1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

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

3,987 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3987
Reviews: 1026
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%


Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 3,987 | Reviews: 1,026 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FattyJLE
FattyJLE

Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

S - Pungent and spicy with bready malts.

A - Crystal clear deep reddish-amber with a two-inch, fluffy, off-white head. Sticky, thick lacing.

T - Spicy and peppery right from the start. Earthy, herbal bitterness combines with pepper and spicy flavor (whether from hops or rye, presumably both). Biscuity and toasty malt backbone. The spicy, earthy bitterness lingers on the palate. Little alcohol present.

M - Medium carbonation. Moderate body. No alcohol warming. Pepper and spice produce a pleasant bite on the tongue.

O - A quality rye IPA. Nothing spectacular but certainly representative of the characteristics of rye beers with no flaws to speak of. Definitely very drinkable, but maybe a little undeserving of the name "Ruthless." Still I'd recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 00:16:02 | More by FattyJLE
Photo of Finatic
Finatic

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a chilled Odell's Myrcenary pint glass.

A: Pours a dark reddish hue with a nice white head that recedes slowly.

S: Piney aroma right off the bat that SN is famous for. Some mild malt also and some citrus(Grapefruit),

T: Tastes like it smells, albeit some small traces of rye on the palate as well.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body.

O: Average offering from SN, would rather have a torpedo.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 00:41:38 | More by Finatic
Photo of khumbard
khumbard

Indiana

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

Bottle poured into a standard shaker pint.

I just saw this for the first time today and had to give it a shot. I always love trying new Sierra brews. Pours a deep amber/copper color with a nice fluffy head. Aroma is a bit spicy, but mostly big citrus hops. A nice mix for sure. Taste is similar to other sierra pale/ipa's, but with a little extra bready spice from the rye malt. The hop character is quite nice mixed with the rye. Finishes with a good amount of bitterness, but not over the top. Mouthfeel is good for an IPA, has some substance to it. Overall this is very nice new offering from one of the most solid all around breweries around. I'm very rarely disappointed from SN, a very solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 23:41:44 | More by khumbard
Photo of Steamer
Steamer

Missouri

3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very nice light amber color with a full-on cream colored head. Full hops and rye aroma with pine and lime overtones. The potency of the hops flavor is a tamer than some other IPAs, more citrusy, but still very good. Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Overall: a good, not so complex IPA that would be a great option for someone getting their taste buds acquainted with hops forward brews at the next step up from a strong amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 02:17:45 | More by Steamer
Photo of Andrew61923
Andrew61923

California

3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 17:04:22 | More by Andrew61923
Photo of MichPaul
MichPaul

Michigan

4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had great anticipation for this beer, from hearing the ravings on the forum. So my expectations were very high. I was only slightly disappointed. I guess I just expected a big, almost Barleywine taste to it, but it was a little bit more tame than I was hoping especially with the word "Ruthless" in the title. Don't get me wrong I was only slightly let down. This beer actually drank spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Poured a nice clear, dark amber color with a nice thick head. Lots of lacing was apparent all the way down the glass to the very end.
This was not a big bitter beer and went down really easy. I would easily pick up a six pack of this next time it is in season.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 00:21:47 | More by MichPaul
Photo of Hershdawg
Hershdawg

California

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours with a nice dense one finger, white head. The beer is a nice clear reddish copper color with amber highlights. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass even those on the side I am drinking from. Great overall appearance.

S: Earthy, spice. Citrus peel with some rind. A bit of pine. A little toast or biscuit. Maybe some grapefruit juice. None of these aromas are intense but are in a good balance.

T: Grapefruit and a hint of caramel at the front of the palate. Followed by a resin feeling from piney hops. A lingering bitterness comes next. The spiciness from the rye appears in the finish. The finish is of medium length and doesn't linger anymore then it should.

M: Medium mouthfeel. The betaglucans from the rye increased the body making this not a light feeling beer. It works well with the rest of the beer.

O: A great drinkable beer. It doesn't have as much rye as some of the other Rye IPAs and it uses the traditional Sierra Nevada hops that have made their beers famous. Its a very dependable beer from a very dependable company. I would recommend this beer to anyone. Especially those wanting another good IPA that isn't hard to find.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 03:25:02 | More by Hershdawg
Photo of ThePortlander
ThePortlander

New York

4.9/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So, I normally love Ruthless. As far as I'm concerned this is a brilliant addition to the SN lineup, and a classic in its own right. In the cask, however, I LOVE this IPA! I had it at Bierkraft in Brooklyn, and was simply blown away by everything from the appearance to the taste. The light carbonation enhanced the malt flavors, and boosted the mouthfeel giving this Ruthless a bigger presence. Amazing.

Serving type: cask

04-05-2012 02:31:04 | More by ThePortlander
Photo of FlatRabbitRed
FlatRabbitRed

Arizona

4.61/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sierra Nevada leads the craft brew industry, not because of popularity ...because of they're delivery! This is the best rye beer I have ever had, I find rye beers to be an acquired taste, they have a funky bite to them, and until now I did not see how they could be balanced well enough to be properly enjoyed.

Great bronze color, nice rye taste ....(more like a pumpernickel taste ) roasted caramel tones, and what you would expect from Sierra Nevada hop profile ....bold but well balanced.

This is a must try beer if you have not done so.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 13:51:55 | More by FlatRabbitRed
Photo of wrycon
wrycon

Minnesota

2.98/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A very clear amber. Really clear - like the lovechild of an amber and a West coast IPA. A lot of rye in the nose. Smells similarly to their Northern Harvest, but with some lighter pine undertones. You can catch some citrus on the top, as well. Hmm, this is interesting. Quite thick to start with no real identity. Then the rye, grain and bread notes explode and make it taste almost like an American lager. The pine notes push their way forward on the back end and try to substantiate the IPA claim. I'm not catching much citrus, just a lot of pine and rye. It's ok, but nothing I'd regularly drink.

Like it? It's OK

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 02:42:28 | More by wrycon
Photo of beerenjoyer1
beerenjoyer1

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 18:54:48 | More by beerenjoyer1
Photo of wowbagger
wowbagger

Virginia

3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin pale orangish-red. Decent head that dissipates quickly.

From the bottle it reeks of hops, but that is dispersed much better in the glass. Smells as if there are a few different hops going on.

First sip gives a nice kick with some sweetness, fruit and a generous dollop of hop. A little dry, maybe.

A larger swallow comes of mellower, though the hops are a little one-note in a sense and it still dried out my mouth. A decent complexity in the back of my mouth that's malty and round, but I would have liked a little more balance from the hops.

Overall, it's a better than average IPA. Wouldn't be the best IPA to win over those who don't like the style but it's enjoyable for someone like me who likes less aggressive ones.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 00:23:36 | More by wowbagger
Photo of BaronRogue
BaronRogue

California

4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dollar a bottle at the pharmacy, couldn't resist a cheap Sierra Seasonal.

Deep red with a decent head that stuck around for a minute or two. Little bit of lace on the glass which is always nice.

Smells like peppery grapefruit. Breads and hops mixing together nicely.

Taste is exceptional for me, since I'm not the biggest rye beer fan. Nicely hoppy, slightly bitter and a great aftertaste. I can't smell or taste any alcohol at all, which is interesting since it's 6.6%.

Feels great, you'll like this if you enjoy hops but don't like the bitterness sticking around in the back of your throat for too long.

Another good mass beer from Sierra Nevada, give it a try if you see it at a decent price.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 05:00:40 | More by BaronRogue
Photo of Bowers-Brew
Bowers-Brew

Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 23:24:04 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 20:39:02 | More by PEIhop
Photo of demuzik
demuzik

Oregon

3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A burnt reddish rye in the glass; standard head and lacing throughout.

Not gonna lie... let down by this one. The main impression is a muddied ale heavy in sierra nevada taste "factory taste"; a SNPA that is rather muddied and thick amongst heavier hoppage. The rye flavor does not come through spicy as it should or distinct... thought it would be a favorite since I love rye-ales, the bitterness and lack of hop flavor does not appease the IPA desire.

All in all, still it IS Sierra Nevada, so its drinkable and not rubbish, but this could have and should have been a winner.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 03:51:10 | More by demuzik
Photo of Roose13
Roose13

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Deep, transparent orange. Really cool to look it. One finger head and beautiful lacing all the way down.

S: Rye bread, piney, citrusy

T: Similar to the smell. Rye, pine, pepper. Bitter in the end.

M: Very crisp but dry. A bit chewy.

Overall: I love this beer. SN's winter and spring seasonal brews are amazing

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 05:34:43 | More by Roose13
Photo of gc4hokies
gc4hokies

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is golden with slight copper. Very clear. Head is very white, frothy and stays throughout. Nice

The aroma is pleasing. Pine accents with a sweet rye aroma. nothing very strong.

Taste is bitterness up front with peppery rye afterward. Finishes with a hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. Highly carbonated and a dry finish.

Overall, this is a very good, balanced Rye IPA. One of my favorite styles and this is a very good example. Will buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 02:56:47 | More by gc4hokies
Photo of onewetpaw
onewetpaw

Tennessee

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Immediately reminds you it's a SN beer with a nose of citrus hops, like the Torpedo. I assume this is the Citra. Spice notes from the Rye come through as well.

A-Dark amber pouring brilliantly clear. Slight off white head.

F- Nice complement of the rye spice along with the strong bitter forward IPA character I associate with SN. This IPA, like Torpedo, seems to be more about bitterness with a crispness that you often don't get in other west coast IPAs with their huge charges of hops late or as dry hops. This actually helps make the beer more drinkable for me, which is a good thing.

M- Average carbonation. Plenty of body.

O- A great twist on a hugely trendy style. I really like the spice character the rye adds to this beer. It sets it apart from the hoards of IPAs out there. I'm a fan boy of the brewery and this just ups my love a little bit higher.

From their site:
ALCOHOL CONTENT 6.6% BY VOLUME MALTS PALE, RYE, CARAMEL & CHOCOLATE
BEGINNING GRAVITY 15.2 PLATO YEAST ALE YEAST
ENDING GRAVITY 3.1 PLATO BITTERING HOPS BRAVO
BITTERNESS UNITS 55 AROMA HOPS CHINOOK & EXPERIMENTAL HOPS
COLOR DEEP RED DRY HOPS CHINOOK, CITRA & EXPERIMENTAL HOPS

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 03:05:20 | More by onewetpaw
Photo of chiccabeer
chiccabeer

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer out of a bottle and poured it into a glass. I have to say I was stunned when I had it. It has a great smell that has a nutty smell to it. You can smell the aroma hops at work. The taste is definitely strong and reminiscent of an IPA, but it has a strong rye favor. I can taste some spice in the beer, but over arching I can taste a pleasant conflict of orange and rye. It seems like such a simple blend, but definitely crafted perfectly. It has a smooth feel and leaves a strong sweet after taste. I would definitely suggest this beer anytime, and a good beer to give to friends.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 00:39:08 | More by chiccabeer
Photo of ktblue22
ktblue22

Vermont

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer - in my opinion, a very straightforward Rye IPA but Sierra hit the nail on the head.

A - dark orange copper, frothy head of over half inch
S - crisp and hoppy - not getting a lot of smell but it could be that I don't have the right glass for this beer (just a standard pint glass - our craft beer glass is in the dishwasher....)
T- earthy, gritty, subtle hops with a great showcasing of rye. Perfectly carbonated with a danky moss aftertaste
M- medium body but the carbonation makes it feel lighter, grittiness that is appealing and also adds to the rye flavor.

Overall very drinkable and exceptional to pair with a hunstman cheese

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 23:41:29 | More by ktblue22
Photo of Labeerfinder
Labeerfinder


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

Pours a deep copper with a generous white head that lasts for a long time and leaves good spider web lacing on the glass. The aroma is of grains, some citrus, and piney hops. Taste is sweet malt with a hint of roast present and keeping things in balance with solid hop bitterness. Palate is medium.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 22:35:01 | More by Labeerfinder
Photo of smcnulty1981
smcnulty1981

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: pours with a hazy golden copper color with hint of red had about 1 finger of an off white head that dicepated after a few moments with a good ammount of lacing on the glass

S: starts off with yeast followed earthy spicy tones with a s,isn't hint of resin however I don't get any of the citrus described

T: spicy caramel malt backbone followed by a good ammount of piney hop bitterness however there is a slight off flavor which may be a bit of alchol detected

M: not as dry as most ipa's has more of a full mouthfeel

O: easy to drink overall I would prefer torpedo over this for a Sierra Nevada selection however as a bonus the artwork on the label was very nice

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 06:27:09 | More by smcnulty1981
Photo of wafers
wafers

New York

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass

A: Pours a copper to brick red color, mostly clear, large amounts of frothy head that stays around for awhile
S: Mild aroma of citrusy hops, nothing much else
T: Piney hops right off the bat, followed by a decent helping of caramel-like malts, as well as a hint of the distinctive rye flavor
M: Definitely thick, resiny, lingers in the mouth for some time
O: I enjoyed this one, seems a little lighter on the hoppy bitterness than some of the other SN IPA's, but overall is excellent and would buy again

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 03:10:46 | More by wafers
Photo of JohannBock
JohannBock

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a mug, gives a nice off white 2.5 finger head. Color is amber.

S: Spicy hops and some biscuit followed by spicy rye

T: Follows the nose but in a little more complexity. Spicy hops up front: piney and floral. Biscuity in the middle. Ends up with some flowery and bitter hops and then a big rye presence at the end. Not overpowering though, really nice compliment to what is going on.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice and dry finish.

O: Really nice example of a rye beer. I've only had a few but this is a style that has always impressed me. Really nice to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 03:10:48 | More by JohannBock
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,987 ratings.