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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.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

878 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 878
Hads: 1,918
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 83
Gots: 194 | 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:
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 (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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
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Reviews: 878 | Hads: 1,918
Photo of Simont
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Have been hanging on to this 12oz bottle for a couple of years, can't find a date but it's got at least 2 years on it.

And it's freaking fantastic. Clean sweet malt on nose with a little pepper and a nice aged/ sherry like back note. Caramel and toffee malt flavors with a little rye spice in there, hops don't stand out but there is a solid bitterness present. But for a big old malty aged beer this is just about perfect, it aged really well.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very tasty DIPA. Very similar to Hair of the Dog beers, especially Fred, in that it's somewhat on the sweet side, malty and very low carbonation. Unique, but very good overall

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Photo of SFNC
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the most unlikely DIPA that I have ever had. Tastes more like a Wee Heavy. Lots of malts, the bite of rye and some hops lurking in the background. Very rich and filling and the 10% remains well hidden. If I was to rate on style, it would be low, but I find this quite tasty.

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Photo of DavidS333
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is taste filled American Double/Imperial ale. It has the sort of lack of froth or carbonation which one sometimes sees in beers of this variety. I'm not sure if its coincidence or an omen if one will, but every time I've had a beer with little froth, and a medium+ body it has always been very full of flavor, and surely this ale/beer is no different.

The beer's color is a quite dark sort of a light caramel, and is not very transparent.

The flavor of this beer is very rich, and one might argue, changes depending on how one drinks it.

If one take it into one's mouth as usual and swallows it, one gets a quick splash of the rich flavor of this beer, like someone quickly opening and closing a decorative fan. However, one gets a much different and more varied, and still rich perspective on this beer, by taking it into one's mouth and holding it in the front of one's mouth for a moment, whereby its rich hoppy-rye combo really comes out.

The rye emphasis gives this beer a very fresh taste at the beginning, and perhaps serves as a sort of shell for the hoppiness that this beer possesses. Once one swallows said gulp/sip one is treated more to the hoppy aftertaste that has a real tendency to linger, giving one that unique and tell tale good and hoppy aftertaste.

If I had to compare this beer to other hop-heavy brews per se, I would say that the top notes per se, of the flavor have a really distinctive what I presume is "rye-ness" about them, with the hops forming a solid body of taste, and aftertaste underneath said ryeness per se.

This makes for a really rich and unique "art-beer" if one will, that really showcases a brewers ability to mix fore-tastes and after-tastes in a unique way, which I presume Mr. Bruce/Schneider would be happy to have named in his honor. For, this is really a great and tasty beer.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark caramel colored with only a thin head and light lacing. It looks syrupy in the glass. Smells heavily of caramel and dark malts/ fruits/figs/raisins and a disappointingly small amount of hops. Sour biting rye has a stronger presence than the hops. Taste follows smell with a big dose of dark fruity flavors, malty sweetness, rye, and just a little hops despite the obvious bitterness. Strong alcohol character.

I wish this had a production date on the bottle.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; amber colored; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin collar; very nice lacing;

S: tropical fruit - pineapple, grapefruit, mango; a little rye spice;

T: tropical fruit for a moment, then earthy; a little medicinal at mid-palate; rye spice comes on strong at the finish; moderate bitterness at the end;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: flavor begins and ends great; the middle part wasn't very enjoyable;

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Photo of bluehende
3.02/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at a tap social with 2 reps present. I thought this was a bit too sweet and lacking in hops. It may have been old, but that is no excuse when two reps are present.

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Photo of jooler
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look is extremely dark. Smell is very malty. Initial taste is sweet with a butt load of malts, then the taste gets just more alcoholic as I drink. This might be old

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Photo of L0ne
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with ruby highlights. Head is fizzy and small. It dissipates quickly and leaves small traces of lacing.

Smell is mostly malts, caramel and dried fruit, with some orangey, herbaly hops kicking around in there. Just a little booziness, especially as it warms.

Taste starts out relatively hop forward. Same hops as in the smell, herbal, bitter, orange. As the beer warms, the malts take center stage. Lots of malty sweetness, caramel, toffee. Just a touch of rye spiciness hangs around throughout the drinking experience.

It all comes together really well. In my opinion, reminiscent of DFH 90 min, with an added layer of spice from the rye.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into speiglau IPA glass.

Color is copper with think frothy head.

Aroma is light but malty.

Hops are intense. Bitterness is lemon with herbal.

Awesome beer. Do not taste the 10%.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep bright amber under a 2” fluffy cream colored foam collar that persists and leaves fine lace. S: Spicy rye and hop nose with some alcohol and citrus. T: Malty, spicy palate with traces of cola and alcohol with a grapefruit rind hop bitter finish. F: Exceptionally creamy, warming, medium to medium full body, medium low carbonation O: An exceptional big beer.

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Photo of E-McFarden
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber in color with a medium bodied head. 1/4" of head remains on top of the beer after a couple of minutes. Heavy scents of caramel, raisins, and apple. aroma hops reach the nostrils in an earthy sense. Bittering hops explode on the palate with piney and earthy tastes, nutty and oaky flavors also peak through. This brew starts heavy on the palate but finishes rather crisp, alcohol tastes lingering in the end. Overall an excellent beer.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice creamy off-white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a clear dark amber. The colorr actually borders between the dark amber and brown. The beer look overall is pretty nice but not super duper awesome.

The beer smell is certainly something. The smell seems to be a never ending battle between the hoppy bitter smells and the rich, deep sweet smells from the malt. The malt notes seem to range from butterrscotch to toffee to caramel. The beer also seems to have some light rye notes that can hold their own against the malts but sometimes mix with them. The hops seem to be more noticeable when it's cool but seem to lost ground when it warms up. The hops tend to be bitter and a bit piney.

The beer taste is a bit more muddled than the smell and the notes tend to blend together. While it's still good, it doesn't taste as good as it should. You get fairly strong biter and piney hop notes as well as very sweet caramel and toffee malt notes. In other words, it's bittersweet.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and a bit thick. The carbonation is light to give a bit more texture than it probably would have.

Overall, a pretty good beer but not one I would session or have more than one in a sitting. Still, this is a pretty intense beer that I recommend getting if you haven't had one before.

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Photo of delta490
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful clear brown with some small sticky tan lacing. The aroma is rich malt sweetness, rye spice and a nice hops blend. The taste is good, but not quite as enticing as the aroma, a little muddled. The body isn't quite as heavy as I would expect but does have a nice feel to it.

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Photo of KWolf
4.99/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful toffee, caramel with hint of hop nose. Sweet.malt start to finish, with some hop filtering through. This is truly for people who are bitter enough already and want an IPA with backbone. A treasure.

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Photo of GrahamDN
3.16/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly deep amber in color, with a bit of haze and an off-white head.

Right away, the nose tells the story of the beer's dark hue with big toffee, caramel, and raisin scents betraying the heaping helping of caramel malts included in the mash. Left whispering in the background are leafy, herbal, and peppery notes. Yeasty bread rising as it warms.

Big waves of toffee and caramel crash on the palate, seasoned with peppery spice and leafy-herbal hops. Rye bread comes out later. Lenny's is not really "bittersweet"--it's super-sweet, with just about any bitterness the hops have to contribute drowning in sugar.

Thankfully, the dynamic finish transitions from sticky sweet with a little peppery tingle to balanced--hop bitterness finally asserts itself (though it takes a while) along with the 10% ABV to offer some relief from a dessert of a "double IPA."

Here's the thing: this is a pretty tasty beer, and an above-average expression of rye in beer. But to pitch it as a DIPA feels misleading. If He'Brew had labeled this beer as some sort of rye doppelbock-IPA hybrid, they'd have nailed it, but I have to dissent on this one and say they missed the mark.

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Photo of Panda_Brew
4.96/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, this beer smells so good even a foot away from the glass at zero hour. What a beer, brewed with a completely reverent lack of respect in good company. I think He'brew's best offering

A: Huge four finger cream head coming out of the glass and a beautiful burnt golden amber red - you can see through it but the color is so beautiful, why would you try?

S: Caramel malts like the smell of the crisped brown sugar apple sugar mix coming from the bottom of a fresh apple pie. It's just stupid beautiful.

T: Huge flavor in all directions with just a kick of booze, which at 10% is well blended. Those toasty brown sugar notes come out with some slight grapefruit and bitterness to keep it all in check. The taste and nose dance as one, taste being the stronger; yet scent is the lead - as she is the more elegant of the two. Every ingredient complements the last, as a whole, everyone takes a bow - and not the just ingredients, effects too. The rye adds the slightest hint of spice and stickiness to bring it all together; like a good director it gives the spotlight to the other roles but you know damn well its the reason this whole thing came together. The bitterness completely compliments the sweetness and the booze slices the body - impeccable!

M: Also wonderful, the sticky malt bill is beefed up by the slick booze coating, then IBU convinces saliva and booze to turn on the young and naive rye - carbonation throws a punch too - leaving only bitterness and alcohol burns in the aftermath. Your mouth tightens around your tongue more and more the longer you prolong your next sip. One of the best beer experiences I've had.

O: What's to say that hasn't been, get this beer. It's great fresh, I can only imagine three years on it... Everything that anything with rye in it should be. It's like a more refined version of the Under Cover Investigation Shut Down ale - I dont love rye, so this gives me faith. F**k yeah! 97

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no bottling date that I could find. Served in a DFH IPA glass, the beer pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a couple inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like caramel malt, spicy rye, peppery spice, and pine and citrusy hops. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some tropical fruitiness, earthiness and oranges. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and is well carbonated. The 10% ABV is well hidden, it sure doesn't drink like a beer that is that strong. One of my buddies gave me a bottle of this recently, and I'm glad he did! I wouldn't mind trying this again, definitely worth picking up!

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Photo of barnzy78
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no apparent freshness date but the bottle is stamped 1345A4, but I'm not sure how to decipher it
A - tight, creamy, ivory colored head holds excellent retention atop a hazed copper body
S - malty nose with plenty of spicy, earthy rye, bread crust, and caramel
T - earthy and spicy with loads of rye malt, rye bread crust, and caramel. It's both bitter and sweet as the label suggests. Pine and grapefruit punish the palate on the finish
M - full bodied and looked thick and syrupy as it poured. Finishes bitter and dry
O - whether this was fresh or not, it's an excellent Rye DIPA.

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Photo of ksimons
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-somewhat hazy dark amber in color with a thin layer of khaki head that disappears quickly

S-caramel malt backbone, raisins, pine hops, and light rye

T-caramel malt backbone, light dark fruits, spicy rye in the finish with lots of pine bitterness

M-medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall lots of pine and caramel, ABV was not overpowering, I enjoyed it

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Photo of Mikus
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue into the Spiegelau. 1/2 finger of cream colored head with a ridiculously crisp division between brew and head, and tiny bubbles. Interesting nose with bright orange bitterness, grapefruit notes, and some noticeable rye. Not a 'top-shelf' IPA nose from my experiences, but it has its own thing going on, and I like it. the spicy rye notes hits you right away on the front of the palate, and then the flavors live up to the 'bitter-sweet' moniker. Grapefruit and orange juice notes supply the bitterness, and there is also a lingering sweetness intermingled. A nice pine note emerges mid palate as well to add to the overall complex malt profile. Slightly heavy and a bit cloying on the mouthfeel, but not inappropriate considering the unique take on the style. It's a head-scratcher, and not the same old IPA or rye IPA. Not just another hop bomb. Worth a try on all accounts.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice copper color with a big, creamy off-white head with good retention and lacing. The nose and palate are very similar featuring hints of toasted malt and a big hop bill with lots of pine and spicy pepper that finishes with great dry bittering hops.

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nose is piney, hoppy and sticky sweet. big, complex malt and hops taste with a citrus oil bitterness and almost caramel-like sweetness. rye is present, and comes through very strongly in the resiny aftertaste. defintely one of those high abv doubles that hits like a hammer and immediately does not size up as a session beer; reminds me a little of heavy seas big dipa and dfh burton baton.

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Photo of JustSomeSkank
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am a sucker for labels (I'm brew-shallow?) and this one is what kept me away for a while. The label is cheesy...

But screw the label! This beer is great but the aftertaste MAKES it.

It lingers in the best way possible and goes fantastically with spicy foods. Definitely buying again if I can find it.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color, almost brown with an off white head that trails the glass as you drink. Smells of rye bread with citrus and pine, very enticing. The taste was great with mellow bread and rye flavors mixing with the bitter hops and an exceptionally clean finish. Was super happy I found one of my favorites.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.