Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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: 4,899
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 640 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,899
Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a dark copper amber, half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of herbal hops, a hint of citrus and light fruit. Interesting rich flavor of sweet malt and rye with citrus, a slight sourness and earthiness, probably from the rye. Sharp pleasant finish of hops and rye. I liked this flavor combination quite a bit. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Nicely done rye beer.

 436 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with a tight, white head that leaves good sized bits of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts with some grassy and citric hops.

Tastes of the bready malts with a spicy and hoppy ending. A bit of sweet malts lead off with toasted bread, caramel, and nuttiness. Rye adds in with its spiciness. Hops then come through with grassy, citric, and pine notes, along with a moderate bitterness. Everything blends together really well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer and I think it can hang with the likes of Hop Rod Rye.

 606 characters

Photo of keanex
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip from a 2012 bottle with no freshness date.

A: Beautiful, clear dark amber with a towering light tan foam head. This is a beer that looks like it wants to be drunk!

S: Slight rye spice with earthy notes and slight citrus.

T: Really spicey from the rye from start to finish they really are ruthless with the rye. It sort of overpowers the flavor sadly, there's a slight grapefruit bite at the end, but this is very one-dimensional. I'm not liking this very much.

M: Medium bodied with sharp carbonation.

O: I was expecting more from this, it's not very well balanced, but thankfully it is priced decently. Even so, I won't be buying it again, Hop Rod is a much better option.

 704 characters

Photo of industrialswill
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I'm met with is the very attractive, picturesque label.
Ruthless Rye has a reddish brown hue and a very pretty glow.
The taste is what I expect from a Sierra Nevada IPA...outstanding.
The balance of citrus and malt flavors are augmented with the bold flavor of rye. They have executed this combination in such a way to make it seem like this is a brew that they have been doing for generations.
As usual, Sierra Nevada has introduced an outstanding beer to a lineup that is already logjammed full of excellent selections.
It will be interesting to see if this one becomes a "keeper" or not.

 607 characters

Photo of Kinsman
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark copper color with a large and dense white head on top that leaves a fair amount of lace behind. Hops dominate the aroma up front with a nice citrusy grapefruit character and a touch of herbalness. Just a hint of biscuity and bready malt character in the background.

First sips reveals more rye flavor than the aroma gave off. Nice balance of bright and citrusy hops with a hearty malt backbone. Finish isn't incredibly bitter but it does give just enough kick to satisfy. Mouthfeel is typical of a well crafted Sierra Nevada brew. Smooth and creamy texture and slightly drying in the finish.

Overall, Ruthless Rye gives us another quality brew from the great brewers at Sierra. Wasn't a big fan of Glissade myself so I'll happily take this as a replacement.

 779 characters

Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours with a reddish orange color with nice carbonation cascading from the bottom up. The foam is about 1" thick and is creamy looking. The foam dissaptes to a thin foam but but does not dissappear completely and the "legs" of foam remain on the glass with every taste.

S - Scents of hops, citrus, and some grain.

T - Nice hops, with grapefuit, and some hints of grains and nuts. The taste is nice and clean and leaves a nice bitter hop finish.

M - A nice beer with no heaviness but just clean hop flavor.

O - I like this beer and I believe it will be well received in the brew pubs and stores all over. I am glad I came across this beer because this 12 pack was the last of this beer in the store.

 716 characters

Photo of MacQ32
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber red with a nice finger of light cream colored head that slowly dissipates and leaves great lacing.

S - Rye blast, bready/caramel malts, spicy citrus hops.

T - Spices & Rye mostly, caramel, citrusy hops, plenty of pepper type spices. Bit of a bite at the finish. Rye heavy but well balanced

M - Medium/lighter body, pretty refreshing, nice carbonation.

O - More intense on the rye the other similar brews. Quite spicy but well balanced, refreshing. definitely solid.

 488 characters

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

This clear orange-red brew forms a tan head that speaks to its substance. Beginning nearly two fingers tall, the furthest it recedes to is half a finger and strong, dropping lacing quite heavily down the glass.
Ryr bursts out on the nose accompanies by floral hops. Upon inspection, the hops exhibit more depth as citrus and pine come out. The aroma also offers toffee and caramel with grassiness.
Malts amd hops balance as well in the flavor. This beer is pretty well hopped with a light malty swertness accompanied by that of citrus, while a big earthiness with somr rye spiciness remains ftom start to finish. It's also noticably pithy from middle to finish.
Quite dry in the mouthfeel, this beer offers a blend of crispness in the front and smoothness from middle to lingering finish with neither taking preference.

 819 characters

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

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

Pours orange in color with an off-white head. Starts off with a good citrus hop aroma. Lots of grapefruit and orange, just a bit of sweet malt. There is some nice rye and pine aroma, too. The flavor is a bit maltose than expected. Moderate sweetness with lots of rye, pine, and floral hops. Citrus peel adds a touch more bitterness. Medium body and carbonation.

 390 characters

Photo of Rizalini
2.94/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a redish/ruby color with a foamy 2 finger head that quickly fades leaving some spotty lacing.

S - The rye is very prodominant... maybe too much. It almost has a rubbery smell, like a balloon. Interesting...

T/M - The rye isn't as overwhelming in the taste as it is in the smell, but it's definately there. I do think that it overpowers the hop profile of this IPA. Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation.

O - An interesting IPA to say the least. Sadly, I'm missing that hop profile that I so look forward to in a good IPA. Glad I tried it, but will not buy again.

 628 characters

Photo of Merkur
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Flying Saucer in Nashville.

Beer pours a nice rich rich reddish color. Very little head.

Beer smells strongly of rye with a bit of citrusy hops.

Taste starts off a tad sweet and citrusy, followed by some bready malts on the finish.

Nice mouthfeel that is a tad thicker than most ipas.

Overall a nice Rye IPA

 326 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will say, I love the label for this one. It reminds me of Castlevania art.

Poured a clear darkish amber with an off-white head, turns to a ring quickly but retains well while leaving some nice lacing.

Scent is definitely rye-ish, some bready malts and hops.

Taste is also big on the rye, not so much big on the IPA, but there is a decent amount of spicy hops and some pine and earthiness. Big toasty and bready malts in the finish.

Smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation, nicely done.

Maybe the most rye-forward beer I've had thus far, not overtaken by the hops like some rye beers. It's not the greatest but it was good, wouldn't mind having it again, easy drinking.

 676 characters

Photo of musicforairports
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottled Jan. 10, reviewed Jan. 24.

A true amber color, Jurassic Park style. Clear. Big head goes quickly and leaves some lacing.

Smell is a lightly dank citrus profile and some bread.

Flavor starts and ends with the rye -- nice and spicy, bread-like, notes of pumpernickel and pepper. A typical Sierra Nevada citrus hop profile asserts itself as well. I really like the rye flavor in this one--it's impossible to miss, but smoother than some.

Mouthfeel is medium and somewhat creamy. Enough, but not too much. Sierra Nevada does this category well.

This is a good beer, and it uses rye very well. The hops compliment the smooth rye character nicely. For the price, I'll buy a lot of 12-packs of this.

 710 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Clear copper/amber with a three finger off-white head.

S- Rye, citrus hops, pine hops, some nice earthy spice.

T- Follows the nose, rye and piney hops stand out, some citrus, bready malts.

M- Smooth, medium body, a little creamy.

O- A really nice beer, very happy I picked up a six pack. Pretty much what you would expect from Sierra Nevada, definitely will pick this up again.

 420 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. stubby brown bottle. No freshness date.
Served in a 50cl Ittala mug.
It pours an orange-hued amber color with a solid 2" off-white head and some patchy and trailing lace.
The smell is resiny and citrusy hop forward. A smell of rye crackers roll in behind and lasts. A slight smell of tart fruit and alcohol lingers in the distance.
The flavors resemble the aromas. There is a little harsh/edgy dried rye taste which crosses into the hops profile, and as a result leaves a bit of a salty sensation at the top of the tongue. I think I taste a hint of rye whiskey, but maybe it's just the suggestion.
As a touch of honey-like sweetness emerges, it becomes very gulpable. It's best to have another Ruthless Rye ready.

 720 characters

Photo of berliner07
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another slam dunk from Sierra. Such an engaging, but drinkable beer. At first I expected more hop character in the nose, as is typical with Sierra. But, the subltety of the hops really let the rye flavor shine. I find that some rye beers are overwhelming in the rye flavor. This was just enough to keep the beer interesting, but not too much to make it overwhelming. Spicy, but drinkable. Yeah Sierra!

 401 characters

Photo of wcintula
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label stamped: 1362113 24

Poured into a pint, needs a more aggressive pour to produce a head. The beer is on the lighter side of copper-amber, crystal clear.

This beer is really good. It's not mega-complex, but it's damned tasty. Strong citrus hop blend, over a good bready rye character, touch of booze is welcome as is in all of Sierra Nevada's beers.

Great debut for a great beer. I look forward to having this every year.

 428 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruthless Rye IPA pours a clear copper color with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma isn't very strong. It has notes of bread, orange citrus, pine, and a touch of spice (pepper).

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is frothy on the palate, slightly creamy with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor begins sweet and malty with a taste of caramel and biscuit. In the middle some spicy notes of pepper and an earthy spice (probably rye) poke through. It finishes dry and bitter with flavors of orange citrus and pine. The hops do a great job of balancing the malt. Once gone the citrus and rye linger on the palate

This is a tasty, easy drinking beer. It reminds me of Celebration with fewer hops.

 785 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tasting glass.

A: A darker amber orange color with some reddish tones. A large 3 finger head. This was a little warmer thus the larger amount of head.

S: Wow, damn I'm loving this smell. I get a large amount of citrus on the nose first mixed with some pine notes. The rye comes out too but after the citrus and alongside a baked bread and pepper notes. I can also pick up the distinct SN yeast smell.

T: This really does follow the nose. The citrus flavors come out first and heavy mixed with some pine that lead into the bready biscuit malt. The malt then gets tramped down by the spicy rye and pepper flavors that finish the beer out with some bitterness. Clean finish. The rye in this is however not overly done, it seem seems just right.

M: Medium mouthfeel that is resiny, prickly and very crisp on the finish. No hints of alcohol at all and carbonation seems fine.

Overall this is a quality beer that seems to be the perfect blend of spicy rye with the bright citrus IPA type flavors. What I really loved on this beer was the nose when it warmed, just fantastic.

This is the perfect spring seasonal for SN. You still get the dark spicy rye flavors, but you get mixed in the bright citrus spring like flavors. This is a total upgrade compared to the Glissdale and a beer I will enjoy each and every year. Watch for my tap review as I have a keg of it coming home soon.

Nice job SN, you done good.

 1,445 characters

Photo of Homebrew35
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle date translated to jan 1 2012.

Pours a nice one and half fingers worth of a creamy kaki head. Tight bubbles cling to the glass, nice cap remains forever. Deep brown somewhat hazy body.

Smells a bit spicy, very rye like bready was, some citrus and pine like hoppyness.

Tastes quite bready, Carmel, toffee, some pepper and spice, resinous pine and earthyness on the finish.

Medium full bodied. Medium carbing. Somewhat coating with hop resins and malt dextrins.

Overall this is quite the tasty beer. Very satisfying and gives me a good idea what rye is about, flavor and mouthfeel.
$1.50 a single and winenation.

 622 characters

Photo of ChugginOil
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent orange color with very little white head. Spotty lacing clings nicely.

The nose possess earthy and rye infused hops that make for a different flavor opposed to the average IPA flavor. The rye is bold and shines behind the lightly pine-like hops.

The rye is quite pronounced in the taste here and is pretty tasty. This is an in-your-face beer but the flavors are still bold. There is a pleasant bitterness involved in the finish.

The mouthfeel is crisp as hell with a snap that goes pop. Pretty spot on for the flavors concocted.

Overall, this is pleasant and tasty as a rye beer gets. What I really like about this beer is that it introduces the rye flavor to noobs and gets them prepared for what rye can offer to any style of brew. An interesting taste.

 781 characters

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

12oz bottle (code 1351105:57) into a tulip. Pours a beautiful copper/amber color w/ a thick dense off-white head, nice lacing.

Aroma is floral, citrusy hops and slightly biscuity malt.

Taste is hoppy, a little spicy with a dry, bitter finish. Nice smooth mouthfeel, medium body.

Overall a nice refreshing IPA, another solid beer from Sierra Nevada.

 351 characters

Photo of chodinheaven
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great clarity in this caramel-amber colored beer. A healthy 3 finger off-white head sits on top after an aggressive pour and sticks around for a while. Awesome retention. As it slowly dissapates it leaves a tight lacing in abundance down the glass. The aroma is very pleasant with a touch of hearty rye spice amongst a citrusy hop smell. Floral hop aromas also float up, giving it a softer overall smell. Good bit of bready malts back up everything, making for a well rounded and pretty aromatic nose.

The first thing that grabs your attention with this one is the rye spiciness. It works really well with the piney and citrusy hops for an execellent earthy tone throughout. Bready malts give this beer a medium body that has notes of caramel and subtle dark bread. Lots of hop resins accompany the earthiness and give an oily slickness to the mouthfeel while still having a medium to high carbonation level that makes for a somewhat effervescently dry finish.

Not the most complex beer in the world, but the rye spices give what is a really good IPA that added umph that makes this beer very enjoyable. Definitely hop foraward and resiny, but the malts stand their own to make for a really well done beer. Worth the buy.

 1,225 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this on draft at the Union Brewhouse.

Appearance: Reddish amber, clarity is good, half inch of head,nice lacing, and signs of carbonation.

Smell: caramel and bready malts, pine, spiciness, and good rye sweetness.

Taste: a nice blend of above aromas. Bitterness and malts are a nice mix.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, medium bodied, a little chewy, and delicious.

Overall: a nice addition to SN's lineup. Rye in an IPA or PA makes a beer that much better. Enjoying more in the near future.

 509 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours clear dark copper with a 2 finger off white head that had good retention and left some lacing

smell is faint - some spice from the rye and some tangy hops

taste was more malt the hop for this ipa - semi sweet tangy spice rye malt next to juicy herbal and a little citrus hops

mouthfeel was a medium body low carbonation very slick

overall - while i did enjoy this offering over SN last couple spring offerings(esb & glissade) i just do not see this sticking around more then maybe another year or two - there just isnt enough difference from their other ipas

 568 characters

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