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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

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Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,899
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 640 | 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:
Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,899
Photo of BaronRogue
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dollar a bottle at the pharmacy, couldn't resist a cheap Sierra Seasonal.

Deep red with a decent head that stuck around for a minute or two. Little bit of lace on the glass which is always nice.

Smells like peppery grapefruit. Breads and hops mixing together nicely.

Taste is exceptional for me, since I'm not the biggest rye beer fan. Nicely hoppy, slightly bitter and a great aftertaste. I can't smell or taste any alcohol at all, which is interesting since it's 6.6%.

Feels great, you'll like this if you enjoy hops but don't like the bitterness sticking around in the back of your throat for too long.

Another good mass beer from Sierra Nevada, give it a try if you see it at a decent price.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funny that there is another Ruthless Rye IPA made by Barrier Brewing Company, this is the Sierra Nevada version I am reviewing. Saw some Sierra reviews for the other beer, uh oh! Been wanting to try this since it was released.

A - Pours a pretty clear brownish amber with a good finger of light tan, almost light brown head. Great retention on the head and some exceptionally sticky lacing!

S - Lots of citrus (mainly grapefruit) with some peppery, bready malt. Very earthy and spicy.

T - Citrus and piney hops blend well with the breadiness and spices. There are some really nice grapefruit flavors in here that remind me of a West Coast IPA, but at the same time it is darker and earthier than most West Coast IPAs. A little dry and boozy in the finish. Really nice peppery rye finger lingers on the tongue along with some piney notes.

M - Medium bodied and well carbonated. Fairly sticky and coating but not overly so.

O - This is quite a decent IPA and a huge step up from boring Glissade Golden Bock. A nice, spicy, hoppy beer that is perfect for the upcoming rainy trainsition to spring (what we mountain people call the "mud season"). I'll definitely be getting more of this, very unique while being completely in the Sierra Nevada style.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear deep dark copper color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label.
Towering head from a not-so-aggressive pour that dissipated very, very slowly.
Aroma was just a little malty when the head was around. Once the head subsided the hop and spicy rye aroma kicked in. Pine, citrus notes blending very well with spicy rye notes.
Taste compliments the aroma very well. The spice from the rye hits the palate straight up on the tongue. In the middle the hop bitterness takes over all the way to the finish. The bitterness in the finish doesn't linger around too much though. Very well balanced and easy to drink brew. The rye definitely makes its presence felt. Not sure if I would call it "ruthless" though, it is definitely a solid and robust beer, but ruthless ? Not sure about that. Very good lacing around the insides of the glass.
Overall, a very drinkable and tasty beer from Sierra Nevada.
Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of HopNelius
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap and into a pint glass.
Apperance-amber color, medium carbonation, 2 finger head.
Smell-notes of bread, pine, spice, citrus.
Taste-hit with the rye first, bread and spice, pepper, almost tasted like really good rye toast, then a nice hop finish a mixture of more pine than citrus but both present.
Mouthfeel-nice, slightly spicy with the rye.
Overall-whenever a rye beer is on a beer list, I gravitate towards it, I like this beer and will seek it out again, real drinability, with the quality I have come to expect from a SN, very simalar to their pale ale but with the rye flavor coming through.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This thing is a savior after a terrible bottle of SA Alpine Spring. Poured in a SN tumbler.

Dark amber body with a frothy slightly off-white head. steady stream of bubbles rising from the laser etched hop cone at the bottom.

Smells like pine needles. spicy pine needles.

Not as spicy as i expected, but still spicy. Decent malt body that really balances out everything. Its got this quality I cant really pin down. The spicy rye is balanced by slightly slick hop extract oil. Feels like a more interesting Torpedo.

Ill take this over Torpedo.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper in color, with a big cloud deck of off-white foam,
Aroma-Juicy hops, faint spiciness
Taste-Spicy rye, big, bold hops, rather clean, dry finish. Nice flavor and balance, cries out for a spicy food match. Pepper steak or Teriaki would do nicely. Hop-head recommended.

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Photo of MichPaul
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had great anticipation for this beer, from hearing the ravings on the forum. So my expectations were very high. I was only slightly disappointed. I guess I just expected a big, almost Barleywine taste to it, but it was a little bit more tame than I was hoping especially with the word "Ruthless" in the title. Don't get me wrong I was only slightly let down. This beer actually drank spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Poured a nice clear, dark amber color with a nice thick head. Lots of lacing was apparent all the way down the glass to the very end.
This was not a big bitter beer and went down really easy. I would easily pick up a six pack of this next time it is in season.

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Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber colour with a fluffy, light tan head. Great lacing.

Floral, citrussy hops. No pine. Mild spicy rye. Sweet. Interesting but the sweetness is a little much.

Bright, tropical and floral hops dominate again with a smooth, caramel malt profile. The sweetness is quite high as is the bitterness so it ain't bad. Gets increasingly bitter in the glass.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

I like this beer as a sessionable IPA. The sweetness counteracts enough bitterness to make this eminently drinkable though that sweetness is not quite what I want in an IPA.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: into a nonic pint, a patient center-pour produced a few fingers of tan head over a gorgeous crystal-clear medium amber beer with copper-orange highlights; excellent head retention allowed great lacing to follow the beer down

S: sweet chewy rye spiciness and herbal hops

T: great rye flavors suffused into the IPA hop profile - bitterness and rye bread, some sweet caramel-like hints, biscuits and spice, pine and resin hop notes

M: medium-to-light weight, sharp and clean on the palate and tongue, slight chew

O: seems to have gotten some middling reviews, but I felt that the goal here was to brew a rye IPA, and I don't see any fail points - you can clearly and cleanly taste the rye grain and all its flavors, while the bittering piney hops of an IPA also present themselves well - I'd call it a win, and i hope my review reflects that...

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Photo of godlessape
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into my newly acquired Cigar City Brewing pint glass.
This is quite possibly the most gorgeous looking brew I've encountered in some time.
The two finger tan head sinks down to a respectable skim leaving some impressive lacing, and what it sinks down into is the most inviting copper and plum colored body one could imagine.
As far as the nose goes, you get a lot of citrus and pine one would expect from a West Coast IPA, but lurking not far behind is a earthy moist wood-chip aroma that demands attention and respect.
The rye is spicy, almost peppery and blends in well the the West Coast hops and mellow--low key caramel malt flavor. Lot's of good bite to this one.
The mouthfeel is close to perfect.
Overall this is a great example of a rye IPA. You cannot go wrong with this beer. Works great with spicy food. I just downed 3 with a bowl of Buffalo wings. A perfect pairing.

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Photo of gobseulmuhri
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Saw it at the local store and had to have it being that I am a huge fan of their Torpedo IPA.

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. What came out was opaque and dark honey/mahogany in color with a 1/2'' of head that kept retention pretty well.

The nose was a bit muted, but it had the typical IPA scents - peppery spices, fruit, and hops. The taste is what impressed me. The flavors that were muted on the nose came out strong in the mouth. However, it's noticeably mellower than the Torpedo IPA (is it the color?) without losing the signature IPA flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium as a good IPA should be with plenty of carbonation and a dry finish that definitely reminds me of the lightly bitter and pungent flavors of rye bread.

I was a bit skeptical about this one, but I'm glad I got it. Cheers!

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Photo of JohnF
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very tasty rye IPA. The best part for me is the mouth feel if I leave it linger for a bit; the time in the mouth gives time for the rye fullness to be noticed.

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Photo of Etan
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz into a brandy snifter.

A: Pours a clear, bright, deep reddish orange. Rocky almost-white head. Pretty beer.

S: Peppery rye and spicy, citrusy hops. Sweet grapefruit.

T: Starts off with a spicy blast of peppery hops mixed with spicy, bready rye. Hearty grain and juicy citrus. The rye certainly makes itself known, but forms a fantastic balance with the hops, melding together into spicy, bready goodness. Moderate bitterness lingers in the finish after another dose of sweet citrus.

M: Medium bodied, with a great carbonation level lending some creaminess.

O: I love this beer. The rye is assertive, and is a fantastic compliment to the hop profile.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is honey/copper. Two fingers of thick, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly to leave a billowy cap and trails of foam along the sides.

Smell: Grapefruit citrus. (Surprise, surprise.) There is also orange and a little lemon, but the grapefruit stands out. Below are English bitter-esque hops, caramel malts, and, shockingly, rye. It all comes together nicely, but the citrus scents, especially the grapefruit, dominate.

Taste: The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and the flavor offers a nice jab of bitterness and citrus. The hops linger on the tongue with a grainy texture and, at moments, become metallic in taste. Each sip keeps the roof of the mouth tingling, and the tongue and back of the cheeks feel the effects of the aftertaste. The caramel, bitter-esque flavor, and rye are in the background and provide a little balance, but they are overshadowed by the hops.

Drinkability: Solid stuff, and it does get me jonesing for spring. I am not sure if it makes for an ideal spring seasonal, though. IPA, it seems, is in season all the time.

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Photo of chodinheaven
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great clarity in this caramel-amber colored beer. A healthy 3 finger off-white head sits on top after an aggressive pour and sticks around for a while. Awesome retention. As it slowly dissapates it leaves a tight lacing in abundance down the glass. The aroma is very pleasant with a touch of hearty rye spice amongst a citrusy hop smell. Floral hop aromas also float up, giving it a softer overall smell. Good bit of bready malts back up everything, making for a well rounded and pretty aromatic nose.

The first thing that grabs your attention with this one is the rye spiciness. It works really well with the piney and citrusy hops for an execellent earthy tone throughout. Bready malts give this beer a medium body that has notes of caramel and subtle dark bread. Lots of hop resins accompany the earthiness and give an oily slickness to the mouthfeel while still having a medium to high carbonation level that makes for a somewhat effervescently dry finish.

Not the most complex beer in the world, but the rye spices give what is a really good IPA that added umph that makes this beer very enjoyable. Definitely hop foraward and resiny, but the malts stand their own to make for a really well done beer. Worth the buy.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This IPA is a beauty: deep amber with hues of mahogany and red beneath a huge, tight, white head. Sweet aroma of honeyed fruit, grapefruit and pine noticeable; very enticing aroma. taste begins sweet with a burst of hops bringing the palate to life; finishes with a spicy, peppery note. smooth mouthfeel with a substantial body, alcohol warmth comes through, especially as the beer warms.

this is a very fine IPA; I think I prefer it to SN torpedo IPA, because of the complexity. cheers!

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Smith pint glass.
Pours out a translucent copper, plenty of carbonation creates a solid 3/4 inch head with decent retention.

Rye, minerals, grass and a hint of citrus make up most of the smell.

Rye and pale malts combine with a bit of pine, grass and lemon rind to start this off. Slight hint of sweet malts and more rye spice at the finish. The mouth isn't as heavy on the carbonation as I expected. Nice, smooth, moderate body.

One awesome rye IPA! Thanks Sierra Nevada, this is an excellent seasonal offering.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden orange and cloudy complexion

smell: heavy citrus, orange peel and some nice floral aroma, strong pineapple and tropical aromas.

taste: Lots of citrus mixed in with tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. A sweet malty IPA. well done.

mouthfeel: medium full bodied

drinkability: very nice offering from this brewery and I look forward to many more like this. Thanks

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Photo of Kadonny
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tasting glass.

A: A darker amber orange color with some reddish tones. A large 3 finger head. This was a little warmer thus the larger amount of head.

S: Wow, damn I'm loving this smell. I get a large amount of citrus on the nose first mixed with some pine notes. The rye comes out too but after the citrus and alongside a baked bread and pepper notes. I can also pick up the distinct SN yeast smell.

T: This really does follow the nose. The citrus flavors come out first and heavy mixed with some pine that lead into the bready biscuit malt. The malt then gets tramped down by the spicy rye and pepper flavors that finish the beer out with some bitterness. Clean finish. The rye in this is however not overly done, it seem seems just right.

M: Medium mouthfeel that is resiny, prickly and very crisp on the finish. No hints of alcohol at all and carbonation seems fine.

Overall this is a quality beer that seems to be the perfect blend of spicy rye with the bright citrus IPA type flavors. What I really loved on this beer was the nose when it warmed, just fantastic.

This is the perfect spring seasonal for SN. You still get the dark spicy rye flavors, but you get mixed in the bright citrus spring like flavors. This is a total upgrade compared to the Glissdale and a beer I will enjoy each and every year. Watch for my tap review as I have a keg of it coming home soon.

Nice job SN, you done good.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a coppery orange color with a thick head. Foam is off-white. Leaves very thick lacing.

S - an intense cerial grain herbal fest. Bitter orange peel jumps out quickly as the rye blends with barely to create the enticing grainy notes while floral and citrus aromas round out the nose.

T - dry on the front of the tounge. Notes of bitter citrus enter mid palate along with ceral grain notes and a peppery spice finish.

M - full bodied. Medium carb.

O - an excellent take on a rye/IPA.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep and clear golden amber, with a luxurious, majestic head of foam. Thick and pronounced lace, too. Score high marks on appearance.

Nose is spicy rye and tangy citrus hops.

The flavor profile is nicely balanced, with a well-integrated mix of citrus hops and chewy, spicy rye. An unusual combination, but this works beautifully. This is one I may have to purchase again!

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Photo of russpowell
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent copper with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Fantastic head retention & lacing

S: Lemony & grapefruitty hops, a kiss of breadyness & peppery notes

T: Peppery rye, grapefruit, slight grainyness up front. Dryness, caramel, grainy bitterness & a touch of grapefruit as this warms, Finishes a little peppery, citrusssy & with a dry/crisp rye

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good blance

I enjoyed this, but I thinks Red's Rye is more to my taste, plus more drinkable

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Photo of plaid75
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a darker copper hue with a one and a halt finger frothy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured a vibrant and balmy peppery hop with a healthy dose of rye.

The taste consisted of waves of spiciness as between the prominent rye and herbal/peppery hop elements. A nice doughy caramel rounded out the experience.

The mouthfeel was full with a lingering spice.

Overall a very tasty spicy rye beer. Yet another winner from SN.

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Photo of CHickman
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper color with a foamy 2 finger beige head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving excellent lacing clinging to the sides and rings as it went down; as the head went down it looked like the moon with a ton of craters. A foamy layer stayed on top as the glass emptied.

Smells of hops up front with a whiff of rye as well; the nose has citrus hops, grapefruit, piney hops/pine cones, rye, herbs, hay or dried grass, floral hops, flowers, crackers, biscuit or wheat bread, grains and spices like pepper and light coriander; it’s a complex aroma that’s soft yet spicy and very nice overall.

Tastes like it smells, but the rye is a little more pronounced. The initial sip leads off with rye, spices and then a mix of hops; flavors are very much like the nose and include rye, citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, piney hops/pine cones, herbs, hay or dried grass, floral hops, flowers, crackers, biscuit or wheat bread, grains, spices like pepper and light coriander, and then very earthy notes like smoked wood chips or possibly an splash of booze – perhaps that’s the rye factor, and while it dulls the hops I like the way the rye mixes with the hops and leaves a nice bitter finish that actually tastes like you just ate a slice of rye bread – tasty indeed.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, with a medium body, light fizzy carbonation and an average feel overall that leaves a semi-dry bitter finish. Mild for an IPA, but still very refreshing and enjoyable. Another nice product from Sierra Nevada that I look forward to drinking again.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruthless Rye IPA pours a clear copper color with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma isn't very strong. It has notes of bread, orange citrus, pine, and a touch of spice (pepper).

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is frothy on the palate, slightly creamy with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor begins sweet and malty with a taste of caramel and biscuit. In the middle some spicy notes of pepper and an earthy spice (probably rye) poke through. It finishes dry and bitter with flavors of orange citrus and pine. The hops do a great job of balancing the malt. Once gone the citrus and rye linger on the palate

This is a tasty, easy drinking beer. It reminds me of Celebration with fewer hops.

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