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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.
very good

1,080 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,899
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 85
Gots: 637 | FT: 0
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: 1,080 | Hads: 4,899
Photo of rajendra82
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body was pumpkin colored, clear, and formed a two plus finger thick head, domed above the rim of the pint glass. The aroma was typical West Coast IPA with grapefruit, and pine, but with a touch of earthy mustiness. The taste was very citric off the bat, providing a grapefruit and tangerine blast. The rye touch was light and presented itself as a minty, herbal presence. The body was medium dense, and the finish was creamy, with a lingering herbal note. Very easy to drink beer.

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Photo of czfreeman
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful label.
picked this up today.
Pours a lovely brown orange tone. Head is nice thick and light brown toned.thick pocked marked. Nice looking brew.
Smells of west coast hops sour apple sourdough malt pepper clove. Sweet spicy and sour.
flavor is spicy slightly sour rye. Oat, grains black pepper,rye is in RA big way.biscuit, malt, sweet all blend to create a great fresh rye focused beer

the spicy taste, medium mouthfeel create my ideal rye brew
good to great drink ability is limited for me by the flavor.

Really good sour rye spice hops but 1 or two is enough with respect that the flavor is really full.
Enjoyed. Highly!

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is red-brown amber, with a massive, off-white head. Lacing is great.

Nose is peppery from the rye, with plenty of biting hops.

Taste is caramel malt, with black pepper and medium hops. It also has a whole-grain flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is smooth with medium-large carbonation.

Overall, this is a grain-lover's beer, with great balance and some real bite.

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Photo of korguy123
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into tulip.

A- Copper pour, three finger egg shell head that leaves cobwebs of sticky lacing everywhere.

S- Rye adds a slight sour note with spicy pepper. Hops are bright and floral.

T- Spicy rye with floral hops with a touch of citrus.

M- Light bodied, bitter with spice and carbonation dancing on the tongue.

O- Rye beers aren't really my thing but this is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of JohnTerrizzi
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: bottle poured into a clear glass beer mug

Appearance: copper in color. slightly off-white head that sustains. great lacing.

Smell: strong peppery and hoppy aroma.

Taste: the peppery rye is the first flavor that hits the tongue followed by the classic hoppiness that characterizes sierra nevada ales. as you get further into the drink, the rye dissipates and the hops take over.

Mouthfeel: nice body. great mouthfeel.

Overall: i wasn't a fan at first, but I think it was because it was the first ale that I had that was brewed with rye. after having gone threw the six-pack, I would buy it again.

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Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Down to the last couple in the sixer, figured it was time to get a review in. Dated '1362' 111:24, guessing end of Dec production date from the Julian code. Served in a pint glass.

Creamy meringue surface texture, spotty halo of frothy lacing. Lasting head retention, skim never really breaks and forms an irregular topography that looks nice. Dull copper, bright clarity, rising trails of carbonation visible.

Spicy herbal pine resin, bready rye, very light and mellow pastry sweetness emerges as it sits for a bit.

Similar flavors, ample hop bitterness and complex bready malt sweetness. Finishes dry and bitter, almost a little bit chalky. Hint of citrus rind in there, that somehow seemed more prevalent in bottles sampled last week. It's got some nice malt complexity, and light lingering hop flavors of citrus and greenery. Overall it's good, would drink again but haven't seen it around on tap anywhere yet.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack from the local Binny’s.

Appearance – Pours a nice hazelnut brown/cherry red into a tulip. About a finger of off white head is achieved that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing.

Smell – Citrusy grapefruit, pine, spicy rye, bready malts.

Taste – Earthy rye notes, a nice grapefruit flavor, spiciness, oily hops, slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lively carbonation.

Overall – Another solid beer from SN. Honestly wish it was a bit more bitter/hoppy.

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Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cant find any freshness info on the 12 ounce bottle. Pours darker almond amber, light oatmeal head, shows some staying power and leaves respectable bands and bits of stickage. Hopped up nose with the unmistakable odor of fresh rye bread.

Rye infused IPA, with a nice load of hops crunching on the taste buds, and more rye floating just under the surface. Nice.

Although I tend not to be a huge Rye beer fan, this one is hoppy enough to keep my interest. Though still unlikely I'd purchase this one ahead of all time favorites Torpedo and/or SNPA

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Photo of leokbelo
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper into a pint glass with a 2 inch head that takes a while to fade.
Extremely hoppy on the nose, pine, grass and rye.
Some sweetness on the tongue, with some spiciness from the rye and the hops. Bitter as only an American IPA can be!
Medium carbonation, highly drinkable.
As far as Rye beers go, it's an decent brew. As an IPA it kicks ass!

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Photo of rogueleonardi
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber brown, with about half a finger of white head.

S - Didn't really smell any citrus, lots of malt though, couldn't really smell the rye.

T - No citrus taste, can't taste hardly any rye flavor at all. This is some malt flavor but nothing really stands out here. It has almost a watered down taste.

M - Good carbonation, decent mouthfeel, but a thin beer with little substance to it.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a mug. Poured yellow-orange with a one and a half finger off-white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, citrus, pine resin, spices, and subtle fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, spices, pine, pine hop, citrus hop, and subtle wheat. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This brew definitely took on both the characteristics of a rye beer and an IPA. It was quite enjoyable and fairly easy to drink. A definite must try if you are a fan of hoppy and spicy brews.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from the Pizza Port bottle store. Hoppy aroma. Copper body with three-eighths of an inch of retained white head. An ale with rye that hits the spot. Lacy, fresh, session-able, citrus, pepper, fruit and lots of rye. A good hoppiness and edgy. Good drinkability.

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Photo of BeerVikingSailor
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasty new Sierra Nevada rye offering; was excited to try this one, as I enjoy rye beers.

Good overall appearance, typical SN color and nice foamy head

Smells great, lots of citrus and rye smells coming off the glass, I dig it

Taste is very pleasant and drinkable, a nice take on an IPA with the rye and typical hoppiness of SN brews; alcohol not noticable and easy top quaff this one down quickly

Mouthfeel is very good, nice body for the style and the rye and hops go well together here; very enjoyable and recommended for sure...

Overall I like this one a lot and will buy more; sad it replaces the SN Glissade golden bock though, as I liked that one as well...a tasty new brew that I will enjoy drinking often.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice foam retention that came with a caramel colored beer.

S: Lots of bright citrus, and some spicy rye.

T: Bitter Grapefruit, white pepper, tangerine, and some nice malty biscuit notes.

M: Medium Carbonation, along with with some lingering bitterness.

O: Overall a very solid beer. I really enjoy Rye beers and definitely enjoyed this one. I definitely like the flavor profile of this beer, and how it encompassed the hops and malts very nicely. This beer was another great beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Figured I'd do the two Rye Beers back-to-back. Couldn't be bothered figuring out the Julian date code. Thanks to Chris (spycow) for mixing a sixer of oddball wants for me. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A half-finger of yellow-tinged foam settles to a thin cap. Looks very similar to the Widmer's O'Ryely, but with a bit more in the way of lacing.

S - Yep - lots of rye. Spiced bread sort of aroma dominates, and it's supplemented with earthy and spicy hops flavors as well.

T - Taste is again very earthy and peppery, with spicy rye malt dominating the palate. Fairly assertive hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Super dry medium body, with a resinous and oily finish. Moderate carbonation level. No real complaints here.

D - There's a bit too much rye here and not quite enough IPA, at least for my tastes. I think I liked the Widmer a tick better, which came as a surprise.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, packaged on Dec. 30th if I'm reading the date code correctly. The pour doesn't yield much of a head, but there is some lasting soapy froth. Dark copper, almost amber in color with high clarity. The smell of signature Sierra Nevada hops are apparent, much like the orignal Pale Ale itself. Sharp, piney notes from the hops are well paired with a grainy, rye cracker character.

The key to the flavor here is good balance. The hops are not over the top, and the bitterness is at a good solid level, building after the finish. This is not a sweet IPA. The rye malt is lightly-dry, with a peppery, biscuity taste, and only touches of fruit in the far background. I like that the alcohol is not even a factor here, and the drinkability is through the roof. The mouthfeel is crisp with a rather zesty carbonation. Not too heavy or too light in body.

This is a top notch ale from a brewery that never lets you down. I'm just wondering, what if this was a hard to find, special release? If Three Floyds was the name on it I bet the rating would be sky high. Just imagine if your local brewery did something like this. You would be pretty amazed. But this is par for the course for Sierra Nevada and I suppose most folks will just think it's decent. As for me, I'm going to drink alot of this while it's available...

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Read about this beer at the end of last year (2011) and have been anticipating its release ever since. I was shocked to see the price on these - $14.99 at Vons for a twelver and $7.99 a sixer at most super markets and liquor stores (damn cheap).

A: Got into these at a buddies pad during the AFC championship game - just crushing em from the bottle, so I can't really give an accurate grade on appearance. I just averaged the score based on the other aspects of this brew.

S: Big time floral hoppiness (Cascade I think ???) with tons of earthy goodness, bran flakes or grape nut cereal, plum like esters and bready yeast.

T: Taste is hoppy as the nose insinuated - grassy citrus rinds with that classic malt character that Sierra so consistently replicates with each of their brews - toasted grain and sweet carmel nougat round this one out nicely.

M: Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation for the style that lends a creamy aspect to the overall body, hop oils linger a while with an enjoyable bitterness after each sip.

Overall very tasty and extremely sessionable for a beer nearing the 7% mark. The rye is slightly less noticeable than say Nelson IPA (Alpine Brewing) or Reef Rye (Ballast Point), but still there and tasty, pushing this IPA into a different class than a standard West Coast IPA. Definitely something different yet still carrying that signature flavor that makes Sierra Nevada one of the most consistently quality produced ales in the game.

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Photo of modernartblues
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH Tulip, Date Code 1362

A: Dark amber red, clear body, huge off white head on an aggressive pour, recedes to a more than adequate cap, retention is impressive, as is the lacing

N: more of a straight forward IPA nose. citrusy, grapefruit, pine, not as in your face as Torpedo, but nice

T: this is where the spicy rye comes in, but the rye doesn't overtake the hop profile, which is how I like my Rye PAs

M: SN SOP, excellence

O: another great seasonal from SN. they remain one of my favorite breweries and this is an excellent addition to their seasonal line-up

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into wide-based flute glass.

A: Dark copper colored body underlying a off-white two-finger head. Clean and illuminating at times; beautiful!

S: The sharp and quick cutting rye malt character comes through in the initial whiff as does the hop aroma. The hop characteristics include a mix between "piney" and "musky" smells, and seems to be more subtle than other Sierra Nevada IPA's I've had in the past. Not sure if this can be attributed to how distinct rye flavor and aroma can be, but I believe this may be a main culprit.

T: The rye immediately highlights and heightens the hop bitterness. There is some malt sweetness to balance off the abundance of hop flavor and bitterness, but not enough to say this is a "well-balanced" IPA.

M: Standard; what I have come to expect from a solid IPA.

O: Rye IPA's are usually a hit or miss with me. With that said, this hits me right in the middle. Nothing too bold, but does deliver some distinct flavors not commonly found in hoppy beers (which I like). A try it beer. Cheers!

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Photo of HopNelius
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours dark amber in color. It has about two inches of beige head.

S - I can definitely tell there is rye in there. It almost comes across as skunky.

T - The rye really stands out. I get some breadiness in the middle, and it finishes with rye and some bitterness.

M - Medium

O - I'm not sold on this one. I'm usually a fan of Sierra Nevada. It doesn't quite stack up to the other rye beers I have had.

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Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone pint glass.

Before anything else is said, I'd just like to comment on how phenomenal the label design is. Bravo to Sierra Nevada for commissioning such a fantastic piece of art to serve as their label for this beer. Definitely keeping this bottle around afterwards!

Pours a burnished orange hue into the glass with a good-sized head of frothy white bubbles. The head leaves waves of sticky lacing on the inside of the glass. The first whiff yields a nose that possesses the hoppy notes typical of pale ale style, but it is quickly followed up with a bready, almost funky sourness that is unmistakably the rye component. Pale malts also come through, lending the smell of this beer a little bit of everything.

Mild bitter kick to start things, leading into a malty base full of different flavors, including notes of caramel and toffee. Hops come through next, lending their floral and pine essences to the flavor bill. There's a subdued overall spiciness that permeates the taste as well. The rye makes another appearance as a souring yeasty quality on the back end. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all, and at 6.6% doesn't really play much into the enjoyment of the brew. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a drying finish. The rye provides an interesting chewiness that is subtle, but present.

Another solid pale ale offering from Sierra Nevada. They really know what they do best and it shows in their brews.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Spicy and floral hop aromas up front. Dark bread aromatics that provide a nice balance. Classically clean SN fermentation character that allows the floral hop notes to shine.

Appearance: Brick red pour with sticky off white head. Pillowy head that retains well.

Flavor: Spicy assertive hop notes up front. Earthy and leafy hop bitterness provides a good flavorful base. Some bread crust-like malt character serves as the foundation and provides a little balance. Balance is decidedly bitter but the crusty malt notes provide an interesting character that offsets all the hop character. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly oily with no alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A nicely done, classically SN rye IPA. All I would expect from SN's version of a rye beer. Plenty hoppy with nice malt accents to keep it interesting and round out the flavor profile. Well done.

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Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Somewhat dark copper with a nice sturdy cap and great lacing. Darker than expected but looks great, as SN beers always do.

Smell: Spicy, earthy and bready, with some orange-driven citrus.

Taste: Semi-sweet bread and toast backbone. Fairly earthy and citrusy (a little tangier than the aroma indicated), with a long pine and spice finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Overall: While not quite the taste onslaught of some other Rye IPAs (such as Founders Red Rye and the Summit India Rye Ale from two years back), this is extremely well balanced and immensely drinkable. The best "Spring" seasonal from Sierra Nevada yet.

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Photo of lawlerj
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a mostly translucent mahogany. Two to three finger width off white head with an aggressive pour. Dissipates into a moderate layer of foam with a fairly thick collar around the edges. Can't see much in the way of carbonation.

S - The aroma smells kind of...sticky, I would say. There is a nice fruity/juicy hop aroma that I really enjoy, and that blends back into the underlying malt backbone. The rye is present as well, but is not in the driver's seat. I'm not sure I would pick that out if I wasn't looking for it.

T - The flavor is not quite as bold as I anticipated. There is a hop presence here, but it is certainly not in your face. The rye is much more prominent in the flavor than in the aroma; it provides a nice herbally, peppery counterpoint to the hops and bready malt. It has a crisp, dry finish.

M - Feels on the full side of medium bodied. Almost creamy. The carbonation is just right.

O - Overall, this was a very nice brew. If I understand correctly, this replaces Glissade as their spring seasonal, which is fine with me. Also, the artwork on the bottle is killer.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.