1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,721 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,721
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 73
Gots: 92 | 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:
A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).

(Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | 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
Ratings: 1,721 | Reviews: 849 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Poured 3 fingers of head. Great retention. Thick lacing. Color is a dark amber/brown.

S. Initial smell is rye malt. Has a semisweet smell to it. Underneath lies some hop bitterness.

T. Taste is also at first heavy on the rye. Nice rye malt flavor gives the beer a contrast of sweetness and bitterness from the hops, hence the name I guess. Hop flavor is not that prominent as is an overall bitterness.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium/full carbonation. Lingering bitterness.

O. Overall a pretty interesting beer. Not really a DIPA in the traditional sense of what I think of one as. Maybe best described as right in the middle of a DIPA and a Black IPA. I like the flavor that rye provides, so this worked for me.

siradmiralnelson, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of Flounder57
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a stella tulip glass.

Appearance: Slight head that has reduced an let some lacing on the side of the glass. The beer is a reddisch amber color with sloght signs of carboantion. Looks delicious.

Smell: Very malty and sweet. Scents of caramel and butterscotch too. Whoa, plenty of alcohol in this one folks.

Taste: Sweet caramel and toffee notes, a little biscuit, some alcohol, grapefruit, and citrus towards the backbone.

Mouthfeel: SIlky smooth. Low carboantion and medium to full bodied. Alcohol and booziness towards the end, but still good. it's a sipper, so take your time.

Overall: I have had this beer plenty of times whether I buy a four pack or bomber. Great to share with friends and family and sometime great to sip on while doing things on the computer or watching tv.

Flounder57, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of dansmcd
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown/maroon body, two fingers of light yellow head, looks thick and syrupy out of the bottle.

S - Malt forward for an IPA, sweet dark honey, treacle, toffe, prune and booze. Citrusy hops are there but well back in the perifery.

T - This is really boozy. Follows the nose with the malt profile, maple syrup, honey, brown bread. Has a woody flavour also. A strong hop bitter finish.

M - Thick, smooth and syrupy. Moderate carbonation.

O - Huge, powerful, complex beer. And different to anything Ive tried before. As indicated on the bottle, clearly an obscene amount of hops and malt have been crammed into this bottle. This is NOT a session beer. One is plenty.

dansmcd, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of TheSeeker61
4.83/5  rDev +19%
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.

TheSeeker61, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a huge head that isn't going anywhere fast. Man I love smell of this one. Fresh biscuits out of the oven and then hoppy…awesome. This one starts off with a huge malt punch then slowly transitions to a bitter citrus finish. But even on the finish the hops don't ever really take over. The mouth feel on this one is perfect. The head retention is outstanding and just adds to that smooth, creamy, malty, citrus finish. The rye honestly shows up every few sips but that kind of makes it just a bit more enjoyable. I love rye but not when it owns the brew, this works. I have been head over heals for this one since I first tried it last year after GABF. Love it.

lonestar4lunch, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of tdm168
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with 1/4" of head with good retention. The smell is bready, barley malt and faint, earthy hops. The taste is bready, biscuity malt with some peppery rye followed by some spicy, earthy hops. There's some faint yeast and creaminess. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a pretty good beer, but at times unbalanced. It's worth a try for rye fans and DIPA fans alike.

tdm168, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of bnes09
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red in color with a rich white-ish head. Excellent retention and some lace spots.

Rich and smooth malty aroma. Like whiffing some fresh baked biscuits smothered in maple syrup and cherry jam.

Intense malt character. Dense biscuity flavor with plenty of sweet caramel and cherries. Mild herbal hop attempts at balancing. Not like any IPA I have tried, way too much malt character, not bad though.

Dense, full-bodied ale and well carbonated. Sticky on the tongue and lips and lacks the dryness I expect in an IPA.

Pretty good but not quite an IPA.

bnes09, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of Crossmd
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 41 degrees Fahrenheit into a Dogfish Head bulb glass.

Pours a deep red amber with a one finger tan colored head rising late to the surface.

Smells of a pungent grain, rye, toffee, and caramel. Projected very well.

Taste is an intense blend of hops and grain with an early attack of bitters that blend into a rush of caramel and rye. Tastes very much like it smells. Intensely long finish and

Mouthfeel consists primarily of more spice than effervescence. It doesn't feel lacking though because the flavor takes center stage - leading me to believe that any more effervescence would just be overkill/compete with the flavor profile.

Overall, incredibly flavorful with intense projections in the nose and the taste that don't have ready equals that come to mind. In looking at it? I guess it's an IPA..it's obviously pretty unconventional though. This will not sit well with everyone, and is really I think a beer drinker's beer at the end of the day. Balanced and uniquely crafted.

91.

Crossmd, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of minterro
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'll preface my 100th rating with this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIp3rubYr0c

In my pursuit to find the perfect beer for my 100th rating I found myself at Odaes Big Ten Store in Lansing, MI. And this beer was suggested by the stoner cashier. Very humorous label example: “contains explicit adult material”. Along with the funnies the label contains a quote from our beloved beer advocate. I was originally going to rate Cream Brulee for my 100th but, this beer was calling to me. Not only is this beer a better representative of “my kind of beer” but its also 10.0% abv.

A & S: not super powerful scent but it’s a mix of floral and piney hops. With hints of alcohol, with a faint bready smell. The beer pours with a thick, fizzy, tan head. Leaves a lagging lacing, where that falls back into the beer after a few seconds. The beer is a classic IPA copper colored beer.

T & M: very warming feeling while drinking it. Powerful but not super hoppy. Huge malty background, with hints of rye (I was expecting a bit more) and citrus. The 10% is present but, not overpowering. I was expecting more of a hop bomb, but its was still very pleasant to drink like a dogfish head 90. Unlike dogfish head its quite pleasantly bitter and maybe a bit winey in the finish. Smooth but, crisp beer, with a full body (when warmed), medium to low carbonation.

O: I can’t complain as far as beers go. I’m wondering if the 'Cream Brulee' would have been a better pick, but I’m certainly not disappointed.

Anyways, while i was rating this beer I was looking back and thinking about the amount of time I spend rating beer. It probably takes me between 30 mins to an hour to rate a beer, thats like 75 hours I've spend rating beers, thats like over 3 days. At first I was like this is a huge waste of time, but then I really couldnt think of what i rather be doing. SO CHEERS! LONG LIVE BEER ADVOCATE!

minterro, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of laituegonflable
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red-tinged amber colour, clear body with great head - really dense and fluffy - of cream colour. Lace is nice, looks pretty damn good overall.

Smell is quite nutty, with sweet cereal grain giving way to peanut brittle, toffee and distinct fortified wine notes. Touch of fig and cumquat, just a bit of ethanoic booze at the back. Nice and complex malt-bomb of a nose.

Palate seems a bit lacking in the middle. Starts fairly malty with nutty edge; toffee and peanuts, then develops some quite dirty bitterness on a mid-palate which is otherwise uneventful. Touch of carraway and resinous hop notes on the back, with lemon rind, mild spice and woody notes. Not bad but the flavours don't entirely mesh.

Smooth enough, full enough. Yeah, mouthfeel enough.

The front malt belies the later emptiness. Could use that malt all the way through to carry the palate. Good beer though.

laituegonflable, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, bottling date not known, purchased 7/2011 from a reputable bottle shop and stored in temperature controlled conditions since.

Poured into a Corsendunk Tulip.

Pours a nice thick one finger head, settles down to a ¼” cap, easily revived with a swirl of the glass, a lively Ale. Excellent lace coats the side of the glass.
Deep brownish amber color, real Ale!

The smell is distinct roasted malt, yeast, black Rye bread, and hops, powerful.

Bitter hops come first and dominate the taste followed by very rich roasted malt, refreshing crisp acidity and a wonderfully balanced carbonation. The incredibly rich malt does not in detract from the hops, but I cannot tell if the hops are piney or citrus, they are just very bitter and distinct. Very full mouth feel from the massive malts and 10% ABV. As usual with beers of this quality the ABV is completely hidden by the aggressive flavors.

Long, distinctly bitter hop finish, with the rich bready malt following.

This is a very different Ale, something of a malt bomb yet the hops are distinctly bitter. I have to say I really enjoy what the brewery is doing here, as I enjoy brews that push the boundaries, and this certainly does. Probably the most distinctively “Rye” Ale I have drunk to date, there are many that want to be, but this one delivers! Delicious! If you find this one I highly recommend that you give it a try.

JTSbeerislife, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of rcusick
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - poured a beautiful dark amber color with no haze or cloudiness into a dogfish head signature glass

smell - it could be because my bottle was a little old, i think its been in the fridge for six months, but my pour had almost no smell to it at all....a slight toastyness and hints of chocolate, but other then that, nothing. Surprisingly not even any alcohol/booze smell for such a high ABV beer.

taste - a nice maltyness with a good bit of rye spiciness. slightly boozy on the tongue, but not over powering.

mouthfeel - thick but not overly syrupy, just what i would want out of this beer.

overall - a stellar beer, i am only sad that i didnt crack this bottle sooner!

rcusick, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of GPHarris
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a snifter that left nice lacing and sheeting until about 3/4 of the beer was gone. the body was a dark mahogany color.
s - big dark fruits and chocolate.
t - rye, pine, some underlying dark fruits and sweetness.
m - slick and medium.
o - yum. terrific beer. more like an american barleywine.

GPHarris, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Durty Nellie's.

Had to cap things off at Nellie's somehow, so I figured I'd give this guy a go. It pours a clear sunrise garnet topped by a finger of dirty light-tan foam. The nose comprises dank greens, light leek, lightly toasted caramel, very light pine, and an even lighter hint of mint. The taste holds notes of toasted toffee, heavy pine, leek, and dark greens. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a mostly solid brew, but the rye really never comes through, leaving things at the mercy of a slightly overly-piney hop lord. Not bad by any stretch, but probably not as good as it could have been (if that makes sense)...

TMoney2591, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear iced tea color with a 2 inch bubbly light beige head that settles to a small cap. Thin foamy rings of lace mark the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt and herbal/pine hops. Very simple smells on this one. Taste is of sweet malt up front with herbal and citrus zest hop flavors on the finish. Minor rye flavors overall. Mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good DIPA with a nice hop presence that doesn't overwhelm the malt in the beer.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of Philousa
2.45/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark copper, nearly brown, with 1.5 finger head. Roasted, toasty malt in the nose followed by some citrus and mostly earthy hop scent. Harsh, bitter, roasty malt flavor. Alcohol burn followed, lashing the tongue. The soapy aftertaste stays, bittering the back of your tongue. This beer was very carbonated, possibly to offset the high amount of malt.

This beer is harsh. I think I had it too cold/fresh and should have let it sit. I drank the last third at a warmer temp after a good handful of swirls and it was still very harsh. I've never had anything but a RIS on nitro, but this beer would probably be very good on a nitro tap to smooth out its character. This is a malty IPA, which is definitely not my style. Reminds me of 90 minute but with a whip in its hand, going after your tongue.

Philousa, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of ADZA
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange copper hue which leaves a two finger creamy head and heaps of clingy lacing everywhere,the smell is sticky piney resinous hops,boiled candy and caramel candy,the mouthfeel is medium bodied sticky and resinous and has tastes of sticky piney hops,sweet toffee,bitter grapefruit,candied oranges and finished with a nice of those piney hops that encountered through out the whole taste and overall a very nice DIPA that would buy again cheers.

ADZA, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of dgilks
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark copper colour with a creamy, dense, light tan head. Good head retention.

Sweet malt combines with some delicious piney hops and spicy rye. Mild grapefruit.

Massive malt with some chocolate and rye notes. Light coffee and maple syrup. Piney hops and tons of bitterness. Good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A really solid beer. For me this is a bit too malty but I can see what they were aiming for an it is none the less a tasty beer.

dgilks, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a viscous, glowing dark orange-caramel with a solid two-finger butter colored head of fine foam that has better retention than I've seen in a while. fades to a decent cap that deposits the expectedly resinous, webby lace down the glass.

aroma is enticingly intoxicating. caramel and malt up front, followed by floral, citrusy and tropical hop notes. some definite alcohol esters in the nose. smells like burning. and toasted caramel.

taste follows, with a rich, caramel, earthy backbone. the hops and the booze kind of blast the palette, obliterating the sweetness that my tongue knew was there for a split-second. resinous and boozy. like a pine tree soaked in everclear. with a touch of malt to hold it together.

mouth is luscious and vibrant. full bodied with ample soft carbonation that yields a creamy, surprisingly palatable texture despite the thick, almost syrupy front. lingering bitterness is clean, but potent.

all in all, not sure how I feel about this one. which is how i feel after every time i've tried it to date. I really want this to be great.. but just doesn't quite come together for me. a bit too much intensity on a few too many levels. kicking every slider up to 11 doesn't necessarily make the music better.

djeucalyptus, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. no bottling date.

immediatly off the pour i noticed the beer poured extremely thick, almost syrupy. a slightly cloudy deep reddish orange. lots of big carbonation bubbles slowly floating to the top. formed a very thick off white head with amazing retention and amazing thick, furry lace. the oddness of the large bubbles and syrupiness of the beer almost made me think...infection, but it still looks amazing in the glass.

a nice sense of balance in the aroma. mostly pine hops with some light grapefruit balanced by a candied caramel, bready malt. a little alcohol noticable and the slightest hint of darker fruits and rye grain.

again, nice balance. resinous pine sappy hops, maybe some light citrus notes balanced by candied caramel, bready malt. a touch of a rye taste and spiciness in the finish.

big, thick heavy body. a little bit syrupy. has a strange feel on the palate after each sip, really coats the whole mouth, that im not a huge fan of. good feeling carbonation.

wouldnt want more than one of these, but i would like to try the other BA variations and such. there is a little wierdness in the appearance and mouthfeel that reminded me exactly of a batch of infected homebrew, but the aroma and taste totally disproved that, no hint of wild yeast.

edit: the more i drank, the more i enjoyed it. very close to a barleywine. one of the thickest, oilest beers ive ever had.

dogfishandi, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear mahogany color with a cream colored one inch head with good retention and lacing.

Nose is full of Dark fruits, rich sweet malt, dark candy sugar. Grapes. Plums. No hop character nothing like a DIPA. Smells more like an old ale.

Dark malt and fruit. Dark candy sugar. Good play between hops and big malt character. Pineapple. Slightly bitter. I think it's overly sweet for the style and the very vague hop notes are just bitter and don't work in harmony with the other characteristics.

Viscous and slightly syrupy and creamy. Low carb. 

Overall I wish there was a bottle date because I Feel like this isn't as fresh as it should be. The malt character was overly sweet and the hop character overly bitter. I had a hard time throughout this beer deciding how much I liked or disliked it. I ended pouring out my last little bit because it just got more and more unpleasantly bitter.

MrVonzipper, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes: had on draft the 3P's

appearance: copper orange brown with a 1 finger head

smell: rye, spices, hops,

taste: rye bread, hops, very dry and bitter

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: hop bomb. holy cow was not expecting all that. pretty decent beer glad I got to try it.

Cheers,
The CPJ

THECPJ, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of haywire77
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

haywire77, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of Rippeddisc
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Rippeddisc, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into He'Brew pint glass.

Appearance: Rich and bright amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Decent one finger of off white head fades into a thin layer. Light amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Some citrus hops consisting of grapefruit, orange, and lemon. A strong caramel and toffee malt presence with some good hints of rye. Also some hints of dark fruits, spice, and pine. Pretty interesting aroma.

Taste: Big hop bitterness up front with grapefruit citrus and piney hops. Some orange follows with caramel and toffee malts and a strong presence of rye throughout. Also some light hints of dark fruit. Finishes with a little alcohol warmth. A nice combination of bitterness, sweetness, and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Bitter and thick but still smooth. A little bit of alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very good and interesting take on a double IPA. Nicely balanced and complex.

MattyG85, Sep 04, 2011
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,721 ratings.