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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
1,120 Reviews
THE BROS
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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kaseydad on 12-29-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,120
Ratings:
5,080
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
23.98%
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
774
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 5,080
Photo of Kinsman
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark copper color with a large and dense white head on top that leaves a fair amount of lace behind. Hops dominate the aroma up front with a nice citrusy grapefruit character and a touch of herbalness. Just a hint of biscuity and bready malt character in the background.

First sips reveals more rye flavor than the aroma gave off. Nice balance of bright and citrusy hops with a hearty malt backbone. Finish isn't incredibly bitter but it does give just enough kick to satisfy. Mouthfeel is typical of a well crafted Sierra Nevada brew. Smooth and creamy texture and slightly drying in the finish.

Overall, Ruthless Rye gives us another quality brew from the great brewers at Sierra. Wasn't a big fan of Glissade myself so I'll happily take this as a replacement.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 355ml bottle. Pours a brownish orange colour. (Tasting notes aside, this has a really striking label.) The nose is an interesting mix of bright citrus fruits like tangerine and lemon and grain. The rye really comes through on the palate. There's a strong dark rye bread flavour with some citrus notes and a spicy,hoppy finish. Good carbonation.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, copper-amber, with three-fingers of off-white head, that dissipated fairly quickly and left a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Spicy from the rye, and citrusy hops. Slight bready malt in the background, but the overall smell is somewhat muted.

Taste: A nice, bready sweetness from the malt, followed by a bitter, spicy kick from the rye and hops. The sweetness and bitterness both linger for quite a while, with the sweetness fading first. I'd like to have seen the rye come through a little stronger.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin, and the carbonation is prickly at first, but seems to fade pretty quickly.

Overall: A solid, enjoyable beer. Not spectacular, and I don't think I'd go out of my way to seek it out, but I enjoyed it. The bottle art is pretty cool, too.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had no idea this beer even existed until I saw one of the sexiest full-page beer ads ever in a recent Beeradvocate magazine; I’ve been drooling ever since. I love rye, I love IPAs, and I love Sierra Nevada – this beer has everything going for it already. Here’s to high hopes!

Brewed a little more than a month ago – the batch code, once deciphered, tells that it was packaged on December 16, 2011.

A: Holy hell, what a head! Starting as an off-white tower of smooth bubbles, it slowly retreats to a mix of eggshell cream (so viscous it could pass as pudding) and thick, sudsy lacing. Damn. And that’s not to say that the body doesn’t catch the eye, because it certainly does; its burnt, sunset orange hue is constantly gleaming. It’s a dark, yet eye-catching look – just like the label.

S: Ah, this is what I’ve been waiting for from Sierra Nevada: that distinctive house hop scent, sharp and almost sweet in its floweriness, mixed with deep rye spice. The malt aromas are just as bready as in Celebration, but with that sweet pumpernickel allure. Tart berries, grape jam, must/leather, and lemon-pepper are also interspersed throughout. Excellent nose – the rye/hop profile is very satisfying.

T: There’s those big ol’ hop oils I knew these guys would be throwing down; it’s tangy lemon-lime bitterness as soon as soon as it hits your tongue. Fruit syrup, clean caramel malts…you think you know how this beer is going to unfold if you’ve ever had a Torpedo. This time, though, there’s an undertone of – wait for it – rye. Not strong (like Founders Red’s Rye), not evenly spiced (like Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye), but subtle. I don’t mean subtle in a bad way – believe me, on its worst sips this tastes like a SN Pale Ale – but sometimes the ruthlessness is unnoticeable. I can taste a bit more pumpernickel in the aftertaste, but it’s quickly obscured by other yeasty breads and light Sierra Nevada hops. Smooth, yes, and very drinkable.

M: Like I said: oily with the resin of a fistful of hops. Unlike other SN beers, the astringency of hops doesn’t fully register; instead, it’s a momentary dryness without many lasting effects. It might just be the bread flavors, but it’s awfully chewy at times, too. Nothing intriguing, really.

O: This is a flavorful, well-balanced beer, but the rye flavor was subdued. Other than that, it drank like a mild session beer with added character. I know what Sierra Nevada can do with IPAs, and this is a great testament to that spirit.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: copper body with big frothy beige head, long lasting, decent lacing; lightly effervescent

Smell: sweet malts dominated by hops; some pine, mostly citrus

Taste: creamy, sweet malts well balanced by hops; good peppery spice from the rye; decent beer overall

Mouthfeel: creamy throughout

Remarks: drinking it while homebrewing. Relax, don't worry, have a commercial brew.

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Photo of Phelps
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a shaker at Tops.

Texas orange, mostly clear. One finger of head is frothy and very sticky, depositing thick walls of lace.

I smell armpit — but in a good way. Some dankness, orange peel, a touch of grass, some caramel and sharp rye spice.

In the flavor: orange peel, a touch of dank and alcohol stickiness, some grass, a very small amount of rye. Some toasted biscuits and crackers also emerge, along with a touch of burnt sugar at the swallow. Super clean, slightly drying finish.

Medium high, pinching carbonation. The body’s a a nice, smooth medium. Soft fizz, no booze. Like I said, clean and snappy.

Ruthless Rye is tasty, but far from the unmerciful hop and rye bomb the name implies. In fact, it could use a little more of both.

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Photo of brydeen
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep copper color. Very crisp looking. Thin, bubbly, white head, with limited retention.

S: A spicy, dry resinous aroma. Definite rye presence. Not a lot of hops present, outside of a faint piney aroma.

T: Rye, Rye, and more rye. Very grassy, bready taste profile, with a nice bitter dry finish. Nice spice flavor.

M: Sharp carbonation. Very light bodied, dry, and crisp.

O: A nice, refreshing brew. Although its a nice changeup from the standard IPA, I would have enjoyed a little more hoppy characteristics

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Photo of Irish_roamer
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I found this to be a nice change up from the standard Sierra IPA which is one of my go to beers. Beautiful color, medium head. Spicy on the tongue. This one of those beers that is very tasty, yet wouldn't drink more than a couple in a sitting. Still a great value beer at 14.99 for a 12 pack

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Photo of bnes09
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the artwork on the bottle. Pours a deep copper color with ivory head that sticks around. Foamy layers of lace with each sip.

Spicy rye, malt, and American hops in the aroma.

Solid malt backbone with plenty of rye flavor. Piney, soapy hop character. Fully loaded in the hops department and quite drying.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. Coarse texture and dry finish.

Descent brew. Could use more balance. I think this style has been overdone and is losing its wow factor. Still pretty drinkable.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer sits in my Ovila Chalice orange brown in color with a finger or so of fluffy, off-white head. The retention is great, and the head sticks to the sides of the glass all the way down. The beer bubbles away happily until the very last sips.

S: The aroma is a bit faint. Nice malt base with some citrus thrown in. Maybe a little bit of spice from the rye here and there, but it is not assertive.

T: The rye is much more noticed in the taste and adds a really refreshing spiciness to the citrusy American hops. Slight pine is noted as well, all on top of a noticeable--but not overly so--malt base. Very well balanced, and an interesting take on the style.

MF: Medium body with a nice dry finish. The balance makes this really drinkable.

O: This was a nice offering, but I didn't think it was anything special. I hope someone comes in and knocks the socks off the Rye IPA deviation from the norm!

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Was expecting more of a spicy and sour rye flavor in this one. It ends up being more like an amber IPA, body is a little heavy. Nothing off putting, though. It's fairly tasty but could use another kick of hops and some more rye.

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

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Pickled Pig.

A: Pours a clear amber/copper color with a small off-white foamy head on top. Settles down to a small layer of bubbles on top. Moderate lacing.

S: Lots of rye, more so than most rye IPAs. Lots of spice and some bread mixed with some herbal hops and little bit of pine.

T: Very spicy again, lots of pepper and rye mixed with some pien. There is some bready and caramel malt towards the end.
The rye comes through on the aftertaste very strong.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes very dry.

O: Very heavy in the rye, which I appreciate, but would have liked a little more of the IPA to shine through. Still a solid beer from SN.

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Photo of IKR
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Medium-amber color with a modest-sized light beige head that slowly faded. Good looking IPA

Smell: Piney hop aromas feature prominently and dominate the nose. nice nose but fairly subdued.

Taste: The pine aromas carry over and feature in the taste. The finish ends moderately dry with some spicy rye notes and the pine notes from the nose.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a modest level of carbonation. the rye definitely adds some fullness to the body that's not present in most IPAs

Overall: A Good IPA that, as typical for Sierra Nevada, is a good value.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice looking rusty orange with a half finger of off-white foam.

Spicy rye, pine, citrus, but rather one-sided in terms of the rye character.

Flavor matches aroma to the T. Subtle citrus, pine, resin are dominated by spicy rye.

Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, bitter, spicy.

Overall, a lacks complexity, but a nice change of pace.

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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 troysoy2
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. I only got a half finger of head, so I could have been a bit more aggressive with the pour. Otherwise, the off-white eggshell head had decent retention, and a decent, if splotchy, lacing. The body is a nice, deeper copper, probably thanks to the rye and chocolate malts in here.

Whoa, the smell is funky. Spicy, sharp, hemp, with a funky fruitiness. A little bit of piney hop, and just a hint of darkness from the malt.

The first thing I noticed is the mouthfeel, actually. This beer really wants to go down quick. It's a little thinner than I was expecting, but on the upside, it is nicely carbonated and has a nice, dry finish.

It has a nice grapefruit taste to it, and the rye spiciness helps augment the dry, grassy finish. And yet, the aftertaste develops an interesting sweetness to it. Just a touch of alcohol peaks through as well. Strangely, the front end of the taste really gets overshadowed by the finish in this beer.

Maybe a tad unbalanced, but interesting and good for a little variety within the IPA world. I will probably be in the mood for another Ruthless Rye every so often.

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Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wonderful amber color. two finger of thick white-yellow head. Smell was light with hints of hops and wheat. Taste was full of grains, wheat, hops. Although not as strong as I was expecting considering the "Ruthless" in the title. Feel was nice. The hop and grain taste stayed a few moments.

Overall I enjoyed this beer, wish it was a little stronger in taste but it was still solid.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a whole bunch of head which looks to have pretty good retention as well. The head is a very light beige while the body is a medium to dark amber which appears as medium amber when held up to the light. Lacing looks as if it will be mostly sheeting.

Nose- Lots of citrus (mostly orange) from the glass. Shows light hints of pine and resin. Very clean smelling, almost soapy. The bottle shows more of a rye presence. Some caraway, something a little vegetal (think greens), and a little bit of pepper. Generally rye. Swirling shows a little bit of rye.

Taste- Slight citrus on the front but this quickly transitions into hop bitterness, grains from the rye, and strong pepper. Some pine and resin. Some orange and lemon peel. A bit of chalkiness on the finish. Fairly solid flavor profile but could use some more complexity. Had good presence and balance though. Light caramel. Solid, good beer that doesn't do anything that impressive. Some earwax and grapefruit. A little more bitter than I would like but it is well balanced by the rye notes. The somewhat dry finish also doesn't allow it to linger either.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Has a little bit of zing which matches well with the rye notes. Light dry finish.

Drinkability- Fairly easygoing for an IPA and while it's not that bitter, it is pretty easy drinking for its bitterness. Standard price for Sierra Nevada beers.

Overall- Solid, good beer. No flaws but also nothing that really stands out. Definitely worth a try and this is a beer I will be purchasing again.

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

Pours a straight clear amber with a big off white head which leaves behind some lacing.

Smell is nice, juicy hops that have a very citrus-orange smell, and tons of rye.

Taste is similar to nose, but the hops up front are overpowered by the rye in the middle, and a bitter aftertaste wraps it up.

Feel is nice, good carbonation, though not quite easy to drink, as the rye gets in the way.

A fine beer for drinking, not what I would call easy to drink though. Good bitter flavors dominate, but I am beginning to think I am not a big rye fan.

DOA

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Photo of Florida9
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light brown in color, with a an orange tint. Clear. Forms a moderate sized white head that reduces to just a skimming of surface coating. Some light lacing.

S: Mild aroma of caramel malts, toast, rye, and a little brown sugar.

T: Taste is actually fairly thin, but it is very clean. Lots of toasty grains with a mild blend of citrus and spicy hops. An appreciable rye pepperiness on the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium in body. Appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: A rather mild, but very drinkable, rye beer. Clean and crisp, with a nice balance of caramel malts, rye, and hop bitterness.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A deep copper color, but still almost transparent with a finger of head. Great lacing.

Big malt smell, the rye is there.

Taste starts balanced then malty malt, big rye element so it's not sweet. That's followed by a load of hops that breaks up the rye malt with their bitterness. Ends with the bitter on the back of the tongue.

Crisp and clean texture. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

It's a heavy hitting rye ale. Must enjoy punishing malt bill and hop profile to like it.

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Photo of output01x
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1 1/2-finger tan-colored head that slowly fades over a few minutes to a thick, clumpy dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a clear copper amber with a good number of carbonation bubbles. Some good lacing can be seen clinging to the glass throughout consumption.

Notes of tangerine, orange peel, lemon zest, and pineapple give the nose a very citrusy appeal. A good resinous pine hop aroma and a slight spiciness are also noticeable.

Just like the nose, the citrus really comes out at first in the flavor. Light notes of orange and pineapple are present along with a peppery spiciness. As the beer is swallowed, a quick rush of pine hits the taste buds. Just a little rye flavor comes through before a mineral finish. Then, a good hop bitterness lingers on the front of the tongue as a black peppery spiciness rests in the throat.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer finishes clean and quells one's thirst. The body is just full enough to allow the flavors to come out without becoming sticky, which really helps the drinkability. The carbonation is only slightly fizzy and does not detract from either the flavors or the experience.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Amber with off-white, 1 finger head. Perfect lacing. Very clear

S- Citrus. Mellow hop aroma. Not as pungent as you see with most world class IPAs

T- Hops hit you up front. Very nice surprise given the mellow aroma. Initially, I didn't think it was too complex of a beer, then the spice/pepper finish kicked in about 5 or so seconds after drinking. Another delightful surprise. Good blend of bitterness with the rye.

M- Good drink ability. Mid to full bodied. A little bitter bite at the end, but nice.

O- Solid IPA. Not my favorite, but I also do not have much experience with rye beer. I would like to come back and re-review this beer in a couple years after i have had the chance to taste other rye IPA options. I would have again. Best if sipped to enjoy the finish.

$8.99 for 6 pk

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Photo of Okierat
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma of grapefruit,/citrus. Spicy/peppery notes from the rye. Pours with a copper color, clear. Off white head laces on glass. First sip is a noticable bitterness along with the grapfruit notes. Spicy chararcter is notiable but plays a background in this beer. Would like to see a little more rye character. Bitterness is upfront malt is light and takes a back seat. First impression was not the best but as I finished the pint the mote I liked it.

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Photo of curasowa
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper color with one finger of head that fades to a thin cap with some spotty lacing.

Aroma: A strong grain aroma is detectable without even picking up the glass. Upon closer inspection, piney hop oils are the big contributor. There's also a slight breadyness with some grain husk mixed in.

Taste: A nice, medium, toasted malt body is present right from the get go, with a fair amount of bitterenss that gets more resinous and phenolic as it goes down. Decent carbonaton helps break-up some of the bitterness towards the back end, but then it comes right back on the finish, which is mildly lingering with fading bitterness. The malt profile isn't is sweet as I would typically expect, which I'm going to put on the account of the rye. It definately has a unique flavor.

The Rest: Lots o'hops and a unique malt profile make this one to check out. I don't think I'll have any issue finishing the sixer that I bought.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,080 ratings.
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