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

1,872 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,872
Reviews: 881
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 81
Gots: 168 | FT: 4
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: 1,872 | Reviews: 881
Photo of gillagorilla
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak tulip

A: A nice deep brown tinged with ruby redness. Minimal head with ok lacing.

S: Sweet and malty, almost like a mellow barleywine (reminds me a bit of bigfoot, but opposite how that is a barleywine that tastes like an ipa fresh). I get very little hops of any kind, but a weird faint pine scent.

T: Tastes like a weird sort of pines. I don't know how to describe this. The flavor kind of starts and stops, all the while switching gears. It starts out with these odd hop notes and then into some roasty maltness but with no sweetness. You get the malted resin aftertaste, which isn't too much to my liking. It tastes like it wants to be a barleywine part way through with all of the malts and roast flavors, but just falls short and not in a good way. It is a weird clashing of flavors and just comes across as an oddly flavored IPA with barely anything to make it seem like an IPA.

M: Smooth at first but followed by an even crispness that is just waiting for the sign, which is when you begin to swallow. Lots of tiny coarse bubbles.

O: This is my first Schmaltz beer and not off to a great start. I was expecting a lot with that high rating. Not a great DIPA IMO. I don't like the flavor profiles here.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge huge head with excellent retention and a cloudy amber color.

Smell is of sour rye with some piney and perfumy hoppiness, with a big whiff of alcohol astringency.

The sour rye goes really well with the piney and perfumy hops. The astringency of the alcohol is a bit much though and takes away a tad from the overall enjoyment of the beer. Also, there aren't enough hops to balance the astringency.

The mouthfeel is a bit astringent, but has a nice fullness otherwise. I want to like this beer more, but it's a bit boozy.

Thie beer has an awesome rye profile, but is a bit too astringent with the alcohol to be superbly drinkable.

I want to like this beer more. There is such a great rye characteristic, but the alcohol astringency and lack of adequate hops to balance is too big of a flaw.

Thanks to La Roja for a great extra on my wants list.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

"I'm sorry I haven't been funny. I'm not a comedian. I'm Lenny Bruce."

--Leonard Alfred Schneider


Burnt rustic orange with more than a little brick red that adds vividness and depth of color. Amazingly enough, the head filled the entire glass on the pour. At the several minute mark it's still 50:50 with the beer. The lid is richly creamy and is sticky to boot. No surprise then that orange-tinted, pale caramel lace is beginning to be laid down in a thick (soon to be crusty) coat. Lenny's is a lace monster of the highest order.

I wondered whether I popped the top too early on this one and I fear that I did. Unfortunately, the double digit alcohol hasn't had a chance to mellow and the nose is too dominated by it to be considered great. I can, however, still appreciate boadloads of caramel malt and spicy rye malt. For such an amazing hop bill, very little lupulin goodness makes it out of the glass.

The flavor profile is an exact replica of the nose. The bottom line is: plenty of malt (a good thing), plenty of alcohol (a bad thing) and not enough hops (another bad thing). That may be good enough to win the batting crown, but it isn't enough for me to feel very good about Lenny's R.I.P.A. On paper, this is a killer beer. In actuality, at its current age at least, it's a minor disappointment.

A huge amount of malt forms an unshakable, rock solid base of operations. Melted caramel, toffee pudding and rye whiskey dominate with an iron fist and effectively smash any attempt by the citric hops to gain a toehold on the palate. I love what hops were chosen (Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial), but it doesn't do much good when none of them are able to appreciated to the extent that they should be in a DIPA.

Spiciness is the overriding flavor characteristic. Whether it's due to spicy rye malt or alcohol doesn't really matter. The beer is simply too raw-edged and too hotly spicy for its own good (I guess we can attribute the heat to the alcohol). Aging the bottle wouldn't even have worked since I've never known hops to gain strength over time.

The mouthfeel is amazingly full and sumptuous. So much so that it's a damn shame that the flavor isn't up to the task. It was big right out of the hopper and is becoming even more thick and sticky with warming. Tremendous.

Lenny Bruce prefered to dispense his brand of wisdom and his version of the truth by shocking his audience and challenging their beliefs and assumptions. Lenny's R.I.P.A. is faithful to Lenny's spirit in that it's shocking to the palate and is somewhat challenging to drink. Somehow I don't think that's what Schmaltz had it mind.

Photo of naterock
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a fluted tasting glass. Deep reddish-amber with a one finger head, decent head retention.

Smells of rich rye malt, a aromatic yeast and a kiss of hops in the nose. Not as hoppy in the smell as I would have thought.

Ah, there's the hops. not hidden, but blasting out of the rye malt. The heat coming from the hops is crazy and WAAY underbalanced with a boozy body and just a little bit of sweetnes coming from the malts.

Mouth is oily and overcarbonated. Drinkability I can't say is too high. really wouldn't be a sure buy for me when in the mood for a DRIPA.

Photo of beerdrifter
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Clear, copper, amber pour with nice off-white head and decent lacing. Big aromatic nose with lots of dark fruit and spices, alcohol and a hint of rye bread. Taste is much the same with a nice bitter hop bite and a big sweet, malty, dark fruit backbone. Also detected a hint of candy apple, cinnamon and black pepper. The rye was conspicuously absent here which greatly disappointed. The alcohol is not well hidden in this one. It's definitely a sipper. Very thick, resiny mouthfeel and the alcohol is warming. Not the most drinkable beer for me. A little too sweet. Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye is, in my opinion, what all Rye beers should strive to emulate, and this beer wasn't even close. Perhaps I would have rated it higher if it would have had more of a rye character to it. Definitely not a bad beer, but not a good example of a RyePA.

Photo of Tone
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark amber/copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of slight citrus hops, hint of hop oil, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, and slight rye. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable dryness. Tastes of strong hops, hint of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight rye, slight caramel malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, decent body, and decent blend.

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear mahogany color with a cream colored one inch head with good retention and lacing.

Nose is full of Dark fruits, rich sweet malt, dark candy sugar. Grapes. Plums. No hop character nothing like a DIPA. Smells more like an old ale.

Dark malt and fruit. Dark candy sugar. Good play between hops and big malt character. Pineapple. Slightly bitter. I think it's overly sweet for the style and the very vague hop notes are just bitter and don't work in harmony with the other characteristics.

Viscous and slightly syrupy and creamy. Low carb. 

Overall I wish there was a bottle date because I Feel like this isn't as fresh as it should be. The malt character was overly sweet and the hop character overly bitter. I had a hard time throughout this beer deciding how much I liked or disliked it. I ended pouring out my last little bit because it just got more and more unpleasantly bitter.

Photo of cbn
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice, translucent, deep copper color, very thin head, minimal carbonation.

Aromas of sweet malt, slightly acid(attributed to the Rye),relatively mild hop profile.

Flavors run quickly through the mouth, acid rye, sweet malt, bitter hop, then mingle and linger.

Cold, the mouthfeel seems thin, almost watery. As the brew warms it becomes more creamy.

Flavor and mouthfeel give this brew a better than average drinkability.

Photo of Lunch
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD into a goblet at the appropriate temperature (01/02/10).

A: Pours an oily and hazy golden brown capped with a small amount of off-white foam with some staying power producing some excellent lacing.

S: Interesting smell dominated by rye malt and some piney hops with a few citrus tones mixed in.

T: First of all this is only my second rye DIPA and I'm trying to get into this style, but I'm having some difficulties. Rye malt again dominated the palate along with grassy hops and a slight citrus coming in at the end. Some caramel sweetness in there as well, but the rye is the centerpiece here.

M: Really nice creamy mouthfeel and quite full-bodied. For me this was the highlight of this beer.

D: For me the rye is just not a flavor that I am terribly found of at this time and one goblet was just fine for me. the 10% abv. was also slightly present limiting this.

Overall this is a style that I am rather unfamiliar with and will take some time getting use to. However, this seems like a very well-crafted beer and I would assume rye lovers would be quite pleased. Worth a Look.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark maroon color with an amber colored head that is pretty frothy and creamy head. Exceptional lacing leaves a thick white film on the glass, hiding the beer behind a veil of creaminess.

Aroma is huge malt and not as much hops. The hops that are present seem to be English due to the lack of citrusness. The malt is caramelly and tosty. Alcohol is subdued in the aroma department.

Taste is mostly malts, again, with a nice alcoholic kick. However, when I think of DIPA, I think more hops than malt, which this beer is not. Rye is left by the side of the road, writhing in pain; didnt taste it. Maybe a double brown or english barleywine?

Mouthfeel is full and creamy and finishes somewhat dry. Alcohol becomes more apparent with rise temp., as usual. Not a bad Double but seems a bit mixed on style.

Photo of thagr81us
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours dark red orange with a small amount of sediment present with a one finger off white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt and sweet hops. The flavor was of malt and subtle hops. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice IIPA. Wasn't my favorite however as it was kind of sweet when I had it, but was still quite in enjoyable. If it had more aroma and flavors to make it more complex, this could be great.

Photo of tone77
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of rye, malts, a bit bready. Well the taste is nothing like the smell. Very hoppy, lots of bitterness, some rye, as dry as a camel ride in the desert. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of illidurit
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Pours amber with an off-white filmy head. Aroma is very spicy and piney with some citrus and toasty malt. Flavor is caramel and alcohol mostly, but it is somewhat balanced by rye spiciness and herbal hops and a solid bitterness. Thick and boozy, a real ass-whipper of a beer. Not exactly easy to kill a bomber though.

Photo of hoppymeal
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper to amber in color, clear, with a small creamy looking light tan head. Piney hops in the aroma, but also a small dose of citrusy hops mix with a sweet maltiness, like an orange flavored cotton candy, also a little apricot and coconut. Sweet maltiness in the taste with a hint of citrus again, followed up by a good sized dose of peppery and piney hops mixed with some alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is medium in body and pretty smooth and creamy, finishes with a small amount of dryness and a nice hop bite. Not bad although I'd like to see some more hop aroma and flavor coming through. The mouthfeel was quite nice though, very smooth up front with a smack in the face finish of bitterness and alcohol that kept me going til the end.

Photo of maddogruss
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of JDizzle
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle that is an amber colered DIPA. Smells like italian herbas that is sweet but herbal with a nice floral hop essence. It does smell like a floral tomatoe sauce despite me not wanting it too. Very hoppy on the palate with a nice sweet malt. Good format to represent a DIPA. Mouthfeel is syrupy and bold

Always a pleasure Hebrew!!

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Photo of BierFan
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big cascading tan head on top of a hazy red/amber body. Despite a high alcohol content the head has terrific lasting power. Leaves behind tiered lacing.

Smell: The first thing I noticed when I cracked the cap was the huge malty barleywinish aroma. I thought that the beer might be past it's prime because I didn't get a big fresh hop aroma from it.

Taste: Very smooth and sweet. Mellow fruity hop flavors. Alcohol plays it's roll in the taste of the beer but it doesn't get in the way of the assault of rye malt and hops.

Drinkability: Compared to others of the style it's a little low on drinkability.

Not what I expected from a California DIPA. I thought blurring the barleywine/DIPA lines was more of a Midwest brewery thing. Overall, it's okay. But I don't think I'll be picking this up again if there's a decent alternative.

Photo of LilMatrix
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark orange hue with a light thin head.

S - Lightly roasted malts, hoppy, and alcohol.

T - The hops are up front and hit you in the face and then the malts start to join the party. The bitterness is the main lingering component I'm picking up on as the drink progresses.

M - Creamy and thick, oily, light to medium carbonation, although it feels creamy there is a thin aspect as it goes down.

D - True to it's name, this beer has a definite big hop bitterness profile and a subtle sweet maltiness. A big beer that could be a barlywine. A sipper fo sho, drink too much too quickly and you'd be down for the count.

Photo of TexIndy
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info on bottle - they do it on the mother carton. It was a rich, dark amber with lots of carb streams. It had a small head but that's not unexpected at 10% ABV. Slight lacing with none sticking.

The aroma was heavy on dark ripe fruits, alcohol, sweet malt and not as much hops as you'd expect. Smells more like a barleywine or BSDA to me than an ADIPA. The taste was a mirror of the aroma with a very bitter taste and not much balance. Again more like BW or BSDA. Heavy mouthfeel with good carb levels and bitter aftertaste.

Overall, I just couldn't get into this one. Barely any hop taste as it was overpowered by the dark fruit and alcohol. Maybe it needed to sit longer but no way to tell since they don't code on the bottles. Avail here in TX. One and done for me.

Photo of Drew966
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. pours a dark copper color with an off white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is a rich and malt with some alcohol being evident. There is a nice thick mouthfeel, a lot of malt up front, followed by strong, peppery alcohol and then some hops are noticeable in the finish. The alcohol kind of overpowers this beer, I think it would be very tasty if it were lower in abv. As is, it's okay, but kind of a chore to drink more than a small amount.

Photo of TruePerception
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

He'brew's Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., Rye Double IPA. 10% ABV.

A: Just over a finger of head. Nice, clear red-amber. Clear-y yellow in the dimple. Decent strand of lacing.

S: Hoppiness, reminiscent of pine sap, is noticeable immediately. Very slight lime citrus note. I'm not getting any malt aromas.

T/MF: Thankfully, hops are not quite so abundant on the palate, though they are certainly there! Again, pine. Heavy caramelized sap balances a bit. Lime peel. Dark rye flavors.

Still not my kind of beer, but better than quite a few IPAs I've tried, and certainly better than Sierra Nevada's RIPA.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of Beaver13
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a ruby amber with a frothy off white head that laces the glass.

The aroma is acidic fruitiness, caramel and a little rye (probably because I'm looking for it) mixed with hop bitterness and some alcohol.

The flavor is a little sweet fruit with some caramel and rye maltiness and some fusel alcohol. Hop bitterness pervades the taste but is not overwhelming, leading to a long bitter finish and aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety.

Overall, I was a bit let down. There's a good amount of bitterness but this is not well balanced. There's a smorgasbord of flavors but they are rather disjoint and not well blended.

Photo of david131
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,872 ratings.