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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,503 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,503
Reviews: 1,050
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 69
Gots: 340 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,503 | Reviews: 1,050 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large, four-finger head that settles in a lumpy, domed fashion. Many thin rings of lace as the head recedes; like nothing ive ever seen before. The broth is dark amber, like light maple syrup.

Lots of rye in the smell--very dry, no sugars. Background hop enhances (rather than counterbalances) this aroma. Some grapefruit rind to the nose.

The flavor matches the smell profile. This is a very dry beer--lip smacking. Plenty of earthiness in the malt. The hop bitterness is more pronounced and less "grapefruity", more peppery.

smcolw, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at a cool 58 or so degrees Fahrenheit
A careful pour into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two-figner thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head that leaves some lacing stuck to the sides of my glass. The beer is a dark amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells dominated by hops with notes of pine, earthy citrus, some rose like accents. This is backed by notes of caramelized malt (lots of crystal malt type notes, though this is held well in check by the dominant hops), toasted English biscuit like character, perhaps a hint of sweet tea and a solid, earthy, brown bread character that isn’t quite spicy, but is leaning in that direction. The citrus hop character has a certain “dankness” to it, rough, a little dirty, with a lot of herbaceous character, with a citrus oil character to it. The citrus and pine / herbal character mixes so well in the nose that it is hard to say which one plays the more prominent role.

The beer is fairly effervescent as it rolls across my palate, this accentuates the bitter hop notes and the earthy spiciness from the grain. Despite the dominant hop character, the earthy, brown bread and spicy rye character is really what lingers on the palate in the long finish. The grain character is quite a bit more noticeable in the flavor than it was in the nose. The hop character is still the dominant note here though and it contributes flavors of grapefruit zest, green tangelo, brighter lychee notes as well as a green herbal quality (that has a spicy undercurrent to it), definite pine and perhaps even a touch of a grassy quality (this last is quite subtle though). The spiciness here makes me thing of black pepper some how, but a lot of it is that “dirty” spicy quality that comes from Rye. The beer definitely has a viscous quality to it, and the body is best described as medium, though it is not so much as this beer is still quite quaffable.

As the beer warms up it gets a very earthy, infinitely rye like note and solid, brown-grain-bread character that becomes on par with the hop character. Because of the rye, this is definitely a very “dirty” IPA, and that is not a bad thing at all. It becomes quite a bit more complex. I could wish for some more citrus / fruit hop character, but the rye really accentuates the herbal / pine side of the hop character.

Gueuzedude, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
2.65/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer stemflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. I don't usually trust Sierra Nevada, but I think they can pull off a rye ipa.

Served refrigerator cold. Side poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticiipated.

A: Pours a two and a half finger head of fair good cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear copper-amber. Not unique or special for the style. Appealing in a general sense.

Sm: Light pepper, amber hops, some cream, very light toasted malts, and some caramel. Vaguely evocative of an English winter warmer. Strange for an IPA. A mild strength offer.

T: Some pepper - especially in the third act. Some toasted malts, plentiful amber hops, and a bit of caramel. I get rye as the foundation - but only when I look for it - and barely. Poorly balanced. Built okay. The flavours compete rather than cooperate. The untamed hop bitterness is problematic.

Mf: A bit too coarse and wet, with a bit of cream. Too thick for the (lack of) flavours. Adequately carbonated. Doesn't actually suit the flavours horribly well.

Dr: Kind of drinkable, but largely a scattered mess. Doesn't feel focused. The untamed hop bitterness ruins the balance. I don't know that the rye is doing much for it. The ABV is decently hidden.

Wouldn't be a good candidate for aging at all. I might have it again if it were on draught and recommended.

C-

kojevergas, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +3.1%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah Sierra Nevada, always coming out with new beers and never letting me down. Always been a fan of the Rye style in beers so I was eager to try this one. A considerable amount of spiciness in the taste and a nice well balanced IPA. Packs quite a punch with a high ABV but the beer remains fairly smooth and has a nice mouthfeel. I'm usually a fan of most IPA's, and the rye is a nice touch.. really good beer and definitely worth trying.

oriolesfan4, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head. Great concentric lace.

S: Spicy grain with a lot of pine, classic Sierra Nevada.

T: Heavy hop resin flavour with a clear rye bread taste. A bit alcohol in the finish, but a solid effort.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp, resiny, with a medium aftertaste.

O: A good beer from Sierra Nevada, better than Glissade for sure, something to tide one over until Bigfoot hits.

Halcyondays, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

GClarkage, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

InspectorBob, May 16, 2013
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +3.1%

drewone, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of woodychandler
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think that this also came to me courtesy of local IP trader, tone77. I will be relieved to finish off the last of my on-deck bottles so that I CAN return to The CANQuest (TM)!

From the bottle: "Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with this rustic grain for refined flavors - combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring."

I employed an aggro pour so as to release the aromatics and at the same time, create so much tawny head that there was a cascading action at the junction between the foam and the liquid. My strategy was sound as I ended up with just better than two fingers of head that resembled the top of an ice cream cone, plus the kitchen smelled like I had sprayed air freshener. It smelled of pine, mint and black pepper and my mouth was watering in anticipation. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium and the admixture of the rye and hops on the tongue was literally breathtaking. It tasted of pepper and fresh mint and was just beautiful! The heavy, sticky lacing that began to appear was going to need a hammer and chisel to remove. Finish was likewise dry and peppery-minty. Whew. What a way to open the day!

woodychandler, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of corby112
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
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.  

corby112, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

orangesol, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

lacqueredmouse, May 04, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on cask at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with a finger tall light beige head. The head reduces to an extremely thin ring at the edges of the glass only. No lacing is observed.

S: Some spicy aromas from the rye (like hints of pepper) along with pine resin and citrus hops.

T: Slightly malty sweet (maybe caramel and pale) upfront that is quickly followed by the rye spiciness. There is some hint of pine resin from the hops but this beer has a nice lingering bitterness and spiciness.

M: Medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation.

O: Really a very nice beer and one that I will enjoy a few more times this year while it is available in the area. I'm a fan of the rye spiciness with the IPA hops.

dbrauneis, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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

Billolick, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

tempest, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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

barleywinefiend, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Georgiabeer, May 11, 2014
Photo of wl0307
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

wl0307, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 12/23/2011. Pours slightly hazy orange amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange, pine, caramel, grass, herbal, and rye spiciness. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of caramel, biscuit, orange, grapefruit, pine, herbal, grass, and spicy rye. Nice amount of spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, rye, citrus, and pine on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of bitterness and malts make this quite smooth. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and silky mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is an excellent rye IPA. Great flavor balance and smoothness. Very enjoyable with nice hop flavors.

superspak, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off let me say this. This beer is rediculously awesome. It isn't world class, but SN did something amazing here.

Pours a finger of beige head. Nice retention and lace walls down the glass. Color is a clear autumn copper.

Aroma: Rye Spice, Floral hops, and grapefruit citrus. Pretty legit nose. The rye is provides a nice backbone to the hops.

Taste: Rye up front flowed by floral hops, then some spice, and finally the citrus flavors. It ends with a hop resiny flavor on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a touch of bitterness and stickiness to it. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, this beer is legit. It drinks incredibly well and for $1 a bottle you can't go wrong. Please SN, keep this fresh and keep this year round. This is a beer that will be seen in my fridge a lot.

mothman, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -22.7%

ejimhof, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gift from drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is clear and copper hued with a thick, lasting off white head that coats the pint glass with lacing. The aroma brings hops, pine, bread. Very bitter with lots of pine flavor. Hops are the initial flavor, followed by a robust malt bill. This is what I would consider to be a balanced IPA. This is typically not my preference for the style, but this brew is well done. Medium bodied. The aftertaste offers pine and rye bread. Overall, pretty good. Worth a try.

Huhzubendah, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of BARFLYB
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to Pint.

Ruthless Rye goes in the Sierra Nevada Tulip easy with not any cap or nothing. There is just the smallest bits of white bubbles towards the edge of the glass that die when on the surface, lifeless beer, no stick. smell is rye malt to the max with some faint caramel and a spicy sense. Some piney resins come up to with more whiffs. Taste is even between the rye and the IPA. Rye comes first than a small hit of pined hops. Small traces of caramel throughout. feel is a bit thin, I would say bordering on thin. Carb comes and goes off of the tounge, leaving a resinous effect afterwards. Bitterness is not that large, the rye malt takes care of that. I can say that while this was a noble attempt, it just misses the mark for me. I will try more bottles and a draft to see what's what though.

BARFLYB, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Zorro, Dec 31, 2011
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,503 ratings.