Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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

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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: 616 | 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 Spiekerbox
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
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 (659 characters)

Photo of znichols
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (1,465 characters)

Photo of killianf
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (1,146 characters)

Photo of bstave
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of fizzy
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of LordChesterfield
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
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! (925 characters)

Photo of Bills453
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (493 characters)

Photo of tittymcj
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of Rope
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Smell-
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.

Taste-
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.

Mouthfeel-
Nothing special.

Overall-
Not a bad beer, just forgettable. (465 characters)

Photo of Vec2267
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
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 (260 characters)

Photo of RossCain
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (1,063 characters)

Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.  (748 characters)

Photo of Chcshammonde
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice rye ipa. Sierra doesn't miss too often (if ever) in my book and this one follows that trend. Very drinkable and you really notice the spice of the rye, but its quite well balanced. (187 characters)

Photo of JesteR14
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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 (652 characters)

Photo of gustogasmic
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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 (1,172 characters)

Photo of MrBoz21
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (498 characters)

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance
Deep- yet clear amber color tinted copper, medium-think head, good lacing
Smell
Pine and hops. Rye, malts and a hint of alcohol
Taste
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
Overall
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.

-BeerandWhiskeyHQ.com (685 characters)

Photo of GoldHorde
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a solid introductory Rye IPA. It would never be mistaken for an aggressive double IPA. A nice introduction for those new to the Rye influence. It has the darker amber color of the rye and a nice balance of hops. The aroma doesn't trumpet and the mouthfeel doesn't sting. The rye provides the nice deep character that I've now come to expect from rye beers. I've decided I definitely like RYE beers. I haven't disliked a single beer with the word 'RYE' on the label. RYE has a robust, earthy bitterness that I favor whereas WHEAT [beers] on the other hand...has always gone the other way with off-sweet or sour notes.

AROMA: Not as aggressive or as sharp as most IPA's. Very fresh floral scent.
HEAD: 3 Finger head fading to thin; loose lacing - reminiscent of plumbers' pants
FLAVOR: Deep grain earth with floral accents - with a coffee edge

A very nice beer and I love these Ryes! (898 characters)

Photo of ryantho00
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep maroon golden hue with a white foamy head that dissipates after a couple of minutes.

I get a big citrus pineapple, orange beginning of the nose and then some hops, spice, breads/wheatiness/rye.

This beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel that starts off sharp and crisp -hops, rye, pineapple, orange-that immediately leads way to a more bitter hoppiness, then finishes off slightly sweet and malty with a blast of rye and hops and some yeast and bread. Nice brew with a dry finish. Good balance and smoothness.

Cheers! (530 characters)

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

Purchased a single if this IPA, since IPAs do scare me a bit with their bitterness.

Red amber colored, clear, with a thick creamy head that takes a while to dissipate. Smell is a rather inviting peppery spicy smell. Taste is of grass and pepper and spice. Quite nice. Not so bitter that i can't drink it, which is my fear with an IPA.

Maybe its the peppery taste of the rye, but the forward flavor of the hops seems to be in balance with the other flavors of this beer. I find that i'm actually enjoying an IPA. I'm glad i tried this, and i will get more. (557 characters)

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

2014 Ruthless, 01/28/14 packaging date, consumed from a flare pilsner glass.

A: Pours a very attractive deep copper coloring, with a solid one and half finger of off white (dusty) head that slowly fades to a cap and leaves moderate lacing.

S: Malt with slight toffee? notes, and very slight... at least to me... basic citrus. Overall, the smell is very subdued, even immediately after an aggressive pour.

T: Rye! ...then some more Rye, slowly followed by orange zest, and finishes dry and bitter, with a lingering taste of pepper.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, coats the mouth with a light resin stick. Alcohol warmth is apparent after half a bottle or so.

O: One of those "have to be in the mood for it" beers. It is a beer I enjoy on colder, poor weather days where the spice and alcohol warmth acts as a pick me up, without knocking me out. Each time I have this beer it tends to be a one and done, not to be paired with other beers and definitely not to be sessioned. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys experimental IPAs, but would not go out of my way for. (1,078 characters)

Photo of afordney
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

clear and amber with little carbonation bubbles, the head was thick with very small tight foam, just slightly off-white.

smells very strong of rye and hops.

rye spiciness followed by a hoppy bitterness with just a touch of alcohol in the finish, despite the strong flavor it was very refreshing on a warm day.

hoppy bitterness lingers on the pallet, a very clean refreshing beer, not too carbonated or syrupy thick.

A great beer for summer, was delicious with a plate of pulled pork BBQ. clean, light and grassy with a distinct flavor of rye. (546 characters)

Photo of ThePortlander
4.88/5  rDev +23.9%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of car2052
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a deep orange to amber appearance. Slightly hazy, with a 1 finger white head.
S: A nice amount of pine. A little rich blood orange smell. Some dark berry scent as well.
T: Slightly piney, with accompanying grapefruit lingering bitterness. A little taste I can't put my finger on, maybe the rye.
M: Medium, with a creamy texture.
O: Not bad. Pretty drinkable. (410 characters)

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