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
87
very good

4,873 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,873
Reviews: 1,095
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 83
Gots: 614 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,873 | Reviews: 1,095
Photo of BilbosNuts
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish copper color with small white film that sits on the top. It appears very still with a limited amount of carbonation.

S: The only aromas I am getting out of the nose is fruity and citrus hops paired with a light bit of sourness from the rye. The aroma was a bit of a let down.

T: The taste sure makes up for the aroma. There is the citrus from the hops present along with a piney taste that wasn't found in the nose. It has a backbone of biscuity and bready malts. A touch of sour from the rye finishes it off. It is very well balanced.

M: It is medium bodied and very still with a limited amount of carbonation. A light bitter bite finishes it off.

O: This beer has a few flaws, but the superb taste makes up for it my opinion. With some work in the other aspects, this could definitely become something special.

Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. This beer is a looker.

I pick up mostly citrus and earthy hops in the aroma. Just a small hint of the rye. Some breadiness from the malt rounds things out.

Plenty of rye in the flavor. Not sure the citrus hops is the ideal compliment to the rye. Bitterness is high. Overall is slightly dry.

Has excellant carbonation for a hoppy, bitter brew. Plenty of body to delivery the flavor.

Another solid beer from Sierra Nevada. The flavor was just a slight letdown compared to the great rye IPAs.

Photo of sethmeister
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear amber with a fluffy cream head. Good retention. A patchwork of lace fills the glass as I slowly empty it.

Scent is vaguely citrus.

Peppery, grainy rye strikes a balance with grapefruit, lime and orange hops. Perhaps a hint of pine. The flavors mate well and neither steals the spotlight.

Oily medium mouthfeel.

Very easy to drink.

I love rye ales and I love Sierra Nevada so it's no surprise this hits the spot. My only complaint is the nose is rather muted.

Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours the prototypical SN copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Really don't get a whole lot on the nose, though what I do get is intriguing. There's some noticeable rye and dry citrus, which is attractive... just wish there was a bit more there. OK. On the palate, SN has really hit a homerun with this beer. The rye is very prominent on the palate, and it blends very, very well with the light malt and considerable hoppy bitterness. The finish is quite dry and bitter, with just a kiss of rye on the long finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, with a long, clean, slightly bitter finish. Alcohol is very well disguised in this beer, and drinkability is just exceptional.

I'll be ordering this one again for sure. So nice to see such a flavorful, hoppy beer in such a (relatively) low alcohol beer.

Photo of GallowsThief
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The House of Brews.

A – Poured out a copper color with two fingers of white frothy head.

S – Has a solid citrus hops aroma with spiciness in the nose.

T – Starts off with a strong citrus hop bite as well. Nice spicy flavor. Grapefruit and lemon zest. Moves quickly to a good solid kick of rye and its pretty tasty. Bready and piney.

M – Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Easy drinker.

O – Dug it. Easy to put down a few. Great flavors that compliment each other very well. If you like rye beer this is one to try.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rocky textured foaming tan head leaves only gas and beer residue between an inch of air and glass known as head space, it's beautiful. Color wise bright ruby copper colored beer we need in this post holiday recovery mode for everybody. After drinking spiced ales with cinnamon, honey, and all spice for a month and a half, I fully praise Sierra Nevada for releasing this beer. Aroma has hints of pine and citrus with a spicy rye layer that definitely adds a layer of complexity to the mix. Flavor hits with a clashing layer of malt/rye versus earthy/pine hops, pretty intense here no bias noted, I'm a lover of both malts and hops. Easy to drink well balanced between the waves of piney/citrus hops and spicy rye malt, moderate carbonation slick oily hop textures going on. Overall a welcomed seasonal to mix up the ever changing lineup of Sierra Nevada, I'll be drinking more of this.

Photo of Stev0supreemo
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely an interesting IPA that's worth checking out. My main complaint would be the nose which was definitely lacking.

A: Very aesthetic amber orange. One inch head.

S: Again, lacking. Hoppy with very mild Rye characteristics.

T: The Rye isn't very pronounced.

M: Medium body

O: Enjoyable beer. If it weren't for Hopslam taking up my immediate budget I'd pick up a six-pack.

Photo of Hershdawg
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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #17 beer on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - Rye Beer" list. Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a Hill Farmstead becher glass.

Beer is brown and clear with a nice tan head of small and medium bubbles, nice moderate carbonation, some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet with some earthy mildly citrus hops in there. Smells nice.

Beer is medium in body with a mildly dry finish, moderate bitterness and a grainy aftertaste. The lead off is this mild spiciness from the malt and this nice body that fills out to a good hop presence, the aftertaste totally takes me out of the beer though. Not a fan of that. Otherwise it is a fine little IPA / rye beer.

Photo of Ungertaker
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A- Transparent pecan with a one finger white head.

S- Rye bread, bitter orange peel, pine

T- a faint citrus is followed by a spicy rye flavor. There are slight pine notes at the finish.

M- medium to thin with a low carbonation level.

O- For the price, this is a great session beer. I hope it sticks around for a while.

Photo of Beerdregs
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Excellent clarity. Amber orange color with two finger slightly off white rocky head.

S: Some roasty malts with a citrus hop aroma.

T: Moderate malty sweetness with lingering bitterness from the hops. Cannot really perceive so called peppery rye notes. I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between this and torpedo.

M: Resinous mouthfeel from ample hopping. Moderate/heavy carbonation.

O: This is a great beer and very quaffable but would maybe enjoy more rye. It certainly isn't "ruthless" in its utilization of rye.

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

A-brown amber color with an off-white head and decent lacing

S-citrus and bread dough with hints of spice

T-citrus and malt with some slight rye character and hints of sweetness nd moderate hoppy finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a decent rye ale, but not in the league with Red's Rye and Hop Rod

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

Appearance - Pours a copperish, burnt orange. Frothy head.

Smell - Hoppy, with a hint of peppery spice; the rye presence settling in nicely with the hops.

Taste - Yep, it's an IPA. Classic SN hoppiness - citrus and pine. Mostly pine. The rye finds it's niche toward the finish and into the aftertaste. A touch of peppery spice. Wish there was more.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, the carbonation is a bit aggressive, but not to the point of detriment.

Overall - A nice alternative to the standard IPA, the addition of Rye makes this beer stand apart from most of the average IPA's. I was hoping for more rye and less of Sierra Nevada's basic flavor profile which, I'll admit I'm not too keen on, but it's about what I expected. It has grown on me since my initial review.

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

Glass - Tulip

A - A very clear copper colored brew with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It produced a 1-2 finger white head that dissipated rather fast. A bit of a splotch was left on my glass.

S - Floral hops upfront with lemon/orange rind and a bit of dryness. I also pick up a touch of caramel and breadiness but I can't really say I pick up any rye.

T - It tastes pretty much like a mix between the Celebration Ale and the Torpedo Extra to me. Upfront it's floral and drying with notes of rye. It unfolds into rind notes, lemon citrus and pine hop characteristics, and a bit musty towards the end. I get more rye, bread, and caramel on the finish. Bitterness is moderate and hop flavors of rind and floral notes linger on and on.

M - Medium carbonation, a bit smooth and medium bodied. It has a really nice feel to me.

O - Well, I was afraid this beer was going to be too much like the beers I mentioned above, and it was. Other than the rye flavors and overall dryness of the beer, it wasn't much different. That being said it is enjoyable to me, and the price couldn't be better. I would say to just pick up a pack for yourself and see if it doesn't taste very similar to the Torpedo Extra or Celebration Ale.

Photo of aficionado
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed the dark amber body/head along with the malt backbone, and rye presence, but hated the yeast profile. Tastes like a hopped up English lager, not an American ale. Think of Sam Smith's Organic Lager with more bitterness and way more toasty malt presence. The grassy hops here provide some bitterness and brightness, but they aren't really reminiscent of a characterful hop forward American IPA.

Good beer, but I prefer Northern Hemi, Estate, and Celebration a bit more.

Photo of JosiahS
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

glass: Tulip

A black tea color with a 1 finger off-white head. Sticky and sudsy lacing. Lots of bubbles. Lots of rye immediately apparent on the nose. Immediately following with the classic Torpedo variety of hops and malts. A little heavier on the malts though, reminds me of Celebration.

I cant say much more about the taste that hasn't already been said about the aroma. It's basically Celebration Ale with rye added. Carbonation seems to be just slightly higher than i'd like but makes for some good swirl action and head replenishment. Good beer overall but i may be suffering from Sierra Nevada fatigue.

Photo of Jparker37
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams perfect pint. 2012

A - Big pillowy off-white head that never receeds. Clings slightly to the glass. The color is a light amber to golden that is relatively clear.

S - Delicate pine and spicy hop notes right up front. Rye is very foreward and blends nicely with the hop canvas.

T - A delightful earthy/spicy light malt body with a wonderfully flavorful hop presence throught the taste. Big on flavor that quickly drys up to be very refreshing and somehow lighter bodied.

M - Light to medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Very dry.

O - Another hoppy beer from SV that has excellent hop characteristics. Throughly enjoyed.

Photo of bsiri85
4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a homebrewer and have been debating whether or not to brew up a RyePA. When I decided I was just going to do it, the wife said I wasn't allowed to until I tried one. So I set out to find one. They aren't very common but I was fortunate that Sierra NV's Ruthless just came out.

A-Deep goldeny delicious looking.

S-Confident hops. It's not really the feature of the brew, but its there to support the malt in a strong way.

T-It's a tastation!!! It's tastatic!!! Very addicting. Light but malty, and the rye is a unique twist. Very obviously rye, but it feels right.

M-Smooth and clean. Easy to drink. Very addicting beer. You want to keep sipping it.

O-This is the best seasonal from Sierra NV. I'm really glad they have decided to add this to the lineup. It's a great beer to drink when you just need a good beer. Seasonally, I think it could work year round even.

I am now confident that a homebrew RyePA is in order.

Photo of wedge
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a nice, thick head of off-white foam crowing the top. Interesting blend of rye and hops in the nose...hops are floral with a resinous, oily edge. Lemon, pepper, pine, light melon, and a touch of sour. Flavor has a nice, dank hoppy bite to it. Spicy rye, peppery citrus, earthiness, spruce, and tea. Fat, oily mouthfeel...slick and smooth with a trailing bitterness. I like this. Sierra Nevada is usually good with the hops and this is no exception.

Photo of eclipse54
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased at the Boise co-op. Poured into a Deschutes tulip glass.

Pours a dark copper color with garnet hues. A thin layer of off-white bubbles sits atop the liquid as head, but dissipates quickly to scattered patches. Strands of sticky white lacing cling to the glass. Aroma is of lemon and orange citrus, rye, earthen hops, and some light floral notes. Tastes predominantly of rye and lemon zest, with ample citrus hop esters and pine resin coming through as well. Some orange and earthen grains finish it off. Mouthfeel is crisp, light on the tongue, and refreshing at first, but a small amount of the rye flavor seems to build up and linger after a bit. Overall, a great showcase of rye and a solid beer all around. Will certainly be drinking a few more of these.

Photo of alexgash
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Great artwork on the label.

Medium copper to amber body with brassy edges. Inch of thick, creamy, dense, light beige head. Great lacing. Lots of pitchy, piny, spicy hops on the nose. White pepper, candied fruit, and a pinch of spice bread as well.

Piny, Scotch tape hop bitterness right off the bat. Bready, spicy malt fills in. Grainy, winy notes as well. Maybe a bit of caramel flavor. Hops become peppery, rubbery, and finally citrus-y. Finish is dry, spicy, and bitter. Some lingering caramel-biscuit notes. Medium-bodied, with a nice creamy feel. Certainly a different type of hop-forward beer for SN, and a nice addition to the line-up (wasn't a huge fan of Glissade).

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured rather hard into my Sam Smith's imperial pint glass. Pours a clear copper with a thick white head. There is some cascading and some nice lacing left on the glass.

S-Stong nose for sure; consisting of citrus hops-grapefruit and some pineapple along with some alcohol sweetness. Smells fantastic.

T-Citrus hops upfront giving a great grapefruit and lemon zest flavor followed by a spicy and somewhat bready and caramel malt backbone. There is a lingering bitterness. The rye gives it a nice balance and enhances complexity. Tastes great.

M-Somewhat slick, yet thick with a nice touch of carbonation.

D-Nice complexity and flavor make this a session beer all the way even though the abv. is slightly above average.

Overall, this beer is great. I know some people are disappointed that it replaced Glissade, but if you have the ability to create IPAs (I know this is technically a Rye Beer but its hoppy like an ipa) that taste this good, why not do it and make it available to the masses. I personally prefer it over Glissade and love it. Another great beer from a great brewery.

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 350 of 2011 (December 16) - less than one month old! 2012 Vintage Ruthless Rye IPA.

Appearance: Pours a two inch thick, white bready, doughy head. Amber body, moderate carbonation. Decent lacing. Label artwork is awesome!

Smell: Aroma is classic citrusy Sierra Nevada IPA. A lot of people have referenced Torpedo and I concur. Must be the Citra hops?

Taste: Pure citrus. Not very bitter. I taste orange as opposed to grapefruit. Very similar to Torpedo. I do not detect the rye - maybe my amateur taste buds at work.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and light for such a flavorful beer. Drinkability is high. Minor spiciness in the aftertaste.

Overall: I can absolutely understand the Torpedo comparisons, but is that the absolute worst thing in the world? This is almost a more drinkable (less alcoholic) Torpedo in my humble opinion. I will be consuming plenty of this over the coming months.

Photo of Longstaff
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't believe they ditched Glissade for just a boring version of Torpedo. Kind of pissed at SN right now for taking away my favorite beer for yet another middle of the road crystal malty amber ipa. Last two seasonal changes have been a little too safe imo.

A little earthiness/rubber aroma from the rye. Very sweet maltiness detracts from the earthy/spicy flavor that I would expect from a rye beer. A little slickness left on the lips. Slight peach/apricot esters couple with fruity hops to make this barely interesting.

One 12 pack is enough of this for me - vs. the 10 + 12 packs that I would have bought of Glissade.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from State Line Liquors in MD. Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a really nice, clean, clear amber/copper color. SN beers are always so clean. I got about a finger of nice bright white head on this. Some nice sticky lacing. The head does hang out for a while.

S: Smells really fresh, because it is, but also because of the hops varietals I think. I get a good amount of pine and citrus in this. That rye is definitely there too. Spicy notes from that.

T: I get a nice blast of hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. That is might sharply in the middle of the mouth by that delicious rye flavor. It's a really solid marriage actually. The close is a nice crisp bitter IPA finish. Good carbonation helps get you ready for the next sip (which you want immediately.

M: I'd put this in the medium class. There is some body there with the hop and rye bill.

O: I really enjoyed this one. I'd probably give it an A- on the old scale. The price is right as well. Good work SN.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,873 ratings.