1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,744 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,744
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 104 | 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: 1,744 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Douglas14
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear, ruby red color with a nice white head that leaves good lace. The aroma is heavily of hops, roasted malt and fruit...mainly cherries. The taste has a nice hop bite to it that lasts throughout the sip. Roasted malt plays a major role also. This is a great beer, Shmaltz does it again.

Douglas14, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Beautiful ruby amber with a nice, fine creamy head that leaves sticky rings on the glass.

S-Smells like a big fresh fruity hop bomb, with good rye breadiness.

T/M-Big and bitter but well balanced with nice chewy malts and a powerful alcohol warming quality in the ever lingering finish.Smooth mouthfeel with an oily resinous hop quality that lasts for a while.

D-Nice stuff, but a sippin' beer for sure. This stuff will punch you in the face!

biggred1, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are so many good DIPAs, it's sometimes hard to pick them apart. The rye used in Lenny, however, is a great change of pace. It added a rich spice that blends with the citrus hops but still stands out enough to compliment the flavor and stand out. Aside from the rye, the malt sweetness is fairly subtle behind the mostly fruity hops. Also, at 10%, this beer is a bit thick and can be hard to finish by yourself. Still, a great DIPA if you want something different.

tempest, May 26, 2008
Photo of gmcfarre
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass
Purchased May 2007

A - Pours a beautiful ruby brown color with a huge light tan head. Head fades slowly, becoming rocky and leaving wonderful cathedral lacing on the glass. Translucent.

S - Strong bitter, pine flavored hops lead the way, backed by a caramel sticky sweetness. Nice to see the hops still expressive in this brew, having purchased it a year ago. As it warms a bit of oxidation is evident, but it comes off as more of an earthy, wooded flavor than an off flavor.

T - Starts with a split second of caramel sweetness that is soon erased by a wave of bitter, piney hop flavor. As it warms the dry rye flavor of the malt kicks in and works well with the dry bitterness of the hops. Finish is very bitter (as expected) and dry, but strong portions of the caramel sweetness stick around for extra flavor.

M - Moderate carbonation with a medium body and a long, dry and bitter finish.

D - Not my favorite DIPA, but still a worthy entry to the category. A nice, albeit high ABV, brew from Shmaltz. Flavors never deteriorate throughout the life of the bomber, but its best to share the bomber with a friend due to alcohol content.

gmcfarre, May 23, 2008
Photo of pattyhopp
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pair this with a fat Reuben sandwich and you got yourself a great lunch..

This is a great beer, my first He'Brew actually.
Pours a dark orangeny brown with not too much head.
Smells sweet with a beatiful citrus bready aroma.
Nice and sweet at first then transitioning into sweet and spicy hoppiness then the RYE , Hell yea!
A little thick but very enjoyable.
Could drink a few of these...but maybe I shouldn't..Ahh what the hell why not.?

pattyhopp, May 18, 2008
Photo of jackorain
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in February 07 and consumed on May 10th 2008. Kept in cold storage in the interim.

A-Dark copper/brown with red highlights. Has a slight syrupy look to it ont he pour. The off-white head stayed around for quite some time as I took notes and never really receded fully leaving a 1/8 inch coat for the entire session. The head left a fine looking lace as it did receed to thsi elvel. After each swallow, rings of lace were left on the glass.

S-Aroma was not as strong as I'd beleieved it would be. could be due to the aging. Big caramel malts and alcohol dominate. Piney andgrapefruit notes find their way in the middle. The alcohol also shows it self in the end. Second and third whiffs reveal a doughy/bready quality that is quite nice, almost like bread baking.

T-Big malty sweetness right up front. Pine and grapefruit hops jump right in the middle. There is a coffee and toffee quality percieved int he middle. The finish is spicy rye bread and rye toast. The alcohol is present here as well rearing its head at various times through the session.

M-medium to full body and thick syrupy mouthfeel. There is also a creamy quaility to it that was nice. The carbonation was light to medium and was well balanced with the flavors and the mouthfeel.

D-I defintely would have had another had I had one. I would like to try this one again fresh as it was not as aggressive as I'd expected given what I have read about. That of course does not mean it was by any stretch bad, it was very good.

jackorain, May 12, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is an orange/brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized rye malts, some citrus and some spice.

T: The taste starts out bready and sweet with flavors of rye malts, caramel and citrus up front. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in quickly and provides some balance. There's a pretty significant alcohol burn that follows, but it's not too harsh considering the beer has a 10.00% ABV. The after-taste is sweet and hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, it contains the twist of using the rye malt while maintaining a very good representation of the style, this is a fairly complex big beer that's worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, May 12, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle split with my dad last night, bought at Cooke's Market in El Segundo for $5.49, poured into my Aventinus glass

A-Dark amber with hints of golden orange in the light, 3/4 inch soapy off white head that stuck around for five minutes plus, nice retention and lacing

S-Rye obviously, lots of malt, piney hoppiness, some citrus notes including lemons and orange peel, strong yeast, and some cherries

T-Started off with a strong malty taste that was almost bready, some lemon accents in the middle, big hoppy aftertaste that was really dry when the liquid was on the colder side, got sweeter as time went on with berries and oranges coming to the surface but the hops were definitely still there, did not like this once it fully warmed because the malt was overwhelming and the bitterness became tamer, nicely balanced while it was chilled but not otherwise, more of a sipper as a result

M-Dry, chewy, and bitter mouthfeel at the same time, could have used more carbonation in my opinion, medium to full body, thick for an IPA, taste lingered

D-Could not drink this whole bottle individually, strong and boozy, heavy on the stomach, ten percent is evident and not hidden

First beer from this brewery, one of the only rye beers I have ever tasted and definitely the first DIPA with it, would probably drink again, worth trying

Floydster, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

24 from total wine.

A - Auburn in color, moderate head, and great legs with slight head retention.

S - Wow. My favorite. Pineapple and yellow grapefruit esters, with a hint of grassiness. Slight smell of maltiness. Possibly from rye grains.

T - Pineapple, yellow grapefruit, with a more moderate influx of maltiness. The rye did not stand out, just the maltiness.

M - Syrupy, lightly carbonated, with a slight bit of bitterness. Almost like a fruit soda.

D - Despite the ten, little alcohol feel. It's a great beer, but I would like to have seen more rye in the palate.

MisterClean, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of gpogo
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark amber with reddish tint. Off-white head

A- Lots of malt, Lots of hop. How did all this aroma land in one beer?

T- The rye can really surprise someone not used to rye in beer. The hop bitterness keeps the heavy amount of malt in check. Leaves a bitter alcohol aftertaste.

M- Decent carbonation. Very thick body.

D- A very interesting take on the DIPA. As it is so rich and heavy I'd probably only want to have one or two of these at a time. I highly recommend this as rye leads to an interesting character in a beer.

gpogo, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of Mitchster
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber for $4.99 at Oryana's food coop. Brewed with 2-row, rye ale malt, torrified rye, crystal rye 75, crystal malt 65, wheat, kiln amber, and Caramel 70 malt. Hopped with Warrior, cascade, simcoe, crystal, chinook, amarillo, and centennial. Dry hopped with Amarillo and Crystal hops. 10% ABV.

Cracking the cap, this beer barely releases a whiff. I thought it had gone flat, but upon pouring it, I could see the bubbles slowly trying to rise through a beer as thick as treacle. Pours to a hazy deep amber, forming a tall whipped yellow head with amazing retention and thick sheets of sticky lacing. The carbonation is quite mild. The aroma is dense with resinous hops, mango, pineapple, maybe a little hint of pink bubblegum, overripe fruits, big chewy malts, and that trappist belgian candie sugar twang. The mouthfeel is smooth as silk, soft with a huge thick body. Velveteen. The taste opens with an obscene amount of hops...it's not quite vibrant and piney like a Stone IPA, but closer to a Stone Double Bastard. The fruits kick in and a big kick of spicy rye appears. The rye is really noteable and has a spicy, chalky kick. The aftertaste has a light sweetness hanging in there with alot of piney hop resin as well. The bitterness is moderate in comparison to the huge malt body, but it's not sweet by any measure. Alcohol is perceived in gutteral warmth and a peppery finish.

This is a big DRyePA, but I keep wanting more tropical fruit sweet hoppiness. It's pretty tasty and easy to drink. Packs a nice warm buzz, but probably not something I would buy again.

Mitchster, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a glass mug.

A: Pours dark amber body with a nice, white head with good retention and lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A nice, hoppy smell with a slightly citrus undertone.

T: A nice, hoppy taste with a hoppy aftertaste as well. The citrus malts seemed to disappear in the taste, but it was still pretty good. Later on, some of the malts made themselves evident towards the end of the beer as a way to balance out the hops.

M: A smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel that was pleasant to the palette.

D: An excellent drinkability. Nice mouthfeel and nice hoppy taste. When the malts made themselves more evident later in the beer, it helped to balance out the hops.

maddogruss, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of SLeffler27
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A high head settles don to a thin lace, but in fairness, it took several minutes. The beer itself is a crystal clear auburn brown, with long flowing carbonation.

Far more fruity than one would anticipate from an IPA, but there is the unmistakable symphony of pine and citrus.

The bitterness is greater than expected, yet I'm definitely getting berries. Clearly this is a hoppy one. The rye adds some very interesting notes, yet the flavor profile still retains the signature IPA.

One word describes the feel. Velvet.

This is a good drinking beer. Too high in alcohol to carry through an afternoon, but easy going down for sure.

SLeffler27, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber into a Foothills pint glass.

An appealing, ruby-copper body fills my pint, pouring thick and leaving behind a 1/2 inch of head. The suds are dirty khaki in color, well-retained, and leave behind nice lacing. Aroma catches me off guard a bit, as candi-sweet malts fill the air, along with syrupy rye and hints of grapefruit hops. I could really go for a bit more hops, here, but the rye pairs nicely with the aroma overall.

I found the flavor to be very unbalanced. If IIPA's weren't my favorite style, I might've rated the taste even lower, as the hops took a backseat to candi-sweet malts and boozy, thick alcohol notes. Only in the aftertaste did the hoppiness come to the rescue, and by then the sugary malts had all but dominated the senses. Body is far too thick to be drinkable, and the alcohol note detracts from, instead of complimenting the experience. I will not be buying this again, sadly, as I had high expectations going into this brew.

wagenvolks, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of Rsobotka
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is an amzazing beer...unfortunately as your enjoying it, you fear that its taking you down a creepy road towards an unreturnable drunken misfortune.
Appearance: Reddish, with a slight head....chococately on top with a reddish tint shadowing through.
Smell: like a sweet cherry field.. with a nice bitter jump in a pond.
Taste: Incredible: exactly how the name implies: sweet and silky with a brandy bitter finish.
M- A little like a hard brandy....cool yet harsh
Drinka bil...i kept sipping this beer fearing something that never came...i thought the aftertaste was going to remind me of a Remy Martin x-mas gift...but it didnt...i probably could have drank 10 of these trying to figure out its concoction, but my wife kept reminding of its 10% alcohol content.

Rsobotka, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter glass at 50F.

Nice amber/mahgoany color with a thin tan head.

Big profile of citrus and floral hops surrounded by sweet rye and caramel malts.

Starts off with a subtle bready malts and then a kick of bitter hops at the top with a balance of the two through the finish. A very tasty blend of rye, caramel and other sweet malts.

Medium body with good carbonation. A complex yet drinkable beer. A hybrid between a strong ale and a malty IPA with strong rye characters.

rye726, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of jar2574
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 22 oz bottle. There's plenty of booze in there, at 10% alcohol by volume.

Tan head that rises up slowly rather than bubbly and fizzy. Orange-red beer.

Smells sweet like honey and hoppy too. Very pleasant aroma.

A very, very good IPA. There's only a touch of the overwhelming piney flavor I dislike in other IPA's. Instead, you have a better mix of malts with hops and a sweetness. The sweetness honestly predominates, which is odd for a beer, especially an IPA.

Very cool mouthfeel. Thick but smooth and creamy. A touch of alcohol on the tongue, but much less than you'd think for 10%.

This is very nice. The mouthfeel, texture, taste and smell make you think you're drinking a honeyed hop mixture, with some malts thrown in to make it extra smooth.

jar2574, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of Dogbrick
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sample at Barley's Smokehouse. The beer is a dark amber-brown color with a medium and frothy light beige head that has good retention. Sheets of lacing on the glass. The aroma is an odd mishmash of pungent malt, whiskey, and piney hops. Rich, syrupy body with flavors of tart fruit, liqueur, toasted malt and dry hops. The finish is dry with fruity a cough medicine and rye aftertaste. Maybe I am not appreciating what they tried to do here but the beer seems to be lacking cohesiveness.

Dogbrick, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, hoppy, nice touch of citrus, some pines, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, nice hop tones, some citrus/pines, and caramel. The alcohol is hidden pretty well, nice balance between malts/hops, with a slightly dry/bitter finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty DIPA, highly recommended.

Wasatch, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle.

A really nice clear brick/terracotta color with a thin tan head that dissolves quickly to lacing.

Bitter and spicy malty and hoppy aroma. Lemony.

Taste is of a strong IPA. it's got some real nice sticky resin qualities, but there's a layer of malt holding the whole thing upright. Caramel flavored malt to be precise. Some balreywine/dark fruit/alcohol waves in there too, especially on larger drinks.

Warm alcohol bite with a tremendous full body. Great mouthfeel.

Drinkability is great. Really smooth, despite a bitter hoppy twang.

SurlyDuff, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

He'Brew- Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA

A- Deep clear amber with a sticky moderate size head.
S- Sweet caramel with rock candy sugar. Oily pine resin.
T- Sugary sweet molasses and caramel malt. Equally sweet pine resin. Carroway rye comes through in the end.
M- Thick and creamy. Sticky sweet molasses and oily resin coat the tongue and throat. Slight alcohol touch and carroway in the aftertaste.

Overall- Tasty albeit sweet. A good sipper but let it sit a few months hopefully that will tone down the sugary sweetness.

NJpadreFan, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of Norsebrew
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried a bomber of this brew.

A-red/brown color with a 1 finger head that didn't last too long. OK lacing. Moderately carbonated.

S: sweet malt smell with hints of nuts and bread. Not much of a hop smell.

T: Bimodal forces of hops and malts. Strong character with bitter hops and sweet to strong malts in the aftertaste.

M: light carbonated mouthfeel ending in a dry bitter battle.

D: This is a pretty good hoppy beer. I haven't had too many beers of this style. I'm not as impressed as the majority of the other reviewers, but I would buy this beer again. Good taste.

Norsebrew, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of IPALOVER
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a hop lovers delight! I'm all about IPAs and DIPAs, so picked this one up and was anxious to try it.

The beer poured beautifully. I didn't think it was going to foam up at all, but then there it was-- looked like a nitrogen delivered tap beer! The head never totally disappeared, and it left a good amount of lace on the glass as I drank.

Loved, loved, loved the bittersweet taste of the hops combined with rye-- yum! There was absolutely nothing citrusy about this beer at all, as is common with many IPAs. The rye component gave it a malty, smooth quality; the hops were apparent immediately in the sweet yet slightly bitter taste.

I savored this beer and drank it slowly. It's not a session brew in my book, but one I would definitely drink again.

IPALOVER, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of ruckzuck
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A double RPA? Count me in! As a huge fan of Terrabin Rye^2, I was really excited to try this.

A - nice dark amber, good white head which subsided faiylr qucikly

S - nice citrusy hops, some good sweetness from the malt as well, a bit like a Terrapin Rye (which is perhaps my favorite session beer)

T - nice sweetness, but the hoppiness comes through really nicely toward the end; nicely hopped but not a superhopbomb; hides the strong ABV very well and is really enjoyable

M - medium bodied, nice carbonation, and leaves a good aftertaste

D - pretty solid! As I said, I bought this based on my love of Rye^2 and Rye Pale Ale, and I was not disappointed. It's a tad more mild than some of the more hoppy DIPAs (for instance, the Hercules I had earlier today), but it is really quite pleasant. I think this was something like $4.50 for a 22 oz. bottle, and what a value! Will definitely buy again, and recommend that other BA's with a love of hops or rye give it a shot!

ruckzuck, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $4.99...
This company's 11th Anniversary Jewbelation Ale was really good, and I heard a lot of positive things about this particular beer, so I decided to give it a shot...
A very aggressive pour yielded a gigantic five-fingered frothy and foamy head that slowly receded and left a copious amount of lacing...
Incredible smell bursting with a powerful hop essence that clung to the nose, adding strong essences of bittersweet sugars, caramel, and vanilla...
Outstanding fresh, crisp taste completely dominated by hops... This is definitely not a gimmick-beer - this is a teriffic, all-around outstanding IPA worthy of true recognition...
The hop flavor really stood out on this one, and was above and beyond... "A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt" on the front logo sticker means what it says...
Excellent creamy and rich mouthfeel contribute to the all-around quality of this wonderful beer...
Excellent drinkability and no sign at all of the hefty 10% ABV floating around in this one...
Great stuff...
Another must-try for hop heads...
Definitely recommended...

dsa7783, Mar 08, 2008
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,744 ratings.