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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sierra Nevada | Ruthless Rye IPA

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA, the new spring seasonal addition to Sierra Nevada's outstanding line of beers. This one boasts rye malt, chinook, citra, bravo, and "experimental" hops. Curious what those experimental hops are, but I'm sure they're delicious either way. As a side note before we pop the cap on this ale, Sierra Nevada recently announced the construction of their first east coast brewery! It will be located in Mills River, North Carolina, and should be up and running within 2 years. That is some exciting stuff.

Poured into a Chimay chalice glass, Ruthless Rye has a deep amber copper color. It is filtered and translucent, and it has a minimal light tan head with sudsy retention and very little bits of lacing. The nose is very hoppy and peppery. The hops smell sharp and fresh, very resinous pine hops with some bitter citrus shining through. The peppery spice of the rye malt comes into play without standing out enough to be overly spicy.

The taste is strong hop bitterness upfront, grapefruit, pine, and orange. The rye malt is more noticeable, adding peppery spice, as well as a dryness, which (combined with intense hop bitterness) add to its "ruthless" character. The caramel and chocolate malts become noticeable midway through, adding body and a smoothing, almost lager-like mouthfeel. The malts definitely help to smooth out the bitter bite from the hops, but they don't quell them altogether. The finish showcases a sweeter floral hop flavor and peppery spice, with just a hint at dry hop bitterness lingering after each sip.

Ruthless Rye IPA, is definitely a great addition to Sierra Nevada's lineup. Although some may disagree, I'm happy to see it replace Glissade for their spring offering. Despite the fact that Ruthless is an IPA, the rye, and other darker malts, add a great amount of body and complexity to a beer that's meant to carry us through the rest of the dark cold months, looking forward to warm weather, and good times ahead. And as an added bonus, the label artwork is really cool! For the style 8.5/10, personal 8.5/10.

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