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
87
very good

4,871 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,871
Reviews: 1,095
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 83
Gots: 611 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,871 | Reviews: 1,095
Photo of jbphoto88
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruthless Rye pours crystal clear amber with a thick bone colored and fluffy head. A pretty product that leaves a lovely sticky lace on the side of the glass.

The nose is predominately a nutty dull citrus with hints of caramelization and lemon peels. The rye is also very fragrant here and a nice touch.

The taste is good but not great. Flavorful grain roasted elements with an iced tea like hop presence. I wish the hops were more available in the flavor department but they do show up in the mouthfeel and finish.

A damn decent hop bitterness that really compliments the sweet grains happens in the mouthfeel. There is also an exclamation point of rye dryness. A solid beer but not the best rye brew or IPA but that shouldn't stop you from trying it.

Photo of EricCioe
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours red copper with an offwhite head leaving some lace. On the nose there is earthy pine backed up behind by general spice and a little dough. On the tongue the rye sits heavily with the earthy hops filling in around it. The body is medium, very drinkable with a pleasant buzz from the combination of hops, rye, and carbonation. The finish is long on spice.

Overall, I like this beer a good deal. It's a welcome variation on the SNPA/Torpedo theme.

Photo of ikantspel
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

pours a clear amber color with an off khaki medium head. leaves a semi thick lacing along the glass

earthy notes alone with pine, hops, budding roses, and some sweet citrus

taste is almost similar to aroma. more toastiness though, the rye is inconspiculously absent. maybe it was there but i didnt get any of it

Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of sethcroisant
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A- not much head, but what's there provides great lacing.

S- heavy on west coast hops and rye. hints of caramel

M- odd texture. a little too carbonated, but it is somewhat dense and chewy.

T- very spicy right away with plenty of rye malt and cascade hops. the alcohol sneaks in during the initial bitter bite. ends a little on the sweeter side with some caramel malt. hops oil lingers on the back of the tongue in the end, and some biscuit malts get mixed in as well.

O- no risks seem to have been taken, but it's still a good offering.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Slightly lighter than copper in color with excellent clarity. Slightly off-white colored head that erupts pretty quickly on an only moderately agresive pour; the whole bottle couldn't be poured in on the first try and it still almost overflowed...I like that.

Smell is good. Like most IPA's it's nice and hoppy, primarlily citrus with lemon zest. Floral, grassey, earthy, and herbal. Something about it is a little unique, quite interesting, good though.

Taste is on par with the smell. I can tell this is a pretty fresh bottle. The rye malt grass stands out a litle more in the flavor profile than the smell. Other than that it's not really a whole lot different.

Mouthfeel is good. Light to medium in body with a good carbonation level. Pretty smooth, starts off only reasaonbably sweet, with a nice dry bitter finish. Really drinkable and solid like many Sierra Nevada brews.

I got a sixer of this when I got the last of the Celebration that I could, not a bad substitue I guess but with the exeption of the added rye, I don't find it all that different from a regular Sierra Nevada IPA.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rust, copper, clear amber color. NIce two finger head that has strong retention and lacing. Like the bubbling too.

Spicey citric and earthy hop aromas with a toasted cracker and bread crust malt bill aroma.

Spicey rye and hop combo for a bitter cracker and earthy oarnge zest marmalade. The malt flavors thins from middle to the finish. The palate is resiny to start and thins out to the finish. Aftertaste is watery and bitter.

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chilling out on a weekday and Raul was simply feeling it. Raul never had one, so why not prance on a waiting gazelle? Conclusion: not bad. Not bad at all. It's not like I was expecting the prom queen after a few wine coolers, but it was tasty enough.

Raul digs it. Raul digs it enough to dig for another.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a crystal clear crimson color with a dense cap of tan head. Excellent retention and lacing...a damn fine looking brew.

Earthy rye and bright, citric hops are simplistic but manage not to clash as so many hoppy rye beers that have come before. Impressive.

The rye manages a smooth, even keel while the hops drive the majority of the flavor impact...from an initial floral blast to a clean, herbal bitterness. Malts probably dont get enough credit in this beer and help provide a lightly sweet, toffee-ish backdrop that is both neutral and productive at the same time. Mouthfeel is on the thin side and a tad soapy, but those are mild complaints. One of the better rye beers I have had and a sixer didnt last too long in the fridge, another one might be soon to follow.

Photo of Reaper16
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served into a nonic pint glass

Pours a rusty, coppery brown color. Pretty much what you'd expect from a Rye IPA. It's very clear, very much a filtered beer. 1.5 fingers of offwhite foam leave lacing that sort of clings and drags like a person dangling from some precipice.

This beer's got a pretty nice nose on it. Spicy rye is upfront and bready, sure. But there's a good hop profile here that presents aromas of grape and passionfruit. Some general grassiness backs this up nicely. This doesn't really smell like an IPA too much, but it's a more subtle rye beer that works.

Unfortunately, that subtle nuance of the nose doesn't carry over to the palate. It's still a bit underflavored for an IPA, but there isn't much complexity to make up for it. Grassiness and rye grain spicy flavor abound. There's a small flush of grapeseed (and a trace, trace amount of like POM brand juice) but that's all the fruit that I really get. It's blunt but restrained.

The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, perhaps even undercarbonated but smooth nonetheless. It works well with the session-candidate flavor profile. Overall, this is a fine beer. It pales in comparison to Founders Red's Rye when it comes to a hoppy rye beer in six-packs, but it is a tasty option that is distributed all over the country. You can't do wrong by picking up a six-pack or a 12-pack of Ruthless Rye for your next gathering. This might just be my Super Bowl beer next weekend.

Photo of Merkur
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Flying Saucer in Nashville.

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

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

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

Nice mouthfeel that is a tad thicker than most ipas.

Overall a nice Rye IPA

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at a cool 58 or so degrees Fahrenheit
A careful pour into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two-figner thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head that leaves some lacing stuck to the sides of my glass. The beer is a dark amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells dominated by hops with notes of pine, earthy citrus, some rose like accents. This is backed by notes of caramelized malt (lots of crystal malt type notes, though this is held well in check by the dominant hops), toasted English biscuit like character, perhaps a hint of sweet tea and a solid, earthy, brown bread character that isn’t quite spicy, but is leaning in that direction. The citrus hop character has a certain “dankness” to it, rough, a little dirty, with a lot of herbaceous character, with a citrus oil character to it. The citrus and pine / herbal character mixes so well in the nose that it is hard to say which one plays the more prominent role.

The beer is fairly effervescent as it rolls across my palate, this accentuates the bitter hop notes and the earthy spiciness from the grain. Despite the dominant hop character, the earthy, brown bread and spicy rye character is really what lingers on the palate in the long finish. The grain character is quite a bit more noticeable in the flavor than it was in the nose. The hop character is still the dominant note here though and it contributes flavors of grapefruit zest, green tangelo, brighter lychee notes as well as a green herbal quality (that has a spicy undercurrent to it), definite pine and perhaps even a touch of a grassy quality (this last is quite subtle though). The spiciness here makes me thing of black pepper some how, but a lot of it is that “dirty” spicy quality that comes from Rye. The beer definitely has a viscous quality to it, and the body is best described as medium, though it is not so much as this beer is still quite quaffable.

As the beer warms up it gets a very earthy, infinitely rye like note and solid, brown-grain-bread character that becomes on par with the hop character. Because of the rye, this is definitely a very “dirty” IPA, and that is not a bad thing at all. It becomes quite a bit more complex. I could wish for some more citrus / fruit hop character, but the rye really accentuates the herbal / pine side of the hop character.

Photo of beer348
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: nice color - reddish. Also enjoyed the label design.
S: very nice smell, probably my favorite thing about this beer
T: tastes good, crisp; what I would expect from an IPA.
M: It's great to try a new kind of beer (rye). But this tastes very much like a regular IPA.
O: For IPA fans you will like this beer. Lots of hoppy flavor. A clean , crisp drink.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a very nice red-copper color with a massive billowy off white head. The head is amazingly thick on this brew and hangs about for what seems to be forever. Upon fading over the long haul (almost 10 min) it leaves some nice lacing.

Smell- A bit of roasted malt and some breadiness meet the nose. There are some very nice ciitus and pine aromas that then hit and linger on the nose until it finishes.

Taste – Malty and bready upfront. The malt flavors have a good dose of rye and some nutty tastes. There are some nice citrus and piney hop aromas that really come to fruition in the middle of the taste, mixing with the rye quite nicely. At the end heavy roasted malts flavor lingers on the tongue and when mixed with the hops leave a pleasant bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel –A bit on the creamier side with a rather moderate level of carbonation. Both allow for a very easy to drink brew.

Overall - A good rye beer and a rather decent IPA. The combination make for a nice drinking beer.

Photo of rtaps
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear deep orange (carmel like) to and amber in color. nice 1.5 finger off white head pretty good retention barly leaving any lacing behind.

nice on the nose, some citrus from the hops. but seems pretty malty, and fruity and i'm able to find a little rye spice.

up front i get citrus but not very hoppy. some grapefuit and finishes/leaves the rye spice all over you tounge.

very smooth mouthfeel, light bodied and high carbonation, leaving the mouth watery

overall it's a soild rye ipa another good serra nevada beer

EDIT: second bottle i opened was a bit more to what i was looking for. more lacing was left on the glass with a better head, and there was a much better hop presence

Photo of johnnnniee
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden copper color with a good sized white head that persists and leaves much lace on the way down. Smells of garlic, green onion, and pepper mostly. There's a faint bready malt down there somewhere, but this one is all hops. Taste is more garlic and onion with a bit of spice and pepper. Little to no malt to be found. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice rye IPA but a bit vegetative for my tastes. I could drink these, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek these.

Photo of chrispassarelli
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Loose, yellow-tan two-finger head. Poured into a pint glass. Head is coarse, and halfway gone by the time I've written this far, leaving little lacing. Perfect clarity, with a dark honey/amber color tinted a bit on the yellow side.

S: Confusion up front. I get herbal hops with a sharp, musty surrounding... almost like weathered wood, an attic, or antiques. ...I guess this is rye.

T: First volley of bitterness is a combination of a flash of citrus hops, which quickly succumbs to the peppery rye. I'm sad to see the former go so quickly. What remains is a persistent sharpness, "stout-like" if I'm being generous and musty or burnt otherwise. The hops return to balance things out on the finish.

M: Great. Good texture, just enough carbonation to keep it from sticking to the tongue.

O: While I'm personally not a fan, I could see some folks getting into this. It's very well constructed, with a great spectrum of flavors involved, but I just don't happen to LIKE many of them. I couldn't get the smell of my Grandma's antique room out of my head.
But hey, I'm not complaining about the other 5 bottles waiting to be consumed.

Photo of 05Harley
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #1362 108 41
Bottled in 2012

Purchased @ Somersworth Village Market, Somersworth NH

Price - $8.40/sixer

An absolutely georgeous looking beer. Pours a deep transparent amber color with a massive three fingered creamy white head. Heavy lacing adorns the glassware and sticks thick. Add a gentle swirl of the glass and bam, another creamy layer appears. Lots of bubbles too.

A soft aroma of earthy hops combined with the spicey rye is dominate. Very faint smell of citrus fruit.

The flavor starts out big with an unmistakeable rye peppery taste followed by a hint of citrus in the middle and ending with a pine hop bite. Sweet caramel malt adds some sweetness but the rye flavor is pretty much in your face from start to finish.

This beer has a medium body with a creamy feel. I really dig the balance between the malt and hops. Finishes slightly dry with a pleasent bitter tingly feel.

Overall quite drinkable for my taste buds. I spent quite a bit of time drinking rye beer in the 90's, so this kind of takes me back. The appearance was the real highlight for me.

Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip glass

A: burnt sienna color. ruby shine when held up to the light. complex color. hazy. carbonation. a finger of frothy head quickly dissipates. nice lacing. (nice bottle art as well. reaping the harvest. shit is deep.)

S: the rye has a robust presence, balanced with citrus notes. something at the bottom is slightly resinous or woody.

T: the rye is very well blended with the citrus malts. the malts aren't particularly discernible but they compensate for the dryness of the rye. the effect is very refreshing. peppery. hops on the finish. well balanced.

M: medium bodied. moderately carbonated. refreshing. crisp going down.

O: when i saw this beer, i knew i would have to compare it with founders red's rye pa. while not as bold or original, this beer is completely satisfying and refreshing. the substitution of rye for predominant hops separates this beer from any other sierra nevada beer i've had.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: on tap 25 oz
Glass: Oversized mug
From: R.U.B. Pub in Ann Arbor
Price: $7

Appearance: a light brown/orange color. perfect clarity. not much foam or retention

Smell: rye and hops all day

Taste: citrus hops and spicy rye. i was hoping for a bit more complexity

Mouthfeel: not quite as sticky and bitter as I would have expected. good slightly fuller character

Overall: this beer is good and well done. i just wanted a bit more complexity out of it

Photo of mpyle
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App - pale amber color, very clear. Poured a large white head, very creamy and with good retention.

Aroma - Some malt sweetness tinged with an earthy/pine aroma. Not sure if the earthy/pine character is hops, rye, or both.

Taste - Spicy and hoppy from the beginning. An earthy/pine hop flavor dominates, with a little extra tang from the rye? Quite bitter in the finish.

MF - Medium body and carbonation, hop bitterness is harsh on the tongue and slightly astringent. Subtle alcohol warming.

Overall - The hop/rye character makes it a bit one-dimensional. Would like to see more malt character up front to balance the bitterness.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had a soft spot here lately for Rye IPA's as I have really been enjoying Jester King's - The Wytchmaker. I just learned that it was retired, as was the Black Metal. Weird, because they are both really good beers. Anyway, let's give this offering from Sierra Nevada a shot.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy burnt orange color with a small 1/4" head of off white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. The head was its original height for about 30-40 seconds and then faded to a pretty substantial ring where the beer meets the glass, and it already looks like there will be some lacing. After drinking the beer, there is some lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: The aroma is showcasing the fresh hops as much or more so than the Rye, which is a good thing in my opinion. Second sniffs are giving a little more earthy tones to the aroma that are probably Rye related, but still they are reserved. Overall the aroma is quite nice.

Taste: The flavor is led by some fresh hops and the Rye along with some substantial crystal malt are coming out to support the grain side of the equation. The mouthfeel is medium to light with plenty of carbonation, so it ultimately finishes a little dry. The balance of hops to malt is pretty even with a very slight edge toward the malt. As the beer warms up, it softens up and gets more palatable overall.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent beer overall. It has a nice balance of malt and hops, and the complexity of the Rye mixed with the freshness of the hops makes the aroma one of the nicer attributes in this beer. All this said, I wouldn't consider it "fantastic", so I won't have a problem drinking the one six-pack that I got, but I seriously doubt that I will be buying this again.

Photo of KajII
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a clear copper orange with an average sized (1-2 finger) off white rocky head that lasted throughout and had some really excellent sheets of lace that totally coated the glass.

The aroma was pretty straight forward with a toasted light bread malt, a pine hop and an earthy yeast with notes of caramel, rye and a bit of a peppery spice.

The taste was bold and powerful with a strong malty rye flavor and a touch of caramel in the beginning and the progressed into a malty, hoppy, peppery taste with a nice dose of rye at the end. The flavor lingered for a really long time with a good hoppy rye taste left behind well after the swallow.

Mouthfeel was light to medium in body with a hoppy dry texture and a strong carbonation.

Overall a nice and strong spicy brew with a great hop overtone...

Photo of ShanePB
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A: Fairly clear/semi-hazy orange and bronze colored body with a big creamy off-white head. Nice fluffy consistency which lead to sticky lacing and an amazing retention cap.

S: Rye, black pepper, orange and citrus. A slight bitter pink grapefruit and whole cone hops come through, trailing off with a slight bit of caramel malts.

T: Spice, rye and a balanced but big hop profile. Some citrusy notes along with a bit of pine are mid-palate. Black pepper on the back end with a crisp lager-like finish. Nicely done, and honestly a really great integration of the rye with the overall flavor profile.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated and very smooth/creamy. A bit sticky and bitter into the linger, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for the style.

I generally enjoy beers with rye when done correctly and this was no exception. The rye brought a nice spice character to the beer that played very well with the citrus and earthy hop characteristics.

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,871 ratings.