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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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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 hreb
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle pkgd 01/28/16. Served in a pint glass. Beer pours an orange amber color, clear, but darker than expected for Sierra Nevada, supporting a very large head. I get very little in the way of aroma -- maybe a little bit of malty bread smell. Flavor brings the new-classic combination of rye bitterness and hops, in American Single IPA proportions. Piny, bready, with a slick, cloying mouthfeel. I'm having really mixed feelings about this one. This is clearly not my favorite rye IPA, but is it any good? Is it too simple? Is it simple because that's what its balance demands?

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Photo of sentomaster
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- gorgeous red brown which turns into a clear orange red when held up till like. Reminds me of the rock in Jurrasic Park with the mosquito trapped inside. Thick cap up fluffy white foam tops it off.

Great nose. grapefruit, pineapple, mango, citrus, pine- it's all there. pine and citrus dominate as it warms.

T/M- sour grapefruit and a touch of malty caramel sweetness up front ride into a biting bitterness and peppery spiciness. Citrus and pine visit the party, but take a back seat. Finishes with up biting, dry bitterness. Medium body with a tight carbonation.

O- the nose is awesome, but the taste is a little bit of a one trick pony- straightforward and assertive for sure, and lacking a fruity balance to the almost harsh bitterness and spice.

Just one of these is enough for me, it doesn't fit the bill for a good session.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a clear reddish-orange. Foamy, rocky bone-white head does not budge one inch. Clumpy lacing clings doggedly to everything it touches.

S: A hefty dose of rye. Earthy and spicy with a crusty, toasted pumpernickel rye bread scent. Hop scents are pithy, dank, and weed-like with citrus notes underneath.

T: Grapefruit hop bitterness opens, followed closely by a blanket of rye tastes. As in the nose, it tends toward strong spicy and crusty bread tastes. Citrus notes come mid-palate, and linger for only an instant. Hop flavors then shift to pithy, dank, and oily. Finishes with dank, pithy hops and grainy rye.

M: Medium bodied. Slick and oily from the rye. Fluffy. Moderate scrubbing carbonation further enhances the bite of the rye.

O: A bit heavy-handed with the rye. It has quite a bite. A little more balance would help. Not bad though. If you like rye, you won't have a problem. For those who aren't used to it, it may be a bit of a shock.

Notes: It's not a bad beer, though not anywhere close to the best rye beers. To tell the truth, I'd much prefer to have glissade back as the spring seasonal. Not sure why they made the decision to replace it, especially with something more on the radical side. I'm not sure this beer will be as widely appealing.

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Photo of aficionado
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed the dark amber body/head along with the malt backbone, and rye presence, but hated the yeast profile. Tastes like a hopped up English lager, not an American ale. Think of Sam Smith's Organic Lager with more bitterness and way more toasty malt presence. The grassy hops here provide some bitterness and brightness, but they aren't really reminiscent of a characterful hop forward American IPA.

Good beer, but I prefer Northern Hemi, Estate, and Celebration a bit more.

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Photo of mnj21655
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, vibrant Amber in color with a full two fingers of dense very light khaki head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is very subdued, hints of caramel malt and a touch of breadiness. Taste is equally subdued but has a general underlying sweetness with some caramel and spicy rye with bready undertones and a slight bitterness in the finish. Medium+ mouthfeel with low-moderate carbonation. Overall a decent beer, easy drinking but not terribly interesting.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look - A dark amber type color, clear in appearance
Smell - Spice, floral, hints of grapefruit/citrus
Taste - Peppery rye spice, some citrus, some floral notes, burnt toast, earthy

Overall - Not a huge rye IPA guy myself and this one doesn't necessarily make me change my mind either. Decent/drinkable but wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rtaps for letting me steal one of these

Look: Caramel in color with a 1/4 inch white head and no retention with some spotty lacing

Smell: Piney hops and rye

Taste: Similar to the nose. It's piney and resiny with a touch of citrus not bad at all

Mouthfeel: Just under medium body and medium carbonation and a bit dry and bitter

Overall: Pretty darn good rye IPA

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eh I kind of hate rye IPA's since they leave the palate so dry but this one was pretty nice.

A - Looks pretty dark, darker than a normal IPA with a good amount of sticky foam. Lacing is good too.

S - Rye really didn't stand out much in the smell maybe as a peppery aspect, strong earthy hops, good amount of bread malts too.

T - Not as bad as I expected they got the finish down without too much drying. Taste is hoppy at first then the rye clocks you pretty hard then the bread finish smooths it out.

M - Medium bodied even though balanced I still am not a huge fan.

Overall defiantly a good beer but not something I would seek out again. Was like the rye version of the "northern hemisphere IPA" which I liked a lot too. Good if you love the style.

 756 characters

Photo of Giovacchini
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A- dark amber with a thin head that disapates.

S- citrusy aromas, grass, pine, rye.

T- rye is present along with a nice maltiness. The malt is balanced by a strong citrusy bitterness. This beer tastes like a lot of SN other beers with a hint of rye.

M- good amount of carbonation like other SN beers. The mouthfeel is dry with a bitter finish.

O- I liked the fact at SN tried to market this beer with cool graphics. This beer is not very ruthless at all. The flavors are dull and this beer doesn't stand out to me as a good one from SN.

 578 characters

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A: Pours a caramel amber hue with an off-white, creamy head.

S: Earthy hops conquer the nose along with a touch of pine, citrus, and some floral notes mingled throughout.

T/M: Hops are blatant up front, thick on the tongue and coating the mouth. It’s really one of the thicker IPA’s I’ve had. More strong earthiness and a bitter punch about halfway through that lingers long afterwards.

This is a good, thick IPA if you prefer the earthier hop varietal. Which I don’t.


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Photo of rgs0204
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Clear, dark orange body that sparkles like champagne with a fizzy white head that disappears quickly.

Smell - hops and more hops, light malt, citrus, and a touch of pepper.

Taste - Initial taste is lightly acidic with a light sweetness, but the finish is long and heavy, with a bearable bitter flavor reminding you that this is an IPA not a pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Fully body, smooth with a dry light fizz. The finish is chalky making the bitter finish sort of sit in the back of your throat.

Overall - This is a nice IPA to welcome the transition from Winter to Spring. There is little to no floral hints and the bitterness that is expected with big IPAs is hidden in the finish...but it is there. This is a very drinkable IPA.

 743 characters

Photo of beyah
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Samuel Smiths pint.

A - Deep amber with 2 fingers of off white head that hangs in for a long time.

S - Smell the rye and pine from the hops, can't make out much else.

T - Tastes similar to smell, quite bitter finish.

M - Carbonation is about right for this style and body a bit thin.

O - Not my favorite Sierra Nevada, but an interesting change of pace.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of medium spicy rye malt notes with some bitter and light citrusy hoppy notes. Taste is a very drinkable mix between some peppery and spicy rye malt notes with a bitter and light citrus hoppy finish. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well brewed with no flaws though not as powerful as expected.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle. Dates 1353. December 19/11. Poured in to tulip glass.

A - Medium copper colour with a half finger of cream coloured head.

S - Grapefruit and pine aromas up front that accompany a nice hop bitterness. Some floral and spicy/peppery notes are evident in the background along with a slight caramel sweetness.

T - A sharp bitterness up front with big spicy/peppery malt flavours. Some citrus and pine flavours are evident, but not to the degree that I expected given the nose. The spicy rye flaovurs really steal the show here.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation.

 608 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange amber with a good tannish head... nice sheets of lace.

The nose on this one seems pretty mild... pale malts... a bit bready.. grassy hops... no yeastiness to speak of... pretty clean and again, mild.

Flavor mirrors the aroma with a bit of minerally fruitiness on finish that I am having a hard time pinning down... earthy and grassy hoppiness...

Medium body with smooth everpresent small bubble carbonation.. very drinkable given the ABV... I would probably get bored after a bottle or three, but I will pick this one up again.


 571 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours dark amber in color. It has about two inches of beige head.

S - I can definitely tell there is rye in there. It almost comes across as skunky.

T - The rye really stands out. I get some breadiness in the middle, and it finishes with rye and some bitterness.

M - Medium

O - I'm not sold on this one. I'm usually a fan of Sierra Nevada. It doesn't quite stack up to the other rye beers I have had.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Nearly clear dark orange amber color. Two fingers of creamy off-white head. Retention is average with a good bit of lacing left.

3.5 S: Plenty of earthy spicy rye. Hints of smoke and toasted malt. Hops are floral and earthy. Pleasant and quite interesting.

3.5 T: Again, lots of earthy spicy rye. Mild bitterness. Herbal and earthy hop flavor. Again I'm picking up a light smokiness and a stronger toastiness.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy and smooth.

3.5 D: Tasty beer. I'm a big fan of rye and I like the smokiness that this beer has. It's a good combination.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Again, a big thank you to output01x for providing this beer.

An average pour netted a finger and a half of vanilla colored, creamy head. Body is a nice copper color, with a light stream of bubbles rushing upward. Lacing tries and fails to hang on to the side of the glass.

Good smell. Pine and grapefruit are first up, with rye bread, pepper and a hint of wood following up.

Rye sits on your tongue and stews until pine explodes in your mouth. The bitterness from this sticks around until rye comes back in and finishes off with a spiced bread flavor. Was hoping for a little grapefruit in there, but nothing doing.

THis one is medium bodied and a little sticky. Leaves a lasting mild bitter.

 696 characters

Photo of untitledeuphoria
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2014 Ruthless, 01/28/14 packaging date, consumed from a flare pilsner glass.

A: Pours a very attractive deep copper coloring, with a solid one and half finger of off white (dusty) head that slowly fades to a cap and leaves moderate lacing.

S: Malt with slight toffee? notes, and very slight... at least to me... basic citrus. Overall, the smell is very subdued, even immediately after an aggressive pour.

T: Rye! ...then some more Rye, slowly followed by orange zest, and finishes dry and bitter, with a lingering taste of pepper.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, coats the mouth with a light resin stick. Alcohol warmth is apparent after half a bottle or so.

O: One of those "have to be in the mood for it" beers. It is a beer I enjoy on colder, poor weather days where the spice and alcohol warmth acts as a pick me up, without knocking me out. Each time I have this beer it tends to be a one and done, not to be paired with other beers and definitely not to be sessioned. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys experimental IPAs, but would not go out of my way for.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA pours a deep copper color, topped by a big off-colored white head and decent lacing. Soft citrus notes quickly give way to peppery aromas and hints of rye. As with the nose, citrus hop flavors open up the pallet before being overtaken by spicy rye flavors. The rye starts mellow at first but slowly rises throughout the finish. Medium bodied and carbonated, Ruthless Rye is an interesting take on an IPA, and was much better then we were expecting (we are not the biggest rye fans)!


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Photo of bayougutter
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown that you can see thru with a nice two inch eggshell head that stuck around awhile.

Smells citrus, pine, resin, and a little of the rye spice.

Taste citrus, pine, a little floral/ grassy with the rye tasting good on the finish.

Mouthfeel is palate coating without being thick. Could stand a little more carbination.

Overall a well done offering from SN and worthy of a go.

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Photo of Tee76
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A:. Pours a deep amber color with a decent creamy white head. Heavy lacing sticks to the glass and stays around. Nice looking beer

S: The Spicey rye is is upfront and in your face, followed by earthy hops and a bit of citrus.

T: Dominate peppery taste followed by a faint pine bite.

M: Nice and creamy up front followed by a smooth rye aftertaste. Nice carbonation as well.

D: Quite drinkable, though they could have toned down the peppery flavor to allow the hops to really come through more. Not to different from Sierra Nevada's other hoppy brews.

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Photo of Offa
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper, it has a medium big pale tan head, slowly shrinking to foamy ring and wisps, some nice lace.

Aroma is nice, rich resin, grapefruit, caramelised pine and grapefruit, spicy grain, hint of dried fruit & fruit candy.

Taste is spicy dried fruit & fruit candy up front, deep earthy bread character, lightly leaning to spicy-earthy bitterness with hint of citrus at finish. Light mineral throughout, but a bit too spicy-bitter, esp. in finish and with food, with a fusel alcoholic quality, all making it a bit rough and harsh despite some good elements.

 561 characters

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.

 308 characters

Photo of theteleman
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pretty darn hoppy with a nice rye bite to it. If you like west coast style IPA's(very prevalent hop flavors) you'll enjoy this brew. Mouthfeel is pretty thin, but leaves the palate with a nice rye taste, real crisp. Enjoyed this brew with some spicy shrimp and veggies and it tasted great.

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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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