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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.
very good

1,081 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,081
Hads: 4,908
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 642 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,081 | Hads: 4,908
Photo of NatetheGreat
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This IPA is a beauty: deep amber with hues of mahogany and red beneath a huge, tight, white head. Sweet aroma of honeyed fruit, grapefruit and pine noticeable; very enticing aroma. taste begins sweet with a burst of hops bringing the palate to life; finishes with a spicy, peppery note. smooth mouthfeel with a substantial body, alcohol warmth comes through, especially as the beer warms.

this is a very fine IPA; I think I prefer it to SN torpedo IPA, because of the complexity. cheers!

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Photo of JohnnyI
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours in to a New Belgium tulip with a semi-transparent roasted orange color. The thin tan head lingers for a bit, then disappears with minimal retention and little appreciable lacing. The aroma is a balanced assortment of citrus, caramel sweetness and hints of dank earthy spice. The flavors follow suit, with a nice complex mix of delicious caramel, orange zest and peppery, earthy grain. The finish really highlights the inclusion of rye. Fairly balanced, with the bitterness held in check by the flavorful malts. The body of the beer is great. Juicy, moderate and satisfying, with a perfect level of carbonation. Very well done. Overall, the rye really adds some fantastic depth to the style. Carefully selected complimentary flavors and a keen sense of balance make this one a winner. Another score for Sierra Nevada. These guys really can't miss.

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Photo of natemort13
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent rubyish brown. Very strange coloring. Thin, slightly gray head that dissipates quickly.

MMMM, yummy nose. Lots of grapefruit. Pepper, lemon zest. very pungent hops.

Taste--very peppery, some coppery characteristics. Finish is pretty tame compared to the awesome hop character of the nose. Has this nice biting taste to it. Spicy hops, coppery finish.

Mouthfeel is light, seems very carbonated, doesn't stand up well to the big character of a rye beer.

Overall much better than I thought it'd be. I find a lot Sierra Nevada brews to be underwhelming. This one was much more impressive...as far as rye ipas go tho, I still haven't found anything that beats Red's Rye from Founder's and Cane and Ebel from Two Brothers.

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Photo of bayougutter
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown that you can see thru with a nice two inch eggshell head that stuck around awhile.

Smells citrus, pine, resin, and a little of the rye spice.

Taste citrus, pine, a little floral/ grassy with the rye tasting good on the finish.

Mouthfeel is palate coating without being thick. Could stand a little more carbination.

Overall a well done offering from SN and worthy of a go.

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Photo of codfeast
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle to pint

A: crystal clear light amber, with a thin head.

S: hops (pine) and an earty, bready, smell of the rye.

T: striaght to the hops certainly an SN beer. I do pick up some of the rye, with bitterness on the back end.

M: nice carbination, fairly crsip with an oily mouthfeel and a dry finish.

O: quite tasty, hoppy but not over the top. rye imparts a nice flavor to the beer. Something I will keep an eye out for on draft.

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer always gives me the knarliest farts. They fucking stink too. The beer's good, and the 6.6% always leaves my liver working hard to make me sober enough to work the next morning. I like the fact that I can drink a bunch of it, fart enough to make my domain a gas chamber, then wake up and walk out of the room without noticing the deadly smell that the beer gave me. It leaves a chalky hungover taste in your mouth after you drink 10 and wake up without brushing your teeth, but that's the life of a true alcoholic. An alcoholic's beer if the ABV were a touch higher and the farts were a bit stinkier.

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Photo of sentomaster
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- gorgeous red brown which turns into a clear orange red when held up till like. Reminds me of the rock in Jurrasic Park with the mosquito trapped inside. Thick cap up fluffy white foam tops it off.

Great nose. grapefruit, pineapple, mango, citrus, pine- it's all there. pine and citrus dominate as it warms.

T/M- sour grapefruit and a touch of malty caramel sweetness up front ride into a biting bitterness and peppery spiciness. Citrus and pine visit the party, but take a back seat. Finishes with up biting, dry bitterness. Medium body with a tight carbonation.

O- the nose is awesome, but the taste is a little bit of a one trick pony- straightforward and assertive for sure, and lacking a fruity balance to the almost harsh bitterness and spice.

Just one of these is enough for me, it doesn't fit the bill for a good session.

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Photo of Spiekerbox
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Red-brown, relatively clear with a thin white head.

S- Hoppy with a noticeable rye-grain scent. Like other SN beers the hops have a citrus smell to them.

T- Toasted rye is the main flavor with hops as the secondary, more of an herbal hop flavor but there is some of the citrus-grapefruit flavor present. Not the most bitter of IPAs

M- Clean beer with a pretty crisp finish. Moderate body with medium-high carbonation.

O- Decent for a rye IPA but nothing exceptional. This is what I have come to expect from SN...beers that are good but nothing special and don't tend to push the envelope, not that that is a bad thing but it just doesn't set them apart

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Photo of znichols
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-nutty, slightly auburn color with fluffy, cloud-like white head. Good, not great, lacing. Big bubbles seeping up from the bottom. Looks like a slightly darker SN Pale Ale.

S- hmmm, smells like SN Pale Ale. Slightly citrusy hops with a touch of sweet herbs. Not a ton of rye present in the aroma, just a hint of spice if you look for it. Really seems to be the aroma of Sierra Nevada's flagship ale. That's not to say it aint good, though.

T- Slightly sweet resinous hops right away. The rye makes a solid appearance in the middle but doesn't last long. Just the right amount of spicy malt to counter the grapefruit, pine hops. Moderate bitterness and little to no alcohol present. Not a bad tasting beer at all. I could get used to this offering.

M- The mouthfeel is somewhat similar to their Pale Ale too. Perhaps a little fuller and slightly more slick. Hefty carbonation and medium body. Solid.

O- This is a really good Pale Ale. It happens to also have a little rye in it. I would put the flavor profile somewhere between SA Pale Ale and Torpedo IPA. More resinous, piney hops than the Pale but not quite as in-your-face as Torpedo. Still has the similar hop-cocktail flavor of both, perhaps a similar mix of hops is used in all 3. The rye adds a touch of complexity but doesn't overpower the hops. This beer is made in the Sierra Nevada fashion; perfect amount of hoppiness and sweet malts as well as drinkability. Not bad for $7.99, either. Seek it out.

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Photo of killianf
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

120z bottle into Duvel tulip

A: Nice coppery amber tone, generous 2-3 finger head that retains a nice film all the way down. Decent lacing too. Carbonation was generated mainly by the etched glass, but it was otherwise medium.

S: Very hoppy, more so than the Pale Ale and Torpedo. The citrus and grapefruit tones are there along with the typical pine you immediately recognize from the above beers. But this has got another layer to it in the form or spice and a definite peppery scent. It's almost hot smelling. Really interesting.

T: Very well balanced, malty right at the front, and nice and hoppy at the back. There's a nice subtle breadiness throughout, as well as the citrus and floral flavours. Pine is in the middle towards the back and there's a strange peppery taste to finish off. The aftertaste is all hops.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and drinkable, big enough to carry all those flavours but small enough so as not to be overpowering.

Overall: Very nice beer, really enjoyable. It certainly competes with the Pale Ale and the Torpedo, which are both favourites of mine. It's really well balanced and I'd definitely recommend it.

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Photo of CraigS119
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at my local Wal-Mart (Tampa, FL). Sixer for $8.47.

A- Silky dark, golden pour. Appears more like a heavily carbonated lager, than a pale ale. I like it.

A- I'm actually getting, what I assume to be, is rye in the aroma. Also getting some sweet malts and perhaps even a touch of caramel.

F- Very abrupt flavor explosion of malty-rye bitterness up front. Very potent for only being 6.6%, but exits the palate very cleanly. Not overly-complex flavoring profile, but definitely lives up to it's name.

M- Not a beer you want to linger on the palate, as it is quite bitter, but no complaints here.

O- I really like what this beer is trying to do. Too many IPAs these days are trying to appeal to the mass consumer, with their fruity/citrusy/floral overtones (don't get me wrong, I love me some ApriHop on occasion), but sometimes I want my IPA to feel like an IPA, one that goes well with a cigar, and puts some hair on your chest. And that's what this beer does.

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Photo of bstave
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint.

A- Pours a nice 1-2 finger white head that forms SN typical nice lacing. The body is a translucent mahogany. Very nice looking typical of a SN beer.

S- Nice earthy hops and a spicy rye backbone.

T- Taste follows nose. Nice earthy hops up front and spicy rye really balances this beer out nice.

M- Nice carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Very smooth.

O- A really nice offering from a brewery that fails to make a bad beer in my opinion. I much prefer this over Glissade. I will definitely buy this again.

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Photo of fizzy
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like everybody else I could go on and on about this ale. It's great, no doubt about it. My only question is, "How do I really know what rye tastes like"? It would be nice if somebody brought out a "simple" rye beer or ale without all the hops just to let's know.

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Photo of thepenguin
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed 2/6/12

L: Pours pretty dark; between a very deep copper and amber.

S: Slightly subdued citrus hop aroma. Characteristic rye dry spiciness is certainly there, reminiscent of deli rye bread. Nothing really pops.

T: Great first sip brings a lot of citrusy hops upfront with some rye spiciness. Bisquity maltiness in the finish with residual hop bitterness.

F: Really nice, velvety mouthfeel. A little above medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Alcohol combines with rye to create pleasant warmth.

Overall: More malty than I generally want from an IPA, but with the dryness of the rye it works very well. Would have liked the rye to stand out a bit more in the aroma, but still a very solid beer. Another great great offering from Sierra Nevada with a pretty dope label.

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Photo of LordChesterfield
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Safeway on a whim. I'm so glad I did. It's a deep reddish brown color and forms a rocky tan head. The nose is floral and hoppy, but the malt comes through in what some would describe as metallic. It's not. That's spicy rye goodness. It tastes just phenomenal, at any temperature. The hops are very present but completely balanced. People say the malt is spicy, but it's big and complex with a sweet, buttery flavor that lingers on the front of your tongue and in your memory. This is my first rye PA, and it has me wondering if they're all this good. It's a perfect early spring beer and here in Portland it already feels like early spring. This is jut perfect after a long bike ride.

UPDATE!!!: I just read that this bear contains more hop oils than any other Sierra Nevada beer, and I totally agree. It smells like really dank POT. Hops are related to cannabis after all. Betcha didn't know that. BOOM!

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Photo of Bills453
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - a beautiful golden orange, mostly orange. Man this looks ryely!

Smell - sweetness (like a sweet bread) and a bit bitter (from the hops I suppose).

Taste - such a delicious blending of sweet and bitter. Starts off with an initial bitter hoppy foretaste, moves splendidly into a sweetness for ever so slight of time. Ends with a hoppy mouth taste.

Mouthfeel - real nice thanks!

Overall - man what a fantastic and great priced brew. Recommended to several friends and my brother.

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Photo of tittymcj
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank at a bar in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Good looking beer. Nice and frothy, lots of head. Solid color and clarity.

Very smooth, if I remember correctly. Not a lot of bite, but not overbearing with the malty flavors. Very well balanced.

I'd recommend for being a good beer, but not particularly impressive on any front.

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Photo of Rope
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange with a finger white head that has some staying power.

I am underwhelmed by the smell. The malt is that special kind of rich that Sierra Nevada has with its beers, but the hops and the rye are faint.

Starts with the aforementioned malt, and then transforms into a sweet hop that ends pleasantly bitter. Really have to seek out the rye towards the end.

Nothing special.

Not a bad beer, just forgettable.

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Photo of Vec2267
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - copper with a nice white head that laces well

S - vibrant fragrance, citrus, pepper, spice (rye?)

T - nice toffee background, grapefruit pith, pepper, a heavy rye presence, not over the top, but very intense

F - medium bodied

O - a nice spicy hoppy IPA

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Photo of RossCain
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz (dated 2012) into a pint glass:

A: Pours a semi-translucent, rustic orange color with a puffy and foamy off-white head. Great retention and the big splotches of the head clinging to the glass upon each quaff is attractive.

S: Bready and spicey with a background of citrus sweet notes playing second fiddle. Smells like a fresh baked croissant with honey.

T: Bold flavors of malty goodness hit the palate initially followed by a big rush of a fresh bite of grapefruit with sugar on top. Slightly peppery in the middle. Propped up in the finish by a giant bready background graced with the enduring flavors of the whole-cone hops, the beer finishes with an assertive bittersweet finish (erring more on the side of bitter).

M: Big full body with a creamy character and a slick feel as it passes over the palate. Finishes sweet with a lingering pucker of bitterness.

O: I thoroughly enjoyed Sierra Nevada's take on the Rye-IPA. Definitely a hearty brew which is packed full of well-married flavors. I wouldn't bat an eyelash at buying a sixer.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful deep copper with great head retention. Great clarity, the head is really really damn good and foamy, love it.

S: Light citrus hops mixed with a good peppery zest. Piny earthy hops come through after the pepper subsides.

T: First taste is of bread/doughy notes that come through along with a good pepper flavor from the rye. Hops are gentle on the flavor but mix well with the rye. They complement each other extremely well. Bitterness is moderate but enough for this style.

M: A great brew that is very frothy and dry that makes you want more. Taste buds tingle after first sip.

O: Wonderful variation on the IPA style that includes just the right amount of rye that i enjoy without dominating the entire flavor spectrum. 

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Photo of JesteR14
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark amber color, full of tiny bubbles that keel coming like champagne. The head is thick and has a slight tannish color that grips the glass and laces excellently.

S- I get a rye and pine, and some sort of spice making it's way through. This is a great smelling beer and something unique than any ipa I've had before this.

T- this is great. Comes in hoppy and strong, but rye and some spice come through making this a very interesting drink. I love ipas and this one is in a category of it's own.

M- great carbonation and very easy on the pallet. Comes in strong like you would expect but finishes very nicley

Good job as always Sierra Nevada

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Photo of gustogasmic
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Reddish amber. A thin white head shows up and sticks in the lacing. Lots of bubbles coming up through the brew.

S- The citrus is detectable, but there are bizarre plasticy, burned notes. Maybe the roasty burned smells are coming from the rye? A misleading smell.

T- Tons of rye, tons of hops, nice and floral. More citrusy than any RIPA I've encountered, lots of lemon peel going on here. A little malt in the flavor, too.

M- Lovely! The maltiness of the beer causes it to froth up right away in your mouth, getting it all over and thus hitting many taste regions. It's thick, and the rye stays on your tongue long after a sip.

O- I have been really into RIPAs lately, and this beer is an essential try for any rye-heads and IPA freaks in general. Why?

Malt Character! You will rarely find an IPA with this malt presence, with a very full mouthfeel and insane lacing. It goes very well with the Rye PA style... the roasted earthy flavors that rye gives serve to bring it into some territory that stouts and browns typically occupy. These are malty types, so I think that this might be what makes a malty IPA click- the rye. A delicious, almost sessionable RIPA

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Photo of MrBoz21
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured brownish amber. Slight murkiness and moderate carbonation. Foamy tan head that leaves a soapy ring and good lacing.

Aroma: Crisp rye notes and very light citrus hops. Clean.

Taste: Rye malt crispness, with a smooth citrus hop that rides throught the finish. Hops flavor and bitterness, but leaves a clean taste.

Mouth: Slightly dry with nice carbonation.

Overall: It's easy to take Sierra Nevada for granted in favor of the latest and greatest, but they just keep making excellent beers.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep- yet clear amber color tinted copper, medium-think head, good lacing
Pine and hops. Rye, malts and a hint of alcohol
Delicious, the bitterness kicks in, its raw and aggressive feeling but not overly so. There’s a complex blend of flavors the malt, rye, hops which makes for a really good beer
I first picked this up because, well- the package looks kick ass. I had never seen it before and they only had it by the 12 pack, so of course I bought it. Once I had my first one I was hooked and went right back out to buy another case, fearing it would be too late if I waited. I definitely recommend this, I always enjoy it.


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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,081 ratings.