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

Not Rated.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

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

1,746 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,746
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 104 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).

(Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,746 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jimmah120
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into wine glass

Giant off-white head, clear amber-red body with lots of rising bubbles. Smell is warm rye, alcohol, piney hops, citrus, grass. First thing I notice is a very creamy feel, then bitter oily hops. They weren't lying about using a lot of hops and malt. There's a lot of flavor here: piney hop resin, nutty/toasted malt, darker notes of clove and spice, citrus fruit, and lots of warm alcohol. Loses half a point on mouthfeel because of how abrasive the oil and alcohol is.

This is a terrific, stong, flavorful beer. Not something I'd drink all the time, but was excellent to try.

jimmah120, May 18, 2012
Photo of barczar
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a frothy, lingering khaki head.

Grapefruit, molasses, pine, toasted malt, cola, resin, and property rye form the complex aroma. There's good balance between hops, malt, and rye.

Flavor is decidedly rye dominant, with initial citrus underpinnings and a slightly sweet caramel malt backbone contrasting nicely, until the bitter finish. Grapefruit, tangerine, and resin are the focus of hop flavoring. Very complex.

Body is a touch full, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth. There's a harshness in the finish.

I like this more than I expected. The flavoring hops are nice and fruity, with enough resin to complement the rye character, and the rye is balanced nicely by the malt. Finish is more bitter than I prefer, but the malt sweetness keeps me wanting more.

barczar, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of beer19
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large tulip

A - dark amber, semi-opaque, with a 1" head which dissipates quickly

S - complex malts, hops are also present, figs, ripe fruits, definitely a unique dipa

T - very balanced, one of the more complex taste profiles for a dipa, following the smell there are more ripe fruits, very quad-like, but with an excellent measure of tasty hops thrown in

M - creamy, lightly carbonated, easy drinker for the abv

O - a well executed and crafted beer, will definitely be in the regular rotation

beer19, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of hreb
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first experience with The Chosen Beer. A nice gimmick, but I'd heard good things so I thought I'd pick one up. Cold 22oz bottle poured into American style pint glass. But it pours like syrup, it's so thick. The beer is a deep red and nearly completely opaque. The head is light brown and reddish, medium height, falling momentarily.

The aroma is most noticeably malty and sweet, and not that familiar hop aroma of Cascade hops. Upon further reflection there is some hop aroma, but it's not what you'd expect. Taste the head, and you'll find the hops.

The texture as I poured it really did put me off. IPA isn't supposed to be a "heavy" beer, and the syrupy appearance, more appropriate in a stout, made me think this was full of unwanted residual sugar, or perhaps that my bottle was bad. Was I serving it too cold? It was in my fridge for a couple months, was it ruined? But at first taste, those concerns are relieved. Yes, this is a big beer. It's more syrupy than I'm used to. But the flavor doesn't represent the texture; it's not like it's full of carmel or something. It's just a very malty IPA. And according to the label, strong, at 10%.

The lacing on the glass is substantial, but what's really impressive is that this beer's got legs.

I should mention that this is a RYE "double" IPA. I've had a few rye beers, and I enjoy them (more than I enjoy rye bread). But between the hoppy bitterness and the strength of the alcohol, it's hard to distinguish the rye character in this beer. And that's not a bad thing unless you were really set on tasting a rye beer. This beer is uniquely drinkable (aside from the prohibitive alcohol content). I think this would compare favorably to, for example, 90 minute IPA.

My review for this beer's appearance is split between the disgusting sludge that it pours as, which is worth about a 2.0, and the beautiful appearance it has in the glass when it's motionless, which is about a 4.5. :)

hreb, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's a dark copper color (with a reddish tint). One and a half finger, foamy head stuck around for quite a while and left a very nice coat of lace.

Smell: Very citrusy sweet smell. Heavy grapefruit aroma. Hops are very piney and strong. Other citrus scents are noticeable (orange, mango). It also has more of a malty scent than I was expecting.

Taste: Wow. This is a really good beer. Initially, it is sweet, but not overly so. Grapefruit and hops blend well and provide a nice, bitter taste. But, it's an extremely smooth bitter taste. Very nicely balanced. It's still hoppy, but the malt balances it out quite a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinability: It's medium bodied. Very well carbonated. Alcohol is masked extremely well. Very drinkable for 10%. My better sense tells me not to have more than this bomber, but I wouldn't mind having another. Overall, very good beer. Very kosher, if you will.

prototypic, May 01, 2007
Photo of ImusBeer
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as my second of the day. It was poured a Copper color and a bit hazy. The head was only around the rim but there was lots of lacing.

This is the first beer that I've really noticed the yeast aroma and the very heavy bread or biscuit smell.

The first thing I noticed was the hop, then the sweetness of malt & caramel. The bitter finish really made this a delight.

The mouthfeel is dominated by bitterness and then the bite of the alcohol, at 10% I expected this.

Couldn't drink it all the time but I would enjoy this occasionally.

ImusBeer, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of EgadBananas
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to snifter.

Never heard of this beer or brewer before seeing in on the shelf, but I love an IPA, and a doubles even better...I had to have it.

Pours a deep copper color. A good off-white 2.5 finger head adorns the top, and stays for a bit leaving a thin foam for the duration of the drinking. Sticky foam leaves its marks on the glass.

Semi-sweet malt undertones along with a faint, but distinct hop smell give the perfect bittersweet experience that the bottle claimed.

I can see how this could converge upon barleywines, but the hop bite is unmistakable IPA...and it's big in this beer, as a double should be. The sweetness is a bit more tame on the taste, and the hoppyness is more explosive. But never overdone. The alcohol is slightly present, but doesn't overwhelm despite how big it is. I would liken this brew to Harpoon's Leviathan IPA, but without the killer alcohol taste.

This is a good healthy upper medium body. Good and rich.

For a 10% ABV, I don't think this could get any more drinkable. Its very smooth, but doesn't let you forget that this is a big beer. 1's not enough, savor 2.

I'm in no way religious, but I think this may be the closest thing to a religious experience I've had in a long time...

EgadBananas, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of ritzkiss
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Premier in Buffalo, no date. Pours a rich amber with a finger of off-white head.

Smells of fruitcake,raisins, muted citrus, pine and pink peppercorn spiciness.

Rich, bready malt, nice spicy sweet rye component hits you next, borders into a nice earthiness, then a deep pine bitterness with hints of muted citrus and flowers (wonder if this is a little old...) Brown sugar,whole grain toast, raisins, cocoa.

Hides the ABV extremely well, hard to believe this is actually 10%. Dry bitter finish, nice rounded sweet body, a really excellent beer.

ritzkiss, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of jar2574
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 22 oz bottle. There's plenty of booze in there, at 10% alcohol by volume.

Tan head that rises up slowly rather than bubbly and fizzy. Orange-red beer.

Smells sweet like honey and hoppy too. Very pleasant aroma.

A very, very good IPA. There's only a touch of the overwhelming piney flavor I dislike in other IPA's. Instead, you have a better mix of malts with hops and a sweetness. The sweetness honestly predominates, which is odd for a beer, especially an IPA.

Very cool mouthfeel. Thick but smooth and creamy. A touch of alcohol on the tongue, but much less than you'd think for 10%.

This is very nice. The mouthfeel, texture, taste and smell make you think you're drinking a honeyed hop mixture, with some malts thrown in to make it extra smooth.

jar2574, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of Freshie
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice 22oz bomber. Great label. Poured into snifter. Dark amber, with tan, frothy head.

Smell of sugary malt, and phenol alcohol.

The taste is up front strong and smokey. Sweet flavor grows on the palate. Alcohol is light but noticeable. A sipper no doubt.

Freshie, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber hue and a cloudy texture. There was a good half inch of creamy, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Strong, but not overpowering aroma. Lots of hops and malt, along with a sugary quality.

T: A big flavor on this beer. Astrigent hops, malt, caramel and that rye quality combine for a powerful taste. Complex and flavorful.

M: A lively amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Very full-bodied.

D: This is the sort of beer that doesn't mind slapping you around a little. It has a well made, complex taste and a lot of personality.

avalon07, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this in a tulip. Certified Kosher.

Shining ruby body with darker hued highlights, the cap sits at about a finger's width of smooth and puffy foam. Sheet lace is left behind after the foam has died down.

A subtle fruity aroma creeps out of the beer. A malty wheatiness is noticed as well. Hopefully warming will reveal more here. As this warmed, there was a slightly peppery note that came out, with a little caramel malt.

Sweet, herbal, subtle spice, all these characteristics balance well in the flavor department. The spicy and bready malt lead off with the estery fruitiness playing off in the background. As the drink progresses past mid-palate, there are flavors of herbal earthiness, caramel malt and a resiny finish, doing a nice job of bittering up this beer.

Medium heft is balanced on the tongue, with a crisp and slightly bubbly finish noted. Carbonation is nicely done.

Lenny's RIPA is just a great beer. The flavors are all incredibly well balanced; and the malt profile is complex and interesting and fun to piece out. The rye gives this beer an aggressive edge that I really enjoyed. The nose is a little underwhelming, but the flavors keep me coming back for more. Definitely my favorite Shmaltz beer so far.

Pintofbrown, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of Wheelinb
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As someone who has worked in comedy, of course I had to try a beer that memorialized Lenny Bruce. Deep copper color and a fair amount of head. I got a big malt smell as I poured and I thought this might not taste as expected, but then I drank it and got a big bitter hop bite. You can also get malt and bread tastes. It feels somewhat thick, which is not a problem for me. It does have somewhat of a lingering aftertaste.

Wheelinb, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of rebelthrower
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red with a bit of copper. Light tan head, but not a lot of head. Great lacing.

S: Malts and sweetness. Not a lot of smell going on.

T: Caramel and Malts. Very sweet and then the rye shows its self.

M: Chewy, thick and strong. Nice medium carbonation. Taste sits in the mouth for a long time.

D: Very tasty beer and will definitely have it again. But can only have one at a time.

rebelthrower, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of WhiteOak
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Bright, brilliant copper. Dark tan head is of a coarse bubbly foam.

S- Pina colada/pineapple/coconut, Fir bud resin, fruits, malt, faint banana.

T- The RIPA attacks with big, concentrated, rich, round slightly sweet malt. The mid palate is of sweet vanilla cupcake. Then the citric hops roll in big-time for the long finish.

M- Creamy, viscous, oily, and slightly sticky. The CO2 is perfect here. A kick of ethanol heat accompanies this brew's every move.

D- The hop dryness regulated the drinkability for me, but not the rich structure.

WhiteOak, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber

A-Nice amber body with a thin head of lace. For DIPA's I like to see a thick, sticky head. A little darker than expected but color was very pleasing.

S-Not the hop punch that I love in a DIPA. Seemed like I was picking up more from the bittering and flavor hops than any aroma hops. If they dry-hopped, it didn't present itself heavily.

T-Wow! My head is spinning between the hop bitterness and the rye spiciness. Sharp, coarse hops right up front. The maltiness, although tough to detect behind the hops, makes a nice caramel-like finish.

M-For a beer so big and full of sharp flavors, it is balanced extremely well. The hops are supremely evident, as well as the rye, but nothing is cloying. Citric sharpness reminds you what kind of beer you ar drinking.

D-Obiviously not an everyday beer, but another winner from Schmaltz. Any hophead should enjoy this and buy when the opportunity arises.

ALESwhatCURESya, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of dmamiano
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber while sitting on a patio on Hilton head Island. Nice amber with a one finger head and left over lacing. Hazy slightly, but expected with all the residuals.
Big malty nose with a nice mix of piney citrus hops. Grassy a bit but nice.
Taste is huge...thick on the tongue with tons of sweetness. Well balanced with the tons of hops balancing nicely

dmamiano, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of grittybrews
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a lovely dark amber into a Duvel tulip with three fingers of slow-receding fluffy head and some rings of sticky lacing.

Aroma not overpowering, some light floral hops and a bit of grapefruit and citrus along with some subtle sweetness as it opens up. No hint of the higher ABV until the first sip, which is dominated by warm bourbon-like rye and hoppy bitterness. Fairly quick transition into creamy-sweet caramel malts, followed by even more hoppy bitterness and creeping spice on the long finish. An interesting amalgam of flavors, this one was fun to drink.

grittybrews, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of plumcrazyfx
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I stayed away from the Hebrew stuff because I thought it was a bit corny - but these guys can brew. I poured this into a Duvel tulip where it developed a nice head that decreased to a 1/8" throughout with very nice lacing. A sweet, pungent hops aroma takes over. The taste is much the same with a sweet malt/bitter hops mix that finishes with a bit of rounding from the rye. I find I really like beers with rye and this one was no exception. The mouthfeel on this one is slick, and has a great body that hold up well to the weight of the bitterness. I could have as many of these as I could before I fell down. The mouthfeel, rye, and bitterness hide the 10% very well. I found it to be very like one of my favorites - Bells Oracle but with a little darker character from the rye. All in all, a great beer.

plumcrazyfx, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of Duke
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(From a tulip)

Appearance: Bittersweet Lenny's IPA pours a misty, saturated sorrel colour, with a moderately sized and slightly tanned white head which collapses quickly into a thin white cap.

Smell: This is certainly bold. I'm getting dark rum and all the dark fruits you'd imagine in a big quadrupel - raisins, prunes and figs. But there's apricot or something light and sugary right at the very front too, and then there's a bit of caramel as the beer warms. The hoppy scent and the malts are there but they're quite light.

Taste: Where did that rye come from? I didn't smell it but I'm tasting it behind what is a bowl of well-boozed, well-sugared fresh fruits. The flavour on the whole is very sweet, and quite funky. The hop profile is light and slightly peppery.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels quite robust, and the carbonation level is on the light side of medium, I'd say. The alcohol hangs around, cutting through the beer right to the end.

Overall: There's a lot going on in this big, bold and boozy beer. It's very sweet, yet I think it manages to be well balanced since the mouthfuls feel good and satisfying.

Duke, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of rajendra82
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lenny’s Bittersweet R.I.P.A. came in a 22 oz. brown bomber that had lots of information on Lenny Bruce, and an artwork evoking a theatre marquee for a mock performance. The body of the beer was dark reddish orange in color, and the head was a good three finger thick, and left nice bits of lace. The carbonation of the beer was quite mild, with a gentle stream of swirling bubbles rising from the etched D at the base of the Duvel tulip. The aroma was not brash like a typical DIPA, but was gentle and herbal-floral, and reminded me of freshly picked marigolds. The rye added a spicy zest to the smell. The taste was aggressive as the hop oils provided a snappy, earthy, and floral bite. The rye added the typically spicy and sweet touches to the keep the pale crystal malt base from becoming too one dimensional. Dry and floral finish was rock-candy like and very delicious. I see of this as one of the latest crop of milder DIPAs with enough going on besides the hops to keep things interesting.

rajendra82, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of GoodBeerTire
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice orange amber. Small head, but nice and creamy.

The smell was not overpowering at all, but quite pleasant. Could defitely pick up on some nice citrusy hops, malt, caramel, & rye.

I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. Hoppy, but seemed nicely balanced with the malt. The rye comes in later, and with the citrus hops leaves a nice aftertaste. It had a nice alchohol warmth, but I had a hard time tasting any booziness (and at 10%, that's a nice bonus).

Mouthfeel is nice & creamy. Carbonation is just about perfect for me.

Drinkability is very good for a 10% ale. I could have started another bomber, but didn't want to nap the entire day away.

When I see this one again, I will get another or 2. Nice offering from He'Brew.

GoodBeerTire, May 04, 2009
Photo of WoodBrew
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Bittersweet rye DIPA from Shmaltz is pretty good...for a sipping beer...aint noway your sessioning this bad boy. The beer poured a slightly hazy orangish copper with big think slightly offwhite head that is lacing like a vicky secret catalog. The smell has that deep rich malty musk with fresh hop hints...waiffs of alcohol also come to the surface. The taste is big....its a war between hops and malt. Its a big malt push at the beginning followed by bittering hops with essence of citrus and pine. The rye helps the beer to come off the pallet. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a decent DIPA...once the mouth adjusts tot eh high ABV it really becomes nice.

WoodBrew, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of blitz134
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark cararmel with plenty of reddish highlights, nice clear body. Nearly white head came on strong and overflowed my glass a little. I tried to slurp up the extra but to no avail. Reduces to a thin layer with some random bubble clumps. Coats the glass almost entirely with a sheet of lace. Really nice looking brew here.

Aroma seems quite balanced to me. Lots of hops and a good dosing of malts. Citrus sweet hops, tangerine with some subtle grapefruit. Sweet caramel and biscuit maltiness. Has a resinous hint to it and the fleeting aromas of alcohol comes in at the end.

Tons of hops come through, pine and high alpha acid citrus hops attack the tongue. Fairly well balanced though, the biscuity malts and rye bread base keeps this one in check. Finish is sharp and crisp, mostly from the rye. Alcohol is evident as it sits on the tongue but dissappears once swallowed as the hop bitterness begins to take over.

Medium bodied but coats the mouth well and a resinous hop bitterness lingers for a while. Good carbonation level for this brew, not too much since the rye adds plenty of crispness.

Drinkability is really good in my opinion. There are some notes of the alcohol but the bitterness covers it up well. Inviting hop flavor that isn't too sweet and fruity. Goes down easy, good stuff...

blitz134, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of nickadams2
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a deep hazy orange with a thick creamy head. Nice lacing.

S_ Sweet malt, hops and a strong alcohol burn.

T_ More complex and in a weird way balanced than the smell. Sweet malt and bitter hops complement each other but dont cancel each other out. Theres more than enough of each to let you know its there. Citrus of the hops and the sweet caramel tasting malt blend well and neither one overpowers the other.Not as much alcohol as the smell indicates.

M_Thicker than I expected and coats the mouth nicely.

D_Drinks well for the 10 ABV more than a bomber might be overkill but not absurd.

For just over five bucks a bomber this is a quality beer that wont hurt your wallet.

nickadams2, Jan 31, 2010
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,746 ratings.