1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,450 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,450
Reviews: 1,046
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 66
Gots: 321 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,450 | Reviews: 1,046 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eclipse54
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased at the Boise co-op. Poured into a Deschutes tulip glass.

Pours a dark copper color with garnet hues. A thin layer of off-white bubbles sits atop the liquid as head, but dissipates quickly to scattered patches. Strands of sticky white lacing cling to the glass. Aroma is of lemon and orange citrus, rye, earthen hops, and some light floral notes. Tastes predominantly of rye and lemon zest, with ample citrus hop esters and pine resin coming through as well. Some orange and earthen grains finish it off. Mouthfeel is crisp, light on the tongue, and refreshing at first, but a small amount of the rye flavor seems to build up and linger after a bit. Overall, a great showcase of rye and a solid beer all around. Will certainly be drinking a few more of these.

eclipse54, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of alexgash
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Great artwork on the label.

Medium copper to amber body with brassy edges. Inch of thick, creamy, dense, light beige head. Great lacing. Lots of pitchy, piny, spicy hops on the nose. White pepper, candied fruit, and a pinch of spice bread as well.

Piny, Scotch tape hop bitterness right off the bat. Bready, spicy malt fills in. Grainy, winy notes as well. Maybe a bit of caramel flavor. Hops become peppery, rubbery, and finally citrus-y. Finish is dry, spicy, and bitter. Some lingering caramel-biscuit notes. Medium-bodied, with a nice creamy feel. Certainly a different type of hop-forward beer for SN, and a nice addition to the line-up (wasn't a huge fan of Glissade).

alexgash, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of mklatsky
4/5  rDev +3.1%

mklatsky, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of thegodfather2701
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured rather hard into my Sam Smith's imperial pint glass. Pours a clear copper with a thick white head. There is some cascading and some nice lacing left on the glass.

S-Stong nose for sure; consisting of citrus hops-grapefruit and some pineapple along with some alcohol sweetness. Smells fantastic.

T-Citrus hops upfront giving a great grapefruit and lemon zest flavor followed by a spicy and somewhat bready and caramel malt backbone. There is a lingering bitterness. The rye gives it a nice balance and enhances complexity. Tastes great.

M-Somewhat slick, yet thick with a nice touch of carbonation.

D-Nice complexity and flavor make this a session beer all the way even though the abv. is slightly above average.

Overall, this beer is great. I know some people are disappointed that it replaced Glissade, but if you have the ability to create IPAs (I know this is technically a Rye Beer but its hoppy like an ipa) that taste this good, why not do it and make it available to the masses. I personally prefer it over Glissade and love it. Another great beer from a great brewery.

thegodfather2701, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 350 of 2011 (December 16) - less than one month old! 2012 Vintage Ruthless Rye IPA.

Appearance: Pours a two inch thick, white bready, doughy head. Amber body, moderate carbonation. Decent lacing. Label artwork is awesome!

Smell: Aroma is classic citrusy Sierra Nevada IPA. A lot of people have referenced Torpedo and I concur. Must be the Citra hops?

Taste: Pure citrus. Not very bitter. I taste orange as opposed to grapefruit. Very similar to Torpedo. I do not detect the rye - maybe my amateur taste buds at work.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and light for such a flavorful beer. Drinkability is high. Minor spiciness in the aftertaste.

Overall: I can absolutely understand the Torpedo comparisons, but is that the absolute worst thing in the world? This is almost a more drinkable (less alcoholic) Torpedo in my humble opinion. I will be consuming plenty of this over the coming months.

JednoPivoProsim, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Longstaff
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't believe they ditched Glissade for just a boring version of Torpedo. Kind of pissed at SN right now for taking away my favorite beer for yet another middle of the road crystal malty amber ipa. Last two seasonal changes have been a little too safe imo.

A little earthiness/rubber aroma from the rye. Very sweet maltiness detracts from the earthy/spicy flavor that I would expect from a rye beer. A little slickness left on the lips. Slight peach/apricot esters couple with fruity hops to make this barely interesting.

One 12 pack is enough of this for me - vs. the 10 + 12 packs that I would have bought of Glissade.

Longstaff, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of inlimbo77
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from State Line Liquors in MD. Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a really nice, clean, clear amber/copper color. SN beers are always so clean. I got about a finger of nice bright white head on this. Some nice sticky lacing. The head does hang out for a while.

S: Smells really fresh, because it is, but also because of the hops varietals I think. I get a good amount of pine and citrus in this. That rye is definitely there too. Spicy notes from that.

T: I get a nice blast of hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. That is might sharply in the middle of the mouth by that delicious rye flavor. It's a really solid marriage actually. The close is a nice crisp bitter IPA finish. Good carbonation helps get you ready for the next sip (which you want immediately.

M: I'd put this in the medium class. There is some body there with the hop and rye bill.

O: I really enjoyed this one. I'd probably give it an A- on the old scale. The price is right as well. Good work SN.

inlimbo77, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of jeffoatess
4/5  rDev +3.1%

jeffoatess, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of nlmartin
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served in a imperial pint glass.

A- The body of the beer is a thick white coloration with long retention. Sticky lacing clings to the sides of my glass.

S- The beer has a nice earthy spicyness from the rye malt. Citrus and grassy hoppyness climbs right out of the glass and greets my nose.

T- The flavor of the beer has an assertive hoppyness nice grapefruit and lemon, grass slams into spicy rye notes.

M- The body of the beer is medium. Nice creamy carbonation. Long lasting bitterness finishes the beer.

O- I am really enjoying this beer particularly for the price point. $7.00 for the 6 pack. Well done I will pick another sixer of this beer up.

nlmartin, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Deep copper color with two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Lacing all over.

S- Overwhelmingly grassy and citrus notes from the hops make for a very pleasant nose.

T- Grassy hops right up front with a little bit of citrus to it. The rye takes care of the bitterness and leaves you a beer with really nice hop flavor that finishes with a bready/rye flavor.

M- Light bodied, carbonation is alright. Nothing crazy.

O- Very nice offering from Sierra Nevada. I would absolutely pick up another sixer.

HopsKeepDroppin, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A crystal clear copper color with a short yet creamy sandy colored head that leaves lots of lace clinging the side of the tulip.

Extremely fresh hop smell with citrus notes. A touch of spiciness from the rye also.

A rye bomb! Never thought I would say that. The rye is the highlight here. Right away I'm hit with this spicy, grain husk, caraway seed flavor of rye with a nice pop of pine from the hops at the end. Peppery spice in the finish. Some nice citrus notes intermingle throughout as well. So very good.

The carbonation is awesomely soft and creamy. Medium bodied and quite crisp.

Hey Glissade was good, but I'll take this over it any day. I'm a huge fan of rye IPA's, but with all of the rye coming through in this, I think I'm a bigger fan now. Rye and hops really do go hand in hand. Great brew!

jera1350, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, this is 2012 vintage. The beer is a crystal clear, crisp, bronze coloring with a tremendous, towering, big bubbled, foamy off-white head that has an unreal retention. It stays forever, it seems. Aromas are heavy roasted grain, a slight peppery spicing, and a subtle bouquet of citrus. Very well blended nose. The beer's flavors are burnt, with a toasted cereal taste to the forefront, followed by a slightly resiny hops presence that has a solid citrus tartness. There are peppery spicing notes all over the palate that tingle the tastebuds while you drink. There is a good transition into the aftertaste, which is heavy in roasty/toasty characteristics that are blended and balanced with a light citrus sweetness. The finish is slick, with a resiny feel left behind in mouth, and a slight peppery bite throughout the roof of the mouth. This is a tasty rye...good representation and blending of some very strong ingredients.

GarthDanielson, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice sharp aroma of citrus, malt, and hops.

T: Tasted of hops, malt, citrus, rye, and a spicy, peppery quality. Basically, this is a rye beer that's been hopped up (or an IPA that has rye added), but it's still an enjoyable flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, a solid, easy to drink beer.

avalon07, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of redleaves
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper, creamy head, nose of fresh hops grass and horse blanket, unsmoked pot, hay, deliciously unique aroma. Flavor is creamy, peppery, fresh hop, but not too intense. Full malt backbone. Light fruit and caramel, a unique IPA, very delicious, I'll drink quite a few more of these before summer. How this larger craft brewery keeps pounding out these awesome beers is beyond me.

redleaves, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ba Review #107
Served On: 01/12/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 6.6%
Date/ Code: 2012 Release

Another one from the huge selection at Ye Old Spirits Shop in Frederick. I wasn't sure if I'd find this anywhere in my area.

Look: Poured a brilliant clear orangeish copper color. Head was off-white foam that reduced to a uniform film. Great carbonation.

Smell: Strong piney hops with some sweet rye in the background. There was also a tangy Belgian quality in the nose; like what you would expect in a Belgian blonde or witbier.

Taste: Grassy pine was upfront with a brief moment of sweetness. Then the rye kicked in and lead into a bitter grassy finish. Aftertaste was a real nice hop bitterness that seemed to dry up the palate.

This is another great beer from SN. Rye beers seem to be far and few between; I'd say this one sets the standards as far as I'm concerned.

CraftBeerTastic, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of biggred1
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper with brassy highlights and big rocky head of tan foam that slowly melts to soft peaks leaving scraps of lace on the glass. Pine resin and grapefruit rind with a decent whiff of spicy rye and toasted barley. Grainy and spicy malt with rye and a touch of tobacco leaf and mint. The hop flavors are nice and piney with a taste of candied citrus fruit but well balanced in the scheme of flavors going on here. The medium body feels about right for a 6% IPA and the carbonation is bright. A major improvement over the Glissade Bock in my opinion.

biggred1, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Daniel9913
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Daniel9913, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of rwf08
4/5  rDev +3.1%

rwf08, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of MrOH
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful clear copper with two fingers of off-white head, great retention. Lots of lacing.

Apples, citrus, bread, caramel, some slight tropical notes. Kinda reminds me of sticky buns.

Sweet breadiness upfront, then citrus hop flavors with a long firm bitterness that transitions to a dryness that I attribute to the rye. Quite tasty.

Definitely on the lighter side of medium with medium carbonation. Just right and it accentuates the flavors.

Pretty damn good, one of the better rye beers out there.

MrOH, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber-hued body with a noted clarity and capped by a tall, off-white head. Fair smattering of lace on the way down.

Smell: Firmly grassy, citrusy nose with a good pinch of lemon pepper seasoning, rather well ahead of the pale malted barley.

Taste: Bready, pale malts with the expected spicy rye malt character. Lightly sweet upfront, a sweetness that soon fades away as the bitterness accumulates on the tongue. Citrusy flavors of pithy grapefruit and sweet orange zest. A bit more grainy on the back half. Fairly peppery throughout. Dry, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Another Sierra Nevada IPA with a twist of rye.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +3.1%

alamode, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In a pint glass:

A: golden orange-brown body, mostly clear with no head whatsoever, spotty lacing with rings

S: rye up front with light pine and hops

T: peppery through the rye, hops coming out strong

M: light to medium, sessionable, dry aftertaste and finish with some light harshness on the tongue

O: good for a rye beer and an AIPA, I'll have this again whatever it is

BeerKangaroo, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusty burnt orange color. Dense and dark. Nice creamy off white head with good retention.

The smell is of pepper, cracked rye bread, and a blend of mildly medicinal piney and citric hops. I pick up pineapple and grapefruit, honeydew melon from the hop oils. Secondary notes of unbaked dough, caramel and vanilla. Faint almost whiskey like character.

Rush of oily grainy malt flavors followed by a dry and bitter finish. The rye flavor is restrained and gives this beer a slightly denser flavor than Torpedo. Very sweet candied citric and grapefruit quality. The hops arrive as the beer sits in the glass.

Mouthfeel is grainy and leans towards the powerful malt flavors. The oils hops play their own part but you have to look for the flavors. This isn't as directly hoppy as SN's other IPA's

This is a good beer overall. It will not dethrone Celebration or Torpedo but it is a nice maltied IPA that will help me get my hop fix in the cold winter and spring months. I will probably by a six pack of this before Spring ends and do a side by side with the other Sierra Nevada IPA's

BerkeleyBeerMan, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of creedence
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Am I going crazy? I pick up anything new from SN - well, at least new to me and I have to say I'm not that impressed. I don't have a very deep palette but I can distinguish a crappy beer from a quality beer. I found this to be just 'average' at best. Somebody tell me I'm not going crazy.

creedence, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of derricksmalls
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

derricksmalls, Jan 12, 2012
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,450 ratings.