Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review: Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye IPA

I haven't had a ton of experience with rye-infused IPAs. My first venture into the realm of rye was with Harpoon's Rich & Dan's Rye IPA about a month ago. It was tasty. It was like a whole new IPA experience. Usually I like an IPA to be bitter or floral or even a little bit citrusy. Rich & Dan's was eye-opening, as it was floral, but had more dry and bitter notes.

Anyway, onto Ruthless Rye. I'm going to break this review, as with all my beer reviews in the future, into a few categories: appearance, nose, mouthfeel (taste), and finish. Each category will be rated out of 5, bringing the total possible score to 20. So let's get right to it!

Appearance: 4.5/5
A nice medium amber color. The head is lovely: thick, with plenty of lacing as you drink.

Nose: 3/5
I like the way this IPA smells. It's not an overbearingly pungent aroma, not that I have anything against a really strong-smelling beer, but it is a pleasant aroma. There are definitely light floral notes to the nose. Not bad.

Taste: 4/5
Bitter, but dry. It's almost as if the rye creates a bitter, peppery spice to the beer. I quite like it, as most IPAs tend to be bitter, which is nice, but overly hoppy and floral. The rye in Ruthless Rye adds complexity to the traditional IPA bitter profile.

Mouthfeel: 4/5
Ruthless Rye is mostly a hop-forward IPA with a medium body created by the rye malt. The peppery bite of the malt comes as a bit of a shock to the palate, but overall makes it deep with intense flavor.

Finish: 3.5/5
Ruthless Rye leaves a powerful bitter taste at the finish. It adds to the complexity.

Total Score: 74.5/100

Overall, this is a really nice treat and should be something out of the ordinary for IPA drinkers. I'd recommend picking up a six-pack and trying it for yourself, for sure.