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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.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

871 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 871
Hads: 1,896
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 80
Gots: 183 | 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 (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 871 | Hads: 1,896
Photo of FickleBeast
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pour is murky, with visible chunks of sediment floating around. There is two fingers of billowy foam that stands firm on top of the beer. Didn't realize this was bottle conditioned... had it on its side. I don't see anywhere on the label that mentions bottle conditioning. Sorry, loses some points on appearance for that.

Aroma is pungent, full of grassy, earthy hops and a touch of oxidation on the nose and some crystal malt sweetness. First sip is a hoppy assault on my palate. Full bodied, there is a also a lot of malt backbone to round this one out. I don't detect any spicy rye flavors. Bitterness is sharp, but not lingering.

This is certainly an extreme beer. Mixture of hop flavors is not my favorite, but there are so many other flavors going on that I can focus on something different each sip. Earthy, plum, toffee, grassy. This is a interesting DIPA - borders on Barleywine with the malt backbone.

Either way, pretty good but not great. Drinkability suffers a bit due to the high ABV and sharp bitterness. (1,065 characters)

Photo of warriorsoul
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
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.) (795 characters)

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Clear copper body with a 2" fluffy khaki head

S- Dank hops, sweet malts, alcohol tingles the nose

T- A sweet, spicet, bready, bitter red wine

M- Somewhat thick body, average carbonation

O- Very unique, the smell gives no sign of what's to come. My taste review says it all, it's like a sweet, spicy, bready, bitter red wine. When i lick my lips i taste dark fruit. I wouldn't call it great, just different. (462 characters)

Photo of hunteraw
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (797 characters)

Photo of wenkalman
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance - It was a very pretty moderately dark amber color with small bubbles coming up through it. The head, about 1 fingers width with a direct pour down the middle, was a carmel white made up of very small bubbles. The lacing had a slight stick to it.

Smell - Strong Pine notes with a little sweetness at the back end. The malts were there, but not at the front. This is a good thing because this is a DIPA. There was a lot to smell in this one so its hard to capture it in words.

Taste - Well balanced considering there are 8 types of malts and 7 types of hops used in this beer, with an addition of amarillo and crystal in the dry hopping stage. Good sweetness on the front end, followed with a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Small bubbled gave it a tingly feeling in the mouth. I felt it had the thickness, almost syrupy consistancy that I expect from DIPA's.

Drinkability - My only complaint is that the alcohol content is not well hidden on the back end. Therefore, this would be a tough one to drink a lot of. But then again, that isn't my purpose, so I think it is good.

I would recommend this one to anyone looking to test out new DIPA's. People who like the sweeter IPA's may really like this one. (1,270 characters)

Photo of Lothore
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep copper hue with a huge, off white head.

S- Huge citrusey hop nose

T- Sweet malts, caramel rolling into a big citrusey hop bite with some alcohol cutting through on the back end.

M- Thick with ample carbonation.

D- Definitely enjoyable and over the top. (272 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good DIPA with a touch of RYE and a busy eccentric presentation.

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. Overtly busy design that compromises the legibility. Homage series to comedian Lenny Bruce in a Kosher certified brew, with a fairly lengthy narrative around the quality of the brew and more so around the gesture to Lenny. Lacks an actual date of bottling or freshness but notes the 10th anniversary of the brewery on 2006, so this might be a bottle from that date? It neither shows IBUs or °Plato, with Alc. by Vol (10.%) Poured into a tall tulip glass.

A - Dark copper color with a large head and nice retention. Leaves a beautiful and persistent lacing.

S - Very subdued aromas with a predominant malty smell holding the hops and some distant, very faint, fruit aromas. Quite tamed...

T - Sweet bitterness in particular at the end.

M - Full bodied with solid carbonation, smooth and lacking some touches of texture from other rye brews.

D - It´s as drinkable as an average US DIPA, which is a good thing. Heavy, but into the range of the style. Missing the rye emphasis for me...

Notes: A bit of a let down in the context of much hype I heard surrounding the brew. It is a nice beer, but the aromas, and subtle flavors did not emerge for me at all. On the side of an average DIPA, and again, the average being pretty good that makes this a solid drink. But I was also missing noticing and enjoying more so the rye component of it, which I find much better achieved in other brews. Here for me it was barely a bit of a backdrop touch. (1,541 characters)

Photo of Richard-Carla
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For some reason, I've never been a fan of He'Brew's line of beers. Unfortunately, the R.I.P.A. isn't an exception.

It's a solid beer--not offensive, not something that I regret buying, and not something that I'd actively avoid. The smell is also amazing and almost perfect. The initial taste is also very good. However, the aftertaste is, at least to me, terrible--strongly (and unpleasantly) alcoholic, overly coppery, and somewhat unpleasant. While this is a double or imperial IPA, it doesn't bring the "smoothness" that is inherent in the best of the style.

He'Brew is still a brewery that I'll follow... they try, they experiment, and they're going to eventually produce an amazing beer. This just isn't it. (715 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a fairly dark amber, a bit hazy, with a thin off-white head and average visible carbonation.

S: Sweet toffee and biscuit malts, a bit oxidized, and some resin and grassy hops...but overall quite malt-forward.

T: Caramel and toasted biscuit malt with a sweetness that stops short of being obnoxious. A more subdued-than-expected resin, floral, and grassy hop presence. Just a bit of rye flavor before the swallow. Moderate hop bitterness and some sticky sweet malt on the hang.

M: Heavy-bodied, carbonation sensation on the low side. The alcohol is noticeable without being overly boozy, especially at the listed ABV.

O: Nothing exciting here, although nothing offensive either. My biggest gripe would be the lack of much rye malt presence at all. (837 characters)

Photo of EPICAC
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Downtown Wine & Spirits along with a bottle of He'Brew Genesis 10:10. I served it in one of my Duvel Tulip glasses at around 45º F.

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear ruby with a fluffy beige head that's fed by a steady stream of bubbles from the etched 'D' at the bottom of my tulip. The head thins to a persistent half-inch layer, leaving thick lace.

Smell: The aroma is fairly subdued, with caramel malts and a light hoppiness. The caramel aromas really emerge upon swirling, along with hints of fruitiness.

Taste: The taste is similar to the aroma, but much stronger. There are fruity and caramel malts upfront, followed by a very strong tart bitterness with an alcoholic spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied, with low carbonation.

Drinkability: The high hops and high alcohol make this

Overall: A pretty good DIPA, malty and hoppy with a nice balance towards hops. (918 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured in a tasting glass.

Pours red with almost no head at all. Nose is of rye and a bit malty and sweet.

Taste is also sweet rye. Very tasty and strong. The abv seems a bit high, however the rye adds a lot to it to mellow it out. For being an IPA I wish it was a bit hoppier (thinking hop rod rye here), this is much more like a rye pale ale rather than a Rye IPA. (380 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another over-the-top DIPA, more malt tasted with hop bitterness right behind it. Slowly Drinkable with some citrus and cherry and spice. Good looking white foamy head. Good carmel malty aroma. Bitter aftertaste. Some like this style a lot, others prefer something less explosive. (279 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased form LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in August 2006 for $4.99. This is only my second or third Rye beer, and I guess it's an acquired taste.

Pours a deep rich reddish amber with a yellowish fluffy head.

The aroma is intense hop richness, sour oily grapefruit perfume with sweet malts underneath. The flavor is tasty, of course hops being the main theme, with a sharp kicker of additional hops at the end of the swallow. Lots of malt, but the hops are really over the top.

Mouthfeel is almost syrupy this is so thick and rich. I finished the bomber, but it was really more than I wanted. Overall, this is a well made, interesting beer, but not really something I feel strongly about wanting to try again. (730 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid $4.69 for a bomber from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into a snifter.

I like the consistency of this beer as it pours. Thick, but not molasses thick. A nice looking DIPA. Poured semi-aggressive leaving a nice inch and a quarter off white frothy head. Deep transparent ruby red color. Good head retention and thick lasting lace. Mild carbonation.

Doesn't smell like a DIPA or even an IPA for that matter. The hops are there, but are well balanced with quality malts used in perfect quantity and harmony. The hops are more dank and floral than your normal citrus/pine/grapefruit variety. Points for originality of style. The alcohol and grainy/barleyesque aromas come through as well, almost reminding me of a strong barleywine.

Taste is more similar to a barleywine than a DIPA to me. Barley grains, malts, some yeast, alcohol. Hops are actually more in the background for this one.

Mouth is very thick. The thick coating leaves a lasting aftertaste. Little carbonation. Medium to full body. Very drinkable for it being 10% (1,031 characters)

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle - originally reviewed on paper on 8/14/06

Pours a clear amber with a thick tan head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is 100% citrusy hops and smells very nice.

Taste is slightly malty upfront which is washed quickly away by a wave of citrusy hops and a bitter bite to boot. Finishes quite dry and bitter.

Full body, mild carbonation.

An overall nice DIPA, and a nice change to have one that's on the dry side. (448 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
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) (618 characters)

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep and clear ruby color with a decent sized off-white head. The beer sorta glugged out in a syrupy fashion. The first scents bring on the rye mixed in with pine needles and a touch of orange peel. The malt is a beast on the nose on this beer pushing around anything else you could really get a good scent out of. The flavor profile is more of the same with plenty of rye flavor with an almost bready malt being most dominant. The hop profile does a fairly good job though trying to balance out all of the malt, but this beer leans heavier towards the malt and not the hops. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with plenty of carbonation to go around, but this beer leaves quite a bitter finish. The drinkability is actually quite good, but the 10% ABV will sneak up on your if you have an entire bomber.

Pretty good beer overall. (849 characters)

Photo of rayjay
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bevmo just got this in and the bottle intrigued me...also intriguing is the San Francisco-based brewery brews out of New York; I need to find more out about these guys. I first had their beers a long time ago, and I've had none since.

Clugs into the pint glass, then foams up a decent, almost nitro-looking dirty white head. The beer is a deep red/amber/brown color (forgive me, I am colorblind). Much thicker and darker than I prefer for the style, but a great head and lacing on the glass.

Pine and orange oil on the nose. It's a bit hard to stir up the scent, but when you do it's assertively sweet.

A huge blast of butterscotch took over my whole sinus cavity, then in an instant turned into a bitter wave that coated my tongue...like as in almost pill bitter; all the while my throat was blanketed in gentle heat. Quite an experience. Notes of toasted pumpkin seeds and citrus peel.

Almost charting into barleywine (ryewine?) territory with that huge body, but the sheer bitterness marks a definite IPA claim. A bit sticky and menacing, I'd recommend it at 45°F to keep the drinkability in check. I feel like I'm drinking Arrogant Bastard with the refinements I'd make to it.

This was not what I was expecting from a 2xIPA, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It's bold and charts deep into bitter waters; it's a good choice for those who like their doubles to be very full-bodied. It's definitely worth checking out, although I probably won't be buying another. (1,492 characters)

Photo of orfeu
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown-tinged russet with a dense yellowed newsprint head with some rather sparse and slow-moving carbonation. Dark rye bread in the nose backed up by surprisingly subdued (for a DIPA) pine-inflected hop aromas. Slight malt sweetness detectable in the nose as well. The taste: reductively, a slice of bitter pine-infused black rye bread with a doughy sweetness near the end. Earthy composted pine hop bitterness plays about the tongue until it settles in to a pungent-sweet malt finish. Mouthfeel is on the heavy side; pretty darn syrupy. All told, this is a solid and interesting beer with a cleverly claimed inspiration. However, as far as Double IPAs go, this one just doesn't really stand out from the pack -- admittedly a very difficult thing to do. (753 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color, with some orange highlighting. Quite clear. Head is mainly large bubbles on top with okay packing below, tan in color, with pretty solid stick. No lacing.

Aroma is boozy, with some notes of oak tannins, vanilla, sweet caramel malt and some citric hops. The alcohol seems a mite too prevalent, although the power is decent enough.

Similar spicy notes in the flavor, lots of booze up front along with a sticky sweetness in the finish. Again, pretty good but heavy on the alcohol and other "hot" flavors. Not very easy to drink. The mouthfeel is medium, leaning towards thin, and the carbonation isn't quite enough to pull the harsh flavors away.

Still a pretty good double IPA for a decent price. (716 characters)

Photo of jbertsch
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Dark rust color with an off-white head that fades to a film that lasts a while.

Smells serious and slightly scary of what's to come. Aromas of rye malt, a little dark sweet fruit, brown sugar, strong hops, spice, alcohol sharpness.

Taste is sweet at first with brown sugar, candied fruit, buttery rye grain in the middle, but the big bitter hops show up quick and take over. Finises very bitter with a kick of alcohol one would find in a brew with a higher ABV.

Above average body weight, with crisp/sharp mouthfeel.

A serious brew. Good flavors but the bitterness and alcohol kick is a bit over the top, even for a 10% ABV brew. I've had many brews with higher ABVs that didn't taste as alcoholic. Not for the faint of heart. (753 characters)

Photo of mtboozeaddict41
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a nice coppery red with murkiness. Creamy white lacing is left with a medium retention.

S: Largely aromatic. Toasted spicy malt with a large profile of resinous piney hops. Very floral and pungent. Rye spice and bready characteristics show through also. Caramel malt and cinnamon are notable

T: oooeeee, large beer in stature. Rye, citrus, pine, toasted bread, spice, and a copious sensation of alcohol are apparent. This beer is HOT! and by hot I mean high in alcohol almost to the point where its offensive. Caramel malt helps mask the high percentage but not by much. Rye and citrus/grapefruit is very much the face of the taste. Quite bitter on the finish with a lingering citrus toasted wood/pine finish that ends in a spicy rye kick.

M: Medium-heavy bodied with a moderate carbonation.

O: Wow, this beer is hard to compute, period. I like it, but not to the point where you'll see me starting a blog about it. It's huge and largely offensive in the most satisfying way. If you like an assault of floral hops take this to your sensors and give 'er a go. Not bad Shmaltz. L'chaim! (1,098 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Can't find any dates on the bottle, but this beer seems a little stale to me. No hops present in the nose. Some sweetness. Taste is a little sticky and thick. Pretty well balanced between malt and hops. Not much lingering bitterness at all. Very nice buttery mouthfeel. Overall my review is somewhat reserved because I think it may be older shelf life. Its an ok double but really missing any of the great hop notes I look for in my IPAs these days. (456 characters)

Photo of PALMEJ1
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

from 22oz bomber into snifter

pours nice with 3 finger head. almost looks like strong ice tea with a great head!

smells like the normal grapefruit and pine but keeps going to a great ripe orange-tangerine thing. also some whiffs of rock candy from back in the day!

different from others in this style. i was expecting the same taste that I got in the nose but that did not happen. the hops are great but I think a little too much malt for me.

feels great. creamy and smooth. would not guess 10%.

i will give this another taste down the road as i bought 2 (560 characters)

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 871 ratings.