Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
1,112 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,112
Ratings:
5,031
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
23.98%
 
 
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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kaseydad on 12-29-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,112 | Ratings: 5,031
Photo of StoutHunter
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye IPA last week for $1.59 at The Lager Mill. This is the newest arrival to Sierra Nevada's lineup, I have been meaning to check out some more Rye Beer's, so I decided to pick this new beer up so lets see how it goes. 2012 Vintage. Poured from a short brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I really like the label on this beer, it is pretty nice looking and detailed, this is fancier looking then their other labels and so far it's my favorite one. It poured a nice reddish amber color that looked much brighter when held to the light and it was fairly clear with three and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick layer that stayed till the end and it left some nice laving. This is one damn good looking beer.

S- The first thing that I notice about the aroma was the rye, the aroma is very rye forward with a low amount of medium sweetness and it imparts those typical spicy rye aromas. After that comes the hops which are a mixture between floral and citrus aromas that add some nice balance and compliment the spicy rye aroma. There was also a weird burnt plastic smell that I think may have come from the rye, I don't love it, but I don't hate. The aroma of this beer is all about the rye and hops, it's nice.

T- Wow this beer sure is heavy on the rye, I guess they don't call it Ruthless Rye for no reason. It starts off with loads of spicy rye that has a low amount of sweetness and imparts all those spicy rye flavor that you would expect from a Rye Beer. There is also a pretty big amount of hops to help balance out all that rye, the hops were a nice 50/50 mixture of floral and citrus hops, I thought that that mixture paired well with the spicy rye. It had a low amount of medium bitterness and it had a very rye dominate aftertaste with a little bit of bitter floral hops. This was a pretty good tasting Rye Beer that had enough hops to keep all that rye in check.

M- Kind of smooth, slightly dry, medium bodied and it had a high amount of medium carbonation. All the aspects of the mouthfeel worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought that this was a good Rye Beer and it lives up to being labeled as a Rye IPA. This beer was heavy on the rye but it also had a lot of hops and I thought that added great balance and it helped draw some attention away from all that rye. I thought this beer had slightly above average drinkability, I might be down to have another one but after that I think the pretty intense flavors would start to wear on me. What I liked most about this beer was pretty much everything, to me this beer was firing on all cylinders. What I liked least about this beer was that weird burnt plastic aroma, it wasn't that bad but it seemed like the only thing that was slightly out of place in this beer. I will for sure buy this beer again but to me this is a one a night kind of beer so a twelve pack may be too much, but I think a six pack would be just enough. If you are a Rye Beer fan I highly recommend this beer, but if you are a big IPA fan you may find the rye a little too dominating. This beer was a nice surprise from Sierra Nevada, there wasn't much hype surrounding this new release, but that may have been a good thing since highly hyped beers go within a day or two in my neck of the woods. The only other Rye Beer I have reviewed was Rich's Rye from Short's and I liked this beer much more, the hops complimented the Rye much more then it did in Rich's Rye, so this makes Ruthless Rye my favorite Rye Beer to date, good job Sierra Nevada this was one good Rye Beer is a welcomed addition to their solid lineup.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light amber body with a pale tan head that lingers.

S- Traditional Sierra Nevada hop profile on the nose, with somewhat of a bread/grain scent as well.

T- Piney hops come through with a bread like taste mixed in. Earthy taste is prominent.

M- Low carbonation which is somewhat surprising. Crisp and clean like most Sierra Nevada ales, with some stickiness after each sip.

O- I believe this is my first rye based beer and it is a noticeable difference. The word "earthy" seemed to be used a lot in other reviews, but it definitely is dead on. Essentially a different take on their pale ale and torpedo, Ruthless is a solid beer but may be slightly polarizing with the rye flavor.

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

I had no idea this beer even existed until I saw one of the sexiest full-page beer ads ever in a recent Beeradvocate magazine; I’ve been drooling ever since. I love rye, I love IPAs, and I love Sierra Nevada – this beer has everything going for it already. Here’s to high hopes!

Brewed a little more than a month ago – the batch code, once deciphered, tells that it was packaged on December 16, 2011.

A: Holy hell, what a head! Starting as an off-white tower of smooth bubbles, it slowly retreats to a mix of eggshell cream (so viscous it could pass as pudding) and thick, sudsy lacing. Damn. And that’s not to say that the body doesn’t catch the eye, because it certainly does; its burnt, sunset orange hue is constantly gleaming. It’s a dark, yet eye-catching look – just like the label.

S: Ah, this is what I’ve been waiting for from Sierra Nevada: that distinctive house hop scent, sharp and almost sweet in its floweriness, mixed with deep rye spice. The malt aromas are just as bready as in Celebration, but with that sweet pumpernickel allure. Tart berries, grape jam, must/leather, and lemon-pepper are also interspersed throughout. Excellent nose – the rye/hop profile is very satisfying.

T: There’s those big ol’ hop oils I knew these guys would be throwing down; it’s tangy lemon-lime bitterness as soon as soon as it hits your tongue. Fruit syrup, clean caramel malts…you think you know how this beer is going to unfold if you’ve ever had a Torpedo. This time, though, there’s an undertone of – wait for it – rye. Not strong (like Founders Red’s Rye), not evenly spiced (like Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye), but subtle. I don’t mean subtle in a bad way – believe me, on its worst sips this tastes like a SN Pale Ale – but sometimes the ruthlessness is unnoticeable. I can taste a bit more pumpernickel in the aftertaste, but it’s quickly obscured by other yeasty breads and light Sierra Nevada hops. Smooth, yes, and very drinkable.

M: Like I said: oily with the resin of a fistful of hops. Unlike other SN beers, the astringency of hops doesn’t fully register; instead, it’s a momentary dryness without many lasting effects. It might just be the bread flavors, but it’s awfully chewy at times, too. Nothing intriguing, really.

O: This is a flavorful, well-balanced beer, but the rye flavor was subdued. Other than that, it drank like a mild session beer with added character. I know what Sierra Nevada can do with IPAs, and this is a great testament to that spirit.

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Photo of bfields4
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden body. Big white lacy head.

Big blasts of rye light citrus lemon and grassy hop aroma. Sweet bready malt backbone provides a good bit of depth.

The rye hits right off big and bold. Caramel malt and a grassy hop finish round this beer off nicely.

I'm a sucker for rye, and this one has an abundance of it. The other flavors play a second fiddle and provide for balance which is all I really need. Medium bodied nice mouthfeel. I really enjoy this beer. A good addition to the sierra line up.

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Photo of chimaylvr
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep orange almost mahogany but not quite 'bock-like'; wonderful, thin and continuous lacing throughout which compliments the exceptional mouthfeel

S: rush of piney resin; underlying rye aroma balances hop aroma. Just a quietly pleasant smell

T: as I'm drinking I enjoy a whiff of that aroma to accent that mildly bitter hop note. Reminiscent of that woody, scotch taste.

M: excellent level of carbonation, sneaky maltiness; if it were more complex this # would be higher

O: While I like certain elements very much, there's just that elusive spot-on, unmistakable home run that, well, Chimay (blue) or La Fin Du Monde provide for its style. That being said, this is an above average beer. No, its bona fide.

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

A- Reddish amber. A thin white head shows up and sticks in the lacing. Lots of bubbles coming up through the brew.

S- The citrus is detectable, but there are bizarre plasticy, burned notes. Maybe the roasty burned smells are coming from the rye? A misleading smell.

T- Tons of rye, tons of hops, nice and floral. More citrusy than any RIPA I've encountered, lots of lemon peel going on here. A little malt in the flavor, too.

M- Lovely! The maltiness of the beer causes it to froth up right away in your mouth, getting it all over and thus hitting many taste regions. It's thick, and the rye stays on your tongue long after a sip.

O- I have been really into RIPAs lately, and this beer is an essential try for any rye-heads and IPA freaks in general. Why?

Malt Character! You will rarely find an IPA with this malt presence, with a very full mouthfeel and insane lacing. It goes very well with the Rye PA style... the roasted earthy flavors that rye gives serve to bring it into some territory that stouts and browns typically occupy. These are malty types, so I think that this might be what makes a malty IPA click- the rye. A delicious, almost sessionable RIPA

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Photo of jsprain1
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Bronze colored with a thin off white head but it lasts well. A fair amount of lacing.
S- Really pleasant aroma. Peppery, earthy, leafy, grassy, with some citrus. All around quite nice.
T- Good flavor but far less hoppy than the aroma. Peppery flavor (likely from the rye), with a light bit of citrus in the finish.
M- Light, fairly clean, leaves a bit of a lingering texture in the mouth.
O- A tasty well rounded beer. The nose is great and everything else is pretty well done.

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Photo of timtim
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a reddish amber with an off-white head that holds and leaves rings of very pretty lace. nose is flowery whole-cone hops that smell to me like lemon flowers (if there was such a thing), a touch of rye and a hint of caramel. can't get over how real, pretty and lemony/citrusy the hop character is. taste is just what the nose led me to believe. citrusy hops with a bit of peppery rye flavor riding on a backbone of soft caramel. very well balanced and nicely done. medium body that isn't sweet and had no abd aftertastes, just maybe wished it was a tad drier. overall, another very very fine, accessible brew from sierra nevada.

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Photo of oline73
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber color with a finger and a half of fluffy off white head. As the head fades, it leaves some nice lacing as well as a solid layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Some bready malt with a lot of rye spice and a citrus peel hop presence.

Taste: More assertive than the smell. Definitely getting the rye up front. Once you're used to the rye, the citrus peel hops show up. The finish is bitter, but there is a nice malt presence to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good rye beer. The spice, hops, and malt work together very well. I hope they continue to make this beer. I would definitely have more.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a clear, orange-copper color with 1/2 finger of off-white head. Some retention and lace, nice carbonation.

S: Citrus hops and rye malt.

T: Dry and bitter up front, rye comes through at the start. Fairly dry throughout with a malty rye finish. No sweetness at all.

M: Light, well carbonated and a bit astringent.

O: This is a tasty beer and I have no complaints, other than wishing there had been a little more to the head. One of the driest rye beers I have had. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Aiptasia
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass.

A: It pours beautifully. Perfect pour against the side of the pint yielded an impressive 2" rich tan foam head with beautiful sparkling ruby red body. Effervescence bubbling up in a beautiful constellation of rye lust.

S: Smells wonderful. Freshly mowed lawn and rye bread with a grapefruit rind smackity smack.

T: Seriously hoppy. This is a young beer in the bottle and can use a little conditioning. Was hoping for more malt, but the hops give the rye a beat down and noogies until it screams uncle. I'm going to wait another month and see how it tastes then.

M: Medium bodied, assertively carbonated. Alcohol is a non-factor.

O: Overly hoppy, needs a little bottle aging to be enjoyable. I like Rye Squared by Terrapin better.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, crystal-clear amber with a bit white head that lingers and laces.

Smells of some spicy hop character, rye/bready/cracker character, small sweet caramel character. Nice nose but not overwhelming.

Taste is up front cracker/rye/pretzel with some small pine/fruit notes that fade into a bitter rye/bread character that ends on a bitter and more floral/pine (chinook?) hop note that lasts. Really nice flavor that greatly shows off the rye character. **Strong black pepper character comes through as it warms.

Lighter body with lower carbonation work well...alcohol well hidden.

An excellent rye-forward beer that has plenty of hop bitterness/pine/spice to make it interesting the whole time. Well done, which is not surprising, as it is SN.

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Photo of Koufax21
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It pours out a nice orange copper collor and settles with a nice size white head on top that measures roughly an 1". The smell is of nice citrus hops but fairly mild. Slight bready aromas come through as well. Big Rye taste. it reminds me a lot of of Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic. Man, I sure wish this stuff was around in the bottle when I used to stumble through the streets of Chico with a 6'er of Bigfoot, it might have been a little easier on me, but what's the fun in that? Solid beer, I tip my hat to SN once again.

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

Ruthless is a nice coppery amber, not quite as red as celebration but a nice darker IPA as I like them. A bone white head builds nicely leaving lots of lacing as I've come to expect from Sierra Nevada beers.

The aroma has a strong earthy spiciness with nice piney background.

The flavor is very rye forward but this is unmistakeably a Sierra Nevada IPA. Piney hops back up the spicey rye while caramel maltsmake a nice lightly toasted breadiness.

Excellent mouthfeel, close to medium and lightly creamy and perfectly carbonated.

I do believe this has become my favorite rye beer, a spot formerly held by Great Divide Hoss. They were not shy with the rye! Another great beer from Sierra Nevada (though I will miss Glissade).

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark copper with a mountain of dense, white, foamy head that has great retention. The nose is citrusy with grapefruit aromas and the rye is faintly noticeable. The malt content is mild in flavor but strong enough to hold up to the intense hop character. There are faint bready notes and faint spicy rye characteristics. The hops are citrusy, slightly piny, and finish bitter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and it's well carbonated.

This is just another solid IPA from Sierra Nevada. The rye doesn't add much but enough to be noticeable. I prefer this as the spring beer versus their previous offerings, but I don't think it holds up to the other IPA offerings they have throughout the year.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip glass. Pours a clear medium copper an one-finger off-white head along with lacing that lasts well throughout. Aroma is quite spicy like a rye beer should be and Earthy/piny hops are also present creating a nice balance. Flavor suggests a spicy rye taste and mild hops. Some bitterness is present throughout with piny hop flavors. Some caramel malt is there is well to prop up the hops. Medium mouthfeel and decent carbonation throughout. Quite an average but interesting rye-inspired IPA brew.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

A: Pours amber with a short head that dissipates quickly. Almost no sign of carbonation. Excellent clarity and weak lacing.

N: Rye, caramel, bubblegum, citrus and grassy hops.

T: Spicy rye runs throughout this beer and thrives on the back of the palate. Well done. Not overpowering. Notes of lemon, orange and bubblegum run the front of the palate. Crisp caramel malts shine through in the middle along with lemony citrus and pine. Finishes with pine, spruce, grass and of course more rye.

M: Medium bodied, crisp, clean, smooth, dry and bitter.

O: It's Sierra Nevada. A Rye IPA done with class. Try it, it's beautiful!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown -served in a standard pint.

The color is resplendent shade of deep copper with great clarity and visibly carbonated with rapidly rising fine bubbles and pale tan cap w/ ultra fine bead. The lace is sticky and it is a pleasure to look upon in the glass. The smell has a fruity tangy yeast ester with a citrusy hop smell that is very pleasant and mild caramel odor from the malt with light pine accent from the hops. the feel is a true west coast IPA in that it has a nice malt backbone but the rye is giving a toasty edge which absorbs some of the hop acidity - the balance is toward the hop with a nice bite yet there is some oily texture and a nice dry spicy finish with mild sweet accents.

The flavor is toasty and fruity with a light sweet taste up front w/ rye giving a light nuttiness and slight caramel leads to an orange and tangerine citrus flavor w/ light pine notes adding depth to the hop character. the pine takes the wheel and steers into hoppy rye territory fast with a spicy/fruity and mildly earthy hop flavor which pairs well with the rye. There is a lot of different flavor components overlapping which I really enjoy with juicy tangy citrus a focal point that blends very nicely with the toasted grain elements. The malt doesn't really distract from the tropical fruit notes which come forward mildly as it warms. There is an ample amount of bitterness in the finish.

Overall I love a good rye and this has it all -the finesse and flavor that coexist in a hoppy rye beer. It is smooth enough to be drinkable and bold enough to excite the palate, Kudos to Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straight clear amber with a big off white head which leaves behind some lacing.

Smell is nice, juicy hops that have a very citrus-orange smell, and tons of rye.

Taste is similar to nose, but the hops up front are overpowered by the rye in the middle, and a bitter aftertaste wraps it up.

Feel is nice, good carbonation, though not quite easy to drink, as the rye gets in the way.

A fine beer for drinking, not what I would call easy to drink though. Good bitter flavors dominate, but I am beginning to think I am not a big rye fan.

DOA

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Photo of Topher78
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Upon pouring this beer left a fingers worth of a off white head and had reasonably good lacing. The color of this beer was perplexing, from different angles it had very different and unique colors. From table level it looked mahogany, from over top it looked slightly red and from an angle it looked more amber in color. Well, whatever color is was it had a beautiful aroma to it. Strong peppery notes mixed very well with sweet citrusy hop notes. From the first sip you can tell you're drinking a rye beer; the spiciness of the rye added a big kick to the malt and worked very well with this beers hop imparted bitterness. This beer finished very clean and dry on the palate, which left you wanting more.

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

Pours a deep copper orange with a nice head that last for about ten min. With nice lacing.

smells of sweet malt with a little spice not a ton of rye. some citrus hops but not overwhelming like most ipas i love to drink. still a nice beer.

Tast is malty up front with some rye but not much different then their pale ale for a malt bill. not as dry or asbitter as the pale ale, but not quite the ipa i like to drink.

Body is right on i can drink this beer all day and still be thirsty for more the way it feels on the palette.

Overall I think this beer stands up to what ever this brewery has to offer. Drink it while you can.

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Photo of popery
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours clear and copper. The head is a thick layer of eggshell bubbles and clings to the sides of the glass as I drain it. Great looking stuff.

The aroma is clean and hoppy. There's a big rye spice note with earthier malt flavors. There's also a floral caramel malt sweetness hiding behind the more dramatic aromas. The hops are right in SN's wheelhouse and lend solid grapefruit and pine notes.

The taste is also good but gets a bit overwhelmed by a somewhat bland hop bitterness. There's a good amount of rye flavor but it gets a bit lost behind the hops, as do the sweet and earth malt notes. I don't mind the bitterness, but I wish there was either more hop delicacy or more rye flavor. The finish is mildly dry with a sharp bite.

Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is medium. Some hop oiliness.

It's a good beer and fills in a gap left by the Anniversary Ale. I wouldn't hesitate to bring it to a party, but I won't be stocking it at home for myself. The taste just doesn't quite live up to the aroma.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle code 135011147. Taste is slightly spicy with a nice hop citrus presence. Pretty much delivers completely on the promise that is made on the bottle. Normally I don't put too much attention to the label as it is normally the liquid that matters the most but I really, really love the way that this label (and Celebration does this for me too) puts you in another place and transcends you before you even take the first sip. Genius. As for the liquid...crisp, clean, hoppy, spicy, delicious. It's from Sierra Nevada, what did you expect?

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a translucent reddish brown color with a half inch of head. Tons of lacing. Good amount of hops in the nose. Citrusy and floral with some grains. Taste is bitter hops with a floral finish. Some breadiness and grains. Not really getting much citrus like I did with the aroma, although there is some grapefruit. A bit of caramel as well but this beer is dominated by hops and bitterness. Big surprise, Sierra Nevada has made another great beer.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass. The color is orange red and clear. There is a quarter inch white head; lots of sticky lacing.

The aroma is sweet melon.

The taste has some nice rye malt twang, but is predominantly hoppy with pine mostly. There is a nice dry bitter finish.

The body is medium; there is a high amount of carbonation. Very refreshing.

I like this one; it's not super hoppy, but it allows the malt to show itself.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,112 ratings.