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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

3,980 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3980
Reviews: 1025
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: 3,980 | Reviews: 1,025 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dcloeren
dcloeren

Texas

1.63/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a deep crisp copper color with 1.5 fingers of soapy off white head.

The nose on this beer is almost repulsive. Every time I go to sniff it, I have to ask myself, "why am I doing this?" Metallic scents with a touch of rye spice. Awful.

Metal spoon taste with a little bit of spice added on top.

Thin and watery.

Overall, this was a severely disappointing beer. Thin, bad smell, bad taste just a poor excuse of a beer. I'm assuming most of the reviews are inflated due to it being an Sierra Nevada beer... Ruthless Rye, meet my drain.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 20:06:06 | More by dcloeren
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

1.8/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a clear dark red with a big light tan head that fades to a layering and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is pretty awful. I get mostly metallic and chemical smells with a bit of rye in there as well. No hop aromas whatsoever. Doesn't smell like beer at all and probably one of the worst I've ever smelled.

T: The taste is very similar to the nose. It tastes like nail polish with some rye and a bit of hops. The rye gives it a spicy flavor and the hops add a bit of earthiness on the finish.

M: The feel is on the lighter side of medium with a bit of creaminess from the carbonation.

O: This was a drain pour. The aromas and flavors are weird and the aftertaste keeps the nastiness going. I'd say this is a fail.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 07:31:15 | More by GregSVT
Photo of Steven91
Steven91

Arizona

2.23/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

A - First pour was awasome finger head with big bubbles that recess to little ones
S - You really smell the rye for sure but than goes to a bitter hop smell with some pine not a whole lot of smell going on
T - Bitterness is first with a slow rye taste after followed by some nectar taste
M - This feels lighter than normal light for an ipa
O - Not impressed by this beer it's worth trying but not my number one

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 03:48:08 | More by Steven91
Photo of Chad
Chad

Indiana

2.4/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Truly ruthless this beer needs to mellow out a little for me to enjoy it. I am all for complex beers with many different ingredient lending themselves to a well put together final product, but this beer is a bit too much. Pours Beautifully with a nice lasting two finger head. The aroma is very strong, smelling of pine and rye. The flavor is surprisingly potent for an amber beer, it would seem more suited to a darker beer. All in all this beer is like pouring half a bottle of cumin on your taco, Cumin is great but don't over do it.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 04:18:05 | More by Chad
Photo of bigflatsbeerman
bigflatsbeerman

New York

2.58/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my first rye IPA, it may grow on me (I hope it does I bought a 12 pack).
Apperance: Nice red clear color.
Smell: It must be the rye smell which I am not used to, but it smelled like it was skunked beer to me at first and I can't say I like the smell as times goes on.
Taste: Similar to the smell above, I don't have a taste for it yet and may never develop it (I will have to have a party to get rid of the 11 I have left?)
Mouthfeel: Not bad not too heavy, not too light.
Overall: This is my first 12 oz. bottle from a 12 pack. I have great respect for SN, but not sure this rye IPA is for me. I hope it grows on me.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 01:33:13 | More by bigflatsbeerman
Photo of mattfungus
mattfungus

Wisconsin

2.6/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.5

During this time of year (winter) there are a lot of heavy hitters, winter brews, double ipas and everything seems to be a bit overdone. i start longing for something that doesn't taste like malted brandy.

Finally, here is something that has its own unique flavor. This RyePA has a nice sea foam colored head and dark amber color. The foam quickly dissipates, however each time it lands on your tongue another blanket of foam is formed on it and it effervesces off of it.

It has that pepperiness of rye, but something different too. The malt swirls across your tongue and there is a heavy bitter finish that lingers in your mouth like their celebration's bitter, and it just keeps sitting there.

Easiest way to get rid of it is to have another mouthful and enjoy the wave of savory flavor that hits.

I think that it would go good with a jack, brick, asiago, pecorino romano or parmesean cheese, especially the jack or pecorino. I also think something sweet like figs, raisins or grapes might be good to wash off the bitterness.

On second review and on the third bottle I had to re-rate it. It is so bitter at the end that I had to give it away. The bitterness would just not go away. blah

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 05:09:27 | More by mattfungus
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

2.63/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy amber glass holds a respectable head that laces the glass.

Smell: Wet cereal grains with what seems like the Sierra Nevada house yeast. Leathery earthy malt base with some hop leaf but no bitter nose.

Taste: Spicy rye front with a bitter, tannin taste that slowly fades. Some malt body keeps this drinkable with a syrupy sweetness, but it's a little work getting from sip to sip. It's all bitter hops, with a straw dry finish.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation goes a bit fizzy in the mouth. Medium body with an oily finish.

Overall: It's like they squeezed all the hop goodness out and used it for another beer. I like the rye aspect and taste, but the hop profile is much more English than American; bittering rather than flavoring. It's probably a personal preference, but I just don't enjoy this end of the hop spectrum. Maybe you will.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 03:12:38 | More by HardTarget
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

2.65/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just so we're clear, I dont like rye beers, but a lot of people have been telling me the rye profile is small in this one and drinks more like a really good IPA. So here goes.

Pours a clear vibrant copper color with a deep auburn center. Big fluffy off white head. Lots of rye on the nose along with citric and piney hops. Hop and rye presence blend together well on the nose.

Rye flavor is dominant but not overly dominant like other rye beers I've had. The hops really do a good part of keeping the malt body from being the star of the show by blending the flavors of the beer together quite nicely. The beer however tries to have a bright finish with it's citric hop profile but is weighed down by the peppery spiciness of the rye.

Slightly thin body upfront which thickens up once it reaches the rest of the tongue. Flavors are well blended but I'm not sure if they're meant to be blended together.

I could definitely see some people really loving this and it is a unique brew but it's just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 03:15:17 | More by jtierney89
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.65/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer stemflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. I don't usually trust Sierra Nevada, but I think they can pull off a rye ipa.

Served refrigerator cold. Side poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticiipated.

A: Pours a two and a half finger head of fair good cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear copper-amber. Not unique or special for the style. Appealing in a general sense.

Sm: Light pepper, amber hops, some cream, very light toasted malts, and some caramel. Vaguely evocative of an English winter warmer. Strange for an IPA. A mild strength offer.

T: Some pepper - especially in the third act. Some toasted malts, plentiful amber hops, and a bit of caramel. I get rye as the foundation - but only when I look for it - and barely. Poorly balanced. Built okay. The flavours compete rather than cooperate. The untamed hop bitterness is problematic.

Mf: A bit too coarse and wet, with a bit of cream. Too thick for the (lack of) flavours. Adequately carbonated. Doesn't actually suit the flavours horribly well.

Dr: Kind of drinkable, but largely a scattered mess. Doesn't feel focused. The untamed hop bitterness ruins the balance. I don't know that the rye is doing much for it. The ABV is decently hidden.

Wouldn't be a good candidate for aging at all. I might have it again if it were on draught and recommended.

C-

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 06:00:57 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Auracom
Auracom

Illinois

2.73/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Have some recent reference for this style with Jester King Wytchmaker, which didn't astound me but was good enough to keep me interested in what else is out there for rye + IPA.

12 oz. bottle poured on January 15th, 2012 into a Bruery tulip.

A - It's a pretty dark, deep caramel/amber color. Typical one finger's worth of a white fluffy head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Even warmed up a bit, this aroma is muted. Light malt grain, slightly piney hops, lemon peel, and faint spice grounds.

T - Better but not where I anticipated. Initial carbonation and light fruit zest. Black peppercorn, ryebread, and further malts at the middle of the tongue and push through the backend.

M - Light-medium body, fair carbonation. Semi-short finish of rye, bitter hop resin, and a bread-like body.

D - This really pales in comparison to Jester King's offering. The nose is extremely subtle and the taste doesn't offer a whole lot of interesting notes of spice, which was sort of the whole point of rye, right?

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 02:49:37 | More by Auracom
Photo of MatJones
MatJones


2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A. Like all their beers this is perfectly carbonated and a lovely dark Amber colour. 

S. Sweet piney smell but not as pronounced as an ipa. Hint of almonds and hay

T. This is my first 'ryepa'. Drunk from a half pint glass and first impressions were excellent. Definate taste of rye, malty biscuit, herbs and sweet pine. Noticed within five minutes though, that the taste lost a lot of it's complexity and the alcohol taste became a little overpowering which I was surprised with as this is only 6.6 abv.

M. A little to heavy for me. Felt the alcohol taste ruined this beer for me a little and ended up tasting like a stronger version of their excellent pale ale.

O.  Definatley an interesting beer and has done enough to make me try some other rye ipas, but felt overall this beer was a little unbalanced, alcohol taste a little overbearing. I will probably try thus beer again at some point as sierras beers are more affordable than a lot of USA to UK imports but wouldnt go out of my way to buy it over some of their other excellent beers

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 13:25:03 | More by MatJones
Photo of blakelive784
blakelive784

Colorado

2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent copper/orange color, with a thin, off-white head of 1.5 fingers. Retention is poor.

S - Lemongrass, citrus, and the overly used cascade/centennial hops nose overwhelm a caramel and crystal malt foundation. I don't pick up any rye in the nose. Mild to moderate strength.

T - Still no rye at all. Classic Sierra Nevada overuse of generic cascade hops. Light caramel is overpowered by lemon and grapefruit. It's imbalanced, and I can't get any hints of rye, even when I search for it. Suffers from simplicity.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, and a bit thick. It's alright, but there's not much going on anyway.

D - Another disappointment from SN. I find this one to be imbalanced, simple, and not one I'd have again. It's an average IPA at best, and I'm not sure what they were going for with the rye, but it's a miserable failure.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 00:50:01 | More by blakelive784
Photo of Edward-Nipplebrew
Edward-Nipplebrew

Pennsylvania

2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

IPA? Not Really? RyePA -Yes. Not my favorite Sierra Nevada entry but if your a fan of putting rye in beer??? Then you will love this with pastrami. What is your next spice Sierra? coriander? Stick with what you do best - seasonal entries. Not sure I would buy this one. If you are into rye this is your guy.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 19:43:36 | More by Edward-Nipplebrew
Photo of greentam2
greentam2

California

2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well, I think they got the Ruthless Part right; the hops and the malt duke it out and implode with an ashen sort of bite, that keeps on biting on the backside of the taste. Had to try it, but won't try it again. I prefer an ipa with a very clean hoppy citrus taste, and all the tastes here are so mashed together, they get lost.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 23:46:30 | More by greentam2
Photo of HoppyHomo
HoppyHomo

New Jersey

2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice white head leaving my glass laced and ready to be sipped
Has a light brown appearance with hints of Orange shining through.

S: Flat hoppy smell. Nothing to astonishing; but also not overbearing

T: So-So. I felt it had a nice smooth taste at first then ends flat. Not sure if that’s the Rye coming through.

M: Smooth and pleasant

O: I haven’t really experienced many of the Rye beers, but overall I thought this was a decent pick. Not my favorite, but I wouldn’t turn it down either.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 00:33:07 | More by HoppyHomo
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

2.85/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Was excited to actually see this on the shelves, so I picked up a sixer right away. Pours a dark rust/ruby color with one finger head, which laces thinly and consistently. Aroma is all about the hops. It's well balanced and strangely familiar. I thought it smelled very similar to their Torpedo IPA, in terms of hops aroma: fresh cut grass, pungent, a bit of lemon. There's malt in there too; browned biscuit dominates the aroma. Malt & hops battle it out for aroma dominance. Who wins? (hops) Bitter caramel starts out the flavor department, turning to burnt chocolate/caramel and a woody flavor. Bitter malt turns to bitter hop oil flavor, noting that the hops are well balanced. There's a lingering familiar tart rye flavor in there as well. Feels a bit acidic but mainly balanced.

The aroma was great, but the flavor was ultimately too tart and feel too acidic. I can't see myself drinking more than one a night. There's just too much rye in there. It almost tastes like copper towards the end, and I'm not a huge fan of metallic tastes in my beer. This one coulda been a contender.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 16:27:26 | More by Philousa
Photo of bark
bark

Sweden

2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

The colour is amber-brown (25 EBC), the liquid clear. IT is darker than most IPAs. The two finger head slowly sinks down, leaving little lacing on the glass.

The smell is hoppy, but not very bitter. Rustic wood-like note sand caramel, some dried citric fruits and crisp bread. Some alcohol is present. It is bit raw and harsh, but in a good way.

The taste is bitter and not-that-sweet. Distinct notes of rye crispbread and fresh oak casks. Some mature, almost dried, citric notes. Tart notes in the background. Medium body. The aftertaste is rather raw and harsh. Malty flavours, somewhat sour. Medium bitterness with a harsh alcoholic edge. The finish is sweet with raw alcoholic notes.

The carbonation is mild, the many small bubbles are smooth and short-lived. The liquid is smooth.

Way too harsh for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 19:05:55 | More by bark
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

2.88/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

medium dark amber color with some lacing. Body is clear.
The nose is not as hoppy as i was expecting really, there is more spice notes and rye character then anything else going on.
The flavors taste more like a malty rye pale ale then an IPA, and this can not be old. Bready is a strong description, earthy hops, and rye spice.
mouthfeel is medium full with a low amount of carbonation.

I have to say, i was excited for this one, but it is probably one of my less favorite of the SN beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 21:46:24 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of Rizalini
Rizalini

Nevada

2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a redish/ruby color with a foamy 2 finger head that quickly fades leaving some spotty lacing.

S - The rye is very prodominant... maybe too much. It almost has a rubbery smell, like a balloon. Interesting...

T/M - The rye isn't as overwhelming in the taste as it is in the smell, but it's definately there. I do think that it overpowers the hop profile of this IPA. Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation.

O - An interesting IPA to say the least. Sadly, I'm missing that hop profile that I so look forward to in a good IPA. Glad I tried it, but will not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 03:18:13 | More by Rizalini
Photo of wrycon
wrycon

Minnesota

2.98/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A very clear amber. Really clear - like the lovechild of an amber and a West coast IPA. A lot of rye in the nose. Smells similarly to their Northern Harvest, but with some lighter pine undertones. You can catch some citrus on the top, as well. Hmm, this is interesting. Quite thick to start with no real identity. Then the rye, grain and bread notes explode and make it taste almost like an American lager. The pine notes push their way forward on the back end and try to substantiate the IPA claim. I'm not catching much citrus, just a lot of pine and rye. It's ok, but nothing I'd regularly drink.

Like it? It's OK

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 02:42:28 | More by wrycon
Photo of StoneTSR
StoneTSR

Colorado

2.98/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: Dark brown, almost a dirty, reddish-brown. A white and half-inch thick head tops it and hangs in fairly well. Lots of bubbles quickly shooting to the surface from the bottom of the glass. Excellent lacing.

SMELL: When I first stuck my nose in I got a lot more rye, but upon my second smell the roasted (and burnt) malt dominated. The roasted smell also gives it a coffee quality.

TASTE: Roasted malt and a rye breadiness dominate. I don't get much in terms of hops, maybe a touch of lemon and maybe grapefruit, but no pine or resin. The malt and rye remain at a fairly constant level throughout the sip.

MOUTHFEEL: The Ruthless has a pretty solid sparkle and it is clearly well carbonated. That said, it should cleanse the palate a little better than it does. Instead, there is a sticky, but dry film left that doesn't do much for me.

OVERALL: I love Sierra Nevada and maybe I am grading this one on an unfair curve because of the high bar they have already set for themselves, but I was excited about this one and I am finding myself underwhelmed. Maybe since this was the first year there is still room for improvement in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 08:25:54 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of blastyaker
blastyaker

Kentucky

3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice copper shade, head dissipates rather quickly but leaves lacey skin of foam crisp finish, Rye is definitely there good carbonation didnt finish growlerill next day. Not sure about the "Ruthless" part but would definitely drink again given the opportunity.

Serving type: growler

01-18-2012 00:27:03 | More by blastyaker
Photo of Kitt
Kitt

Delaware

3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a weak < 1 finger head, that miraculously grew to about a two finger head in about 120 sec. Appearance, a rich, filtered, mahogany, not unlike a heavy red ale.

Aroma rather unpleasing: A spicy almost (hate to say it) feline-like odor. It must by the emphasis on rye which I guess I am not quite used to.

Taste,an initial bombardment of bitter spice hops and eclectic malts. Better than the aroma, but I still get that feeling of a nearby cat. Not like anything I have ever encountered in a brew before. The rye must be what is different to me and I have to admit - despite my colorful description - I find it somewhat pleasing. Very different. A light lingering bitter hop burning sensation brings this home as an IPA about six seconds after the initial taste.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a slight oily after-feel.

Drinkibility: The alcohol is upfront and in your face; seems more than 6.8%.

Overall, this is an interesting IPA. I like the daring ingredients. Risk takers deserve some credit for ingenuity. It won't be among my favorites but I would be willing to try it again. Just slightly above average overall. Perhaps it will grow on me as I move through the six pack but I have a funny feeling many reviewers have "brewery goggles" on this one - let's face it, if this was brewed by some rinky-dink Rhode Island brewery, well, you know what I am thinking...

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 03:05:52 | More by Kitt
Photo of denver10
denver10

Colorado

3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish-amberish with a small white head that quickly leaves the scene. Sweet and piney aroma, hops seemed kinda week. Taste started off a little sweet the rye kicked in towards the center alongside some pine. Flavor seemed kind of lacking overall, could have been an old faded bottle? Medium body but crisp with some activity from the carbonation. Overall, was not too impressed with this. Nothing about it stood out to me, though nothing about it made it bad. Just kind of meh.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 03:24:15 | More by denver10
Photo of mattbk
mattbk

New York

3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark copper or light brown color. Head is a light rust color. Very light head, although it does appear creamy. Looks fairly carbonated.

S: This had an interesting aroma, was it the rye? Light sweetness in the nose, with some grapefruit hops in the background. When I first smelled this I thought it was off, but after a bit I lost whatever I thought was off about it.

T: Very interesting. First thing that hits you is bitterness, both in the front and the back of the tongue. Then in the middle is the malt sweetness. I think the rye is the front bitterness with hops in the back. I feel that the bitterness is sort of high without a ton of flavor. The flavor I do get is grapefruit and pine. Just a little bit spicy.

M: Light-medium light mouthfeel. A fair amount of carbonation.

O: It is not a bad beer, but I don't feel that it is particularly well balanced. The carbonation is too high and leads to a bloated feeling pretty quick. There are lots of other IPAs I'd prefer.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 02:53:56 | More by mattbk
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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,980 ratings.