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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

1,797 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,797
Reviews: 854
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 77
Gots: 128 | 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
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Ratings: 1,797 | Reviews: 854 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blackie
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a half inch khaki head that recedes to a suitable layer and ring, the beer is a hazy, deep orange-amber in color

s: syrupy sweet malt sugars with caramel barley and one of the bigger rye noses I've come across, gives a candied and spicy - almost nutmeg and ginger - note, butterscotch, tropical-pine hops try to make a dent in the malt but come up just short, light booze as it warms a little overly sweet and much like an underattenuated american barleywine, but a nice aroma overall

m: smooth, low carbonation, full-medium body

t: big notes of sweet rye and caramel barley upfront, alongside is a tropical hop flavor turning pine with a moderate bitterness in the finish, loads of candied grain

d: easy enough

overall: I love a malty ipa/dipa, but only when the hops are equally as or more assertive

bomber from Whole Foods Reston on the advice of the beer guy...he also recommended a laguniters, but I've got a personal policy against that

Photo of drpimento
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a lasting light head and a bit of lace. Slightly hazy dark amber color. Pungent aroma of hops with an enticing quality of sweet malt. The rye is a masterful touch. Full on in the hop department. No BS hefre. Slight alcohol character in the long, warm finish. . Very good body. Best beer that I've had from these guys yet.

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

22oz bomber into a Berkshire Pint glass.

I'm not sure if this is typical of the style but this beast pours a dark reddish color which reminds me of iced tea. Even with an aggressive pour, initially there is very little head that materializes on the pour. I wait a few seconds and sure enough a very frothy, very dense milk-colored head appears and recedes almost within a blink of an eye. Upon first sniff there is a wonderful aroma of grapefruit citrus, however, after a few minutes the hop smell retreats into the background and a very sweet aroma of toffee flavor emerges. The first sip of this beer greets me with an extremely sharp bitterness, which kind of surprised me, although not in a bad way. It was more like an in-your-face kind of a way. Anyways, after the initial bitterness there is a really sweet buttery flavor which gives way back to a sweet malt backbone. I'm not sure of the alcohol content, but it's very evident and kind of hot. It finishes kind of resiny but overpowering in any way. The mouthfeel is pretty oily, which in my mind make it an extremely drinkable beer!

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

A: Pretty clear, but dark like half-brewed coffee. Head is enormous and really nicely laces. Retention is amazing.

S: Sugary caramel malt, really toasty smell. Alcohol undetectable, a little hop background.

T: Alcohol definitely makes it into the flavor, balanced out by the caramel malt and a little bit of dark fruit. The alcohol pretty much ruins the taste for me - it's just too much for this one. There are some minor hops in the background, but just not enough. Some definite coffee flavor in here as well.

M: Pretty dry, but creamy, medium-bodied. Carbonation good. Non-astringent.

D: I'd love to drink this, but it's just too much alcohol flavor, which turns me off. If they toned down the alcohol and put in a bunch more hops, this would get my vote.

Photo of changeup45
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one big beer. Reddish/copper color, an off-white head with some retention and spotty lacing. The aroma is a very good intro to what you're going to get: fruity, lots of hops and a touch of the rye malt. The first few sips it seemed to start with rye malts as well as some caramel, a bit sugary and sweet, followed by a blast of very bitter hops with a sour grapefruit presence. Malts showed late in the finish as well although the grapefruit hops constantly linger a long time, well into the aftertaste. Rich, full and a little sticky. Halfway through the bomber, as the alcohol started going to my head and my palate shredded it was just one huge bitter/rye/hoppy/sour complex taste. I don't necessarily think it's high on the drinkability scale due to it's sharp bitter flavor but I thought it was wonderful.

Photo of JEdmund
2.68/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance
Dark for an IPA, like iced tea; minimum head that drops fast

Smell
Very little smell, but I detect candied fruit and caramelized sugar, but very little hops

Taste & Mouthfeel
Flavor is full, but it has no real character or pronounced hoppiness; thick, oily mouth feel which is quite nice; it's hard to think of this as even a form of an IPA; it's more like an old ale/strong ale/ barley wine--it's really syrupy sweet and artificially fruit-flavored

Overall
It's just a bit too much sweetness for me. The really heavy body in addition to the sugars makes the drinkability of this suffer. Now if I wanted a sippin'/dessert beer, this would work, but only in a small quantity.

Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into nonic.

Hazy copper hue with a tan one finger head that seems to last forever.

Sharp hop aromas with only a little bit of clean grain coming through. The alcohol is somewhat perceived.

The hops are citrusy and spicy, only allowing a little bit of the toasty grain to come through. Again, the alcohol is on the tongue toward the end. Full bodied with good carbonation.

Another massive beer from Shmaltz Brewing in their He'brew series. Some serious bitter hops overtaking the malts. Turns out okay, and for a DIPA, it's pretty drinkable, even out of a nonic.

Photo of halfP1NT
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed this bad boy back in march or april of 2008.

This beer pours a dark, clear, ruby brown with an off-white, thick, creamy head. There's lots of lacing left behind.

Smell is light; citrus hops and rye. Citrus and grapefruit presence.

I get the rye up front in the taste; then, the lemon and grapefruit hops hit. I love those citrus hops. Definite alcohol presence. I feel like this beer has a darker backbone than most DIPAS,the maltiness is unusual in conjunction with these citrusy hops, but I'm really liking it.

There's a creamy mouthfeel which I really enjoy. Great brew, a little different, I'd definitely recommend it. It's my first from this brewery, I'm curious about what else they have to offer.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color, with some orange highlighting. Quite clear. Head is mainly large bubbles on top with okay packing below, tan in color, with pretty solid stick. No lacing.

Aroma is boozy, with some notes of oak tannins, vanilla, sweet caramel malt and some citric hops. The alcohol seems a mite too prevalent, although the power is decent enough.

Similar spicy notes in the flavor, lots of booze up front along with a sticky sweetness in the finish. Again, pretty good but heavy on the alcohol and other "hot" flavors. Not very easy to drink. The mouthfeel is medium, leaning towards thin, and the carbonation isn't quite enough to pull the harsh flavors away.

Still a pretty good double IPA for a decent price.

Photo of arizcards
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at BevMo in late April for $3.99.

Beer poured a deep amber with a nice off white head. Nose is a big malt blast with big northwest citrus hops in the background. Taste is all malt and rye to begin, with a wave of the "4C" and grapefruit hops thrown in there. It finishes resiny on the palate but not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is pure liquid bread, can't remember a 2IPA this chewy! Drinkability is good for a monster beer as I am not detecting the alcohol from start to finish. This is an interesting beer, definitely worth a try if your are into extreme beers!

Photo of scooter231
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rusty color with an off white head, very little lacing. Looks innocent enough. Nose is hoppy, grassy, and lemony. Not too bitter, not too malty. Doesn't necessarily smell like a DIPA... not that strong. But it's pleasant and appealing.

Taste is... tasty. Hops that are bitter but not overwhelmingly so, grassy, earthy. Lots and lots of toasty roasty bready crust malt flavors coming through. Some sweetness on the finish, candied, almost, but not toooo sugary.

Mouthfeel is sudsy, oily, and slick. The alcohol content is VERY well hidden here, quite a sneaky lil brew. Overall it's a tasty hoppy beer, easy to drink, and the flavors get better and better as it warms up. Nothing particularly unique about it, but it's tasty, relatively inexpensive, and I'd definitely get this again.

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

22oz bottle poored into a pint glass.

Nice copper clored brew with amber highlights and a large sticky ivory head with some serious retention and very impressive lacing. Nice presentation on the bottle as well. Well the first thing that hits your nose is the hops right? no. Surprisingly its the malts, rye and crystal I beleive and there are alot of them overpowering the hops IMO, but still there is floral, grassy and piney smells sneaking by the well malted nose with some citrus rind as well. As in the nose its a huge sweet malt flavor up front then some spicey rye and alcohol come in with a sour grapefruit rind type of flavor. Also can pick out a little grassy and piney hop. Good mouth feel thick but not chewy while the hop oils leave an excellent slick behind letting you apreciate some of the huge hop bill of this beer that is overshadowed by the malts. Drinkability was very good and overall I really loved this beer although for an IIPA it seems to be tilted too much to the malt side than the hop side.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Super dark copper color. A finger of white head with nice lacing from the top down.

S: Malt and rye. All of their beers tend to be a little on the malty side so why should their DIPA be any different? Rye is in the back but definitely there.

T: Nice mix of sweetness and hops up front. Rye in the middle before finishing with a sharp hop bitterness.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Nothing good or bad really.

D: Rye DIPA? Nice. Totally different beer. Better than I thought it was going to be.

Photo of kcillini77
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Shmaltz brew, and it was a good choice.

Nice, deep ruby color with a good head that laces well.

Smell is spicy malt - very aromatic.

Taste is rye up front with an immediate bitter hop bite that mellows with warming alcohol and peppery spice.

Rye malt and hops are very plentiful. Alcohol is noticeable and very present, but not overpowering.

A great tribute beer, and somewhat unique in that it adds the rye to a style that is becoming fairly prevalent. Highly recommended.

Photo of djspe
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Upon the first few sips, I was quite impressed. It's rich and complex while packing a real punch. This is high on hops and spice. However a few more gulps and the beer takes on a heavy syrupy feel. I could not finish my poor. It's a bit much. Good for a sample, but not recommended even in the 12 oz Belgian pour.

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

How good is this? I admit to being a fan of the American Double so it stands to reason this is a lot of fun in a bottle. Oh yeah...love the bottle too!

This offering pours with many micro bubbles cascading forth. The head is dense and the color is very dark amber. Nice!

Smell is of sweet malt with an almost coffee like appearance. Lenny would approve.

The taste is hint of rye with plenty of malt and hop backbone and did I say hop? The alcohol warms a little here as well.

Mouth feel is silky and just enough syrup coaxes me back soon.

I can (and will) drink this in numbers bearing the 10% alcohol content in mind. It did pair well with grilled sea bass. Enjoy!

Photo of Seanibus
2.35/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I gotta split with the majority here and say this is an appallingly out of balance double IPA. It was a major disappointment.

It pours a thick and opaque reddish color with little head. The aroma is strong, sickly sweet and slightly woody. The flavor is thick, medicinal and alcoholic, at once bitter and sickly sweet, with unpleasant overtones of raisins and even peach juice. The mouthfeel was viscous and unpleasant.

With so many good alternatives in the same style - including superbly balanced, drinkable examples like Hop Wallop, Dreadnought, Double Simcoe, Ruination, and Hopslam - this beer is an avoid.

Photo of WillieMoe
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a reddish, amber color with a light off-white head.

S- Good aroma here, with a nice balance of malt and hops, and some scidity, which I guess is attributed to the rye.

T&M- This is a delicious concoction, that does a good job of balancing the hop flavor with the malt and rye. It is definitely bittersweet, that's for sure. The caramel and maybe toffee flavor has your sweet side blending with the bitterness of the hops, and there is just an edge of spice in there to make it even more complex. Somewhat heavier or thicker than other DIPAs, but is pretty smooth for a 10% ABV. Definitely a drinkable brew.

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep and clear ruby color with a decent sized off-white head. The beer sorta glugged out in a syrupy fashion. The first scents bring on the rye mixed in with pine needles and a touch of orange peel. The malt is a beast on the nose on this beer pushing around anything else you could really get a good scent out of. The flavor profile is more of the same with plenty of rye flavor with an almost bready malt being most dominant. The hop profile does a fairly good job though trying to balance out all of the malt, but this beer leans heavier towards the malt and not the hops. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with plenty of carbonation to go around, but this beer leaves quite a bitter finish. The drinkability is actually quite good, but the 10% ABV will sneak up on your if you have an entire bomber.

Pretty good beer overall.

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

Double-deuce bomber with tributes to, and trivia about, late-great comedian Lenny Bruce written in tiny script all over the label. The label cautions: "WARNING: CONTAINS EXPLICIT ADULT MATERIAL. 21+ only." Hmm. So, poured into my DFH pint glass the highly-informative vessel yields a syrupy-rich, red-copper body capped with a thick two fingers of pale ecru foam that reduces to a thick sheet and leaves swatches of foamy lacing on the glass.

Smell is syrupy sweet with pale malt and plenty of spicy rye and herbal hops, plus high-smelling bitter citrusy notes of orange zest and juicy grapefruit.

Taste is rich and caramel sweet, with citrusy hops that bring a spicy lemon-lime-orange tang and a grapefruity bitterness to bear. Smoky notes of rich caramel and toasted bread, laced with sticky hop oil, soothe and delight the mouth without being in any way overpowering, and though the alcohol is fairly well hidden in the flavor profile, the warming effect on the tummy is practically immediate. Tingly spice and hop flavors from across the spectrum emerge as the drink warms. Fruity, floral notes really shine, but the beer is grounded by layers of sweet malt flavors and a wonderful earthy hop-note that makes me believe that a lot of pride, care, and thought went into the final version of this brew.

Though very hoppy and equally malty, this big, big drink is surprisingly well-balanced and drinkable. Not at all a palate-wrecker, the only thing that limits the drinkability is the 10% abv. I hate to be a cheerleader, but Shmaltz is proving itself to me again and again in every brew of theirs I drink. This is yet another of their beers that I just think is pure-T kickass.

Photo of optiontwo
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

Appearance: 22 oz. bomber poured into a standard pint glass. This beer pours a nice dark amber color with a slightly off-white head. While pouring it out of the bottle I could tell that it was thicker than your average brew.

Smell: Sweet, like caramelized candy. This might be just me, but the first smell I thought of was white raisins.

Taste: Flavors are somewhat difficult to distinguish because there is a lot going on. There is a definite bread-like aftertaste which I'm pretty sure can be contributed to the rye, but it still has the sweetness the scent promised almost tasting like caramel/toffee hard candy. Also, that mysterious white raisin flavor makes its way through. If I were blindfolded and tasted this beer the only way I would really know it was a double IPA is the alcohol. I feel as if there is a good amount of bittering hops thrown in but not a huge amount of flavoring ones. In other words, they really doubled up on both malts and hops but the malts taking the forefront in this one.

Mouth feel: Nice and sticky, just how it looked like it would feel when I poured it. Very smooth for a double IPA, I can tell it is above average in ABV but I wouldn't have guessed 10%.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for this type of beer. If I had more than just one I'd probably drink then consecutively and enjoy the buzz.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer more than any other He'Brew I've had. Which I suppose doesn't say much since I've only tried two. I'm looking forward to trying more from this brewery. Mazal tov!

Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into tulip glass. Amber orange in color, huge layers of lacing. Very thick. Smell is dominated by the hops, but there's a pretty intense malt presence there too. Some boozey spice, maybe some distant tropical fruit. Taste is a firm malt backbone, followed by a blast of tart hops. Mellows out toward the finish but stays really, really bitter--great balance for something this intense. Mouthfeel is very syrup thick, very sticky, moderate carbonation. This is a really interesting, very unique beer, really starts to reveal itself as it warms. I'm a huge fan of DIPA's, and this is one of the most interesting ones I've had in a while.

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

This beer poured a dark red clear amber color and formed a huge off white foamy head that left latticed lace as it slowly subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops, caramel and a hint of pepper. The flavor was of malt, hops, caramel and hint of rye and some spices. The body was medium and the finish was bittersweet. A good beer, but as a DIPA, hops need to be stronger in the aroma and flavor than they are in this beer.

Photo of srandycarter
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -Dark honey, initial head leaves quick, lacing almost non existent.

S - Rye, brown sugar and hops. Great combo.

T - Deep caramel center...like a Kraft caramel candy. Hops and Rye accent.

M - fairly deep, good card and coating.

D - Despite the ABV, I could be coerced into a few of these.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clean and clear dark burgundy topped with a half inch of super creamy off white head that leaves a significant amount of super sticky looking lace. This thing looks imposing.

S: Hops are there but like the beer says this one brings the rye into the frame big time. Sweet and chewy rye, phenols are pretty high but really seem to work well with the rye and hop aromas so as not to be too distracting or off putting. There is also a strong enough sweet malt aroma to sort of balance the highly hoppy aroma.

T/MF: Super sweet and super full bodied opening. Super sticky and bitter mango and pineapple undercut by a strong phenolic bite that lets you know the rye is working as well. Super strong malt presence as well but this beer will not let you forget what you are drinking, the rye is there and adds an interesting sweetness and medicinal bite that after a while becomes oddly satisfying. I swear this thing is creeping in on barleywine territory. The mouthfeel on this one is just as complex as the flavor and is both sweet and bitter and super sticky, the liquid just gets pasted to your tongue and rips at your taste buds dragging flavor all over the palate.

D: This beer is quite interesting, really complex where most DIPAs just slap you in the face with hops this one adds a new piece to the puzzle along with one of the stronger malt profiles I've noticed in a DIPA in a while. A heavy and hot beer that is good for a glass by yourself and a friend or if you are adventurous, by yourself only.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,797 ratings.