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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,118 Reviews
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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,118 | Ratings: 5,075
Photo of CampusCrew
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden orange and cloudy complexion

smell: heavy citrus, orange peel and some nice floral aroma, strong pineapple and tropical aromas.

taste: Lots of citrus mixed in with tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. A sweet malty IPA. well done.

mouthfeel: medium full bodied

drinkability: very nice offering from this brewery and I look forward to many more like this. Thanks

 393 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tasting glass.

A: A darker amber orange color with some reddish tones. A large 3 finger head. This was a little warmer thus the larger amount of head.

S: Wow, damn I'm loving this smell. I get a large amount of citrus on the nose first mixed with some pine notes. The rye comes out too but after the citrus and alongside a baked bread and pepper notes. I can also pick up the distinct SN yeast smell.

T: This really does follow the nose. The citrus flavors come out first and heavy mixed with some pine that lead into the bready biscuit malt. The malt then gets tramped down by the spicy rye and pepper flavors that finish the beer out with some bitterness. Clean finish. The rye in this is however not overly done, it seem seems just right.

M: Medium mouthfeel that is resiny, prickly and very crisp on the finish. No hints of alcohol at all and carbonation seems fine.

Overall this is a quality beer that seems to be the perfect blend of spicy rye with the bright citrus IPA type flavors. What I really loved on this beer was the nose when it warmed, just fantastic.

This is the perfect spring seasonal for SN. You still get the dark spicy rye flavors, but you get mixed in the bright citrus spring like flavors. This is a total upgrade compared to the Glissdale and a beer I will enjoy each and every year. Watch for my tap review as I have a keg of it coming home soon.

Nice job SN, you done good.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a coppery orange color with a thick head. Foam is off-white. Leaves very thick lacing.

S - an intense cerial grain herbal fest. Bitter orange peel jumps out quickly as the rye blends with barely to create the enticing grainy notes while floral and citrus aromas round out the nose.

T - dry on the front of the tounge. Notes of bitter citrus enter mid palate along with ceral grain notes and a peppery spice finish.

M - full bodied. Medium carb.

O - an excellent take on a rye/IPA.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep and clear golden amber, with a luxurious, majestic head of foam. Thick and pronounced lace, too. Score high marks on appearance.

Nose is spicy rye and tangy citrus hops.

The flavor profile is nicely balanced, with a well-integrated mix of citrus hops and chewy, spicy rye. An unusual combination, but this works beautifully. This is one I may have to purchase again!

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Photo of russpowell
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of plaid75
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a darker copper hue with a one and a halt finger frothy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured a vibrant and balmy peppery hop with a healthy dose of rye.

The taste consisted of waves of spiciness as between the prominent rye and herbal/peppery hop elements. A nice doughy caramel rounded out the experience.

The mouthfeel was full with a lingering spice.

Overall a very tasty spicy rye beer. Yet another winner from SN.

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Photo of CHickman
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper color with a foamy 2 finger beige head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving excellent lacing clinging to the sides and rings as it went down; as the head went down it looked like the moon with a ton of craters. A foamy layer stayed on top as the glass emptied.

Smells of hops up front with a whiff of rye as well; the nose has citrus hops, grapefruit, piney hops/pine cones, rye, herbs, hay or dried grass, floral hops, flowers, crackers, biscuit or wheat bread, grains and spices like pepper and light coriander; it’s a complex aroma that’s soft yet spicy and very nice overall.

Tastes like it smells, but the rye is a little more pronounced. The initial sip leads off with rye, spices and then a mix of hops; flavors are very much like the nose and include rye, citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, piney hops/pine cones, herbs, hay or dried grass, floral hops, flowers, crackers, biscuit or wheat bread, grains, spices like pepper and light coriander, and then very earthy notes like smoked wood chips or possibly an splash of booze – perhaps that’s the rye factor, and while it dulls the hops I like the way the rye mixes with the hops and leaves a nice bitter finish that actually tastes like you just ate a slice of rye bread – tasty indeed.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, with a medium body, light fizzy carbonation and an average feel overall that leaves a semi-dry bitter finish. Mild for an IPA, but still very refreshing and enjoyable. Another nice product from Sierra Nevada that I look forward to drinking again.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruthless Rye IPA pours a clear copper color with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma isn't very strong. It has notes of bread, orange citrus, pine, and a touch of spice (pepper).

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is frothy on the palate, slightly creamy with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor begins sweet and malty with a taste of caramel and biscuit. In the middle some spicy notes of pepper and an earthy spice (probably rye) poke through. It finishes dry and bitter with flavors of orange citrus and pine. The hops do a great job of balancing the malt. Once gone the citrus and rye linger on the palate

This is a tasty, easy drinking beer. It reminds me of Celebration with fewer hops.

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Photo of woemad
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Jim’s Homebrew in Spokane for $1.54. Label art is sort of a cross between vintage breweriana and Children of the Corn.

Pours a dark shade of amber, taking on a more orangey hue when held up to light. Big, fluffy off-white head tht took it’s time dropping, leaving lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

Hoppy, and yet surprisingly malty in the nose. I suppose that’s the rye malt making its presence felt.

The flavor of piney hops is perfectly matched by the rye malt’s sweet yet spicy, bready taste. In fact the hops are so closely matched by the malts, this could almost be considered a pale ale by my taste buds, were it not for the richness of the flavor.

Medium bodied, with a resiny yet slightly prickly mouthfeel.

A very drinkable beer, and one I wish I had more of right now. Tastiest beer I’ve drank all week

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Photo of redleaves
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper, creamy head, nose of fresh hops grass and horse blanket, unsmoked pot, hay, deliciously unique aroma. Flavor is creamy, peppery, fresh hop, but not too intense. Full malt backbone. Light fruit and caramel, a unique IPA, very delicious, I'll drink quite a few more of these before summer. How this larger craft brewery keeps pounding out these awesome beers is beyond me.

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Photo of C20Percent
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper hue with a healthy head of cream colored head on top. Some amber in both the body and the head. A significant amount of bubble action in the body. Very nice feature. It's kind of wowwing me.

S: That classic West Coast sweet malt aroma with a nice citrus background. Some earthiness to be sure, but that's not up front. Very nice balance all around. Good feature.

T: Not really getting the citrus flavor that was in the aroma. Lots of caramel and toasted malt taste. Some biscuity malt too. Enough earthy hops flavor to keep this from being a malt bomb. I think what makes this better than some other malty IPAs is this taste fresh.

M: Solid medium body with some nice hoppy chewiness. Sweet malt coats the mouth. Solid carbonation. Feel is better than good.

O: I really like this beer. This might be the best Sierra Nevada beer out there. I'm digging it.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am generally a big fan of rye beers, so when I saw this at the store today, I had to pick up a sixer of this. Pours clear and amber in color with a foamy, rocky white head with shades of caramel. Very nice lacing and the head retention is pretty nice as well.

Aromas are great. Certainly the spicy rye comes through and that is followed by citrus and floral hops. Sweet maltiness and caramel add some complexity to the aroma. I enjoy the slight musty smell this one presents also.

One thing about Sierra Nevada is they sure as hell know how to make some great IPAs. Flavor is packed with a spicy punch and bitterness that lingers on the palate just long enough. Finishes dry after about 30 seconds leaving the tongue unsatisfied and slaking for more nectar. Floral in character with a very nice citrus presence, but the rose hips seem to be dominating here, and I like it.

Another great beer from Sierra Nevada. Without a doubt, these guys make the best beer for the price in the world. Spicy, floral, slightly tangy, medium body, and delicious!

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Photo of gc4hokies
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is golden with slight copper. Very clear. Head is very white, frothy and stays throughout. Nice

The aroma is pleasing. Pine accents with a sweet rye aroma. nothing very strong.

Taste is bitterness up front with peppery rye afterward. Finishes with a hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. Highly carbonated and a dry finish.

Overall, this is a very good, balanced Rye IPA. One of my favorite styles and this is a very good example. Will buy again.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from The Still in Lincoln, NE
Poured into a New Belgium globe glass

Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye ale offers a strongly bitter IPA that hits all the right notes for me, from its attractive, dark body to its deep and bitter hop aroma and flavor. The addition of rye, while not solely propelling this beer forward, is noticeable and a welcome flavor.

Body is amber brown with burnt orange highlights around the perimeter and very active carbonation.. Head is off-white, tall, of mixed small and medium bubbles, very pillowy. Fades in a minute or two, leaving some good lacing and a thin perpetual cap atop the body.

Aroma is hop-intense, with notable grapefruit and spicy hop additions. Also can detect a peppery, slightly grainy, and mineral component.

Begins with taste of mild wort sweetness on tip of tongue, which is quickly extinguished by waves of bittering hops, notably pine and grapefruit flavors. Grapefruit, rye, and barley malt flavors influence the mid-palate, then a flash of bitterness in closing. Aftertaste is driven by residual hop bitterness and grapefruit flavors. I really enjoy bitterness, and this provided some satisfying characters towards that quality.

Medium bodied with a gentle carbonation that creates a smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

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Photo of r0gueleader
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is an amber/copper color with a nice froth. Smells of hops galore. Fruity undertone (cranberry?). A great amount of hops at first taste. Tons of character in this IPA, but a very smooth at the same time. The hints of rye are perfectly placed and not overpowering, and leaves a nice aftertaste. A fantastic spring IPA.

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Photo of oline73
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cellar temerature in a mug.

Ruthless Rye presents a three-finger white head on a pure, clear amber body.

That spicy rye is totally in the aroma, along with earthy, piney hops. A touch of honey, too.

The rye combines with a fruity citrus flavor upon first taste. It's like lime to me. The finish is malty, bready, and dry, with some lingering rye spiciness. Quite good.

It's fairly full-bodied for the style, which I like.

This is a really good malt-forward IPA and it incorporates rye exceptionally well.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle date translated to jan 1 2012.

Pours a nice one and half fingers worth of a creamy kaki head. Tight bubbles cling to the glass, nice cap remains forever. Deep brown somewhat hazy body.

Smells a bit spicy, very rye like bready was, some citrus and pine like hoppyness.

Tastes quite bready, Carmel, toffee, some pepper and spice, resinous pine and earthyness on the finish.

Medium full bodied. Medium carbing. Somewhat coating with hop resins and malt dextrins.

Overall this is quite the tasty beer. Very satisfying and gives me a good idea what rye is about, flavor and mouthfeel.
$1.50 a single and winenation.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Has a big grassy hop nose with rye spice. Pours brilliant amber with persistent 3” off white foam cap. A well balanced beer with rich malt, bitter hops, pepper finish, rye spice. Has the rich, full rye body. A very drinkable rye IPA.

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Photo of MrJolly
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this from a bottle with a label reading 2013. Not enough is made of labels--I do judge books by their covers sometiems, and this beer seems marketed to recvovering D&D addicts whose early childhood fantasies were born of warrior goddesses. I was intrigued in 2012, when I first encoountered it.

Appearance: This beer looks like a disco snowstorm. There's a ton of carbonation and it is rising quickly to the one-inch white head which dissipates by half over a two-minute period of time. The color is orange-blond. Exciting.

Smell: Well, not much. It smells sweet and warm and earthy--good smells, but suppressed.

Taste: On the tongue, citrus, but very tart as it moves back to the throat where it becomes a combination of pepper and bitterness; here is a love-lorn beer. And its dark disposition lingers for a long while, espeically on the back of the tongue where it sucks the juice from my tongue.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is great for the beer's appearance, but in the mouth it feels like I can't quite sink my teeth into it. Sometimes the foamyness overwhelms.

Overall: I like this beer's temperment. It's windy here in AZ, and cooler than average, and this beer fits the mood of the day. Tumultuous is a good word.

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Photo of Bills453
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - a beautiful golden orange, mostly orange. Man this looks ryely!

Smell - sweetness (like a sweet bread) and a bit bitter (from the hops I suppose).

Taste - such a delicious blending of sweet and bitter. Starts off with an initial bitter hoppy foretaste, moves splendidly into a sweetness for ever so slight of time. Ends with a hoppy mouth taste.

Mouthfeel - real nice thanks!

Overall - man what a fantastic and great priced brew. Recommended to several friends and my brother.

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Photo of tychoseven
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish-orange amber, with ample, clingy lacing that sticks all over the glass.
S: Hints of grain and a clean, fresh sensation I associate with rye.
T: The bready malts seem sweeter and more sugary than the 2012 batch. Fruit with hints of
orange and spice lead up to the piney, bitter hops. Bitterness builds the more one drinks,
and lingers pleasantly.
M: Very smooth; carbonation feels "small" and dispersed giving the beer a creamy feeling.
Gives the impression of being lighter than it is, on the tongue.

Overall I prefer the 2012 batch, which I recall being dryer, but 2013 is very enjoyable. I like the relative extremes of sweetness and bitterness. It's seasonally appropriate and more subtle than most other winter brews.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden brown color with two frothy creamy fingers of foam. Smell is hoppy and grassy with a hint if spice.

Tastes of those classic Sierra Nevada hops, mixed with pepper and of course rye. Complex flavor that needs to be sipped on awhile to figure out. Faily easy drinking ipa/rye brew. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper. A little hazy. Beautiful two finger rocky, off white head that fades slowly and leaves nice rings of lace.

The aroma is very citrus. Grapefruit, lemon zest, and spicy, herbal notes. Caramel backbone with bready notes. Tangerine and black pepper. Piney tones throughout.

The taste is tangy on the front with full on citrus assault of grapefruit on a caramel backbone. Spicy middle with mint, lemon zest and black pepper notes. Earthy background with leafy, herbal aftertaste that lingers. Strong piney, resiny, evergreen in the finish.

Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing

Nice minty and spicy kick from the rye with assortment of interesting hops. Very interesting and refreshing beer.

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Photo of estlinska
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On Tap 3/11/13 in a tulip.

Poured with 2 fingers of big foamy head full of tiny bubbles. Reddish brown color like a worn out copper pipe mixed with red licorice and lots of tight lacing. The smell was full of citrus and resin and a little bit of sweet fruit on the back end. It smelled a lot like a bowl of hops resting in water; very fresh. The taste was not as sweet; very spicy like a rye beer, but the sweet malt sits there in the front with that spicy rye flavor on top. It was very tasty and had a nice bittering hop flavor. The hops flavor was backseat by far though. it was pretty fizzy overall with a pretty full mouthfeel, approaching the oiliness of a big IPA. Overall, this beer is pretty awesome overall. Well balanced between a classic IPA and a rye beer.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,075 ratings.
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