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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.

879 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 879
Hads: 1,921
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 83
Gots: 197 | 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 (29) | 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: 879 | Hads: 1,921
Photo of jegross2
2.08/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewing the Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company (He'Brew).
Score: 60

2011 vintage bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Pours a transparentish mahogany color with a finger, maybe a finger and a half of khaki colored creamy head that settles into a thin layer of head. Slightly below average lacing. 3/5

Smell: Caramel and rye. A lot of a sweet, sugary caramel. Lots of malts. A little funk -- reminds me like the aroma from my first homebrew. Very dank, earthy hops. Aroma is too sweet. 2.5/5

Taste: Very unbalanced and boozy. Heavy doses of earthy, oversweetened caramel malts hit upfront. Huge malt backbone. A giant first sip made me cringe. Has the characteristics of an overly hot, too fresh barleywine. Most of the sweetness is on the front and mid-palate. Finish is quite earthy and bitter, with some rye and spice. Refused to finish this one, and even my Steel Reserve drinking friend had to chase it with with a 312. 1.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and thick -- entirely too much so for an IPA. Low end of medium with carbonation. Bitter, lasting finish. Too bad I did not enjoy the flavor that lingered. 2/5

Overall: The bottle claims this is a "Double IPA with Rye Malt," but it's really just a hot barleywine with earthy hops.

Recommendation: Avoid this one. Casual beer drinkers may find this one undrinkable. If you must drink this beer, perhaps you should age it for awhile first.

Pairings: Gouda cheese (or the sink drain).

Cost: $11.99 for a four pack.

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Photo of jakon
2.18/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle purchased for $4.99 on 7-1-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours a copperish hue which actually closely resembles the pomegranate offering from the same brewery. Pours a mediocre head that vanishes almost completely within a few minutes. My first thought upon opening, was that this beer smells a lot like DFH 90. I think it's the malt. My first taste was surprising. It seems as though something is missing. I was expecting something bigger. The hops come through kinda weak, and there is a strong aspirin-like aftertaste which only becomes more prevalent as the beer warms. Other than that, the beer is malt-dominated. Perhaps this one may have been subjected to a few too many nights on the shelf, but I can't confirm without a freshness date. Overall, disappointing.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.21/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a hazy orange color. Produced a light cap of off-white froth. Some lace.

(S)- A musty/malty carraway seed spice aroma. Some piney citrus.

(T)- Very bitter and malty with a carraway-seed-like spice. Some citrus, but very faint.

(M)- A decent carbonation level. Very bitter and disjointed. Malty and spicy yet even rather thin considering the style it is.

(D)- Not what I expected. Very bitter and spicy but that is pretty much what it offers. Overall, just very confusing and disjointed for a beer under this style.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.42/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I gotta split with the majority here and say this is an appallingly out of balance double IPA. It was a major disappointment.

It pours a thick and opaque reddish color with little head. The aroma is strong, sickly sweet and slightly woody. The flavor is thick, medicinal and alcoholic, at once bitter and sickly sweet, with unpleasant overtones of raisins and even peach juice. The mouthfeel was viscous and unpleasant.

With so many good alternatives in the same style - including superbly balanced, drinkable examples like Hop Wallop, Dreadnought, Double Simcoe, Ruination, and Hopslam - this beer is an avoid.

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Photo of claspada
2.45/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep ruby color with small and immediate dissipating dark khaki head and lacing.
A sweet, malty aroma, with an extremely sharp rye note. There was some hop in the scent, but the rye overpowered it as well.
The ABV on this one does not stand out with the taste, per se but you can tell that if this was aged the alcohol and rye malts would hopefully balance out. I love great rye beers with balance but this right now does not have it. The rye is harsh and upfront and ruins the taste and mouth-feel for me, probably too much in the recipe, but hopefully I can buy a new bottle and age it, and then hope it mellows. The more I think about it even after aging the body will still probably be too thin and the malt will not change enough to help the sticky-sweet rye which I can't shake from my tongue. This beer is worth a try if you can find it on tap but don't waste your time with a 4 pack anytime soon. If your a fan of rye beers, seek out The Bruery Rugbrod.

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Photo of Philousa
2.48/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark copper, nearly brown, with 1.5 finger head. Roasted, toasty malt in the nose followed by some citrus and mostly earthy hop scent. Harsh, bitter, roasty malt flavor. Alcohol burn followed, lashing the tongue. The soapy aftertaste stays, bittering the back of your tongue. This beer was very carbonated, possibly to offset the high amount of malt.

This beer is harsh. I think I had it too cold/fresh and should have let it sit. I drank the last third at a warmer temp after a good handful of swirls and it was still very harsh. I've never had anything but a RIS on nitro, but this beer would probably be very good on a nitro tap to smooth out its character. This is a malty IPA, which is definitely not my style. Reminds me of 90 minute but with a whip in its hand, going after your tongue.

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Photo of hopsbreath
2.52/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance is deep rich vibrant garnet. There is a 3 finger cappuccino colored tight slowly dissipating head that sits on top. Unfortunately the look of this beer is the best part.

The aroma is big sweet grapey alcohol. Malty burnt sugar is all over the nose on this. Smells more like a barleywine than a DIPA.

Tastes like alcoholic syrup. There's some bitter hops and a touch of banana. I think if this was categorized as a barleywine I could have appreciated it better. Since its billed as a DIPA I am going to have to dock it points for being mis-categorized. That and there is no rye presence to speak of.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Its extremely thick and sticky. Its actually too thick and that hurts the drinkability. Low carbonation actually feels appropriate paired with the thick viscous nature of the body.

Drinkability is pore. I choked down half the bomber and did not want more. I won't be trying this again and won't be reccomending it.

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Photo of Cresant
2.54/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this undated 22 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Head was mild on the first pour and larger on the second. Body was clear, with a dark golden burgandy color.

Smell was sweet. Fruitiness was present immediately and increased as it warmed. Plums and alcohol. Mildly metallic at first. Spice.

Taste mirrored the aroma. Sweet and fruity. Spicy rye richness. The sweetness and the bitterness clashed here. The characteristics of this beer are somewhat harsh and they do not play well together. The intense sweetness overpowers the hops, however, the hops cling to life in the long oily aftertaste. I expected more.

The mouthfeel was rich, full, and boozey. A bit too heavy for me, I could not finish the bomber.

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Photo of cameraman
2.54/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A deep amber color with a creamy colored head, that is a substantial three inches thick. The aroma is very citrusy, with touches of pine and grassy scents, then is rounded out with hints of malt and rye. That malt and rye come right out at the start of the flavor, it stays there till it reaches the back of the palate and a grapefruit tartness, followed by some grassy flavors. All of that flavor is diminished, by this harsh mettalic taste at the end. A medium bodied feel at first, but seems to water down after several sips. I was expecting alot more from this beer, the aroma brought me to a point, and then I was let down greatly. I will have to try this beer again, to see if I am wrong.

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Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.55/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I love DIPA's, but this one did not suite me at all. The taste was not well balanced and the bitterness I usually enjoy in DIPA's available here:Great Divide Titan DIPA, Boulevard Double Wide Pale Ale,etc, was not pleasant. Maybe it's just a different interpretation than I'm used to, but it's not for me. It could be a good ale if balance was improved.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.61/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a very pretty red color with a ton of orange highlights and a little white head and some lacing. Smells of rye, citrusy grapefruit, and a good amount of hops. Tastes of rye, grapefruit, honey, hops, and caramel. Mouthfeel is medium with a heavy carbonation. Drinkability is okay.

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Photo of sleazo
2.62/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a medium chestnut brown with hints of red intersperced throughout. A very pillowy head leaves tons of lace and has good staying power

S_sweet caramel malt. Where are the bloody hops?

T_more one note caramel sweetness from the malt. The hops are virtually non existant. A very mild bitterness comes out in the aftertaste. Levels of alcohol heat increase as it warms. Where is the rye?

M_mildly syrupy with a very low level carbonation

D_very malty but there is no hop bitterness or defining characteristics. I had been reluctant to try a beer from such a schmaltzy brewery but figured I would give it a shot since its brewed in NY. However I was right, the whole thing is a gimmick.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.66/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance -- Pours a hazed ruddy orange with a slim sudsy beige head.

Smell -- Caramel and toffee, citrus zest, bitter shrubs, pine resin, and spicy rye.

Taste -- Juicy citrus, pine, and bitter vegetation up front. Malting is cloyingly sweet but with a surprising amount of spicy rye. Lingering flavors of pith and shrubs.

Mouthfeel -- Fuller in body, a bit oily, with moderate carbonation. Not bad.

Drinkability -- Man, this one is rough. Cloyingly sweet malts and a hop profile heavy on bitter shrubs. I feel like I'm having Stone 14th flashbacks. I'll give it one thing: the rye character was great. However, even the rye spice was no match for this weird pairing.

In case I got a bad/old bottle, I'll come back to this in the future.

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Photo of JEdmund
2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark for an IPA, like iced tea; minimum head that drops fast

Very little smell, but I detect candied fruit and caramelized sugar, but very little hops

Taste & Mouthfeel
Flavor is full, but it has no real character or pronounced hoppiness; thick, oily mouth feel which is quite nice; it's hard to think of this as even a form of an IPA; it's more like an old ale/strong ale/ barley wine--it's really syrupy sweet and artificially fruit-flavored

It's just a bit too much sweetness for me. The really heavy body in addition to the sugars makes the drinkability of this suffer. Now if I wanted a sippin'/dessert beer, this would work, but only in a small quantity.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.69/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a shaker pint. See-thru deep amber with a smallish off-white head that displays impressive staying power and leaves plentiful crackly lacing in the top quarter of the glass.

Smells, hmm, strongly of caramel. Uh oh. There's plenty of citrusy hops and what appears to be a fair amount of rye, but both are somewhat smothered by the malt. Flavor profile is more of the same. This very well be the most caramel I've ever tasted in a (D)IPA; it completely overwhelms the generous helpings of rye and citrus. On the positive side, the carbonation is quite vigorous (keeping all that caramel from becoming too heavy) and it somehow manages to finish somewhat crisply.

Overall impression: Another east coast malt monster. Hopheads, take a pass on this one. Those who like balance in their (D)IPAs should definitely give it a shot, though.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22 oz amber bomber into a standard pint.

Appearance is dark, reddish, enticing, with a nice heavy tan head.

Aroma is malty and pungent with hops.

Tastes really chewy, malty, bitter. Mouthfeel is heavy. Seems like a barleywine or old/strong ale to me, way too bloated and sweet to call it a DIPA. Didn't pick up the rye note, just mega malt.

I'm glad I was sharing this one, because I couldn't have finished it by myself--just too thick and rich.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured a thick bronze, with a tan head that lasted, but not an obvious carbonation presence.

S: Smelled syrupy sweet, with hints of grapefruit and tropical citrus, but also an unrefined spicy note.

T: Definitely found the grapefruit, tropical fruit, and even some apricot, but the sweetness was a little overpowering, and furthermore it dissipated into a harsh sour-spice that left a lingering aftertaste.

M: Syrupy, high alcohol presence on the tongue. Not very pleasant.

D: I found myself taking gulps, not because I eagerly wanted to consume another pint, but because I wanted to wash away the somewhat annoying aftertaste. If they could balance out the sour-spice and syrupy feel, it would certainly knock this beer up a few notches. Doesn't come close to the top-notch Dbl IPAs.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.84/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured into a flaired tulip glass from a 22oz brown bottle with crimped cap.

Hazy,deep reddish copper color with a generous off white very creamy head,good retention,tightly knit strings of very tiny bubbles rising from the sides of the glass with a steady stream of bubbles emerging from the center of the glass,leaving sticky lacing down the sides of the glass.

Tart, fruity, berry- like aromas with floral,citrusy notes, also had a green apple and fresh cut grass smells. The aromas were very faint for a DIPA, no dating on the bottle might have been lost with age.

Heavy,sweet intense carmell malitness with a burnt edge to it followed by a hop rush of resiny,leafy with lots of citrus rind. Good balance with alcoholic heat throughtout. Thick and juicy with intense hop notes.

A sipper,very rough,not much drinkability. One of the least drinkable doubles i've had,if you like it hoppy this beer's for you. Don't let the aroma fool you this beer packs a serious hop punch.

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Photo of doubleipa
2.88/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not very hoppy, at all. No pine, resin, or citrus. Weak aroma for a DIPA. Surprisingly. Nice big, off-white head. Color was dark amber. There is a definite alcohol aftertaste. This is OK. It got better as it warmed up, but it didn't affect my ratings.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.89/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A – Brown and cloudy, with a very big head, some scattered lacing.

S – Cloyingly malty-sweet. A megaton of hops couldn’t bring this one back for me.

T – Same as the smell, just a bit better. The hops finally cut into the cloying sweetness, but the hoppiness is citric, so even that bitterness associates itself with the cloying elements. So, this tastes like Malta IPA. I wish I could like it, especially due to my reverence for Lenny Bruce; I just can't do it.

M – Medium-bodied, well-carbonated, a bit oily.

D – Other friends had to finish it for me. They liked it, sorta.

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Photo of RJLarse
2.89/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I bought a bomber of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a bright copper color and is clear. It appears thick as it pours from the bottle. A beige head forms, and changes to white lace as it breaks down. Bubbles rise slowly through the beer, adding to the perceived thickness of the beer.

Smell is fermented fruity aroma, like prunes or burned apricots, with a little lighter fluid aroma.

The taste is pretty good, a caramel flavor, with some rye presence, a little alcohol heat, and a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick and cloying. A bitter film is present after the swallow.

Not the most drinkable brew, but few DIPAs are. This one is long on alcohol and bitterness. I can't say I'm surprised, but this is a one time experience for me.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.91/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice copper/red color with a thick 2 finger head that maintains and clings to the side of the glass. Some damn good retention.

Smells very light/sweet/malty with a mild fruitiness. The rye also makes up a good portion of the nose along with some very sweet caramel.

Nice attack on the tongue with a smoothness that disappears quickly. The sweet malt and caramel from the nose carries over to the taste. The sweetness is subdued the whole way through by a hoppy bitterness that clings and leaves a very dry taste in your mouth.

I like double IPAs but I'm not too big of a fan of this one.

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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 mattwjones
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into a 22 oz. wine glass. The color was amber and there was a 1 finger head. I could tell that this was a syrupy beer from the way it hit the glass. The aroma was very malty and caramel like. To me the taste of this beer was a big disappointment. The malt wore the pants in the hops-malt relationship. I was turned off by the imbalance of flavor. The mouthfeel was of little surprise and it was syrupy as I expected. The drinkability of this beer was decent considering the rather high ABV.

I am glad to have tried this beer, but I would not buy it again.

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Photo of akorsak
3.05/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a bomber of RIPA from Shmaltz. It is near room temperature (as this is the last of the bottle I opened 2 hours ago).

Appearance: For a DIPA, the ale is very dark, more similar to an amber. There is a nice ring of head that laces.

Smell: Malts that remind me of a barleywine are the first that I detect. Very sweet and malted-up, this beer is no regular DIPA, as there is no hop presence in the nose.

Taste: The rye adds a very nice touch up front, a change of pace in terms of malts. From there though, the malts spiral out of control and dominate the beer. There is a distinct barleywine aftertaste that lasts a long time. Again, there is some hop bitterness, but nowhere near that amounts I expected.

Mouthfeel: The flavors are too powerful and do not subside. This is not for the faint of heart.

Drinkability. Trust me, one bomber is enough.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.