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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

1,838 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,838
Reviews: 870
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 83
Gots: 153 | 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 (24) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,838 | Reviews: 870
Photo of Crossmd
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 41 degrees Fahrenheit into a Dogfish Head bulb glass.

Pours a deep red amber with a one finger tan colored head rising late to the surface.

Smells of a pungent grain, rye, toffee, and caramel. Projected very well.

Taste is an intense blend of hops and grain with an early attack of bitters that blend into a rush of caramel and rye. Tastes very much like it smells. Intensely long finish and

Mouthfeel consists primarily of more spice than effervescence. It doesn't feel lacking though because the flavor takes center stage - leading me to believe that any more effervescence would just be overkill/compete with the flavor profile.

Overall, incredibly flavorful with intense projections in the nose and the taste that don't have ready equals that come to mind. In looking at it? I guess it's an IPA..it's obviously pretty unconventional though. This will not sit well with everyone, and is really I think a beer drinker's beer at the end of the day. Balanced and uniquely crafted.

91.

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

Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA purchased at Total Wines here in town and poured into a tulip glass from a brown glass 22 oz. bottle.

The beer poured a heavily red tinged deep copper with an inch of tan, medium bubbled head. The nose featured big, piney hoppiness with hints and glimpses of citrus and a little alcoholic spice at the finish.

The flavor is not like any other DIPA that I've gotten to yet. The beer begins with a big, intense hop bitterness (as expected with this style) and transitions to a mellow undwelling maltiness that is enriched by the presence and light spiciness of the rye. The piney hops rear up again then just before the finish, and are replaced by the ever so quick presence of that 10% abv. It's about as drinkable as any higher alcohol beer can beer and does seem to resemble some of the American Barley wines that I've tried.

Like I said above, this is a unique double IPA, but it's a very good one and one that I wouldn't mind picking up again if the mood for such a beer struck me.

Photo of Pooba001
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours with nice head a dark woodsy brown color, just light of mahogany. Head doesn't stick around terribly long, but OK for a 10% ABV IPA. First note of aroma is they spicy rye grain, then grassy hops with floral and light citrus notes. Hints of toffee and faint alcohol are also present.

Cirtus and grassy hops contend with a rich, spicy rye malt flavor on the palate. Alcohol is expectedly perceptable. My hallmark for this style is Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye, and this isn't quite the beer that HRR is, but its very good in its own right.

Mothfeel is good for what this beer intends to be, slightly astringent. Drinkability is nice for the ABV and style as well, sure its my first beer of the night, but still, it went pretty quick, and I know I could go for another.

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aerozeppl
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Super dark copper color. A finger of white head with nice lacing from the top down.

S: Malt and rye. All of their beers tend to be a little on the malty side so why should their DIPA be any different? Rye is in the back but definitely there.

T: Nice mix of sweetness and hops up front. Rye in the middle before finishing with a sharp hop bitterness.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Nothing good or bad really.

D: Rye DIPA? Nice. Totally different beer. Better than I thought it was going to be.

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.

Photo of derkfromwi
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thick, frothy one inch off-white head, clear red-tinted copper color, good carbonation, lots of really good lacing

S: Really nice blend of stuff going on here, sweet malts first for me, some rye, then hops underneath and at end

T: Sweetness first, that leads into rye and citrus bitterness, some spicy booziness, and a bit of hops, nicely balanced

M: Thick and creamy, light to medium carbonation, piquant flavor

O: Good stuff, appropriately titled, good blend of malts and hops, pleasantly balanced and complex

Photo of honkey
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Usually I am not too big into the DIPA's but this was a gift to me. Trying my best to review to the style and not be subjective...
Poured from a bottle. Not seeing a frreshness date, although, thie seems to be fairly fresh.

Appearance- Beautiful thick lasting head. Leaves a nice lace as it disappears. Dark copper color. Very appealing.

Smell- floral, citrus, almost a spicy aroma as well... Probably from the rye

Taste- clean bitterness up front with a complex malty sweetness that follows. This is where my dislike for DIPA's comes from. I wish there was more hops flavor and less maltiness. It is followed by a slight bit of alcohol, but not too much and not hot.

Mouthfeel- quite thick. I prefer a bit drier, but for a DIPA it is much better than others, but I could still use a drier drink.
Drinkability- at 10% it is a sipper for sure. If it was more dry, I think the drinkability would be a bit better. Again, better than most other DIPA's.

Photo of jshusc
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque honey golden with a fine-bubbled yellowish beige head. Hoppy, lemony aroma is surprisingly sweet and has a hint of honey. Flavor is somewhat sweet and somewhat hop-bitter with a strong tone of citrus - equal parts lemon and orange - and a firm tone of honey, along with a sweet but not cloying undertone. Texture is silky smooth with some fizz and tingle.

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.

Photo of uberabr
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Crystal clear copper red with a one-finger creamy off-white head. Some hop oil up top and some decent lace.

Smell- Highly complex and very well rounded. A light fruity hop with sweet candy and estery malts. Caramel, honey, popcorn butter, biscuits, and subtle satayed vegetables with hints of lemon juice and black pepper. Fresh cherry blossoms and spices complement the candy backbone well. Very nice.

Taste- Buttery and bitter. The butter diacetyl is heavy and somewhat cloyingly so, but it's balanced well enough by the bitterness. The malt is otherwise enjoyable, with loads of fruity esters- cherries, plums, watermellon- along with a roasted nuttyness and some syrupy molasses. The bitter backbone is of rich high-alpha hop varieties, creating a deep, woodsy pine with subtle hints of grapefruit and a definite rye bread aftertaste.

All in all an extremely complex and moderately well-rounded brew. The only thing I don't like is the overdone diacetyl malt, which adds to an oily mouthfeel. Other than that, it's highly drinkable.

Photo of soupyman10
4.14/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have always seen this brew but never grabbed it until now. Didn't really read up on it until after I bought it, so this one had me by surprise.

Pours a cloudy amber or copper with a big head that coats the glass. Aroma is big and complex. Malty and thick like maple syrup with some molasses mixed in, but there is also with a big, piney hoppiness that jumps out too. Taste is just like the label suggests: bittersweet. Heavy thick chocolate thickness hits the tongue followed by some massive hoppiness that brings on the bitterness, almost medicine-like. Big alcohol character, not overwhelming, but it ain't hiding either. The rye is there throughout lending some darker grain and bread-like flavor to the brew. That is what makes this brew stand out from other DIPAs.

Wow, an extremely complex and dangerous brew. Though I was buying an average IPA only to find out it had rye and was also a DIPA. I'm pleasantly surprised, this brew was well worth any gamble (and also quite affordable). A unique treat I am more than willing to sample again.

Photo of rawfish
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Viscous, smooth pour results in a billowing parchment paper colored head rising above a dark copper body. Maximum head size is three fingers but it settles quickly leaving a few chunky rings of lace.

Thick malt, molasses, cake batter, grape skins and rye meld together balanced by equally punchy grapefruit, pine resin and hemp seed hops. Alcohol rises but is well integrated with the sweet malt and earthy hops.

Thick malt borders barelywine standards, complexities of toast, molasses, toffee and a good rye edge. The fruity esters carried by the rye and yeast complement the snappy hops, yellow citrus, bright pine. Sticky malt layers the resiny feel of this beer leading to a bitterness of average strength but enduring.

Hefty body to say the least, adequate carbonation and lifted further by the bright hops. MAlt is sticky but creates a pleasant mouthcoating and the alcohol is complementary instead of abrasive.

This beer has some weight, a huge sticky DIPA. Great use of bright hops to keep it in balance and the rye adds a substantial edge with the berry and fruity esters it coaxes out. A real treat, glad this comes in a 12oz offering.

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...

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not really sure why this beer needs a gimmick, seems just find on its own. The beer presents a healthy dose of hops that comes through on the nose and palate, strong but not over powering. I'm finding this beer a bit more drinkable than other DIPA, or in this case a RIPA. Nice finish, well balanced hop kick coupled with a nice warming alcohol body.

Definitely worth a try. And well priced to boot.

Photo of thekanna
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of hopsaplenty
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bottle, no date information, but this is the first (and only?) release, 2006.
The Shmaltz tribute to Jewish stars No. 1.

"Finally, one last four-letter word concerning Lenny Bruce: DEAD. At 40… that's obscene." Dick Schaap

Coppered bronze. Big, silky thick cascading head of tightly packed orange-hued tan bubbles. The head settles at a snail's pace, depositing thick, glass-coating sheets of sticky lace. It maintains a tall two inch presence for quite awhile. Ample carbonation steams actively issue bubbles which seem to struggle through the thick liquid. Big aromas of orange, pine, and sap, are softly pointed as if blunted by the "obscene amount of malt" (per the label). Rye and a touch of alcohol are detectable as well. Huge rye body fills the mouth and is silk, solid, and smooth before the hops finally show up and announce their presence. Pine, spruce, and sharp floral notes complete the finish and linger briefly. Instead, a thick mouth-coating of malt is deposited. The alcohol becomes slightly noticeable in the finish as a prickly, warming sensation. Amazingly huge body, that is thick with chewy malt. Smooth and densely creamy. An extremely fine carbonation is barely discernable and the hop oils add to the overall slickness. Amazingly well done and I could have even used a bump up in the hop level from simply indecent to downright obscene.

Photo of Freshie
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of hanco005
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass…twice

A—clear ruby reddish with an impressive 2 inch tan head, slowly collapses down to a thin sheet of foam, lacing is thick and plentiful

S—hoppy, citrus and pepper, some pine, the rye malt seems pretty faint to me

T—ton of malt flavors, also peppery, spicy hop flavors, some citrus and floral notes, the rye malt adds a unique flavor to this. The alcohol is very strong in the mouth and in the chest upon the swallow

M—a little thick and syrupy, medium/full bodied, good carbonation

D—very good and I’ll buy more to go in my cellar before they are gone. Watch out for the 10% ABV!

Photo of Wheelinb
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of hellcatsjg
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark golden beer that looks thick right out of the bottle. A good amount of head rises after a good pour, and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass as you go. Good looking beer.

Smell: Spicyness and a bit of piney hops. The nose does not nearly prepare you for the huge taste of this one.

Taste: Very good. This one starts with a bit of maltiness that quickly gives out to a piney and sweet hop flavor. Also jumping in in the middle of the sip is a spicy flavor due to the rye that does a very good job of complementing the piny hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, almost chewy beer. At the same time though, very smooth and creamy. This is a very good combination as well and makes for a very unique drinking experience. Finishes somewhat dry and leaves the nice spicy hop flavor hanging around until the next sip.

Drinkability: Thought this is a wonderful beer, this is the category that it would suffer in. It is so thick and intense-in a good way, mind you-that you could not sit for an evening of several of these. One bomber would probably be enough, but you will enjoy the heck out of it.

Photo of JayAre46
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - deep red with amber hues and aged rust, transparent, 1 finger of thick head that shows amazing retention.

A - a sweet caramel presence, rye is there and i love the twist it brings in the nose, burnt toffee not much of a hop presence.

T - the caramel sweetness has calmed a bit, strong rye presence that is divine,get a mouthful and experience the toffee sweetness that is then taken by the grapefruit hoppiness with some pine following it up to create a balance with bitterness. not much alcohol presence hidden well.

M - medium mouthfeel that coats the palate more than i think i've ever experienced with a DIPA, carbonation is lacking i think for the better, the mouthfeel almost resembles something from a cask it is so creamy especially as it warms.

O - great beer, not many flaws at all, first from schmaltz brewery and it makes me want to try more. well done, drink it ya jew!

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,838 ratings.