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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,975 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3975
Reviews: 1025
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,975 | Reviews: 1,025 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of clayrock81


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish copper with great head and lace on top of an aroma that first strikes me as strong, piney, citric, the rye really comes out as well. Full bodied and well-balanced and just really struck a positive chord with me. The rye and some heavy, breadlike malts give beer a spicy edge and keep the abundant pine/citric hop notes from taking over my tastebuds but leave enough so I know I'm drinking a strong IPA. There is this touch of sweetness I seem to get at times as well that makes the beer more interesting. Has a great finish that is crisp and dry and I really took a shine to this Sierra Nevada offering.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 16:20:00 | More by clayrock81
Photo of DenverHopHead


4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pub glass.
Appearance - a blood orange with lots of carbonation bubbles that builds a thick, frothy white head. Retention is great, lacing is adequate.
Smell - balanced hops and malts. Pine is the most noticeable in the nose.
Taste - slightly more hop forward than the nose; yet still well balanced on the palate.
Feel - hop bitterness, a nice malt presence, but not noticeably rye in nature.
Overall - as always, excellent price point from Sierra Nevada, and a nice Winter seasonal IPA!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 01:50:49 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of fitrock2112


4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured Ruthless Rye into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden with a half finger of white head.

S - Getting some pine, spiciness with light malts.

T - Man this brew tastes good. Right off the bat I taste spicy rye with piney hops, and grapefruit. Mid palate getting a little extra from the rye and malt to balance it out. On the finish it just blends smoothly with the IPA characteristics with the rye spiciness.

M - Medium carbonation, with medium mouthfeel. Nice feel for a IPA.

O - I really didn't expect this beer to that much different from Founders Red's Rye IPA; however, I must admit this is the beer to have when you're looking for a good Rye IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 00:06:14 | More by fitrock2112
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass
bottled on: Dec 11th 2013

A: Pours a clear dark amber with 1.5 fingers width of slightly off white colored head. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Sweetness, spicy rye, citrus, subtle piney bitterness.

T: Lots of rye spiciness and hop bitterness right from the start. I also get some citrus rind flavors. Nice balance of hops with the rye base.

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the heavier side, average drinkability.

O: Another solid offering from Sierra Nevada. Better than most massively produced IPAs for sure, but Id prefer regular SN Pale, Torpedo, and Celebration all to this one. Very much worth a try though if you want to mix things up.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 23:05:19 | More by zac16125
Photo of Jadjunk


3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Rye has been a staple grain for milennia-sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor, Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors- combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring." Sierra Nevada's spring seasonal returns for 2013, released annually around January-February. Brewed in the style of an American Rye IPA.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada pint snifter. Served north of 49º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Beer pours a frothy caramel-tinged white head of a fluffy cream consistency. Body color is a copper orange with mild sediment, a light haze and very low visible carbonation. Lacing is consistently light and curtained, retention is slightly above average. Head quality could improve a notch but otherwise this beer delivers well in appearance. 3.75

(Smell) Most noticeable is a moderate peppery bread note of rye for a full sweetness. Light citrus and floral hop notes compliment the malt profile, although they do not provide enough potency to challenge the specialty malt-centered beer. Additional notes of lightly toasted caramel, cracker malt for lightness, and a touch of fruity and spicy yeast esters, like raisin and nutmeg peek through as the beer warms. The potency is medium. Pleasant aroma overall, despite not being overly confident in the hop department. 3.25

(Taste) A nip of biscuity grain malt and citrus pith up front with a proceeding peppery rye midsection and a peppered, dry and boldly bitter finish with a dragging faint viscosity of rye sweetness to compliment. Although the hop flavor diversity has waned, this beer has otherwise held up remarkably well through the year. There's substantial bitterness and malt complexity to enjoy, yet the profile is quaffable enough to enjoy several in a single session. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mild slickness and a mellow stickiness build a subtle malt texture. Carbonation is busy, sharp and excited, very prickly on the tongue. Alcohol presence is low. Body is a medium for an American Rye IPA, and medium overall. The carbonation seems too aggressive for this beer. 3.5

(Overall) Sierra Nevada puts out a very tasty and flavorful, yet clean and easy drinking Rye IPA in Ruthless Rye. Chock full of clean, flavorful rye and a moderate thickness, this is a worthy drink for your IPA money, and a fair representative for the rapidly growing Rye IPA trend . 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's
Ruthless Rye IPA

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 23:43:39 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of brurevu


3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Ruthless Rye IPA poured a deep copper with the typical Sierra Nevada overly effervescent head. The nose was spicier than a typical IPA with less of the citrus and pine hop and more of the rye spice. The taste was a peppery hops with the hoppy bitterness balanced by the spicy rye and some caramel to boot. The Ruthless Rye had a thin and spicy front that left a herbal bitter coating on my palate. While maybe not as complex as some rye IPA’s it is still a tasty tippable brew that was highly satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 18:06:11 | More by brurevu
Photo of jngrizzaffi


4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark, amber and cloudy. Thick foamy heady with superb lacing on side of glass. Strong piney/apple smell. Hints of citrus. Smooth malty taste. Bitterness hits you right away. Bitterness just gets stronger with the rye taste coming out at the end. The bitter aftertaste persists for a long time. Hopheads will like it just for the bitter aspect. There just isn't much in the way of fruity flavors with the taste. The hops may be too overpowering for proper flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 00:19:33 | More by jngrizzaffi
Photo of eternalcow


3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of IPA overall, or else I may not have even tried this beer.

I really can't comment too much on the beer's appearance, other than that it looked "okay" to me. The lighting wasn't good, as is probably often the case where beer is consumed, so I can't say I got a good look at it.

The first thing that hit me when I opened the bottle was the smell--this beer definitely has a powerful, distinctive smell. Not being an experienced reviewer or even a particularly experienced beer-drinker, I don't know how to describe the smell. Hoppy, maybe? At any rate, it made its presence known.

On to flavor. My general complaint about IPAs is that they're light on texture and overly bitter. Neither of these things is bad on its own, but combined it's enough to make me steer clear of them normally. Ruthless Rye has the bitterness I'd normally associate with an IPA, but it wasn't overpowering. The texture was also complex enough that it carried the weight of the bitterness, if that makes sense. The beer tasted balanced.

Overall, Ruthless Rye isn't enough to return me to the IPA fold, but I'm very glad I expanded my horizons and gave it a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 02:54:49 | More by eternalcow
Photo of mjurney


4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Copper color, slight haze. Lots of fine carbonation rising up. Thick rocky head.

Peppery, spicy, piney, citrus, bready.

Rich, peppery, bready, biscuit, caramel. Hop bitterness is medium towards high, piney, grassy, herbal, blends well with rye malt. Finish is bitter-sweet, semi-dry. Body is robust, smooth, tangy, clean.

An outstanding beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 00:57:10 | More by mjurney
Photo of Cozzatoad


3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, bottled february 2013

A- Dark copper colour, still nice clarity. Healty head, just a tad off-white, decent persistence, great lacing

S- Herbal and piney bitter hops, with a raw feel to them and a pungent/spicy note. Quite strong

T- Again herbal/piney upfront, with a touch of earthyness (i kind of feel like saying underwood, if only i ever tasted it...). Slight spicy feel, can't pick up a specific note, it's some kind of a raw spiciness. Some background citric notes may be slightly noticeable. Malt is pretty much just a foundation, with a raw grainy feel

M- Medium body, slightly above average carbonation helps with the raw/grainy feel. Dry, bitter aftertaste

O- Maybe citrus would have been brighter if this wasn't five months old, but still overall it held very well through time and transporting. It was a nice, vigorous ipa, flawless. Maybe just nothing special

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 10:21:08 | More by Cozzatoad
Photo of Averwo


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an IPA glass.

Dark reddish brown appearance. 2 fingers of head.

Smells is light on hops. A little malt. Kind of a light citrus smell.

Taste is very bitter and Hoppy. Grapefruit notes with caramel and a burnt dry after taste. Must be the rye. Very flavorful. You also get whiskey barrel like notes.

Mouth feel is very good. Good carbonation and very drinkable. There is a strong aftertaste of toasted hops.

This is a dark IPA that satisfies. Big on flavor. Very strange. Almost like a burnt whiskey cast IPA. Definitely something you should search out for.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 00:38:02 | More by Averwo
Photo of bark


2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

The colour is amber-brown (25 EBC), the liquid clear. IT is darker than most IPAs. The two finger head slowly sinks down, leaving little lacing on the glass.

The smell is hoppy, but not very bitter. Rustic wood-like note sand caramel, some dried citric fruits and crisp bread. Some alcohol is present. It is bit raw and harsh, but in a good way.

The taste is bitter and not-that-sweet. Distinct notes of rye crispbread and fresh oak casks. Some mature, almost dried, citric notes. Tart notes in the background. Medium body. The aftertaste is rather raw and harsh. Malty flavours, somewhat sour. Medium bitterness with a harsh alcoholic edge. The finish is sweet with raw alcoholic notes.

The carbonation is mild, the many small bubbles are smooth and short-lived. The liquid is smooth.

Way too harsh for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 19:05:55 | More by bark
Photo of ColdWaffles


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye

Reviewed from notes from Spring. Poured from a 12 oz into a standard pint.

Appearance: Nice clear copper color with a foamy, resilient off-white head. 4.5/5

Smell: Grassy hops, rye and a nice zesty/spicy scent. 4/5

Taste: Maltier than the scent lead on. Nice balance of hops, citrusy but certainly not overwhelming. Somewhat earthy. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale with maybe a tiny bit more carbonation than I'd like, but overall good. 3.75/5

I tend to enjoy the style and this doesn't let me down. Love the awesome head too. 4/5

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 00:30:16 | More by ColdWaffles
Photo of Rosanne


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light smooth, slight hops, sweet linger.

Shared a taster on-tap as part of four flights at the brewery; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, USA. Then ordered a half pint later. Yum! As part of a six-week West Coast beer tour. I rate to taste, not to style. See my blog for more details: carbeers.wordpress.com

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2013 07:56:04 | More by Rosanne
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(2013 Version) Coming in a 12 FL. OZ. short brown bottle, no freshness info. is printed on the label or bottle, apart from a number 302311159; served faintly chilled (10 centigrade?) in a tall tumbler. Notes: The back label states the beer is “brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors – combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavours of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring”.

Appearance: pours an almost clear, dark amber or even tawny colour, coming with rather lively fizziness and a thick and tight light beige froth settling slowly to a thin cap to last.
Smell: pungently citrusy and spicy at the same time, on top of mildly caramely/toffee-ish pale malts and bitter oranges; given a good swirl, interestingly, the camouflaged resinous, piney and flowery aroma of hops gets freed up in the air, yet soon suppressed again by the frothy head... Very nice, but not conventional for Sierra Nevada’s beers.
Taste: bitter-sweet orangey-citric and zesty initially, with a touch of overripe fruity esters, then turning peppery and chalky bitter in the middle, as deepening tannic bitterness and a nicely rounded semi-nutty and semi-sprigy elements of malts (and rye?) chimes in; the finish is soothingly warming (for a 6.6%abv. beer?), showing aromatic flowery undertones of hops and a decent level of tangy bitterness, somewhat dry as well.
Mouthfeel & Overall: well-attenuated, dry-ish on the palate, the fizziness is not as sharp in the mouth as it appears in the eyes, medium-bodied, with an usual warming kick for the alc. level, and very very satisfying at the end of each sip; this American IPA, brewed using rye and whole cone hops on top of quality malts, has indeed an "usual" (which I can't explain, maybe just for the sake of saying something...!!) element to it, but not quite in the way as I expected really. Interestingly, the citrusy-peppery hop quality, the juicy crystal malts, and the well-tuned attenuation altogether give me an impression of a stronger type of Kentish Pale Ale brewed with Kentish citrusy hops and spicy Styrian Goldings even! This has to be my very first rye-related beer, and I’d say, well done!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 19:32:04 | More by wl0307
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

355ml Bottle from The Cave, Glasgow:
Copper amber colour with some red tinges throughout. The head is a half cm, foamy white one with nice retention.

Caramel malts and an earthy, slightly spicy aroma. There is some citrus hops and a few touches of pine once the beer opens up some. I could also detect some grapefruit and hints of alcohol.

Citrus and a pine hop taste with some grapefruit and a chalky bitterness. There is also a caramel malt taste and some light earthiness. This is followed by some rye, spice and faint hints of wheat plus some light tropical fruits.

Medium with a tangy citrus feel and plenty of pine bitterness around the middle to the end. There is some hints of alcohol and a bubbly, alcohol laced feel to the beer. Carbonation is mild too.

Bitter and tropical fruit laced beer although it's definitely not a classic from Sierra Nevada.It is still a nice beer, just not their best offering.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 08:01:30 | More by flyingpig
Photo of TastyTaste


4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I don't review beer all that often anymore, but I have gotten enough enjoyment from this newish offering from Sierra Nevada.

The body is dark copper, the head is pillowy and lively. The smell is all i should be, rye and hops. The rye lends a strong peppery punch, and really is the backbone of this beer. The hops lend a fruit, floral aspect that really play fantastically off the rye. I enjoy everything about this beer, I am sad it is a seasonal. This is probably my new favorite of the rye beers that have come to market lately.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 20:01:19 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of utopiajane

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and copper with a half finger head that fell off to to a thin skin on top. Some lacing. Nose is mellow but distinct with rye and while the malt is light on the nose they seem to be put together well. Some floral hops come up lightly like straw. As it warmed there was a little honey quality to the hops. Taste is delectable. Grainy malt, spicy rye, some grapefruit, and piney hops. Everything in balance with a creamy, smooth, sticky, piney, bitter hop finish. This was a substantial rye IPA , easy to drink and a vigorous tonic at that!

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 17:05:17 | More by utopiajane
Photo of jdhowe


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle poured into a standard pint glass. I'm not sure of the freshness of this because SN's bottle-labeling is inscrutable. Picked up as a single from a mix-six, so I'm a little wary, but didn't want to commit to 6 bottles of this and have had good luck with this place's singles before.

A: Pours a very deep amber with hints of red, cloudy. 1/2 finger of wheat-colored head quickly dissipates.

S: Earthy, but very malty. Reminds me of the malt bill in Hoptimum, but backed up by an extra grainy and spicy character. Citrus is also showing, but weakly. Hopping is weak.

T: Interesting. Very layered -- I thought quite a few things through that first sip. Starts with a bit of spice before the malt sweetness steps up. Next up is fruitiness and alcohol. The finish shows the rye character and ultimately hop bitterness lingers alongside a slightly roasty flavor... reminds me almost of a coffee, but clearly isn't. Better than I expected from the smell, but a little grainy and not hoppy enough for me.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty good. The carbonation punches hard up front complimenting the spice, but mellows out quickly and keeps the beer very drinkable. Slightly coating where I'd prefer it to be a little crisper, clean, and gone, but otherwise very nice.

O: Torn between a 4 and 3.75 here. I feel like the total here is well balanced and more than a sum of its individual metrics, so I'm going with the 4. A pretty good beer, and one I think I'd enjoy a bit more with a bit more hoppiness. I'm not sure if the problem is age or if it's the beer, but I'm going to assume it's my fault/age. Still very drinkable, well balanced, and flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 07:12:40 | More by jdhowe
Photo of Algebrew


4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A lightly hazy, caramel-orange color with a one finger, fine foam head which left a decent lace webbing.

Smell: The citrus hops come through on a mild note accompanied with a nice, spicy twang. A touch of light fruit, malt, and grain are present as well.

Taste: The beginning comes through with a touch of spicy citrus hops; the middle accentuates the beginning flavors and brings it to a peak; the end rolls out into a spicy, bitter, and soft wheat finish.

Mouthfeel: A bubbly, rugged, bitter IPA. Smooth, yet mildly thick - a bit defensive.

Overall: A strange IPA. It brings a good twist to the style, it carries true to its name with an excellent ruthlessness.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 05:58:23 | More by Algebrew
Photo of Eramen


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - All orange and copper, nice half-finger but persistent head.

S - Wonderfully aromatic - I make out citrus, pine, woody notes, spices and grain.

T - Much akin to the aromas, the pepper and spice are very pronounced, though not a lot of malt heaviness. It's quite a hop-forward style of beer, with citrus/piney flavors dominating. Bitterness is high and well suited to the grainy malt present.

MF - Decent mild carbonation, yet it manages to be smooth drinking.

O - Lovely brew, something that I'd only have a couple of due to it's peppery, grainy consistency but a fine IPA nonetheless.

2013 Vintage, very fresh.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 18:22:07 | More by Eramen
Photo of Redrover


4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Mellow Mushroom is Jacksonville Beach. It was served in a standard pint glass and the beer is brassy dark amber. There is a very sticky beige head.

It has a pleasant aroma of spicy rye, sweet malts and some pine.

The taste leads with a bit of pine resin and subtle peppery rye and caramel malts. Beer is well balanced with a lot of nice facets.

The mouth is semi-thick and a bit oily. It is coating.

This is a nice rye beer. Well done!

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2013 17:19:01 | More by Redrover
Photo of watermelonman


3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring to a deep gold amber, this looks great in glass with moderate head and lace. Mild carbonation keeps up throughout.

Citrus hops and rye dominate the smell, and in taste are joined by barely enough caramel malt to give body and balance. The flavors I want and love in a rye pale are a little flat and flimsy, especially considering the lighter mouthfeel, but in terms of a balanced IPA this is as well done as any. The spicy taste of rye is apparent but I usually want more body to back it. The finish is clean and lightly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2013 05:10:20 | More by watermelonman
Photo of tittymcj


3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank at a bar in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Good looking beer. Nice and frothy, lots of head. Solid color and clarity.

Very smooth, if I remember correctly. Not a lot of bite, but not overbearing with the malty flavors. Very well balanced.

I'd recommend for being a good beer, but not particularly impressive on any front.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2013 13:51:53 | More by tittymcj
Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC


4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer always gives me the knarliest farts. They fucking stink too. The beer's good, and the 6.6% always leaves my liver working hard to make me sober enough to work the next morning. I like the fact that I can drink a bunch of it, fart enough to make my domain a gas chamber, then wake up and walk out of the room without noticing the deadly smell that the beer gave me. It leaves a chalky hungover taste in your mouth after you drink 10 and wake up without brushing your teeth, but that's the life of a true alcoholic. An alcoholic's beer if the ABV were a touch higher and the farts were a bit stinkier.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 07:33:05 | More by BeerAficionadoMCMXC
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,975 ratings.