Sierra Nevada “Ruthless Rye”
This seasonal IPA is boosted by a hearty addition of rye. A hoppy aroma delivers pine sap, grapefruit, and grass. Malts come across with moderate sugary sweetness, and the rye adds a dash of spice (a note which may be indiscernible if you didn’t know rye was there beforehand).
The palate begins with a quick caramel-like sweetness. Earthy grains create a complex malt arrangement up front, as rye jumps in with a hints of black pepper spice. Sweet and bitter notes are leveraged perfectly. Hops begin to express a strong herbal character that comes across like pine needles, rosemary, and grass. A sour note hangs with flavors of grapefruit, slowly ascending toward a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is mostly creamy, then crisp carbonation strikes, and it leaves high and dry.
I personally find this well-balanced according to this style. Malts do more than just bolster sweet support, they provide nice grainy accents that align with the herbal character of the hops in a really complementary way. Hops are aggressive, leaning heavily into the herbal spectrum, but with citric, and even fruity characters playing supportive roles. Ruthless Rye is still relatively new, so its novelty hasn’t worn off, and I’ll probably make at least a few more purchases before this season has ended. Granted, I have rated better rye-IPA’s, but this is still solid. I recommend this most to those who will appreciate the influence rye has to offer to the IPA, the hop heads.
Known Hops: Bravo, Chinook, Citra, and “experimental” hops
Known Malts: pale, rye, caramel, chocolate