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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

870 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 870
Hads: 1,893
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 81
Gots: 182 | 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 (26) | 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: 870 | Hads: 1,893
Photo of kcillini77
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of buffettfan
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of uberabr
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (1,059 characters)

Photo of GregPearson33
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,118 characters)

Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.23/5  rDev +5%
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. (942 characters)

Photo of HeightsEats
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (368 characters)

Photo of bwyker
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
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. (618 characters)

Photo of WrathsU
3.95/5  rDev -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. (887 characters)

Photo of Wackyfoot
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
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. (290 characters)

Photo of JAA
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (840 characters)

Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.55/5  rDev -36.7%
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. (353 characters)

Photo of PrinceDarren
3.87/5  rDev -4%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of Weli
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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, (676 characters)

Photo of HopticalDeployment
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (158 characters)

Photo of DrMalt
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 650 ml bottle.

A dark orange/copper with a very frothy eggshell coloured head.

Aroma was strong. Almost perfumy with its floral smell. Classis fruitiness from Cascade or Centennial hop.

Taste was definitely malty, alcoholic and some peppery flavour. Loads of bitterness to match the malt. I didn't detect any rye flavours but that could be because of the strength of this brew.

Mouthfeel was initially a creamy, full bodied feeling & then the alcohol kicked in leaving a warming almost astringent mouthfeel.

Drinkability was slightly minimized by the strong alcohol body. Still a terrific IPA but the high gravity takes away from one pouring more.

Sampled this alongside some other IPA's & DIPA's. Is a tremoundous beer but was almost too big to be compared against the other IPA's & DIPA. Came in 3rd out of 6 IPA's I sampled. (857 characters)

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22 oz. bomber.

A: Rubied copper, clear, with two inches of creamy, rocky head with plenty of full lacing.

S: Citrics-lemon, orange, pine tar. Hop oil, spicy rye scents. Undertones of creamy malt flavors--caramel, toffee.

T: Crisp citrus bite with oily pine resin following, and the spicy rye mixing in well, asserting itself pleasantly but insistently. Hop character continues over borderline-barleywine chewiness, great big creamy malt flavors of caramel and toffee.

M: Nice, thick feel. Not too drying, despite the high hop presence and ABV.

D: I drank this way too fast, by myself, and THEN noticed the ABV. I really want to crack another one, but I'm pretty sure that's not a good idea. (734 characters)

Photo of IPALOVER
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a hop lovers delight! I'm all about IPAs and DIPAs, so picked this one up and was anxious to try it.

The beer poured beautifully. I didn't think it was going to foam up at all, but then there it was-- looked like a nitrogen delivered tap beer! The head never totally disappeared, and it left a good amount of lace on the glass as I drank.

Loved, loved, loved the bittersweet taste of the hops combined with rye-- yum! There was absolutely nothing citrusy about this beer at all, as is common with many IPAs. The rye component gave it a malty, smooth quality; the hops were apparent immediately in the sweet yet slightly bitter taste.

I savored this beer and drank it slowly. It's not a session brew in my book, but one I would definitely drink again. (767 characters)

Photo of shaunb81
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a beautiful, copper body with a nice 1", cream head. Heavy lacing throughout the glass.

Smell - Strong spicy hops here, some sweet malts detected, and I also get a little citrus.

Taste - Sweet on the front and super, long-lasting, bitter hops. I really like this beer.

Mouthfeel - Mild carbonation and I LOVE the creamy density of the brew. Perfect IPA for me.

Overall - Can't say that I've had a better IPA, but I know I have a lot to go. I recommend this to ANY hop head. (496 characters)

Photo of Tbone
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a thick, creamy, rootbeer float-like head.
I dont think beers are better just being clear and generally prefer the mouthfeel and extra flavors of unfiltered beers. However, this one is certainly pretty, crystal clear and looks of rich mahogany (cue Ron Burgundy).

The smell is its weakest aspect. A bit of piney hops, but somewhat metalic.

Bitterness and fruity hops dominate the first sips. However, there is a malt profile almost like a true german dopplebock being smothered underneath. Imagine a fasting, mild-mannered German monk getting sat on by a boorish west-coast hophead.
The malt flavor is like that unripe fruit quality that you often encounter in German Dopplebocks (especially Celebrator), but I can never manage to describe it beyond "green-apple, but not really".

That malt profile comes through more as I work through the beer, but I'm not sure if its contingent on my having taken a few bites of my homemade lamb burger with feta (yes, be jealous). The finish remains quite bitter to the end. The metalic note in the nose is hovering about, waxing and waning in noticability. What about the Rye? Well, its spice bite may be there adding to the flavor, buts very tough to tell it from the hop bite. It's more notacible in the dryness that prevents the beer from being too sticky sweet.

The mouthfeel is very nice. Moderately thick and creamy. Well carbonated without being fizzy.

I must admit, I had a biased desire to like this beer, as I love Lenny Bruce and the comedians with biting insight he encouraged like Bill Hicks, George Carlin, and David Cross. Oh yeah, and I also love DIPAs and I've never had too strong a Rye quality in my beer (Long ago when Redhook had a soul, I had an unfiltered Rye from them on tap at the old Lyons in Dublin, CA. It was liquid rye bread and no rye beer has every come close). All that said, I truly did like it and will buy another, but it did not rock my world as I had hoped. It's sort of a maltier big brother to Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye, and its tough to say which I like more.


"Satire is tragedy plus time."
---Lenny Bruce (2,128 characters)

Photo of ScarletLady
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured a coppery amber color with a bit of less filtered haze. Little head. The bar was way hot which i think affected it.
S- hops, whiff of sweet from the malt & alcohol, just a hint of the rye, overall pretty good
T- wonderfully complex that got better as I sipped. sweet from the malt with the hint of spice from the rye that rolled right into the bitter finish. didn't really notice the alcohol level under the flavor
M- thicker in good way
D- definitely a sipper, with it's complex flavor I would gladly spend time with another pint. It is a palate killer so don't start with this one if you aren't going to stay with the same (639 characters)

Photo of Rippeddisc
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short review.

Incredibly well balanced dipa. Appearance is standard IPA amber...thick head...not too much lacing on my sample. Biscuity with plenty of grapefruit, raisin bread, and hop kick. Big malty start with tremendous hop finish. Great mouthfeel...thick and lingering. Highly recommended. (294 characters)

Photo of Shooter1960
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not what you would expect from a DIPA. More sweet and malt flavors than presence of Hops. Tastes like a better and cleaner version of Great Divide Hibernation Ale. Very enjoyable beer but a bit of a disappointment if you are looking for a hop bomb from your DIPA. If you are open to the experience of something different and are not fixed on a hop bomb, a very good and enjoyable alternative. (392 characters)

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

I tried a bomber of this brew.

A-red/brown color with a 1 finger head that didn't last too long. OK lacing. Moderately carbonated.

S: sweet malt smell with hints of nuts and bread. Not much of a hop smell.

T: Bimodal forces of hops and malts. Strong character with bitter hops and sweet to strong malts in the aftertaste.

M: light carbonated mouthfeel ending in a dry bitter battle.

D: This is a pretty good hoppy beer. I haven't had too many beers of this style. I'm not as impressed as the majority of the other reviewers, but I would buy this beer again. Good taste. (575 characters)

Photo of EliottJW
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a solid big beer. I figured that was a good way to open this. while I liked this beer, I wasn't blown away by any means. being a lover of all things hops, I definitely felt a big let down.

pouring this into a plastic pub cup from our speakeasy tour (we're watching the allstar game as true to being there as possible), I'll admit that the serving style was not ideal. None the less, it poured a deep amber with a solid head on it that took a good while to recede. to say this looked syrupy coming out of the bottle would be a large understatement.

I picked up a touch of the rye from the nose, but more hops than anything... as is to be expected from a DIPA! But where'd all the hops go when it hit my lippy lips? I got a blast of malts and mostly rye malts at that. Not a bad thing, but after smelling this beer, that was not at all what I was expecting. it was sweet and creamy, but the hops bitterness that I was looking for turned into nothing more than a bit of a bite in the back of the mouth. malty malty, to say the least.

This really did feel good going down though, I'm absolutely obligated to say that much. it was nice and creamy, not overly heavy. as for the feel, it was enjoyable, but I have to say that sharing half a bomber was definitely enough for me. This is one of my favorite styles and while it was a nice showing, I wasn't really interested in more of it!

I have to say I suspect that we may have had an older bottle of this, and if I've left an inaccurate representation of this beer, I apologize. This is not entirely what I was expecting though. (1,585 characters)

Photo of Aleks_P
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Very interesting color for a beer, a deep brown almost ruby color. Pours with a relatively healthy tan head. The initial appearance definitely piqued my curiosity.

Smell: The high alcohol content was apparent from the smell. Also picked up the hops quite a bit.

Taste: Immediately noticed both the bitterness and the alcohol similar to the smell, although the alcohol was less apparent in the aftertaste and the hops much much more prevalent. I was surprised how much the taste changed over the course of a sip, it finished very dry and bitter. Aftertaste is almost like a different beer than the initial taste.

Mouthfeel: Very, very dry beer.

Overall: This might just not be my beer style, but I've had a number of high ABV beers and found the alcohol was not masked in the smell or initial taste. Also very dry and hoppy and I didn't detect a lot of other flavors, although I need to ponder it some more as I finish this beer. Might just be having a hard time characterizing it but was not a standout for me. (1,026 characters)

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 870 ratings.