Monday, January 16, 2012

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company - Ruthless Rye IPA

When one thinks of the father of the American craft beer renaissance, Ken Grossman, the founder of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, is my obvious choice. Beginning with a homebrew store and producing five-gallons batches, Mr. Grossman developed what would become the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the iconic, hop-forward ale. Since the development of his award-winning pale ale, Mr. Grossman has stayed actively involved in the brewing process producing a philanthropic ale series, Ovila Abbey Ales, an exceptional year-round portfolio, the educational Beer Camp series and the newly released, Ruthless Rye IPA.
After seeing an advertisement for the Ruthless Rye on a recent Beer Advocate magazine, I have been searching for this adjunct IPA. The clarity of this beer was astonishing, and with its copper-orange color, it was truly eye pleasing. The one-finger head was very bubbly leaving excellent lacing and a thin film along the outside of the glass.
The nose of this beer is very earthy. A grassiness resonates throughout the smell with a subtle citrus backbone. The addition of rye provides a spiciness that is quite pleasant and aromatic. Underneath the rye and hop character a sweet malt backbone creates a well-balanced aroma.
The taste profile is quite short and somewhat uneventful. There was a burst of grassy hops along with the spiciness of the rye, which was excellent, but this mouth party almost immediately ended with a very dry finish. I was hoping for the rye to play a greater role in the taste profile, but it was overpowered by the hops.
The mouthfeel was quite light, and coupled with minimal carbonation, was somewhat disappointing.
This a good beer, but not a great beer. I wanted it to excel in every way, but it just measured up to other rye beers that I have had like: Hop Rod RyeRed Rye PA, and Righteous Ale.


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