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

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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 mactrail
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Attractive copper color in the big tulip. SN was not at all shy about the hops in this one, and it could certainly be called an IPA. Quite bitter in mid taste and all the way through the aftertaste. Very distinctive flavor with the aromatic and grainy rye notes. The perfumey smell is quite remarkable. The sweet malty flavor, familiar from the bigger IPAs, is also notable.

If they keep this one around it should introduce new generations to rye beers. This is interesting enough to be a must-try beer, whether or not it turns out to be your idea of a rye. I think the mark of a good beer is one that reveals complexity as you savor it. I found myself raising the score as I sipped.

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

Typical Sierra Nevada in the sense that it is beautifully executed, satisfying, perfectly to style, but not extreme or edgy in any way.

Pours a clear golden with a fizzy white head that drops quickly. The aroma is woody and sharp, with a subtle rye edge and perhaps more toasty malt than I might have expected. The flavor is malty - bready, a little caramel, nutty, but with that wry rye edge behind it. There is a solid, somewhat citrusy bitterness, but I don't find hops in the forefront on the flavor.

Tasty, sessionable, and solid, but not a mindblower.

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Photo of stewart124
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper in color with nice pillowy head.

Plenty of malt and spice in the nose. Some bready notes with a citrus and piney character.

Right off the bat I get a bold spicy character from the rye. This really comes off as a Sierra IPA with rye added. Not that I am complaining because this is a damn good beer. The peppery note adds some depth and a different dimension to Sierra Nevada. Medium caramel and plenty of toasted bread.

Good overall hop bill with some spicy hops or what adds well to the spice from the rye and a general Sierra Nevada feel. Some citrus and grapefruit characters but nothing that takes away from the malts.

Medium bodied with a good feel for carbonation. Very easy to drink and the alcohol doesn't come off as being harsh. Another great selection to Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at for Pete's sake...
Poured in a pint, nice white head, laces well, color is nice amber very transparent.

Scent is mild malt, followed by a nice spices rye mixed with some citrusy hops.

Taste is very well done, clean, crisp, nice malt then overcome by the rye spice; hops and bitterness are there enough to make it feel like an ipa but the rye really comes through.

Mouthfeel is on the cloudy side, a little lingering bitter and rye spice, but expected.

Very nice rye beer, and even a nice ipa while it's at it

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

Poured a beautiful, bright and clear,deep red with orange highlights with a foamy, slowly dissipating beige head.

This is quite aromatic with a bouquet of spicy, rye and citrusy hop.

The initial flavor highlights much of the sharp and zesty rye character with a very nice bitter hop profile following through on palate. The end result is a soft and inviting bittersweet ale.

The ale leads to an almost abrasive mouthfeel but quickly retreats to a rounded, malty mouthfeel. The body is solidly medium with restrained carbonation.

Often with rye beers I have tried, the rye is not well represented, almost as if an after thought by the brewer. In this instance, the rye is prominently displayed in the flavor without becoming overbalanced. This dry and refreshing ale is dangerously drinkable at 6.6 ABV. I miss Glissade Bock, but I am very pleased with this one.

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Photo of bigflatsbeerman
2.59/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my first rye IPA, it may grow on me (I hope it does I bought a 12 pack).
Apperance: Nice red clear color.
Smell: It must be the rye smell which I am not used to, but it smelled like it was skunked beer to me at first and I can't say I like the smell as times goes on.
Taste: Similar to the smell above, I don't have a taste for it yet and may never develop it (I will have to have a party to get rid of the 11 I have left?)
Mouthfeel: Not bad not too heavy, not too light.
Overall: This is my first 12 oz. bottle from a 12 pack. I have great respect for SN, but not sure this rye IPA is for me. I hope it grows on me.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, bottled late December 2011.

Pours a clear, attractive reddish amber, very brilliant. Head is creamy, with great retention all the way down.

Aroma is of spicy, earthy hops.

The flavor is full and malty, with a solid dose of bitterness and hops. Oily on the palate, with some rustic, tangy Rye notes that complement the spicy and woody hop flavor. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and smooth. Man, has Sierra Nevada perfected their bottle conditioning. Drinkability is above average for an IPA-style specialty grain beer.

Definitely an interesting IPA, though I think there could be even more hop flavor while still retaining the rye character.

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Photo of heelsn02
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into New Belgium snifter

pours a really nice deep amber color... off white 1 finger head. lots of bubbles coming up from the carbonation. awesome lacing.

smells nice and sweet, a bit of citrusy hops coming thru. caramel and bready malts. not a big pungent smell though

really good taste. nice balance b/t the hops and malt, and the light peppery spice from the rye flavor pulls thru really nicely.

mouthfeel is a little bitter, medium bodied; nice amount of carbonation.

overall I'm really liking this rye IPA... about to have 3 or 4 more and watch the brady/tebow bowl tonight :) super easy to drink for sure. similar to the "rye hopper" I tried from french broad a few weeks ago, but not as sweet... both excellent brews though. this is priced very reasonably here in NC ($8.99 for a 6er). I'll definitely buy this one again. well done Sierra.

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

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 135012120. Sampled on January 14, 2012. It is an attractive looking beer with its medium to dark amber tone and foaming beige head. Hops are the first aroma on the nose followed by grains and a little citrus. The body falls into the medium range. The taste is really hopped up with grains and rye playing around with the palate and a sopur note of something akin to pineapple. It ends clean and crisp.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra’s new brew is a rye pale ale that’s a caramel-amber color with a billowy white foam topping. Its aroma is lightly hopped with grapefruit and some rye spice coming through. Full-flavored body with hops making their grand entry midpoint and tapering into a nice hoppy, resiny finish balanced by that good rye zestiness. I can’t complain that this one is going to be just about everywhere Sierra is. Try it.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish copper color with small white film that sits on the top. It appears very still with a limited amount of carbonation.

S: The only aromas I am getting out of the nose is fruity and citrus hops paired with a light bit of sourness from the rye. The aroma was a bit of a let down.

T: The taste sure makes up for the aroma. There is the citrus from the hops present along with a piney taste that wasn't found in the nose. It has a backbone of biscuity and bready malts. A touch of sour from the rye finishes it off. It is very well balanced.

M: It is medium bodied and very still with a limited amount of carbonation. A light bitter bite finishes it off.

O: This beer has a few flaws, but the superb taste makes up for it my opinion. With some work in the other aspects, this could definitely become something special.

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Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. This beer is a looker.

I pick up mostly citrus and earthy hops in the aroma. Just a small hint of the rye. Some breadiness from the malt rounds things out.

Plenty of rye in the flavor. Not sure the citrus hops is the ideal compliment to the rye. Bitterness is high. Overall is slightly dry.

Has excellant carbonation for a hoppy, bitter brew. Plenty of body to delivery the flavor.

Another solid beer from Sierra Nevada. The flavor was just a slight letdown compared to the great rye IPAs.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear amber with a fluffy cream head. Good retention. A patchwork of lace fills the glass as I slowly empty it.

Scent is vaguely citrus.

Peppery, grainy rye strikes a balance with grapefruit, lime and orange hops. Perhaps a hint of pine. The flavors mate well and neither steals the spotlight.

Oily medium mouthfeel.

Very easy to drink.

I love rye ales and I love Sierra Nevada so it's no surprise this hits the spot. My only complaint is the nose is rather muted.

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Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours the prototypical SN copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Really don't get a whole lot on the nose, though what I do get is intriguing. There's some noticeable rye and dry citrus, which is attractive... just wish there was a bit more there. OK. On the palate, SN has really hit a homerun with this beer. The rye is very prominent on the palate, and it blends very, very well with the light malt and considerable hoppy bitterness. The finish is quite dry and bitter, with just a kiss of rye on the long finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, with a long, clean, slightly bitter finish. Alcohol is very well disguised in this beer, and drinkability is just exceptional.

I'll be ordering this one again for sure. So nice to see such a flavorful, hoppy beer in such a (relatively) low alcohol beer.

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

On tap at The House of Brews.

A – Poured out a copper color with two fingers of white frothy head.

S – Has a solid citrus hops aroma with spiciness in the nose.

T – Starts off with a strong citrus hop bite as well. Nice spicy flavor. Grapefruit and lemon zest. Moves quickly to a good solid kick of rye and its pretty tasty. Bready and piney.

M – Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Easy drinker.

O – Dug it. Easy to put down a few. Great flavors that compliment each other very well. If you like rye beer this is one to try.

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

Rocky textured foaming tan head leaves only gas and beer residue between an inch of air and glass known as head space, it's beautiful. Color wise bright ruby copper colored beer we need in this post holiday recovery mode for everybody. After drinking spiced ales with cinnamon, honey, and all spice for a month and a half, I fully praise Sierra Nevada for releasing this beer. Aroma has hints of pine and citrus with a spicy rye layer that definitely adds a layer of complexity to the mix. Flavor hits with a clashing layer of malt/rye versus earthy/pine hops, pretty intense here no bias noted, I'm a lover of both malts and hops. Easy to drink well balanced between the waves of piney/citrus hops and spicy rye malt, moderate carbonation slick oily hop textures going on. Overall a welcomed seasonal to mix up the ever changing lineup of Sierra Nevada, I'll be drinking more of this.

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Photo of Stev0supreemo
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely an interesting IPA that's worth checking out. My main complaint would be the nose which was definitely lacking.

A: Very aesthetic amber orange. One inch head.

S: Again, lacking. Hoppy with very mild Rye characteristics.

T: The Rye isn't very pronounced.

M: Medium body

O: Enjoyable beer. If it weren't for Hopslam taking up my immediate budget I'd pick up a six-pack.

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

A: Pours with a nice dense one finger, white head. The beer is a nice clear reddish copper color with amber highlights. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass even those on the side I am drinking from. Great overall appearance.

S: Earthy, spice. Citrus peel with some rind. A bit of pine. A little toast or biscuit. Maybe some grapefruit juice. None of these aromas are intense but are in a good balance.

T: Grapefruit and a hint of caramel at the front of the palate. Followed by a resin feeling from piney hops. A lingering bitterness comes next. The spiciness from the rye appears in the finish. The finish is of medium length and doesn't linger anymore then it should.

M: Medium mouthfeel. The betaglucans from the rye increased the body making this not a light feeling beer. It works well with the rest of the beer.

O: A great drinkable beer. It doesn't have as much rye as some of the other Rye IPAs and it uses the traditional Sierra Nevada hops that have made their beers famous. Its a very dependable beer from a very dependable company. I would recommend this beer to anyone. Especially those wanting another good IPA that isn't hard to find.

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

At the time of this review, this is the #17 beer on the "Top Beers - Rye Beer" list. Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a Hill Farmstead becher glass.

Beer is brown and clear with a nice tan head of small and medium bubbles, nice moderate carbonation, some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet with some earthy mildly citrus hops in there. Smells nice.

Beer is medium in body with a mildly dry finish, moderate bitterness and a grainy aftertaste. The lead off is this mild spiciness from the malt and this nice body that fills out to a good hop presence, the aftertaste totally takes me out of the beer though. Not a fan of that. Otherwise it is a fine little IPA / rye beer.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A- Transparent pecan with a one finger white head.

S- Rye bread, bitter orange peel, pine

T- a faint citrus is followed by a spicy rye flavor. There are slight pine notes at the finish.

M- medium to thin with a low carbonation level.

O- For the price, this is a great session beer. I hope it sticks around for a while.

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

A: Excellent clarity. Amber orange color with two finger slightly off white rocky head.

S: Some roasty malts with a citrus hop aroma.

T: Moderate malty sweetness with lingering bitterness from the hops. Cannot really perceive so called peppery rye notes. I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between this and torpedo.

M: Resinous mouthfeel from ample hopping. Moderate/heavy carbonation.

O: This is a great beer and very quaffable but would maybe enjoy more rye. It certainly isn't "ruthless" in its utilization of rye.

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

A-brown amber color with an off-white head and decent lacing

S-citrus and bread dough with hints of spice

T-citrus and malt with some slight rye character and hints of sweetness nd moderate hoppy finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a decent rye ale, but not in the league with Red's Rye and Hop Rod

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

Appearance - Pours a copperish, burnt orange. Frothy head.

Smell - Hoppy, with a hint of peppery spice; the rye presence settling in nicely with the hops.

Taste - Yep, it's an IPA. Classic SN hoppiness - citrus and pine. Mostly pine. The rye finds it's niche toward the finish and into the aftertaste. A touch of peppery spice. Wish there was more.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, the carbonation is a bit aggressive, but not to the point of detriment.

Overall - A nice alternative to the standard IPA, the addition of Rye makes this beer stand apart from most of the average IPA's. I was hoping for more rye and less of Sierra Nevada's basic flavor profile which, I'll admit I'm not too keen on, but it's about what I expected. It has grown on me since my initial review.

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

Glass - Tulip

A - A very clear copper colored brew with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It produced a 1-2 finger white head that dissipated rather fast. A bit of a splotch was left on my glass.

S - Floral hops upfront with lemon/orange rind and a bit of dryness. I also pick up a touch of caramel and breadiness but I can't really say I pick up any rye.

T - It tastes pretty much like a mix between the Celebration Ale and the Torpedo Extra to me. Upfront it's floral and drying with notes of rye. It unfolds into rind notes, lemon citrus and pine hop characteristics, and a bit musty towards the end. I get more rye, bread, and caramel on the finish. Bitterness is moderate and hop flavors of rind and floral notes linger on and on.

M - Medium carbonation, a bit smooth and medium bodied. It has a really nice feel to me.

O - Well, I was afraid this beer was going to be too much like the beers I mentioned above, and it was. Other than the rye flavors and overall dryness of the beer, it wasn't much different. That being said it is enjoyable to me, and the price couldn't be better. I would say to just pick up a pack for yourself and see if it doesn't taste very similar to the Torpedo Extra or Celebration Ale.

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Photo of aficionado
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed the dark amber body/head along with the malt backbone, and rye presence, but hated the yeast profile. Tastes like a hopped up English lager, not an American ale. Think of Sam Smith's Organic Lager with more bitterness and way more toasty malt presence. The grassy hops here provide some bitterness and brightness, but they aren't really reminiscent of a characterful hop forward American IPA.

Good beer, but I prefer Northern Hemi, Estate, and Celebration a bit more.

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