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

1,076 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 J23hc
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into strait pint glass. Dark reddish brown with an orange glow. Awesome nose, lots of spice and rye. Taste has an admirable balance, not too bitter, the raw rye flavor shines through, a bit of sourness, cranberry. What a solid, drinkable brew. Not harsh, smooth, incredibly drinkable (290 characters)

Photo of natemort13
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent rubyish brown. Very strange coloring. Thin, slightly gray head that dissipates quickly.

MMMM, yummy nose. Lots of grapefruit. Pepper, lemon zest. very pungent hops.

Taste--very peppery, some coppery characteristics. Finish is pretty tame compared to the awesome hop character of the nose. Has this nice biting taste to it. Spicy hops, coppery finish.

Mouthfeel is light, seems very carbonated, doesn't stand up well to the big character of a rye beer.

Overall much better than I thought it'd be. I find a lot Sierra Nevada brews to be underwhelming. This one was much more impressive...as far as rye ipas go tho, I still haven't found anything that beats Red's Rye from Founder's and Cane and Ebel from Two Brothers. (740 characters)

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange-garnet with a 2 finger off-white head, leaving lace clinging to the top of the glass.

With the rye and the citrussy hoppiness, the nose has a massive fruity character- red grapefruit, black raspberry, baked peach, passion fruit- with hits of pine.

Medium bodied palate seems to be weighted a touch more towards IPA than rye- slick upfront with more ruby red grapefruit that lets the rye through on the finish, toasty, drying out with more spice and bread notes- lingering flavors of pepper and grapefruit.

Overall, a really nicely done rye brew. I think I like the styles that lean a little more to the rye side, but this piney SN take is pretty damn good. The peppery spice mingling with the tart red grapefruit on the finish really makes it for me. (774 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Sierra Nevada IPA in a 12 pack for 12.99? Score! This time with the addition of rye...

Poured into nonic pint glass.

A: pours a clear auburn with soapy white head, heavy lacing, moderate head retention

S: nose starts with waves of spicy rye and dank piney hops, there are resinous notes as well as a slightly roasted accent. The smell is somewhere in between Torpedo and SNPA with the additional quality of rye.

T: starts out with lots of bittering hop character, notes of pine wood and resin, this is followed by a sturdy rye profile which bring a savory quality to the surface. Finish is dry and bready. Nice flavors, the balance is skewed in the direction of bitter, I'm okay with that

MF: high carbonation, medium body

O: another winner from Sierra Nevada. For the value, you can't really do much better if you are shopping for a hearty rye brew. (864 characters)

Photo of DavidST
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, bottled late Dec 2011. This pours a slightly dark amber, large foamy tan head which leaves a lacing. The smells are of hops, pine, a little caramel and some rye. The feel Is medium. The taste is great a nice bitterness, an earthy nice after taste, love it. (302 characters)

Photo of mattbk
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark copper or light brown color. Head is a light rust color. Very light head, although it does appear creamy. Looks fairly carbonated.

S: This had an interesting aroma, was it the rye? Light sweetness in the nose, with some grapefruit hops in the background. When I first smelled this I thought it was off, but after a bit I lost whatever I thought was off about it.

T: Very interesting. First thing that hits you is bitterness, both in the front and the back of the tongue. Then in the middle is the malt sweetness. I think the rye is the front bitterness with hops in the back. I feel that the bitterness is sort of high without a ton of flavor. The flavor I do get is grapefruit and pine. Just a little bit spicy.

M: Light-medium light mouthfeel. A fair amount of carbonation.

O: It is not a bad beer, but I don't feel that it is particularly well balanced. The carbonation is too high and leads to a bloated feeling pretty quick. There are lots of other IPAs I'd prefer. (985 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a clear reddish-orange. Foamy, rocky bone-white head does not budge one inch. Clumpy lacing clings doggedly to everything it touches.

S: A hefty dose of rye. Earthy and spicy with a crusty, toasted pumpernickel rye bread scent. Hop scents are pithy, dank, and weed-like with citrus notes underneath.

T: Grapefruit hop bitterness opens, followed closely by a blanket of rye tastes. As in the nose, it tends toward strong spicy and crusty bread tastes. Citrus notes come mid-palate, and linger for only an instant. Hop flavors then shift to pithy, dank, and oily. Finishes with dank, pithy hops and grainy rye.

M: Medium bodied. Slick and oily from the rye. Fluffy. Moderate scrubbing carbonation further enhances the bite of the rye.

O: A bit heavy-handed with the rye. It has quite a bite. A little more balance would help. Not bad though. If you like rye, you won't have a problem. For those who aren't used to it, it may be a bit of a shock.

Notes: It's not a bad beer, though not anywhere close to the best rye beers. To tell the truth, I'd much prefer to have glissade back as the spring seasonal. Not sure why they made the decision to replace it, especially with something more on the radical side. I'm not sure this beer will be as widely appealing. (1,319 characters)

Photo of LiquidBread219
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= Poured chest-nut brown/copper in color nice foamy white head that stuck around for awhile and left some really nice lacing.

S= Rye comes out of the nose and is pretty strong, I also picked up on some hops and a little bit of citrus notes.

T= Toasted rye is the main flavor in this one. I was surprised on how much hops came out in the flavor it was pretty hoppy which surprised me nicely.

M= Very clean crisp beer, good carbonation

O= Overall I enjoyed this beer wasn't to much to it but it still was a great beer and really enjoyed it. (543 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/28/11.

Pours a clear copper with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, rye, and some herbal/pine hops. Taste is of malt and spicy/peppery rye up front with some very herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is an assertive spicy rye and herbal hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good rye beer with a very nice spicy and peppery flavor that I am enjoying. An awesome label to boot. (600 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light brown in color, with a an orange tint. Clear. Forms a moderate sized white head that reduces to just a skimming of surface coating. Some light lacing.

S: Mild aroma of caramel malts, toast, rye, and a little brown sugar.

T: Taste is actually fairly thin, but it is very clean. Lots of toasty grains with a mild blend of citrus and spicy hops. An appreciable rye pepperiness on the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium in body. Appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: A rather mild, but very drinkable, rye beer. Clean and crisp, with a nice balance of caramel malts, rye, and hop bitterness. (621 characters)

Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip; dated as 2012 on the label. Clear copper colored body with a creamy two-finger off-white head. Good retention and nice lacing.

Citrus hop notes take the lead in the aroma. The rye comes along nicely with some very light sweetness.

Again, the hops are foremost in the flavor. Tastes like Summit hops are in there for sure to me. The hops produce a slightly grapefruit citrus flavor which binds to the spicy rye flavor nicely. Only a little sweetness in the end.

Medium mouthfeel and no notice of the alcohol at all. This is another excellent offering from SN. Not sure is this will be a regular, but I hope so. I'll have it again. (667 characters)

Photo of blastyaker
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice copper shade, head dissipates rather quickly but leaves lacey skin of foam crisp finish, Rye is definitely there good carbonation didnt finish growlerill next day. Not sure about the "Ruthless" part but would definitely drink again given the opportunity. (259 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 zoso1967
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruthless pours a gorgeous shade of copper tinged medium amber. The head is beige in color and while it fades disappointingly fast, it leaves crazy sticky lace and a thin skin of foam sticks around on the surface of the brew.

The aroma is a mix of earthy, spicy rye mixed with with some floral and lightly citrusy hops. This brew has some major rye going on though and it really dominates the nose. Some hints of bread and a slight tropical aroma are also present.

The flavor follows after the nose quite well with the rye being front and center. It is spicy and earthy with a definite rye bread sort of flavor that is accented by the citrusy hop flavors. The beer also carries a nice biscuity sweetness and some floral notes.

The body on this brew is medium in size with a light amount of carbonation that is perfect for style. It finishes fairly dry with the hops and rye lingering on the tongue long after swallowing.

Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable rye beer that goes down easily. It's no Red's Rye, but it is a beer that a would totally pick up a six pack of if I was in the mood for a rye beer. (1,115 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep brown/copper with a small, one-fingered head that sticks around forever lacing the glass well.

rye definitely is present with its unique peppery spiciness. hops are pungent and a bit dank with citrus, tobacco, herbs, flowers, and a bit of pine/earth/wood.

rye definitely comes through dominantly on the flavor as well. its not like a dark rye bread, but rather a toasted light rye. plenty of herbal hops combine with some citric bitterness and a touch of caramel sweetness. finishes peppery, yet crisp with a clean finish.

medium bodied with ample carbonation and a slightly crisp finish for the style. very slight bitterness lingering.

Again, a solid beer from Sierra Nevada. nothing out of line for the style, but a solid (very solid) example of a rye IPA. not as hoppy as many others of the style, with more of a rye flavor that works well. (860 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The rye really stands out in the aroma, but there is also a little bit of pine and some biscuit malt notes. The flavor also has a lot of rye in it. I also get some orange and pine from the hops, as well as a little bit of biscuit and bread from the malt which keeps the bitterness low to medium. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (397 characters)

Photo of gabedivision
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a brandy snifter glass.

Pours a nice burnt ruby red, crystal clear with a 2 finger frothy foam that thins to a slimy sticky film left all over the glass. First on the nose, the citrus from the hops grapefruit, mango, peaches, then the rye kicks in with a perfect bready balance. Caraway seeds soaked in grapefruit juice is what i keep getting when i stick my nose in, impressed. The mouth is much the same very bready from the rye, and the piny, citrus hops just fill the body and the finish, a slight amount of booze sneaking its way in too. Medium bodied, semi tart/bitter, tons of fruit and rye characters throughout, finishes dry and begging for more. This beer was quite impressive for me i have to admit, and has definitely changed the way i see rye beers, hope they make this a regular seasonal. (834 characters)

Photo of philbe311
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers worth of ultra lush creamy whipped tightly packed light khaki colored head... Impressive retention... The color teeters between amber and light caramel brown... A good bit of carbonation which starts sluggish but picks up some speed before reaching the op...

S - Fairly subdued and one dimensional... The rye is at the forefront and dominate throughout... Some additional light spicy notes as well... Very little in terms of either malt or hops...

T - A nice mix of spicy rye and earthy hops are first and foremost... Just a little bit of malt on the finish to even things out in the form of dough and light caramel... Fairly straight forward, but rather effective...

M - A touch of foam greets the lip with each sip... Light to medium bodied... Subtle carbonation... Sleek... Goes down very smooth... The finish is a tad on the dry side...

D - A very nice brew here... Quite quaffable... The rye adds very nice depth and complexity to the textbook Sierra Nevada hoppiness... I could enjoy a couple of these in a sitting... I will gladly invest in this brew in the future and highly everyone check out this very nice addition to the Sierra Nevada stable of fine brews... (1,193 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, clear amber color with a big, lumpy foam crater head. Glass bottom retention deposits multiple thick, impressive lace rings on it's journey south. I can't think of how it could look any better.

Aroma is grassy pine and then orange/pine sorbet that I typically get from Simcoe.

Spicier than I anticipated. I guess that's why it's called "ruthless." Bold move Mr. Nevada. Spicy citrus and pine hops add to the rye spice. Respectable bitter finish.

Because Sierra Nevada is so widely available and so affordable it's easy to forget they make some of the best damn beer around. (590 characters)

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, copper-amber, with three-fingers of off-white head, that dissipated fairly quickly and left a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Spicy from the rye, and citrusy hops. Slight bready malt in the background, but the overall smell is somewhat muted.

Taste: A nice, bready sweetness from the malt, followed by a bitter, spicy kick from the rye and hops. The sweetness and bitterness both linger for quite a while, with the sweetness fading first. I'd like to have seen the rye come through a little stronger.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin, and the carbonation is prickly at first, but seems to fade pretty quickly.

Overall: A solid, enjoyable beer. Not spectacular, and I don't think I'd go out of my way to seek it out, but I enjoyed it. The bottle art is pretty cool, too. (845 characters)

Photo of rangerred
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is a clear medium copper with a half inch off white head. Excellent lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is quite spicy like a rye beer should be. Earthy/piny hops are also present creating a nice balance.

Wonderful spicyness from the rye in the taste. A medium-high bitterness is present throughout with piny hop flavors. Some caramel malt is there is well to prop up the hops. Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a very nice beer from Sierra Nevada. One I will definitely pick up more of. (537 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 brydeen
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep copper color. Very crisp looking. Thin, bubbly, white head, with limited retention.

S: A spicy, dry resinous aroma. Definite rye presence. Not a lot of hops present, outside of a faint piney aroma.

T: Rye, Rye, and more rye. Very grassy, bready taste profile, with a nice bitter dry finish. Nice spice flavor.

M: Sharp carbonation. Very light bodied, dry, and crisp.

O: A nice, refreshing brew. Although its a nice changeup from the standard IPA, I would have enjoyed a little more hoppy characteristics (562 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A complimentary sample bottle at a local bar courtesy of the local distributor. Poured into tulip. Poured an attractive reddish light mahogany (kinda copperish) with an inch and half of tan head that had good retention and very good lacing.

The aroma was very hop forward with a nice shot of Rye backing it up. Underneath, the base grains provided a solid foundation. On the tongue, The sharpness of the Rye provided a nice counter-point to SN's typical bold hoppiness.

The body was nicely full, fuller than typical for an IPA, but still wasn't heavy or filling. Drinkability was good, I'll be having a couple when it goes on tap tomorrow. Overall, a pretty nice beer. Worth trying when you see it. (700 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy copper color with a fairly small off white head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- Quite a bit of spice here for sure. A really good mix and balance of spice from the rye, bready malts and hops.

T- Spices are leading the way here. From rye spice to a pepper spice, followed by caramel malts, and then piney hops. Hops are here by are in the back ground.

M- Medium in both body and carbonation.

O- Very solid brew. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. A good twist on an IPA. (524 characters)

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