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

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,767 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,767
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 71
Gots: 107 | FT: 6
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: 1,767 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WeisGuy
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - deep golden color with a ruby tint, half-inch off-white head with good retention and lacing

s - good balance of citrusy hops, caramelly malt, rye and alcohol

t - smooth and slightly sweet malt up front with notes of rye as well, evolves into a great hoppy bitterness, the finish is a balance of bitterness and a strong alcohol taste

m - ample carbonation, medium-bodied

d - a slow drinker that I wouldn't want any more than a bomber of at any given time, the alcohol is a little intense to have too much of this, took me awhile to get through the bomber

I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. The taste is very complex and intense. A great sipping DIPA

WeisGuy, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of obrike
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Wow...this is a funky, interesting beer.

Picked up a 4 pack at my Round Rock Specs for about 11 bucks...total shock to see it there actually.

Poured a heavily red tinged deep copper with a thick tan head. Beautiful color on this one and a lot of thick lacing. Just gorgeous.

Getting some piney hoppiness in the scent with hints of citrus and a little alcoholic rye spice at the finish. Also a sugary dessert like quality. Strange, but good.

The flavor is quite unique. Uber-sweet malt on first sip, followed by a nice slap of piney hops and a bit of spicy rye to cut some of the malty sweetness. I'd say this is kind of like Hop Rod Rye on steroids. Lovely thick mouthfeel...certainly a slow sipper as you really want to taste all the unique qualities in this one slowly. Syrupy sweet as it warms, and quite boozy...and quite good.

Not sure about the Imp IPA status...kind of a hybrid of a barelywine/dipa, but that rye kick makes it worth a try. Give this one a shot if you like big, complex beers.

obrike, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of Dawkfan
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep amber with a gorgeous 3 finger dense tan head, amazing retention, this one just doesn't want to go away. Nice chunky frothy lace left behind. A great looking beer indeed.

S - Sweet malts, spice, a little alcohol as well. The backend reveals some dark fruit, floral citrus hops & a little piney hops. Not what I expected in a DIPA, but a nice smell non the less.

T - Fruits, caramel malt & hops up front. Rye malt and some sweetness in the finish. There's some noticeable bitterness that lingers.

M - Full body, creamy, sticky, oily, smooth. A pleasure!

D - I don't give a shit if this doesn't fit the style. I'll drink this any day of the week. Extremely well balanced and rounded.

Dawkfan, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful crystal and rye malt scent that enticises the senses. It's loaded up with hop aroma as well; a bitter explosion balanced with an excellent variety of specialty malts. The taste is good. It has a very smooth and bitter hop taste that goes down easy and warms in the finish. Crystal and rye malts dominate the grist. It's quite complex with loads of flavors, especially a mellowing rye component. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The rye works well with the heavy load of hops. The crystal malts lend some sweetness to round out the palate; a good drinker.

WesWes, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of niqhoward
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

niqhoward, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of Tom_Gilman
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Tom_Gilman, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but very dark amber with a sizeable tan head. Nose is highly hoppy. Strong resin tone with a bit of cotton candy I think. Fruity citrus edge as well. Flavor is definitely hopped, of course. Strong, stringent hop flavors kick you in the mouth, but not too abrasively really. It may be an over the tope type of ride, but it doesn’t go too over that top. Feel is bordering on a bit syrupy with all that stuff in there. Carbonation seems high with the massive head, but not a huge amount of bubble going over the tongue. Initially I was going to give a 4 on the drinkability on this one. But then I realized that the 10% alcohol on this one doesn’t peek out at all as you imbibe. Overall, this is nothing absolutely outstanding to behold, but it is very good all the same. Worth a try, especially for the price.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of phisig137
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber pours a dark amber orange color, with a frothy thick two finger head. Decent retention falls into a blanket on top, with abundant lacing. Looks quite nice in my Aecht Schlenerka glass. When swirled, the head has a odd green tinge, I would suppose from the hops. I think I like that.

Aroma is chock full of citrus and pine hop aromas. Smells like the usual suspects... all of the "C" hops so beloved by IPA makers. Big and brash, much like Lenny Bruce. Flavorwise, this packs a wallop. Big hops, big malt in the middle, and a strong rye character throughout. Hops are resinous, the rye is present all the way from front to back, the malt smooths things out like dulce de luche in the middle, and the finish is quite bitter and pleasant. Alcohol is not present, even in the form of warming. Mouthfeel is silky and full. Drinkability is excellent.

I am really surprized by this beer. Incredibly well crafted beer, from a brewery that has definitely been hit or miss for me. I'd put this just about neck and neck with any other rye beer that I've ever had, including hop rod rye. Really quite a nice beer, and a great value at only $5.99 for the bomber.

phisig137, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A half-pint served in a full pint glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: *Lots* of head with good retention. Orange-brown. Slightly translucent. Great lacing. Beautiful.

S: Double IPA, all the way. Lots of alcoholic, malty hops.

T: Big and alcoholic. Malty sweet with a huge hop presence. Vaguely astringent with a drying bitterness on the endtaste.

M: Strong, substantial, and dryingly delicious.

O: Great double IPA, but straightforward, if pleasantly so. I would have another; recommended. The ABV is quite noticeable, affecting the drinkability, but it's such a nice beer.

AgentMunky, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of blvdlover
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

blvdlover, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of Callenak
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

I had been excited to try this beer for some time. Had in on my wants but no hits. How glad was I when my local bottle shop got a case.

Pours a deep amber/bronze with a nice think head. The color doesn't even appear to be from the rye, but just a deep, malty brew.

Smell is malt forward, with a good kick of hops. The taste backs it up, but a double IPA it is not. I've had a lot of east coast DIPA's and 9 out of 10 are more barley wines in my opinion. This is no exception. The rye gives it a nice spice to balance out the pine flavored hops. I've been on a rye beer kick lately and this was no let down.

All in all, a great freaking beer. It taste more like a Bigfoot with rye than any double IPA. But screw guidelines and labels, if a beer is good, a beer is good. And this is a great beer.

Callenak, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of AMCimpi
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

AMCimpi, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of sabinelr
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this at Cost Plus in Tukwila, WA. A good introduction to Schmaltz Brewing. Thanks Cost Plus for finding these and carrying them. Actually I haven't looked at the beer, just drinking it straight out of the bottle. The smell promises something different - some sort of fragrant malt. The taste is a bit on the sweet side for an IPA, and sort of like the whiskey taste others have noted. The sweetness and hops counter the 10% alcohol better than almost any strong ale I have tasted. You don't really know you are getting such a big kick. It feels sort of syrupy, but the aftertaste lingers as a pleasant medium hop which does not degenerate to gacky. It is not easy to drink in sips. You need to knock down about 4 ounces or more at one gulp. Doing that will give you the satisfying sense that you have done something more important than a wine tasting, and the aftereffect is very pleasant. After the first bottle you will be left wondering if you should have some more, but an hour later you will crave another one. Buy at least three and wait until your wife or girl friend has gone for the day, then let 'er rip.

sabinelr, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, bought at BevMo Huntington Beach,

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown, with a thick, white head, which leaves abundant lacing which just sticks to the glass and is still there in the morning.

S: Hoppy, but with a lot of malt, some dark fruits and sugar, spice, though I wish it was more robust.

T: An interesting taste when I first tasted it, I was expecting a straight up Double IPA, but then I remembered the rye malt and became more acclimated to the taste. Very interesting, but very tasty as well. The rye malt adds a spice, almost phenolic character to the malt-based part of this brew, similar to Hop Rod Rye, another RyePA type beer. Very hoppy, an abundance of pine in this one, altogether a profroundly good taste and a well made beer, well balanced.

M: Soft for an IPA, but still quite resiny, oily, but the large amount of malts add a smoothness not found in other IPAs.

D: A very good double, didn't know what to expect, the first beer I have had from this brewery besides the Pomegranate Ale, a fruit beer, so I am anxious to try their other stuff. Good job, He'Brew.

Halcyondays, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of AmitC
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Excellent deep copper color. Clear. Less than a finger thick head that stays well. Excellent lacing. Very few to no bubbles.

Smells more like a Barley wine than an Imperial IPA. A lot of malt upfront that is mixed with hops. Hops are earthy and ground. A little bit of booze.

A decent amount of bitterness upfront and a very good bitter aftertaste. A very solid and malt dominated middle. A lot of rye in the flavor as well. Bitterness is a culmination of rye and hops. Finish of course is bitter.

Mouth feel is medium to slightly full. Again drinks a lot like a boozy and hop forward Barleywine than a double IPA. Low carbonation. A bit of alcohol warmth and hop bitterness makes it somewhat astringent.

Style Rate: This is rye DIPA. More of a Rye Barleywine. 4
Personal Rate: 4.25

I like the bitterness. If this were Barleywine. It would have gotten better grades from me.

AmitC, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of jmdrpi
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, no bottling date.

appears a deep copper color, with amber highlights. 1/2" off-white colored head. nice complex aroma, mix of caramel malt flavors and resiny hops. taste is also balanced. sweetness of sugary crystal malt and a bitter finish of piney, earthy hops. medium body, but sticky mouthfeel. good carbonation level.

overall - very tasty spin on the DIPA style.

jmdrpi, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of thekanna
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a chilled beer mug. Copper bordering on blood orange color with a decent amount of head that leaves rings when traveling down the side of the glass.

S: Nice sweet malts with some citrus, floral aromas, and faint hops. I do not detect the big hop smell that I usually expect from DI/IPAs.

T: Caramel and toffee malts with a nice rye touch, not unlike pumpernickel bread, and a faint peppery spiciness. The hops then kick in and provide a strong, biting bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy from the head with a decent amount of carbonation to remind you it's a beer and not a drinkable loaf of good bread.

D: Very nicely sippable, and the hop bitterness is, for lack of a better word, addicting.

thekanna, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of shand
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

Wow! This beer pours with an absurdly prodigious head, this one needs to be poured gently! The head is very fluffy, and leaves nice chunks of lacing on the way down. The smell is also quite nice, I get fruits, hops, rye, a touch of alcohol, and some caramel malts. The taste is very smooth, with some nice tropical hops interacting with the rye and caramel malt flavors to make a very balanced, drinkable brew. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming. Not incredibly hoppy, but a nice balanced DIPA that's not too sweet or too malty.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, especially for how high ABV a brew this is! The carbonation level is moderate, and the mouthfeel is medium-heavy, it's all together pleasant on the mouth. The drinkability is honestly just about right for the ABV, it goes down fairly easily. Another great, reasonably priced brew from He'Brew, this is a great beer that, although not being a hop bomb, is a very pleasant beer that goes down nicely for the ABV.

shand, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours a wonderfully clear deep ruby-copper hue with a fat three-fingered head of beige foam that fades away slowly, showing superb retention as it settles at a thick, creamy cap. As the glass drains, thick lacing rings the walls of the glass.

The aroma is nicely hoppy, with a floral, fruity and citrusy bouquet. Some sweet caramelesque malty notes show through as well. Pleasantly inviting.

Full-bodied and moderately carbonated with a balanced mouthfeel. Sweet malt opens things up on the palate; spicy notes from the rye malt are easily discernible but meld effortlessly into the middle with a bracingly bitter hoppiness that tears away at the tastebuds, obliterating things before falling away into a bittersweet finish, somewhat dry and mildly fruity-sweet.

A fairly well-balanced Double IPA with an interesting hint of rye infused; decently drinkable with a well-hidden 10% ABV and a wonderful mix of flavors. A top-notch example of the style, definitely worth revisiting.

superdedooperboy, May 05, 2010
Photo of soupyman10
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a glass of this on tap at the Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown. Very solid beer, if not mind-blowing (and the first He'Brew I've had). Pour was mediocre, very weak head but a nice deep amber color. No lacing. Nose was nicely balanced, with some solid citrus and grapefruit. Flavor is similar - solid mix of fruity citrus and caramel. Light alcohol. Body's fine, with good carbonation. Besides the mediocre appearance, this is a nice brew with a great flavor.

soupyman10, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Another He’Brew Bomber that I instantly recognized, despite the fact that I had never seen it before. The main label has a theme that is heavily based on old theatre exteriors. Even the name He’Brew “PRES*NT$! BITTERSWEET LENNY’S R.I.P.A.”, in a tight Arial font is set against a backdrop of an old backlit magnetic letter style sign so often seen outside older Cinema’s. Described as “A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt” and “Brewed with an obscene amount of malts and hops”. Drops in after prayers at 10% ABV. It is worth noting that the silhouette of the late great Lenny Bruce on the neck label, is taken from a Miami Police photo from 1951 when he was arrested for impersonating a Priest….love the irony there!! Oh yeah and it is Kosher Certified, if case you didn’t already expect that.

Appearance: Has a gelatinous pour, a thick gooey viscous liquid ‘gloops’ as it slowly evacuates the bottle and sits into my glass with the minimal of splashing around. A ruddy and bloody tan colored milky Espresso mass of carbon dioxide swirls and slowly settles once the pour is ended. Eventually the head separates from the liquid. A rich deep auburn red body is super clear with a healthy dose of streamers which adds “life” to the appearance. The tan colored looks incredibly impressive, the head laces with each drink and swathes the glass walls with thick matt like crusty ledges each supported by cobweb like archway and thick bubbles that never seem to want to burst, such is the thickness of the surface. This one has a fantastic demeanor.

Nose: Alcohol and a healthy dollop of hops take no prisoners. You don’t need to empty the lungs and breathe in hard to “get this” – moreover the aromas head out of the glass and come looking for you…..it’s like a “Terminator Nose”….it never stops until it finds your nose and expunges all traces of modern day Apartment odors and replaces them with Hops are here but not overwhelming, warm malts, rich toffee, mild nutty backend, spiced caramel, hot alcohol soaked wild berries and a hint of anise. Maybe it is the use of Rye malts that cancels out some of the hop aroma (because the hops are there in the flavor believe me!!). Whatever the technical reason, the nose is just bloody gorgeous.

Taste: Unlike the nose, where maybe the alcohol and malts “dominate”, the hops soon get chance to take centre stage, and they do. The alcohol is here, and it is 10% but it is neatly kept in check by the malts, allowing the hops to play the lead role as they should. Oily pines, tree bark, oak, alcohol and anise combine with hot spices in the finish. The ending has a raw feel, but textured with a refined brute strength. This is a D-IPA that grew on me, and in me, perhaps.

Mouthfeel: A healthy level of carbonation supports throughout. The conditioning never seems to alter, though I am sure it does as it sit around (though not for long). I suspect the alcohol and thick body tend to grasps a hold of the dissolved carbon dioxide and hold it to ransom, keeping it locked in a synergistic reversible reaction that is held in a seemingly timeless equilibrium.

Drinkability: How can I explain this!?? Well - getting to smell my own hoppy burps, then retasting this thick malt hoppy DIPA all over again is just one part of the many weird aspects that build into a crazy sort of punishing Drinkability here. Can’t wait to smell my own beer farts under the covers in bed after this Bomber, Mmmmm.

Overall: Different in stance to most other Double IPA's, but then how many of those have Rye Malt!? This is a heavy brew, a Shirehorse of IPA’s if you will, that is to say that it is no slouch, it is a finely balanced very hard working IPA which takes a muscular mouthfeel and strong flavors, throws in a dependable conditioning which benefits the presentation to form a mightily impressive brew. I suspect that this is a limited offering, so get it whilst you can.

All in all; ayh, ayh, ayh, zis is vun gud beah.

Recommended!

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of isaac
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from memory:

22 oz. to snifter.

Lenny's pours a gorgeous blood-orange red with a creamy, sticky head and thin lacing. Nose is well hopped with spicy rye, caramel malts, and slight booze. Taste, while still coldish, is amazing - juicy would be the first word to come to mind, and the rye mixes well with the sweet malts to make a flavour which reminds me of dense, german cakes. it looses a few points here as it warms up and the sugars take over, reducing much of the taste to a sort of boozy hard-candy - the kind of taste i can't abide in the DFH 90 and 120 minutes. however, this sad turn of events is saved by the ever-present rye spiciness and smooth, slow drain of a bitter finish. mouthfeel is amazing, not too thick, and coats the tongue and cheeks.

a fine and drinkable beer, if not a bit strong and a bit sweet.

isaac, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of changeup45
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one big beer. Reddish/copper color, an off-white head with some retention and spotty lacing. The aroma is a very good intro to what you're going to get: fruity, lots of hops and a touch of the rye malt. The first few sips it seemed to start with rye malts as well as some caramel, a bit sugary and sweet, followed by a blast of very bitter hops with a sour grapefruit presence. Malts showed late in the finish as well although the grapefruit hops constantly linger a long time, well into the aftertaste. Rich, full and a little sticky. Halfway through the bomber, as the alcohol started going to my head and my palate shredded it was just one huge bitter/rye/hoppy/sour complex taste. I don't necessarily think it's high on the drinkability scale due to it's sharp bitter flavor but I thought it was wonderful.

changeup45, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Thickfreakness
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Really strong Mahogany color pours into my tulip glass... thick bright head floats on top and leaves a ton of sticky lacing! Lots of carbonation!

S- Strong notes of caramel, bready yeast, and sweet malts. Subtle hints of pine and citrus. More mango and pineapple than orange and grapefruit! Smells more like a Barleywine than a IIPA!

T- Really bready, yeasty and sweet at first, then the citrus bomb hits! Nice lemon pith, orange zest and mango battle with the strong malty tones. A nice spicyness that probably comes from the rye. Unusual... but loving it!

M- Really coats the tongue with rye bread and caramel. Nice bitterness with a strong lemon peel bite. Just a fabulous blend of bitter and sweet shifting back and forth.

O- I can't wait to check this one out again with some age on it. Wish they would barrel age this one! Not one trace of alcohol... drinks really easy! This would be insane with a nice Roast Beef Sandwich on rye with Horseradish Mayo!!!

Thickfreakness, May 30, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper-brown color with a somewhat whispy head and reasonable lacing. It has a nice sweet malty aroma that includes some butterscotch, pine hops along with alcohol presence. It immediately impresses you with its slick thick body with plenty of alcohol evident while providing lots of sweet citrus hops too. Very hardy with a licorice finish. Quite an experience in flavors, robust and enjoyable but probably not something I would drink in mass quantities. One to be savored more slowly I think, but you could manage a few of these to preserve the taste sensation. Very nice effort again from this fine brewery.

Durge, Oct 10, 2007
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,767 ratings.