Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 1,121 | Ratings: 5,085
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear, light copper, with a full 2-finger head of frothy golden foam that lingered well, excellent lacing.

S: Spicy, citrussy hops and pepper notes are foremost. Actually, there isn't much else (yeah, a faint malted grain, but not a strong rye smell at all).

T: A faint taste of grain malt for about half a second, then all hops, spicy quickly giving way to bitter.

M: Medium crispness, adequate carbonation.

O: There was hardly any rye, much less "ruthless" as advertised. This is nothing more than an over-hopped IPA.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color Keith good clarity, and frothy white head that rings and laces well.

Aroma gives up earthy grain, nuts, and only a slight touch of rye and and a kiss of earthy hops. As it warms a note of caramel emerges.

Flavor brings to mind dry roasted nuts, cracker, a brief flash of caramel sweetness, and a dry rye grain. The short finish is dry and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp enough.

Overall a simply tasty beverage but i don't taste as much rye as I would like.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured aggressively into a Sam Smith pint glass.

A: Pours a tawny copper color with about middling clarity. I intentionally wanted lots of head (har har, I'm so funny!) here, so my aggressive pour yielded a 4 finger, off white colored beauty. Decent retention and fantastic lacing.

S: I'm a little mixed on the smell. There's lots of grapefruit - good - and a strange note of soapiness - not so good. There's also a subtle whiff of rye.

T: Rather mild, with little rye character appearing, unfortunately. Having said that, the IPA base offered here is still rock solid, but like I said, a little mild. There's an opening hit of bitter grapefruit with the malt undercurrent slowly appearing, with a finish of piny hops - a textbook IPA. I can pick up rye notes near the finish if I concentrate, but the rye character is somewhat disappointing.

M: Medium bodied, a little sticky on the back end, and average carbonation.

O: Truth be told, it's only decent. I really wish this was a little more Rye and a little less IPA. Having said that, if you go into this expecting a straight-up IPA, you'll probably enjoy it more.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a deep hazy amber/ruby color with a small white head along with some light lacing. Nose is earthy and hoppy, there is certain rye astringent bitter as well.

Taste is quite sharp, a nice strong bitterness with a earthy tone and some herbal vegital bits as well. Mouthfeel is a bit light but it's easy drinking and a good spring beer even though it doesn't feel anything like spring.

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Photo of fezmeister
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Coppery with some sticky-looking lacing. Nose has the usual hops scents one expects from Sierra Nevada, but with a lot of stinky floral and rye overtones...floral almost the the point of a resinous cannibus bud smell. Hoppy, a little citrus (orange, grapefruit), pepper, and a lot of rye. Drinkable, but a touch of stickiness would leave me to hesitate to drink two in a row. Nice overall, but not the best in the genre, or from the brewery.

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Photo of Longstaff
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't believe they ditched Glissade for just a boring version of Torpedo. Kind of pissed at SN right now for taking away my favorite beer for yet another middle of the road crystal malty amber ipa. Last two seasonal changes have been a little too safe imo.

A little earthiness/rubber aroma from the rye. Very sweet maltiness detracts from the earthy/spicy flavor that I would expect from a rye beer. A little slickness left on the lips. Slight peach/apricot esters couple with fruity hops to make this barely interesting.

One 12 pack is enough of this for me - vs. the 10 + 12 packs that I would have bought of Glissade.

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Photo of demuzik
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A burnt reddish rye in the glass; standard head and lacing throughout.

Not gonna lie... let down by this one. The main impression is a muddied ale heavy in sierra nevada taste "factory taste"; a SNPA that is rather muddied and thick amongst heavier hoppage. The rye flavor does not come through spicy as it should or distinct... thought it would be a favorite since I love rye-ales, the bitterness and lack of hop flavor does not appease the IPA desire.

All in all, still it IS Sierra Nevada, so its drinkable and not rubbish, but this could have and should have been a winner.

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Photo of danieelol
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice brown red with good head/lacing.

Smell is initially like Tumbler. Good old SN house yeast. Then some subtle floral, distinctive smells come through.

Taste and mouthfeel is flowers, shampoo. Big dose of shampoo in this. Must be the rye.

Mouthfeel is thin, slick with good but subtle carb.

Overall not an unpleasant beer but the shampoo similarities are more than subtle and I'm not in a hurry to drink another.

Edit: Have been enjoying more while getting through the six-pack.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep orange with a touch of cardinal tint. A flat buff head quickly turns to a thin skim coating. Small speckled lace. Inside a fine misty effervesce.

S: Small presence of pepper and flowery citrus. Some light dry toasted grains, not much rye spiciness or strength overall.

T: Peppery toasted grains for flavor. Dry bittering citrus, with a strong peppercorn sense. Dry hopped really well, very pronounced, with some caraway seed and solvent alcohol character that seems to distract at times. Pungent bitterness upon the swallow.

M: The mouthful is tight with a bubbly sense of carbonation. Spicy dry peppercorns and alcohol dominate with a medium body.

O: Overall a rye that delivers a strong and pronounced peppery punch, but the other rye aspects seem to be masked by the strong peppery nature and solvent like alcohol tones. Abv% feels a bit higher with a spicy dry drinkability that no doubt will limit this in numbers. 1-2 is fine with me.

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Photo of MickeyD
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

Appearance: Nice and golden brown with a nice head however it dissipates quickly, good carbonation.

Smell: Perfume with floral and pine. Not much malt that I can smell. I am really looking for the rye in this one and am not finding it.

Taste: definite pine from the hops, a crisp bite from hops and carbonation.

Mouth feel: Slight bite more spice and floral hops, a slight malt taste is detected once swirled around the mouth.

Overall: I have had one other rye/IPA and I must tell you that that one was much better balanced. This seems to be an IPA ONLY with very little to no rye. Good beer however and I would buy it again but not often. If I want an IPA I would buy one! I wanted that balance with the rye.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1102nd Review on BA
Draft to Guinness Pint

On tap @Chaparral300 Chino Hills, CA

App- A good and deep amber with some lighter golden highlights on the bottom. A very panacake on the griddle looking 1/2 in head that feel to a ton of cling and lace.

Smell- It had a nice opening hop bitter note with a fair amount of flaky rye behind it. Smelled a fair thick and malty. Was okay aromatically but not out the world.

Drink- I was fairly let down by this one. The rye seemed to fade off of the nose and was just a fairly malty beer with only a small amount of bitter behind it. Not very layered or balanced IMO.

Mouth- A nice medium body with a good medium low carbonation. A bit creamy and full. Residual rye and bitter were remaining.

Drink- It's a fair offering. A bit thicker than most and a little one sided but it's a valid option for an intro Rye beer.

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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 hardy008
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper with a finger off-white head with very good retention and lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, pine, and rye.

The taste has a light amount of sweetness, and a good deal of bitterness. Has the tastes of rye, grapefruit, citrus zest, pine, and bread.

Medium bodied with average carbonation, and a bitter aftertaste with a dry finish. Oily and resinous. If you are in the mood to have a bitter beer, this one will do the job.

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Photo of predikit
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark amber, creates a white head that leaves plenty of lacing behind.

Smells mostly hoppy, I had this awhile back and a peppery scent tickled my nose, but it doesn't seem to be present in this batch.

Takes like an average IPA, citrus notes up front, malt middle, slight bitter in on the end. The rye aspect is very underwhelming compared to my tasting of this one year ago.

Medium light body, crisp and clean. Alcohol is fairly present for the finish.

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Photo of WEBBEER
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer didn't disappoint, it poured a deep copper color with a very rich frothy head, long lasting lace clung for the entire 12 oz. serving.Smell of fresh grass, bread and citrus. Nice alchohol viscosity. Super malted, hoppy flavour with a hint of the rye. This I will try again.

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Photo of kcrosson492
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #3 in my Trader Joe's surprise pack. I think this is the one I have been most excited for thus far!

A-The bottle rocks, fields, farms, and a female grim reaper!?

S-Tasty rye IPA smell mmm!

T-Has a delicious taste that is very hoppy.

M-Full flavored IPA

O-I would buy this beer again and again...deliciouso!

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Photo of harrymel
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 28DEC11

Pours a nice copper color with a little over a finger of peanut foam. excellent clarity and near web lace. Smells dank, some resin, pine, grapefruit, skunk and a little soil. Interesting, not sure if I dig it.

A bit nutty up front with a good grainy backbone and even some corn. An interesting malt profile I must say. The hops are herbal and theres even a sage flavor in here to me. Some sweetness and nutty flavors, almost a hint of oxidation on the malt. I'm really intrigued by this beer, I can't really say I like it, but I don't really dislike it.

Mouth is a bit heavy with higher carb and a dry finish for the style. This beer is not feeding into any of my expectations.

I really am having a hard time deciding on this beer, but I'm thinking it may be a little too rustic for me. The malts are weird, but the hops match the weirdness, I'm pretty torn on this one. It's above average, but not great. I will likely revisit just to creep the intrigue.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice mix of a doughy, bready beer and an IPA. The rye really stands out in this beer and the mix of hops balances it nicely. A bright amber pour with a small white head. Nice lacing on my glass that sticks throughout. Aroma of malts, rye, and hops. Flavor is citrusy hops and rye bread. A really nice brew.

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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 GNWBC
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a fan of IPA's but they are growing on me slowly, picked this over the SA alpine Spring.
P: pours a sexy reddish copper color with a decent head and nice lacing that lasts all the way down.

S: lots of sweet rye, roasty and sweet

T: you get a awesome citrusy hoppy note up front and as it settles the rye spiyness comes out with the sweet malt

MF: for being so hoppy it goes down clean, almost no resin lasting in the mouth.

OA: a good way to bring in spring, nice and refreshing while enjoying some good weather! and a grilled bbq chicken pizza.

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Photo of eternalcow
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of IPA overall, or else I may not have even tried this beer.

I really can't comment too much on the beer's appearance, other than that it looked "okay" to me. The lighting wasn't good, as is probably often the case where beer is consumed, so I can't say I got a good look at it.

The first thing that hit me when I opened the bottle was the smell--this beer definitely has a powerful, distinctive smell. Not being an experienced reviewer or even a particularly experienced beer-drinker, I don't know how to describe the smell. Hoppy, maybe? At any rate, it made its presence known.

On to flavor. My general complaint about IPAs is that they're light on texture and overly bitter. Neither of these things is bad on its own, but combined it's enough to make me steer clear of them normally. Ruthless Rye has the bitterness I'd normally associate with an IPA, but it wasn't overpowering. The texture was also complex enough that it carried the weight of the bitterness, if that makes sense. The beer tasted balanced.

Overall, Ruthless Rye isn't enough to return me to the IPA fold, but I'm very glad I expanded my horizons and gave it a try.

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Photo of Rope
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange with a finger white head that has some staying power.

I am underwhelmed by the smell. The malt is that special kind of rich that Sierra Nevada has with its beers, but the hops and the rye are faint.

Starts with the aforementioned malt, and then transforms into a sweet hop that ends pleasantly bitter. Really have to seek out the rye towards the end.

Nothing special.

Not a bad beer, just forgettable.

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Photo of vkv822
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours a dark orange with a foamy, craggy off white head with decent lacing.

The aroma is of piney, peppery hops, with a very faint earthiness perhaps?

Taste follows the nose, piney and spicey notes. Decent, but nothing too exciting.

A medium body, a good bit of prickly carbonation.

A decent beer. I probably wouldn't have guessed that rye was used. I feel it did add a slight peppery spice, but it could also be written off as hops I would think.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking amber color with a white head on top. The smell of the beer has some nice hop aromas with the addition of the rye in there too. The taste of the beer had a pretty good balance of spicy rye with the fresh hop flavors. The mouthfeel of the beer was good, nice carbonation and drinkablity to it. Overall this beer wasn't too bad, I'd drink it again if I came across it and was in the mood to have it again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,085 ratings.
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