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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: 1,908
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.62%
Wants: 82
Gots: 191 | 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: 1,908
Photo of delta490
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful clear brown with some small sticky tan lacing. The aroma is rich malt sweetness, rye spice and a nice hops blend. The taste is good, but not quite as enticing as the aroma, a little muddled. The body isn't quite as heavy as I would expect but does have a nice feel to it.

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Photo of KWolf
4.99/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful toffee, caramel with hint of hop nose. Sweet.malt start to finish, with some hop filtering through. This is truly for people who are bitter enough already and want an IPA with backbone. A treasure.

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Photo of GrahamDN
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly deep amber in color, with a bit of haze and an off-white head.

Right away, the nose tells the story of the beer's dark hue with big toffee, caramel, and raisin scents betraying the heaping helping of caramel malts included in the mash. Left whispering in the background are leafy, herbal, and peppery notes. Yeasty bread rising as it warms.

Big waves of toffee and caramel crash on the palate, seasoned with peppery spice and leafy-herbal hops. Rye bread comes out later. Lenny's is not really "bittersweet"--it's super-sweet, with just about any bitterness the hops have to contribute drowning in sugar.

Thankfully, the dynamic finish transitions from sticky sweet with a little peppery tingle to balanced--hop bitterness finally asserts itself (though it takes a while) along with the 10% ABV to offer some relief from a dessert of a "double IPA."

Here's the thing: this is a pretty tasty beer, and an above-average expression of rye in beer. But to pitch it as a DIPA feels misleading. If He'Brew had labeled this beer as some sort of rye doppelbock-IPA hybrid, they'd have nailed it, but I have to dissent on this one and say they missed the mark.

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Photo of sporklift87
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter. One finger of very light tan head, fair retention and fades to only a thin collar. Solid lacing rings. Brown and amber and translucent. Very aromatic--could easily smell from a distance. Blood oranges and white grapefruit most notable, followed by notes of sweet caramel and rye malt. Tastes much like aroma with addition of hop bitterness and a nearly whiskey-like character. Spicy rye bite and heat on finish. Feels on heavy side with moderate carbonation and slight chewiness. Actually makes the back sides of my tongue numb. Delicious. Dangerously drinkable. Probably the best RIPA I've ever had. Will buy again.

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Photo of Panda_Brew
4.96/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, this beer smells so good even a foot away from the glass at zero hour. What a beer, brewed with a completely reverent lack of respect in good company. I think He'brew's best offering

A: Huge four finger cream head coming out of the glass and a beautiful burnt golden amber red - you can see through it but the color is so beautiful, why would you try?

S: Caramel malts like the smell of the crisped brown sugar apple sugar mix coming from the bottom of a fresh apple pie. It's just stupid beautiful.

T: Huge flavor in all directions with just a kick of booze, which at 10% is well blended. Those toasty brown sugar notes come out with some slight grapefruit and bitterness to keep it all in check. The taste and nose dance as one, taste being the stronger; yet scent is the lead - as she is the more elegant of the two. Every ingredient complements the last, as a whole, everyone takes a bow - and not the just ingredients, effects too. The rye adds the slightest hint of spice and stickiness to bring it all together; like a good director it gives the spotlight to the other roles but you know damn well its the reason this whole thing came together. The bitterness completely compliments the sweetness and the booze slices the body - impeccable!

M: Also wonderful, the sticky malt bill is beefed up by the slick booze coating, then IBU convinces saliva and booze to turn on the young and naive rye - carbonation throws a punch too - leaving only bitterness and alcohol burns in the aftermath. Your mouth tightens around your tongue more and more the longer you prolong your next sip. One of the best beer experiences I've had.

O: What's to say that hasn't been, get this beer. It's great fresh, I can only imagine three years on it... Everything that anything with rye in it should be. It's like a more refined version of the Under Cover Investigation Shut Down ale - I dont love rye, so this gives me faith. F**k yeah! 97

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no bottling date that I could find. Served in a DFH IPA glass, the beer pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a couple inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like caramel malt, spicy rye, peppery spice, and pine and citrusy hops. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some tropical fruitiness, earthiness and oranges. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and is well carbonated. The 10% ABV is well hidden, it sure doesn't drink like a beer that is that strong. One of my buddies gave me a bottle of this recently, and I'm glad he did! I wouldn't mind trying this again, definitely worth picking up!

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Photo of barnzy78
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no apparent freshness date but the bottle is stamped 1345A4, but I'm not sure how to decipher it
A - tight, creamy, ivory colored head holds excellent retention atop a hazed copper body
S - malty nose with plenty of spicy, earthy rye, bread crust, and caramel
T - earthy and spicy with loads of rye malt, rye bread crust, and caramel. It's both bitter and sweet as the label suggests. Pine and grapefruit punish the palate on the finish
M - full bodied and looked thick and syrupy as it poured. Finishes bitter and dry
O - whether this was fresh or not, it's an excellent Rye DIPA.

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

A-somewhat hazy dark amber in color with a thin layer of khaki head that disappears quickly

S-caramel malt backbone, raisins, pine hops, and light rye

T-caramel malt backbone, light dark fruits, spicy rye in the finish with lots of pine bitterness

M-medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall lots of pine and caramel, ABV was not overpowering, I enjoyed it

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Photo of Mikus
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue into the Spiegelau. 1/2 finger of cream colored head with a ridiculously crisp division between brew and head, and tiny bubbles. Interesting nose with bright orange bitterness, grapefruit notes, and some noticeable rye. Not a 'top-shelf' IPA nose from my experiences, but it has its own thing going on, and I like it. the spicy rye notes hits you right away on the front of the palate, and then the flavors live up to the 'bitter-sweet' moniker. Grapefruit and orange juice notes supply the bitterness, and there is also a lingering sweetness intermingled. A nice pine note emerges mid palate as well to add to the overall complex malt profile. Slightly heavy and a bit cloying on the mouthfeel, but not inappropriate considering the unique take on the style. It's a head-scratcher, and not the same old IPA or rye IPA. Not just another hop bomb. Worth a try on all accounts.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice copper color with a big, creamy off-white head with good retention and lacing. The nose and palate are very similar featuring hints of toasted malt and a big hop bill with lots of pine and spicy pepper that finishes with great dry bittering hops.

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nose is piney, hoppy and sticky sweet. big, complex malt and hops taste with a citrus oil bitterness and almost caramel-like sweetness. rye is present, and comes through very strongly in the resiny aftertaste. defintely one of those high abv doubles that hits like a hammer and immediately does not size up as a session beer; reminds me a little of heavy seas big dipa and dfh burton baton.

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Photo of JustSomeSkank
4.79/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am a sucker for labels (I'm brew-shallow?) and this one is what kept me away for a while. The label is cheesy...

But screw the label! This beer is great but the aftertaste MAKES it.

It lingers in the best way possible and goes fantastically with spicy foods. Definitely buying again if I can find it.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color, almost brown with an off white head that trails the glass as you drink. Smells of rye bread with citrus and pine, very enticing. The taste was great with mellow bread and rye flavors mixing with the bitter hops and an exceptionally clean finish. Was super happy I found one of my favorites.

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Photo of MattR2014
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had in 12oz bottle. The rye and hops mask this 10% monster and the rye is prominent in smell and taste. I like a lot and would love to have on draft. A little too rye for me but that's what the style calls for. It lives up to its rating.

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Photo of GregJ
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish amber. Smells of rye, spicy pine and citrus/floral. Tastes of rye (heavy), pine resin, citrus and bready malts. Medium body and carbonation, pine resin and citrus aftertaste. An old favorite of mine.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copppercolored beer with a thin, beige head.
F*ck! I've got such a cold! I've having a hard time to sense anything with my nose... Anyway -

Nose: Dried fruit, rye whiskey, carmel, citrus and pine.
Taste: Full, sweeet taste of caramel malt. Orange, pine and rye.
Body: Medium, smooth body with soft carbonation. Sweet finish that ends wwith a great bitterness.

Great breer! I would love to try this witout a cold!

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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.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Can't find any dates on the bottle, but this beer seems a little stale to me. No hops present in the nose. Some sweetness. Taste is a little sticky and thick. Pretty well balanced between malt and hops. Not much lingering bitterness at all. Very nice buttery mouthfeel. Overall my review is somewhat reserved because I think it may be older shelf life. Its an ok double but really missing any of the great hop notes I look for in my IPAs these days.

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Photo of ThomasT
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%

Appearance: Deep, slightly cloudy amber colour. Head is creamy and lingers around for a surprising amount of time with some lacing.
Smell: Caramel, citrus, and pine are most prominent, with hints of chocolate and almonds.
Taste: Sweet grapefruit, orange, caramel, and chocolate are all present in the front and middle in equal measures. A dry, spicy rye and a healthy pine punch is present in the back, with roastiness, salt, almond, and hazelnut lingering afterwards. Medium-bodied, with no alcohol burn or cloying quality to speak of and moderate carbonation.
Overall: An excellent, interesting, and well-balanced beer. The only possible complaint I could have is that the rye tends to leave just slightly too strong a tone in the back.

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Photo of BWED
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip

A- Deep amber, red-orange hues. Tan head is one finger, and speckles of lacing line the glass.

S- Piney hop aroma. Faint citrus. Malt is sweet. Caramel. Rye spice.

T- There are a lot of flavors that come out in this one. First is a bite of the spicy, crisp rye, then some piney hops, earthy. The finishing taste is a little sweet, caramel and fruit.

M- Really crisp, and the body isn't so full, like most double IPA's. Smooth and a bit chewy, but goes down quick. The finish has a sweetness, followed by a long dry and bitter finale.

O- This is very powerful and in-your-face. All those hops, all that rye, and enough malt to keep you from losing your head. Very big beer.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

A terrific beer. This is my go to beer in the winter time. It warms you up on the inside. Seems more like a hign ABV brown ale or barleywine but really enjoyable. Definetly my favorite Shmaltz brew.

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Photo of ANiklaus
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a glass. Appearance is solid with a golden amber color. The smell will give the drinker a nosefull of malt with a slight hint of honey and caramel. The taste is incredibly difficult to beat with the rye infusion. The sensation of the caramel comes through with the initial taste as well with a delayed aftertaste. This is an incredibly flavorful beer that can only be beat by He'Brew's R.I.P.A on Rye which is much more difficult to find on shelves.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

He'brew's Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., Rye Double IPA. 10% ABV.

A: Just over a finger of head. Nice, clear red-amber. Clear-y yellow in the dimple. Decent strand of lacing.

S: Hoppiness, reminiscent of pine sap, is noticeable immediately. Very slight lime citrus note. I'm not getting any malt aromas.

T/MF: Thankfully, hops are not quite so abundant on the palate, though they are certainly there! Again, pine. Heavy caramelized sap balances a bit. Lime peel. Dark rye flavors.

Still not my kind of beer, but better than quite a few IPAs I've tried, and certainly better than Sierra Nevada's RIPA.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

good stuff here, for sure. Cream soda and white lemon cake in the nose, with a whole lot of rhy and breadiness. Ok lacing and head on a copper body.

The taste is the definition of what it says on the body, "bittersweet." Nice spicy hops, a whole lot of them with toasted malt. Then we have this undertone and aftertaste of sweet prune juice and rhy bread.

Unique beer, this one. I'd get it again. Very drinkable for the ABV as well.

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Photo of slym
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one interesting IPA - nothing hidden, no "notes" or anything, just an in-your-face rye IIPA.

This brew uses 8 kinds of malts and 8 kinds of hops, and it all works together without anything overpowering anything else. The rye adds a great spicyness, and I'd never guess this was a 10% ABV brew.

Just try it! Not your everyday IPA, but something kind of special, I'll even admit.


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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.