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.

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

868 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

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Reviews: 868
Hads: 1,883
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 81
Gots: 176 | 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 (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 868 | Hads: 1,883
Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (1,405 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (823 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (943 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.19/5  rDev +4%
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 (657 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (517 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I experienced a very unusual pour. The first third of the glass seemed very flat, as if there is no carbonation. Straightening the glass for a more vigorous pour resulted in an overflow of foam. Very deceiving. The head lasts a long time with thick lace on the glass side. The color is dark reddish copper. Clear.

Far more malty than I would expect. Lots of caramel. The hops are quite muted. This is still an attractive aroma, drawing me to the

Large! Almost syrupy body with a large malt punch. The hop bitterness shows up almost immediately. The hop bitterness lasts and lasts in the aftertaste. Too much of a good thing? No way.

If you like extreme beers, this one delivers as advertised ("brewed with an obscene amount of malts & hops"). I'm a huge fan of Double IPA's and this one is one of the better ones! (823 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
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.) (1,339 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
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. (775 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (1,486 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in pint glass

clear dark amber with off-white head. Unusual red tint.

Hoppy aroma with a hint of fruitiness. Generous use of malt is obvious in the flavor but largely masked in the aroma. Nice, if a bit bitter, finish and aftertaste. High ABV largely hidden.

M - full bodied. Sticky (and real sticky if not in your mouth)

O - An extreme IPA; plenty of hops; plenty of malt; plenty of flavor. Perhaps too aggressive. (440 characters)

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass lazily and a hint of ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel malts with a light hint of rye spiciness and moderate aromas of pine/resin hops which lingers.

T: Upfront this brew is very malty with moderate amounts of caramel sweetness and light amounts of rye spiciness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of pine/resin hops which impart a moderate amount of lingering bitterness. There are also light amounts of alcohol flavors in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront with a creamy smoothness that follows and a touch of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is an enjoyable and the alcohol is very well hidden making it easy to drink. It has a really nice mouthfeel which definitely increased my enjoyment of the beer - that mixture of crisp and creamy smooth is quite nice. (1,182 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (358 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/01/06- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. 2006 special edition. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Auburn, almost cherry colored in appearance. 3/4 inch creamy white head, very strong patches and streaks left behind. Sticky looking for sure.

Smell- First sniff got lots of fruity and pine resin hops. It was strange though because every sip afterwards I really had to sniff to get anything. As it got closer to room temp I sensed the fruity hops again.

Taste- This one is a hopheads delight. Saying so, this is also a well rounded hop heads delight. Has a really ultra sweet caramel malt. Super bitter pine and sweet fruit laden hops burst out from the first sip. The 10% abv makes itself know right away.

Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation...still tasting the bitter hops an hour after drinking this brew. (not a bad thing). Very very creamy in texture as well.

Drinkability- Impressed, definitely impressed. Wish they would have had more of these whaen I snagged this one. I know a hophead out there that would have appreciated this (keeping my eyes peeled for you Steven). Not in the neighborhood of Plinydom, but a very good example of a well balanced and ultra hopped DIPA. Will keep my eye open for more. (1,273 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours quite viscously with a dark reddish hued, amber color that shows a brilliantly clear ruby tinged color when held up to the light. The beer is topped by a frothy, amber tinged, tan colored head that is initially about a finger and a half thick. I am quite happy to say that the aroma is quite hoppy. Notes of sweet oranges and a touch of pine intermingle with a big, chewy, caramelized maltiness. Quite fruity, almost a berry like note joins the citrus notes. Toasted grain notes help to dry out the aroma towards the end.

The beer is a bit sweet up front, in fact perhaps amply so, but there are lots of things to balance the sweetness out. An astringent bitterness rides throughout this beer, it is a touch harsher than I would like. Part of this is that there is a menthol like note, that seems to couple with a bit of an astringent dark grain note and a sharp note of alcohol. There is some hop flavor character here as well, it just plays second fiddle to the other notes that I have mentioned; notes of orange peel and some herbal notes are here. This beer is just unbalanced, and not in the way a double IPA should be; harsh, sharply astringent and hot. Perhaps some age will help to mellow this out, but it no longer would be a even the shade of a double IPA that it is now. (1,299 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass, this beer has eluded me for about two years now. I find it funny though that they dedicate this brew to somebody and put their born on and died on dates up there but still, I don't know when this beer was brewed, what a slap in the face.

RIPA looks a dark shade of orange with some bronze hints in there, looks pretty tasty and rich. A nice beige colored head rises up and settles into a nice looking cap with some marks on the glass. Smelling this I get alot of malt up front and sweetness. Rye is in there but buried literally. A nice dosing of grapefruit and some piney hops, some alcohol as well. This is interesting beer here. The rye, while being the main ingredient(supposedly) is not all that large, it comes and goes. Caramel malt is king here and this is one sweet DIPA from the west, this has East Coast written all over it, funny how that happens. Grapefruit, rye, grass, bubblegum, caramel/toffee/werther's, you get the picture right. All in all these taste come together nicely. Feel is above medium and sweet and not all that bitter, carb is not a problem, this beer is alive. The feel kinda reminded me of a barleywine in some ways. I quite liked this concoction and hope to find a super fresh bottle someday, but that won't happen unless they start dating them. (1,310 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with 1/4" of head with good retention. The smell is bready, barley malt and faint, earthy hops. The taste is bready, biscuity malt with some peppery rye followed by some spicy, earthy hops. There's some faint yeast and creaminess. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a pretty good beer, but at times unbalanced. It's worth a try for rye fans and DIPA fans alike. (424 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: slightly cloudy amber color with a short 1" head that lingers a while. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: great aroma of pine, malt sweetness, and fruitiness. Hint of alcohol too.

Taste: hearty grainy malt profile with pine, grapefruit, and ripe pears. Overall this beer is quite dry but bold in flavor. Alcohol is noticeable and provides some warming effects.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp and dry from the start, smooth and dry at the finish. Long bitter aftertaste is pleasant on the tastebuds.

Drinkability: this is a enjoyable DIPA that is worth seeking out. (598 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, bought at BevMo Huntington Beach,

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown, with a thick, white head, which leaves abundant lacing which just sticks to the glass and is still there in the morning.

S: Hoppy, but with a lot of malt, some dark fruits and sugar, spice, though I wish it was more robust.

T: An interesting taste when I first tasted it, I was expecting a straight up Double IPA, but then I remembered the rye malt and became more acclimated to the taste. Very interesting, but very tasty as well. The rye malt adds a spice, almost phenolic character to the malt-based part of this brew, similar to Hop Rod Rye, another RyePA type beer. Very hoppy, an abundance of pine in this one, altogether a profroundly good taste and a well made beer, well balanced.

M: Soft for an IPA, but still quite resiny, oily, but the large amount of malts add a smoothness not found in other IPAs.

D: A very good double, didn't know what to expect, the first beer I have had from this brewery besides the Pomegranate Ale, a fruit beer, so I am anxious to try their other stuff. Good job, He'Brew. (1,104 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, no freshness or bottling info. Wordy label, do they think anybody really reads all that stuff? Anyway this strong beer pours dark auburn, pretty clear, sporting a tan long lastin head, that started out frothy and settled down to a thick film . It leaves some well developed lacing. Nose I pick up is clearly of rye bread. This is a strong brew, plenty of malty under notes, coupled with some smoke, more rye and smooth oily, grainy hop notes. Nicely crafted, perhaps the best I've had yet from the Shmaltz "tribe members" (536 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.19/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A unique color pour methingks. Copper and burnt orange, semi-clear at first, then clears up as it warmed (poured at 49 degrees, too). Very good looking head. Hilly and soft. Some lacing becomes sticky on top and on sides.

aroma is sweet and oily. A lot of resin and some alcohol make me pull back a bit, perhaps in surprise. Rye mixes with some hop juice to make a pronounced nose shocker. It's not bad, just odd.

Taste is malt, oily or syrupy, not sure which. Coating. Some hops are in here, mostly pine..not the citrus I expect from an A-IIPA.
hard to drink...didn't finish. Alcohol is too much..or perhaps it's the rye. Could be too raw at 10%. (652 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crush that gift pack! Poured into a nonic pint glass off we go!

A large three finger head, off tan/caramel in color, somewhat tight foamy for head. Body color is deep red, very cloudy, but also a nice hue of color throughout the glass, from Indian red to dark brown through the top where the head meets.

Nose is kind of fleeting if a little weird? Wet smelling, mild malts with hints of chocolate. Sense of clean but not much else. Not a sense that this is an IPA at all, I get no hop sense on the nose on this at all, but it doesn't smell off/bad.

Taste thought is KAPOW! Chewy malts of rich chocolate, but also a very thick hop angle. Resiny a little, but also extremely coating in the palate. Subsequent sips get much more interesting. Malt angle gets bigger, and something that grows is a real hop "richness". Dense malts keep coming, but texture never gets syrupy. Spice angle I would expect though for rye seems to be missing, but not the malt which makes this quite enjoyable. Some slighty toffee stickiness on the lips which is kind of fun.

Overall the drink as you go gets bolder and bolder. It's a "little" out of control and noticeable though on the alcohol side. However, it hits the mark on taste for the style with a bit of unique quality. Too bad it misses a bit on the nose. (1,294 characters)

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 868 ratings.