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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.

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

1,743 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,743
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 104 | 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:
A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).

(Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,743 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev -1.5%

mynie, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of Paincane
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby amber body with a pretty tan head, good lace and nice head retention.
S: Rye, grain & caramel malty aromas.
T: Malt forward front end. A melange of hops finish dry, clean and bitter.
M: A very well-balanced brew that is equal parts malt and hops and as a result is bittersweet.
O: A thoroughly enjoyable Multi-faceted complex yet cohesive brew.

Paincane, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of stella77artois
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap. This beer is advertised with the phrase "an insane amount of malt and hops." Uh yeah, that's certainly true. This is a very, very strong tasting beer. And the first Rye IPA I've ever tried.

A - Pours straight brown. Not a lot of orange or red, a fairly unique looking beer. Medium sized white head, which dissipated slowly. Very little residual noted.

S - As advertised, lot's of malt and hops. Malt more noticeable. Some grapefruity hop aromas, and a slight hint of alcohol.

T - This is one of the strongest tasting beers I've ever had. The huge amount of malt and hops are noticeable, as is a very slight rye flavor. Not much else. Tastes very, very good. Problem is, it's so strong (not the alcohol, either) that it can be very slightly unpleasant if drank too fast. Very good tasting though, not taking anything away from that.

F - A very dry, tart finish. As with the taste itself, it's strong!

O - A very powerful and tasty beer. NOT for the faint of heart! Can be tough to drink to some I'd imagine, but I'd certainly recommend this beer for any DIPA fans, rye beer fans, or extreme beer fans.

stella77artois, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of thecheapies
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rusty amber color with a dark red-orange glow. Head sits with coarse composition. Lots of haze.

Sweet caramel meets spicy rye and a heap of pine and pithy citrus hops. Huge malt base comes off like a barleywine. Notes of treacle blend with a hint of papery oxidation.

Might be just a snag past its due date, but it's still a punchy rye DIPA with a bruising hop attack and middle and latent spiciness. Great Simcoe/Amarillo bite with piquant pine, pith, and dank citrus. Rye malts loom large with a sandy spice and depth. Alcohol is also sweet and covered up remarkably.

Oily mouthfeel with a buzzing carbonation. Spicy on the tongue with great weight.

thecheapies, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of alaimoa
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden brown with limited head but leaves white lacing all down the glass. Has a sweet malty smell. I wasn't expecting as much sweetness as I got in the initial taste that had caramel maltiness with a hop backbone. Definitely not a hop-bomb and a nice scotchy after-taste. It has more of a scotch ale taste to it with a medium body.
Overall delicious.

alaimoa, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of tastybeer
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woody brown color with ruby highlights and nice beige creamy looking head. Nice retention and spotty lace. Aroma has big malts, with all sorts of other smells. Dark fruits hidden in there with many yeast smells and some mystery hops. Taste is certainly intense. Big malts carry through with a huge pile of hops delivering a variety of delightful flavors and a big bitter kick in your face. The alcohol is occasionally noticeable in all the beery goodness but it is 10%. Rather thick body and heavy creamy, but carbonated mouth feel. A little resiny graininess sneeks through. Drinkablity is good for what this is.

Good to have. Better to have slowely.

tastybeer, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a nice off-white head with pretty decent retention that leaves a nice ring of lace around the edge of the glass. The aroma is malt, caramel and a nice dose of piney hops. The taste starts out with a smooth maltiness, that is quickly interrupted by the piney hops that take over the finish and make their presence felt long after the first sip. Overall, this is another solid DIPA that is filled with a delicious hop profile and a solid malt backbone. Recommended.

cjgator3, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of silver0rlead
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to see this one show up in NC, was wondering if we'd see any he'brew special releases. A vigorous pour yields a nice amber color with a mammoth tan head that retains very well. The aroma is somewhat subdued, with a nice piney and citrus hops character upfront, along with a rye sourness, some bready and caramel malt, and fruity esters. The flavor is initially what you would expect from a DIPA, an intense piney and citrus hop blast, but that profile diminishes quickly and leaves a sour rye character, along with some sweet bread malt, fruity esters, and a warming alcohol presence. The finish is dry and slightly sour, and drinkability is pretty good as the alcohol is well concealed. An interesting beer for sure, definately not your typical DIPA, the rye adds another dimension but the hop profile was lacking in complexity compared to Hercules or Maharaja.

silver0rlead, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of Jaycase
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: dark caramel.

s: malty and sweet. Tiny bit of caramel. Can smell the alcohol as well

t: a nice balance of malts and piney hops. A nice bitterness to it.

m: medium to full body. medium carbonation. finishes a bit dry

o: Certainly an interesting spin on a DIPA. Don't think I could have more than one of these in a sitting. A solid beer though. Definitely recommend trying this if you are looking for a different angle on a DIPA.

Jaycase, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of DontCallMeSurly
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a Berkshire Pint glass.

I'm not sure if this is typical of the style but this beast pours a dark reddish color which reminds me of iced tea. Even with an aggressive pour, initially there is very little head that materializes on the pour. I wait a few seconds and sure enough a very frothy, very dense milk-colored head appears and recedes almost within a blink of an eye. Upon first sniff there is a wonderful aroma of grapefruit citrus, however, after a few minutes the hop smell retreats into the background and a very sweet aroma of toffee flavor emerges. The first sip of this beer greets me with an extremely sharp bitterness, which kind of surprised me, although not in a bad way. It was more like an in-your-face kind of a way. Anyways, after the initial bitterness there is a really sweet buttery flavor which gives way back to a sweet malt backbone. I'm not sure of the alcohol content, but it's very evident and kind of hot. It finishes kind of resiny but overpowering in any way. The mouthfeel is pretty oily, which in my mind make it an extremely drinkable beer!

DontCallMeSurly, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of franksnbeans
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a very deep copper with 2 fingers of long lasting creamy head. Sheets of lacing occur. Looks like a big daddy DIPA. Smells like rye malt, fig, and a hoppy backbone. Loving the rye malt. Im starting to grow fond of these Rye IPAs. Very balanced, you get all the piney hops you could ask for but the expected balance from the rye malt is nice. Full in the mouth, nice carbonation. A big beer. Slightly under a sipper and very tasty.

franksnbeans, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of mntlover
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as deep rich copper color, clear with a huge tan head. No aggressive pour needed to get a head on this baby, easy pour big head huge gobs of lace everywhere.

Aroma is good lots of deep rich malt caramel mingled with west coast hops, sticky pine and fruity citrus. An underlying sweetness ever present.

Taste is good. Big malt background lots of hops citrus fruit flavors with a good pine needle presence and lingering pine resin bitterness. Some light sour flavors peak thru from time to time from the rye, but over all the rye is under it all.

Mouthfeel is a big medium nice chewy feel loads of malt body aided from rye addition. Even though a huge head forms easy carbonation is on the mellow side.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable I2PA that needs to be brewed again.

mntlover, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of ReDave
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A small man with a thick Scottish brogue was chattering on about something as he was unloading some stacks of beer.... then i saw it! He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.. well mostly the Hebrew then bitterswsdkfj i ran over to the guy trying to to knock him down. Whoa can this be???? I YELLED at my drinking partner in crime! Hebrew RIPA!!!
OK so i was a little excited....
So, my anticipation was a little high!
Pours a very dark brownish RED little amber. Huge HUGE head! Not nearly as dark head as others hvae mentioned, mostly dark cream, but huge... if poured right, it's almost cask conditioned! Well, not really but nice!
[BTW the bottle was really sticky, either they had a broken bottle somewhere down the line... and since i took the bottle from the box i ripped open from the [[obscure "vendor"] Scottish guy, it was not from this batch]
Aroma: mostly malt, little hoppy very sweet.
First sip man I'm bummed, not was i was anticipating!
Second sip, well OK a little better.
3rd sip, OK hop back end blast.
This is a good DIPA! Very pleased after all! One of the better balanced DIPA's

ReDave, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of foogerd
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A dark clear copper body, with massive head that leaves an insane amount of lacing.

S- Sweet spicy rye, tabacco leaf, some herbal medicinal qualities as well.

T- A nice unique twist on the DIPA category, instead of churning out a DIPA which everyone else has done Hewbrew took it a step further with rye malt. The rye really manages to bring out the abundunce of hops and showcase them in a way I've never experienced, it manages to cloy out a spice quality and melds perfectly.

M- Nice slick oily feel.

O- I enjoyed this offering from Hebrew, pick it up if you see it around.

foogerd, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of bruachan
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i love hops and i love rye. the bottle says it has both inside. so i opened it

it's real dark, but with that much malt involved (enough to produce 10% alc) i guess that's inevitable. it's a deep ambery garnet. the head is nice

the aroma is more room-filling and monistically ever-present than that of any beer i've ever experienced. the beer is sitting a yard away right now and it might as well be in my damn nose. immensely malty an hoppy simultaneously¬ógreat balance. the character of the malt is so complex that it makes me think of a quad. the piney hops fit seamlessly in, and the rye is evident

BIG flavors. thick, creamy yet piercing with the hops and rye spice. deee-lish. this is my first He'brew, but count me in

bruachan, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of Buebie
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a mug...yep a mug.

I like the lable tribute, very nice.
Poured a deep copper with red hues. Not much carbonation rise, misleading. The head is super thick and heavy, with a good 2 fingers of it. Its frothy, like root beer float foam. Color is egge shell white, without the bleach. Big sticky chunks of lace the the walls of the glass.

Aroma is very hoppy, with pine and citrus. A mild scent of alcahol, some spicie notes, bread, fruity sweetness, caramel.

Upfront its smooth and creamy with some carbonation. Hops dominate the front end of the taste, with grapefruit, and pine.
Then some mild alcahol warming comes into play with a bit of a peppercorn flavor.
As I swallow a spice and herbed pumpernickle/ rye flavor comes around.
A mild metalic water flavor, more hops, toffee, a wisp of chocolate and more sweet citrussy juices.
Finish is dry with a bitter hop linger.

This is one complicated, but amazing brew. Alot going on, but never over burdoning my pallet.

Buebie, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of Beerzebub
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Red color, mounds of beige head that don't drop much. Lacing like slices of sticky cheese.

Smells like fruity, spicy Belgianish esters, sweet brown bread like Christmas pudding, piney and citrusy hops, touch of alcohol.

Quite sweet, malty. Bitterness hits after a second or two. Resinous hop flavor. Somewhat spicy and herbacious; with the bitterness and alcohol too, vaguely reminiscent of sweet vermouth. Finishes a little drier, with sticky fruitiness and alcohol.

Really soft and creamy, then sticky. The sweetness and the alcohol limit the drinkability. Good big beer, worth a try.

Beerzebub, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of ATPete
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, great move to the smaller sized bottle.

Lenny's pours a deep brown/orange color with a large and strong tan head. Bright hops sit below a large malt aroma in the nose. This is a malt forward DIPA, the rye is able to shine better this way, however it goes without saying that this is one hoppy brew. Spicy, fruity hops mesh wonderfully with the rather complex malty backbone. Great complexity, creamy texture in the mouth, lighter carbonation and very well balanced. The 10% ABV is very well hidden, very good drinkability for its size. Cheers to Shmaltz for bringing this one out year round and now in 4pks!

ATPete, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Wildman
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark red clear amber color and formed a huge off white foamy head that left latticed lace as it slowly subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops, caramel and a hint of pepper. The flavor was of malt, hops, caramel and hint of rye and some spices. The body was medium and the finish was bittersweet. A good beer, but as a DIPA, hops need to be stronger in the aroma and flavor than they are in this beer.

Wildman, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of Fellysmarts
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into an IPA glass. It had about a 1 inch creamy foam head that lasted about 5 minutes. The color. The beer was a wonderful deep amber orange. Fantastic color.
S - Fruit, malt, caramel, rye, spice, maybe even a little pine. The fruit smell lies somewhere between lemon and grapefruit and pineapple.
T - This is where the whole thing changes. At first taste I thought this was going to be the second beer I've dumped (on purpose) in my 20 years of drinking beer (legally). I'm actually very glad I didn't. This beer is a perfect balance of a good IPA and a good barley wine. The hops kind of jump off your tongue while the sweetness brings it back around. The further I got into this glass, the more I loved it.
M - Thick sweet hoppiness that lives up to the bittersweet name.
O - I have a couple more of these thanks to a variety pack and that makes me smile. This is a good beer. I had a great time drinking it and I look forward to the next glass of it.

Fellysmarts, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of Foxman
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a deep, clear amber, even almost ruby. Three fingers of pithy light tan head swell and sustain some time. Cascades of sticky lacing spill down the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings malt first and foremost, with raisins, caramel, vanilla, and a sweet, dusky earthiness. A passage of pine hops opens a bit, before alcohol splases in.

Upon tasting, there's malt, malt, and more malt, with caramel leading the march, followed by a vinous port touch and baked bread. A drier rye grain presence dips to a River Jordan of alcohol with a unique Scotch character. A hint of evergreen hops in, but is more sensed as bitter than actually tasted. The bitterness ramps up in the finish, lingering very dry and almost puckering, a marked 180 from the previous sweetness. It's muscular, with a monster malt profile.

Full bodied, it lays thick and sweet on the palate, though not truly cloying. A glow of hops dares to peek through.

It's just unique enough to be a fitting tribute to the late, great Lenny Bruce. Contrary to the label, there's nothing obscene here, but it does entail a mondo kick with all that grain and a beefy ABV. Still, it's well worth finishing the bottle. So, hey, here's to you Lenny.

Foxman, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of jordoo
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poored into a pint glass.

Nice copper clored brew with amber highlights and a large sticky ivory head with some serious retention and very impressive lacing. Nice presentation on the bottle as well. Well the first thing that hits your nose is the hops right? no. Surprisingly its the malts, rye and crystal I beleive and there are alot of them overpowering the hops IMO, but still there is floral, grassy and piney smells sneaking by the well malted nose with some citrus rind as well. As in the nose its a huge sweet malt flavor up front then some spicey rye and alcohol come in with a sour grapefruit rind type of flavor. Also can pick out a little grassy and piney hop. Good mouth feel thick but not chewy while the hop oils leave an excellent slick behind letting you apreciate some of the huge hop bill of this beer that is overshadowed by the malts. Drinkability was very good and overall I really loved this beer although for an IIPA it seems to be tilted too much to the malt side than the hop side.

jordoo, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a bountiful head that would make ol' Lenny utter a four letter word; lacing all over the place and even after the passage of time, the head remains intact

Smell: Spry hoppy aromatics with tremendous malt complexity from the rye; lots of alcohol and plenty of piney hop resins; ultimately, it's all about the pine

Taste: The bitterness jumps all over the huge caramel malt base from the get-go, although the malt makes a determined effort to keep up, mid-palate, there is plenty of fruity flavor ranging from brandied cherries to pith and pine; the finish gets extremely bitter with some sour rye elements and a lot of alcohol

Mouthfeel: Thick and sticky with plenty of carbonation and warming alcohol

Drinkability: This is one powerful beer but its virtues limit its drinkability

brentk56, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of soze47
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single 12 oz. bottle a week ago. I've had RIPA on Rye, so I'm looking forward at trying out a base beer. To my amazement, I think a lot of the robust nature of the RIPA on Rye comes from the base beer, not the Rye barrels it is aged inside of.

Appearance: Very pretty and active beer. I almost over poured this one. Nice tan head of 2+ fingers floated about a deep amber/brown body. The lacing on this glass sticks like that window spray snow you see around the holidays.

Aroma: Mix of orange and pine needles right away, but also a complex level sugar cookie maltiness too. Very nice scent here. I get the hop nose right off the bat, but this also has the smell of a malt bomb.

Taste: Malt-forward caramel doughiness at first, but then I get the rye malt to temper it quickly. After the swallow, more layers of complexity develop in the aftertaste. First, I get pineapple sweetness that is quickly anchored by a piney hop residue. The boozy heat develops the flavor. At 10% ABV, this one opens up quite a bit and has more fruity notes and less bitterness as you drink.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and sharp all at once. It pokes your palette like an aged cheddar, but melds into a creamy/smooth feeling flavor development/progression. Oily for sure, but that becomes an asset as this heats up from the booze. At first it is a bit cloying, but you are glad the beer clings as much as it does once it opens up.

Drinkability: I'm glad I don't have a whole 22 oz. to go through by myself. 12 oz was a perfect personal pour, but this should be drank as a Barleywine or liqueur, not a DIPA.

Overall: I liked this beer very much. Very robust and complex. Not one I'll pick up a lot of just because of how big it is in booze and flavor, but I can definitely see this one as a winter warmer in the next few months.

soze47, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a tulip glass the beer was a bright ruby red color with two solid fingers of white head. Carbonation streamed up from the bottom of the glass and thick lacing the whole way down one side of the glass.

The nose is a fresh hop aroma and a toasted grain. Very piney and some citrus coming thru as well. The nose smells sharp and the hop aroma is very prominant throughout. Some traces of alcohol, but this seems subdued in the aroma.

The taste delivers quite a bit of alcohol upfront. A steady heat hit the palate and lets its strength be known. Surprisingly a toasted malt flavors hits next and is semi-sweet with caramel like flavors. This quickly gives way to the hops intimated in the nose. A blast of hop flavor grabs the back of the tounge and linger on the palate for a while. Very piney and sharp the bitterness intensifies as the sample progresses. The hop bite in sharp on the palate, very fresh and at times really pushes the balance to the outer limit of enjoyability. If not for its steady malt presence, the beer would very much lack balance. The fresh hoppyness gradually mellos as the sample progresses, but associatied bitterness seems to remain and coat the palate with a bitter film. Despite its moments of super hoppy pockets, the beer remains balanced and "west coast" barley wine-ish.

Medium heavy mouthfeel. Malt character tends to lend some depth to the beer and makes it slightly chewy especially as it warms. Alcohol is present throughout.

A very nice cold weather sipper. Balance retains well enough to be enjoyed over time, but the beer seemed to have pockets where hop flavors screamed out. All in all, an enjoyable offering.

Sycodrummer, Nov 07, 2006
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,743 ratings.