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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

1,771 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,771
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 71
Gots: 107 | 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)
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: 1,771 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StlHopHead77
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Nice,lightly hazy,rusted amber body beneath 2 inches of strong,beige head with sticky,ring-like lacing.

S-Smells of fruitcake,muted citrus,toffee and pink peppercorns.

T-Really malt forward DIPA.Sweet and bready.Brown sugar,whole grain toast,candied grapefruit and earthy rye spice.

M-Dry and medium bodied with a malty sweetness and sharp rye spiciness.

D-Really good drinkability for 10% ABV.Well hidden
alcohol with no burn.

StlHopHead77, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From growler to Bruges hybrid glass

A: Once of the sexiest brews I've poured. A gorgeous burgundy color, it looks like a 15 year old single malt. 2+ finger head and icky, sticky lacing which crept all the way to the top of the glass.

S: Grab the juicer....lemon-lime with hints of mango overwhelm the nose before putting my schnozz in the glass.

T: This one lets you know it's an Imperial right away. It's a hop bomb that smacked my tastebuds the moment I poured this saucy bitch in my mouth. Oh so fresh - it really strives for and achieves that Left Coast style hop profile. The thing that really got me was how long the hop oils stuck around. It was intense, really intense, for a good 5+ minutes post sip.

M: Insanely creamy. It's heavy; weighty, it really shows off in this category. It's also suprisingly smooth for a DIPA.

O: This beer is like a hot-n-heavy, six week old relationship. You may be in love, but don't want to overstep your boundaries. Let's say I really, really like this brew, and I'm currently making plans for Lenny to have a drawer in my chifferobe.

Rhettroactive, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of BBP
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours ruby with good carbonation and head.

S- Rye and hop bitterness.

T- Hop backbone. Good IBU's. Sweet from the rye, and good character. Balanced quite well between sweet and bitter. The rye didn't seem to work too well for me, but it didn't bother me too much.

M- Smooth. Medium full. Medium dry. Pretty sticky. Carbonation was just right.

D- Tamer than many DIPAs. Little noticable alcohol taste. Interesting beer. Worth trying if you like whiskey. There's no lack of it in this drink.

BBP, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a rich, rich reddish amber color with tons of bubbles pouring from the bottom of the glass. The head is gigantic and fluffy nd refuses to die down. I poured aggresively and boy did the head explode from the liquid. The head is almost solid. Laces very, very well. Looks awesome!

S-A nice combination of super breadiness, sweet maltiness and delicious fruity hoppiness. Not the most powerful aroma but quite attractive.

T-Don't know how I'm gonna get past the head to the liquid. But once I do, I am quite happy with the result. The taste outshines the nose. Big bitter hop notes attack. The hop profile is complex with both fruity sweetness and dry pine. The malt is there but the hops are the main attraction. The rye kicks in toward the end and adds to the depth of the brew.

M-Creamy and sticky. Well carbonated. Stickiness is a combination of the sugary flavor and the resinous hoppiness.

D-The 10% comes into play as the beer warms but I find this quite drinkable. This is a big beer no doubt. I wish this would come in a 6 pack over the 4 pack but jeesh the 4 pack is expensive enough.

This far exceeded my expectations. I love how much the beer's taste stays on your palate forever.

VelvetExtract, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of spree92
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy, deep cooper with a relatively small head. Head didn't last long but did leave a slight ring.
I find this to be well balanced brew as most from the Shmaltz family are. Taste the malts first, a hint of toffee and roasted malts, finished with the hops. Bitterness lingers in the mouth with much delight.
At 10% abv, I could drink these every day. This is my kind of beer.

spree92, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of PDXHops
2.68/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a shaker pint. See-thru deep amber with a smallish off-white head that displays impressive staying power and leaves plentiful crackly lacing in the top quarter of the glass.

Smells, hmm, strongly of caramel. Uh oh. There's plenty of citrusy hops and what appears to be a fair amount of rye, but both are somewhat smothered by the malt. Flavor profile is more of the same. This very well be the most caramel I've ever tasted in a (D)IPA; it completely overwhelms the generous helpings of rye and citrus. On the positive side, the carbonation is quite vigorous (keeping all that caramel from becoming too heavy) and it somehow manages to finish somewhat crisply.

Overall impression: Another east coast malt monster. Hopheads, take a pass on this one. Those who like balance in their (D)IPAs should definitely give it a shot, though.

PDXHops, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice copper/red color with a thick 2 finger head that maintains and clings to the side of the glass. Some damn good retention.

Smells very light/sweet/malty with a mild fruitiness. The rye also makes up a good portion of the nose along with some very sweet caramel.

Nice attack on the tongue with a smoothness that disappears quickly. The sweet malt and caramel from the nose carries over to the taste. The sweetness is subdued the whole way through by a hoppy bitterness that clings and leaves a very dry taste in your mouth.

I like double IPAs but I'm not too big of a fan of this one.

DrinkingDrake, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of Lothore
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep copper hue with a huge, off white head.

S- Huge citrusey hop nose

T- Sweet malts, caramel rolling into a big citrusey hop bite with some alcohol cutting through on the back end.

M- Thick with ample carbonation.

D- Definitely enjoyable and over the top.

Lothore, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Star. So this is a milestone?

appearance: served in my delirium chalice - realy nice clear amber-copper body, frothy white head with sticky lacing

smell: pine sap, sticky grapefruit, orange, caramel

taste: really nice and superbly balanced - bitter ruby red, sticky pine sap, citrus hops, some spice from the rye. Grassy and green, sweet dark fruits and caramel, alcohol well in its place. Very nice.

mouthfeel: slighlty sticky, not too heavy, smooth and complex

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of dciBA
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber with a nice off white head that sticks around for a while. Quite a bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell is mostly sweet/caramel malt, but also some grapefruit from the hops. Taste follows the nose perfectly. Fairly well balanced, although I could go for some more hops. I have no idea when this was bottled though, so it might be a freshness issue. The taste is where the rye really shines, providing a very nice spicy finish. I was kind of hoping for a bit more rye but the beer is well balanced with the amount that is has.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and almost creamy, a real highpoint for this beer. For a ten percent beer this is very drinkable. There is a little warmth in the finish, but this doesn't detract from the beer or effect the flavor in any way. Overall a very good DIPA, with some rye as a bonus.

dciBA, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Shmaltz Jewbulation tasting glass.
A: Pours a hazy, light copper body. With a nice white head that pours a one finger head. Lacing is present, but light on thickness.
S: The aroma is a highly hopped, bitter ale, strong notes of rye are present as well.
T/M: The front shows a nice and bitter hop profile. The body is a thick feel, that projects a strong note of rye. A bit of brown sugar on the finish. A medium intensity on the lingering finish.
D: This is a nice rye IPA sipper, with a nice full taste that is complex all the way through. Creamy body make this for a nice winter IPA and great flavors have me coming back.

GDBEERMAN, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.65/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance -- Pours a hazed ruddy orange with a slim sudsy beige head.

Smell -- Caramel and toffee, citrus zest, bitter shrubs, pine resin, and spicy rye.

Taste -- Juicy citrus, pine, and bitter vegetation up front. Malting is cloyingly sweet but with a surprising amount of spicy rye. Lingering flavors of pith and shrubs.

Mouthfeel -- Fuller in body, a bit oily, with moderate carbonation. Not bad.

Drinkability -- Man, this one is rough. Cloyingly sweet malts and a hop profile heavy on bitter shrubs. I feel like I'm having Stone 14th flashbacks. I'll give it one thing: the rye character was great. However, even the rye spice was no match for this weird pairing.

In case I got a bad/old bottle, I'll come back to this in the future.

yeahnatenelson, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of plumcrazyfx
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I stayed away from the Hebrew stuff because I thought it was a bit corny - but these guys can brew. I poured this into a Duvel tulip where it developed a nice head that decreased to a 1/8" throughout with very nice lacing. A sweet, pungent hops aroma takes over. The taste is much the same with a sweet malt/bitter hops mix that finishes with a bit of rounding from the rye. I find I really like beers with rye and this one was no exception. The mouthfeel on this one is slick, and has a great body that hold up well to the weight of the bitterness. I could have as many of these as I could before I fell down. The mouthfeel, rye, and bitterness hide the 10% very well. I found it to be very like one of my favorites - Bells Oracle but with a little darker character from the rye. All in all, a great beer.

plumcrazyfx, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

He'Brew Lenny's on tap at mighty Max's in Fells Point, B'more, MD, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Golde red like Lauren Bacall's flowing tresses at the height of her career. Slightly transparent. Considerable white head, doesn't last. Great lacing, though.

Smell: Malts, booze, freshly-cooked cereal. Grass after a gentle rain and some hops. The smell of leaves needing to be raked.

Taste: A pungent malty booziness, at first. Boiling rye and other grains. Some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full body and flavor, medium-to-full carbonation. A bit too hot as it warms up. Not too sticky.

Drinkability: High! For a 10%, it is chuggable. Despite being obviously malty and cereal-y, it drinks well. Not hot, nicely balanced.

I love Lenny!

DoubleSimcoe, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark amber copper color, semi hazy with a half inch of head that mostly laces. Smells to me mostly of spicy rye, grapefruit hops and a nice overbearing sweet malt. Tastes ow wow! Of creamy hops, spice from the rye, and a semi cloying ABV that finishes bitter and piney. I want to say the ABV is covered well but it's in the finish next to the bitterness that lingers on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, so don't expect the typical DIPA SIP IT! Drink ability is kind of moderate since I would rather have a bear republic Hop rod Rye than another of these, but it was still a nice beer. I was even able to try it in a 12oz size since I figured I wouldn't love it, great decision. Overall a nice rye DIPA.

DrDemento456, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of ferrari29
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip glass

A - Cloudy red burgundy body; 1 finger cream foam formed after pour and withered away pretty quickly; good lacing formed on the side of the glass

S - Crisp fruity berry scent followed by flowery aroma; hops are hidden at first but come alive along with a pinch of the alcohol (due to high ABV) after a deep whiff; bit a nuttiness

T - Crisp, refreshing and smooth fruit malt taste with a solid hop bitter finish and deep aftertaste; taste like it smells; sweet caramel taste; some biscuit

M - Solid creamy consistency; mild carbonation rolls over the tongue; beer is well-built with a superb balance of hop & malt tones

D - Overall a solid drink; definitely a quality beer and crafted with the right balance of ingredients that are not to strong even with a high ABV. I would recommend to others.

ferrari29, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of beersensei305
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This Rye Double IPA pours a deep copper with a nice thick head and great lacing. The smell is hoppy with some citrus sweetness and maltiness. The taste is complex- it starts off with carmel sweetness, grapefruit tartness, toasted notes, and rye. This is a medium bodied brew with average carbonation. This is a great beer and I could have this at any time.

beersensei305, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of JizackFH
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark amber red color with a 2-finger off white head. The head had decent retention and left just a little bit of lacing on the glass. There was a lot of carbonation visible.

S - This smells of caramel sweetness. The rye is there as well, but it isn't as strong as I thought it would be. The scent of hops is also present, but this beer is definitely malt dominated. The sweet smell of this beer is nice.

T - Caramel sweetness up front. There are also notes of rye, grapefruit hops, and a little citrus. The finish of this beer is of hop bitterness. I thought the rye would come into play more than it did here in the taste.

M - The mouthfeel is decent. It has a medium body with medium carbonation. It also has a creaminess to it, and it is also a little bit warming.

D - I would say that this is a pretty drinkable beer. I really wish the rye would have come into play more than it did, but I still think it is definitely worth trying. I would pick this one up again if there wasn't anything else that caught my eye, but I think overall this beer is ultimately forgettable.

JizackFH, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of FickleBeast
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pour is murky, with visible chunks of sediment floating around. There is two fingers of billowy foam that stands firm on top of the beer. Didn't realize this was bottle conditioned... had it on its side. I don't see anywhere on the label that mentions bottle conditioning. Sorry, loses some points on appearance for that.

Aroma is pungent, full of grassy, earthy hops and a touch of oxidation on the nose and some crystal malt sweetness. First sip is a hoppy assault on my palate. Full bodied, there is a also a lot of malt backbone to round this one out. I don't detect any spicy rye flavors. Bitterness is sharp, but not lingering.

This is certainly an extreme beer. Mixture of hop flavors is not my favorite, but there are so many other flavors going on that I can focus on something different each sip. Earthy, plum, toffee, grassy. This is a interesting DIPA - borders on Barleywine with the malt backbone.

Either way, pretty good but not great. Drinkability suffers a bit due to the high ABV and sharp bitterness.

FickleBeast, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of ericj551
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lenny's RIPA pours a nice deep amber red with an offwhite head that lingers as a thin but dense layer. The aroma is damp, citrus and piney hops mixed well with caramel malt. The flavor is bitter upfront with plenty of citrusy, spicy, herbal and piney hops. The malt isn't totally covered up. Plenty of caramel and toasted bread comes through. I get the feeling this beer isn't incredibly fresh, but it is delicious none the less. I can only imagine how good it would be fresh.

ericj551, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of evilkalla
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into an ale glass.

A: A very slightly cloudy amber color with 1/8 inch of head on it. A fair amount of carbonation but not overwhelming.

S: Very malty with a lot of citrus hoppiness. Very good.

T: Very bitter, with a bready, toasty maltiness to it. On the finish it's got a lot of hop citrus to it but also hints of very done toast. I happen to like very done toast. Great.

M: Pretty thick feeling, this one. Somewhat viscous. Bubbly at the same time. Really good.

D: I wouldn't pound this one back very fast given the 10% ABV, but it's pretty drinkable. Would buy again.

evilkalla, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of NorCalYeti
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- sweet, alcoholic, malt backbone

color- mahogany

clarity- clear

smell- citrusy hops, roasted malts, caramel

body- big, full, round malty body with a long alcoholic finish

appearance- off-white, creamy head, heavy lace

overall impression- a pretty well balanced, above average tasting beer. great body and finish, alcoholic tasting, big.

notes and comments- malts: 2-row, Rye Ale Malt, Torrified Rye, Crystal Rye 75, Crystal Malt 80, Wheat, Kiln Amber, CaraMunich 60

hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial. Dry Hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo and Crystal

glassware: pint

NorCalYeti, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass, this beer has eluded me for about two years now. I find it funny though that they dedicate this brew to somebody and put their born on and died on dates up there but still, I don't know when this beer was brewed, what a slap in the face.

RIPA looks a dark shade of orange with some bronze hints in there, looks pretty tasty and rich. A nice beige colored head rises up and settles into a nice looking cap with some marks on the glass. Smelling this I get alot of malt up front and sweetness. Rye is in there but buried literally. A nice dosing of grapefruit and some piney hops, some alcohol as well. This is interesting beer here. The rye, while being the main ingredient(supposedly) is not all that large, it comes and goes. Caramel malt is king here and this is one sweet DIPA from the west, this has East Coast written all over it, funny how that happens. Grapefruit, rye, grass, bubblegum, caramel/toffee/werther's, you get the picture right. All in all these taste come together nicely. Feel is above medium and sweet and not all that bitter, carb is not a problem, this beer is alive. The feel kinda reminded me of a barleywine in some ways. I quite liked this concoction and hope to find a super fresh bottle someday, but that won't happen unless they start dating them.

BARFLYB, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Tops, poured into a snifter.

A: hazy rosy-orange and slightly hazy, with a very short-lived head of off-white that becomes a thin ring.

S: tons of mango and pineapple and lime -- it's a tropical fruit medley in there. A nice amount of spicy rye and white pepper is tempered with sweet caramelized malt. Citrusy, sweet, fruity; delicious.

T: the flavor reminds of grapefruit peel in both the citrus notes and pithy bitterness it provides. Caramel, orange juice, rye, and a hefty lingering bitterness all mix in the mouth. Notes of sweet sugar-coated mango emerge as the beer warms.

M: the beer holds together nicely amidst a medium-high, fizzy, peppery carbonation. Medium in body, it feels smooth and velvety about the mouth. Very nice.

D: a flavorful, delicious (if a little expensive) rye IPA. With the last sip of Lenny's, a revelation: He'Brew makes some delicious beers. I'm going to have to seek them out more often.

Phelps, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of katan
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a goblet

A - Pours a very hazy, deep dark brown, with a few amber highlights. Not normally noticed in a pour, but this beer just looks super thick. Head formation was about nil.

S - Super sweet, lots of caramel and toffe notes, backed up with some interesting grainy rye. Rye can comes across as almost edgy in a beer like this.

T - Starts off all sweet, lots of 2 row malts and some grainy rye background. Mid-stream is still very malty, with more grainy rye notes. Caramel appears strongly here. Finishes with the first appearance of hops and bitterness, with some floral hopping and a bitter finish.

M - Thick and oil - very creamy. Carbonation is missing, so this beer stands on its own. Could use some "fluffy" textures from higher carbonation. Finishes thick and cloying.

D - A one and done beer. A bit too sweet for long sessioning. ABV is sneaky, and a bomb. Not filling, but certainly has a standing affect on the palette - almost overwhelming.

katan, Nov 04, 2010
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,771 ratings.