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.

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,873 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,873
Reviews: 881
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 81
Gots: 167 | 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 (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,873 | Reviews: 881
Photo of cameraman
2.54/5  rDev -37.4%
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.

Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.55/5  rDev -37.2%
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.

Photo of BRO-baron
2.59/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Will not be buying again.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.61/5  rDev -35.7%
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.

Photo of sleazo
2.62/5  rDev -35.5%
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.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.66/5  rDev -34.5%
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.

Photo of JEdmund
2.68/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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

Smell
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

Overall
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.

Photo of PDXHops
2.69/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
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.

Photo of donniecuffs
2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.84/5  rDev -30%
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.

Photo of doubleipa
2.88/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.89/5  rDev -28.8%
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.

Photo of RJLarse
2.89/5  rDev -28.8%
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.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.91/5  rDev -28.3%
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.

Photo of BIA_BrewMasta
2.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Interesting taste. Rye is evident and works for this brew

Photo of mattwjones
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

Photo of lushes22
3.04/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pale ale smell with alcohol. First dipa i have had with such strong alcohol taste. To me a great dipa has very mild alcohol so not a fan of this.

Photo of akorsak
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Photo of RunDWP
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I've never seen Lenny Bruce perform. From what I've read, he was ahead of his time, pushing the boundaries of what was thought to be good taste in his time, and never afraid to take risks or possibly ""step over the line". In that spirit comes Bittersweet Lenny RIPA On Rye from He'Brew.

Unfortunately, like a comedian who simply swears too much and uses shock value of profanity to make up for poor punch lines, this brew simply didn't have the proper level of restraint, nuance, and balance to work for me.

I started by pouring it into my tulip, and appreciated the dark brown liquid with a slight head of white foam floating on top. There was lots of sheeting action on the glass. I have a weak nose, but couldn't pick up much aroma for all the strong flavors I was about to encounter, a little hop aroma, a little malt aroma, not much else. The flavor was strong, the flavor was aggressive, the flavor was a little shocking, and unfortunately, the flavor was not all that enjoyable. There was a lot of malt in there, with a bitter rye note, that seemed to overwhelm a lot of piney, grapefruity hops. I was surprised to see the malt overwhelm the hops is what the bottle said was a double IPA. Now there is nothing wrong with breaking the rules, but if you're going to break them, something good should come out of it. That didn't happen here.

With all that malt, the mouthfeel was one of the high points of this brew, with a luxerious, creamy texture. But I found this too strong, aggressive and unbalanced to be very drinkable.

I can appreciate what He'Brew was trying to accomplish here, but these type of beers work not because of the aggressive flavors, but because care is taken to balance and blend the aggressive flavors, and that is missing here.

Photo of shbobdb
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I love rye beers.

I love hops.

What isn't to like? Well . . . nothing. But what is to like?

Some DIPAs are all about the hops. Some of them have a strong malt presence that balances out the sheer hop volume. This is one of the latter catagory, but it doesn't work. It is very sweet, but monodimensional in terms of malt. There is some light rye spiciness, but nothing serious, but it manages to be excessively sweet and dry at the same time. 'Creamy' is the taste/texture combination used to describe this taste of maltiness to me. I freakin' hate it.

And the hops? Resiny, but that's it. The resin conflicts with the light rye spiciness.

Absolutely run-of-the-mill.

Oh, and it is hot as heck!!! The 10% is really hit-you-over-the head noticable. Not my cup of tea.

Photo of redneckchugger
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass, smells of hops, and a slight spiciness, chalking that up to the rye.
tastes is off, hoppy, but not enough, spicy and malty flavors are throwing off the hoppiness. the mouthfeel is just wrong, thick, way too thick for a dipa, more in the range of a big stout. this beer just missed the mark for me.

Photo of kajerm
3.11/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours deep red-amber with a finger of slightly yellowish head that recedes to a cluster of soap bubbles. Rye beers look awesome.

Aroma is mixed citric hops with a strong malt backbone and just a note of rye spiciness. I'd have liked a rye bomb, but this smells pretty good.

The flavor profile opens up surprisingly malty with a hint of rye.The finish is bitter and piney. The bitterness is jarring, as there isn't much lead-in of hop flavors. Not bad, but the balance needs work. And it needs. more. rye. (I've yet to find a beer that had too much rye.)

The mouthfeel is oily with a medium body and well-balanced carbonation.

Drinkability is decent.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.11/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Pacific Liquor at Renaissance at North Park (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.99
Purchased: June 28, 2013
Consumed: June 28, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a dark mahogany color with 4-to-5 fingers of khaki tan head that actually overflowed over the mason jar. Very thick caramel tan lacing on the sides. Great retention all the way down.

Smelled rye hops, iced tea, licorice, molasses, caramel and honey.

Tasted bitter rye hops right from the get-go, followed by iced tea, molasses and licorice. Very bitter and the alcohol’s 10 percent is not well hidden at all. Thick, grainy, earthy, heavy, malty.

Medium-to-full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

Really was not a fan of this beer. I would never have it again on purpose.

Photo of dancinwillie
3.14/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bomber, purchased at Woodmans west, Madison, WIsconsin, into a pint glass.

A: Nice pour, achieved a beautiful 2 finger head. Pours a nice dark amber color, with a light tan head. Head dissipates slowly, leaving nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Not much in the way of aroma, just picking up mild scent of hops.

T: Hop flavor is somewhat limited, although maybe I'm not picking up on them due to the solid malt backbone. Either way, not enough bitterness to call it a double IPA, in my opinon. That being said, this is a tasty brew, balanced, tasty, and makes you want to drink more, and more. But It might have been better marketed as an IPA, not the double.

M: Good mouthfeel, smooth and creamy.

D: I would have to rate the overall drinkability as just over average. I would drink this beer again, but not if I was in the mood for a double IPA.

One last thing: I would like to say that this is the first beer I've had from this brewery, and while I don't think it's a good example of the style, I want to stress the point that it's a good beer. Had it been sold under the
"regular" IPA label, I would have rated it higher. If you're looking for a "hop bomb", keep looking. If you're in the mood for a well balanced IPA, pick this one up, and enjoy it. I did.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,873 ratings.