing is good too.

S - Rye really didn't stand out much in the smell maybe as a peppery aspect, strong earthy hops, good amount of bread malts too.

T - Not as bad as I expected they got the finish down without too much drying. Taste is hoppy at first then the rye clocks you pretty hard then the bread finish smooths it out.

M - Medium bodied even though balanced I still am not a huge fan.

Overall defiantly a good beer but not something I would seek out again. Was like the rye version of the "northern hemisphere IPA" which I liked a lot too. Good if you love the style.

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Photo of Giovacchini
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A- dark amber with a thin head that disapates.

S- citrusy aromas, grass, pine, rye.

T- rye is present along with a nice maltiness. The malt is balanced by a strong citrusy bitterness. This beer tastes like a lot of SN other beers with a hint of rye.

M- good amount of carbonation like other SN beers. The mouthfeel is dry with a bitter finish.

O- I liked the fact at SN tried to market this beer with cool graphics. This beer is not very ruthless at all. The flavors are dull and this beer doesn't stand out to me as a good one from SN.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A: Pours a caramel amber hue with an off-white, creamy head.

S: Earthy hops conquer the nose along with a touch of pine, citrus, and some floral notes mingled throughout.

T/M: Hops are blatant up front, thick on the tongue and coating the mouth. It’s really one of the thicker IPA’s I’ve had. More strong earthiness and a bitter punch about halfway through that lingers long afterwards.

This is a good, thick IPA if you prefer the earthier hop varietal. Which I don’t.


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