Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

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very good

1,080 Reviews
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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
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Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,899
Photo of phantomwyse
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out a perfectly clear coppery caramel body with some scarlet red thrown in for good measure. Billowy two finger head of cotton white is typical of rye beers, but always impressive. Doesn’t really face, just dissipates and resembles a cappuccino.

S: Head long dive right into citrus hops – orange and lemony with pine overlaying the whole aroma. Underneath there is a peppery earthiness, arugula(?) and then a sweetness like cupcake frosting.

T: Flavor is much more restrained than the aroma. Mildly spicy with a moderate bitterness – again, a little earthy up front with mild pine flavors trailing. If the way soil smells after an April rain storm could have a taste - -this would be it.

M: Medium moving more to light bodied with an almost dry finish. Mouth fee is generally flat.

O: Not as much of a peppery kick as I was hoping nor as hoppy as I was expecting. Nice first go around, Sierra Nevada, but next time add a dash more of everything.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep copper color. Very crisp looking. Thin, bubbly, white head, with limited retention.

S: A spicy, dry resinous aroma. Definite rye presence. Not a lot of hops present, outside of a faint piney aroma.

T: Rye, Rye, and more rye. Very grassy, bready taste profile, with a nice bitter dry finish. Nice spice flavor.

M: Sharp carbonation. Very light bodied, dry, and crisp.

O: A nice, refreshing brew. Although its a nice changeup from the standard IPA, I would have enjoyed a little more hoppy characteristics

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Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A complimentary sample bottle at a local bar courtesy of the local distributor. Poured into tulip. Poured an attractive reddish light mahogany (kinda copperish) with an inch and half of tan head that had good retention and very good lacing.

The aroma was very hop forward with a nice shot of Rye backing it up. Underneath, the base grains provided a solid foundation. On the tongue, The sharpness of the Rye provided a nice counter-point to SN's typical bold hoppiness.

The body was nicely full, fuller than typical for an IPA, but still wasn't heavy or filling. Drinkability was good, I'll be having a couple when it goes on tap tomorrow. Overall, a pretty nice beer. Worth trying when you see it.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy copper color with a fairly small off white head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- Quite a bit of spice here for sure. A really good mix and balance of spice from the rye, bready malts and hops.

T- Spices are leading the way here. From rye spice to a pepper spice, followed by caramel malts, and then piney hops. Hops are here by are in the back ground.

M- Medium in both body and carbonation.

O- Very solid brew. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. A good twist on an IPA.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper in color, with a big cloud deck of off-white foam,
Aroma-Juicy hops, faint spiciness
Taste-Spicy rye, big, bold hops, rather clean, dry finish. Nice flavor and balance, cries out for a spicy food match. Pepper steak or Teriaki would do nicely. Hop-head recommended.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown SN stubby style bottle with artistic lable. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - deep copper to amber color with a creamy off white head that sits lovely on top. A nice ring of lace that sticks to the walls of my pint glass.

S - nice spicy aroma. Grain like bready malts with the rye sinking down deep in the nose. Almost hits a sweet note before a good combination of well balanced hops of both pine and citrusy notes

T - flavor has a sweet caramel malt presence to start and is immediately followed with a wonderful pungent dose of rustic rye. Peppery spices lead into a sturdy but great pine like hops which provide a solid bitterness. Some citrus here with the hops are noticed but mostly pine like hops with this brew. More tasty rye in the back leaving a somewhat dry finish.

M - medium body with very good carbonation. Typical thickish mouthfeel like most SN brews yet still crisp. Easy to drink. Good spices throughout with a lovely semi-dry finish.

O - I was a little disappointed to learn that SN was dropping Glissade as their spring seasonal while releasing yet another IPA to take its place. IPAs are wonderful, but I liked the change of pace golden bock. While all their IPAs are indeed very good, Glissade gave me a different style. However After experiencing this I can say that this may be their best IPA outside the Harvest ales and Estate ale. I'll definitely miss the Glissade this year, but I welcome this Ruthless Rye IPA with open arms. Very tasty.

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Photo of Brad007
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As a self-proclaimed fan of rye beers, I had to check this out.

Pours a dark copper color with a thick, frothy head into my glass. I was expecting something more reddish but it should do.

Pine resin from the hops mingles with sweet and spicy rye malt to create a welcoming bouquet of flavor.

Wow. Piney hops and spicy rye malt greet the tongue. The hops seem to overwhelm the spiciness, creating a weird mish-mash of flavors. I'm not complaining. It's what I expected.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering malt and hops with a good rye kick.

I like this. It's not the best but I can see myself drinking it in place of some other micro.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber body with a light but frothy head.

Nose is sharp and spicy. Rye character is the operative thing here.

Tastes just like it smells. Sharp, tangy, spicy, with a hop bite on the finish. Thirst quenching while still being very flavorful. Just an outstanding balance of rye, hops and top-notch brewing ability. Another huge win for SN, in my opinion!

Tart and quenching. Slightly toothy from the hops. Love this beer on my tongue!

Overall drinkability is really good. SN doesn't make a bad beer, but I like this one even more than the rest of their lineup.

This is a beer for food. Chili, Nachos, BBQ, even a Bacon Cheeseburger with seasoned fries. Plenty of flavor and character to work well with intense flavors.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear coppery amber, moderate cap of khaki tinted head, decent retention and sticky lacing. Scent brings notes of pine and citrus to the front, followed by a decent spice, notes of lightly sweet malt and a mineral like quality. Taste leads with a moderate splash of pine and citrus, fairly robust spice notes from the rye, minimal notes of malt. Very dry finish, slightly heavy on the palate, fuller side of medium bodied. A decent offering from Sierra that like mostly everything else they make is quite drinkable.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Bottle poured into tulip.

A- Clear amber orange with a two finger white head.
S- Skunky dry hopping is this beers game. Huge dry hopped aromas, somewhat bitter but very astringent. Some citrus flavors such as grapefruit and lime.
T- A pretty bold taste from this one. Lots of dark citrus flavors from the hops. Very astringent, you can tell this is a rye IPA but had I not seen what it was I probably wouldn't have guessed. A red ale backbone, pretty sugary.
M- This beer is not the easiest to drink but isnt going to fight you either. A bitter aftertaste for sure. Good carbonation.
O- Another excellent seasonal from SN, This is similar to their Torpedo but with a darker feel to it.

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

I was not expecting to find this at the local grocery store, but there it was. I had never heard of it before, but I deeply appreciate the drinkability of Sierra Nevada's offerings.

Poured a deep, beautiful amber into a S.A. anniversary glass. A nice head and thick rings of lacing down the entire length of the glass.

Tons of rye to the nose. Immediately, I got hops on the palate. Then the rye followed through, lots of it, by the bottom of the glass thats what I was getting. The mouthfeel felt really good to me, with ample carbonation. A little too much rye for me by the end, but overall a very good offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber-brown with a slight white head that sticks to the glass. The smell is really piney with slight citrus notes. I also smell spearmint. The taste has piney hops and finishes nice and dry. It is naturally spicy. It passes by quickly. It has that familiar Sierra Nevada taste. Maybe from the yeast? Mouthfeel is light, dry and nicely carbonated. Overall, a tasty brew that finishes nice and clean. Love the label!

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Photo of Auracom
2.74/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Have some recent reference for this style with Jester King Wytchmaker, which didn't astound me but was good enough to keep me interested in what else is out there for rye + IPA.

12 oz. bottle poured on January 15th, 2012 into a Bruery tulip.

A - It's a pretty dark, deep caramel/amber color. Typical one finger's worth of a white fluffy head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Even warmed up a bit, this aroma is muted. Light malt grain, slightly piney hops, lemon peel, and faint spice grounds.

T - Better but not where I anticipated. Initial carbonation and light fruit zest. Black peppercorn, ryebread, and further malts at the middle of the tongue and push through the backend.

M - Light-medium body, fair carbonation. Semi-short finish of rye, bitter hop resin, and a bread-like body.

D - This really pales in comparison to Jester King's offering. The nose is extremely subtle and the taste doesn't offer a whole lot of interesting notes of spice, which was sort of the whole point of rye, right?

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Photo of FattyJLE
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

S - Pungent and spicy with bready malts.

A - Crystal clear deep reddish-amber with a two-inch, fluffy, off-white head. Sticky, thick lacing.

T - Spicy and peppery right from the start. Earthy, herbal bitterness combines with pepper and spicy flavor (whether from hops or rye, presumably both). Biscuity and toasty malt backbone. The spicy, earthy bitterness lingers on the palate. Little alcohol present.

M - Medium carbonation. Moderate body. No alcohol warming. Pepper and spice produce a pleasant bite on the tongue.

O - A quality rye IPA. Nothing spectacular but certainly representative of the characteristics of rye beers with no flaws to speak of. Definitely very drinkable, but maybe a little undeserving of the name "Ruthless." Still I'd recommend.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Clear coppery liquid with a thin smattering of beige that slowly dissipates to a minute collar.

Sour-mash aroma of rye is offset by a slightly floral note as well as hints of grassy hops and faint white pepper.

Tart citrus-laden palate entry with a second wave of rye crackers and a distinctive (two row pale maybe?) signature malt base. Moderate bitterness throughout which crescendos into the dry husky (slightly grainy) finish.

Light-bodied, prickly, yet a touch flat.

Less refined and more potent than I was expectiving from Sierra Nevada. The rye is allowed to shine through in an unadulterated manner. Surprised to see purity of ingredients win out (if only slightly) over balance, making for a more novel if not daring brew than you might anticipate.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass, it's a dark amber color, clear with a white head. Not bad looking, but nothing amazing.

The aroma is really strong with rye and not surprising from Sierra Nevada a good many hops. There is a faint caramel malt balance underneath as well.

The flavor profile is quite similar to the aroma except the hops are more pronounced while the malts fade. The rye adds a nice spice to the beer similar to a rye whiskey.

The mouthfeel is very medium bodied beer with a strong rye aftertaste.

overall it's a good beer but not superb.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. 2012 listed on the bottle.

An off white head, a little styrofoamy, but makes a good three fingers with some retention. Body color is a dark amber brown, crystal clear, not much rising carbonation if any.

Nose is a nice toasted grainy malt. Slightly spicy, almost Oktoberfest Marzen like. A little subdued, but fairly solid.

Real interesting taste profile. Sweetening grapefruit at first in the palate, followed by the toasty malts matched on the nose. Hop citrus bitter follows on the afterfinish, with an airy spicy feeling. Great tasting. Mouthfeel seems fine and solid nothing to complain or get excited about.

Overall pretty good tasting beer here.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber/chestnut color with a good two finger tan foam head that receded fairly quickly and left some good sticky lacing.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops with a good rye bread aroma. Some slightly sweet caramel malts underneath.

Taste: A big blast of pine hops and a great rye bread flavor. Some good slightly sweet toffee and burnt caramel malts. Finishes semi-dry.

Mouth feel: Good carbonation and a nice crisp mouth feel. Finishes semi-dry on the tongue with a slight hops bitterness that doesn't linger long.

Overall: I like rye beers, and this one delivers on the big rye flavor. A good ABV for the style makes this a very easy beer to session with when I'm in the mood for a rye beer. Another winner from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of claspada
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Aromas begin mildly spicy, grassy, citrusy and piney. Grainy pale maltiness with a little underlying rye maltiness. Expected more from the malts given he color.

The tastes begin with grainy, 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, with some lesser floral, grassy hop flavors. Dry, lingering finish.

The mouthfeel is mediumt to light bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is quite crisp and clean overall.

Overall, this was a nice beer but rather ordinary. I want more rye or more hops or something. It basically tastes like their standard pale ale or IPA with a little rye.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gift from drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is clear and copper hued with a thick, lasting off white head that coats the pint glass with lacing. The aroma brings hops, pine, bread. Very bitter with lots of pine flavor. Hops are the initial flavor, followed by a robust malt bill. This is what I would consider to be a balanced IPA. This is typically not my preference for the style, but this brew is well done. Medium bodied. The aftertaste offers pine and rye bread. Overall, pretty good. Worth a try.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Rye IPA pours a deep amber with a thick rocky ecru colored head. The foam refuses to to die down no doubt due to the sticky hops. The scent is a piney grapefruit that is expected from a west coast IPA and it is a delightful bouquet.

The taste is similar, but the rye plays a larger part adding a spices finish. It is a great progression of flavor from sweet caramel malt to a resinous piney hop bit punctuated by the rye. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a slight rich creaminess that adds to the character of the brew.

All around great beer, but I was sad to see it replace Glissade. I suppose hops are in.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a golden amber color with a large frothy and pillowy white head and good lacing down the glass.

S- fresh citrus and pine hops, spiciness from the rye, some bread and a bit of sweet malt.

T- spices from the rye are noted immediately, also has a slight tanginess to it. Citrus hops follow the nose, Bitterness is controlled by an underlying malt sweetness. finishes dry. Also get a bit of peppery cracker on the back end.

M- medium bodied with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy mouthfeel and finish.

O- I enjoyed this one as a good change up from a typical IPA. I'm a fan of rye whisky and I think the spiciness of this beer makes for an interesting drink. Bitterness is controlled well.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

An orange amber body with a thick, foamy off-white cap. Huge chunks of lace coat the interior of the glass.

The aroma is a little muted. Spicy rye, earthy hops, pine resin and sticky caramel. Pretty straightforward aroma, balanced.

Trademark Sierra sticky caramel hits me first, then some spicy notes from the rye through the middle. The finish is a pretty good sized rush of bitterness, infused with pine resin, caramel, and ruby red grapefruit. The bitterness in this guy builds and lingers more with each sip.

Chewy, sticky feel. Medium to full body. Large lingering bitterness.

This is a nice Rye IPA. I have had three of these, and I like it much better with each one. The flavors seemed a little muted in the first bottle, maybe my palate just needed to acclimate. Nice job, Sierra.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A..A relatively dark golden pour with minimal to no head; no lacing present.

(As a side note, the label on this beer is one of the best I have seen. A robed maiden stands with a large sickle in a field of rye, while an old farmhouse stands in the background. The colors are gorgeous.)

S..This one smells fresh. Then again, most SN brews do (this one is reminiscent of Torpedo IPA).

T..Sierra Nevada created a terrific beer yet again! The rye here is original and wonderful. Some malt present, but not in an overpowering way. The combination of grains (which are great...did I mention that yet?) make me think I am drinking a glass of kind bud.

M..Easy to drink a couple, though I would not call this a session beer. Medium bodied, but it is a strong presence on the palette.

O..Looking forward to this one again, but already unhappy it won't be available all year. Awesome spring beer that SN should continue with each year.

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

Heavy pour rate into a plain pint glass gives about a 2 and 1/2 finger foamy/creamy off-white head. The head starts receding and turns into a bit of a rocky formation. Sticks around for some time and the lace is pretty nice. The beer is a brilliantly clear and deep orange/copper color.

The aroma is of mild malt and sweetness, nice spicey rye characteristics, bitter and citrus hops, maybe even some tropical fruits.

The taste here is again of malts and grains (more malty than I was expecting but not super malty/bready/etc), sweetness, nice rye spice and hints of pepper (not overpowering, though), and the good showing of citrus and bitter hops complimenting the rye.

The consistency is smooth, the carbonation medium (and appropriate), the body is medium as well, and the finish is a bit dry and lingering (nothing bad about that though).

This beer just seems to embody all the Sierra Nevada is - A damn damn fine, super solid brewery in (almost) every beer they put out. I say almost because I haven't tried them all, like the Ovila offerings, but I have tasted most of their other beers. Sierra Nevada just seems to put out quality beers that are their own take on the style. I can easily say this is another one of their beers that I will buy again if it is released more than once (not sure if it is or isn't

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