Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
1,118 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,118 | Ratings: 5,074
Photo of theboozecruise
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass, it's a dark amber color, clear with a white head. Not bad looking, but nothing amazing.

The aroma is really strong with rye and not surprising from Sierra Nevada a good many hops. There is a faint caramel malt balance underneath as well.

The flavor profile is quite similar to the aroma except the hops are more pronounced while the malts fade. The rye adds a nice spice to the beer similar to a rye whiskey.

The mouthfeel is very medium bodied beer with a strong rye aftertaste.

overall it's a good beer but not superb.

 552 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Man, I've been in Florida for the last few weeks, then finally decided to walk into a beers store. Low and behold though, I saw Sierra Nevada had released a new beer! I guess this one is in place of Glissade.

A: Poured a clear, darker than amber color, with a massively clinging solid white head that clung, and clung, and clung, etc.

S: I got Sierra's hop profile upfront, along with sort of a "Rye Crisp" cracker profile that just screamed, "beer me!" Lots of hops.... maybe too much at times for some palates.

T: This was WAY too bitter to be extremely drinkable. Most of the great West Coaster I know have at least some semblance of "man-candiness" to them, but this is just a flat out rye hop bomb.

M: The lacing was used car wash material, the bitterness is... well... extremely bitter, but the carbonation was fine (as with all SN brews).

O: I'm not a fan of Torpedo, but am a big fan of the PA and Celebration. This was more on the offensive, Torpedo side IMO.

 973 characters

Photo of MDDMD
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-brown amber color with an off-white head and decent lacing

S-citrus and bread dough with hints of spice

T-citrus and malt with some slight rye character and hints of sweetness nd moderate hoppy finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a decent rye ale, but not in the league with Red's Rye and Hop Rod

 315 characters

Photo of towelboy02
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: It has a nice red amber/copper look. a white head. Sort of cloudy when swirled in a pint glass

S: a slight breaded creamy, then piney.

T: it has a rye taste as it warms up then a hoppy dry bitter at the end.

M: slight carbonation when it hits your tongue. dry towards the end.

 282 characters

Photo of mac31
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4 way IPA pack. I like the malt profile of this brew. Rye has slight spiciness and drying effect. Hops are more balanced. Ordinary brew from an
extraordinary brewery

 165 characters

Photo of travolta
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Sticky leopard print lacing. Very nice head retention. A rocky and voluminous head. Brownish apricot in color.

Nose: Orange and citrus, pine and resin. Caraway and pepper in the end with a cigar humidor aroma.

Taste: Citrus up front which forms into hop bitterness, grains and black pepper. Some orange and lemon peel. Again, pine and resin. Perhaps carmel chalkiness at the end?
A dry finish.

 407 characters

Photo of MRAnderson
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an "OK" beer from the Titan out west which didn't really surprise me. I found this beer to be very mild with taste and the Rye really doesn't shine through on this beer at all. IT was not a bad beer but it was not memorable either, the beer is worth giving a try though. They could have hopped this beer out a tad more and they should have added more rye especially since the Title of the beer states this beer is all about rye...???

 442 characters

Photo of Averwo
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an IPA glass.

Dark reddish brown appearance. 2 fingers of head.

Smells is light on hops. A little malt. Kind of a light citrus smell.

Taste is very bitter and Hoppy. Grapefruit notes with caramel and a burnt dry after taste. Must be the rye. Very flavorful. You also get whiskey barrel like notes.

Mouth feel is very good. Good carbonation and very drinkable. There is a strong aftertaste of toasted hops.

This is a dark IPA that satisfies. Big on flavor. Very strange. Almost like a burnt whiskey cast IPA. Definitely something you should search out for.

 588 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sixer picked up at Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a Sierra Nevada tulip.

Pours a clear copper-garnet color with a very long-lasting, foamy off-white head. Very dense and impressive. Heavy lacing as it goes down the edges of the glass. The nose carries a good bit of rye and spice with some earthy hops in the background. Slight resin there as well.

The flavor focuses a bit too much on the rye and accompanying spice. Hop flavor is there, but comes through more as bitterness in the finish. Medium body and just a bit chewy. Dry and bitter. Drinkable, but probably not in large quantities. While I enjoy this one, it's not something I'd want to drink a bunch of, a la SNPA.

 677 characters

Photo of chilly460
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice looking beer, pours a darker amber, quite clear with a full inch of off-white head. Fluffy head dissipates slightly but sticks around, heavy rings of lacing ring the glass.

S - The rye is quite apparent, comes in as some spiciness. Complimented well with the citrus, and bigger floral hop aroma coming through. Get a nice caramel background, malt is big in the overall profile.

T - Follows the nose pretty well, initial hit is the very floral hop taste, light tasting. The cleaner, somewhat spicy rye comes in here as well, distinct. Surprising was the big malts coming in, plenty of caramel sweetness, this beer is quite sweet overall.

M - A fairly plain mouthfeel, bit less then medium body and standard mid-carbonation.

O - I enjoyed the floral hops on this one, but to be honest the sweetness throws it off a bit as you continue working on the glass.

 871 characters

Photo of PatrickCT
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a Becher pint.

a: Body is on the browner side of amber. You know...like rye. 2 finger egg shell head dissipates quickly.

s: Crisp rye malts, a honey sweetness, grassy hops.

t: Rye, lemon rind, grassy, earthy hops. Peppery finish.

mf: A bit slick. Medium body. Good carbonation.

o: Drinkable and refreshing in the heat. Good use of rye. Hardly the 'best of the box'.

 399 characters

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.

 759 characters

Photo of rfbenavi80
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Boulevard Tulip glass. Bottle was kept in fridge.

A- Pours a clear deep amber/copper color, with very frothy cream colored head that hung around awhile. When it left it there was very thick lacing on the glass.

S- Hoppy, grapefruit, and pine.

T- Grapefruit up front. Was really wanting to taste the "peppery spice" of the rye that the bottle says it has but could't quite find it. I get lots of sour citrus.

M- Light and refreshing.

O- I enjoyed it. Glad I decided to pick up a six pack of it.

 515 characters

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

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.

 695 characters

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

Unused to style.

Pours dark gold/copper, one finger head hangs around along time. Nice. Great lacing.

Aromas are hop driven. Strong and dry.

Taste is dry and hop driven. Citrus and pine in the mix.

Mouthfeel slightly oily - not a lot of carbonation.

Overall, one of SNs better efforts. May have travelled better than others I have tried.

 343 characters

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!

 671 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear rust/copper color. Citrusy hops and sweet rye. Sweet and rye upfront, earthy hops, citrus hops, pithy grapefruit finish that lingers in the aftertaste.

 159 characters

Photo of jbphoto88
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruthless Rye pours crystal clear amber with a thick bone colored and fluffy head. A pretty product that leaves a lovely sticky lace on the side of the glass.

The nose is predominately a nutty dull citrus with hints of caramelization and lemon peels. The rye is also very fragrant here and a nice touch.

The taste is good but not great. Flavorful grain roasted elements with an iced tea like hop presence. I wish the hops were more available in the flavor department but they do show up in the mouthfeel and finish.

A damn decent hop bitterness that really compliments the sweet grains happens in the mouthfeel. There is also an exclamation point of rye dryness. A solid beer but not the best rye brew or IPA but that shouldn't stop you from trying it.

 754 characters

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

This pours red copper with an offwhite head leaving some lace. On the nose there is earthy pine backed up behind by general spice and a little dough. On the tongue the rye sits heavily with the earthy hops filling in around it. The body is medium, very drinkable with a pleasant buzz from the combination of hops, rye, and carbonation. The finish is long on spice.

Overall, I like this beer a good deal. It's a welcome variation on the SNPA/Torpedo theme.

 457 characters

Photo of Umdrunner
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured nearly clear light amber with thick white head that laced well. Scent was subtle, mostly malty, with light pine from the hops. Flavor was rye forward with spicy/peppery notes, hops contribute to pretty strong bitterness with malt backbone. Carbonation and mouthfeel is strong.

 283 characters

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

 345 characters

Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. This beer is a looker.

I pick up mostly citrus and earthy hops in the aroma. Just a small hint of the rye. Some breadiness from the malt rounds things out.

Plenty of rye in the flavor. Not sure the citrus hops is the ideal compliment to the rye. Bitterness is high. Overall is slightly dry.

Has excellant carbonation for a hoppy, bitter brew. Plenty of body to delivery the flavor.

Another solid beer from Sierra Nevada. The flavor was just a slight letdown compared to the great rye IPAs.

 630 characters

Photo of sethcroisant
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A- not much head, but what's there provides great lacing.

S- heavy on west coast hops and rye. hints of caramel

M- odd texture. a little too carbonated, but it is somewhat dense and chewy.

T- very spicy right away with plenty of rye malt and cascade hops. the alcohol sneaks in during the initial bitter bite. ends a little on the sweeter side with some caramel malt. hops oil lingers on the back of the tongue in the end, and some biscuit malts get mixed in as well.

O- no risks seem to have been taken, but it's still a good offering.

 541 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Slightly lighter than copper in color with excellent clarity. Slightly off-white colored head that erupts pretty quickly on an only moderately agresive pour; the whole bottle couldn't be poured in on the first try and it still almost overflowed...I like that.

Smell is good. Like most IPA's it's nice and hoppy, primarlily citrus with lemon zest. Floral, grassey, earthy, and herbal. Something about it is a little unique, quite interesting, good though.

Taste is on par with the smell. I can tell this is a pretty fresh bottle. The rye malt grass stands out a litle more in the flavor profile than the smell. Other than that it's not really a whole lot different.

Mouthfeel is good. Light to medium in body with a good carbonation level. Pretty smooth, starts off only reasaonbably sweet, with a nice dry bitter finish. Really drinkable and solid like many Sierra Nevada brews.

I got a sixer of this when I got the last of the Celebration that I could, not a bad substitue I guess but with the exeption of the added rye, I don't find it all that different from a regular Sierra Nevada IPA.

 1,153 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rust, copper, clear amber color. NIce two finger head that has strong retention and lacing. Like the bubbling too.

Spicey citric and earthy hop aromas with a toasted cracker and bread crust malt bill aroma.

Spicey rye and hop combo for a bitter cracker and earthy oarnge zest marmalade. The malt flavors thins from middle to the finish. The palate is resiny to start and thins out to the finish. Aftertaste is watery and bitter.

 432 characters

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,074 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!