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

Not Rated.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,722 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,722
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 73
Gots: 92 | 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
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Ratings: 1,722 | Reviews: 849 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GClarkage
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/01/06- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. 2006 special edition. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Auburn, almost cherry colored in appearance. 3/4 inch creamy white head, very strong patches and streaks left behind. Sticky looking for sure.

Smell- First sniff got lots of fruity and pine resin hops. It was strange though because every sip afterwards I really had to sniff to get anything. As it got closer to room temp I sensed the fruity hops again.

Taste- This one is a hopheads delight. Saying so, this is also a well rounded hop heads delight. Has a really ultra sweet caramel malt. Super bitter pine and sweet fruit laden hops burst out from the first sip. The 10% abv makes itself know right away.

Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation...still tasting the bitter hops an hour after drinking this brew. (not a bad thing). Very very creamy in texture as well.

Drinkability- Impressed, definitely impressed. Wish they would have had more of these whaen I snagged this one. I know a hophead out there that would have appreciated this (keeping my eyes peeled for you Steven). Not in the neighborhood of Plinydom, but a very good example of a well balanced and ultra hopped DIPA. Will keep my eye open for more.

GClarkage, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exremely active, many bubbles, (champayne style) Dark-amber brown w/ red hues. Good, deep color. Shows off a 4" massive, frothy off-white head. Great head retention (til' the end and beyond)
Major cool lacing from top to bottom.

Very Malty sweet, not DFH sweet though.Big malted start with a great hop attack after. This mix of hops absolutly gives off a "greens", fresh cut lawn, earthy after-taste. Alcohol is well hidden.

Very active and lively on the palate, yet smooth with a thick feel. Medium/full body with a heavy overall feel.

The ABV % of 10 is easily overlooked because it goes down so smooth. Bittersweet is a pretty acurate summery of the taste, but I would change it to Sweet-Bitter.

Nice Brew.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of hunteraw
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: beautiful white head, absolutely incredible head retention, the best I've ever seen. It must be the rye. Body is a clear ruddy color.

Smell: inverted from the other he'brew beers, where sweet malt is dominant - this one has a very strong spicy hops character, with the malt playing a supporting role. Somewhat bready.

Taste: spicy hop bite up front, which gives way to sweet malt. Alcohol fairly well-hidden, I thought. Not my favorite of the he'brew line, I have to say. Drinking this beer is like a kick in the head, it's very strongly flavored.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy mouthfeel, dry acidic finish that aids drinkability a little, but the aftertaste lingers.

Drinkability: I drank this one slower than the others. I enjoyed it, but I won't be seeking this one out again.

hunteraw, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of warriorsoul
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked one of these up at Bauer's...
Dark mahogany in color with a full finger of bright white head...most fades, but leaves behind some attractive lacing.
Alcohol hits the nose first, along with some fruity hops, sweet caramelized malt and cherries.
Taste is also quite boozy...plenty of citrus hops and the sweetness hangs on in the aftertaste. The rye is apparent, but unfortunately, masked from the heat...still very bitter.
Luckily, the heat works its way into the brew halfway thru and is no longer a distraction.
Mouthfeel is thick and the carbonation is a tad high for me.
Easy enough to consume the bomber, but not moving on to another.

warriorsoul, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of cbl2
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$4.99 22 oz. bottle. Brewed once in 2006.

Appearance:

Pours a beautiful crimson/orange woth over an inch of tightly packed tan head with excellent retention.

Aroma:

Roasted malts dominated by caramel and a touch of cotton candy. Just a faint hint of hops which is odd for a DIPA.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Some pine hops up front, but this beer is dominated by sweet malt presence that introduces itself in the form of caramel and perhaps a touch of honey. Mouthfeel is nice, slightly viscous with the appropriate amount of carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter, with hops once more asserting themselves, though not upfront enough for my taste in a DIPA. Alcohol is nicely (and dangerously masked). A good beer, but different from any other DIPA I've had, perhaps because it is a rye.

cbl2, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of jaluria
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting brew from He'Brew, but not one of my favorites within this style.
Poured a sharp orange-yellow color with coppper tones throughout. Heavy carbonation with a smooth, fluffy head that dissipated quickly and left behind considerable lacing. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, alcohol, and oil seemed to come out. The taste was dominated by a variety of hops with a modest level of malt in the background as a balance. Pine, citrus, and grapefruit flavors dominated. Not as complex or enjoyable as others within this style mainly because of the clear presence of alcohol in the taste and aroma of the beer. Slightly creamy and nicely textured in my mouth, but not as easy to drink considering the alcohol flavoring. Without food, I would not have been able to finish the entire 22oz. bottle; just too much in several aspects.

jaluria, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of cproioi
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A) Pours a dark reddish brown body with a tan creamy looking head that left decent lacing. Inside the beer there was very visual carbonation.

S) First smell it was a big slap of hoppiness. With a rye bread middle. It had a very bitter sweet smell too it almost like a west coast barley wine.

T) First taste hits the tip of your tounge and the hops grab it and beat it up. Then it makes way for the Rye malts to come on and give you a nice healthy helping of a breadiness.

M) This was a thick beer but it wasn't as sticky or syrupy as I expected. It felt big yes but also was pretty soft feeling. It also left a big alcohol warming to it. Very nice,

D) Very slow beer to drink and one must be careful with it. I would buy this one again in a heart beat.

cproioi, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of jamesdergen
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours an inky, dark, caramel color with a dark tan head that does not stay around for long.

Smell: Resiny hop aromas and a definite caramel background.

Taste: Wow! Drinking this brew is like getting punched in the face by hops, malts and rye! Very sticky, resiny hop presence up front, backed by a very strong caramelly rye malt taste with the hop bitterness coming back at the end. Like the bottle says, "Brewed with an obscene amount of malts & hops".

M&D: THICK! They really pack in the ingredients here. While tasty, this beer is very difficult to drink, especially during the summer. This high-viscosity brew would be much better on a cold fall night.

jamesdergen, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of rajendra82
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lenny’s Bittersweet R.I.P.A. came in a 22 oz. brown bomber that had lots of information on Lenny Bruce, and an artwork evoking a theatre marquee for a mock performance. The body of the beer was dark reddish orange in color, and the head was a good three finger thick, and left nice bits of lace. The carbonation of the beer was quite mild, with a gentle stream of swirling bubbles rising from the etched D at the base of the Duvel tulip. The aroma was not brash like a typical DIPA, but was gentle and herbal-floral, and reminded me of freshly picked marigolds. The rye added a spicy zest to the smell. The taste was aggressive as the hop oils provided a snappy, earthy, and floral bite. The rye added the typically spicy and sweet touches to the keep the pale crystal malt base from becoming too one dimensional. Dry and floral finish was rock-candy like and very delicious. I see of this as one of the latest crop of milder DIPAs with enough going on besides the hops to keep things interesting.

rajendra82, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of Mdog
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This is one of the prettiest beers I've seen, a dark red amber with a good amount of little bubbles feeding a big head.

Smell: Citusy hops and some sweet bread smell.

Taste: Starts with bitter citrus hops and gets a little balance with some rye tanginess. Some alcohol present at the end.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick, typical for a DIPA.

Drinkability: The high alcohol and not quite enough sweetness knock this down a little.

This beer let me down a little after looking like a million bucks in the glass. Not super hoppy and actually seems a little more balanced than many DIPA's but the alcohol isn't hidden as well as other DIPA's. Still a pretty good beer though.

Mdog, Jul 19, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear deep amber wtih a tan frothy and tall head which lasted forever to lace the glass.

The aroma was bready and toasty with a strong caramel malt character and a prominent rye spice. The aroma was resinous with hop character and contained just a slight wafting of chocolate.

The flavor was malty, strongly so and strongly fruity with a piney and resionous hop flavor and bittering and a light bit of citrus thrown in for good measure. The flavor had a light rye spice presence amongst the high malt and alcohol character.

The finish was just dry with lasting bittering and hop flavors long and strong into the aftertaste. The body was medium full with a creamy consistency and a fairly sizeable carbonation level. The alcohol burn was immense with this beast and really detracted from the overall drinkability of the beer.

22 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Jul 16, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to see this one show up in NC, was wondering if we'd see any he'brew special releases. A vigorous pour yields a nice amber color with a mammoth tan head that retains very well. The aroma is somewhat subdued, with a nice piney and citrus hops character upfront, along with a rye sourness, some bready and caramel malt, and fruity esters. The flavor is initially what you would expect from a DIPA, an intense piney and citrus hop blast, but that profile diminishes quickly and leaves a sour rye character, along with some sweet bread malt, fruity esters, and a warming alcohol presence. The finish is dry and slightly sour, and drinkability is pretty good as the alcohol is well concealed. An interesting beer for sure, definately not your typical DIPA, the rye adds another dimension but the hop profile was lacking in complexity compared to Hercules or Maharaja.

silver0rlead, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of dfried
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber-red color, but you can still see through it. Average size, sticky head forms with nice small bubbles, ending up as a decent ring and film over the top. The aroma is not especially pungent, it's of sweet dark fruit like plum and fig, and is a bit hoppy but not 'in your face' hoppy. The first sip was so thick and syrupy that it took a second for any flavor at all to hit, but it did, oh boy did it ever. The taste is even sweeter that the dark fruit aroma may have led on. Array of fruity flavors, plum, fig, even dark grapes. Noticeable but not robust grainy flavor from the rye, adds to the overall feel of the beer. And then the hops, how can you forget the hops, it is an IPA after all. This is a malt dominated beer, but there is a good floral, and a little pine-like bite from the hops. This beer definitely straddles the barley wine/DIPA fence. Mouthfeel is nice and sticky, finishes dry. I have used the term dangerously drinkable before, but there is no other term that would apply better to the drinkability of this beer. 10%, are you kidding me?

dfried, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red color. Almost like cherry wood. Thick sticky head rises about an inch and a half and retains well. Lace sticks to the sides of the glass.
Smell is of hops. Earthy, Piney and Citrus.
Woaa! This attacks the palate. Sticky hop bitterness is the dominating flavor with out much malt backbone. Which works for this beer. It's supposed to be a hop bomb.
Mouthfeel is sticky. It's almost like the hops stick to your teeth.
Given the abv and the intense hops this beer is very drinkable.
Notes: Is being tasted with and compared to Moylander Double IPA.

wcudwight, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of Enola
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep amber. There was a huge head. fair lacing covers the glass. The smell is deffinatly hoppy. One of the better IPA/DIPA I have had. The taste is very bitter. No doubt here that this is a hop bomb. This beer should satisfy any hophead. The mouthfeel is sticky and a lasting bitterness is present as well. The drinkability is good. Almost too good considering the ABV. That aspect of this beer is well hidden.

Enola, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of trep
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle.

Murky ruby red body with a bold, creamy off-white head that lasts and lasts. Some carbonation rises to the surface. Leaves abundant lacing as I drink it.

Hop bittersweetness blasts from the top of the glass. Grapefruit, honey, white-grapes. Very pleasant I must say.

Pine sap bitterness initially then fade to some sweet honey notes and finally a pine and sweet malt finish. Bitter pine aftertaste. This is a very solid beer. Huge malt backbone to keep the hops from making this completely undrinkable.

Medium-Full body. Carbonation is about right. Drinkability is gonna get some low marks due to the massive bitterness that never fades.

trep, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of akorsak
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a bomber of RIPA from Shmaltz. It is near room temperature (as this is the last of the bottle I opened 2 hours ago).

Appearance: For a DIPA, the ale is very dark, more similar to an amber. There is a nice ring of head that laces.

Smell: Malts that remind me of a barleywine are the first that I detect. Very sweet and malted-up, this beer is no regular DIPA, as there is no hop presence in the nose.

Taste: The rye adds a very nice touch up front, a change of pace in terms of malts. From there though, the malts spiral out of control and dominate the beer. There is a distinct barleywine aftertaste that lasts a long time. Again, there is some hop bitterness, but nowhere near that amounts I expected.

Mouthfeel: The flavors are too powerful and do not subside. This is not for the faint of heart.

Drinkability. Trust me, one bomber is enough.

akorsak, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Burnt orange with a big head, a little lace, a couple random bubbles.

Smell: Doesn't let on the hop bomb that lurks in the flavor, more subdued.

Taste: Rip roarin' hops, very brash and bitter, good. Citrusy and raw, has a start to finish tongue punishing flavor. Very, very good.

Drinkability: A high quality, well crafter DIPA that will sate your hops craving. A definite must-try.

TastyTaste, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark maroon color with an amber colored head that is pretty frothy and creamy head. Exceptional lacing leaves a thick white film on the glass, hiding the beer behind a veil of creaminess.

Aroma is huge malt and not as much hops. The hops that are present seem to be English due to the lack of citrusness. The malt is caramelly and tosty. Alcohol is subdued in the aroma department.

Taste is mostly malts, again, with a nice alcoholic kick. However, when I think of DIPA, I think more hops than malt, which this beer is not. Rye is left by the side of the road, writhing in pain; didnt taste it. Maybe a double brown or english barleywine?

Mouthfeel is full and creamy and finishes somewhat dry. Alcohol becomes more apparent with rise temp., as usual. Not a bad Double but seems a bit mixed on style.

SaCkErZ9, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of ADR
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark copper appearance, compact head of about 1/2 an inch in height. Good thick dripping laces. Marmalade aroma, some suggestions of dark rye bread or rustic "black bread". Smooth full mouthfeel, not a lot of carbonation, works well. Hop bitterness early, earthy and musky. What's interesting is the malt detail, for a beer with this much girth and decent weight, its hard to pick out a sweet component (aside from that heavy dark bread that is featured in the smell), especially late as the beer passes a yellow mustard flavor and heads in an almost top-soil flavor direction with a bitter collard green close. The brew has some definite distinction, but not any that strike me -- different but I wouldn't pick this one up again. As a note, on the label there's a lot of that pretentious prose you find on some beer bottles that just makes you wish the brewer would stick to talking about the beer. For example, the malt bill would be a lot more interesting to read about than anyone's particular opinion about Lenny Bruce.

ADR, Jun 26, 2006
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ale named after the former Leonard Alfred Schneider departs the bottle and enters the glass a robust red, shadowy, clear, with a high head, creamy/tannish toned. Looking lovely.

Aroma: Fat malt, outsized yeast, liquid bread...is this a doppelbock? But there's so much hop!...sniff again... Wow! Loud hop, rich, burnished, barleywine-like. Grapes and other dark fruits are at hand, feeling like a burgundy wine, perhaps due to the high alcohol, or the huge maltiness.

Now, let's taste...Woo! Bam! Whap! Shamalam! Enormous malt floods the mouth and is assisted in it's it's efforts by the blazing sidecar of hops. Big, big, big on the palate, outsized all the way, spilling flavor all over the place. Delicious dark fruits, grapes, cherries, more...Reminds me very much of a Bigfoot or similar barleywine-style ales. This is where the line between "American Double IPA"s and barleywines really blurs, the malt is as big or bigger than the hops in this one, and the flavor is almost the match for a barleywine.

And the 10% doesn't hit...right away..oh, no, you'll feel it, though...

I didn't really taste the rye at all, but it works so damned well, it doesn't matter.
(Wait, ...now, I'm tasting it...yup, it's discernible...)

I love it. I think Lenny would love it. Rest his smutty soul. R.I.P. (A. true American hero.)

feloniousmonk, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of kirok1999
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review for a He'brew. A 22oz bomber with more writing on it than any Stone bottle I've seen. First quote that caught my eye: "Satire equals tragedy plus time - Lenny Bruce". Love it already.

Appearance- Dark ruddy bronze/red with an alarmingly rising head that leaves thick chunks of lace on the glass. Don't pour too aggresively or it'll end up on the floor!

Smell- Fruity sweetness hits first followed by caramel malts, cherries, some alcohol not quite hidden by the sweetness. There is quite a lot of alpha hop aroma around too. Floral and some citurs as well. I can tell I'm gonna like this one.

Taste- Creamy; thick and creamy as hell. The sweetness is predominant but perfectly balanced by the hops. The alcohol warms nicely and the hops come through with a nice taste to match the smell, floral and citrus. Caramel and cherries come through nicely too. This is one well hopped and malted brew, both very well balanced. I like it!!

Mouthfeel- I've always had trouble describing mouthfeel so have patience with me here. The carbonation is just right, not too bubbly nor too flat like some stouts. It plays nicely in your mouth. The creaminess is the main attraction to the mouthfeel, it just slides down like something much thicker.

Drinkability- Obviously I love this brew and even at 10%ABV I could drink it all night (at home). He'brew has made a bold statement in the Double IPA market and I can't think of too many I like better. If you can find this one, get it and get as many as you can. My local IGA got a 2 cases and I'm gonna buy one for the cellar.

kirok1999, Jun 24, 2006
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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,722 ratings.