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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

879 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 879
Hads: 1,921
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 83
Gots: 197 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006

A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. Alström Bros
Reviews: 879 | Hads: 1,921
Photo of ThomasT
4.85/5  rDev +20%

Appearance: Deep, slightly cloudy amber colour. Head is creamy and lingers around for a surprising amount of time with some lacing.
Smell: Caramel, citrus, and pine are most prominent, with hints of chocolate and almonds.
Taste: Sweet grapefruit, orange, caramel, and chocolate are all present in the front and middle in equal measures. A dry, spicy rye and a healthy pine punch is present in the back, with roastiness, salt, almond, and hazelnut lingering afterwards. Medium-bodied, with no alcohol burn or cloying quality to speak of and moderate carbonation.
Overall: An excellent, interesting, and well-balanced beer. The only possible complaint I could have is that the rye tends to leave just slightly too strong a tone in the back.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear copper with a mammoth creamy head of tan foam. Very solid and excellent lace. Nose is big pineapple and mango, with some caramel tones. At first blush, flavour seems to be a bit weak in comparison to the nose, but there's definitely some dark sugars, some grapefruit hops and solidly bitter finish. Alcohol comes through as well. Seems to grow on me though, and after a couple of sips I have to revise my initial impression. What this doesn't have is the big, puckery, resinous hoppy bite that many DIPAs have, replacing it instead with a smoother, better balanced flavour. Not at all harsh, but still with some good hoppy flavour. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the DIPA range as well - no over-the-top syrupiness. This is as drinkable a DIPA as you're gonna get - smooth, good flavours and not at all rough on the palate.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

He'brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA has an extremely thick, foamy, beige head, a clear, amber appearance, some tiny streaming bubbles, and a lot of thick lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of pungent, sweet malt and hops, some citrus, hop oil, underlying alcohol, and brown bread. The taste is all that, plus a strong hop bitterness, rye spice, dates, caramel, and candy sugar. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and He'brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA finishes semi-dry, pleasant, and surprisingly drinkable. This is simply a perfect beer, if there ever is one, and I recommend it in the most strenuous way! Wow!


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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Whole Foods the other night. I spent a lot on beer that night. lol

Appearance- amber color, nice head, nice lacing, nice head retention

Smell- hops, pine, malts

Taste- spicy hops, malt

Mouthfeel- full bodied, dry, very well balanced

Drinkability- Excellent! I love it. It was pure heaven in my mouth.

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Photo of TheSeeker61
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta and wow was it a great treat.

The appearance was an amber brown with a half inch head which hung around.

The smell was dark fruit with roasted malt.

The taste was a balanced malt/hop.

The mouthfeel was medium.

Overall really enjoyed this brew. I've had it in the bottle and really enjoyed it and having it on cask was exceptionally enjoyable. Got to try it again on cask.

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Photo of NWer
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured nice dark bronze color. Good head retention.
Very powerful taste. Overwhelmingly thick flavors. Hops up front followed by smooth, sweet malty backbone.
Pleasant aftertaste. Drinks way too easy to be a 10% ABV beer.
Incredible. Local beer store was clearing it out and I bought the last one. Will be on the lookout for more.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For my Dad. July 27, 2009

Poured from a bomber into a steamed tasting glass.

The color is a deep maroon/red with some gold or orange tint to it when help to the light. Two fingers of head with some nice retention.

The smell is a big heavy on the alcohol at first some nice hops with a malty sweetness. Some subtle wheat or rye flavoring in the background

The taste is a bit sweet at first but some strong hop flavor makes it's mark on your tongue and stays there some a time. As I write this review it is still lingering on my taste buds reminding me I am tasting a big beer. With each sip the malt pronouces itself then leaves the major character to this beer to be the nice hop bitterness. Always a great taste to a hop fan.

The beer is not light but is a bit medium in body and feels good drinking it on a hot night in July. Does have a bit of a slight sting with each sip to remind you of the 10.% ABV but it warms your mouth just a little but never over does it.

I picked this beer up because of the name but ended up being very pleased with the results. A great Double IPA that has it's own character.

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One tall bomber-sized brown glass bottle wrapped in an event of a label sits proudly on a coaster on my desk, half of its guts splashed in the bowl of my crystal snifter.

In the glass this untamed liquid is aglow with beautiful rich warm ruby tones. Hypnotic carbonation bubbles steadily stream up the sides of the bowl like an army of zombified ants whose only urge is an undeniable compulsion to reach the surface and contribute to the dense ring of sallow foam clinging to the glass left by others before them. This is one of those beers that is almost too visually engaging to drink for fear of ruining the spectacle.

The aromas given off by this beer warrant another five-point rating. There is some subtle spiciness, likely a factor of the rye malt in the grain bill. I'm getting some underplayed West Coast American citrus/grapefruit hop scents and an underlying sweetness.

This brew demonstrates a quiet smoothness throughout that is impressive to say the least. That quality is showcased in the taste and mouthfeel as a light, creamy weightlessness and a flavor that deftly combines such components as cracked peppercorns with light liquid whipping cream and squeezed oranges.

The bitterness and alcohol that earn this beer the name double IPA are in residence, but wrapped up so cozily in the overall "delicacy" of the drink as to be totally approachable even by those who have no sadistic twist of psyche causing them to enjoy alpha-acidic tongue scorchings.


Lenny Bruce was not afraid!

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Photo of JustSomeSkank
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am a sucker for labels (I'm brew-shallow?) and this one is what kept me away for a while. The label is cheesy...

But screw the label! This beer is great but the aftertaste MAKES it.

It lingers in the best way possible and goes fantastically with spicy foods. Definitely buying again if I can find it.

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Photo of berpwillie
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brown amber color, slightly cloudy with large white head and lacing. lively carbonation, medium body, and long flavor duration. taste of bread like malts and harsh piney hops.smooth creamy texture. probably one of the smoothest beers i've ever had. if you haven't had this beer before you are really missing out. different from most ipa's i've had, this beer is exceptional!!!!

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Photo of merlin48
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle pours a radiant copper body with excellent clarity. Generous beige head has suburb retention and laces profusely.

Aroma is luscious, boasting tons of malt, hops, and spicy rye. Orange and tangerine esters dance around with pink grapefruit,spicy pumpernickel and toffee and caramel.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly chewy, with an ideal carbonation that rounds out the malt and hops very well.

Taste has lots of citrusy hops, mostly orange, that balance well with the toffee maltiness. A nice presence of grapefruit hops bitterness is noticed from start to finish and melds sublimely with the spiciness from the rye malt. Some welcome caramel sweetness pokes through from time to time, adding to the tasty complexity. No hint of the 10% abv.

An excellent DIPA with a spicy rye edge. Well balanced, very tasty, and dangerously drinkable. Lenny's is a real winner!

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Photo of geexploitation
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, deep mahogany in the middle and bright cherrywood on the outer rim, with a big, whipped-cream head that sticks very well to the sides of the glass. Wonderful nose, full of fruity, doughy goodness (must be the rye) alongside fruity and metallic hops. Very enticing. On the palate, this beer is hugely smooth without having a dextrine feel. Metallic hops, rich caramel hops and yeasty, doughy fruits vye for your attention at the mid-palate. Hop bitterness is big but not acrid or overly acidic; maltiness is substantial but not sweet. Balance is the watchword here, a rare thing in a double IPA. Overall, this beer is great, exactly what a double IPA should be. The rye adds a certain depth to the beer, and every flavor element harmonizes with the others. Excellent.

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Photo of velosuds
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Cost Plus World Market for $5.49.

A-Pours a medium to deep amber-reddish brown color with a two finger, creamy tan head with good retention and ample, pasty lacing. Beautiful appearance.

S-Caramel and spicy rye malts. Hops too. Citrusy and sweet. I love this beer. Very interesting for a DIPA, but I'm not sure that is the proper style. Not that it really matters. I love this beer.

T-God, I love this beer. Very well balanced, yet complex. Hops are aggressive without overpowering the taste buds. Nice rye malt backbone in finish is profoundly sweet. Very distinctive, even surprising. A real treat. No bitter after taste and alcohol content is hardly noticeable, even at 10% ABV. Extremely well constructed.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced. Carbonation is perfect.

D-Dangerously smooth given ABV. I prefer to sip this one, especially since the taste and drinkability improve as it warms.

This is among my favorite beers and would rate higher if it were more affordable. Sorry, but as a value conscious CPA the price paid is important to my overall enjoyment of beer. Thankfully, there are many great values and a plethora of choices available.

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Photo of PrimScrewhead
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

S: Bottle poured into nonic

A: Pretty copper with a light foamy head

S: Grapefruit & Malt

T: Very sharp/hop bomb first taste. It quickly shifts gears to a medium malt flavor. Booze throughout

M: Medium body. Curvy in the right places

O: A very enjoyable, dry RIPA.

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Photo of Thiestru
4.73/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Rich, hazy copper color with a three-finger brownish-white head. (The bottle had gotten a little shaken up the night before opening, which I think accounts for that insanely thick head, at least partially.) The color and head are good enough, but the haziness pushes it right up there to 'exceptional'. Not to mention the generous lacing.

Smell: Rye and hops. I can't wait to try it!

Taste: Wow! This is the best IPA I've had in quite some time, and I've had some good ones in the last few months. Whoever first thought of mixing rye and hops was a hero to the human race, and it seems that Schmaltz Brewing Company agrees, because they've taken that idea and made a masterpiece of it. Seriously. This tastes a lot like a Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, but stronger, and just... bigger. And better. And I love Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, too. First you get those rye malts on the front of the tongue, then it gradually gives way to bitter hops as it goes back. I'm having a hard time describing this because it's so overwhelmingly great.

Mouthfeel: Rather full-bodied and creamy, actually. Very, very good.

Drinkability: I could drink these all day! Enough said.

Get this.

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Photo of EQueezy
4.71/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

this beer is amazing. such expert pairing of malt, rye flavor and deep rich hop aroma. rarely seen a malty ipa as good as this.

a - deep, dark brown with med ipa head.

s - hoppy, malty notes.

t - can't beat this combination. rich, thick malty flavor with deep, rich hop aroma mixed in. good sugars, not too sweet of finish. i can't believe how well this high alcohol beer goes down. i think i've drank one in about 2-3 min... oops!

m - great rich malty ipa body.

o - a must buy for any ipa or malty ale lover.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.--a double IPA with rye malt--has many of the markings of a good double IPA: grapefruit aroma, mixed with hints of pine resin; citrus notes, including orange, lychee nut, and berry; and a good malt backing to help balance the bitterness. In this case, the malt is part rye, and the result is a malt aroma that is part confectioner's sugar, part marble rye bread, part toast, and absolutely enticing.

On the tongue, the brew is immediately sugary (fruit esters including fig, pear, apricot) and full of rye flavor, which brings a spicy earthiness--lemon pepper, rye bread, burnt toast crust--to the brew. The hops--which have to be present in great quantities, since the beer was brewed with seven varieties, and then dry-hopped with three more--actually take a back seat to the rye flavors for the first part of the mouthful. It isn't until late, when the sugars die off, that a good hop base finally comes through, and when it does, it revels in grapefruit and pine flavors, and is superbly nuanced and finely balanced. Just at the end, a hint of burnt toast edges back through. The aftertaste is mainly hops, with a hint of rye, and lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is excellent beer, especially given the price (my bomber wasn't even $7) and the 10% ABV. The beer's only fault is a slight alcohol/vodka tinge around the edges, this thanks to the high ABV. But even that isn't enough to spoil what is otherwise superb fare. Well worth trying.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't know why it took me so long to get around to this highly rated beer, and company for that matter. Anyway, being a big DIPA fan and one with true respect and admiration for Lenny Bruce I'm really excited about trying it. Plus, it's exciting to have so many great beers left to try. And as fate would have it, this is a great beer.

The appearance is really interesting. It's a darker, and deeper orange than some of the DIPAs I've been drinking lately. The head is almost tan, just shy of the tan a porter or stout might have. The head was not huge, but attractive and it leaves lacing all the way down. A sexy looking brew, for sure.

The aroma is harder to describe. The rye is there, but so is a bread dough-like aroma that gets the salivary glands excited immediately. I smell hops, slightly on the pine-y side, but perhaps some lighter citrus notes as well. Not a hop bomb, but more an exquisitely balanced and refined brew.

The taste delivers on all the sexy looks and complex aromas. About half way down I think to myself, this is why I should never get stuck drinking 2 or 3 beers and stop taking chances with my hard-to-come-by expendable income. Sure I've had some big disappointments, but then you try something like this all the waste falls away. This is a special beer! I think it qualifies as a big beer, one that I'm glad I have 3 more left to drink and explore more deeply.

Each sip delivers something new - rye, hops, bread-y malts, spicy alcohol - and it all comes together so perfectly. Perhaps a myopic hop-head might find fault in its lack of huge bitterness, but that's missing the point, I think.

Lenny's RIPA is big, yet subtle, with a medium mouth feel and is quite drinkable despite the high ABV.

Perhaps I'm over-reacting, but I can only think of 2 beers I liked this much on my first try.

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Photo of HeightsEats
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden hue, malty aroma with faint hop floral elements. The taste and drinkability are surprising for a 10% ABV beer. Very good balance between sweet and bitter with a full-bodied (but not cloying) mouthfeel and an excellent roasted / rye complexity in both flavor and aftertaste. I only bought one of these, but wished I'd had another after finishing it.

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Photo of gpogo
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark amber with reddish tint. Off-white head

A- Lots of malt, Lots of hop. How did all this aroma land in one beer?

T- The rye can really surprise someone not used to rye in beer. The hop bitterness keeps the heavy amount of malt in check. Leaves a bitter alcohol aftertaste.

M- Decent carbonation. Very thick body.

D- A very interesting take on the DIPA. As it is so rich and heavy I'd probably only want to have one or two of these at a time. I highly recommend this as rye leads to an interesting character in a beer.

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Photo of brewmyster
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In tulip glass with Saint Agur blue cheese

A-dark amber thin head which disappear to a ring

S-carmel,toffee, fig?

T-malt,carmel,butter,sweet malt (rye malt?, wow,really whatever I love it),slight alcohol but nothing like you would expect at the ABV,hop bitterness at the end

M-syrupy texture,stays on the tongue almost oily

O-this is one of my new favorites, this went AWESOME with blue cheese

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Photo of Derek
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a very light tan head, great retention, awesome lacing. Seriously impressive for a brew of this strength.

S: Huge nose, grapefruit, nectarine, spicy rye bread, toffee, extremely enticing.

T: Piny, resiny hops complement the spiciness from the rye; bready malt, nectarine, tangine, solid bitterness, alcohol is extremely well-hidden. I know it's bigger, but his one blows the Founder's rye brews away.

M: Moderately full body is well-attenuated and extremely smooth, slight hop acidity, off-dry finish. Extremely well-crafted.

D: I absolutely love it, but it's a big brew.

I don't think I've ever said 'extreme' so many times in a single review, yet this is remarkably well-rounded. Playboy may have described it best "F#cking delicious".

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Photo of BrewedEgo
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at a local burger pub. Poured from tap to chalice.

A- Dark caramel with red tints more reminiscent of a black IPA or porter. Slight head, leaves bubbly lacing.

S- Strong malt-caramel smell, detect faint fruit and floral notes from hops

T- As promised by smell appearance, malt complexity comes first with slightly sour flavor as promised by the rye. Hop bitterness never comes in strongly, resulting in easily drinkable, balanced rye IPA.

Overall, this is a great example of a rye-based IPA. Approachable and tasty especially for those who don't like extremely-hopped IPAs.

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Photo of Rippeddisc
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short review.

Incredibly well balanced dipa. Appearance is standard IPA amber...thick head...not too much lacing on my sample. Biscuity with plenty of grapefruit, raisin bread, and hop kick. Big malty start with tremendous hop finish. Great mouthfeel...thick and lingering. Highly recommended.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 6 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a rusty copper to a deep red color with a thick head that leaves wonderful lacing with each sip.

The aroma is well balanced with caramel and rye on the malt side and lights berries and citrus on the hop side.

The flavor follows suit. The ABV is well hidden in the strong flavors presented in the malts and hops. The more this warms the beer shines. There really is nothing to be disappointed about in this beer. The malts greet the tongue and the hops crash the party while both blend well into the aftertaste.

The body is medium to full with great carbonation. This is thicker than anticipated given the high ABV.

Overall this is a wonderful IPA. For some reason the liquor store near me was selling this at a discounted price. Something I was not displeased about. I will certainly pay for another one of these and recommend you give this a try as well even if a DIPA is not one of your favorites.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.