Ruthlessly Awesome

I love seasonal beers. I look forward to many offerings from Anchor, Anderson Valley, Ballast Point and of course, Sierra Nevada. This year, Sierra fired off a new one called Ruthless Rye. We’re coming to the end of it’s seasonal run this month and I wanted to write up a quick post about it, as it is an outstanding brew! I’ve always enjoyed brewing with Rye. It lends a earthy, spicy note like no other grain. Sierra balances that with a variety of hops including Chinook, Citra and their own “experimental hops” that (I’m guessing) come from their back yard hop garden up there in Chico. I’ve been knocking these down with reckless abandon, expecting the inevitable loss for the 8 months or so until it returns to the shelves.

The hop aroma is present but not as overwhelming as a Racer 5, Hop Rod or other big IPAs and the bitterness, while present, doesn’t overwhelm the malt character. I’m guessing this was done to showcase the rye instead of burying it with an avalanche of “C-hops”. The malt character is spicy and rich with a bit of roasty flavor from the chocolate malt, but completely balanced on the hops. Even at the 6.6% ABV, there’s no harsh fusel alcohol flavors and unless some of that spice is coming from the yeast, it’s fermented very clean, but not so dry as to lose any of that killer malt character. At that level of boozy goodness you wouldn’t expect this to be a session beer, and I guess it’s not… for the lesser of constitution. But like it’s bigger cousin, Torpedo, before I know it, I find myself three rounds or so in when my friends are hanging out. Oh well…

It’s still around for a few more weeks, so grab up a couple of 12-packs!

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