1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,310 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,310
Reviews: 1,036
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 62
Gots: 259 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,310 | Reviews: 1,036 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, rye, hint of roasted malt, slight caramel malt, and a hint of citrus. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of rye, hint of roasted malt, slight sweet malt, hint of citrus, hops, and slight caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, good feel, and good blend.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 14:02:07 | More by Tone
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

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

5/18/2012

Draft at Bj's Escondido.

A: Amber with a finger of beige foam. Lots of lacing is left behind. Nice color.

S: Pronounced rye bread with some biscuit. Hops impart a pleasant blend of pine, grapefruit, and orange with light floral notes. The aroma gives the impression of balance with a strong showing from both the hop and malt sides of the ledger.

T: Rye bread blends with biscuit and a balancing citrus hop presence. Lightly spicy. There's a little orange flesh with stronger grapefruit rind notes. The beer is almost balanced, but the hops have a slight edge, imparting a moderate bitter.

M: Medium body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: A well crafted rye IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2012 17:17:26 | More by HopHead84
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

04-01-2012 02:05:18 | More by Zaphog
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As a self-proclaimed fan of rye beers, I had to check this out.

Pours a dark copper color with a thick, frothy head into my glass. I was expecting something more reddish but it should do.

Pine resin from the hops mingles with sweet and spicy rye malt to create a welcoming bouquet of flavor.

Wow. Piney hops and spicy rye malt greet the tongue. The hops seem to overwhelm the spiciness, creating a weird mish-mash of flavors. I'm not complaining. It's what I expected.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering malt and hops with a good rye kick.

I like this. It's not the best but I can see myself drinking it in place of some other micro.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 19:03:16 | More by Brad007
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

02-27-2013 23:39:57 | More by THECPJ
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single

appearance: served in a great dane imperial pint - clear copper-amber body, 1/2" thick white foam, frothy lace

smell: bready, notes of spicy rye, a touch metallic, grassy hops

taste: Pretty tasty stuff - kind of makes you wonder what this beer is capable of with Asheville water and speedy mountain logistics. Peppery, bready, spiced rye, hint of citrus, earthy with moderate bitterness, dry malt.

mouthfeel: moderate bitterness, quite spicy

overall: pretty abrasive version of the Rye-PA, good though

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 04:13:02 | More by dirtylou
Photo of rolltide8425
rolltide8425

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

07-25-2012 03:11:03 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4/5  rDev +2.8%

05-14-2013 18:12:43 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of harpus
harpus

Alabama

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

04-11-2014 19:07:51 | More by harpus
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap at a few places around philly

Pours a clear auburn color with a light coating of white head. Tons of sticky and splotchy lacing on the glass with rings left behind after each sip.

Bitter piney hops in the nose with some light rye-induced spice. Faint sweetness with caramel and bread crust.

Starts off with a nice amount of bitter pine hops with some earthy notes. Spice from the rye attempts to creep in, tempered by some softer caramel. Decent malt backbone, touches of bread crust. Finishes bitter and light.

Thinner medium body, decent carbonation, feels a little watery and soft to me. I’m a fan of rye beers so I was looking forward to this but it fell a little flat for me. More rye spice and more hop flavor would really set it off nicely. For comparison’s sake, I had a Founders Red’s Rye after this and it blew it out of the water.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 22:40:04 | More by xnicknj
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rust, copper, clear amber color. NIce two finger head that has strong retention and lacing. Like the bubbling too.

Spicey citric and earthy hop aromas with a toasted cracker and bread crust malt bill aroma.

Spicey rye and hop combo for a bitter cracker and earthy oarnge zest marmalade. The malt flavors thins from middle to the finish. The palate is resiny to start and thins out to the finish. Aftertaste is watery and bitter.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 17:38:06 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden copper color with a good sized white head that persists and leaves much lace on the way down. Smells of garlic, green onion, and pepper mostly. There's a faint bready malt down there somewhere, but this one is all hops. Taste is more garlic and onion with a bit of spice and pepper. Little to no malt to be found. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice rye IPA but a bit vegetative for my tastes. I could drink these, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek these.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 02:58:20 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

03-30-2013 01:01:29 | More by tobelerone
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, this is 2012 vintage. The beer is a crystal clear, crisp, bronze coloring with a tremendous, towering, big bubbled, foamy off-white head that has an unreal retention. It stays forever, it seems. Aromas are heavy roasted grain, a slight peppery spicing, and a subtle bouquet of citrus. Very well blended nose. The beer's flavors are burnt, with a toasted cereal taste to the forefront, followed by a slightly resiny hops presence that has a solid citrus tartness. There are peppery spicing notes all over the palate that tingle the tastebuds while you drink. There is a good transition into the aftertaste, which is heavy in roasty/toasty characteristics that are blended and balanced with a light citrus sweetness. The finish is slick, with a resiny feel left behind in mouth, and a slight peppery bite throughout the roof of the mouth. This is a tasty rye...good representation and blending of some very strong ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 03:32:32 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

02-03-2014 20:12:14 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 Batch opened on 1.27.13

A - Pours a clear reddish-orange with a huge foamy cream-colored head with great retention.

S - Malty, biscuity, bread, slight carmel, oranges.

T - Smooth toasted malt, bread, orange, slight grass in the finish.

D - Smooth, good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Smooth malt forward and some citrus for balance. Better than I remembered the 2012 batch.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 06:17:21 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
2012, 6.6% ABV, 135012000 on label (Dec. 15, 2011)

A - From the brilliant art that adorns the label to the sexy appearance in the pint, Ruthless Rye looks stunning; light bronzy amber in color, it's chill haze and minimal condensation are the only two things keeping it from perfect clarity. The moderate light khaki head lingers quite lengthily before delicately decorating the pint in lace.

S - Sierra Nevada knows their hops, that much is certain. This beer's aroma cements that unequivocally. There's a pleasant, inviting quality to the juicy aroma of the hops that works so well juxtaposed to the rye! Pineapple, mango, and grapefruit put a tropical spin on the peppery, aggressive nature of the rye. A swirl brings fourth pine and grassy earth tones, adding further depth.

T - Hoppy through and through, the exotic fruitiness passively combats the hearty rye in here. Toasted malt falls just behind the peppery, raw, unrelenting rye flavor.

M - It wouldn't be a proper Sierra Nevada without loads of bitterness! Fantastic balance between the moderate carbonation, medium body, and sharp finish, Ruthless Rye is pretty smooth despite being rugged. This one's not too ruthless in fact.

O - Sierra Nevada strikes gold again! Behind the cutting edge band-wagon-jumping of rye beers, it's clear this beer was perfected before being unleashed into the market. Spectacular balance of aggressive hops, this review bottle went far too fast.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 23:32:15 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of bark
bark

Sweden

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 ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A: Fairly clear/semi-hazy orange and bronze colored body with a big creamy off-white head. Nice fluffy consistency which lead to sticky lacing and an amazing retention cap.

S: Rye, black pepper, orange and citrus. A slight bitter pink grapefruit and whole cone hops come through, trailing off with a slight bit of caramel malts.

T: Spice, rye and a balanced but big hop profile. Some citrusy notes along with a bit of pine are mid-palate. Black pepper on the back end with a crisp lager-like finish. Nicely done, and honestly a really great integration of the rye with the overall flavor profile.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated and very smooth/creamy. A bit sticky and bitter into the linger, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for the style.

I generally enjoy beers with rye when done correctly and this was no exception. The rye brought a nice spice character to the beer that played very well with the citrus and earthy hop characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 01:51:48 | More by ShanePB
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/3/12
*From notes

A: Clean copper in color. A good pour yields a big and white three finger head, which sticks aound for quite a while. Gobs of lacing rim the glass.

S: The rye really stand out, front and center. There's also a surprising lavender quality to it. The hops are somewhat muted here, and take on more of a supporting role in the bouquet.

T: Rather dry and bready up front. Lots of rye all over this, yet it's not cloying or overdone. The mid reveals a layer of slightly bitter hop oil, and the finish is decidedly "Sierra Nevada".

M: What a thick AIPA. The quality of the mouthfeel is the beer's standout. Just a dense and complex brew that really comes together in the mouth.

O: What a lovely surprise. I really wasn't expecting a whole lot out of SN's Ruthless Rye. And wouldn't you know that they go and put together a solid, easy drinking AIPA. Hats off for another winner from one of the founding fathers of the craft movement.

Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 18:22:43 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice amber-orange hue with a clear body and a nice effervescence. Head poured two-plus fingers of frothy ivory foam. Quite good!

Smell: autumnal aroma of earthy and citrusy hops with another earthy quality underneath. I don't identify it as rye distinctly, but it's definitely something spicy and atypical.

Taste: dry and earthy flavor; bitterness is getting up there but is not overly strong. The rye here is used sparingly, and to quite good effect; it adds just enough interest to complement the hops well.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation and creaminess. I like it.

Overall: quite a nice IPA. The rye is used subtly and to good effect. Kudos!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 01:50:34 | More by flagmantho
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

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

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice sharp aroma of citrus, malt, and hops.

T: Tasted of hops, malt, citrus, rye, and a spicy, peppery quality. Basically, this is a rye beer that's been hopped up (or an IPA that has rye added), but it's still an enjoyable flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, a solid, easy to drink beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 02:30:11 | More by avalon07
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The code looks like 2006th day but the 2 looks to be crossed out so I'll go with the 6th day...Jan 6, 2012.

It pours a deep golden red with a 1 finger head of foam and excellent lacing.

The smell has some citrus hops going on with a mild rye spiciness and an ample malt backbone.

The taste has the rye at the forefront; why not, it's in the name after all. Quite spicy/peppery with citrus backing it up to the hilt. Mild use of malty backbone keeps it from being too bitter but make no mistake about it; it claims to be an IPA and an IPA it is! Delicious!

A great mouthfeel and very easy to drink, I like this one muchly and I'll be drinking this often. Well done, Sierra Nevada!

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 18:21:34 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

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

Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a dark copper amber, half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of herbal hops, a hint of citrus and light fruit. Interesting rich flavor of sweet malt and rye with citrus, a slight sourness and earthiness, probably from the rye. Sharp pleasant finish of hops and rye. I liked this flavor combination quite a bit. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Nicely done rye beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 04:13:46 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 17:44:39 | More by thagr81us
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,310 ratings.