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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

1,769 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,769
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 71
Gots: 107 | FT: 6
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: 1,769 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Steamer
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Three fingered, cream colored head with lots of retention. Deep copper hues.

S - Strong metallic hops aroma; faint citrus undertones.

T & M - Sharp and lemony; bitter and dry, but smooth going down.

Overall: A strong, well blended rye DIPA that hits the spot without slaughtering your taste buds. Excellent.

Steamer, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber with off-white head in new DFH IPA glass. Lots of lacing along sides of glass and head lingers for a long time.

Smell is malty, caramel, and rye.

Taste is malty up front with rye, honey and a punch of lemon hops. Bitterness lingers long on the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall this was good. A definite must-try.

TrappistJohnMD, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Brown with a dark orange tone and medium bubbles on the body. Thin off-white head rising maybe a quarter inch at best settling with almost perfect lacing...very nice.

Smell: Light aroma of pine and flowers that were soaked in malt. By the scent you can tell it has a lot of flavor but the potency of the scent is light.

Taste: A complex bitter maltiness, you feel a sour lemon feel with a sweet grapefruit and hard floral tones.

Mouth: Medium and very sticky, crisp but chewy like a feel of liquid toasted bread flowing around your cheeks.

Overall: Great brew that absolutely took me by surprise. Has a little bit of everything in it and for that I absolutely love it. All you need is your favorite glass, Salud!

BlurryVisi0n, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of Osiris9588
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber with a label warning "brewed with an obscene amount of malt and hops." Obscene is also carried over as part of a tribute to late, great Jewish comic Lenny Bruce, whose image graces the label in several places along with a quinessential quote concering Bruce from Dick Schaap: "Finally, one last four-letter word concerning Lenny Bruce: DEAD. At 40. . . that's obscene."

The beer pour a clear copper, with ruddy and bronze undertones. The off-white three-finger head is supremely creamy and demonstrates great retention, leaving monstrous, fluffy lacing and pockets of foam as it receds.

The malts dominate the hops on the nose, very malty with loads of caramel and a candy apple characteristic. The flavor too begins with a strong thrust of toasty, yet very sweet malts, some nice spice supplied by the rye, followed by sugar and candy, all undercut by the bitterness of hops and a distinct phenolic characterstic.

The mouth is quite big and complex. The wicked strong carbonation prevents the sugars from getting too syrupy or overwhelming, and the result is a high complex juxtapostion of bitter/sweet. It gets a tad phenolic on the finish, which decreases the drinkability a bit, but it is still a gem overall.

Osiris9588, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of philbe311
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich caramel brown color with an ever so slight red hue... Slight head quickly fades... Slow peaceful carbonation... Minimal lacing, though a thick oily residue coats the glass throughout the session... Very still... Intriguing looking Double IPA...

S - Malts and fruits... Fruits and malts... Lots of complexity hits the nose... Caramel... Brown Sugar... Only a faint hint of piney hops... I was expecting major hops, and was very pleasantly surprise and happy with the rich sweet aroma presented...

T - There are the hops... Not too much, but more than I expected after the aroma... Caramel... Malt... Raisins... Rye...

M - Ultra smooth for a Double IPA, especially one coming in at 10% ABV... Medium bodied with an oily texture... Slight carbonation presents itself on the tongue... More sweetness than bitterness... A definite positive to this BA when it comes to Double IPAs...

D - Dangerously smoth and enjoyable for a 10% ABV Double IPA... Extremely drinkable... Great complexity all around... Proof that brewers can make an awesome Double IPA without going overboard with hops... A little more carbonation both in appearance and on the tongue would make this a slam dunk "A+..."

philbe311, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up as part of the holiday pack. Very cool tribute to Mr. Bruce.
Appearance: Red and regal. Assertive off white head and lacing.
Smell: hard to describe...grapefruit bitter hops with a strong malt backbone. Something earthy in there. Interesting to be sure.
Taste: Wow, again the pattern of taste coming together when the nose projected a more disjointed brew. All the brews in the holiday pack have had this quality.
Overall: very interesting brew. Gonna look for more of this.

cindyjeffsmith, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of WeisGuy
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - deep golden color with a ruby tint, half-inch off-white head with good retention and lacing

s - good balance of citrusy hops, caramelly malt, rye and alcohol

t - smooth and slightly sweet malt up front with notes of rye as well, evolves into a great hoppy bitterness, the finish is a balance of bitterness and a strong alcohol taste

m - ample carbonation, medium-bodied

d - a slow drinker that I wouldn't want any more than a bomber of at any given time, the alcohol is a little intense to have too much of this, took me awhile to get through the bomber

I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. The taste is very complex and intense. A great sipping DIPA

WeisGuy, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of obrike
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Wow...this is a funky, interesting beer.

Picked up a 4 pack at my Round Rock Specs for about 11 bucks...total shock to see it there actually.

Poured a heavily red tinged deep copper with a thick tan head. Beautiful color on this one and a lot of thick lacing. Just gorgeous.

Getting some piney hoppiness in the scent with hints of citrus and a little alcoholic rye spice at the finish. Also a sugary dessert like quality. Strange, but good.

The flavor is quite unique. Uber-sweet malt on first sip, followed by a nice slap of piney hops and a bit of spicy rye to cut some of the malty sweetness. I'd say this is kind of like Hop Rod Rye on steroids. Lovely thick mouthfeel...certainly a slow sipper as you really want to taste all the unique qualities in this one slowly. Syrupy sweet as it warms, and quite boozy...and quite good.

Not sure about the Imp IPA status...kind of a hybrid of a barelywine/dipa, but that rye kick makes it worth a try. Give this one a shot if you like big, complex beers.

obrike, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of Dawkfan
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep amber with a gorgeous 3 finger dense tan head, amazing retention, this one just doesn't want to go away. Nice chunky frothy lace left behind. A great looking beer indeed.

S - Sweet malts, spice, a little alcohol as well. The backend reveals some dark fruit, floral citrus hops & a little piney hops. Not what I expected in a DIPA, but a nice smell non the less.

T - Fruits, caramel malt & hops up front. Rye malt and some sweetness in the finish. There's some noticeable bitterness that lingers.

M - Full body, creamy, sticky, oily, smooth. A pleasure!

D - I don't give a shit if this doesn't fit the style. I'll drink this any day of the week. Extremely well balanced and rounded.

Dawkfan, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful crystal and rye malt scent that enticises the senses. It's loaded up with hop aroma as well; a bitter explosion balanced with an excellent variety of specialty malts. The taste is good. It has a very smooth and bitter hop taste that goes down easy and warms in the finish. Crystal and rye malts dominate the grist. It's quite complex with loads of flavors, especially a mellowing rye component. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The rye works well with the heavy load of hops. The crystal malts lend some sweetness to round out the palate; a good drinker.

WesWes, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of niqhoward
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

niqhoward, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of Tom_Gilman
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Tom_Gilman, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but very dark amber with a sizeable tan head. Nose is highly hoppy. Strong resin tone with a bit of cotton candy I think. Fruity citrus edge as well. Flavor is definitely hopped, of course. Strong, stringent hop flavors kick you in the mouth, but not too abrasively really. It may be an over the tope type of ride, but it doesn’t go too over that top. Feel is bordering on a bit syrupy with all that stuff in there. Carbonation seems high with the massive head, but not a huge amount of bubble going over the tongue. Initially I was going to give a 4 on the drinkability on this one. But then I realized that the 10% alcohol on this one doesn’t peek out at all as you imbibe. Overall, this is nothing absolutely outstanding to behold, but it is very good all the same. Worth a try, especially for the price.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of phisig137
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber pours a dark amber orange color, with a frothy thick two finger head. Decent retention falls into a blanket on top, with abundant lacing. Looks quite nice in my Aecht Schlenerka glass. When swirled, the head has a odd green tinge, I would suppose from the hops. I think I like that.

Aroma is chock full of citrus and pine hop aromas. Smells like the usual suspects... all of the "C" hops so beloved by IPA makers. Big and brash, much like Lenny Bruce. Flavorwise, this packs a wallop. Big hops, big malt in the middle, and a strong rye character throughout. Hops are resinous, the rye is present all the way from front to back, the malt smooths things out like dulce de luche in the middle, and the finish is quite bitter and pleasant. Alcohol is not present, even in the form of warming. Mouthfeel is silky and full. Drinkability is excellent.

I am really surprized by this beer. Incredibly well crafted beer, from a brewery that has definitely been hit or miss for me. I'd put this just about neck and neck with any other rye beer that I've ever had, including hop rod rye. Really quite a nice beer, and a great value at only $5.99 for the bomber.

phisig137, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A half-pint served in a full pint glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: *Lots* of head with good retention. Orange-brown. Slightly translucent. Great lacing. Beautiful.

S: Double IPA, all the way. Lots of alcoholic, malty hops.

T: Big and alcoholic. Malty sweet with a huge hop presence. Vaguely astringent with a drying bitterness on the endtaste.

M: Strong, substantial, and dryingly delicious.

O: Great double IPA, but straightforward, if pleasantly so. I would have another; recommended. The ABV is quite noticeable, affecting the drinkability, but it's such a nice beer.

AgentMunky, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of blvdlover
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

blvdlover, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of Callenak
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

I had been excited to try this beer for some time. Had in on my wants but no hits. How glad was I when my local bottle shop got a case.

Pours a deep amber/bronze with a nice think head. The color doesn't even appear to be from the rye, but just a deep, malty brew.

Smell is malt forward, with a good kick of hops. The taste backs it up, but a double IPA it is not. I've had a lot of east coast DIPA's and 9 out of 10 are more barley wines in my opinion. This is no exception. The rye gives it a nice spice to balance out the pine flavored hops. I've been on a rye beer kick lately and this was no let down.

All in all, a great freaking beer. It taste more like a Bigfoot with rye than any double IPA. But screw guidelines and labels, if a beer is good, a beer is good. And this is a great beer.

Callenak, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of AMCimpi
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

AMCimpi, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of sabinelr
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this at Cost Plus in Tukwila, WA. A good introduction to Schmaltz Brewing. Thanks Cost Plus for finding these and carrying them. Actually I haven't looked at the beer, just drinking it straight out of the bottle. The smell promises something different - some sort of fragrant malt. The taste is a bit on the sweet side for an IPA, and sort of like the whiskey taste others have noted. The sweetness and hops counter the 10% alcohol better than almost any strong ale I have tasted. You don't really know you are getting such a big kick. It feels sort of syrupy, but the aftertaste lingers as a pleasant medium hop which does not degenerate to gacky. It is not easy to drink in sips. You need to knock down about 4 ounces or more at one gulp. Doing that will give you the satisfying sense that you have done something more important than a wine tasting, and the aftereffect is very pleasant. After the first bottle you will be left wondering if you should have some more, but an hour later you will crave another one. Buy at least three and wait until your wife or girl friend has gone for the day, then let 'er rip.

sabinelr, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, bought at BevMo Huntington Beach,

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown, with a thick, white head, which leaves abundant lacing which just sticks to the glass and is still there in the morning.

S: Hoppy, but with a lot of malt, some dark fruits and sugar, spice, though I wish it was more robust.

T: An interesting taste when I first tasted it, I was expecting a straight up Double IPA, but then I remembered the rye malt and became more acclimated to the taste. Very interesting, but very tasty as well. The rye malt adds a spice, almost phenolic character to the malt-based part of this brew, similar to Hop Rod Rye, another RyePA type beer. Very hoppy, an abundance of pine in this one, altogether a profroundly good taste and a well made beer, well balanced.

M: Soft for an IPA, but still quite resiny, oily, but the large amount of malts add a smoothness not found in other IPAs.

D: A very good double, didn't know what to expect, the first beer I have had from this brewery besides the Pomegranate Ale, a fruit beer, so I am anxious to try their other stuff. Good job, He'Brew.

Halcyondays, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of AmitC
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Excellent deep copper color. Clear. Less than a finger thick head that stays well. Excellent lacing. Very few to no bubbles.

Smells more like a Barley wine than an Imperial IPA. A lot of malt upfront that is mixed with hops. Hops are earthy and ground. A little bit of booze.

A decent amount of bitterness upfront and a very good bitter aftertaste. A very solid and malt dominated middle. A lot of rye in the flavor as well. Bitterness is a culmination of rye and hops. Finish of course is bitter.

Mouth feel is medium to slightly full. Again drinks a lot like a boozy and hop forward Barleywine than a double IPA. Low carbonation. A bit of alcohol warmth and hop bitterness makes it somewhat astringent.

Style Rate: This is rye DIPA. More of a Rye Barleywine. 4
Personal Rate: 4.25

I like the bitterness. If this were Barleywine. It would have gotten better grades from me.

AmitC, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of jmdrpi
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, no bottling date.

appears a deep copper color, with amber highlights. 1/2" off-white colored head. nice complex aroma, mix of caramel malt flavors and resiny hops. taste is also balanced. sweetness of sugary crystal malt and a bitter finish of piney, earthy hops. medium body, but sticky mouthfeel. good carbonation level.

overall - very tasty spin on the DIPA style.

jmdrpi, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of thekanna
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a chilled beer mug. Copper bordering on blood orange color with a decent amount of head that leaves rings when traveling down the side of the glass.

S: Nice sweet malts with some citrus, floral aromas, and faint hops. I do not detect the big hop smell that I usually expect from DI/IPAs.

T: Caramel and toffee malts with a nice rye touch, not unlike pumpernickel bread, and a faint peppery spiciness. The hops then kick in and provide a strong, biting bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy from the head with a decent amount of carbonation to remind you it's a beer and not a drinkable loaf of good bread.

D: Very nicely sippable, and the hop bitterness is, for lack of a better word, addicting.

thekanna, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of shand
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

Wow! This beer pours with an absurdly prodigious head, this one needs to be poured gently! The head is very fluffy, and leaves nice chunks of lacing on the way down. The smell is also quite nice, I get fruits, hops, rye, a touch of alcohol, and some caramel malts. The taste is very smooth, with some nice tropical hops interacting with the rye and caramel malt flavors to make a very balanced, drinkable brew. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming. Not incredibly hoppy, but a nice balanced DIPA that's not too sweet or too malty.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, especially for how high ABV a brew this is! The carbonation level is moderate, and the mouthfeel is medium-heavy, it's all together pleasant on the mouth. The drinkability is honestly just about right for the ABV, it goes down fairly easily. Another great, reasonably priced brew from He'Brew, this is a great beer that, although not being a hop bomb, is a very pleasant beer that goes down nicely for the ABV.

shand, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours a wonderfully clear deep ruby-copper hue with a fat three-fingered head of beige foam that fades away slowly, showing superb retention as it settles at a thick, creamy cap. As the glass drains, thick lacing rings the walls of the glass.

The aroma is nicely hoppy, with a floral, fruity and citrusy bouquet. Some sweet caramelesque malty notes show through as well. Pleasantly inviting.

Full-bodied and moderately carbonated with a balanced mouthfeel. Sweet malt opens things up on the palate; spicy notes from the rye malt are easily discernible but meld effortlessly into the middle with a bracingly bitter hoppiness that tears away at the tastebuds, obliterating things before falling away into a bittersweet finish, somewhat dry and mildly fruity-sweet.

A fairly well-balanced Double IPA with an interesting hint of rye infused; decently drinkable with a well-hidden 10% ABV and a wonderful mix of flavors. A top-notch example of the style, definitely worth revisiting.

superdedooperboy, May 05, 2010
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,769 ratings.