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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.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

879 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 879
Hads: 1,920
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 83
Gots: 195 | 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 (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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
Reviews: 879 | Hads: 1,920
Photo of tjkurz
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful deep chestnut brown.
S- Nice malty smell.
T- Taste is very malty with the rye noticeable.
Finish - a bit of hoppy not as much as many IPAs - a bit alcoholy.
Mouthfeel - substantial, nicely carbed.
Drinkability - a bit strong at 10%, but very enjoyable to enjoy slowly.

Currently one of my favorites - really like the rye malt - a little less boozey would probably make it my first choice. I get one of these (22 oz) bottle with a nicely marbled and/or seasoned steak.

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Photo of Altrurian
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Lovely deep, complex amber, tending toward a surprising burgundy hue. Minimal head. The smell is disappointingly faint but pleasant, and, again, surprising: a cinnamon-roll yeastiness, more confectionary than hoppy. A stand-up, robust, uncommon flavor, not identifiable as an IPA (at least to my still-developing palate); comparable to the best red ales. Mouthfeel is a fine foamy prickliness. An attractive brew, its allure growing as it warms.

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Photo of TheSeeker61
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta and wow was it a great treat.

The appearance was an amber brown with a half inch head which hung around.

The smell was dark fruit with roasted malt.

The taste was a balanced malt/hop.

The mouthfeel was medium.

Overall really enjoyed this brew. I've had it in the bottle and really enjoyed it and having it on cask was exceptionally enjoyable. Got to try it again on cask.

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Photo of bboelens
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at WOB, poured into a snifter

A-Dark orange-red, a thin dark head that left decent lacing

S-Hops, malt, spice, and alcohol, exactly what I'm looking for in a big DIPA

T-Hops, yeast and some grapefruit flavoring are the first to hit my tongue, the light malty taste comes immediately after and its chased by a strong but not overly powerful or repulsive alcohol flavor.

M-A full bodied beer, but something was lacking, a little too light on the carbonation made it feel a bit slick sliding down the throat, it really didn't detract from the beer at all though

O-In all this is an excellent beer bursting with a complex flavor profile, rich nose and beautiful look. I would definitely pick up a bottle.

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Photo of isaac
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from memory:

22 oz. to snifter.

Lenny's pours a gorgeous blood-orange red with a creamy, sticky head and thin lacing. Nose is well hopped with spicy rye, caramel malts, and slight booze. Taste, while still coldish, is amazing - juicy would be the first word to come to mind, and the rye mixes well with the sweet malts to make a flavour which reminds me of dense, german cakes. it looses a few points here as it warms up and the sugars take over, reducing much of the taste to a sort of boozy hard-candy - the kind of taste i can't abide in the DFH 90 and 120 minutes. however, this sad turn of events is saved by the ever-present rye spiciness and smooth, slow drain of a bitter finish. mouthfeel is amazing, not too thick, and coats the tongue and cheeks.

a fine and drinkable beer, if not a bit strong and a bit sweet.

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Photo of Soozy
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

The color on this beer is a little bit dark for a DIPA, but it's nice. It's a solid copper-red. A surprisingly big malty, caramel and sweet candy smell with an equal amount of citrus hops.

Taste is definitely complex. You've got some serious caramel malt, a bit of citrus hops, a lot of pine and woody hops, and a sweet, candy finish matched with an alcohol burn.

Drinkability is decent. You can definitely tell it's 10%, but damn this is a good beer. I'd almost think of this as something in an American Strong style than a DIPA. It's definitely hoppy, but well balanced enough to please non-hop heads.

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Photo of machostacos
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Amber orange, very clear with tons of bubbles screaming up from the bottom of the glass. Thick, creamy tan head shows excellent retention. Beautiful lacing. Nothing wrong here!

S: Sweet toffee and toasted caramel malts. Some brown sugar in there as well. Lots of lovely, spicy hop notes as well as spice from the rye. A little whiff of alcohol. This is definitely a malt-forward DIPA.

T: There's the hops! Great initial kick from some very spicy herbal and citrus hops with a solid bitterness, followed immediately by a full, round malt profile - caramel and toffee. Finishes smooth and nicely balanced with a lingering bitterness. This is fantastic.

M: Full, smooth, somewhat creamy and chewy. Perfect carbonation (on the medium-low side.) Very nice.

O: A very solid Rye IPA, and the first Rye DIPA I've had. Did a side-by-side with this and Founders Red's Rye, and while I admit I prefer the Red's Rye, this is right up there with my favorite Rye beers. A joy to sip!

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A hazy orange/rust color with white head and lace.

S - A lot of alcohol and rye. In addition there is some sour/dark fruit aromas and hints of caramel.

T - The initial flavor that hits you is bitterness. The bitterness transitions into rye flavor and then into prunes and oranges. A little bit of Caramel/toffee finishes it up. After the sip, the bitterness still lingers.

M - Nice round, thick body with medium carbonation. This beer feels really good on the tongue.

O - Really solid brew. For the abv, this is fairly drinkable. The beer was enjoyable the whole way through and I would definitely drink it again. The rye aroma and flavor really add something to make this and tasty brew.

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Photo of Callenak
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

I had been excited to try this beer for some time. Had in on my wants but no hits. How glad was I when my local bottle shop got a case.

Pours a deep amber/bronze with a nice think head. The color doesn't even appear to be from the rye, but just a deep, malty brew.

Smell is malt forward, with a good kick of hops. The taste backs it up, but a double IPA it is not. I've had a lot of east coast DIPA's and 9 out of 10 are more barley wines in my opinion. This is no exception. The rye gives it a nice spice to balance out the pine flavored hops. I've been on a rye beer kick lately and this was no let down.

All in all, a great freaking beer. It taste more like a Bigfoot with rye than any double IPA. But screw guidelines and labels, if a beer is good, a beer is good. And this is a great beer.

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Photo of MOShepp
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a big light tan head. Lots of lacing.

Aroma of grapefruit, apricots, toasted malt and slight pine.

Tastes of toasted rye malt up front then a big punch of resinous hops that are met with plenty of caramel malts.

This is a well balanced beer which is amazing considering the evident hops. The rye gives it a nice touch. Nice drinking beer.

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Photo of kcillini77
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Shmaltz brew, and it was a good choice.

Nice, deep ruby color with a good head that laces well.

Smell is spicy malt - very aromatic.

Taste is rye up front with an immediate bitter hop bite that mellows with warming alcohol and peppery spice.

Rye malt and hops are very plentiful. Alcohol is noticeable and very present, but not overpowering.

A great tribute beer, and somewhat unique in that it adds the rye to a style that is becoming fairly prevalent. Highly recommended.

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Photo of L0ne
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with ruby highlights. Head is fizzy and small. It dissipates quickly and leaves small traces of lacing.

Smell is mostly malts, caramel and dried fruit, with some orangey, herbaly hops kicking around in there. Just a little booziness, especially as it warms.

Taste starts out relatively hop forward. Same hops as in the smell, herbal, bitter, orange. As the beer warms, the malts take center stage. Lots of malty sweetness, caramel, toffee. Just a touch of rye spiciness hangs around throughout the drinking experience.

It all comes together really well. In my opinion, reminiscent of DFH 90 min, with an added layer of spice from the rye.

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Photo of buffettfan
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was at a beer tasting with a rep from this brewery last night, and of all the beers we tried, this was my favorite. So much so, I bought a bottle home with me to do a rating.
Its a very balenced IPA. Has a lot of hops, but has a balenced caramel maltyness that was very appealing for me. Not a hop bomb, but enough to satisfy a hop craving once and a while. A very drinkable beer. I love it.

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Photo of uberabr
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Crystal clear copper red with a one-finger creamy off-white head. Some hop oil up top and some decent lace.

Smell- Highly complex and very well rounded. A light fruity hop with sweet candy and estery malts. Caramel, honey, popcorn butter, biscuits, and subtle satayed vegetables with hints of lemon juice and black pepper. Fresh cherry blossoms and spices complement the candy backbone well. Very nice.

Taste- Buttery and bitter. The butter diacetyl is heavy and somewhat cloyingly so, but it's balanced well enough by the bitterness. The malt is otherwise enjoyable, with loads of fruity esters- cherries, plums, watermellon- along with a roasted nuttyness and some syrupy molasses. The bitter backbone is of rich high-alpha hop varieties, creating a deep, woodsy pine with subtle hints of grapefruit and a definite rye bread aftertaste.

All in all an extremely complex and moderately well-rounded brew. The only thing I don't like is the overdone diacetyl malt, which adds to an oily mouthfeel. Other than that, it's highly drinkable.

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Photo of GregPearson33
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured the brew from a 22oz bomber into a Sam Adams tasting glass. It's a dark burnt-orange brown with a very thin head that tight, but fading fast -- not really what I like to see. The smell definitely has some citrus including heavy amounts of grapefruit, but also a malty (caramel?) character. After the first sip I'm a little surprised by the thick, syrupy consistency of the body and the medium-high level of carbonation. As soon as I got over that though I was able to enjoy the BOMB of hop flavor, though not of the same citrus quality I expected from its smell.

Still, if by "obscenely hopped" they mean "amazingly delicious" than I'd say the description is pretty accurate. While there is definitely a hefty hop presence in the initial sip, I think it's surprisingly well balanced; after a swish or two there is even a discernable malty sweetness to the flavor. The aftertaste definitely summons back its bitter roots, however, leaving a piney aftertaste.

Although I haven't had enough to have the alcohol become an issue, I think it's a little hefty to have more than just a (very, very enjoyable) bomber.

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Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as a gift from my roomie and I poured it from a bomber into a good sized wine glass. I really need to get a chalice or snifter of some sort. Chalice is an awesome word.

A nice deep orange, copper caramel hue with a good head just sitting there nice and proud and beige tempting me to drink. Dissipates slowly leaving a good lacing.

Smells mostly of molasses and toffee and caramel malt, and the rye is also prominent with some light hoppiness.

Taste is all over the place and really good. First comes the sweet; malt and sticky caramel with hints of dark fruits, mostly dates. Then comes the spicy and bitter; ginger and some citrus pine hops towards the end, with a molasses backbone. Dare I say sweetbittersweet.

Carbonation is mild and nice, with the rye sticking with you on every sip. Goes down pretty easy for the alcohol content. It warms you up and could definitely make you start talking dirty if you're not careful.

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Photo of HeightsEats
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden hue, malty aroma with faint hop floral elements. The taste and drinkability are surprising for a 10% ABV beer. Very good balance between sweet and bitter with a full-bodied (but not cloying) mouthfeel and an excellent roasted / rye complexity in both flavor and aftertaste. I only bought one of these, but wished I'd had another after finishing it.

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Photo of bwyker
3.29/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep brown, with hints of orange-red. A decent amount of foam that fades to a thin ring.

S: Rye bread soaked in alcohol. Subtle notes of sweet fruit and floral hops.

T: Lots of alcohol up front, which lasts the entire time. The citrusy hops are there and are quite enjoyable, but they are thrown off by alcohol. The rye is noticeable, but buried deep.

MF: Lots of carbonation, maybe a bit too much. Dry alcohol finish that I didn’t care for.

D: It took a while to get through the 22 ounces, but I did finish the bottle. Worth trying, but I would probably consider this to be the manishevitz of DIPAs.

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Photo of WrathsU
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brilliantly clear burgundy body with some red hue to it. Pours a moderate sized light khaki head which is long lasting. The beer itself appears to be a touch over-carbonated.

S - Sweet smelling upfront. Get some toffee and caramel and brown sugar. Some pepper notes add a nice spice aroma to the profile.

T - Very malty and properly bitter at the same time. A great balance in the beginning of this beer. Crystal malts and even some baked goods are distinguishable up front. The bitter is nice and clean and helps cut through the initial maltiness. I think the finish is cloyingly sweet though and wish it didn't finish as so.

M - Medium-heavy body, carbonation is fine, only slight alcohol burn.

O - A pretty good beer, reminiscent of the DFH90 minute if you can believe that. Definitely not picking up the rye in this beer which is a shame, but it's still drinkable obviously.

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely reddish amber hue with a medium light brown head. Wonderful spicy smell with a hint of citrus as well. The flavor is heavily spiced with a whiskey essence and a nice bit of hoppy goodness. Little bit of alcohol presence as well but not overpowering. I think I just converted.

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Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.55/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I love DIPA's, but this one did not suite me at all. The taste was not well balanced and the bitterness I usually enjoy in DIPA's available here:Great Divide Titan DIPA, Boulevard Double Wide Pale Ale,etc, was not pleasant. Maybe it's just a different interpretation than I'm used to, but it's not for me. It could be a good ale if balance was improved.

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Photo of JAA
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a top-notch brew, no doubt about it. The bottle says an obscene amount of hops and malts were used, and the smell and taste confirm it.

The head that did appear, quickly disappeared. Dark amber body with absolutely no lacing. Not a real appealing appearance.

The smell is all rye and bourbon. A very faint citric hop note peeks through.

At first taste, this doesn't seem like a D.I.P.A. at all. More like a Scottish Ale. Very malty up front, hoppy in the finish. Soon, the taste buds got acclimated to the malt, and the strong, citrusy hops burst through. The bready rye flavor hangs on, always the noticeable backbone to this phenomenal brew.

Mouthfeel is thick and mouth-filling. Slick and sticky.

At ten percent ABV, one bomber is enough for one sitting. I would definitely purchase again. The price wasn't bad, either.

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Photo of HopticalDeployment
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is right off the bat a stunner...

Quality brew. Good body, excellent finish and residual finish. 10% is much appreciated with no negative Esther.

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Photo of PrinceDarren
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I tried this at Lunar last night.

It was served in a snifter with a thin head. Nice aroma and started off very nice. After half-way, the sweetness started to build and it became harder to finish.

In all, a complex and enjoyable Imperial IPA but quickly fades.

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

A-Deep reddish copper, crystal clear with a thin off white head, subsiding to fine white lacing

S-Very malty, perhaps more malty than hoppy in the aroma, smells almost sweet like over ripe fruit or tangerines and honey

T-very sweet up front with a hint of spice from the rye, slight alcohol flavor and warm tangerine citrus hop flavor, prickly slightly bitter finish

M-Very thick somewhat cloying, low carbonation, taste lingers on the palate

O-For a double IPA it is very malty and almost candy sweet, i feel there really needs to be more aroma hops or dry hops to truly be a double IPA, As is it tastes like an American Barley Wine with a strong citrus character. Tasty,

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.