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.

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,873 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,873
Reviews: 881
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 81
Gots: 170 | 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 (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,873 | Reviews: 881
Photo of B33R501
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is beer. The first two were probably the best beers I've had this year. Subsequent bottles have not been quite as good, due to fading hop presence, same batch, only available at Beer Heaven Philly that I know of. Very much reminds me of Hop Rod Rye. Rarified company.

Pours dark amber. rust, beautiful. Huge rocky head, retention lace. Yea it's a looker. Smells fresh citrus orange and grapefruit, huge pine sap, rye bread, caramel and butterscotch malts. And thats what it tastes like, with a huge bone dry, bitter orange aftertaste that lingers forever. Thick rich butterscotch cake batter smell and taste really stand out. One of the most complex beers. Smoooth and incredibly satisfying, chewy and very sticky.

Why we drink beer. Definite candidate for "if you could drink one beer, and one beer only".

Photo of Pahn
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. No bottled on date.

Appearance: Misguidedly free pour yields a >3 inch fluffy, bubbly white head that dissipates slowly leaving rings and walls of lacing all over the glass, which stick around for the entirety of the beer (incidentally, I had to drink/eat some of the foam to avoid spilling, and it tasted deliciously like caramel; not usually a fan of the taste of straight beer head, but this was nice). Pours a slightly dark, hazy amber, and leaves tons of lacing. This beer looks like something such that if you saw someone else's glass while they drank it at a bar and you were even slightly dissatisfied with your own choice, you would be jealous and want to take theirs.

Smell: From the bottle there's some dank, citrus hops and big, barleywine-deep caramel malt. It's the same in the glass but with less hops influence, and even more full, complex malt aroma. There's fig, caramel, some booziness, and a little bit of grassy hops. Some nice herbal notes come out late in the glass.

Taste: Lots of deep malt goodness following the nose, with a fair amount of bitterness in the finish as the hops struggle to be noticed. Damn, the brewers at Shmaltz know how to make a big beer, don't they? On the third or fourth sip, I get some of the rye, and it's working really well with these thick, rich American barleywine malt flavors. Eventually, some grassy hops show through, and there's DIPA caliber bitterness here, but the character of the flavor is all about malt. Finishes slightly hot, but not 10% hot; just a pleasant warmth.

This is a hard beer to grade to style. On the one hand, it tastes less like a DIPA and more like an American barleywine (chances are I could be drinking it fresher and get some more hops, but the malt would still be well into barleywine territory). On the other hand, it tastes like a *really, really good barleywine*. If you're looking for 90min IPA or Pliny the Elder, you'll find nothing like either in this bottle... but the lines between American barleywine and DIPA are pretty blurry to begin with. 4.5 sounds right to me; this beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel: Solidly medium bodied and creamy, with just enough carbonation to contribute without being distracting. This is a great mouthfeel for a DIPA or a barleywine, so no style confusion necessary here.

Drinkability: Easy 5. Manages to deliver huge flavors without taxing the palate or being difficult to continue drinking in any way; no heavy stickiness in the feel, no overwhelming alcohol burn, no clash of flavors or one note getting too intense.

When it comes to IPAs and DIPAs, I think I could name at least 10 excellent beers more successful at pulling off the style than this one. At the same time, this is the best 12oz bottle of American barleywine I've ever had, in the same league as my favorites like Old Ruffian.

If you think Lenny Bruce was a comedian who managed to be over the top without sacrificing quality in his material, this beer is a perfect tribute to him. Lenny's R.I.P.A. will definitely be joining the few beers put into my regular repeat-buy 4pack/6pack rotation, among Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, 90 Minute IPA, Great Divide Hibernation, and Stone IPA. Excellent beer.

Photo of Bigfatbino
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A = Nice dark color, tight bubbles in the head, left beautiful lacing in the glass.

S= sweet, but balanced with nice roasted undertones. Very flowery aroma.

T = Mouth-puckering bitter, chocolate undertones and roasted coffee. Very long-lingering bitter aftertaste.

M = Thick and resiny. Good carbonation and it stays on the tongue well after the first swallow.

D = A very good session beer. Would be great with Pot Roast or any good long braised meat.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All I have to say is wow! This is the first and only beer I have had from Shmaltz, but it will not be the last. You must take into account that Double American IPA's are my absolute favorite and I am watering at the mouth recounting this beautiful beer.

I poured my Lenny's RIPA into a Tulip glass and at around 50 degrees or so. A nice head formed and then reduced to minor lacing which could be refrothed with a few swirls of the glass.

The Aroma is lightly sweet, hoppy, and a faint hint of the 10%ABV alcohol. I can tell right away that the first 8 ounces of this 22 ounce bomber don't stand a chance. I am luckily at home alone and left to enjoy this beer in the solitude and sanctity of my living room recliner.

The first taste is magical. It is bitter, vivacious and malty. The finish is like a Green Flash DIPA or Stone Ruination only with more hop spiciness. I can't believe the kick of this beer. The hop presence hides the alcohol well, but after 2/3 of the bottle you can definately feel the affects.

I would recommend this beer to anyone with a taste for IPA's. If you liked Stone Ruination, Arrogant Bastard, Green Flash DIPA, or any other heavily hopped beer you will most definately love this one. Enjoy and savor this one.

Photo of whatthehull
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tulip

A - cloudy burnt sienna, one finger tan head and nice lacing

S - awesome booze, the rye is great, tons of hops, sweet and toasted malts, spice, funk, wet wood, huge yeast note, fruity and more sweet woody booze

T - the rye is fantastic, nice spice, booze, tons of earth, malt bomb backbone. some citrus, slight dried sweet and citrus fruit, island fruits and some sap

M - full body, medium minus acidity, medium balance, fun complexity and long finish

D - for most, this isn't for you. Huge hop, huge malt and very boozy! For all hop/malt heads, BAM! Get a few 4 packs. Great beer

Final thought - never had anything except for jewbelation 14 and 15 from schmaltz that I enjoy, but this, I love! $8.50 a 4 pack and 10%, love it!

Photo of Wackyfoot
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely reddish amber hue with a medium light brown head. Wonderful spicy smell with a hint of citrus as well. The flavor is heavily spiced with a whiskey essence and a nice bit of hoppy goodness. Little bit of alcohol presence as well but not overpowering. I think I just converted.

Photo of depechemode1983
4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours out a medium mahogany red hues when held to the light. The head is tan with phenomenal retention. There's extreme lacing on this one. A half inch of foam stuck around for the entire duration of the beer consumption. Excellent.

S - Very tropical nose. Pineapple, orange, bitter grapefruit all make an appearance. Not mention an awesome piney bitterness that balances out the sweet characteristics of the nose.

T - Balanced as hell. You awesome Malt sweetness upfront with a touch fruit. Then almost immediately hit with sharp pine resin bitterness. Even at 10% ABV the alcohol stays well hidden.

M - Good god this beer is smooth. Soft, velvety, and with almost perfect carbonation it goes down like milk.

O - Worth of multiple purchases. Many actually. One of the best DIPAS I have had in my area. Just arrived too. At 8 dollars a 4 pack its a steal. Excellent quality and great first impression from He'brew.

Photo of mooseisloose
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If Schlitz is Schlitz, this is Schmaltz. This is a bomber that appeared albeit at a great price at the local beer supply joint, so I decided to give it a whirl. It is a brew among brews, let me tell you, my friends. The bottle smell is malt and lots of it. This is a brew that for the style - reinvents- Obscene is completely correct. This is a beer for worldwide lovers of beer. This may not be a tripel, its more ,with the hopping its a dirty quadruple! At least he migrated to see the US of A!

Photo of burtonbe
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful deep brown color. Clear. Strong head.

S - Good malty smell, with a balanced hop aroma. Very balanced, very enjoyable.

T - Wow! That's a kick in the mouth! Huge flavor. You can really taste the rye. Complex biscuity/malty/bitter/sweet/woody flavor. Hoppy, but it needs it to balance the huge flavor. Chewy. Just awesome.

M - When you drink this beer you really know you're drinking beer. Mouthfeel is exceptional.

D - This beer is 10% ABV and comes in a 22oz bottle. Keeping that in mind, it's pretty darn drinkable.

Overall, this is an awesome beer. My girlfriend took a sip and remarked "that sure is a man's beer!"

Photo of shaunb81
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a beautiful, copper body with a nice 1", cream head. Heavy lacing throughout the glass.

Smell - Strong spicy hops here, some sweet malts detected, and I also get a little citrus.

Taste - Sweet on the front and super, long-lasting, bitter hops. I really like this beer.

Mouthfeel - Mild carbonation and I LOVE the creamy density of the brew. Perfect IPA for me.

Overall - Can't say that I've had a better IPA, but I know I have a lot to go. I recommend this to ANY hop head.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ale named after the former Leonard Alfred Schneider departs the bottle and enters the glass a robust red, shadowy, clear, with a high head, creamy/tannish toned. Looking lovely.

Aroma: Fat malt, outsized yeast, liquid bread...is this a doppelbock? But there's so much hop!...sniff again... Wow! Loud hop, rich, burnished, barleywine-like. Grapes and other dark fruits are at hand, feeling like a burgundy wine, perhaps due to the high alcohol, or the huge maltiness.

Now, let's taste...Woo! Bam! Whap! Shamalam! Enormous malt floods the mouth and is assisted in it's it's efforts by the blazing sidecar of hops. Big, big, big on the palate, outsized all the way, spilling flavor all over the place. Delicious dark fruits, grapes, cherries, more...Reminds me very much of a Bigfoot or similar barleywine-style ales. This is where the line between "American Double IPA"s and barleywines really blurs, the malt is as big or bigger than the hops in this one, and the flavor is almost the match for a barleywine.

And the 10% doesn't hit...right away..oh, no, you'll feel it, though...

I didn't really taste the rye at all, but it works so damned well, it doesn't matter.
(Wait, ...now, I'm tasting it...yup, it's discernible...)

I love it. I think Lenny would love it. Rest his smutty soul. R.I.P. (A. true American hero.)

Photo of Preston
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

For such a huge beer, it had only moderate bitterness and the high alcohol level was backgrounded extremely effectively. I had this on tap at Yard House in Cincinnati. A great, great beer well worth getting a pint (and going to a Reds game very happy).

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This had quite the foaming action. Looks like a lighter form of Guinness with more intense bubble action. Very distince red-brown that is pretty bright.

Smell: Strong pine hops, caramel, and clear notes of rye.

Taste/Mouthfeel: I gotta give perfect points of flavor. Is this a rye beer? Is this an IPA? Somehow it's both and yet...neither. It has the herbal fruitiness of a good rye without the cloying burnt bitterness that some have. It has clear earthy pine notes of an intense IPA, yet it is not too bitter or sour and does not overwhelm the malty rye notes. Mouthfeel is definitely substantial enough to hold the flavors, but is not to syrupy.

Overall Drinkability: This is not a gateway beer if you don't like anything with rye or anything bitter. It is by no means the most intense in either category, but I suggest tackling one flavor at a time first.

Photo of chickenflea
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Underground Bluz.

A - Pours a clear deep copper amber with a nicely-lacing frothy off-white head.

S - Aroma is sweet and piney. There are notes of earthy caramel and complex butterscotch.

T - Taste is initially very sweet caramel. But this turns quickly to a fresh, resinous bittering hoppiness and a sticky piney finish. The rye gives it a pleasant balance across the middle of the palate. Alcohol taste is subdued. Taste finishes with burnt toast aftertaste and long lingering bitterness.

M - Texture like apricot juice. Perfect.

D - This beer was one of the most enjoyable beers I have ever had. Just beautiful in every way. I really did not expect to like this beer because I have enjoyed very few good rye-grained beers. But the rye in this style added to the complexity in a very complimentary fashion.

Photo of obywan59
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is brilliantly clear. Copper in color in my pint glass. It didn't seem to be forming a head at first, so I poured harder and overdid it. Call it a 2 1/2 finger head, maybe 3 with what I lost. Attractive lacing.

Sweet malt dominates the aroma at first. Syrupy fruit aromas and spicy rye appear as the beer warms,. 2nd beer poured into my Duvel tulip: OMG this is totally different. Sweet flowery perfume and glorious spice. Kinda like a high class fragrant bath powder--weird. Neversaw tgat ub a beer befire. Knock it up from a 4 to a 5.

Taste is sweet and caramelly with a bit of bitter chocolate. Spicy hops and rye round it out with some tart citrus showing up in the tulip.

Fairly thick bodied. Creamy and smooth. Warming alcohol via the 10% ABV.

This beer definitely improves and becomes more well rounded as it warms, becoming more complex. This would be a great beer to retry in the dead of winter.

Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A whole lot of head, it nearly jumps over the side on the glass. Crystal clear tawny color. Smells of ripe tropical fruit, pine sap, blood oranges, a little hint of hemp seed oil and cake batter. Smooth and ultra creamy with a hop oil slickness deep inside the full-ish body. Lush malt foundation ranges from heavy caramel to spicy rye, donuts to toasted bread ... pretty damn complex IMO. Hops jump on all of this with a cutting bitterness and a long linger of spicy, citric, thick herbal and tobacco flavor. The bitterness pairs up with the rye to compliment the coming of the alcohol. Oh yes, there is alcohol here and a drops a good amount of warmth and tropical fruit. Finish bittersweet and spicy with more bitterness in the end of it all.

Big and bold, a serious beer ... it would be simple to say that it kicks ass, which it does. By far one of the most enjoyable beers I have had this year.

Photo of weiserr
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing brew; I can't believe that I passed on the opportunity to engage its wonder on more occasions than I care to recount.

Apocalypse bronze, it flows through the glass eclipsing to a billowing head of clouds that surrender ridiculous amounts of lace in its wake.

The smell is very complex, but you can immediately tell that the malt and hop character are overdone in spades. Yes, the bottle declares it, but yes, the bottle delivers. Sugary, biscuity and so citrusy that I can't wait to drink it.

The best thing I can say about the taste is balance. Despite the over-aggressive attempt at creating something exclusive to the DIPA billing, it comes off so balanced that it amazes me. I'm detecting an incredible malt presence in the form of honey glazed donuts sprinkled with sugar, but the massive amounts of grapefruit pith and piny aromas come through on the back end and tickle the throat with a cunning reminder that you are drinking something very unique, and special.

This beer is giving me goosebumps. On second thought, I'm breaking out in a cold sweat. Delusional maybe; as Jim beckons his mother in the smoke-filled Whiskey a Go Go. IPA, I want to drink you. Industry, I want to (****) you... yeaaaahhhh. Shmaltz Brewing lives up to its kosher status. Engaging, timely and remarkably unrestrained, this is one brewery that became a leader in the absence of leadership. I demanded an IPA and they delivered without instruction. Thank you, my friend, for carrying a message to Garcia.

Photo of theopholis
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a deep orange/burgandy, with a fairly thick, yellow-white head with a lot of staying power. Loosens up failry quickly, but this head is very substantial. Leaves just a ton of lace behind to Very impressive.

Aroma- Not overwhelmng, but what you do get is an excellent mixture of aroma hops and sweet, sweet, malt. Some hints of candy sugar. Excellent

Taste- Whoa!!!! Wow!!!! ... Fore-taste is about what you would expect. Rich, malty, sweet, hoppy,intense, bready. As it slides towards the back of your toungue, the hops take over. Reaaly good balance between malt and flavoring hops. Not perfect, but very impressive. A hint of spruce in there to. As I go down, I want to lick the lace off the glass. Mmmm...

Mouthfeel- Yeah....I know....it's an American DIPA. It's still a tad heavy. The carbonation is wonderful tho. Compliments and accentuates the flavors wonderfully.

Drinkability- If you're a hop-head like myself, you will love this beer. If the lighter beers are more your style, this beer is style worth a shot, but it is a sipping beer.

Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep red with a sizable head into the pint glass. The head stuck around on the beer for quite sometime. Smelled of strong citrus hops, with a fruity hop underneath. Strong bread and alcohol smells come off of it too, a sweet bread with a sour finish, no doubt the working of the rye. Spicy, citrusy, mango hops play well with the subdued alcohol for a 10 percent beer. The grain is sweet, and sharp, if I would have had the forethought to pick up some goat cheese, it would have been perfect for it. It drank well, which is the sign of a good double ipa, if not good for my head. A damn fine beer, which I was mainly excited to pick up due to the tribute to Lenny Bruce, one of my favorite American humorists.

Photo of Greggy
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an exceptional dark copper/red color with a nice tan head. The body has just a touch of fine sediment. There is some nice sticky lacing as well.

S- Impressive. Very nutty, sweet, maple nut, and a bunch of dark fruits. There is a nice balance of rye in the mix too.

T- Very sweet and nutty malt with butterscotch, after the nice smooth malt it turns to a very nice dry hop finish.

M- Very thick and creamy.

D- The alc is extremely well hidden in this one. The only thing letting me know this was over 7% was the thick mouthfeel. I would have NEVER guessed that this was 10%. Incredible Brew.

Photo of chodinheaven
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep and burnt orange color and hazy, almost opaque. Perfect 2 finger off-white head on a medium pour. The head sticks around forever and leaves nice lacing. Gorgeous beer. Lots of piney and citrus hops in the aroma backed by a big malt presence. Rye is faintly detectable in that malt presence. Definitely pleasant on the nose.

Full-bodied and big on every level. Hops hit hard in a bitter onslaught, but the rye malt balances it out expertly. The rye gives it a bready and biscuity quality that goes a long way in keeping all the other flavors in check. The hops are mostly piney in character, but the malts take some of the focus away from that, and not at all in a bad way. Balance between extremes is the name of the game here and this beer delivers that and then some. Boozy notes of that 10% ABV are hidden well, felt as an afterthought in the back of the palate. It actually adds to the balance as it warms. Dry finish, but long and lingering. This is a seriously good beer in my opinion. If you like rye beers, this is a must try. If you like double IPAs, this is a must try. If you like beers that demonstrate a nearly perfect balance of flavors, feel and character, this is certainly a must try.

Photo of kwjd
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown colour with thick off-white head. Lots of lacing and good head retention. Smell is huge pine hops with tons of caramel sweetness, plus some added spiciness (assume from the rye). Flavour has lots of bitterness, with tons of sweetness as well. This is almost a cross between a barleywine and a double IPA, which makes the "bittersweet" part of the name make sense. Good carbonation level. This is a big beer, but delicious.

Photo of Dansting
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a slightly hazy copper color with a thick almond head. Strong lacing. Aroma is malty, caramel, and hoppy. Amazing full mouthfeel. Flavor is a nice hoppy taste, with grapefruit, rye, and pine hints to it. Ranks right up there with Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye as the best rye beers that I've had.

Photo of beersensei305
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This Rye Double IPA pours a deep copper with a nice thick head and great lacing. The smell is hoppy with some citrus sweetness and maltiness. The taste is complex- it starts off with carmel sweetness, grapefruit tartness, toasted notes, and rye. This is a medium bodied brew with average carbonation. This is a great beer and I could have this at any time.

Photo of hwwty4
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22oz bottle into a Smokestack goblet. Only a slight off white head (probably to cold) that left sticky lacing all the way down the glass. Poured a deep amber with a lot of reddish tones. Aroma was amazing. Really complex. The first thing that struck me was almost a sweet strawberry aroma, then it melded into the spiciness from the rye and then finally into the hops. Taste is all rye up front. Not overpowering, but it adds a spicy kick that balances the malt very well. Hops are the finish. I cannot pick up what exact flavors of the hops but it was big. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side with leaves a nice oily coating on your mouth. I will definitely pick up another bomber of this when I see it.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,873 ratings.