Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
5,089 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,089 |  Reviews: 1,121
Photo of John11486
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Trader’s Joe. Pours amber with an off-white, long lasting, foamy head. Aroma is of citrusy hops, bready malt and spices. The body is medium, very tangy. Citrusy, spicy hops, bready and caramel malt, some orange fruit fill the mouth. Delicious IPA.

 267 characters

Photo of jifigz
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: The appearance on this beer is a rich brownish red with a wonderful lingering head. The head is full of nooks and crannies and looks very, very fluffy. The beer and head left nice lacing throughout the drinking process.

S: The aroma is citrusy and hoppy with a nice spicy like bite to it. The spicy bite is almost pepper like and very appetizing-that smell makes my mouth water and my nose ache with joy.

T: The taste is crisp and clean at first and then the spiciness hits and mingles with a sudden burst of hops. The aftertaste is surprisingly refreshing for being so bitter before leaving my mouth feeling dry and craving another sip.

MF: The mouthfeel is good and very creamy for this beer. It goes down extremely smooth and the carbonation is light and delicate.

O: This is a fine American IPA and I like the spiciness that the rye lends to the flavor.

 900 characters

Photo of PaBeerLover
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

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

On-tap 2/17/2012 at Shannon View Inn in Warwick, RI served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a coppery red color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, caramelized malts and citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain and rye spiciness. Then a nice hops bitterness quickly follows. The malt character is hearty and creates a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Very crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this beer seems to be just like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with the extra rye IPA bitter bite to it.

 758 characters

Photo of Rocketman8911
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of dufficy0
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of hopsolutely
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in Ithaca, NY. A brightly coloured orange amber without any sign of head. Surprisingly the mouthfeel is still pleasant, as the hop bitterness must be making up for the lack of carbonation.

Aroma is hop-forward with a surprising honey element, along with the caramelized rye malts. The flavour is well balanced with a pleasantly bitter finish. The rye elements aren't overwhelming, which is ideal for my own personal preference, if not necessarily for the style...

 472 characters

Photo of ssimpson89
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good reddish brown concoction lets a creamy head build and lace...Nice aromas of dandelions and cut grass. On the tongue it is mostly Weedy/piney hop esters. Leaves a nice bitter bite in the back of the mouth, a little spice from the alcohol lets you know the night is getting better. During the bitter onslaught there is an actual balance balance going on, with some rye pumpernickel malt flavors. Just something more to love about rye, it compliments both ends of the spectrum. Full bodied with a slick, stickiness. Hoppy, balanced and thick, quite enjoyable.

 563 characters

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

12oz bottle, fridge temp, darkness snifter, 2012.

pours out a nice light copper, almost a touch brown and red. very nice thick creamy off white head. kept some really amazing looking retention and left some super thick lacing. lots of carbonation bubbles as well.

at first i got big doses of that classic SN sharp, dry citrus and pine. after a minute or two, the grains balance things out and mute out the hops a bit, slightly spicey rye and bready, grainy malts.

slightly dry, slightly sharp citrus, resinous pine balanced very nicely by a light caramel, slightly pungent spicey rye bready grain. just the right amount of sweetness is cut by a nice bitterness. a dry bitterness lingers.

medium bodied, super drinkable. hops are mostly felt on the palate, but there is a bit of lingering spice from the rye.

this is definatly one of the better ryPA's ive had in awhile. maybe not as good as hop rod rye but still very enjoyable. the rye is right up front, which i like, still pretty hoppy. ill be buying this again.

 1,021 characters

Photo of ltdantheman
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Nage37
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of electtodefer
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of stckhndlr
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark orange amber color with some metallic color to it. Very fine bubble head (1-2 finger). Short lived head with decent lacing.

S- somewhat of a sweet rye with hops and a hint of citrus.

T- not overly bitter like some IPAs. It has a sort of roast quality to it the takes away from the citrus of the hops. balances it out a bit. A touch of sweetness up front with the rye flavor.

M- Medium body that really fills the mouth.

O- Not a bad beer. I like the mellowness of the bitters in this one and the sweet hints you get from the rye.

 540 characters

Photo of stafford2
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Pickled Pig.

A: Pours a clear amber/copper color with a small off-white foamy head on top. Settles down to a small layer of bubbles on top. Moderate lacing.

S: Lots of rye, more so than most rye IPAs. Lots of spice and some bread mixed with some herbal hops and little bit of pine.

T: Very spicy again, lots of pepper and rye mixed with some pien. There is some bready and caramel malt towards the end.
The rye comes through on the aftertaste very strong.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes very dry.

O: Very heavy in the rye, which I appreciate, but would have liked a little more of the IPA to shine through. Still a solid beer from SN.

 704 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd been meaning to drink this awhile ago but a darn cold got in the way and had me off beer for a while.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: Beer pours a crystal clear dark bronze with about a finger of off white head that recedes to a soapy layer and lacing. To be honest, its not that impressive of a pour.

Smell: Citrusy hops, pleasing enough but I'm not picking up very much rye.

Taste: Hoppy for certain with a big dose of bitterness. Rye comes through with its signature spiciness. Rye adds a nice layer of complexity to the beer. More rye flavor than I was expecting. Tasty.

Mouthfeel: On the fuller side of medium. Rye adds a nice bit of body.

Overall: Rye adds another dimension to your average IPA. One of the more rye forward beers I've had. Very tasty and highly drinkable.

 818 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Can one be considered "ruthful"? And, if so, what would one have to do to be so considered? Anyway, this stuff pours a deep amber topped by over a finger of dirty cream-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, lemon peel, rye spice, grass, and light flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, with the spice really standing out quite nicely against the backdrop of grasses and citrus fruits (rinds and all, baby). It's similar to a rye-d-up version of SNPA. Nice. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a very nice rye IPA, one that I wouldn't mind seeing year-round (though, 'til then, I'm more than happy to see this one in the Spring instead of that Glissade nonsense).

 786 characters

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!

 1,744 characters

Photo of Unchi
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Rayek
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ruthless pours a deep amber hue, with a slight haze. A dense and creamy cap creates a thick cloud of foam that stays the whole way down the glass. Rocky lace is left in the beer's a wake. It's a most excellent look.

Citrus and pine dominate. Bitterness is at about the level I expect from an American IPA. The rye adds its distinct caraway bite. Its use is restrained, rather than in your face. As the beer warms, the rye bite grows and lingers through the finish. The rest of the picture is filled by toasted grains and a hint of caramel sweetness. The only thing holding this beer back is a light body that feels too thin. The carbonation is about right, but the overall mouthfeel picture just seems off to me. This is the last bottle in my six-pack and all of them have had the same issue.

Fix the body and this is a great beer. Despite its issues, I'm still glad I picked this up.

 886 characters

Photo of M27
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of chilly460
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice looking beer, pours a darker amber, quite clear with a full inch of off-white head. Fluffy head dissipates slightly but sticks around, heavy rings of lacing ring the glass.

S - The rye is quite apparent, comes in as some spiciness. Complimented well with the citrus, and bigger floral hop aroma coming through. Get a nice caramel background, malt is big in the overall profile.

T - Follows the nose pretty well, initial hit is the very floral hop taste, light tasting. The cleaner, somewhat spicy rye comes in here as well, distinct. Surprising was the big malts coming in, plenty of caramel sweetness, this beer is quite sweet overall.

M - A fairly plain mouthfeel, bit less then medium body and standard mid-carbonation.

O - I enjoyed the floral hops on this one, but to be honest the sweetness throws it off a bit as you continue working on the glass.

 871 characters

Photo of MickeyHops
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,089 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.