1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,503 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,503
Reviews: 1,050
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 69
Gots: 340 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,503 | Reviews: 1,050 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear deep dark copper color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label.
Towering head from a not-so-aggressive pour that dissipated very, very slowly.
Aroma was just a little malty when the head was around. Once the head subsided the hop and spicy rye aroma kicked in. Pine, citrus notes blending very well with spicy rye notes.
Taste compliments the aroma very well. The spice from the rye hits the palate straight up on the tongue. In the middle the hop bitterness takes over all the way to the finish. The bitterness in the finish doesn't linger around too much though. Very well balanced and easy to drink brew. The rye definitely makes its presence felt. Not sure if I would call it "ruthless" though, it is definitely a solid and robust beer, but ruthless ? Not sure about that. Very good lacing around the insides of the glass.
Overall, a very drinkable and tasty beer from Sierra Nevada.
Definitely worth a try.

CaptDavyJones, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of HopNelius
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap and into a pint glass.
Apperance-amber color, medium carbonation, 2 finger head.
Smell-notes of bread, pine, spice, citrus.
Taste-hit with the rye first, bread and spice, pepper, almost tasted like really good rye toast, then a nice hop finish a mixture of more pine than citrus but both present.
Mouthfeel-nice, slightly spicy with the rye.
Overall-whenever a rye beer is on a beer list, I gravitate towards it, I like this beer and will seek it out again, real drinability, with the quality I have come to expect from a SN, very simalar to their pale ale but with the rye flavor coming through.

HopNelius, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This thing is a savior after a terrible bottle of SA Alpine Spring. Poured in a SN tumbler.

Dark amber body with a frothy slightly off-white head. steady stream of bubbles rising from the laser etched hop cone at the bottom.

Smells like pine needles. spicy pine needles.

Not as spicy as i expected, but still spicy. Decent malt body that really balances out everything. Its got this quality I cant really pin down. The spicy rye is balanced by slightly slick hop extract oil. Feels like a more interesting Torpedo.

Ill take this over Torpedo.

VncentLIFE, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of hosehead83
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

hosehead83, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Greywulfken
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: into a nonic pint, a patient center-pour produced a few fingers of tan head over a gorgeous crystal-clear medium amber beer with copper-orange highlights; excellent head retention allowed great lacing to follow the beer down

S: sweet chewy rye spiciness and herbal hops

T: great rye flavors suffused into the IPA hop profile - bitterness and rye bread, some sweet caramel-like hints, biscuits and spice, pine and resin hop notes

M: medium-to-light weight, sharp and clean on the palate and tongue, slight chew

O: seems to have gotten some middling reviews, but I felt that the goal here was to brew a rye IPA, and I don't see any fail points - you can clearly and cleanly taste the rye grain and all its flavors, while the bittering piney hops of an IPA also present themselves well - I'd call it a win, and i hope my review reflects that...

Greywulfken, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of Dextrose
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the Vineyard to start off the weekend. Poured copper coloured with substantial off white head. Didn't really pay too much attention to the aroma as I was too keen to taste it. Great mouthfeel with a good balance of hop and malt. Nice head retention and lacing. Definitely should have bought more!

Dextrose, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent copper with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Fantastic head retention & lacing

S: Lemony & grapefruitty hops, a kiss of breadyness & peppery notes

T: Peppery rye, grapefruit, slight grainyness up front. Dryness, caramel, grainy bitterness & a touch of grapefruit as this warms, Finishes a little peppery, citrusssy & with a dry/crisp rye

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good blance

I enjoyed this, but I thinks Red's Rye is more to my taste, plus more drinkable

russpowell, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of bloodysundae
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%

bloodysundae, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Kromes
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A clear copper color with a thin off-white head.

S: There's a nice toasted rye and citrusy pacific hop aroma.

T: A good mixture of sweet malt, spicy rye and citrus hop. The flavors blend well and complement one another. Just enough bitterness in the finish to balance everything out with a lingering citrus and toasted grain flavor.

M: Good all around mouthfeel. Medium body and a higher carbonation add to the spice.

O: One of my favorite styles, I haven't had a bad rye beer...yet. Recommend picking this up.

Kromes, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of ovaltine
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%

ovaltine, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of chodinheaven
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great clarity in this caramel-amber colored beer. A healthy 3 finger off-white head sits on top after an aggressive pour and sticks around for a while. Awesome retention. As it slowly dissapates it leaves a tight lacing in abundance down the glass. The aroma is very pleasant with a touch of hearty rye spice amongst a citrusy hop smell. Floral hop aromas also float up, giving it a softer overall smell. Good bit of bready malts back up everything, making for a well rounded and pretty aromatic nose.

The first thing that grabs your attention with this one is the rye spiciness. It works really well with the piney and citrusy hops for an execellent earthy tone throughout. Bready malts give this beer a medium body that has notes of caramel and subtle dark bread. Lots of hop resins accompany the earthiness and give an oily slickness to the mouthfeel while still having a medium to high carbonation level that makes for a somewhat effervescently dry finish.

Not the most complex beer in the world, but the rye spices give what is a really good IPA that added umph that makes this beer very enjoyable. Definitely hop foraward and resiny, but the malts stand their own to make for a really well done beer. Worth the buy.

chodinheaven, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of BBP
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hop orange hue with a malt bill adding ruby to the hue. Decent head. Great lacing and retention.

The aroma is a little subtle. The rye seems to cover up the hops but doesn't really make much of a presence for itself.

The taste is more towards an IPA than a rye beer, but neither aspect is weak. The hops bring pine and floral notes into the game while the rye is quite foundational and brings a lot of richness to the brew. Normally rye isn't my thing but I found that this was done very tastefully.

The body is medium weight and thickness. The finish is overly dry and slightly sticky.

Overall, I liked this a lot more than I expected to. With the nice flavor and SN's price range, I think I'll probably grab this beer fairly often. I'm not sure that I'd say this is the perfect rye beer, but it's pretty close to the perfect rye beer for me.

BBP, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of godlessape
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into my newly acquired Cigar City Brewing pint glass.
This is quite possibly the most gorgeous looking brew I've encountered in some time.
The two finger tan head sinks down to a respectable skim leaving some impressive lacing, and what it sinks down into is the most inviting copper and plum colored body one could imagine.
As far as the nose goes, you get a lot of citrus and pine one would expect from a West Coast IPA, but lurking not far behind is a earthy moist wood-chip aroma that demands attention and respect.
The rye is spicy, almost peppery and blends in well the the West Coast hops and mellow--low key caramel malt flavor. Lot's of good bite to this one.
The mouthfeel is close to perfect.
Overall this is a great example of a rye IPA. You cannot go wrong with this beer. Works great with spicy food. I just downed 3 with a bowl of Buffalo wings. A perfect pairing.

godlessape, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden orange and cloudy complexion

smell: heavy citrus, orange peel and some nice floral aroma, strong pineapple and tropical aromas.

taste: Lots of citrus mixed in with tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. A sweet malty IPA. well done.

mouthfeel: medium full bodied

drinkability: very nice offering from this brewery and I look forward to many more like this. Thanks

CampusCrew, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Kadonny
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tasting glass.

A: A darker amber orange color with some reddish tones. A large 3 finger head. This was a little warmer thus the larger amount of head.

S: Wow, damn I'm loving this smell. I get a large amount of citrus on the nose first mixed with some pine notes. The rye comes out too but after the citrus and alongside a baked bread and pepper notes. I can also pick up the distinct SN yeast smell.

T: This really does follow the nose. The citrus flavors come out first and heavy mixed with some pine that lead into the bready biscuit malt. The malt then gets tramped down by the spicy rye and pepper flavors that finish the beer out with some bitterness. Clean finish. The rye in this is however not overly done, it seem seems just right.

M: Medium mouthfeel that is resiny, prickly and very crisp on the finish. No hints of alcohol at all and carbonation seems fine.

Overall this is a quality beer that seems to be the perfect blend of spicy rye with the bright citrus IPA type flavors. What I really loved on this beer was the nose when it warmed, just fantastic.

This is the perfect spring seasonal for SN. You still get the dark spicy rye flavors, but you get mixed in the bright citrus spring like flavors. This is a total upgrade compared to the Glissdale and a beer I will enjoy each and every year. Watch for my tap review as I have a keg of it coming home soon.

Nice job SN, you done good.

Kadonny, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this offering pours a clear chestnut brown and wells up a thin off-white head, that fades a to a sticky lace after just a minute

S - strong IPA aromas hit first and pack a punch strengthened by huge rye elements mingled with the powerful grapefruit/citrus/pine notes typical of an IPA

T - the rye peppery spiciness hits the palate simultaneous with the hops characteristics, nicely offsetting

M&D - Sierra Nevada doesn't let you down, a layered and intriguing beer that makes you crave the next sip, balanced and drinkable, a superb beer

sinstaineddemon, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of killianf
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

120z bottle into Duvel tulip

A: Nice coppery amber tone, generous 2-3 finger head that retains a nice film all the way down. Decent lacing too. Carbonation was generated mainly by the etched glass, but it was otherwise medium.

S: Very hoppy, more so than the Pale Ale and Torpedo. The citrus and grapefruit tones are there along with the typical pine you immediately recognize from the above beers. But this has got another layer to it in the form or spice and a definite peppery scent. It's almost hot smelling. Really interesting.

T: Very well balanced, malty right at the front, and nice and hoppy at the back. There's a nice subtle breadiness throughout, as well as the citrus and floral flavours. Pine is in the middle towards the back and there's a strange peppery taste to finish off. The aftertaste is all hops.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and drinkable, big enough to carry all those flavours but small enough so as not to be overpowering.

Overall: Very nice beer, really enjoyable. It certainly competes with the Pale Ale and the Torpedo, which are both favourites of mine. It's really well balanced and I'd definitely recommend it.

killianf, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of ahq514
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

Pours a clear dark amber color. Lots of bubbles rising to the surface, seems to have a higher amount of carbonation. Solid two finger head, that is a fluffy off white. Good lacing throughout the glass.

Fairly straight forward aroma. Lots of rye and a healthy dash of citrusy and floral hops. Reminds of a less intense, more malt focused Founders reds rye.

Very nice. Right up front is a malty sweetness followed by a moderate amount of rye, with a light spicy character. Then the hops come through, a bitter herbal quality with some bright citrus undertones. I want to know what the experimental hops they used were, because I dig it. Definitely a more malt focused ipa, but I like it. A good hop character that doesn't outshine the malt. Lingering dry bitterness.

Good medium body. A little high on the carbonation. Very drinkable.

A great beer from SN. So glad they replaced Glissade with this. Not as hoppy as the top Rye Beers, but just as good IMO. Glad I invested in a 6 pack. If it was year round I would definitely keep this regularly stocked in my fridge.

ahq514, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of Teleweizen2
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a coppery orange color with a thick head. Foam is off-white. Leaves very thick lacing.

S - an intense cerial grain herbal fest. Bitter orange peel jumps out quickly as the rye blends with barely to create the enticing grainy notes while floral and citrus aromas round out the nose.

T - dry on the front of the tounge. Notes of bitter citrus enter mid palate along with ceral grain notes and a peppery spice finish.

M - full bodied. Medium carb.

O - an excellent take on a rye/IPA.

Teleweizen2, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of NatetheGreat
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This IPA is a beauty: deep amber with hues of mahogany and red beneath a huge, tight, white head. Sweet aroma of honeyed fruit, grapefruit and pine noticeable; very enticing aroma. taste begins sweet with a burst of hops bringing the palate to life; finishes with a spicy, peppery note. smooth mouthfeel with a substantial body, alcohol warmth comes through, especially as the beer warms.

this is a very fine IPA; I think I prefer it to SN torpedo IPA, because of the complexity. cheers!

NatetheGreat, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of bum732
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Very dank smelling, rye apparent, some grapefruit and some pine.

L: Crystal clear mahogeny, off-white head that dissipates. Good lacing.

T: Spicy and quite bitter overall. Medium high bitterness leading to a dry spiciness. Lots of grassy and citrus notes. Finishes quite dry with lots of hops.

M: Medium body, medium high carbonation.

Solid. Almost like torpedo with rye added. Really enjoyed this beer.

bum732, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The artwork on this one is great.

Pours a bright and crystal clear amber color with a huge off white head. Looks wonderful in the glass.

Aromas are typical for Sierra IPAs. Grassy, resin like, with some hard candies, and is quite floral. Smells like a fresh hop beer.

Taste is malty sweet up front, notes of hard candies, tea, and some grainy spice. Finish is resiny, earthy, pine like, lightly bitter, with some citrus, and fresh floral hops. People that want hoppy citrus flavors in their IPA might not care for this, but I like the raw earthy hop and rye notes.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and very well carbonated.

Overall, an excellent new offering from Sierra. I know it's another "IPA", but this is different. Reminds me of some of the Harvest beers, but with more graininess, and nice spicy rye notes. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

flexabull, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown -served in a standard pint.

The color is resplendent shade of deep copper with great clarity and visibly carbonated with rapidly rising fine bubbles and pale tan cap w/ ultra fine bead. The lace is sticky and it is a pleasure to look upon in the glass. The smell has a fruity tangy yeast ester with a citrusy hop smell that is very pleasant and mild caramel odor from the malt with light pine accent from the hops. the feel is a true west coast IPA in that it has a nice malt backbone but the rye is giving a toasty edge which absorbs some of the hop acidity - the balance is toward the hop with a nice bite yet there is some oily texture and a nice dry spicy finish with mild sweet accents.

The flavor is toasty and fruity with a light sweet taste up front w/ rye giving a light nuttiness and slight caramel leads to an orange and tangerine citrus flavor w/ light pine notes adding depth to the hop character. the pine takes the wheel and steers into hoppy rye territory fast with a spicy/fruity and mildly earthy hop flavor which pairs well with the rye. There is a lot of different flavor components overlapping which I really enjoy with juicy tangy citrus a focal point that blends very nicely with the toasted grain elements. The malt doesn't really distract from the tropical fruit notes which come forward mildly as it warms. There is an ample amount of bitterness in the finish.

Overall I love a good rye and this has it all -the finesse and flavor that coexist in a hoppy rye beer. It is smooth enough to be drinkable and bold enough to excite the palate, Kudos to Sierra Nevada.

Slatetank, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of wl0307
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(2013 Version) Coming in a 12 FL. OZ. short brown bottle, no freshness info. is printed on the label or bottle, apart from a number 302311159; served faintly chilled (10 centigrade?) in a tall tumbler. Notes: The back label states the beer is “brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors – combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavours of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring”.

Appearance: pours an almost clear, dark amber or even tawny colour, coming with rather lively fizziness and a thick and tight light beige froth settling slowly to a thin cap to last.
Smell: pungently citrusy and spicy at the same time, on top of mildly caramely/toffee-ish pale malts and bitter oranges; given a good swirl, interestingly, the camouflaged resinous, piney and flowery aroma of hops gets freed up in the air, yet soon suppressed again by the frothy head... Very nice, but not conventional for Sierra Nevada’s beers.
Taste: bitter-sweet orangey-citric and zesty initially, with a touch of overripe fruity esters, then turning peppery and chalky bitter in the middle, as deepening tannic bitterness and a nicely rounded semi-nutty and semi-sprigy elements of malts (and rye?) chimes in; the finish is soothingly warming (for a 6.6%abv. beer?), showing aromatic flowery undertones of hops and a decent level of tangy bitterness, somewhat dry as well.
Mouthfeel & Overall: well-attenuated, dry-ish on the palate, the fizziness is not as sharp in the mouth as it appears in the eyes, medium-bodied, with an usual warming kick for the alc. level, and very very satisfying at the end of each sip; this American IPA, brewed using rye and whole cone hops on top of quality malts, has indeed an "usual" (which I can't explain, maybe just for the sake of saying something...!!) element to it, but not quite in the way as I expected really. Interestingly, the citrusy-peppery hop quality, the juicy crystal malts, and the well-tuned attenuation altogether give me an impression of a stronger type of Kentish Pale Ale brewed with Kentish citrusy hops and spicy Styrian Goldings even! This has to be my very first rye-related beer, and I’d say, well done!

wl0307, Jun 13, 2013
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,503 ratings.