Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
887 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
887
Ratings:
1,955
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
17.82%
 
 
Wants:
84
Gots:
217
For Trade:
4
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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).

Added by mcallister on 06-07-2006

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 887 | Ratings: 1,955
Photo of negroobserver
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Described as a Double IPA with Rye Malt
12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass.

The appearance is a light coffee color. Very much like a traditional Brown Ale. Pours with a short cream colored head, which lingers on the top for a bit. Filtered. Light to moderate lacing on the glass.

The body is dense and full. Very heavy. Thick as an imperial stout or a cream ale.

Taste is at best lacking. There is essentially nothing on the front end. First impact comes from the body of the beer, which transitions into a light malty flavor and then quickly to a ver intense bitterness which coats the tongue and lingers in the mouth for at least a minute.

Aroma is malty. Sweet. A hint of sourness. Little or no hoppy aroma which is disappointing.

The beer is a bit of a shock to the taste buds but it becomes less threatening as you continue to drink. Not a bad drink but an acquired taste. I love double IPAs but this one eludes me. It doesn't come together as a whole.

 970 characters

Photo of brewdude1982
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

This beer pours a dark amber and had a great head with great lacing. The smell is very malty upfront and then pine on the back end. The taste is much more balanced than expected and does a good job of hiding the booze which is a 10.0% beer. This beer had a great body and did not dissapoint. I would highly recommend to any double IPA fan or a rye P. A. Fan?

 408 characters

Photo of Weli
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep reddish copper, crystal clear with a thin off white head, subsiding to fine white lacing

S-Very malty, perhaps more malty than hoppy in the aroma, smells almost sweet like over ripe fruit or tangerines and honey

T-very sweet up front with a hint of spice from the rye, slight alcohol flavor and warm tangerine citrus hop flavor, prickly slightly bitter finish

M-Very thick somewhat cloying, low carbonation, taste lingers on the palate

O-For a double IPA it is very malty and almost candy sweet, i feel there really needs to be more aroma hops or dry hops to truly be a double IPA, As is it tastes like an American Barley Wine with a strong citrus character. Tasty,

 676 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel snu-lip.

A: Very dark amber hue. Pours about a 2 finger, frothy, whit-ish head. Settles very slowly leaving a thick beer ring, and a thick foamy blanket. Thick, persistent, lacing.

S: A little hops, with a little pungency from the rye, and some indistinct Italian spice notes.

T: The hops are strong, and the rye is prevalent. Hoppy, pungent goodness. Woody, with just a touch of indistinct sweetness, and maybe a little basil.

M: Sweet and bitter, hoppy and pungent.... this thing has my palette all confused. Thoughtfully balanced, not overwhelming in any regard. That rye pungency does hang on the palette throughout.

D: Sip and enjoy. The fell will dictate it....

Atmosphere is really nice. Dark hue, thick head, and persistent lacing. Nose combines rye bread with piney hops and a little Italian spice. Strong hoppy pungent flavor. The rye and hops are both very outstanding, but there's a slight balance of indistinct sweet and spice components. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

 1,036 characters

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Clear copper body with a 2" fluffy khaki head

S- Dank hops, sweet malts, alcohol tingles the nose

T- A sweet, spicet, bready, bitter red wine

M- Somewhat thick body, average carbonation

O- Very unique, the smell gives no sign of what's to come. My taste review says it all, it's like a sweet, spicy, bready, bitter red wine. When i lick my lips i taste dark fruit. I wouldn't call it great, just different.

 462 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

He'brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA has an extremely thick, foamy, beige head, a clear, amber appearance, some tiny streaming bubbles, and a lot of thick lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of pungent, sweet malt and hops, some citrus, hop oil, underlying alcohol, and brown bread. The taste is all that, plus a strong hop bitterness, rye spice, dates, caramel, and candy sugar. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and He'brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA finishes semi-dry, pleasant, and surprisingly drinkable. This is simply a perfect beer, if there ever is one, and I recommend it in the most strenuous way! Wow!

RJT

 612 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a medium to dark reddish amber with a fine one finger light tan head with great retention and lacing. Nice aroma of bready malt, dark and dried stone fruit, caramel and a hint of citrus hops. Similar to a barley wine aroma. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, dark and light fruit, slight spiciness and sourness from the rye and alcohol heat. Finishes with aromatic pine and citrus hops which duke it out with the alcohol, finally winning and leaving a long herbal bitterness. Medium bodied with some creaminess. This is a very nicely made DIPA that has definitely crosses the line with barley wines, although it does have a strong IPA hop presence. Very enjoyable.

 696 characters

Photo of Offa
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this to be pretty good, but overall was not impressed.

Dark copper, it has a big pale tan head slowly shrinking to thin foamy top and some lace.

Aroma is sweet port/fortified wine, caramelised and candied grapefruit, caramelised toast.

Taste is raisiny bittersweet jamminess up front, sweet-spicy up front with lingering spicy bitterness behind. Otherwise, it's a bit vague and muddled, overall very sweet and spicy-bitter alcohol with little else. It tastes like a lot of other one-dimensional, run-of-the-mill DIPA types and had no real hop or malt character beyond what I've mentioned.

 599 characters

Photo of brureview
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time tasting this excellent beer. In a tulip,the beer pours a beautiful tea color with a very small head . Wonderful plum aroma unlike other I.P.As.Smooth mouth feel.
Taste a mild plum with good bitterness and strong alcohol. Intense hops melds well
into the general presentation of the beer. An unusual and wonderful beer.

 329 characters

Photo of TexIndy
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info on bottle - they do it on the mother carton. It was a rich, dark amber with lots of carb streams. It had a small head but that's not unexpected at 10% ABV. Slight lacing with none sticking.

The aroma was heavy on dark ripe fruits, alcohol, sweet malt and not as much hops as you'd expect. Smells more like a barleywine or BSDA to me than an ADIPA. The taste was a mirror of the aroma with a very bitter taste and not much balance. Again more like BW or BSDA. Heavy mouthfeel with good carb levels and bitter aftertaste.

Overall, I just couldn't get into this one. Barely any hop taste as it was overpowered by the dark fruit and alcohol. Maybe it needed to sit longer but no way to tell since they don't code on the bottles. Avail here in TX. One and done for me.

 826 characters

Photo of gleemonger
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, deep amber, with a small tan head. Plenty of lacing down the glass.

More of a sweet malty aroma than anything else, with just a touch of piney hop aroma. Would like more hop aroma - wondering if maybe this is an old bottle.

Immediately hit with pretty strong bitterness, followed by some sweet yet toasty and spicy malt. Very nice complex malt profile here. Like the nose, the hops are more in the background than I would like for the style, and don't seem all that complex. From what I could taste, though, pretty nice citrusy hop flavor. Not much of an aftertaste other than a little lingering bitterness.

Moderate body with moderate carbonation. Creamy.

Very nice, but not amazing. Would like to try it again, knowing I had a fresh batch (on tap I guess). This does taste a little like a barleywine, or a cross between a barleywine and IPA, so a little toned down, which is a plus in my book.

 914 characters

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

Pours dark ruby with a large, lasting head.
Big resinous, hoppy aroma with loads of sweet caramel underneath. Bready and spicy notes are very noticeable.
Similar flavours, with the malt being the main show. Lots of caramel and golden syrup. Aggressive piny and resinous hops leading to a bold, sharp bitterness.
Could use more carbonation, the body feels thick and syrupy.
A crazily malty DIPA.

 394 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this bottle while enjoying some afternoon football and doing work for the office.

This beer went into a fatter tulip glass; almost like a goblet base. I received about two fingers of sticky foam that left some nice lacing on the glass.

I pick up a decent amount of rye and citrus hopping coming out of the mouth of the glass. There is a very nice presence to this beer.

The flavor isn't quite as balanced. I get a bunch of citrus in each drink. There is also a bit of tobacco in each sip on the end of my tongue.

Overall a new take of a DIPA. I'm glad for the different flavors.

 590 characters

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

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a hazy chestnut brown with a head that was on the large side of average (1-2 finger) which eventually reduced to a few puddles with a large collar and had awesome sheets of lacing that coated the entire glass.

The aroma was of a sweet dark bread malt, pine and resin hops and a doughy yeast with notes of toffee, rye and a bit of dark fruit (prunes and raisons).

The taste was strong and boldly malty with a touch of dark fruit and toffee throughout with the finish having a slight rye bread flavor and a resiny hoppy ending. The flavor lingered for a very long time after the swallow with a nice sweet hoppiness left behind.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with a dry creamy texture and a soft carbonation.

Overall an extremely tasty, fulfilling brew that reminds me more of a Barleywine than a Double IPA...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

 902 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark maroon with pretty good clarity. Three finger off-white soapy head. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Bittersweet like the name. Lots of sweet orange citrus and a hint of bitterness from the hops. A little pepper or spice from the rye underneath all the citrus.

Taste: Huge hop bitterness up front. Definitely get some of the citrus from the nose along with a good amount of crystal malt to support it. The peppery flavor from the rye comes more in the aftertaste and plays nicely with a slight heat from the alcohol. Some buscuity type flavors mixed in there as well. Very entertaining palate. A lot going on, but in a nice harmony.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent. A bit creamy from the head and a little above medium bodied. This one should probably be sipped but it drinks easy for such a big beer.

Final Thoughts: I'm not a huge fan of the hop flavors and aroma in this one but it still impressed me. It's nicely complex and enjoyable. I don't know that I'll be buying it again anytime soon, but I'd recommend it to anyone who likes DIPAs.

 1,043 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at Premiere Gourmet in Amherst, NY.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention, fading to a faint wisp and ring. A slightly hazy, burnt umber body with lower levels of carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains leaving touches of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Rye malts, toffee and caramel on the nose. Light red fruits and floral notes as well. Bold nose and definitely enticing, though it could use some more hop for an IPA.

TASTE: Rye malts, toffee and caramel up front again, with lots of red fruity flavors at the swallow. Bold and persistent finish of bitter floral hops, piney flavors, and some toffee sweetness as balance. This is flavorfu, interesting, and enjoyable.

PALATE: Full body with medium levels of carbonation. Heavy, oily and thick on the palate, very creamy smooth, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Lots of weight and very creamy smooth. The exact oily, mouth-coating finish too. Awesome.

OVERALL: This is excellent. It's a rye IPA, so I did find the red fruit and toffee flavors slightly different than most IPAs, but the aromas and flavors were top notch and the palate was as good as it gets. He'Brew continues to impress; let's hope they can continue to brew these great beers in mass quantities. This one was great. Highly recommended.

 1,366 characters

Photo of verset
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color with slight reddish hues and strong caramel scent upon pour. Two finger head that fizzled down to a thin film over about 5 minutes.

Somewhat cloudy and dark for an IPA, probably due to the increased amount of malt. Strong malty taste up front followed by a nice bite of hops. Mouth is left with a sticky rye malt flavor.

The head is left as a film that looks more indicative of an ale than an IPA. Nice and low carbonation. The flavor is well balanced, but a little too malty in my opinion. I prefer a cleaner, crisper IPA.

Served in 16oz mason jar, refrigerated, pulled out for ~ 10 minutes.

 612 characters

Photo of obywan59
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is brilliantly clear. Copper in color in my pint glass. It didn't seem to be forming a head at first, so I poured harder and overdid it. Call it a 2 1/2 finger head, maybe 3 with what I lost. Attractive lacing.

Sweet malt dominates the aroma at first. Syrupy fruit aromas and spicy rye appear as the beer warms,. 2nd beer poured into my Duvel tulip: OMG this is totally different. Sweet flowery perfume and glorious spice. Kinda like a high class fragrant bath powder--weird. Neversaw tgat ub a beer befire. Knock it up from a 4 to a 5.

Taste is sweet and caramelly with a bit of bitter chocolate. Spicy hops and rye round it out with some tart citrus showing up in the tulip.

Fairly thick bodied. Creamy and smooth. Warming alcohol via the 10% ABV.

This beer definitely improves and becomes more well rounded as it warms, becoming more complex. This would be a great beer to retry in the dead of winter.

 919 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Firstly, I picked this out because of the label. A "chosen beer"?? Secondly, don't think I've ever seen a label that showed praise made by bA. Nevertheless, thought that trying an experimental imperial IPA would be a good idea. Can't make out the freshness date on the bottle, but it nevertheless poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

It must be the rye malts, because I don't think I've come across an imperial IPA this dark and malevolent in appearance. And I mean "malevolent," because this reminds me a lot more of strong ales like, say, Arrogant Bastard. Darkish-redish, as well as cloudy to the point of light barely making it through the glass. Alcohol leggings, as well as carbonation bubbles that glide slowly to the top of the glass. Not much of an initial huge head. However, a half-finger ring stays at the top, no matter how much it warms up. Scary.

Ahh, now this is how a hoppy rye malt based beer should be! There's an initial spiciness, as well as intense citrus zest and blasts of honey syrup. Beyond the fruity esters, there's a bit of an alcoholic drop, as well as some smells of fresh bread. Not much yeastiness. Can't make out any specific fruits, but it seems well balanced enough based on the aroma.

Cold, it starts hoppy. As it warms, it gets progressively malty, but only so much. The dry hops immediately take over, and the aftertaste is absolutely spectacular, giving me flavors of black cherries, blood oranges, raspberries, and bittered figs. On the other end, there's all kinds of spices resembling black pepper, as well as a brief rosemary flavor. This may sound that it doesn't mix well of paper, but I assure you that it all combines beautifully primarily due to the incredible feel that this beer has. This is its definite highlight, as it is thick, chewy, and bready unlike any imperial IPA I've had - and indeed, is closer to dark Belgian pale ales. A true meal in a bottle, soaked with alcohol and fruitiness.

This is fantastic. It's as exaggerated as you'd expect, or at least how it looks at a first glance, but works really well overall. I'm glad I've finally found an experimental DIPA that I would gladly pick up, for the low price, many times over. If there was a prophecy concerning this beer, I would believe it after consumption.

 2,287 characters

Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great job, fellas at Shmaltz.

In the big, oaky, fresh and dank, ripe-fruity, bitter, sweet, family of "darker" double IPAs. 90 minute-ish.

Bitter and sweet. Good advertising. Ha! Aren't most good beers though? Bitter and sweet? Sweet, nectars and riper tree-fruits. Juicy hops -don't expect high-profile citrus explosions, though. Malty as all get out. Caramel.

If you like the maltier, oakier, higher-abv DIPAs, this is for you to try!!!!

 445 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1475th Review on BA
Bottle to Spiegelau small tulip
12oz

No bottling date
Purchased at Party House Liquor, Chino Hills, CA. Dont remember the single price.

App- A weird mix of brown, gold, amber. 1/2" off white head. One line of lace at top. Nothing else.

Smell- Missing the Rye on the nose. Large creamy aromas of hops and thick malts. Citrus zest and caramel dominate with a bit of whispy booze on the nose. A bit singular in aromatics.

Taste- A very large DIPA. 10% is semi hidden with some good whispy booze flavors on 1st sip. The caramel is very upfront with big Rye and hops. Very creamy with a bit if pepper and orange zest.

Mouth- A thicker medium with a creamy flavor behind it. Medium carbonation with a residual rye,pepper malty orange zest.

Drink- It's been a very long time since I had this one and didnt remember it at all. Glad I came back to a 12oz vs. 22oz. Probably wont revisit.

 904 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

He-Brew Lenny's Rye DIPA
Pours a nice ruby brown with nice bubbles swirling to the finger thick head.
Not much smell here. I guess it's all in the taste. Maybe a hint of tangy metal and rye and fruit.
The taste is of a big but incedibly smooth DIPA. Notes of cherry, rye, malt. Gives way to the massive hops but this somehow doesn't destroy my palette. So smooth. Rich. I can't pick out too many different things, but what's here is very good, and of the very few rye-beers I've tried this would be the best yet.  Thick and great carbonation. Chewy as a Maharaja. I recall trying Founders Devil Dancer a few weeks back (and not liking it greaty), and something about this beer by Lenny's somehow reminded me of DD, only perfected. Overall a fine DIPA.

 754 characters

Photo of Brubaker
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear amber with a 1 finger cream colored head.

S- Citrusy & malty

T- Very sweet malts, Citrus tang, Hoppy bitter.

M- Smooth & thick

O- A very malty IPA. Thicker than traditional IPA's. I enjoyed it but it's not what i imagine when i think IPA. Well made though.

Might Drink
Wouldn't Buy
Wouldn't Make

 310 characters

Photo of JDizzle
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle that is an amber colered DIPA. Smells like italian herbas that is sweet but herbal with a nice floral hop essence. It does smell like a floral tomatoe sauce despite me not wanting it too. Very hoppy on the palate with a nice sweet malt. Good format to represent a DIPA. Mouthfeel is syrupy and bold

Always a pleasure Hebrew!!

 353 characters

Photo of scootny
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely deep reddish amber with a big head a lots of lace. Clear and pretty in the glass . Smell is full of pine and sweet syrupy toffee, roasted grains and burnt caramel . Taste follows with a sweet sticky caramel and toasted malt body that sits beautifully on the tongue with an explosion of pine and punch of grapefruit in the middle to finish. Tropical fruit adds some complexity and lushness to the taste. Rye comes through with an edgy presence that balances the sweeter aspects in a fashion and melds with the hops. The alcohol is present but well integrated with a warmth in the swallow. Feel is thick and chewy with a smooth carbonation and a supple drinkability. A outstanding DIPA. One of the best and it brings a unique take and taste to the table.

 761 characters

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 887 ratings.