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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

1,731 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,731
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 94 | 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: 1,731 | Reviews: 849 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Philousa
2.45/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark copper, nearly brown, with 1.5 finger head. Roasted, toasty malt in the nose followed by some citrus and mostly earthy hop scent. Harsh, bitter, roasty malt flavor. Alcohol burn followed, lashing the tongue. The soapy aftertaste stays, bittering the back of your tongue. This beer was very carbonated, possibly to offset the high amount of malt.

This beer is harsh. I think I had it too cold/fresh and should have let it sit. I drank the last third at a warmer temp after a good handful of swirls and it was still very harsh. I've never had anything but a RIS on nitro, but this beer would probably be very good on a nitro tap to smooth out its character. This is a malty IPA, which is definitely not my style. Reminds me of 90 minute but with a whip in its hand, going after your tongue.

Philousa, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of ADZA
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange copper hue which leaves a two finger creamy head and heaps of clingy lacing everywhere,the smell is sticky piney resinous hops,boiled candy and caramel candy,the mouthfeel is medium bodied sticky and resinous and has tastes of sticky piney hops,sweet toffee,bitter grapefruit,candied oranges and finished with a nice of those piney hops that encountered through out the whole taste and overall a very nice DIPA that would buy again cheers.

ADZA, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of dgilks
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark copper colour with a creamy, dense, light tan head. Good head retention.

Sweet malt combines with some delicious piney hops and spicy rye. Mild grapefruit.

Massive malt with some chocolate and rye notes. Light coffee and maple syrup. Piney hops and tons of bitterness. Good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A really solid beer. For me this is a bit too malty but I can see what they were aiming for an it is none the less a tasty beer.

dgilks, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a viscous, glowing dark orange-caramel with a solid two-finger butter colored head of fine foam that has better retention than I've seen in a while. fades to a decent cap that deposits the expectedly resinous, webby lace down the glass.

aroma is enticingly intoxicating. caramel and malt up front, followed by floral, citrusy and tropical hop notes. some definite alcohol esters in the nose. smells like burning. and toasted caramel.

taste follows, with a rich, caramel, earthy backbone. the hops and the booze kind of blast the palette, obliterating the sweetness that my tongue knew was there for a split-second. resinous and boozy. like a pine tree soaked in everclear. with a touch of malt to hold it together.

mouth is luscious and vibrant. full bodied with ample soft carbonation that yields a creamy, surprisingly palatable texture despite the thick, almost syrupy front. lingering bitterness is clean, but potent.

all in all, not sure how I feel about this one. which is how i feel after every time i've tried it to date. I really want this to be great.. but just doesn't quite come together for me. a bit too much intensity on a few too many levels. kicking every slider up to 11 doesn't necessarily make the music better.

djeucalyptus, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. no bottling date.

immediatly off the pour i noticed the beer poured extremely thick, almost syrupy. a slightly cloudy deep reddish orange. lots of big carbonation bubbles slowly floating to the top. formed a very thick off white head with amazing retention and amazing thick, furry lace. the oddness of the large bubbles and syrupiness of the beer almost made me think...infection, but it still looks amazing in the glass.

a nice sense of balance in the aroma. mostly pine hops with some light grapefruit balanced by a candied caramel, bready malt. a little alcohol noticable and the slightest hint of darker fruits and rye grain.

again, nice balance. resinous pine sappy hops, maybe some light citrus notes balanced by candied caramel, bready malt. a touch of a rye taste and spiciness in the finish.

big, thick heavy body. a little bit syrupy. has a strange feel on the palate after each sip, really coats the whole mouth, that im not a huge fan of. good feeling carbonation.

wouldnt want more than one of these, but i would like to try the other BA variations and such. there is a little wierdness in the appearance and mouthfeel that reminded me exactly of a batch of infected homebrew, but the aroma and taste totally disproved that, no hint of wild yeast.

edit: the more i drank, the more i enjoyed it. very close to a barleywine. one of the thickest, oilest beers ive ever had.

dogfishandi, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear mahogany color with a cream colored one inch head with good retention and lacing.

Nose is full of Dark fruits, rich sweet malt, dark candy sugar. Grapes. Plums. No hop character nothing like a DIPA. Smells more like an old ale.

Dark malt and fruit. Dark candy sugar. Good play between hops and big malt character. Pineapple. Slightly bitter. I think it's overly sweet for the style and the very vague hop notes are just bitter and don't work in harmony with the other characteristics.

Viscous and slightly syrupy and creamy. Low carb. 

Overall I wish there was a bottle date because I Feel like this isn't as fresh as it should be. The malt character was overly sweet and the hop character overly bitter. I had a hard time throughout this beer deciding how much I liked or disliked it. I ended pouring out my last little bit because it just got more and more unpleasantly bitter.

MrVonzipper, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes: had on draft the 3P's

appearance: copper orange brown with a 1 finger head

smell: rye, spices, hops,

taste: rye bread, hops, very dry and bitter

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: hop bomb. holy cow was not expecting all that. pretty decent beer glad I got to try it.

Cheers,
The CPJ

THECPJ, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of haywire77
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured a murky/cloudy medium brown with ruby tones around the edge of the glass when held up to the light. 1 1/2" of solid light mocha colored head that gave way to a small cap in about 3-4 minutes. Very nice looking brew.

On the nose I get a lot of rye and prunes. Some bready malts are far in the background, and a touch of hops. Unique.

The taste is rather complex. Booze, and lots of it! Rye bread, caramel malt and a little bittering from the hops. The more of it I drink, the more balanced it becomes. But boy that booze...

Mouthfeel is a little sticky and slightly oily. Pretty medium to heavy body for the style.

Overall I really liked this beer. Definitely different than anything I have tried to date. The rye really helps balance out the booze hops and malts. I fear that without the rye, this would be a boozy mess.

haywire77, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of Rippeddisc
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short review.

Incredibly well balanced dipa. Appearance is standard IPA amber...thick head...not too much lacing on my sample. Biscuity with plenty of grapefruit, raisin bread, and hop kick. Big malty start with tremendous hop finish. Great mouthfeel...thick and lingering. Highly recommended.

Rippeddisc, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

MattyG85, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rich copper looking ale. The head is thick and tan and sticky as it fades back into the beer. It leaves sticky lacing and surfacs foam.

Aroma is thick sticky malts and candied sugar.
Hops are lite and linger towards the back. A slight rye spicyness and alcohol are also noted.

Taste is very malty with not much in way of hop presence. The malts have a candied taste like a dubbel or Beligum. The rye is spicy and sits in the background. The finish has a big boozey alcohol finish.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth and oily and creamy. A spicy bitter finish with some alcohol warming.

I'm not reaaly sure you can classify this beer in the DIPA catagory because it lacks any real hop presence in smell and taste.
Like others who reported previously this could fall more in line with a strong ale.
To me, there is alot of stuff going on here, it's very busy. And interesting.
The alcohol is well hidden and will definitely knock your socks off if your not careful.
A note to you youngsters watch it!

micromaniac129, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
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.

chodinheaven, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of TheBear11D
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 6 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a rusty copper to a deep red color with a thick head that leaves wonderful lacing with each sip.

The aroma is well balanced with caramel and rye on the malt side and lights berries and citrus on the hop side.

The flavor follows suit. The ABV is well hidden in the strong flavors presented in the malts and hops. The more this warms the beer shines. There really is nothing to be disappointed about in this beer. The malts greet the tongue and the hops crash the party while both blend well into the aftertaste.

The body is medium to full with great carbonation. This is thicker than anticipated given the high ABV.

Overall this is a wonderful IPA. For some reason the liquor store near me was selling this at a discounted price. Something I was not displeased about. I will certainly pay for another one of these and recommend you give this a try as well even if a DIPA is not one of your favorites.

TheBear11D, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Ungertaker
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
A- dark amber, one finger head that slowly fades into thick lacing
S- hops, grains, subtle spiciness and pine
T- hops, rye, malt, pepper, hops linger along with rye in aftertaste
M- thick for an IPA; carbonation stays throughout, making for an almost creamy feel
O- a wonderful beer. A spicy rye IPA with great body. 

Ungertaker, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of Tucquan
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-08-29 in Mattoon, IL and again on 2013-01-01 and 2013-05-28 in Columbia, PA

A - Cloudy, sunset orange with a one-finger, light tan head from an aggressive pour. Moderate lacing.

S - Mostly rye and rasin with some roasted malt and blood orange.

T - Rye spiciness and caramel malt quickly followed by lots of pine, herbal, grapefruit and hop oil resin. Sweetness returns with a touch of raisin in the rye/caramel but is gloriously subsumed once again by the drying, grassy and alcohol infused bitterness. Aftertaste lingers nicely. It's mostly bitterness but some sweet and spicy-peppery malt remains. Very nicely done.

M - Medium body and surprisingly medium carbonation. Big, creamy, resinous, prickly. Nice.

O - Gotta say that I really like this brew. The pine and zest bitterness are never outclassed by the tasty, roasted rye malt. A nice twist on the DIPA style. Had this side-by-side on 2013-05-28 with a Dogfish Head Burton Baton and this comes out ahead. It somewhat reminds me of a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot; a long-time favorite.

Tucquan, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of peensteen
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish amber colour, 2 fingers of dense off white head, some nice tight lace left behind. Smell is of sweet caramel-bready notes, some citrus and pine, more of a general citrus as opposed to certain fruits, rye malt, almost barley wine like. Taste is of sweet bready malt, rye, big bitterness throughout, pine with some orange like citrus notes, sweet in the finish, lots of citrus in the aftertaste. Lots of resin and oil, light slightly prickly carbonation, full body. Nice malty and bitter DIPA, very different stylistically for what this is (much like Lenny Bruce himself) ABV well masked in taste but you can feel this in your chest, solid stuff overall.

peensteen, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a golden brownish color with a fluffy white head on top. The smell of the beer is a quite hoppy, very hoppy actually. The spicy aroma of rye is also in there as well. It's has a good mix of aromas coming off this brew. The taste is hoppy and leaves a light spiciness on the tounge. The mouthfeel was pretty heavy in this beer. The brew was nicely carbonated and was pretty easy to drink in my opinion. Overall this beer was pretty impressive. I liked this one.

Knapp85, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A hazy orange/rust color with white head and lace.

S - A lot of alcohol and rye. In addition there is some sour/dark fruit aromas and hints of caramel.

T - The initial flavor that hits you is bitterness. The bitterness transitions into rye flavor and then into prunes and oranges. A little bit of Caramel/toffee finishes it up. After the sip, the bitterness still lingers.

M - Nice round, thick body with medium carbonation. This beer feels really good on the tongue.

O - Really solid brew. For the abv, this is fairly drinkable. The beer was enjoyable the whole way through and I would definitely drink it again. The rye aroma and flavor really add something to make this and tasty brew.

3HovsepiansBrews, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of scootpolute
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12FL OZ. bottle into pint-cone glass.

A - Pours dark-amber/brown, with a thick creamy/tan head...- some great lacing.

S - Hops and lots of malts- some citrus and spicy-rye tones...

T - Boom & Big! A great hop & malty kick at the top, followed by some citrus, then ending with a bit of pine-like spices...Pleasant & refreshing!!

M - Great carbonation! There's a good fullness. Present, but not 'too' much fruity/sweet flavors...The final pine/spice balances the beer out wonderfully!

O - This one is great!! I think what make this beer so good is the fine line of not over-doing 'it' in any particular area (hops, fruity-flavor, pine/spice, carbonation, and last but not least, alcohol level). VERY refreshing and will get again and...…Goin’ to look for a tap ASAP!!!

scootpolute, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of bboelens
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at WOB, poured into a snifter

A-Dark orange-red, a thin dark head that left decent lacing

S-Hops, malt, spice, and alcohol, exactly what I'm looking for in a big DIPA

T-Hops, yeast and some grapefruit flavoring are the first to hit my tongue, the light malty taste comes immediately after and its chased by a strong but not overly powerful or repulsive alcohol flavor.

M-A full bodied beer, but something was lacking, a little too light on the carbonation made it feel a bit slick sliding down the throat, it really didn't detract from the beer at all though

O-In all this is an excellent beer bursting with a complex flavor profile, rich nose and beautiful look. I would definitely pick up a bottle.

bboelens, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

this beer's 666th review. damn it!

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a clear, deep amber; sits a borderline mahogany tone with orange highlights. yields a finger beige head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves decent lacing.

nose is bold, offering a big dose of rye malt to accompany some muted citric hoppy notes... a bit bready... was expecting more hops, questioning the freshness here.

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

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

perrymarcus, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of cjacobsen
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

(M) Light to medium body. Oily.

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

cjacobsen, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of kjyost
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

UNDATED 355 mL Bottle purchased at Bridgeview Liquors in Moorhead, MN. Poured into a Duvel chalice.

A: Reddish brown and clear. Poured with a nice white head that dropped too quickly and is leaving no lacing.
S: Strong hoppy nose. Tropical fruit and grapefruit hops. Apple juice comes out later which I find offputting. Rye malt is noted and a very slight hint of alcohol.
T: Sadly the hop bomb nose doesn't match up here. Not sure if the bottle is older or not (DATE CODES??) but the body is well balanced with light citrus notes and an enjoyable bitterness that lingers but is not overpowering. Light sweetness is overcome by the bitterness. Clear 'spicy' flavours from the rye.
M: Thicker than usual without residual sweetnes. Well carbonated.
O: Rock solid, I just want more hops in a DIPA. I loved how well the 10% was hidden here, I just hope that this was an old bottle and there were meant to be more hop flavours stuffed into this bottle.

kjyost, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Mayor of Old Town, Ft. Collins, CO

Poured a slightly hazy copper with a nice white head that left some decent lacing on the glass. A good aroma of mixed hops, sweet malts, and tangy rye. Oh, and alcohol. Not too strong, but definitely noticeable. The malt makes a brief appearance, before an influx of piney hops and bitter citrus, with a good rye base...and I do love rye in my beer. Thick, resinous, on the heavy side of medium-bodied. A great drinkable IPA, just watch yourself with that ABV.

Rifugium, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A ruby orange, copper, and rust color with THICK, heavy floating pellets of sediment running up and down and side to side through the beer. The bottom of the glass is coated with huge globs of gunk--looks like I ordered the High Pulp version of this beer. Though I know floaties/bits of sediment are nothing to be alarmed at, this is an ungodly amount, and no matter how you slice it, this amount is going to be somewhat off-putting.
That being said, the color is beautiful, the head is thick, creamy, pillowy and decadent, and the lacing is top notch.

A strong and powerful, sweet, citrusy, syrupy, bready aroma with loads of caramel malt and a strong blast of spicy rye. This aroma does whatever you want it too, though it's heavy, thick, and pungent no matter how you slice it. The citrus hop aromas are certainly present but they're almost overshadowed by the gargantuan malt and rye left-hook-uppercut-combination. POW! This already seems far more like an American barleywine or American strong ale than it does any DIPA I've ever had.

The flavor follows the nose--this reminds me of a big, thick, hoppy barleywine (or strong ale) far more than it does any typical DIPA. The citrus hops and initial biting bitterness are front and center, followed by sweet, caramel malts, rye bread, and biting alcohol heat.

Thick, creamy, oily, and heavy mouthfeel. Not all too drinkable.

A strong, super hoppy, super malty, somewhat spicy and tangy ?DIPA? It's not one of my favorites--it seems all over the place--messy and unrefined, if you will. This doesn't particularly punch any of the buttons I want punched when I reach for a DIPA. It's too thick, menacing, and out of balance to be a great barleywine. To me, it's a strong ale--whatever the heck that means anyways. Bah, humbug.

ehammond1, Aug 12, 2011
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,731 ratings.