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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,118 Reviews
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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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,118 | Ratings: 5,074
Photo of Mcbobs
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Rye IPA and while it is very good, it is still very different from what I'm used to. Very nice hops characteristics and mouthfeel. The rye definitely has a very different aftertaste to it than a more commonly brewed IPA. Overall, a very good beer that I will drink again.

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Photo of BeerFiend2002
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Copper body with a frothy off-white one and a half finger head.

S- Grapefruit, pine, and a pepperiness from the rye. Smells great.

T- Nice. I get the grapefruit up front followed by the pininess from the vintage SN cascade hops. The rye gives it a spicy, peppery taste. Only a tad of bitterness from the hops. Good stuff.

M- Medium-bodied. It goes down smooth and has a bit of a slick feel to it.

O- Im not huge into the rye beers as some, but this is good. Its not as good as the Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, but I would drink this and the Founders Red's Rye PA again. Sierra Nevada knows how to make good beers...another winner by them.

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

Seriously a good beer. It's not quite characteristic of a classic IPA, but that's ok. The bitterness from the hops does kick in at the end along with the alcohol, which does remind you that you're drinking an IPA. It's much more malty and the rhy really comes out in the smell and the taste. The smell is strong. Toasted rhy bread, with some grassy crispness. If you want a serious IPA don't go for this, but if you're looking for something a little unique, this has it.

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

Pours a dark Cooper with an impressive off white head that slowly fades into a quarter inch cap. Lovely citrus aroma. Alternating citrus and pine flavors. Finishes with an unappealing roughness that is no doubt imparted by the rye. This is such a delightful beer! Probably would never have bought this beer, but had been curious about how it tastes. My neighbor brought some over and I'm pleased he did.

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Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Deep copper color with two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Lacing all over.

S- Overwhelmingly grassy and citrus notes from the hops make for a very pleasant nose.

T- Grassy hops right up front with a little bit of citrus to it. The rye takes care of the bitterness and leaves you a beer with really nice hop flavor that finishes with a bready/rye flavor.

M- Light bodied, carbonation is alright. Nothing crazy.

O- Very nice offering from Sierra Nevada. I would absolutely pick up another sixer.

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Photo of 9InchNails
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color, sporadic tiny bubbles, foamy off white head that leaves some soap like lacing.

Pepper, rye, citrus and pine. It's pretty in your face.

Pepper, floral, pine, citrus, grapefruit, rye, dough and some dry alcohol at the end.

Light carbonation, I consider this almost a sipper since its so dry.

I was looking forward to this brew for quite sometime. A definitely a solid beer and shouldn't be overlooked.

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

On tap at local Winking Lizard.

Light ruby red elixir served in imperial pint glass. Nice two finger, thick white head, plenty of lacing.

Really nice citrus, grapefruit, orange rind compete with the smokey/pepper rye malt.

Smooth hops up front give way to subtle spice and a hint of freshly picked herbs. Sounds a bit bizarre, but the flavor is really well blended.

Well carbonated, smooth, easy to imbibe.

Another nice brew from SN.

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Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Somewhat dark copper with a nice sturdy cap and great lacing. Darker than expected but looks great, as SN beers always do.

Smell: Spicy, earthy and bready, with some orange-driven citrus.

Taste: Semi-sweet bread and toast backbone. Fairly earthy and citrusy (a little tangier than the aroma indicated), with a long pine and spice finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Overall: While not quite the taste onslaught of some other Rye IPAs (such as Founders Red Rye and the Summit India Rye Ale from two years back), this is extremely well balanced and immensely drinkable. The best "Spring" seasonal from Sierra Nevada yet.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, bottled 2/17/12.

Color wise, this rye beer defines copper, with brown and orange melded into a clear, clearly not orange body. The head is a quality affair that even after falling is a hefty half inch of off-white that clings well.

The rye is aggressive and definitely not going to be elbowed out of the way by the Sierra Nevada hop signature. Yeasty rye bread shares space with pepperiness and grapefruit citric hops. Alcohol becomes markedly aggressive when near room temperature.

The bitterness is certainly at a high level, but so is rough peppery rye that fights with the hops on every level. It perpetuates the bitterness and adds another element to it, while forcing the grapefruit juiciness to develop very late, which then fades leaving doughiness. Bitter alcohol just accentuates all the rye's assaults as well as the hop's.

It's very near a palate wrecker. Full, juicy body and pretty prickly carbonation.

As a rye beer this gets high marks from me, as it is the first one where I have really known the rye is there and a defining characteristic. I also really like it because I like what Sierra Nevada does and this is classic Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Classic rye ale, exhibiting all the things you love about rye -- a sort of deep, rich maltyness, some spice/bite, and a bit of earth. Throw in some backing bittering hops and a slight citrus undercurrent, and you've got a good thing going. Really nice feel, too, creamy, full, satisfying. Classic indeed.

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Photo of RustyTide
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just tried a 12 oz. bottle...ok a couple...and poured into a standard pint glass.

A- Beautiful clear dark copper color with a medium off-white or tan head. Good head retention and decent amount of lacing.

S- Pleasantly strong piny hops as well as rye, pepper like spice and citrus. Images of fresh whole-cones popped into my head every sip.

T- Nice Heavy hops/spice/bitterness, malty rye bread taste. Refreshing.

M- Crisp medium-bodied,balanced carbonation.

Overall- Gotta say I really liked this beer, pleasantly surprised how much I liked it, very refreshing unique IPA style. Well done Sierra Nevada, well done.

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Photo of bstave
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint.

A- Pours a nice 1-2 finger white head that forms SN typical nice lacing. The body is a translucent mahogany. Very nice looking typical of a SN beer.

S- Nice earthy hops and a spicy rye backbone.

T- Taste follows nose. Nice earthy hops up front and spicy rye really balances this beer out nice.

M- Nice carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Very smooth.

O- A really nice offering from a brewery that fails to make a bad beer in my opinion. I much prefer this over Glissade. I will definitely buy this again.

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Photo of yuenglings
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firstoff It took me a mounth of waiting to get a case of this.
Ya gotta love the label on it. The beer has a dark copper color with good head and laceing.
It tastes sweet right off the bat then a citrisyness and peperyness kickin with a bite at the end. The smell is about the same even down to the bite at the end.
Overall a really good beer would buy agian fore sure if i can find it.

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Photo of bareju
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours beautiful orange amber with creamy white head.

Floral and citrus aroma.

Rye is strong in the taste, along with sweet citrus and floral hops. Lightly bitter finish.

Medium mouthfeel, bitterness lingers, slightly creamy.

Best rye IPA I've had. Refreshing, tasty, and easy-drinking. Will definitely be buying again.

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Photo of uustal
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a one-finger pearl white head. Really nice lacing throughout. Aroma of pine, faint grapefruit and rye makes a late appearance. This is a perfectly drinkable IPA while maintaining a good level of bitterness. The flavor starts off with a bit of bready sweetness and some semi-sweet, but muted citrus notes. The spicy and bitter portion of this beer is next. Notes of pine, grass, spice, pepper and rye finish this one out. Quick bitter hop bursts, but the spicy rye kills the bitterness while adding a hint more sweetness before the finish and it ends clean and dry. Good use of the rye which makes this one a keeper.

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Photo of Ipaupaweallpa
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very good. Tastes like a peppery Torpedo, although as someone else said, I think last year's ruthless Rye had a bit more flavor profile than this year. Seems a little watery. Still no complains. Excellent.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Pours a coppery brownish color with a nice sized creamy looking head. Smell is malty with a hint of spicy hoppiness. A little grainy, a little tiny bit yeasty.

Taste is surprisingly dominated up fronts with nice hoppy bitterness, with a really nice nutty/hay/malty finish.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky, a little abrasively fizzy. Maybe it got shaken a bit in transportation. I think the checker might have tossed the whole case on its side.

Overall, I'm a fan. It's good.

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Photo of weonfire
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap at Patrick Osheas in Louisville, KY poured into a Irish Pint Glass.

A - Very frothy tremendous head. Head lasted a full 10-15 minutes which i found to be a negative. Copper color.
S - Smells like a lot of hops Not sure of the IBU but I think it would be high. Very good dose of citrus and pepper.
T - Taste of carmel. I may be off but I don't taste any rye. I may be confusing the bitterness in for some of the rye taste. Again tastes like high IBU.
M - The bitter taste stays with you all the way down your throat and into the proceeding nest few minutes.
O - Descent IPA. I wish I could decipher the rye more- but that might be my own fault. I would order this again.

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Photo of jimboothdesigns
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. purchased in the 4 Way IPA 12 pack. Pours a beautiful orange blossom honey in color with a quickly disappearing head. The smell is fantastic, a wonderful combination of rye and hops. Taste is just as wonderful with a little bitterness in the middle and some rye in the finish and when I belch, its definitely an IPA.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber color with a desent size head. The head is beige, solid and lingers for quite some time with sheets of stickly lacing covering the glass.
The rye malt aroma is quite potent but is nicely balanced with a bright citrus hop bouquet.
SN must use an abundance of rye malts because "it's in there". Very spicy and slick and smooth. Hops try to balance but don't, although they have a nice citrus taste.
Drinks smooth and yet course and husky,
This definitely ruthless and would take awhile to warm up to.

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Photo of ktblue22
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer - in my opinion, a very straightforward Rye IPA but Sierra hit the nail on the head.

A - dark orange copper, frothy head of over half inch
S - crisp and hoppy - not getting a lot of smell but it could be that I don't have the right glass for this beer (just a standard pint glass - our craft beer glass is in the dishwasher....)
T- earthy, gritty, subtle hops with a great showcasing of rye. Perfectly carbonated with a danky moss aftertaste
M- medium body but the carbonation makes it feel lighter, grittiness that is appealing and also adds to the rye flavor.

Overall very drinkable and exceptional to pair with a hunstman cheese

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

Rocky textured foaming tan head leaves only gas and beer residue between an inch of air and glass known as head space, it's beautiful. Color wise bright ruby copper colored beer we need in this post holiday recovery mode for everybody. After drinking spiced ales with cinnamon, honey, and all spice for a month and a half, I fully praise Sierra Nevada for releasing this beer. Aroma has hints of pine and citrus with a spicy rye layer that definitely adds a layer of complexity to the mix. Flavor hits with a clashing layer of malt/rye versus earthy/pine hops, pretty intense here no bias noted, I'm a lover of both malts and hops. Easy to drink well balanced between the waves of piney/citrus hops and spicy rye malt, moderate carbonation slick oily hop textures going on. Overall a welcomed seasonal to mix up the ever changing lineup of Sierra Nevada, I'll be drinking more of this.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Reddish Amber color, clear, half inch head that faded to a quarter inch, but laced the glass nicely.
Smell: Piney, spicy smell, with some malty notes.
Taste: The malt seems pretty prominent, but there's a nice nice underlying piney bitterness and a spicy flavor from the rye in there as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, pretty crisp finish.
Overall: I can hardly wait for this beer to come out every year, one of my favorite SN beers. The sum of the parts really add up well to come tougher in a great beer.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep crystal clear copper, with 2 fingers of slightly off-white head. This retains with a big frothy dollop in the middle of the glass, drenching the sides with a heavy latticework of sticky lace. This has quite the robust look to it. Wow, the rye has a huge presence here, with a bold spicy graininess that just drives the nose forward. This mixes with underlying notes of caramel and citrus to really impart a rich spicy twang, with some leafy floral edges that lend this a bit of airiness in the nostrils as well.

The taste really had some kick to it, with that rye being just as bold here and sticking to a fresh citric bitterness, propelling spice and pith out into the mouth. A caramel sweetness hangs on the edges, barely getting the hops balanced out before a final wave of rye swoops in to finish this dry and spicy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and feels equal parts crisp and smooth in the mouth, thanks to a good bit of oily slickness to the carbonation that really keeps this sleek feeling.

This is about as good of a Rye beer as I’ve had in a while. This just has a perfect amount of rye here, working with that bright feeling IPA base to really give this a crisp and flavorful bite. This was so easy drinking as well, especially considering the higher ABV and the overall intensity of the flavors. SN really nailed this. I think I’m going to go have another…

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 5,074 ratings.
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