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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

1,746 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,746
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 104 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | 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: 1,746 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jgreenward
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

jgreenward, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of 420Rick
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

420Rick, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of PaulUH
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

PaulUH, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of schnarr84
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

schnarr84, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color with a solid head that retains. Great smell. Piney aroma with something else I can't really put my finger on. DEEP taste. Very heavy on the tongue. This is not your average beer. It packs a huge kick. Definitely a sipping beer. Good with dinner or on a cool day.

Ryan_Graham, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. A nice tribute to Lenny Bruce, he of the inspiration for so many of today's more edgy comics.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish copper amber colour, with three fingers of thick, foamy, and broadly puffy off-white head, which leaves pretty ambitious patchy and fuzzy layered lacing all around the glass as it quite lazily recedes.

It smells of grapefruit pith and acrid pine resin hops, bready, heady caramel malt, dark Belgian yeast-tinted fruit, a small spicy grainy edginess, and some burbling alcohol heat. The taste is a big neutered grapefruit pith wallop up front, followed by some weirdly timid dry pine woodiness, a robust spiciness, one pleasantly borne from the rye malt rather than hop, further bready caramel malt notes, a touch of understated, somewhat metallic alcohol acridity, and a strong lingering leafy hop bitterness.

The carbonation is on the low, more or less obsequious side, the body exhibiting one heck of a meshuggah hugeness, and yet a less than endowed smoothness. It finishes dry, kind of metallic, and still much more hoppy than malty, in a rare air sort of way.

An enjoyably crazy-big DIPA, with the added kick of a rye-tinted (tainted?) malt. The big alcohol is generally restrained, and not all that noticeable, rendering this as a somewhat easy to drink tipple. A winner in my book, as far as my acceptable adjunct-ified DIPA regulations go - we could all use a bit more of this, if only to keep the mainstream nervous.

biboergosum, May 30, 2009
Photo of gtermi
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark copper body with a one finger thick white head that slowly fades.

S: A LOT of rye and other malt with a tiny bit of bitter hops.

T: A nice amount of rye and malt, but quickly moves to a nice bitter hoppy flavor. There is a lot of bitter flavor that lingers for a long time, but I find that very awesome.

M: Goes down so smooth without a problem and leaves a dry mouthfeel.

O: Just an amazing beer! I am so glad that we can finally get this here in Texas because I fell in love with this brewery when I was in Chicago.

gtermi, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy copper-amber color with a tiny head of white foam. The head fades super-fast, leaving a very light level of fizzy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is bready and moderately sweet with aromas of rye bread, toffee, and caramel. Along with these smells are some hoppy aromas of pine and grapefruit bringing a very nice and robust rye IPA smell.

Taste – The taste begins a quite bready and doughy with a strong sweetness of caramel and some milder dark fruit flavors of plum and raisin. Along with the thick bready taste there is a nice showing of rye which grows slightly stronger more toward the middle and the end of the flavor. All the while as the flavor advances, so too do hop flavors begin developing. They start from the front of the taste as a lighter grapefruit hop nature which gets quite a bit stronger as the flavor advances. At the same time as the grapefruit grows in intensity, a pine and grassy hop also come to the tongue along with a moderately boozy taste. While the grassy flavors remains relatively subdued, the pine really pick up in strength to the end, surpassing the grapefruit in intensity. With a little bit of an earthy flavor, a slight lessening of the sweeter flavors,, and a bit of a peppery spice flavor coming to the tongue, one is left with a nice thick and chewy, moderately boozy, hopped up rye bread flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. The thick body is very nice for the big bready and rye flavors of the brew really allowing them to stand out. This in conjunction with the moderate carbonation make this brew a very nice sipping beer.

Overall – A quite big and tasty rye IPA. Very thick and mouth coating with a sweet and big flavor. While at times slightly unbalanced, this is a nice brew none the less, and well worth a try.

Darkmagus82, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of generallee
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt, 6oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no born on or freshness date that I could find.

Appearance: The body had a beautiful deep reddish amber color with just a slight chill haze. On top sits a nice creamy light tan head that fades slowly down to ring of bubbles. It makes for some slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: Its aroma has a big robust, bready/ roasted grain malt presence with plenty of strong resin hop notes and a noticeable sweet alcohol as well.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a very solid malty body up front. It brings sweet and roasted grain, bready and rye notes as well as some sweet alcohol. Hops flavor starts to add balance in the middle before tacking over in the end. The hops add some piney and resiny notes to the sweet warming alcohol and rye notes in the slow lingering finish. It has a full body with a thick, rounded chewy texture that hangs onto the palate.

Notes: This is a big full beer with great complexity and strength. Sip slowly and enjoy!!!

generallee, May 30, 2009
Photo of caddybuyer
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep clear amber with a light tan head that settles rapidly. A very pretty beer that only gets dinged points because of a lack of head.

S-Rich malts predominate with some citurs in the background and a touch of caramel.

T-Wow! Opens with a thick syrupy malty sweetness. A subdued balanced caramel-like mid palate until the hops kick in with a grapefruit citrus pucker followed by a deep astringent bitter finish that lingers forever. Bittersweet indeed! This one spans the spectrum in an amazing way. The ABV is present, but never overpowering.

M-Well balanced overall with a very full mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

D-This is a very drinkable and enjoyable brew, but at the ABV, one suits me fine for now. I will definately pick this one up again as it satisfys the sweet craving, the malt craving, the hops craving and everything in between...well done.

caddybuyer, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are so many good DIPAs, it's sometimes hard to pick them apart. The rye used in Lenny, however, is a great change of pace. It added a rich spice that blends with the citrus hops but still stands out enough to compliment the flavor and stand out. Aside from the rye, the malt sweetness is fairly subtle behind the mostly fruity hops. Also, at 10%, this beer is a bit thick and can be hard to finish by yourself. Still, a great DIPA if you want something different.

tempest, May 26, 2008
Photo of plfahey
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-A deep reddish amber color with moderately high clarity. Thick, moussy head is a pale khaki-darker than I would expect for a beer of this color. The head has pretty solid retention.

Aroma-Juicy hops and candy-sweet malt, this one has an explosive aroma. Brown sugar, burnt caramel, toffee, and molasses malt aromas hide a subtler, nutty/bready/toasty rye character. Hops are citrusy and floral with an overall candied orange feel to them, though are definitely secondary to the huge malt character. The aroma reminds me a little of a barleywine, though the rye character tempers the sweeter malt aromas. Some fruity esters (apple?) are also present.

Flavor-Still reminds me of an American Barleywine in a way-big brown sugar molasses malt flavors open up to toasty rye bread and resiny hops. As the flavor slowly fades, hop bitterness coats the tongue, and swells to moderately high. Slight rye bread crusts carry on through the aftertaste along with resiny hop flavors and tongue-numbing bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Superb. Full and chewy body yet silky and smooth at the same time. Carbonation is moderate. Hop bitterness coats your tongue in the finish and leaves a numb, tingly sensation behind.

A fantastic RyeIPA, and hefty to boot. It's not super hoppy in terms of aroma and flavor, but it is large and in charge, with almost barleywine-like grace. However, the Rye is expertly used here to give characteristic toasty, nutty, bready, and rye flavors and aromas, as well as a long-lasting head and a thick, chewy body. Certainly a sipper, but a good one, and one I'll definitely be drinking again.

plfahey, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours caramel with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Big time pineyness & some breadyness

T: Huge grapefruit & piney hops up front, plus caramel. Malty cakeyness a bit of caramel try to regain some ground as this warms, but can't conquer the orangey, grapefruitty & piney hops. Finishes semi-dry (the rye??) with much pineyness; plus some caramel & a bit of pralines

MF: Chewy with low carbonation. Skews just a tad too hoppy for me

Drinks a bit slow, but with all that ABV & intensity, what do you expect? Hopheads will dig this. Lenny Bruce would appreciate the bitterness! A very good DIPA that has a few rough edges

russpowell, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of wedge
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thick rusty amber topped with sticky, heavy, bubbled cream. Aromas of dark citrus and other fruits over sugary toasted malts tinged with alcohol. Swirl it around and the alcohol comes more into focus, helped by the rye. First sip reveals a big creamy brew...darkly sweet hoppiness upfront with fruity alcohol and rye in the second half. There's an insane array of hops used here: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial, and Amarillo...but it seems to be countered by an equal malt force. A lot of flavor en masse leaving a slick lingering, slightly sour bitterness. Rich, creamy smooth body - big and coating. A nearly sharp bitterness is smoothed out by a powdery texture.

Plenty satisfying overall. Rich, dark, and hoppy. So very big though, it might be a challenge to handle all 22 ounces alone.

wedge, Jan 18, 2007
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.

revolution, Jul 03, 2007
Photo of erosier
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber red with a tall and thick tan colored head that laces the glass nicely as it goes. The aroma is of strong roasted malts along with a big and bold hoppy bitterness at the end. It tastes of very rich roasted malts, some fruit and then a really well balanced but still hoppy aftertaste that is extremely enticing. It has an excellent mouthfeel - very crisp and smooth at the same time which is nice for a beer this big. It has the right amount of carbonation as well. Very drinkable double IPA but not as drinkable as some due to its high abv and well worth a try.

erosier, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of kernalklink
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured somewhat lackluster- murky brown with some aggressive carbonation. There was a mild hop aroma with some herbal notes and a hefty amount of malts to finish. The taste was much better than expected- great intense earthy woddy hops going to war with a thick syrupy fruity malt with some alcohol burn to back it up. The rye was just slightly noticeable, but gave a great finish, makes our palate dream of something new and unusual- whatever it is, strong barleywine-IPA-sahti, its a good choice.

kernalklink, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of Ladybugger
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a chilly cellar-temperature bottle into a goblet. Pours a lovely ruby brown, clear with sparse bubbles. No head, just a tan ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Aroma is of caramel malt, earthiness, and citrusy hops. This beer is hoppy enough to tingle, but not unpleasantly. Initial slight sweetness yields to huge hop flavor, piney, critrusy, floral, wow. An interesting maltiness underlies the flavor, and I can only assume that what I am tasting is the rye. This medium bodied beer doesn't coat the mouth much, but the flavor of the hops certainly lingers for some time. This beer is loud and interesting, one to savor rather than enjoyed bottle after bottle.

Ladybugger, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of cbutova
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber brown with a small light tan cap that has subpar retention. Leaves a nice coat of fine lace.

S- Huge blast of caramel malt. Hops are there and are mostly earthy and grassy. Smells like an old ale. Aroma has high strength. Very slight apricot.

T- Nice caramel malt blast and hop presence. Hops lend high bitters and some earthy flavor. Dark fruit and strong malt flavor of a barleywine also comes in. I get some fruit notes as well and definite grass. Rye lends some flavor and spice.

MF- Nice and warm. Fairly thick creamy body with moderate carbonation. Bitters coat the palate along with hop flavor.

DB- Great price and very well hidden ABV. The flavor is big, like a barleywine and is very nice. The rye works well with the caramel malt. Easily worth a shot. One bottle is enough but still drinkable.

cbutova, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of StlHopHead77
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Nice,lightly hazy,rusted amber body beneath 2 inches of strong,beige head with sticky,ring-like lacing.

S-Smells of fruitcake,muted citrus,toffee and pink peppercorns.

T-Really malt forward DIPA.Sweet and bready.Brown sugar,whole grain toast,candied grapefruit and earthy rye spice.

M-Dry and medium bodied with a malty sweetness and sharp rye spiciness.

D-Really good drinkability for 10% ABV.Well hidden
alcohol with no burn.

StlHopHead77, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep amber or copper color with a decent half finger's width head that dissipated into a frothy cap leaving a bit of lacing.

Smell is nice and complex. Nice citrus hop bouquet up front with a big backbone of malt. The hops are big, but so is the sweetness of the malt, smells very tasty.

Taste is big on the hops with a nice malt sweetness up front and a lingering dry, bitter finish. Very well balanced for a DIPA, many can be too sweet but this one delivers just the right amount of hops with a balanced background of malt sweetness. Nice caramel sweetness from the malt contributes to the big, nearly chewy, mouth feel. You can definitely taste the rye and alcohol in the aftertaste as the palate lingers with a bitter, grainy and hoppy flavor.

Overall, a pretty good and well balanced DIPA!

ClevoPiwo, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark mahogany color, with a large fluffy off white head that recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma of citrus, pine, with some nice spicy rye in the background. The taste is probably more bitten than any other beer I have had to date, not that I mind though. The sip is piney, citrusy and has a more pronounced rye character than the aroma. The aftertaste is completely bitter. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a fine beer, and I would buy it again.

KarlHungus, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

He'Brew Lenny's on tap at mighty Max's in Fells Point, B'more, MD, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Golde red like Lauren Bacall's flowing tresses at the height of her career. Slightly transparent. Considerable white head, doesn't last. Great lacing, though.

Smell: Malts, booze, freshly-cooked cereal. Grass after a gentle rain and some hops. The smell of leaves needing to be raked.

Taste: A pungent malty booziness, at first. Boiling rye and other grains. Some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full body and flavor, medium-to-full carbonation. A bit too hot as it warms up. Not too sticky.

Drinkability: High! For a 10%, it is chuggable. Despite being obviously malty and cereal-y, it drinks well. Not hot, nicely balanced.

I love Lenny!

DoubleSimcoe, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of jakdracula
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is just great beer. It's 3:46 in the afternoon on a Thursday, and I'm supposed to be at work right now, but someone was kind enough to offer me half the bottle of this fine beer, as she is drinking the other half.

I must say: I'm glad I decided not to work. Unfortunately, we only have one bottle.

Get it. Drink it.

jakdracula, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of ToasterChef
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a chilly bottle into a chalice. The beer is dark copper in color, translucent, with a head of uniformly small tan bubbles. There are a few bubbles of carbonation rising within the glass. If I could give the smeel of this beer a 4.2 rating, I would. It's a bit better than some 4.0 ratings I've given, but I'm not quite ready to give it a 4.5. It has a robust hop aroma. It's dry and earthy, but also a little sweet. The beer has an interesting flavor. The instant it touches my tongue, I get hit with some candy sweetness. It instantly changes to a bread-like flavor as the beer fills my mouth. As it sits there, the hops begin to appear. While swallowing, the hops get more bitter and linger on for a while. There is certainly some candy sugar and alcohol throughout the tasting. Each sip of this beer is a real mouthful; heavy body and a lot of mouthcoating are some real pluses, but a high amount of sugary stickiness is a slight drawback. This is an easy drinking DIPA. The 22oz bottle would be great for one if you wanted to enjoy it over a good amount of time (longer than a meal), and is perfect for splitting between two. I wouldn't want to drink more than one in a session, as the sweetness may get overwhelming. Otherwise, a solid DIPA and worth seeking out.

ToasterChef, Jan 30, 2010
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,746 ratings.