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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

1,837 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,837
Reviews: 869
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).
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,837 | Reviews: 869
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.

Photo of ADR
3.41/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of portia99
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received as a bonus volunteering at a beer festival.

A - Pours a deep, rich amber color with a really nice ruby red tint. about a half finger of cream colored foam rests atop the beer, hesitates briefly and falls to a skim coat with a thick collar and nice lacing left around the edges of the glass.

S - Smell is largely malt dominated. Rich, sweet, caramelly, sugary. Really struggling to pull some hops out of this...swrirling vigorously barely produces any hop aroma that can get past the malt. Not exactly what I wxpect out of an imperial IPA. I expect the probability of lots of malt but I also expect a ton of hops to make an appearance too.

T - Lots more hops in the flavor than the aroma. Tons of nice bitterness up front. Enough to offset the powerful malt presence here and then some. Still the malt presence can't be denied - bready, sweet, caramelly. Strong alcohol presence in the flavor too. Rye spiciness is there, but not as prominant as I'd hope...does leave a lingering spiciness behind after the swallow.

M - Medium bodied, carbonation is medium high. Very lively, prickly feeling from the carbonation. Rye spiciness stays behind long afer the swallow.

D - Well, I have to preface this by saying I've had several of the Schmaltz beers and have never really been impressed. This one is sadly no different. I've heard lots of good things, but I consistently find myself underwhelmed. Technically, there is nothing wrong with this beer - well crafted, no off flavors...just doesn't click with me. Alcohol is very noticeable, hops are very subdued in flavor for the style..bitterness is there, but not hop flavor at all. Just doesn't fit with what I'm looking for in a DIPA.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

this beer's 666th review. damn it!

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a clear, deep amber; sits a borderline mahogany tone with orange highlights. yields a finger beige head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves decent lacing.

nose is bold, offering a big dose of rye malt to accompany some muted citric hoppy notes... a bit bready... was expecting more hops, questioning the freshness here.

taste follows suit. very malty for a DIPA, now i'm *really* questioning the freshness. rye is most evident with the hoppy characters being almost secondary notes. reading the reviews of others, it appears this quality is not the norm. medium-full and creamy in the mouth with adequate carbonation

altogether, not a bad beer even with an apparently past its prime bottle. will re-review if i can get my hands on a guaranteed fresh bottle, but as it stands it's an average-DIPA.

Photo of nafnikufesin
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
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 Boppar
3.39/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into an over-sized wine glass.

A: Beautiful ruby color. I thought at first that it was transparent, but it turned out to be translucent. Two fingers of fluffy, off-white head. Good head retention and great lacing. A few big soap bubbles.

S: Smells like alcohol and dank, piney hops.

T: Tastes like a pine cone. Alcohol is in evidence. Strong malt backbone, but definitely some intense bittering hops to balance it out. Leahery taste mid-to-late palate. Finishes with a pronounced oak-y dryness. Aftertaste of a faint caramel and vanilla.

M: This has pretty solid mouthfeel. It is fluffy and smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Very nice. Good weight to it.

D: About average for a DIPA.

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

22oz. brown bomber, purchased from Dilly Deli, poured into a snifter. No dating.

Second Review:

Peanut talked me into trying this again.

...My first review is pretty damn accurate. I do like it a bit more this time but I think I'll be keeping the scores the same.

First Review:

A: Pours a blood red and appears a vibrant ruby in the light. Has some visibility even for such a deep colored beer. Almost 2 fingers in the snifter of off white head with a bit of staying power. Some patching lacing down the glass.

S: Maltiness is on par with an American Barleywine. Bread, butterscotch, rye, citrus hops, alcohol, all struggling for position in a vinous setting.

T/M: Very potent. Hops are big but undefined. Crisp and citrus but I can't pick it apart. Plenty of spice. Bitterness starts medium and continues to build all the way through and beyond a super dry, alcoholic finish. Alcohol isn't afraid to show at all and can be a bit harsh at times. Malts are on part with any Barleywine. I'm actually surprised this isn't labeled a Barleywine.

D: So potent that I think it'll be hard to finish the rest of this bomber. Has a nice price tag but if I buy more of this it'll be to cellar for about a year.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,837 ratings.