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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

4,656 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,656
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 78
Gots: 419 | 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: 4,656 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of harrymel
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 28DEC11

Pours a nice copper color with a little over a finger of peanut foam. excellent clarity and near web lace. Smells dank, some resin, pine, grapefruit, skunk and a little soil. Interesting, not sure if I dig it.

A bit nutty up front with a good grainy backbone and even some corn. An interesting malt profile I must say. The hops are herbal and theres even a sage flavor in here to me. Some sweetness and nutty flavors, almost a hint of oxidation on the malt. I'm really intrigued by this beer, I can't really say I like it, but I don't really dislike it.

Mouth is a bit heavy with higher carb and a dry finish for the style. This beer is not feeding into any of my expectations.

I really am having a hard time deciding on this beer, but I'm thinking it may be a little too rustic for me. The malts are weird, but the hops match the weirdness, I'm pretty torn on this one. It's above average, but not great. I will likely revisit just to creep the intrigue.

Photo of TXhomebrewer
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of PatDreadful
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH Chalice.

Appearance: Looks great with a nice light brown color that is completely transparent. The egg sheall colored head is large and maintains throughout the session. Very nice.

Smell: There is the typical SN hop bill that I've grown to love. Lush tropical citrus with a touch of piney notes to really keep everything grounded. The rye provides an earthy spice that only serves to enhance the pine notes. Again, very well done.

Taste: Ah, that is what I'm looking for. The citrus hits you up front with grapefruit dominating which gives way to that wonderful piney spice acheived through the hops and the rye and then all of the sudden, it is gone. The flavor loses steam half way through my swallow and I am just left with a lingering taste of mild malt. No spice and certainly no hops. This is a huge dissapointment.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with medium carbonation. Very good for the style but I could have used just a bit more in the way of carbonation

I was left underwhelmed by the hops in this beer. It certainly wasn't bad but I think there are much better rye options and certainly much better pale ale options out there.

Photo of 00BEER00
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of LiquidSanity
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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

32oz Growler. Served at around 45F.

Pours clear copper/amber with a large rocky off-white head that leaves clumpy drippy rings of lacing and holds a very nice foamy cap.

Aroma is dank hops, marijuana, pine & grass, a bit of citrus, a lot of spicy rye notes, bread, a bit of caramel. Very good strength.

Flavor is grassy, citrusy, dank and resinous hops, strong rye notes, dark bread & toast, a bit of toffee & caramel, light sweetness, good bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Very nice Rye IPA. Has a bigger Rye presence than any I’ve had before with a nice dank hop note. Tasty stuff.

Photo of demuzik
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A burnt reddish rye in the glass; standard head and lacing throughout.

Not gonna lie... let down by this one. The main impression is a muddied ale heavy in sierra nevada taste "factory taste"; a SNPA that is rather muddied and thick amongst heavier hoppage. The rye flavor does not come through spicy as it should or distinct... thought it would be a favorite since I love rye-ales, the bitterness and lack of hop flavor does not appease the IPA desire.

All in all, still it IS Sierra Nevada, so its drinkable and not rubbish, but this could have and should have been a winner.

Photo of rawfish
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut tinged amber, very clear with a two finger head of off white froth. Retention isn't very strong as the layers melt away quickly leaving attractive rings behind. Extra point here for the artwork, elegant and detailed.

Wow, fruity malts along with some bread and, and peppery grains. Hops lay down pine but it accompanied by surprising pungent floral notes with guava and passion fruit highlights.

Robust malt of whole grains, rye and a touch of honey. Moves seemlessly into a pine and earthy hop flavor that carries into a peppery finish and a low lying bitterness. Very balanced.

Robust body with adequate carbonation, mouthfeel is a bit sticky at times and the bitterness and spice isn't enough to shake the feeling.

Well crafted beer and a welcome seasonal, heavier body than expected but perfect for the season where you don't know what the weather will be like.

Photo of Beer21
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear rich amber color with a massive off white head that slowly settles down to a finger high blanket covering the ale. The lacing sticks around the glass a little.

The aroma is hop bitterness at first. Pine and citrus notes are covered. But there is Rye bread aroma as well.

The flavor is full of citrus notes, pine notes. Sharp grapefruit and pine notes hit the tongue at first. Only, to be followed bye the sweetness of the malt and the grain of the rye. I can even detect some whiskey smokiness.

Medium/full bodied, lightly carbonated, and easy to drink if you love hops.

This brewery never disappoints and grab some while you can and enjoy!

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/28/12 notes. Thanks to nmann08 and jslot38 for sharing this one, been wanting to try it. 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a clear copper-amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of rye, fruity malts, spices, light citrus hops, and bready malts. Lots of rye and fruit, very nice.

t - Tastes of rye, spices, fruity malts, bready malts, grains, and citrus hops. A little more spice than the nose, and a bunch of rye up front again. Again, very nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Quite easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a very nice rye beer; one of the better ones I've had in a while. Lots of rye but still easy to drink, and not too spicey. Would like to have it again, and would pick up a 6er.

Photo of twinpeekaboo
4.5/5  rDev +16%

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice amber-orange hue with a clear body and a nice effervescence. Head poured two-plus fingers of frothy ivory foam. Quite good!

Smell: autumnal aroma of earthy and citrusy hops with another earthy quality underneath. I don't identify it as rye distinctly, but it's definitely something spicy and atypical.

Taste: dry and earthy flavor; bitterness is getting up there but is not overly strong. The rye here is used sparingly, and to quite good effect; it adds just enough interest to complement the hops well.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation and creaminess. I like it.

Overall: quite a nice IPA. The rye is used subtly and to good effect. Kudos!

Photo of match1112
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

sorry to say the pour is my favorite part of this beer. massive three finger bone white head sits atop a clear copper colored body. excellent retention and lacing are noticed with this one. the nose detects hints of malts and hops with a little spice. taste is pretty hoppy, as expected with all s.n. beers. good citrus and pine flavors blend perfectly. a nice caramel presence is also appreciated, however it's hard to tell if the spice is from hops or rye. mouthfeel is typical of an ipa. medium to light body, good carbonation, oily and a long dry finish. the bad news that this is my fourth one from the sixer and they all have tasted soapy. i even drank them all on different days and out of different glasses. so my low rating would be duwe to the soap taste and lack of rye in the flavor profile. other than that it is a decent ipa.

Photo of mntlover
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear copper color with a big fluffy off white head that falls slow and laces wonderfully.

Aroma is nice fruity sweetness mingled with spicy rye and a good dose of citrus hops. Good but little subdued or my nose is little clogged.

Taste is very nice rye seems to make a great addition to an IPA. Sweet malts fruity notes to start then some spicy rye mingle with citrus hops for a good tasting IPA. Finish is all the above with some pine notes thrown in that really aren't in the nose. Taste is great much more intense the the smell, or maybe my nose is little clogged up.

Mouthfeel is where it should be almost medium figured the body be little bigger but still ok. Carbonation is smooth making it easy drinking.

Overall its a very nice brew, think spicy rye notes seem to always blend well with hops, hard not to like this one.

Photo of grubefresh
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of deesteelers
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of blakelive784
2.78/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent copper/orange color, with a thin, off-white head of 1.5 fingers. Retention is poor.

S - Lemongrass, citrus, and the overly used cascade/centennial hops nose overwhelm a caramel and crystal malt foundation. I don't pick up any rye in the nose. Mild to moderate strength.

T - Still no rye at all. Classic Sierra Nevada overuse of generic cascade hops. Light caramel is overpowered by lemon and grapefruit. It's imbalanced, and I can't get any hints of rye, even when I search for it. Suffers from simplicity.

M - Medium bodied, crisp, and a bit thick. It's alright, but there's not much going on anyway.

D - Another disappointment from SN. I find this one to be imbalanced, simple, and not one I'd have again. It's an average IPA at best, and I'm not sure what they were going for with the rye, but it's a miserable failure.

Photo of Thickfreakness
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

Photo of thecheapies
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a robust light earthy honey-brown with a static three-fingered eggshell head. Great clarity, but without surging carbonation from the base. The head is soapy and thick, glimmering with highlights like crystals on the surface. Rich webbing on the sides of the pint glass. A solid ring marks the displacement of each one of my gulps.

Citrus (grapefruit, tangerine) hops in the nose intermingling with a peppery spice from a toasted rye malt. Some nutty/soapy yeast character in there, but just a hair.

Playful, lively spice from the rye with a dry toasty malt quality. Rough and husky grain. Big bitter leafy hops, like fresh hop flowers, produce exotic citrus fruit (kumquat) and black tea notes. Great whole-grain bread presence to the grain bill. Healthy and hearty. Great bitter finish, free from any astringency.

Kind of slurpy. Great, actually. Easy to bring in and easy to swallow. Heavier body for the style. The carbonation is up to the challenge, as well. No problem to sling back.

A fresh bottle did the trick. I might add, this is a bit too dry for my liking. Rye malts pair well with some sweetness. Otherwise, this gives Founders Red's Rye PA a serious run for its money. Maybe even a notch up.

Photo of kb2250
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of weizenbob
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This 12 ounce bottle was purchased at Shop-N-Save in Ludington, MI. According to the Julian date code on the label it was bottled 12/28/2011. I popped the cap and poured into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. The pour resulted in a finger tall head that is a shade darker than ivory. As with all Sierra Nevada beers, head retention is very good. Lacing clings in patches as well as glides slowly down the glass. The beer is copper colored and very clear, resulting in a nice translucent brew with little visible carbonation to be seen through the glass. It is pretty nice to look at. For what it's worth, I also love the bottle's label, from the graphic to the font and color selection.

The aroma is a wonderfully sweet citrus menagerie. It is more than vaguely reminiscent of both Torpedo and Celebration, Sierra Nevada's other large production IPAs. A little rye spice does creep through, but for the most part it's a supple tangerine dream: a toned down version of what seems to be the Sierra Nevada house aroma. I find it to be heavenly.

As with other popular rye beers of the day (Hop Rod, Red's Rye) the rye takes a back seat to the hops in flavor. This is not a complaint as the combination seems to work well. The attribute that makes Ruthless unique among its peers is that this beer is much less dry than the average "Rye PA". Piney hops mingle in a pool of honey-like malty sweetness to create a pleasant pairing. The hops are mildly resinous in the mouth. There is a flash of biscuity maltiness in the middle. A small portion of peppery rye is detected in the finish, though the bulk of the spice is felt rather than tasted, with a mild lingering heat forming on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is also very strong with this brew. The body is nicely medium with a fairly low carbonation level. The citrusy flavors and mild carbonation give an impression of fresh squeezed orange juice (strained of course). It is creamy, and as stated previously, rye adds a pleasantly subtle heat while softly resinous hops coat the throat.

Overall this is an all around great brew. It smells and tastes fantastic, being moderately hoppy while maintaining solid drinkability. Sierra Nevada's pricing and availability is always a big plus. As a result, I am as much or more excited about Ruthless Rye as I am Sierra Nevada's much touted Celebration winter seasonal. I might even like it more than the comparable Founder's Red's Rye, which is my favorite year-round bottled beer here in Michigan. I will look forward to this each year from here on out.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz about this new late winter seasonal. I'm loving this beer.

Photo of csustar001
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of DCon
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO for $5. Tapped from the Wooden Sierra Nevada Handle w/ a old timed scene w/ a woman on a farm into a 16oz Ska Brewing Co Pint Glass.

Aroma- Very pleasant mixture between American hops and Rye. Very normal for Sierra Nevada. Has a bit of mango/citrus in the background also.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that only has bubbles and dies quickly. Has a dark amber colored body with good clarity. Leaves light suds behind.

Flavor- Rye flavors hit upfront and then has a great heap of hops included. Medium bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Bites with hop and rye on the palate.

Overall Impression- A Sierra Nevada classic! I knew exactly what was coming to me before I even ordered it. Great amount of rye and hops with nothing overpowering the other. I hope to see this out in bottle soon to enjoy!

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,656 ratings.