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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: 23.98%
Wants: 85
Gots: 640 | FT: 1
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 tbeckett
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured really hazy. Medium brown colour. Good carbonation. Really fluffy two finger white head leaving decent lace and and rings of retention.

S - Rich malt, mild citrus, dark fruit. Mild.

T - Lot's of hop flavour, rich malt, spicy rye.

M - Spicy dryness in teh finish, good carbonation, medium body.

O/D - Pretty neat. Lot's of flavour and not bad to sit and sip but the spicy rye was a bit much. Otherwise alright.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 - 12oz bottle, pours light copper and is topped with a fluffy, ivory head that holds excellent retention & leaves chunky lacing down the glass. Aromas are earthy rye coupled with citric, grapefruity hops, and mild pine. It smells a bit light struck, as did the previous three from this 6-pack, but I've had this before and I'll just ignore it as artifact so to speak. Tastes are spicy rye, earth, biscuit, dank resious, grapefruity hop, pine; astringent on the finish. Thinner body, moderate carbonation, oily hop resins stick and linger on the palate while finishing dry. Overall, very good, but I remember enjoying it more last year.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong aroma has a decided overtone of rye with hints of malt and hops and a subtle note of apple. It pours a clear, dark copper with a thick, fluffy, pale cream head that hangs around for a while. Rye flavor has a strong hoppy note and hints of malt and fruit, both apple and grapefruit. Smooth, firm-bodied texture has a good tingle to it.

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

Pours a deep copper color, red and orange tones here and there. Nice clarity all around; very small bits of sediment hang in suspension throughout the brew. Creamy, off-white head settles to a quarter-inch quickly and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is deep and heavy pine and hop oils, super wet, dark, and dank weed. Citrus notes bring up the rear end; tangerine, grapefruit. A little bit of dryness from the rye but not much in the aroma. The taste, however, is plentiful with rye - the large rye under body is the canvas upon which the rest of the beer lies. Hops go wild but don't overpower nor combat the rye for dominance; oily and resinous pines engulf, along with a slight white pepper spiciness. Some earthy herbal flavors pull through more and more; faint musty dirt, but not in a bad way. The citrus is a little more subdued on the palate than it was in the nose, and it takes on more of a light lemon zest flavor than the nose would lead to believe. Even in the finish, the rye is still popping and meshes with a nice yeast flavor in the aftertaste, along with some fading, dry bitterness. Medium bodied, although the mouth is somewhat thinner than expected and just a touch watery at times. Decent amount of carbonation.

What hasn't been said about Sierra Nevada already? Everything they put out it delicious. Ruthless Rye is a nice "Rye-PA" with a significant amount of rye and a nice hop profile to go along with it. Delicious stuff, here.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my SA Perfect Pint at 47 degrees. Pours a translucent amber with a frothy, 1.5 inch cream-colored head that eventually settles into a thin consistent skim. Creamy, textured bands of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Nose is somewhat forward - earthy/herbal/peppery/spicy with just a trace of citrus. Taste follows nose - this beer, has a very prominent herbal/spicy character almost akin to a rustic bread and a farmhouse cheese pairing. Once the spice resides, a residual biscuity quality expresses itself, finishing with a slightly bitter/earthy hops presence. Mouthfeel is very pleasant; medium-light in body with a lively, almost bright carbonation and just a touch of acidity. Overall, I think this is an interesting take on the style; something of an American IPA/Rye beer hybrid. Flavors are distinct and complex, albeit there is not much in the way of a hops presence. Also, I find that one in a sitting is enough in that the flavors are a bit too assertive for prolonged consumption. That said, I'm happy to see a major craft brewer take on a Rye beer - nice job SN.

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

A yellow copper color with a big heap of oatmeal colored fluff on top and great lacing. The aroma has a tart orange/grapefruit theme with some swampy malt funk, perhaps hints of the rye. Nice. The flavor is a nice combination of woodsy swamp hops and earthy malt. Crisp and pungent, it’s a bitter mouthful with a solid bready malt backbone. The hops are raw and outdoorsy, leafy good and it’s medium-light bodied for a solid hop treat. I think I can tell that there’s rye here but it’s an interesting, funkified version, and plenty good.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear coppery amber, moderate cap of khaki tinted head, decent retention and sticky lacing. Scent brings notes of pine and citrus to the front, followed by a decent spice, notes of lightly sweet malt and a mineral like quality. Taste leads with a moderate splash of pine and citrus, fairly robust spice notes from the rye, minimal notes of malt. Very dry finish, slightly heavy on the palate, fuller side of medium bodied. A decent offering from Sierra that like mostly everything else they make is quite drinkable.

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

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours an amber color and produced a good cap of white froth. Good lacing.

(S)- A nice mildly spicy(the rye?) piney citrus with a subtle malty backbone.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A nice mildly spicy pine citrus body with subtle malt.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Mild rye spice with a classic IPA hop and malt profile.

(D)- Overall, another solid new IPA to the Sierra Nevada portfolio

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a crystal clear crimson color with a dense cap of tan head. Excellent retention and lacing...a damn fine looking brew.

Earthy rye and bright, citric hops are simplistic but manage not to clash as so many hoppy rye beers that have come before. Impressive.

The rye manages a smooth, even keel while the hops drive the majority of the flavor impact...from an initial floral blast to a clean, herbal bitterness. Malts probably dont get enough credit in this beer and help provide a lightly sweet, toffee-ish backdrop that is both neutral and productive at the same time. Mouthfeel is on the thin side and a tad soapy, but those are mild complaints. One of the better rye beers I have had and a sixer didnt last too long in the fridge, another one might be soon to follow.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows tropical fruit, with overt passionfruit alongside peach and green apples. Faint spicy, bready notes underneath. Unfortunately the fruit fades pretty quickly to be replaced by pine and grassy hops.
Very hoppy flavours, but nowhere near as much tropical fruit, more focussed on pine and grapefruit. Underneath is more spicy, bready notes, followed by an aggressive, sharp bitterness.
Could use a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of champ103
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love Rye beers, just add rye to anything and I typically love it. I had this on tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a dark reddish color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: Resinous, piny, soapy, and oily hops. A strong lingering bitterness. That is it.
T: Follows the nose. Strong on t he pine and resin. Syrupy, oily, and slick. Lingering bitterness. No balance and no rye to speak of.
M/D: A medium body. Syrupy, slick, and oily. To much bitterness, and no balance for me to enjoy this.

I was looking forward to this because I think rye is such a great compliment to many styles. Though there is none here. Just over barring bitterness. Good for the hop heads, but to me it feels a bit empty.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap served in a pint glass

A - Clear hay in color with a 2 finger khaki head with poor head retention and minimal lacing.

S - Grassy sweet hay and citrus hops

T - Earthy grassy subtle flavors dominated by citrus hops a little sweet malt.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation

O - Haven't had many Ryes so I don't know how well this would stand to the competition but it wasn't my favorite beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour is dark copper with a lot of light tan tight head. Nose is mild, pine hops, light spice, dirty wheat and some bread crust. Taste is less bready, still mild pine hop with a light spice, touch of bread through the back on a smooth light body, decent carb and light abrupt bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

An orange amber body with a thick, foamy off-white cap. Huge chunks of lace coat the interior of the glass.

The aroma is a little muted. Spicy rye, earthy hops, pine resin and sticky caramel. Pretty straightforward aroma, balanced.

Trademark Sierra sticky caramel hits me first, then some spicy notes from the rye through the middle. The finish is a pretty good sized rush of bitterness, infused with pine resin, caramel, and ruby red grapefruit. The bitterness in this guy builds and lingers more with each sip.

Chewy, sticky feel. Medium to full body. Large lingering bitterness.

This is a nice Rye IPA. I have had three of these, and I like it much better with each one. The flavors seemed a little muted in the first bottle, maybe my palate just needed to acclimate. Nice job, Sierra.

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

This clear orange-red brew forms a tan head that speaks to its substance. Beginning nearly two fingers tall, the furthest it recedes to is half a finger and strong, dropping lacing quite heavily down the glass.
Ryr bursts out on the nose accompanies by floral hops. Upon inspection, the hops exhibit more depth as citrus and pine come out. The aroma also offers toffee and caramel with grassiness.
Malts amd hops balance as well in the flavor. This beer is pretty well hopped with a light malty swertness accompanied by that of citrus, while a big earthiness with somr rye spiciness remains ftom start to finish. It's also noticably pithy from middle to finish.
Quite dry in the mouthfeel, this beer offers a blend of crispness in the front and smoothness from middle to lingering finish with neither taking preference.

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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 Darkmagus82
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a very nice red-copper color with a massive billowy off white head. The head is amazingly thick on this brew and hangs about for what seems to be forever. Upon fading over the long haul (almost 10 min) it leaves some nice lacing.

Smell- A bit of roasted malt and some breadiness meet the nose. There are some very nice ciitus and pine aromas that then hit and linger on the nose until it finishes.

Taste – Malty and bready upfront. The malt flavors have a good dose of rye and some nutty tastes. There are some nice citrus and piney hop aromas that really come to fruition in the middle of the taste, mixing with the rye quite nicely. At the end heavy roasted malts flavor lingers on the tongue and when mixed with the hops leave a pleasant bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel –A bit on the creamier side with a rather moderate level of carbonation. Both allow for a very easy to drink brew.

Overall - A good rye beer and a rather decent IPA. The combination make for a nice drinking beer.

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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 OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, green apple like rye and grainy. In the taste, sweet to dry rye, small green apple, and fresh pine like hops. A small hop bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry fresh hop in the aftertaste. Big rye, nice hops in the end, Nice and enjoyable.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Evolution Brewing pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a copper color with a 1/2 inch head that retains well until retreating to a thin ring around the edge of the glass leaving frost-like lacing behind it. Plenty of surface foam in a mold-type formation that indicates healthy yeast.

S- A sharp, hoppy nose that's grassy and fresh.

T- Solid bitterness that's backed up by the rye very well. Celery and green onion come to mind. Drinkability is right on point. The hop bite evens out with every sip bringing the drink as a whole to a smooth ride.

M- Soft considering how bitter it is. Dry afterfeel. Medium-high carbonation.

O- SN continues to uphold their reputation of producing quality brews that anyone can appreciate.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. 2012 vintage.

A: Two fingers of head has great retention. Bubbles within golden-clear beer. Good lacing.

S: Strong, citrusy-piny Cascade hops. A touch of dry spice could be rye.

T: Good, but not great. Not nearly as dry or bitter as it smelt. It tastes more like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale than an IPA. Creamy-smooth, almost sweet, with a bit of hoppy bitterness at the end. The rye is not very apparent, save perhaps for a grainy dryness on the distant aftertaste.

M: Moderately full, less than moderate bitterness. Smooth and refreshing.

O: Not what I was expecting from a Rye IPA, but still a very nice beer. Recommended. I might have another one after a period of time, but I wouldn't grab a six-pack unless it were to share.

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Photo of maximum12
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently picked up a six-pack of this brew: really excited to have a (potentially) good year-round rye available in these parts in addition to Red's Rye. Here's to hoping this one fits the bill.

Pour is light copper, scattered carbonation & a healthy baby head. Nose promises good things. Light rye & accompanying spiciness, wry hops, slight breadiness. Not a bad way to start an experience.

Ruthless Rye is on the doughy end of the rye spectrum. Rye bread knots dominate the taste, with a dusting of light spices in the flour. Bitter hops that slip from earthy to piney light up the middle of a pull, then an unexpected slap of roast & pepper mixes with the other stuff to form a nice, lively back-end. Very lively, & a pleasure to sip. Quickly.

This isn't the grand slam I was hoping for, but I'll take a rye double into the corner any time. Very good rye that really pulls all the ingredients together into a spicy, hoppy, tasty whole. I'll come back to this one again, my favorite Sierra Nevada regular offering to date.

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Photo of tigg924
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, orange-brown in color, clear

Smell: citrus hops and rye

Taste: sweet caramel start, big time rye breadiness in the middle, citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a big bitter middle and slightly less bitter end, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: A nice dry rye ipa. Of the Sierra Nevada bitter ipas, this one is my favorite. Similar to other SN beers, but the rye shines here. Granted there are other rye IPAs and rye beers I would go to first, but I could see myself sipping on a couple of these.

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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.

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

12oz bottle, not sure why I did not review this last year. Amber orange color, good head which is typical of Sierra Nevada beers, good lace. Smells slightly grainy with hints of citrus. More citrus in the flavor and the rye is distinct. Overall the flavors are solid yet subtle. This isn't a punch you in the face IPA. Not whole lot of bitterness, leans much more towards citrus with the hops. A solid beer but for my money I'd rather have Celebration.

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