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

Not Rated.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

879 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 879
Hads: 1,921
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 83
Gots: 196 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006

A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. Alström Bros
Reviews: 879 | Hads: 1,921
Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color, almost brown with an off white head that trails the glass as you drink. Smells of rye bread with citrus and pine, very enticing. The taste was great with mellow bread and rye flavors mixing with the bitter hops and an exceptionally clean finish. Was super happy I found one of my favorites.

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Photo of MattR2014
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had in 12oz bottle. The rye and hops mask this 10% monster and the rye is prominent in smell and taste. I like a lot and would love to have on draft. A little too rye for me but that's what the style calls for. It lives up to its rating.

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Photo of GregJ
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish amber. Smells of rye, spicy pine and citrus/floral. Tastes of rye (heavy), pine resin, citrus and bready malts. Medium body and carbonation, pine resin and citrus aftertaste. An old favorite of mine.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copppercolored beer with a thin, beige head.
F*ck! I've got such a cold! I've having a hard time to sense anything with my nose... Anyway -

Nose: Dried fruit, rye whiskey, carmel, citrus and pine.
Taste: Full, sweeet taste of caramel malt. Orange, pine and rye.
Body: Medium, smooth body with soft carbonation. Sweet finish that ends wwith a great bitterness.

Great breer! I would love to try this witout a cold!

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Photo of HopticalDeployment
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is right off the bat a stunner...

Quality brew. Good body, excellent finish and residual finish. 10% is much appreciated with no negative Esther.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Can't find any dates on the bottle, but this beer seems a little stale to me. No hops present in the nose. Some sweetness. Taste is a little sticky and thick. Pretty well balanced between malt and hops. Not much lingering bitterness at all. Very nice buttery mouthfeel. Overall my review is somewhat reserved because I think it may be older shelf life. Its an ok double but really missing any of the great hop notes I look for in my IPAs these days.

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Photo of ThomasT
4.85/5  rDev +20%

Appearance: Deep, slightly cloudy amber colour. Head is creamy and lingers around for a surprising amount of time with some lacing.
Smell: Caramel, citrus, and pine are most prominent, with hints of chocolate and almonds.
Taste: Sweet grapefruit, orange, caramel, and chocolate are all present in the front and middle in equal measures. A dry, spicy rye and a healthy pine punch is present in the back, with roastiness, salt, almond, and hazelnut lingering afterwards. Medium-bodied, with no alcohol burn or cloying quality to speak of and moderate carbonation.
Overall: An excellent, interesting, and well-balanced beer. The only possible complaint I could have is that the rye tends to leave just slightly too strong a tone in the back.

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Photo of BWED
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip

A- Deep amber, red-orange hues. Tan head is one finger, and speckles of lacing line the glass.

S- Piney hop aroma. Faint citrus. Malt is sweet. Caramel. Rye spice.

T- There are a lot of flavors that come out in this one. First is a bite of the spicy, crisp rye, then some piney hops, earthy. The finishing taste is a little sweet, caramel and fruit.

M- Really crisp, and the body isn't so full, like most double IPA's. Smooth and a bit chewy, but goes down quick. The finish has a sweetness, followed by a long dry and bitter finale.

O- This is very powerful and in-your-face. All those hops, all that rye, and enough malt to keep you from losing your head. Very big beer.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

A terrific beer. This is my go to beer in the winter time. It warms you up on the inside. Seems more like a hign ABV brown ale or barleywine but really enjoyable. Definetly my favorite Shmaltz brew.

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Photo of ANiklaus
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a glass. Appearance is solid with a golden amber color. The smell will give the drinker a nosefull of malt with a slight hint of honey and caramel. The taste is incredibly difficult to beat with the rye infusion. The sensation of the caramel comes through with the initial taste as well with a delayed aftertaste. This is an incredibly flavorful beer that can only be beat by He'Brew's R.I.P.A on Rye which is much more difficult to find on shelves.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

He'brew's Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., Rye Double IPA. 10% ABV.

A: Just over a finger of head. Nice, clear red-amber. Clear-y yellow in the dimple. Decent strand of lacing.

S: Hoppiness, reminiscent of pine sap, is noticeable immediately. Very slight lime citrus note. I'm not getting any malt aromas.

T/MF: Thankfully, hops are not quite so abundant on the palate, though they are certainly there! Again, pine. Heavy caramelized sap balances a bit. Lime peel. Dark rye flavors.

Still not my kind of beer, but better than quite a few IPAs I've tried, and certainly better than Sierra Nevada's RIPA.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

good stuff here, for sure. Cream soda and white lemon cake in the nose, with a whole lot of rhy and breadiness. Ok lacing and head on a copper body.

The taste is the definition of what it says on the body, "bittersweet." Nice spicy hops, a whole lot of them with toasted malt. Then we have this undertone and aftertaste of sweet prune juice and rhy bread.

Unique beer, this one. I'd get it again. Very drinkable for the ABV as well.

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Photo of slym
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one interesting IPA - nothing hidden, no "notes" or anything, just an in-your-face rye IIPA.

This brew uses 8 kinds of malts and 8 kinds of hops, and it all works together without anything overpowering anything else. The rye adds a great spicyness, and I'd never guess this was a 10% ABV brew.

Just try it! Not your everyday IPA, but something kind of special, I'll even admit.


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Photo of Fellysmarts
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Paincane
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of thecheapies
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of sevreng
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Atlas Bottle Works in Pittsburgh, PA on 6/27/14. Poured into globe glass.

A - Bright. Copper-red color. Minimal head on pour, dissipating slowly.

S - Pineapple and grapefruit dominate the nose, softened by a little maltiness.

T - Citrus hops and malts fight for attention upfront, so well balanced that it is hard to see where the hops end and the malts begin. Dries out very nicely for a double IPA, without becoming overly bitter. Well done.

M - Full yet crisp without getting sticky like a lot of double IPAs. Very nice.

O - The best Rye IPA I've had recently, this is a great all around IPA. Would like to try it on tap or a little fresher.

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Photo of Cory_Brown
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- dark bronze hazy color with about an inch of light tan creamy head.
S- the smell is very pleasant. Hops are blended into a sweet rye smell. A little spice is detected as well. Cannot wait to taste this.
T- not as pleasant as the smell. A little too sweet but still very tasty. The rye flavor is too sweet for my palate but I can see why many would love this one. It is exactly what the label implies, a bittersweet rye IPA. Interesting
M- medium carbonation and the hops jump off the tongue
O- this is definitely a solid beer, just not my favorite style. I would recommend for any hop head to give it a try.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased as a single from Zyn wine merchant in Calgary and poured into a tulip glass. I had to Google the malt and hop bill for this one and the recipe is pretty complex across the board, some interesting choices and can I just mention that I continue to enjoy this brewery's labels and just basically their whole schtick? Ahem. This is a formidably dark DIPA, an orange-brown with perhaps an inch or so of creamy, milkshake-like tan head. Looks like a mammoth and sure enough, this one is deep, rich, sweet, spicy, and perhaps above all bitter. The nose conveys dark caramel malts, an almost roasted peppery rye spice, candied citrus (orange and lemon?), and sweet dank pineapple. Overall effect is almost like pomegranate molasses (if you are familiar) spiked with herbal tincture and peppercorns. And the palate? Well, I will start by saying that some of the reviews below are not hyperbole. This really is a world-class rye DIPA that can hang with the Cali "big guns". The malts come off a bit donut-like, with tons of treacle toffee and a cotton candy type sweetness that somehow manages to ride the dark wave. Obviously one is going to taste considerable hop flavor and there's a cornucopia of fruit and spice notes: Orange liqueur, pineapple and a more generic musty tropical vibe, candied lemon, grapefruit, and some pine plus black pepper for days and days. The rye is probably exerting a significant effect here as well. Thick body with a correspondingly protruding chewy mouthfeel. The finish is intensely bitter and spicy despite the malts and no one should accuse this brew of being too sweet. Masterfully executed example of a rye-based beer and packing some serious firepower, yet remains mysteriously drinkable, with the ABV detectable only via a lingering warmth.

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Photo of Oliver_Twist
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer!

Slightly "thick", nice citrus hop balance and some added rye spiciness. This is a smooth, delicious beer! This one of my "top 5" beers.

If I were to be stranded in the mountains for any amount of time and I had to select one of 5 beers to keep me company, I would have to select RIPA! This is in the Sculpin and Pliny category.

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Photo of 57md
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like the concept of brewing a beer in honor of a person not necessarily affiliated with beer. An edgy comedian like Lenny Bruce who was decades ahead of his time is a great choice for such an honor.

Pours a deep clear copper with a finger of head. The nose is lightly hoppy, but also possessed a dank quality that was not so pleasant. The rye notes are certainly present in the flavor profile, but they do not stand out. The finish is bitter, but not overly so. There is also an odd floral aftertaste on the tongue.

I really wanted to like this offering. I did to a certain extent, but it is a bit too quirky to be considered exceptional.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this because it's almost Passover and although I'm not Jewish I figured I'd support a great brewing company and also a comedy legend.

Lenny Bruce on the Steve Allen Show


Bottle to snifter glass

A- Deep clear amber. A good amount of tan colored head that laces as you drink.

S- Carmel and that wonderfully spicy rye smell.

T- Carmel and rye followed by a motley of bitter hop textures.

M- Sweet and then bitter with a spicy hit of alcohol. It lingers on the sides of the tongue for a good while.

O- This beer is a little all over the place but as a whole it's a good rye IPA.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, citrus rind, floral, grass, rye, caramel, toast, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity of citrus/earthy hops and moderate caramel/rye malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, rye, caramel, toast, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, caramel, rye, toast, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity of big citrus/earthy hops with a good amount of malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and moderately slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity of bright citrus/earthy hop and nicely balanced malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SavvyStudent
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: More red malt color and some lacing
S: not too much on the nose but you can tell that there is something in addition to this IPA.
T: the standard pine and citrus hop profile with a sweet malt backbone that keeps this one a little mellow.
M: Medium
O: Good beer for its style but personally would rather have a founders RIPA. since I tried with a whole bunch of other IPAs in a flight it skewed my palate a bit. I did enjoy and think it is worth a try but was hoping for more based off of the BA score.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.