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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.

877 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 877
Hads: 1,911
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.62%
Wants: 81
Gots: 191 | 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
Reviews: 877 | Hads: 1,911
Photo of beertunes
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into 16oz goblet. Poured a clean, clear deep ruby color with about 3/4 inch of dark khaki head with moderate retention and lacing.

A sweet, malty aroma, with a fairly sharp rye note, came across the nose. There was some hop in the scent, but the rye overpowered it. The flavors were very similar, the rye being the dominant flavor, with some bitter hops on the finish.

The body was nicely full, but lost a point for the sticky-sweet finish. Drinkability was OK, I struggled to finish the 22, I'd have a 12oz bottle or maybe a glass draft again, 22 ounces is too much of this beer for one sitting.

Overall, a decent beer worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of cjacobsen
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(A) Slightly cloudy orange. A burnt rust color. Some head but it diminishes rather quickly to nothing.

(S) It's sweet but a lighter sweetness, pretty hoppy. Has some decent malt in the nose.

(T) Has a brandy aged flavor to it. Quite bitter. The rye gives it a bit of a shallow flavor profile. Has a lot of dry malts and a decent batch of hops.

(M) Light to medium body. Oily.

(O) This one wasn't all that fantastic. I'm surprised it's gotten the reviews that it did, but then again, to each their own I guess. I wasn't overly impressed with this one. More of a bitter malt bomb than a hop bomb.

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Photo of djspe
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Upon the first few sips, I was quite impressed. It's rich and complex while packing a real punch. This is high on hops and spice. However a few more gulps and the beer takes on a heavy syrupy feel. I could not finish my poor. It's a bit much. Good for a sample, but not recommended even in the 12 oz Belgian pour.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip.

a - pours a hazy, copper color with an inch or so of cream colored foam. head slowly calms to a thin film and leaves a few legs of lacing in the glass.

s - toffee, grapefruit, orange, grassy, slightly bready. wonderful aroma. sadly, it's all downhill from here.

t - pine resin riding a sugary sweet malt base. slightly astringent. massive bitter slap to the mouth kicks in right after the sweetness passes. doesn't reveal any of the wonderful things found in the nose, or even any rye character.

m - gooey with adequate carbonation.

o - decent overall, but honestly i'm a little disappointed. 10% abv kicks in right about halfway through the bottle so drinkability is pretty low. comes across more like a not-so-well-made barleywine more than any kind of ipa. definitely not worth $4/bottle. will be passing on this in the future.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sample at Barley's Smokehouse. The beer is a dark amber-brown color with a medium and frothy light beige head that has good retention. Sheets of lacing on the glass. The aroma is an odd mishmash of pungent malt, whiskey, and piney hops. Rich, syrupy body with flavors of tart fruit, liqueur, toasted malt and dry hops. The finish is dry with fruity a cough medicine and rye aftertaste. Maybe I am not appreciating what they tried to do here but the beer seems to be lacking cohesiveness.

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Photo of bwyker
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep brown, with hints of orange-red. A decent amount of foam that fades to a thin ring.

S: Rye bread soaked in alcohol. Subtle notes of sweet fruit and floral hops.

T: Lots of alcohol up front, which lasts the entire time. The citrusy hops are there and are quite enjoyable, but they are thrown off by alcohol. The rye is noticeable, but buried deep.

MF: Lots of carbonation, maybe a bit too much. Dry alcohol finish that I didn’t care for.

D: It took a while to get through the 22 ounces, but I did finish the bottle. Worth trying, but I would probably consider this to be the manishevitz of DIPAs.

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Photo of Omnium
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours red/amber in color, thick off white two finger head, medium lacing
S - Sweet caramel and toffee, some lemon candies, grapefruit rind, really resinouy and dank as far as the hop smell goes.
T - Disgustingly sweet malt, those dang oily hops come through and leave alcohol burn and taste, a mild rye bitterness in the mix with some pine and bitter citrus peel.
M - Sticky and chewy sweetness.
O - This is not an IPA, or a double IPA by any means, its a barely wine WITH some additional hops and SOME rye, and should be treated as such. Overly sweet, and boozey.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with cinnamon red highlights, with a bubbly head that leaves awesome lacing. Too dark for a DIPA.

Smells is malt, sweet and cloying, hops are in there, but let's be honest, it's almost an afterthought. Hrm, it doesn't smell like a DIPA.

Taste is the same, very roasted malt, bold, hint of hops? The rye comes out in the after taste, but, it doesn't taste like a DIPA.

Feel is thick and smooth with just the right amount of boozy warmth. Viscous with a hops bite on the end, all the while very sticky.

Overall, this doesn't have the DIPA look, smell, and taste I am looking for. Great texture makes this a great beer, but a DIPA? Heck no, and this should not be labeled as a DIPA. Doesn't make it bad, but it is not what it claims to be.


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Photo of waltersrj
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, 2011 vintage.

Pour: Deep, dark copper brown. Looks thick and coating, the almost tanned off white head is well carbonated and lingers for awhile.

Nose: Sweet caramel malt, sweet rye as well as rye spice. West coast hops, citrusy, grapefruit and pine.

Taste: Cloyingly sweet which is strange considering the nose. Otherwise the hops that eventually come through ate citrusy, pineapple, and pine but that malt/rye sweetness comes back and leaves some good rye spice on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick for the style but perhaps it seems thicker due to the cloying sweetness in the taste.

Overall: Too sweet, wouldn't pick up again.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I got this bottle in a trade with nutbown. Thanks Alan!

This pours a deep amber gold with a small head of foam. Again, there's lots of lacing like the others I've tried from them.

The smell is both hoppy and malty. Good notes of caramel and light floral hops with a rather strong peppery presence. My nose is happy.

The taste is stronger than the smell when it comes to the hops. Floral and piney hops dominate with a strong pepper spice flavour and a mild caramel malt backnone that I wish was more assertive. Dang, this is spicy and it makes me take long breaks between the sips. The alcohol is also more assertive than I care for and not nearly as well hidden as in their Jewbelation 11.

The mouthfeel is medium and nice, the carbonation is medium, and it finishes very bitter with some sweet tones though, I can't say that it's anywhere near balanced.

Bottom line: This one just doesn't do it for me and finishing the bomber will be a chore. Too much hop bitterness and pepper spice for the amount of malt that I can taste. Too extreme for me? I think so.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear burnished copper color. The head is a two finger offwhite shade. The texture is creamier (if thinner) than most DIPAs I tend to encounter, and the lacing it leaves behind is nice looking, as well.

S: Dank. Really the perfect descriptor for this one. Weed, fresh cut grass, herbs, pine, lemon are all the hop qualities I notice, backed by the spicy rye malts. An underlying aroma of toffee, biscuit, and caramel also give the hops some breathing room.

T: At first, it's lightly sweet and spicy. The piny, herbal hops all hit on the midtaste, providing many of the same flavors the nose suggested (marijuana, pine, black pepper, etc.) On the finish, there's an upsurge of both rye malt qualities and earthy booziness. Not really deep, delicate, or balanced in any way, but a fun DIPA to sip on.

M: Shocking heft on the palate, and shockingly silky as well. A bit of roughness builds up after the first sip, in conjunction with the drying of the finish. Given the choice between syrupy and sweet or dry, clean, and boozy...aw fuck it, I'll take dry, clean, and boozy in this case. I'm really glad this one lacks overt sweetness.

O: I've never been too particular over rye IPAs, but this one is fine. Very good for those who like spicy, bitter, pine-forward DIPAs.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/13/2009 (bottle):

Pours an amber orange colored body, with a small white head. Has a strong citrusy bitter aroma. Also, a rye grainy aroma. An alcoholy taste, bitter citrus, grainy. Spicy taste. Has a creamy mouthfeel. Nice IPA taste. Carbonated. Tasty.

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Photo of negroobserver
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Described as a Double IPA with Rye Malt
12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass.

The appearance is a light coffee color. Very much like a traditional Brown Ale. Pours with a short cream colored head, which lingers on the top for a bit. Filtered. Light to moderate lacing on the glass.

The body is dense and full. Very heavy. Thick as an imperial stout or a cream ale.

Taste is at best lacking. There is essentially nothing on the front end. First impact comes from the body of the beer, which transitions into a light malty flavor and then quickly to a ver intense bitterness which coats the tongue and lingers in the mouth for at least a minute.

Aroma is malty. Sweet. A hint of sourness. Little or no hoppy aroma which is disappointing.

The beer is a bit of a shock to the taste buds but it becomes less threatening as you continue to drink. Not a bad drink but an acquired taste. I love double IPAs but this one eludes me. It doesn't come together as a whole.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks impressive, rich, vibrant reddish brown. Aroma, some sweet candy kinda.

Taste, I completely agree with my predecessor, the lines are blurred between DIPA and barleywine here, moreso towards the barleywine end. Sweet, understated hops, hides the alcohol decently. Drinkable for its alcohol, but price is a little prohibitive.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I found this double IPA to be lacking in a hoppy finish (which i would expect from such a beer). The Rye character of this beer overwhelmed me. However it pours very nicely with a dark caramel color and a rich white head. At first taste the hops are present, however they are quickly outweighed by rye and alcohol. Not quite my kind of brew, but probably would be great for someone who likes Sweet complex highly alcoholic beers.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brushed bronze body is crystal clear. An inital huge bone china head eventually settles into a finger's worth. Some nice lacing.

Heavy aroma of bread, yeast, and sweet licorice-y liquor. It's inviting and frightening like Halloween. Does seem a bit more barleywine-like than DIPA-ish.

Taste begins with a battering ram of sweet caramely malt that assaults the tongue. Sweet dominates for a couple swallows until the hops can retaliate. Some sweet fruit jumps on stage before a big hop bite at the climax. A mild hop aftertaste vies with a big dash of booze during the encore. Not getting the rye though.

Thick, heavy, syrupy mouthfeel. Struggling a bit with drinkability.

Not bad, but not really what I was looking for in a self-proclaimed DIPA.. I'd prefer less booze, less sweet, more hops, more rye. Really more barleywine than DIPA to me. Worth a try, but not multiple gigs.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a clear, deep amber; sits a borderline mahogany tone with orange highlights. yields a finger beige head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves decent lacing. nose fairly robust, offering a big dose of rye malt to accompany some muted citric hoppy notes... a bit bready... was expecting more hops, questioning the freshness here.

taste follows suit. very malty for a DIPA, now i'm *really* questioning the freshness. rye is most evident with the hoppy characters being almost secondary notes. reading the reviews of others, it appears this quality is not the norm. medium-full and creamy in the mouth with adequate carbonation

altogether, not a bad beer even with an apparently past its prime bottle. will re-review if i can get my hands on a guaranteed fresh bottle, but as it stands it's an average-DIPA.

(originally reviewed: 08-22-2011)

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Photo of ralree
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pretty clear, but dark like half-brewed coffee. Head is enormous and really nicely laces. Retention is amazing.

S: Sugary caramel malt, really toasty smell. Alcohol undetectable, a little hop background.

T: Alcohol definitely makes it into the flavor, balanced out by the caramel malt and a little bit of dark fruit. The alcohol pretty much ruins the taste for me - it's just too much for this one. There are some minor hops in the background, but just not enough. Some definite coffee flavor in here as well.

M: Pretty dry, but creamy, medium-bodied. Carbonation good. Non-astringent.

D: I'd love to drink this, but it's just too much alcohol flavor, which turns me off. If they toned down the alcohol and put in a bunch more hops, this would get my vote.

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Photo of beckje01
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber good activity with a medium tan head.

S- Full fruity.

T- Good hops nice malt background.

M- Good thickness exactly what I would want from the style.

D- One a time for me but I'm sure there are those out there who can handle a few of these big beers.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at a local beer bar. Beer is clear and reddish in color. Carbonation is moderate to low and head is soapy and nearly non-existent (it is on cask though). No lacing on the glass. I'm still interested.

Aroma is dominated by hops hops hops. Mostly citrus hop aroma and nothing much else.

Hops are present in the back of the mouth on this one. Correct me if I'm wrong but a RIPA is a RYE IPA correct? I don't taste the rye at all. The finish is a little piny. There isn't much of an aftertaste, is that woodsey flavor the rye trying to squeeze to the front? Eh, not my favorite, definitely not my favorite IPA or rye.

This may be one of those beers that has no business being on cask. I'll try it again in the bottle and see if its better and rereview at a later date.

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Photo of pwoods
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bomber, purchased from Dilly Deli, poured into a snifter. No dating.

Second Review:

Peanut talked me into trying this again.

...My first review is pretty damn accurate. I do like it a bit more this time but I think I'll be keeping the scores the same.

First Review:

A: Pours a blood red and appears a vibrant ruby in the light. Has some visibility even for such a deep colored beer. Almost 2 fingers in the snifter of off white head with a bit of staying power. Some patching lacing down the glass.

S: Maltiness is on par with an American Barleywine. Bread, butterscotch, rye, citrus hops, alcohol, all struggling for position in a vinous setting.

T/M: Very potent. Hops are big but undefined. Crisp and citrus but I can't pick it apart. Plenty of spice. Bitterness starts medium and continues to build all the way through and beyond a super dry, alcoholic finish. Alcohol isn't afraid to show at all and can be a bit harsh at times. Malts are on part with any Barleywine. I'm actually surprised this isn't labeled a Barleywine.

D: So potent that I think it'll be hard to finish the rest of this bomber. Has a nice price tag but if I buy more of this it'll be to cellar for about a year.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber into a Foothills pint glass.

An appealing, ruby-copper body fills my pint, pouring thick and leaving behind a 1/2 inch of head. The suds are dirty khaki in color, well-retained, and leave behind nice lacing. Aroma catches me off guard a bit, as candi-sweet malts fill the air, along with syrupy rye and hints of grapefruit hops. I could really go for a bit more hops, here, but the rye pairs nicely with the aroma overall.

I found the flavor to be very unbalanced. If IIPA's weren't my favorite style, I might've rated the taste even lower, as the hops took a backseat to candi-sweet malts and boozy, thick alcohol notes. Only in the aftertaste did the hoppiness come to the rescue, and by then the sugary malts had all but dominated the senses. Body is far too thick to be drinkable, and the alcohol note detracts from, instead of complimenting the experience. I will not be buying this again, sadly, as I had high expectations going into this brew.

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Photo of Offa
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this to be pretty good, but overall was not impressed.

Dark copper, it has a big pale tan head slowly shrinking to thin foamy top and some lace.

Aroma is sweet port/fortified wine, caramelised and candied grapefruit, caramelised toast.

Taste is raisiny bittersweet jamminess up front, sweet-spicy up front with lingering spicy bitterness behind. Otherwise, it's a bit vague and muddled, overall very sweet and spicy-bitter alcohol with little else. It tastes like a lot of other one-dimensional, run-of-the-mill DIPA types and had no real hop or malt character beyond what I've mentioned.

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Photo of Boppar
3.39/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into an over-sized wine glass.

A: Beautiful ruby color. I thought at first that it was transparent, but it turned out to be translucent. Two fingers of fluffy, off-white head. Good head retention and great lacing. A few big soap bubbles.

S: Smells like alcohol and dank, piney hops.

T: Tastes like a pine cone. Alcohol is in evidence. Strong malt backbone, but definitely some intense bittering hops to balance it out. Leahery taste mid-to-late palate. Finishes with a pronounced oak-y dryness. Aftertaste of a faint caramel and vanilla.

M: This has pretty solid mouthfeel. It is fluffy and smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Very nice. Good weight to it.

D: About average for a DIPA.

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Photo of nafnikufesin
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Great wispy looks.

Smell - Sweet-hoppy aroma.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body.

Taste - A sweet rye flavor at the front of the mouth giving way to an intense bitter hop flavor, with the 10% alcohol very apparent in the aftertaste.

Drinkability - Ultimately limited by the intense bitterness.

Overall - A good start, flavorful, but very intense to drink on a regular basis.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 877 ratings.