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

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,782 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,782
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 111 | FT: 6
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)
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,782 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ehammond1
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A ruby orange, copper, and rust color with THICK, heavy floating pellets of sediment running up and down and side to side through the beer. The bottom of the glass is coated with huge globs of gunk--looks like I ordered the High Pulp version of this beer. Though I know floaties/bits of sediment are nothing to be alarmed at, this is an ungodly amount, and no matter how you slice it, this amount is going to be somewhat off-putting.
That being said, the color is beautiful, the head is thick, creamy, pillowy and decadent, and the lacing is top notch.

A strong and powerful, sweet, citrusy, syrupy, bready aroma with loads of caramel malt and a strong blast of spicy rye. This aroma does whatever you want it too, though it's heavy, thick, and pungent no matter how you slice it. The citrus hop aromas are certainly present but they're almost overshadowed by the gargantuan malt and rye left-hook-uppercut-combination. POW! This already seems far more like an American barleywine or American strong ale than it does any DIPA I've ever had.

The flavor follows the nose--this reminds me of a big, thick, hoppy barleywine (or strong ale) far more than it does any typical DIPA. The citrus hops and initial biting bitterness are front and center, followed by sweet, caramel malts, rye bread, and biting alcohol heat.

Thick, creamy, oily, and heavy mouthfeel. Not all too drinkable.

A strong, super hoppy, super malty, somewhat spicy and tangy ?DIPA? It's not one of my favorites--it seems all over the place--messy and unrefined, if you will. This doesn't particularly punch any of the buttons I want punched when I reach for a DIPA. It's too thick, menacing, and out of balance to be a great barleywine. To me, it's a strong ale--whatever the heck that means anyways. Bah, humbug.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer sent to me by Shadman. Thanks BAmate!

The beer color is copper, and dark. The head is creamy, tenacious and sticky. A very nice looking beer. The aroma is resinous, fruity. Nice aroma. The taste is pretty intense in resinous hops. Fruits too (citrus and oranges). The ABV is well hidden. A very good beer, easy to drink which makes it dangerous. The finish is dry with a nice taste at the finish. The rye is, if you asked me, a very nice thing in an IPA.

Photo of jondeelee
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.--a double IPA with rye malt--has many of the markings of a good double IPA: grapefruit aroma, mixed with hints of pine resin; citrus notes, including orange, lychee nut, and berry; and a good malt backing to help balance the bitterness. In this case, the malt is part rye, and the result is a malt aroma that is part confectioner's sugar, part marble rye bread, part toast, and absolutely enticing.

On the tongue, the brew is immediately sugary (fruit esters including fig, pear, apricot) and full of rye flavor, which brings a spicy earthiness--lemon pepper, rye bread, burnt toast crust--to the brew. The hops--which have to be present in great quantities, since the beer was brewed with seven varieties, and then dry-hopped with three more--actually take a back seat to the rye flavors for the first part of the mouthful. It isn't until late, when the sugars die off, that a good hop base finally comes through, and when it does, it revels in grapefruit and pine flavors, and is superbly nuanced and finely balanced. Just at the end, a hint of burnt toast edges back through. The aftertaste is mainly hops, with a hint of rye, and lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is excellent beer, especially given the price (my bomber wasn't even $7) and the 10% ABV. The beer's only fault is a slight alcohol/vodka tinge around the edges, this thanks to the high ABV. But even that isn't enough to spoil what is otherwise superb fare. Well worth trying.

Photo of Jimmys
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: an opaque mahogany color with a tan bubbly/frothy head. persistent. carbonation can be seen streaming up the sides of the glass.

S: the rye contributes to a generous amount of resinousy american hops. hop aroma is herbal, minty.

T: very rich, chewy malt moves into a rather earthy, floral, spicy tasting brew. finishes mostly dry with some grain and lingering hop bitterness.

M: very mild bubbly fizz on a very full body.

D: very complex brew. malty with a full hop presence. slightly more on an american barleywine than a DIPA, but i guess you cant exactly make a category for a rye DIPA.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A half-pint served in a full pint glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: *Lots* of head with good retention. Orange-brown. Slightly translucent. Great lacing. Beautiful.

S: Double IPA, all the way. Lots of alcoholic, malty hops.

T: Big and alcoholic. Malty sweet with a huge hop presence. Vaguely astringent with a drying bitterness on the endtaste.

M: Strong, substantial, and dryingly delicious.

O: Great double IPA, but straightforward, if pleasantly so. I would have another; recommended. The ABV is quite noticeable, affecting the drinkability, but it's such a nice beer.

Photo of JayAre46
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - deep red with amber hues and aged rust, transparent, 1 finger of thick head that shows amazing retention.

A - a sweet caramel presence, rye is there and i love the twist it brings in the nose, burnt toffee not much of a hop presence.

T - the caramel sweetness has calmed a bit, strong rye presence that is divine,get a mouthful and experience the toffee sweetness that is then taken by the grapefruit hoppiness with some pine following it up to create a balance with bitterness. not much alcohol presence hidden well.

M - medium mouthfeel that coats the palate more than i think i've ever experienced with a DIPA, carbonation is lacking i think for the better, the mouthfeel almost resembles something from a cask it is so creamy especially as it warms.

O - great beer, not many flaws at all, first from schmaltz brewery and it makes me want to try more. well done, drink it ya jew!

Photo of plfahey
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-A deep reddish amber color with moderately high clarity. Thick, moussy head is a pale khaki-darker than I would expect for a beer of this color. The head has pretty solid retention.

Aroma-Juicy hops and candy-sweet malt, this one has an explosive aroma. Brown sugar, burnt caramel, toffee, and molasses malt aromas hide a subtler, nutty/bready/toasty rye character. Hops are citrusy and floral with an overall candied orange feel to them, though are definitely secondary to the huge malt character. The aroma reminds me a little of a barleywine, though the rye character tempers the sweeter malt aromas. Some fruity esters (apple?) are also present.

Flavor-Still reminds me of an American Barleywine in a way-big brown sugar molasses malt flavors open up to toasty rye bread and resiny hops. As the flavor slowly fades, hop bitterness coats the tongue, and swells to moderately high. Slight rye bread crusts carry on through the aftertaste along with resiny hop flavors and tongue-numbing bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Superb. Full and chewy body yet silky and smooth at the same time. Carbonation is moderate. Hop bitterness coats your tongue in the finish and leaves a numb, tingly sensation behind.

A fantastic RyeIPA, and hefty to boot. It's not super hoppy in terms of aroma and flavor, but it is large and in charge, with almost barleywine-like grace. However, the Rye is expertly used here to give characteristic toasty, nutty, bready, and rye flavors and aromas, as well as a long-lasting head and a thick, chewy body. Certainly a sipper, but a good one, and one I'll definitely be drinking again.

Photo of EricCioe
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a medium amber with a one finger eggshell head that leaves spotty lace on the way down to a thin cap. On the nose there is smooth caramel mixed in with the spice from the rye, with a nice big boozy note underneath. It almost smells like a variation of an English barleywine with the nice addition of rye. In the mouth there comes a little bit of bitterness sitting on top of big clouds of caramel and rye. It's sweet, almost candy-like, but with a hint of bitterness. The body is medium full but a bit sticky for my tastes.

Overall, this is a really nice beer, pretty unique among things I've tried. This is more a modified barleywine to me than a DIPA, but the addition of rye is pretty genius no matter what you call it.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a La Chouffe tulip.

A- Dark copper with big head and some lacing.

S- Sweet caramel malts, citrus, and a little booze.

T- Sweet upfront with the rye bite coming through, nice citrus hop flavors in the middle. Bitter aftertaste and slight alcohol burn.

M- Medium body, fairly smooth.

O- Nice change of pace from a standard DIPA. Would go out and get this one again.

Photo of jbertsch
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Dark rust color with an off-white head that fades to a film that lasts a while.

Smells serious and slightly scary of what's to come. Aromas of rye malt, a little dark sweet fruit, brown sugar, strong hops, spice, alcohol sharpness.

Taste is sweet at first with brown sugar, candied fruit, buttery rye grain in the middle, but the big bitter hops show up quick and take over. Finises very bitter with a kick of alcohol one would find in a brew with a higher ABV.

Above average body weight, with crisp/sharp mouthfeel.

A serious brew. Good flavors but the bitterness and alcohol kick is a bit over the top, even for a 10% ABV brew. I've had many brews with higher ABVs that didn't taste as alcoholic. Not for the faint of heart.

Photo of csiewert
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4s across the board on this one... This beer pours a clear orange amber color with two fingers of off white head that retains well and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma hazy notes of caramel malt, rye and piney hops. The taste starts with caramel malty sweetness and then moves to rye and hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is nice and balanced, but a little bitterness lingers. Overall a good rye IPA.

Photo of Keffa
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review.

Poured into my Ephemere tulip.

A: Pours a dark amberish orange, very small light tan head, nice legs, but no real lacing and settles to a small ring.

S: Holy hops! Beautiful aroma, juicy tropical fruits, pine, caramel, a little spiciness. After it opens up a little, it gets to be more caramel than anything. Reminds me A LOT of fresh Bigfoot.

T: Again, hops start things out. Pine and grapefruit rind up front, then turns into caramel and alcohol. Some spiciness from the rye. Alcohol and sweetness take over with a little bitterness.

M: A little thin for such a big beer, slick and coating on the palate and finishes pretty clean.

O: Pretty good. I don't think I'd have called it a DIPA, but more or less a really hoppy Barleywine. The hops are very prominent, but the hops are muscled out of the way by the huge caramel sweetness and alcohol.

Pretty good beer. Bet it would age pretty well too.

Photo of Cylinsier
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours hazy reddish amber, gold tinted white head is a half inch thick, dissipates a bit but slowly and retains as a solid film.

Smells of rich caramel, sour apple, noticeable rye and hints of pine hop.

Tastes of potent bitter hops with a bit of caramel sweetness following. Mostly the hops.

Medium body with soft thorough carbonation.

Delicious and very bitter, a hop head's dream. I just wish the taste had a little more of the dimension that the nose hinted at, but really I can't complain. It's quite good and this coming from a reforming hop avoider.

Photo of bayougutter
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter with a generous pour and it produced a creamy off white two inch head that settled but stayed a long time. really good lacing. This is what what a beer is supposed to look like! Smell is hoppy at first then melds to semi sweet malts with some fruit in there as well. Very aromatic with the rye coming thru as well. Taste is a hoppy maltness all at once then the rye and a little bitterness at the end. Got better as it warmed. Mouthfeel was creamy and heavy. It coated the entire mouth. Overal a very good example of a Rye DIPA. I wish I would have bought more. Worhty of a try.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Really strong Mahogany color pours into my tulip glass... thick bright head floats on top and leaves a ton of sticky lacing! Lots of carbonation!

S- Strong notes of caramel, bready yeast, and sweet malts. Subtle hints of pine and citrus. More mango and pineapple than orange and grapefruit! Smells more like a Barleywine than a IIPA!

T- Really bready, yeasty and sweet at first, then the citrus bomb hits! Nice lemon pith, orange zest and mango battle with the strong malty tones. A nice spicyness that probably comes from the rye. Unusual... but loving it!

M- Really coats the tongue with rye bread and caramel. Nice bitterness with a strong lemon peel bite. Just a fabulous blend of bitter and sweet shifting back and forth.

O- I can't wait to check this one out again with some age on it. Wish they would barrel age this one! Not one trace of alcohol... drinks really easy! This would be insane with a nice Roast Beef Sandwich on rye with Horseradish Mayo!!!

Photo of DelMontiac
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown 12oz bottle, Anchor pint glass, and a smiley face bottle opener. After finishing out the last of this sixer, figured I know all I need to know now. Yep.

Pours an iced tea color with a glorious two finger eggshell head which hangs on forever. Seriously, the foam is some of the creamiest I've had. After sitting for nearly five minutes, it's still right at the rim of the glass. Put your ear up to it...nothing not a sound. Still an inch left on the last drink. The lace is nearly a solid wall of consistent micro bubbles with bulging tiers left with each drink.

Aromas are grapefruit peel hoppiness and baker's yeast with a sweet caramel tone and an almost nutmeg spice.

There is a rather large hop wallop from start to finish that keeps on giving. This overpowers the bready caramel malt character for me and only allows for a flash in the pan appearance of that spiciness that rye is known for. As good as it is, it might actually be better with the hop reins pulled back a bit. (There, I said it.)

Love the feel. REALLY creamy for a DIPA. The head says it all. Quite dreamy.

I was on the fence with this one at first. It either grew on me, or it improved with a few months on it. Didn't take notes with the first ones.

Photo of korguy123
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz into tulip.

A- slightly hazzy toffee/apple cider colored pour. Three finger creamy head. Carbonation shooting up the sides of the glass. Lacing is awesome.

S- Very bready and yeasty. The rye is very forward. Brown sugar, slight cherries and apples. Hops are very muted.

T- Toasted malts, brown sugar and rye bread all take over the taste. Hop bitterness lingers and kicks your tongue at the back. It almost tastes like it could be a dessert.

M- Medium bodied. Creamy and chewy, alcohol is slightly warming, carbonation tickles the tongue.

O- Excellent representation, love the sweetness and the breadiness the rye adds to this. Wish it was a little more hop forward.

Photo of machostacos
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Amber orange, very clear with tons of bubbles screaming up from the bottom of the glass. Thick, creamy tan head shows excellent retention. Beautiful lacing. Nothing wrong here!

S: Sweet toffee and toasted caramel malts. Some brown sugar in there as well. Lots of lovely, spicy hop notes as well as spice from the rye. A little whiff of alcohol. This is definitely a malt-forward DIPA.

T: There's the hops! Great initial kick from some very spicy herbal and citrus hops with a solid bitterness, followed immediately by a full, round malt profile - caramel and toffee. Finishes smooth and nicely balanced with a lingering bitterness. This is fantastic.

M: Full, smooth, somewhat creamy and chewy. Perfect carbonation (on the medium-low side.) Very nice.

O: A very solid Rye IPA, and the first Rye DIPA I've had. Did a side-by-side with this and Founders Red's Rye, and while I admit I prefer the Red's Rye, this is right up there with my favorite Rye beers. A joy to sip!

Photo of shaunb81
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 5/10/11
Served in Duvel tulip at 45F.

A - Medium amber colour with two fingers of bubbly off-white head. Translucent.

S - Some hop bitterness is evident up front, followed by a significant caramel sweetness and some spiciness.

T - Good bitterness up front with lots of spiciness, followed by a good caramel sweetness in the middle. The finish is bitter and dry. Some piney notes come through at times but overall, not a lot of flavour comes through from the hops.

M - Medium body with a really good chew. Light carbonation.

Photo of jdhilt
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours five+ finger white head that fades very slowly, leaving a good lace. Almost clear red/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit hop nose. Flavor is grapefruit with a good caramel backing. Decent DIPA. $3.79 for a 12 oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of AnPiobaire
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This R.I.P.A. was poured into a goblet and poured a nice amber gold with cream colored head and nice lacing.

Initial nosing was malty almost bread like sweetness that was slowly overtaken by the floral hop notes.

The taste starts off with a rich sweetness that blends nicely with the hoppiness of an IPA. Both combine nicely to bring about a very enjoyable palate experience, that finishes with a subtle citrus finish. Niceky balanced.

The mouthfeel is thicker then most IPA's and for me that's wonderful. It has a chewiness and richness that works well.

Overall this was a very nice brew and not being an overt hop head I found this brew to be an extremely pleasant IPA. One that I would reccomend highly. Enjoy!!!

Photo of sweemzander
2.17/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a hazy orange color. Produced a light cap of off-white froth. Some lace.

(S)- A musty/malty carraway seed spice aroma. Some piney citrus.

(T)- Very bitter and malty with a carraway-seed-like spice. Some citrus, but very faint.

(M)- A decent carbonation level. Very bitter and disjointed. Malty and spicy yet even rather thin considering the style it is.

(D)- Not what I expected. Very bitter and spicy but that is pretty much what it offers. Overall, just very confusing and disjointed for a beer under this style.

Photo of Nerudamann
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Look - deep amber color, a little murky, with about a finger or two's wroth of off-white foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - I can smell the sweetness of the malts and the bitter aroma of the hops, with the latter prevailing by a bit.

Taste and Mouthfeel - rather malty in the beginning, with subtle sweet hints, but mostly a warty type of taste. That fades slowly into a bitterness toward the end of the middle and well into its presence in the finish. Amazing how long the bitterness waits! Texture is very well-balanced.

Overall - Very good brew with a very interesting tasting range.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: From a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic.

A- Pours a deep amber/copper and clear. Pours with ~2 fingers of tan head, which fades slowly to a thin cap. Plenty of sticky lacing.

S- A bit of piney hops, then a surprisingly sugary sweet, caramel malt aroma takes over.

T- Spicy/peppery, grapefruit hop bitterness. Caramel maltiness, hints of dark fruits, and a solidly candy sweet finish. Slight touch of alcohol.

M- Moderate carbonation and a medium full feel.

O- Very good. Easy drinking for it's heft, and an overall pleaser.

Future outlook: This one is worthy of trying again. Seems like I'm enjoying the RIPA's that I've tried...time to find some more.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,782 ratings.