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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 rtaps
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
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 (695 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of chrispassarelli
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (1,139 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (1,079 characters)

Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (930 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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 (456 characters)

Photo of mpyle
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (633 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (1,734 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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... (840 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (988 characters)

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (887 characters)

Photo of phantomwyse
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (964 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber colored with a small khaki head that recedes quickly, leaving fits of lace. Smell overall is rather faint but there are citrus and tropical elements noted. Taste opens up bitter with grapefruit elements, bitterness fades into a base of lightly sweet and biscuity malt with some bitterness lingering on the edges of the palate.  Mouthfeel is medium and holds together well. Carbonation is ample. Bitterness of grapefruit pith lingers on the finish, but isn't overpowering.  Solid offering.  Not at all fantastic and frankly not a great Rye beer, it's essentially one dimensional...but enjoyable. (603 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada - Ruthless Rye IPA, poured into a DFH Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a clear dark amber resin with a nice soapy head that dissipates quickly but leaves some chunky lacing.

Smell - Not as much rye as I have come to expect from this sub-style. Peppery. Some citrus hops. Some yeast.

Taste - There's the rye! Pepper and rye with juicy citrus hops. Lots of pepper. Finishes hyper-bitter.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body with good carb. Rests bitter hoppy like orange rinds, a bit high on the AAU %. Rye is overshadowed a bit here. OK drinkability due to the hot malt and hot pepper.

Overall - Not my favorite, interesting combination of ingredients here, there are better rye beers. Founders still wins this one. (728 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

sorry to say the pour is my favorite part of this beer. massive three finger bone white head sits atop a clear copper colored body. excellent retention and lacing are noticed with this one. the nose detects hints of malts and hops with a little spice. taste is pretty hoppy, as expected with all s.n. beers. good citrus and pine flavors blend perfectly. a nice caramel presence is also appreciated, however it's hard to tell if the spice is from hops or rye. mouthfeel is typical of an ipa. medium to light body, good carbonation, oily and a long dry finish. the bad news that this is my fourth one from the sixer and they all have tasted soapy. i even drank them all on different days and out of different glasses. so my low rating would be duwe to the soap taste and lack of rye in the flavor profile. other than that it is a decent ipa. (839 characters)

Photo of JimKal
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass. Poured dark amber with a large light tan head.

Had a light citric hob odor with a hint of spice.

To me, the big hop flavor that I like in an IPA was not present. Again, there was a slight spice note.

The mouthfeel was light as well.

I was looking forward to this Rye IPA from SN. Don't get me worn, this is not a poor IPA but it doesn't stand up to other widely available IPAs. I followed this one with a Sweetwater IPA just to confirm my impressions. I would go with Sweetwater any day. The rest of the sixes is in the fridge and will be enjoyed but I won't go for a repeat. (604 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Rye has been a staple grain for milennia-sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor, Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains 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." Sierra Nevada's spring seasonal returns for 2013, released annually around January-February. Brewed in the style of an American Rye IPA.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada pint snifter. Served north of 49º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Beer pours a frothy caramel-tinged white head of a fluffy cream consistency. Body color is a copper orange with mild sediment, a light haze and very low visible carbonation. Lacing is consistently light and curtained, retention is slightly above average. Head quality could improve a notch but otherwise this beer delivers well in appearance. 3.75

(Smell) Most noticeable is a moderate peppery bread note of rye for a full sweetness. Light citrus and floral hop notes compliment the malt profile, although they do not provide enough potency to challenge the specialty malt-centered beer. Additional notes of lightly toasted caramel, cracker malt for lightness, and a touch of fruity and spicy yeast esters, like raisin and nutmeg peek through as the beer warms. The potency is medium. Pleasant aroma overall, despite not being overly confident in the hop department. 3.25

(Taste) A nip of biscuity grain malt and citrus pith up front with a proceeding peppery rye midsection and a peppered, dry and boldly bitter finish with a dragging faint viscosity of rye sweetness to compliment. Although the hop flavor diversity has waned, this beer has otherwise held up remarkably well through the year. There's substantial bitterness and malt complexity to enjoy, yet the profile is quaffable enough to enjoy several in a single session. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mild slickness and a mellow stickiness build a subtle malt texture. Carbonation is busy, sharp and excited, very prickly on the tongue. Alcohol presence is low. Body is a medium for an American Rye IPA, and medium overall. The carbonation seems too aggressive for this beer. 3.5

(Overall) Sierra Nevada puts out a very tasty and flavorful, yet clean and easy drinking Rye IPA in Ruthless Rye. Chock full of clean, flavorful rye and a moderate thickness, this is a worthy drink for your IPA money, and a fair representative for the rapidly growing Rye IPA trend . 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's
Ruthless Rye IPA
3.63/5.00 (2,573 characters)

Photo of nsabo
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

While this may be my least favorite of SN’s IPAs, I have yet to be disappointed by their IPAs. Ruthless doesn’t have the smooth, malty mouthfeel of Celebration or Torpedo, and the hops here taste more citrusy than grassy and piney. The bottle label touts the rye’s peppery quality, a spot on description and the pepper transitions into hop bitterness nicely.
It’s a bit odd to me that instead of a winter warmer, SN makes a seasonal winter IPA, only to be followed by a spring seasonal IPA. Ruthless is good, but with the brewery’s focus on IPAs, it better be. (571 characters)

Photo of FickleBeast
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber color with billowing foam that overflows the glass with a vigorous pour. Foam lingers and coats the glass as it recedes. Aroma is quite hoppy, citrus, grapefruit, with a touch of rye spiciness detectable on the nose.

First sip is... dominated by rye flavor, with a sharp bitterness in the finish. The rye imparts a very distinct spicy flavor, which is mixed with a substantial hoppy flavor of citrus, grapefruit, American hop taste.

Honestly, this is probably my least favorite SN IPA. I'd rather have Celebration, Anniversary, Torpedo, even SNPA over this. The rye flavor just doesn't click with me as much.

That being said, this is not bad by any means. It is still a very good IPA - I just don't care for the rye flavor. Will pass in the future. (812 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Somewhere between amber and copper. Nice clarity. Moderate sized white head. Spotty Lacing.

S: Spicy, grassy, piney hops. Strong component of grain and rye.

T: The hops wash out a bit, leaving mostly a spicy character. This combined with the strong presence of rye gives this beer a harsh/raw vibe.

M: Assertive carbonation + rye + spicy hops = prickly mouthfeel.

O: Can't say I "love" rye beers, but this is no Hop Rod Rye. (431 characters)

Photo of GoldHorde
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a solid introductory Rye IPA. It would never be mistaken for an aggressive double IPA. A nice introduction for those new to the Rye influence. It has the darker amber color of the rye and a nice balance of hops. The aroma doesn't trumpet and the mouthfeel doesn't sting. The rye provides the nice deep character that I've now come to expect from rye beers. I've decided I definitely like RYE beers. I haven't disliked a single beer with the word 'RYE' on the label. RYE has a robust, earthy bitterness that I favor whereas WHEAT [beers] on the other hand...has always gone the other way with off-sweet or sour notes.

AROMA: Not as aggressive or as sharp as most IPA's. Very fresh floral scent.
HEAD: 3 Finger head fading to thin; loose lacing - reminiscent of plumbers' pants
FLAVOR: Deep grain earth with floral accents - with a coffee edge

A very nice beer and I love these Ryes! (898 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

tulip glass.

a - pours copper in color with a finger of coarse, off white head. retention is good, calming very slowly to a thin cap. leaves thick swaths of lacing in the glass.

s - toffee, grassy hops, orange, grapefruit, faint earthiness.

t - peppery rye spiciness right upfront with a little carmel malt underneath. faint citrus notes, big herbal hop character. bitterness comes in quick and rides the rye spice all the to the finish.

m - medium in body with a sticky, mouth coating quality. adequate carbonation, though the coarse co2 profile feels prickly on the tongue.

o - pretty good overall and enjoyable, though not my first pick in rye beers. definitely geared toward west coast ipa fans. (704 characters)

Photo of MartzMimic
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper with a decent foamy off-white head that stays for a bit. Nice lacing. Aroma of pine resin, hay and grainy malt. The rye gives it an earthy taste with a bit of sweet spice. It also balances nicely with the hops. It's bitter, but not overly so. It does give a nice tingle to the tongue. Medium mouth without a lot of carbonation. Definitely a solid beer as you would expect from SN. (400 characters)

Photo of Spiekerbox
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Red-brown, relatively clear with a thin white head.

S- Hoppy with a noticeable rye-grain scent. Like other SN beers the hops have a citrus smell to them.

T- Toasted rye is the main flavor with hops as the secondary, more of an herbal hop flavor but there is some of the citrus-grapefruit flavor present. Not the most bitter of IPAs

M- Clean beer with a pretty crisp finish. Moderate body with medium-high carbonation.

O- Decent for a rye IPA but nothing exceptional. This is what I have come to expect from SN...beers that are good but nothing special and don't tend to push the envelope, not that that is a bad thing but it just doesn't set them apart (659 characters)

Photo of CamuMahubah
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

POurs orange amber like your typical IPA...

Wow! I taste some kind of plant that I have smelled in Florida perhaps...some type of garden flower...

I was so afraid of the rye spiciness biting me in the back of the throat...don't even worry! It's all on top of the tongue and quite refreshing...don't be afraid of this beer like I was...

Hops for days! (353 characters)

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