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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: 1,909
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.62%
Wants: 82
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: 1,909
Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazed amber, and with the hard pour a massive tan head bubbles up in the Corsendonk tulip. Sticky Brussels lace coat the glass.

West coast aroma of orange, citrus and a hint of pine - all amongst the floral hops. Very tasty treat with the quaff, all these flavors mix together well and make for a very enjoyable brew. Stinging hop finish, but no hint of any alcohol. Solid performing DIPA.

Ya know, with their labels, I thought this was a gimmick brewery. I was dead wrong, these are fine beers - and at a good price! $5 bomber, nice!

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. tasted in late march 09. i don't think i found a bottle date.

deep red amber. almost clear. fluffy tan head, rocky, bumpy, receding to thin layer, then wisps and ring. nice lacing, especially later on, becoming almost curtain-like.

fruity, dark caramel aroma with hint of brown sugar, along with sweet grapefruit flesh with touch of zest, and mild but fresh pine. hint of nutmeg-like spice and a flash of trace acidic whiffs in the back. wish it were a tiny bit hoppier aroma-wise.

taste: lots and lots of sweet caramelized malts, apple fruitiness, moving to big grapefruit and citrus fruitiness and fresh pine resins with bold but balancing bitterness, peaking before the finish, and lingering with more caramel maltiness and resins.

relatively smooth and lightly syrupy, with minimal resins in the finish. moderate carbonation can be prickly, but is complementary, gives lift and is even sometimes fluffy.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks fantastic pouring a rich mahogany body with a medium, but lasting tan head that leaves a nice layer of lacing to cling to the glass.

The initial aroma leads me to believe this beer is HUGE! Loads of sweet and roasted malts, backed by abundant earthy hops. The hops seem woody and the malt sweet caramel but well complimented. There is a lot going on here. The rye is also apparent and seems to bring the malt and hops together. As the beer warms the rye steps forward even more so.

The flavor is a little varied from the aroma in that it is much woodier. It almost resembles the flavor of some barrel aged beers, or even a barleywine. The rye offsets the hops nicely, the caramel/sweet malt shows up, and then the woody notes kick in with the hops ending with a bitter finish.

Quite smooth and well balanced for a beer of such palate magnitude. Medium in body but incredibly abundant in character with medium to light carbonation.

This is a great beer. Easy to drink, almost dangerously so, with tons of character to offer and quite a value in the store. Certainly worth a try!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep ruby/mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to almost nothing

S: A very nice combo of rye malts and hops right up front. The rye imparts quite a bit of spiciness while the hops are floral and citrusy. Get a hint of alcohol, but not much more than that

T: Starts off with a bit of the spiciness from the rye followed by a blast of citrus and candied hop. A little on the sweet side, but the rye keeps it in balance. A complex array of flavor comes through the middle into the end, finishing with a bit of sweetness and a touch of bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nicely complex rye DIPA with a great balance between the rye and hops. The rye helps to tone down the sweetness from all the maltiness as well as the hop "sweetness" while giving it a little kick at the same time. Dangerously drinkable for 10%, and well worth the $10-$11 for a 4-pack

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Photo of barknee
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a semi-appropriate "biertulpe" glass; showing a dual fat fingered mocha- meringue head. Dark copper and well filtered, the nose is one of cocoa powder, marshmallow, milk chocolate, vanilla and malted milk balls that wafts from the glass.
Wow. liquid candy; call it "whoppers" beer!

Moderately sweet on the tongue, and just when you think; "where's the acid," the hop bitterness sneaks in through the back door providing an ever so necessary dose of alpha's that lasts long after the first swallow.

This is a beer that's been engineered, not haphazardly created. All of the components arrive at the finish line, but far from a tie, but rather nicely spaced, allowing for the evolution of taste development and flavor profiles to traipse through your consciousness.

Magnificently crafted and creatively balanced, this is a unique and applaudable brew; or should I say; HeBrew.

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Photo of MOShepp
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a big light tan head. Lots of lacing.

Aroma of grapefruit, apricots, toasted malt and slight pine.

Tastes of toasted rye malt up front then a big punch of resinous hops that are met with plenty of caramel malts.

This is a well balanced beer which is amazing considering the evident hops. The rye gives it a nice touch. Nice drinking beer.

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Photo of Brenden
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer shows off the tap a thick orange-brown, pretty much looking like bronze in my glass. It grows a creamy tan head to just over a finger, and the lacing it leaves behind is pretty heavy as well.
The aroma provides a good deal of strength and showcases both hops and malts while displaying a good balance, neither dominating. A distinct, almost fruity sort of note is in there under a heady spicy/earthy combo of rye.
There's an initial sweetness that comes out under a very big malty base, lots of caramel, toffee and something like dark fruits but with a distinct, not-quite-citrusy element to it. Spiciness is all over this, without ever quite getting carried away; it seems to come both from hops and from rye. Bitterness is on an even keel and adds to the flavor while being kept in check by the malts. Overall, it's also quite bready. There's a lot of transitioning in this beer, with first the sweetness, then the bread, then pine resin/leafy bitterness, then fruits, then a bit of dryness, then something not quite nutty, and it all comes together as one. Ultimately the flavors in the beer mingle nicely, giving a deep complexity and keeping each sip interesting. Alcohol warms but never dominates.
The body is thick, big but not cloyingly heavy, enough to rest a whole lot of flavor on top of without giving in. There's lots of creaminess carried through, and the crispness that starts it off never fades either.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So far I haven't enjoyed the He'Brew beers I've tried very much but have a love for Rye so I'm trying this one.
Pours a fair clear dark amber with an impressive cream colored craggy head that melts slowly to very sticky lacing. Nice.
Aromas are pretty typical for a DIPA....sweet malt at first then a definate citrus hop back, yet in this beer they seem to be a little more blended than most...almost as if it has aged a year.
Taste...again...sort of typical but more blended than most.. The malt is sweet but not overpowering or cloying....the hops are most definately in there and there for the finish, but not offensive at all. Nice blending of sweet carmel malt and citrus malt.
I don't know...I think this may be the most balanced DIPA I've ever had. The 10 % is obvious in the taste and even more so in the aftertaste, but the rest of it is so wonderful you are likely to miss it until you are half way through the bomber.
Good job!
Uh oh...the alcohol made me forget why I bought this in the first place.
I like rye.
Where is it?
Ok...I'm looking for it...looking for it....looking for it....
Da*))_(m...I honestly just can't find it in there.
Other reviewers have been able to find the rye but I think the 10% is keeping it hidden from me and my taste buds.
Still a good beer...Still a very good DIPA

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Photo of asabreed
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: A nice looking amber body with a billowy head that goes down fairly quickly with some thin lacing around the middle of the glass.

Smell: Aromatic and flowery sweetness, some citrus from the malt and some grapefruit and piney hops in there also. Alcohol is apparent but only adds to the aroma. Is there rye in here? Not sure I can really discern it. Very balanced and effervescent without being out of control in one way or the other.

Taste: Very sweet initially, but somehow, maybe from the hops, the lingering sweetness is not there. And the hops are so prevalent that it doesn't become cloying or hard to take down. Flavors of sweet orange peel start, with some citrus bitterness and then the grapefruit hop flavors come in toward the end, giving the finish a lingering hop note with flavorful citrus. Very complex and very balanced; without the balance I could see this being pretty hard to drink, but as it stands it's extremely tasty. Not getting much rye at all, though, but still.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, with a bit of chewiness, but the carbonation's right on to make it fairly creamy and easy to drink.

Drinkability: I'm very impressed by this; I love the push toward craziness that turns into a very balanced brew. A bomber wasn't hard for me to finish, but I could imagine it could easily be for some. It is a bit on the sweeter side of Double IPAs, so beware of that. But I could see some interesting things happening with this in the future. Since the price tag's around $5-$6 a bottle, I'll probably buy a few. Kudos to Hebrew for constructing this, and I can't wait to see who they dedicate the next brew to.

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Photo of AnPiobaire
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This R.I.P.A. was poured into a goblet and poured a nice amber gold with cream colored head and nice lacing.

Initial nosing was malty almost bread like sweetness that was slowly overtaken by the floral hop notes.

The taste starts off with a rich sweetness that blends nicely with the hoppiness of an IPA. Both combine nicely to bring about a very enjoyable palate experience, that finishes with a subtle citrus finish. Niceky balanced.

The mouthfeel is thicker then most IPA's and for me that's wonderful. It has a chewiness and richness that works well.

Overall this was a very nice brew and not being an overt hop head I found this brew to be an extremely pleasant IPA. One that I would reccomend highly. Enjoy!!!

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Photo of Mavajo
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/copper color with a fluffy off-white head - very bubbly and frothy. Leaves good lacing throughout the glass. Aroma is sweet and hoppy - definite citrus, and notes of maple syrup. Taste reflects the aroma - bittersweet is an apt name for this brew. The sweetness is there, with malt, sugar and caramel/syrup notes, accompanied with the hops, citrus and modere bitterness. This is a sticky sweet brew, but the generous hops prevent this from being cloyingly sweet. Mouthfeel is sticky and reasonably smooth with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden - I was shocked to come here and see that it weighed in at 10%.

All in all, a very interesting brew. Perhaps a bit more sticky sweet than I generally look for from an IPA, but a great beer nonetheless.

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Photo of dciBA
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber with a nice off white head that sticks around for a while. Quite a bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell is mostly sweet/caramel malt, but also some grapefruit from the hops. Taste follows the nose perfectly. Fairly well balanced, although I could go for some more hops. I have no idea when this was bottled though, so it might be a freshness issue. The taste is where the rye really shines, providing a very nice spicy finish. I was kind of hoping for a bit more rye but the beer is well balanced with the amount that is has.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and almost creamy, a real highpoint for this beer. For a ten percent beer this is very drinkable. There is a little warmth in the finish, but this doesn't detract from the beer or effect the flavor in any way. Overall a very good DIPA, with some rye as a bonus.

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Photo of Enola
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep amber. There was a huge head. fair lacing covers the glass. The smell is deffinatly hoppy. One of the better IPA/DIPA I have had. The taste is very bitter. No doubt here that this is a hop bomb. This beer should satisfy any hophead. The mouthfeel is sticky and a lasting bitterness is present as well. The drinkability is good. Almost too good considering the ABV. That aspect of this beer is well hidden.

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Photo of TheDoorman
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours translucent amber with a solid white head. Aroma is a ncie blend of hops and malt. Rye spicyness also makes itself known in the nose. Very balanced aroma. Tastes fantastic. Starts with nice bready maltiness followed by plenty of hops. Not particularly bitter, but the hops are certainly there. Maybe not as much as youd expect from a IIPA, but thats mostly because the rye malt bill is no slouch. The feel is very very creamy, almost chewy, with a nice astringency in the finish. Alcohol is high, yet unnoticeable. Really a great brew. Somewhat reminiscent of ST Unearthly.

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Photo of badesign
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Cherry red with motor oil brown shadows, small off-white head. Aroma of citrus and dark fruits, mellow candy sweetness, minimal grain.

Thick resiny bitterness and orange oil up front, spicy grain and alcohol, interesting- complex and sweet- malts from the rye. Nuttiness like a brown ale and roastiness like a porter, finishes with an earthy note which becomes mildly sour as it warms, overall flavor becomes spicier as well. Very complex. Rich, velvety mouthfeel, unctuous and puckering.

Maybe 4 oz. in, out of 22, my tongue feels dead, but happily so- like it's happy to cross this beer off its bucket list. Really incredible and a great example of a rye beer.

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Photo of ferrari29
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip glass

A - Cloudy red burgundy body; 1 finger cream foam formed after pour and withered away pretty quickly; good lacing formed on the side of the glass

S - Crisp fruity berry scent followed by flowery aroma; hops are hidden at first but come alive along with a pinch of the alcohol (due to high ABV) after a deep whiff; bit a nuttiness

T - Crisp, refreshing and smooth fruit malt taste with a solid hop bitter finish and deep aftertaste; taste like it smells; sweet caramel taste; some biscuit

M - Solid creamy consistency; mild carbonation rolls over the tongue; beer is well-built with a superb balance of hop & malt tones

D - Overall a solid drink; definitely a quality beer and crafted with the right balance of ingredients that are not to strong even with a high ABV. I would recommend to others.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bomber served in a snifter.

Pours a caramel, light maple in color beneath a foamy, inch-high lightly tanned head. Walls of condensed and spotted lacing with pretty good strength.

Bright citrus hops: lemon, orange peel, faint grapefruit. Whaffs of piercing alcohol aromas. Gritty, floral hops with a distinct rye presence.

Initial citrus and floral hops that quickly becomes enveloped by a nice balance of caramel malt sweetness and rough, spicy rye. At mid-sip is a swarming alcohol presence with slick; not quite oily, hop resin. Toasted biscuit, lemon, hops, and a prolonged; yet light, bitterness fill the aftertaste.

Near full in body; almost creamy maltiness that balances the slick, spiciness well.

An impressive, unique offering that's tough to put down. This one passes the test for a hophead, and pushes innovation on account of the rye addition.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red, semi transparent with a small off white head.

The smell is really malty,sweet and strong. There are dark fruits, plums and rasins, smells great.

The taste is bitter and sweet, malty, dark fruits, very strong. There is a bitter hop precence but it is secondary to the malty dark fruit flavours. The hops are piney.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

Overall this drinks like a red ale, reminds me of bear republics red rocket ale which I really like. The obvious difference is the high alcohol content. This is a dark fruit bomb and I do enjoy it but it doesn't taste like what I'd expect from a dipa.

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Photo of alkemy
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kind of a copper/mahogany colored pour that appears to be of substantial viscosity. Slightly off-white head is tight, but not very tall. Combination of pine and floral hops. Also a mixture of caramel, molasses and sweet bread. I felt the rye was pretty subdued on the nose. It was more apparent in the taste...which was brilliant. Powerful hops upfront, but not as to ruin the back end of the swallow. There is a tender citrus that fades into the sweet malts. After all that, the rye lingers on your taste buds. Very smooth and rich mouthfeel. I'm wishing I bought more than one bomber of this!

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Photo of nickss
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is absolutely beautiful... a deep amber hue with a touch of brown. The head was surprisingly small despite a vigorous pour. 1/4" in a chalice, khaki in color... disipates rather quickly.

A delicious sweet piney resin hits you in the face like a ton of bricks. Almost barleywine-y in its huge aroma... notes of grapefruit and orange. Fantastic.

Huge hoppy flavour.... wow this is hoppy. Orange and pine. The rye that I could not detect in the aroma is present in the flavour.... it becomes much more noticeable as the brew warms.... but still not as obvious as in B-R's Hop Rod Rye.

Pretty solid mouthfeel... its difficult to tell how carbonated it is because the hops do a good job of wrecking your tongue... so I wonder... too much carbonation?... or just a sh!t-ton of hops. I know the latter is true, but I'm fairly confident the carbonation should be taken down a notch.. The thickness of the brew is just about right. I could use it a bit thicker, I suppose, if I had to find a complaint.

Not exactly the easiest brew to pound down, but who wants to?!.. This beer is one to savour.... delicious hoppiness from start to finish. Definitely one I will look for again.

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Photo of dheacck11
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pour is a deep dark amber brown with hints of orange gold. Thin off white head which fades quickly. No lacing.

Nose is big, sweet and malty. Little hint of clove spice, but nose is almost more of a scotch ale or even a barley wine.

Taste is a big contrast to the nose. Little bite of citrus initially followed by a syrupy, scotch malty sweetness. Finish is crisp and bitter hops. Really interesting melange of flavors here.

Feel is medium thick and sticky. Lovely coating left behind, with the dry resiny hop feel as well.

Really pretty spectacular. Agree with some other reviewers, this is barely a DIPA, more of a barleywine at times. Certainly blends the categories significantly, but all to my delight.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into tulip glass. Amber orange in color, huge layers of lacing. Very thick. Smell is dominated by the hops, but there's a pretty intense malt presence there too. Some boozey spice, maybe some distant tropical fruit. Taste is a firm malt backbone, followed by a blast of tart hops. Mellows out toward the finish but stays really, really bitter--great balance for something this intense. Mouthfeel is very syrup thick, very sticky, moderate carbonation. This is a really interesting, very unique beer, really starts to reveal itself as it warms. I'm a huge fan of DIPA's, and this is one of the most interesting ones I've had in a while.

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Photo of machostacos
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Amber orange, very clear with tons of bubbles screaming up from the bottom of the glass. Thick, creamy tan head shows excellent retention. Beautiful lacing. Nothing wrong here!

S: Sweet toffee and toasted caramel malts. Some brown sugar in there as well. Lots of lovely, spicy hop notes as well as spice from the rye. A little whiff of alcohol. This is definitely a malt-forward DIPA.

T: There's the hops! Great initial kick from some very spicy herbal and citrus hops with a solid bitterness, followed immediately by a full, round malt profile - caramel and toffee. Finishes smooth and nicely balanced with a lingering bitterness. This is fantastic.

M: Full, smooth, somewhat creamy and chewy. Perfect carbonation (on the medium-low side.) Very nice.

O: A very solid Rye IPA, and the first Rye DIPA I've had. Did a side-by-side with this and Founders Red's Rye, and while I admit I prefer the Red's Rye, this is right up there with my favorite Rye beers. A joy to sip!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - poured out with a deep orange/amber hue. Three fingers of creamy light-tan head, a scoop of pillowed foam in the center, a moat around it with drapy lacing, thick and sheeted all around. It came out of the bottle a little slow to bubble so I straight-dropped the last 4 to 5 ounces. Don't do that. Foam overage guarantee. Let's continue.

Aroma - a sweet malty background, split nicely with aromatic, piny hops. Sweet, juicy, piny. Recedes somewhat after a minute.

Taste - huge beer. Big rye malts. A citrusy hop flavor on the swallow goes intensely grapefruit. Warm with alcohol and very dry. I don't exactly go for the over the top bitterness but there's so much more to the flavor profile to enjoy. The malty abv side approaches a barleywine, Celebration-like flavor, and the hops keep it to style.

Mouthfeel - so smooth, it feels nitrogen-carbonated, especially if you get some bubbles from the head in with your sip. Otherwise, heavy, thick, drapy...DIPA.

Drinkability - it's a fine beer, suited for fans of the style and few others. I would not say no to another.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous deep dark fiery copper color with an immensely thick stack of soft off-yellowed foam. Tons of lacing coats the glass like frosting.

Aroma of alcoholic vapors waver over a thick dark malt sweetness and dry rye breadyness. Highly pine soaked oilyness ensues as it sits. This is where the 10% really makes itself present.

Taste is big and malty with lots of chewy breadyness laced with a few dark fruit skins and pits. Thicker yet, burntness of brown sugar arrives along with the rye, which in tune sets up the dryness over the super high pine hoppyness that nearly burns the throat out with an oil drenching thickness of orange, grapefruit, and pine sweetened bitterness. Ripe Barleywine-esk in nature and character.

Huge mouthfeel. Every corpuscle is soaked and coated with bitter sweet thickness. Big malt, big hops, (as stated on the label "an obscene amount") and that rye adds a nice extra cap of clever dryness to its bready fruit bread base. Oily smooth and warming with a complexing fun finish of hop oil warmth and malt residue.

Another keeper of a brew by He'Brew. A nice tribute to Lenny.
(R.I.P.)A. - truly...

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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.