Ruthless Rye IPA

10 Apr

2013-04-10 18.43.21

  • Name: Ruthless Rye IPA
  • Brewer: Sierra Nevada
  • Type: American Rye
  • Alcohol Volume: 6.6
  • From: The Offie, Leicester
  • Price: £3.65

In short: A bitter and subtly spiced American IPA

To me rye beer has always seemed a bit like something out of an alternate universe, which says something about how little you see it in the UK. In fact, until today the only time I’d seen the dry, spicy brother of malted barley was in a microbrewery in the US. But now Sierra Nevada, the kings of the American craft pale ale, have ventured into new territory with their Ruthless Rye IPA.

It’s certainly an interesting beer; it has the same heavily hopped and refreshing amber tones as a standard American IPA, but with distinct tones of something quite different beneath. As the barrage of hops comes in, there’s a subtle, but distinct, taste of pepper and spice that adds an extra level of bitterness to this American staple. It’s an extra level of taste that almost seems perfumed at times, but without the cloying aftertaste that spiced beers can have. All of this makes the Ruthless Rye sound very drinkable, but as the name suggests it has not exactly a weak beer. It has a kick to it that blends in with the hopped onslaught of the initial taste and enhances the bitterness of the taste, but that isn’t always apparent as the spice takes over.

In essence, it’s bitter, and has a deceptively dark taste for a reasonably light looking craft beer, but whilst still being as refreshing as Sierra Nevada’s flagship IPA.

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6 Responses to “Ruthless Rye IPA”

  1. jaseydrew April 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Here in the states the price tag isn’t as brutal but it isn’t exactly a pub staple. I’ve only seen this brew once in a bar and actually had to buy a 12 pack sampler to try it.

    • Patrick Reckitt April 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      It didn’t strike me as a beer that’d be that mass market anywhere – just as a fairly unusual seasonal brew. The more amazing thing over here is that it’s probably the only rye beer I’ve seen at all. That and the price tag, but I couldn’t resist.

      • jaseydrew April 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

        was that the price per pint or what? Here in the states I’ve seen it for about $3.20 so about 2.1 pounds or 2.5 euro. Rye beers are rare here too but there is usually at least 2-3 types in our common supermarkets

      • Patrick Reckitt April 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

        Just per bottle – it’s imported through a contact of my local offlicence in Leeds (he also has Torpedo for the same price), so it’s more or less understandable. Sierra Nevada IPA I’ve seen for about £2.20 in a couple of supermarkets and I used to work at a bar that served it per pint for £4 (which was about standard for a premium pub). So it’s more of a present or a curio. US beer seems to have more families of beer than British (it’s basically just ale, lager and wheat here), but I think that’s mainly because our craft beers are almost all ales.

      • jaseydrew April 23, 2013 at 2:08 am #

        well we have the basic super brewery that are shit. You know like budweiser and miller. But in the last 6 years or so micro breweries have been cropping up like crazy. Due to that we are getting more and more variety

      • Patrick Reckitt April 23, 2013 at 11:55 am #

        And that can never ever be a bad thing!

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