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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.

878 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 878
Hads: 1,919
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 83
Gots: 195 | 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 (28) | 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: 878 | Hads: 1,919
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle - originally reviewed on paper on 8/14/06

Pours a clear amber with a thick tan head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is 100% citrusy hops and smells very nice.

Taste is slightly malty upfront which is washed quickly away by a wave of citrusy hops and a bitter bite to boot. Finishes quite dry and bitter.

Full body, mild carbonation.

An overall nice DIPA, and a nice change to have one that's on the dry side.

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Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a cloudy amber color, with a decent looking head.

Aromas are a bit sour, and pine like from the hops.

Taste is sour, mineral like, and overly bitter. There is a slight citrus and malty backbone, but it's not the main player here. Finish is crisp and tart. Overall, I think the balance is a bit off, it's still an interesting beer to taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but a step below the better beers of this style. Overall the beer seem a bit lean.

Drinkability is not bad. But all in all, this is a pretty good beer. Interesting, and worth a try.

Thanks for sending this my way drseamus. (B'day 07)

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep and clear ruby color with a decent sized off-white head. The beer sorta glugged out in a syrupy fashion. The first scents bring on the rye mixed in with pine needles and a touch of orange peel. The malt is a beast on the nose on this beer pushing around anything else you could really get a good scent out of. The flavor profile is more of the same with plenty of rye flavor with an almost bready malt being most dominant. The hop profile does a fairly good job though trying to balance out all of the malt, but this beer leans heavier towards the malt and not the hops. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with plenty of carbonation to go around, but this beer leaves quite a bitter finish. The drinkability is actually quite good, but the 10% ABV will sneak up on your if you have an entire bomber.

Pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of rayjay
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bevmo just got this in and the bottle intrigued me...also intriguing is the San Francisco-based brewery brews out of New York; I need to find more out about these guys. I first had their beers a long time ago, and I've had none since.

Clugs into the pint glass, then foams up a decent, almost nitro-looking dirty white head. The beer is a deep red/amber/brown color (forgive me, I am colorblind). Much thicker and darker than I prefer for the style, but a great head and lacing on the glass.

Pine and orange oil on the nose. It's a bit hard to stir up the scent, but when you do it's assertively sweet.

A huge blast of butterscotch took over my whole sinus cavity, then in an instant turned into a bitter wave that coated my tongue...like as in almost pill bitter; all the while my throat was blanketed in gentle heat. Quite an experience. Notes of toasted pumpkin seeds and citrus peel.

Almost charting into barleywine (ryewine?) territory with that huge body, but the sheer bitterness marks a definite IPA claim. A bit sticky and menacing, I'd recommend it at 45°F to keep the drinkability in check. I feel like I'm drinking Arrogant Bastard with the refinements I'd make to it.

This was not what I was expecting from a 2xIPA, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It's bold and charts deep into bitter waters; it's a good choice for those who like their doubles to be very full-bodied. It's definitely worth checking out, although I probably won't be buying another.

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Photo of orfeu
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown-tinged russet with a dense yellowed newsprint head with some rather sparse and slow-moving carbonation. Dark rye bread in the nose backed up by surprisingly subdued (for a DIPA) pine-inflected hop aromas. Slight malt sweetness detectable in the nose as well. The taste: reductively, a slice of bitter pine-infused black rye bread with a doughy sweetness near the end. Earthy composted pine hop bitterness plays about the tongue until it settles in to a pungent-sweet malt finish. Mouthfeel is on the heavy side; pretty darn syrupy. All told, this is a solid and interesting beer with a cleverly claimed inspiration. However, as far as Double IPAs go, this one just doesn't really stand out from the pack -- admittedly a very difficult thing to do.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color, with some orange highlighting. Quite clear. Head is mainly large bubbles on top with okay packing below, tan in color, with pretty solid stick. No lacing.

Aroma is boozy, with some notes of oak tannins, vanilla, sweet caramel malt and some citric hops. The alcohol seems a mite too prevalent, although the power is decent enough.

Similar spicy notes in the flavor, lots of booze up front along with a sticky sweetness in the finish. Again, pretty good but heavy on the alcohol and other "hot" flavors. Not very easy to drink. The mouthfeel is medium, leaning towards thin, and the carbonation isn't quite enough to pull the harsh flavors away.

Still a pretty good double IPA for a decent price.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Dark rust color with an off-white head that fades to a film that lasts a while.

Smells serious and slightly scary of what's to come. Aromas of rye malt, a little dark sweet fruit, brown sugar, strong hops, spice, alcohol sharpness.

Taste is sweet at first with brown sugar, candied fruit, buttery rye grain in the middle, but the big bitter hops show up quick and take over. Finises very bitter with a kick of alcohol one would find in a brew with a higher ABV.

Above average body weight, with crisp/sharp mouthfeel.

A serious brew. Good flavors but the bitterness and alcohol kick is a bit over the top, even for a 10% ABV brew. I've had many brews with higher ABVs that didn't taste as alcoholic. Not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of mtboozeaddict41
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a nice coppery red with murkiness. Creamy white lacing is left with a medium retention.

S: Largely aromatic. Toasted spicy malt with a large profile of resinous piney hops. Very floral and pungent. Rye spice and bready characteristics show through also. Caramel malt and cinnamon are notable

T: oooeeee, large beer in stature. Rye, citrus, pine, toasted bread, spice, and a copious sensation of alcohol are apparent. This beer is HOT! and by hot I mean high in alcohol almost to the point where its offensive. Caramel malt helps mask the high percentage but not by much. Rye and citrus/grapefruit is very much the face of the taste. Quite bitter on the finish with a lingering citrus toasted wood/pine finish that ends in a spicy rye kick.

M: Medium-heavy bodied with a moderate carbonation.

O: Wow, this beer is hard to compute, period. I like it, but not to the point where you'll see me starting a blog about it. It's huge and largely offensive in the most satisfying way. If you like an assault of floral hops take this to your sensors and give 'er a go. Not bad Shmaltz. L'chaim!

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Photo of bubseymour
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Can't find any dates on the bottle, but this beer seems a little stale to me. No hops present in the nose. Some sweetness. Taste is a little sticky and thick. Pretty well balanced between malt and hops. Not much lingering bitterness at all. Very nice buttery mouthfeel. Overall my review is somewhat reserved because I think it may be older shelf life. Its an ok double but really missing any of the great hop notes I look for in my IPAs these days.

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Photo of PALMEJ1
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

from 22oz bomber into snifter

pours nice with 3 finger head. almost looks like strong ice tea with a great head!

smells like the normal grapefruit and pine but keeps going to a great ripe orange-tangerine thing. also some whiffs of rock candy from back in the day!

different from others in this style. i was expecting the same taste that I got in the nose but that did not happen. the hops are great but I think a little too much malt for me.

feels great. creamy and smooth. would not guess 10%.

i will give this another taste down the road as i bought 2

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 5/10/11
Served in Duvel tulip at 45F.

A - Medium amber colour with two fingers of bubbly off-white head. Translucent.

S - Some hop bitterness is evident up front, followed by a significant caramel sweetness and some spiciness.

T - Good bitterness up front with lots of spiciness, followed by a good caramel sweetness in the middle. The finish is bitter and dry. Some piney notes come through at times but overall, not a lot of flavour comes through from the hops.

M - Medium body with a really good chew. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Upon the pour I am rewarded with a clear brown ale with a distinct reddish cast to it. Head is quite good for the strength of the beer and id light brown.

Smell is sweet and quite fruity and piney to the nose. Caramel and menthol are the first things I notice. Spicy aroma of alcohol is notable. Aromas of figs and plums are front and center on this one. Cherry is a lesser scent. Pine, citrus and melon are the more subtle scents.

Taste is bitter and harsh at the beginning, but it is the first beer of the day too. It really takes about three mouthfuls of this one to acclimate to the bitterness level. Even after you adapt this still has a strong bitter under tone to it. Sweet with a lot of woodiness there is a fair amount of melon flavor to this along with mango and pine. In the end the bitterness deters from enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability suffers from too much bitterness; it simply bullies all the other flavors out of the way. Unbalance is what hurts this beer.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a medium amber with a one finger eggshell head that leaves spotty lace on the way down to a thin cap. On the nose there is smooth caramel mixed in with the spice from the rye, with a nice big boozy note underneath. It almost smells like a variation of an English barleywine with the nice addition of rye. In the mouth there comes a little bit of bitterness sitting on top of big clouds of caramel and rye. It's sweet, almost candy-like, but with a hint of bitterness. The body is medium full but a bit sticky for my tastes.

Overall, this is a really nice beer, pretty unique among things I've tried. This is more a modified barleywine to me than a DIPA, but the addition of rye is pretty genius no matter what you call it.

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Photo of Shadman
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful bright color. A lot like a polished copper pipe. Very nice rich head and good lacing.

Aroma is sweet, with lot's of floral citrus hoppiness, with a hint of the vanilla that tends to be associated with rye & whiskey.

Interesting taste..lot's of sweet, dried fruit maltiness decently accompanied by the cascade hop. Thought it could have used a bit more hop to balance it. Finish is sweet and sticky. however. Booze is there, but warms rather than burns because of the sweet/stickiness.

Medium to borderline full with a oily slickness.

Just a bit too syrupy and sweet to be top drawer.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark amber red color with a 2-finger off white head. The head had decent retention and left just a little bit of lacing on the glass. There was a lot of carbonation visible.

S - This smells of caramel sweetness. The rye is there as well, but it isn't as strong as I thought it would be. The scent of hops is also present, but this beer is definitely malt dominated. The sweet smell of this beer is nice.

T - Caramel sweetness up front. There are also notes of rye, grapefruit hops, and a little citrus. The finish of this beer is of hop bitterness. I thought the rye would come into play more than it did here in the taste.

M - The mouthfeel is decent. It has a medium body with medium carbonation. It also has a creaminess to it, and it is also a little bit warming.

D - I would say that this is a pretty drinkable beer. I really wish the rye would have come into play more than it did, but I still think it is definitely worth trying. I would pick this one up again if there wasn't anything else that caught my eye, but I think overall this beer is ultimately forgettable.

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Photo of jaluria
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting brew from He'Brew, but not one of my favorites within this style.
Poured a sharp orange-yellow color with coppper tones throughout. Heavy carbonation with a smooth, fluffy head that dissipated quickly and left behind considerable lacing. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, alcohol, and oil seemed to come out. The taste was dominated by a variety of hops with a modest level of malt in the background as a balance. Pine, citrus, and grapefruit flavors dominated. Not as complex or enjoyable as others within this style mainly because of the clear presence of alcohol in the taste and aroma of the beer. Slightly creamy and nicely textured in my mouth, but not as easy to drink considering the alcohol flavoring. Without food, I would not have been able to finish the entire 22oz. bottle; just too much in several aspects.

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Photo of ryrust5301
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well as the name would suggest this tastes exactly like a rye beer, but with just a dash of ipa. It's almost brown in color, but is really a dark dark red. Smells of hoppy rye and spicy alcohol. On taste the first thing I pick up is a deep dark rye that finishes of with a bitter hop bite. Malt is well represented with a coating sweetness. Alcohol is present as it warms the throat after the swallow. Has a nice crisp smooth feel to it that isn't overly big. Dead on as far as a rye ipa goes. A nice first experience into the hebrew line.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.
A: Amber with golden hues. It poured with a medium cream head that died to a film.
S: Lemon and orange juice with some spicy--but not piney--hops, and sweet rye.
T: Butterscotch toffee. The rye comes in with earthy bitter hops. There is a lingering gin alcohol flavor on the back of the mouth.
M: Moderately syrupy, frothy, and very smooth.
D: Good as it is a well-balanced beer.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, deep red color with burnt orange highlights, topped by a good finger of creamy white head. A rather pretty beer. Aroma is of roasted caramel malt and a good dose of fruity hops. Notes of dark cherry and a hint of brown sugar peek through as well.
Palate is complex, making a couple of transformations from the first sip to the last. Up front the caramel malt really shines through, with the slightly sweet, fruity hops emerging mid-palate. The rye shows up after the swallow with some pretty serious bitterness that lingers on the finish. The body is substantial and a bit creamy, with the rye bill eliminating some of the syrupy character that tends to come with double IPAs. Altogether, though, the bitterness on the finish is too much for me. Probably won't be getting this one again.

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Photo of blackie
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a half inch khaki head that recedes to a suitable layer and ring, the beer is a hazy, deep orange-amber in color

s: syrupy sweet malt sugars with caramel barley and one of the bigger rye noses I've come across, gives a candied and spicy - almost nutmeg and ginger - note, butterscotch, tropical-pine hops try to make a dent in the malt but come up just short, light booze as it warms a little overly sweet and much like an underattenuated american barleywine, but a nice aroma overall

m: smooth, low carbonation, full-medium body

t: big notes of sweet rye and caramel barley upfront, alongside is a tropical hop flavor turning pine with a moderate bitterness in the finish, loads of candied grain

d: easy enough

overall: I love a malty ipa/dipa, but only when the hops are equally as or more assertive

bomber from Whole Foods Reston on the advice of the beer guy...he also recommended a laguniters, but I've got a personal policy against that

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Photo of GbVDave
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a nice looking orange-red color with a rocky 2 1/2 finger head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S: Spicy rye malt aroma with a dash of hops and some rather intrusive alcohol.

T: Pretty much just see above with the addition of some lightly sweet caramel malt. The alcohol steps all over the flavors in this.

M: Starts smooth through the beginning and finish then turns sharp and prickly at the finish.

D: I found this to be just above average. To me the alcohol isn't integrated well into the other aromas and flavors. It sort of sticks out like a sore thumb.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Durty Nellie's.

Had to cap things off at Nellie's somehow, so I figured I'd give this guy a go. It pours a clear sunrise garnet topped by a finger of dirty light-tan foam. The nose comprises dank greens, light leek, lightly toasted caramel, very light pine, and an even lighter hint of mint. The taste holds notes of toasted toffee, heavy pine, leek, and dark greens. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a mostly solid brew, but the rye really never comes through, leaving things at the mercy of a slightly overly-piney hop lord. Not bad by any stretch, but probably not as good as it could have been (if that makes sense)...

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Photo of Rizalini
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recievedthis 12oz. as an extra from StlThrash. Poured into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a clear ruby color with 1 finger of fluffy, almost creamy tan head. Slowly fades into a nice collar.

S - Big rye aroma.

T/M - Malty up front. Toffee and butterscotch qualities. There is a rye bite on the back of the taste, and in the finish. Kinda drawing a blank on the hops. Medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

O - A different beer, thats for sure. Not sure I would classify it as a rye IPA. It is a good brew, and a really good rye ale, but not a good IPA.

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Photo of cproioi
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A) Pours a dark reddish brown body with a tan creamy looking head that left decent lacing. Inside the beer there was very visual carbonation.

S) First smell it was a big slap of hoppiness. With a rye bread middle. It had a very bitter sweet smell too it almost like a west coast barley wine.

T) First taste hits the tip of your tounge and the hops grab it and beat it up. Then it makes way for the Rye malts to come on and give you a nice healthy helping of a breadiness.

M) This was a thick beer but it wasn't as sticky or syrupy as I expected. It felt big yes but also was pretty soft feeling. It also left a big alcohol warming to it. Very nice,

D) Very slow beer to drink and one must be careful with it. I would buy this one again in a heart beat.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the 1850 Landmark Inn in Milwaukee. I had sampled this beer (more than once, actually) at the GABF, and it was the best rye beer I had there. However, I still prefer Founder's Red Rye, although this beer is very good.

It was served in a tulip glass and was a reddish brown color with two fingers of white head. Maybe it was the glass, but this beer had almost a cabernet wine sort of color to it, which was appealing.

The smell hoppy, without a lot of maltiness that you might expect from a beer made with rye.

But the rye was evident in the taste, but not to the extent that is in Red's Rye. I felt that more rye taste may have made this beer taste a bit more balanced. The hop bitterness was good, and pretty untamed due to what I perceived as a lack of malt balance.

Mouthfeel was good...not too sticky but also not watery.

Drinkability was also decent. This beer has a high enough ABV that you're well-advised to not go slugging down 16 oz at a time, but I could have multiple 8-10 oz servings of this beer. All in all, I'd recommend it.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.