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.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,784 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,784
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 74
Gots: 113 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

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

(Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006)
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,784 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MCDuhamel
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a very clear dark amber/garnet, with a rather reluctant head that fades to a cap, but which follows the beer. Lots of tight bubbles rising through the liquor somewhat languidly. Very pretty to look at, but bringing it to the nose really reveals something special. Piney hops are quite evident, but the spiciness of the rye lends an intriguing quality that separates this from the everyday. Some pineapple makes its way in too. The flavor is balanced; rye malt, but not too much, plenty of American hops, some fruit, and a hint of caramel. The finish is dry but not at all astringent. In the mouth it is full bodied but not heavy, with plenty of carbonation but not so much to be distracting. Despite the strength and the unusual nature of the rye malt, it is very easy to drink; in fact, I am disappointed my wife bought me only the one to try.

This is far and away the best offering from this brewery, and a world class double IPA.

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

Enjoyed in a 12 oz. bottle.

Two dense fingers of some of the most durable tan froth imaginable atop a hazy brown body with ruby trim. The patch of foam literally stays throughout most of the duration. Dense lacing and duration make for a fabulous look. Dense malty and hopped-up nose, rife with bready, caramel malt and resiny hops.

The taste is really bold, filled with roasted caramel, dried fruit, some molasses, and a bit of berry. The rye is pervasive, coating the tongue with a resiny, nutty film. It's complicated, robust, and impressive. Challenging, but delicious. The mouthfeel is good but maybe a little too tart and bitter. It's also somewhat of a sipper, due in part to the texture and also in part to the heat from the alcohol, which emerges early and gains steam.

Yet in all, this is a big, bold, challenging beer, a testament to the impact that the great Lenny Bruce made on American culture. He'Brew has become well known for their big, almost massive beers, and this is no different. It's also excellent.

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

22 oz bottle poured into Ommegang glass

Copper with orange hues, a gentle pour produced two fat fingers of frothy ivory head with nice retention and lots of sudsy lacing left stuck to the glass.

Smells of toasty rye, big pink grapefruit, piney hops and fresh herbs.

Taste of rye malt, sweet and sour grapefruit with sugar on top, citrus peel and long lasting piney bitterness with notes of bitter herbs. The high alcohol content is well masked by the massive hop character, present only briefly mid-palate.

Mouthfeel is wonderfully smooth and creamy, finishing clean without any stickiness present. This is the perfect viscosity for my taste.

I really like this beer. It's got big flavors while remaining well-balanced, without trying to be too many things at once... and strangely thirst-quenching to boot.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, Duvel snifter

A: Dark golden brown, big white frothy head

S: Hops and rye dominate with a little alcohol, as to be
expected. Not very complex but strong, and enjoyable.

T: Quick hop bite followed by plenty of rye malts, spicy but warm and inviting. This malt character is getting sweet, almost candy like, as the glass warms. Some people are saying this is a cross between a DIPA and a barleywine, which I can understand, but the rye malts set this apart with that spicy character that I love.

M: Mouthfeel is excellent. This is a big brew and its viscosity is thick enough to back it up.

D: Drinkability suffers a bit because of the abv and thickness, one is enough but what a treat!

I love rye beers, and this is a great example.. Ill buy this again.

Photo of fastsrt
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle to tulip pint glass
A: golden brown with a super frothy head
S: hops, rye malts
T: rye malts, hops
M: this is where this beer shines it has a super full-body stout like
feel to it yet finishes dry where you would expect a sweet finish one of the best mouth-feels for the style out there, due to the rye malts,
D: not as drinkable as others it feels thick but the carbonation come through to lighten the body.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks impressive, rich, vibrant reddish brown. Aroma, some sweet candy kinda.

Taste, I completely agree with my predecessor, the lines are blurred between DIPA and barleywine here, moreso towards the barleywine end. Sweet, understated hops, hides the alcohol decently. Drinkable for its alcohol, but price is a little prohibitive.

Photo of BierFan
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big cascading tan head on top of a hazy red/amber body. Despite a high alcohol content the head has terrific lasting power. Leaves behind tiered lacing.

Smell: The first thing I noticed when I cracked the cap was the huge malty barleywinish aroma. I thought that the beer might be past it's prime because I didn't get a big fresh hop aroma from it.

Taste: Very smooth and sweet. Mellow fruity hop flavors. Alcohol plays it's roll in the taste of the beer but it doesn't get in the way of the assault of rye malt and hops.

Drinkability: Compared to others of the style it's a little low on drinkability.

Not what I expected from a California DIPA. I thought blurring the barleywine/DIPA lines was more of a Midwest brewery thing. Overall, it's okay. But I don't think I'll be picking this up again if there's a decent alternative.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber color, just a touch cloudy. The tan head is thin but strong. Lacing is minimal.

Oh my this beer smells big...I'm getting crazy hops and big sweet malt even on the pour. A closer inspection reveals a great spicy hop aroma, some nice balance with sweet malty backbone. This comes off together like some sort of sweet rum soaked spice cake or something. Nice.

The taset also has a big hop spice upfront, some pine notes in this but it's so well balanced with an earthy malt flavor...definitely not hop-forward even though that's the first thing you taste. I love the balance of this huge DIPA. A nice alcohol burn combined with a dryness perhaps from the rye (not too familiar with rye in beers) lead me through the middle and then it finishes big and bitter and beautiful.

Big bodied and bold flavored, yest smooth and warming. There's not much about this beer that I don't like. IMO it can hold it's own against any DIPA.

Photo of Hornet2003
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby red with a small head.

Smell: Biscuity and sugary. Lots of oily hop aromas. This beer is over the top.

Taste: Almost a cross between a barley wine and a IIPA. Extreme bitterness, and a lot of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and prickly. The bitterness is almost ridiculous. So aggressive its great!

Drinkability: For a IIPA, I would say it's above average. It's got serious grapefruit hoppiness and strong malty backbone. Incredibly complex.

Overall: Nice stuff, but don't expect to kill more than one 22oz in a night. This beer is ridiculous.

Photo of nickadams2
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a deep hazy orange with a thick creamy head. Nice lacing.

S_ Sweet malt, hops and a strong alcohol burn.

T_ More complex and in a weird way balanced than the smell. Sweet malt and bitter hops complement each other but dont cancel each other out. Theres more than enough of each to let you know its there. Citrus of the hops and the sweet caramel tasting malt blend well and neither one overpowers the other.Not as much alcohol as the smell indicates.

M_Thicker than I expected and coats the mouth nicely.

D_Drinks well for the 10 ABV more than a bomber might be overkill but not absurd.

For just over five bucks a bomber this is a quality beer that wont hurt your wallet.

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

Poured from a chilly cellar-temperature bottle into a goblet. Pours a lovely ruby brown, clear with sparse bubbles. No head, just a tan ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Aroma is of caramel malt, earthiness, and citrusy hops. This beer is hoppy enough to tingle, but not unpleasantly. Initial slight sweetness yields to huge hop flavor, piney, critrusy, floral, wow. An interesting maltiness underlies the flavor, and I can only assume that what I am tasting is the rye. This medium bodied beer doesn't coat the mouth much, but the flavor of the hops certainly lingers for some time. This beer is loud and interesting, one to savor rather than enjoyed bottle after bottle.

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

Served from a chilly bottle into a chalice. The beer is dark copper in color, translucent, with a head of uniformly small tan bubbles. There are a few bubbles of carbonation rising within the glass. If I could give the smeel of this beer a 4.2 rating, I would. It's a bit better than some 4.0 ratings I've given, but I'm not quite ready to give it a 4.5. It has a robust hop aroma. It's dry and earthy, but also a little sweet. The beer has an interesting flavor. The instant it touches my tongue, I get hit with some candy sweetness. It instantly changes to a bread-like flavor as the beer fills my mouth. As it sits there, the hops begin to appear. While swallowing, the hops get more bitter and linger on for a while. There is certainly some candy sugar and alcohol throughout the tasting. Each sip of this beer is a real mouthful; heavy body and a lot of mouthcoating are some real pluses, but a high amount of sugary stickiness is a slight drawback. This is an easy drinking DIPA. The 22oz bottle would be great for one if you wanted to enjoy it over a good amount of time (longer than a meal), and is perfect for splitting between two. I wouldn't want to drink more than one in a session, as the sweetness may get overwhelming. Otherwise, a solid DIPA and worth seeking out.

Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Pours amber with an off-white filmy head. Aroma is very spicy and piney with some citrus and toasty malt. Flavor is caramel and alcohol mostly, but it is somewhat balanced by rye spiciness and herbal hops and a solid bitterness. Thick and boozy, a real ass-whipper of a beer. Not exactly easy to kill a bomber though.

Photo of bobsy
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A huge surprise to find this on tap at Cole's

The beer arrives a hazy amber with a good head of off-white foam that slowly drops to a thick film and leaves lots of lacing behind. Intensely spicy nose, brings a neat sweet pepper aroma that has me thinking saison yeast were it not for the huge pine and citrus hops that indicate a good bitterness. The rye certainly dominates, though, and provides this double IPA with a lot of character. The flavour is intensely spicy, with that great rye heartiness that I love. Its got some breadiness and a huge dose of sweetness that would have been cloying were it not for the boatload of resiny hops that inject a bracing bitterness into every sip. Medium mouthfeel with a prickly carbonation.

An excellent IIPA - the rye gives it a great spicy character that helps it stand out from the crowd, and they certainly weren't shy of using a few hops in this one. I'd definitely have it again.

Photo of jneiswender
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had a pint glass of this from the bottle.

A-off white head, amber brow body (somewhat murky)

S-sweet malt, piney and floral hop aroma

T-sweet malt, raisin, hard candy finish

M-medium mouthfeel, somewhat slick

D-one of the best beers from this brewery. I would drink this beer again. Complex flavors.

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

Pours a nearly opaque honey golden with a fine-bubbled yellowish beige head. Hoppy, lemony aroma is surprisingly sweet and has a hint of honey. Flavor is somewhat sweet and somewhat hop-bitter with a strong tone of citrus - equal parts lemon and orange - and a firm tone of honey, along with a sweet but not cloying undertone. Texture is silky smooth with some fizz and tingle.

Photo of GregPearson33
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured the brew from a 22oz bomber into a Sam Adams tasting glass. It's a dark burnt-orange brown with a very thin head that tight, but fading fast -- not really what I like to see. The smell definitely has some citrus including heavy amounts of grapefruit, but also a malty (caramel?) character. After the first sip I'm a little surprised by the thick, syrupy consistency of the body and the medium-high level of carbonation. As soon as I got over that though I was able to enjoy the BOMB of hop flavor, though not of the same citrus quality I expected from its smell.

Still, if by "obscenely hopped" they mean "amazingly delicious" than I'd say the description is pretty accurate. While there is definitely a hefty hop presence in the initial sip, I think it's surprisingly well balanced; after a swish or two there is even a discernable malty sweetness to the flavor. The aftertaste definitely summons back its bitter roots, however, leaving a piney aftertaste.

Although I haven't had enough to have the alcohol become an issue, I think it's a little hefty to have more than just a (very, very enjoyable) bomber.

Photo of Lunch
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD into a goblet at the appropriate temperature (01/02/10).

A: Pours an oily and hazy golden brown capped with a small amount of off-white foam with some staying power producing some excellent lacing.

S: Interesting smell dominated by rye malt and some piney hops with a few citrus tones mixed in.

T: First of all this is only my second rye DIPA and I'm trying to get into this style, but I'm having some difficulties. Rye malt again dominated the palate along with grassy hops and a slight citrus coming in at the end. Some caramel sweetness in there as well, but the rye is the centerpiece here.

M: Really nice creamy mouthfeel and quite full-bodied. For me this was the highlight of this beer.

D: For me the rye is just not a flavor that I am terribly found of at this time and one goblet was just fine for me. the 10% abv. was also slightly present limiting this.

Overall this is a style that I am rather unfamiliar with and will take some time getting use to. However, this seems like a very well-crafted beer and I would assume rye lovers would be quite pleased. Worth a Look.

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Hazy and cloudy orange amber, creamy off white head

S: Very malty, distinct though, not just the typical sweet malt, the amount of rye has to have an effect

T: Way more bitter than smell, again has that distinct flavor that could be a result of the rye in the beer, the huge dose of bitterness comes without much hop flavor though, also has a strange aftertaste

M: Definitely dry, kind of bitey mouthfeel

D: Not great to me

Notes: This beer is not my style, although it is definitely interesting. It has promise, but doesn't quite work in my opinion. If that unique flavor is indeed rye, then I thick this could work with some tweaking. The hops need more flavor to match their bitterness.

Photo of hoser
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although this beer has been in our province for a couple years now it is a night of boredom and cold weather that causes me to rate this now. Big toasty, malty and peppery, this hop bomb is highly drinkable (well let me correct that one bottle at a time is highly drinkable), it tends to get a little thick if bottle after bottle is consumed. Cases of this have gone through the house not the first DIPA I would reach for but a enjoyable pint I will revisit time and time again.

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was consumed with at least six months of age on it.

Pours red with a white head. The aroma is strong with caramel malts and quite boozy. The flavor is strong with caramel and toffee up front. There is a strong rye flavor at the end and in the aftertaste. Not as much hop presence as thought there would be. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of tattooedtolley
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an incredible dark reddish copper. Big head and tons of great "RyePA" aroma. Hops rule in the taste with enough malt back to make sure things dont get too out of hand. That delicious rye flavor is there and it really makes you long for another sip. This is easily one of my favorite rye ipas and my fave so far from He'Brew. Its a big beer, so don't let things get too out of hand, I learned the hard way one brew day and started with this before we even hit a boil.

Photo of hosehead83
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Samuel Adams "bubble" glass.
Dark, honey-brown in color, with a big, tan head of foam
Aroma-Big malt and big citrus hops
Taste-Big onrush of malt and hops, spicy rye-Thick mouthfeel, syrupy and chewy, almost too much of everything.
This is a definite "two-man" brew, as it would be tough to finish this bomber without a little help. A definite sipper, not quite as easy drinking as I was hoping for like some other DIPA's. Neverthless, definitely worth a try.

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

Pours a dark amber/copper color with a fluffy off-white head - very bubbly and frothy. Leaves good lacing throughout the glass. Aroma is sweet and hoppy - definite citrus, and notes of maple syrup. Taste reflects the aroma - bittersweet is an apt name for this brew. The sweetness is there, with malt, sugar and caramel/syrup notes, accompanied with the hops, citrus and modere bitterness. This is a sticky sweet brew, but the generous hops prevent this from being cloyingly sweet. Mouthfeel is sticky and reasonably smooth with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden - I was shocked to come here and see that it weighed in at 10%.

All in all, a very interesting brew. Perhaps a bit more sticky sweet than I generally look for from an IPA, but a great beer nonetheless.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't think of a better style to brew in tribute to Lenny Bruce, nor can I think of a more appropriate brewer to do it. So, after reading the label text and throwing some of the chill off, this big IPA is ready to pour...

Pours a damn good-looking two-finger head, kind of a washed-out butterscotch in color, and the liquid is a mean rusty blood orange color. Cloudy too, with the ultra slow-moving bubbles making it appear one big viscous mutha. The head leaves bulbous honeycombs of styrofoam on the glass. This thing is absolutely gorgeous.

Big orange aroma, zesty, rind-like too. A little bit buttery, big caramel...candy-like overall. Pretty clear what the story is on this beer is on: big malts, big hops, the end! Very believable boast on the label: "brewed with an obscene amount of malt & hops."

The flavor brings on a gooey tidal wave of orange-y hops, backed up by caramel-candy maltiness; the rye this is brewed with definitely shows up in the wonderfully rocky, super-earthy way rye will. Nice zip of gingery spiciness too. Grapefruit rind lingers in the finish, but the balance struck between these "obscene amounts" of malts and hops is absolutely superb. An underscoring alcohol glow lifts this up a notch into stratospherically-awesome territory. Wow.

The mouthfeel delivers just what's needed in a beer like this: bigness to match the big flavors. Chewy, gooey, supremely rounded and creamy, with enough carbonation to inject activity and life into its weighty frame...pretty much spot-on here too.

Holy shit this is amazing! I think Lenny would be proud...not of my swearing, but to have something this bold brewed in his honor (but I don't think my profanity would bother him either).

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,784 ratings.