In 1979, Ken Grossman began a small brewery in the town of Chico, California. His goal, to brew exceptional ales and lagers. Today, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is considered to be one of the premier craft breweries in the United States. While their flagship Pale Ale is often the standard other are measured by, the brewery offers over 16 different beers throughout the year. Ruthless Rye is Sierra Nevada’s spring seasonal that uses Rye in addition to malted barley for a more rugged flavor profile.
The beer pours a translucent bronze color with rich copper hues. The two finger off white head show some staying power before it diminishes to a light lacing.
Right off the bat you are hit with peppery and earthy notes from the rye. There are hop aromas of pine and citrus (mainly grapefruit) that cut through the rye notes. Providing balance are sweet notes of caramel and toffee intertwined with rich toasted malts.
On the palate you are welcomed by a quick hit of sweet caramel and toasted malt notes. Next the rye notes arrive flooding the palate with a rich pepper spice that carries a dry earthy and woody note along with it. On the mid palate bitter notes of pine resin and grapefruit pith are introduced and carry through to the finish. The finish, while somewhat dry and bitter, is still well balanced. The rye noticeably adds body and a richer mouthfeel to the beer.
This is a great beer! While not as hoppy as one would expect an IPA to be, it still shows a wealth of hop character. Try pairing this one with some Asiago, Jamaican jerk chicken or bourbon bread pudding.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Pints out of 5
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