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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

1,815 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,815
Reviews: 861
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 81
Gots: 142 | 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 (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,815 | Reviews: 861 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of supercolter
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok so maybe I'm just not a rye beer guy. I'm wasn't really picking up much of the hops, seeing as this was a DIPA. I don't really like the way that the two flavors mix and this beer tastes like a poorly balanced barley wine. The mouthfeel is actually quite nice. Oily and moves around well on the tongue. Drinkability is ok, but its more sessionable than anything.

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

Pales a burnished red/amber. Fairly dark colored beer. Inch of off-white foam.

Smells ... mostly of sweet white grapefruit. No pine or bittering citrus in the nose.

Taste is surprisingly sweet. For a DIPA, it's pretty barley-wine-ish. Brown sugar, caramel ... big malt presence. Let it linger and grapefruit and a splash of more tropical citrus comes into play.

Nice, well balanced. I actually am enjoying it quite a bit. Has a satisfying chewy/sticky mouthfeel. Thanks for the recommendation Jwolfie70!

Photo of redneckchugger
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass, smells of hops, and a slight spiciness, chalking that up to the rye.
tastes is off, hoppy, but not enough, spicy and malty flavors are throwing off the hoppiness. the mouthfeel is just wrong, thick, way too thick for a dipa, more in the range of a big stout. this beer just missed the mark for me.

Photo of LilMatrix
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark orange hue with a light thin head.

S - Lightly roasted malts, hoppy, and alcohol.

T - The hops are up front and hit you in the face and then the malts start to join the party. The bitterness is the main lingering component I'm picking up on as the drink progresses.

M - Creamy and thick, oily, light to medium carbonation, although it feels creamy there is a thin aspect as it goes down.

D - True to it's name, this beer has a definite big hop bitterness profile and a subtle sweet maltiness. A big beer that could be a barlywine. A sipper fo sho, drink too much too quickly and you'd be down for the count.

Photo of Wackyfoot
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely reddish amber hue with a medium light brown head. Wonderful spicy smell with a hint of citrus as well. The flavor is heavily spiced with a whiskey essence and a nice bit of hoppy goodness. Little bit of alcohol presence as well but not overpowering. I think I just converted.

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

Reviewed on 8/1/08. Bottle. Pours a dark amber/brown with a thick light tan head. Aroma is quite malty with some citrus hops. Flavor of lots of malt/bread/cracker. Mostly bittersweet hops with some citrus and lemon zest. Also some iced tea. I didn't get much rye though, sadly (because I love rye). This was more like an ASA to me because of the strong malt presence. Pretty tasty though, although the hops may have faded slightly from this one.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

Photo of aubuc1
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber in to a goblet.

Pours a deep amber with a light tan quickly thinning head.

Big hoppy smell of grapefruit on top of a sweet malt and I think rye.

First is a sweet citrusy, oily hop tste, then the finish is clean bitter. A malty sweet is sandwiched in the middle.

Maybe a little thin mouthfeel, but a nice drinking beer for the size of it.

Photo of leif86
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 poured in my Duvel

A: A stunningly clear but dark amber colored brew. Head is gorgeous, nice and thick and foamy and composed of small bubbles. Great lacing.

S: Such a strong, malty-sweet aroma. Some fruit in the back but I can't put my finger on it. A good spice comes through too.

T: Not lacking any flavor. Caramel malts hit you up front with some fruity wine esters as well. The backend is spicy (thank you rye) and hop bitterness charges in to balance out the sweetness. Very bitter-chocolate-esque at the end.

M: A little sticky, a little syrupy but not bad. Could stand for a bit more carbonation.

D: Good beer, but certainly not something you can turn to a lot. Or maybe you can, but I can't. It's damn good though.

Photo of erikm25
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich and thick burnt amber and orange coloring. A dark reddish and auburn tinted copper. The head is a massive chalky beige orgy of bubbles. Very dense with excellent retention. Cobwebs of lacing around the glass.

S: Very powerful aromas. Massive malts, yeast, and freshly baked rye bread. Caramel candies with some roasted peppers coated in honey. Subdued hints of orange peels and spiced grapefruit towards the back of the nose.

T: Rich malt taste with just the right amount of alcohol tinge. Caramel and buttered rye toast with some toffee and cherry sweetness. Citrusy and pine sap bitterness in the finish. All rounded off with thick fruitiness in each sip. Hints of oak, dark berries, and a bittering tang. The spiciness really becomes more apparent as this warms. Definitely complex and with the ABV it warms very nicely.

M: Creamy, syrupy, and full with moderate carbonation.

D: This is probably my favorite style of beer and He'Brew has put together a very interesting and successful twist to the DIPA. I could see how this might be hit or miss with some but it was a hit with me. It has a very experimental aspect to it that I liked. It's one of those beers that, if you dig the taste, you'll have finished a bomber before you know it and end up having music turned way up.

Photo of magictrokini
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy brown with a billowy off-white head. Rich aroma of rye, crystal malt, and hops. Big flavor up front, mostly rye and malt. The hops are next, with more pine and resin than citrus. Finish is caramel malt with a hop bite. Love IIPAs and Ryes, this combines the best features of both.

Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.55/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I love DIPA's, but this one did not suite me at all. The taste was not well balanced and the bitterness I usually enjoy in DIPA's available here:Great Divide Titan DIPA, Boulevard Double Wide Pale Ale,etc, was not pleasant. Maybe it's just a different interpretation than I'm used to, but it's not for me. It could be a good ale if balance was improved.

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

Incredible aroma on this one. Sweet malt and good balance of rye. Nice balance. Very smooth with a good hoppy bite on the finish. Good body. Mouthfeel is just a little sticky. Near the end it seemed to be a tad to much sweetness. Overall, this is an impressive beer.

Photo of popery
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An enjoyable DIPA with a nice twist of rye. This is yet another DIPA with a lot of hop flavor. It pours an absolutely beautiful mahogany that just glowed for me. The head is stiff and hearty. It might not quite look like the norm for the style, but it's a gorgeous beer that, for some reason, transcended style for me. The nose is disappointingly weak for the strength of the head. It's sweet with some good citric hop aroma. I don't have much patience for a DIPA with a weak nose. On the other hand, the beer has a marvelous taste. There's lots of hops, lots of caramel malt and a wonderful rye tone that is fairly unique in my experience. It's one of the more balanced DIPAs that I've had, but it's possible that it's a bit less fresh than some other DIPAs I've reviewed. I certainly didn't intend to age it, but it sat around for at least a couple weeks, unlike most DIPAs I've reviewed. This worked out for me, although it could have hurt the nose. I'll try to find another bottle and immediately consume it for a point of comparison. I do this for you, gentle reader. In you, I find my sole motivation to drink beer after beer, night after night. With that, I end this review and move on to my next self-sacrificial effort. Beer me.

Photo of david131
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Absolutely stunning. A deep orange with hints of brown. Not many streams of carbonation, but the head is very slow to form, but is large and has great retention. Leaves some pretty good lacing to boot.

S- Lots of caramel, pine, and citrus. Kind of sweet with hints of cotton candy and vegetable. A powerhouse smelling beer.

T- Same as the aroma with a massive amount of sweetness and bitterness. The booze is pretty noticeable too.

M- Eerily smooth, but then very dry afterward. This is the thickest DIPA I have ever had.

D- The booze and bitterness of this really take a toll. Definitely a representation of the style though.

Photo of GreenCard
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: copper, very slight haze, thick layer of spongey tan tight-beaded foam that slowly collapses, good head retention

Aroma: very seductive grapefruity/earthy hop scent over pineapple essence, syrupy malt, and a rye spiciness

Flavor: full malt sweetness that is quickly scrunched down by a firm, raspy bitterness; hints of caramel, raisins, and a yummy rye overtone; finishes semisweet with a long-lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: full body, pert carbonation, alcohol warmth, slick texture

Other comments: I'm a big fan of rye beers and this is a pretty good one, even if the rye flavor is clobbered by the hops. And Lenny Bruce is a legend!

Photo of BDTyre
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical American DIPA with a cloudy dark orange-amber body with a foamy, off-white head. Sweet malt, definitive rye character. Double dose of hops, with slight citrus and grass hints. Bready malt character - the rye is quite distinct.

Nice beer, surprised to see this is 10% ABV.

Photo of MTNboy
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a cloudy orange and hazy almost bronze color. It has very well rounded bitter and sweet taste. That is fruity and floral. There are also some great malt tones. It has a hoppy grapefruit flavor that is bitter but at the same time mellow. It has wonderful aroma. It has a full body. This IPA is certainly up there in my book.

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%

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,815 ratings.