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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
887 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
887
Ratings:
1,954
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
17.82%
 
 
Wants:
84
Gots:
217
For Trade:
4
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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).

Added by mcallister on 06-07-2006

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Reviews: 887 | Ratings: 1,954
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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Photo of DrMalt
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of IPALOVER
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of shaunb81
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Tbone
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
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

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Photo of ScarletLady
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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

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Photo of Rippeddisc
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
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 +7.2%
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 Ohmmygawd
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
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
http://youtu.be/oCplnUga0hU?t=1m48s

Cheers.

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 Norsebrew
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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 -0.5%
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 Preston
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
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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Photo of Aleks_P
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
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 Archimetez
4/5  rDev -1%
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 -1%
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%
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 +9.2%
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 +0.2%
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 -0.2%
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 -8.4%
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 +1.5%
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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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 887 ratings.