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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,612 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,612
Reviews: 1,052
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 72
Gots: 382 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,612 | Reviews: 1,052 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ShanePB
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A: Fairly clear/semi-hazy orange and bronze colored body with a big creamy off-white head. Nice fluffy consistency which lead to sticky lacing and an amazing retention cap.

S: Rye, black pepper, orange and citrus. A slight bitter pink grapefruit and whole cone hops come through, trailing off with a slight bit of caramel malts.

T: Spice, rye and a balanced but big hop profile. Some citrusy notes along with a bit of pine are mid-palate. Black pepper on the back end with a crisp lager-like finish. Nicely done, and honestly a really great integration of the rye with the overall flavor profile.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated and very smooth/creamy. A bit sticky and bitter into the linger, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for the style.

I generally enjoy beers with rye when done correctly and this was no exception. The rye brought a nice spice character to the beer that played very well with the citrus and earthy hop characteristics.

Photo of LutherBrau
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of anthony-martinez
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of JackieTH
3.6/5  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 johnnnniee
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden copper color with a good sized white head that persists and leaves much lace on the way down. Smells of garlic, green onion, and pepper mostly. There's a faint bready malt down there somewhere, but this one is all hops. Taste is more garlic and onion with a bit of spice and pepper. Little to no malt to be found. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice rye IPA but a bit vegetative for my tastes. I could drink these, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek these.

Photo of mpyle
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App - pale amber color, very clear. Poured a large white head, very creamy and with good retention.

Aroma - Some malt sweetness tinged with an earthy/pine aroma. Not sure if the earthy/pine character is hops, rye, or both.

Taste - Spicy and hoppy from the beginning. An earthy/pine hop flavor dominates, with a little extra tang from the rye? Quite bitter in the finish.

MF - Medium body and carbonation, hop bitterness is harsh on the tongue and slightly astringent. Subtle alcohol warming.

Overall - The hop/rye character makes it a bit one-dimensional. Would like to see more malt character up front to balance the bitterness.

Photo of match1112
3.6/5  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
3.6/5  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 SkeeterHawk
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had a soft spot here lately for Rye IPA's as I have really been enjoying Jester King's - The Wytchmaker. I just learned that it was retired, as was the Black Metal. Weird, because they are both really good beers. Anyway, let's give this offering from Sierra Nevada a shot.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy burnt orange color with a small 1/4" head of off white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. The head was its original height for about 30-40 seconds and then faded to a pretty substantial ring where the beer meets the glass, and it already looks like there will be some lacing. After drinking the beer, there is some lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: The aroma is showcasing the fresh hops as much or more so than the Rye, which is a good thing in my opinion. Second sniffs are giving a little more earthy tones to the aroma that are probably Rye related, but still they are reserved. Overall the aroma is quite nice.

Taste: The flavor is led by some fresh hops and the Rye along with some substantial crystal malt are coming out to support the grain side of the equation. The mouthfeel is medium to light with plenty of carbonation, so it ultimately finishes a little dry. The balance of hops to malt is pretty even with a very slight edge toward the malt. As the beer warms up, it softens up and gets more palatable overall.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent beer overall. It has a nice balance of malt and hops, and the complexity of the Rye mixed with the freshness of the hops makes the aroma one of the nicer attributes in this beer. All this said, I wouldn't consider it "fantastic", so I won't have a problem drinking the one six-pack that I got, but I seriously doubt that I will be buying this again.

Photo of MartzMimic
3.61/5  rDev -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 SportsandJorts
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: on tap 25 oz
Glass: Oversized mug
From: R.U.B. Pub in Ann Arbor
Price: $7

Appearance: a light brown/orange color. perfect clarity. not much foam or retention

Smell: rye and hops all day

Taste: citrus hops and spicy rye. i was hoping for a bit more complexity

Mouthfeel: not quite as sticky and bitter as I would have expected. good slightly fuller character

Overall: this beer is good and well done. i just wanted a bit more complexity out of it

Photo of JMScowcroft
3.61/5  rDev -7%
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 05Harley
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #1362 108 41
Bottled in 2012

Purchased @ Somersworth Village Market, Somersworth NH

Price - $8.40/sixer

An absolutely georgeous looking beer. Pours a deep transparent amber color with a massive three fingered creamy white head. Heavy lacing adorns the glassware and sticks thick. Add a gentle swirl of the glass and bam, another creamy layer appears. Lots of bubbles too.

A soft aroma of earthy hops combined with the spicey rye is dominate. Very faint smell of citrus fruit.

The flavor starts out big with an unmistakeable rye peppery taste followed by a hint of citrus in the middle and ending with a pine hop bite. Sweet caramel malt adds some sweetness but the rye flavor is pretty much in your face from start to finish.

This beer has a medium body with a creamy feel. I really dig the balance between the malt and hops. Finishes slightly dry with a pleasent bitter tingly feel.

Overall quite drinkable for my taste buds. I spent quite a bit of time drinking rye beer in the 90's, so this kind of takes me back. The appearance was the real highlight for me.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a crystal clear crimson color with a dense cap of tan head. Excellent retention and lacing...a damn fine looking brew.

Earthy rye and bright, citric hops are simplistic but manage not to clash as so many hoppy rye beers that have come before. Impressive.

The rye manages a smooth, even keel while the hops drive the majority of the flavor impact...from an initial floral blast to a clean, herbal bitterness. Malts probably dont get enough credit in this beer and help provide a lightly sweet, toffee-ish backdrop that is both neutral and productive at the same time. Mouthfeel is on the thin side and a tad soapy, but those are mild complaints. One of the better rye beers I have had and a sixer didnt last too long in the fridge, another one might be soon to follow.

Photo of mikehblack
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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 Reaper16
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served into a nonic pint glass

Pours a rusty, coppery brown color. Pretty much what you'd expect from a Rye IPA. It's very clear, very much a filtered beer. 1.5 fingers of offwhite foam leave lacing that sort of clings and drags like a person dangling from some precipice.

This beer's got a pretty nice nose on it. Spicy rye is upfront and bready, sure. But there's a good hop profile here that presents aromas of grape and passionfruit. Some general grassiness backs this up nicely. This doesn't really smell like an IPA too much, but it's a more subtle rye beer that works.

Unfortunately, that subtle nuance of the nose doesn't carry over to the palate. It's still a bit underflavored for an IPA, but there isn't much complexity to make up for it. Grassiness and rye grain spicy flavor abound. There's a small flush of grapeseed (and a trace, trace amount of like POM brand juice) but that's all the fruit that I really get. It's blunt but restrained.

The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, perhaps even undercarbonated but smooth nonetheless. It works well with the session-candidate flavor profile. Overall, this is a fine beer. It pales in comparison to Founders Red's Rye when it comes to a hoppy rye beer in six-packs, but it is a tasty option that is distributed all over the country. You can't do wrong by picking up a six-pack or a 12-pack of Ruthless Rye for your next gathering. This might just be my Super Bowl beer next weekend.

Photo of Merkur
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Flying Saucer in Nashville.

Beer pours a nice rich rich reddish color. Very little head.

Beer smells strongly of rye with a bit of citrusy hops.

Taste starts off a tad sweet and citrusy, followed by some bready malts on the finish.

Nice mouthfeel that is a tad thicker than most ipas.

Overall a nice Rye IPA

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at a cool 58 or so degrees Fahrenheit
A careful pour into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two-figner thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head that leaves some lacing stuck to the sides of my glass. The beer is a dark amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells dominated by hops with notes of pine, earthy citrus, some rose like accents. This is backed by notes of caramelized malt (lots of crystal malt type notes, though this is held well in check by the dominant hops), toasted English biscuit like character, perhaps a hint of sweet tea and a solid, earthy, brown bread character that isn’t quite spicy, but is leaning in that direction. The citrus hop character has a certain “dankness” to it, rough, a little dirty, with a lot of herbaceous character, with a citrus oil character to it. The citrus and pine / herbal character mixes so well in the nose that it is hard to say which one plays the more prominent role.

The beer is fairly effervescent as it rolls across my palate, this accentuates the bitter hop notes and the earthy spiciness from the grain. Despite the dominant hop character, the earthy, brown bread and spicy rye character is really what lingers on the palate in the long finish. The grain character is quite a bit more noticeable in the flavor than it was in the nose. The hop character is still the dominant note here though and it contributes flavors of grapefruit zest, green tangelo, brighter lychee notes as well as a green herbal quality (that has a spicy undercurrent to it), definite pine and perhaps even a touch of a grassy quality (this last is quite subtle though). The spiciness here makes me thing of black pepper some how, but a lot of it is that “dirty” spicy quality that comes from Rye. The beer definitely has a viscous quality to it, and the body is best described as medium, though it is not so much as this beer is still quite quaffable.

As the beer warms up it gets a very earthy, infinitely rye like note and solid, brown-grain-bread character that becomes on par with the hop character. Because of the rye, this is definitely a very “dirty” IPA, and that is not a bad thing at all. It becomes quite a bit more complex. I could wish for some more citrus / fruit hop character, but the rye really accentuates the herbal / pine side of the hop character.

Photo of rtaps
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear deep orange (carmel like) to and amber in color. nice 1.5 finger off white head pretty good retention barly leaving any lacing behind.

nice on the nose, some citrus from the hops. but seems pretty malty, and fruity and i'm able to find a little rye spice.

up front i get citrus but not very hoppy. some grapefuit and finishes/leaves the rye spice all over you tounge.

very smooth mouthfeel, light bodied and high carbonation, leaving the mouth watery

overall it's a soild rye ipa another good serra nevada beer

EDIT: second bottle i opened was a bit more to what i was looking for. more lacing was left on the glass with a better head, and there was a much better hop presence

Photo of Jadjunk
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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 beer348
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: nice color - reddish. Also enjoyed the label design.
S: very nice smell, probably my favorite thing about this beer
T: tastes good, crisp; what I would expect from an IPA.
M: It's great to try a new kind of beer (rye). But this tastes very much like a regular IPA.
O: For IPA fans you will like this beer. Lots of hoppy flavor. A clean , crisp drink.

Photo of Aaron28
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of hajenaD
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of jbphoto88
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruthless Rye pours crystal clear amber with a thick bone colored and fluffy head. A pretty product that leaves a lovely sticky lace on the side of the glass.

The nose is predominately a nutty dull citrus with hints of caramelization and lemon peels. The rye is also very fragrant here and a nice touch.

The taste is good but not great. Flavorful grain roasted elements with an iced tea like hop presence. I wish the hops were more available in the flavor department but they do show up in the mouthfeel and finish.

A damn decent hop bitterness that really compliments the sweet grains happens in the mouthfeel. There is also an exclamation point of rye dryness. A solid beer but not the best rye brew or IPA but that shouldn't stop you from trying it.

Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. This beer is a looker.

I pick up mostly citrus and earthy hops in the aroma. Just a small hint of the rye. Some breadiness from the malt rounds things out.

Plenty of rye in the flavor. Not sure the citrus hops is the ideal compliment to the rye. Bitterness is high. Overall is slightly dry.

Has excellant carbonation for a hoppy, bitter brew. Plenty of body to delivery the flavor.

Another solid beer from Sierra Nevada. The flavor was just a slight letdown compared to the great rye IPAs.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,612 ratings.