1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,816 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,816
Reviews: 861
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 81
Gots: 143 | 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:
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 (22) | 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: 1,816 | Reviews: 861 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mpenning13
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of ajs4bd
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of randylangford
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of nloyless
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of CurtFromHershey
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of RWNewhouse
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of BierFan
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big cascading tan head on top of a hazy red/amber body. Despite a high alcohol content the head has terrific lasting power. Leaves behind tiered lacing.

Smell: The first thing I noticed when I cracked the cap was the huge malty barleywinish aroma. I thought that the beer might be past it's prime because I didn't get a big fresh hop aroma from it.

Taste: Very smooth and sweet. Mellow fruity hop flavors. Alcohol plays it's roll in the taste of the beer but it doesn't get in the way of the assault of rye malt and hops.

Drinkability: Compared to others of the style it's a little low on drinkability.

Not what I expected from a California DIPA. I thought blurring the barleywine/DIPA lines was more of a Midwest brewery thing. Overall, it's okay. But I don't think I'll be picking this up again if there's a decent alternative.

Photo of LilMatrix
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark orange hue with a light thin head.

S - Lightly roasted malts, hoppy, and alcohol.

T - The hops are up front and hit you in the face and then the malts start to join the party. The bitterness is the main lingering component I'm picking up on as the drink progresses.

M - Creamy and thick, oily, light to medium carbonation, although it feels creamy there is a thin aspect as it goes down.

D - True to it's name, this beer has a definite big hop bitterness profile and a subtle sweet maltiness. A big beer that could be a barlywine. A sipper fo sho, drink too much too quickly and you'd be down for the count.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info on bottle - they do it on the mother carton. It was a rich, dark amber with lots of carb streams. It had a small head but that's not unexpected at 10% ABV. Slight lacing with none sticking.

The aroma was heavy on dark ripe fruits, alcohol, sweet malt and not as much hops as you'd expect. Smells more like a barleywine or BSDA to me than an ADIPA. The taste was a mirror of the aroma with a very bitter taste and not much balance. Again more like BW or BSDA. Heavy mouthfeel with good carb levels and bitter aftertaste.

Overall, I just couldn't get into this one. Barely any hop taste as it was overpowered by the dark fruit and alcohol. Maybe it needed to sit longer but no way to tell since they don't code on the bottles. Avail here in TX. One and done for me.

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 TruePerception
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

He'brew's Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., Rye Double IPA. 10% ABV.

A: Just over a finger of head. Nice, clear red-amber. Clear-y yellow in the dimple. Decent strand of lacing.

S: Hoppiness, reminiscent of pine sap, is noticeable immediately. Very slight lime citrus note. I'm not getting any malt aromas.

T/MF: Thankfully, hops are not quite so abundant on the palate, though they are certainly there! Again, pine. Heavy caramelized sap balances a bit. Lime peel. Dark rye flavors.

Still not my kind of beer, but better than quite a few IPAs I've tried, and certainly better than Sierra Nevada's RIPA.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of Beaver13
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a ruby amber with a frothy off white head that laces the glass.

The aroma is acidic fruitiness, caramel and a little rye (probably because I'm looking for it) mixed with hop bitterness and some alcohol.

The flavor is a little sweet fruit with some caramel and rye maltiness and some fusel alcohol. Hop bitterness pervades the taste but is not overwhelming, leading to a long bitter finish and aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety.

Overall, I was a bit let down. There's a good amount of bitterness but this is not well balanced. There's a smorgasbord of flavors but they are rather disjoint and not well blended.

Photo of david131
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Absolutely stunning. A deep orange with hints of brown. Not many streams of carbonation, but the head is very slow to form, but is large and has great retention. Leaves some pretty good lacing to boot.

S- Lots of caramel, pine, and citrus. Kind of sweet with hints of cotton candy and vegetable. A powerhouse smelling beer.

T- Same as the aroma with a massive amount of sweetness and bitterness. The booze is pretty noticeable too.

M- Eerily smooth, but then very dry afterward. This is the thickest DIPA I have ever had.

D- The booze and bitterness of this really take a toll. Definitely a representation of the style though.

Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle split with my dad last night, bought at Cooke's Market in El Segundo for $5.49, poured into my Aventinus glass

A-Dark amber with hints of golden orange in the light, 3/4 inch soapy off white head that stuck around for five minutes plus, nice retention and lacing

S-Rye obviously, lots of malt, piney hoppiness, some citrus notes including lemons and orange peel, strong yeast, and some cherries

T-Started off with a strong malty taste that was almost bready, some lemon accents in the middle, big hoppy aftertaste that was really dry when the liquid was on the colder side, got sweeter as time went on with berries and oranges coming to the surface but the hops were definitely still there, did not like this once it fully warmed because the malt was overwhelming and the bitterness became tamer, nicely balanced while it was chilled but not otherwise, more of a sipper as a result

M-Dry, chewy, and bitter mouthfeel at the same time, could have used more carbonation in my opinion, medium to full body, thick for an IPA, taste lingered

D-Could not drink this whole bottle individually, strong and boozy, heavy on the stomach, ten percent is evident and not hidden

First beer from this brewery, one of the only rye beers I have ever tasted and definitely the first DIPA with it, would probably drink again, worth trying

Photo of BDLbrewster
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazed red-orange color, nice large, quickly receding head that leaves some viscous lacing. Fair amount of visible carbonation as well.

The forefront of the nose is packed with a firm odor of rye malt, and oodles of spicy hops. Stale and earthy, in a good way. I get a bit of citrus themed hop smell, but it is very underwhelming. The alcohol light up your nose hairs and is prevalent in the smell.

The taste is a bit out of the ordinary, the hop profile is leaning way over to the spicy side rather than citrus or pine. A really mean rye pa if you ask me. Spice, earthiness and rye define this brew. Sooo much flavor that it almost hurts, what this brew lacks in complexity it makes up for tenfold in sheer amount of taste. The alcohol is hidden perfectly and you would never notice that this brew clocks in at 10%.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Tiny amount of syrupy slag on the tongue but that's pretty much expected in a big brew like this.

Overall, I don't know how I feel about this one. It is good, very drinkable. But it's kind of up in the air if I will seek this out again. Solid brew.

Photo of birchstick
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a dark copper color with a huge head

S - smells of fruity hops that are mixed with sweet, earthy, grainy malts

T - Caramel hops dominate at first but are quickly pushed aside by the spicy rye malts. All of this fades into some grapefruit hops. This thing tastes almost like a hoppy barleywine. A lot different than I expected, not bad.

M - medium bodied and goes down smoothly

D - this was a decent Rye DIPA...this is the first of its kind that I have tried so I have nothing to compare it to, but I think this would have been better if it was a regular IPA with the rye instead of having this huge malt bomb to balance out the loads of hops. Not a bad brew, enjoyable.

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Hazy and cloudy orange amber, creamy off white head

S: Very malty, distinct though, not just the typical sweet malt, the amount of rye has to have an effect

T: Way more bitter than smell, again has that distinct flavor that could be a result of the rye in the beer, the huge dose of bitterness comes without much hop flavor though, also has a strange aftertaste

M: Definitely dry, kind of bitey mouthfeel

D: Not great to me

Notes: This beer is not my style, although it is definitely interesting. It has promise, but doesn't quite work in my opinion. If that unique flavor is indeed rye, then I thick this could work with some tweaking. The hops need more flavor to match their bitterness.

Photo of ehammond1
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A ruby orange, copper, and rust color with THICK, heavy floating pellets of sediment running up and down and side to side through the beer. The bottom of the glass is coated with huge globs of gunk--looks like I ordered the High Pulp version of this beer. Though I know floaties/bits of sediment are nothing to be alarmed at, this is an ungodly amount, and no matter how you slice it, this amount is going to be somewhat off-putting.
That being said, the color is beautiful, the head is thick, creamy, pillowy and decadent, and the lacing is top notch.

A strong and powerful, sweet, citrusy, syrupy, bready aroma with loads of caramel malt and a strong blast of spicy rye. This aroma does whatever you want it too, though it's heavy, thick, and pungent no matter how you slice it. The citrus hop aromas are certainly present but they're almost overshadowed by the gargantuan malt and rye left-hook-uppercut-combination. POW! This already seems far more like an American barleywine or American strong ale than it does any DIPA I've ever had.

The flavor follows the nose--this reminds me of a big, thick, hoppy barleywine (or strong ale) far more than it does any typical DIPA. The citrus hops and initial biting bitterness are front and center, followed by sweet, caramel malts, rye bread, and biting alcohol heat.

Thick, creamy, oily, and heavy mouthfeel. Not all too drinkable.

A strong, super hoppy, super malty, somewhat spicy and tangy ?DIPA? It's not one of my favorites--it seems all over the place--messy and unrefined, if you will. This doesn't particularly punch any of the buttons I want punched when I reach for a DIPA. It's too thick, menacing, and out of balance to be a great barleywine. To me, it's a strong ale--whatever the heck that means anyways. Bah, humbug.

Photo of Florida9
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on tap @ hopleaf

served in a tulip

A: A deep reddish brown with a very thin head

S: Faint, almost non-existent. What is there is of spicy hops, but for a double IPA, the lack of aroma is surprising.

T: Opens with characteristic rye maltiness/spiciness. Finishes with hoppy bitterness.

D: kind of weak for a DIPA, but, none-the-less an easy drinker and not offensive. I don't think this a unique beer and found it somewhat generic in flavor. I'm at a loss to explain how the aroma could be so muted.

Photo of katan
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a goblet

A - Pours a very hazy, deep dark brown, with a few amber highlights. Not normally noticed in a pour, but this beer just looks super thick. Head formation was about nil.

S - Super sweet, lots of caramel and toffe notes, backed up with some interesting grainy rye. Rye can comes across as almost edgy in a beer like this.

T - Starts off all sweet, lots of 2 row malts and some grainy rye background. Mid-stream is still very malty, with more grainy rye notes. Caramel appears strongly here. Finishes with the first appearance of hops and bitterness, with some floral hopping and a bitter finish.

M - Thick and oil - very creamy. Carbonation is missing, so this beer stands on its own. Could use some "fluffy" textures from higher carbonation. Finishes thick and cloying.

D - A one and done beer. A bit too sweet for long sessioning. ABV is sneaky, and a bomb. Not filling, but certainly has a standing affect on the palette - almost overwhelming.

Photo of justintcoons
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear coppery red with a 1/2 finger of foamy off-white head that dissipates quickly. Moderate carbonation and sparse lacing.

N: Sweet caramel, grapefruit, rye, hints of pine, citrus and sugar.

T: Sugary toffee and rye upfront followed by caramel, rye, pine, cocoa and hints of booze. Finishes with spicy rye and hints of pine.

M: Medium bodied, sticky and dry.

O: Good amount of rye throughout this beer but the malt is too toffee-like. Tastes similar to an Imperial Red.

Photo of Sephiroth
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours with average foam, body is red in color. Smells piny and resiny, with some sweetness from the rye.

Taste is sweet initially. The hops follow; they are piney, grapefruit-laden, and blend in well with the rest of the flavor profile. The rye is quite noticeable on the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy and not particularly to my liking. Drinkability is okay.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,816 ratings.