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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

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,906
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 85
Gots: 641 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,906
Photo of timtim
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a reddish amber with an off-white head that holds and leaves rings of very pretty lace. nose is flowery whole-cone hops that smell to me like lemon flowers (if there was such a thing), a touch of rye and a hint of caramel. can't get over how real, pretty and lemony/citrusy the hop character is. taste is just what the nose led me to believe. citrusy hops with a bit of peppery rye flavor riding on a backbone of soft caramel. very well balanced and nicely done. medium body that isn't sweet and had no abd aftertastes, just maybe wished it was a tad drier. overall, another very very fine, accessible brew from sierra nevada.

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Photo of oline73
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber color with a finger and a half of fluffy off white head. As the head fades, it leaves some nice lacing as well as a solid layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Some bready malt with a lot of rye spice and a citrus peel hop presence.

Taste: More assertive than the smell. Definitely getting the rye up front. Once you're used to the rye, the citrus peel hops show up. The finish is bitter, but there is a nice malt presence to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good rye beer. The spice, hops, and malt work together very well. I hope they continue to make this beer. I would definitely have more.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a clear, orange-copper color with 1/2 finger of off-white head. Some retention and lace, nice carbonation.

S: Citrus hops and rye malt.

T: Dry and bitter up front, rye comes through at the start. Fairly dry throughout with a malty rye finish. No sweetness at all.

M: Light, well carbonated and a bit astringent.

O: This is a tasty beer and I have no complaints, other than wishing there had been a little more to the head. One of the driest rye beers I have had. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Aiptasia
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass.

A: It pours beautifully. Perfect pour against the side of the pint yielded an impressive 2" rich tan foam head with beautiful sparkling ruby red body. Effervescence bubbling up in a beautiful constellation of rye lust.

S: Smells wonderful. Freshly mowed lawn and rye bread with a grapefruit rind smackity smack.

T: Seriously hoppy. This is a young beer in the bottle and can use a little conditioning. Was hoping for more malt, but the hops give the rye a beat down and noogies until it screams uncle. I'm going to wait another month and see how it tastes then.

M: Medium bodied, assertively carbonated. Alcohol is a non-factor.

O: Overly hoppy, needs a little bottle aging to be enjoyable. I like Rye Squared by Terrapin better.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of Koufax21
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It pours out a nice orange copper collor and settles with a nice size white head on top that measures roughly an 1". The smell is of nice citrus hops but fairly mild. Slight bready aromas come through as well. Big Rye taste. it reminds me a lot of of Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic. Man, I sure wish this stuff was around in the bottle when I used to stumble through the streets of Chico with a 6'er of Bigfoot, it might have been a little easier on me, but what's the fun in that? Solid beer, I tip my hat to SN once again.

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

Ruthless is a nice coppery amber, not quite as red as celebration but a nice darker IPA as I like them. A bone white head builds nicely leaving lots of lacing as I've come to expect from Sierra Nevada beers.

The aroma has a strong earthy spiciness with nice piney background.

The flavor is very rye forward but this is unmistakeably a Sierra Nevada IPA. Piney hops back up the spicey rye while caramel maltsmake a nice lightly toasted breadiness.

Excellent mouthfeel, close to medium and lightly creamy and perfectly carbonated.

I do believe this has become my favorite rye beer, a spot formerly held by Great Divide Hoss. They were not shy with the rye! Another great beer from Sierra Nevada (though I will miss Glissade).

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark copper with a mountain of dense, white, foamy head that has great retention. The nose is citrusy with grapefruit aromas and the rye is faintly noticeable. The malt content is mild in flavor but strong enough to hold up to the intense hop character. There are faint bready notes and faint spicy rye characteristics. The hops are citrusy, slightly piny, and finish bitter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and it's well carbonated.

This is just another solid IPA from Sierra Nevada. The rye doesn't add much but enough to be noticeable. I prefer this as the spring beer versus their previous offerings, but I don't think it holds up to the other IPA offerings they have throughout the year.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip glass. Pours a clear medium copper an one-finger off-white head along with lacing that lasts well throughout. Aroma is quite spicy like a rye beer should be and Earthy/piny hops are also present creating a nice balance. Flavor suggests a spicy rye taste and mild hops. Some bitterness is present throughout with piny hop flavors. Some caramel malt is there is well to prop up the hops. Medium mouthfeel and decent carbonation throughout. Quite an average but interesting rye-inspired IPA brew.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

A: Pours amber with a short head that dissipates quickly. Almost no sign of carbonation. Excellent clarity and weak lacing.

N: Rye, caramel, bubblegum, citrus and grassy hops.

T: Spicy rye runs throughout this beer and thrives on the back of the palate. Well done. Not overpowering. Notes of lemon, orange and bubblegum run the front of the palate. Crisp caramel malts shine through in the middle along with lemony citrus and pine. Finishes with pine, spruce, grass and of course more rye.

M: Medium bodied, crisp, clean, smooth, dry and bitter.

O: It's Sierra Nevada. A Rye IPA done with class. Try it, it's beautiful!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straight clear amber with a big off white head which leaves behind some lacing.

Smell is nice, juicy hops that have a very citrus-orange smell, and tons of rye.

Taste is similar to nose, but the hops up front are overpowered by the rye in the middle, and a bitter aftertaste wraps it up.

Feel is nice, good carbonation, though not quite easy to drink, as the rye gets in the way.

A fine beer for drinking, not what I would call easy to drink though. Good bitter flavors dominate, but I am beginning to think I am not a big rye fan.


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Photo of Topher78
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Upon pouring this beer left a fingers worth of a off white head and had reasonably good lacing. The color of this beer was perplexing, from different angles it had very different and unique colors. From table level it looked mahogany, from over top it looked slightly red and from an angle it looked more amber in color. Well, whatever color is was it had a beautiful aroma to it. Strong peppery notes mixed very well with sweet citrusy hop notes. From the first sip you can tell you're drinking a rye beer; the spiciness of the rye added a big kick to the malt and worked very well with this beers hop imparted bitterness. This beer finished very clean and dry on the palate, which left you wanting more.

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Photo of pperrecone
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper orange with a nice head that last for about ten min. With nice lacing.

smells of sweet malt with a little spice not a ton of rye. some citrus hops but not overwhelming like most ipas i love to drink. still a nice beer.

Tast is malty up front with some rye but not much different then their pale ale for a malt bill. not as dry or asbitter as the pale ale, but not quite the ipa i like to drink.

Body is right on i can drink this beer all day and still be thirsty for more the way it feels on the palette.

Overall I think this beer stands up to what ever this brewery has to offer. Drink it while you can.

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Photo of popery
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours clear and copper. The head is a thick layer of eggshell bubbles and clings to the sides of the glass as I drain it. Great looking stuff.

The aroma is clean and hoppy. There's a big rye spice note with earthier malt flavors. There's also a floral caramel malt sweetness hiding behind the more dramatic aromas. The hops are right in SN's wheelhouse and lend solid grapefruit and pine notes.

The taste is also good but gets a bit overwhelmed by a somewhat bland hop bitterness. There's a good amount of rye flavor but it gets a bit lost behind the hops, as do the sweet and earth malt notes. I don't mind the bitterness, but I wish there was either more hop delicacy or more rye flavor. The finish is mildly dry with a sharp bite.

Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is medium. Some hop oiliness.

It's a good beer and fills in a gap left by the Anniversary Ale. I wouldn't hesitate to bring it to a party, but I won't be stocking it at home for myself. The taste just doesn't quite live up to the aroma.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle code 135011147. Taste is slightly spicy with a nice hop citrus presence. Pretty much delivers completely on the promise that is made on the bottle. Normally I don't put too much attention to the label as it is normally the liquid that matters the most but I really, really love the way that this label (and Celebration does this for me too) puts you in another place and transcends you before you even take the first sip. Genius. As for the liquid...crisp, clean, hoppy, spicy, delicious. It's from Sierra Nevada, what did you expect?

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a translucent reddish brown color with a half inch of head. Tons of lacing. Good amount of hops in the nose. Citrusy and floral with some grains. Taste is bitter hops with a floral finish. Some breadiness and grains. Not really getting much citrus like I did with the aroma, although there is some grapefruit. A bit of caramel as well but this beer is dominated by hops and bitterness. Big surprise, Sierra Nevada has made another great beer.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass. The color is orange red and clear. There is a quarter inch white head; lots of sticky lacing.

The aroma is sweet melon.

The taste has some nice rye malt twang, but is predominantly hoppy with pine mostly. There is a nice dry bitter finish.

The body is medium; there is a high amount of carbonation. Very refreshing.

I like this one; it's not super hoppy, but it allows the malt to show itself.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA is a rye IPA that tastes of weed and urine.

A: Red orange colour and a 1 cm head that fades slowly to good lacing. 4

S: Strong grasses hops smell like weed and urine. 3

T: Crisp maltiness into an earthy and grassy finish. There are still hints of urine. Weird. 3

M: Foamy. 4

O: 3.5

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Psyched to find at this at Kroger. 8 something a six pack I think.

Appearance: Another total beauty in the looks department from SN. Perfectly clear copper. Thick head of tightly packed, medium sized, off white bubbles. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Nice combination of spicy, peppery rye and grassy, citrus hops. Well balanced caramel malt backbone. Good.

Taste: Very assertive rye spice and pepper and a fairly seriously bitter hop bite. Citrus pith and fresh grass. While the aroma is not a sloucher, the flavor is really in your face. Lasting bitterness and pepper. Really good.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is good, but somehow it feels a little thin. Just a little.

Overall: This is a great beer. Assertive flavor and relatively low alcohol.

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Photo of Pantyologist
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressed with this rye ale from Sierra Nevada. I haven't had much experience with rye ales at the time of writing this review , but i must say this one has to be one of my Favorites so far. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass and noticed a nice creamy head that leaves a wonderful lacing on the glass while drinking. The Two flavors that stood out the most to me were white pepper and grapefruit. The carbonation is perfect and has a great mouth texture. Can't go wrong with this Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye !!

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Photo of znichols
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-nutty, slightly auburn color with fluffy, cloud-like white head. Good, not great, lacing. Big bubbles seeping up from the bottom. Looks like a slightly darker SN Pale Ale.

S- hmmm, smells like SN Pale Ale. Slightly citrusy hops with a touch of sweet herbs. Not a ton of rye present in the aroma, just a hint of spice if you look for it. Really seems to be the aroma of Sierra Nevada's flagship ale. That's not to say it aint good, though.

T- Slightly sweet resinous hops right away. The rye makes a solid appearance in the middle but doesn't last long. Just the right amount of spicy malt to counter the grapefruit, pine hops. Moderate bitterness and little to no alcohol present. Not a bad tasting beer at all. I could get used to this offering.

M- The mouthfeel is somewhat similar to their Pale Ale too. Perhaps a little fuller and slightly more slick. Hefty carbonation and medium body. Solid.

O- This is a really good Pale Ale. It happens to also have a little rye in it. I would put the flavor profile somewhere between SA Pale Ale and Torpedo IPA. More resinous, piney hops than the Pale but not quite as in-your-face as Torpedo. Still has the similar hop-cocktail flavor of both, perhaps a similar mix of hops is used in all 3. The rye adds a touch of complexity but doesn't overpower the hops. This beer is made in the Sierra Nevada fashion; perfect amount of hoppiness and sweet malts as well as drinkability. Not bad for $7.99, either. Seek it out.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sixer picked up at Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a Sierra Nevada tulip.

Pours a clear copper-garnet color with a very long-lasting, foamy off-white head. Very dense and impressive. Heavy lacing as it goes down the edges of the glass. The nose carries a good bit of rye and spice with some earthy hops in the background. Slight resin there as well.

The flavor focuses a bit too much on the rye and accompanying spice. Hop flavor is there, but comes through more as bitterness in the finish. Medium body and just a bit chewy. Dry and bitter. Drinkable, but probably not in large quantities. While I enjoy this one, it's not something I'd want to drink a bunch of, a la SNPA.

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Photo of jeffmart22
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautifully clear amber orange with a three finger head that sticks around for a while. Really nice lacing. Carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Great looking beer.

A - Standard S.N. hop profile of citrus and pine. There is a nice peppery spice aroma along with a distinct grain aroma, kinda like hay. Smells fresh.

T - Crisp, Clean and Wonderful. Slight bitter and balanced very well with the malts and the addition of rye. Very refreshing.

M - Medium in body. Flavor duration is long. Nice texture for an IPA.

O - Another great IPA from Sierra Nevada. BUY IT!

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

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Nearly clear dark orange amber color. Two fingers of creamy off-white head. Retention is average with a good bit of lacing left.

3.5 S: Plenty of earthy spicy rye. Hints of smoke and toasted malt. Hops are floral and earthy. Pleasant and quite interesting.

3.5 T: Again, lots of earthy spicy rye. Mild bitterness. Herbal and earthy hop flavor. Again I'm picking up a light smokiness and a stronger toastiness.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy and smooth.

3.5 D: Tasty beer. I'm a big fan of rye and I like the smokiness that this beer has. It's a good combination.

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