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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

1,838 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,838
Reviews: 870
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 83
Gots: 154 | FT: 4
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).
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,838 | Reviews: 870
Photo of minterro
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

Photo of laituegonflable
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of rcusick
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

Photo of GPHarris
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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)...

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of Philousa
2.48/5  rDev -38.9%
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.

Photo of ADZA
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of dgilks
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of THECPJ
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
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

Photo of haywire77
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of Rippeddisc
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of micromaniac129
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rich copper looking ale. The head is thick and tan and sticky as it fades back into the beer. It leaves sticky lacing and surfacs foam.

Aroma is thick sticky malts and candied sugar.
Hops are lite and linger towards the back. A slight rye spicyness and alcohol are also noted.

Taste is very malty with not much in way of hop presence. The malts have a candied taste like a dubbel or Beligum. The rye is spicy and sits in the background. The finish has a big boozey alcohol finish.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth and oily and creamy. A spicy bitter finish with some alcohol warming.

I'm not reaaly sure you can classify this beer in the DIPA catagory because it lacks any real hop presence in smell and taste.
Like others who reported previously this could fall more in line with a strong ale.
To me, there is alot of stuff going on here, it's very busy. And interesting.
The alcohol is well hidden and will definitely knock your socks off if your not careful.
A note to you youngsters watch it!

Photo of chodinheaven
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep and burnt orange color and hazy, almost opaque. Perfect 2 finger off-white head on a medium pour. The head sticks around forever and leaves nice lacing. Gorgeous beer. Lots of piney and citrus hops in the aroma backed by a big malt presence. Rye is faintly detectable in that malt presence. Definitely pleasant on the nose.

Full-bodied and big on every level. Hops hit hard in a bitter onslaught, but the rye malt balances it out expertly. The rye gives it a bready and biscuity quality that goes a long way in keeping all the other flavors in check. The hops are mostly piney in character, but the malts take some of the focus away from that, and not at all in a bad way. Balance between extremes is the name of the game here and this beer delivers that and then some. Boozy notes of that 10% ABV are hidden well, felt as an afterthought in the back of the palate. It actually adds to the balance as it warms. Dry finish, but long and lingering. This is a seriously good beer in my opinion. If you like rye beers, this is a must try. If you like double IPAs, this is a must try. If you like beers that demonstrate a nearly perfect balance of flavors, feel and character, this is certainly a must try.

Photo of TheBear11D
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 6 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a rusty copper to a deep red color with a thick head that leaves wonderful lacing with each sip.

The aroma is well balanced with caramel and rye on the malt side and lights berries and citrus on the hop side.

The flavor follows suit. The ABV is well hidden in the strong flavors presented in the malts and hops. The more this warms the beer shines. There really is nothing to be disappointed about in this beer. The malts greet the tongue and the hops crash the party while both blend well into the aftertaste.

The body is medium to full with great carbonation. This is thicker than anticipated given the high ABV.

Overall this is a wonderful IPA. For some reason the liquor store near me was selling this at a discounted price. Something I was not displeased about. I will certainly pay for another one of these and recommend you give this a try as well even if a DIPA is not one of your favorites.

Photo of Ungertaker
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
A- dark amber, one finger head that slowly fades into thick lacing
S- hops, grains, subtle spiciness and pine
T- hops, rye, malt, pepper, hops linger along with rye in aftertaste
M- thick for an IPA; carbonation stays throughout, making for an almost creamy feel
O- a wonderful beer. A spicy rye IPA with great body. 

Photo of Tucquan
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-08-29 in Mattoon, IL and again on 2013-01-01 and 2013-05-28 in Columbia, PA

A - Cloudy, sunset orange with a one-finger, light tan head from an aggressive pour. Moderate lacing.

S - Mostly rye and rasin with some roasted malt and blood orange.

T - Rye spiciness and caramel malt quickly followed by lots of pine, herbal, grapefruit and hop oil resin. Sweetness returns with a touch of raisin in the rye/caramel but is gloriously subsumed once again by the drying, grassy and alcohol infused bitterness. Aftertaste lingers nicely. It's mostly bitterness but some sweet and spicy-peppery malt remains. Very nicely done.

M - Medium body and surprisingly medium carbonation. Big, creamy, resinous, prickly. Nice.

O - Gotta say that I really like this brew. The pine and zest bitterness are never outclassed by the tasty, roasted rye malt. A nice twist on the DIPA style. Had this side-by-side on 2013-05-28 with a Dogfish Head Burton Baton and this comes out ahead. It somewhat reminds me of a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot; a long-time favorite.

Photo of peensteen
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish amber colour, 2 fingers of dense off white head, some nice tight lace left behind. Smell is of sweet caramel-bready notes, some citrus and pine, more of a general citrus as opposed to certain fruits, rye malt, almost barley wine like. Taste is of sweet bready malt, rye, big bitterness throughout, pine with some orange like citrus notes, sweet in the finish, lots of citrus in the aftertaste. Lots of resin and oil, light slightly prickly carbonation, full body. Nice malty and bitter DIPA, very different stylistically for what this is (much like Lenny Bruce himself) ABV well masked in taste but you can feel this in your chest, solid stuff overall.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a golden brownish color with a fluffy white head on top. The smell of the beer is a quite hoppy, very hoppy actually. The spicy aroma of rye is also in there as well. It's has a good mix of aromas coming off this brew. The taste is hoppy and leaves a light spiciness on the tounge. The mouthfeel was pretty heavy in this beer. The brew was nicely carbonated and was pretty easy to drink in my opinion. Overall this beer was pretty impressive. I liked this one.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A hazy orange/rust color with white head and lace.

S - A lot of alcohol and rye. In addition there is some sour/dark fruit aromas and hints of caramel.

T - The initial flavor that hits you is bitterness. The bitterness transitions into rye flavor and then into prunes and oranges. A little bit of Caramel/toffee finishes it up. After the sip, the bitterness still lingers.

M - Nice round, thick body with medium carbonation. This beer feels really good on the tongue.

O - Really solid brew. For the abv, this is fairly drinkable. The beer was enjoyable the whole way through and I would definitely drink it again. The rye aroma and flavor really add something to make this and tasty brew.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,838 ratings.