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

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 12/4/2014. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, spicy rye, light caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and moderate rye/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, spicy rye, light caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness and rye spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/orange zest, pine, spicy rye, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, robustness, and complexity of citrus/pine hops and moderate rye/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp/sticky, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent rye IPA style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and moderate rye/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Hayden34
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I little disclaimer, I actually REALLY enjoy this beer but something about Rye beer in general doesn't agree with me so I avoid it at all costs. Hence the reason I affectionately refer to this beer as "Ruthless Flatulence".

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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 Tsar_Riga
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Orange, clear, bright, white head, lots of lacing.

S - Spicy, bright, grassy.

T - Very strong grass and spice, peppery, malty back. Subtle bitter close.

M - Feels brisk, good carbonation, closes pretty clean.

O - Strong, bold IPA, spicy with rye, but not unpleasantly so.

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Photo of JohnnyI
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours in to a New Belgium tulip with a semi-transparent roasted orange color. The thin tan head lingers for a bit, then disappears with minimal retention and little appreciable lacing. The aroma is a balanced assortment of citrus, caramel sweetness and hints of dank earthy spice. The flavors follow suit, with a nice complex mix of delicious caramel, orange zest and peppery, earthy grain. The finish really highlights the inclusion of rye. Fairly balanced, with the bitterness held in check by the flavorful malts. The body of the beer is great. Juicy, moderate and satisfying, with a perfect level of carbonation. Very well done. Overall, the rye really adds some fantastic depth to the style. Carefully selected complimentary flavors and a keen sense of balance make this one a winner. Another score for Sierra Nevada. These guys really can't miss.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Reddish Amber color, clear, half inch head that faded to a quarter inch, but laced the glass nicely.
Smell: Piney, spicy smell, with some malty notes.
Taste: The malt seems pretty prominent, but there's a nice nice underlying piney bitterness and a spicy flavor from the rye in there as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, pretty crisp finish.
Overall: I can hardly wait for this beer to come out every year, one of my favorite SN beers. The sum of the parts really add up well to come tougher in a great beer.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass bottled on 12/02/14

Appearance: Pours a deep amber with amble off-white head

Smell: Faint aroma of hops and some grassy grains

Taste: Far better than the aroma with plenty of earthy hop notes balanced by the malt and spicy rye flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium and refreshing

Overall: A nice IPA that balances the rye very well. Hopefully this doesn't go away forever after this year.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red clay color with off white head. Aroma is citrus, slight bread and a bit of sweetness. Taste is citrus, with rye bread and a bit of spice from the rye. Mouthfeel is medium but dry. Overall not my favorite fron SN, I think because the rye dries it out to much for me.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance 3.75: Pours out a deep, coppery red. Decent, 1/2" head. Great lacing.

Smell 3.5: Good bouquet. Very nice, deep and sweet scent predominates. Not much "graininess" or rye scent at all.

Taste 4.0: Front is sweet and very pleasant with a distinct rye taste. Reminds me of biting into rye bread. This taste quickly fades and the Middle hits you with a huge wave of sweet malt and a delicious (and lightly mild for Sierra Nevada) hop blend. Finish is where it all comes together and, like pulling the drain on a sink, swirls around and quickly fades into a very nice dry ending. Rye taste here at the end as well. Aftertaste is long and malty.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Great conditioning on this beer. Hits the mark and accentuates the experience.

Overall 4.0: Excellent beer. Would go great with food and is a wonderful sessioner (trust me!). One of the best -if not the best--rye beer on the market. If you are wondering what a rye is like, start here and work your way down.

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Photo of CamelBackNotation
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

There is no strong bite at the beginning of the sip. The beer gently transitions into a smooth, soft feel with no real offensive tastes. It's just plain pleasant. Great beer! Not really what I would associate with IPA

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Photo of pnelting
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber color with full off white head and plenty of lacing.

S: Hoppy with some spice. Just a hint of citrus.

T: Hops with some grain on the back end. Really smooth and easy to drink.

M: Clean mouth feel. A little on the thin side.

O: Really solid beer and well worth finding in the 4 way ipa pack.

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Photo of Ipaupaweallpa
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very good. Tastes like a peppery Torpedo, although as someone else said, I think last year's ruthless Rye had a bit more flavor profile than this year. Seems a little watery. Still no complains. Excellent.

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Photo of predikit
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark amber, creates a white head that leaves plenty of lacing behind.

Smells mostly hoppy, I had this awhile back and a peppery scent tickled my nose, but it doesn't seem to be present in this batch.

Takes like an average IPA, citrus notes up front, malt middle, slight bitter in on the end. The rye aspect is very underwhelming compared to my tasting of this one year ago.

Medium light body, crisp and clean. Alcohol is fairly present for the finish.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured from a bottle into a pub glass.
Appearance - a blood orange with lots of carbonation bubbles that builds a thick, frothy white head. Retention is great, lacing is adequate.
Smell - balanced hops and malts. Pine is the most noticeable in the nose.
Taste - slightly more hop forward than the nose; yet still well balanced on the palate.
Feel - hop bitterness, a nice malt presence, but not noticeably rye in nature.
Overall - as always, excellent price point from Sierra Nevada, and a nice Winter seasonal IPA!

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Photo of CraftyViki
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

I think this beer is fantastic and it is included in my top 3 beers. All of the ingredients used meld together to make a super pleasing flavor. The only reason I did not give this one a '5' is because it is not available 365 days a year.

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Photo of tillmac62
4/5  rDev +2%

BOD 141/14. Pours medium amber with a slight haze. Normal head, lacing and retention. Nice nose of caramel sweetness over citrus and pine notes with a touch of spice. Light medium body, with a texture that borders upon creamy. Normal carbonation level with light effervescence on the finish. Balanced flavor profile with a bit of complexity. It begins with pine and citrus hop flavor which flows into caramel. As the caramel sweetness fades, the rye asserts itself. The finish is somewhat sharp with the rye and hop bitterness lingering. A solid offering, but not in the league of GL's Rye of the Tiger or Founder's Red's Rye.

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Photo of hophugger
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Happy, Happy, Happy. This is another great beer from Sierra Nevada. Pours a nice off brown color with a good head. The taste is great with hops, pine and some citrus together. This beer has the right amount of sweetness to balance everything out properly. The finish is of bitter hops, but is very pleasant and definitely a go to beer. I like it !!

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Photo of beerlust
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Another Sierra Nevada seasonal favorite of mine, along with the fall and Christmas beers. Nice bite and
kind of flowery taste. Not overpowering, but not for sissies, either. It's a little less rough than the Torpedo. Extremely affordable way to get
your hop fix, like their Celebration Ale.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

This pours a semi-cloudy brown color with a slight off-white head. The aroma is slightly bitter with hops. The taste is big and bold with rye and hops flavors. It is smooth and flavorful with a grainy, hoppy finish leaving a bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of magpieken
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

12 fl oz bottle. Medium gold-copper colour with a tall, dense, off-white head which persisted well and left some nice lacing. Aroma of pine, floral perfume and citrus. A nice combination of: medium sweetness, complementary bitterness and a spicy bite to finish. Medium bodied with a creamy smooth texture. These jokers know how to make a beer. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of AMack11
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks great. Copper with a lovely tan head when poured into my ilkey brewery tasting glass.

S - Somewhat muted. The usual IPA notes are there but I expected more hoppy notes, more citrus more spice, especially from the addition of Rye.

T - As above. The taste is the same as the smell. There is however, a hint of the grapefruit, but this is not all that different to any other bog standard IPA

F - it's okay. A little thin.

O - It's not bad.a easy session ale, but for the price, somewhat of a let down. I'd drink it again, but I doubt I will. Pay the extra quid and get the Torpedo.

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Photo of Dextrose
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the Vineyard to start off the weekend. Poured copper coloured with substantial off white head. Didn't really pay too much attention to the aroma as I was too keen to taste it. Great mouthfeel with a good balance of hop and malt. Nice head retention and lacing. Definitely should have bought more!

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnished copper colour, quite clear appearance. Head is off-white, nice and bubbly but sunk to a whispy cloud. Lacing is sticky and lovely. Looks good.

Smells fresh and hoppy, with lots of citric character, pine and a nice spicy rye hint. Touch of walnut and dark rye bread. Bit subdued though, it doesn't burst with aroma like I'd anticipated.

Taste is big and hoppy upfront: fresh and floral with hints of peach and citrus. Big spicy notes on the late-mid with pepper, allspice and some pine resin that gives quite a big bitterness. Nice balance though, with enough freshness from the hops to lighten it up and avoid the doldrums where it may otherwise have ended. Nice rye flavours, nice IPA flavours, lovely blend really.

Smooth mouthfeel, swills around pretty decently with a bit of texture, but otherwise goes down very nicely. I'm enjoying that.

Very nice rye IPA; noticeable flavours but nice balance. Big, but sophisticated.

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

As the old saying goes "one good something deserves a something..." (I really need to read up on my old sayings). Irrespective of my terrible memory I have a nice juicy bottle of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA (or SNRRIPA - you knew I was going to do this) in my hot little hand which I should review as soon as possible as the bottle is getting warm due to being in my hand [phew, long sentence]. Note: This is the 2014 vintage.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Presents a nice hazy tawny body (the rye adds a touch of brown) with an off-white lace ring, nice.

S: Spice, orange, toasted biscuit and pine notes combine well in this IPA. There is a hint of earthiness as well, no doubt due to the addition of rye. A touch of Bundaberg ginger beer also pervades the whole aroma, hopefully it isn't as sweet as a ginger beer (i.e. sickly).

T: Hmmm, the above notes are detected, however (and most surprisingly) Sierra Nevada have made an IPA that isn't ruthless - it's quite tame given the name, but given the name this isn't a bad thing (not at all). The earthy/spicy notes of the rye are given their time to shine, along with this are the typical pine/citric notes that are glad to give rye the spotlight for a change.

M: Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

D: As a showcase to rye SNRRIPA does a tremendous job of not overpowering the delicate grain with those classic bold American hops. Indeed I was most impressed with SN's restraint and ability to bring out the rye flavour so well. It is missing a touch of sweetness that I've had before in rye beers however this is a minor quibble. Overall a top job from SN again. If you are new to rye Ales in general this is not a bad place to start (also try the Sunshine Coast Rye ESB for a sweeter rye note).

Food match: Not your typical IPA here, which in a way makes it more versatile; gourmet pizza would really suit this "ruthless" Ale.

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Photo of MartzMimic
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper with a decent foamy off-white head that stays for a bit. Nice lacing. Aroma of pine resin, hay and grainy malt. The rye gives it an earthy taste with a bit of sweet spice. It also balances nicely with the hops. It's bitter, but not overly so. It does give a nice tingle to the tongue. Medium mouth without a lot of carbonation. Definitely a solid beer as you would expect from SN.

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