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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. - Shmaltz Brewing Company

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,550 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1550
Reviews: 835
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.58%


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)
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Ratings: 1,550 | Reviews: 835 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mosstrooper
Mosstrooper

California

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Budweiser branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark copper with a pretty small, but long standing tanned head that dissipates so slowly that it doesn't seem to dissipate at all.

Smell: Toasted malts with spicy, herbal hops and hints of fruit.

Taste: Toasty, buttery malts up front, with a bitter aftertaste that finishes sweet as well. Hints of rye. Rich with full, deep flavors. Bittersweet indeed!

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, thick, and creamy with balanced carbonation. Dry finish.

Drinkability: For a double IPA, this is very well balanced and full of flavor a variety of flavors, as opposed to just being full of hops. Pretty easy drinker for 10%ABV and something I highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 02:10:09 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of ypsifly
ypsifly

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated bomber purchased at Bello Vino in Ann Arbor and poured into a pint glass.

Dark copper with two fingers of light tan that show tenacious retention and leves a ringed sheet as it goes down.

The nose is almost all grapefruit dipped in pine resin. Slight malt sweetness and heat underneath.

Huge malt bill is tasted upfront with a sweetness that is thick but in no way cloying. A giant load of the grapefruit/pine hops jumps in and the whole thing is tempered perfectly by the rye. All the flavors linger through the finish and leave a nice aftertaste of malt and hops with an almost spicey flavor from the rye. Abv registers only as a growing warmth in my belly. This is fucking awesome!

Full mouth that threatens a syrupy slickness but stops just in time. I could drink a lot of this....well I could keep drinking until things got ugly. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2006 00:28:35 | More by ypsifly
Photo of HoboAGoGo
HoboAGoGo

Indiana

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep red with a sizable head into the pint glass. The head stuck around on the beer for quite sometime. Smelled of strong citrus hops, with a fruity hop underneath. Strong bread and alcohol smells come off of it too, a sweet bread with a sour finish, no doubt the working of the rye. Spicy, citrusy, mango hops play well with the subdued alcohol for a 10 percent beer. The grain is sweet, and sharp, if I would have had the forethought to pick up some goat cheese, it would have been perfect for it. It drank well, which is the sign of a good double ipa, if not good for my head. A damn fine beer, which I was mainly excited to pick up due to the tribute to Lenny Bruce, one of my favorite American humorists.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2006 04:11:44 | More by HoboAGoGo
Photo of Dansting
Dansting

Kansas

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a slightly hazy copper color with a thick almond head. Strong lacing. Aroma is malty, caramel, and hoppy. Amazing full mouthfeel. Flavor is a nice hoppy taste, with grapefruit, rye, and pine hints to it. Ranks right up there with Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye as the best rye beers that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2007 02:24:26 | More by Dansting
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This double IPA with rye malt poured a very hazy mahogany with a bit of off-white head. It smelled like rye and sweet caramel malt, with orange and sweet floral hops. It tasted like powerful bitter floral and citrus hops, balanced with lots of sweet rye and caramel malts. It was oily with no carbonation, and had a lasting sharp bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this beer wasn't too complex, but the rye gave it a fairly unique and delicious character. It was very clean and well balanced, despite its bold taste, so it was still fairly easy to drink. Good to sip or gulp, and quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 14:02:40 | More by Pencible
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't think of a better style to brew in tribute to Lenny Bruce, nor can I think of a more appropriate brewer to do it. So, after reading the label text and throwing some of the chill off, this big IPA is ready to pour...

Pours a damn good-looking two-finger head, kind of a washed-out butterscotch in color, and the liquid is a mean rusty blood orange color. Cloudy too, with the ultra slow-moving bubbles making it appear one big viscous mutha. The head leaves bulbous honeycombs of styrofoam on the glass. This thing is absolutely gorgeous.

Big orange aroma, zesty, rind-like too. A little bit buttery, big caramel...candy-like overall. Pretty clear what the story is on this beer is on: big malts, big hops, the end! Very believable boast on the label: "brewed with an obscene amount of malt & hops."

The flavor brings on a gooey tidal wave of orange-y hops, backed up by caramel-candy maltiness; the rye this is brewed with definitely shows up in the wonderfully rocky, super-earthy way rye will. Nice zip of gingery spiciness too. Grapefruit rind lingers in the finish, but the balance struck between these "obscene amounts" of malts and hops is absolutely superb. An underscoring alcohol glow lifts this up a notch into stratospherically-awesome territory. Wow.

The mouthfeel delivers just what's needed in a beer like this: bigness to match the big flavors. Chewy, gooey, supremely rounded and creamy, with enough carbonation to inject activity and life into its weighty frame...pretty much spot-on here too.

Holy shit this is amazing! I think Lenny would be proud...not of my swearing, but to have something this bold brewed in his honor (but I don't think my profanity would bother him either).

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 00:46:14 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A whole lot of head, it nearly jumps over the side on the glass. Crystal clear tawny color. Smells of ripe tropical fruit, pine sap, blood oranges, a little hint of hemp seed oil and cake batter. Smooth and ultra creamy with a hop oil slickness deep inside the full-ish body. Lush malt foundation ranges from heavy caramel to spicy rye, donuts to toasted bread ... pretty damn complex IMO. Hops jump on all of this with a cutting bitterness and a long linger of spicy, citric, thick herbal and tobacco flavor. The bitterness pairs up with the rye to compliment the coming of the alcohol. Oh yes, there is alcohol here and a drops a good amount of warmth and tropical fruit. Finish bittersweet and spicy with more bitterness in the end of it all.

Big and bold, a serious beer ... it would be simple to say that it kicks ass, which it does. By far one of the most enjoyable beers I have had this year.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2010 02:06:27 | More by Jason
Photo of beersensei305
beersensei305

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This Rye Double IPA pours a deep copper with a nice thick head and great lacing. The smell is hoppy with some citrus sweetness and maltiness. The taste is complex- it starts off with carmel sweetness, grapefruit tartness, toasted notes, and rye. This is a medium bodied brew with average carbonation. This is a great beer and I could have this at any time.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 22:41:14 | More by beersensei305
Photo of chodinheaven
chodinheaven

Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep and burnt orange color and hazy, almost opaque. Perfect 2 finger off-white head on a medium pour. The head sticks around forever and leaves nice lacing. Gorgeous beer. Lots of piney and citrus hops in the aroma backed by a big malt presence. Rye is faintly detectable in that malt presence. Definitely pleasant on the nose.

Full-bodied and big on every level. Hops hit hard in a bitter onslaught, but the rye malt balances it out expertly. The rye gives it a bready and biscuity quality that goes a long way in keeping all the other flavors in check. The hops are mostly piney in character, but the malts take some of the focus away from that, and not at all in a bad way. Balance between extremes is the name of the game here and this beer delivers that and then some. Boozy notes of that 10% ABV are hidden well, felt as an afterthought in the back of the palate. It actually adds to the balance as it warms. Dry finish, but long and lingering. This is a seriously good beer in my opinion. If you like rye beers, this is a must try. If you like double IPAs, this is a must try. If you like beers that demonstrate a nearly perfect balance of flavors, feel and character, this is certainly a must try.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 05:27:34 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is brilliantly clear. Copper in color in my pint glass. It didn't seem to be forming a head at first, so I poured harder and overdid it. Call it a 2 1/2 finger head, maybe 3 with what I lost. Attractive lacing.

Sweet malt dominates the aroma at first. Syrupy fruit aromas and spicy rye appear as the beer warms,. 2nd beer poured into my Duvel tulip: OMG this is totally different. Sweet flowery perfume and glorious spice. Kinda like a high class fragrant bath powder--weird. Neversaw tgat ub a beer befire. Knock it up from a 4 to a 5.

Taste is sweet and caramelly with a bit of bitter chocolate. Spicy hops and rye round it out with some tart citrus showing up in the tulip.

Fairly thick bodied. Creamy and smooth. Warming alcohol via the 10% ABV.

This beer definitely improves and becomes more well rounded as it warms, becoming more complex. This would be a great beer to retry in the dead of winter.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 02:48:05 | More by obywan59
Photo of theopholis
theopholis

California

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a deep orange/burgandy, with a fairly thick, yellow-white head with a lot of staying power. Loosens up failry quickly, but this head is very substantial. Leaves just a ton of lace behind to Very impressive.

Aroma- Not overwhelmng, but what you do get is an excellent mixture of aroma hops and sweet, sweet, malt. Some hints of candy sugar. Excellent

Taste- Whoa!!!! Wow!!!! ... Fore-taste is about what you would expect. Rich, malty, sweet, hoppy,intense, bready. As it slides towards the back of your toungue, the hops take over. Reaaly good balance between malt and flavoring hops. Not perfect, but very impressive. A hint of spruce in there to. As I go down, I want to lick the lace off the glass. Mmmm...

Mouthfeel- Yeah....I know....it's an American DIPA. It's still a tad heavy. The carbonation is wonderful tho. Compliments and accentuates the flavors wonderfully.

Drinkability- If you're a hop-head like myself, you will love this beer. If the lighter beers are more your style, this beer is style worth a shot, but it is a sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 08:25:41 | More by theopholis
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown colour with thick off-white head. Lots of lacing and good head retention. Smell is huge pine hops with tons of caramel sweetness, plus some added spiciness (assume from the rye). Flavour has lots of bitterness, with tons of sweetness as well. This is almost a cross between a barleywine and a double IPA, which makes the "bittersweet" part of the name make sense. Good carbonation level. This is a big beer, but delicious.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 01:56:55 | More by kwjd
Photo of weiserr
weiserr

Connecticut

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing brew; I can't believe that I passed on the opportunity to engage its wonder on more occasions than I care to recount.

Apocalypse bronze, it flows through the glass eclipsing to a billowing head of clouds that surrender ridiculous amounts of lace in its wake.

The smell is very complex, but you can immediately tell that the malt and hop character are overdone in spades. Yes, the bottle declares it, but yes, the bottle delivers. Sugary, biscuity and so citrusy that I can't wait to drink it.

The best thing I can say about the taste is balance. Despite the over-aggressive attempt at creating something exclusive to the DIPA billing, it comes off so balanced that it amazes me. I'm detecting an incredible malt presence in the form of honey glazed donuts sprinkled with sugar, but the massive amounts of grapefruit pith and piny aromas come through on the back end and tickle the throat with a cunning reminder that you are drinking something very unique, and special.

This beer is giving me goosebumps. On second thought, I'm breaking out in a cold sweat. Delusional maybe; as Jim beckons his mother in the smoke-filled Whiskey a Go Go. IPA, I want to drink you. Industry, I want to (****) you... yeaaaahhhh. Shmaltz Brewing lives up to its kosher status. Engaging, timely and remarkably unrestrained, this is one brewery that became a leader in the absence of leadership. I demanded an IPA and they delivered without instruction. Thank you, my friend, for carrying a message to Garcia.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 00:23:04 | More by weiserr
Photo of Bigfatbino
Bigfatbino

California

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A = Nice dark color, tight bubbles in the head, left beautiful lacing in the glass.

S= sweet, but balanced with nice roasted undertones. Very flowery aroma.

T = Mouth-puckering bitter, chocolate undertones and roasted coffee. Very long-lingering bitter aftertaste.

M = Thick and resiny. Good carbonation and it stays on the tongue well after the first swallow.

D = A very good session beer. Would be great with Pot Roast or any good long braised meat.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 06:49:48 | More by Bigfatbino
Photo of depechemode1983
depechemode1983

Texas

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours out a medium mahogany red hues when held to the light. The head is tan with phenomenal retention. There's extreme lacing on this one. A half inch of foam stuck around for the entire duration of the beer consumption. Excellent.

S - Very tropical nose. Pineapple, orange, bitter grapefruit all make an appearance. Not mention an awesome piney bitterness that balances out the sweet characteristics of the nose.

T - Balanced as hell. You awesome Malt sweetness upfront with a touch fruit. Then almost immediately hit with sharp pine resin bitterness. Even at 10% ABV the alcohol stays well hidden.

M - Good god this beer is smooth. Soft, velvety, and with almost perfect carbonation it goes down like milk.

O - Worth of multiple purchases. Many actually. One of the best DIPAS I have had in my area. Just arrived too. At 8 dollars a 4 pack its a steal. Excellent quality and great first impression from He'brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 17:28:25 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of Preston
Preston

Florida

4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

For such a huge beer, it had only moderate bitterness and the high alcohol level was backgrounded extremely effectively. I had this on tap at Yard House in Cincinnati. A great, great beer well worth getting a pint (and going to a Reds game very happy).

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2013 15:04:04 | More by Preston
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ale named after the former Leonard Alfred Schneider departs the bottle and enters the glass a robust red, shadowy, clear, with a high head, creamy/tannish toned. Looking lovely.

Aroma: Fat malt, outsized yeast, liquid bread...is this a doppelbock? But there's so much hop!...sniff again... Wow! Loud hop, rich, burnished, barleywine-like. Grapes and other dark fruits are at hand, feeling like a burgundy wine, perhaps due to the high alcohol, or the huge maltiness.

Now, let's taste...Woo! Bam! Whap! Shamalam! Enormous malt floods the mouth and is assisted in it's it's efforts by the blazing sidecar of hops. Big, big, big on the palate, outsized all the way, spilling flavor all over the place. Delicious dark fruits, grapes, cherries, more...Reminds me very much of a Bigfoot or similar barleywine-style ales. This is where the line between "American Double IPA"s and barleywines really blurs, the malt is as big or bigger than the hops in this one, and the flavor is almost the match for a barleywine.

And the 10% doesn't hit...right away..oh, no, you'll feel it, though...

I didn't really taste the rye at all, but it works so damned well, it doesn't matter.
(Wait, ...now, I'm tasting it...yup, it's discernible...)

I love it. I think Lenny would love it. Rest his smutty soul. R.I.P. (A. true American hero.)

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 09:55:11 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Franchise
Franchise

Oregon

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering from He'Brew pours a dark plum delicious and tasty that leaves a thick tan head. The aroma is fantastic rye, caramel, pitted fruit, this is a very complex and enjoyable nose. The taste starts malty upfront, caramel, maybe brown sugar, it then moves to a spicy bitter grapefruit feel on the palate finishing with a plum, date, sweetness rounded out with a bready, nutty feel that I love, the alcohal being at 10% is warming and not overwhelming. This is a great brew and although Mendocino brews their beers great job Shmaltz and keep them coming!

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 23:43:44 | More by Franchise
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to wine glass. Wasn't sure what to think of this gaudy label at first...but now I LOVE it. Must have changed my mind once I saw that this brew is "Kosher Certified & Rabbi Approved." Gets me every time...Only dates on the bottle are 10.13.25 and 8.3.66 but those are Lenny's born on/died on dates.

A: The appearance would have been a "6" if possible. The large, light khaki frothy head lasted FOR-EVER. Excellent stick to the glass. The amber/ruby body was so brilliantly clear it might have well as been a magnifying glass. There are plenty of bubbles slowly rising from the center of the glass.

S & T: Smells fantastic. Heavy malts of bread, grains (rye stands out) and caramel, borderline roasted. The hops are huge and full of pine, grapefruit and orange notes. There is a sourdough/semi musty yeast presence as well. The aroma is absolutely intense, strong and pungent. The flavor are big and last long. They follow the nose, adds some dust, spice and alcohol. But while it is great, it doesn't quite match the perfection of the nose. To no fault of it's own, though, it can't.

M: Full bodied, creamy with lively carbonation. Finishes heavily bitter and dry.

D: One thing is certain: These guys know how to brew BIG beers. And they knocked this one out of the park. This might sound outrageous to some, but this beer right here is a top 5 DIPA for me.

ISO: Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 16:12:50 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of chickenflea
chickenflea

Florida

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Underground Bluz.

A - Pours a clear deep copper amber with a nicely-lacing frothy off-white head.

S - Aroma is sweet and piney. There are notes of earthy caramel and complex butterscotch.

T - Taste is initially very sweet caramel. But this turns quickly to a fresh, resinous bittering hoppiness and a sticky piney finish. The rye gives it a pleasant balance across the middle of the palate. Alcohol taste is subdued. Taste finishes with burnt toast aftertaste and long lingering bitterness.

M - Texture like apricot juice. Perfect.

D - This beer was one of the most enjoyable beers I have ever had. Just beautiful in every way. I really did not expect to like this beer because I have enjoyed very few good rye-grained beers. But the rye in this style added to the complexity in a very complimentary fashion.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2010 02:10:46 | More by chickenflea
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. No bottled on date.

Appearance: Misguidedly free pour yields a >3 inch fluffy, bubbly white head that dissipates slowly leaving rings and walls of lacing all over the glass, which stick around for the entirety of the beer (incidentally, I had to drink/eat some of the foam to avoid spilling, and it tasted deliciously like caramel; not usually a fan of the taste of straight beer head, but this was nice). Pours a slightly dark, hazy amber, and leaves tons of lacing. This beer looks like something such that if you saw someone else's glass while they drank it at a bar and you were even slightly dissatisfied with your own choice, you would be jealous and want to take theirs.

Smell: From the bottle there's some dank, citrus hops and big, barleywine-deep caramel malt. It's the same in the glass but with less hops influence, and even more full, complex malt aroma. There's fig, caramel, some booziness, and a little bit of grassy hops. Some nice herbal notes come out late in the glass.

Taste: Lots of deep malt goodness following the nose, with a fair amount of bitterness in the finish as the hops struggle to be noticed. Damn, the brewers at Shmaltz know how to make a big beer, don't they? On the third or fourth sip, I get some of the rye, and it's working really well with these thick, rich American barleywine malt flavors. Eventually, some grassy hops show through, and there's DIPA caliber bitterness here, but the character of the flavor is all about malt. Finishes slightly hot, but not 10% hot; just a pleasant warmth.

This is a hard beer to grade to style. On the one hand, it tastes less like a DIPA and more like an American barleywine (chances are I could be drinking it fresher and get some more hops, but the malt would still be well into barleywine territory). On the other hand, it tastes like a *really, really good barleywine*. If you're looking for 90min IPA or Pliny the Elder, you'll find nothing like either in this bottle... but the lines between American barleywine and DIPA are pretty blurry to begin with. 4.5 sounds right to me; this beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel: Solidly medium bodied and creamy, with just enough carbonation to contribute without being distracting. This is a great mouthfeel for a DIPA or a barleywine, so no style confusion necessary here.

Drinkability: Easy 5. Manages to deliver huge flavors without taxing the palate or being difficult to continue drinking in any way; no heavy stickiness in the feel, no overwhelming alcohol burn, no clash of flavors or one note getting too intense.

When it comes to IPAs and DIPAs, I think I could name at least 10 excellent beers more successful at pulling off the style than this one. At the same time, this is the best 12oz bottle of American barleywine I've ever had, in the same league as my favorites like Old Ruffian.

If you think Lenny Bruce was a comedian who managed to be over the top without sacrificing quality in his material, this beer is a perfect tribute to him. Lenny's R.I.P.A. will definitely be joining the few beers put into my regular repeat-buy 4pack/6pack rotation, among Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, 90 Minute IPA, Great Divide Hibernation, and Stone IPA. Excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 05:55:18 | More by Pahn
Photo of tjsdomer2
tjsdomer2

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This had quite the foaming action. Looks like a lighter form of Guinness with more intense bubble action. Very distince red-brown that is pretty bright.

Smell: Strong pine hops, caramel, and clear notes of rye.

Taste/Mouthfeel: I gotta give perfect points of flavor. Is this a rye beer? Is this an IPA? Somehow it's both and yet...neither. It has the herbal fruitiness of a good rye without the cloying burnt bitterness that some have. It has clear earthy pine notes of an intense IPA, yet it is not too bitter or sour and does not overwhelm the malty rye notes. Mouthfeel is definitely substantial enough to hold the flavors, but is not to syrupy.

Overall Drinkability: This is not a gateway beer if you don't like anything with rye or anything bitter. It is by no means the most intense in either category, but I suggest tackling one flavor at a time first.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 05:31:30 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of B33R501
B33R501

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is beer. The first two were probably the best beers I've had this year. Subsequent bottles have not been quite as good, due to fading hop presence, same batch, only available at Beer Heaven Philly that I know of. Very much reminds me of Hop Rod Rye. Rarified company.

Pours dark amber. rust, beautiful. Huge rocky head, retention lace. Yea it's a looker. Smells fresh citrus orange and grapefruit, huge pine sap, rye bread, caramel and butterscotch malts. And thats what it tastes like, with a huge bone dry, bitter orange aftertaste that lingers forever. Thick rich butterscotch cake batter smell and taste really stand out. One of the most complex beers. Smoooth and incredibly satisfying, chewy and very sticky.

Why we drink beer. Definite candidate for "if you could drink one beer, and one beer only".

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 15:08:15 | More by B33R501
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan

Maryland

4.64/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A poker buddy gave me this one to try. Had it in a bottle so it was hard to judge the appearance but the smell and taste were outstanding. I was enjoying this beer very much and then I looked at the bottle and realized it was 10%. Wow, no way to see that. Extremely drinkable and tasty while packing a whallop. I will be looking for this beer to purchase, excellent.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 01:48:51 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of goschool
goschool

California

4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like the nice Jewish boy that I am, I went to temple for Rosh Hashanah, ate a bowl of matzo ball soup, and drank a bomber of He'Brew. I've been dying to try this ever since I read the press release. I really like He'Brew's special releases and this one's dedicated to Lenny Bruce, who was awesome before he reduced his act to reading documents from his trial.

The pour is fucking gorgeous. Dark ruby with a massive white head. There's so much rye malt, caraway, fruit, hops, and alcohol that this must be a barleywine. Only the sheer enormity of the bitter hops in this beer can surpass the massive rye bread flavors. Caramel, grape, cherry, and citrus notes are in the taste to, along with warming alcohol, keep this straddling the line between double IPA's and barleywines. The 10% isn't difficult to drink, but I definitely began to feel by the halfway point. L'Chiam!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2006 06:15:53 | More by goschool
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,550 ratings.