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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
90
outstanding

870 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 870
Hads: 1,893
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 81
Gots: 182 | 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: 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: 870 | Hads: 1,893
Photo of gtermi
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of Duke
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (1,122 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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!
L'Chaim! (941 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (387 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of Morey
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (1,280 characters)

Photo of Shooter1960
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of tony223366
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (940 characters)

Photo of WrathsU
3.95/5  rDev -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. (887 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (731 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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.

Cheers! (959 characters)

Photo of B33R501
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
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". (813 characters)

Photo of derkfromwi
4.15/5  rDev +3%
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 (518 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
4.11/5  rDev +2%
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 (615 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper with good clarity, a two finger cream head with ok retentio;n and thin walls of lace on a tulip shaped glass.

The aroma is citrus, bitter orange, lemon zest, caramel undertones, bits of toffee, some grassy hints and tangerine and grapefruit. Black pepper and spice notes.

The flavor follows with a nice, rich base of malty caramel flavors, hints of toffee, plenty of grapefruit, orange, and other citrus notes. A bit of a boozy edge with some citrus rind, pine notes, and undertones of bitter resin. Herbal and spicy hops with black pepper notes. Complex, malty underneath with a nice bouquet of hops on top.

Medium bodied, boozy finish, bitter, hoppy

Very nice. Overall a very impressionable beer. (727 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous clear ruby with a thick, lingering khaki head.

S: Aromas of blood orange, caramel, toffee, rye bread, tangerine, and brown sugar indicate a very complex and heavy malt profile. I'm more than a bit surprised that I'm not detecting a more astringent, resinous bitterness from the hops.

T: Notes of rye bread and black pepper dominate the entry. At mid-palate, notes of blood orange, tangerine, toffee, caramel, vanilla bean, and brown sugar give way to notes of juniper berry, fresh herbs, lemon rind, lime zest, pineapple, papaya, and grapefruit. The finish pulls it all together with notes of lemon rind, juniper berry, toffee, rye bread, black pepper, and blood orange underscored by a mellow alcohol presence.

M: This ale is rather full-bodied and much drier than one would expect. Carbonation is firm, but understated. Alcohol presence is very restrained.

O: This is an exceptional American DIPA. If you're a fan of the style, you owe it to yourself to give this one a shot. (1,001 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light copper with white head. Aroma of spicy, caramel malts and slight pine. Taste is a bit muddled, with caramel, pine, spice, dustiness, meh. Heavy on the palate with some booze and low to medium carbonation. Hmmm.

This seems to be solid all around except for taste. Some strange funkiness to this one and was surprised at the lack of hidden alcohol. Maybe I should try this again, as I enjoy Hop Manna, but was not impressed here. Blegh. Average at best. (466 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip.

a - pours a hazy, copper color with an inch or so of cream colored foam. head slowly calms to a thin film and leaves a few legs of lacing in the glass.

s - toffee, grapefruit, orange, grassy, slightly bready. wonderful aroma. sadly, it's all downhill from here.

t - pine resin riding a sugary sweet malt base. slightly astringent. massive bitter slap to the mouth kicks in right after the sweetness passes. doesn't reveal any of the wonderful things found in the nose, or even any rye character.

m - gooey with adequate carbonation.

o - decent overall, but honestly i'm a little disappointed. 10% abv kicks in right about halfway through the bottle so drinkability is pretty low. comes across more like a not-so-well-made barleywine more than any kind of ipa. definitely not worth $4/bottle. will be passing on this in the future. (863 characters)

Photo of Docer
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.5)
- Dark and filtered clear brown with a reddish hue. Fluffy and slow forming fingers of ultra light tan head settles with frothy sticky foam all over the glass and a thick pillow rests above.

Smell: (3.5)
- Smells like a barleywine. Huge thick caramel malts, bready, zesty, peppery, and sweet. Molasses, honey, grassy earthy hop. This is a sweet rich smelling barleywine for sure.

Taste: (4.0)
- Honey and sugary caramel malt. Light cocoa, pine, zesty hop, and a subtle chocolate and desert-like flavor. Brown sugars, candy, and earthy hops. Hops are rather light. Very well balanced.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- This is a rather heavy brew. Thick creamy malty body which is quite chewy, and a touch sticky. Leaves the mouth a bit dry and chalky. Certainly a nice creamy feel.

Overall: (3.5)
- For me this beer is a bit off the mark for the style. It's certainly a barleywine. When I like a good double IPA, I don't want a barleywine. That doesn't mean that this beer isn't great.. it is. But I try to be subjective to style in my judging.. but it really always boils down to how good the beer is overall. That's why I like doing these live reviews step-by-step. I've never had a He'Brew beer that wasn't quality. (1,227 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish pint glass. No freshness date.

A - Pours a dark copper color with a full finger's worth of head that retains well and gives way to a 1/4 inch head. Healthy lacing.

S- Dark and musty with an herbal hop aroma. A lot of rye was obviously used for this.

T- Yep. A ton of rye. Plenty of hops too, and thus a magical balance is attained. Packs a punch in flavor and in strength without being too boozy.

M- Somewhat creamy and a good amount of tang from the hops. Medium-high carbonation.

O- I had high hopes for this one and it certainly met my expectations. (580 characters)

Photo of brewmyster
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In tulip glass with Saint Agur blue cheese

A-dark amber thin head which disappear to a ring

S-carmel,toffee, fig?

T-malt,carmel,butter,sweet malt (rye malt?, wow,really whatever I love it),slight alcohol but nothing like you would expect at the ABV,hop bitterness at the end

M-syrupy texture,stays on the tongue almost oily

O-this is one of my new favorites, this went AWESOME with blue cheese (398 characters)

Photo of NWer
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured nice dark bronze color. Good head retention.
Very powerful taste. Overwhelmingly thick flavors. Hops up front followed by smooth, sweet malty backbone.
Pleasant aftertaste. Drinks way too easy to be a 10% ABV beer.
Incredible. Local beer store was clearing it out and I bought the last one. Will be on the lookout for more. (332 characters)

Photo of gustogasmic
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark, dark, barely clear red. Light yellowy thin head shows up quick and sticks. Oily.

S- Harsh, sweet, dark fruit. cherry. The power of the beer is palpable... the alcohol stings a bit.

T- Sweet hops all over the place, dark fruit, pomegranate, brought home by the overwhelming sweetness. Oh my god i forgot this was a RYE pa. HOW IS IT SO SMOOTH!? OH MY GOD@!!!

M- Velvety, soft, smooth, comforting, light, luscious, soft, so soft

O- How is a rye beer this unabrasive? This is candy, too smooth to be called safe. Earthy candy, strong nectar (551 characters)

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 870 ratings.