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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

1,782 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,782
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 111 | 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)
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | 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: 1,782 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nerudamann
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Look - deep amber color, a little murky, with about a finger or two's wroth of off-white foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - I can smell the sweetness of the malts and the bitter aroma of the hops, with the latter prevailing by a bit.

Taste and Mouthfeel - rather malty in the beginning, with subtle sweet hints, but mostly a warty type of taste. That fades slowly into a bitterness toward the end of the middle and well into its presence in the finish. Amazing how long the bitterness waits! Texture is very well-balanced.

Overall - Very good brew with a very interesting tasting range.

Photo of drgonzo2k2
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of damndirtyape
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Single bottle (no date I could find) poured into a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Poured a very impressive light tan head, which was very persistent. Lots and lots of lacing all over the glass. Lots of bubbles moving up slowly through the coppery-red/brown beer. Very nice to look at.

Smell: Citrus and floral hops dominate the smell of this beer.

Taste: Initial taste is a hint of malt, but that moves aside for citrusy hops and then a strong, but not overpowering bitter finish. Well blended though and the alcohol is not notable at all in the beer. Very balanced overall but there is a noticeable bitter aftertaste in the mouth for awhile between sips that gets stronger towards the end of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Right level of carbonation, thick and surprisingly creamy and very very smooth. Quite nice.

Drinkability: Went very well with a meal (I suppose the irony of having pork with this beer wouldn't be lost on Mr. Bruce) and is a beer for sipping and savoring. Glad I had it, but the bitterness wears on me a bit and I could never have more than one in a sitting.

Photo of ssjkyle
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of FanofHefe
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip; no freshness dating apparent. Deep amber color that is slightly hazy and has a tint of red. Good two-finger tan head that has good retention and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is more subtle than I expected from the "obscene" amount of malt and hops advertised on the label. I'm getting primarily caramel malt and a touch of rye. Very little hop aroma present.

The flavor is a bit better with the caramel malt dominating. A definite bitter flavor from the rye and some pine-resin hop notes. The mix works well as a whole for the flavor.

Fairly dense mouthfeel and also very little notice of the alcohol. With no freshness dating, I can't tell is this is old, but more hops would be welcome. But, a solid rye IPA nonetheless.

Photo of sunofneurot
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of crowsnest
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Budweiser branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark copper with a pretty small, but long standing tanned head that dissipates so slowly that it doesn't seem to dissipate at all.

Smell: Toasted malts with spicy, herbal hops and hints of fruit.

Taste: Toasty, buttery malts up front, with a bitter aftertaste that finishes sweet as well. Hints of rye. Rich with full, deep flavors. Bittersweet indeed!

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, thick, and creamy with balanced carbonation. Dry finish.

Drinkability: For a double IPA, this is very well balanced and full of flavor a variety of flavors, as opposed to just being full of hops. Pretty easy drinker for 10%ABV and something I highly recommend.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a turbid, murky amber-orange color. The massive, orange-red tinted head is extremely tall, dense, and frothy. Retention is outstanding - this isn't going anywhere. A sticky film of fine foam sticks everywhere that the head slowly abandons.

S: A big, bold nose. Caramel malt sweetness and bready, spicy rye character are everywhere. Fragrant fruity/candied citric hop notes are quite vibrant, with lesser floral/perfumey notes. Alcoholic character is evident, but there's so much heft behind it that it doesn't seem overdone.

T: A very firm malt base starts things off with substantial caramel sweetness and spicy rye. Hop bitterness is above average, but never runs away with things. Some modest fruity tartness lurks deep below all the other flavors. Hops are citric, spicy, and lightly floral. Alcohol pops up into the finish, lending a light whiskey note.

M: Full-bodied. Carbonation is medium, but fairly smooth overall. The robust hop profile and substantial alcohol lead to a cascading finishing dryness with a definite warming character.

D: This beer is almost overwhelmingly massive. This brewery definitely doesn't tiptoe around style guidelines. I love the way rye complements bold American hops in these types of beers, and this does a good job of incorporating it. A dangerous, enjoyable, and very unique take on a double IPA.

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear mahogany color with a cream colored one inch head with good retention and lacing.

Nose is full of Dark fruits, rich sweet malt, dark candy sugar. Grapes. Plums. No hop character nothing like a DIPA. Smells more like an old ale.

Dark malt and fruit. Dark candy sugar. Good play between hops and big malt character. Pineapple. Slightly bitter. I think it's overly sweet for the style and the very vague hop notes are just bitter and don't work in harmony with the other characteristics.

Viscous and slightly syrupy and creamy. Low carb. 

Overall I wish there was a bottle date because I Feel like this isn't as fresh as it should be. The malt character was overly sweet and the hop character overly bitter. I had a hard time throughout this beer deciding how much I liked or disliked it. I ended pouring out my last little bit because it just got more and more unpleasantly bitter.

Photo of Shadman
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful bright color. A lot like a polished copper pipe. Very nice rich head and good lacing.

Aroma is sweet, with lot's of floral citrus hoppiness, with a hint of the vanilla that tends to be associated with rye & whiskey.

Interesting taste..lot's of sweet, dried fruit maltiness decently accompanied by the cascade hop. Thought it could have used a bit more hop to balance it. Finish is sweet and sticky. however. Booze is there, but warms rather than burns because of the sweet/stickiness.

Medium to borderline full with a oily slickness.

Just a bit too syrupy and sweet to be top drawer.

Photo of neckbeered
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of AMCimpi
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Ngntjp
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of kybeerdrinker
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of DerrickW
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of akttr
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of jriggins6
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of ZorPrime
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer sent to me by Shadman. Thanks BAmate!

The beer color is copper, and dark. The head is creamy, tenacious and sticky. A very nice looking beer. The aroma is resinous, fruity. Nice aroma. The taste is pretty intense in resinous hops. Fruits too (citrus and oranges). The ABV is well hidden. A very good beer, easy to drink which makes it dangerous. The finish is dry with a nice taste at the finish. The rye is, if you asked me, a very nice thing in an IPA.

Photo of TCgoalie
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 5/14/10

Poured into an oversized wine glass the color is red with a pinch of brown. A cover of big bubbles shade the top layer of liquid. Not much carbonation present but I am pleased with the head retention.

Dark malts blend with mild tropical fruits in the scent. Rye is evident and darkens the smell with some added spice. The overall character of the scent reminds me of flowers.

Malt heavy up front, rye blends in to add some spice and bitterness. Sweetness comes in at the middle which is balanced by lemon zest and a celery like bitter aftertaste. The balance is good throughout which amplifies my interest.

Heavy in the mouth, this beer has a large feel for a DIPA. There is a stickiness about the aftertaste and a lot of bitterness.

This is not the most drinkable DIPA, but the flavors keep you around for another sip.

Photo of azdback
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my newly aquirred Spaten glass. A deep orange color. Head is a fat two fingers and just a hint darker than bright white. The head is also very creamy in appearance and the lace looks like it's gonna stick around, but doesn't.... at first. After the glass is empty the lace is looking a bit impressive.

Smell is of sugary malts, citrus hops and alcohol. A bit earthy.

This tastes alot better than the smell. It has the hop biterness of a pink grapefruit followed immediately by the sweet malts. There is some dark grain flavors and a bit of yeast. All followed by the suttle alcohol warminess.

The mouth is much better as it warms. At first sip I thought it was a bit watery, but it has filled out quite a bit over the last half an hour. It is rich and sweet. Almost has the sneaky mouthfeel of a barleywine. The alcohol is fairly well masked.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. I have recently discovered the Rye ale (Hop Rod Rye, Rye Squared) and really like the style. I recommend you pick up a sixer of this if you get the chance.

Photo of jneiswender
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had a pint glass of this from the bottle.

A-off white head, amber brow body (somewhat murky)

S-sweet malt, piney and floral hop aroma

T-sweet malt, raisin, hard candy finish

M-medium mouthfeel, somewhat slick

D-one of the best beers from this brewery. I would drink this beer again. Complex flavors.

Photo of kaseydad
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great label honoring the legendary Lenny Bruce.

Pours a beautiful amber/burgandy color with a decent one finger foam head. It almost poured like a Barley wine as the consistency was very smooth.

A major malty aroma with hints of grapefruit, candy and floral. Very nice.

Wham! The taste has so many things working at once. Hoppy, malty, bready and bitter greets the palate. After the swallow is when the big bitterness bites back. The bitter bite makes me want to drink more to combat it...but it just intensifies....no problem there. I keep waiting for a hint of sweetness because of the aroma, but it never comes. Great job!

If you like bitter beers, this is the one to try. The 10% kick is there, but this brew is way to easy to consume.

Lenny Bruce would be proud if he were alive today.

Photo of jondeelee
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.--a double IPA with rye malt--has many of the markings of a good double IPA: grapefruit aroma, mixed with hints of pine resin; citrus notes, including orange, lychee nut, and berry; and a good malt backing to help balance the bitterness. In this case, the malt is part rye, and the result is a malt aroma that is part confectioner's sugar, part marble rye bread, part toast, and absolutely enticing.

On the tongue, the brew is immediately sugary (fruit esters including fig, pear, apricot) and full of rye flavor, which brings a spicy earthiness--lemon pepper, rye bread, burnt toast crust--to the brew. The hops--which have to be present in great quantities, since the beer was brewed with seven varieties, and then dry-hopped with three more--actually take a back seat to the rye flavors for the first part of the mouthful. It isn't until late, when the sugars die off, that a good hop base finally comes through, and when it does, it revels in grapefruit and pine flavors, and is superbly nuanced and finely balanced. Just at the end, a hint of burnt toast edges back through. The aftertaste is mainly hops, with a hint of rye, and lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is excellent beer, especially given the price (my bomber wasn't even $7) and the 10% ABV. The beer's only fault is a slight alcohol/vodka tinge around the edges, this thanks to the high ABV. But even that isn't enough to spoil what is otherwise superb fare. Well worth trying.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,782 ratings.