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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: 4,907
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 23.98%
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: 4,907
Photo of Dave128
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz stubby into a unibroue snifter.

A - A rigorous pour yields a 2.5 finger bone white head. Red amber in color. Looks like a nice bourbon besides the fizzy head that doesnt really stick around much besides a few wisps.

S - Smells largely of american hops. Not bad, but not much complexity.

T - Same with the nose. Great hop flavor and bitterness but lacks complexity. I rarely get that peppery/sharp rye flavor. I never taste the alcohol, but it finishes bitter and dry.

M - A little light bodied and overcarbonated for the style.

O - A solid drinkable IPA, but the rye aspect doesn't really seem "ruthless" to me.

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Photo of hail_seitan
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A - Wonderful amber, almost tigereye, color. The head is thick and foamy and clings to the sides of the glass.

S - Pine, black pepper, and grapefruit. A burnt sugar sweet scent intensifies as the beer warms up.

T - First citrus and resin. Then a caramel sweetness from the malt. The finish is spicy from the rye with not too much lingering bitterness.

M - Appropriately thick and creamy for the style with moderate carbonation.

O - A wonderful beer I always look forward to come springtime. The blend of spice and bitterness with just enough heft in the body makes it a ideal brew for an overcast 50-degree spring day. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for the great label artwork, too.

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Photo of imasloth
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A translucent dark amber with a creamy white head.

S- Citrus and pine hops (perhaps even a floral scent), with just a hint of malt.

T- Initially sweet, with the spicy rye and the citrus hops following closely behind.

M- Medium-bodied, with only moderate bitterness feel upon swallowing.

I like the mix of hops and rye. Would try again.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear whiskey brown hue, with a big three-finger off-white head that seems to never dissipate. Great amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Spiceyness is what first comes to mind. You can definitely note citrus hops and hoppyness in general, but you can also smell the spicyness of the rye, with a bit of sweet malts lingering in the back.

Taste: This is really good! The mixture of citrus hops and spicy rye mix incredibly well and are very well-balanced throughout. There is definitely an earthy undertone here, mineral-like. A nice spicey bitterness lingers throughout, but it isn't a huge bitterness, just mild. The spice does linger for a bit afterwards though.

Mouthfeel: It fits the taste profile well. Moderate body with moderate carbonation, and it is damn smooth and pretty creamy as well. Not Boddington's creamy, but fairly creamy. Nice.

Overall: As my first rye beer, this one is just great. It has the noticeable hoppyness of an IPA, but enough spicey rye to let you know that it's there. Delicious.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

pours a clear amber color with an off khaki medium head. leaves a semi thick lacing along the glass

earthy notes alone with pine, hops, budding roses, and some sweet citrus

taste is almost similar to aroma. more toastiness though, the rye is inconspiculously absent. maybe it was there but i didnt get any of it

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

Picked up a 6 pack of bottles tonight. Poured it into an Ommegang narrow tulip pint glass.

A - Deep copper, crystal clear with a thick white head. Leaves a good deal of lacing down the glass

S - Citrus/pine hop aroma. A dank, vegetal aroma in the background.

T - Spicy and sweet up front, with some bready and light caramel notes. Followed by a nice burst of citrus hops. Finished with a dank, vegetal character a bit reminiscent of marijuana. Not sure if its the hops or the rye. Not an unpleasant or overwhelming flavor.

M - Medium bodied. Rye spiciness helps counterbalance the sweetness to keep it from being cloying.

Overall, a nice change from a standard IPA. I'm not sure how I think the vegetal character would keep it from being an IPA I go back to again and again, but it's definitely a unique and interesting beer.

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Photo of y2jrock60
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Clear orange with some brown tones. The head starts two finger thick and laces nicely.

S- Very rich aroma. It's spicy, earthy, woody, with caramel undertones. There's just something very clean about the aroma.

T- It starts off thick and slightly sweet before transitioning into spicy, peppery, and bitter. The beer leaves a clean feeling in your mouth. There is a little graininess and dryness from the rye, but it's not overpowering. It's an extremely well balanced rye beer. This is one of my favorite rye beers I've had yet.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The rye also adds some sharpness.

O- Very delicious and well balanced.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice rye ipa. Sierra doesn't miss too often (if ever) in my book and this one follows that trend. Very drinkable and you really notice the spice of the rye, but its quite well balanced.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red clay color with off white head. Aroma is citrus, slight bread and a bit of sweetness. Taste is citrus, with rye bread and a bit of spice from the rye. Mouthfeel is medium but dry. Overall not my favorite fron SN, I think because the rye dries it out to much for me.

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Photo of dejrrma
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$7-$8 for a 6pack, julian dating on bottle: 1362, o December 26, 2011. poured into a pint glass.

a- pours a beautiful copper color with a nice inch of head, leaving a good amount of lacing on the glass.

s- spices (a good deal of pepper), light hops, some bready scents, and a little sweetness

t- tastes a lot hoppier than the smell would lead you to believe. it's bitter, with dry spices, and lots of pine resin.

m- medium bodied and carbonation. leaves your mouth dry and with some of the resiny texture.

o- i wasn't expecting too much from this beer, but it gave me a nice surprise. this is an awesome beer, and i would buy again.

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Photo of Giovacchini
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A- dark amber with a thin head that disapates.

S- citrusy aromas, grass, pine, rye.

T- rye is present along with a nice maltiness. The malt is balanced by a strong citrusy bitterness. This beer tastes like a lot of SN other beers with a hint of rye.

M- good amount of carbonation like other SN beers. The mouthfeel is dry with a bitter finish.

O- I liked the fact at SN tried to market this beer with cool graphics. This beer is not very ruthless at all. The flavors are dull and this beer doesn't stand out to me as a good one from SN.

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Photo of LI_PO12
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint

Appearance- copper, clear, offwhite head, good lacing

Aroma- Rye forward with a earthy, spicyness, hops are there but not in your face and are floral and herbal, very nice woodsy aroma

Flavor- Earthy, spicy rye, good firm bitterness throughout but very drinkable, a bit of pine shows up here as well as floral hops, and mint. little to no alcohol

Mouthfeel- Medium with good carbonation

Overall- Love rye IPAs and I feel this could use some more hop presence to really bring it home. Look forward to this one every year and It doesn't blow you away but really hits all the marks to be solid and worth a 6 pack at least.

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Photo of laintringulis
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cooper/ruby/orange translucent color with large beige head that fades quickly to a small fuzzy ring. It just looks thin in my pub glass.

S: strong citrus hops; slight earthy/grassy smell. Vague smells of rye and hay.

T:Very malty caramel-like flavors on the front with a moderate citrus(Mostly grapefruit, a little pineapple)hop in the middle, and a light amount of grassy rye. Pleasant dry finish of hops. I wish I found this to taste as good as it smells.

M: Light bodied; not watery or thin. Leave a general stickiness in your mouth that I just don't find pleasant. The dry finish of the hops is nice, but the stickiness is bothersome to me.

O: Not a bad rye beer, but I prefer stronger more "in your face rye" and a heavier body. The stickiness of this really detracts from the taste. I'll stick to the many other Sierra brews that I love.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber-brown with a slight white head that sticks to the glass. The smell is really piney with slight citrus notes. I also smell spearmint. The taste has piney hops and finishes nice and dry. It is naturally spicy. It passes by quickly. It has that familiar Sierra Nevada taste. Maybe from the yeast? Mouthfeel is light, dry and nicely carbonated. Overall, a tasty brew that finishes nice and clean. Love the label!

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As a fan of the SR lineup and a fan of Rye IPA's - see BR Hop Red Rye - {as well as reuban sandwiches} was anxious to dive in

A: Reddish, orange, full head, nice lacing. Good start.

S: Smells of Rye, cane sugar, grapefruit. So far so good.

T: Bit of a letdown. The Rye is overpowering, not subtle, and left unbalanced. Biscuity and some sourness, not the crispness I like from IPA's. A hint of hops on the finish

M: Dense, sour

Good, not great. Maybe I like my rye in subtle doses.

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Photo of evanforbeer
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Citrus/grapefruit, subtle mint on the nose
Taste follows with citrus and herbal/minty hop notes, peppery rye. Buttery biscuit maltiness hits and finishes with rye spice and some orangey citrus lingering on the palate.
Mouthfeel is very nice, typical IPA fluffiness with some bite.

A great brew that is nicely slotted as a Spring seasonal. Characteristic SN delicious hop profile with a great addition of rye that makes for an interesting and unique experience

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Photo of B33R501
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

good example of trying a beer a second time, i was not impressed with the one bottle i tried when this first came out, its not hop rod or lenny bruce ripa, and my expectations were too high im sure. tasted this friday nite, the hops popped, came back with my 32 oz growler the next day.

pretty dark amber, too clear for me, but ok. nicely bitter hoppy aromas, tastes follows, big blast of bitter citrusy hops. the rye makes an appearance halfway thru, adding a little spicy kick. finishes dry.

good little hop fix for a saturday afternoon. very fresh and drinkable.

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Photo of katybee
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I chose this beer style based on previously trying another brand, Bear Republic's "Hop Rod Rye". I'd have to say I prefered the other version which was a bit more malty and sweet.

But Ruthless was definitely strong and flavorful, with perhaps more of a citrus hop punch, and a kick like Lagunitas' Hop Czar. Peppery, medium-bodied, a little chewy on the palate. It actually seemed a bit stronger than the abv shown here. Plenty to savor through an evening, with much more character than an ordinary Pilsner. Just not the sweetness or maltiness I detected in the other brand.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very clear light copper color with a 2 finger off white head.

S: Nice floral and citrus hops with an earthy undertones.

T: Nice caramel notes and some cereal grains with slightly citrus hops and spice from the rye. Bitterness isn't in your face and borders between pale ale and IPA. The finish is smooth and clean with slight lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M: Medium body with refreshing carbonation

O: A really nice and refreshing rye IPA that goes down maybe a bit too easily. If you like AIPA's or pale ales I would definitely recommend you try this.

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

Bottle poured into a standard shaker pint.

I just saw this for the first time today and had to give it a shot. I always love trying new Sierra brews. Pours a deep amber/copper color with a nice fluffy head. Aroma is a bit spicy, but mostly big citrus hops. A nice mix for sure. Taste is similar to other sierra pale/ipa's, but with a little extra bready spice from the rye malt. The hop character is quite nice mixed with the rye. Finishes with a good amount of bitterness, but not over the top. Mouthfeel is good for an IPA, has some substance to it. Overall this is very nice new offering from one of the most solid all around breweries around. I'm very rarely disappointed from SN, a very solid beer.

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Photo of Aiptasia
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass.

A: It pours beautifully. Perfect pour against the side of the pint yielded an impressive 2" rich tan foam head with beautiful sparkling ruby red body. Effervescence bubbling up in a beautiful constellation of rye lust.

S: Smells wonderful. Freshly mowed lawn and rye bread with a grapefruit rind smackity smack.

T: Seriously hoppy. This is a young beer in the bottle and can use a little conditioning. Was hoping for more malt, but the hops give the rye a beat down and noogies until it screams uncle. I'm going to wait another month and see how it tastes then.

M: Medium bodied, assertively carbonated. Alcohol is a non-factor.

O: Overly hoppy, needs a little bottle aging to be enjoyable. I like Rye Squared by Terrapin better.

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Photo of ponbon63
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

To start I'm a big fan of rye IPA's. As long as they're decent, they almost always look and smell amazing.

T: I thought this was a fairly mild flavored rye. Not nearly as bitter as some i've had and not quite as fulfilling. Although I've had rye's with slightly better flavor than this beer, it definitely works well as a session beer.

O: Overall I'd say this beer is not the most memorable rye you could have, but is by no means bad in any way. This beer lands somewhere tasty slightly above average for the category.

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Photo of thlayli87
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A - Amber-orange with two fingers of foamy head. Lacing forms in rings as head recedes.

S - Grainy malt, pine resin, spiciness. Very fragrant.

T - Piney hops, spicy rye, slight pleasant alcohol warming sensation, lingering bitterness.

M - Light to medium body, lively carbonation.

O - Refreshing, drinkable, and a good representation of the style.

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Photo of rwrk42
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden copper color that has a nice froth and lace

Smell: HOPS, HOPS and more Hops. Very nice smell of hops with a slight fruity undertone.

Taste: A great amount of hops at first taste. Incredible character of hops but very smooth at the same time. Rye is very nice and the flavor is very smooth.

One of the best IPAs you can buy. Highly recommend.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A..A relatively dark golden pour with minimal to no head; no lacing present.

(As a side note, the label on this beer is one of the best I have seen. A robed maiden stands with a large sickle in a field of rye, while an old farmhouse stands in the background. The colors are gorgeous.)

S..This one smells fresh. Then again, most SN brews do (this one is reminiscent of Torpedo IPA).

T..Sierra Nevada created a terrific beer yet again! The rye here is original and wonderful. Some malt present, but not in an overpowering way. The combination of grains (which are great...did I mention that yet?) make me think I am drinking a glass of kind bud.

M..Easy to drink a couple, though I would not call this a session beer. Medium bodied, but it is a strong presence on the palette.

O..Looking forward to this one again, but already unhappy it won't be available all year. Awesome spring beer that SN should continue with each year.

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