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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: 4,906
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 85
Gots: 641 | 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: 4,906
Photo of tittymcj
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of BeerRefugee
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color. Moderate off-white head with good retention and moderate lacing. Medium rye and herbal hops in the aroma. Flavor is mild caramel malt, grassy and piney hops and a moderate dose of rye. The spiciness of the rye and bitterness of the hops predominate--I would have liked a bit more malt for some sweetness and balance. This is a beer that couldn't really decide what it wants to be--it needs more hops and rye to be a really aggressive rye IPA. Or it needs more caramel sweetness to be a more "mainstream" beer. Instead, they split the difference and the result, while good, is not as good as it could have been.

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Photo of mpedara429
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured out a clear, coppery color that appeared a bit burnished. Two fingers of pale yellow head. Good retention and lacing that draped along the sides of the glass.

S: Not overwhelming here. A little bit of floral hops and grapefruit with a predominant lame yeast smell.

T: Flavor is heavy on floral hops and dank pine. A hint of grapefruit and a spicy kick on the finish. The initial taste is on the bitter side, but the malt body shows up just enough to give it some balance.

M: Pretty typical medium body with medium carbonation. A little stickiness.

O: Pretty much what I would expect from a Sierra Nevada beer. It's a middle of the road beer that seems like it is being held back from greatness. Some more hop flavor and aroma would make this beer top notch.

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Photo of JG-90
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass gives a large, creamy, tan head. Beer is amber/copper with hints of red, gold, and brown. Head settles down to a small, slightly rocky cap, before falling to a film on top with heavy lacing. Smells of peppery rye, licorice, and a touch of light caramel malt, and just a hint of resin. Not getting much IPA/hoppy nose here.

Taste follows the nose, too my slight dissapointment. Getting a good deal of great rye flavors, but missing the hops/citrus expected from a SN IPA. There is a bit of a citrus/resinous finish however. Mouthfeel is just a bit lighter than heavy, with medium/high carbonation, just the right amount of chewiness. In my opinion a very good beer, but not as much flavor as hoped on the IPA side of things.

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Photo of argock
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Typical SN obscure dating. 6-pack purchased at Kroger (Charlottesville) for $7.29.

A: Very clear copper with 1-2 fingers of big-bubbled, ivory head with good stickiness and craggy lacing all down the glass.

S: Spicy and slightly dirty rye with citrus and pine hoppiness dominate the aroma

T: The flavor is really interesting and smooth with moderate bitterness. The spicy rye from the aroma slides elegantly into the herbal, honeysuckle character of the hopping, which is moderately floral but also pretty complex with resin, pine, orange and lemon citrus, and earthy components. The maltiness has a slight amount of light-to-medium crystal malt sweetness which works pretty well with the herbal, earthy hops and rye notes.

M: Smooth and moderately carbonated. Body is light-to-medium with a good tacky quality.

O: A really nice beer from SN (again). While it isn't a beer of the year candidate, it is very good and has plenty of complexity and subtlety built into the the hopping to keep it interesting. SN is masterful at providing a balanced yet interesting brew. This fits that bill very well.

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Photo of Noxious26
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured in a pint glass. Got this one in Hawaii in Feb but just getting around to reviewing.

Big beige 1 inch head on the pour with lots of sticky lacing. Nice copper orange amber colour and a little hazy.

Aroma is nicely balanced between hops and malt. Citrusy, sweet, a little flowery and some caramel,

Well balanced flavour of malt with caramel and citrusy hops with a bit of spicy rye bite. Really enjoyable.

Medium bodied and smooth but the rye gets to me after a while. Reallly enjoyed these on a nice warm evening on oahu in february.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured this American IPA from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear copper color, produced a very nice off white head, great retention and it left a very nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of spicy rye and piney hops. Medium in body, the foundation of this ale consisted of spicy rye and a decent amount of earthy hops. Overall the balance is a bit off, more spicy rye then bitter hops but a decent example of the style.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby red with excellent foam and lacing.

Smell: Rye and black pepper. It could have been a bit stronger for me.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Rye and a hint of licorice. Thick mouthfeel that falls flat. Very syrupy.

Overall Drinkability: Not my favoriate rye, nor my favorite Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/dark orange color with a frothy white head. Leaves a ton of lacing. Smells of citrus, a lot of lemon in there, and grain. Mouthfeel is similar, but the rye is very pronounced. A bit of spiciness in the finish. Overall, a pretty good IPA, but not even near the best out there.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 355ml bottle. Pours a brownish orange colour. (Tasting notes aside, this has a really striking label.) The nose is an interesting mix of bright citrus fruits like tangerine and lemon and grain. The rye really comes through on the palate. There's a strong dark rye bread flavour with some citrus notes and a spicy,hoppy finish. Good carbonation.

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Photo of rgs0204
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Clear, dark orange body that sparkles like champagne with a fizzy white head that disappears quickly.

Smell - hops and more hops, light malt, citrus, and a touch of pepper.

Taste - Initial taste is lightly acidic with a light sweetness, but the finish is long and heavy, with a bearable bitter flavor reminding you that this is an IPA not a pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Fully body, smooth with a dry light fizz. The finish is chalky making the bitter finish sort of sit in the back of your throat.

Overall - This is a nice IPA to welcome the transition from Winter to Spring. There is little to no floral hints and the bitterness that is expected with big IPAs is hidden in the finish...but it is there. This is a very drinkable IPA.

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Photo of HerculesRM
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smells clean, subtle fresh cut pine. The tastes up front are nice piney bitters. The secondary flavours are booze, passion fruit and red currants. Beautiful red/copper colour with a thin white head. Refreshing and interesting. Well done, Mr. Grossman!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer is amber with a bit of an orange tinge. Moderately-sized beige head. Pretty good retention.

Nose contains rye, caramel and citrus hops. Nice but a bit faint.

Taste contains caramel. spicy rye, pepper, fruit hops. Some grapefruit and orange.

Medium bodied, highly carbonated. Too carbonated for my tastes, but a good body. Chewy.

Overall, pretty good. I like the rye but the hops could be a bit more flavourful.

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Photo of Steamer
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very nice light amber color with a full-on cream colored head. Full hops and rye aroma with pine and lime overtones. The potency of the hops flavor is a tamer than some other IPAs, more citrusy, but still very good. Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Overall: a good, not so complex IPA that would be a great option for someone getting their taste buds acquainted with hops forward brews at the next step up from a strong amber ale.

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Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip glass

A: burnt sienna color. ruby shine when held up to the light. complex color. hazy. carbonation. a finger of frothy head quickly dissipates. nice lacing. (nice bottle art as well. reaping the harvest. shit is deep.)

S: the rye has a robust presence, balanced with citrus notes. something at the bottom is slightly resinous or woody.

T: the rye is very well blended with the citrus malts. the malts aren't particularly discernible but they compensate for the dryness of the rye. the effect is very refreshing. peppery. hops on the finish. well balanced.

M: medium bodied. moderately carbonated. refreshing. crisp going down.

O: when i saw this beer, i knew i would have to compare it with founders red's rye pa. while not as bold or original, this beer is completely satisfying and refreshing. the substitution of rye for predominant hops separates this beer from any other sierra nevada beer i've had.

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Photo of paulytasker
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

A- Poured a striking, bold amber. If there were such a thing as liquid rust, this would be what it would look like. Eye candy!

S- Nothing overwhelming or dominant. Pick up some toasty malts. A combo of peppery and piney notes. The Rye is noticeable but blended well with some faint citrusy hops. All in all pleasant to the nose but not outstanding.

T- Bitter hops far more noticeable on the palate than in the nose. Fairly inexperienced with Rye beers, but I am finding the spicy blend of Rye and Malts to be just what it needs to be, great balance. Very faint citrusy blend sifts through, as well as a good amount of caramel.

M- Body is light/medium, and quite smooth. Finishes a little on the dry side with a lingering peppery bitterness. A pretty easy brew to drink.

O- As earlier mentioned, not too well versed in this style, but what I found here was a brew with a decent amount of complexity with some pretty damn good flavor. Great balance and another fine brew from Sierra Nevada. Any hophead not familiar with rye forward beers looking to switch things up a little should give this a try. Cheers!

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Photo of thlayli87
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A - Amber-orange with two fingers of foamy head. Lacing forms in rings as head recedes.

S - Grainy malt, pine resin, spiciness. Very fragrant.

T - Piney hops, spicy rye, slight pleasant alcohol warming sensation, lingering bitterness.

M - Light to medium body, lively carbonation.

O - Refreshing, drinkable, and a good representation of the style.

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Photo of Roman5150
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottle into pint glass

smell: piney, malty, resiny, bready... great smelling beer

appearance: amber with a slightly off white 2 finger head

taste: malt seems to take priority over hops, rye is present. I would describe this as a Kölsch meets a west coast IPA. Slight floral notes, with some caramel, but its the rye that creates a bready smooth aftertaste, not all that bitter. very refreshing.

mouthfeel: not overly carbonated, very smooth

overall: This may be one of my favorite Sierra Nevada's, it's very refreshing and smooth. This is a very unique "IPA"; The hops don't overwhelm, but neither does the malt or rye, everything is balanced. I will be buying this again.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish-amber body, with a huge, dense and fine-beaded cream-colored head, which retains quite well. The ethereal carbonation drifts slowly to the surface.

Aroma: Prominent, spicy rye and grapefruit hops utterly dominate the aroma. There are grassy notes as well, which are rather understated.

Taste: Opens with a surge of strong citrus hops and spicy rye. Mild pepper notes are present as well. As the taste progresses, some bread flavors appear. Finishes with a lingering, strong medicinal bitterness at the back of the mouth.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, soft, and quite full.

Drinkability/notes: The citrus hops utterly dominate this beer, overshadowing the spicy qualities of the rye. Would be more interesting with a slightly less heavy-handed approach to the hops.

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Source: Purchased at Wal-Mart in Texas as a selection of a Brewmaster's Choice build-your-own six-pack for $8.99.

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

single bottle from WF

a: served in a wide belgian snifter, the beer is a medium reddish-amber in color, floating a slight ring and island of carbonation on its surface

s: lovely aroma - fresh hops push the sweet/acid of red grapefruit through a structure of sweet/spicy rye and pale malts with a touch of toast

m: the light-moderate body and refreshingly moderate, smooth carbonation make for a clean, pleasant mouthfeel

t: caramelized malt sugars and sweet/spicy rye contribute to a complex base as citrus peel hops provide a counter of acid and tropical flavors, a bitterness grows from about midway to reach its full potential in the finish, lingering with flavors of hop pulp and toasted rye, delicious

o: your typical SN ipa/pale - featuring a lovely hop/malt balance with a pungent NW hop profile and that almost indescribable, refined crisp-cleanliness that they do oh so well, there’s no waste or excess here - just plain ‘ol great brewing

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Photo of mnphish
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ruthless has a light amber/orange body with a fat white head and leaves good residuals. The nose smells of piney resinous hops and sweet caramel malts. There is also some grass and maybe lemon in there as well.

The rye taste is certainly there but in moderate fashion. It's dominated by some bitter and floral wet hops. There isn't much for tropical fruit flavors but they are buried in there very lightly. It finishes with a sweet caramel malt backbone and a mild bitter taste. Pretty big bodied for a IPA actually and the alcohol is hidden nicely.

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
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!

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Photo of xShoWTeKx
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, has a good sized white head that holds for quite a while and leaves heavy lace. Color is a transparent copper.

S: Very strong spicy, citrusy hop smell with a slight rye bread and sweet caramel smell.

T: A nice spicy kind of rye bread taste with very light sweetness and a strong piney and citrus hop flavor ending.

M: Medium body with good carbonation, this beer is very very smooth.

O: This is a very dynamic and smooth beer that I thoroughly enjoyed and will enjoy again. Would definitely recommend trying this beer if you haven't.

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

Appearance: A brown color with a decent haze on it. Head is about two fingers, and stays at one throughout most of the glass. Lacing, at least at the start, is very nice.

Smell: Holy interest. The rye with the citrus creates this fantastic aroma that I'll have a hard time trying to describe. Really, in order of the prominence, it's a dirty, woody, piney, citrus aroma.

Taste: Not too unlike the smell, to be honest. For an IPA, I'm getting loads of malts on the front and back end of each sip. This screams Spring or Fall beer, for me. It's definitely a rye beer, but it's hard to say this is an IPA. There are some bitter hops on the finish, though, so I guess it's not completely far off. The finish is dry, and, as I said, bitter on Ruthless Rye. Despite its dry finish, Ruthless Rye remains super drinkable, and somehow refreshing. The alcohol doesn't come through in the flavor at all either. The feel on this one is right where it ought to be. It's carbonated quite well, but it's not carbonated to the point that it feels harsh on the tongue.

Ruthless Rye is just a great beer. To be honest, I'm surprised it "only" has an 88 rating. I really think I like this beer better than my hometown Red's Rye by Founders, though I haven't had it for quite some time. Definitely pick this one up.

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