Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 4,380 | Reviews: 1,043 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +2.3%
A pint during happy hour in central Kona.
This beer appears a clear medium bronzed amber hue, with one finger of tightly foamy, somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a solid mesh wall of lace as it lolls about before sinking out of sight.
It smells of mild citrus and pine hops, some spicy, grainy malt, and a faint floral fruitiness. The taste is patently bitter citrus rind, pine resin, a bit of lemon/lime fruitiness, and bready (a blend of rye and sourdough) kind of biscuity malt.
The bubbles are fairly zippy, but play along well, the body a tremulous medium weight, and a bit too assaulted to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes still in the edgy, bitter hop universe, the titular malt features rendering much less of an impression.
A good (rye) IPA, but it 'suffers' from that Sierra Nevada affliction - that of characteristically damned (and equally heavenly) hoppy offerings. While it's a shame that it overrides the rye adjunct here, somehow that just doesn't bother me right now.
05-16-2012 04:27:29 | More by biboergosum
4.28/5 rDev +10%
I'm naturally interested in seeing just how ruthless this rye is. It's a nice hearty ale, yes. Good spiced tones (from the the I assume). Overall, this is a good beer, which I expect from Sierra Nevada. It's not blowing me away with some out there and unusual character, but it's a mighty tasty brew.
04-14-2012 07:36:55 | More by RblWthACoz
4.03/5 rDev +3.6%
On-tap 2/17/2012 at Shannon View Inn in Warwick, RI served in a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a coppery red color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains floral hops, caramelized malts and citrus.
T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain and rye spiciness. Then a nice hops bitterness quickly follows. The malt character is hearty and creates a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.
M: Very crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry.
O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this beer seems to be just like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with the extra rye IPA bitter bite to it.
02-21-2012 06:29:35 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.13/5 rDev +6.2%
Rocky textured foaming tan head leaves only gas and beer residue between an inch of air and glass known as head space, it's beautiful. Color wise bright ruby copper colored beer we need in this post holiday recovery mode for everybody. After drinking spiced ales with cinnamon, honey, and all spice for a month and a half, I fully praise Sierra Nevada for releasing this beer. Aroma has hints of pine and citrus with a spicy rye layer that definitely adds a layer of complexity to the mix. Flavor hits with a clashing layer of malt/rye versus earthy/pine hops, pretty intense here no bias noted, I'm a lover of both malts and hops. Easy to drink well balanced between the waves of piney/citrus hops and spicy rye malt, moderate carbonation slick oily hop textures going on. Overall a welcomed seasonal to mix up the ever changing lineup of Sierra Nevada, I'll be drinking more of this.
01-14-2012 12:39:54 | More by WVbeergeek
4.2/5 rDev +8%
Pours an effervescent copper with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Fantastic head retention & lacing
S: Lemony & grapefruitty hops, a kiss of breadyness & peppery notes
T: Peppery rye, grapefruit, slight grainyness up front. Dryness, caramel, grainy bitterness & a touch of grapefruit as this warms, Finishes a little peppery, citrusssy & with a dry/crisp rye
MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good blance
I enjoyed this, but I thinks Red's Rye is more to my taste, plus more drinkable
01-29-2012 05:29:16 | More by russpowell
3.38/5 rDev -13.1%
Figured I'd do the two Rye Beers back-to-back. Couldn't be bothered figuring out the Julian date code. Thanks to Chris (spycow) for mixing a sixer of oddball wants for me. Served in a Cigar City snifter.
A - A half-finger of yellow-tinged foam settles to a thin cap. Looks very similar to the Widmer's O'Ryely, but with a bit more in the way of lacing.
S - Yep - lots of rye. Spiced bread sort of aroma dominates, and it's supplemented with earthy and spicy hops flavors as well.
T - Taste is again very earthy and peppery, with spicy rye malt dominating the palate. Fairly assertive hop bitterness in the finish.
M - Super dry medium body, with a resinous and oily finish. Moderate carbonation level. No real complaints here.
D - There's a bit too much rye here and not quite enough IPA, at least for my tastes. I think I liked the Widmer a tick better, which came as a surprise.
01-23-2012 07:39:22 | More by MasterSki
4.15/5 rDev +6.7%
12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Pours a deep crystal clear copper, with 2 fingers of slightly off-white head. This retains with a big frothy dollop in the middle of the glass, drenching the sides with a heavy latticework of sticky lace. This has quite the robust look to it. Wow, the rye has a huge presence here, with a bold spicy graininess that just drives the nose forward. This mixes with underlying notes of caramel and citrus to really impart a rich spicy twang, with some leafy floral edges that lend this a bit of airiness in the nostrils as well.
The taste really had some kick to it, with that rye being just as bold here and sticking to a fresh citric bitterness, propelling spice and pith out into the mouth. A caramel sweetness hangs on the edges, barely getting the hops balanced out before a final wave of rye swoops in to finish this dry and spicy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and feels equal parts crisp and smooth in the mouth, thanks to a good bit of oily slickness to the carbonation that really keeps this sleek feeling.
This is about as good of a Rye beer as I’ve had in a while. This just has a perfect amount of rye here, working with that bright feeling IPA base to really give this a crisp and flavorful bite. This was so easy drinking as well, especially considering the higher ABV and the overall intensity of the flavors. SN really nailed this. I think I’m going to go have another…
02-02-2012 15:08:41 | More by Kegatron
3.93/5 rDev +1%
Ruthless Rye, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. 2012. Not sure why they are dating it by year. Perhaps they expect us to cellar it? Just a habit they've gotten into?
A cloaked, hooded woman holds a scythe in the middle of some farm land. Seems like odd garb for threshing. Or, are they just establishing a new, hotter version of Death. Newer and hotter than Neil Gaiman's, of course.
Anyway, on to the beer: Clear, dark crimson coloring, off-white foam above.
Aroma is soft, sweetish, and brimming with rye malt character. Pass the pumpernickel!
Taste: Hops hit first, bitter, yet sweet, then the spicy rye malt character floods the mouth. Starts mellow, gets intense. Rises and rises and overtakes the senses. Without going too far, of course. These guys are all about balance. You don't become this popular and this big without making palatable brews.
Let's look at the label crap: Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with this rustic grain 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."
It hasn't been exactly a tumult this year. We've had several early starts to spring, in the dead of winter. But this is nice and well appreciated. I was almost ready to say that the rye malt overtakes the citrusy hop presence, but they re-emerged before I could type a word. It's a tasty, tidy tango, here's some peppery bready malt, here's your hops, cha, cha, cha…
02-29-2012 04:16:03 | More by feloniousmonk
3.65/5 rDev -6.2%
At the time of this review, this is the #17 beer on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - Rye Beer" list. Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a Hill Farmstead becher glass.
Beer is brown and clear with a nice tan head of small and medium bubbles, nice moderate carbonation, some lacing on the glass.
Aroma is sweet with some earthy mildly citrus hops in there. Smells nice.
Beer is medium in body with a mildly dry finish, moderate bitterness and a grainy aftertaste. The lead off is this mild spiciness from the malt and this nice body that fills out to a good hop presence, the aftertaste totally takes me out of the beer though. Not a fan of that. Otherwise it is a fine little IPA / rye beer.
01-14-2012 03:21:49 | More by drabmuh
4.18/5 rDev +7.5%
I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown -served in a standard pint.
The color is resplendent shade of deep copper with great clarity and visibly carbonated with rapidly rising fine bubbles and pale tan cap w/ ultra fine bead. The lace is sticky and it is a pleasure to look upon in the glass. The smell has a fruity tangy yeast ester with a citrusy hop smell that is very pleasant and mild caramel odor from the malt with light pine accent from the hops. the feel is a true west coast IPA in that it has a nice malt backbone but the rye is giving a toasty edge which absorbs some of the hop acidity - the balance is toward the hop with a nice bite yet there is some oily texture and a nice dry spicy finish with mild sweet accents.
The flavor is toasty and fruity with a light sweet taste up front w/ rye giving a light nuttiness and slight caramel leads to an orange and tangerine citrus flavor w/ light pine notes adding depth to the hop character. the pine takes the wheel and steers into hoppy rye territory fast with a spicy/fruity and mildly earthy hop flavor which pairs well with the rye. There is a lot of different flavor components overlapping which I really enjoy with juicy tangy citrus a focal point that blends very nicely with the toasted grain elements. The malt doesn't really distract from the tropical fruit notes which come forward mildly as it warms. There is an ample amount of bitterness in the finish.
Overall I love a good rye and this has it all -the finesse and flavor that coexist in a hoppy rye beer. It is smooth enough to be drinkable and bold enough to excite the palate, Kudos to Sierra Nevada.
01-19-2012 14:58:55 | More by Slatetank
3.95/5 rDev +1.5%
Pours a fizzy 1 finger white head that fades at a med pace with some soapy lacing, over mostly clear copper orange color with some bubbles floating from the bottom of a tulip glass (with no etch).
Nose has some fresh hops, light floral, bit of candy hops, light earthy and light spicy with slightest hint of citrus. Then some rye, a light spicy and fruity rye, and a semi sweet caramel malt base. A light fruity hop comes out as it warms.
Taste starts a bit sweet and syrupy, the malt makes it seem bigger than it actually is, syrupy sweet malts, caramel malts, molasses, toffee, chewy almost, and light toasty malts. Rye is also prevalent but not as much as I expected, some light spicy but more fruity rye tones. Then the hops really dominate, fairly bitter at first, with an earthy spicy hop kick, bit floral and hint citrusy orange rind like. A bit of fruit, with hints of candied raisins or dried nuts and fruits. The hops build and get quite bitter and slightly astringent on the finish, as it dries with more spicy hops, little syrupy malt lingering, and a little earthy herbal briny quality.
Mouth is med to a bit bigger bodied, syrupy, good carb.
Overall not bad, closer to American Rye Barleywine than an IPA, or more like DIPA without the abv although the amount if malts and syrupy sweetness make you think it is. The rye is OK but not as much as I was expecting, and the hops are good but get a bit heavy, as they were probably planning, but balanced with the big malts and sweetness so not too bad.
02-11-2012 23:34:58 | More by jlindros
4/5 rDev +2.8%
another great sierra seasonal. pours a gorgeous deep copper color with a lively white head fluffy as can be. smells fresh hops and spicy pumpernickel bread. flavor is quite hoppy, but its butter and sweet. resiny hops. also theres the rye coming in after the hops, sturdy but light on the tongue. mouthfeel is nice too, most rye beers turn my off by sitting in my gut, but this one is down easy, mucho sessionable. love the finish here, stands up well to pickled garlic and asiogo flatbread. even though sierra is expanding, their beer is still as good as any micro operation in the country. i pray it stays that way
01-27-2012 01:21:21 | More by StonedTrippin
3.5/5 rDev -10%
First had: bottle from Capone's bottle shop, Norristown, PA
Broke one of these open to enjoy whilst producing a homebrew of my own. Pouring into a pint glass reveals a darker amber liquid, perfectly clear, with a small bubbly off-white head that recedes to a small ringlet. Very little carbonation to be seen. Aroma is grainy with a pronounced crisp hop scent. Taste is grainy, a bit skunky I think, but well within the threshold of tolerance, hop bitterness--pine and citrus notes--subdued malts, and a definite bready rye quality that comes in at least mid-palate. Quite bitter in the aftertaste; grapefruit pith. Fairly easy to drink. Pretty nice overall.
01-18-2012 22:18:08 | More by Rifugium
4.28/5 rDev +10%
Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.
Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber color with a finger and a half of fluffy off white head. As the head fades, it leaves some nice lacing as well as a solid layer on top of the pour.
Smell: Some bready malt with a lot of rye spice and a citrus peel hop presence.
Taste: More assertive than the smell. Definitely getting the rye up front. Once you're used to the rye, the citrus peel hops show up. The finish is bitter, but there is a nice malt presence to balance things out.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a slightly dry finish.
Overall: This is a really good rye beer. The spice, hops, and malt work together very well. I hope they continue to make this beer. I would definitely have more.
01-20-2012 00:55:33 | More by oline73
4/5 rDev +2.8%
The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The rye really stands out in the aroma, but there is also a little bit of pine and some biscuit malt notes. The flavor also has a lot of rye in it. I also get some orange and pine from the hops, as well as a little bit of biscuit and bread from the malt which keeps the bitterness low to medium. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
01-17-2012 02:52:04 | More by Mora2000
4.03/5 rDev +3.6%
Attractive copper color in the big tulip. SN was not at all shy about the hops in this one, and it could certainly be called an IPA. Quite bitter in mid taste and all the way through the aftertaste. Very distinctive flavor with the aromatic and grainy rye notes. The perfumey smell is quite remarkable. The sweet malty flavor, familiar from the bigger IPAs, is also notable.
If they keep this one around it should introduce new generations to rye beers. This is interesting enough to be a must-try beer, whether or not it turns out to be your idea of a rye. I think the mark of a good beer is one that reveals complexity as you savor it. I found myself raising the score as I sipped.
01-15-2012 05:38:52 | More by mactrail
4/5 rDev +2.8%
From 01/28/12 notes. Thanks to nmann08 and jslot38 for sharing this one, been wanting to try it. 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.
a - Pours a clear copper-amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.
s - Smells of rye, fruity malts, spices, light citrus hops, and bready malts. Lots of rye and fruit, very nice.
t - Tastes of rye, spices, fruity malts, bready malts, grains, and citrus hops. A little more spice than the nose, and a bunch of rye up front again. Again, very nice.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Quite easy to drink.
o - Overall I thought this was a very nice rye beer; one of the better ones I've had in a while. Lots of rye but still easy to drink, and not too spicey. Would like to have it again, and would pick up a 6er.
01-31-2012 02:31:14 | More by mdfb79
4/5 rDev +2.8%
Pours bright orange amber (with a slight initial haze) with a thin off-white head that leaves patchy lacing.
The smell is of citrus, pine, pepper with a bready undertone. The brewery's "house character" is there.
The taste is fairly complex. It has pine, citrus and minty spicing. The malt is in the background, and places the supportive role very well. The alcohol is slightly noticeable. The finish is very dry with hops and rye lasting for a little while on the palate. The "Sierra Nevada" taste is there.
It hits full-bodied and is smooth.
This is a dry brew. A solid example of an American IPA with a rye touch. Another winner from Sierra Nevada!
01-11-2012 22:08:09 | More by jwc215
3.63/5 rDev -6.7%
Served at a cool 58 or so degrees Fahrenheit
A careful pour into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two-figner thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head that leaves some lacing stuck to the sides of my glass. The beer is a dark amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells dominated by hops with notes of pine, earthy citrus, some rose like accents. This is backed by notes of caramelized malt (lots of crystal malt type notes, though this is held well in check by the dominant hops), toasted English biscuit like character, perhaps a hint of sweet tea and a solid, earthy, brown bread character that isn’t quite spicy, but is leaning in that direction. The citrus hop character has a certain “dankness” to it, rough, a little dirty, with a lot of herbaceous character, with a citrus oil character to it. The citrus and pine / herbal character mixes so well in the nose that it is hard to say which one plays the more prominent role.
The beer is fairly effervescent as it rolls across my palate, this accentuates the bitter hop notes and the earthy spiciness from the grain. Despite the dominant hop character, the earthy, brown bread and spicy rye character is really what lingers on the palate in the long finish. The grain character is quite a bit more noticeable in the flavor than it was in the nose. The hop character is still the dominant note here though and it contributes flavors of grapefruit zest, green tangelo, brighter lychee notes as well as a green herbal quality (that has a spicy undercurrent to it), definite pine and perhaps even a touch of a grassy quality (this last is quite subtle though). The spiciness here makes me thing of black pepper some how, but a lot of it is that “dirty” spicy quality that comes from Rye. The beer definitely has a viscous quality to it, and the body is best described as medium, though it is not so much as this beer is still quite quaffable.
As the beer warms up it gets a very earthy, infinitely rye like note and solid, brown-grain-bread character that becomes on par with the hop character. Because of the rye, this is definitely a very “dirty” IPA, and that is not a bad thing at all. It becomes quite a bit more complex. I could wish for some more citrus / fruit hop character, but the rye really accentuates the herbal / pine side of the hop character.
02-18-2012 02:48:21 | More by Gueuzedude
3.95/5 rDev +1.5%
Large, four-finger head that settles in a lumpy, domed fashion. Many thin rings of lace as the head recedes; like nothing ive ever seen before. The broth is dark amber, like light maple syrup.
Lots of rye in the smell--very dry, no sugars. Background hop enhances (rather than counterbalances) this aroma. Some grapefruit rind to the nose.
The flavor matches the smell profile. This is a very dry beer--lip smacking. Plenty of earthiness in the malt. The hop bitterness is more pronounced and less "grapefruity", more peppery.
02-05-2012 18:34:26 | More by smcolw
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 4,380 ratings.