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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 jfrank85
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a dogfish head snifter. This beer has a sticky head that lasts for days. Copious amounts of lacing down the glass that sticks like glue. Deep copper red color, bright crystal clear. Beautiful.
S- Spicy. Touch of citrus hops, slightly earthy and grassy.
T- " ", crisp and fresh, pumpernickel bread taste. Touch of citrus from hops almost resinous, grainy.
M- Medium but crisp. Bright
O- Wow, I'm in love. I am quite partial to rye beers as it it but this one is amazing. From presentation to taste it is both appealing and tasty. Would recommend highly.

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Photo of beer348
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: nice color - reddish. Also enjoyed the label design.
S: very nice smell, probably my favorite thing about this beer
T: tastes good, crisp; what I would expect from an IPA.
M: It's great to try a new kind of beer (rye). But this tastes very much like a regular IPA.
O: For IPA fans you will like this beer. Lots of hoppy flavor. A clean , crisp drink.

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Photo of goodbeerallday
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark haze orange brown colour with thick 3cm fluffy off white head white resides to a 10mm off white covering over the top of the beer. some carbonation present.

S: lots of hay and rye along with peach and apricot in the background.

T: quite bitter this one with some astringent flavouring in the back pallet. peach is the main fruit present here. drinking this a lot is happening, a near over power rye taste but fades into a neat bitterness. allowing this beer to raise in temperature really accentuates the flavours. apricot is a definite feature in this one. not a huge deal in terms of the malt side of beer but enough to make it so it isnt unbalanced in an unreasonable fashion.

M: i found this to be reasonably heavy with a mid strength body but smooth. quite harsh bitterness swarms around the mouth but nothing hugely exaggerated.

O: a really nice beverage and something i could drink more than once. appearance for me was the outstanding factor and looking at it made me want to drink it. nose a little on the average side but definitely not empty and taste is one that lingers. good beer all up.

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Photo of MatJones
2.81/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A. Like all their beers this is perfectly carbonated and a lovely dark Amber colour. 

S. Sweet piney smell but not as pronounced as an ipa. Hint of almonds and hay

T. This is my first 'ryepa'. Drunk from a half pint glass and first impressions were excellent. Definate taste of rye, malty biscuit, herbs and sweet pine. Noticed within five minutes though, that the taste lost a lot of it's complexity and the alcohol taste became a little overpowering which I was surprised with as this is only 6.6 abv.

M. A little to heavy for me. Felt the alcohol taste ruined this beer for me a little and ended up tasting like a stronger version of their excellent pale ale.

O.  Definatley an interesting beer and has done enough to make me try some other rye ipas, but felt overall this beer was a little unbalanced, alcohol taste a little overbearing. I will probably try thus beer again at some point as sierras beers are more affordable than a lot of USA to UK imports but wouldnt go out of my way to buy it over some of their other excellent beers

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Photo of HerculesRM
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smells clean, subtle fresh cut pine. The tastes up front are nice piney bitters. The secondary flavours are booze, passion fruit and red currants. Beautiful red/copper colour with a thin white head. Refreshing and interesting. Well done, Mr. Grossman!

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Photo of sagefool
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just saw this at the grocery, in between my standby Torpedo IPA and a shelf down from the Ranger.

My. Lord.

I'm a Hophead by definition. My other non-hoppy "go-tos" are Spaten Optimator and Negro Modelo, mainly because it's a long drive to anything better. I used to be DFH all the way, but the price tends to get in the way.

I thought Torpedo was the best thing Sierra Nevada had going (big fan of their Kellerweizen, as well).

This is the IPA I have been searching for. It's just incredible. Great pour into a pilsner glass with a 2" head that slowly dissipated.

Strong hops up front, with a peppery finish on the back end. Doesn't leave you with that bloated feel you get when you've had too many of the Torpedo.

Malts are in the background, where I like them. Haven't had any spicy food with this yet, but I believe this beer can hold its own.

My new "King of the IPAs".

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Photo of rawla
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Tom Collins glass off a fresh bottle from Trader Joe's Lake Merritt, in Oakland CA.

A:Ruby Red, Cinammon, and Brown hues. Creamy, 2 inch head. Thick lacing.

S: Roasted yams, grapefruit, pine needles. A very decadent aroma. The Rye incorporates a grainy, sweet subtle finish in the nose.

T: Sesame seed, pine needles, and fresh grapefruit. The tastes seem to be all over, but they work magnificently. The Rye gives the IPA a peppery, light feel; whereas the hops provide a decent bouquet of flavor. Well done.

M: Light mouth feel.

O: Another solid offering from SN. The Rye gives the classic West Coast IPA an interesting flavoring. Will drink again.

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Photo of beerlust
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Another Sierra Nevada seasonal favorite of mine, along with the fall and Christmas beers. Nice bite and
kind of flowery taste. Not overpowering, but not for sissies, either. It's a little less rough than the Torpedo. Extremely affordable way to get
your hop fix, like their Celebration Ale.

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Photo of icepik
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Darker amber color, very slight chill haze, light head, OK lacing.

S: Fairly light hops in the nose and about equal to the rye malt aroma.

T: Very nice nutty rye malt flavor, a bit bready, fairly strong bite of hops/rye on the finish. Bitterness lingers.

M: Solid mouth feel, soft carbonation, bitter finish.

O: Another nice offering from SN. While I feel it lacks a bit in the aroma and flavoring hops (for an IPA), it does have a strong bitterness on the finish that goes with the rye malt, which is the center of the flavor for this beer. It might even be a bit too much, depending on how much you like a pepper/bitterness finish (I like it). Its worth a try!

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Photo of unskinnyhop09
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

january is a sad time for fans of celebration ale. away goes the goodness of the holidays and an ipa that marks history with its hoppy goodness.

what could make the sting hurt less? another amazing ipa would do the trick! let's try one using rye. sure.

pepper and burned grass usual of rye flavor (ask bear republic and founders)...but here we have a fantastic citrus hop note - and i mean fantastic! i was sad that there was no more celebration at the grocery supermarket...until i got home and tasted the ruthless rye.

great aroma. great taste. great beer.
another amazing offering from sn. i guess i can forgive you for the disappearance of anniversay ale.

please keep making these hoppy ales!
...and i'm looking forward to 2012 bigfoot.

wow. just wow.

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Photo of djohnse
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always a good idea to pick up something new from Sierra Nevada and found this recently.

Appearance - Deep copper brown with a nice pillowy quater inch of head lingering after taking a few sips, it isn't going away from the look of it.

Smell - Smells like the classic IPA with pine and the scent of grapefruit coming through very clearly.

Taste - The simple way of describing it is that you get a good IPA at the start then moving to a nice spicy finish with the rye. Solid bitterness of the hops upfront, light pine taste going along with citrus blend. Then it immediately takes a U turn and the maltiness comes through, rye popping on the tongue with some peppery tones.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation mixed in giving it a bit more heft than most IPA's. The taste lingers because of the light coating that the beer leaves.

I really enjoy this, lots of interesting flavors that worked really well together for me. If you can find it I'd say it's worth a try.

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Photo of gobseulmuhri
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Saw it at the local store and had to have it being that I am a huge fan of their Torpedo IPA.

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. What came out was opaque and dark honey/mahogany in color with a 1/2'' of head that kept retention pretty well.

The nose was a bit muted, but it had the typical IPA scents - peppery spices, fruit, and hops. The taste is what impressed me. The flavors that were muted on the nose came out strong in the mouth. However, it's noticeably mellower than the Torpedo IPA (is it the color?) without losing the signature IPA flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium as a good IPA should be with plenty of carbonation and a dry finish that definitely reminds me of the lightly bitter and pungent flavors of rye bread.

I was a bit skeptical about this one, but I'm glad I got it. Cheers!

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Photo of Ale-ienation
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a transparent red amber into a pint glass. Finger of white head that dissipated quickly with little to no lacing.

S: Citrus hops accompanied by a slight rye spiciness. Very subtle notes of apple and strawberry esters.

T: Spicy rye up front with classic pale malts and beautifully integrated esters; similar to the nose. Clean, bitter finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with present carbonation.

O: Beautiful spicy rye IPA that is true to west coast traditions but nicely balanced as well.

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Photo of adsomers
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear deep amber color. Thick rocky head. Minimal carbonation.

S - Not bursting forth with hop aromas as I usually find in a west coast IPA, including those with rye. It's a welcome departure, as the earthy grain aromas are very nice to contemplate. However I detect a bit of sulphur or something that reminds me of an old tavern smell, if that makes any sense.

T - I think the rye really comes out in this beer with a richness I've only experienced in Rugbrød from The Bruery. Has a deep bready, earthy, and slightly spicy quality that I just can't get enough of. This is balanced by plenty of bitterness and citrusy hop character.

M - The low carbonation brings malty character to the foreground and weighs down the mouthfeel a bit, and this is a good thing!

D - 6.6 Abv makes this a two-pinter, or a great. It's very tasty, digestible, and easy to drink. Score SN!

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Photo of TheMirrorOwl
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark copper, clear, thick fluffy off-white head that dissipates quickly. Light lacing.

Smell: Very malty, bready rye is noticeable. Some fruity citrus, but resoundingly sweet aromas dominate.

Taste: Grapefruit leads, spice and sweet rye. Hops are mild, some pine in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, strong carbonation that dissipates as the beer sits. Long lasting flavor.

Overall: I really enjoy the malt-hop balance in this brew. The malt is sweet, but provides a nice spice from the rye and moderated well by citrus hop flavor. A very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of jacket_fan
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured aggressively from a growler to a pint glass.

Dark color with a full 2 finger head. Lots of carbonation in the lacing.

Earthy, straw aroma

Slaps the back of my mouth with a strong bite, which must be the rye. Not a lot of experience with rye beers. This one leaves an aftertaste on the tongue and back of the mouth. Not bad for a strong beer but caught me off guard.

A strong, aggressive taste. I will need to explore the rye beers more. Will look forward to finishing this growler to see if this style grows on me.

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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.

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Photo of AMack11
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks great. Copper with a lovely tan head when poured into my ilkey brewery tasting glass.

S - Somewhat muted. The usual IPA notes are there but I expected more hoppy notes, more citrus more spice, especially from the addition of Rye.

T - As above. The taste is the same as the smell. There is however, a hint of the grapefruit, but this is not all that different to any other bog standard IPA

F - it's okay. A little thin.

O - It's not bad.a easy session ale, but for the price, somewhat of a let down. I'd drink it again, but I doubt I will. Pay the extra quid and get the Torpedo.

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Photo of jacksback
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice looking pour. Clear, dark copper. pretty thin head that clears quick, leaves a decent bit of lacing.

Nose has some peppery sharpness to it that comes across immediately. Sharp citric notes right behind the pepper. Hints of smooth toffee sweetness... faint hints. Mostly sharpness on the nose, though entirely tame and far from overbearing,

Flavor follows right on the nose, with no surprises. Assertive bitterness between citric sharpness and peppery spice. Hop character shows great balance with the rye. Some typical lemon and grapefruit action duels with spicy sharpness. Body has some weight and mild sweetness, but stays in the background.

Smooth and easy on the palate, with relatively light carbonation and a finish that shows some mild bitterness.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Rye plays a good part, without being either too subtle to notice or overbearing. Great balance. Nothing that's going to rock the beer world, but would be hard to get tired of drinking this one.

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Photo of shcufj
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to tall tulip glass.

A: Deep copper, light amber color. Solid, white effervescent head, dissipated quickly. some lacing

S: Strong hop aroma, with floral and very slight citrus hints. I also picked up some peppery notes on the nose

T: Nicely balanced malty, hoppy, and rye flavors. Finish was a peppery hoppy flavor, with the hops diminishing first

M: Medium bodied and crisp mouth feel, adequate if not slightly over carbonated.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. The rye coupled with an already very nice IPA created a nice drinking experience. Overall, I highly recommend this beer and will probably always have a few in the fridge.

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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 delapowicz
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Times bar in Raleigh NC
Appearence perfect
Smell devine. It reminds me of a good gin. You know how it is supposed to smell like. Hops devine is what I get in the nose once my 10 oz was poured. Taste is good. Little darker taste than a run of the mill IPA. It I a good stand alone beer but not a session beer. Sometimes higher Alc content beers still lend themselves to sessions or simply as I feel a desire for more. One is godd enough. But I usually want another SN Pale Ale

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Photo of jchoffman
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first tasted the Ruthless Rye IPA in my home poured from a bottle into a freezing pint glass, good pour, head about a inch thick. I wasn't sure what to expect from this Rye IPA, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was hoppy, and got a smell and taste of Citrus, which in my opinion was a great blend. I've recently drank SN Torpedo and Celebration Ale, which I loved both and wasn't disappointed by the Ruthless Rye Ale at all. Excellent brew, I recommend strongly. I do think it tastes better from a cold(or very cold) pint glass.

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Photo of Stev0supreemo
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely an interesting IPA that's worth checking out. My main complaint would be the nose which was definitely lacking.

A: Very aesthetic amber orange. One inch head.

S: Again, lacking. Hoppy with very mild Rye characteristics.

T: The Rye isn't very pronounced.

M: Medium body

O: Enjoyable beer. If it weren't for Hopslam taking up my immediate budget I'd pick up a six-pack.

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Photo of InIBUsWeTrust
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yet another unique offering from Sierra Nevada, let's take a look at the complexities of their rendition of a rye infused American pale ale.

Served via 12 oz. Bottle

Insatiable to say the least, upon viewing the pour I'm excited to try this hybrid IPA.

Smell is hearty and robust, slightly different from that of their pale ale.

Taste is bold! Initially I thought this was going to be another Torpedo, yet I was greeted with a full bodied smack in the face! This is not a sessionable beer!

Overall - Creativity scores big on this one, Sierra Nevada keeps it's best ideas in the think tank.

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