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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

1,078 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,078
Hads: 4,890
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 85
Gots: 633 | 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: 1,078 | Hads: 4,890
Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. 2012 listed on the bottle.

An off white head, a little styrofoamy, but makes a good three fingers with some retention. Body color is a dark amber brown, crystal clear, not much rising carbonation if any.

Nose is a nice toasted grainy malt. Slightly spicy, almost Oktoberfest Marzen like. A little subdued, but fairly solid.

Real interesting taste profile. Sweetening grapefruit at first in the palate, followed by the toasty malts matched on the nose. Hop citrus bitter follows on the afterfinish, with an airy spicy feeling. Great tasting. Mouthfeel seems fine and solid nothing to complain or get excited about.

Overall pretty good tasting beer here. (704 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this is a darn good beer. I think it fits the category well, with a bit of a twist.

Nice looking beer. Amber, hazel nut, dark copper. Nice white foam, soft and fluffy, even. Great foamy lacing, coats the glass.

Aroma has all the IPA-ness. Malt, hops, spice. Some citrus. The rye is noticeable but not dominant. It gives the beer more of an earthy characteristic.

The flavors are good. Nothing "wow" comes out, but it's solid with nothing off. Dark breadiness throughout provides some earth spice. The hops are citrusy without being juicy. The spice really blends well to give a "warmer" feel to it. Pine needles and some metallic towards the end.
The bite is nice, but it does thin out a bit. Nice without all that resin of some IPAs.
Very solid beer right here. (775 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Euro Market. There's a huge spicy aroma with both cracked rye and herbal citrus hops. The flavor and body are a little too light, but there's a rich grapefruit taste that comes out in the finish over mild rye bread. While I want a little more malt, Sierra Nevada did a great job balancing the rye flavor so that it's highlighted, but not too strong. Not perfect, but a pretty great rye beer. (413 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing
Ruthless Rye

Bottle states alcohol content 6.8% by volume

malts: PALE, RYE, CARAMEL & CHOCOLATE
yeast: ALE YEAST
bittering hops: BRAVO
bitterness units: 55
AROMA hops: CHINOOK & EXPERIMENTAL HOPS
DRY hops: CHINOOK, CITRA & EXPERIMENTAL HOPS

Pours a reddish amber color, large fluffy off white head, plenty of lace after each sip. Aroma of trademark Sierra Nevada ale yeast, and piney, resinous hops. There is a lofty caramel malt sweetness in the nose as well.

In the taste, caramel malt with a good helping of earthy hops and spicy rye in the finish. Pretty well balanced, but could be considered hop forward. Earthy, piney and grapefruit flavors and a solid bitterness. The rye used is very flavorful and imparts delicate peppery and even woody notes. The malt body, hops and rye presence all are complimentary.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spot on prickly carbonation, and semi dry. Overall, this new product from Sierra Nevada is one of the more balanced examples of a rye infused IPA. Well rounded flavors and quite enjoyable. (1,064 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden copper color with a good sized white head that persists and leaves much lace on the way down. Smells of garlic, green onion, and pepper mostly. There's a faint bready malt down there somewhere, but this one is all hops. Taste is more garlic and onion with a bit of spice and pepper. Little to no malt to be found. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice rye IPA but a bit vegetative for my tastes. I could drink these, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek these. (540 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.14/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft at Small Bar in San Diego.

Pours a dark golden amber color with a one finger off white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Bland aroma with subtle earthy hops and a sweet malt presence. Hints of floral pine needle along with some citrus rind but the malts overpower the nose with caramel, rye, nut and toffee.

Medium bodied and similar to the aroma with a dry, earthy hop presence that lingers over sweeter malts into a slight dry finish.  A bit hoppier than the nose suggested with some floral pine and hop oils along with some grapefruit and orange peel.  This is countered by sweet rye, caramel and toffee. Decent balance and easy to drink but a bit bland.  As it warms it becomes a little soapy and unpleasant.   (804 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5/18/2012

Draft at Bj's Escondido.

A: Amber with a finger of beige foam. Lots of lacing is left behind. Nice color.

S: Pronounced rye bread with some biscuit. Hops impart a pleasant blend of pine, grapefruit, and orange with light floral notes. The aroma gives the impression of balance with a strong showing from both the hop and malt sides of the ledger.

T: Rye bread blends with biscuit and a balancing citrus hop presence. Lightly spicy. There's a little orange flesh with stronger grapefruit rind notes. The beer is almost balanced, but the hops have a slight edge, imparting a moderate bitter.

M: Medium body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: A well crafted rye IPA. (685 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, this is 2012 vintage. The beer is a crystal clear, crisp, bronze coloring with a tremendous, towering, big bubbled, foamy off-white head that has an unreal retention. It stays forever, it seems. Aromas are heavy roasted grain, a slight peppery spicing, and a subtle bouquet of citrus. Very well blended nose. The beer's flavors are burnt, with a toasted cereal taste to the forefront, followed by a slightly resiny hops presence that has a solid citrus tartness. There are peppery spicing notes all over the palate that tingle the tastebuds while you drink. There is a good transition into the aftertaste, which is heavy in roasty/toasty characteristics that are blended and balanced with a light citrus sweetness. The finish is slick, with a resiny feel left behind in mouth, and a slight peppery bite throughout the roof of the mouth. This is a tasty rye...good representation and blending of some very strong ingredients. (966 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

Pours a reddish amber hue, with a fine tight head of palest orange. Some specks of lacing, but certainly not a consistent lace or sheeting pattern. Solid body which holds large-bubbled carbonation when tilted. Overall, it looks pretty good. I particularly like the colour.

Nose is oddly, flatter than I expected. Some mild old orange rind characters, with a touch of earth wholesome spice, but not a huge amount else. There's something minerally to it: giving a salt or iodine quality. It's certainly interesting, but not as impressive as I'd hoped.

Interestingly, the rye forms the basis of this beer much more than I thought it would. Instead of just providing a counterpoint to the hops, the main thrust is the spicy rye sourdough character. There are some pellety hop notes, but they're mingled and hidden by the rye almost to the point where the two are indistinguishable. There is some bitterness on the back, but not a lot of clear or classic hop characters.

Very decent. It's certainly not what I expected. This is more of a rye beer and less of an IPA, but that's more exciting. It's different and interesting, and forms another different entry into the SN range. (1,242 characters)

Photo of PEIhop
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The clarity of this beer was astonishing, and with its copper-orange color, it was truly eye pleasing. The one-finger head was very bubbly leaving excellent lacing and a thin film along the outside of the glass.
The nose of this beer is very earthy. A grassiness resonates throughout the smell with a subtle citrus backbone. The addition of rye provides a spiciness that is quite pleasant and aromatic. Underneath the rye and hop character a sweet malt backbone creates a well-balanced aroma.
The taste profile is quite short and somewhat uneventful. There was a burst of grassy hops along with the spiciness of the rye, which was excellent, but this mouth party almost immediately ended with a very dry finish. I was hoping for the rye to play a greater role in the taste profile, but it was overpowered by the hops.
The mouthfeel was quite light, and coupled with minimal carbonation, was somewhat disappointing.
This a good beer, but not a great beer. I wanted it to excel in every way, but it just measured up to other rye beers out there. (1,043 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours the prototypical SN copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Really don't get a whole lot on the nose, though what I do get is intriguing. There's some noticeable rye and dry citrus, which is attractive... just wish there was a bit more there. OK. On the palate, SN has really hit a homerun with this beer. The rye is very prominent on the palate, and it blends very, very well with the light malt and considerable hoppy bitterness. The finish is quite dry and bitter, with just a kiss of rye on the long finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, with a long, clean, slightly bitter finish. Alcohol is very well disguised in this beer, and drinkability is just exceptional.

I'll be ordering this one again for sure. So nice to see such a flavorful, hoppy beer in such a (relatively) low alcohol beer. (858 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice clear copper color with good carbonation and a nice white cap, some lacing and bubbles left behind

S: Some citus and pine upfront with some pepper and rye bread

T: Immediate pepper blended with light citrus and pine, rye bread and a nice, dry, clean finish with a subtle bitterness on the end.

M: Medium body, well carbonated leaves the palate clean, bitter and dry

O: Pretty good overall but wanted a bit more rye bread on this (449 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(2013 Version) Coming in a 12 FL. OZ. short brown bottle, no freshness info. is printed on the label or bottle, apart from a number 302311159; served faintly chilled (10 centigrade?) in a tall tumbler. Notes: The back label states the beer is “brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors – combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavours of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring”.

Appearance: pours an almost clear, dark amber or even tawny colour, coming with rather lively fizziness and a thick and tight light beige froth settling slowly to a thin cap to last.
Smell: pungently citrusy and spicy at the same time, on top of mildly caramely/toffee-ish pale malts and bitter oranges; given a good swirl, interestingly, the camouflaged resinous, piney and flowery aroma of hops gets freed up in the air, yet soon suppressed again by the frothy head... Very nice, but not conventional for Sierra Nevada’s beers.
Taste: bitter-sweet orangey-citric and zesty initially, with a touch of overripe fruity esters, then turning peppery and chalky bitter in the middle, as deepening tannic bitterness and a nicely rounded semi-nutty and semi-sprigy elements of malts (and rye?) chimes in; the finish is soothingly warming (for a 6.6%abv. beer?), showing aromatic flowery undertones of hops and a decent level of tangy bitterness, somewhat dry as well.
Mouthfeel & Overall: well-attenuated, dry-ish on the palate, the fizziness is not as sharp in the mouth as it appears in the eyes, medium-bodied, with an usual warming kick for the alc. level, and very very satisfying at the end of each sip; this American IPA, brewed using rye and whole cone hops on top of quality malts, has indeed an "usual" (which I can't explain, maybe just for the sake of saying something...!!) element to it, but not quite in the way as I expected really. Interestingly, the citrusy-peppery hop quality, the juicy crystal malts, and the well-tuned attenuation altogether give me an impression of a stronger type of Kentish Pale Ale brewed with Kentish citrusy hops and spicy Styrian Goldings even! This has to be my very first rye-related beer, and I’d say, well done! (2,210 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (474 characters)

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

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, and some rye. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, with some hoppyness, and some rye. Medium body, with a nice bitter/dry finish. Another very tasty brew from SN, but still very similar as their IPAs. (417 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle. Dates 1353. December 19/11. Poured in to tulip glass.

A - Medium copper colour with a half finger of cream coloured head.

S - Grapefruit and pine aromas up front that accompany a nice hop bitterness. Some floral and spicy/peppery notes are evident in the background along with a slight caramel sweetness.

T - A sharp bitterness up front with big spicy/peppery malt flavours. Some citrus and pine flavours are evident, but not to the degree that I expected given the nose. The spicy rye flaovurs really steal the show here.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. (608 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange amber with a good tannish head... nice sheets of lace.

The nose on this one seems pretty mild... pale malts... a bit bready.. grassy hops... no yeastiness to speak of... pretty clean and again, mild.

Flavor mirrors the aroma with a bit of minerally fruitiness on finish that I am having a hard time pinning down... earthy and grassy hoppiness...

Medium body with smooth everpresent small bubble carbonation.. very drinkable given the ABV... I would probably get bored after a bottle or three, but I will pick this one up again.

4/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5 (571 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/3/12
*From notes

A: Clean copper in color. A good pour yields a big and white three finger head, which sticks aound for quite a while. Gobs of lacing rim the glass.

S: The rye really stand out, front and center. There's also a surprising lavender quality to it. The hops are somewhat muted here, and take on more of a supporting role in the bouquet.

T: Rather dry and bready up front. Lots of rye all over this, yet it's not cloying or overdone. The mid reveals a layer of slightly bitter hop oil, and the finish is decidedly "Sierra Nevada".

M: What a thick AIPA. The quality of the mouthfeel is the beer's standout. Just a dense and complex brew that really comes together in the mouth.

O: What a lovely surprise. I really wasn't expecting a whole lot out of SN's Ruthless Rye. And wouldn't you know that they go and put together a solid, easy drinking AIPA. Hats off for another winner from one of the founding fathers of the craft movement.

Recommended. (1,008 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Ruthless Rye IPA is a very good beer. The beer poured a amber/copper clear color with thine white head that left a spotty lace. The smell was piny spice and was very nice. The taste had a bit of bite to it, but came off the pallete very clean as most ryes do. The mouthfeel was a medium body beer with good carbonation. Overall a very good Rye IPA! (352 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, rye, hint of roasted malt, slight caramel malt, and a hint of citrus. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of rye, hint of roasted malt, slight sweet malt, hint of citrus, hops, and slight caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, good feel, and good blend. (474 characters)

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

Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a dark copper amber, half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of herbal hops, a hint of citrus and light fruit. Interesting rich flavor of sweet malt and rye with citrus, a slight sourness and earthiness, probably from the rye. Sharp pleasant finish of hops and rye. I liked this flavor combination quite a bit. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Nicely done rye beer. (436 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This just arrived yesterday. It pours a very clean and bright true copper in color with a soapy one finger cream colored head. It smells of sweet caramel malts, honey, tree resin, and has a light spice to it. You could describe it as mellow. The flavors consist of caramel malt, toffee, light maple like resin, the hops are sharp and fresh. It's nice, light and drinkable. The rye makes for a smooth drinker. This is a nice IPA, as should be expected. The light spicyness due to the rye is welcome and makes this a welcome addition to their seasonal lineup. (557 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A complimentary sample bottle at a local bar courtesy of the local distributor. Poured into tulip. Poured an attractive reddish light mahogany (kinda copperish) with an inch and half of tan head that had good retention and very good lacing.

The aroma was very hop forward with a nice shot of Rye backing it up. Underneath, the base grains provided a solid foundation. On the tongue, The sharpness of the Rye provided a nice counter-point to SN's typical bold hoppiness.

The body was nicely full, fuller than typical for an IPA, but still wasn't heavy or filling. Drinkability was good, I'll be having a couple when it goes on tap tomorrow. Overall, a pretty nice beer. Worth trying when you see it. (700 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep orange with a touch of cardinal tint. A flat buff head quickly turns to a thin skim coating. Small speckled lace. Inside a fine misty effervesce.

S: Small presence of pepper and flowery citrus. Some light dry toasted grains, not much rye spiciness or strength overall.

T: Peppery toasted grains for flavor. Dry bittering citrus, with a strong peppercorn sense. Dry hopped really well, very pronounced, with some caraway seed and solvent alcohol character that seems to distract at times. Pungent bitterness upon the swallow.

M: The mouthful is tight with a bubbly sense of carbonation. Spicy dry peppercorns and alcohol dominate with a medium body.

O: Overall a rye that delivers a strong and pronounced peppery punch, but the other rye aspects seem to be masked by the strong peppery nature and solvent like alcohol tones. Abv% feels a bit higher with a spicy dry drinkability that no doubt will limit this in numbers. 1-2 is fine with me. (956 characters)

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.