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

Not Rated.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

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

1,720 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,720
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 74
Gots: 92 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).

(Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,720 | Reviews: 849 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

650ml bottle downed july 31 2009

A reddish bronze, with a head that just kept climbing up the glass pouring over the top and on too the table. thick head that stuck around, looked like little hills, thick patches of lace but could not see each sip

S caramel is very strong nice pine and citrus just great. as it warmed i picked up some bread and perhaps some faint smoke?

T sweet malt with some pine, citrus and a little bread. not as bitter as i thought it would be, i thought the 10% was a typo until i fell over reaching for seconds. not perfect but a wonderful dipa buy it if you can

M/D thick, creamy goodness. I wont lie i loved drinking this beer. smooth as silk, and i just cant get over the 10% where did they put it?

my highest marks to date with good reason. see it buy it drink it any questions???

wordemupg, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of prosper
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours like syrup. Light reddish colour with an orangey head - dense and creamy. Leaves lots of lace. It even LOOKS thick - the bubbles rising up seem to be moving pretty slow.

Smell is amazing. I can smell it, just sitting there on the table. Citrus hops, grainy malts, yum.

Taste is good; lots and lots of malt - some toastiness, breadiness, and fruit. Bitter. Hop flavours not as dominant here as in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is good, but heavy. It's like drinking carbonated syrup. Thanks to the Rye for that, no doubt.

Drinkability - poor. Too thick, too intense. Getting through one glass of this is going te be enough of a challenge.

prosper, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%

A: Copper with a very light tan head, great retention, awesome lacing. Seriously impressive for a brew of this strength.

S: Huge nose, grapefruit, nectarine, spicy rye bread, toffee, extremely enticing.

T: Piny, resiny hops complement the spiciness from the rye; bready malt, nectarine, tangine, solid bitterness, alcohol is extremely well-hidden. I know it's bigger, but his one blows the Founder's rye brews away.

M: Moderately full body is well-attenuated and extremely smooth, slight hop acidity, off-dry finish. Extremely well-crafted.

D: I absolutely love it, but it's a big brew.

I don't think I've ever said 'extreme' so many times in a single review, yet this is remarkably well-rounded. Playboy may have described it best "F#cking delicious".

Derek, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of barleypopmaker
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

It pours a nice amber color and is fairly clear with just a touch of haze. The haze is more than likely from a dry hopping process. It did pour a bit of a head, but it disappeared quickly and does not leave lacing on the glass.

Quite malty with some caramel that is unmistakable in the nose. The hops nose is a bit complex but not really that assertive. I smell a bit of pine and some grapefruit and lemon, but the aroma is not as intense as I was expecting. As a matter of fact, the malt and hops are fairly well balanced and you have to move from side to side (malt to hops) to pick apart the aroma. There is a touch of sweet fruit as well, a bit like the smell of booze soaked fruits my dad used to make hiding in there. Also, for a 10% beer I thought the alcohol aroma would be higher but it is not. Although the aroma is pleasant, it just misses the mark in style.

The flavor is nice with a toasty cooked caramel flavor on the front, and it finishes with a bit of spicy hop bite and a touch of lingering bitterness. The bitterness is not harsh or over the top, but just enough to let you know it is there. I don't get much alcohol for a 10% beer, so the alcohol has really mellowed. The flavor is a notch above the aroma in regards to stylistic accuracy, but for a style that the hop flavor is supposed to be "strong and intense" or "High to Absurdly High" this beer does not hit that mark. Although the balance is towards the hops in flavor, it is still just too even. What I do like is the hop flavor, it is grapefruity in the beginning and finishes with a semi-resinous piney hop bitterness that is not over the top.

Body is medium bodied with a creamy texture to it. The carbonation level is low to medium low and could pop a bit more. The beer finishes semi-sweet.

Style listing aside, this beer is EXCELLENT, I mean just awesome to drink. I can't stress that enough. However, for an Imperial IPA this beer falls a bit short. I think this beer is the single most drinkable 10% beer I have had. You really need to be careful because you can easily drink way too much and not notice. But if you compare this beer to others of this style like Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA, Victory's Hop Wallop, or Bell's Hop Slam; you will see that as good and drinkable as this beer is, it's hop profile is just a bit lacking for the style. Then again, I just may have had an older bottle too.

barleypopmaker, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of david18
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%

Love the name. Love the brewery. Don't love the beer. BUt I like it. It's a little strong for a double ipa, both in abv and in taste. It's also a little more expensive than it's most direct counterparts. It's definitely a top 20 double ipa but certainly not my favorite.

david18, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of johannasclimacus
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%

Beer poured a dark brown/amber color with a small half inch layer of head on top.

The smell was hops and rye, and unsurprisingly, that was the taste as well. As it seems like some others have noted, there was a strange balance of sweet and bitter in this beer. I thought that the 10% was hidden exceptionally well. I didn't pick it up much alcohol flavor except maybe a little bit of a bite in the aftertaste.

Generally, my sips started malty, and the bitterness came on in the middle to finish it nice and crisp and with a unique bite afterwords. The rye is there but mostly in the background. I'd have to say that this is one of the more nuanced DIPAs I've had. When I ordered it, I assumed that it was an American IPA just like Hop Rod Rye. This one packs a little more punch and a different combination of flavors.

johannasclimacus, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
4.83/5  rDev +19%

For my Dad. July 27, 2009

Poured from a bomber into a steamed tasting glass.

The color is a deep maroon/red with some gold or orange tint to it when help to the light. Two fingers of head with some nice retention.

The smell is a big heavy on the alcohol at first some nice hops with a malty sweetness. Some subtle wheat or rye flavoring in the background

The taste is a bit sweet at first but some strong hop flavor makes it's mark on your tongue and stays there some a time. As I write this review it is still lingering on my taste buds reminding me I am tasting a big beer. With each sip the malt pronouces itself then leaves the major character to this beer to be the nice hop bitterness. Always a great taste to a hop fan.

The beer is not light but is a bit medium in body and feels good drinking it on a hot night in July. Does have a bit of a slight sting with each sip to remind you of the 10.% ABV but it warms your mouth just a little but never over does it.

I picked this beer up because of the name but ended up being very pleased with the results. A great Double IPA that has it's own character.

Duhast500, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of goblue3509
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a brown amber color with a nice one to one and a half finger head. The smell is of sweet malt and some rye malt as well as some citrusy hops. The taste is of rye malt and sweet malts with some citrusy hops to balance out the flavor and some other fruit notes present. The mouthfeel is smooth and buttery, there is a light carbonation. The drinkability is very high this is a very very good beer.

goblue3509, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of sabinelr
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Got a bottle of this at Cost Plus in Tukwila, WA. A good introduction to Schmaltz Brewing. Thanks Cost Plus for finding these and carrying them. Actually I haven't looked at the beer, just drinking it straight out of the bottle. The smell promises something different - some sort of fragrant malt. The taste is a bit on the sweet side for an IPA, and sort of like the whiskey taste others have noted. The sweetness and hops counter the 10% alcohol better than almost any strong ale I have tasted. You don't really know you are getting such a big kick. It feels sort of syrupy, but the aftertaste lingers as a pleasant medium hop which does not degenerate to gacky. It is not easy to drink in sips. You need to knock down about 4 ounces or more at one gulp. Doing that will give you the satisfying sense that you have done something more important than a wine tasting, and the aftereffect is very pleasant. After the first bottle you will be left wondering if you should have some more, but an hour later you will crave another one. Buy at least three and wait until your wife or girl friend has gone for the day, then let 'er rip.

sabinelr, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of dmamiano
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

poured from a bomber while sitting on a patio on Hilton head Island. Nice amber with a one finger head and left over lacing. Hazy slightly, but expected with all the residuals.
Big malty nose with a nice mix of piney citrus hops. Grassy a bit but nice.
Taste is huge...thick on the tongue with tons of sweetness. Well balanced with the tons of hops balancing nicely

dmamiano, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of EliottJW
4/5  rDev -1.5%

This was a solid big beer. I figured that was a good way to open this. while I liked this beer, I wasn't blown away by any means. being a lover of all things hops, I definitely felt a big let down.

pouring this into a plastic pub cup from our speakeasy tour (we're watching the allstar game as true to being there as possible), I'll admit that the serving style was not ideal. None the less, it poured a deep amber with a solid head on it that took a good while to recede. to say this looked syrupy coming out of the bottle would be a large understatement.

I picked up a touch of the rye from the nose, but more hops than anything... as is to be expected from a DIPA! But where'd all the hops go when it hit my lippy lips? I got a blast of malts and mostly rye malts at that. Not a bad thing, but after smelling this beer, that was not at all what I was expecting. it was sweet and creamy, but the hops bitterness that I was looking for turned into nothing more than a bit of a bite in the back of the mouth. malty malty, to say the least.

This really did feel good going down though, I'm absolutely obligated to say that much. it was nice and creamy, not overly heavy. as for the feel, it was enjoyable, but I have to say that sharing half a bomber was definitely enough for me. This is one of my favorite styles and while it was a nice showing, I wasn't really interested in more of it!

I have to say I suspect that we may have had an older bottle of this, and if I've left an inaccurate representation of this beer, I apologize. This is not entirely what I was expecting though.

EliottJW, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of ScarletLady
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

On tap poured a coppery amber color with a bit of less filtered haze. Little head. The bar was way hot which i think affected it.
S- hops, whiff of sweet from the malt & alcohol, just a hint of the rye, overall pretty good
T- wonderfully complex that got better as I sipped. sweet from the malt with the hint of spice from the rye that rolled right into the bitter finish. didn't really notice the alcohol level under the flavor
M- thicker in good way
D- definitely a sipper, with it's complex flavor I would gladly spend time with another pint. It is a palate killer so don't start with this one if you aren't going to stay with the same

ScarletLady, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of Wheelinb
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

As someone who has worked in comedy, of course I had to try a beer that memorialized Lenny Bruce. Deep copper color and a fair amount of head. I got a big malt smell as I poured and I thought this might not taste as expected, but then I drank it and got a big bitter hop bite. You can also get malt and bread tastes. It feels somewhat thick, which is not a problem for me. It does have somewhat of a lingering aftertaste.

Wheelinb, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of canucklehead
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%

Killer beer with the combo of a very hoppy IPA crossed with the deep complexity of a barley wine. I loved the thick mouthfeel and the layers of malt and dark fruit that circled under the big hop presence. Sometimes a DIPA tastes like a an IPA that is slightly higher in alcohol but this is a different beast which takes the IPA style to a more complex barley wine zone. I would be interested in how this would cellar

canucklehead, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of kaseydad
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

Great label honoring the legendary Lenny Bruce.

Pours a beautiful amber/burgandy color with a decent one finger foam head. It almost poured like a Barley wine as the consistency was very smooth.

A major malty aroma with hints of grapefruit, candy and floral. Very nice.

Wham! The taste has so many things working at once. Hoppy, malty, bready and bitter greets the palate. After the swallow is when the big bitterness bites back. The bitter bite makes me want to drink more to combat it...but it just intensifies....no problem there. I keep waiting for a hint of sweetness because of the aroma, but it never comes. Great job!

If you like bitter beers, this is the one to try. The 10% kick is there, but this brew is way to easy to consume.

Lenny Bruce would be proud if he were alive today.

kaseydad, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear tulip glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Radiant copper-amber with prodigious 2-3 finger off-white rocky head with crusty lacing at the tops but more seen down the glass.

S: Enormous maltload of crystal and pale malts is first aroma, but floral, pine, and orange and grapefruit citrus hops a close behind. Ryemalt is hard to detect but some spiciness is there.

T: Huge flavor in a huge beer. Major malt backbone of crystal and pale malts lay down a great foundation for huge hops flavors of grapefruit, orange, pinesap, and spicier hops and rye flavors.

M: Mouthfeel is exceptional with thick but not syrupy full body. Aftertasteis spicy and hoppy.

D: A really good DIPA with more spiciness (due to rye?) and huge malt and hops components that work together well to produce a singular brew. TO=shelf aromas and flavors shoudl put this brew in the "best value' nin

argock, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of LauraAlberts
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%

Appearance: Dark Ruby Tawny color decent head retention.

Smell: Maple Syrup, honey, hops

Taste: Malty out the ass, hops, alcohol

Mouthfeel: Smooth - very tannic

Drinkability: I enjoyed this malt/hop bomb - but one at a time. I recommend for those who really enjoy barleywine and are looking to get into DIPA's . I also recommend for those who aren't totally into hops - as this DIPA has ton's of malt. Another stepping stone to the temple of hops.

LauraAlberts, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of Bigfatbino
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%

A = Nice dark color, tight bubbles in the head, left beautiful lacing in the glass.

S= sweet, but balanced with nice roasted undertones. Very flowery aroma.

T = Mouth-puckering bitter, chocolate undertones and roasted coffee. Very long-lingering bitter aftertaste.

M = Thick and resiny. Good carbonation and it stays on the tongue well after the first swallow.

D = A very good session beer. Would be great with Pot Roast or any good long braised meat.

Bigfatbino, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of Sanford
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%

Lenny's Bittersweet RIPA has been one of my favorite beers for quite a while. It feels like a privelage to be able to have it on tap. When it is poured it cascades upside down like an impatient Guiness, creating a thick, creamy, tan head. Below the foam, the body is a very appealing dark amber; and when held up to the light there are beautiful reddish/orange highlights. The lacing isn't great, but a nice ring of suds remains, and when I swirl the glass, the head reappears in strength. I really enjoy this beers nose. The aroma is spicy herbal earthy sweet with a touch of funk. I don't know which hops are used, but that funk reminds me of Simcoe. I taste sweet malt, spicy rye, and bitter earthy hops. The flavors work together in a twisting turning way, one leading to the next, and back around to the first. The finish is long and bitter. This is a big beer, with big flavors, but to me, they all work together very well. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth...unctuous (spe?), I love it. For me, the complexity and abv of the beer limit its drinkability, though I think the draft version is more drinkable than the bottle.

Sanford, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of PALMEJ1
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%

from 22oz bomber into snifter

pours nice with 3 finger head. almost looks like strong ice tea with a great head!

smells like the normal grapefruit and pine but keeps going to a great ripe orange-tangerine thing. also some whiffs of rock candy from back in the day!

different from others in this style. i was expecting the same taste that I got in the nose but that did not happen. the hops are great but I think a little too much malt for me.

feels great. creamy and smooth. would not guess 10%.

i will give this another taste down the road as i bought 2

PALMEJ1, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of JAA
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%

This is a top-notch brew, no doubt about it. The bottle says an obscene amount of hops and malts were used, and the smell and taste confirm it.

The head that did appear, quickly disappeared. Dark amber body with absolutely no lacing. Not a real appealing appearance.

The smell is all rye and bourbon. A very faint citric hop note peeks through.

At first taste, this doesn't seem like a D.I.P.A. at all. More like a Scottish Ale. Very malty up front, hoppy in the finish. Soon, the taste buds got acclimated to the malt, and the strong, citrusy hops burst through. The bready rye flavor hangs on, always the noticeable backbone to this phenomenal brew.

Mouthfeel is thick and mouth-filling. Slick and sticky.

At ten percent ABV, one bomber is enough for one sitting. I would definitely purchase again. The price wasn't bad, either.

JAA, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of AMoceri7
4/5  rDev -1.5%

This should be labeled a Barleywine.

A: Deep deep burnt orange with some sweet honey hues in the light. Moderate lacing and no head. Pretty.

S: Plenty of malt upfront masked in alcoholic phenols with the hops hiding somewhere in there. DIPA eccentric.

T: Caramel sweet malt, special B without a doubt and I am a bit unsure where the Rye is because it doesnt stick out. Hops are a little bit more noticeable really as an earthy bitter piece than the beauty of pine and citrus which is absent. The alcohol is a lot more prevalent than in the aroma making it very boozy and off putting.

M: Salty with moderate carbonation. It really is bittersweet as the label says.

D: Just good, dont think I could finish the bomber myself, should be split.

Overall: Not what I expected from a DIPA more like a barleywine without doubt. The more you drink it, the more you like it. Not bad, probably wont buy again.

AMoceri7, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a deep ruby color with two fingers of a fine creamy off white head.

Scent of rye, hops, some earth, and fruits. The alcohol is well hidden and it is balanced nicely, but it doesn't smell as strong as the alcohol percentage would let on.

Taste of strong rye and bread start with the hops coming in shortly after. Lasting rye flavor through the finish with some more bread and a bit of alcohol.

Medium bodied, smooth and a bit syrupy.

paco1029384756, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of generallee
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt, 6oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no born on or freshness date that I could find.

Appearance: The body had a beautiful deep reddish amber color with just a slight chill haze. On top sits a nice creamy light tan head that fades slowly down to ring of bubbles. It makes for some slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: Its aroma has a big robust, bready/ roasted grain malt presence with plenty of strong resin hop notes and a noticeable sweet alcohol as well.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a very solid malty body up front. It brings sweet and roasted grain, bready and rye notes as well as some sweet alcohol. Hops flavor starts to add balance in the middle before tacking over in the end. The hops add some piney and resiny notes to the sweet warming alcohol and rye notes in the slow lingering finish. It has a full body with a thick, rounded chewy texture that hangs onto the palate.

Notes: This is a big full beer with great complexity and strength. Sip slowly and enjoy!!!

generallee, May 30, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%

12oz bottle. A nice tribute to Lenny Bruce, he of the inspiration for so many of today's more edgy comics.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish copper amber colour, with three fingers of thick, foamy, and broadly puffy off-white head, which leaves pretty ambitious patchy and fuzzy layered lacing all around the glass as it quite lazily recedes.

It smells of grapefruit pith and acrid pine resin hops, bready, heady caramel malt, dark Belgian yeast-tinted fruit, a small spicy grainy edginess, and some burbling alcohol heat. The taste is a big neutered grapefruit pith wallop up front, followed by some weirdly timid dry pine woodiness, a robust spiciness, one pleasantly borne from the rye malt rather than hop, further bready caramel malt notes, a touch of understated, somewhat metallic alcohol acridity, and a strong lingering leafy hop bitterness.

The carbonation is on the low, more or less obsequious side, the body exhibiting one heck of a meshuggah hugeness, and yet a less than endowed smoothness. It finishes dry, kind of metallic, and still much more hoppy than malty, in a rare air sort of way.

An enjoyably crazy-big DIPA, with the added kick of a rye-tinted (tainted?) malt. The big alcohol is generally restrained, and not all that noticeable, rendering this as a somewhat easy to drink tipple. A winner in my book, as far as my acceptable adjunct-ified DIPA regulations go - we could all use a bit more of this, if only to keep the mainstream nervous.

biboergosum, May 30, 2009
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,720 ratings.