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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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

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

4,393 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,393
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 66
Gots: 295 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,393 | Reviews: 1,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of natemort13


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours a transparent rubyish brown. Very strange coloring. Thin, slightly gray head that dissipates quickly.

MMMM, yummy nose. Lots of grapefruit. Pepper, lemon zest. very pungent hops.

Taste--very peppery, some coppery characteristics. Finish is pretty tame compared to the awesome hop character of the nose. Has this nice biting taste to it. Spicy hops, coppery finish.

Mouthfeel is light, seems very carbonated, doesn't stand up well to the big character of a rye beer.

Overall much better than I thought it'd be. I find a lot Sierra Nevada brews to be underwhelming. This one was much more impressive...as far as rye ipas go tho, I still haven't found anything that beats Red's Rye from Founder's and Cane and Ebel from Two Brothers.

01-18-2012 05:59:59 | More by natemort13
Photo of BilbosNuts


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish copper color with small white film that sits on the top. It appears very still with a limited amount of carbonation.

S: The only aromas I am getting out of the nose is fruity and citrus hops paired with a light bit of sourness from the rye. The aroma was a bit of a let down.

T: The taste sure makes up for the aroma. There is the citrus from the hops present along with a piney taste that wasn't found in the nose. It has a backbone of biscuity and bready malts. A touch of sour from the rye finishes it off. It is very well balanced.

M: It is medium bodied and very still with a limited amount of carbonation. A light bitter bite finishes it off.

O: This beer has a few flaws, but the superb taste makes up for it my opinion. With some work in the other aspects, this could definitely become something special.

01-14-2012 21:58:47 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of Asgeirr

Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Appearance: Ruthless Rye IPA pours a Copper-to-burgundy colour along with a beige crown which doesn't stay for long but rather dissolves into the brew below.

Smell: Upfront acridity, pine, resin, you name it -- it's got it! For those familiar with Surströmming (fermented herring), it's got that sour smell to it, despised by a many, but loved stronger by the few! Local patriotism beside, vinegar could be a fitting description as well. Obviously some rye bread springs to mind, that somewhat sweet, yet sturdy characteristic with an almost apple-like sweet 'n' s' sourness to it.

Taste: A raisin-like sweetness is the first thing to strike the taste buds, furthermore a bready maltiness comes forth. Yet, they are both overpowered by a poignant and spiky zestfulness- accompanied by spicy bombardments. However, the last thing to strike the tongue is a metallic taste, and that's never a good thing in my book.

Mouthfeel: Really creamy, medium full body with an alert carbonation.

Overall: Nice, and a bit more rustic than your average AIPA. Other than that, above the cut, but not cream of the crop.

05-26-2012 22:34:45 | More by Asgeirr
Photo of Morey


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

12oz bottle with no freshness date. This disappoints me to say the least. A big brewery such as SN should be dating their bottles.

Pours reddish-copper in color with brilliant clarity. Head is white in color and has a very fluffy look and feel to it. Originally, it stood about one finger tall, and after 10 or 15 minutes, it's gone absolutely nowhere! Nice stick and lacing too.

Aroma is on the mild side. I am getting some malts as well as a hint of rye spiciness. Maybe a tad soapy as well.

Taste is malty and sweet up front, but thankfully the bitterness from the hops and the spicy rye flavors aren't too far behind. I know that it's kind of common to say..."it's balanced" but this really is. Nothing jumps out at you. This beer definitely has that SN taste and feel to it and the flavors linger long after the swallow.

Nice medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The foamy head also adds a nice creaminess.

A nice Rye Ipa overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: Is this well made?...Yes. Would I like to see SN step outside the box a little bit?....Most definitely. It's good, but not all that unique.

02-11-2012 01:31:33 | More by Morey
Photo of Brad007


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

As a self-proclaimed fan of rye beers, I had to check this out.

Pours a dark copper color with a thick, frothy head into my glass. I was expecting something more reddish but it should do.

Pine resin from the hops mingles with sweet and spicy rye malt to create a welcoming bouquet of flavor.

Wow. Piney hops and spicy rye malt greet the tongue. The hops seem to overwhelm the spiciness, creating a weird mish-mash of flavors. I'm not complaining. It's what I expected.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering malt and hops with a good rye kick.

I like this. It's not the best but I can see myself drinking it in place of some other micro.

01-16-2012 19:03:16 | More by Brad007
Photo of birchstick


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours a nice caramelly reddish brown color with a really nice head. The head retains extremely well and leaves a nice lacing down the sides of the glass. The nose is full of piney hops with some spicy rye. Taste is citrusy up front that moves to some of the rye and cereal malts. Finishes with a nice punch of piney hops. Pretty solid RyePA. Good mouthfeel as it goes down. Overall, this is another solid beer from Sierra Nevada. They accomplish what they set out to do and delivered really well. Recommended!

04-06-2012 23:47:39 | More by birchstick
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Dark woody, orange pour capped with 2 fingers of close-to-white head. Decent retention and thick lace.

Woody rye grass aroma. Traces of oak and cedar. Rye grass tends to dominate, though.

Rye is very assertive in the flavor. Really strong in the finish. Extremely spicy on the back of the tongue well after the beer clears your throat. They went for ruthless and I think they got it. Just a bit out of balance for me.

Feel seems about right, with a touch of cream and a light fizz.

Overall, the strong rye flavor brings this down a notch for me.

03-14-2012 01:18:35 | More by beer2day
Photo of heygeebee


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Unused to style.

Pours dark gold/copper, one finger head hangs around along time. Nice. Great lacing.

Aromas are hop driven. Strong and dry.

Taste is dry and hop driven. Citrus and pine in the mix.

Mouthfeel slightly oily - not a lot of carbonation.

Overall, one of SNs better efforts. May have travelled better than others I have tried.

04-22-2012 09:40:45 | More by heygeebee
Photo of FattyJLE


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

S - Pungent and spicy with bready malts.

A - Crystal clear deep reddish-amber with a two-inch, fluffy, off-white head. Sticky, thick lacing.

T - Spicy and peppery right from the start. Earthy, herbal bitterness combines with pepper and spicy flavor (whether from hops or rye, presumably both). Biscuity and toasty malt backbone. The spicy, earthy bitterness lingers on the palate. Little alcohol present.

M - Medium carbonation. Moderate body. No alcohol warming. Pepper and spice produce a pleasant bite on the tongue.

O - A quality rye IPA. Nothing spectacular but certainly representative of the characteristics of rye beers with no flaws to speak of. Definitely very drinkable, but maybe a little undeserving of the name "Ruthless." Still I'd recommend.

01-16-2012 00:16:02 | More by FattyJLE
Photo of ikantspel


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

pours a clear amber color with an off khaki medium head. leaves a semi thick lacing along the glass

earthy notes alone with pine, hops, budding roses, and some sweet citrus

taste is almost similar to aroma. more toastiness though, the rye is inconspiculously absent. maybe it was there but i didnt get any of it

02-12-2012 03:40:00 | More by ikantspel
Photo of Halcyondays


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head. Great concentric lace.

S: Spicy grain with a lot of pine, classic Sierra Nevada.

T: Heavy hop resin flavour with a clear rye bread taste. A bit alcohol in the finish, but a solid effort.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp, resiny, with a medium aftertaste.

O: A good beer from Sierra Nevada, better than Glissade for sure, something to tide one over until Bigfoot hits.

01-21-2012 03:14:18 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of dmfrench


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Potent but flawed Rye.

A: Clear, dark amber body with a fairly persistent, sudsy, yellowed two finger white head

S: Big noseful of resinous hops, rye spice, and buttery caramel malt. Very inviting.

T: Quite a lot of flavor, with sweet caramel malt dominating up front, passing through a nice helping of rye spice on the way to a drying, resinous hops finish, yet somehow, all is not perfect. There's a certain metallic holowness that's preventing the very nice flavors from shining.

M: Highly carbonated with a drying finish.

03-02-2012 17:42:46 | More by dmfrench
Photo of popery


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

The beer pours clear and copper. The head is a thick layer of eggshell bubbles and clings to the sides of the glass as I drain it. Great looking stuff.

The aroma is clean and hoppy. There's a big rye spice note with earthier malt flavors. There's also a floral caramel malt sweetness hiding behind the more dramatic aromas. The hops are right in SN's wheelhouse and lend solid grapefruit and pine notes.

The taste is also good but gets a bit overwhelmed by a somewhat bland hop bitterness. There's a good amount of rye flavor but it gets a bit lost behind the hops, as do the sweet and earth malt notes. I don't mind the bitterness, but I wish there was either more hop delicacy or more rye flavor. The finish is mildly dry with a sharp bite.

Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is medium. Some hop oiliness.

It's a good beer and fills in a gap left by the Anniversary Ale. I wouldn't hesitate to bring it to a party, but I won't be stocking it at home for myself. The taste just doesn't quite live up to the aroma.

01-19-2012 05:29:03 | More by popery
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber-hued body with a noted clarity and capped by a tall, off-white head. Fair smattering of lace on the way down.

Smell: Firmly grassy, citrusy nose with a good pinch of lemon pepper seasoning, rather well ahead of the pale malted barley.

Taste: Bready, pale malts with the expected spicy rye malt character. Lightly sweet upfront, a sweetness that soon fades away as the bitterness accumulates on the tongue. Citrusy flavors of pithy grapefruit and sweet orange zest. A bit more grainy on the back half. Fairly peppery throughout. Dry, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Another Sierra Nevada IPA with a twist of rye.

01-12-2012 20:51:41 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of derkfromwi


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%


A: Finger and a half, very light tan head, copper color with some carbonation, nice lacing

S: Different kinds of hops, bready rye, earthy

T: Hops, spicy rye, dry finish

M: Nice carbonation, creamy/oily, feels less than 6.6% ABV

O: Good rye ipa, but I've had better, the appearance maybe put my expectations a touch higher, still good

01-28-2012 06:26:31 | More by derkfromwi
Photo of delta490


3.71/5  rDev -4.6%

Poured a deep ruddy amber with a big creamy white head. The head has great retention and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is lackluster, with some slight earthy hops and a little hint of the rye. The taste is a little bit better, mirroring and amplifying the aromas components. The mouthfeel is nice, a little heavier and mostly smooth with just a hint of bite from the hops as it finishes. Overall, I'm glad I tried it but I probably won't go for it again.

03-19-2014 22:41:35 | More by delta490
Photo of ranger60

New Jersey

3.71/5  rDev -4.6%

Had a 5 oz sample on draft at Tap Room in Warren, NJ.

Appearance: crystal clear...dark golden, not quite amber, tight head.

Smell: not strong, but picking up the pepper notes and maybe some citrus?

Taste: the rye comes through, as do the pepper notes.

Mouthfeel: pleasant level of carbonation, and good overall.

Overall: I like it; not having had many rye IPAs, not sure how this stacks up, but it is flavorful and pleasant.

01-23-2013 17:36:36 | More by ranger60
Photo of Beaver13


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

12oz beer. Pours a clear copper with a big frothy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is rye grains with some piney hops.

The flavor is some sweet bready malt with a big piney hop bitterness and rye spices. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, I like it. It's a solid IPA and I like what the rye adds.

02-22-2012 05:01:27 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a clear reddish color with a khaki one finger head. Head dissipates relatively quickly and leaves a trace of foam on the surface and some nice streaks of lacing.

Smell is sadly a little bland- a mild rye scent with a hint of citrusy hops. Could definitely be bolder.

Taste is certainly good but not very exciting. It's an IPA with rye! It should be pretty daring. Sharp rye flavor comes through at the beginning and smoothes out with some maltiness and finishes with a SMALL amount of hops.

Mouthfeel is excellent- light to medium bodied with medium carbonation and a little hop oiliness. Definitely a good session beer given the pricetag- not an exceptional rye beer. Red's Rye PA is a better example of the style.

02-11-2012 23:36:26 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of bubseymour


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Copper appearance with 2-3 finger frothy head. Nice lacing.

Smell - faint pine, citrus and malt

Taste - Interesting mix of bitter hop with grain and malt in the finish, followed by lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Very full bodied and creamy. Very nice moutfeel.

Overall - This beer is decent/well crafted, but its a little too bitter and lacking in balancing flavor for me to like as much as some of the other Sierra Nevada offerings.

02-09-2012 23:40:44 | More by bubseymour
Photo of Nugganooch


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

12oz to pint glass
03/06/12 notes

A: Pours a dark amber color with some really great clarity. Thick two fingers of soapy tan head displays decent retention and leaves some chunky globs of lace down the glass.

S: The nose opens up very herbal and grassy with a predominant spiced bread aroma. Light caramelly pale malts and some fruity yeast esters.

T: Taste has a light citrus and floral hop character with a nice upper-moderate bitterness level. Bready caramel malt and a good amount of peppery rye spice. Some hempy herbals in there. Hops are a little soapy at times. I imagine they dry-hopped the hell out of this one. Nice offering but does dance the line of being a touch harsh with the hop and spice combo.

M: Creamy texture with a light frothiness is real nice. Light to med. body. Upper levels of carbonation. Real dry crisp finish to it.

D: I appreciate the fact that SN was not candid with the Rye here unlike some other RyePA's that have you searching. Might be a bit much for others I think. The rest is that signature citrus hop and bready malt combo not much unlike Torpedo.
I liked but will probably stick with the Torps.

Cheers to SN for keeping it hoppy!

03-07-2012 19:39:54 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of sulldaddy


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass.
The beer pours a clear copper hue with fluffy eggshell white head of 3-4 cm. the head creates windowpane lattice and rocky craters as it recedes to a sturdy surface layer.

Aroma is citrusy hops and a little spicy rye with just a bit of caramel.
First sip reveals an average body and fine tingly carbonation. Flavor is briefly grainy caramel malt and then rolls to some bitter rindy hops and bit of black pepper. Finish is dry and lingering bitterness. No hints of any booze and a fairly smooth overall experience. Nice bitey brew.

04-27-2012 05:10:19 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of jdhowe


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

2013 bottle poured into a standard pint glass. I'm not sure of the freshness of this because SN's bottle-labeling is inscrutable. Picked up as a single from a mix-six, so I'm a little wary, but didn't want to commit to 6 bottles of this and have had good luck with this place's singles before.

A: Pours a very deep amber with hints of red, cloudy. 1/2 finger of wheat-colored head quickly dissipates.

S: Earthy, but very malty. Reminds me of the malt bill in Hoptimum, but backed up by an extra grainy and spicy character. Citrus is also showing, but weakly. Hopping is weak.

T: Interesting. Very layered -- I thought quite a few things through that first sip. Starts with a bit of spice before the malt sweetness steps up. Next up is fruitiness and alcohol. The finish shows the rye character and ultimately hop bitterness lingers alongside a slightly roasty flavor... reminds me almost of a coffee, but clearly isn't. Better than I expected from the smell, but a little grainy and not hoppy enough for me.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty good. The carbonation punches hard up front complimenting the spice, but mellows out quickly and keeps the beer very drinkable. Slightly coating where I'd prefer it to be a little crisper, clean, and gone, but otherwise very nice.

O: Torn between a 4 and 3.75 here. I feel like the total here is well balanced and more than a sum of its individual metrics, so I'm going with the 4. A pretty good beer, and one I think I'd enjoy a bit more with a bit more hoppiness. I'm not sure if the problem is age or if it's the beer, but I'm going to assume it's my fault/age. Still very drinkable, well balanced, and flavorful.

06-05-2013 07:12:40 | More by jdhowe
Photo of ckollias


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Enjoyed this stubby bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a clear copper hue with a white 2-finger head that quickly dissipates in to a wispy lace leaving a partial trail down the glass.

S: Hoppy aroma with hints of lemon and pine in the background.

T: Strong hoppy bitter flavor with acrisp rye background. Finishes on the dry side of bitter.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Really good Rye IPA. Nice and hoppy with a good rye background.

02-04-2012 01:54:22 | More by ckollias
Photo of BeRanger


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours copper - about 2 fingers of white/off-white head which disapates rather quickly.

S - Certainly unique. Smells rather earthy, spices, with a little bit of citrus zest.

T - Unique taste - a lot of the earthy tones, hops, a little rye - finishes rather dry.

M - Medium bodied.

O - Certainly interesting - not the biggest fan of it, but I've only had a handful of rye beers. Unique though

02-04-2012 01:46:56 | More by BeRanger
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,393 ratings.