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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

1,835 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,835
Reviews: 867
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 83
Gots: 152 | FT: 4
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 (24) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,835 | Reviews: 867
Photo of Buebie
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a mug...yep a mug.

I like the lable tribute, very nice.
Poured a deep copper with red hues. Not much carbonation rise, misleading. The head is super thick and heavy, with a good 2 fingers of it. Its frothy, like root beer float foam. Color is egge shell white, without the bleach. Big sticky chunks of lace the the walls of the glass.

Aroma is very hoppy, with pine and citrus. A mild scent of alcahol, some spicie notes, bread, fruity sweetness, caramel.

Upfront its smooth and creamy with some carbonation. Hops dominate the front end of the taste, with grapefruit, and pine.
Then some mild alcahol warming comes into play with a bit of a peppercorn flavor.
As I swallow a spice and herbed pumpernickle/ rye flavor comes around.
A mild metalic water flavor, more hops, toffee, a wisp of chocolate and more sweet citrussy juices.
Finish is dry with a bitter hop linger.

This is one complicated, but amazing brew. Alot going on, but never over burdoning my pallet.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge huge head with excellent retention and a cloudy amber color.

Smell is of sour rye with some piney and perfumy hoppiness, with a big whiff of alcohol astringency.

The sour rye goes really well with the piney and perfumy hops. The astringency of the alcohol is a bit much though and takes away a tad from the overall enjoyment of the beer. Also, there aren't enough hops to balance the astringency.

The mouthfeel is a bit astringent, but has a nice fullness otherwise. I want to like this beer more, but it's a bit boozy.

Thie beer has an awesome rye profile, but is a bit too astringent with the alcohol to be superbly drinkable.

I want to like this beer more. There is such a great rye characteristic, but the alcohol astringency and lack of adequate hops to balance is too big of a flaw.

Thanks to La Roja for a great extra on my wants list.

Photo of cokes
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark and clear autumnal copper-brown stacked with a small pile of ivory sudsy lace.
The noes pounds home caramel apples, electric wintergreen hops, and rye peppery spiciness. It's not a varied or particularly complex aroma, but it delivers exactly what is promised. I appreciate the fact that rye is not lost in the fray.
The taste progression is similar. Sweet with caramel, toffee, and brown sugar at the fore. Some fruity tone develop, especially apple, with a suggestion of things more tropical, primarily mango. It gathers some toasty qualities, then rye steps up and inserts its trademark and unique brand of pepperiness. Hops add the syrups of grapefruit and wintergreens. Its very dank and bitter and peppery with suggestions of chilis and aspirin, which in sum fit the overall mood, but this would be improved if the overall hop statement was brighter and cleaner and definitive. Alcohol adds some late gin-like, juniper-rich heat, but for a brew of 10%, it matters little.
The mouthfeel is heavy, leavened slightly by the tiny amount of fleece-like bubbles that make it through. It teeters towards ungainly, but there is a deftness here.
As an obese amber ale, I love this. I am always a fan of rye and what it can bring, and does bring here. To toss this into the DIPA realm, it has some shortcomings. Averaging both schools of thought, it still is a solid "pretty good", regardless of parameters, and the overt rye tone push it up further in my biased perspective.
Nomenclature is a bitch though. Call this something semi-ridiculous, like Rye Strong Ale, and I'd score it much higher. Wrong as that may be.

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured really dark for an IPA, almost looked like an amber.
THe head looked great to begin with, but disapeared after a couple of drinks. Very light lacing.

The smell is a lot less "hoppy" compared to other IPA's and you can really smell the malt backbone that dominates this beer

The taste is all IPA to begin with, nice and hoppy. Then, the spice, and malt take over and it really seems somewhat confused.

Mildly effervescent, but really quite drinkable for as high this beer is in ABV

Couldn't drink too many as these babies are 10% a bottle! If you want a nice mildly malty beer to unwind with at the end of the day...this will do

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

I got this bottle in a trade with nutbown. Thanks Alan!

This pours a deep amber gold with a small head of foam. Again, there's lots of lacing like the others I've tried from them.

The smell is both hoppy and malty. Good notes of caramel and light floral hops with a rather strong peppery presence. My nose is happy.

The taste is stronger than the smell when it comes to the hops. Floral and piney hops dominate with a strong pepper spice flavour and a mild caramel malt backnone that I wish was more assertive. Dang, this is spicy and it makes me take long breaks between the sips. The alcohol is also more assertive than I care for and not nearly as well hidden as in their Jewbelation 11.

The mouthfeel is medium and nice, the carbonation is medium, and it finishes very bitter with some sweet tones though, I can't say that it's anywhere near balanced.

Bottom line: This one just doesn't do it for me and finishing the bomber will be a chore. Too much hop bitterness and pepper spice for the amount of malt that I can taste. Too extreme for me? I think so.

Photo of psprings
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was an LIF gift from the beer gods by way of their divine servant Mikesgroove. Many thanks to a stunningly generous BA.

A: A vigorous pour into my tulip yields a 1-finger head that subsides within 2 minutes to a collar that leaves light lace atop a dark amber, sparkling clear base. The color was slightly darker even than expected for 10 abv, making me fear that this RyePA might be a bit more on the malty side than I prefer.

S: Aroma is dominated by a sweet crystal malt aroma, tempered by a white-pepper spiciness from the rye, but surprisingly little hop aroma beyond a light earthy, floral component. Slight whiffs of higher alcohols sneak out as this warms up from cellar temperature.

T: A bold caramelized set of flavors comes through on the entry, with much of the Maillard flavor but surprisingly little of the sweetness, as the spicyness of what must be a sizeable proportion of rye coomes to the rescue of the midpalate. This gives way to floral, slightly piney early-addition hops that are minimally aromatic but well integrated into a finish that leaves just enough spice, peach-pit bitterness and earthy hops to invite another pleasantly anticipated sip. As this warms, the fusels tend to come out in the taste a little more than I like -- keep this big boy around 55 deg, and you'll be glad you did.

M: a nice mid-to-full with a fair amount of carbonation that gives it a nice prickliness. A bit more CO2 would have been nice for a bit mmore of a carbonic bite. On cask, this could be something truly special.

D: Honestly, at 10 abv, this is essentially a barlewywine (ryewine perhaps? Better jot that down for future brew days), with a mind-blowing complexity, but a pretty strong kick. I don't know about you, but I've got lab write-ups to do. I had to bust out my capper to finish this thing off a couple hours from now. Still, a really drinkable beer for the level of complexity.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22oz bomber. Love the label.

Pours an obscenely thick, syrupy deep golden-orange treacle colour. Fine bubbles struggle through the body to get to the yellowish head, amazingly fine with creamy bubbles. Lacing is extreme. This is one hell of an impressive looking beer.

I can smell it out of the bottle as I pour it. Really strong citrussy hop character, sour and sweet, with candied lemon peel and Curacao dominant. There's a dark almost peppery undertone to it as well, spicy and rich. Nice. Very nice indeed.

Wow, that must be the longest palate I've yet tried. It just creeps up, and up, and up, moving from an initial malty, syrupy sweetness, through a light effervescent fruity sourness before the hops kick in for the grand finale, a massive welling up of bittersweet freshness. Coupled with this is the second layer which interleaves the main characters - spice, cinnamon, pumpernickel, pepper - it's the dark undertone to the fresh, citrus/fruit characters which seem dominant.

Mouthfeel is sublime, smooth and slick - the alcohol adds a little heat as well.

This is a damn fine beer, with a massive array of flavours constructed together beautifully. The alcohol does start to assert itself after a while, which leaves this heady brew a sipper, but it's a damn good one. A thoroughly delicious beer.

Photo of Biggness
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"The only truly anonymous donor is the guy who knocks up your daughter. " - Lenny Bruce

This beer pours a rusty/cloudy amber with a 1 fingered white head and lacing. The smell I got was of alcohol and orange zest. The taste was very malty, with a slight chocolate flavor and a nice citrusy hops finish. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a nice carbonation level with a slight dry aftertaste. A very drink minus the dry aftertaste.

Photo of Greggy
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an exceptional dark copper/red color with a nice tan head. The body has just a touch of fine sediment. There is some nice sticky lacing as well.

S- Impressive. Very nutty, sweet, maple nut, and a bunch of dark fruits. There is a nice balance of rye in the mix too.

T- Very sweet and nutty malt with butterscotch, after the nice smooth malt it turns to a very nice dry hop finish.

M- Very thick and creamy.

D- The alc is extremely well hidden in this one. The only thing letting me know this was over 7% was the thick mouthfeel. I would have NEVER guessed that this was 10%. Incredible Brew.

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

I was at a beer tasting with a rep from this brewery last night, and of all the beers we tried, this was my favorite. So much so, I bought a bottle home with me to do a rating.
Its a very balenced IPA. Has a lot of hops, but has a balenced caramel maltyness that was very appealing for me. Not a hop bomb, but enough to satisfy a hop craving once and a while. A very drinkable beer. I love it.

Photo of Pencible
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This double IPA with rye malt poured a very hazy mahogany with a bit of off-white head. It smelled like rye and sweet caramel malt, with orange and sweet floral hops. It tasted like powerful bitter floral and citrus hops, balanced with lots of sweet rye and caramel malts. It was oily with no carbonation, and had a lasting sharp bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this beer wasn't too complex, but the rye gave it a fairly unique and delicious character. It was very clean and well balanced, despite its bold taste, so it was still fairly easy to drink. Good to sip or gulp, and quite enjoyable.

Photo of jwinship83
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- amber body with a small white head that becomes nothing more than a crown after a minute or two

S- caramel malt and hops

T- about how it smells. sweet caramel malt upfront with a citrus hops at the end. very nice

M- decently thick with good carbonation. nice bitter aftertaste

D- pretty good. the bottle went down easy enough, but more than one probably wouldnt be as enjoyable. a great beer for the price, something you should check out if youre into the style.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All I have to say is wow! This is the first and only beer I have had from Shmaltz, but it will not be the last. You must take into account that Double American IPA's are my absolute favorite and I am watering at the mouth recounting this beautiful beer.

I poured my Lenny's RIPA into a Tulip glass and at around 50 degrees or so. A nice head formed and then reduced to minor lacing which could be refrothed with a few swirls of the glass.

The Aroma is lightly sweet, hoppy, and a faint hint of the 10%ABV alcohol. I can tell right away that the first 8 ounces of this 22 ounce bomber don't stand a chance. I am luckily at home alone and left to enjoy this beer in the solitude and sanctity of my living room recliner.

The first taste is magical. It is bitter, vivacious and malty. The finish is like a Green Flash DIPA or Stone Ruination only with more hop spiciness. I can't believe the kick of this beer. The hop presence hides the alcohol well, but after 2/3 of the bottle you can definately feel the affects.

I would recommend this beer to anyone with a taste for IPA's. If you liked Stone Ruination, Arrogant Bastard, Green Flash DIPA, or any other heavily hopped beer you will most definately love this one. Enjoy and savor this one.

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
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
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
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
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
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,835 ratings.