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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.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,689 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,689
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 68
Gots: 88 | 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:
A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).

(Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | 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
Ratings: 1,689 | Reviews: 849 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%

drank on tap @ hopleaf

served in a tulip

A: A deep reddish brown with a very thin head

S: Faint, almost non-existent. What is there is of spicy hops, but for a double IPA, the lack of aroma is surprising.

T: Opens with characteristic rye maltiness/spiciness. Finishes with hoppy bitterness.

D: kind of weak for a DIPA, but, none-the-less an easy drinker and not offensive. I don't think this a unique beer and found it somewhat generic in flavor. I'm at a loss to explain how the aroma could be so muted.

04-15-2009 01:34:28 | More by Florida9
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear deep reddish brown color with an active tan 1/4" head that sticks around for at least a minute before reducing to a small ring. There is some decent lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: A whole bunch of citrusy hops dominate the aroma at first. There is a good bit of sweet malt here as a base, but the hops are in charge. There is a really defined fruity aroma that reminds me of cherries.

Taste: The flavor is also dominated by hops and it gives you a really dry and bitter edge. It hits your palate pretty hard with the assertive bitterness. The fruitiness is there with the cherries and other citrus fruit like grapefruit. There is a whole bunch of flavor here. The alcohol is mostly noticeable as a spicy edge and then some noticeable warming in the finish...but that is about the only thing that is going to challenge the hops. I don't really get a defined contribution of Rye in the flavor because it gets rather muddled from the massive hops. I get a bit of earthiness and it has decent head retention, so I may guess that there was a wheat or some such here to give it more stability.

Opinion: Well, this beer is something else and is certainly not dull. There is a seriously dry and chalky bitter edge to this beer, and I know that a lot of people really go for a flavor like this. It isn't my cup of tea. I would like a big beer with plenty of maltiness and lots of hops in the flavor and aroma, but not one that hits the back of your throat so hard. I would drink this beer again as a novelty, but I certainly wouldn't seek it out.

10-17-2006 00:21:09 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.45/5  rDev -15%

Bottle

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A ruby orange, copper, and rust color with THICK, heavy floating pellets of sediment running up and down and side to side through the beer. The bottom of the glass is coated with huge globs of gunk--looks like I ordered the High Pulp version of this beer. Though I know floaties/bits of sediment are nothing to be alarmed at, this is an ungodly amount, and no matter how you slice it, this amount is going to be somewhat off-putting.
That being said, the color is beautiful, the head is thick, creamy, pillowy and decadent, and the lacing is top notch.

A strong and powerful, sweet, citrusy, syrupy, bready aroma with loads of caramel malt and a strong blast of spicy rye. This aroma does whatever you want it too, though it's heavy, thick, and pungent no matter how you slice it. The citrus hop aromas are certainly present but they're almost overshadowed by the gargantuan malt and rye left-hook-uppercut-combination. POW! This already seems far more like an American barleywine or American strong ale than it does any DIPA I've ever had.

The flavor follows the nose--this reminds me of a big, thick, hoppy barleywine (or strong ale) far more than it does any typical DIPA. The citrus hops and initial biting bitterness are front and center, followed by sweet, caramel malts, rye bread, and biting alcohol heat.

Thick, creamy, oily, and heavy mouthfeel. Not all too drinkable.

A strong, super hoppy, super malty, somewhat spicy and tangy ?DIPA? It's not one of my favorites--it seems all over the place--messy and unrefined, if you will. This doesn't particularly punch any of the buttons I want punched when I reach for a DIPA. It's too thick, menacing, and out of balance to be a great barleywine. To me, it's a strong ale--whatever the heck that means anyways. Bah, humbug.

08-12-2011 01:17:07 | More by ehammond1
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -15%

Poured this into a glass mug.

A: Pours dark amber body with a nice, white head with good retention and lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A nice, hoppy smell with a slightly citrus undertone.

T: A nice, hoppy taste with a hoppy aftertaste as well. The citrus malts seemed to disappear in the taste, but it was still pretty good. Later on, some of the malts made themselves evident towards the end of the beer as a way to balance out the hops.

M: A smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel that was pleasant to the palette.

D: An excellent drinkability. Nice mouthfeel and nice hoppy taste. When the malts made themselves more evident later in the beer, it helped to balance out the hops.

04-17-2008 02:49:20 | More by maddogruss
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

3.45/5  rDev -15%

22 ounce bottle split with my dad last night, bought at Cooke's Market in El Segundo for $5.49, poured into my Aventinus glass

A-Dark amber with hints of golden orange in the light, 3/4 inch soapy off white head that stuck around for five minutes plus, nice retention and lacing

S-Rye obviously, lots of malt, piney hoppiness, some citrus notes including lemons and orange peel, strong yeast, and some cherries

T-Started off with a strong malty taste that was almost bready, some lemon accents in the middle, big hoppy aftertaste that was really dry when the liquid was on the colder side, got sweeter as time went on with berries and oranges coming to the surface but the hops were definitely still there, did not like this once it fully warmed because the malt was overwhelming and the bitterness became tamer, nicely balanced while it was chilled but not otherwise, more of a sipper as a result

M-Dry, chewy, and bitter mouthfeel at the same time, could have used more carbonation in my opinion, medium to full body, thick for an IPA, taste lingered

D-Could not drink this whole bottle individually, strong and boozy, heavy on the stomach, ten percent is evident and not hidden

First beer from this brewery, one of the only rye beers I have ever tasted and definitely the first DIPA with it, would probably drink again, worth trying

04-29-2008 21:27:55 | More by Floydster
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear coppery red with a 1/2 finger of foamy off-white head that dissipates quickly. Moderate carbonation and sparse lacing.

N: Sweet caramel, grapefruit, rye, hints of pine, citrus and sugar.

T: Sugary toffee and rye upfront followed by caramel, rye, pine, cocoa and hints of booze. Finishes with spicy rye and hints of pine.

M: Medium bodied, sticky and dry.

O: Good amount of rye throughout this beer but the malt is too toffee-like. Tastes similar to an Imperial Red.

02-19-2012 21:21:38 | More by justintcoons
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%

12oz bottle received as a bonus volunteering at a beer festival.

A - Pours a deep, rich amber color with a really nice ruby red tint. about a half finger of cream colored foam rests atop the beer, hesitates briefly and falls to a skim coat with a thick collar and nice lacing left around the edges of the glass.

S - Smell is largely malt dominated. Rich, sweet, caramelly, sugary. Really struggling to pull some hops out of this...swrirling vigorously barely produces any hop aroma that can get past the malt. Not exactly what I wxpect out of an imperial IPA. I expect the probability of lots of malt but I also expect a ton of hops to make an appearance too.

T - Lots more hops in the flavor than the aroma. Tons of nice bitterness up front. Enough to offset the powerful malt presence here and then some. Still the malt presence can't be denied - bready, sweet, caramelly. Strong alcohol presence in the flavor too. Rye spiciness is there, but not as prominant as I'd hope...does leave a lingering spiciness behind after the swallow.

M - Medium bodied, carbonation is medium high. Very lively, prickly feeling from the carbonation. Rye spiciness stays behind long afer the swallow.

D - Well, I have to preface this by saying I've had several of the Schmaltz beers and have never really been impressed. This one is sadly no different. I've heard lots of good things, but I consistently find myself underwhelmed. Technically, there is nothing wrong with this beer - well crafted, no off flavors...just doesn't click with me. Alcohol is very noticeable, hops are very subdued in flavor for the style..bitterness is there, but not hop flavor at all. Just doesn't fit with what I'm looking for in a DIPA.

03-06-2010 01:09:54 | More by portia99
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%

this beer's 666th review. damn it!

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a clear, deep amber; sits a borderline mahogany tone with orange highlights. yields a finger beige head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves decent lacing.

nose is bold, offering a big dose of rye malt to accompany some muted citric hoppy notes... a bit bready... was expecting more hops, questioning the freshness here.

taste follows suit. very malty for a DIPA, now i'm *really* questioning the freshness. rye is most evident with the hoppy characters being almost secondary notes. reading the reviews of others, it appears this quality is not the norm. medium-full and creamy in the mouth with adequate carbonation

altogether, not a bad beer even with an apparently past its prime bottle. will re-review if i can get my hands on a guaranteed fresh bottle, but as it stands it's an average-DIPA.

08-22-2011 02:23:38 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%

22oz bottle into a goblet

A - Pours a very hazy, deep dark brown, with a few amber highlights. Not normally noticed in a pour, but this beer just looks super thick. Head formation was about nil.

S - Super sweet, lots of caramel and toffe notes, backed up with some interesting grainy rye. Rye can comes across as almost edgy in a beer like this.

T - Starts off all sweet, lots of 2 row malts and some grainy rye background. Mid-stream is still very malty, with more grainy rye notes. Caramel appears strongly here. Finishes with the first appearance of hops and bitterness, with some floral hopping and a bitter finish.

M - Thick and oil - very creamy. Carbonation is missing, so this beer stands on its own. Could use some "fluffy" textures from higher carbonation. Finishes thick and cloying.

D - A one and done beer. A bit too sweet for long sessioning. ABV is sneaky, and a bomb. Not filling, but certainly has a standing affect on the palette - almost overwhelming.

11-04-2010 04:24:45 | More by katan
Photo of Boppar
Boppar

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%

Poured from a bomber into an over-sized wine glass.

A: Beautiful ruby color. I thought at first that it was transparent, but it turned out to be translucent. Two fingers of fluffy, off-white head. Good head retention and great lacing. A few big soap bubbles.

S: Smells like alcohol and dank, piney hops.

T: Tastes like a pine cone. Alcohol is in evidence. Strong malt backbone, but definitely some intense bittering hops to balance it out. Leahery taste mid-to-late palate. Finishes with a pronounced oak-y dryness. Aftertaste of a faint caramel and vanilla.

M: This has pretty solid mouthfeel. It is fluffy and smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Very nice. Good weight to it.

D: About average for a DIPA.

12-23-2007 06:37:13 | More by Boppar
Photo of david131
david131

California

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%

A- Absolutely stunning. A deep orange with hints of brown. Not many streams of carbonation, but the head is very slow to form, but is large and has great retention. Leaves some pretty good lacing to boot.

S- Lots of caramel, pine, and citrus. Kind of sweet with hints of cotton candy and vegetable. A powerhouse smelling beer.

T- Same as the aroma with a massive amount of sweetness and bitterness. The booze is pretty noticeable too.

M- Eerily smooth, but then very dry afterward. This is the thickest DIPA I have ever had.

D- The booze and bitterness of this really take a toll. Definitely a representation of the style though.

11-30-2008 04:53:42 | More by david131
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%

A - pours a dark copper color with a huge head

S - smells of fruity hops that are mixed with sweet, earthy, grainy malts

T - Caramel hops dominate at first but are quickly pushed aside by the spicy rye malts. All of this fades into some grapefruit hops. This thing tastes almost like a hoppy barleywine. A lot different than I expected, not bad.

M - medium bodied and goes down smoothly

D - this was a decent Rye DIPA...this is the first of its kind that I have tried so I have nothing to compare it to, but I think this would have been better if it was a regular IPA with the rye instead of having this huge malt bomb to balance out the loads of hops. Not a bad brew, enjoyable.

05-09-2010 15:42:19 | More by birchstick
Photo of dpodratsky3
dpodratsky3

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Hazy and cloudy orange amber, creamy off white head

S: Very malty, distinct though, not just the typical sweet malt, the amount of rye has to have an effect

T: Way more bitter than smell, again has that distinct flavor that could be a result of the rye in the beer, the huge dose of bitterness comes without much hop flavor though, also has a strange aftertaste

M: Definitely dry, kind of bitey mouthfeel

D: Not great to me

Notes: This beer is not my style, although it is definitely interesting. It has promise, but doesn't quite work in my opinion. If that unique flavor is indeed rye, then I thick this could work with some tweaking. The hops need more flavor to match their bitterness.

12-30-2009 08:00:00 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%

Pours with average foam, body is red in color. Smells piny and resiny, with some sweetness from the rye.

Taste is sweet initially. The hops follow; they are piney, grapefruit-laden, and blend in well with the rest of the flavor profile. The rye is quite noticeable on the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy and not particularly to my liking. Drinkability is okay.

08-18-2006 02:19:19 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

Clear dark copper appearance, compact head of about 1/2 an inch in height. Good thick dripping laces. Marmalade aroma, some suggestions of dark rye bread or rustic "black bread". Smooth full mouthfeel, not a lot of carbonation, works well. Hop bitterness early, earthy and musky. What's interesting is the malt detail, for a beer with this much girth and decent weight, its hard to pick out a sweet component (aside from that heavy dark bread that is featured in the smell), especially late as the beer passes a yellow mustard flavor and heads in an almost top-soil flavor direction with a bitter collard green close. The brew has some definite distinction, but not any that strike me -- different but I wouldn't pick this one up again. As a note, on the label there's a lot of that pretentious prose you find on some beer bottles that just makes you wish the brewer would stick to talking about the beer. For example, the malt bill would be a lot more interesting to read about than anyone's particular opinion about Lenny Bruce.

06-26-2006 00:11:34 | More by ADR
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

22oz. brown bomber, purchased from Dilly Deli, poured into a snifter. No dating.

Second Review:

Peanut talked me into trying this again.

...My first review is pretty damn accurate. I do like it a bit more this time but I think I'll be keeping the scores the same.

First Review:

A: Pours a blood red and appears a vibrant ruby in the light. Has some visibility even for such a deep colored beer. Almost 2 fingers in the snifter of off white head with a bit of staying power. Some patching lacing down the glass.

S: Maltiness is on par with an American Barleywine. Bread, butterscotch, rye, citrus hops, alcohol, all struggling for position in a vinous setting.

T/M: Very potent. Hops are big but undefined. Crisp and citrus but I can't pick it apart. Plenty of spice. Bitterness starts medium and continues to build all the way through and beyond a super dry, alcoholic finish. Alcohol isn't afraid to show at all and can be a bit harsh at times. Malts are on part with any Barleywine. I'm actually surprised this isn't labeled a Barleywine.

D: So potent that I think it'll be hard to finish the rest of this bomber. Has a nice price tag but if I buy more of this it'll be to cellar for about a year.

12-21-2007 02:40:25 | More by pwoods
Photo of nafnikufesin
nafnikufesin

Alberta (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

Appearance - Great wispy looks.

Smell - Sweet-hoppy aroma.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body.

Taste - A sweet rye flavor at the front of the mouth giving way to an intense bitter hop flavor, with the 10% alcohol very apparent in the aftertaste.

Drinkability - Ultimately limited by the intense bitterness.

Overall - A good start, flavorful, but very intense to drink on a regular basis.

07-28-2007 18:21:46 | More by nafnikufesin
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a clear, deep amber; sits a borderline mahogany tone with orange highlights. yields a finger beige head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves decent lacing. nose fairly robust, offering a big dose of rye malt to accompany some muted citric hoppy notes... a bit bready... was expecting more hops, questioning the freshness here.

taste follows suit. very malty for a DIPA, now i'm *really* questioning the freshness. rye is most evident with the hoppy characters being almost secondary notes. reading the reviews of others, it appears this quality is not the norm. medium-full and creamy in the mouth with adequate carbonation

altogether, not a bad beer even with an apparently past its prime bottle. will re-review if i can get my hands on a guaranteed fresh bottle, but as it stands it's an average-DIPA.

(originally reviewed: 08-22-2011)

06-20-2012 00:53:37 | More by BostonHops
Photo of beckje01
beckje01

Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

A- Dark amber good activity with a medium tan head.

S- Full fruity.

T- Good hops nice malt background.

M- Good thickness exactly what I would want from the style.

D- One a time for me but I'm sure there are those out there who can handle a few of these big beers.

05-26-2007 04:43:13 | More by beckje01
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

Bomber into a Foothills pint glass.

An appealing, ruby-copper body fills my pint, pouring thick and leaving behind a 1/2 inch of head. The suds are dirty khaki in color, well-retained, and leave behind nice lacing. Aroma catches me off guard a bit, as candi-sweet malts fill the air, along with syrupy rye and hints of grapefruit hops. I could really go for a bit more hops, here, but the rye pairs nicely with the aroma overall.

I found the flavor to be very unbalanced. If IIPA's weren't my favorite style, I might've rated the taste even lower, as the hops took a backseat to candi-sweet malts and boozy, thick alcohol notes. Only in the aftertaste did the hoppiness come to the rescue, and by then the sugary malts had all but dominated the senses. Body is far too thick to be drinkable, and the alcohol note detracts from, instead of complimenting the experience. I will not be buying this again, sadly, as I had high expectations going into this brew.

04-13-2008 04:05:50 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

I found this to be pretty good, but overall was not impressed.

Dark copper, it has a big pale tan head slowly shrinking to thin foamy top and some lace.

Aroma is sweet port/fortified wine, caramelised and candied grapefruit, caramelised toast.

Taste is raisiny bittersweet jamminess up front, sweet-spicy up front with lingering spicy bitterness behind. Otherwise, it's a bit vague and muddled, overall very sweet and spicy-bitter alcohol with little else. It tastes like a lot of other one-dimensional, run-of-the-mill DIPA types and had no real hop or malt character beyond what I've mentioned.

11-12-2012 00:31:42 | More by Offa
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.35/5  rDev -17.5%

Looks impressive, rich, vibrant reddish brown. Aroma, some sweet candy kinda.

Taste, I completely agree with my predecessor, the lines are blurred between DIPA and barleywine here, moreso towards the barleywine end. Sweet, understated hops, hides the alcohol decently. Drinkable for its alcohol, but price is a little prohibitive.

02-06-2010 06:39:31 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.33/5  rDev -18%

On cask at a local beer bar. Beer is clear and reddish in color. Carbonation is moderate to low and head is soapy and nearly non-existent (it is on cask though). No lacing on the glass. I'm still interested.

Aroma is dominated by hops hops hops. Mostly citrus hop aroma and nothing much else.

Hops are present in the back of the mouth on this one. Correct me if I'm wrong but a RIPA is a RYE IPA correct? I don't taste the rye at all. The finish is a little piny. There isn't much of an aftertaste, is that woodsey flavor the rye trying to squeeze to the front? Eh, not my favorite, definitely not my favorite IPA or rye.

This may be one of those beers that has no business being on cask. I'll try it again in the bottle and see if its better and rereview at a later date.

12-18-2009 20:05:02 | More by drabmuh
Photo of negroobserver
negroobserver

New York

3.3/5  rDev -18.7%

Described as a Double IPA with Rye Malt
12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass.

The appearance is a light coffee color. Very much like a traditional Brown Ale. Pours with a short cream colored head, which lingers on the top for a bit. Filtered. Light to moderate lacing on the glass.

The body is dense and full. Very heavy. Thick as an imperial stout or a cream ale.

Taste is at best lacking. There is essentially nothing on the front end. First impact comes from the body of the beer, which transitions into a light malty flavor and then quickly to a ver intense bitterness which coats the tongue and lingers in the mouth for at least a minute.

Aroma is malty. Sweet. A hint of sourness. Little or no hoppy aroma which is disappointing.

The beer is a bit of a shock to the taste buds but it becomes less threatening as you continue to drink. Not a bad drink but an acquired taste. I love double IPAs but this one eludes me. It doesn't come together as a whole.

12-27-2012 05:26:45 | More by negroobserver
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

3.3/5  rDev -18.7%

Pours dark brown with cinnamon red highlights, with a bubbly head that leaves awesome lacing. Too dark for a DIPA.

Smells is malt, sweet and cloying, hops are in there, but let's be honest, it's almost an afterthought. Hrm, it doesn't smell like a DIPA.

Taste is the same, very roasted malt, bold, hint of hops? The rye comes out in the after taste, but, it doesn't taste like a DIPA.

Feel is thick and smooth with just the right amount of boozy warmth. Viscous with a hops bite on the end, all the while very sticky.

Overall, this doesn't have the DIPA look, smell, and taste I am looking for. Great texture makes this a great beer, but a DIPA? Heck no, and this should not be labeled as a DIPA. Doesn't make it bad, but it is not what it claims to be.

DOA

01-09-2012 05:43:35 | More by Drinkerofales
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,689 ratings.