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

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle into a pint glass.

A- Poured a deep brown, with a tan head.

S- Sweet malt, slight hint of sour fruit, figs and raisins.

T- Very sour-sweet, fruity and spicy, lots of hops in the finish.

M- Effervescent, medium on the tongue.

D- At ten percent I wouldn't drink many of these. The beer isn't really quaffable, but is very interesting. It is like a nightcap, a good way to end a night of beer drinking.

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

Serving: 22 oz. bomber

A: Pours nice and thick... "kerplunk" into my Duvel glass. Carbonation is evident, though subtle. One inch thick head; slowly dissipates. Color is clear, with hues of dark amber, reminiscent of honey or maple syrup.

S: Mild hops balanced by caramel malt aroma. Some fruit (banana); alcohol is present (duh at 10%!). No dominant citrusy hops.

T: The mild hops come through mildly in taste as well, a surprise considering the DIPA status. Don't get me wrong. It's pleasant for sure, especially how it finishes nicely with the malt backbone. After it warms, the alcohol and hops come through a bit more. Very nice.

M: Just as thick as it was poured. Carbonation is fine, as fine as it comes to being confused for lack of carbonation. It's pleasant.

D: For sure. Very pleased with this venture into a R.I.P.A.

Photo of number1bum
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for another good one.

Pours from a 22oz bomber a rich dark copper/amber with a thick and fluffy beige head. Head has good lasting power and leaves quite a bit of stick. Smell is super hoppy, with lots of floral and herbal notes, as well as big citrus aromas - orange and grapefruit. There is plenty of sweet malt, as well, plus a spiciness that comes from the rye.

Taste is again a nice balance between sweet and rye malts and citrusy, bitter hops. Starts with some caramel malt sweetness but then there is a rye malt flavor and a spicy bite, as well as some citrusy hops and a bitter hoppy finish. It's very creamy and definitely full-bodied.

This is obviously a very fine DIPA. I would say if you like rye and hops you will love this beer. For me, rye isn't my favorite but I still enjoyed this. I'm not sure I'd have this very often but it's a unique DIPA and offers something different than many others.

Photo of giblet
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I truly enjoyed this beer. Excellent taste and feel. This one makes my top 25 with no doubt. Full bodied so for me it would not be likely to have more than two in a row, but I would probably try!

Also, good marketing on the label. I catches your eye and makes you want to give the beer a try. You will be glad you did try it! It also says they use and obscene amount of hops. I don't know about "obscene" because it was very good.

Try it, trust me!

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

A - Beautiful clear red colour. Thick head that ain't going nowhere.

S - Balance of citrus hops and yummy caramel malt, with a hint of spicy rye.

T - Intense. Potent piney hops hit you right off the bat, then the thick malt and alcohol comes rushing in. It all comes together in a long, bitter and dry finish. Not an overly strong rye presence, spiciness seems to show up in the finish. As it warms, you get more of the rye, as well as an orange marmalade character that is quite nice.

M - Chewy, thick and creamy. Even a little syrupy and oily, but the dry finish holds it together. Warming alcohol is quite obvious, but very smooth.

D - This is a freakin 10% IPA, how drinkable can it be?

A fabulous brew! Obviously, it is now missing some of that fresh hop character, so I'd say it is more of a barleywine at this point, but still very good.

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

Clear, coppery amber with a fluffy, light brown/beige head. Good head retention and clumpy rings of foam stuck to the glass. Malty aroma with lots of spicy rye, caramel, gingerbread, and citrusy hops. Moderate bitterness with a nice balance between malt (spicy, chocolatey rye) and citrusy grapefruit hoppiness. Finishes with some dryness and spice. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation. The texture's a little oily and there's a pleasant warmth in the finish. Very enjoyable.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber...double IPA brewed with rye malt. Pours into my glass a deep amber orange/red color with a nearly reverse cascading head that forms into a perfect inch of creamy foam on top of the brew. Sticky lacing clings to the side of the glass. This one just looks good. Aromas start with rich, dense malts consisting of caramel and spicy rye grain. Big pine resin hops merge with citrusy notes as well.

First sip brings a rush of somewhat sweet caramel laced malt along with a nice somewhat spicy rye grain flavor as well. The hops come in fiercely with a big bitterness and lots of pine flavor. Some citrus and grapefruit flavors float in and out as well. It flows down with a heavy bitterness and a touch of sting from the alcohol. A big, tasty brew with a nice dose of rye flavor that gives it a good twist.

Mouthfeel is big and thick with a nice mellow carbonation. This brew makes itself known on the palate approaching the viscosity of a barleywine. Nice and chewy, somewhat of a sipper but it still goes down easily. Not something I would drink everyday but it's a tasty beer all the same and a cool tribute to Lenny Bruce. Glad to see He'Brew putting out some more extreme brews and look forward to more!

Photo of beckje01
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber good activity with a medium tan head.

S- Full fruity.

T- Good hops nice malt background.

M- Good thickness exactly what I would want from the style.

D- One a time for me but I'm sure there are those out there who can handle a few of these big beers.

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

22oz bottle

pours a beautiful ruby colour with a small dense off-white head. drops slowly and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is great. caramel. bit of alcohol. resiny pine. light orange and tangerine citrus. a big slice of rye bread. maybe a bit of caraway?

taste is good. high bitterness level. resiny hops. grapefruit. rye bread. alcohol. the malt starts to shine through more as it warms. more of the orange and tangerine citrus comes out, along with a light caramel sweetness. slight floral notes come through too.

mouthfeel is pretty good. medium-low carbonation level. nice medium body. the high bitterness level really lingers, almost coming across like astringency. this balances out more as it warms, or maybe i'm just getting numb to the hops?

drinkability is good. fresh out of the bottle this one feels unbalanced. the bitterness is a bit too high, the alcohol feels about right, but the malt is just a little less than i'd like to see. warms up to a much more balanced brew. by the time i'm on my last glass it's still quite bitter, but the middle has filled out around it quite nicely.

Photo of beckscrusader420
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

what can I say what more could you want from a beer? I just drank a 22 of it not fully cold and It's still great!!! 10% abv works for me. Its crazy that I'm not looking forward to the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or the Grolsch bottles now that I drank this first. Hebrew beer...yeah dude.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A clear amber brew with a humongous head. Copious thick rings of lacing all down the sides of the glass.

S - Spicy white pepper, caramel malt, a touch of sharp lemon and pine.

T - A spicy peppercorn flavor with a bit of pine hops and grapefruit pith. A bit of warming alcohol - though not at all boozy. Afteraste is a lingering pepper over a caramel malt an strong bitterness with a mild pine/citrus finish. Gotta love that rye! This flavor is very enjoyable for some reason.

M - Smooth, thick, a little drying on the gums, but very refreshing overall.

D - Great. This is a beer to have again and again. I have heard that He'Brew mostly produces mediocrity, but have found the reality to vastly above that bar.

Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing reddish amber with a towering thick off-white head that slowly descends to a one-finger, lasting head. Great head retention for the abv level! Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is piney, resiny with citric notes. Caramelish backing.

The taste is piney and resiny. Sweet caramel backs up the bitter hops. Rye breadiness is mixed in. Spicy alcohol peeks through eventually, but well-covered/non-interfering for the 10%. Powerfully bittersweet in the finish.

The body is rich, creamy, chewy. Almost syrupy thick, yet smooth.

Nice! A power-house of a DIPA. Piney and bitter mixed with sweet. More than a pleasure to sip on.

Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear, deep brown and amber color with a slim but soapy head. The aroma is the first thing that elevates this brew. It's a full-force mix of malt and hops. A little more malt than I expected, but the hops are great...a little grapefruit, as well as a musty, herbal backbone. It's a great combination, and it really sets the tone for the beer. The taste is equally good. There's a nice hop flavor throughout the beer, with plenty of sweetness and a syrupy malt flavor. The brew does take on a warming quality after a while, but on the whole, it hides it's abv quite well. The body is rich and full, with a lot of substance. This is a great brew.

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

Appearance: It's a dark copper color (with a reddish tint). One and a half finger, foamy head stuck around for quite a while and left a very nice coat of lace.

Smell: Very citrusy sweet smell. Heavy grapefruit aroma. Hops are very piney and strong. Other citrus scents are noticeable (orange, mango). It also has more of a malty scent than I was expecting.

Taste: Wow. This is a really good beer. Initially, it is sweet, but not overly so. Grapefruit and hops blend well and provide a nice, bitter taste. But, it's an extremely smooth bitter taste. Very nicely balanced. It's still hoppy, but the malt balances it out quite a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinability: It's medium bodied. Very well carbonated. Alcohol is masked extremely well. Very drinkable for 10%. My better sense tells me not to have more than this bomber, but I wouldn't mind having another. Overall, very good beer. Very kosher, if you will.

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

Poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks to JPCleary for letting me know this beer was available.

A. Poured a beautiful dark amber with a sustained head that leaves good belgian lacing.

S. Clear strong hops malt and alcohol odor. I am a novice with hop boombs like this so it was quite noticeable.

T. Beautiful malty taste with a balanced hops. The alcohol at first leaves a sharp aftertaste which quickly acclimates as you continue.

M. First there is a lingering hops taste, but this quickly dissipates.

D. Good, although since we have few "illegal" high alcohol beers here in SC (At least until the cap is officially popped, 5 days and counting), this beer definitely packs a wallop. Definitely will return to it. Since this is my first high gravity beer, I will cellar some and review again in 6 months.

Photo of GbVDave
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a nice looking orange-red color with a rocky 2 1/2 finger head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S: Spicy rye malt aroma with a dash of hops and some rather intrusive alcohol.

T: Pretty much just see above with the addition of some lightly sweet caramel malt. The alcohol steps all over the flavors in this.

M: Starts smooth through the beginning and finish then turns sharp and prickly at the finish.

D: I found this to be just above average. To me the alcohol isn't integrated well into the other aromas and flavors. It sort of sticks out like a sore thumb.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shmatlz Brewing Company, what a great Jewish name. I wasn't really impressed by their Genesis Ale, but I heard some pretty good things about this one so I decided to give it a shot. Well I'm sure as hell glad I did. You're telling me this beer is kosher? Wow, I may have to convert...hmmm, but Christmas is too sweet and I love pork.

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Wow, one of the best looking beers I have ever had. Pours a clear dark copper hue with an extremely generous light khaki colored head. Lacing doesn't let go of the glass at all, sticks all over the place and it ain't goin' no where. Very oily pine aroma invades the nose. There is a unique smell of smoke/pepper which I'm assuming comes from the rye. A good punch of alcohol in the nose with a slight hint of toffee from the malt. Very unique taste for a DIPA, probably due to the use of rye. Quite malty for a DIPA, coffee/caramel flavor comes to mind. A very bready/creamy flavor to it for a DIPA, I really like where this is going. Aftertaste is a bit dry with hints of grapefruit/lime. Definitely smooth and oily type of mouthfeel which I really enjoy. Alcohol takes away a bit from the drinkability, but you have to expect that for this type of beer. Those crazy Jews do a great job with this beer. Keep it up!

Mazel tov! Oi!

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

This beer is pretty fucking good! (C'mon, what would a review about a beer dedicated to Lenny Bruce be without a little gratuitous profanity?)

It poured from a 650 mL bomber with a fluffy beige two-finger head mottled with big bubbles. The head left sticky lace on the glass and the body was an inviting copper colour.

The smell was a nicely complex combination of pine-scented hops, a hint of chocolate, toffee, a bit of roasted barley and a nice boozy aroma from the rye reminiscent of Canadian Club or Crown Royal. The flavour was a variation of the same elements: woody and boozy from the rye malt up front followed by bitter hops and prickly carbonation that scraped the palate clean.

The finish was a touch dry and astringent, though it hid the 10 per cent ABV well. Like Lenny's comedy, you can appreciate this beer for pushing the envelope, but maybe it's a little much for everyday consumption.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. at the Foodery in Center City Philadelphia, Pa about six months ago and just poured into two pint glasses.
Appearance: Let's begin by saying the head was beautiful. The body was a translucent amber color toped with a huge head of gigantic bubbles, very soapy looking. The head produced tons of lacing after a wonderfully heald retention.
Smell: The smell produced what I thought was going to be a hop bomb, with hints (I mean very little) malted aromas.
Taste: As opposed to the smell, there was a solid backgroud of malts. I was not quite expecting this, and was a bit dissapointed (yes I have "hopped" on the hop band wagon). It was certainly well blended, but to be 100% honest, it reminded me on the Saranac High Peaks Series IPA.
Mouthfeel: The pour showed a very thick suripy (I know that's spelled wrong) mouthfeel. The actually mouthfeel wasn't much different, however the ridigity of a typical I.P.A. was still in tact.
Drinkability: Certinaly this was a great beer, not my faviorate from He'Brew, but considering all they make and how well they make them, that is saying a lot.
Don't drink and review.

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

First of all, very cool label. Great photo of Lenny, the label looks like a theater marquee, and quotes and copy abound. Pours beautiful -- a deep dark reddish beer with a thick off-white head, leaving chunky lacing all over the place. Smells fantastic - dried fruit, lots of different hop flavors, molasses, caramel, rye, berries. It just keeps going. And it tastes just as good - it's got all that and then some - some brown sugar / brown butter / butterscotch / toffee going on in the finish that you don't really pick up in the nose. Full bodied, and goes down remarkably easy for a 10%, heavily hopped brew. Look out if you find this on tap -- a couple of these can end your night early...

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

A: Into a large Duvel tulip it poured a clear, dark amber body with a warm ruby/mahogany glow when backlit. A 2-finger khaki-colored head settled over the top, retained very well and left lots of lacing on the way down. A very pretty sight to behold; I almost gave it a perfect 5.

S: Grapefruity hops at first sniff, though they're not overwhelmingly strong like you get from some DIPAs. Sweet caramel malt underneath, along with some brown sugar as well.

T: The first thing I wrote after the first sip was "peppery at the end" -- the alcohol spice that showed up at the end of the sip was definitely noticed. Up front it had plenty of bready and sweet malt -- hearty rye bread mixed with toffee and caramel, but some dry but fruity bitterness follows. I actually wrote "tough to describe." The lingering bitterness has a slightly dry metallic taste to it, but not in a bad way, as I thought it was pretty well balanced all around.

M: Medium to full-bodied. A little more carbonated than I expected.

D: Good, especially for a beer of this strength.

Notes: This was interesting. I'd like to get my hands on another bottle, because I had a tough time putting my finger on just what it was I was tasting that's so different from other beers. I believe it was the rye malt, but I'd like to test that theory with another sampling.

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

Beer pours a cloudy amber color, with a decent looking head.

Aromas are a bit sour, and pine like from the hops.

Taste is sour, mineral like, and overly bitter. There is a slight citrus and malty backbone, but it's not the main player here. Finish is crisp and tart. Overall, I think the balance is a bit off, it's still an interesting beer to taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but a step below the better beers of this style. Overall the beer seem a bit lean.

Drinkability is not bad. But all in all, this is a pretty good beer. Interesting, and worth a try.

Thanks for sending this my way drseamus. (B'day 07)

Photo of peabody
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out a reddish ice tea tint with one finger of brown suds.
Lacing comes in pretty quickly.
Smell is very malty with hints of raisin/grape and caramel sugar. slight hop way in the back.
Taste is sweet malt then bitter hops then the alcohol. Once that leaves the mouth the hops linger for a minute or so.
Mouthfeel is a little dirtyand oily but finishes clean after the bitter hops leave the palate.
10% abv is a bit much for a session beer. As far as IPA's go, this one is pretty good but there are so many more that are better.

Photo of RBorsato
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazed copper color with a nice creamy beigie head and nice slow but active carbonation that leaves nice lace. Big malt and big hoppy aromas; some rye malt aromas are noticeable which is nicer than the non-descript bitter hop aromas. Big malt flavors with lots of non-descript bittering hops... nothing incredible stands out. Full bodied and smooth with a dry bitter hop finish.

Nice to try but not more than once.

Per Label: "Double IPA with Rye Malt"

Per SBC website:
Malts: 2-row, Rye Ale Malt, Torrified Rye, Crystal Rye 75, Crystal Malt 65, Wheat, Kiln Amber, Caramel 70
Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial. Dry Hopped with Amarillo and Crystal

'5042' lasered on bottom ('05' embossed on bottom)
Tasted: 03/23/07

($5.49 / 22 oz.)

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

from memory:

22 oz. to snifter.

Lenny's pours a gorgeous blood-orange red with a creamy, sticky head and thin lacing. Nose is well hopped with spicy rye, caramel malts, and slight booze. Taste, while still coldish, is amazing - juicy would be the first word to come to mind, and the rye mixes well with the sweet malts to make a flavour which reminds me of dense, german cakes. it looses a few points here as it warms up and the sugars take over, reducing much of the taste to a sort of boozy hard-candy - the kind of taste i can't abide in the DFH 90 and 120 minutes. however, this sad turn of events is saved by the ever-present rye spiciness and smooth, slow drain of a bitter finish. mouthfeel is amazing, not too thick, and coats the tongue and cheeks.

a fine and drinkable beer, if not a bit strong and a bit sweet.

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