Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

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very good

1,080 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,899
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 640 | 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: 1,080 | Hads: 4,899
Photo of littlelorib
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of afordney
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of ThePortlander
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

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Photo of Kranders
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice ruby appearance with a lacy head that doesn't stick around too long. Rich aroma full of earthy hops with a little bit of the rye that comes through the hops, very nice. Complex in taste, lots of hops that battle around with the rye in a good way. Lots of earthy hop notes that take over and don't let the rye flavors through as much as I'd like. A little on the thin side and doesn't last for too long. Overall really good, nice addition by SN.

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Photo of marshrat63
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this Rye IPA on tap at the brewery before a meal in the restaurant. Nice coppery color, nice thick, long lasting head and pleasant grassy aroma. Not as bitter as other IPAs. I really enjoyed this beer. So much so I picked up a 6 pack in the gift shop for testing from the bottle.

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

Fresh-from-the-honeycomb hue that deceives the eye into thinking what sits before it is a Double IPA with a malty backbone. Not the case, I'm sure. Steady unifinger head that leaves ample lacing, if you're into that.

Distinct floral notes of a traditional fresh IPA, and something elese, a "peppery" aroma that I wouldn't have known as such had it not been mentioned in previous reviews. Upon reflection, it describes the smell accurately. Minimal citrus notes to speak of, at least ones that can be discerned to the exact fruit from which they are derived.

No malt. I like that a lot. Do they even add malts to this beer, or does the rye act as a pseudomalt? A question for some research, or maybe just for the birds. Nice hop bite. No alcohol taste to speak of, but a cold, metallic aftetaste (that I strangely don't mind--even enjoy). Refreshing. A bit harsh. The taste of this beer is much better than I'd expected. I just miss an element of fruitiness. Lulz.

I will finish this sixer tonight. I guess that isn't the most huge of feats, but it's something. Reasons being: A-I'm in college; B-This beer goes down as smoothly as any I've ever had. Blessing and curse.

Like I (may have) said, a nice surprise. Not that I didn't expect a great showing from SN--they're, for my money, tops. It's just that I rarely (read: never) f*x with rye beers, so I guess I just didn't known what to expect. But as long as this baby's fresh, I'll keep buying her.

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Photo of Deconstructionis
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy this beer. the only other Rye ale I've had is Hop Rod which I also like but have not seen in ages.

It's a coppery light brown with a nice head and an orange cast if held to light. There is a hint of rye in the smell but not as much as in the taste; a pleasant clean hop aroma is more pronounced. It tastes amazingly like a slice of good rye bread. If you like rye and american pale ales you can't go wrong with this beer. I would warn that if you're not a fan of rye you probably won't like this. It's a great beer with food but eminently drinkable on its own.

Overall, I give it very high marks but, again, it's probably not for everyone.

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Photo of metmorg
4/5  rDev +2%

A: Poured from a bottle into a chilled glass. Medium Caramel color with a hint of orange. Half a pinky head that dissipated quickly.

S: Grain, spice, hops smell. Lets me know it is going to be dry

T: Good Full taste. Dry as expected, with nice background of malts. A touch of citrus & sweetness to balance out the bitterness.

M: Medium amount of dryness, with medium-high amount of bitterness. Would have never guessed the 6.6 ABV off taste, it is well hidden.

O: Great rye tones and an excellent American IPA's if you want some boldness without being overwhelmed by too much hops and bitterness. Good balance of flavor for a combination of having to pace myself while drinking & still being very drinkable.

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Photo of madeofsteel
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a coppery color with a cream colored head about half an inch high. Nice retention and gorgeous patchy lacing make this one a looker.

S - The first thing I notice isn't rye, but pine resin and citrus zest. Rye is further back, pleasantly fruity and prickly.

T - The rye is much more noticeable in the flavor, but not to be understated is a certain bready malt quality. Very bitter, intimidating hop character, but I love that kind of stuff.

M - Sorta dry, very fine carb.

O - I think I may have found a new favorite from Sierra Nevada.

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

Served on tap and into a pint glass.
Apperance-amber color, medium carbonation, 2 finger head.
Smell-notes of bread, pine, spice, citrus.
Taste-hit with the rye first, bread and spice, pepper, almost tasted like really good rye toast, then a nice hop finish a mixture of more pine than citrus but both present.
Mouthfeel-nice, slightly spicy with the rye.
Overall-whenever a rye beer is on a beer list, I gravitate towards it, I like this beer and will seek it out again, real drinability, with the quality I have come to expect from a SN, very simalar to their pale ale but with the rye flavor coming through.

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Photo of animortician
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Awesome clarity and color. Rich golden orange. Good 1 finger head that faded slowly and left light lacing.

S: Lots of aromas coming off of this ale. Mostly hoppy with a little citurs and some hints of rye.

T: It through me off at first that there wasn't more rye, I was expecting and hoping for a little more rye but after learning this is categorized as an APA I was able to clean my slate and drink this with an open mind. Great beer, good balance. taste pretty much like there Pale ale with a little bit more going on.

M: Not bad. decent carbonation, does have a pretty harsh after taste/feel.

O: I think this beer is pretty good, I dunno if I would buy it again but if you like their pale ale and want to branch out this would be a good starting point. Also would be a great beer to slowly get into rye.

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Photo of cougarbait
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

A: Crystal clear amber color. Filtered.

S: First you get a nice wiff of citrus and hops on the nose. Slight hint of pine on the backside.

T: Off dry from the start. Nice ballance of citrus and hop from front to back. On the back end you get a slight hint of pine.

M: Nice carbonation. Strong finish to the beer. Slight hint of alcohol. Off dry.

O: I believe Sierra Nevada really dosen't make any bad beers and this is just another example of that. Great Beer

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Photo of heelsn02
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into New Belgium snifter

pours a really nice deep amber color... off white 1 finger head. lots of bubbles coming up from the carbonation. awesome lacing.

smells nice and sweet, a bit of citrusy hops coming thru. caramel and bready malts. not a big pungent smell though

really good taste. nice balance b/t the hops and malt, and the light peppery spice from the rye flavor pulls thru really nicely.

mouthfeel is a little bitter, medium bodied; nice amount of carbonation.

overall I'm really liking this rye IPA... about to have 3 or 4 more and watch the brady/tebow bowl tonight :) super easy to drink for sure. similar to the "rye hopper" I tried from french broad a few weeks ago, but not as sweet... both excellent brews though. this is priced very reasonably here in NC ($8.99 for a 6er). I'll definitely buy this one again. well done Sierra.

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Photo of mac31
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4 way IPA pack. I like the malt profile of this brew. Rye has slight spiciness and drying effect. Hops are more balanced. Ordinary brew from an
extraordinary brewery

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Photo of Doc_Hops
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- THis beer puors with a nice, deep amber body with a crisp line of white head that leaves somewhat quickly

S- Lots of spice a pepper on the nose with a big burst of hop aroma

T- Just like the nose, lots of robust pepper. This has a earthy taste as well coming from the rye grains and a clean, somewhat smooth hope finish on the end.

M- Crazy mouthfeel on this is one! It's medium bodied and ver tingly which lasts as long as it's in your mouth.

O- Totally love this beer. I liked it last year and it just keeps getting better. Wonderful taste. Fairly sessionable. Fantastic IPA.

Serving Type: 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

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Photo of VinoGuy
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great amber color and beautiful floral hoppy nose. Spicy blend of hops well balanced and full bodied. Great lingering finish and clean. The rye adds a great addition to the flavor profile and a nice change from a wide range of IPA's available in the market. This is a great win from the folks at Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of gbgreg1
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured a nice caramel color out of a bottle. It had great head retention and the lacing went down the whole glass.

S - This is a nice spicy beer. It had notes of rye, grapefruit, and caramel.

T - Great mouthful feeling with a full taste. The rye is noticeable and backed up with grapefruit hops.

M - Great consistency.

O - Great beer highly recommend

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Photo of Biffster
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brilliant deep copper amber, with a very persistent tawny head.

The aroma is amazing, with a big spicy peppery, woody, grapefruit and piney nose that mingles with a distinct graham cracker rye bread aroma. It is basically clean, with no objectionable phenols or other esters that distract.

This beer is all about the hops, from the crisp bitter sip. There is a brief splash of bready malt before the hops take over in earnest. Once they do, this beer becomes a bitter, piney crisp drink, with a long lingering spicy peppery rye and hop finish.

The mouthfeel is big, creamy, and almost fluffy. The carbonation is moderate at best and is not at all spritzy.

This is a spicy, hoppy beer. The spicy, peppery notes of the rye accentuate and multiply the hops. I dont get a lot of citrus in this sample, but the pepper and spice more than make up for it. The relatively big mouthfeel helps counter the aggressive hop bite.

This is an aggressive but tasty and approachable beer. I am buying another sixer of it as soon as I see it.

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Photo of Kitt
2.91/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a weak < 1 finger head, that miraculously grew to about a two finger head in about 120 sec. Appearance, a rich, filtered, mahogany, not unlike a heavy red ale.

Aroma rather unpleasing: A spicy almost (hate to say it) feline-like odor. It must by the emphasis on rye which I guess I am not quite used to.

Taste,an initial bombardment of bitter spice hops and eclectic malts. Better than the aroma, but I still get that feeling of a nearby cat. Not like anything I have ever encountered in a brew before. The rye must be what is different to me and I have to admit - despite my colorful description - I find it somewhat pleasing. Very different. A light lingering bitter hop burning sensation brings this home as an IPA about six seconds after the initial taste.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a slight oily after-feel.

Drinkibility: The alcohol is upfront and in your face; seems more than 6.8%.

Overall, this is an interesting IPA. I like the daring ingredients. Risk takers deserve some credit for ingenuity. It won't be among my favorites but I would be willing to try it again. Just slightly above average overall. Perhaps it will grow on me as I move through the six pack but I have a funny feeling many reviewers have "brewery goggles" on this one - let's face it, if this was brewed by some rinky-dink Rhode Island brewery, well, you know what I am thinking...

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Photo of J23hc
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into strait pint glass. Dark reddish brown with an orange glow. Awesome nose, lots of spice and rye. Taste has an admirable balance, not too bitter, the raw rye flavor shines through, a bit of sourness, cranberry. What a solid, drinkable brew. Not harsh, smooth, incredibly drinkable

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Photo of ktblue22
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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Photo of gc4hokies
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of Tee76
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A:. Pours a deep amber color with a decent creamy white head. Heavy lacing sticks to the glass and stays around. Nice looking beer

S: The Spicey rye is is upfront and in your face, followed by earthy hops and a bit of citrus.

T: Dominate peppery taste followed by a faint pine bite.

M: Nice and creamy up front followed by a smooth rye aftertaste. Nice carbonation as well.

D: Quite drinkable, though they could have toned down the peppery flavor to allow the hops to really come through more. Not to different from Sierra Nevada's other hoppy brews.

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Photo of BHopp12
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip

A: Poured an amber color that was very clear with a fluffy white head that leaves a very nice lacing behind.

S: A strong hop presences with a little bit of the rye behind it. Very hoppy presences though!

T: Very hoppy taste to it, almost like candy! Then the rye hits you with a bitter finish

M: Carbonation was medium to little very good in my opinion, bitter with a mild alcohol feel to it

O: Very good beer, definitly one I will have again and highly recommend like all Sierra offerings

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Photo of sethcroisant
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A- not much head, but what's there provides great lacing.

S- heavy on west coast hops and rye. hints of caramel

M- odd texture. a little too carbonated, but it is somewhat dense and chewy.

T- very spicy right away with plenty of rye malt and cascade hops. the alcohol sneaks in during the initial bitter bite. ends a little on the sweeter side with some caramel malt. hops oil lingers on the back of the tongue in the end, and some biscuit malts get mixed in as well.

O- no risks seem to have been taken, but it's still a good offering.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.