Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
1,116 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
1,116
Ratings:
5,065
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
11.22%
 
 
Wants:
99
Gots:
763
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,116 | Ratings: 5,065
Photo of Bookseeb
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a clear reddish brown color supporting a steady healthy head leaving nice lace. Smell of citric, malt and spicey hint of rye. Taste has a nice hit of the hops balanced with the sweetness of the malt and hint of rye. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Overall a nice twist on a IPA.

 304 characters

Photo of ChuckHardslab
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very clear light copper color with a 2 finger off white head.

S: Nice floral and citrus hops with an earthy undertones.

T: Nice caramel notes and some cereal grains with slightly citrus hops and spice from the rye. Bitterness isn't in your face and borders between pale ale and IPA. The finish is smooth and clean with slight lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M: Medium body with refreshing carbonation

O: A really nice and refreshing rye IPA that goes down maybe a bit too easily. If you like AIPA's or pale ales I would definitely recommend you try this.

 586 characters

Photo of reebtaerG
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured bottle packaged on 12/17/13 into New Belgium globe

A-Pours light copper/amber two finger off white head with a lot of sticky lacing.

S-The aroma is earthy hops with prominent peppery rye notes, also hints of citrus.

T-The taste starts out bitter with bright citrus, the middle is malty with the rye spice adding a nice kick on the back end.

M-The mouthfeel is dry and floral finish, great balance and a aftertaste that is dry and sticks.

O-Overall, this is a nice beer by SN, not the best rye ipa out there but is good. Had hop rod rye just before this one and enjoyed it more.

 593 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased two bottles in a mixed sixpack to try before sinking more money into a reasonably-priced twelvepack.

Nice graphic of hooded woman overlooking pastoral grain and floral scene.

2014 on the neck label. Bottled 12/17/13.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

a: Clear copper with an enormous multi-inch tall white head which receded excruciatingly slowly to heavy rocky surface foam and extensive lacing.

s: Slight fruit.

t: Moderate strength hops forward over spicy malt base. Dry finish.

m: Moderate, good body.

o: Excellent rye IPA, drinks so fast you are surprised when it's all gone. Will be looking for a twelvepack.

UPDATE !/21/14: Had the second bottle with dinner tonight and afterwards as I was finishing it was struck by the peppery spice flavor from the rye, which was more pronounced than on any other rye beer I have had yet. Definitely will buy a twelvepack next time I see it, which hopefully will be tomorrow. Already made room for it in the basement beer storage shelves.

 1,023 characters

Photo of LI_PO12
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint

Appearance- copper, clear, offwhite head, good lacing

Aroma- Rye forward with a earthy, spicyness, hops are there but not in your face and are floral and herbal, very nice woodsy aroma

Flavor- Earthy, spicy rye, good firm bitterness throughout but very drinkable, a bit of pine shows up here as well as floral hops, and mint. little to no alcohol

Mouthfeel- Medium with good carbonation

Overall- Love rye IPAs and I feel this could use some more hop presence to really bring it home. Look forward to this one every year and It doesn't blow you away but really hits all the marks to be solid and worth a 6 pack at least.

 642 characters

Photo of lochef81
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Let's start by saying "I love rye ipas" and this is no exception. This pours a beautiful deep red color with a finger and a half of tan head that lasts throughout the drinking of the ale. The aroma is slightly hoppy but mostly strong with rye and malt. It Sips smooth and gloriously bitter but very dry. Possibly too dry for some. The flavor is earthy and heavy on the rye. Hops are present but not super forward. The finish is hoppier with pine and citrus present but still with a healthy amount of rye and malt underneath. Overall this is an excellent rye ipa and at a phenomenal cost. Pick one up while it's available. I'll look forward to trying again next year.

 666 characters

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

I found this to be a nice change up from the standard Sierra IPA which is one of my go to beers. Beautiful color, medium head. Spicy on the tongue. This one of those beers that is very tasty, yet wouldn't drink more than a couple in a sitting. Still a great value beer at 14.99 for a 12 pack

 291 characters

Photo of puckee
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can you really review a beer without considering its price?

Most Sierra Nevada beers are an outstanding value. The legendary (and over-hyped) beer in my area is Surly Abrasive. Great beer, but way too expensive. Hopslam? Outrageous.

Ruthless Rye has a ton of flavor. Nice West Coast hops. Earthy. Dare I say umami?

If you want flavor and richness without the high alcohol and without a high price tag, check this out. One of my go-to beers.

 443 characters

Photo of DeFaz
3.07/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After drinking a DIPA, I found this to be actually more intense, overwhelming, alcoholic, and difficult to drink. The beer pours a copper color with a medium head and pretty good retention. The smell is peppery, alcoholic, and spicy. The taste is also spicy (from the rye) with a solid malt backing but not a whole lot of the IPA flavors that I enjoy. The pepper from the rye seems to crush everything else. The thickness and carbonation are fine, but the rye creates an unpleasant aftertaste. Overall, I'm fairly new to rye beers and I understand that some of my complaints about this beer are simply a result of the rye, but perhaps there should be somewhat less of it. I really enjoyed Founder's Red Rye, but the taste here just didn't do it for me. By far this is the worst Sierra Nevada beer I've had.

 806 characters

Photo of nickapalooza86
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color, finger of white head, nice lacing, very clear

Smell is not the most complex out there, but still nice, rye, bready malt, herbal hop notes, westcoast style pine and grapefruit, sweetness from the malt.

Taste is sweet caramel, spice from the rye is there but it is in the way of subtle pepper, grapefruit, bready malt, bittering pine

mouthfeel is medium, average carbonation, slight dry but at the same time a little sweet

Well its SN and its a IPA, not anything I would go to crazy over... But at 6.80 a 6 pack I certainly will grab a 6er every season. Good not great.

 598 characters

Photo of isma0619
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Smoothest IPA I've had, only because its a Rye . Its the second time I've bought it. Good introductory beer for someone looking to drink more than 4 beers. IPA's usually give you a not so pleasant after taste, but this one won't... Serve in a Tulip glass... Cheers!!!

 267 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

As I've come to expect from Sierra Nevada, this is great looking beer. A two-finger, foamy, frothy head forms and as it dissipates, leaves sticky lace all around the glass. The beer has a dark copper and amber color and small bits of carbonation flow upwards.

Smell-wise, the beer is sweet and grainy, and the rye figures prominently providing some spice. The hops are a bit muted, but the floral aroma is there.

More rye shows up on the tongue, as this beer is highly bread-like, spicy, and earthy. The hops come in at the finish, giving a dry bitter finish and some floral notes.

The beer is quite creamy and has thick mouthfeel. There's a good balance of sweet malts, rye spice and dry, hoppy bitterness. A very approachable and easy-drinking beer, yet one big on complexity.

I'm a fan. Sierra Nevada has another great beer with this. I'll drink plenty in the next few months.

 939 characters

Photo of Rhf9120
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So this was another first for me . The beer poured a copper color with a finger width head. The smell is a nice balance of malt and hops. The rye really shines through in the taste and the flavor overall was very enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this beer.

 263 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish copper with great head and lace on top of an aroma that first strikes me as strong, piney, citric, the rye really comes out as well. Full bodied and well-balanced and just really struck a positive chord with me. The rye and some heavy, breadlike malts give beer a spicy edge and keep the abundant pine/citric hop notes from taking over my tastebuds but leave enough so I know I'm drinking a strong IPA. There is this touch of sweetness I seem to get at times as well that makes the beer more interesting. Has a great finish that is crisp and dry and I really took a shine to this Sierra Nevada offering.

 620 characters

Photo of fitrock2112
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured Ruthless Rye into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden with a half finger of white head.

S - Getting some pine, spiciness with light malts.

T - Man this brew tastes good. Right off the bat I taste spicy rye with piney hops, and grapefruit. Mid palate getting a little extra from the rye and malt to balance it out. On the finish it just blends smoothly with the IPA characteristics with the rye spiciness.

M - Medium carbonation, with medium mouthfeel. Nice feel for a IPA.

O - I really didn't expect this beer to that much different from Founders Red's Rye IPA; however, I must admit this is the beer to have when you're looking for a good Rye IPA.
Cheers!

 671 characters

Photo of zac16125
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass
bottled on: Dec 11th 2013

A: Pours a clear dark amber with 1.5 fingers width of slightly off white colored head. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Sweetness, spicy rye, citrus, subtle piney bitterness.

T: Lots of rye spiciness and hop bitterness right from the start. I also get some citrus rind flavors. Nice balance of hops with the rye base.

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the heavier side, average drinkability.

O: Another solid offering from Sierra Nevada. Better than most massively produced IPAs for sure, but Id prefer regular SN Pale, Torpedo, and Celebration all to this one. Very much worth a try though if you want to mix things up.

 730 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Rye has been a staple grain for milennia-sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor, Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors- combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to Spring." Sierra Nevada's spring seasonal returns for 2013, released annually around January-February. Brewed in the style of an American Rye IPA.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada pint snifter. Served north of 49º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Beer pours a frothy caramel-tinged white head of a fluffy cream consistency. Body color is a copper orange with mild sediment, a light haze and very low visible carbonation. Lacing is consistently light and curtained, retention is slightly above average. Head quality could improve a notch but otherwise this beer delivers well in appearance. 3.75

(Smell) Most noticeable is a moderate peppery bread note of rye for a full sweetness. Light citrus and floral hop notes compliment the malt profile, although they do not provide enough potency to challenge the specialty malt-centered beer. Additional notes of lightly toasted caramel, cracker malt for lightness, and a touch of fruity and spicy yeast esters, like raisin and nutmeg peek through as the beer warms. The potency is medium. Pleasant aroma overall, despite not being overly confident in the hop department. 3.25

(Taste) A nip of biscuity grain malt and citrus pith up front with a proceeding peppery rye midsection and a peppered, dry and boldly bitter finish with a dragging faint viscosity of rye sweetness to compliment. Although the hop flavor diversity has waned, this beer has otherwise held up remarkably well through the year. There's substantial bitterness and malt complexity to enjoy, yet the profile is quaffable enough to enjoy several in a single session. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mild slickness and a mellow stickiness build a subtle malt texture. Carbonation is busy, sharp and excited, very prickly on the tongue. Alcohol presence is low. Body is a medium for an American Rye IPA, and medium overall. The carbonation seems too aggressive for this beer. 3.5

(Overall) Sierra Nevada puts out a very tasty and flavorful, yet clean and easy drinking Rye IPA in Ruthless Rye. Chock full of clean, flavorful rye and a moderate thickness, this is a worthy drink for your IPA money, and a fair representative for the rapidly growing Rye IPA trend . 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's
Ruthless Rye IPA
3.63/5.00

 2,573 characters

Photo of brurevu
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Ruthless Rye IPA poured a deep copper with the typical Sierra Nevada overly effervescent head. The nose was spicier than a typical IPA with less of the citrus and pine hop and more of the rye spice. The taste was a peppery hops with the hoppy bitterness balanced by the spicy rye and some caramel to boot. The Ruthless Rye had a thin and spicy front that left a herbal bitter coating on my palate. While maybe not as complex as some rye IPA’s it is still a tasty tippable brew that was highly satisfying.

 510 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark, amber and cloudy. Thick foamy heady with superb lacing on side of glass. Strong piney/apple smell. Hints of citrus. Smooth malty taste. Bitterness hits you right away. Bitterness just gets stronger with the rye taste coming out at the end. The bitter aftertaste persists for a long time. Hopheads will like it just for the bitter aspect. Malty rye predominates the taste. Very slight fruitiness at the with a smoother caramel like taste. More impressed with this beer than last year. I may have gotten a fresher batch this year, though.

 551 characters

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.

 1,178 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance:
Copper color, slight haze. Lots of fine carbonation rising up. Thick rocky head.

Aroma:
Peppery, spicy, piney, citrus, bready.

Taste:
Rich, peppery, bready, biscuit, caramel. Hop bitterness is medium towards high, piney, grassy, herbal, blends well with rye malt. Finish is bitter-sweet, semi-dry. Body is robust, smooth, tangy, clean.

Overall:
An outstanding beer.

 381 characters

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, bottled february 2013

A- Dark copper colour, still nice clarity. Healty head, just a tad off-white, decent persistence, great lacing

S- Herbal and piney bitter hops, with a raw feel to them and a pungent/spicy note. Quite strong

T- Again herbal/piney upfront, with a touch of earthyness (i kind of feel like saying underwood, if only i ever tasted it...). Slight spicy feel, can't pick up a specific note, it's some kind of a raw spiciness. Some background citric notes may be slightly noticeable. Malt is pretty much just a foundation, with a raw grainy feel

M- Medium body, slightly above average carbonation helps with the raw/grainy feel. Dry, bitter aftertaste

O- Maybe citrus would have been brighter if this wasn't five months old, but still overall it held very well through time and transporting. It was a nice, vigorous ipa, flawless. Maybe just nothing special

 889 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 bark
2.91/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

The colour is amber-brown (25 EBC), the liquid clear. IT is darker than most IPAs. The two finger head slowly sinks down, leaving little lacing on the glass.

The smell is hoppy, but not very bitter. Rustic wood-like note sand caramel, some dried citric fruits and crisp bread. Some alcohol is present. It is bit raw and harsh, but in a good way.

The taste is bitter and not-that-sweet. Distinct notes of rye crispbread and fresh oak casks. Some mature, almost dried, citric notes. Tart notes in the background. Medium body. The aftertaste is rather raw and harsh. Malty flavours, somewhat sour. Medium bitterness with a harsh alcoholic edge. The finish is sweet with raw alcoholic notes.

The carbonation is mild, the many small bubbles are smooth and short-lived. The liquid is smooth.

Way too harsh for me.

 814 characters

Photo of ColdWaffles
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye

Reviewed from notes from Spring. Poured from a 12 oz into a standard pint.

Appearance: Nice clear copper color with a foamy, resilient off-white head. 4.5/5

Smell: Grassy hops, rye and a nice zesty/spicy scent. 4/5

Taste: Maltier than the scent lead on. Nice balance of hops, citrusy but certainly not overwhelming. Somewhat earthy. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale with maybe a tiny bit more carbonation than I'd like, but overall good. 3.75/5

I tend to enjoy the style and this doesn't let me down. Love the awesome head too. 4/5

 564 characters

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,116 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe