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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.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,798 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,798
Reviews: 854
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 77
Gots: 129 | 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:
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).
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | 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: 1,798 | Reviews: 854 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JayQue
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orange/ice tea color. Small head that fades fast and minimal lacing. Good aroma strong grapefruit and also sweet caramel.

Tastes good as well. The bitterness and sweet malts are up front. There is some kind of bland vegetably taste that follows up...not unpleasant...but cuts some of the great up-front taste.

The mouthfeel is rich. The initial bitterness carries over into the mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good enough, the flat taste in the middle/aftertaste is the only negative with this beer.

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

A: A medium ruby-brown color beer that looks more like a barleywine than anything else. Little head forms from a moderate pour and dissipates very rapidly with mimimal lacing.

S: Big sweet malt aroma up front with fainter hints of citrus hops. Faint spicy notes from the rye also appear.

T: Moderate bitterness balances out copious amounts of malt. The malt backbone has creamy notes of caramel while the hops display notes of citrus rind. Tropical fruit notes rise late in the aftertaste.

M: Nice and creamy up front, moderate carbonation on the tongue and a decent bitter bite cutting through late. Well balanced and very pleasant.

D: This is a very good DIPA that has enough nuances to keep me from drinking it too quickly.

Photo of Hophead101
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

drank on 9.11.08 at home.

poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed chalice type glass.
A: pours a wonderful brown copper color, not much head, and what head was there dissipated rather quickly
S: initial malty and hop smell. hits sorta hard on the nose, further smell gives lots of hops
T: thick and hoppy flavor. very bold. feels like a thick mouthful. Good balance of hops and mild malty backbone.
M: hits hard up front and top of mouth but mellows out as you drink it.

Photo of RJLarse
2.89/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I bought a bomber of He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a bright copper color and is clear. It appears thick as it pours from the bottle. A beige head forms, and changes to white lace as it breaks down. Bubbles rise slowly through the beer, adding to the perceived thickness of the beer.

Smell is fermented fruity aroma, like prunes or burned apricots, with a little lighter fluid aroma.

The taste is pretty good, a caramel flavor, with some rye presence, a little alcohol heat, and a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick and cloying. A bitter film is present after the swallow.

Not the most drinkable brew, but few DIPAs are. This one is long on alcohol and bitterness. I can't say I'm surprised, but this is a one time experience for me.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After 2 months in the cellar, caged and corked poured into an oversized wine glass to show off woodsy red, with fire engine tints. The head was a dense have fingers with a slow regression to afew pits on the side of the glass. Full glass of lace when you tilt it towards your mouth to show that Lenny is omnipresent. The nose was quite quiet at the start with sublte hops chiming in first. More sweet malts than anything else to body of the nose, Could not detect any rye but got some other spices to lure you in to a double IPA.

T: The flavor starts and ends with sweet but just like any good Lenny performance, the zing comes after you get all settled down. The rye makes the bite stronger and enjoyable and you continue to let this creation breath and express itself. The ABV is fairly evident but I think with my modest aging, it's tempered a wee bit. This is one of the easiets IPA's I've ever had when it comes to the hop department. That's not to say there are not almost a half dozen different styles with Cascade and Crystal that come to mind. I smiled however after burping a few minutes later and tasting a full mouthful of hops to taste more bitterness. It's a malt bevy anyway you shake it folks and the rye with the malts works against the hops even with multiple selections. Perhaps the dash of aging I did reduced the squad of malts? I liked the carmael and candy texture beyond the malts and hops as well.

M: At first impression, I would say flat and dull however after another pour, I change my mind completely. A big boy body with alluring thicky creamyness.

D: I will most assuredly go for Ole Lenny many times in the future. I'm sure this beer has had many different takes over the years, so reading some of the top reviewers may not necessarily if you the best information about Schmlatz's take on this developing style. Just as the performer brought something new to the table in his brief career, Schmaltz refines an overall quality body of work.

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

Poured from a bomber into a taster glass.

Amber colored, with a slightly off-white, surprisingly long-lasting head. Good, sticky lacing.

Great bitterness. Malt hits for the first half-second, then the hop bitterness takes over. Slightly spice-like flavor throws itself in every once in a while. While not distinctly tasting like rye, it's different from other DIPA's. The rye seems to change to profile, melding with the other ingredients. Less of an adjunct, more of a true ingredient.

Hops, malt, hops. Floral aroma? You betcha. Not crazy floral, though. Floral in the kind of way that says "damn these hops are fresh"...and delicious.

Easy drinkin. Thicker feeling than any average beer, but not overwhelming by any means. Just enough to slow you down a little bit, and savor it even more.

If you like bitter things...highly drinkable. Complex, interesting, hoppy, bitter, but not disappointing in the malt category either.

Highly recommended.

Photo of BMoney575
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 11-8-08

Pours a crystal clear deep amber, with a hard-to-get white head that quickly settles.

Smell is all sweet, resiny hops, very sugary, with an almost fermented quality. Honey comes in later, with the perfect amount of alcohol kick.

Taste is the ultimate hoppy, bitter, and boozy. The malt is there, but can't compete. Extreme.

Mouthfeel is fantastic, super thick and syrupy, perfect for the style.

Drinkability is only as good as a badass beer can be.

Overall, a huge beer that lacks the complexity and balance to be awesome.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid $4.69 for a bomber from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into a snifter.

I like the consistency of this beer as it pours. Thick, but not molasses thick. A nice looking DIPA. Poured semi-aggressive leaving a nice inch and a quarter off white frothy head. Deep transparent ruby red color. Good head retention and thick lasting lace. Mild carbonation.

Doesn't smell like a DIPA or even an IPA for that matter. The hops are there, but are well balanced with quality malts used in perfect quantity and harmony. The hops are more dank and floral than your normal citrus/pine/grapefruit variety. Points for originality of style. The alcohol and grainy/barleyesque aromas come through as well, almost reminding me of a strong barleywine.

Taste is more similar to a barleywine than a DIPA to me. Barley grains, malts, some yeast, alcohol. Hops are actually more in the background for this one.

Mouth is very thick. The thick coating leaves a lasting aftertaste. Little carbonation. Medium to full body. Very drinkable for it being 10%

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose is indeed obscenely malty. Lots of chocolate, nut, and roasted sugars. Notes of alcohol. Slight fruity/floral/citric splash.

Pours a rich mahogany brown, good clarity, mildest of heads. It accompanied me back from Boston, so maybe the carbonation escaped. I won't hold that against it.

First sip displays a good hearty malt, but not as much as I expected from the nose. Still nutty with chocolate and roasted sugar. Also a good, stiff tartness - floral, fruit, citric. A little spicy, kind of reminds me of juniper or evergreen. A hint of alcohol. Some honey sweetness. Mildly pungent. Thick body, lazy and viscous. Moderately bitter, good bit of raw leafy/earthy hop oils.

Not the hoppiest of Double IPAs (or IPAs, for that matter), but definitely enjoyable. I've never heard of Lenny Bruce before. I'm glad I learned of him, for he is funny. I appreciate that he pushed the barrier of what's acceptable to joke about.

Photo of philbe311
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich caramel brown color with an ever so slight red hue... Slight head quickly fades... Slow peaceful carbonation... Minimal lacing, though a thick oily residue coats the glass throughout the session... Very still... Intriguing looking Double IPA...

S - Malts and fruits... Fruits and malts... Lots of complexity hits the nose... Caramel... Brown Sugar... Only a faint hint of piney hops... I was expecting major hops, and was very pleasantly surprise and happy with the rich sweet aroma presented...

T - There are the hops... Not too much, but more than I expected after the aroma... Caramel... Malt... Raisins... Rye...

M - Ultra smooth for a Double IPA, especially one coming in at 10% ABV... Medium bodied with an oily texture... Slight carbonation presents itself on the tongue... More sweetness than bitterness... A definite positive to this BA when it comes to Double IPAs...

D - Dangerously smoth and enjoyable for a 10% ABV Double IPA... Extremely drinkable... Great complexity all around... Proof that brewers can make an awesome Double IPA without going overboard with hops... A little more carbonation both in appearance and on the tongue would make this a slam dunk "A+..."

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

I split a 22 ounce bomber into 2 tulip glasses. The beer is a hazy amber brew with a quickly fleeting white head. Pine and citrus notes dominate the aroma. Upon drinking the beer is heavy on pine, with a sweet rounded finish. Definitely a sipper, it has a full mouthfeel. It is hard to describe, chewy, sticky perhaps. A decent beer but there are better DIPA's out there.

Photo of danielharper
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy caramel-colored body, slightly reddish on the edges, with a very thick bubbly off-white head. The head sticks around for awhile, give significant lacing.

Smell: Right off the bat, strong notes of rye and crisp West Coast hops. Underneath that, some fruity sweetness, grapefruit and apples or pears, with a touch of citrus, perhaps oranges? Overall an interesting aroma.

Taste: Wow. Highly alcoholic, very strong rye flavor. Bitter hops on the backend. Slightly dry in the aftertaste. As you get used to the alcohol and the hops, a slight grainy maltiness appears in the middle. A very imposing beer, perhaps with the alcohol turned up just a tad too high. That and the hops overwhelm the rest of the flavors. It's not bad, but it's very strong, and it's difficult to get any complexity out of it.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick mouthfeel, hops tickle the tongue, some carbonation.

Drinkability: This is obviously a lot of people's cup of tea, but it's not really something I feel the need to drink regularly. It's priced right at $6.99, and I'm sure I'll drink it again, but overall there are much better DIPAs out there.

Photo of avalon07
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber hue and a cloudy texture. There was a good half inch of creamy, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Strong, but not overpowering aroma. Lots of hops and malt, along with a sugary quality.

T: A big flavor on this beer. Astrigent hops, malt, caramel and that rye quality combine for a powerful taste. Complex and flavorful.

M: A lively amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Very full-bodied.

D: This is the sort of beer that doesn't mind slapping you around a little. It has a well made, complex taste and a lot of personality.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a mug...yep a mug.

I like the lable tribute, very nice.
Poured a deep copper with red hues. Not much carbonation rise, misleading. The head is super thick and heavy, with a good 2 fingers of it. Its frothy, like root beer float foam. Color is egge shell white, without the bleach. Big sticky chunks of lace the the walls of the glass.

Aroma is very hoppy, with pine and citrus. A mild scent of alcahol, some spicie notes, bread, fruity sweetness, caramel.

Upfront its smooth and creamy with some carbonation. Hops dominate the front end of the taste, with grapefruit, and pine.
Then some mild alcahol warming comes into play with a bit of a peppercorn flavor.
As I swallow a spice and herbed pumpernickle/ rye flavor comes around.
A mild metalic water flavor, more hops, toffee, a wisp of chocolate and more sweet citrussy juices.
Finish is dry with a bitter hop linger.

This is one complicated, but amazing brew. Alot going on, but never over burdoning my pallet.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge huge head with excellent retention and a cloudy amber color.

Smell is of sour rye with some piney and perfumy hoppiness, with a big whiff of alcohol astringency.

The sour rye goes really well with the piney and perfumy hops. The astringency of the alcohol is a bit much though and takes away a tad from the overall enjoyment of the beer. Also, there aren't enough hops to balance the astringency.

The mouthfeel is a bit astringent, but has a nice fullness otherwise. I want to like this beer more, but it's a bit boozy.

Thie beer has an awesome rye profile, but is a bit too astringent with the alcohol to be superbly drinkable.

I want to like this beer more. There is such a great rye characteristic, but the alcohol astringency and lack of adequate hops to balance is too big of a flaw.

Thanks to La Roja for a great extra on my wants list.

Photo of cokes
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark and clear autumnal copper-brown stacked with a small pile of ivory sudsy lace.
The noes pounds home caramel apples, electric wintergreen hops, and rye peppery spiciness. It's not a varied or particularly complex aroma, but it delivers exactly what is promised. I appreciate the fact that rye is not lost in the fray.
The taste progression is similar. Sweet with caramel, toffee, and brown sugar at the fore. Some fruity tone develop, especially apple, with a suggestion of things more tropical, primarily mango. It gathers some toasty qualities, then rye steps up and inserts its trademark and unique brand of pepperiness. Hops add the syrups of grapefruit and wintergreens. Its very dank and bitter and peppery with suggestions of chilis and aspirin, which in sum fit the overall mood, but this would be improved if the overall hop statement was brighter and cleaner and definitive. Alcohol adds some late gin-like, juniper-rich heat, but for a brew of 10%, it matters little.
The mouthfeel is heavy, leavened slightly by the tiny amount of fleece-like bubbles that make it through. It teeters towards ungainly, but there is a deftness here.
As an obese amber ale, I love this. I am always a fan of rye and what it can bring, and does bring here. To toss this into the DIPA realm, it has some shortcomings. Averaging both schools of thought, it still is a solid "pretty good", regardless of parameters, and the overt rye tone push it up further in my biased perspective.
Nomenclature is a bitch though. Call this something semi-ridiculous, like Rye Strong Ale, and I'd score it much higher. Wrong as that may be.

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured really dark for an IPA, almost looked like an amber.
THe head looked great to begin with, but disapeared after a couple of drinks. Very light lacing.

The smell is a lot less "hoppy" compared to other IPA's and you can really smell the malt backbone that dominates this beer

The taste is all IPA to begin with, nice and hoppy. Then, the spice, and malt take over and it really seems somewhat confused.

Mildly effervescent, but really quite drinkable for as high this beer is in ABV

Couldn't drink too many as these babies are 10% a bottle! If you want a nice mildly malty beer to unwind with at the end of the day...this will do

Photo of Bitterbill
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I got this bottle in a trade with nutbown. Thanks Alan!

This pours a deep amber gold with a small head of foam. Again, there's lots of lacing like the others I've tried from them.

The smell is both hoppy and malty. Good notes of caramel and light floral hops with a rather strong peppery presence. My nose is happy.

The taste is stronger than the smell when it comes to the hops. Floral and piney hops dominate with a strong pepper spice flavour and a mild caramel malt backnone that I wish was more assertive. Dang, this is spicy and it makes me take long breaks between the sips. The alcohol is also more assertive than I care for and not nearly as well hidden as in their Jewbelation 11.

The mouthfeel is medium and nice, the carbonation is medium, and it finishes very bitter with some sweet tones though, I can't say that it's anywhere near balanced.

Bottom line: This one just doesn't do it for me and finishing the bomber will be a chore. Too much hop bitterness and pepper spice for the amount of malt that I can taste. Too extreme for me? I think so.

Photo of psprings
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was an LIF gift from the beer gods by way of their divine servant Mikesgroove. Many thanks to a stunningly generous BA.

A: A vigorous pour into my tulip yields a 1-finger head that subsides within 2 minutes to a collar that leaves light lace atop a dark amber, sparkling clear base. The color was slightly darker even than expected for 10 abv, making me fear that this RyePA might be a bit more on the malty side than I prefer.

S: Aroma is dominated by a sweet crystal malt aroma, tempered by a white-pepper spiciness from the rye, but surprisingly little hop aroma beyond a light earthy, floral component. Slight whiffs of higher alcohols sneak out as this warms up from cellar temperature.

T: A bold caramelized set of flavors comes through on the entry, with much of the Maillard flavor but surprisingly little of the sweetness, as the spicyness of what must be a sizeable proportion of rye coomes to the rescue of the midpalate. This gives way to floral, slightly piney early-addition hops that are minimally aromatic but well integrated into a finish that leaves just enough spice, peach-pit bitterness and earthy hops to invite another pleasantly anticipated sip. As this warms, the fusels tend to come out in the taste a little more than I like -- keep this big boy around 55 deg, and you'll be glad you did.

M: a nice mid-to-full with a fair amount of carbonation that gives it a nice prickliness. A bit more CO2 would have been nice for a bit mmore of a carbonic bite. On cask, this could be something truly special.

D: Honestly, at 10 abv, this is essentially a barlewywine (ryewine perhaps? Better jot that down for future brew days), with a mind-blowing complexity, but a pretty strong kick. I don't know about you, but I've got lab write-ups to do. I had to bust out my capper to finish this thing off a couple hours from now. Still, a really drinkable beer for the level of complexity.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22oz bomber. Love the label.

Pours an obscenely thick, syrupy deep golden-orange treacle colour. Fine bubbles struggle through the body to get to the yellowish head, amazingly fine with creamy bubbles. Lacing is extreme. This is one hell of an impressive looking beer.

I can smell it out of the bottle as I pour it. Really strong citrussy hop character, sour and sweet, with candied lemon peel and Curacao dominant. There's a dark almost peppery undertone to it as well, spicy and rich. Nice. Very nice indeed.

Wow, that must be the longest palate I've yet tried. It just creeps up, and up, and up, moving from an initial malty, syrupy sweetness, through a light effervescent fruity sourness before the hops kick in for the grand finale, a massive welling up of bittersweet freshness. Coupled with this is the second layer which interleaves the main characters - spice, cinnamon, pumpernickel, pepper - it's the dark undertone to the fresh, citrus/fruit characters which seem dominant.

Mouthfeel is sublime, smooth and slick - the alcohol adds a little heat as well.

This is a damn fine beer, with a massive array of flavours constructed together beautifully. The alcohol does start to assert itself after a while, which leaves this heady brew a sipper, but it's a damn good one. A thoroughly delicious beer.

Photo of Biggness
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"The only truly anonymous donor is the guy who knocks up your daughter. " - Lenny Bruce

This beer pours a rusty/cloudy amber with a 1 fingered white head and lacing. The smell I got was of alcohol and orange zest. The taste was very malty, with a slight chocolate flavor and a nice citrusy hops finish. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a nice carbonation level with a slight dry aftertaste. A very drink minus the dry aftertaste.

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

Pours an exceptional dark copper/red color with a nice tan head. The body has just a touch of fine sediment. There is some nice sticky lacing as well.

S- Impressive. Very nutty, sweet, maple nut, and a bunch of dark fruits. There is a nice balance of rye in the mix too.

T- Very sweet and nutty malt with butterscotch, after the nice smooth malt it turns to a very nice dry hop finish.

M- Very thick and creamy.

D- The alc is extremely well hidden in this one. The only thing letting me know this was over 7% was the thick mouthfeel. I would have NEVER guessed that this was 10%. Incredible Brew.

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

I was at a beer tasting with a rep from this brewery last night, and of all the beers we tried, this was my favorite. So much so, I bought a bottle home with me to do a rating.
Its a very balenced IPA. Has a lot of hops, but has a balenced caramel maltyness that was very appealing for me. Not a hop bomb, but enough to satisfy a hop craving once and a while. A very drinkable beer. I love it.

Photo of Pencible
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This double IPA with rye malt poured a very hazy mahogany with a bit of off-white head. It smelled like rye and sweet caramel malt, with orange and sweet floral hops. It tasted like powerful bitter floral and citrus hops, balanced with lots of sweet rye and caramel malts. It was oily with no carbonation, and had a lasting sharp bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this beer wasn't too complex, but the rye gave it a fairly unique and delicious character. It was very clean and well balanced, despite its bold taste, so it was still fairly easy to drink. Good to sip or gulp, and quite enjoyable.

Photo of jwinship83
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- amber body with a small white head that becomes nothing more than a crown after a minute or two

S- caramel malt and hops

T- about how it smells. sweet caramel malt upfront with a citrus hops at the end. very nice

M- decently thick with good carbonation. nice bitter aftertaste

D- pretty good. the bottle went down easy enough, but more than one probably wouldnt be as enjoyable. a great beer for the price, something you should check out if youre into the style.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,798 ratings.