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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.
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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 johnnybgood1999
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%
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.

johnnybgood1999, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of baconman91
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

baconman91, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of dunlap926
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

dunlap926, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Cresant
2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

Cresant, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

TheKingofWichita, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of sleazo
2.6/5  rDev -36%
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.

sleazo, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.65/5  rDev -34.7%
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.

yeahnatenelson, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of PDXHops
2.68/5  rDev -34%
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.

PDXHops, Dec 24, 2010
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.

JEdmund, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.7/5  rDev -33.5%
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.

BattleRoadBrewer, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of deadliest
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

deadliest, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of BourbonDork
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

BourbonDork, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

atrocity, Jul 10, 2014
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.

donniecuffs, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.85/5  rDev -29.8%
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.

jcdiflorio, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

DrinkingDrake, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

ktrillionaire, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of doubleipa
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

doubleipa, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

RJLarse, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of mattwjones
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

mattwjones, May 26, 2009
Photo of alesaram
3/5  rDev -26.1%

alesaram, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3/5  rDev -26.1%

RBassSFHOPit2ME, May 09, 2014
Photo of JT99125
3/5  rDev -26.1%

JT99125, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of xxcarpxx
3/5  rDev -26.1%

xxcarpxx, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of 100200300
3/5  rDev -26.1%

100200300, Jul 24, 2013
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,771 ratings.