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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

1,752 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,752
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: 1,752 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a nice off-white head with pretty decent retention that leaves a nice ring of lace around the edge of the glass. The aroma is malt, caramel and a nice dose of piney hops. The taste starts out with a smooth maltiness, that is quickly interrupted by the piney hops that take over the finish and make their presence felt long after the first sip. Overall, this is another solid DIPA that is filled with a delicious hop profile and a solid malt backbone. Recommended.

cjgator3, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of erosier
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber red with a tall and thick tan colored head that laces the glass nicely as it goes. The aroma is of strong roasted malts along with a big and bold hoppy bitterness at the end. It tastes of very rich roasted malts, some fruit and then a really well balanced but still hoppy aftertaste that is extremely enticing. It has an excellent mouthfeel - very crisp and smooth at the same time which is nice for a beer this big. It has the right amount of carbonation as well. Very drinkable double IPA but not as drinkable as some due to its high abv and well worth a try.

erosier, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of srobertson59
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured (a bit too aggressively) from a 22 oz. bottle:

A - Wow! A huge 3 finger head that seems to have a life of its own. Tiny carbonation bubbles swirl around very similar to a Guinness. After the pour settles down, very small bubbles slowly rise through a dark chestnut brew making the liquid look very thick.

S - Malt hits the nose followed closely by a good bit of floral hops. Not much in the way of citrus is detected, but there is an earthy quality on the backend.

T - This is a COMPLEX beer! Both the malts and hops play hide-and-seek with each sip. Bitterness is out front, but is tamed by the sweet malt just before becoming too bitter. Carbonation is barely present on the tongue and the alcohol is only detectable by the warmth of the throat on the swallow.

M - Thick without being syrupy...smooth without leaving a coating on the tongue. Very little aftertaste.

D - This one is quite impressive and really needs to be sipped to enjoy it. I find that the flavor changes as it warms and tends to be less bitter than when first poured.

What a beer! A very complex blend (is it the Rye that makes this DIPA so different?). This isn't your average DIPA.

I will certainly look out for more of this and pick it up when available. A complex beer at $4.99 a bomber? OH YEAH!

srobertson59, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Are ya kiddin' me? I don't know if this beer is great, but it is certainly complex, unwielding, and merciless. I know I'm dealing with a serious session when I uncap the bottle and smell the malt while I'm picking out a glass. As I pour the beer, I allow for plenty of head space, but the beer grew out of that, spreading it's joy all over my counter and providing a Guiness-like layering while I clean up the mess. Can't help to appreciate that strong blend of heavy, sweet malts and pungent, spicy hops in the background. Settling in, I taste a huge malt base that certainly classifies as thick and rich. As the sweetness smoothens out, an underlying graininess / sharpness arises from the rye with a hearty, bready base and a distinct toast / yeast flavor. The malts fade into rye, rye fades into hops. The transition is smooth, albeit sharp because of the bold flavors. Hops go everywhere from pungent to citrus to pine and leave a resinous feel and flavor all over the glass. Body is viscous and heavy, but relaxes short of oily or cloying. This beer is a sipper; God knows I tried to rush a few gulps, but the aggression of the beer taught me otherwise. This beer is an American Barelywine with every punch that can be expected.

BEERchitect, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of saintwarrick
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have always seen this brew but never grabbed it until now. Didn't really read up on it until after I bought it, so this one had me by surprise.

Pours a cloudy amber or copper with a big head that coats the glass. Aroma is big and complex. Malty and thick like maple syrup with some molasses mixed in, but there is also with a big, piney hoppiness that jumps out too. Taste is just like the label suggests: bittersweet. Heavy thick chocolate thickness hits the tongue followed by some massive hoppiness that brings on the bitterness, almost medicine-like. Big alcohol character, not overwhelming, but it ain't hiding either. The rye is there throughout lending some darker grain and bread-like flavor to the brew. That is what makes this brew stand out from other DIPAs.

Wow, an extremely complex and dangerous brew. Though I was buying an average IPA only to find out it had rye and was also a DIPA. I'm pleasantly surprised, this brew was well worth any gamble (and also quite affordable). A unique treat I am more than willing to sample again.

saintwarrick, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great red-orange color that is clear with a small off-white head, it looks delicious. Nice hoppy smell that also has a strong malt presence like a barleywine. The flavor is resinous, chewy hop flavors (more resin than citrus) with a bitter aftertaste. I can kind of taste the rye but it is nowhere near as pronounced as Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. This is not what I usually look for in a DIPA but nonetheless it is a solid beer.

ArrogantB, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the clear reddish amber brew. Head lasts and lasts, with hoards of chunky lacing. Aroma is pine and sweet grains, with some spiciness to boot. Taste is sweet maltiness upfront, citrus and pine hops character in the middle on through, with some alcohol warmth at the close. Not as much spicy rye character as I had hoped. Mouthfeel and drinkability are alright, but go a bit far on the bitterness for my liking even for the style. Your mileage may vary.

ppoitras, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a thick murky amber/red with fluffly bubbly off-white head and great movement

s: great flowery hops and citrusy hops with some spicey maltiness

t: a little disappointing after how powerful the fragrance was but still good. first hints of caramely malts followed by a big fruity/bitter hop punch; enough for most hopheads

m: light carbonation and really creamy and smooth

d: a good beer with a really strong hop presence that at the same time isn't overbearing; maybe it could bring out some more hop complexities but overall quite good

hoegaardenhero, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful crystal and rye malt scent that enticises the senses. It's loaded up with hop aroma as well; a bitter explosion balanced with an excellent variety of specialty malts. The taste is good. It has a very smooth and bitter hop taste that goes down easy and warms in the finish. Crystal and rye malts dominate the grist. It's quite complex with loads of flavors, especially a mellowing rye component. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The rye works well with the heavy load of hops. The crystal malts lend some sweetness to round out the palate; a good drinker.

WesWes, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours caramel with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Big time pineyness & some breadyness

T: Huge grapefruit & piney hops up front, plus caramel. Malty cakeyness a bit of caramel try to regain some ground as this warms, but can't conquer the orangey, grapefruitty & piney hops. Finishes semi-dry (the rye??) with much pineyness; plus some caramel & a bit of pralines

MF: Chewy with low carbonation. Skews just a tad too hoppy for me

Drinks a bit slow, but with all that ABV & intensity, what do you expect? Hopheads will dig this. Lenny Bruce would appreciate the bitterness! A very good DIPA that has a few rough edges

russpowell, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is brick red mixed with copper. Perfect one finger, off-white head.

Notes of tangerine, grapefruit and carmel gently tingle the nostrils.

Sweet malt accented taste is balanced by a fabulous tangerine and pine bitterness. Rye is certainly present and, to me, integrates the barley and hops perfectly- something about Rye brews that are done right that I really find attractive. Very slight butterscotch note in the finish. This beer really begs for another sip.

Rye also helps in the mouthfeel giving the beer a lusciousness that is very comforting. This one slips past your lips way too easily.

I could drink this beer all night! That is before I pass out after three of these bombers. Alcohol is extremely well hidden!

Overall a fantastic beer that is all about balance. Certainly not all about the hops, but one of my favorite double IPAs nonetheless.

Rochefort10nh, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color with a tan head. In the aroma, dry grapefruity hops. In the taste, grapefruity hops, rye, and a touch of caramel sweetness. A sweet and smooth with a small bite in the mouthfeel and a dry, rye grapefruity hop aftertaste. Caramel sweet and great hop presence mixed with good rye.

OWSLEY069, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2x ipa brewed with massive and obscene amounts of rye malt and hops. Wow. Ruby red color and very spicy pine resin aroma. 10.0 abv. Floral notes as well. Flavor is malty, malty, malty providing a huge mouthful. Reminds me a lot like the Arrogant Bastard only more maltier. Bittersweet dry finish with slight grapefruit notes from im guessing Chinook. If you love the bastard youll love this just as much.

beerthulhu, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22oz bottle into a Smokestack goblet. Only a slight off white head (probably to cold) that left sticky lacing all the way down the glass. Poured a deep amber with a lot of reddish tones. Aroma was amazing. Really complex. The first thing that struck me was almost a sweet strawberry aroma, then it melded into the spiciness from the rye and then finally into the hops. Taste is all rye up front. Not overpowering, but it adds a spicy kick that balances the malt very well. Hops are the finish. I cannot pick up what exact flavors of the hops but it was big. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side with leaves a nice oily coating on your mouth. I will definitely pick up another bomber of this when I see it.

hwwty4, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of hellcatsjg
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark golden beer that looks thick right out of the bottle. A good amount of head rises after a good pour, and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass as you go. Good looking beer.

Smell: Spicyness and a bit of piney hops. The nose does not nearly prepare you for the huge taste of this one.

Taste: Very good. This one starts with a bit of maltiness that quickly gives out to a piney and sweet hop flavor. Also jumping in in the middle of the sip is a spicy flavor due to the rye that does a very good job of complementing the piny hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, almost chewy beer. At the same time though, very smooth and creamy. This is a very good combination as well and makes for a very unique drinking experience. Finishes somewhat dry and leaves the nice spicy hop flavor hanging around until the next sip.

Drinkability: Thought this is a wonderful beer, this is the category that it would suffer in. It is so thick and intense-in a good way, mind you-that you could not sit for an evening of several of these. One bomber would probably be enough, but you will enjoy the heck out of it.

hellcatsjg, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa. Rating as an IPA as advertised it gets a goose egg because it was no where close to an IPA, not one that I am used to, it walked a fine line on the barleywine side and for that I give a great rating of course. This one poured out a deeep amber with some great carbonation. It poured thick like syrup and took a few to settle. On the nose it smells of pure malt. The taste..the malt really takes over the hops leaving it a bit lopsided for an IPA. Tasted sweet and spicy .Went down well and stuck around for a while. The ABV and heaviness of this one takes down the drinkability but an EXCELLENT brew.

barleywinefiend, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of theformula
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #6 in the 366 Days of Beer Quest, tasted on 1/06. This has been in the fridge for a month now, can't believe I had the willpower to resist it this long. I love rye, let's see how this stacks up...

A: Pours a dark copper body into a Duvel tulip. A healthy off-white head forms but drops away quickly to a nice ring. Super-sticky lacing is left over. Great clarity. Nice.

S: Assertively hoppy, but balanced aroma. They're not overbearing & balanced by rich malts. Spicy rye, toffee and caramel give it a strong backdrop. Hops are spicy w/ pepper, citrus and hop resins; complex. The alcohol is spicy but not too much.

M: Med.-full body, thick & chewy w/ low carbonation. Pretty intense stuff.

T: Great DIPA, akin to BR Hop Rod Rye, although I'd drink the BR first. A solid, rich malt body gives out toffee, raisins, wet grains and dark honey sweetness. It would be overwhelmingly rich if the hops didn't do their part, but they do in a balanced, quiet way. A definite, hot alcohol note is there and doesn't hide. Finish is long w/ bitter, sticky hops, caramel and rye spice.

D: A powerhouse of a DIPA, and one to sip for sure. The rye adds a nice kick of spice. As mentioned by a few other BA's, the hops are not too perceived in the aroma but you can feel them in the finish.The M.F. is too thick for my liking, though.
Great stuff from Schmaltz!

theformula, Jan 07, 2008
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,752 ratings.