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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.

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876 Reviews

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Reviews: 876
Hads: 1,909
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.62%
Wants: 82
Gots: 190 | 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 (29) | 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: 876 | Hads: 1,909
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this because it's almost Passover and although I'm not Jewish I figured I'd support a great brewing company and also a comedy legend.

Lenny Bruce on the Steve Allen Show


Bottle to snifter glass

A- Deep clear amber. A good amount of tan colored head that laces as you drink.

S- Carmel and that wonderfully spicy rye smell.

T- Carmel and rye followed by a motley of bitter hop textures.

M- Sweet and then bitter with a spicy hit of alcohol. It lingers on the sides of the tongue for a good while.

O- This beer is a little all over the place but as a whole it's a good rye IPA.

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

A: Nice amber color, clear, good head
-- label design is a little cluttered but has an old school broadway marquis look which I like. With their current accomplishments, they are either being very modest as it does not stand out on the packaging or their awards need to be more prominent

S: Deep malt smell with a sweetness and hops smell

T: Rich malty rye taste initially finished with hops on the back end but it is not so hoppy, as in some beers, that can turn off some drinkers

M: Clean

O: Great Rye IPA. It would interesting to see how it would age over time. Being an IPA says it wouldn't do well, but with a 10% alcohol content, it might mellow out quiet nicely

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Photo of AMoceri7
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This should be labeled a Barleywine.

A: Deep deep burnt orange with some sweet honey hues in the light. Moderate lacing and no head. Pretty.

S: Plenty of malt upfront masked in alcoholic phenols with the hops hiding somewhere in there. DIPA eccentric.

T: Caramel sweet malt, special B without a doubt and I am a bit unsure where the Rye is because it doesnt stick out. Hops are a little bit more noticeable really as an earthy bitter piece than the beauty of pine and citrus which is absent. The alcohol is a lot more prevalent than in the aroma making it very boozy and off putting.

M: Salty with moderate carbonation. It really is bittersweet as the label says.

D: Just good, dont think I could finish the bomber myself, should be split.

Overall: Not what I expected from a DIPA more like a barleywine without doubt. The more you drink it, the more you like it. Not bad, probably wont buy again.

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Photo of MeowTom
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber color with a huge fluffy head that will stay around for a while. When I put it up to the light it has a slight red glow to it.

S- Strong malty scent, with a little bit of the hops coming through as you dive your nose in a few times. You can smell the caramelized sugars very well.

T- Very strong bitter to it, with the alcohol coming through a bit. You have to search for the hops but once you found them it is a very well balanced sweet/bitter ratio.

M- Medium carbonation and body that doesn't distract from the flavors.

O- Great beer that really is a wonderful double I.P.A.

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Photo of srobertson59
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured (a bit too aggressively) from a 22 oz. bottle:

A - Wow! A huge 3 finger head that seems to have a life of its own. Tiny carbonation bubbles swirl around very similar to a Guinness. After the pour settles down, very small bubbles slowly rise through a dark chestnut brew making the liquid look very thick.

S - Malt hits the nose followed closely by a good bit of floral hops. Not much in the way of citrus is detected, but there is an earthy quality on the backend.

T - This is a COMPLEX beer! Both the malts and hops play hide-and-seek with each sip. Bitterness is out front, but is tamed by the sweet malt just before becoming too bitter. Carbonation is barely present on the tongue and the alcohol is only detectable by the warmth of the throat on the swallow.

M - Thick without being syrupy...smooth without leaving a coating on the tongue. Very little aftertaste.

D - This one is quite impressive and really needs to be sipped to enjoy it. I find that the flavor changes as it warms and tends to be less bitter than when first poured.

What a beer! A very complex blend (is it the Rye that makes this DIPA so different?). This isn't your average DIPA.

I will certainly look out for more of this and pick it up when available. A complex beer at $4.99 a bomber? OH YEAH!

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Photo of fairdinkum2
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my second Hebrew. Tried the Jewbalation first and quite impressed. This RIPA is another solid effort.

Attractive deep copper color with a nice creamy head that dissipates to a decent collar and nice lacing.

Hoppy nose, followed by a suprisingly, creamy muthfeel. Scorched orange peel and hoppy bitterness on the finish, all nicely balanced. THe 10% ABV is a seductive presence.

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Photo of DontCallMeSurly
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a Berkshire Pint glass.

I'm not sure if this is typical of the style but this beast pours a dark reddish color which reminds me of iced tea. Even with an aggressive pour, initially there is very little head that materializes on the pour. I wait a few seconds and sure enough a very frothy, very dense milk-colored head appears and recedes almost within a blink of an eye. Upon first sniff there is a wonderful aroma of grapefruit citrus, however, after a few minutes the hop smell retreats into the background and a very sweet aroma of toffee flavor emerges. The first sip of this beer greets me with an extremely sharp bitterness, which kind of surprised me, although not in a bad way. It was more like an in-your-face kind of a way. Anyways, after the initial bitterness there is a really sweet buttery flavor which gives way back to a sweet malt backbone. I'm not sure of the alcohol content, but it's very evident and kind of hot. It finishes kind of resiny but overpowering in any way. The mouthfeel is pretty oily, which in my mind make it an extremely drinkable beer!

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Photo of ccs
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This is a nice clear caramel-amber with and ivory head that sticks around bot the glass and for the test of time...it was still there when only a little beer was left in the glass. Smeel is very typial for double IPA, malt with stong hop undertones along with the slight astringency I almost expect from a higher alcohol beer. The taste is very nice, a hint of alcohol backed by bitterness and herbal hops and a little malt. The mouthfeel is thicker than a standard IPA, and it fits very wel with the taste. However, I dont think I'd want too many of these...it's a pretty big beer and should be treated with respect.

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Photo of johannasclimacus
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured a dark brown/amber color with a small half inch layer of head on top.

The smell was hops and rye, and unsurprisingly, that was the taste as well. As it seems like some others have noted, there was a strange balance of sweet and bitter in this beer. I thought that the 10% was hidden exceptionally well. I didn't pick it up much alcohol flavor except maybe a little bit of a bite in the aftertaste.

Generally, my sips started malty, and the bitterness came on in the middle to finish it nice and crisp and with a unique bite afterwords. The rye is there but mostly in the background. I'd have to say that this is one of the more nuanced DIPAs I've had. When I ordered it, I assumed that it was an American IPA just like Hop Rod Rye. This one packs a little more punch and a different combination of flavors.

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Photo of rebelthrower
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red with a bit of copper. Light tan head, but not a lot of head. Great lacing.

S: Malts and sweetness. Not a lot of smell going on.

T: Caramel and Malts. Very sweet and then the rye shows its self.

M: Chewy, thick and strong. Nice medium carbonation. Taste sits in the mouth for a long time.

D: Very tasty beer and will definitely have it again. But can only have one at a time.

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Photo of Bigfatbino
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A = Nice dark color, tight bubbles in the head, left beautiful lacing in the glass.

S= sweet, but balanced with nice roasted undertones. Very flowery aroma.

T = Mouth-puckering bitter, chocolate undertones and roasted coffee. Very long-lingering bitter aftertaste.

M = Thick and resiny. Good carbonation and it stays on the tongue well after the first swallow.

D = A very good session beer. Would be great with Pot Roast or any good long braised meat.

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Photo of mtboozeaddict41
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a nice coppery red with murkiness. Creamy white lacing is left with a medium retention.

S: Largely aromatic. Toasted spicy malt with a large profile of resinous piney hops. Very floral and pungent. Rye spice and bready characteristics show through also. Caramel malt and cinnamon are notable

T: oooeeee, large beer in stature. Rye, citrus, pine, toasted bread, spice, and a copious sensation of alcohol are apparent. This beer is HOT! and by hot I mean high in alcohol almost to the point where its offensive. Caramel malt helps mask the high percentage but not by much. Rye and citrus/grapefruit is very much the face of the taste. Quite bitter on the finish with a lingering citrus toasted wood/pine finish that ends in a spicy rye kick.

M: Medium-heavy bodied with a moderate carbonation.

O: Wow, this beer is hard to compute, period. I like it, but not to the point where you'll see me starting a blog about it. It's huge and largely offensive in the most satisfying way. If you like an assault of floral hops take this to your sensors and give 'er a go. Not bad Shmaltz. L'chaim!

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Photo of nafnikufesin
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Great wispy looks.

Smell - Sweet-hoppy aroma.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body.

Taste - A sweet rye flavor at the front of the mouth giving way to an intense bitter hop flavor, with the 10% alcohol very apparent in the aftertaste.

Drinkability - Ultimately limited by the intense bitterness.

Overall - A good start, flavorful, but very intense to drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of verset
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color with slight reddish hues and strong caramel scent upon pour. Two finger head that fizzled down to a thin film over about 5 minutes.

Somewhat cloudy and dark for an IPA, probably due to the increased amount of malt. Strong malty taste up front followed by a nice bite of hops. Mouth is left with a sticky rye malt flavor.

The head is left as a film that looks more indicative of an ale than an IPA. Nice and low carbonation. The flavor is well balanced, but a little too malty in my opinion. I prefer a cleaner, crisper IPA.

Served in 16oz mason jar, refrigerated, pulled out for ~ 10 minutes.

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Photo of etenbus
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A double IPA named after Lenny Bruce? That's got "buy me" written all over it. Whoa! At 10%, this ale gets in your face and deserves respect, much like Lenny.

The pour raised a good bit of creamy caramel colored head, which over time left haunting lacing all over the inside of my Budvar 1/2 liter glass. Copper-clored with a bit of haze.

The aromas are balanced between the hops and malt, perhaps too balanced for this hophead. I smell citrus, orange not grapefruit, candied fruits, raisins, hard candy, and just a hint of mustiness, enough to know that this beer's lineage goes back to Great Britain.

When the ale hits the tastebuds, there's an initial but fleeting sweetness that gets kicked in the head by a bitter whallop. Dark fuit, apricots, oranges, some tobacco, and a little leather. Then the bitter streak hit the center of the tongue. On the swallow the alcohol is very present until the puckering dryness kicks in.

With this much put into the ale, it's got Marilyn Monroe mouthfeel--very full and voluptuous. As it warms, the flavors intensify and I reach for the ice water to clear the palate before diving in again.

This is a big beer for a slow evening, perhaps while watching your favorite British mystery on PBS. Cheers Lenny.

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Photo of haywire77
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured a murky/cloudy medium brown with ruby tones around the edge of the glass when held up to the light. 1 1/2" of solid light mocha colored head that gave way to a small cap in about 3-4 minutes. Very nice looking brew.

On the nose I get a lot of rye and prunes. Some bready malts are far in the background, and a touch of hops. Unique.

The taste is rather complex. Booze, and lots of it! Rye bread, caramel malt and a little bittering from the hops. The more of it I drink, the more balanced it becomes. But boy that booze...

Mouthfeel is a little sticky and slightly oily. Pretty medium to heavy body for the style.

Overall I really liked this beer. Definitely different than anything I have tried to date. The rye really helps balance out the booze hops and malts. I fear that without the rye, this would be a boozy mess.

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Photo of LilMatrix
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark orange hue with a light thin head.

S - Lightly roasted malts, hoppy, and alcohol.

T - The hops are up front and hit you in the face and then the malts start to join the party. The bitterness is the main lingering component I'm picking up on as the drink progresses.

M - Creamy and thick, oily, light to medium carbonation, although it feels creamy there is a thin aspect as it goes down.

D - True to it's name, this beer has a definite big hop bitterness profile and a subtle sweet maltiness. A big beer that could be a barlywine. A sipper fo sho, drink too much too quickly and you'd be down for the count.

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Photo of breweryaprntc13
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark golden amber, thick frothy tan head slowly recedes leaving thick lace clumps.

Rich rye nose, citrus hops present, phenomenal smell.

Earthy bitter lead, grassy hops support, strong rye flavor provides ample and delicious balance.

Full bodied, good carbonation, dry, filling.

A good bear bout could not drink more than a couple in one sitting, very filling.

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Photo of slammo
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

How good is this? I admit to being a fan of the American Double so it stands to reason this is a lot of fun in a bottle. Oh yeah...love the bottle too!

This offering pours with many micro bubbles cascading forth. The head is dense and the color is very dark amber. Nice!

Smell is of sweet malt with an almost coffee like appearance. Lenny would approve.

The taste is hint of rye with plenty of malt and hop backbone and did I say hop? The alcohol warms a little here as well.

Mouth feel is silky and just enough syrup coaxes me back soon.

I can (and will) drink this in numbers bearing the 10% alcohol content in mind. It did pair well with grilled sea bass. Enjoy!

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Photo of Preston
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

For such a huge beer, it had only moderate bitterness and the high alcohol level was backgrounded extremely effectively. I had this on tap at Yard House in Cincinnati. A great, great beer well worth getting a pint (and going to a Reds game very happy).

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 876 ratings.