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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,308 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,308
Reviews: 1,036
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 62
Gots: 259 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,308 | Reviews: 1,036 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.8/5  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

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 02:57:27 | More by daliandragon
Photo of CHADMC3


4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 01:40:45 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of dsauter


4/5  rDev +2.8%

01-09-2012 01:34:50 | More by dsauter
Photo of huggies


4/5  rDev +2.8%

01-09-2012 01:32:15 | More by huggies
Photo of hoserking


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

01-09-2012 01:20:56 | More by hoserking
Photo of rmehughes


3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

01-09-2012 00:49:42 | More by rmehughes
Photo of animal69


4/5  rDev +2.8%

01-08-2012 23:01:43 | More by animal69
Photo of salvo


4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 22:33:44 | More by salvo
Photo of phichifiji00


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Rich caramel color. Pours 3 fingers of thick white head that fades slowly. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Hops, Pine resin, some spicy rye notes, caramel, toffee.

Taste: Pine resin, hoppy, a bit spicy, rye, caramel. Sweet and spicy up front with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth.

Overall: A very tasty RyePA. Well balanced. Highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 21:13:08 | More by phichifiji00
Photo of Lerxst


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A-pours a clear and very dark amber with a one finger off white head that slowly recedes to a thin cap. Leaves ample amounts of lace. This is a good looking beer.

S-prominent notes of rye, citrus and pine are backed by a slightly sweet bready malt. Very aromatic and pleasing.

T-citrus and piney hops bite first. Equally representing is the earthy, spicy rye. A bit grassy. A subdued assist from the slightly sweet bready malt rounds this one out. All of the flavors are complementary to one another and work in unison to make this one shine.

M-Medium body with crisp carbonation. Smooth with a slightly dry finish.

O-I really enjoyed this one. Another very respectable beer from a very respectable brewery. I'll be picking up some more of this for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 20:45:47 | More by Lerxst
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this from a bottle pour into a "fish bowl" glass.
A bit darker than expected with a nice tan head and a fair amount of lacing.
Actually very much as expected. Like Sierra Nevada beer and this one was no exception.
Seemed to have the typical Sierra Nevada "house" flair. Spicy hops in the nose as the malts mixed with the grains and rye.
Not as hopped up but good none the less.
Mouth feel good too.
Will have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 14:46:28 | More by dmamiano
Photo of ThePorterSorter


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, thin looking dark amber beer with a foamy white head. The carbonation is adequate and there is sticky lacing.

This is quite a hoppy beer with biting alcohol and a hint of malt sweetness.
The big fruit of the hour is: grapefruit.

Overwhelming hops with a hint of spicy rye and malt sweetness. The initial sip is delicate, but the aftertaste is...ruthlessly bitter!
I'm just not getting the rye taste... maybe they should have thrown in some loaves of rye bread like in ta henket...just kidding.

Light bodied with a generous amounts of carbonation as well as pungently bitter hops. I'm not getting as much rye as I would have liked or anticipated, but it's still a tasty IPA with potent house yeast character. It's a relatively smooth beer given the alcohol bite in its nose.
There are also napalm hops that sit on your palate and satiate each sip until the next, but that gets a little old after awhile.

Great price for a tasty IPA attempting to be a Rye-PA. I've had a few good RIPAs that put this one to shame, but it's sure better than SN's previous spring seasonal!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 04:47:20 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of warrenc


4/5  rDev +2.8%

01-08-2012 04:16:28 | More by warrenc
Photo of ms11781


4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/16/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a brilliantly clear amber with a nice fluffy off white head that reaches about a finger and a half high. The foam settles in nicely as an off white cap that collects most around the edges of the glass. Lacing presents itself in nice rings of foam around the glass that mark where each sip began. The beer is so clear that carbonation is evident from even a few feet away.

The nose is pretty nice on this one. There is a lot going on with a few aromas playing nicely with each other. Big citrus hops come across with a lighter blast of pine. A good dose of some earthy spice is here as well and actually challenges the leading citrus notes to be the dominant aroma.

The taste starts like the nose with a big hit of citrus hops. A touch of sweet malt peeks its head out before a combination of big spicy, earthy rye and some bitter piny hops completely take over. A pleasant bitterness comes at the finish along with what seems to be some grapefruit rind in the aftertaste.

Crisp and clean. Medium body with carbonation to match. The crispness gives the beer a bit of a bite. Despite the crispness and the bite the beer still seems to be pretty smooth overall, which is a feat on its own.

This is a great Rye IPA. Most beers that label themselves as such are either just IPAs with maybe a touch of some spice or just an amber ale with some good rye character. This beer pulls off being an IPA while showcasing the rye sufficiently. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 03:38:55 | More by ms11781
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours copper color. Not much haze in the body. Off-white head is smaller but retains its form throughout. Leaves a lot of lacing.

S-Good dose of rye. Rye mixes with citrus and pine hops and is also complimented with a very bready malt. Rye is quite spicy and mixes well with the other components of the aroma. Not very intense but pretty attractive.

T-Rye is pitched perfectly. Piney and floral along with citrus in regards to the hops. Finishes very grassy and very floral. Malt is slightly overshadowed by the rye/hop combination. Moderately bitter and dry.

M-Medium body with ample amounts of carbonation. Lasting bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is masked well but becomes more noticeable as the beer slowly warms.

O/D-Pretty good. I don't even know if I really love Rye IPAs but perhaps I was expecting a bit more from this one. It isn't a disappointment. Still, its another solid addition to the juggernaut Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 03:27:08 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of scottfrie


4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter.

A: Pours a dark burnt amber color with a very thick and greasy off-white head that took forever to fade into a thick oily film that left a complex network of lacing down the glass. Very fresh, oily, and impressive. Great head retention.
S: Huge notes of spicy rye, marijuana, grassy herbal hops and light citrus zest. Spicier and more earthy smelling than a normal ipa.
T: Just like the nose, the rye really shines through and compliments of the fresh herbal, dank and citrusy tasting hops. The finish is full of dried grains and grass flavors, and the aftertaste has a nice pine needle/citrus rind bitterness to it. I get a hint of lemon zest as well.
M: Body is on the thicker side of medium, mouthfeel is viscous and has a good chew to it, and the carbonation is bright and fluffy.
O: Definitely a spicy rye lovers beer. The type of bitterness in the finish of this one may not be for everyone as this beer definitely isn’t a standard C-hop forward ipa, the rye adds a unique bitter dimension. Well done SN.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 03:16:49 | More by scottfrie
Photo of aasher


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This just arrived yesterday. It pours a very clean and bright true copper in color with a soapy one finger cream colored head. It smells of sweet caramel malts, honey, tree resin, and has a light spice to it. You could describe it as mellow. The flavors consist of caramel malt, toffee, light maple like resin, the hops are sharp and fresh. It's nice, light and drinkable. The rye makes for a smooth drinker. This is a nice IPA, as should be expected. The light spicyness due to the rye is welcome and makes this a welcome addition to their seasonal lineup.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 02:48:40 | More by aasher
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange amber with a good tannish head... nice sheets of lace.

The nose on this one seems pretty mild... pale malts... a bit bready.. grassy hops... no yeastiness to speak of... pretty clean and again, mild.

Flavor mirrors the aroma with a bit of minerally fruitiness on finish that I am having a hard time pinning down... earthy and grassy hoppiness...

Medium body with smooth everpresent small bubble carbonation.. very drinkable given the ABV... I would probably get bored after a bottle or three, but I will pick this one up again.


Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 02:42:58 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of rchristensen


3.5/5  rDev -10%

01-08-2012 01:59:03 | More by rchristensen
Photo of johnnyboy76


3.5/5  rDev -10%

01-08-2012 01:08:17 | More by johnnyboy76
Photo of dmalone


1/5  rDev -74.3%

01-08-2012 01:00:47 | More by dmalone
Photo of HopStoopid120


3.5/5  rDev -10%

01-08-2012 00:38:11 | More by HopStoopid120
Photo of EasyReader

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%

01-08-2012 00:24:50 | More by EasyReader
Photo of 1Adam12


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stumbled upon this on accident. Pours amberish. Slightly thin looking, but still looks good. Smells hoppy, and I can smell the rye on the nose. Moderately hoppy taste, followed by a bitter taste. The finish really makes the rye noticeable. The mouthfeel is sharp and very bubbly. Overall this is very tasty. Just what I'd expect from SN. Nothing too spectacular, but very solid none the less.

Edit: Holy crap, thats the first time I've ever had a review come back with a 0 rdev.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 20:27:17 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of BEERchitect


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The ever-classy Sierra Nevada brewery continues to knock'em out of the park, this time with the Ruthless Rye IPA that replaces Glissades on the seasonal rotation.

Ruthless Rye IPA begins with a deeper amber color that shows low lights of brown and bronze. A creamy froath of off white shade caps the beer and retains with the stubborn fashion that we've come to expect from well-made hop-forward ales.

Rich and vibrant aromas of toffee-laden malts balance with citrusy and sprucy hops for an even and appetizing scent. Low on fruitiness or spice, the neutral yeast character allows the interplay of malt and hops to shine. Mild earthy character from the supposed rye gives a glimpse into the added layers of complexities and spice that the grain delivers.

Flavors first come alive with a depth and complexity of malts that's uncommon in standard IPAs. Caramel, toffee, and dry malt carry the base while the earthy and nearly pungent spice of rye with grain provide a strong bridge into the mid palate that turns drier and hoppier. Citrusy with grapefruit and orange zest, then piney with elements of spruce, resin, and fragrant grasses all conclude with a fleeting sweet taste and a linger of hops and earthy spice in aftertaste. Again, no room for pronounces yeasty esters or phenols- the neutral yeast provides strong dryness without yeasty spice or fruitiness.

Medium bodied to start the beer quickly sheads the early carbonation and dives head first into the quickly drying finish that reveals a clean bitterness, grainy spice, and alcohol warmth and flavor that reminds me somewhat of nail polish remover.

Ruthless Rye is a fantastic IPA that hits the stride on the style while introducing the rye grains that seem to reinforce hop bitterness and flavor- each elevating the other. Moderate intesity allows for high level of drinkability which could be quite dangerous for an IPA lover like me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2012 17:32:52 | More by BEERchitect
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,308 ratings.