1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

1,551 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1551
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)
View: Beers (40) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,551 | Reviews: 835 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Stigs
Stigs

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10oz pour at Fat Heads, served in a mini-snifter

A - dark copper/amber beer holds up a small layer of thick and creamy light tan colored foam.

S - very sweet...citrus candies, honey, dark caramel. earthy and lightly grassy hops round out at the end.

T - strong caramel malts hoist up citrus (grapefruit, melon) hops. there seems to be a bit going on here although the flavors appear to be fighting over each other...rye isnt really noticeable at all.

M - thick body, rich and chewy from the sugary sweetness. carbonation fights its way through.

D - drinks more like a hoppy barleywine with a massive dose of sweet malts. even my girlfriend liked it. a forced sipper due to the sweetness and ABV. this one could hold up over some time.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2010 17:17:03 | More by Stigs
Photo of OneDropSoup
OneDropSoup

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Beer Nutz in O'Hara Township, PA.

Poured into a shaker pint: Deep amber with a half-finger of beige head, plenty of nucleation.

Smells of sweet caramel wrapped in piney, floral bitterness, very & strong & flowery indeed.

Taste is characterized by a sugar, almost cakey sweetness, bright lemon & grapefruit with a big woody/pineyy bitterness. Lots of citrus zest & pith. Wickedly bitter but with a solid backbone. Notable booze presence, dries out in middle & leaves that stripped, piney aftertaste.

Full-bodied, creamy & foamy, leaves my tastebuds worn out but not ravaged.

A good brew, but formidable -- between the hops & the alcohol I'm ready to throw in the towel halfway through. Enjoyable, but on the strong side for me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2010 20:49:26 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of 4000qtrap
4000qtrap

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: A wild IPA that's rough around the edges. Very unique combination!

Taste: Funky and interesting. Slightly sour carrots, raisins, ripe plum syrup, malted brown sugar, light sage, a funky 'spiciness' that clearly isn't real spice but something that could be described as maple spice perhaps. Super complex and interesting.

Taste: Sharp flavors up front...some 'spice', interesting herbal bitterness, and a bite that is loosely like rootbeer. In the middle the malts come out: just a touch of oil, a little maple - but like its straight from the tree. Reminiscent of taking an entire spice cabinet and soaking it in water for a day to funk it up a bit and then toasting it. Finish has a full body and is slightly bitter, toasty, faint apple, even a little creamy as it warms with pronounced grapeskin bitterness that becomes quite astringent as it lingers and is a bit unpleasant unfortunately knocking the grade down on my review on an otherwise quite nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2010 04:28:35 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of mullenite
mullenite

Florida

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy orange in color with a one finger white head and a lot of beautiful lacing. Somewhat poor head retention.

Smell is very strong with the dominant aroma being American citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit, orange and other tropical fruits in the aroma. The rye is very light and lingers in the background, not a dominant enough flavor, for me, to call this a rye beer by any means.

Taste is similar to the smell with out much rye but with a lot of hops. The bitterness is smooth and rounded with the only real rye flavor coming in the lingering taste after the finish.

Medium body beer with a nice cleansing carbonation for what is a very hoppy beer.

Overall this is a tasty beer with a lot of great hop flavors and a smooth bitterness. I would have probably rated it much higher if it had a more pronounced rye flavor, however.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2010 00:21:04 | More by mullenite
Photo of AgingWarrior
AgingWarrior

Florida

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Mellow Mushroom, Winter Park, Florida. Served in a pint glass, a translucent coppery brown color with some thin tan head. The head wasn't too thick, but it did provide some nice lacing.

Smells earthy, yet sweet with the hops in the backside of the scent. Love the way the brewer blends in the rye to provide a complex smell.

Nice full bodied brew, very creamy.

Tastes extremely smooth. Hard to believe this is a 10% abv brew. Virtually no alcohol taste. Nice malty backbone and big tasty hops finish.

One of the most drinkable "Big Beers" I've ever enjoyed.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2010 14:01:36 | More by AgingWarrior
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 biggmike
biggmike

Mississippi

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2010 23:40:44 | More by biggmike
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A huge surprise to find this on tap at Cole's

The beer arrives a hazy amber with a good head of off-white foam that slowly drops to a thick film and leaves lots of lacing behind. Intensely spicy nose, brings a neat sweet pepper aroma that has me thinking saison yeast were it not for the huge pine and citrus hops that indicate a good bitterness. The rye certainly dominates, though, and provides this double IPA with a lot of character. The flavour is intensely spicy, with that great rye heartiness that I love. Its got some breadiness and a huge dose of sweetness that would have been cloying were it not for the boatload of resiny hops that inject a bracing bitterness into every sip. Medium mouthfeel with a prickly carbonation.

An excellent IIPA - the rye gives it a great spicy character that helps it stand out from the crowd, and they certainly weren't shy of using a few hops in this one. I'd definitely have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2010 17:06:31 | More by bobsy
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque honey golden with a fine-bubbled yellowish beige head. Hoppy, lemony aroma is surprisingly sweet and has a hint of honey. Flavor is somewhat sweet and somewhat hop-bitter with a strong tone of citrus - equal parts lemon and orange - and a firm tone of honey, along with a sweet but not cloying undertone. Texture is silky smooth with some fizz and tingle.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2010 02:57:22 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD into a goblet at the appropriate temperature (01/02/10).

A: Pours an oily and hazy golden brown capped with a small amount of off-white foam with some staying power producing some excellent lacing.

S: Interesting smell dominated by rye malt and some piney hops with a few citrus tones mixed in.

T: First of all this is only my second rye DIPA and I'm trying to get into this style, but I'm having some difficulties. Rye malt again dominated the palate along with grassy hops and a slight citrus coming in at the end. Some caramel sweetness in there as well, but the rye is the centerpiece here.

M: Really nice creamy mouthfeel and quite full-bodied. For me this was the highlight of this beer.

D: For me the rye is just not a flavor that I am terribly found of at this time and one goblet was just fine for me. the 10% abv. was also slightly present limiting this.

Overall this is a style that I am rather unfamiliar with and will take some time getting use to. However, this seems like a very well-crafted beer and I would assume rye lovers would be quite pleased. Worth a Look.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2010 20:16:03 | More by Lunch
Photo of ImusBeer
ImusBeer

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as my second of the day. It was poured a Copper color and a bit hazy. The head was only around the rim but there was lots of lacing.

This is the first beer that I've really noticed the yeast aroma and the very heavy bread or biscuit smell.

The first thing I noticed was the hop, then the sweetness of malt & caramel. The bitter finish really made this a delight.

The mouthfeel is dominated by bitterness and then the bite of the alcohol, at 10% I expected this.

Couldn't drink it all the time but I would enjoy this occasionally.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2009 16:05:06 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of johannasclimacus
johannasclimacus

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured a dark brown/amber color with a small half inch layer of head on top.

The smell was hops and rye, and unsurprisingly, that was the taste as well. As it seems like some others have noted, there was a strange balance of sweet and bitter in this beer. I thought that the 10% was hidden exceptionally well. I didn't pick it up much alcohol flavor except maybe a little bit of a bite in the aftertaste.

Generally, my sips started malty, and the bitterness came on in the middle to finish it nice and crisp and with a unique bite afterwords. The rye is there but mostly in the background. I'd have to say that this is one of the more nuanced DIPAs I've had. When I ordered it, I assumed that it was an American IPA just like Hop Rod Rye. This one packs a little more punch and a different combination of flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2009 05:50:59 | More by johannasclimacus
Photo of ScarletLady
ScarletLady

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured a coppery amber color with a bit of less filtered haze. Little head. The bar was way hot which i think affected it.
S- hops, whiff of sweet from the malt & alcohol, just a hint of the rye, overall pretty good
T- wonderfully complex that got better as I sipped. sweet from the malt with the hint of spice from the rye that rolled right into the bitter finish. didn't really notice the alcohol level under the flavor
M- thicker in good way
D- definitely a sipper, with it's complex flavor I would gladly spend time with another pint. It is a palate killer so don't start with this one if you aren't going to stay with the same

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2009 17:40:06 | More by ScarletLady
Photo of Sanford
Sanford

Missouri

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Lenny's Bittersweet RIPA has been one of my favorite beers for quite a while. It feels like a privelage to be able to have it on tap. When it is poured it cascades upside down like an impatient Guiness, creating a thick, creamy, tan head. Below the foam, the body is a very appealing dark amber; and when held up to the light there are beautiful reddish/orange highlights. The lacing isn't great, but a nice ring of suds remains, and when I swirl the glass, the head reappears in strength. I really enjoy this beers nose. The aroma is spicy herbal earthy sweet with a touch of funk. I don't know which hops are used, but that funk reminds me of Simcoe. I taste sweet malt, spicy rye, and bitter earthy hops. The flavors work together in a twisting turning way, one leading to the next, and back around to the first. The finish is long and bitter. This is a big beer, with big flavors, but to me, they all work together very well. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth...unctuous (spe?), I love it. For me, the complexity and abv of the beer limit its drinkability, though I think the draft version is more drinkable than the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2009 23:57:38 | More by Sanford
Photo of youngblood
youngblood

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber with a very thick and steady head.
Smells sweet. Caramel, grapefruit, hints of cinnamon
The taste is pretty rockin. Nice bready/biscuity flavor from the rye, hops spice it all up a bit. Nice grapefruit after taste.
Feels a little sticky on the tongue, not quite as smooth as I would prefer.
Great drinkability especially for a %10

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2009 13:50:30 | More by youngblood
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured ontap into a snifter.

Nice orangish tone to it. Good amount of lace stickage.

Taste is a well balanced mix of semi sweet malt and a floral & fruity hop. There are layers of complexities. Caramel is there too. Not overly bitter, a bit of a medicinal and soothing character to it. Well done.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Drinks very easily. Liked this one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2009 17:52:26 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on tap @ hopleaf

served in a tulip

A: A deep reddish brown with a very thin head

S: Faint, almost non-existent. What is there is of spicy hops, but for a double IPA, the lack of aroma is surprising.

T: Opens with characteristic rye maltiness/spiciness. Finishes with hoppy bitterness.

D: kind of weak for a DIPA, but, none-the-less an easy drinker and not offensive. I don't think this a unique beer and found it somewhat generic in flavor. I'm at a loss to explain how the aroma could be so muted.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2009 01:34:28 | More by Florida9
Photo of soupyman10
soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a glass of this on tap at the Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown. Very solid beer, if not mind-blowing (and the first He'Brew I've had). Pour was mediocre, very weak head but a nice deep amber color. No lacing. Nose was nicely balanced, with some solid citrus and grapefruit. Flavor is similar - solid mix of fruity citrus and caramel. Light alcohol. Body's fine, with good carbonation. Besides the mediocre appearance, this is a nice brew with a great flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2009 00:46:43 | More by soupyman10
Photo of PrinceDarren
PrinceDarren

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I tried this at Lunar last night.

It was served in a snifter with a thin head. Nice aroma and started off very nice. After half-way, the sweetness started to build and it became harder to finish.

In all, a complex and enjoyable Imperial IPA but quickly fades.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2009 03:52:35 | More by PrinceDarren
Photo of DontCallMeSurly
DontCallMeSurly

Wisconsin

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!

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2008 02:54:03 | More by DontCallMeSurly
Photo of djspe
djspe

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Upon the first few sips, I was quite impressed. It's rich and complex while packing a real punch. This is high on hops and spice. However a few more gulps and the beer takes on a heavy syrupy feel. I could not finish my poor. It's a bit much. Good for a sample, but not recommended even in the 12 oz Belgian pour.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2008 02:25:01 | More by djspe
Photo of Rsobotka
Rsobotka

New York

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is an amzazing beer...unfortunately as your enjoying it, you fear that its taking you down a creepy road towards an unreturnable drunken misfortune.
Appearance: Reddish, with a slight head....chococately on top with a reddish tint shadowing through.
Smell: like a sweet cherry field.. with a nice bitter jump in a pond.
Taste: Incredible: exactly how the name implies: sweet and silky with a brandy bitter finish.
M- A little like a hard brandy....cool yet harsh
Drinka bil...i kept sipping this beer fearing something that never came...i thought the aftertaste was going to remind me of a Remy Martin x-mas gift...but it didnt...i probably could have drank 10 of these trying to figure out its concoction, but my wife kept reminding of its 10% alcohol content.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2008 00:39:45 | More by Rsobotka
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sample at Barley's Smokehouse. The beer is a dark amber-brown color with a medium and frothy light beige head that has good retention. Sheets of lacing on the glass. The aroma is an odd mishmash of pungent malt, whiskey, and piney hops. Rich, syrupy body with flavors of tart fruit, liqueur, toasted malt and dry hops. The finish is dry with fruity a cough medicine and rye aftertaste. Maybe I am not appreciating what they tried to do here but the beer seems to be lacking cohesiveness.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2008 22:47:31 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of sleazo
sleazo

New York

2.6/5  rDev -36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a medium chestnut brown with hints of red intersperced throughout. A very pillowy head leaves tons of lace and has good staying power

S_sweet caramel malt. Where are the bloody hops?

T_more one note caramel sweetness from the malt. The hops are virtually non existant. A very mild bitterness comes out in the aftertaste. Levels of alcohol heat increase as it warms. Where is the rye?

M_mildly syrupy with a very low level carbonation

D_very malty but there is no hop bitterness or defining characteristics. I had been reluctant to try a beer from such a schmaltzy brewery but figured I would give it a shot since its brewed in NY. However I was right, the whole thing is a gimmick.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2007 03:03:36 | More by sleazo
Photo of blakesell
blakesell

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on He'brew night with Jeremy Cowan at the Trolley Stop into a traditional pint glass.

Appearance- Red with a grand head of carbonated goodness. Thick lacing coats the glass.

Smell- Amarillo sticky sweet grapefruit hoppiness, oranges, and light malts.

Taste- Malt upfront with hops quickly bringing up the rear. Hops wallop the palate and urge the need for a glass of water to accompany.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and effervescent, well carbonated with a medium full body.

Drinkability- Very high drinkability on this elixer. High warming alcohol that I wasn't told about until after I finished. But I have the distinct feeling that I could drink many and not be too drunk.

Great job on this one He'brew!

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2007 01:27:59 | More by blakesell
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,551 ratings.