Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 4,907
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 640 | 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: 4,907
Photo of Grugalug
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a deep amber color with an impressive 2.5 fingers of head. It sticks around for a while and leaves some really nice lacing. Looks really great.

S-Quite Interesting. Strong presence of malt, especially the rye. The hops are noticeably more prominent, with the dominant aroma being citrus and earthy qualities. Just a bit of pine. Very nice overall.

T-An explosion of earthiness coming from the hops and the malt. You get this really interesting earthy quality from the rye and from the hops as well. A bit of citrus, mostly grapefruit, to balance this out. Hop bitterness is pungent but not overwhelming at all. Unique and satisfying.

M-Full-bodied. Has a thickness to it that is an interesting counterpoint to the strong hop character. Goes down easily and just enough carbonation.

O-A very unique IPA that allows malt and hop character to coexist beautifully. Would be a great beer for any season and yet another impressive offering from Sierra Nevada.

 992 characters

Photo of PvtSnowball
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from one of the local quick marts.

A: A very nice amber with a 1 and a half finger head with good retention. Very good.

S: Hops, malt, pine and maybe a bit of the rye. No citrus.

T: The hops aren't overly apparent with this beer. The hint of rye has something to do with that. The rye also adds a small amount of spice.

M: Smooth and full for an IPA. Very nice carbonation and a bit dry. Nice.

O: I'm a fan of rye whiskey so I gave this a try. Glad I did, It's good stuff.

Will buy again

 503 characters

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

2014 Ruthless, 01/28/14 packaging date, consumed from a flare pilsner glass.

A: Pours a very attractive deep copper coloring, with a solid one and half finger of off white (dusty) head that slowly fades to a cap and leaves moderate lacing.

S: Malt with slight toffee? notes, and very slight... at least to me... basic citrus. Overall, the smell is very subdued, even immediately after an aggressive pour.

T: Rye! ...then some more Rye, slowly followed by orange zest, and finishes dry and bitter, with a lingering taste of pepper.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, coats the mouth with a light resin stick. Alcohol warmth is apparent after half a bottle or so.

O: One of those "have to be in the mood for it" beers. It is a beer I enjoy on colder, poor weather days where the spice and alcohol warmth acts as a pick me up, without knocking me out. Each time I have this beer it tends to be a one and done, not to be paired with other beers and definitely not to be sessioned. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys experimental IPAs, but would not go out of my way for.

 1,078 characters

Photo of towelboy02
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: It has a nice red amber/copper look. a white head. Sort of cloudy when swirled in a pint glass

S: a slight breaded creamy, then piney.

T: it has a rye taste as it warms up then a hoppy dry bitter at the end.

M: slight carbonation when it hits your tongue. dry towards the end.

 282 characters

Photo of Sensaray
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a beautiful red amber that is clear with a white head, its remnants lingers til the end
Citrusy hops in the nose also get some sweetness, some sense of the rye
Tasty brew throughout the sip, sweet then bitter piney hoppy with a dry finish that lingers. Caramel sweetness, flowery, peppery. The bitter element here is especially enjoyable. The rye is more present as it warms up.
Mouthfeel is full and good with dry spicy finish, good hoppy brew.

 460 characters

Photo of gbgreg1
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured a nice caramel color out of a bottle. It had great head retention and the lacing went down the whole glass.

S - This is a nice spicy beer. It had notes of rye, grapefruit, and caramel.

T - Great mouthful feeling with a full taste. The rye is noticeable and backed up with grapefruit hops.

M - Great consistency.

O - Great beer highly recommend

 358 characters

Photo of Br0wnsfn31
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is my first ever review.. and i wanted to review my favorite beer.. i have been drinking craft beer for about 5 years.. and this is the one i keep going back to and when January comes im waiting for this to come to my local store.. so here is my opinion about this beer..

A- Dark rust color.. a ton of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass with about 2 fingers of head.. the head is off white thick and doesn't look too soapy; but it doesn't look like it is going to anticipate anytime soon

S- Citrus right off the bat.. Grapefruit.. with a hint of caramel and and black pepper.. very faint smell of chocolate there too.. very good aromas coming from this beer

T- first off i want to point off this is a very complex beer.. the taste differs in ever single sip.. which i love.. Citrus right off the bat then u get a touch of peppery taste with almost a brown ale back taste.. this really reminds me a combo of the torpedo and the tumbler.. with some natural spiciness.. its very well made..

M- makes my mouth happy.. not sure what mouthfeel is?

O- again this is my favorite beer.. i have had my share of beers.. but i always remember the first time i had this and my reaction.. Good job Sierra Nevada.. if you think this review is off or high.. that is ur opinion.. everyone has different taste buds.. but i urge you if you see this at a store.. pick it up and try it.. A+++

 1,392 characters

Photo of hail_seitan
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A - Wonderful amber, almost tigereye, color. The head is thick and foamy and clings to the sides of the glass.

S - Pine, black pepper, and grapefruit. A burnt sugar sweet scent intensifies as the beer warms up.

T - First citrus and resin. Then a caramel sweetness from the malt. The finish is spicy from the rye with not too much lingering bitterness.

M - Appropriately thick and creamy for the style with moderate carbonation.

O - A wonderful beer I always look forward to come springtime. The blend of spice and bitterness with just enough heft in the body makes it a ideal brew for an overcast 50-degree spring day. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for the great label artwork, too.

 718 characters

Photo of oonthego
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful amber color with a 3/4 inch creamy head.

S: Very mild smell.

T: Very mild smell, tastes like the label says.

M: Perfectly carbonated, goes down smooth, and gives a pleasant aftertaste.

O: A nice beer for my first rye IPA. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this but I definitely wouldn't turn one down.

 319 characters

Photo of themiller421
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beer pours ruby color with a good clarity.

The smell is mostly malty with a slight hint of hops

Taste is smooth, with the hops being up front and the rye being in the background

Mouth feel is good

Overall it has a slight hop taste to it but is extremely good. It is worth picking up and I give it an overall B/B+

 317 characters

Photo of GinjaSlice
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark red color with good clarity. Head seems almost over carbonated or thin with bigger bubbles and a thin lacing
S: Odd smell for an ipa i smell malt with a pine backing
T: a bit of a bitterness to it quickly followed by a spicy rye taste that takes over the beer and then a kind of odd bitter after taste
M: Good mouthfeel goes down easy and is refreshing

 362 characters

Photo of greentam2
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well, I think they got the Ruthless Part right; the hops and the malt duke it out and implode with an ashen sort of bite, that keeps on biting on the backside of the taste. Had to try it, but won't try it again. I prefer an ipa with a very clean hoppy citrus taste, and all the tastes here are so mashed together, they get lost.

 328 characters

Photo of Goosehunter75
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a copper red with one finger tannish head. Cyrstal Clear beer. Decent lacing and retention

S - Very Malty aroma. Slightly floral. Lots of caramel. Nice smelling beer but odd for the style

T - Verry pepepry and grassy tasting with a dry finish. Not much on the hops. Just a tinge of a floral taste but the malts overpower it.

M - A medium to light body beer. Very slick in the mouth.

O - An ok beer. Not hoppy enough really for an IPA in my opinoin at least. More malts are present than hops. Still very drinkable.

 527 characters

Photo of Dodgerrigo77
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ Toronado
Keg just kicked, so really big head on this pint. A bit mor reddish brown than a IPA normally.
Not a big hop smell comin from this but it does smell tempting.
Really nice flavor some spice presence from Rye I think. Nice hop profile but not overwhelming at all.
Really good carbonation, not to bubbly.
I enjoyed this alot more on tap, had a 6pack of 2013 bottle version last year. Great lacing, as Im lookin at empty pint glass.

 448 characters

Photo of delta490
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a deep ruddy amber with a big creamy white head. The head has great retention and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is lackluster, with some slight earthy hops and a little hint of the rye. The taste is a little bit better, mirroring and amplifying the aromas components. The mouthfeel is nice, a little heavier and mostly smooth with just a hint of bite from the hops as it finishes. Overall, I'm glad I tried it but I probably won't go for it again.

 454 characters

Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent copper color with a finger thick white head that dissipates to a small layer of foam that retains well.
Has the distinct notes that rye bring out that differentiate itself from a regular IPA. Hops are most prevalent.
Taste matches the aroma. The rye helps balance the beer quite nicely.
The mouthfeel is very nice. Good carbonation and smooth through to the finish.
Overall a very nice beer, one that I would love to find at a bar and order.

 464 characters

Photo of ZachHodgson
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A - Aged copper with an average head that persists nicely with excellent lacing
S - Malty backbone the overtones of lemon and grapefruit
T - Similar to the aroma but with a nice lingering piney bitterness and a spicy finish from the rye.
M - Solid but not overwhelming
O - This is yet another solid offering from Sierra Nevada. As easy as it is to overlook these guys and pass them off as old hat, they still know how to innovate and have plenty of surprises up their sleeves. This is my first rye and I like what I'm drinking so far. The combination of rye malt and hops is quite nice. Love the artwork.

 605 characters

Photo of SFNC
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This offering pours a slightly used copper penny brown, with a prodigious off white head that has some serious staying power. The smell is bready, spicy and with a medium piney hops presence. The taste is a tangy mix of the rye and the hops with a solid malt backbone. It has a medium to robust mouthfeel. Overall a very good Rye IPA from the good folks at Sierra Nevada. If I'm not quite blown away, I am happily satisfied.

 424 characters

Photo of tmm313
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Crystal clear, dark amber, copper color. Nice two finger head with excellent lacing.

S- Wonderful aromas! Huge floral notes with some sweet grapefruit, orange zest, rye, caramel, fresh hop, and bready malts.

T- Matches the nose pretty closely, just not as sweet. Bitter grapefruit, a slight touch of orange, and light floral up front, followed by big rye, a little pine, bitter hops, and a cracker like flavor. Big bitter, resinous aftertaste.

M- Slightly thicker than medium bodied. Super oily; coats the mouth entirely. Semi-drying.

O- I'm a pretty big fan of the Rye IPA and this was a wonderful example of the style. I was most impressed by the aroma and mouthfeel but, as a whole, it was an awesome beer!

 720 characters

Photo of Retroman40
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - A deep copper/amber color with a strong and lasting head.

S - Citrus with some malt in the background.

T - Citrus, mostly grapefruit with a good malt finish.

M - Rich with good carbonation and a nice medium finish.

O - I was expecting more sharpness due to the rye but it was balanced out perfectly resulting in just a great IPA. At under 8 bucks a six pack at my Walmart this is a "best buy" for sure that I will be stocking up on.

 483 characters

Photo of KingJason
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the list is bold but basically this beer is so great only Kal-El would drink it. Where Kal-El is from is another story like the story of rye being infused into the malt of this singing brewed IPA, the Winston racer at the finish line, is that Messi with his fly eyes? I mean, this beer.

 286 characters

Photo of MrBoz21
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured brownish amber. Slight murkiness and moderate carbonation. Foamy tan head that leaves a soapy ring and good lacing.

Aroma: Crisp rye notes and very light citrus hops. Clean.

Taste: Rye malt crispness, with a smooth citrus hop that rides throught the finish. Hops flavor and bitterness, but leaves a clean taste.

Mouth: Slightly dry with nice carbonation.

Overall: It's easy to take Sierra Nevada for granted in favor of the latest and greatest, but they just keep making excellent beers.

 498 characters

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

Golden orange with a finger white head that has some staying power.

I am underwhelmed by the smell. The malt is that special kind of rich that Sierra Nevada has with its beers, but the hops and the rye are faint.

Starts with the aforementioned malt, and then transforms into a sweet hop that ends pleasantly bitter. Really have to seek out the rye towards the end.

Nothing special.

Not a bad beer, just forgettable.

 465 characters

Photo of dadofive
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful beer. Vegetal, complex and perfectly balanced. Brewing with so much Rye is a challenge but Sierra has pulled it off.

This is not a session beer, but a work of art. To me, it evoked memories of a late summer's day spent outdoors, helping in the fields.

 263 characters

Photo of dar482
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a clear very dark reddish amber with a fluffy white head.

The aroma has grapefruit, sweet citrus, bright herbal and piney hops. There’s a sweet bready malt in there as well.

The flavor follows of spicy and herbal hops. There’s a note of grapefruit and citrus combined with a light sweet bready malt. The finish continues on of pine and notes of pepper from the rye.

The mouthfeel is medium.

The beer is well balanced with a good amount of American hops with a light pepper spice.

 506 characters

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