Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,076 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,076
Hads: 4,879
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 84
Gots: 616 | 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: 1,076 | Hads: 4,879
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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 (544 characters)

Photo of killianf
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (1,146 characters)

Photo of Dextrose
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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! (309 characters)

Photo of tone77
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops and citrus. Taste is delicious. Citrus and hops up front, some rye and malts at the finish, very flavorful. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a quality beer worth seeking out. (285 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. 2012 listed on the bottle.

An off white head, a little styrofoamy, but makes a good three fingers with some retention. Body color is a dark amber brown, crystal clear, not much rising carbonation if any.

Nose is a nice toasted grainy malt. Slightly spicy, almost Oktoberfest Marzen like. A little subdued, but fairly solid.

Real interesting taste profile. Sweetening grapefruit at first in the palate, followed by the toasty malts matched on the nose. Hop citrus bitter follows on the afterfinish, with an airy spicy feeling. Great tasting. Mouthfeel seems fine and solid nothing to complain or get excited about.

Overall pretty good tasting beer here. (704 characters)

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Copper color with a good tannish white head. Citrus pepper smell. So flavorful and yummy. Citrus with some pepper like the smell with a good malt backbone. Medium full carbonation on and medium full body. Gives a little tingle. Overall this beer is fantastic, love it! Spiced up Amber citrus ipa is the best way to describe it. (334 characters)

Photo of msondel
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm a big fan of Sierra Nevada and haven't tasted one I wouldn't buy again. I don't taste much of the pepper they describe in this one or know why this would be considered a "transition to Spring" as it says on the bottle. It tastes similar to their normal IPA, but with a little less flavor. Still a great beer (great head, color, smell), but wouldn't put it in front of their other IPAs because it doesn't have the same level of taste. (437 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (844 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,648 characters)

Photo of ahq514
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,106 characters)

Photo of CamelBackNotation
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

There is no strong bite at the beginning of the sip. The beer gently transitions into a smooth, soft feel with no real offensive tastes. It's just plain pleasant. Great beer! Not really what I would associate with IPA (217 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of dejrrma
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$7-$8 for a 6pack, julian dating on bottle: 1362, o December 26, 2011. poured into a pint glass.

a- pours a beautiful copper color with a nice inch of head, leaving a good amount of lacing on the glass.

s- spices (a good deal of pepper), light hops, some bready scents, and a little sweetness

t- tastes a lot hoppier than the smell would lead you to believe. it's bitter, with dry spices, and lots of pine resin.

m- medium bodied and carbonation. leaves your mouth dry and with some of the resiny texture.

o- i wasn't expecting too much from this beer, but it gave me a nice surprise. this is an awesome beer, and i would buy again. (638 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: (4.0)
- Clear dark amber, close to a brown. Fluffy fingers of off-white head settle to a white thin pillow and bubbly lace around the glass. Brew bubbles well.

Smell: (4.0)
- Very nice pine, floral, grassy, and earthy hops. One of the reasons I like Sierra Nevada so much is how they hop their beers. Always zingy, and always fresh smelling. Smooth semi-sweet malt backing, bit bready, and caramel infused.

Taste: (4.5)
- Great bittering hops. Nice pine and zesty hop bite rides along a mild bready malt backing. Rye isn't too present, but has sneaked in there a little bit. Wonderful earthy herbal and citrusy mouth puckering finish. Certainly a balanced, and great beer.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Little drying from the bitterness, and a medium bodied brew which is nicely carbonated to perfection. Little cloying and chewy, and is an easy drinker.

Overall: (4.0)
- This beer kind of brings me back to their Anniversary Ale, which frankly pissed me off when they pulled it. This just seems to have a different sweetness and malt balance to it, but the hops are what brings me back. I read a bit of this beer before I finally purchased a bottle.. and am now surprised at some of the more negative reviews. This beer is damn good, and solid. I will be buying more for sure. (1,287 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit to passing this by quite a few times before finally picking up a six. I'm a card-carrying member of the Church of Celebration Ale, but most of Sierra Nevada's big releases have generally underwhelmed me. I was pretty impressed with the deft use of rye in this beer, when so many other rye beers fail to deliver on the promise. Poured a amber with an active head. Touch of sweetness balanced with firm hops bittering. The rye lends a distinctive peppery bite to the malt that is spot on. (502 characters)

Photo of samie85
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crimson copper with two fingers of white head.

Smells of pineapple, a bit of grapefruit, some caramel, and some spicy pine.

Pineapple, biitter pine, a bit of grapefruit and some caramel to balance it all with a bit of rye.

Medium bodied with light carbonation a drying, slick feel.

Very drinkable and paired well with some deep dish pizza; I would definitely make this a repeat purchase. (399 characters)

Photo of NODAK
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first, there was a definite pine aroma to this one....very west coast IPA-like. As it opened up, the spicy character of the rye was more obvious.

At first, I definitely got the floral hops that SN is quite famed for. Very nice...much like Celebration. However, clearly soon thereafter the nice, spicy rye bread taste undercurrent was clearly noticeable as well and paired quite nicely with the hops. The finish had a little grain on it along with a resinous bitterness that finishes the beer out quite dryly.

Pretty solid IPA all around. The rye gives it a different kick that is quite welcomed. (600 characters)

Photo of VaterRoss
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tumbler

Appearance is a clear deep amber/red with a nice beige head that leaves some lacing at the top. Head doesn't stay around too long. Smell is the piney SN hop bill with some citrus. Smells a lot like a subdued SN torpedo. Some caramel malt sweetness also in the nose. As the beer warms some resiny hop notes appear. Taste is similar to the nose hop wise: piney, citrusy, with some resin notes. The rye base appears with its nice peppery taste especially in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light weight due to the rye (lighter than your average IPA), medium carb, and a bit prickly. Mf also has some mouth coating hop oil.

This is better than the other RyePA I have had (Founders). I can really taste the rye in this which lightens the body and adds nice refreshing pepper taste. Somewhere b/w SN pale ale and torpedo in hoppiness.

from notes: 1/27/11 (876 characters)

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, crystal-clear amber with a bit white head that lingers and laces.

Smells of some spicy hop character, rye/bready/cracker character, small sweet caramel character. Nice nose but not overwhelming.

Taste is up front cracker/rye/pretzel with some small pine/fruit notes that fade into a bitter rye/bread character that ends on a bitter and more floral/pine (chinook?) hop note that lasts. Really nice flavor that greatly shows off the rye character. **Strong black pepper character comes through as it warms.

Lighter body with lower carbonation work well...alcohol well hidden.

An excellent rye-forward beer that has plenty of hop bitterness/pine/spice to make it interesting the whole time. Well done, which is not surprising, as it is SN. (756 characters)

Photo of JohannBock
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a mug, gives a nice off white 2.5 finger head. Color is amber.

S: Spicy hops and some biscuit followed by spicy rye

T: Follows the nose but in a little more complexity. Spicy hops up front: piney and floral. Biscuity in the middle. Ends up with some flowery and bitter hops and then a big rye presence at the end. Not overpowering though, really nice compliment to what is going on.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice and dry finish.

O: Really nice example of a rye beer. I've only had a few but this is a style that has always impressed me. Really nice to drink. (579 characters)

Photo of BearslikeBeers
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a rich amber with a large head that left a thick lace along the glass. The smell is very faint and hoppy. The flavor is bitter and dry throughout the rye provides a bitter starch(and peppery) taste that lingers. The hops are not very fruity or floral but dry and bitter and complement the rye nicely. Overall the beer came together very nicely and has a more pronounced rye presence than I've seen in the brews of some others breweries starting to use rye. (472 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a nonic-style pint glass. Body is coppery-amber with a small ivory head that leaves behind good streaks of lacing.

S: I get the rye spiciness in the nose, along with piney or sprucey hops. A touch earthy.

T: Good stuff. Rye spice is again noted, pretty clearly and right away. Good malt profile - some caramel malt and toffee flavors provide a nice foundation. It's followed by that rye spiciness. It finishes with resiny pine and spruce that at times seems grassy. Earthy spiciness lingers in the aftertaste, which comes across as quite dry. Burps remind me of Celebration a little.

M: Medium in heft. Carbonation is modest, giving this a fairly creamy feel.

O: This is good stuff; it grew on me as I worked my way down the glass. I think I like Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye a little better, but for the price ($8.89 a sixer at Olivers), this is real solid. And I think the rye makes this an appropriate Spring offering. (956 characters)

Photo of RossCain
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz (dated 2012) into a pint glass:

A: Pours a semi-translucent, rustic orange color with a puffy and foamy off-white head. Great retention and the big splotches of the head clinging to the glass upon each quaff is attractive.

S: Bready and spicey with a background of citrus sweet notes playing second fiddle. Smells like a fresh baked croissant with honey.

T: Bold flavors of malty goodness hit the palate initially followed by a big rush of a fresh bite of grapefruit with sugar on top. Slightly peppery in the middle. Propped up in the finish by a giant bready background graced with the enduring flavors of the whole-cone hops, the beer finishes with an assertive bittersweet finish (erring more on the side of bitter).

M: Big full body with a creamy character and a slick feel as it passes over the palate. Finishes sweet with a lingering pucker of bitterness.

O: I thoroughly enjoyed Sierra Nevada's take on the Rye-IPA. Definitely a hearty brew which is packed full of well-married flavors. I wouldn't bat an eyelash at buying a sixer. (1,063 characters)

Photo of BaronRogue
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dollar a bottle at the pharmacy, couldn't resist a cheap Sierra Seasonal.

Deep red with a decent head that stuck around for a minute or two. Little bit of lace on the glass which is always nice.

Smells like peppery grapefruit. Breads and hops mixing together nicely.

Taste is exceptional for me, since I'm not the biggest rye beer fan. Nicely hoppy, slightly bitter and a great aftertaste. I can't smell or taste any alcohol at all, which is interesting since it's 6.6%.

Feels great, you'll like this if you enjoy hops but don't like the bitterness sticking around in the back of your throat for too long.

Another good mass beer from Sierra Nevada, give it a try if you see it at a decent price. (704 characters)

Photo of BeerPhan86
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funny that there is another Ruthless Rye IPA made by Barrier Brewing Company, this is the Sierra Nevada version I am reviewing. Saw some Sierra reviews for the other beer, uh oh! Been wanting to try this since it was released.

A - Pours a pretty clear brownish amber with a good finger of light tan, almost light brown head. Great retention on the head and some exceptionally sticky lacing!

S - Lots of citrus (mainly grapefruit) with some peppery, bready malt. Very earthy and spicy.

T - Citrus and piney hops blend well with the breadiness and spices. There are some really nice grapefruit flavors in here that remind me of a West Coast IPA, but at the same time it is darker and earthier than most West Coast IPAs. A little dry and boozy in the finish. Really nice peppery rye finger lingers on the tongue along with some piney notes.

M - Medium bodied and well carbonated. Fairly sticky and coating but not overly so.

O - This is quite a decent IPA and a huge step up from boring Glissade Golden Bock. A nice, spicy, hoppy beer that is perfect for the upcoming rainy trainsition to spring (what we mountain people call the "mud season"). I'll definitely be getting more of this, very unique while being completely in the Sierra Nevada style. (1,250 characters)

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,076 ratings.