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

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Reviews: 1,121 | Ratings: 5,085
Photo of kevINSIGHT
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad beer, but I was hoping for a lot more. Way less hoppy than most IPA's I've had. After liking Kind Ryed (Otter Creek) so much I had my hopes up for Sierra Nevada's Rye IPA and it tasted like a very ordinary beer.
Color was coppery and clear. Not a very foamy head but still a lot of fizz to the tongue. I tasted more malt than hops which was disappointing when expecting the hop bite of an IPA.

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

Bottle to pint glass.

A - Pours a clear copper with an inch of clumpy tannish head that sticks around for a while. Nice spotty lacing clings to the glass.

S - Spicey smelling. Not sure if it's from the hops or the rye, but it's interesting. Behind that is a slight malty smell. Not too much going on here.

T - Hop bitterness right up front, with a taste of grass and pine. The rye spiciness comes in about mid palate and stays until the finish, lending a dryness at the end.

M - Medium carbonation, and a decent mouthfeel. The dryness is nice.

O - A nice IPA, but it seems kinda lacking. I can't quite place what is wrong with it, but it definitely could be a bit better. I could see this being good on a hot day.

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Photo of Guden
3.04/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours a solid copper color with a big fluffy off white head. Fairly clear but a bit of haze.

S- Big harsh piney nose with tons of grassiness, not very pleasant.

T- The grassiness of the nose is again the star of the flavor shining through and overwhelming the light pine of the hops. A wash of maltiness and mild bitterness wash down the grass flavor well but can't make up for it being there in the first place.

M- The medium-low body is a bit higher than expected but blends nicely with the earthy rye and grassy hops.

D- This beer suffers from an overbearing grass quality and the rye taste not shining through as much as it could. It looks beautiful but is just alright. Compared to the Founders Red Rye PA it is no where near as good.

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Photo of Shooter1960
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Poured a deep copper with 2-3 fingers of head. Good lacing on the glass.

Nothing particularly distinct about the smell.

I expected a stronger flavor but it was a mild IPA. Would be good for a hot summer day but a little light for this time of year and really does not give you the IBU fix for an IPA.

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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 champ103
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love Rye beers, just add rye to anything and I typically love it. I had this on tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a dark reddish color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: Resinous, piny, soapy, and oily hops. A strong lingering bitterness. That is it.
T: Follows the nose. Strong on t he pine and resin. Syrupy, oily, and slick. Lingering bitterness. No balance and no rye to speak of.
M/D: A medium body. Syrupy, slick, and oily. To much bitterness, and no balance for me to enjoy this.

I was looking forward to this because I think rye is such a great compliment to many styles. Though there is none here. Just over barring bitterness. Good for the hop heads, but to me it feels a bit empty.

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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.

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Photo of Pencible
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: This poured a clear dark gold with a little off-white head.
S: It smelled possibly skunked, with prominent sour (lager?) yeast, followed by some herbal and copper hops and earthy rye.
T: It tasted like sour lager yeast and bitter herbal and copper hops, with a little spicy rye and barley. It had a sour and bitter aftertaste that didn't seem very clean.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This beer seems to be getting pretty good press, so maybe my bottle just wasn't good. But it really seemed to me like nothing other than the standard SNPA using a lager yeast instead of their standard ale yeast. I really had to try to search for the rye character, and the scent and taste weren't very appealing to me otherwise. The body was ok, but not great. The finish wasn't great either, but it wasn't difficult to put back. I'll have to try this again to confirm my opinion, but it really wasn't enjoyable the first time around.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, very dark amber colored almost brown with a large tan head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: piney hops, caramel malt, a bready quality, not much else

T: very bitter and unbalanced, a one dimentional piney bitter hop tongue bashing, a hot black pepper finish, I don't like this

M: nice mouth coating with good carbonation

O: I don't care for the taste of this beer. The hop flavors are one dimentional and very pine resin laden. There is no substantial malt middle quallity to support this hop flavor, leaving the beer an unbalanced mess. No element of citrus flavors. The bottle has no date, so I don't know if it is just old or truly bad. There is a heavy element of spicy black pepper on the aftertaste that doesn't match well with the hop flavors presented. I've had much better rye based IPAs.

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Photo of corby112
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft at Small Bar in San Diego.

Pours a dark golden amber color with a one finger off white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Bland aroma with subtle earthy hops and a sweet malt presence. Hints of floral pine needle along with some citrus rind but the malts overpower the nose with caramel, rye, nut and toffee.

Medium bodied and similar to the aroma with a dry, earthy hop presence that lingers over sweeter malts into a slight dry finish.  A bit hoppier than the nose suggested with some floral pine and hop oils along with some grapefruit and orange peel.  This is countered by sweet rye, caramel and toffee. Decent balance and easy to drink but a bit bland.  As it warms it becomes a little soapy and unpleasant.  

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Photo of laramis
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: it was a reddish orange color there was a small head white in color weak retention little lacing

S:Earthy hops some grain notes not overpowering actually the aroma is quite mild

T: Strong flavor at first then there is the bitter taste of hops but instead the sweat aftertaste one would expect the rye flavor takes over and remains on the pallet

M: Pleasant theres not to much there is medium carbonation

O: This was a beer that i could drink again, i was not hugely impressed but it wasnt terrible either, i am not a huge ipa guy but i liked the rye flavors and appreciated that it was not overly alcoholic and still flavorful

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Photo of rogueleonardi
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber brown, with about half a finger of white head.

S - Didn't really smell any citrus, lots of malt though, couldn't really smell the rye.

T - No citrus taste, can't taste hardly any rye flavor at all. This is some malt flavor but nothing really stands out here. It has almost a watered down taste.

M - Good carbonation, decent mouthfeel, but a thin beer with little substance to it.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaped Dogfish pint glass.

A - Perfect white head that dies down into a fluffy island in the center. Leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass. Brownish amber color with perfect clarity. Looks good!

S - I get some dank hops with a definite rye addition. A bit musty. I usually like the smell of rye beers but there is something a bit off with this one.

T - Pine and hops up front. A bit metallic, mid-palate. The rye is very apparent in the finish and the aftertaste. Average.

M - Very good carbonation giving this beer a twang on the tongue. A mildly dry alcohol finish. Mediun bodied.

O - I was excited to see a new seasonal offering from SN, as I usually enjoy their beers. It wasn't bad, but wasn't great. An average rye beer that I will probably give another chance to see if my opinion improves. I like that Sierra Nevada is exploring new styles for large scale release, and hope that trend continues.

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Photo of mpedara429
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured out a clear, coppery color that appeared a bit burnished. Two fingers of pale yellow head. Good retention and lacing that draped along the sides of the glass.

S: Not overwhelming here. A little bit of floral hops and grapefruit with a predominant lame yeast smell.

T: Flavor is heavy on floral hops and dank pine. A hint of grapefruit and a spicy kick on the finish. The initial taste is on the bitter side, but the malt body shows up just enough to give it some balance.

M: Pretty typical medium body with medium carbonation. A little stickiness.

O: Pretty much what I would expect from a Sierra Nevada beer. It's a middle of the road beer that seems like it is being held back from greatness. Some more hop flavor and aroma would make this beer top notch.

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

Sampled last night on 10/28/15. Comes in a 12-ounce bottle. Bottle said "2013" at the top of the label and it was just FINE. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere" pint glass.

Brew pours a deep copper-amber in color with a good 2-3 finger foamy/creamy off-white head. LOTS of lacing was seen when sipped that stuck to the sides of the glass. Aroma is of grains and citrus hop for the most part. Bit more going on with the taste as there is some spices and pepper in the mix as well. Does has a bitter finish but doesn't last too long. Lots of flavor but a bit too 'hoppy' for me but did have a good taste and aroma otherwise. Medium-bodied with medium carbonation.

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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 InIBUsWeTrust
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yet another unique offering from Sierra Nevada, let's take a look at the complexities of their rendition of a rye infused American pale ale.

Served via 12 oz. Bottle

Insatiable to say the least, upon viewing the pour I'm excited to try this hybrid IPA.

Smell is hearty and robust, slightly different from that of their pale ale.

Taste is bold! Initially I thought this was going to be another Torpedo, yet I was greeted with a full bodied smack in the face! This is not a sessionable beer!

Overall - Creativity scores big on this one, Sierra Nevada keeps it's best ideas in the think tank.

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Photo of muskiesman
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into tulip from 12 oz bottle

amber with off white head 1-2 fingers fair lacing

Big hop nose, grassy and earthy

Grassy rye with slight sweetness
Citrus and mild bitter spice

Overall not a bad selection but there are better rye beers to be had

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip glass. Pours a clear medium copper an one-finger off-white head along with lacing that lasts well throughout. Aroma is quite spicy like a rye beer should be and Earthy/piny hops are also present creating a nice balance. Flavor suggests a spicy rye taste and mild hops. Some bitterness is present throughout with piny hop flavors. Some caramel malt is there is well to prop up the hops. Medium mouthfeel and decent carbonation throughout. Quite an average but interesting rye-inspired IPA brew.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - light copper color, fulll 2 finger frothy head.

Smell - hops, bitter, and a touch of soapiness

Taste - mild malty sweet, maybe a pinch of bread, followed immediately by pine.

Mild hops start in the middle and linger after swallowed. Not nearly the Hops profile i was expecting considering 1) the smell, and 2) it's called an IPA. I don't know much about Rye Beers but I think the only thing Rye added to this was color.
...15 minutes later, near the bottom of the glass as the beer warms, you get a earthy spice flavor, and after that, the alcohol become more predominant. + for the spice, - for the alcohol, and the taste rating is back to where it was.

Feel - Thick, full bodied, like a dark beer. the head is creamy and really add the experience.

Nothing too special here. I want to rate this beer higher, but I have to start setting my standards higher.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into wide-based flute glass.

A: Dark copper colored body underlying a off-white two-finger head. Clean and illuminating at times; beautiful!

S: The sharp and quick cutting rye malt character comes through in the initial whiff as does the hop aroma. The hop characteristics include a mix between "piney" and "musky" smells, and seems to be more subtle than other Sierra Nevada IPA's I've had in the past. Not sure if this can be attributed to how distinct rye flavor and aroma can be, but I believe this may be a main culprit.

T: The rye immediately highlights and heightens the hop bitterness. There is some malt sweetness to balance off the abundance of hop flavor and bitterness, but not enough to say this is a "well-balanced" IPA.

M: Standard; what I have come to expect from a solid IPA.

O: Rye IPA's are usually a hit or miss with me. With that said, this hits me right in the middle. Nothing too bold, but does deliver some distinct flavors not commonly found in hoppy beers (which I like). A try it beer. Cheers!

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Photo of q33jeff
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25


AROMA: is rye, hops, orange rind.
LOOK: copper color. Big Head.
TASTE: Bitter/stale Hops, rye.
Smooth, but grainy finish
Pretty Good beer with a lot of flavor, some good, some not so good.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter. Bottled 1/31/12. 

Pours hazy chestnut with about 1 finger head that leaves occasional small dots of lacing. 

Dank hop aromas up front. Pine, sugar and some sort of malty/ bready smell I can't put my finger on. 

Tastes like piney hops and spicy roast bread. Kind of doughy with a long bitter finish. The hops are present the whole way through but never really dominate the flavor how I prefer in an IPA. 

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall not a beer I'll be going to in the future but I'm glad I tried it. The hops are there but seem to play second fiddle to that bold peppery malt thing it has going on. 

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Photo of vandemonian
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA is a rye IPA that tastes of weed and urine.

A: Red orange colour and a 1 cm head that fades slowly to good lacing. 4

S: Strong grasses hops smell like weed and urine. 3

T: Crisp maltiness into an earthy and grassy finish. There are still hints of urine. Weird. 3

M: Foamy. 4

O: 3.5

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,085 ratings.
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