Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

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BA SCORE
87
very good

4,871 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 4,871
Reviews: 1,095
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 83
Gots: 611 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,871 | Reviews: 1,095
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a mug. Poured yellow-orange with a one and a half finger off-white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, citrus, pine resin, spices, and subtle fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, spices, pine, pine hop, citrus hop, and subtle wheat. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This brew definitely took on both the characteristics of a rye beer and an IPA. It was quite enjoyable and fairly easy to drink. A definite must try if you are a fan of hoppy and spicy brews.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from the Pizza Port bottle store. Hoppy aroma. Copper body with three-eighths of an inch of retained white head. An ale with rye that hits the spot. Lacy, fresh, session-able, citrus, pepper, fruit and lots of rye. A good hoppiness and edgy. Good drinkability.

Photo of BeerVikingSailor
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasty new Sierra Nevada rye offering; was excited to try this one, as I enjoy rye beers.

Good overall appearance, typical SN color and nice foamy head

Smells great, lots of citrus and rye smells coming off the glass, I dig it

Taste is very pleasant and drinkable, a nice take on an IPA with the rye and typical hoppiness of SN brews; alcohol not noticable and easy top quaff this one down quickly

Mouthfeel is very good, nice body for the style and the rye and hops go well together here; very enjoyable and recommended for sure...

Overall I like this one a lot and will buy more; sad it replaces the SN Glissade golden bock though, as I liked that one as well...a tasty new brew that I will enjoy drinking often.

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice foam retention that came with a caramel colored beer.

S: Lots of bright citrus, and some spicy rye.

T: Bitter Grapefruit, white pepper, tangerine, and some nice malty biscuit notes.

M: Medium Carbonation, along with with some lingering bitterness.

O: Overall a very solid beer. I really enjoy Rye beers and definitely enjoyed this one. I definitely like the flavor profile of this beer, and how it encompassed the hops and malts very nicely. This beer was another great beer from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of MasterSki
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Figured I'd do the two Rye Beers back-to-back. Couldn't be bothered figuring out the Julian date code. Thanks to Chris (spycow) for mixing a sixer of oddball wants for me. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A half-finger of yellow-tinged foam settles to a thin cap. Looks very similar to the Widmer's O'Ryely, but with a bit more in the way of lacing.

S - Yep - lots of rye. Spiced bread sort of aroma dominates, and it's supplemented with earthy and spicy hops flavors as well.

T - Taste is again very earthy and peppery, with spicy rye malt dominating the palate. Fairly assertive hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Super dry medium body, with a resinous and oily finish. Moderate carbonation level. No real complaints here.

D - There's a bit too much rye here and not quite enough IPA, at least for my tastes. I think I liked the Widmer a tick better, which came as a surprise.

Photo of bennetj17
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, packaged on Dec. 30th if I'm reading the date code correctly. The pour doesn't yield much of a head, but there is some lasting soapy froth. Dark copper, almost amber in color with high clarity. The smell of signature Sierra Nevada hops are apparent, much like the orignal Pale Ale itself. Sharp, piney notes from the hops are well paired with a grainy, rye cracker character.

The key to the flavor here is good balance. The hops are not over the top, and the bitterness is at a good solid level, building after the finish. This is not a sweet IPA. The rye malt is lightly-dry, with a peppery, biscuity taste, and only touches of fruit in the far background. I like that the alcohol is not even a factor here, and the drinkability is through the roof. The mouthfeel is crisp with a rather zesty carbonation. Not too heavy or too light in body.

This is a top notch ale from a brewery that never lets you down. I'm just wondering, what if this was a hard to find, special release? If Three Floyds was the name on it I bet the rating would be sky high. Just imagine if your local brewery did something like this. You would be pretty amazed. But this is par for the course for Sierra Nevada and I suppose most folks will just think it's decent. As for me, I'm going to drink alot of this while it's available...

Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Read about this beer at the end of last year (2011) and have been anticipating its release ever since. I was shocked to see the price on these - $14.99 at Vons for a twelver and $7.99 a sixer at most super markets and liquor stores (damn cheap).

A: Got into these at a buddies pad during the AFC championship game - just crushing em from the bottle, so I can't really give an accurate grade on appearance. I just averaged the score based on the other aspects of this brew.

S: Big time floral hoppiness (Cascade I think ???) with tons of earthy goodness, bran flakes or grape nut cereal, plum like esters and bready yeast.

T: Taste is hoppy as the nose insinuated - grassy citrus rinds with that classic malt character that Sierra so consistently replicates with each of their brews - toasted grain and sweet carmel nougat round this one out nicely.

M: Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation for the style that lends a creamy aspect to the overall body, hop oils linger a while with an enjoyable bitterness after each sip.

Overall very tasty and extremely sessionable for a beer nearing the 7% mark. The rye is slightly less noticeable than say Nelson IPA (Alpine Brewing) or Reef Rye (Ballast Point), but still there and tasty, pushing this IPA into a different class than a standard West Coast IPA. Definitely something different yet still carrying that signature flavor that makes Sierra Nevada one of the most consistently quality produced ales in the game.

Photo of modernartblues
4.28/5  rDev +10%
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

Photo of OlieIPA
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into wide-based flute glass.

A: Dark copper colored body underlying a off-white two-finger head. Clean and illuminating at times; beautiful!

S: The sharp and quick cutting rye malt character comes through in the initial whiff as does the hop aroma. The hop characteristics include a mix between "piney" and "musky" smells, and seems to be more subtle than other Sierra Nevada IPA's I've had in the past. Not sure if this can be attributed to how distinct rye flavor and aroma can be, but I believe this may be a main culprit.

T: The rye immediately highlights and heightens the hop bitterness. There is some malt sweetness to balance off the abundance of hop flavor and bitterness, but not enough to say this is a "well-balanced" IPA.

M: Standard; what I have come to expect from a solid IPA.

O: Rye IPA's are usually a hit or miss with me. With that said, this hits me right in the middle. Nothing too bold, but does deliver some distinct flavors not commonly found in hoppy beers (which I like). A try it beer. Cheers!

Photo of HopNelius
4.2/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours dark amber in color. It has about two inches of beige head.

S - I can definitely tell there is rye in there. It almost comes across as skunky.

T - The rye really stands out. I get some breadiness in the middle, and it finishes with rye and some bitterness.

M - Medium

O - I'm not sold on this one. I'm usually a fan of Sierra Nevada. It doesn't quite stack up to the other rye beers I have had.

Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone pint glass.

Before anything else is said, I'd just like to comment on how phenomenal the label design is. Bravo to Sierra Nevada for commissioning such a fantastic piece of art to serve as their label for this beer. Definitely keeping this bottle around afterwards!

Pours a burnished orange hue into the glass with a good-sized head of frothy white bubbles. The head leaves waves of sticky lacing on the inside of the glass. The first whiff yields a nose that possesses the hoppy notes typical of pale ale style, but it is quickly followed up with a bready, almost funky sourness that is unmistakably the rye component. Pale malts also come through, lending the smell of this beer a little bit of everything.

Mild bitter kick to start things, leading into a malty base full of different flavors, including notes of caramel and toffee. Hops come through next, lending their floral and pine essences to the flavor bill. There's a subdued overall spiciness that permeates the taste as well. The rye makes another appearance as a souring yeasty quality on the back end. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all, and at 6.6% doesn't really play much into the enjoyment of the brew. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a drying finish. The rye provides an interesting chewiness that is subtle, but present.

Another solid pale ale offering from Sierra Nevada. They really know what they do best and it shows in their brews.

Photo of mattcrill
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Spicy and floral hop aromas up front. Dark bread aromatics that provide a nice balance. Classically clean SN fermentation character that allows the floral hop notes to shine.

Appearance: Brick red pour with sticky off white head. Pillowy head that retains well.

Flavor: Spicy assertive hop notes up front. Earthy and leafy hop bitterness provides a good flavorful base. Some bread crust-like malt character serves as the foundation and provides a little balance. Balance is decidedly bitter but the crusty malt notes provide an interesting character that offsets all the hop character. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly oily with no alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A nicely done, classically SN rye IPA. All I would expect from SN's version of a rye beer. Plenty hoppy with nice malt accents to keep it interesting and round out the flavor profile. Well done.

Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Somewhat dark copper with a nice sturdy cap and great lacing. Darker than expected but looks great, as SN beers always do.

Smell: Spicy, earthy and bready, with some orange-driven citrus.

Taste: Semi-sweet bread and toast backbone. Fairly earthy and citrusy (a little tangier than the aroma indicated), with a long pine and spice finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Overall: While not quite the taste onslaught of some other Rye IPAs (such as Founders Red Rye and the Summit India Rye Ale from two years back), this is extremely well balanced and immensely drinkable. The best "Spring" seasonal from Sierra Nevada yet.

Photo of lawlerj
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a mostly translucent mahogany. Two to three finger width off white head with an aggressive pour. Dissipates into a moderate layer of foam with a fairly thick collar around the edges. Can't see much in the way of carbonation.

S - The aroma smells kind of...sticky, I would say. There is a nice fruity/juicy hop aroma that I really enjoy, and that blends back into the underlying malt backbone. The rye is present as well, but is not in the driver's seat. I'm not sure I would pick that out if I wasn't looking for it.

T - The flavor is not quite as bold as I anticipated. There is a hop presence here, but it is certainly not in your face. The rye is much more prominent in the flavor than in the aroma; it provides a nice herbally, peppery counterpoint to the hops and bready malt. It has a crisp, dry finish.

M - Feels on the full side of medium bodied. Almost creamy. The carbonation is just right.

O - Overall, this was a very nice brew. If I understand correctly, this replaces Glissade as their spring seasonal, which is fine with me. Also, the artwork on the bottle is killer.

Photo of Rantingfury
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I opened up the bottle and poured into my favorite truncated cone shaped glass. It has a nice rich amber color with a nice thick tan head. The beer showed a bit of lacing. I took in a nose full of aroma, detecting the piney and citrus notes of the hops. The aroma wasn't strong like other ipas, but pleasing none the less. The peppery notes of the rye come out in the flavor nicely at first, then fade to the citrus and pine of the hops. As for mouthfeel, this is a good full body brew. The carbonation gave a nice impression to the bready feel.
I was reluctant to buy this at first as rye isn't too popular in the south for brew, bread, or liqueurs, but an inner voice kept up and I decided to try it. This beer broke my expectations. I expected the hops bitterness and the sourness of the rye to clash, but it didn't. I like IPA, and this beer doesn't quite deserve the moniker. I do like and recommend this beer. It's a cold day and this spicy beer made it more tolerable.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of goldbot
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with dense off-white head, lots of carbonation and decent head retention. Spicy, pine sap hops aroma with the characteristic sharpness of rye. Rather tame hoppiness for an IPA. Thankfully much more hops come through in the flavor with much stronger, more bitter pine notes and a medium to full body with moderate sweetness. It leaves a lingering, savory rye flavor on the tongue.

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.2/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of Andrew61923
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Table and Vine today. Broke up a 6er because I didn't want to buy the whole thing...probably paid too much for it, but oh well. Bottled December 16 of last year, so just over a month old. Poured into my Delirium tulip.

A: Light mahogany. Small white head. Very clear. An attractive beer.

S: Not as clean. Picking up the rye and some spice. Little in the way of hops.

T: More hops than in the smell thankfully. Picking up more of the spice that was in the nose. Earthy and bready aftertaste.

M: Decent carbonation. Smooth and sessionable, especially if I liked this beer more. One of the better parts of the beer.

O: Having faith in Sierra Nevada, I had high expectations for this beer. It wasn't as good as I had hoped, but I wouldn't turn it down if I had the opportunity to drink it again.

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a single for $1.75 to try it out after a solid recommendation from my beer guy at the Keg.

A – Transparent copper with a creamy, one-finger, yellowed-white head which lingers around for quite while. Great lacing on this one.

S – Lemon zest, pine, and is it cheating to say rye? Smells clean…

T – Slight oil quality comes out quick. Bitterness from the hops linger in the mouth long after the finish. Sweet spiciness that feels well balanced.

M – Medium with a good amount of carbonation.

O – It makes me happy that Sierra Nevada can produce good, affordable craft brews that can be found everywhere.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a clear dark amber color with about an inch of bubbly white head. Nice sticky lace left behind.

The aroma has a pine forward hop aroma with a little bit of citrus in the background. A nice unmistakable rye aroma gives it a nice malty edge. Caramel and rye malts kind of take the forefront on the pallet. Slightly bitter hop flavor rounds this out.

Medium and somewhat of a dry body with good carbonation.

Overall a nice new offering from these guys. Glad to see a widely available rye beer cause I love the stuff.

Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served up into a globe glass, this new 'Spring' seasonal appears to replace the Glissade. Hopefully that one will make another appearance one day. The Ruthless pours a clear copper with a half inch of slightly off white foam. A steady boil emanates from the base giving some support.

I let this bottle warm up a bit berore opening and this seems to be a good idea. Firmer retention and a fuller aroma are offered as a result. Light citric and pine hop notes intermingle with rye grain along with a supportive peppery spice. Malt notes are present but subtle behind the rye.

Flavor follows with rye, a moderate bitterness and a spicy and well carbonated delivery, and adds a touch of light caramel on the finish. Feel is full and coarse and offers a lingering spice with a touch of sweetness.

Overall this beer represents better as a Rye Beer than an IPA, and I gather that's the intent given the tiny font of IPA on the label. Hop aromas do evolve and expand with warming but the Rye remains in charge.

Photo of dcook11
4.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured in to a pint glass. Wow, this looks fantastic. Thick, creamy white head with a generous amount of sticky lacing that just clings to the glass. The beer itself is a cooper/burgundy hue, with some fine bubbles rising to the top of the glass. The aroma is quite complex. Initially, I’m struck by the hop profile. Nice, grapefruit notes, followed quickly by a strong, yet balanced rye scent. As it warms, more tropical fruit notes make their presence known, and a caramel sweetness begins to take over. At times, the beer seems to take on a sweet tartness (kind of like the candy). As the beer approaches room temperature, it begins to take on a funky, musty, aroma. Maybe also a touch of simcoe like aroma as well. The taste, is crisp, with a strong hop punch at the start. Fresh hops on the tongue, followed by a lingering, drying bitterness. The rye also balances the brew nicely, providing more of a balance to the aggressive hoping. The abv is well concealed. Very nice. The mouth feel is medium bodied. Overall, this beer is a must try for the IPA lover. If you’re not a fan f Rye beers, give this a try, it may change your mind.

Photo of Mit
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised when this one hit....I didn't even know they were replacing the Glissade.

a-pours a clear dark reddish amber colour with a great long lasting head.

s-def distinct spicyness from the Rye followed by the grapefruit hoppiness.

t-Earthy flavour....def rye flavour...very nice yet balanced by the citrussy hops.

m-Good for the abv...SN is always on point here.

o-Overall this bad boy is a welcome addition. I love it and with this change of the seasonal I was happy. I have found some of the recent seasonal changes have been somewhat lackluster IMO.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,871 ratings.