Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
5,089 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,089 |  Reviews: 1,121
Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Read about this beer at the end of last year (2011) and have been anticipating its release ever since. I was shocked to see the price on these - $14.99 at Vons for a twelver and $7.99 a sixer at most super markets and liquor stores (damn cheap).

A: Got into these at a buddies pad during the AFC championship game - just crushing em from the bottle, so I can't really give an accurate grade on appearance. I just averaged the score based on the other aspects of this brew.

S: Big time floral hoppiness (Cascade I think ???) with tons of earthy goodness, bran flakes or grape nut cereal, plum like esters and bready yeast.

T: Taste is hoppy as the nose insinuated - grassy citrus rinds with that classic malt character that Sierra so consistently replicates with each of their brews - toasted grain and sweet carmel nougat round this one out nicely.

M: Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation for the style that lends a creamy aspect to the overall body, hop oils linger a while with an enjoyable bitterness after each sip.

Overall very tasty and extremely sessionable for a beer nearing the 7% mark. The rye is slightly less noticeable than say Nelson IPA (Alpine Brewing) or Reef Rye (Ballast Point), but still there and tasty, pushing this IPA into a different class than a standard West Coast IPA. Definitely something different yet still carrying that signature flavor that makes Sierra Nevada one of the most consistently quality produced ales in the game.

 1,468 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had a soft spot here lately for Rye IPA's as I have really been enjoying Jester King's - The Wytchmaker. I just learned that it was retired, as was the Black Metal. Weird, because they are both really good beers. Anyway, let's give this offering from Sierra Nevada a shot.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy burnt orange color with a small 1/4" head of off white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. The head was its original height for about 30-40 seconds and then faded to a pretty substantial ring where the beer meets the glass, and it already looks like there will be some lacing. After drinking the beer, there is some lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: The aroma is showcasing the fresh hops as much or more so than the Rye, which is a good thing in my opinion. Second sniffs are giving a little more earthy tones to the aroma that are probably Rye related, but still they are reserved. Overall the aroma is quite nice.

Taste: The flavor is led by some fresh hops and the Rye along with some substantial crystal malt are coming out to support the grain side of the equation. The mouthfeel is medium to light with plenty of carbonation, so it ultimately finishes a little dry. The balance of hops to malt is pretty even with a very slight edge toward the malt. As the beer warms up, it softens up and gets more palatable overall.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent beer overall. It has a nice balance of malt and hops, and the complexity of the Rye mixed with the freshness of the hops makes the aroma one of the nicer attributes in this beer. All this said, I wouldn't consider it "fantastic", so I won't have a problem drinking the one six-pack that I got, but I seriously doubt that I will be buying this again.

 1,734 characters

Photo of h4ger
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BColton1
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

 228 characters

Photo of rodlavers
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this several times, gave it a quick rating of 4, but I'm going for a review.

2013 vintage, poured into a perfect pint glass. Huge off-white, three-finger foam head, thins out to a clump of bubbly foam concentrated on the surface of the beer, in the center of glass, with some foam collecting near the edge. Some white webbed lacing. Deep ruby/copper/brownish color to the beer.

Honestly not getting a hugely noticeable hop presence on the nose, but it's still decent. It smells sharp and organic, malty backbone, with a hint of sweet spices.

I do get a nice rye-flavored pine hope profile though, with malt and sweet spices mixed in as well. It does have that quintessential SN flavor to it.

Feel is bitter, but enjoyable; smooth up front with a biting finish. It's not terribly smooth through and through.

Overall I like Ruthless Rye. It's different from what I usually go with, so I enjoy the change of pace. It's worth a try for those seeking something a little different, or Rye IPA folks as well. Cheers.

 1,024 characters

Photo of ryanpj
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of MisledTitan
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of abcdefghijkyle
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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

On-tap @ Brewers Haven, Boise ID. Served in a pint shaker.

A: Clear dark straw color with shades of brown...minimal off-white head and lacing.

S: Signature Sierra Nevada hop profile here...piney, resiny hop bitterness. There is also a more upfront grainy spiciness, which I'm assuming is the rye...notes of a toasted malt backbone in the grain bill.

T: Follows the nose, tons of resiny hop notes & high bitterness, herbal earthiness...tobacco leaf, hemp seed, pine needles. A bit of toasted caramel malt carries the body along.

MF: Moderate (for an IPA). Dry and bitter. Medium carbonation.

O: Definitively earthy, herbal, spicy, hoppy and bitter. Decent Rye IPA from SN.

 676 characters

Photo of Honeybourne
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of NightINgale
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This pours a dark copper body, with a fairly thick and fluffy beige head. Really good head retention and some decent lacing. This beer looks quite similar to Sierra Nevada's Torpedo.

S - The aroma is very citrusy (orange, grapefruit), with hints of caramel and bread.

T - First I get that signature Sierra Nevada hop bite, with zesty grapefruit and orange notes. Then come some apparent pepper notes, a slight sweetness, and a nice rye breadiness. The finish is fairy dry and bitter, with some lingering resinous qualities to it. As it was warms up, I'm starting to get even more rye bread and more sweetness, with a pronounced caramel taste.

M - Medium-bodied. Medium level of carbonation. Quite peppery, especially right after it's poured. Not boozy, but if you let it warm up enough, you might feel some alcohol esters.

O - This is my first Rye IPA, and I've got to say I really enjoyed it. It's quite similar to their Torpedo Extra IPA, but with a more peppery and bready side to it. I hope they make it a regular seasonal release.

 1,043 characters

Photo of CGMLS3
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mecmd
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Nordbier
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of ninaturner
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Ajlvt
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

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

Photo of MammothTarantula
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of beagle75
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with one finger of off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Understated herbaceous notes give way to significant spicy rye grain. A thread of pineapple is also apparent.

T: Begins off-dry, with balanced bready malt and citric acidity that suggests tropical fruit. Malt becomes more crisp, rye-like, in the middle as dryness surges. Bitterness is pronounced in the finish, herbaceous in character, as some of the early bready qualities return.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, soft and balanced on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a predominantly malt-focused pale ale, and its range is enhanced or extended by the strong rye presence. While rye seems to be emerging as the defining beer fad of 2012, its effective and fearless handling cannot be overstated here. Unlike most modern IPAs that rely on delicate and aromatic dry-hopped qualities to defile their sensory profile, this beer's malty focus pairs much more companionably with spicy foods.

 1,062 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Gatch
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ.

A: Beautiful light amber with a lumpy, off-white head that settles into a good lace but little head retention.

S: Malt and rye with a bit of hops. Nothing crazy.

T: Awesome. The spicy rye is a perfect complement to the amount of hops in this brew. Fantastic pairing with the Thai green curry I was enjoying. Malt presence is great and makes this beer very balanced.

M: Creamy, balanced goodness. Incredibly drinkable. Light carbonation.

O: SN hit the nail on the head. Amazing beer. What the style should be.

 551 characters

Photo of teromous
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clean and transparent with lots of bubbles. The color is a dark shade of bronze with a red tint to it. There is a decent sized eggshell-color head that leaves lots of lacing. It looks perfect.

S: Not much scent to it...I get a minor acidic smell to it (hope that makes sense) and a light malt scent.

T: It tastes very good. There's a light rye flavor to the beer which is good, and it is pretty rich on malt and has a light smokey character to the flavor.

M: The mouthfeel is really good. The malty character seems like it would slip this away from being any kind of IPA, but the rye seems to work perfectly with the hops to bring a kind of "pinch" effect on the palate.

O: Overall I liked this beer regardless of what style it might be considered. If you're a fan of foods that have a rich savory flavor, this beer would suit you. I liked it, and I would drink it again.

 883 characters

Photo of edhizdeid
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,089 ratings.
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