Review of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA (2012)

22 Feb
Thanks for checking in on another craft beer review guys.  For today’s review I’m going to be trying the Ruthless Rye IPA (2012) produced by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company located in Chico, California.

I’ve really been looking forward to trying this beer.  I’ve heard some mixed reactions, but I want to find out for myself, so I picked up a bottle and decided to give it a taste.    

From the website,, we find this commercial description of the Ruthless Rye IPA.

Rye has been a staple grain for millennia—sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor. Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors—combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to spring.

I’m ready.  Are you?

This brew has an ABV of 6.6% and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

It poured a relatively clear amber to copper color with some burnt orange and yellow highlights at the bottom and around the edges.  The head was off white, decently sized, smooth, soft, frothy and creamy.  The retention time was more than adequate and the lacing was patchy and thick.

Within the smell I received a nice dose of rye bread along with a sufficient amount of hops.  Mostly light citrus and pine intermingled with a touch of grapefruit.  A subtle hint of peppery spice mixed with some light touches of caramel and toffee sweetness.  Overall, it had a very nice “earthy” and “round” quality.  The malt did seem to be a tad more forward than the hops with the bouquet.

The taste let the rye bread and grain really shine.  The peppery spice was very well balanced and fitting too.  The hops were a tad more grassy and noticeable.  Very light grapefruit citrus and pine.  The bitterness was very supportive and the caramel malt hid underneath to help balance everything out.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied, dry, smooth, crisp, snappy and darn near refreshing.  No warmth was felt, but a wonderful amount of flavor coated the roof of the mouth and the tongue as the brew slid down the throat.  The carbonation was superb.  A very, very good mouthfeel with this one.

Well.  Sierra Nevada has once again produced an excellent beer.  I really appreciate this “rye” style.  It seems like it’s kind of the trendy thing to do at the moment, however I do enjoy them very much.  I, personally, don’t think this brew is quite as good as the Founders Red’s Rye Pale Ale (the Ruthless Rye might be a little less hoppy), however this is nothing to scoff at and would make for a very entertaining evening if left to partake with friends.  It’s super easy to drink and one is left with a great deal of aroma and flavor to contemplate in between sips.  I’d say grab a bottle or two of this and relish it.  It’ll be gone before too long then we will have to wait until next year to enjoy this tasty brew.

Thanks for reading and commenting my friends.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.1 out of 5
Grade:  A-     

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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Country: USA, Sierra Nevada


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