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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

4,443 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,443
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 66
Gots: 318 | 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: 4,443 | Reviews: 1,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fank2788
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Clear dark amber in color with a fairly thick off white head to start which falls somewhat quickly but laces nicely. The smell is typical sierra nevada west coast hops with a touch of something a bit different, a peppery spice likely from the rye. The taste too is much like an IPA but a bit weak in terms of the bitterness. The malt base is relatively solid and again the rye comes through as a bit of extra spice. The body is thick and nicely filling while this beer finishes with a nice lingering spiciness that tends to build as it warms and the session goes on. Overall it is similar to other sierra nevada hop focused beers but as stated earlier a bit weak on the hop bitterness (especially for an IPA). The rye carries throughout which makes it different but I think it could be better.

fank2788, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of angrybabboon
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

Consumed 3/13/13

Appearance: Deep amber in color when viewed from a distance, more of a reddish, copper orange in the light - mostly clear, with some chill haze - larger than average, off-white head - keeps a nearly solid cap, leaves a wall of spotty lacing - very pretty

Smell: Bright, citrusy hops and a ton of spicy rye - grassy, spicy, bready rye, apparently "ruthless" wasn't just thrown in the name for alliteration - orange and grapefruit flesh, with some rind and some pith - bready caramel and amber malts in the background

Taste: Rye and citrus, both in abundance - fleshy, pithy, lightly oily grapefruit - bitterness is moderate, seems amplified by the rye - there is a lot of spicy, grassy rye the flavor profile, perhaps a bit too much, honestly, reduces drinkability - very earthy overall - grainy, bready caramel and pale malts

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth, nicely carbonated, very dry finish

Overall: This is indeed devoid of ruth

Ruthless Rye is decidedly flavorful and interesting, but the rye gets rapidly tiring. I've previously had it on a few occasions, and I've never been convinced that buying a sixer is a good idea. I'm finally reviewing it because I found a single. And while I do like this beer, I'm not in a rush to have another.

angrybabboon, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of aorloski
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

Appearance - This one pours a very dark orange lingering on a nice brown hue with a very tiny head. Not a lot of lacing or alcohol legs. Color is great but a little weirded out about how little of a head mine poured.

Smell - Spice right up front followed by that classic columbus hop sierra nevada profile.

Taste - I was expecting a little more IPA than rye beer in this one but it may be the other way around for me. Its a great tasting beer, the spice is right up front wrapped up in nice pacific hops with a hint of a maltyness which brings it all together. Dont come looking for tropical fruits or extreme pine in this one, rather a hoppy beer with a spiciness.

Mouthfeel - Very crisp and leaves a nice sugary aftertaste in my mouth.

Overall - A good, not great beer. I really enjoy it and glad i picked up a 12 pack and easily would do it again, i love sierra nevada.

aorloski, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%


Draft at Bj's Escondido.

A: Amber with a finger of beige foam. Lots of lacing is left behind. Nice color.

S: Pronounced rye bread with some biscuit. Hops impart a pleasant blend of pine, grapefruit, and orange with light floral notes. The aroma gives the impression of balance with a strong showing from both the hop and malt sides of the ledger.

T: Rye bread blends with biscuit and a balancing citrus hop presence. Lightly spicy. There's a little orange flesh with stronger grapefruit rind notes. The beer is almost balanced, but the hops have a slight edge, imparting a moderate bitter.

M: Medium body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: A well crafted rye IPA.

HopHead84, May 19, 2012
Photo of dagubna
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

dagubna, Today at 06:24 PM
Photo of rfbenavi80
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

Poured into a Boulevard Tulip glass. Bottle was kept in fridge.

A- Pours a clear deep amber/copper color, with very frothy cream colored head that hung around awhile. When it left it there was very thick lacing on the glass.

S- Hoppy, grapefruit, and pine.

T- Grapefruit up front. Was really wanting to taste the "peppery spice" of the rye that the bottle says it has but could't quite find it. I get lots of sour citrus.

M- Light and refreshing.

O- I enjoyed it. Glad I decided to pick up a six pack of it.

rfbenavi80, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a very nice red-copper color with a massive billowy off white head. The head is amazingly thick on this brew and hangs about for what seems to be forever. Upon fading over the long haul (almost 10 min) it leaves some nice lacing.

Smell- A bit of roasted malt and some breadiness meet the nose. There are some very nice ciitus and pine aromas that then hit and linger on the nose until it finishes.

Taste – Malty and bready upfront. The malt flavors have a good dose of rye and some nutty tastes. There are some nice citrus and piney hop aromas that really come to fruition in the middle of the taste, mixing with the rye quite nicely. At the end heavy roasted malts flavor lingers on the tongue and when mixed with the hops leave a pleasant bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel –A bit on the creamier side with a rather moderate level of carbonation. Both allow for a very easy to drink brew.

Overall - A good rye beer and a rather decent IPA. The combination make for a nice drinking beer.

Darkmagus82, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of Chaney
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

Man, I've been in Florida for the last few weeks, then finally decided to walk into a beers store. Low and behold though, I saw Sierra Nevada had released a new beer! I guess this one is in place of Glissade.

A: Poured a clear, darker than amber color, with a massively clinging solid white head that clung, and clung, and clung, etc.

S: I got Sierra's hop profile upfront, along with sort of a "Rye Crisp" cracker profile that just screamed, "beer me!" Lots of hops.... maybe too much at times for some palates.

T: This was WAY too bitter to be extremely drinkable. Most of the great West Coaster I know have at least some semblance of "man-candiness" to them, but this is just a flat out rye hop bomb.

M: The lacing was used car wash material, the bitterness is... well... extremely bitter, but the carbonation was fine (as with all SN brews).

O: I'm not a fan of Torpedo, but am a big fan of the PA and Celebration. This was more on the offensive, Torpedo side IMO.

Chaney, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of chrispassarelli
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

A: Loose, yellow-tan two-finger head. Poured into a pint glass. Head is coarse, and halfway gone by the time I've written this far, leaving little lacing. Perfect clarity, with a dark honey/amber color tinted a bit on the yellow side.

S: Confusion up front. I get herbal hops with a sharp, musty surrounding... almost like weathered wood, an attic, or antiques. ...I guess this is rye.

T: First volley of bitterness is a combination of a flash of citrus hops, which quickly succumbs to the peppery rye. I'm sad to see the former go so quickly. What remains is a persistent sharpness, "stout-like" if I'm being generous and musty or burnt otherwise. The hops return to balance things out on the finish.

M: Great. Good texture, just enough carbonation to keep it from sticking to the tongue.

O: While I'm personally not a fan, I could see some folks getting into this. It's very well constructed, with a great spectrum of flavors involved, but I just don't happen to LIKE many of them. I couldn't get the smell of my Grandma's antique room out of my head.
But hey, I'm not complaining about the other 5 bottles waiting to be consumed.

chrispassarelli, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of MDDMD
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%

A-brown amber color with an off-white head and decent lacing

S-citrus and bread dough with hints of spice

T-citrus and malt with some slight rye character and hints of sweetness nd moderate hoppy finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a decent rye ale, but not in the league with Red's Rye and Hop Rod

MDDMD, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of towelboy02
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%

A: It has a nice red amber/copper look. a white head. Sort of cloudy when swirled in a pint glass

S: a slight breaded creamy, then piney.

T: it has a rye taste as it warms up then a hoppy dry bitter at the end.

M: slight carbonation when it hits your tongue. dry towards the end.

towelboy02, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of travolta
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%

Appearance: Sticky leopard print lacing. Very nice head retention. A rocky and voluminous head. Brownish apricot in color.

Nose: Orange and citrus, pine and resin. Caraway and pepper in the end with a cigar humidor aroma.

Taste: Citrus up front which forms into hop bitterness, grains and black pepper. Some orange and lemon peel. Again, pine and resin. Perhaps carmel chalkiness at the end?
A dry finish.

travolta, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of MRAnderson
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%

This was an "OK" beer from the Titan out west which didn't really surprise me. I found this beer to be very mild with taste and the Rye really doesn't shine through on this beer at all. IT was not a bad beer but it was not memorable either, the beer is worth giving a try though. They could have hopped this beer out a tad more and they should have added more rye especially since the Title of the beer states this beer is all about rye...???

MRAnderson, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of ehammond1
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%


Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Amber and copper with a hugely foaming, thick, persistent light khaki colored head that leaves the glass messy with chunks of thick lace.

Mild though pleasant aroma of simple grain and mild pine hop presence.

The flavor is nice, though not at all aggressive. The grain and bread flavors are dominant, with mild pine and just a hint of rye.

Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. I have always loved the way Sierra Nevada beers feel in the mouth, and the cask only accentuates that here.

A decent rye IPA, but I don't really feel the need to revisit this one anytime soon.

ehammond1, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

12 oz bottle, 6.6% abv. Clear amber color, with fine carbonation. Off-white, rocky head looks good and stays around for a long time. Awesome patches of sticky lace.

Smell is very similar to other SN beers, caramel malt and hops. Citrusy, and maybe a hint of spicy, peppery rye, but not a great deal.

Loaded with caramel malt, but not overly sweet. Good hop bitterness, with a slight citrus edge. A hint of earthy bitterness. Maybe some spicy notes, but not real peppery. Dries at the finish like several SN beers.

Medium body, with ample carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. Not a great deal of rye character. While this beer is good, it is very similar to several other SN beers.

Bierguy5, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of natemort13
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

natemort13, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of BilbosNuts
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

BilbosNuts, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Asgeirr
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

Asgeirr, May 26, 2012
Photo of Morey
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

Morey, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Brad007
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

Brad007, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of birchstick
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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!

birchstick, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of beer2day
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

beer2day, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of heygeebee
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

heygeebee, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of FattyJLE
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

FattyJLE, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of ikantspel
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

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

ikantspel, Feb 12, 2012
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,443 ratings.