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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 (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | 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: 1,782 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another over-the-top DIPA, more malt tasted with hop bitterness right behind it. Slowly Drinkable with some citrus and cherry and spice. Good looking white foamy head. Good carmel malty aroma. Bitter aftertaste. Some like this style a lot, others prefer something less explosive.

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

Pour a very deep copper with 2 fingers of long lasting creamy head. Sheets of lacing occur. Looks like a big daddy DIPA. Smells like rye malt, fig, and a hoppy backbone. Loving the rye malt. Im starting to grow fond of these Rye IPAs. Very balanced, you get all the piney hops you could ask for but the expected balance from the rye malt is nice. Full in the mouth, nice carbonation. A big beer. Slightly under a sipper and very tasty.

Photo of tjkurz
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful deep chestnut brown.
S- Nice malty smell.
T- Taste is very malty with the rye noticeable.
Finish - a bit of hoppy not as much as many IPAs - a bit alcoholy.
Mouthfeel - substantial, nicely carbed.
Drinkability - a bit strong at 10%, but very enjoyable to enjoy slowly.

Currently one of my favorites - really like the rye malt - a little less boozey would probably make it my first choice. I get one of these (22 oz) bottle with a nicely marbled and/or seasoned steak.

Photo of Drew966
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. pours a dark copper color with an off white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is a rich and malt with some alcohol being evident. There is a nice thick mouthfeel, a lot of malt up front, followed by strong, peppery alcohol and then some hops are noticeable in the finish. The alcohol kind of overpowers this beer, I think it would be very tasty if it were lower in abv. As is, it's okay, but kind of a chore to drink more than a small amount.

Photo of burtonbe
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful deep brown color. Clear. Strong head.

S - Good malty smell, with a balanced hop aroma. Very balanced, very enjoyable.

T - Wow! That's a kick in the mouth! Huge flavor. You can really taste the rye. Complex biscuity/malty/bitter/sweet/woody flavor. Hoppy, but it needs it to balance the huge flavor. Chewy. Just awesome.

M - When you drink this beer you really know you're drinking beer. Mouthfeel is exceptional.

D - This beer is 10% ABV and comes in a 22oz bottle. Keeping that in mind, it's pretty darn drinkable.

Overall, this is an awesome beer. My girlfriend took a sip and remarked "that sure is a man's beer!"

Photo of OStrungT
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a darker golden color with a slightly dark tan head. The thick, fluffy looking head fades slowly, leaving a good amount of lace.

This beer has a crisp piney aroma. It also has a slightly sour, grainy aroma from the rye. I can detect a decent amount of sweet caramel malt aroma as well, balancing this beer quite nicely. The 10% ABV is hidden well in the aroma.

As with the aroma, this beer has a strong piney hop flavor. It tastes somewhat grainy as well. Unlike the aroma however, I can clearly taste the alcohol in this beer. A slight caramel malt flavor is also present.

This beer is full bodied. It leaves a grainy, piney aftertaste. The alcohol content in this beer warms slightly as it goes down. It is carbonated well.

I doubt this beer would make a great session beer. It is aggressive, and it is high in alcohol.

Overall: I have had this beer before on tap, but never got around to writing a review. As soon as I saw the bottle, I jumped at the chance to review it. As with everything I have had from Shmaltz Brewing Company, this beer is unique. Not what I usually enjoy, and therefore always worth trying.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.85/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured into a flaired tulip glass from a 22oz brown bottle with crimped cap.

Hazy,deep reddish copper color with a generous off white very creamy head,good retention,tightly knit strings of very tiny bubbles rising from the sides of the glass with a steady stream of bubbles emerging from the center of the glass,leaving sticky lacing down the sides of the glass.

Tart, fruity, berry- like aromas with floral,citrusy notes, also had a green apple and fresh cut grass smells. The aromas were very faint for a DIPA, no dating on the bottle might have been lost with age.

Heavy,sweet intense carmell malitness with a burnt edge to it followed by a hop rush of resiny,leafy with lots of citrus rind. Good balance with alcoholic heat throughtout. Thick and juicy with intense hop notes.

A sipper,very rough,not much drinkability. One of the least drinkable doubles i've had,if you like it hoppy this beer's for you. Don't let the aroma fool you this beer packs a serious hop punch.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.7/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22 oz amber bomber into a standard pint.

Appearance is dark, reddish, enticing, with a nice heavy tan head.

Aroma is malty and pungent with hops.

Tastes really chewy, malty, bitter. Mouthfeel is heavy. Seems like a barleywine or old/strong ale to me, way too bloated and sweet to call it a DIPA. Didn't pick up the rye note, just mega malt.

I'm glad I was sharing this one, because I couldn't have finished it by myself--just too thick and rich.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and the color of a dark red wine with a full wispy light tan head that fades fair quickly. Little lacing generated. The smell of rye malt beverage is really unique and a little hard to describe to me. Its malty without being really sweet. A little doughy too. The alcohol is also undeniable in the nose and there are a bunch of hops in this one, giving it a piny floral characteristic. I find that the alcohol is much more pronounced the more it warms up. Full bodied, the mouth feel is smooth. Adequately carbonated, a tingle from the hops balances the rye malt nicely. The flavor is quite similar to the nose. The 10% ABV is integrated well. A very good drinker, and one to consider for a reasonable length of time.

Photo of stephendr
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle- color of dark honey, with a medium tan head - nose of spruce, malt, brown sugar, and some tar– taste of hard hops, spruce, grape fruit, vanilla, sugary, raisin, some mint, and alcohol - body is chewy, and with high/medium carbonation – aftertaste of tar, chewy, malt, and resin

Photo of Fugazme
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A recent addition to Beertopia in Omaha... very nice...

Deep copper... bits of an auburn/reddish hue... 1/2" eggshell colored head... bubbles form quite tight.

Sweet strawberry and grapefruity nose... grassy and a little malt. Citrus is pretty big... small touch of pine.

Largely hoppy on the intake... somewhat dry through the swallow and a grainy hit in a pine/citrus finish. Pretty darn tastey for sure... At 10% it sure snuck up on me... sip it slow!

Photo of cameraman
2.48/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A deep amber color with a creamy colored head, that is a substantial three inches thick. The aroma is very citrusy, with touches of pine and grassy scents, then is rounded out with hints of malt and rye. That malt and rye come right out at the start of the flavor, it stays there till it reaches the back of the palate and a grapefruit tartness, followed by some grassy flavors. All of that flavor is diminished, by this harsh mettalic taste at the end. A medium bodied feel at first, but seems to water down after several sips. I was expecting alot more from this beer, the aroma brought me to a point, and then I was let down greatly. I will have to try this beer again, to see if I am wrong.

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

Bought a bottle at BevMo on 7/29/07
Appearance: Dark, burnt orange with a huge whit head that disspates very slowly
Smell: Aggressive hops and lots of malt
Taste: A good hop bite with a lot of malt to back it up. Only complaint is the sweetness on this one.
Mouthfeel: Very solid. Sweet, silky, hop-helped, coating texture on the back of the throat.
Drinability: Not bad for a 10% brew. I honestly did not taste the alcohol on this one. A very good beer and the first I have tried from the Schmaltz brewing.
Recommended

Photo of nafnikufesin
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Great wispy looks.

Smell - Sweet-hoppy aroma.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body.

Taste - A sweet rye flavor at the front of the mouth giving way to an intense bitter hop flavor, with the 10% alcohol very apparent in the aftertaste.

Drinkability - Ultimately limited by the intense bitterness.

Overall - A good start, flavorful, but very intense to drink on a regular basis.

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

I've sat on this for a few months and it probably was a few months in the store as well. I'm not sure that qualifies as aged, but it certainly is not new.
Big full cream colored fluffy head that takes its time settling. Nice red hues. Very clear. Loads of lacing. Attractive.
I can't call the aroma intense, but it certainly is full of hops, particularly American with strong citrus (but is more complex than just Cascade) and grassy qualities. Definitely some malt backing, but not so much of fruit as toast and biscuit. Alcohol not evident, at least in first blush, which surprises me considering the level (some mild presence later).
While remarkably hoppy (dare I say intense) in both flavors and bitterness it also initially comes across as blended rather well. Strong malt qualities certainly exists and not just in balancing qualities but possessing flavor characteristics of fruit, touch of sweetness up front and bursts of toast/biscuit (although too infrequent and fleeting for my preferences). Nonetheless, this is a hop dominated profile in which the bitterness gradually takes over and dominates through an extremely long and progressively dry finish. Alcohol is present, but is never hot, bold or interfering.
Quite smooth with a medium heavy body with a carbonation that exists but doesn't stand out one way or another.
I think this is quite nicely done. Fits category well. I wish the advertised rye would make more of a presence, but maybe age has a role to play in that. So drinkability...hmmmm, how much can a guy really sample of this before the taste buds turn completely numb? I don't know, but a bomber by myself was doable, but it took a long time and considerable patience.
RIP Stacy.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a reddish-brown crystal clear body but a bit dense. The strong sea of carbonation is tiny bubbles that glide up the sides of the glass. The thick sticky light tan head hold to the side of the glass after each sip.

S- This beer has a sweet malt flavor with a note of sugary dum-dum suckers. The light smell of wet grain and toast come through as it warms. There is also a hint of dark rye bread that is very pleasant.

T- This beer has a sweet dark caramel malt flavor with a bitterness of dandelion greens to follow. There spicy notes from hops or rye that fades into toasted malt notes and sweet white sugar flavors. The finish has a light herbal note with a malt and hop bitterness at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture. There is a slight chalky texture and a soft alcohol heat that comes through as it warms.

D- This beer has some nice qualities of old ales, sweet malts and smooth alcohol with notes of spicy rye notes. I didn't get any qualities of IPA let alone DIPA. Nice beer in the wrong categories.

Photo of IPAcraig
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up after a tubing trip in Gainesville. Purchased at Ward's grocery store that had a nice selection of craft beer. Poured from a bomber into my Newcastle pint glass.


A - This beer pours a fairly transparent, deep amber red with a one inch head with some lacing. Great lloking red beer.

S - Sharp grainy aroma, with huge malty presence. A nice citrusy aroma was apparent as well.

T - The maltiness, caramel, flavor is immense in this beer. Balanced by a bit of bite (perhaps from the rye) and with a tinge of piney, citrusy hop bitterness. However this is the least hoppy DIPA I have tried; I need more hops! That aside, this is a nice tasting beer. It is hugely malty and sweet, with a nice balance; but it tastes like an uber-malty pale ale.

M - Slightly grainy with a a medium body and moderate amount of carbonation. Nice.

D - The drinkablity is fairly good for this beer. I think the lack of hops actually helped in this department. A little to sweet for me though. I would defintely drink this again, however some many other great DIPAs out there it may be unlikely.

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

I've been curious about this one since I ran into the Shmaltz guys at Brewtopia in NY a few years back and the label is quite eclectic and interesting so decided to give it a go. Pours a deep reddish maroon color with a reasonable creamy head and lots of effervesence. Nose is quite loud with hops and rye malt in imitation of it's namesake. Nothing subtle here, as well there shouldn't be.

Deeply sweet with strong alcohol tones that eventually lighten and give way to hefty but not intense hopping. This seems to be the trend in the DIPAs I've had lately: as heavy on the malt as the hops. A bit of a sour note is linked to the beer, perhaps coming from the rye. This is a sensory powerful beer; the anti Coors Light. Real beer drinkers will enjoy this brew.

Photo of Freshie
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice 22oz bomber. Great label. Poured into snifter. Dark amber, with tan, frothy head.

Smell of sugary malt, and phenol alcohol.

The taste is up front strong and smokey. Sweet flavor grows on the palate. Alcohol is light but noticeable. A sipper no doubt.

Photo of bloberglawp
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to lipschitz for sending me this during CanBIF3.

Big foamy head, dissipates and leaves sticky lacing. Big dark orange brew, big malty, spicy aroma a little cattyness from hops. Kinda smells like belgian rock candy as well. Big bitter bang up front when in mouth, rye malt seems to help tone down what must be like a ton of specialised cristal malts that would seem to be used. Kinda oily/chewy mouthfeel. Soft alchohol burn as it goes down.

My very first DIPA... I'm addicted.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well well well what do we have here. I was shopping and saw this bottle sitting on the bottom shelf, hidden behind some Grolsch of all things. I am a huge Double IPA fan, and a big fan of Lenny Bruce as well, and considering this and not having ever heard of this before, needless to say I was quite shocked to see this bottle. I really cool looking bottle too. Big Broadway looking Marqueee on the the front and a long history of how this brew came to be on the 40th anniversary of his death. Just a really good idea and a cool concept. Also states its #1 in the series of beers designed for famous Jewish celebrities. Aside from all of that, onto the beer.

Pour was very clean. Deep, dark, somewhat hazy reddish amber, almost a ruby tone to it. Lots of visible carbonation on the first pour, streams of bubbles coming up for a bit, this subsided though after a while. Smallish off white head formed at the top, but did not hang around very long, and faded to a very thin film on the top with a moderate amount of lace down the sides of the glass. The look aside from the ruby red hue was rather average for a DIPA.

The smell on this was quite strong right off the bat. Lots of brutally fresh citrus hops assaulted the nose at the first whiff. A good amount of malt was also detected and it added a somewhat earthy, or grassy tone to the overall aroma. A hint of alcohol could also be found when it warmed up, but did not seem overpowering at all. Nice rounded smell, the RYE was not readily apparent right away, but there was a definate sweetness to it, almost had the candies apple or cherry sweetness in it.

First impression of the taste was powerful and different enough from your standard beares in the style to definatly be noticed. The alcohol in it said hello right away, but not in the too hot and burning way, just enough to let you know this is a 10%'er and take it easy with the sips. Nice sweet candy like flavor comes though first, but is immediatly washed away by the frontal hop assault. Lots of bitter citrus hops and a fresh cut grass flavor are both readily apparent. Very complex flavors are taking shape in the backend of this one. Very sweet and the rye malts are adding a robust character to it. Very big dry finish, and a smooth going down are leaving me wanting another sip. The feel was just about right, maybe a little more carbonation to give it the pop, and drive away a bit of the syrupy poroperties, but these are only minor noticings and nothing that is distracting in anyway. Overall the flavor and feel on this one were both superb and a nice treat.

Now overall I was very impressed by this beer. I t had a nicely balanced profile, which is rare sometimes ih the overly hopped world of DIPA(not that I am complaining about overly hopped). But you could tell alot of work was put into making this one special. It carried alot of weight but at the same time did not go overboard. Very drinkable and actually I would recommend seekign this out if you can. Says it is a one timer, brewed in 2006, so I dont know how much more can be found or when it was released, but I am definatly going to try and pick up a few more bottles if they are still on the shelf next time I am out there.

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

Bottle. Poured a slightly hazy copper color with a thick almond head. Strong lacing. Aroma is malty, caramel, and hoppy. Amazing full mouthfeel. Flavor is a nice hoppy taste, with grapefruit, rye, and pine hints to it. Ranks right up there with Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye as the best rye beers that I've had.

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

22oz bottle into the glass reveals the copper color. A small head develops, then quickly fades leaving some decent lace.

The smell of malt is strong. A scent of fruitiness is also present, a slight touch of citrus.

The rich malty flavor and the alcohol dominate this one, but the bitterness makes its way through.

It's definitely a mouthfull. One you can chew on and enjoy. The large bottle goes a long way.

The RIPA is a pretty serious brew that makes for a great night.

Photo of jakon
2.15/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle purchased for $4.99 on 7-1-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours a copperish hue which actually closely resembles the pomegranate offering from the same brewery. Pours a mediocre head that vanishes almost completely within a few minutes. My first thought upon opening, was that this beer smells a lot like DFH 90. I think it's the malt. My first taste was surprising. It seems as though something is missing. I was expecting something bigger. The hops come through kinda weak, and there is a strong aspirin-like aftertaste which only becomes more prevalent as the beer warms. Other than that, the beer is malt-dominated. Perhaps this one may have been subjected to a few too many nights on the shelf, but I can't confirm without a freshness date. Overall, disappointing.

Photo of jdoncbus
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber - poured into pils glass. Rich copper color with two fingered, beige head. Decent amount of lacing.

First whiff is of malty, biscuit with a solid alcohol prescene. Rouned off with piney, sweet citrus with a layer of butterscotch. The "bittersweet" label on the brew is no lie.

The rye malt certainly hits like a sledgehammer leaving an extremely bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is there and makes no attempt to hide itself. This concoction reminds me of a ryed up Arrogant Bastard Ale,

Very dry and oily mouthfeel leaving a certain puckerness in the mouth.

Definitely not a session beer and would advise pouring this baby into an 8 oz. glass. This brew is not for the faint of heart and to be honest I wish I could split this bomber with someone but since its open and I am not with any beer drinkers; it's down the hatch. Perhaps I am a wuss but I would go with Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye if given the choice.

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