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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. - Shmaltz Brewing Company

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,782 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,782
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 111 | FT: 6
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)
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,782 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of cbn
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice, translucent, deep copper color, very thin head, minimal carbonation.

Aromas of sweet malt, slightly acid(attributed to the Rye),relatively mild hop profile.

Flavors run quickly through the mouth, acid rye, sweet malt, bitter hop, then mingle and linger.

Cold, the mouthfeel seems thin, almost watery. As the brew warms it becomes more creamy.

Flavor and mouthfeel give this brew a better than average drinkability.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured a rich, brown golden-amber with dense off-white head that dropped rather fast. Not much in way of retention, and some faint tracing. Liquid appears thick on pour.
S-Aroma is excellent...complex blend of rich, sweet malts, dry rye, faint esters of cherry, mango, apricot, and plum, and a dense hop presence that features pine resin, light citrus, and floral notes. There is also a light rustic earth scent that gives it a solid foundation.
T&M-Taste is of a heavier bold sweet malt and caramel upfront that offers up center-stage to a midpalate rife with an in-your-face bouquet of hops, light coffee, and spice. The finish brings out more of the subtle fruit notes, namely cherry, and faint citrus jumps out just before being overtaken by rye. The aftertaste is dominated by rye, but is surprisingly clean and light after a heavy-bodied drink. The alcohol warms slightly, but not as much as I would expect at 10%
D-I really like this one...I really like this brewery...a steady offering of great beers that never let me down. This one is very heavy and filling, but that just means I'll save some cash on the grocery bill.

Photo of Slatetank
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to be able to meet Jeremy Cowan of Schmaltz when they were at goggleworks for Design, drink and be merry. I tried this from a bomber in a plastic cup.

A - Deep copper w/ dark amber tinges w/ a full head of creamy tan. There is a lot of settling but the lace and retention is there, no doubt

S - A crisp hoppy (there are 12 kinds utilized) aroma w/ rye and peculier tropical odors like passionfruit w/ a hint of dark sweet cherry and brown sugar.

M - A full bodied big instense feeling IPA stimulates the taste buds and coats the cheeks w/ hop oily feel and dry spicy rye malt w/ a sufficiently proper carbonation and the feel borders on creamy

T - Big and bold w/ rye flavor that is noticeable and flavorful! There is a huge hop blend giving this beer the bitter side of bittersweet. The malt tastes a bit spicy like rye can, but has a mellow sweet body that counters the pungent and tantalizing hops. The taste is grainy and there is a fruity taste from the yeast. The more this beer is tasted, the more enjoyable it gets w/ buttloads of flavor - you really can't go wrong w/ the taste of this Big Rye Ipa.

D - Too big for me to quaff, but for the most part I can't see any thing wrong with how easy it is to sip and savor this. With 12 hops adding so much depth and intensity and the rye malt is incrediblly drinkable to me. I like to taste and feel this beer for a good relaxing time.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,782 ratings.