Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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88
very good
1,117 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA
BEER INFO

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

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:
1,117
Ratings:
5,070
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
23.98%
 
 
Wants:
99
Gots:
765
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,117 | Ratings: 5,070
Photo of Groomsy
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Bottled on January 9, 2013. Supah-fresh!

SN's Ruthless Rye has a body that is just a shade or two darker than a regular IPA; burnt orange/rust is probably an accurate description. Some nice carbonation jets up from the bottom of the glass, and the beer is topped by a sturdy, rocky head of off-white bubbles that leave dense rings of lacing down the glass. A very good looking beer.

This is the first beer I've had that has been brewed with rye, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Since this is technically an IPA, all of the trademark West Coast characteristics are there: Grapefruit, rich citrus, and some pine astringency hanging in the balance. There is a backing of some clean and slightly toasty malt scents hanging around as well. What really contributes interesting scents is the rye, however - there is a peppery, herbal, earthy scent that balances the brightness of the citrusy hops and provides a rustic scent. Very interesting, though mild.

The mild nose is more than compensated for in the taste, though. On the front of the tongue is very similar to SN's own pale ale or Torpedo with big, juicy grapefruit, orange rind, and some piney bitterness. The malt flashes through in the middle to help cut the bitterness, but then the rye really kicks in on the finish and coats the mouth with an herbal, earthy, spicy flavor that lingers long into the finish. I like that the rye actually seems to sweeten the hop bitterness - the grapefruit flavors almost become sugary when balanced by the rye.

Ruthless Rye has a dry and crisp body. The carbonation really helps to enhance the interaction of the rye and the hop profile on this beer, and the medium body is just what fits for coming out of winter beers and into spring beers.

A very enjoyable beer. The assertive rye presence is what helps to set this apart from so many other American IPAs. Easy to drink, refreshing, and original. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of BeardedRiker
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is one of the largest and most popular microbreweries in the United States and there is a good reason why. They consistently produce excellent beers. While they may not brew the more experimental and full-flavored beers, I've not had one of theirs that was disappointing. Since their pale ales are their most celebrated beers, I was happy to see a rye variation.

This pours a clear copper-amber color but the head is what makes the Ruthless look good. It forms a bit slowly, a bit over two fingers high, creamy-foamy, and leaves plenty of lacing. It had good retention but fizzed out pretty quickly.

In some ways this reminds me of the Alpha Dog from Laughing Dog Brewery I had one Valentine's Day. Strong earthy hops bring out spice and acidity. Citrus breaks up a bit of pine resin. The malted rye balances this out well, bringing out a sort of woodsy aroma that's moderately spicy. Rye breadiness. Some good aromas but not too strong.

This has some tasty flavors and is very well-balanced. Up front comes spicy and grapefruit citrusy hops as well as pine resin and fruity sweetness. The bready and spicy rye balance things out, making this just a bit more interesting than their regular pale ale offering. Pine resin/sap (is there a difference?) sweetness and earthy hoppiness linger on the tongue.

This is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. It's a decently smooth beer but it is a tad sticky from sweetness. The added spiciness of the rye makes it have a drier finish, however. Like most of Sierra Nevada's beers, this is delightfully drinkable and you could drink these too quickly.

Yet another solid offering from Sierra Nevada. It's a testament to them in their production of flavorful and drinkable beers. Cheers!

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Photo of Swim424
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured bottle into great divide pint glass

A-sort of a copper amber color. nice head that fell slow leaving a thin layer on top.

S-a bit piny. a little caramel malt smell. pretty weak scent

T-seems mostly hops. not enough malt. the hops flavor is overpowering.

MF-thin-medium body. Average carbonation.

O-nothing special. Love the hops but needs a bit more malt to it. Not to bitter but the hop flavor doesn't seem right for this one.

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Photo of DAllspaw
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and very clear amber, remarkably clear with 1" solid. Very sticky lacing throughout.

Smell is citrus and pine mostly and I pick up a little hint of the rye. Taste is as expected from SN, very well balanced, with more prominent grain, malt flavors and nice bitter finish.

There is a definite sense of something different with the rye, it is reminiscent of a lager in the taste. Very nice actually, if not obviously rye as others I've tried.

Very solid, will keep eye out for twelve packs.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into standard pint.

A: deep reddish gold with 3 fingers of beautiful rocky pale orange head. Decent lacing and very slow to recede. Looks great.

S: Big hops on the nose, biter citrus like a grapefruit or pomello, and a tad heavy smelling. Touch of rye on the nose but not much.

T: Opens with a touch of medium malt like a red and fades into citrusy hops. Hop bitterness comes in last and leaves a grapefruit-like bitterness on the back of the tongue or like biting into the pith of an orange that persists for a long time after.. A little alcohol warmth but not much.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation. Drinks alright but not as easy as some beers.

O: Not a bad brew, considering I don't really like IPA style and I have come back to this a second time says something at least.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Copper/clear. Pinky's worth of head that sticks around. Nice amount of lacing.

S-Citrus and malts. Smells like a West Coast IPA, with a slight bready note.

T- Citrusy, with that classic Sierra Nevada piney flavor. Spicy hop presence is unmistaken here! The rye has this toasted quality to it. Hop bitterness is strong on the initial sip, with a dry aftertaste after a while. I think the finish could be less! That's my main gripe. The flavor are quite good, but they mingle in the mouth for too long.

M- A very easy drinking IPA, although it's not a light mouthfeel. Smooth and clean. Very refreshing. Carbination is on the light side.

*-Overall this is a very good IPA. Is it anywhere near my favorite, no. To me, this would work better as a fall IPA, not spring. I'd like something lighter in body and not quite as hop forward. I don't think this beer has a good malt-hop balance. But still, nice beer overall.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice foam retention that came with a caramel colored beer.

S: Lots of bright citrus, and some spicy rye.

T: Bitter Grapefruit, white pepper, tangerine, and some nice malty biscuit notes.

M: Medium Carbonation, along with with some lingering bitterness.

O: Overall a very solid beer. I really enjoy Rye beers and definitely enjoyed this one. I definitely like the flavor profile of this beer, and how it encompassed the hops and malts very nicely. This beer was another great beer from Sierra Nevada.

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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 mattbk
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark copper or light brown color. Head is a light rust color. Very light head, although it does appear creamy. Looks fairly carbonated.

S: This had an interesting aroma, was it the rye? Light sweetness in the nose, with some grapefruit hops in the background. When I first smelled this I thought it was off, but after a bit I lost whatever I thought was off about it.

T: Very interesting. First thing that hits you is bitterness, both in the front and the back of the tongue. Then in the middle is the malt sweetness. I think the rye is the front bitterness with hops in the back. I feel that the bitterness is sort of high without a ton of flavor. The flavor I do get is grapefruit and pine. Just a little bit spicy.

M: Light-medium light mouthfeel. A fair amount of carbonation.

O: It is not a bad beer, but I don't feel that it is particularly well balanced. The carbonation is too high and leads to a bloated feeling pretty quick. There are lots of other IPAs I'd prefer.

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Photo of Ungertaker
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A- Transparent pecan with a one finger white head.

S- Rye bread, bitter orange peel, pine

T- a faint citrus is followed by a spicy rye flavor. There are slight pine notes at the finish.

M- medium to thin with a low carbonation level.

O- For the price, this is a great session beer. I hope it sticks around for a while.

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Photo of lawlerj
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A - Pours a mostly translucent mahogany. Two to three finger width off white head with an aggressive pour. Dissipates into a moderate layer of foam with a fairly thick collar around the edges. Can't see much in the way of carbonation.

S - The aroma smells kind of...sticky, I would say. There is a nice fruity/juicy hop aroma that I really enjoy, and that blends back into the underlying malt backbone. The rye is present as well, but is not in the driver's seat. I'm not sure I would pick that out if I wasn't looking for it.

T - The flavor is not quite as bold as I anticipated. There is a hop presence here, but it is certainly not in your face. The rye is much more prominent in the flavor than in the aroma; it provides a nice herbally, peppery counterpoint to the hops and bready malt. It has a crisp, dry finish.

M - Feels on the full side of medium bodied. Almost creamy. The carbonation is just right.

O - Overall, this was a very nice brew. If I understand correctly, this replaces Glissade as their spring seasonal, which is fine with me. Also, the artwork on the bottle is killer.

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Photo of Steamer
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very nice light amber color with a full-on cream colored head. Full hops and rye aroma with pine and lime overtones. The potency of the hops flavor is a tamer than some other IPAs, more citrusy, but still very good. Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Overall: a good, not so complex IPA that would be a great option for someone getting their taste buds acquainted with hops forward brews at the next step up from a strong amber ale.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sierra N are always great tasting beers, and this is no exception.
Pours a deep orange with brown highlights, with a tight white head that leaves a ring of lacing.

Smell is pungent citrus and pine, with hints of dark fruit and bread. The rye is detectable I believe.

Taste is unique with malty bready notes throughout and a strong hop kick that leaves you wanting another sip. It's like a mix of brown sugar, rye, and citrus.

Feel is decent, I don't think I would want it more carbonated but it's on the thinner side.

This one met my expectations as usual so try it if you haven't.

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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 legalpete19340
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice burnt copper color with a big thick two plus finger head. It stuck to everything and laced the entire drink.

S: Spicy, spicy with giant herbal and piney hops jumping out. The rye kick is noticeable even here. Maybe even a hint of pineapple hiding in there.

T: Immediately the rye hits with a spicy smack. Layers of malt back it up going from light toast to a quick hint of burnt grain cracker. But you gotta be fast to catch it because the hops come in fast with huge amounts of pine and herbal flavors. I get the pineapple again here in the back before everything ties up with a serious bitter smack in the face that almost makes me pucker.

M: Medium with a syrupy quality and a slight bit of fizz that accent the spice.

O: Great beer. Just loved this one. Had two more on separate occasions and felt the same. The spicy kick of rye and piney/herbal hops combo just kills it for me. I am buying more and hoping it becomes a regular offering. I can see how this flavor combo is too much for some but for me it works.

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Photo of godlessape
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into my newly acquired Cigar City Brewing pint glass.
This is quite possibly the most gorgeous looking brew I've encountered in some time.
The two finger tan head sinks down to a respectable skim leaving some impressive lacing, and what it sinks down into is the most inviting copper and plum colored body one could imagine.
As far as the nose goes, you get a lot of citrus and pine one would expect from a West Coast IPA, but lurking not far behind is a earthy moist wood-chip aroma that demands attention and respect.
The rye is spicy, almost peppery and blends in well the the West Coast hops and mellow--low key caramel malt flavor. Lot's of good bite to this one.
The mouthfeel is close to perfect.
Overall this is a great example of a rye IPA. You cannot go wrong with this beer. Works great with spicy food. I just downed 3 with a bowl of Buffalo wings. A perfect pairing.

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Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing Rye IPA! The color, smell, look...all say drink me. And then you do, greatness. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Perfect head that last most way throughout drinking, along with nice white bubble lacing. Great beer all around. Cheers! Side note, an odd but amazing food pairing is a nice cinnamon roll!

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

Pours a clear copper into a pint glass with a 2 inch head that takes a while to fade.
Extremely hoppy on the nose, pine, grass and rye.
Some sweetness on the tongue, with some spiciness from the rye and the hops. Bitter as only an American IPA can be!
Medium carbonation, highly drinkable.
As far as Rye beers go, it's an decent brew. As an IPA it kicks ass!
Recommended.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As a fan of the SR lineup and a fan of Rye IPA's - see BR Hop Red Rye - {as well as reuban sandwiches} was anxious to dive in

A: Reddish, orange, full head, nice lacing. Good start.

S: Smells of Rye, cane sugar, grapefruit. So far so good.

T: Bit of a letdown. The Rye is overpowering, not subtle, and left unbalanced. Biscuity and some sourness, not the crispness I like from IPA's. A hint of hops on the finish

M: Dense, sour

Good, not great. Maybe I like my rye in subtle doses.

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Photo of smcnulty1981
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: pours with a hazy golden copper color with hint of red had about 1 finger of an off white head that dicepated after a few moments with a good ammount of lacing on the glass

S: starts off with yeast followed earthy spicy tones with a s,isn't hint of resin however I don't get any of the citrus described

T: spicy caramel malt backbone followed by a good ammount of piney hop bitterness however there is a slight off flavor which may be a bit of alchol detected

M: not as dry as most ipa's has more of a full mouthfeel

O: easy to drink overall I would prefer torpedo over this for a Sierra Nevada selection however as a bonus the artwork on the label was very nice

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Photo of industrialswill
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I'm met with is the very attractive, picturesque label.
Ruthless Rye has a reddish brown hue and a very pretty glow.
The taste is what I expect from a Sierra Nevada IPA...outstanding.
The balance of citrus and malt flavors are augmented with the bold flavor of rye. They have executed this combination in such a way to make it seem like this is a brew that they have been doing for generations.
As usual, Sierra Nevada has introduced an outstanding beer to a lineup that is already logjammed full of excellent selections.
It will be interesting to see if this one becomes a "keeper" or not.

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Photo of bbkd3b
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Great, amber-colored body that's complemented by a creamy, beige head with nice retention. The more I drink, the more the lacing sticks to the glass - just a classy looking brew. It's complimented by a fairly strong scent. Heavy on rye, which isn't surprising, but there's more to it than that. A soft undertone of citrus and earthy hops creates a nice layer of pleasantness. Inviting.

A smooth-as-silk body carries a very piney flavor on to the tongue. Along the way I get a mixture of rye, grapefruit, and an almost nonexistent dash of sweeter malts. Bitter flavor lingers for a long time after a sip. Solid, if unexciting mixture. Carbonation was spot-on for this style.

While this represents neither the best of rye or IPAs, it does do all of the big things right. I would have preferred a more explosive amount of rye, but as-is, this is just a solid, drinkable beer.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: buckwheat honey
S: floral, spicy (cardamom) but also slightly medicinal/plastic
T: full, rich, noticeable bitterness, not much hop aroma/flavour, clean fresh maltiness; well balanced; bitterness lingers
M: tons or richness
O: a bold direct "masculine" beer that would probably be better enjoyed with food.

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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 Rbroccoli
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my few experiences with Rye IPAs as this is my first springtime in the beer world, and they're typically spring seasonals.

Served in a boring pint glass poured from a bottle. 2014 seasonal.

Appearance- Reddish Amber. Fairly Transparent, with very little to no haze. The color is mostly to attribute to the little light not getting throught. Carbonation bubbles slowly rise. About 1 finger of white head that quickly dissipates. Mild to moderate lacing holds to the glass.

Smell- Very floral hops. Fresh, light citrus, mellow earthiness. Smells like springtime.

Taste- Fresh floral hops with light bitterness. Very balanced by the rye. Taste is very consistent with the smell. A nice touch of black pepper glides along the sides of the tongue. Finishes very smooth with lingering fruitiness. I like this a lot. It's a nice break from the winter hop bombs (that I love very much).

Mouthfeel- Light, Crisp, and Refreshing. Moderate carbonation. Very sessionable.

Overall- I like this a lot. It's very reminiscent of warm nights outside with friends, and makes me look forward to the transition into springtime. The pepperiness was the ultimate winning factor here though. It was the perfect amount, and makes the brew rememberable. Good job, Sierra Nevada, you don't disappoint.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,117 ratings.
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