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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.

879 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 879
Hads: 1,921
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 83
Gots: 197 | 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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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
Reviews: 879 | Hads: 1,921
Photo of jimmah120
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into wine glass

Giant off-white head, clear amber-red body with lots of rising bubbles. Smell is warm rye, alcohol, piney hops, citrus, grass. First thing I notice is a very creamy feel, then bitter oily hops. They weren't lying about using a lot of hops and malt. There's a lot of flavor here: piney hop resin, nutty/toasted malt, darker notes of clove and spice, citrus fruit, and lots of warm alcohol. Loses half a point on mouthfeel because of how abrasive the oil and alcohol is.

This is a terrific, stong, flavorful beer. Not something I'd drink all the time, but was excellent to try.

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Photo of MeowTom
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber color with a huge fluffy head that will stay around for a while. When I put it up to the light it has a slight red glow to it.

S- Strong malty scent, with a little bit of the hops coming through as you dive your nose in a few times. You can smell the caramelized sugars very well.

T- Very strong bitter to it, with the alcohol coming through a bit. You have to search for the hops but once you found them it is a very well balanced sweet/bitter ratio.

M- Medium carbonation and body that doesn't distract from the flavors.

O- Great beer that really is a wonderful double I.P.A.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4 pack just to try it. Looked interesting.
Bottle poured into a Tulip.

A- Wow! Really dark amber for a DIPA. Tan colored head creates a nice "cap" on the top of the beer that hangs around a long time. Looks very tasty.

S- Lots of spicy rye. Solid caramel malts in the back, and some dark fruits. Smell is more like a quad or a dubbel than DIPA. Smells very sweet. Very interesting.

T- Boom! Malt sweetness hits the tongue. The hops are not overpowering, they don't come right out and smack you in the face. It is very sweet compared to other DIPA's. The spicy rye hits you in the back of the mouth.

M- Very thick and creamy. Very light carbonation. An easy drinker for the 10% ABV.

O- Really surprised with this one, it really is an interesting beer. Since this beer is "Imperial" I'm going to put one away for a while. The sweet aroma and the sweet taste like a quad or a dubbel have me tricked. This is one DIPA that might age well. I'm interested to find out.

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

A: Super dark for an IPA with a very nice head. Very bubbly as well.
S: Smells very sweet yet spicy. Lots of citrus hints and very smooth.
T: Very nice. Lots of good bitterness that is complimented by a very smooth texture. Good amount of bite, maybe a little too much lingering bitterness.
M: Sits medium body until the bubbles hit full force which turns it very creamy. A very fun IPA.

Overall a very nice beer but the one place it was lacking was in the taste. And since that is arguably the most important aspect I had to give it only a 4/5. The other aspects of this beer were very expertly done.

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Photo of rangerred
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy deep ruby with a huge thick tan head with amazing lacing and retention.

Smells of dark fruit, plums, and figs. Some woody notes along with rye spiciness.

Huge rye up front in the taste. Sort of reminds me of taking a big bite of rye bread. Strong hop bitterness kicks in immediately and continues throughout. Dark fruits are there along with some pipe tobacco. Mouthfeel is very slick and oily with alcohol barely apparent.

I am very impressed with this beer. It is highly drinkable for the strength and fairly complex. Also priced quite well.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recievedthis 12oz. as an extra from StlThrash. Poured into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a clear ruby color with 1 finger of fluffy, almost creamy tan head. Slowly fades into a nice collar.

S - Big rye aroma.

T/M - Malty up front. Toffee and butterscotch qualities. There is a rye bite on the back of the taste, and in the finish. Kinda drawing a blank on the hops. Medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

O - A different beer, thats for sure. Not sure I would classify it as a rye IPA. It is a good brew, and a really good rye ale, but not a good IPA.

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Photo of acevenom
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours clear, dark reddish copper with a tall biege head. The head retains well, dissipating slowly and leaving abundant lacing on the side of the glass. There are strong aromas of sweet roasted malts, rye spiciness, and citrusy and floral hops. It smells earthy. It's such an inviting smell. The flavors up front reflect the big malt presence of this beer, which is sweet and bready. There is that rye spiciness and the hop bitterness that hits on the back end. There are some citrus flavors as well. The alcohol is masked very well in the taste. The body is full and the mouthfeel is creamy. There isn't much carbonation. This is also easy to gulp for such a big ABV beer. Overall, this is an excellent and unique DIPA that I would recommend.

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Photo of liamt07
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Steve, 12oz into a tulip.

Reddish-brown body, offwhite head with good lacing and some whisps of retention. Nose has some sweet caramel, rye bread, a bit of spice and citrus hops. Taste is bitter initially, caramel, rye bread, grapefruit and bitter citrus rind in terms of hops. Medium full feel and a strong bitterness that's fairly abrasive for my liking. Substantial malt sweetness is prevalent throughout as well. Solid rye character in this IIPA, but hops aren't in my wheelhouse - still quite a solid example of the style regardless.

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Photo of beer19
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large tulip

A - dark amber, semi-opaque, with a 1" head which dissipates quickly

S - complex malts, hops are also present, figs, ripe fruits, definitely a unique dipa

T - very balanced, one of the more complex taste profiles for a dipa, following the smell there are more ripe fruits, very quad-like, but with an excellent measure of tasty hops thrown in

M - creamy, lightly carbonated, easy drinker for the abv

O - a well executed and crafted beer, will definitely be in the regular rotation

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

A: Pours a very dark copper body with a one finger thick white head that slowly fades.

S: A LOT of rye and other malt with a tiny bit of bitter hops.

T: A nice amount of rye and malt, but quickly moves to a nice bitter hoppy flavor. There is a lot of bitter flavor that lingers for a long time, but I find that very awesome.

M: Goes down so smooth without a problem and leaves a dry mouthfeel.

O: Just an amazing beer! I am so glad that we can finally get this here in Texas because I fell in love with this brewery when I was in Chicago.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: A pretty orange-ish red color with a 1/2 finger tan head that slowly recedes.
S: Citrusy, piney hops with a solid caramel/malt backbone.
T: Full and flavorful yet doesn't punch you in the mouth with hops. They're definitely there, but very well integrated. Pine and rye up front; the backbone is incredibly structured with caramel and whole grain bread.
M: Rich, smooth and full-bodied.
O: I'm really enjoying this. Very well made.Rich and complex.

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Photo of Duke
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(From a tulip)

Appearance: Bittersweet Lenny's IPA pours a misty, saturated sorrel colour, with a moderately sized and slightly tanned white head which collapses quickly into a thin white cap.

Smell: This is certainly bold. I'm getting dark rum and all the dark fruits you'd imagine in a big quadrupel - raisins, prunes and figs. But there's apricot or something light and sugary right at the very front too, and then there's a bit of caramel as the beer warms. The hoppy scent and the malts are there but they're quite light.

Taste: Where did that rye come from? I didn't smell it but I'm tasting it behind what is a bowl of well-boozed, well-sugared fresh fruits. The flavour on the whole is very sweet, and quite funky. The hop profile is light and slightly peppery.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels quite robust, and the carbonation level is on the light side of medium, I'd say. The alcohol hangs around, cutting through the beer right to the end.

Overall: There's a lot going on in this big, bold and boozy beer. It's very sweet, yet I think it manages to be well balanced since the mouthfuls feel good and satisfying.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Obscenely thick and tight knit tan head, looks like I could float a bottle cap on it. Brown glass glows blood red when back lit and shows good clarity. Wow, what a looker!

Smell: Oh my. Rich rum raisin, plum, heady alcohol, sweet malt extract, leafy hops, complex and powerful, almost too much going on.

Taste: Kicks off like an Old Ale, leathery rich malt with a subdued hop bitter. Tastes aged, the hops aren't really there, just the bitter. Rye gives a little earthy peppery edge to the rich dark fruit compote.

Mouthfeel: Medium body feels too light for the massive taste, think the alcohol thins it out a bit. Dry finish, medium carbonation seems a bit high.

Overall: Wow. Not really an IPA, or a RIPA in my book, I'd stick with an Old Ale. No date on the bottle so I'm going to assume it's fresh and supposed to taste like this. A beast of a beer, I'll enjoy sipping on it.

Cheers to Illudium for the sample!

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Photo of yamar68
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer stretches the genre in all sorts of directions. Poured from bottle to tulip:

Deep mahogany body with minimal clarity, swelling tan head. Nose borders a barleywine. Big fat rye, earthy hops, caramely malts. Yum. The taste is the same way. Delicious malts to back up a wide range of earthy, herbal and citrus hops. The rye makes for a satisfying aftertaste. Solid, unique beer.

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Photo of soju6
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep ruby red color with an off-white head that fades slowly.

S: Aroma of grain, mostly rye, some caramel sweetness and malt.

T: Tatse of rye with some caramel sweetness. Bitterness comes though on the back end with a slightly sticky sweetness.

F: Medium body, quite smooth with a rich texture. Has a slightly lingering bitterness and a bit syrupy.

O: Interesting beer. Not an overly hoppy beer like some DIPA, seem to have a unique nitch. Worth checking out.

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Photo of Morey
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no freshness date. It's sad that there are still so many quality breweries not dating their bottles.

Pours reddish-brown with a cream colored head that stands about one finger tall. Lots of carbonation bubbles racing up the sides of my tulip to join that party. When you hold it to the light, it's a deep cherry red color with a touch of haze. Head retention is pretty good.

Smells fairly sweet almost like fruit nectar of some kind. I'm also getting some caramel malts as well. The aroma was much more intense when I opened the bottle, but it's still pretty nice.

Sweet and malty flavors upfront are quickly followed up by a touch of spicy rye and a good dose of juicy hops. Earthy flavors surface about mid-palate. The malty sweetness comes back for more on the back end, and there's some lingering bitterness after the swallow.

Medium-full body with a syrup-like quality. Carbonation sits right about where it should (moderate).

A nice and somewhat unique DIPA overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: A well made beer without a doubt. Alcohol is almost undetectable. My biggest gripe is that I have no idea how old this beer is? There was no sediment in the bottle, but some beers don't develop sediment very quickly. It's tasty and full of flavor never the less.

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Photo of Shooter1960
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not what you would expect from a DIPA. More sweet and malt flavors than presence of Hops. Tastes like a better and cleaner version of Great Divide Hibernation Ale. Very enjoyable beer but a bit of a disappointment if you are looking for a hop bomb from your DIPA. If you are open to the experience of something different and are not fixed on a hop bomb, a very good and enjoyable alternative.

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Photo of tony223366
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: HUGE head. Way more than 3 fingers. Head is very fluffy and light tan in color. Head retention is very good. Color is actually a brown with red highlights. Like a really dark caramel. Clarity is excellent!

S: Aromas are mostly malt based. I get lots of rich caramel and some chocolate? Lots of rich dark fruits which is surprising. The hops are present, but just barely in a citrusy way. Some nice biscuity malt too.

T: Well this is certainly a malt bomb for an IPA. I get huge caramel and even some of that chocolate. Dark fruits are present. After that I get some hops finally in a citrus way. I get something akin to vanilla as well. Tons of malt depth. There's some spicy notes from the rye.

M: Smooth and medium mouth with medium carbonation.

O: DIPA isn't quite right. Majorly malty with tons of depth. Something like a hoppy American barleywine. Not particularly delicious or what I want in an IPA but it's enjoyable and rich.

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Photo of WrathsU
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brilliantly clear burgundy body with some red hue to it. Pours a moderate sized light khaki head which is long lasting. The beer itself appears to be a touch over-carbonated.

S - Sweet smelling upfront. Get some toffee and caramel and brown sugar. Some pepper notes add a nice spice aroma to the profile.

T - Very malty and properly bitter at the same time. A great balance in the beginning of this beer. Crystal malts and even some baked goods are distinguishable up front. The bitter is nice and clean and helps cut through the initial maltiness. I think the finish is cloyingly sweet though and wish it didn't finish as so.

M - Medium-heavy body, carbonation is fine, only slight alcohol burn.

O - A pretty good beer, reminiscent of the DFH90 minute if you can believe that. Definitely not picking up the rye in this beer which is a shame, but it's still drinkable obviously.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not sure why I never tried this before, so today I yanked a single from the Save On store. It's a real malt treat. Very complex malt blended with a bunch of hops. Definitely a true double/imperial. Not enough of the hops protrudes from under all that malt to make this like the AIPA's I prefer, but it is a unique taste worth trying. It isn't all that different from the big Dogfish Head 90 or 120 (not THAT sweet) - robust and malty. I don't think I will seek this out again.

Second tasting 2-1-2014 (I forgot about the first). Well, tastes change. I appreciate this quality brew even more. I like the dark bitter character. The one I am having is almost room temperature - barely cold - and that really makes it taste huge.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16.

A: Clear dark amber body with an inch of dense, creamy tan head. Great retention and lacing. Great-looking beer.

S: Powerful, balanced aroma of grapefruit hops and sweet, spicy rye malt. Simple, strong, and quite good.

T: Sweeter than the aroma, with lots of caramel leading through citrusy hops to a sweet, sticky, moderately boozy finish. The rye doesn't assert itself too much, with straight sweetness being more prominent than rye-specific character, although a bit of nice spice does infuse the aftertaste. It's solid, but not great.

M: Slick, moderately carbonated, and soft. Very nice indeed.

O: This is an enjoyable beer, but I wish the sweetness were less dominant. The hops and rye are the beer's two best attributes, and yet when it counts they are relegated to supporting roles behind thick caramel sweetness. Still, it's quite tasty overall and I think accomplishes what the brewers were going for. Worth a shot.


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Photo of B33R501
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is beer. The first two were probably the best beers I've had this year. Subsequent bottles have not been quite as good, due to fading hop presence, same batch, only available at Beer Heaven Philly that I know of. Very much reminds me of Hop Rod Rye. Rarified company.

Pours dark amber. rust, beautiful. Huge rocky head, retention lace. Yea it's a looker. Smells fresh citrus orange and grapefruit, huge pine sap, rye bread, caramel and butterscotch malts. And thats what it tastes like, with a huge bone dry, bitter orange aftertaste that lingers forever. Thick rich butterscotch cake batter smell and taste really stand out. One of the most complex beers. Smoooth and incredibly satisfying, chewy and very sticky.

Why we drink beer. Definite candidate for "if you could drink one beer, and one beer only".

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thick, frothy one inch off-white head, clear red-tinted copper color, good carbonation, lots of really good lacing

S: Really nice blend of stuff going on here, sweet malts first for me, some rye, then hops underneath and at end

T: Sweetness first, that leads into rye and citrus bitterness, some spicy booziness, and a bit of hops, nicely balanced

M: Thick and creamy, light to medium carbonation, piquant flavor

O: Good stuff, appropriately titled, good blend of malts and hops, pleasantly balanced and complex

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Photo of djbreezy
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - rich deep amber, mostly transparent, huge offwhite head, strong retention, thick lacing

smell - big aromatic caramel malts, light hop bitterness

taste - hop bitterness on the tongue, strong malt presence, tasty profile, some pine notes but mostly focused on the malt in the midst of the flavor, east coast style ipa couple with some breadiness

mouthfeel - big body, chewy, heavy carbonation, some alcohol burn on the finish, lingers, slightly sticky, medium dryness

overall - a bit too balanced for my preference but it's a great ipa, very full flavored and has a unique take, huge huge flavor here

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Photo of justintcoons
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear coppery red with a 1/2 finger of foamy off-white head that dissipates quickly. Moderate carbonation and sparse lacing.

N: Sweet caramel, grapefruit, rye, hints of pine, citrus and sugar.

T: Sugary toffee and rye upfront followed by caramel, rye, pine, cocoa and hints of booze. Finishes with spicy rye and hints of pine.

M: Medium bodied, sticky and dry.

O: Good amount of rye throughout this beer but the malt is too toffee-like. Tastes similar to an Imperial Red.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.