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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

4,672 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,672
Reviews: 1,064
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 80
Gots: 437 | 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: 4,672 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beagle75
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with one finger of off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Understated herbaceous notes give way to significant spicy rye grain. A thread of pineapple is also apparent.

T: Begins off-dry, with balanced bready malt and citric acidity that suggests tropical fruit. Malt becomes more crisp, rye-like, in the middle as dryness surges. Bitterness is pronounced in the finish, herbaceous in character, as some of the early bready qualities return.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, soft and balanced on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a predominantly malt-focused pale ale, and its range is enhanced or extended by the strong rye presence. While rye seems to be emerging as the defining beer fad of 2012, its effective and fearless handling cannot be overstated here. Unlike most modern IPAs that rely on delicate and aromatic dry-hopped qualities to defile their sensory profile, this beer's malty focus pairs much more companionably with spicy foods.

Photo of AndyTaylor
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Jdurfey
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of PorterPig
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hard pour into pint glass.

A: amber, abundant ivory head & light lacing.

S: hops are in front, citrus, resin.

T: on the initial taste hops are more restrained than expected, alcohol is forward, hint of wood/earthiness (is this rye coming through?), subtle malt, hop bitterness surrounds the tongue.

M: clean yet with a slight and pleasant buttery smoothness. A real suprise.

O: To be truly ruthless perhaps you have to be this smooth. Great balance. A nice suprise of an IPA.

Photo of DaveBlack
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Auburn brew with a 2 finger head from an aggressive pour, which dissipates slowly leaving a thin layer on the top of the beer and quite a bit of lacing on the side. The head also collects at the edges of the glass, but leaves very little head.

S: Sweet malts blend with the spiciness of the rye on the nose, and it finishes with a hefty hit of the citrusy-floral cascade hops.

T: Follows the smell, but is significantly better. A tasty brew from start to finish. As I said with the nose, the sweet malts blend with the peppery rye right up front, and then grudgingly give way to the citrus, floral notes of the hops. The hops blend well with the rye, giving an aftertaste of bitter hops and rye.

M: Medium body and moderate carbonation. It also is rather, well the best word that I have is "tingly" from the rye.

O: A solid offering from Sierra Nevada to be sure. The beer is well balanced, some sweetness, more bitterness. Nice and spicy, and worth a look

Photo of HamGlade10
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of seesnow3
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Donsmitty
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of troysoy2
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. I only got a half finger of head, so I could have been a bit more aggressive with the pour. Otherwise, the off-white eggshell head had decent retention, and a decent, if splotchy, lacing. The body is a nice, deeper copper, probably thanks to the rye and chocolate malts in here.

Whoa, the smell is funky. Spicy, sharp, hemp, with a funky fruitiness. A little bit of piney hop, and just a hint of darkness from the malt.

The first thing I noticed is the mouthfeel, actually. This beer really wants to go down quick. It's a little thinner than I was expecting, but on the upside, it is nicely carbonated and has a nice, dry finish.

It has a nice grapefruit taste to it, and the rye spiciness helps augment the dry, grassy finish. And yet, the aftertaste develops an interesting sweetness to it. Just a touch of alcohol peaks through as well. Strangely, the front end of the taste really gets overshadowed by the finish in this beer.

Maybe a tad unbalanced, but interesting and good for a little variety within the IPA world. I will probably be in the mood for another Ruthless Rye every so often.

Photo of Swervine44
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of JackieTH
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber colored with a small khaki head that recedes quickly, leaving fits of lace. Smell overall is rather faint but there are citrus and tropical elements noted. Taste opens up bitter with grapefruit elements, bitterness fades into a base of lightly sweet and biscuity malt with some bitterness lingering on the edges of the palate.  Mouthfeel is medium and holds together well. Carbonation is ample. Bitterness of grapefruit pith lingers on the finish, but isn't overpowering.  Solid offering.  Not at all fantastic and frankly not a great Rye beer, it's essentially one dimensional...but enjoyable.

Photo of Yabev15
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/3/12
*From notes

A: Clean copper in color. A good pour yields a big and white three finger head, which sticks aound for quite a while. Gobs of lacing rim the glass.

S: The rye really stand out, front and center. There's also a surprising lavender quality to it. The hops are somewhat muted here, and take on more of a supporting role in the bouquet.

T: Rather dry and bready up front. Lots of rye all over this, yet it's not cloying or overdone. The mid reveals a layer of slightly bitter hop oil, and the finish is decidedly "Sierra Nevada".

M: What a thick AIPA. The quality of the mouthfeel is the beer's standout. Just a dense and complex brew that really comes together in the mouth.

O: What a lovely surprise. I really wasn't expecting a whole lot out of SN's Ruthless Rye. And wouldn't you know that they go and put together a solid, easy drinking AIPA. Hats off for another winner from one of the founding fathers of the craft movement.


Photo of TheFightfan1
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 600th review. Deep mahogany color with a decent one finger heading that leaves some lacing throughout.

Good rye and spice in the nose, some subtle earthy notes with a decent pine almost smokey touch to it.

Taste is the same as the nose. Good bit of rye malts, a solid lingering of spice and pepper. A good bite of medicinal hops. Finishes dry.

Medium bodied, good carbonation, a little on the thicker side, not so watery.

This one took me by surprise. Not to many rye beers that have as much depth as this.

Photo of sevenarts
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Translucent orange-brown color with a bubbly white head that leaves good lacing behind.

S: Not very strong on the nose: some earthy, hoppy aromas mostly, pine and citrus and a hint of malty sweetness underneath.

T/M: Spicy, peppery rye blended with a lot of hop bitterness. Some citrus notes, earthy flavors, the spice of the rye, and a strong hit of bitterness on the way down. Very bitter, but not in a one-dimensional way, there's some nice layering in the multiple characteristics of the hops and the way the rye spiciness interacts with them.

O: A real solid new IPA, very tasty, very bitter but not overwhelmingly so.

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of insocova
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of bbkd3b
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Great, amber-colored body that's complemented by a creamy, beige head with nice retention. The more I drink, the more the lacing sticks to the glass - just a classy looking brew. It's complimented by a fairly strong scent. Heavy on rye, which isn't surprising, but there's more to it than that. A soft undertone of citrus and earthy hops creates a nice layer of pleasantness. Inviting.

A smooth-as-silk body carries a very piney flavor on to the tongue. Along the way I get a mixture of rye, grapefruit, and an almost nonexistent dash of sweeter malts. Bitter flavor lingers for a long time after a sip. Solid, if unexciting mixture. Carbonation was spot-on for this style.

While this represents neither the best of rye or IPAs, it does do all of the big things right. I would have preferred a more explosive amount of rye, but as-is, this is just a solid, drinkable beer.

Photo of r0gueleader
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is an amber/copper color with a nice froth. Smells of hops galore. Fruity undertone (cranberry?). A great amount of hops at first taste. Tons of character in this IPA, but a very smooth at the same time. The hints of rye are perfectly placed and not overpowering, and leaves a nice aftertaste. A fantastic spring IPA.

Photo of Bonis
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber in color with a beautiful inch of thick cream colored foam. Nice lacing, as always from SN. SN knows how to make a good looking beer!

S - Rye mixes with piney, spicy and citrus hops. A slight bready malt makes it's way in there after a few whiffs. Something is off in the nose.. Slight oxidation already? I also get that signature soapiness that I've noticed in SN beers before. Not my favorite aspect of this brew.

T - A great balance between the rye, malts, and hops. A nice piney dank-like hop presence and some citrus hops as well. Not too complex, but a nice mesh of flavors overall. A notable maryjane dankiness precedes the bitter finish. The grains take a back seat to the hops, as is usual in SN beers, but as I said, the balance is amazing. Nothing is too dominant. Just a solid tasting beer. Muted alcohol overall.

M - Moderate mouthfeel and carb. A pleasant hop bitterness lingers in the mouth.

O - A nice rye beer. Very hoppy but well balanced and a great complement to the grain make-up of this brew. Would suggest to anyone who enjoys hoppy beers and hasn't picked this one up yet. It's another solid offering from SN.

Photo of mdcrouser
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like a red, glowing of orange with hints of gold toward the edges, but much darker toward the shadows. A cap of off-white head is a new cap for this beer - also provides new sides to the glass, like thick streamers the whole way down.

A bit of citrus to lead the nose deeper into the glass. Not near as strong as I'd assume.

Like daggers shooting to the back of the mouth, it leads with a big floral, grassy, spicy bomb. That's immediately followed by a strong brewed tea-like grasp on the tongue. Really holds that earthiness - the rye is there, tea drying and bitter to close.

That's a darn good beer - well-balanced hops, this distinctive tea, the spiciness of the rye.

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

A: A perfectly clear amber pour. Huge off-white head with mid-range retention. Decent lacing too.

S: Some piney hops and a touch of rye. Nice bready malt in there too.

T: Grapefruit, pine and rye bread. Spicy rye lingers in the aftertaste nicely. Touch of caramel in the middle.

M: Medium bodied, clean and crisp.

O: A pretty standard IPA with a nice touch of rye that isn't overpowering. Simple, drinkable and tasty. Can't go wrong.

Photo of ikantspel
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

pours a clear amber color with an off khaki medium head. leaves a semi thick lacing along the glass

earthy notes alone with pine, hops, budding roses, and some sweet citrus

taste is almost similar to aroma. more toastiness though, the rye is inconspiculously absent. maybe it was there but i didnt get any of it

Photo of rundocrun
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Body is the color of amber-brown honey. Transparent.
A finger of fluffy white head forms and sticks around for several minutes. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S - Citrus peel and grapefruit grab me right away. A subtle grainy background suggests the rye in the recipe.

T - Mildly sweet and honey-like initially, with a quick follow-up of bitterness and citrus. Some spicy, bready character from the rye comes in toward the middle and lasts through the finish making for a crisp refreshing ipa.

M - Thin-to-medium body with smooth crisp mouthfeel. Definitely accentuates the rye character well, both in flavor and drinkability.

Overall- solid new offering from SN, Hopefully this sticks around through the summer. I'd love to have an ice cold one of these on a hot summer afternoon.

Photo of coachdonovan
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on Dec 23, have heard great buzz about this new seasonal. Head is robust enough to require a two-part pour into my shaker glass. Pockets stay up while others settle, giving a great visual atop a copper/amber beer that isn't entirely transparent but pretty close.

Aroma is loaded with juicy piney hop resin; admittedly I can't pick out the rye. Flavor is similar, with plenty of that spicy bitterness that probably comes from both the rye and hops. A grainy earthiness dries things out at the end, just before a tiny kiss of caramel/choc malt sweetness.

Another great addition to the SN family. This is incredibly flavorful without wrecking the palate, although I think the peppery spice would probably wear me out before I finished a six pack.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,672 ratings.