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

1,076 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,076
Hads: 4,879
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 84
Gots: 618 | 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: 1,076 | Hads: 4,879
Photo of JohnTerrizzi
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: bottle poured into a clear glass beer mug

Appearance: copper in color. slightly off-white head that sustains. great lacing.

Smell: strong peppery and hoppy aroma.

Taste: the peppery rye is the first flavor that hits the tongue followed by the classic hoppiness that characterizes sierra nevada ales. as you get further into the drink, the rye dissipates and the hops take over.

Mouthfeel: nice body. great mouthfeel.

Overall: i wasn't a fan at first, but I think it was because it was the first ale that I had that was brewed with rye. after having gone threw the six-pack, I would buy it again. (614 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Down to the last couple in the sixer, figured it was time to get a review in. Dated '1362' 111:24, guessing end of Dec production date from the Julian code. Served in a pint glass.

Creamy meringue surface texture, spotty halo of frothy lacing. Lasting head retention, skim never really breaks and forms an irregular topography that looks nice. Dull copper, bright clarity, rising trails of carbonation visible.

Spicy herbal pine resin, bready rye, very light and mellow pastry sweetness emerges as it sits for a bit.

Similar flavors, ample hop bitterness and complex bready malt sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter, almost a little bit chalky. Hint of citrus rind in there, that somehow seemed more prevalent in bottles sampled last week. It's got some nice malt complexity, and light lingering hop flavors of citrus and greenery. Overall it's good, would drink again but haven't seen it around on tap anywhere yet. (919 characters)

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

Picked up a six pack from the local Binny’s.

Appearance – Pours a nice hazelnut brown/cherry red into a tulip. About a finger of off white head is achieved that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing.

Smell – Citrusy grapefruit, pine, spicy rye, bready malts.

Taste – Earthy rye notes, a nice grapefruit flavor, spiciness, oily hops, slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lively carbonation.

Overall – Another solid beer from SN. Honestly wish it was a bit more bitter/hoppy. (508 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cant find any freshness info on the 12 ounce bottle. Pours darker almond amber, light oatmeal head, shows some staying power and leaves respectable bands and bits of stickage. Hopped up nose with the unmistakable odor of fresh rye bread.

Rye infused IPA, with a nice load of hops crunching on the taste buds, and more rye floating just under the surface. Nice.

Although I tend not to be a huge Rye beer fan, this one is hoppy enough to keep my interest. Though still unlikely I'd purchase this one ahead of all time favorites Torpedo and/or SNPA (548 characters)

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

Pours a clear copper into a pint glass with a 2 inch head that takes a while to fade.
Extremely hoppy on the nose, pine, grass and rye.
Some sweetness on the tongue, with some spiciness from the rye and the hops. Bitter as only an American IPA can be!
Medium carbonation, highly drinkable.
As far as Rye beers go, it's an decent brew. As an IPA it kicks ass!
Recommended. (371 characters)

Photo of rogueleonardi
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber brown, with about half a finger of white head.

S - Didn't really smell any citrus, lots of malt though, couldn't really smell the rye.

T - No citrus taste, can't taste hardly any rye flavor at all. This is some malt flavor but nothing really stands out here. It has almost a watered down taste.

M - Good carbonation, decent mouthfeel, but a thin beer with little substance to it. (397 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (660 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (273 characters)

Photo of BeerVikingSailor
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (718 characters)

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (885 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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... (1,324 characters)

Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (1,468 characters)

Photo of modernartblues
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
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 (581 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
3.23/5  rDev -18%
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! (1,049 characters)

Photo of HopNelius
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (1,442 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (923 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of lawlerj
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,149 characters)

Photo of Rantingfury
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (975 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (686 characters)

Photo of goldbot
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (394 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (547 characters)

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,076 ratings.