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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPASierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,080 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,906
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 85
Gots: 641 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kaseydad on 12-29-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,906
Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at an Alabama grocery store in a 6pk for $9.99 as a mix a 6. Served at 4deg C in a drought glass.

A- Very good. Pours with little head. Nice amber dark color

S- Ok but not great. Definately taste the rye wheat 100%.

T- Very good. Rye abounds. Very good

M- Nothing special. Just a regular North American beer

O- Very good. Will buy again.

Food Pairing

This nice little rye beer paired well with... Sesame Chicken


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Photo of Nugganooch
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz to pint glass
03/06/12 notes

A: Pours a dark amber color with some really great clarity. Thick two fingers of soapy tan head displays decent retention and leaves some chunky globs of lace down the glass.

S: The nose opens up very herbal and grassy with a predominant spiced bread aroma. Light caramelly pale malts and some fruity yeast esters.

T: Taste has a light citrus and floral hop character with a nice upper-moderate bitterness level. Bready caramel malt and a good amount of peppery rye spice. Some hempy herbals in there. Hops are a little soapy at times. I imagine they dry-hopped the hell out of this one. Nice offering but does dance the line of being a touch harsh with the hop and spice combo.

M: Creamy texture with a light frothiness is real nice. Light to med. body. Upper levels of carbonation. Real dry crisp finish to it.

D: I appreciate the fact that SN was not candid with the Rye here unlike some other RyePA's that have you searching. Might be a bit much for others I think. The rest is that signature citrus hop and bready malt combo not much unlike Torpedo.
I liked but will probably stick with the Torps.

Cheers to SN for keeping it hoppy!

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass.
The beer pours a clear copper hue with fluffy eggshell white head of 3-4 cm. the head creates windowpane lattice and rocky craters as it recedes to a sturdy surface layer.

Aroma is citrusy hops and a little spicy rye with just a bit of caramel.
First sip reveals an average body and fine tingly carbonation. Flavor is briefly grainy caramel malt and then rolls to some bitter rindy hops and bit of black pepper. Finish is dry and lingering bitterness. No hints of any booze and a fairly smooth overall experience. Nice bitey brew.

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Photo of ckollias
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this stubby bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a clear copper hue with a white 2-finger head that quickly dissipates in to a wispy lace leaving a partial trail down the glass.

S: Hoppy aroma with hints of lemon and pine in the background.

T: Strong hoppy bitter flavor with acrisp rye background. Finishes on the dry side of bitter.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Really good Rye IPA. Nice and hoppy with a good rye background.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will say, I love the label for this one. It reminds me of Castlevania art.

Poured a clear darkish amber with an off-white head, turns to a ring quickly but retains well while leaving some nice lacing.

Scent is definitely rye-ish, some bready malts and hops.

Taste is also big on the rye, not so much big on the IPA, but there is a decent amount of spicy hops and some pine and earthiness. Big toasty and bready malts in the finish.

Smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation, nicely done.

Maybe the most rye-forward beer I've had thus far, not overtaken by the hops like some rye beers. It's not the greatest but it was good, wouldn't mind having it again, easy drinking.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep orange with copper leanings. Head is a dirty white, rocky and drops to a thin cap in short order. Nice clumps of lacing and notches as the beer goes down. Perfectly clear.

Smell: Spicy rye is up front. Grainy. Hops are citrus and more citrus, but offer a nice balance to the in your face rye explosion. Some hints of caramel in the back, but the rye
doesn't let it through easily. Malts are heavy, but they have to be.

Taste: Grapefruit rind mixes with rye. Citrus and rye make an interesting compliment. Spiciness from the rye is aggressive, but not overpowering. Malts bring a nice sweetness to the finish and round it all out with a clean biscuit flavor. As it warms, the rye and hops blend together and create a unique flavor dynamic. It almost comes across as earthy at times. Mint.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body with a moderate carbonation. Delightfully middle of the road.

Overall: One of the most in your face uses of rye I've ever encountered. It's the deft IPA I would expect from Sierra Nevada slammed with a solid helping of spicy rye for added
character. Drinkability runs a little on the low side.

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Photo of Steasy66
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into Duvel tulip

A- Deep amber, 3 finger thick head, good staying power.
S- Nice floral hops, a bit herbal, yeast.
T- Sweet, nice hops, not overwhelming, not very big rye notes.
M- Good consistency, good carbonation.
O- Nice beer, not as hoppy as I expected but I don't hold that against it. For the price, pretty hard to beat this beer.

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Photo of jamescain
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

It pours a clear dark amber-brown with a creamy off white head about a finger thick that fades to a thin lacing. The aroma is more earthy then I was expecting, but I guess that's what the rye adds. There are notes of pine and citrus with spicy earthy aromas. The taste of the beer is also very earthy and spicy with a lingering bitterness on the finish. The carbonation is medium-high and perhaps bordering on too high, but is still quite drinkable due to its medium body. Good beer, glad I tried it, but wont go out of my way to seek it out again.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter

A: Opaque burnt orange (or as my wife called it, "smokey amber." a tan half-finger head; some bubbles. Decent lacing.

S: Citrus, piney hops, grapefruit.

T: A rye/ hop mix that doesn't offend. Grapefruit, peppery. A dry finish.

M: Medium with medium carbonation. Tangy.

O: Very enjoyable. Hops are not over the top. The rye addition really smooths out the taste. Recommended.

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Photo of natemort13
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent rubyish brown. Very strange coloring. Thin, slightly gray head that dissipates quickly.

MMMM, yummy nose. Lots of grapefruit. Pepper, lemon zest. very pungent hops.

Taste--very peppery, some coppery characteristics. Finish is pretty tame compared to the awesome hop character of the nose. Has this nice biting taste to it. Spicy hops, coppery finish.

Mouthfeel is light, seems very carbonated, doesn't stand up well to the big character of a rye beer.

Overall much better than I thought it'd be. I find a lot Sierra Nevada brews to be underwhelming. This one was much more impressive...as far as rye ipas go tho, I still haven't found anything that beats Red's Rye from Founder's and Cane and Ebel from Two Brothers.

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Photo of oonthego
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful amber color with a 3/4 inch creamy head.

S: Very mild smell.

T: Very mild smell, tastes like the label says.

M: Perfectly carbonated, goes down smooth, and gives a pleasant aftertaste.

O: A nice beer for my first rye IPA. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this but I definitely wouldn't turn one down.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

355ml Bottle from The Cave, Glasgow:
Copper amber colour with some red tinges throughout. The head is a half cm, foamy white one with nice retention.

Caramel malts and an earthy, slightly spicy aroma. There is some citrus hops and a few touches of pine once the beer opens up some. I could also detect some grapefruit and hints of alcohol.

Citrus and a pine hop taste with some grapefruit and a chalky bitterness. There is also a caramel malt taste and some light earthiness. This is followed by some rye, spice and faint hints of wheat plus some light tropical fruits.

Medium with a tangy citrus feel and plenty of pine bitterness around the middle to the end. There is some hints of alcohol and a bubbly, alcohol laced feel to the beer. Carbonation is mild too.

Bitter and tropical fruit laced beer although it's definitely not a classic from Sierra Nevada.It is still a nice beer, just not their best offering.

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Photo of katybee
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I chose this beer style based on previously trying another brand, Bear Republic's "Hop Rod Rye". I'd have to say I prefered the other version which was a bit more malty and sweet.

But Ruthless was definitely strong and flavorful, with perhaps more of a citrus hop punch, and a kick like Lagunitas' Hop Czar. Peppery, medium-bodied, a little chewy on the palate. It actually seemed a bit stronger than the abv shown here. Plenty to savor through an evening, with much more character than an ordinary Pilsner. Just not the sweetness or maltiness I detected in the other brand.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Potent but flawed Rye.

A: Clear, dark amber body with a fairly persistent, sudsy, yellowed two finger white head

S: Big noseful of resinous hops, rye spice, and buttery caramel malt. Very inviting.

T: Quite a lot of flavor, with sweet caramel malt dominating up front, passing through a nice helping of rye spice on the way to a drying, resinous hops finish, yet somehow, all is not perfect. There's a certain metallic holowness that's preventing the very nice flavors from shining.

M: Highly carbonated with a drying finish.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a clear reddish color with a khaki one finger head. Head dissipates relatively quickly and leaves a trace of foam on the surface and some nice streaks of lacing.

Smell is sadly a little bland- a mild rye scent with a hint of citrusy hops. Could definitely be bolder.

Taste is certainly good but not very exciting. It's an IPA with rye! It should be pretty daring. Sharp rye flavor comes through at the beginning and smoothes out with some maltiness and finishes with a SMALL amount of hops.

Mouthfeel is excellent- light to medium bodied with medium carbonation and a little hop oiliness. Definitely a good session beer given the pricetag- not an exceptional rye beer. Red's Rye PA is a better example of the style.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 6.6% abv. Clear amber color, with fine carbonation. Off-white, rocky head looks good and stays around for a long time. Awesome patches of sticky lace.

Smell is very similar to other SN beers, caramel malt and hops. Citrusy, and maybe a hint of spicy, peppery rye, but not a great deal.

Loaded with caramel malt, but not overly sweet. Good hop bitterness, with a slight citrus edge. A hint of earthy bitterness. Maybe some spicy notes, but not real peppery. Dries at the finish like several SN beers.

Medium body, with ample carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. Not a great deal of rye character. While this beer is good, it is very similar to several other SN beers.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper appearance with 2-3 finger frothy head. Nice lacing.

Smell - faint pine, citrus and malt

Taste - Interesting mix of bitter hop with grain and malt in the finish, followed by lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Very full bodied and creamy. Very nice moutfeel.

Overall - This beer is decent/well crafted, but its a little too bitter and lacking in balancing flavor for me to like as much as some of the other Sierra Nevada offerings.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Victory goblet

A- pours a dark, cloudy shade of amber with a one finger offwhite head that fades quickly. Not a good start

S- getting some spiciness from the rye, and a little bit of hoppiness. Overall, pretty minimal aromas

T- nice punch of rye to begin, and a good bit of bitterness at the back

M- medium bodied

O- it's fine, but I don't know why Sierra Nevada decided they needed ANOTHER IPA in their lineup

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Photo of dar482
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a clear very dark reddish amber with a fluffy white head.

The aroma has grapefruit, sweet citrus, bright herbal and piney hops. There’s a sweet bready malt in there as well.

The flavor follows of spicy and herbal hops. There’s a note of grapefruit and citrus combined with a light sweet bready malt. The finish continues on of pine and notes of pepper from the rye.

The mouthfeel is medium.

The beer is well balanced with a good amount of American hops with a light pepper spice.

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Photo of korguy123
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into tulip.

A- Copper pour, three finger egg shell head that leaves cobwebs of sticky lacing everywhere.

S- Rye adds a slight sour note with spicy pepper. Hops are bright and floral.

T- Spicy rye with floral hops with a touch of citrus.

M- Light bodied, bitter with spice and carbonation dancing on the tongue.

O- Rye beers aren't really my thing but this is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Koufax21
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It pours out a nice orange copper collor and settles with a nice size white head on top that measures roughly an 1". The smell is of nice citrus hops but fairly mild. Slight bready aromas come through as well. Big Rye taste. it reminds me a lot of of Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic. Man, I sure wish this stuff was around in the bottle when I used to stumble through the streets of Chico with a 6'er of Bigfoot, it might have been a little easier on me, but what's the fun in that? Solid beer, I tip my hat to SN once again.

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Photo of beer2day
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark woody, orange pour capped with 2 fingers of close-to-white head. Decent retention and thick lace.

Woody rye grass aroma. Traces of oak and cedar. Rye grass tends to dominate, though.

Rye is very assertive in the flavor. Really strong in the finish. Extremely spicy on the back of the tongue well after the beer clears your throat. They went for ruthless and I think they got it. Just a bit out of balance for me.

Feel seems about right, with a touch of cream and a light fizz.

Overall, the strong rye flavor brings this down a notch for me.

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Photo of gr0g
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

8 week old bottle. Pours a dark copper color capped with a two-finger head. Retention and lacing are pretty good. Distinct note of rye on the nose, kind of a spicy "twang" that stands out from the barley malt. Earthy, herbal hop notes fill out the aroma, along with a bit of lemon zest.

A moderate bitterness persists throughout. Malt body is fairly understated, but the rye shines through. A clean, competent, and pleasant flavor that's nonetheless perhaps a bit bland. A dry finish caps it off. The texture is definitely the best attribute of Ruthless Rye thanks to an excellently engineered carbonation that finds a great balance between aggressiveness and creamy smoothness.

Celebration is a tough act to follow but Ruthless Rye offers a nice twist that adds another dimension to Sierra Nevada's stable of hoppy beers.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head. Great concentric lace.

S: Spicy grain with a lot of pine, classic Sierra Nevada.

T: Heavy hop resin flavour with a clear rye bread taste. A bit alcohol in the finish, but a solid effort.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp, resiny, with a medium aftertaste.

O: A good beer from Sierra Nevada, better than Glissade for sure, something to tide one over until Bigfoot hits.

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Photo of popery
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours clear and copper. The head is a thick layer of eggshell bubbles and clings to the sides of the glass as I drain it. Great looking stuff.

The aroma is clean and hoppy. There's a big rye spice note with earthier malt flavors. There's also a floral caramel malt sweetness hiding behind the more dramatic aromas. The hops are right in SN's wheelhouse and lend solid grapefruit and pine notes.

The taste is also good but gets a bit overwhelmed by a somewhat bland hop bitterness. There's a good amount of rye flavor but it gets a bit lost behind the hops, as do the sweet and earth malt notes. I don't mind the bitterness, but I wish there was either more hop delicacy or more rye flavor. The finish is mildly dry with a sharp bite.

Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is medium. Some hop oiliness.

It's a good beer and fills in a gap left by the Anniversary Ale. I wouldn't hesitate to bring it to a party, but I won't be stocking it at home for myself. The taste just doesn't quite live up to the aroma.

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Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.