Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Ruthless Rye", Sierra Nevada (Chico,CA)

"Ruthless Rye", American IPA

 I always get a little misty-eyed when the last of the “Celebration Ale” disappears from the store shelves. Every passing year it seems to happen faster, a good thing, as more disciples have discovered it’s hoppy goodness. But it’s not all doom-and-gloom, as Spring beckons Sierra Nevada brings us a new seasonal gift in the shape of “Ruthless Rye”. Mercifully it replaces the truly awful “Glissade Bock”, which has ingloriously been dropped from their line-up – a sensible decision.

                                                   12oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass

Ruthless Rye” pours a nice amber with a crisp white collar that leaves an impressive lacing on the glass. The beer exhibits a crisp hoppy bite (they use Chinook, Citra and a new proprietary hop for aroma and Bravo for bittering) that is cut nicely with a malty rye. The rye lends a slightly spicy and tangy taste with a floral, dry finish (from the dry-hopping). This is a perfect everyday “fridge” beer – unremarkable, unpretentious but delicious tasting beer at a budget friendly price – the usual trademarks of a Sierra Nevada beer. $7.99 a sixer or $12.99 (I've seen this as low as $10.99 for a 12 pack). ABV is a manageable 6.6% with a respectable 55 IBU’s present.

My Rating : B/B+

If I was to use one word to describe this beer it would be "solid" - not earth shattering but it will tide me over until "Hoptimum" hits the shelves next month. Here's hoping its as good as last year (probably my favourite beer of 2012).


Beer Advocate Score is 88 (Good) while Rate Beer gives it 99 Overall, 97 for the Style

Useless Trivia Fact that nobody cares about : Chico, CA is also the birthplace of P*ckers QB Aaron Rodgers

"Wuthless Wye" - Elmer Fudd's favourite beer? Check this translator website, it's hilarious! I was going to translate this post into Fudd-speak but decided it was too much effort.


Ruthless Rye, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, CA
                                  Photo Courtesy of Andrew May Studios

Vital Statistics:

ABV : 6.6%
Beginning Gravity : 15.2 degrees Plato
Ending Gravity: 3.1 degrees Plato
IBU : 55

Yeast - Ale
Bittering Hops - Bravo
Finishing Hops - Chinook, Citra and a new Proprietary variety
Malts - Two-Row Pale, Rye, Caramel and Chocolate

Brewery Description (from the website) :

Rustic grains, refined flavor, ruthless character.

Rugged and resilient, rye has been a staple grain for ages and its spicy black pepper-like flavor has been prized by distillers and brewers for centuries. Rye thrives in the harshest conditions and comes to life in Ruthless, a spicy and rugged IPA with fruity, citrus and herbal hop notes balanced with the dry spiciness of the rye, making the beer aggressive yet comforting to bolster against whatever the winter winds may bring.


Brewers looking for added flavor character and malt complexity occasionally use rye in addition to malted barley. Rye is a hearty and rustic cereal grain that has long been favored by the distilling industry. Brewers embrace it for its signature spicy, black pepper-like flavors and complex dryness.

Dry Hops

We work hard to get strong hop flavors into our beers and one of the ways we do that is through dry hopping. Dry hopping refers to the addition of whole-cone hops to the fermentation tanks. The addition of hops to cold beer allows the aromatic oils and resins to infuse the beer with flavor and aroma without adding any additional bitterness.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
1075 E. 20th Street
Chico, CA 95928
'PH: 530-893-3520
Twitter @SierraNevada
Map of the business location

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