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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

1,080 Reviews
no score

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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 LukeD23
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have never heard of this beer and cant find any info on it. I am really suprised and excited about this new release from SN.

It pours a really pretty sunset amber with almost no head lingering. As I smell the beer the first thing I notice is how crisp the hop smell is, lots of zesty citrus aromas with a similar to sprite aroma. I love the hop combination on this beer, not sure what the hops are but they are great. The rye is a great spicy backround note and lends a nice fresh loaf of bread note. The mouthfeel is the classic sierra nevada mouthfeel, chewy but not long lasting on the bitterness. Overall I really like this beer, it is crisp and clean while still intriguing to the palate. Cheers.

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Photo of demuzik
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of FattyJLE
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of JohannBock
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of BaronRogue
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of Hershdawg
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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

First Review.
12 oz. bottle to 14 oz. mug.

A: Clear, coppery red with plenty of carbonation. Short, off-white head. Bottle design is epic.

S: Smells like Rye bread, pine cones and a touch of hops.

T: The hoppiness you would expect from a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a good mix of rye and orange, Mild rye spice aftertaste.

Overall: This beer is incredible for the $11.50/12 pk. The design on the bottle, the Sierra Nevada name, the price, and the fact this was right in the entryway made this the easiest trip to the liquor store ever.

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Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of Andrew61923
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of LexingtonBeer
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The rye balances nicely with the hops. The hops are strong but not bitterly so. The rye adds a nice depth to the taste at the end so it isn't all hops all the way.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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

A: deep orange almost mahogany but not quite 'bock-like'; wonderful, thin and continuous lacing throughout which compliments the exceptional mouthfeel

S: rush of piney resin; underlying rye aroma balances hop aroma. Just a quietly pleasant smell

T: as I'm drinking I enjoy a whiff of that aroma to accent that mildly bitter hop note. Reminiscent of that woody, scotch taste.

M: excellent level of carbonation, sneaky maltiness; if it were more complex this # would be higher

O: While I like certain elements very much, there's just that elusive spot-on, unmistakable home run that, well, Chimay (blue) or La Fin Du Monde provide for its style. That being said, this is an above average beer. No, its bona fide.

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Photo of Roose13
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
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

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

light smooth, slight hops, sweet linger.

Shared a taster on-tap as part of four flights at the brewery; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, USA. Then ordered a half pint later. Yum! As part of a six-week West Coast beer tour. I rate to taste, not to style. See my blog for more details: carbeers.wordpress.com

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Photo of chiccabeer
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
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.

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

I have to say first that I do like a rye malt beer. Others have stated that it's not for them.

This beer pours very nice with big frothy head and nice lacing.

Floral notes, piney, hoppy nose

The taste is definitely IPA. It is hop forward with nice citrus and spicy notes, with peppery rye flavor.

Excellent carbonation and mouthfeel. It is light yet complex.

This is a great American IPA and will rise in popularity IMHO.

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Photo of wowbagger
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of Shooter1960
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Poured a deep copper with 2-3 fingers of head. Good lacing on the glass.

Nothing particularly distinct about the smell.

I expected a stronger flavor but it was a mild IPA. Would be good for a hot summer day but a little light for this time of year and really does not give you the IBU fix for an IPA.

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Photo of MickeyD
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

Appearance: Nice and golden brown with a nice head however it dissipates quickly, good carbonation.

Smell: Perfume with floral and pine. Not much malt that I can smell. I am really looking for the rye in this one and am not finding it.

Taste: definite pine from the hops, a crisp bite from hops and carbonation.

Mouth feel: Slight bite more spice and floral hops, a slight malt taste is detected once swirled around the mouth.

Overall: I have had one other rye/IPA and I must tell you that that one was much better balanced. This seems to be an IPA ONLY with very little to no rye. Good beer however and I would buy it again but not often. If I want an IPA I would buy one! I wanted that balance with the rye.

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Photo of theteleman
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pretty darn hoppy with a nice rye bite to it. If you like west coast style IPA's(very prevalent hop flavors) you'll enjoy this brew. Mouthfeel is pretty thin, but leaves the palate with a nice rye taste, real crisp. Enjoyed this brew with some spicy shrimp and veggies and it tasted great.

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Photo of slackattack
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass

A- pours a clear amber with a nice 2 fingers of head initially. Head slowly dissipates to about a quarter inch that persists and leaves a nice lacing as you drink.

S- earthy and spicy with some of the chinook and citra coming in at the end

T- the rye earthiness and spiciness is really up front for me, then you get the bittering qualities of the hops on the back of your tongue that linger for as long as you will let them. The taste sticks with you long after swallowing.

M- not overly carbonated, feels soft on the tongue and in the mouth. No complaints.

O- I personally love this beer and have a hard time passing it up when it is available. The rye just adds a little peppery bite that I find irresistible. At 6.6% some would argue it isn't a sessionable brew but I firmly disagree. An Oakland A's game and a Ruthless Rye or 6 is a great evening.

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Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wonderful amber color. two finger of thick white-yellow head. Smell was light with hints of hops and wheat. Taste was full of grains, wheat, hops. Although not as strong as I was expecting considering the "Ruthless" in the title. Feel was nice. The hop and grain taste stayed a few moments.

Overall I enjoyed this beer, wish it was a little stronger in taste but it was still solid.

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Photo of dafizzif
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours dark copper with creamy white head. Looks delectable, especially the juxtaposition of the deep amber and fluffy, creamy head. Great lacing down the glass.

Smell: Hoppy, mainly pine and a bit of citrus, up front, with lots of peppery spiciness and bready malt coming through. Nice. Not just a Pale Ale, the rye actually comes through a good bit.

Taste: Up front there is a good mix of bitter hoppiness and rye spiciness. It is seriously almost like rye bread beer. While there do not seem to be many more flavors than this dynamic going on, it is very enjoyable. Rye really shines more than any other rye beer I have had, which is neat.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant, thicker body than usual. Really great feel and carbonation that is very smooth.

Overall: Probably the most rye beer I have had yet. But if classified as an IPA, it seems lacking compared to many others in the style. The good use of rye sets it apart from most, but does not necessarily make it better than them. Still a great beer.

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Photo of onewetpaw
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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:

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Photo of cr0ckett
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an rich amber color, with a big off white head that leaves nice lacing behind. The nose is weak, but has some floral hop notes followed by some malty tones. Has a smoothe taste beginning with a piney hop note followed by malty rye tones. Plesant, medium mouthfeel and carbonation refreshing. Overall a solid brew and worth picking up a six pack. I would like a little stronger rye presence, however it is still a very enjoyable beer and I will buy it again.

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