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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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,092 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,092
Hads: 4,949
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 91
Gots: 674 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,092 | Hads: 4,949
Photo of tychoseven
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish-orange amber, with ample, clingy lacing that sticks all over the glass.
S: Hints of grain and a clean, fresh sensation I associate with rye.
T: The bready malts seem sweeter and more sugary than the 2012 batch. Fruit with hints of
orange and spice lead up to the piney, bitter hops. Bitterness builds the more one drinks,
and lingers pleasantly.
M: Very smooth; carbonation feels "small" and dispersed giving the beer a creamy feeling.
Gives the impression of being lighter than it is, on the tongue.

Overall I prefer the 2012 batch, which I recall being dryer, but 2013 is very enjoyable. I like the relative extremes of sweetness and bitterness. It's seasonally appropriate and more subtle than most other winter brews.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden brown color with two frothy creamy fingers of foam. Smell is hoppy and grassy with a hint if spice.

Tastes of those classic Sierra Nevada hops, mixed with pepper and of course rye. Complex flavor that needs to be sipped on awhile to figure out. Faily easy drinking ipa/rye brew. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper. A little hazy. Beautiful two finger rocky, off white head that fades slowly and leaves nice rings of lace.

The aroma is very citrus. Grapefruit, lemon zest, and spicy, herbal notes. Caramel backbone with bready notes. Tangerine and black pepper. Piney tones throughout.

The taste is tangy on the front with full on citrus assault of grapefruit on a caramel backbone. Spicy middle with mint, lemon zest and black pepper notes. Earthy background with leafy, herbal aftertaste that lingers. Strong piney, resiny, evergreen in the finish.

Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing

Nice minty and spicy kick from the rye with assortment of interesting hops. Very interesting and refreshing beer.

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Photo of estlinska
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On Tap 3/11/13 in a tulip.

Poured with 2 fingers of big foamy head full of tiny bubbles. Reddish brown color like a worn out copper pipe mixed with red licorice and lots of tight lacing. The smell was full of citrus and resin and a little bit of sweet fruit on the back end. It smelled a lot like a bowl of hops resting in water; very fresh. The taste was not as sweet; very spicy like a rye beer, but the sweet malt sits there in the front with that spicy rye flavor on top. It was very tasty and had a nice bittering hop flavor. The hops flavor was backseat by far though. it was pretty fizzy overall with a pretty full mouthfeel, approaching the oiliness of a big IPA. Overall, this beer is pretty awesome overall. Well balanced between a classic IPA and a rye beer.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

This pours a semi-cloudy brown color with a slight off-white head. The aroma is slightly bitter with hops. The taste is big and bold with rye and hops flavors. It is smooth and flavorful with a grainy, hoppy finish leaving a bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of VinoGuy
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great amber color and beautiful floral hoppy nose. Spicy blend of hops well balanced and full bodied. Great lingering finish and clean. The rye adds a great addition to the flavor profile and a nice change from a wide range of IPA's available in the market. This is a great win from the folks at Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with an off white head. Decent lacing on the side of my snifter glass. The nose is rye, hops, spice and a little malt. The rye is in the forefront, and I dig it. The flavor is the same profile, with some fruit coming out as well. The hops/rye are out front on the taste. Feel is malt/hops battle, with a nice bite on the aftertaste. Overall, this is definitely one of the best rye beers I've had. Great job Sierra Nevada. Cheers.

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Photo of stewart124
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper in color with nice pillowy head.

Plenty of malt and spice in the nose. Some bready notes with a citrus and piney character.

Right off the bat I get a bold spicy character from the rye. This really comes off as a Sierra IPA with rye added. Not that I am complaining because this is a damn good beer. The peppery note adds some depth and a different dimension to Sierra Nevada. Medium caramel and plenty of toasted bread.

Good overall hop bill with some spicy hops or what adds well to the spice from the rye and a general Sierra Nevada feel. Some citrus and grapefruit characters but nothing that takes away from the malts.

Medium bodied with a good feel for carbonation. Very easy to drink and the alcohol doesn't come off as being harsh. Another great selection to Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A brown color with a decent haze on it. Head is about two fingers, and stays at one throughout most of the glass. Lacing, at least at the start, is very nice.

Smell: Holy interest. The rye with the citrus creates this fantastic aroma that I'll have a hard time trying to describe. Really, in order of the prominence, it's a dirty, woody, piney, citrus aroma.

Taste: Not too unlike the smell, to be honest. For an IPA, I'm getting loads of malts on the front and back end of each sip. This screams Spring or Fall beer, for me. It's definitely a rye beer, but it's hard to say this is an IPA. There are some bitter hops on the finish, though, so I guess it's not completely far off. The finish is dry, and, as I said, bitter on Ruthless Rye. Despite its dry finish, Ruthless Rye remains super drinkable, and somehow refreshing. The alcohol doesn't come through in the flavor at all either. The feel on this one is right where it ought to be. It's carbonated quite well, but it's not carbonated to the point that it feels harsh on the tongue.

Ruthless Rye is just a great beer. To be honest, I'm surprised it "only" has an 88 rating. I really think I like this beer better than my hometown Red's Rye by Founders, though I haven't had it for quite some time. Definitely pick this one up.

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Photo of tmm313
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Crystal clear, dark amber, copper color. Nice two finger head with excellent lacing.

S- Wonderful aromas! Huge floral notes with some sweet grapefruit, orange zest, rye, caramel, fresh hop, and bready malts.

T- Matches the nose pretty closely, just not as sweet. Bitter grapefruit, a slight touch of orange, and light floral up front, followed by big rye, a little pine, bitter hops, and a cracker like flavor. Big bitter, resinous aftertaste.

M- Slightly thicker than medium bodied. Super oily; coats the mouth entirely. Semi-drying.

O- I'm a pretty big fan of the Rye IPA and this was a wonderful example of the style. I was most impressed by the aroma and mouthfeel but, as a whole, it was an awesome beer!

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Photo of jondeelee
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ruthless Rye IPA opens to a nicely hoppy nose, pink grapefruit and grapefruit rind dominating, but supported by a nice mélange of pine, eucalyptus, mint, dandelion stem, and a touch of anise. The emphasis is clearly on hops here, and those aromas make up the greater part of the nose. There are still, however, nice aromas underneath, including an incredibly sweet candi sugar-like blast that mixes with orange, cherry, berry, and apricot fruit esters to form an almost crystallized fruit sugar extract sensation. The nose also brings a nice peppery undertone from the rye, adding a welcome layer of spice to the sugars and bitter hops. Finally, deep beneath lies a bed of toast crust, wheat bread, and Grape Nuts cereal. As a whole, the nose is excellent, bearing enough hoppy and sugary notes to make the salivary glands start flowing, and the flavors themselves nicely balanced (even if geared heavily towards the sugars and hops), and containing a fine variety of notes. This is especially impressive considering the 6.6% ABV, which would normally indicate a far lesser quality and strength of aromas.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a spicy, hoppy blast, the hops and rye fighting for attention. The hops win in the initial moments, bringing pink grapefruit and grapefruit rind, with mint, eucalyptus, dandelion stem, and pine, but the peppery rye notes keep excellent pace, coming in a close second. Sugars kick in after a second or so, adding the nice and surprisingly strong crystallized fruit extracts noted in the nose, and in the same flavors. Good touches of toast crust, wheat bread, and biscuit form an earthy layer at the bottom. In subsequent sips there is a lessening of sugary notes, the hops simply too powerful in competition, and the hops themselves lose some of their nuance as the tongue numbs under their blast, but the beer still remains tasty. The aftertaste is mainly hops, with faint lingering sugars and breads, and stays on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a very nice rye IPA, and for the low ABV, it’s surprising how much flavor is in here. The notes are very nicely balanced, and the beer as a whole is surprisingly tasty and smooth, even over the course of several mouthfuls. The hops are especially nice, being full and rounded and heavy in oils, which helps boost the mouthfeel. Worth trying.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter.

A: Pours a dark burnt amber color with a very thick and greasy off-white head that took forever to fade into a thick oily film that left a complex network of lacing down the glass. Very fresh, oily, and impressive. Great head retention.
S: Huge notes of spicy rye, marijuana, grassy herbal hops and light citrus zest. Spicier and more earthy smelling than a normal ipa.
T: Just like the nose, the rye really shines through and compliments of the fresh herbal, dank and citrusy tasting hops. The finish is full of dried grains and grass flavors, and the aftertaste has a nice pine needle/citrus rind bitterness to it. I get a hint of lemon zest as well.
M: Body is on the thicker side of medium, mouthfeel is viscous and has a good chew to it, and the carbonation is bright and fluffy.
O: Definitely a spicy rye lovers beer. The type of bitterness in the finish of this one may not be for everyone as this beer definitely isn’t a standard C-hop forward ipa, the rye adds a unique bitter dimension. Well done SN.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours out a dark amber hue with a thick tan head that leaves some of the best lacing and retention of any sierra nevada beer I have tried.
S. The aroma is rye, citrus, pine and yeast
T. The taste starts out with some rye followed by the citrus and pine tastes of the hops and finishes off with more rye.
M. The mouthfeel is rather creamy, and smooth.
O. A very good tasting beer that is everything someone would expect from Sierra Nevada plus a whole lot more. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Zorro
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear amber colored ale with a small tan colored head.

Smell of sour and spicy rye with lemon and grapefruit hops. Spicy and bitter smelling there is a decent amount of pine present.

Starts out malty and spicy with a strong rye cracker flavor. Mildly bittersweet this has quite hearty thickness to it. Strong C type hops; the rye is an interesting mix with the IPA level hops. Starts out mildly sweet then it turn savory for a second and then the hops hit you. Rather a tasty IPA in a Rye coat.

Mouthfeel is simply excellent, thick yet slick, like a well-oiled snake.

Overall this is a tasty beer and much better than I expected. I skipped buying the 12 pack of this until I tried it. I will be buying a 12 pack tomorrow for New Years consumption.

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Photo of TechTriumph
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 02/15/12:
Bottled: 01/13/12 at 2:01pm; Poured in a tulip.

A - Two inch off-white fluffy, bubbly head with excellent retention; Dark brownish amber in color and semi-hazy in appearance; Decent lacing left behind

S - The rye is certainly not shy here and is a big part of the aroma; Complimenting the rye aroma are citrus and floral hops, sweet caramel, and overall smoky notes; The more I smell the beer, the more I'm convinced there's distinct notes of cannabis as well

T - The smoky rye is the main feature in the taste as well, but moderately bitter orange and grapefruit hops provide good balance with some sweet caramel and fresh bread in the background; Slight bitterness and oily hops linger

M - Moderate carbonation; Just a touch above medium bodied; Finish is fairly dry

O - I don't remember experiencing the combination of hops and rye until I tried this surprisingly good beer. The flavor is very unique, but also very enjoyable and balanced between the smoky rye, citrus hops, and subtle malts. I think more brewers should experiment with rye in their recipes, but in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy some more Ruthless Rye.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm naturally interested in seeing just how ruthless this rye is. It's a nice hearty ale, yes. Good spiced tones (from the the I assume). Overall, this is a good beer, which I expect from Sierra Nevada. It's not blowing me away with some out there and unusual character, but it's a mighty tasty brew.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear copper color with a tan head that lingers leaving strings of lace as it settles.

S - Piney hop aroma with a good kick of spicy rye mixed and caramel malt background.

T - Citrus pith and pine with spicy rye and a caramel malt backbone.

M - Medium body, smooth and creamy.

D - One of the better rye beers I have had. The rye is dominant but not overwhelming with a big hop kick.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark orange amber with a finger of off-white head. Nice aroma of spicy bread, pine, and grapefruit.

Moderate carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Mild toffee and toasty bread up front with grapefruit, pepper, and lingering pine on the finish.

The rye is subtle but definitely present; this one is really well-balanced, relatively dry, and pleasant to sip. Very nice!

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Photo of Katmando64
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly impressed with this beer. I generally think of Sierra Nevada as the standard "I just need a descent beer" beer. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Nice malt and hop balance, and a great finish. I actually ended up buying a second 6pack, which is extremely uncommon for me. I think this might be my new "everyday pale"

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark, amber and cloudy. Thick foamy heady with superb lacing on side of glass. Strong piney/apple smell. Hints of citrus. Smooth malty taste. Bitterness hits you right away. Bitterness just gets stronger with the rye taste coming out at the end. The bitter aftertaste persists for a long time. Hopheads will like it just for the bitter aspect. Malty rye predominates the taste. Very slight fruitiness at the with a smoother caramel like taste. More impressed with this beer than last year. I may have gotten a fresher batch this year, though.

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Photo of McStagger
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Re review for the 2013 batch.

A: Pours a beautiful brick/garnet with excellent clarity. Two fingers cappuccino foam head. Moderate carbonation, with small bubbles rising lazily to the surface. Excellent retention with excellent lacing as well.

S: Lot of the standard west coast IPA notes. Citrus, spiciness, lot of milled grain with a bit of that rye edge. Bready and yeasty notes with a bit of soapiness.

T: Malt is immediately present, but this quickly transitions into black pepper, citrus, with a bit of bitter, bruised mint. The rye is definitely present in the taste, and lends a spiciness and a certain rustic quality. Alcohol warmth in the finish. Finishes dry, with the grapefruit finally making an appearance among the other flavors.

M: A bit heavier than medium bodied but not quite full bodied. The subtle carbonation and full malt bill give this beer a slightly creamy edge. Borderline slick, but the carbonation keeps things balanced.

O: One of those beers that's greater than the sum of its parts. Stylistically, Sierra Nevada absolutely nailed this one. From the killer bottle art all the way to the rough, unpolished taste profile, Sierra Nevada did an excellent job in highlighting the rustic aspect of this oft derailed grain. Cheers to them.

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Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing Rye IPA! The color, smell, look...all say drink me. And then you do, greatness. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Perfect head that last most way throughout drinking, along with nice white bubble lacing. Great beer all around. Cheers! Side note, an odd but amazing food pairing is a nice cinnamon roll!

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Photo of wnh
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a bright, brilliant clear copper topped with a huge rocky of-white head that lasts. Looks like a Sierra Nevada IPA ought to look. Nice lasting lace.

Really nice on the nose. Juicy, resinous hops with notes of pine needles, lemon zest, and grapefruit zest. Solid grainy malt backbone, biscuity and a bit peppery.

Definitely more rustic on the palate as a result of the rye. Grainy malt with a peppery bite and some balancing chewy caramel. Bitter hops show a bit of pungent grapefruit zest. Finishes dry with a balance of raw grain and bitter hops.

Medium bodied, very firm. Well balanced and moderately complex. Tasty and well made, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours with a reddish orange color with nice carbonation cascading from the bottom up. The foam is about 1" thick and is creamy looking. The foam dissaptes to a thin foam but but does not dissappear completely and the "legs" of foam remain on the glass with every taste.

S - Scents of hops, citrus, and some grain.

T - Nice hops, with grapefuit, and some hints of grains and nuts. The taste is nice and clean and leaves a nice bitter hop finish.

M - A nice beer with no heaviness but just clean hop flavor.

O - I like this beer and I believe it will be well received in the brew pubs and stores all over. I am glad I came across this beer because this 12 pack was the last of this beer in the store.

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Photo of modernartblues
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH Tulip, Date Code 1362

A: Dark amber red, clear body, huge off white head on an aggressive pour, recedes to a more than adequate cap, retention is impressive, as is the lacing

N: more of a straight forward IPA nose. citrusy, grapefruit, pine, not as in your face as Torpedo, but nice

T: this is where the spicy rye comes in, but the rye doesn't overtake the hop profile, which is how I like my Rye PAs

M: SN SOP, excellence

O: another great seasonal from SN. they remain one of my favorite breweries and this is an excellent addition to their seasonal line-up

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,092 ratings.