Sierra Nevada 4-Way IPA Pack: Round 2
Golden IPA (5.9% ABV) vs Ruthless Rye IPA (6.6% ABV)
American IPA vs American IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing
In last’s week battle, Torpedo brought game, but Blindfold sunk their battleship.
This week, we move on to the less bitter group of beers: the Golden IPA head-to-head with the 2015 Ruthless Rye. Would this be a fair fight? Only one way to find out.
Right off the bat, the color makes it a dead giveaway which is which. Originally, my wife—Vanessa—and I were going to do a blind tasting, but we realized quickly that each of the four beers in the collection have such unique colors that it was pointless.
Vanessa instantly liked it. My first impression was that it was a really smooth IPA, very easy to drink and just as easy to pick up on the hops involved. But it resembles nothing remotely close to the punch of the Torpedo IPA or the typical IPAs that are coming to the market. The beer is obviously dry-hopped with a delicious hoppy flavor and zero hint of bitterness.
If your definition of a good time is being knocked over with the bitterness that most IPAs have, keep on moving.
At first, there was nothing special about it. The front of the first sip was like any other IPA, shouting “How You Doin’?” as you walked past. Then the rye, I presume, pulls up a chair and takes a seat at the table.
Best described by Vanessa while drinking: it tasted like pepper. The end of the drink had a clear-as-day pepper sensation to it.
It’s good—I don’t want to discredit that—but it really did take me a bit to compose myself after the first drink. The end of the first sip is full-fledged flavor that, while not bitter at all, carries a serious punch. Not expecting anything less from Sierra Nevada, it is a unique IPA.
So, who wins?
This is tough. These two beers are so very different. Golden is a great any day, any time IPA. You don’t need to be in the mood for anything in particular to enjoy this beer. Ruthless Rye, on the other hand, would be good at specific times while on other occasions you’d probably want to try something else.
If I could leave it as a split decision, I would. But, I can only pick one. Using the final factor of which beer I would bet on the most people to find great all the time, Golden wins the day. Don’t get me wrong. If I’m in a back-alley bout, Ruthless Rye would knock some teeth out.
What’s next? Blindfold versus Golden? There might be a bit of surprise coming up in Round 3…