1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

1,720 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,720
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 74
Gots: 92 | 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: 1,720 | Reviews: 849 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warmstorage
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

22 ounce bottle, part of their 10% series.

Pours deep red amber, with a big loose head, leaves serious lacing.

Aroma: sweet alcohol and moderate to heavy hops.

Taste: Bourbon cask wood, warm alcohol, moderate to moderately high hops, finishes with notes of vanilla and barrel, hops not as high as the bottle claims. Nice as it warms up, and the sweet alcohol warmth and fruitiness takes over.

Mouth is warm and moderately slick.

A great beer, just not amazing in any category. Certainly vastly better than their basic, non-big offerings.

warmstorage, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of Cwrw
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%

Available in Alberta now in the 650 ml bottle. The label is as interesting as the beer, with a little blurb on the side and plenty of inside jokes to be had, really milking the Jewishness of it all. This DIPA pours a lovely mahogany reddish/brown colour, underneath a copious tapioca head. Fine bubbles and plenty of lacing to be had. A great looking double ipa.

The first sniff above the glass gives some extremely malty, almost soy-sauce-like aromas. The rye is undeniable here--it smells like the German rye bread I had this morning. Oh yeah, soya sauce and terriyaki here--a maltiness unlike any other I have tried. After a few more sniffs the hops come out to play, giving a dusty relief to the rye. The malts are delicious though, and the sweetness is delectable. If anything, this is nuanced. The taste really plays on the rye as well, with less bitterness than I expected from a DIPA. Again the similarity to soy-sauce is undeniable, but in the middle the malts balance a little with the hopping and we get a finish not unlike a full-on hoppy ipa. However, the graininess is anomalous. Every aftertaste was like a mouthful of dark rye bread. To me, the hops are a little under-displayed. The mouthfeel is barley-wine, with little carbonation. Full-bodied.

All in all, this seems to miss the mark of a drinkable balance. Interesting to try, but nothing I would drink two of in a row. Unique as it is, there is something missing. Or maybe I'm just not used to all that rye...

Cwrw, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of shagal
4.75/5  rDev +17%

shagal, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of DanE
4/5  rDev -1.5%

DanE, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of Rizalini
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%

Recievedthis 12oz. as an extra from StlThrash. Poured into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a clear ruby color with 1 finger of fluffy, almost creamy tan head. Slowly fades into a nice collar.

S - Big rye aroma.

T/M - Malty up front. Toffee and butterscotch qualities. There is a rye bite on the back of the taste, and in the finish. Kinda drawing a blank on the hops. Medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

O - A different beer, thats for sure. Not sure I would classify it as a rye IPA. It is a good brew, and a really good rye ale, but not a good IPA.

Rizalini, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of slavall
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

slavall, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of circus_cat
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

circus_cat, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of headyhopzhead
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

headyhopzhead, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of hopsbreath
2.45/5  rDev -39.7%

Appearance is deep rich vibrant garnet. There is a 3 finger cappuccino colored tight slowly dissipating head that sits on top. Unfortunately the look of this beer is the best part.

The aroma is big sweet grapey alcohol. Malty burnt sugar is all over the nose on this. Smells more like a barleywine than a DIPA.

Tastes like alcoholic syrup. There's some bitter hops and a touch of banana. I think if this was categorized as a barleywine I could have appreciated it better. Since its billed as a DIPA I am going to have to dock it points for being mis-categorized. That and there is no rye presence to speak of.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Its extremely thick and sticky. Its actually too thick and that hurts the drinkability. Low carbonation actually feels appropriate paired with the thick viscous nature of the body.

Drinkability is pore. I choked down half the bomber and did not want more. I won't be trying this again and won't be reccomending it.

hopsbreath, May 29, 2010
Photo of beerFool28607
3.25/5  rDev -20%

beerFool28607, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of AdamElb
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

AdamElb, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of Hanselpb
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Hanselpb, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of BrewmanCapote
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

BrewmanCapote, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of greyghost86
5/5  rDev +23.2%

greyghost86, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%

After 2 months in the cellar, caged and corked poured into an oversized wine glass to show off woodsy red, with fire engine tints. The head was a dense have fingers with a slow regression to afew pits on the side of the glass. Full glass of lace when you tilt it towards your mouth to show that Lenny is omnipresent. The nose was quite quiet at the start with sublte hops chiming in first. More sweet malts than anything else to body of the nose, Could not detect any rye but got some other spices to lure you in to a double IPA.

T: The flavor starts and ends with sweet but just like any good Lenny performance, the zing comes after you get all settled down. The rye makes the bite stronger and enjoyable and you continue to let this creation breath and express itself. The ABV is fairly evident but I think with my modest aging, it's tempered a wee bit. This is one of the easiets IPA's I've ever had when it comes to the hop department. That's not to say there are not almost a half dozen different styles with Cascade and Crystal that come to mind. I smiled however after burping a few minutes later and tasting a full mouthful of hops to taste more bitterness. It's a malt bevy anyway you shake it folks and the rye with the malts works against the hops even with multiple selections. Perhaps the dash of aging I did reduced the squad of malts? I liked the carmael and candy texture beyond the malts and hops as well.

M: At first impression, I would say flat and dull however after another pour, I change my mind completely. A big boy body with alluring thicky creamyness.

D: I will most assuredly go for Ole Lenny many times in the future. I'm sure this beer has had many different takes over the years, so reading some of the top reviewers may not necessarily if you the best information about Schmlatz's take on this developing style. Just as the performer brought something new to the table in his brief career, Schmaltz refines an overall quality body of work.

Brianmerrilyn, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of ISmith87
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%

I specifically remember having this one as a shower beer after the pool one day and it was relaxing as hell. Let's see what it tastes like this time...

Appearance - 4.25 - Dark copper/red/amber color. Thick film of light tan bubbles on top, leaves thick lacing.

Smell - 3.75 - The smell is freaking me out a little - smells like a Belgian yeast strain with breadiness, fruitiness, and some dark fruits in there. Banana, spices, not at all what I'd expect for a rye DIPA. Maybe some hops? but they don't stick out by any means.

Taste - 4 - Alright, the taste is a little better for the type of beer than the smell. The exact same thing happened to me one time at O.H.S.O. here in Phoenix where I ordered an IPA and got a Belgian, but for whatever reason everyone working there told me they were sure it was an IPA. If I concentrate hard I get a bitter hoppiness (pine, grapefruit) on top of an intense bready malt. The rye taste is definitely there.

Mouthfeel - 4 - Medium mouthfeel - definitely a little thicker than most IPAs. Alc covered. Weird bready Belgian yeast taste to it that sticks in your mouth for a while. I'm sure a lot of people see this as good but I'd rather just have the tongue numbing grapefruit bitterness.

Overall - 4 - I think this is a good beer, but the yeast strain tastes so much like a Belgian strain I can't get over it. I wanted it to be more like a rye DIPA.

ISmith87, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of astronautjones
4.1/5  rDev +1%

astronautjones, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of t_carterb
4/5  rDev -1.5%

t_carterb, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of jacobseyb
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass. Great color of a golden orange, with a white-ish head. Pretty balanced aroma with the spicyness of the rye balancing the bitterness and sweetness of the hops. Hops were piney in nature. Taste was similar with just a good balanced flavor. Excellent feel with just enough carbonation and a medium bodied feel. Very drinkable, alcohol was not overly noticable given the ABV, so it was extremely drinkable.

jacobseyb, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Mississippi
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Mississippi, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of Jaycase
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%

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 franksnbeans
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%

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 13, 2007
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

Enjoyed on cask at the Bronx Ale House. Been wanting to try this one for a while.

A: Pours a dark amber brown, with a reddish tinge. Almost verging on purple. A wispy, almost oily tan head, with solid lacing. Very nice.

S: The smell is sweet malt with a big dose of fruity, juicy citrus hops. A subtle but firm bit of alcohol. Nothing too complicated, but quite pleasant.

T: This is a unique beer if I've ever had one. On the one hand, there's the normal double IPA retinue. Big grapefruit citrus hops, battling it out with a beefed up malt sweetness. Then there's the rye, which just might be the best IPA compliment in the world. Love it. In addition to all of this, there's a dark, fruity sweetness. Dark grape. It's almost port-like. The sweetness gets a bit strong as it warms, but it's delicious nonetheless.

M: Syrupy and very sticky. Full and viscous, almost RIS-like in mouthfeel.

D: I'm not sure I could have more than one glass in a sitting, but it's delicious, strong and and extremely original. I look forward to revisiting it.

CharlatanSin, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of brewdude1982
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

This was a 12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

This beer pours a dark amber and had a great head with great lacing. The smell is very malty upfront and then pine on the back end. The taste is much more balanced than expected and does a good job of hiding the booze which is a 10.0% beer. This beer had a great body and did not dissapoint. I would highly recommend to any double IPA fan or a rye P. A. Fan?

brewdude1982, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of Ivegotmule
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Ivegotmule, Jul 21, 2013
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,720 ratings.