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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.

875 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 875
Hads: 1,906
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.62%
Wants: 82
Gots: 188 | 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: 875 | Hads: 1,906
Photo of Jeffo
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at Premiere Gourmet in Amherst, NY.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention, fading to a faint wisp and ring. A slightly hazy, burnt umber body with lower levels of carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains leaving touches of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Rye malts, toffee and caramel on the nose. Light red fruits and floral notes as well. Bold nose and definitely enticing, though it could use some more hop for an IPA.

TASTE: Rye malts, toffee and caramel up front again, with lots of red fruity flavors at the swallow. Bold and persistent finish of bitter floral hops, piney flavors, and some toffee sweetness as balance. This is flavorfu, interesting, and enjoyable.

PALATE: Full body with medium levels of carbonation. Heavy, oily and thick on the palate, very creamy smooth, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Lots of weight and very creamy smooth. The exact oily, mouth-coating finish too. Awesome.

OVERALL: This is excellent. It's a rye IPA, so I did find the red fruit and toffee flavors slightly different than most IPAs, but the aromas and flavors were top notch and the palate was as good as it gets. He'Brew continues to impress; let's hope they can continue to brew these great beers in mass quantities. This one was great. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DIM
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a chill hazed ruby tinted copper color. It pours with a creamy looking off-white head.

s: Reminiscent of a fresh American barleywine. Lots of rye bread, resinous pine, grapefruit, caramel and toffee. As it warms the alcohol becomes more pronounced.

t: This is so big flavored and aggressive that its easy to overlook how complex this is. At various points this is sweet, spicy, and bitter. Abrasively sweet caramel hits first and is quickly joined by prickly rye flavors. The finish is strongly bitter tasting of pine with the rye continuing to contribute. There are layers here beyond my ability to describe.

m: Beefy, chewy, creamy, and viscous. Absolutely perfect for this beer.

d: This is motherfuckin' tasty! What a pleasant surprise, my first brew from these guys is a winner. Best DIPA I've had in a long time.

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Photo of daledeee
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I looked this up before I bought it since I had never heard of the brewery. I expected an intense hop rye.

I this intoa sam adams glass. Very dark orange or gold. Head and lacing are white. Not a big head but a nice one.

Nose is citrus and tropical

Taste and mouth feel is where this beer shines. Creamy, creamy, creamy! A very balanced hop and malt character. This beer leans toward the tropical side but is not over loaded with hops. It is quite strong from an ABV point of view and is warming to drink but that is not distracting.

I like this beer as well as any I have had lately. Well done folks.

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Photo of biggmike
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap as the guest tap at the Abita Brew Pub in Abita Springs, LA. Poured a dark mahogany with a thick off-white head that lasted a long while. Taste was very well-balanced between the malty sweetness and the piney, citrusy hops. The mouthfeel was thick and chewy. This was a great beer that I would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of dwren89
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A double IPA with rye

Appearance: deep amber, about 20 SRM, very thin tannish head, not great clarity but not bad, slight haze

Aroma: caramel and peppery spiciness with floral and slightly citrusy hop aroma, thick smell, has a certain heaviness to the aroma

Taste: very caramelly and thick, with smooth spiciness from rye, a very chewy beer, nicely bitter finish but not as bitter as some other DIPAs, the rye character is immediately noticeable on the palate as a thick/creamy/spicy taste that complements the caramel malt character nicely. The hops are powerful and flavorful but definitely kept in check by the malt character. There is a moderate alcohol flavor on the finish but soon subsides into the malt and hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy like a barleywine but with a more bitter, biting finish from the high hop rates. Thick and tasty but also smooth and creamy with medium-low carbonation

Overall Impression: A fantastic DIPA that incorporates rye to add more complexity, body, and flavor dimensions, all which take the overall beer to another level. Certainly a slow sipper, it's incredibly long finish can sustain the palate for 5-10 minutes after a sip. Overall quite delicious and unique, definitely worth adding to any DIPA pick six for a little variety and added malt character.


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Photo of gregoryfbrown
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Really nice deep red/amber color when poured into tulip glass. Initially huge head which goes down after about 1 minute.

Smell - Alcohol and Caramel mixed together. Surprisingly very little hop aroma which I was slightly disappointed by given the style.

Taste - Bitter up front. Burnt sugar on the end. Strong taste of molasses and malt. Middle of it has nice sugar taste which then fades to a very bitter, long aftertaste. I'm not entirely sure what Rye tastes like but I'm guessing this is it. Very unique in a good way. You can tell it's very alcoholic but it doesn't overpower.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and creamy. Coats the mouth with a nice film giving a lingering taste.

Drinkability - Like it a lot. Nice burnt sugar and rye tastes. I could use a little more hop aroma to go with the bitterness though. Would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -Dark honey, initial head leaves quick, lacing almost non existent.

S - Rye, brown sugar and hops. Great combo.

T - Deep caramel center...like a Kraft caramel candy. Hops and Rye accent.

M - fairly deep, good card and coating.

D - Despite the ABV, I could be coerced into a few of these.

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Photo of srobertson59
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured (a bit too aggressively) from a 22 oz. bottle:

A - Wow! A huge 3 finger head that seems to have a life of its own. Tiny carbonation bubbles swirl around very similar to a Guinness. After the pour settles down, very small bubbles slowly rise through a dark chestnut brew making the liquid look very thick.

S - Malt hits the nose followed closely by a good bit of floral hops. Not much in the way of citrus is detected, but there is an earthy quality on the backend.

T - This is a COMPLEX beer! Both the malts and hops play hide-and-seek with each sip. Bitterness is out front, but is tamed by the sweet malt just before becoming too bitter. Carbonation is barely present on the tongue and the alcohol is only detectable by the warmth of the throat on the swallow.

M - Thick without being syrupy...smooth without leaving a coating on the tongue. Very little aftertaste.

D - This one is quite impressive and really needs to be sipped to enjoy it. I find that the flavor changes as it warms and tends to be less bitter than when first poured.

What a beer! A very complex blend (is it the Rye that makes this DIPA so different?). This isn't your average DIPA.

I will certainly look out for more of this and pick it up when available. A complex beer at $4.99 a bomber? OH YEAH!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a rich, rich reddish amber color with tons of bubbles pouring from the bottom of the glass. The head is gigantic and fluffy nd refuses to die down. I poured aggresively and boy did the head explode from the liquid. The head is almost solid. Laces very, very well. Looks awesome!

S-A nice combination of super breadiness, sweet maltiness and delicious fruity hoppiness. Not the most powerful aroma but quite attractive.

T-Don't know how I'm gonna get past the head to the liquid. But once I do, I am quite happy with the result. The taste outshines the nose. Big bitter hop notes attack. The hop profile is complex with both fruity sweetness and dry pine. The malt is there but the hops are the main attraction. The rye kicks in toward the end and adds to the depth of the brew.

M-Creamy and sticky. Well carbonated. Stickiness is a combination of the sugary flavor and the resinous hoppiness.

D-The 10% comes into play as the beer warms but I find this quite drinkable. This is a big beer no doubt. I wish this would come in a 6 pack over the 4 pack but jeesh the 4 pack is expensive enough.

This far exceeded my expectations. I love how much the beer's taste stays on your palate forever.

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Photo of FLima
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful ruby copper color with tons of thick off-white head with a long retention and leaving lots of laces.
Delicious aroma of grapefruit and pine with sweet toasted malts and hints of rye and honey.
Really bitter and malty taste with strong notes of piney hops, rye, and pepper. Hints of wood and resin.
Dry with an insistent bitter aftertaste. 10% ABV is seen nowhere.
Medium to full body with adequate carbonation.
Excellent double rye IPA, it does not carry the usual flaw of the style of being too sweet. This is a beer for the well-seasoned drinkers. Highly recommendable.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into He'Brew pint glass.

Appearance: Rich and bright amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Decent one finger of off white head fades into a thin layer. Light amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Some citrus hops consisting of grapefruit, orange, and lemon. A strong caramel and toffee malt presence with some good hints of rye. Also some hints of dark fruits, spice, and pine. Pretty interesting aroma.

Taste: Big hop bitterness up front with grapefruit citrus and piney hops. Some orange follows with caramel and toffee malts and a strong presence of rye throughout. Also some light hints of dark fruit. Finishes with a little alcohol warmth. A nice combination of bitterness, sweetness, and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Bitter and thick but still smooth. A little bit of alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very good and interesting take on a double IPA. Nicely balanced and complex.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - This one is the color of sassafras with a splash of grenadine, and is topped with a small but solid cap of dense beige foam that also shows a splash of reddish color (the influence of the rye?) The lace is extremely fine, but doesn't do a whole lot of sticking.

S - Rhubarb, grapefruit, strawberry, ginger, and pineapple. There are traces of cinnamon stick, cherry candy syrup, and black pepper. This one stands out from others of it's ilk in that is smells spicy and extremely fruity.

T - Juicy grapefruit, cherry, pineapple, and a massive amount of mango make this one as fruity as that Carmen Miranda lady's hat. However, that fruitiness is contrasted with an extremely peppery note that appears at midpalate (first sip is all fruit and hops) and crescendos to a something-tickling-the-back-of-the-throat spiciness that almost makes me wanna sneeze.

M - Full bodied. Sugary and slick at first, but then gradually warming, spicy, peppery, and bitter. This one has a nice three step mouthfeel progression (along with the flavor progression) that goes from fruity-sugary to hoppy-bitter to spicy-peppery and super dry.. Extremely interesting.

D - This a nice change from the usuall DIPAs, but it's far from the best. I love rye whisky and the few rye beers that I've tried (both offerings from Founder's are particularly good... especially Red's Rye), and this is a nice adaptation of those spicy and dry rye notes.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2x ipa brewed with massive and obscene amounts of rye malt and hops. Wow. Ruby red color and very spicy pine resin aroma. 10.0 abv. Floral notes as well. Flavor is malty, malty, malty providing a huge mouthful. Reminds me a lot like the Arrogant Bastard only more maltier. Bittersweet dry finish with slight grapefruit notes from im guessing Chinook. If you love the bastard youll love this just as much.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a medium to dark reddish amber with a fine one finger light tan head with great retention and lacing. Nice aroma of bready malt, dark and dried stone fruit, caramel and a hint of citrus hops. Similar to a barley wine aroma. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, dark and light fruit, slight spiciness and sourness from the rye and alcohol heat. Finishes with aromatic pine and citrus hops which duke it out with the alcohol, finally winning and leaving a long herbal bitterness. Medium bodied with some creaminess. This is a very nicely made DIPA that has definitely crosses the line with barley wines, although it does have a strong IPA hop presence. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of pattyhopp
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pair this with a fat Reuben sandwich and you got yourself a great lunch..

This is a great beer, my first He'Brew actually.
Pours a dark orangeny brown with not too much head.
Smells sweet with a beatiful citrus bready aroma.
Nice and sweet at first then transitioning into sweet and spicy hoppiness then the RYE , Hell yea!
A little thick but very enjoyable.
Could drink a few of these...but maybe I shouldn't..Ahh what the hell why not.?

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great job, fellas at Shmaltz.

In the big, oaky, fresh and dank, ripe-fruity, bitter, sweet, family of "darker" double IPAs. 90 minute-ish.

Bitter and sweet. Good advertising. Ha! Aren't most good beers though? Bitter and sweet? Sweet, nectars and riper tree-fruits. Juicy hops -don't expect high-profile citrus explosions, though. Malty as all get out. Caramel.

If you like the maltier, oakier, higher-abv DIPAs, this is for you to try!!!!

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Photo of GPHarris
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a snifter that left nice lacing and sheeting until about 3/4 of the beer was gone. the body was a dark mahogany color.
s - big dark fruits and chocolate.
t - rye, pine, some underlying dark fruits and sweetness.
m - slick and medium.
o - yum. terrific beer. more like an american barleywine.

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Photo of E-McFarden
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber in color with a medium bodied head. 1/4" of head remains on top of the beer after a couple of minutes. Heavy scents of caramel, raisins, and apple. aroma hops reach the nostrils in an earthy sense. Bittering hops explode on the palate with piney and earthy tastes, nutty and oaky flavors also peak through. This brew starts heavy on the palate but finishes rather crisp, alcohol tastes lingering in the end. Overall an excellent beer.

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Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing reddish amber with a towering thick off-white head that slowly descends to a one-finger, lasting head. Great head retention for the abv level! Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is piney, resiny with citric notes. Caramelish backing.

The taste is piney and resiny. Sweet caramel backs up the bitter hops. Rye breadiness is mixed in. Spicy alcohol peeks through eventually, but well-covered/non-interfering for the 10%. Powerfully bittersweet in the finish.

The body is rich, creamy, chewy. Almost syrupy thick, yet smooth.

Nice! A power-house of a DIPA. Piney and bitter mixed with sweet. More than a pleasure to sip on.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper with a moderate tan frothy head with great retention. Spicy sweet and rich malty bread aromas. Rich rye malt sweetness followed by a solid earthy spice hop finish with a light to moderate lingering. Thick chewy feel.

This is like a liquid piece of rye bread with strong hops playing with it. A big beautiful malty beer and I just love all the flavors in it. I would love the opportunity to try this at various stages.

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Photo of dfried
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber-red color, but you can still see through it. Average size, sticky head forms with nice small bubbles, ending up as a decent ring and film over the top. The aroma is not especially pungent, it's of sweet dark fruit like plum and fig, and is a bit hoppy but not 'in your face' hoppy. The first sip was so thick and syrupy that it took a second for any flavor at all to hit, but it did, oh boy did it ever. The taste is even sweeter that the dark fruit aroma may have led on. Array of fruity flavors, plum, fig, even dark grapes. Noticeable but not robust grainy flavor from the rye, adds to the overall feel of the beer. And then the hops, how can you forget the hops, it is an IPA after all. This is a malt dominated beer, but there is a good floral, and a little pine-like bite from the hops. This beer definitely straddles the barley wine/DIPA fence. Mouthfeel is nice and sticky, finishes dry. I have used the term dangerously drinkable before, but there is no other term that would apply better to the drinkability of this beer. 10%, are you kidding me?

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Photo of dwilson01
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass. Amber brown color, looks to me like a darker shade of honey . Creamy head that is seriously the color of sand (creamy sand? hmmmm haha).

The initial smell out of the bottle is pretty intense bitterness, you pick up the immense hopping in the smell for sure, but that creamy head mellows it out a little bit I think.

The taste doesn't disappoint dude, seriously. The initial bitterness hits you but is followed quickly by a sweet malt, it really does remind me of a flower honey. The sweetness is backed extremely well with the huge body of the beer, it's a thick one for sure, that extra rye malt really does something great for this one. I thought it would be a little drier on the finish but the malt still holds out and it's smooth as hell until the very end when the 10% abv comes through a little bit and you get some of the pungent alcohol bit I love to get right at the end of taste. Flavors I get out of here are definite honey, a bit woody flavored, mellow though like a deciduous tree in the spring when it's fruit is flowering. I don't get any citrus, but it's creamy for sure.

The mouthfeel is such an anomaly for an IPA, I haven't had a smoother full bodied creamy feeling beer in this category before. This beer goes down as easy as an imperial stout and has the flavor of a double ipa coupled with the sweet rye malt. Crazy good brew, super drinkable with just a hint of the alcohol flavor on the swallow. I recommend for sure, if you like stouts and you like ipas and you want something new and interestingly flavored this is for sure the beer to snag.

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, very cool label. Great photo of Lenny, the label looks like a theater marquee, and quotes and copy abound. Pours beautiful -- a deep dark reddish beer with a thick off-white head, leaving chunky lacing all over the place. Smells fantastic - dried fruit, lots of different hop flavors, molasses, caramel, rye, berries. It just keeps going. And it tastes just as good - it's got all that and then some - some brown sugar / brown butter / butterscotch / toffee going on in the finish that you don't really pick up in the nose. Full bodied, and goes down remarkably easy for a 10%, heavily hopped brew. Look out if you find this on tap -- a couple of these can end your night early...

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Firstly, I picked this out because of the label. A "chosen beer"?? Secondly, don't think I've ever seen a label that showed praise made by bA. Nevertheless, thought that trying an experimental imperial IPA would be a good idea. Can't make out the freshness date on the bottle, but it nevertheless poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

It must be the rye malts, because I don't think I've come across an imperial IPA this dark and malevolent in appearance. And I mean "malevolent," because this reminds me a lot more of strong ales like, say, Arrogant Bastard. Darkish-redish, as well as cloudy to the point of light barely making it through the glass. Alcohol leggings, as well as carbonation bubbles that glide slowly to the top of the glass. Not much of an initial huge head. However, a half-finger ring stays at the top, no matter how much it warms up. Scary.

Ahh, now this is how a hoppy rye malt based beer should be! There's an initial spiciness, as well as intense citrus zest and blasts of honey syrup. Beyond the fruity esters, there's a bit of an alcoholic drop, as well as some smells of fresh bread. Not much yeastiness. Can't make out any specific fruits, but it seems well balanced enough based on the aroma.

Cold, it starts hoppy. As it warms, it gets progressively malty, but only so much. The dry hops immediately take over, and the aftertaste is absolutely spectacular, giving me flavors of black cherries, blood oranges, raspberries, and bittered figs. On the other end, there's all kinds of spices resembling black pepper, as well as a brief rosemary flavor. This may sound that it doesn't mix well of paper, but I assure you that it all combines beautifully primarily due to the incredible feel that this beer has. This is its definite highlight, as it is thick, chewy, and bready unlike any imperial IPA I've had - and indeed, is closer to dark Belgian pale ales. A true meal in a bottle, soaked with alcohol and fruitiness.

This is fantastic. It's as exaggerated as you'd expect, or at least how it looks at a first glance, but works really well overall. I'm glad I've finally found an experimental DIPA that I would gladly pick up, for the low price, many times over. If there was a prophecy concerning this beer, I would believe it after consumption.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a very clear dark amber/garnet, with a rather reluctant head that fades to a cap, but which follows the beer. Lots of tight bubbles rising through the liquor somewhat languidly. Very pretty to look at, but bringing it to the nose really reveals something special. Piney hops are quite evident, but the spiciness of the rye lends an intriguing quality that separates this from the everyday. Some pineapple makes its way in too. The flavor is balanced; rye malt, but not too much, plenty of American hops, some fruit, and a hint of caramel. The finish is dry but not at all astringent. In the mouth it is full bodied but not heavy, with plenty of carbonation but not so much to be distracting. Despite the strength and the unusual nature of the rye malt, it is very easy to drink; in fact, I am disappointed my wife bought me only the one to try.

This is far and away the best offering from this brewery, and a world class double IPA.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.