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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

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,907
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 640 | 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: 1,080 | Hads: 4,907
Photo of BARFLYB
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to Pint.

Ruthless Rye goes in the Sierra Nevada Tulip easy with not any cap or nothing. There is just the smallest bits of white bubbles towards the edge of the glass that die when on the surface, lifeless beer, no stick. smell is rye malt to the max with some faint caramel and a spicy sense. Some piney resins come up to with more whiffs. Taste is even between the rye and the IPA. Rye comes first than a small hit of pined hops. Small traces of caramel throughout. feel is a bit thin, I would say bordering on thin. Carb comes and goes off of the tounge, leaving a resinous effect afterwards. Bitterness is not that large, the rye malt takes care of that. I can say that while this was a noble attempt, it just misses the mark for me. I will try more bottles and a draft to see what's what though.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1357 so December 23rd 2011

A: Pours a nice copper-red color with a sticky 2 fingers worth of off-white head that leaves great lacing

S: Majorly hoppy with nice notes of peppery rye and some caramel

T: Follows the nose, with the hops and rye mixing together nicely to make quite the combination of citrus, pine, and pepper notes. Surprisingly, neither really overpowers the other, and this makes for a tasty, well-balanced brew

M: Medium bodied with light-moderate carbonation, perfect for letting the hop oils come through, and there are plenty of them

O: At first I was a bit skeptical about having the Glissade go and letting this replace it, but I have definitely changed my mind. It has that typical SN IPA feel to it, yet the rye adds a nice kick to it and puts it on another level. Great job SN, keep those beers coming!

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Photo of projectflam86
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a slightly red amber like color with a thick white foam head that leaves good lace.

S- The rye aroma is quite dominant with a slightly sour smell and loads of citrus hops rounding out the nose. I'm surprised the rye is this noticeable, and it shows itself in more of a pepper, bread, and mustiness kind of way.

T- Very bitter initially with sharp hop resin and pine coming through in waves. Bracingly bitter at first, but almost instantly it gives way to a sweet caramel and bread finish with a lingering note of sour rye.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O- Overall another very solid hoppy brew from SN.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright orange amber (with a slight initial haze) with a thin off-white head that leaves patchy lacing.

The smell is of citrus, pine, pepper with a bready undertone. The brewery's "house character" is there.

The taste is fairly complex. It has pine, citrus and minty spicing. The malt is in the background, and places the supportive role very well. The alcohol is slightly noticeable. The finish is very dry with hops and rye lasting for a little while on the palate. The "Sierra Nevada" taste is there.

It hits full-bodied and is smooth.

This is a dry brew. A solid example of an American IPA with a rye touch. Another winner from Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid offering from SN, bottled just under 3 weeks from consumption.

If you're looking to be blown away with all the beer craze as of late, you're in for a dissapointment. If you're a fan of SN, and enjoy their signature "profile" you're in for a treat.

A - solid dark copper in color, very active and great lacing but my only surprise was the lack of head that most all other SN brews produce. Still impressive nevertheless.

S - Grapefruit, bitter pine, rye of course, followed by the typical SN nose.

T - Much the same as the nose. Think a combination of the Pale Ale and Torpedo with a nice dose of Rye thrown into the mix. I do like the Grapefruit that compliments the rye in here reminding you that this is a nice west coast IPA as well. Yum!

M - Creamy, dry, bitter and light all at the same time. Very sessionable.

O - Just another solid SN brew. After geeking out on highly sought after brews and whales for 3-4 years now, I can honestly say that SN is UNDER-RATED. Yeah...I said it.

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

I'm new at this, so here goes. I liked the beer in general. I compared this beer with a Coastal Fog IPA and suddenly realized what the "body" of the beer refers to. Before, I either liked a beer or didn't, without regard for why. The first word that popped into my head after a couple of sips of the Rye was "round", and the Coastal Fog was "flat" (not flat as in, no carbonation, just lacking complexity). Ruthless had a nice malt taste, which I'm still figuring out how to articulate, and just enough hops to keep me drinking it. I will say this; I don't know if it was the beer, but I had some pretty messed up dreams for the two nights I drank this beer.

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Photo of unskinnyhop09
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

january is a sad time for fans of celebration ale. away goes the goodness of the holidays and an ipa that marks history with its hoppy goodness.

what could make the sting hurt less? another amazing ipa would do the trick! let's try one using rye. sure.

pepper and burned grass usual of rye flavor (ask bear republic and founders)...but here we have a fantastic citrus hop note - and i mean fantastic! i was sad that there was no more celebration at the grocery supermarket...until i got home and tasted the ruthless rye.

great aroma. great taste. great beer.
another amazing offering from sn. i guess i can forgive you for the disappearance of anniversay ale.

please keep making these hoppy ales!
...and i'm looking forward to 2012 bigfoot.

wow. just wow.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a rich strong darker orange color that is clear. Theere is a nice slightly off-white 1 inch head. The head is really dense and frothy and it sticks around for a long time. Very nice look to this brew.

Spicy nose. Notes of pepper and definitely some rye. SOme nice biscuity, bready malt undertones in there as well. Some citrus and earthy hop notes mange to sneak in through the malt and rye.

Starts off very spicy. Tons of pepper notes and somewhat of a earthy grain tone. Then there is a sharp increase in bitterness and some citrus notes plunge up from the back. Then as it subsides a bit there is a nice bready malt finish to the beer with some lingering effects from the hops as well as the unrelenting spicy rye notes. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a bit of a sticky resinous finish to it.

Overall a decent beer. Not my favorite from Sierra Nevada but definitely a worthy attempt. Good Rye spice.

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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 wvsabbath
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Apperance - Brown/tan, copper tint. 1/2 head that really died quickly. Nice lacing.

Smell - Hops, rye, caramel, sweet fruits like apple, orange and apricot. Bready, and malty. Smells really nice.

Taste - Hop bite up front with a mix of malts and rye. Very bitter at first, with some caramel and citrus fruits. Slight warmth from the alcohol. Tons of pine mixed with some added molasses and brown sugars adds alittle sweetness, but lots of bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel - Tounge gets hop bittered at first sip with pine resin, caramel and some sweet sugars. Palette is bittered also, and coated with malts and rye. Aftertaste is bitter, dry and piney as hell.

Overall - What a amazing beer to come out after celebration ale. Its almost like they get your ready for hops with the citric bite of celebration. This brew is even more piney, bitter and bolder. This beer is ruthless on your tounge and palette. Im shocked at how hoppy this beer turned out. Might be a little much for some, but the addition of rye mixed with the hops really make this a intense yet flavorful and enjoyable beer. Welcome to the seasonal lineup, fantastic beer!

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Photo of SawDog505
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a clear bright orange red, with a fluffy off white head, with amazing retention, and bountiful lace. Smell is tangerine, pine, and some carmel. Taste is all of those, a little sweeter than the nose would let on. Body is on the large side for it's abv, a little dryer than I expected, and easy enough to drink. I must admit, I really was looking forward to this and it didn't blow my mind, but is a beautiful well crafts brew. Still I plan to drink many of these the next couple months. I was hoping it be equal to Founders Rye, that is the pinnacle in this style for me.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a brown beer pretty much with good clarity for it being that color and a good 1.25" head consisting of tight light tan bubbles. Aroma was indeed heavy on the rye bread and with cascade hops probably.

Taste, wow, this really gets the rye content across to the drinker. Hops are there, not over the top, but definitely could be described as hoppy with mild citrus undercurrent. Pretty easy to drink, another good addition to the already hoppy SN universe, but this isn't simply a retread, it has a legitimate place, as this beer truly exhibits the rye and its customary mild spiciness, with the trademark Sierra Nevada hoppiness and earthiness.

Another good beer at a great price.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost-clear, dark amber color with a medium, white head. Scent is that typical SN hop aroma with some grassy notes and spicy rye aromas. Light malt aroma as well. Taste is initially earthy with some lovely bitter hop flavors. Then there's some nice rye spiciness and grassy, floral flavors. Finishes slightly malty with some hop resin bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, slightly chewy, with a dry finish. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is another solid, highly drinkable beer from SN.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-ruby amber with a thin cream colored head. Beautiful color

S-...smells like dried pot. Strong scent. Fairly stale. Pretty good

T- interesting brew. Comes in with an herbal, almost hemp like peppercorn flavor. It's a comPlex and unique taste. It has a matching after taste with a good amount of bitterness

M- medium carbonation with a good crisp finish

O- I like this beer. Not sure about the ipa tag though. It's very different and very drinkable, want I want from an SN seasonal. It's not as bitter or as hoppy as I want my IPAs to be but as a random rye beer, this is quite enjoyable.

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

Served in a Duvel Tulip

A - pours a dark orange, large amount of white head which dissipates to a bit of lacing.

S - a bit of hops, fair amount of breadiness with a slightly sweet aroma at the end

T - bitterness of hops up front and bitter/woody rye in the finish

M - smooth, fairly carbonated, no alcohol burn to speak of

O - great offering from SN, easy drinker, I could (will) put a few of these down in a sitting.

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

Beautiful label art.

A - Pours a dark amber with some red and orange highlights. A near perfect looking head that leaves some nice off-white lacing.

S - Subdued citrus, floral hops, caramel, candied pineapple and orange peels.

T - smooth body, spicy citrus initially with a solid malt backbone. Not a huge amount of bitterness and certainly not a crazy hopped up IPA. This is well balanced and very drinkable. Love what they rye adds to this and its certainly not like any of the bottled beers SN has released.

O - very good. Recommended.

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Photo of zoolzoo
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours clear amber, frothy off white head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Nice hop bouquet. Pine sap, orange, various zesty rinds. A broad sense of malt beneath, hops dominate.

T: Follows the nose with a bitter hop bite. Piney with some citrus zing. Drops off quick in to earthy and grainy malt. A mild caramel sweetness rounds out the taste profile. Finish is bitter, semi-harsh.

M: Medium in body, carbonation seems light and fluffy - lots of tiny little bubbles.

O: A nice rye IPA, another solid SN offering.

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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 TheBeerAlmanac
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A: Pours a caramel amber hue with an off-white, creamy head.

S: Earthy hops conquer the nose along with a touch of pine, citrus, and some floral notes mingled throughout.

T/M: Hops are blatant up front, thick on the tongue and coating the mouth. It’s really one of the thicker IPA’s I’ve had. More strong earthiness and a bitter punch about halfway through that lingers long afterwards.

This is a good, thick IPA if you prefer the earthier hop varietal. Which I don’t.


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

A - Pours dark amber/mahogany in color into my snifter with two fingers of dense head that has excellent retention and lots of sticky lacing.

S - Full of citrus and earthy pine hop aromas, rye spice and malty sweetness is also present.

T - Hops are at the forefront, lemony citrus that fades into a more earthy and piny character. Spicy rye and bready malts round it out with a subtle caramel sweetness.

M - Relatively light body and bright carbonation make it seem a bit thin to me.

O - Overall, this is a tasty offering from SN, which is no big surprise. Worth trying if given the chance.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a New Belgium snifter.

A: SRM is amber. Translucent. Head is light tan, 1 in, semi-puffy, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Light lacing.

S: Nice balanced hoppiness, lightly piney and citrusy, a touch of spicyness from the rye, light malt, light caramel sweetness.

T: Medium hoppiness up front, followed by the bite of rye, medium maltiness, and mild bitterness. Aftertaste is of rye and malt, with hop bitterness on the outsides of the palate and a touch of sweetness down the middle of the palate.

M: Medium body. Initially, hops hit creating a bright feel, but then the rye and malts hit, which adds body to the feel. Finially, a touch of sweetness balances out the overall feel. Semi wet finish.

O: Good rye beer. I did not think I would like this beer very much, because imo most rye beers are very unbalanced, with one component overshadowing all the others. This is not the case with this beer. It is very well balanced, hops transition in to rye and malt, sweetness rounds everything out. Easy to drink. Good price. I will buy more of this beer.

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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 daliandragon
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was quite surprised to see a new SN seasonal at Food Lion of all places while perusing the beer aisle purely out of habit. I've never been a huge rye fan but I'm not sure if Sierra Nevada could make a bad IPA even if they tried. Guess we'll find out.

The pour leaves a dark copper body and a pretty tan head that doesn't last. Nice bubbling, though, and the beginnings of some exquisite lacing. Nose is slightly reserved west coast hops and a hint of spicy rye.

The bitterness factor is high on this one, both from the hops and the rye. This could probably stand a touch more malt for balance, although the heavy carbonation helps mute the astringency somewhat. I expected a little more complexity but for the most part, what you see is what you get. This isn't a bad beer at all but because of the brewer, I am slightly disappointed and would pick Torpedo or Celebration over this any day of the week

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Photo of CHADMC3
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper body with orange hues beneath the generous, foamy, off-white head that is very slow to dissipate leaving a scattered, yet sticky lacing behind.

Aromas of earthy and pine hops mixed with rye float from the glass. The hops are resiny and spicy at the same time. The spice is earthy or wood-like and may also be from the rye as well.

The flavor offers similar hop character with pine resin and a more subdued spice, but again with a very nice rye finish. A bread-like malt is also more relevant on the palate. The hop and rye are fairly generous in this tasty brew.

Medium in body with generous carbonation and a nice drying, resiny finish.

A very consistent beer and a fine example of a rye IPA. Just what one may expect from SN.

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

Pours filtered crystal clear into a pint glass with a full inch of foamy off-white head; beautiful red-brown beer with enough carbonation to replenish the head. Strong lacing on the glass. Rich spicy aroma from the rye; piny hops with hints of floral and tropical fruit notes. Guava smells more prevalent as it warms.

Rich spicy malt flavor is first as piny hops fill the nose. Then the hops are on the tstebuds: pine and citrus (grapefruit and lemon) with hints of musty guava skin and flesh. Ends dry and sightly astringent. Long drying hop finish.

This is a wonderfully tasty, spicy, hoppy new beer from Sierra Nevada, and one of few that has really lived up to the hype from the first-gen independents for me in a while. Can't wait to try it on tap.

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