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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

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,907
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 642 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,907
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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Photo of rapidsequence
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Psyched to find at this at Kroger. 8 something a six pack I think.

Appearance: Another total beauty in the looks department from SN. Perfectly clear copper. Thick head of tightly packed, medium sized, off white bubbles. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Nice combination of spicy, peppery rye and grassy, citrus hops. Well balanced caramel malt backbone. Good.

Taste: Very assertive rye spice and pepper and a fairly seriously bitter hop bite. Citrus pith and fresh grass. While the aroma is not a sloucher, the flavor is really in your face. Lasting bitterness and pepper. Really good.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is good, but somehow it feels a little thin. Just a little.

Overall: This is a great beer. Assertive flavor and relatively low alcohol.

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

Pours a robust light earthy honey-brown with a static three-fingered eggshell head. Great clarity, but without surging carbonation from the base. The head is soapy and thick, glimmering with highlights like crystals on the surface. Rich webbing on the sides of the pint glass. A solid ring marks the displacement of each one of my gulps.

Citrus (grapefruit, tangerine) hops in the nose intermingling with a peppery spice from a toasted rye malt. Some nutty/soapy yeast character in there, but just a hair.

Playful, lively spice from the rye with a dry toasty malt quality. Rough and husky grain. Big bitter leafy hops, like fresh hop flowers, produce exotic citrus fruit (kumquat) and black tea notes. Great whole-grain bread presence to the grain bill. Healthy and hearty. Great bitter finish, free from any astringency.

Kind of slurpy. Great, actually. Easy to bring in and easy to swallow. Heavier body for the style. The carbonation is up to the challenge, as well. No problem to sling back.

A fresh bottle did the trick. I might add, this is a bit too dry for my liking. Rye malts pair well with some sweetness. Otherwise, this gives Founders Red's Rye PA a serious run for its money. Maybe even a notch up.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-ruby amber with a thin cream colored head. Beautiful color

S-...smells like dried pot. Strong scent. Fairly stale. Pretty good

T- interesting brew. Comes in with an herbal, almost hemp like peppercorn flavor. It's a comPlex and unique taste. It has a matching after taste with a good amount of bitterness

M- medium carbonation with a good crisp finish

O- I like this beer. Not sure about the ipa tag though. It's very different and very drinkable, want I want from an SN seasonal. It's not as bitter or as hoppy as I want my IPAs to be but as a random rye beer, this is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Nice 2 inch head when poured aggressively. Darker brown than expected, but I'm guessing the rye malt has something to do with that.

S - Not as hop fragrant as most IPAs. More pine than citrus. A little sweet, and a little malty.

T - Very well balanced. Hops, sweetness, and a malty backbone.

O - Sierra Nevada always makes a quality PA. This isn't a super hop intense beer (which I love), but it's still very good with a unique taste profile. Definitely something to try. Prost!

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Photo of MadScientist
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

aroma: pine and citrus with a hint of pineapple and tropical type aromas. There is some grassy notes with a light malt sweetness. There is moderate rye spiciness to the aroma.

appearance: golden orange and clear with an ivory head that forms a half inch of rocky, longlatsting head.

taste: a good deal of citrus with a lot of that spicy pepper/rye character. There is some mango towards the back mixed in with some pineapple. There is a assertive hops bitterness with just enough malt for support. The balance is very bitter. The finish is dry with a linger hop bitterness aftertaste.

mouthfeel: dry, medium full bodied with a medium high carbonation

drinkability: A very good IPA with a great rye flavor.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice amber/ ruby red color. Very clear. Nice off white head lasted the whole glass. Nice lacing.

Aroma is nice and hoppy. Cascade hops for sure. Bit of caramel malt.

Taste is great. I love rye IPA's. It adds a smoothness. Nice hop bite in the finish. Nice hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I like but not too bad. Nice carb.

Overall a great Rye IPA. Check it out if you get a chance.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour was bright copper with a 1/2 inch creamy head.

big grapefruit and citrus on the nose, light spice

hop dominating through and through with some light rye spice and light malt backbone. complex mix of citrus and pine hops with light resin.

very moderate carbonation, lightly aggressive.

amazing, this is my new go to beer

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Photo of cxr1037
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got a six pack of this about a week ago from Trader Joe's. Here's a review!

APPEARANCE: Clear, dark reddish amber. SRM 22ish. Solid, yellow-white head that retreats quickly to about a cm all around. According to the website, this beer uses 2-row pale, caramel, and chocolate malts (along with the rye, of course), which would explain the darker color. Looks like an amber ale.

AROMA: Floral hops and rye dominate. There are obvious malts, a little black pepper, and some phenols. There's also a momentary awareness of fruit - I get banana and cherry - but it's mostly fleeting.

TASTE: The rye takes over, bringing along it's signature spiciness. The hops feel subdued, but they're in there, contributing mostly floral notes but with some pine mixed in. There's more of that fruit again - this time more banana esters, like something from a hefeweizen.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-bodied, with good, strong carbonation. I can feel the rye lingering in the back of my palate. Quite pleasant.

OVERALL: This is a fine Rye IPA, perhaps one of my favorites, though I'm not a huge fan of the style. A lot of Rye IPAs seem to struggle with the balance between rye and hops, but I think Sierra Nevada walks the line quite well. I would have liked a little more hop character in this one; it's finished with Citra (and Chinook and "experimental variety"), but I think it would benefit from more tropical hop flavors. Perhaps Motueka? All in all, I'd buy this again.


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Photo of unskinnyhop09
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

january is a sad time for fans of celebration ale. away goes the goodness of the holidays and an ipa that marks history with its hoppy goodness.

what could make the sting hurt less? another amazing ipa would do the trick! let's try one using rye. sure.

pepper and burned grass usual of rye flavor (ask bear republic and founders)...but here we have a fantastic citrus hop note - and i mean fantastic! i was sad that there was no more celebration at the grocery supermarket...until i got home and tasted the ruthless rye.

great aroma. great taste. great beer.
another amazing offering from sn. i guess i can forgive you for the disappearance of anniversay ale.

please keep making these hoppy ales!
...and i'm looking forward to 2012 bigfoot.

wow. just wow.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with a tight, white head that leaves good sized bits of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts with some grassy and citric hops.

Tastes of the bready malts with a spicy and hoppy ending. A bit of sweet malts lead off with toasted bread, caramel, and nuttiness. Rye adds in with its spiciness. Hops then come through with grassy, citric, and pine notes, along with a moderate bitterness. Everything blends together really well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer and I think it can hang with the likes of Hop Rod Rye.

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Photo of blackie
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

single bottle from WF

a: served in a wide belgian snifter, the beer is a medium reddish-amber in color, floating a slight ring and island of carbonation on its surface

s: lovely aroma - fresh hops push the sweet/acid of red grapefruit through a structure of sweet/spicy rye and pale malts with a touch of toast

m: the light-moderate body and refreshingly moderate, smooth carbonation make for a clean, pleasant mouthfeel

t: caramelized malt sugars and sweet/spicy rye contribute to a complex base as citrus peel hops provide a counter of acid and tropical flavors, a bitterness grows from about midway to reach its full potential in the finish, lingering with flavors of hop pulp and toasted rye, delicious

o: your typical SN ipa/pale - featuring a lovely hop/malt balance with a pungent NW hop profile and that almost indescribable, refined crisp-cleanliness that they do oh so well, there’s no waste or excess here - just plain ‘ol great brewing

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Photo of Nordstrand
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - very clear, dark apricot in color

S - citrus, pine, a little peppery

T - very hoppy, grapefruit, rye, a little spice I can't identify

M - light on the mouth

O - I love this beer. Reminds me of the Lagunitas Sucks. Crisp, hoppy, strong citrus, delicious

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