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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

1,771 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,771
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: 1,771 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

edmundfitzoil, Oct 08, 2006
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!

JayAre46, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of macster
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Exits the bomber bottle a clear dark amber color with burnt orange highlights. Creates a handsome thick beige head with superb retention and thick sheets of lacing adhering to the glass.

Aroma was very balanced with moderately assertive notes of roasted malt, toasted rye bread, caramel, earth, citrus rind and just a whiff of pine and spice.

Mothfeel was chewy, smooth and slightly oily and slick. A subdued level of carbonation was enjoyed for this style.

Initially sweet flavors of crystal malt, caramel and toffee candy, raisin and honey greet the tongue. This is quickly followed up with a firm hop contribution with plenty of herbs, spices, grapefruit and pine. Some rye malt flavors faintly linger in the background.

Finish is long and crisply bitter with a pleasant alcohol warmth. Lots going on here but still very tasty and enjoyable.

macster, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of rawfish
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

rawfish, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of bayougutter
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter with a generous pour and it produced a creamy off white two inch head that settled but stayed a long time. really good lacing. This is what what a beer is supposed to look like! Smell is hoppy at first then melds to semi sweet malts with some fruit in there as well. Very aromatic with the rye coming thru as well. Taste is a hoppy maltness all at once then the rye and a little bitterness at the end. Got better as it warmed. Mouthfeel was creamy and heavy. It coated the entire mouth. Overal a very good example of a Rye DIPA. I wish I would have bought more. Worhty of a try.

bayougutter, May 31, 2011
Photo of Pooba001
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Pooba001, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and the color of a dark red wine with a full wispy light tan head that fades fair quickly. Little lacing generated. The smell of rye malt beverage is really unique and a little hard to describe to me. Its malty without being really sweet. A little doughy too. The alcohol is also undeniable in the nose and there are a bunch of hops in this one, giving it a piny floral characteristic. I find that the alcohol is much more pronounced the more it warms up. Full bodied, the mouth feel is smooth. Adequately carbonated, a tingle from the hops balances the rye malt nicely. The flavor is quite similar to the nose. The 10% ABV is integrated well. A very good drinker, and one to consider for a reasonable length of time.

jjayjaye, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of Biggness
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"The only truly anonymous donor is the guy who knocks up your daughter. " - Lenny Bruce

This beer pours a rusty/cloudy amber with a 1 fingered white head and lacing. The smell I got was of alcohol and orange zest. The taste was very malty, with a slight chocolate flavor and a nice citrusy hops finish. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a nice carbonation level with a slight dry aftertaste. A very drink minus the dry aftertaste.

Biggness, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of azdback
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my newly aquirred Spaten glass. A deep orange color. Head is a fat two fingers and just a hint darker than bright white. The head is also very creamy in appearance and the lace looks like it's gonna stick around, but doesn't.... at first. After the glass is empty the lace is looking a bit impressive.

Smell is of sugary malts, citrus hops and alcohol. A bit earthy.

This tastes alot better than the smell. It has the hop biterness of a pink grapefruit followed immediately by the sweet malts. There is some dark grain flavors and a bit of yeast. All followed by the suttle alcohol warminess.

The mouth is much better as it warms. At first sip I thought it was a bit watery, but it has filled out quite a bit over the last half an hour. It is rich and sweet. Almost has the sneaky mouthfeel of a barleywine. The alcohol is fairly well masked.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. I have recently discovered the Rye ale (Hop Rod Rye, Rye Squared) and really like the style. I recommend you pick up a sixer of this if you get the chance.

azdback, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of johannasclimacus
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured a dark brown/amber color with a small half inch layer of head on top.

The smell was hops and rye, and unsurprisingly, that was the taste as well. As it seems like some others have noted, there was a strange balance of sweet and bitter in this beer. I thought that the 10% was hidden exceptionally well. I didn't pick it up much alcohol flavor except maybe a little bit of a bite in the aftertaste.

Generally, my sips started malty, and the bitterness came on in the middle to finish it nice and crisp and with a unique bite afterwords. The rye is there but mostly in the background. I'd have to say that this is one of the more nuanced DIPAs I've had. When I ordered it, I assumed that it was an American IPA just like Hop Rod Rye. This one packs a little more punch and a different combination of flavors.

johannasclimacus, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of derkfromwi
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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

derkfromwi, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of honkey
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

honkey, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Cyberkedi, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Mikecap
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep amber with a short whitish head that fades to a nice splotchy lacing.

S: Spice, a good amount of rye and earthiness, and floral characteristics. A nice citrusy tone as well, I get a decent dose of orange, also nice malty sweetness.

T: Malt centered with caramel, spice, pine, and rye coming to mind first. The sweetness from the malt is well balanced by some west coast hops, I can taste the chinook and warrior in here.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy texture, and moderate bitterness for the style. A good balance between hops and malt, but for me could be less malty.

O: Awesome double IPA that is widely available and worth a try. Definitely get this if you're into IPAs, malty or hoppy.

Mikecap, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was consumed with at least six months of age on it.

Pours red with a white head. The aroma is strong with caramel malts and quite boozy. The flavor is strong with caramel and toffee up front. There is a strong rye flavor at the end and in the aftertaste. Not as much hop presence as thought there would be. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exremely active, many bubbles, (champayne style) Dark-amber brown w/ red hues. Good, deep color. Shows off a 4" massive, frothy off-white head. Great head retention (til' the end and beyond)
Major cool lacing from top to bottom.

Very Malty sweet, not DFH sweet though.Big malted start with a great hop attack after. This mix of hops absolutly gives off a "greens", fresh cut lawn, earthy after-taste. Alcohol is well hidden.

Very active and lively on the palate, yet smooth with a thick feel. Medium/full body with a heavy overall feel.

The ABV % of 10 is easily overlooked because it goes down so smooth. Bittersweet is a pretty acurate summery of the taste, but I would change it to Sweet-Bitter.

Nice Brew.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of bradford
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at BevMo on 7/29/07
Appearance: Dark, burnt orange with a huge whit head that disspates very slowly
Smell: Aggressive hops and lots of malt
Taste: A good hop bite with a lot of malt to back it up. Only complaint is the sweetness on this one.
Mouthfeel: Very solid. Sweet, silky, hop-helped, coating texture on the back of the throat.
Drinability: Not bad for a 10% brew. I honestly did not taste the alcohol on this one. A very good beer and the first I have tried from the Schmaltz brewing.
Recommended

bradford, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into nonic.

Hazy copper hue with a tan one finger head that seems to last forever.

Sharp hop aromas with only a little bit of clean grain coming through. The alcohol is somewhat perceived.

The hops are citrusy and spicy, only allowing a little bit of the toasty grain to come through. Again, the alcohol is on the tongue toward the end. Full bodied with good carbonation.

Another massive beer from Shmaltz Brewing in their He'brew series. Some serious bitter hops overtaking the malts. Turns out okay, and for a DIPA, it's pretty drinkable, even out of a nonic.

BeerSox, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of u2carew
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a big head that settles slowly. Clear amber colored body. Sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Pleasant aroma, a combination of fruit and flora. Tree fruit - ripe apple, plum mixed with hints of spruce and black pepper.
T) A well balance flavor profile. Sweet malts and bitter hops. Bready. Caramel. Bitter evergreen.
M) Alcohol warmth. Full body. Mellow carbonation.
O) A well crafted brew. Good balance between the malts and hops. I'd definitely have another.

u2carew, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of scooter231
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rusty color with an off white head, very little lacing. Looks innocent enough. Nose is hoppy, grassy, and lemony. Not too bitter, not too malty. Doesn't necessarily smell like a DIPA... not that strong. But it's pleasant and appealing.

Taste is... tasty. Hops that are bitter but not overwhelmingly so, grassy, earthy. Lots and lots of toasty roasty bready crust malt flavors coming through. Some sweetness on the finish, candied, almost, but not toooo sugary.

Mouthfeel is sudsy, oily, and slick. The alcohol content is VERY well hidden here, quite a sneaky lil brew. Overall it's a tasty hoppy beer, easy to drink, and the flavors get better and better as it warms up. Nothing particularly unique about it, but it's tasty, relatively inexpensive, and I'd definitely get this again.

scooter231, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From growler to Bruges hybrid glass

A: Once of the sexiest brews I've poured. A gorgeous burgundy color, it looks like a 15 year old single malt. 2+ finger head and icky, sticky lacing which crept all the way to the top of the glass.

S: Grab the juicer....lemon-lime with hints of mango overwhelm the nose before putting my schnozz in the glass.

T: This one lets you know it's an Imperial right away. It's a hop bomb that smacked my tastebuds the moment I poured this saucy bitch in my mouth. Oh so fresh - it really strives for and achieves that Left Coast style hop profile. The thing that really got me was how long the hop oils stuck around. It was intense, really intense, for a good 5+ minutes post sip.

M: Insanely creamy. It's heavy; weighty, it really shows off in this category. It's also suprisingly smooth for a DIPA.

O: This beer is like a hot-n-heavy, six week old relationship. You may be in love, but don't want to overstep your boundaries. Let's say I really, really like this brew, and I'm currently making plans for Lenny to have a drawer in my chifferobe.

Rhettroactive, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of daliandragon
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been curious about this one since I ran into the Shmaltz guys at Brewtopia in NY a few years back and the label is quite eclectic and interesting so decided to give it a go. Pours a deep reddish maroon color with a reasonable creamy head and lots of effervesence. Nose is quite loud with hops and rye malt in imitation of it's namesake. Nothing subtle here, as well there shouldn't be.

Deeply sweet with strong alcohol tones that eventually lighten and give way to hefty but not intense hopping. This seems to be the trend in the DIPAs I've had lately: as heavy on the malt as the hops. A bit of a sour note is linked to the beer, perhaps coming from the rye. This is a sensory powerful beer; the anti Coors Light. Real beer drinkers will enjoy this brew.

daliandragon, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of Soozy
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

The color on this beer is a little bit dark for a DIPA, but it's nice. It's a solid copper-red. A surprisingly big malty, caramel and sweet candy smell with an equal amount of citrus hops.

Taste is definitely complex. You've got some serious caramel malt, a bit of citrus hops, a lot of pine and woody hops, and a sweet, candy finish matched with an alcohol burn.

Drinkability is decent. You can definitely tell it's 10%, but damn this is a good beer. I'd almost think of this as something in an American Strong style than a DIPA. It's definitely hoppy, but well balanced enough to please non-hop heads.

Soozy, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a murky light brown color with 1/4 inch of head. Minimal lacing. Smells malty with some brown sugar and earth. Pine and floral hop notes. Tastes as malty as it smelled. Pine and floral hops along with brown sugar and earth. Floral hop bitterness at the finish with some more brown sugar and pine. Rye malts throughout. Oily mouthfeel. This is a really good malty Imperial IPA. Boozy, but I wouldn't have guessed this one was 10%. Overall, I'll be grabbing this again.

PicoPapa, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice, dark amber with a bit of an off white head and some lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some nice spicy rye as well as some citrus and pine hops. The taste is a bit sweet with some bitterness coming from the citrus and pine aspects. The sweetness might be a bit much compared to the bitterness in the end, but overall this is a nice and fairly unique brew.

Thorpe429, Oct 24, 2010
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,771 ratings.