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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

1,748 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,748
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: 1,748 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hoppedup for sending this one up my way,a beer contract brewed in NYC but not available in the Buffalo area odd...This poured a brilliant rich deep amber with a large well sustained off white head that left perfect rings of lace as it settled slowly.Loved the aromas it wasnt just a hop blast in your face there was caramel like sweetness anddark fruit underneath the big resiny,piney hop profile.Thick sticky sweet mouthfeel it just coated the mouth in sweetness,to me it tasted like an extremely hoppy American barley wine full lush somewhat sweet and extremely piney and resiny in the finish.Well this one gave me a little bit of a headache this morning as I drank the bomber down knowing this could hurt a little in the morning oh but its a good pain,a damn nice beer.

oberon, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Durty Nellie's.

Had to cap things off at Nellie's somehow, so I figured I'd give this guy a go. It pours a clear sunrise garnet topped by a finger of dirty light-tan foam. The nose comprises dank greens, light leek, lightly toasted caramel, very light pine, and an even lighter hint of mint. The taste holds notes of toasted toffee, heavy pine, leek, and dark greens. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a mostly solid brew, but the rye really never comes through, leaving things at the mercy of a slightly overly-piney hop lord. Not bad by any stretch, but probably not as good as it could have been (if that makes sense)...

TMoney2591, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. A nice tribute to Lenny Bruce, he of the inspiration for so many of today's more edgy comics.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish copper amber colour, with three fingers of thick, foamy, and broadly puffy off-white head, which leaves pretty ambitious patchy and fuzzy layered lacing all around the glass as it quite lazily recedes.

It smells of grapefruit pith and acrid pine resin hops, bready, heady caramel malt, dark Belgian yeast-tinted fruit, a small spicy grainy edginess, and some burbling alcohol heat. The taste is a big neutered grapefruit pith wallop up front, followed by some weirdly timid dry pine woodiness, a robust spiciness, one pleasantly borne from the rye malt rather than hop, further bready caramel malt notes, a touch of understated, somewhat metallic alcohol acridity, and a strong lingering leafy hop bitterness.

The carbonation is on the low, more or less obsequious side, the body exhibiting one heck of a meshuggah hugeness, and yet a less than endowed smoothness. It finishes dry, kind of metallic, and still much more hoppy than malty, in a rare air sort of way.

An enjoyably crazy-big DIPA, with the added kick of a rye-tinted (tainted?) malt. The big alcohol is generally restrained, and not all that noticeable, rendering this as a somewhat easy to drink tipple. A winner in my book, as far as my acceptable adjunct-ified DIPA regulations go - we could all use a bit more of this, if only to keep the mainstream nervous.

biboergosum, May 30, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out an amber/burgandy color. A one-finger head that left some lacing.

S - HOPS!!!

T - It was very hoppy and sweet, as well. It came across very spicy.

M - It was fairly dry and crisp. Heavy-bodied.

D - It was good but almost too hoppy. Nice sweet flavor, though.

zeff80, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer! There's the whole Lenny thing, but forget that, it's just marketing. It's bitter and spicy and darkly caramelish from nose to mouth to finish... well-rounded, perfectly balanced, hoppy, malty, and bitter! The rye is clear in both the aroma and the flavor, and it never lets up on flavor without ever overwhelming the palate. It has a beautiful appearance with a crimson accented dark-copper body and creamy, khaki-colored head. The nose is beautifully hoppy with a deeply caramelish andspicy malt beneath it. It's medium bodied and gently crisp and smooth in the mouth. The flavor is loaded with hops, yeasty fruitiness, and dark caramel beneath. Grassy, leafy, minty in the finish. Bitter, but not overwhelming. Yes! Aggressive like Lenny, but there's always that other part that says he's on your side. He'll joke with you, but put the joke on you, and then teach you something in the process. Hmmmm... love this beer! It's truly an assault on the palate!

NeroFiddled, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a huge beer, not for the faint of heart. it pours reddish and darker for an ipa, with a bug sudsy tan head. the nose on it is grain heavy for the style, as the rye malt makes its presence felt early and often. theres sweeter grain too, toasted elements, and of course the hops, which fall somewhere north of citrusy but south of piney. flavor wise, the hop bitterness goes expertly with the spicy rye, and is very intense on the palate. the alcohol is curiously missing, which is a shock to me. there is something round and familiar in this beer bringing everything together too, and I want to say its oatmeal, but I cant be sure. its got that softness and sweetness, and the mouthfeel fits the bill, but who knows for sure? the hops outlast the rye in the finish, and my mouth is left panting. its a lot to process. a little light on the bubbles I thought, but the fuller body and creamy feel is really nice in an ipa. also the alcohol was masked very well. overall a beer id recommend sharing, but one I enjoyed very much.

StonedTrippin, May 05, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

nickfl, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A whole lot of head, it nearly jumps over the side on the glass. Crystal clear tawny color. Smells of ripe tropical fruit, pine sap, blood oranges, a little hint of hemp seed oil and cake batter. Smooth and ultra creamy with a hop oil slickness deep inside the full-ish body. Lush malt foundation ranges from heavy caramel to spicy rye, donuts to toasted bread ... pretty damn complex IMO. Hops jump on all of this with a cutting bitterness and a long linger of spicy, citric, thick herbal and tobacco flavor. The bitterness pairs up with the rye to compliment the coming of the alcohol. Oh yes, there is alcohol here and a drops a good amount of warmth and tropical fruit. Finish bittersweet and spicy with more bitterness in the end of it all.

Big and bold, a serious beer ... it would be simple to say that it kicks ass, which it does. By far one of the most enjoyable beers I have had this year.

Jason, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is an orange/brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized rye malts, some citrus and some spice.

T: The taste starts out bready and sweet with flavors of rye malts, caramel and citrus up front. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in quickly and provides some balance. There's a pretty significant alcohol burn that follows, but it's not too harsh considering the beer has a 10.00% ABV. The after-taste is sweet and hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, it contains the twist of using the rye malt while maintaining a very good representation of the style, this is a fairly complex big beer that's worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, May 12, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Very foamy pour on this guy but once things settle down, things stabilizes into a crystal clear copper with 2 ½ thick fingers of foamy off-white head. This eventually retains with a tight finger that soaps the sides of the glass with robust foamy swathes of lacing. The aroma smells leafy and spicy, with a ripe fruity dankness. Rye sits with a dry breadiness in the back of nostrils along with some sweeter caramel tanginess.

The taste is sweet with toasted bread and caramel up front, being balanced out by the bitterness of grapefruit and pithy citrus rind. Spicy dark rye character sits along the back of the profile, where it lingers in the finish with resins and a kiss of sweet alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch heftier, with a softer feeling carbonation that is undercut by some smooth underlying slickness. That 10% ABV is mostly dealt with well here, keeping the heat under control and adding some size to the body and a little extra sweetness and spice to the profiles.

This is definitely one of the better widely available rye beers out there and I love the use of it in the DIPA style here, as those rye flavors just really matched up nicely with the aggressive of the hops and that warm spicy sweetness of the alcohol. I need to go back to this one more often.

Kegatron, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but very dark amber with a sizeable tan head. Nose is highly hoppy. Strong resin tone with a bit of cotton candy I think. Fruity citrus edge as well. Flavor is definitely hopped, of course. Strong, stringent hop flavors kick you in the mouth, but not too abrasively really. It may be an over the tope type of ride, but it doesn’t go too over that top. Feel is bordering on a bit syrupy with all that stuff in there. Carbonation seems high with the massive head, but not a huge amount of bubble going over the tongue. Initially I was going to give a 4 on the drinkability on this one. But then I realized that the 10% alcohol on this one doesn’t peek out at all as you imbibe. Overall, this is nothing absolutely outstanding to behold, but it is very good all the same. Worth a try, especially for the price.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to be able to meet Jeremy Cowan of Schmaltz when they were at goggleworks for Design, drink and be merry. I tried this from a bomber in a plastic cup.

A - Deep copper w/ dark amber tinges w/ a full head of creamy tan. There is a lot of settling but the lace and retention is there, no doubt

S - A crisp hoppy (there are 12 kinds utilized) aroma w/ rye and peculier tropical odors like passionfruit w/ a hint of dark sweet cherry and brown sugar.

M - A full bodied big instense feeling IPA stimulates the taste buds and coats the cheeks w/ hop oily feel and dry spicy rye malt w/ a sufficiently proper carbonation and the feel borders on creamy

T - Big and bold w/ rye flavor that is noticeable and flavorful! There is a huge hop blend giving this beer the bitter side of bittersweet. The malt tastes a bit spicy like rye can, but has a mellow sweet body that counters the pungent and tantalizing hops. The taste is grainy and there is a fruity taste from the yeast. The more this beer is tasted, the more enjoyable it gets w/ buttloads of flavor - you really can't go wrong w/ the taste of this Big Rye Ipa.

D - Too big for me to quaff, but for the most part I can't see any thing wrong with how easy it is to sip and savor this. With 12 hops adding so much depth and intensity and the rye malt is incrediblly drinkable to me. I like to taste and feel this beer for a good relaxing time.

Slatetank, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours caramel with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Big time pineyness & some breadyness

T: Huge grapefruit & piney hops up front, plus caramel. Malty cakeyness a bit of caramel try to regain some ground as this warms, but can't conquer the orangey, grapefruitty & piney hops. Finishes semi-dry (the rye??) with much pineyness; plus some caramel & a bit of pralines

MF: Chewy with low carbonation. Skews just a tad too hoppy for me

Drinks a bit slow, but with all that ABV & intensity, what do you expect? Hopheads will dig this. Lenny Bruce would appreciate the bitterness! A very good DIPA that has a few rough edges

russpowell, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice rising head of 1.5 fingers that fills my SA Perfect Pint glass perfectly, then fades slowly. The beer is a very clear honey amber orange color.

N: A nice hoppy aroma hits first, with a little citrus, some chewy hops, little floral fruity hop, and touch of spicy hops. WIth that is a slight malty base with a little sweet malt aroma and a light but there rye aroma with some fruitiness and spicy aromas.

T: Semi bitter at first, with lots of chewy hops, some citrus, spicy and earthy hops, a little nougat flavor. Some chewy malts with that with some malty sweetness. The rye is a lot less than I expected but there, adding a slight spicy and fruity flavor. The bitterness is pretty prevalent though. A slight syrupy sweetness comes through with all of it.

M: Medium body, slight syrupy feel, and good carbonation.

F: Still pretty bitter with a lingering spicy bitterness, both from hops and the rye which seems to come out a bit more on the finish accentuated by the bitterness. Long chewy hops and earthy hop tones. Some sticky sweetness as well. The hops leave a citrus with some sweet flavors combined for a sweet orange drink like taste. A lingering sticky sweetness which masks the alcohol well, that and the hop bitterness.

jlindros, May 14, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ale named after the former Leonard Alfred Schneider departs the bottle and enters the glass a robust red, shadowy, clear, with a high head, creamy/tannish toned. Looking lovely.

Aroma: Fat malt, outsized yeast, liquid bread...is this a doppelbock? But there's so much hop!...sniff again... Wow! Loud hop, rich, burnished, barleywine-like. Grapes and other dark fruits are at hand, feeling like a burgundy wine, perhaps due to the high alcohol, or the huge maltiness.

Now, let's taste...Woo! Bam! Whap! Shamalam! Enormous malt floods the mouth and is assisted in it's it's efforts by the blazing sidecar of hops. Big, big, big on the palate, outsized all the way, spilling flavor all over the place. Delicious dark fruits, grapes, cherries, more...Reminds me very much of a Bigfoot or similar barleywine-style ales. This is where the line between "American Double IPA"s and barleywines really blurs, the malt is as big or bigger than the hops in this one, and the flavor is almost the match for a barleywine.

And the 10% doesn't hit...right away..oh, no, you'll feel it, though...

I didn't really taste the rye at all, but it works so damned well, it doesn't matter.
(Wait, ...now, I'm tasting it...yup, it's discernible...)

I love it. I think Lenny would love it. Rest his smutty soul. R.I.P. (A. true American hero.)

feloniousmonk, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of drabmuh
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at a local beer bar. Beer is clear and reddish in color. Carbonation is moderate to low and head is soapy and nearly non-existent (it is on cask though). No lacing on the glass. I'm still interested.

Aroma is dominated by hops hops hops. Mostly citrus hop aroma and nothing much else.

Hops are present in the back of the mouth on this one. Correct me if I'm wrong but a RIPA is a RYE IPA correct? I don't taste the rye at all. The finish is a little piny. There isn't much of an aftertaste, is that woodsey flavor the rye trying to squeeze to the front? Eh, not my favorite, definitely not my favorite IPA or rye.

This may be one of those beers that has no business being on cask. I'll try it again in the bottle and see if its better and rereview at a later date.

drabmuh, Dec 18, 2009
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 mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity and bitter powerhouse of an ale. Like all the big Shmaltz brews the intensity of flavor is remarkable. Hugely bitter, but at least they cram in an indecent amount of malt as well. The rye flavor is sharp, vinous, distinctive. Less grainy than some other rye beers.

Looks nice with the long lasting cap of foam on the coppery orange brew. So powerful it's hard to taste a real mouthful. A boozy shotgun blast.

mactrail, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful crystal and rye malt scent that enticises the senses. It's loaded up with hop aroma as well; a bitter explosion balanced with an excellent variety of specialty malts. The taste is good. It has a very smooth and bitter hop taste that goes down easy and warms in the finish. Crystal and rye malts dominate the grist. It's quite complex with loads of flavors, especially a mellowing rye component. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The rye works well with the heavy load of hops. The crystal malts lend some sweetness to round out the palate; a good drinker.

WesWes, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap tonight at Fireworks in Arlington, DC. Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a clear dark amber color with one inch of white head and no carbonation evident.

s - Smells of wheat, citrus hops, fruit, and caramel malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, rye, wheat, grapefruit.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body.

d - A nice DIPA; I think I liked this more than the Lenny's R.I.P.A. on rye. This one had more citrus come out, as well as some caramel. Would have again.

mdfb79, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was consumed with at least six months of age on it.

Pours red with a white head. The aroma is strong with caramel malts and quite boozy. The flavor is strong with caramel and toffee up front. There is a strong rye flavor at the end and in the aftertaste. Not as much hop presence as thought there would be. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing reddish amber with a towering thick off-white head that slowly descends to a one-finger, lasting head. Great head retention for the abv level! Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is piney, resiny with citric notes. Caramelish backing.

The taste is piney and resiny. Sweet caramel backs up the bitter hops. Rye breadiness is mixed in. Spicy alcohol peeks through eventually, but well-covered/non-interfering for the 10%. Powerfully bittersweet in the finish.

The body is rich, creamy, chewy. Almost syrupy thick, yet smooth.

Nice! A power-house of a DIPA. Piney and bitter mixed with sweet. More than a pleasure to sip on.

jwc215, May 22, 2007
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is brick red mixed with copper. Perfect one finger, off-white head.

Notes of tangerine, grapefruit and carmel gently tingle the nostrils.

Sweet malt accented taste is balanced by a fabulous tangerine and pine bitterness. Rye is certainly present and, to me, integrates the barley and hops perfectly- something about Rye brews that are done right that I really find attractive. Very slight butterscotch note in the finish. This beer really begs for another sip.

Rye also helps in the mouthfeel giving the beer a lusciousness that is very comforting. This one slips past your lips way too easily.

I could drink this beer all night! That is before I pass out after three of these bombers. Alcohol is extremely well hidden!

Overall a fantastic beer that is all about balance. Certainly not all about the hops, but one of my favorite double IPAs nonetheless.

Rochefort10nh, Jan 24, 2008
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,748 ratings.