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

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,769 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,769
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 71
Gots: 107 | FT: 6
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: 1,769 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

Gueuzedude, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
3.98/5  rDev -2%
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.

GClarkage, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Halcyondays, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Gavage, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

imperialking, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

duceswild, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

dbrauneis, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
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"

Billolick, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22oz bomber. Love the label.

Pours an obscenely thick, syrupy deep golden-orange treacle colour. Fine bubbles struggle through the body to get to the yellowish head, amazingly fine with creamy bubbles. Lacing is extreme. This is one hell of an impressive looking beer.

I can smell it out of the bottle as I pour it. Really strong citrussy hop character, sour and sweet, with candied lemon peel and Curacao dominant. There's a dark almost peppery undertone to it as well, spicy and rich. Nice. Very nice indeed.

Wow, that must be the longest palate I've yet tried. It just creeps up, and up, and up, moving from an initial malty, syrupy sweetness, through a light effervescent fruity sourness before the hops kick in for the grand finale, a massive welling up of bittersweet freshness. Coupled with this is the second layer which interleaves the main characters - spice, cinnamon, pumpernickel, pepper - it's the dark undertone to the fresh, citrus/fruit characters which seem dominant.

Mouthfeel is sublime, smooth and slick - the alcohol adds a little heat as well.

This is a damn fine beer, with a massive array of flavours constructed together beautifully. The alcohol does start to assert itself after a while, which leaves this heady brew a sipper, but it's a damn good one. A thoroughly delicious beer.

lacqueredmouse, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are so many good DIPAs, it's sometimes hard to pick them apart. The rye used in Lenny, however, is a great change of pace. It added a rich spice that blends with the citrus hops but still stands out enough to compliment the flavor and stand out. Aside from the rye, the malt sweetness is fairly subtle behind the mostly fruity hops. Also, at 10%, this beer is a bit thick and can be hard to finish by yourself. Still, a great DIPA if you want something different.

tempest, May 26, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a decent slightly off-white head, great lacing, and a dark amber color. Smell is alcoholic, waxy, and with aromas of orange, grapefruit and pine from the hops. Taste is big and bitter with more wax, grapefruit and orange and a big hit of pine.Quite nice. Good body, and very balanced. Creamy and pretty smooth for the amount of hops. The alcohol is more present in the nose than the flavor, quite drinkable, even dangerously so.

Georgiabeer, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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.

superspak, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa. Rating as an IPA as advertised it gets a goose egg because it was no where close to an IPA, not one that I am used to, it walked a fine line on the barleywine side and for that I give a great rating of course. This one poured out a deeep amber with some great carbonation. It poured thick like syrup and took a few to settle. On the nose it smells of pure malt. The taste..the malt really takes over the hops leaving it a bit lopsided for an IPA. Tasted sweet and spicy .Went down well and stuck around for a while. The ABV and heaviness of this one takes down the drinkability but an EXCELLENT brew.

barleywinefiend, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of akorsak
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a bomber of RIPA from Shmaltz. It is near room temperature (as this is the last of the bottle I opened 2 hours ago).

Appearance: For a DIPA, the ale is very dark, more similar to an amber. There is a nice ring of head that laces.

Smell: Malts that remind me of a barleywine are the first that I detect. Very sweet and malted-up, this beer is no regular DIPA, as there is no hop presence in the nose.

Taste: The rye adds a very nice touch up front, a change of pace in terms of malts. From there though, the malts spiral out of control and dominate the beer. There is a distinct barleywine aftertaste that lasts a long time. Again, there is some hop bitterness, but nowhere near that amounts I expected.

Mouthfeel: The flavors are too powerful and do not subside. This is not for the faint of heart.

Drinkability. Trust me, one bomber is enough.

akorsak, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of BARFLYB
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

BARFLYB, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

mdaschaf, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a reddish-brown crystal clear body but a bit dense. The strong sea of carbonation is tiny bubbles that glide up the sides of the glass. The thick sticky light tan head hold to the side of the glass after each sip.

S- This beer has a sweet malt flavor with a note of sugary dum-dum suckers. The light smell of wet grain and toast come through as it warms. There is also a hint of dark rye bread that is very pleasant.

T- This beer has a sweet dark caramel malt flavor with a bitterness of dandelion greens to follow. There spicy notes from hops or rye that fades into toasted malt notes and sweet white sugar flavors. The finish has a light herbal note with a malt and hop bitterness at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture. There is a slight chalky texture and a soft alcohol heat that comes through as it warms.

D- This beer has some nice qualities of old ales, sweet malts and smooth alcohol with notes of spicy rye notes. I didn't get any qualities of IPA let alone DIPA. Nice beer in the wrong categories.

rhoadsrage, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Upon the pour I am rewarded with a clear brown ale with a distinct reddish cast to it. Head is quite good for the strength of the beer and id light brown.

Smell is sweet and quite fruity and piney to the nose. Caramel and menthol are the first things I notice. Spicy aroma of alcohol is notable. Aromas of figs and plums are front and center on this one. Cherry is a lesser scent. Pine, citrus and melon are the more subtle scents.

Taste is bitter and harsh at the beginning, but it is the first beer of the day too. It really takes about three mouthfuls of this one to acclimate to the bitterness level. Even after you adapt this still has a strong bitter under tone to it. Sweet with a lot of woodiness there is a fair amount of melon flavor to this along with mango and pine. In the end the bitterness deters from enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability suffers from too much bitterness; it simply bullies all the other flavors out of the way. Unbalance is what hurts this beer.

Zorro, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours five+ finger white head that fades very slowly, leaving a good lace. Almost clear red/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit hop nose. Flavor is grapefruit with a good caramel backing. Decent DIPA. $3.79 for a 12 oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

jdhilt, May 12, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +17%

afsdan, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
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.

Stinkypuss, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
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%.

Mebuzzard, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -1.5%

BillRoth, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

smakawhat, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -1.5%

DrBier, Jul 15, 2014
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,769 ratings.