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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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,078 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,078
Hads: 4,891
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 85
Gots: 632 | 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: 1,078 | Hads: 4,891
Photo of BeerRoach
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden amber, medium head fades into a thin head which sticks around for the long haul.

S: Floral notes combined with grapefruit and citrus make this aroma fresh and inviting!

T: Heavy on the hops, but more tart than bitter. The hops are nicely balanced with citrus flavors which linger in the mouth.

M: Refreshing and easy on the mouth.

O: One of my new favorite brews. The hops take the spotlight, but are perfectly balanced with the citrus flavors. It may be too bitter for some, but for others it will really hit the spot. (534 characters)

Photo of Auraan
4.61/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful amber with a one finger off white head that receded quickly but left behind lacing down the glass. Scents of northwest coast hops and spicy rye. Flavor is pronounced northwest coast hops, rye spice, slight grapefruit and excellent pine notes. Mouthfeel is of medium thickness with medium carbonation that makes it easy to drink. It's a good IPA not the best of Sierra Nevada's many different seasonal IPA offerings, or even their year round, but it's a very good rye IPA. (490 characters)

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A gorgeous dark amber/orange, shiny/clear, with luscious and elegant creamy white head. Very bubbly and beautiful head. About a finger thick. Good retention, with big lacing around the glass. All the usual great characteristics expected from the great SN.

Heavy doses of rye and lovely hits of hop and citrus feast upon the nose. Well-balanced on the nose, as the rye competes with the hops for the title. Very good.

The rye dominates the flavors, balancing and complimenting the citrus hops, with a good slight malt edge. It is well-done with a medium to heavy body, average carbonation level. The rye can be brutal for those not used to it, but this is a welcome experimental IPA.

I like this a lot, but then again, this is Sierra Nevada here, so I pretty much figured I would. Good to have an IPA that's not just a regular for a change. (842 characters)

Photo of theveganbrewer
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have been officially blown away. I have never liked this beer before but it was cheap so I picked up a bottle of the 2013 batch. The mouthfeel and taste were fantastic, I found myself wanting more after just the first sip, and ended up basically chugging the beer.

A: Everything I'd expect from a brewery like SN. Clean, nice head, good lacing, some nice amber colors around the edges.

S: Rye spiciness and hops

T: Piney, resinous hops highlighted by a spicy rye

M: Chewy, with a nice bite. Addictively dry and smooth.

O: From the first sip I loved this beer. Everything seemed to line up right for me on this one. It's amazingly refreshing and drinkable. (664 characters)

Photo of dadofive
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful beer. Vegetal, complex and perfectly balanced. Brewing with so much Rye is a challenge but Sierra has pulled it off.

This is not a session beer, but a work of art. To me, it evoked memories of a late summer's day spent outdoors, helping in the fields. (263 characters)

Photo of stonecutter2
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is what I expect from a Rye IPA, but sweet in the Sierra Nevada tradition.

Beautiful copper color, smell is a bit subdued but the flavor is exactly what I could want.

Sharp spicy bitterness starts and then develops into piney citrus hops with a bitter backbone. Delicious. (280 characters)

Photo of berliner07
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
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 JednoPivoProsim
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
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. (955 characters)

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz Pensacola Bay Brewery branded tumbler glass.

Appearance: Caramel color with an orangish/amber hue. Large yellowed head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves behind plentiful lacing.

Smell: West coast hops with rye spiciness dominate. There is a touch of citrus and a bit of biscuit as well.

Taste: Begins with sour lemon and sweet orange, before rounding out to biscuity goodness. Finishes with a pleasant hop bitterness highlighted by the spiciness of rye.

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: While the aroma of this beer left me thinking "this is going to be another good rye beer, not much more and nothing less." However, I tasted an excellent one- this is a beer where the rye and hops play off one another very well, while most ryes have one dominating the other (even if only slightly so). The true beauty of this beer lies in its balance.

Would give this a five overall, but it may just be that it's only the best rye I have had recently- and i haven't had many in close to a year. (1,070 characters)

Photo of lph0911
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I will keep this one simple

it has a good aftertaste almost spicy cause of the rye but it is really drinkable for being an ipa in my standards. Not saying ipa is not drinkable beer but this one sticks with me as a really drinkable one. I would drink it if offered anytime.
love it

cheers (290 characters)

Photo of CA_brewster
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this beer is spectacular. Crystal clear deep amber color with a good finger and a half of head. The aroma on this beer is nice and hoppy with the spicyness of the rye coming through. The rye gives a very unique malt backbone to this beer. It's great, as a IPA lover I am really enjoying this. Pick some up if you get a chance. (344 characters)

Photo of slackattack
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass

A- pours a clear amber with a nice 2 fingers of head initially. Head slowly dissipates to about a quarter inch that persists and leaves a nice lacing as you drink.

S- earthy and spicy with some of the chinook and citra coming in at the end

T- the rye earthiness and spiciness is really up front for me, then you get the bittering qualities of the hops on the back of your tongue that linger for as long as you will let them. The taste sticks with you long after swallowing.

M- not overly carbonated, feels soft on the tongue and in the mouth. No complaints.

O- I personally love this beer and have a hard time passing it up when it is available. The rye just adds a little peppery bite that I find irresistible. At 6.6% some would argue it isn't a sessionable brew but I firmly disagree. An Oakland A's game and a Ruthless Rye or 6 is a great evening. (894 characters)

Photo of Jparker37
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams perfect pint. 2012

A - Big pillowy off-white head that never receeds. Clings slightly to the glass. The color is a light amber to golden that is relatively clear.

S - Delicate pine and spicy hop notes right up front. Rye is very foreward and blends nicely with the hop canvas.

T - A delightful earthy/spicy light malt body with a wonderfully flavorful hop presence throught the taste. Big on flavor that quickly drys up to be very refreshing and somehow lighter bodied.

M - Light to medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Very dry.

O - Another hoppy beer from SV that has excellent hop characteristics. Throughly enjoyed. (658 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye is a perfectly clear and sparkling light copper ale with a dense, lumpy, creamy head that has pockets of large bubbles in it. The retention and lacing is outstanding. The juicy citrus hops speak loudly of tangerines and grapefruit while conversing about spicy rye and muttering something about caramel. One whiff makes the mouth water. It's medium bodied and quite smooth and lively in the mouth. The finish is dry and crunchy. It tastes nice and bitter with the main flavor being tangerine peel. After the swallow, there's a wave of rye whiskey flavor. The taste of bitter citrus is sustained for a while. There's a juiciness throughout, but not really any sweetness. Wow, I see why all my friends have been going nuts about this. It's a pretty manly pale ale. It's hard to stop at one pint. (819 characters)

Photo of Garlicjosh
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pour
two finger head- thick,sticky, long linger

Appearnce:
light brown..like thin maple syrup
The bottle is also super attractive.

smell-
hops, rye, other grains slightly sweer

taste:
very smooth full body feel. Sweet. As it rolls over the palete, get the rye but it's not over powering. slight roasty as the hops really stars to stand out with a little earthyness..but in a good way. Bitterness lingers at the very end for a moment. It really tastes much like it smells

over all:
This is my first Rye Beer so I can't really compare it to anything. However, an interesting beer. I'm enjoying every drink I take. For the amount of hops I pick up I would expect it to not be as smooth across the palate. I'll have no problem finishing the six pack and returning back for more. (781 characters)

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a very nice beer, looks deep amber-brownish with a one finger white foam head. Smells citrusy. Tastes bitter and fresh, nice grainy aftertaste. I really liked it. Cheers! (178 characters)

Photo of HamFon
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 2012 vintage dated bottle.

A: brilliant amber color with poofy almost-white large head that persists and leaves lots of lacing

S: peppery, bready, citrus, very inviting

T: black pepper, resiny hop flavors, substantial hop bittering, additional citrus hop flavors, bready

M: medium light body with creamy mouthfeel

O: Yummy! Great balance of spicy rye malt notes with big in-your-face hop aroma and flavor, with a substantial hop bittering into finish. A hop bomb, but with enough malt to back it up. (512 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
2012, 6.6% ABV, 135012000 on label (Dec. 15, 2011)

A - From the brilliant art that adorns the label to the sexy appearance in the pint, Ruthless Rye looks stunning; light bronzy amber in color, it's chill haze and minimal condensation are the only two things keeping it from perfect clarity. The moderate light khaki head lingers quite lengthily before delicately decorating the pint in lace.

S - Sierra Nevada knows their hops, that much is certain. This beer's aroma cements that unequivocally. There's a pleasant, inviting quality to the juicy aroma of the hops that works so well juxtaposed to the rye! Pineapple, mango, and grapefruit put a tropical spin on the peppery, aggressive nature of the rye. A swirl brings fourth pine and grassy earth tones, adding further depth.

T - Hoppy through and through, the exotic fruitiness passively combats the hearty rye in here. Toasted malt falls just behind the peppery, raw, unrelenting rye flavor.

M - It wouldn't be a proper Sierra Nevada without loads of bitterness! Fantastic balance between the moderate carbonation, medium body, and sharp finish, Ruthless Rye is pretty smooth despite being rugged. This one's not too ruthless in fact.

O - Sierra Nevada strikes gold again! Behind the cutting edge band-wagon-jumping of rye beers, it's clear this beer was perfected before being unleashed into the market. Spectacular balance of aggressive hops, this review bottle went far too fast. (1,498 characters)

Photo of shand
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

Glad that I remembered I hadn't reviewed this yet, I was working through my last bottle from the 12-pack I bought, and realized I was about to do something awful. It pours a beautifully hazy red-copper color with a large head. The aroma is fantastic, there's a great amount of spicy rye balanced with a very unique herbal, yet aggressive hop that works fantastically with the rye. The taste is also fantastic, the rye contributes such a great spiciness and just a touch of sweetness. Those flavors blend perfectly with the very unique hop flavor this beer has - it's hop forward, but not the typical citrus or pine hop you'll find in an IPA. It's a bizarre, yet delicious very strong herbal and earthy hop that blends fantastically with the rye flavors. The mouthfeel is spot-on, and the drinkability is fantastic. It's probably the best rye beer I've had, hands-down. For this beer to be this affordable is just about unfair for the other beers on the shelf. Highly recommended. (1,029 characters)

Photo of magpieken
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

12 fl oz bottle. Medium gold-copper colour with a tall, dense, off-white head which persisted well and left some nice lacing. Aroma of pine, floral perfume and citrus. A nice combination of: medium sweetness, complementary bitterness and a spicy bite to finish. Medium bodied with a creamy smooth texture. These jokers know how to make a beer. Thoroughly enjoyable. (366 characters)

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (1,090 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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! (810 characters)

Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear rich amber color with a massive off white head that slowly settles down to a finger high blanket covering the ale. The lacing sticks around the glass a little.

The aroma is hop bitterness at first. Pine and citrus notes are covered. But there is Rye bread aroma as well.

The flavor is full of citrus notes, pine notes. Sharp grapefruit and pine notes hit the tongue at first. Only, to be followed bye the sweetness of the malt and the grain of the rye. I can even detect some whiskey smokiness.

Medium/full bodied, lightly carbonated, and easy to drink if you love hops.

This brewery never disappoints and grab some while you can and enjoy! (665 characters)

Photo of industrialswill
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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 woodychandler
4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think that this also came to me courtesy of local IP trader, tone77. I will be relieved to finish off the last of my on-deck bottles so that I CAN return to The CANQuest (TM)!

From the bottle: "Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with this rustic grain for refined flavors - combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring."

I employed an aggro pour so as to release the aromatics and at the same time, create so much tawny head that there was a cascading action at the junction between the foam and the liquid. My strategy was sound as I ended up with just better than two fingers of head that resembled the top of an ice cream cone, plus the kitchen smelled like I had sprayed air freshener. It smelled of pine, mint and black pepper and my mouth was watering in anticipation. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium and the admixture of the rye and hops on the tongue was literally breathtaking. It tasted of pepper and fresh mint and was just beautiful! The heavy, sticky lacing that began to appear was going to need a hammer and chisel to remove. Finish was likewise dry and peppery-minty. Whew. What a way to open the day! (1,263 characters)

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.