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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

1,781 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,781
Reviews: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 111 | 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)
View: Beers (31) | 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: 1,781 | Reviews: 851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of isaac
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from memory:

22 oz. to snifter.

Lenny's pours a gorgeous blood-orange red with a creamy, sticky head and thin lacing. Nose is well hopped with spicy rye, caramel malts, and slight booze. Taste, while still coldish, is amazing - juicy would be the first word to come to mind, and the rye mixes well with the sweet malts to make a flavour which reminds me of dense, german cakes. it looses a few points here as it warms up and the sugars take over, reducing much of the taste to a sort of boozy hard-candy - the kind of taste i can't abide in the DFH 90 and 120 minutes. however, this sad turn of events is saved by the ever-present rye spiciness and smooth, slow drain of a bitter finish. mouthfeel is amazing, not too thick, and coats the tongue and cheeks.

a fine and drinkable beer, if not a bit strong and a bit sweet.

Photo of changeup45
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one big beer. Reddish/copper color, an off-white head with some retention and spotty lacing. The aroma is a very good intro to what you're going to get: fruity, lots of hops and a touch of the rye malt. The first few sips it seemed to start with rye malts as well as some caramel, a bit sugary and sweet, followed by a blast of very bitter hops with a sour grapefruit presence. Malts showed late in the finish as well although the grapefruit hops constantly linger a long time, well into the aftertaste. Rich, full and a little sticky. Halfway through the bomber, as the alcohol started going to my head and my palate shredded it was just one huge bitter/rye/hoppy/sour complex taste. I don't necessarily think it's high on the drinkability scale due to it's sharp bitter flavor but I thought it was wonderful.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Really strong Mahogany color pours into my tulip glass... thick bright head floats on top and leaves a ton of sticky lacing! Lots of carbonation!

S- Strong notes of caramel, bready yeast, and sweet malts. Subtle hints of pine and citrus. More mango and pineapple than orange and grapefruit! Smells more like a Barleywine than a IIPA!

T- Really bready, yeasty and sweet at first, then the citrus bomb hits! Nice lemon pith, orange zest and mango battle with the strong malty tones. A nice spicyness that probably comes from the rye. Unusual... but loving it!

M- Really coats the tongue with rye bread and caramel. Nice bitterness with a strong lemon peel bite. Just a fabulous blend of bitter and sweet shifting back and forth.

O- I can't wait to check this one out again with some age on it. Wish they would barrel age this one! Not one trace of alcohol... drinks really easy! This would be insane with a nice Roast Beef Sandwich on rye with Horseradish Mayo!!!

Photo of Durge
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper-brown color with a somewhat whispy head and reasonable lacing. It has a nice sweet malty aroma that includes some butterscotch, pine hops along with alcohol presence. It immediately impresses you with its slick thick body with plenty of alcohol evident while providing lots of sweet citrus hops too. Very hardy with a licorice finish. Quite an experience in flavors, robust and enjoyable but probably not something I would drink in mass quantities. One to be savored more slowly I think, but you could manage a few of these to preserve the taste sensation. Very nice effort again from this fine brewery.

Photo of theecaleb
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz Brown bottle.

A: Good pour, deep shades of amber. copper and reds. Head was of dark white almost a copper colour, short less than a fingers width. Thick lacing.

S: Smells like an IPA, with hints of barley or pine. The rye stands out.

T: Tastes like a very good IPA topped off with a shot of creme
liquor. Small hint it alcohol

M: Good balance, bubbly.

O: A good twist on an IPA, high quality beer.

I would recommend this beer to a friend

Photo of zoolzoo
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, Duvel snifter

A: Dark golden brown, big white frothy head

S: Hops and rye dominate with a little alcohol, as to be
expected. Not very complex but strong, and enjoyable.

T: Quick hop bite followed by plenty of rye malts, spicy but warm and inviting. This malt character is getting sweet, almost candy like, as the glass warms. Some people are saying this is a cross between a DIPA and a barleywine, which I can understand, but the rye malts set this apart with that spicy character that I love.

M: Mouthfeel is excellent. This is a big brew and its viscosity is thick enough to back it up.

D: Drinkability suffers a bit because of the abv and thickness, one is enough but what a treat!

I love rye beers, and this is a great example.. Ill buy this again.

Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter glass at 50F.

Nice amber/mahgoany color with a thin tan head.

Big profile of citrus and floral hops surrounded by sweet rye and caramel malts.

Starts off with a subtle bready malts and then a kick of bitter hops at the top with a balance of the two through the finish. A very tasty blend of rye, caramel and other sweet malts.

Medium body with good carbonation. A complex yet drinkable beer. A hybrid between a strong ale and a malty IPA with strong rye characters.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Super dark copper color. A finger of white head with nice lacing from the top down.

S: Malt and rye. All of their beers tend to be a little on the malty side so why should their DIPA be any different? Rye is in the back but definitely there.

T: Nice mix of sweetness and hops up front. Rye in the middle before finishing with a sharp hop bitterness.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Nothing good or bad really.

D: Rye DIPA? Nice. Totally different beer. Better than I thought it was going to be.

Photo of CaptMaelstrom
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark orangey-brown color, good beige head, lacing down the glass.

S: Lots of fresh lemony, grapefruit, herbal aromas. Toasty. Doesn't fade much.

T: Can't tell if there's a malt or hop taste first, the two are pungent and balance each other well. Grapefruit, lemon, flowers. The alcohol is hidden very well. Strong bitter aftertaste.

M: Carbonation not too strong, not too weak. A good medium body, a little oily, but it it might be all the alpha acids jammed in this beer.

O: The most surprising part of this beer is that it's 10% ABV! I'd never have guessed. The double hop

Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Super dark for an IPA with a very nice head. Very bubbly as well.
S: Smells very sweet yet spicy. Lots of citrus hints and very smooth.
T: Very nice. Lots of good bitterness that is complimented by a very smooth texture. Good amount of bite, maybe a little too much lingering bitterness.
M: Sits medium body until the bubbles hit full force which turns it very creamy. A very fun IPA.

Overall a very nice beer but the one place it was lacking was in the taste. And since that is arguably the most important aspect I had to give it only a 4/5. The other aspects of this beer were very expertly done.

Photo of jimmah120
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into wine glass

Giant off-white head, clear amber-red body with lots of rising bubbles. Smell is warm rye, alcohol, piney hops, citrus, grass. First thing I notice is a very creamy feel, then bitter oily hops. They weren't lying about using a lot of hops and malt. There's a lot of flavor here: piney hop resin, nutty/toasted malt, darker notes of clove and spice, citrus fruit, and lots of warm alcohol. Loses half a point on mouthfeel because of how abrasive the oil and alcohol is.

This is a terrific, stong, flavorful beer. Not something I'd drink all the time, but was excellent to try.

Photo of barczar
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a frothy, lingering khaki head.

Grapefruit, molasses, pine, toasted malt, cola, resin, and property rye form the complex aroma. There's good balance between hops, malt, and rye.

Flavor is decidedly rye dominant, with initial citrus underpinnings and a slightly sweet caramel malt backbone contrasting nicely, until the bitter finish. Grapefruit, tangerine, and resin are the focus of hop flavoring. Very complex.

Body is a touch full, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth. There's a harshness in the finish.

I like this more than I expected. The flavoring hops are nice and fruity, with enough resin to complement the rye character, and the rye is balanced nicely by the malt. Finish is more bitter than I prefer, but the malt sweetness keeps me wanting more.

Photo of beer19
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large tulip

A - dark amber, semi-opaque, with a 1" head which dissipates quickly

S - complex malts, hops are also present, figs, ripe fruits, definitely a unique dipa

T - very balanced, one of the more complex taste profiles for a dipa, following the smell there are more ripe fruits, very quad-like, but with an excellent measure of tasty hops thrown in

M - creamy, lightly carbonated, easy drinker for the abv

O - a well executed and crafted beer, will definitely be in the regular rotation

Photo of hreb
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first experience with The Chosen Beer. A nice gimmick, but I'd heard good things so I thought I'd pick one up. Cold 22oz bottle poured into American style pint glass. But it pours like syrup, it's so thick. The beer is a deep red and nearly completely opaque. The head is light brown and reddish, medium height, falling momentarily.

The aroma is most noticeably malty and sweet, and not that familiar hop aroma of Cascade hops. Upon further reflection there is some hop aroma, but it's not what you'd expect. Taste the head, and you'll find the hops.

The texture as I poured it really did put me off. IPA isn't supposed to be a "heavy" beer, and the syrupy appearance, more appropriate in a stout, made me think this was full of unwanted residual sugar, or perhaps that my bottle was bad. Was I serving it too cold? It was in my fridge for a couple months, was it ruined? But at first taste, those concerns are relieved. Yes, this is a big beer. It's more syrupy than I'm used to. But the flavor doesn't represent the texture; it's not like it's full of carmel or something. It's just a very malty IPA. And according to the label, strong, at 10%.

The lacing on the glass is substantial, but what's really impressive is that this beer's got legs.

I should mention that this is a RYE "double" IPA. I've had a few rye beers, and I enjoy them (more than I enjoy rye bread). But between the hoppy bitterness and the strength of the alcohol, it's hard to distinguish the rye character in this beer. And that's not a bad thing unless you were really set on tasting a rye beer. This beer is uniquely drinkable (aside from the prohibitive alcohol content). I think this would compare favorably to, for example, 90 minute IPA.

My review for this beer's appearance is split between the disgusting sludge that it pours as, which is worth about a 2.0, and the beautiful appearance it has in the glass when it's motionless, which is about a 4.5. :)

Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's a dark copper color (with a reddish tint). One and a half finger, foamy head stuck around for quite a while and left a very nice coat of lace.

Smell: Very citrusy sweet smell. Heavy grapefruit aroma. Hops are very piney and strong. Other citrus scents are noticeable (orange, mango). It also has more of a malty scent than I was expecting.

Taste: Wow. This is a really good beer. Initially, it is sweet, but not overly so. Grapefruit and hops blend well and provide a nice, bitter taste. But, it's an extremely smooth bitter taste. Very nicely balanced. It's still hoppy, but the malt balances it out quite a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinability: It's medium bodied. Very well carbonated. Alcohol is masked extremely well. Very drinkable for 10%. My better sense tells me not to have more than this bomber, but I wouldn't mind having another. Overall, very good beer. Very kosher, if you will.

Photo of ImusBeer
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as my second of the day. It was poured a Copper color and a bit hazy. The head was only around the rim but there was lots of lacing.

This is the first beer that I've really noticed the yeast aroma and the very heavy bread or biscuit smell.

The first thing I noticed was the hop, then the sweetness of malt & caramel. The bitter finish really made this a delight.

The mouthfeel is dominated by bitterness and then the bite of the alcohol, at 10% I expected this.

Couldn't drink it all the time but I would enjoy this occasionally.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to snifter.

Never heard of this beer or brewer before seeing in on the shelf, but I love an IPA, and a doubles even better...I had to have it.

Pours a deep copper color. A good off-white 2.5 finger head adorns the top, and stays for a bit leaving a thin foam for the duration of the drinking. Sticky foam leaves its marks on the glass.

Semi-sweet malt undertones along with a faint, but distinct hop smell give the perfect bittersweet experience that the bottle claimed.

I can see how this could converge upon barleywines, but the hop bite is unmistakable IPA...and it's big in this beer, as a double should be. The sweetness is a bit more tame on the taste, and the hoppyness is more explosive. But never overdone. The alcohol is slightly present, but doesn't overwhelm despite how big it is. I would liken this brew to Harpoon's Leviathan IPA, but without the killer alcohol taste.

This is a good healthy upper medium body. Good and rich.

For a 10% ABV, I don't think this could get any more drinkable. Its very smooth, but doesn't let you forget that this is a big beer. 1's not enough, savor 2.

I'm in no way religious, but I think this may be the closest thing to a religious experience I've had in a long time...

Photo of ritzkiss
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Premier in Buffalo, no date. Pours a rich amber with a finger of off-white head.

Smells of fruitcake,raisins, muted citrus, pine and pink peppercorn spiciness.

Rich, bready malt, nice spicy sweet rye component hits you next, borders into a nice earthiness, then a deep pine bitterness with hints of muted citrus and flowers (wonder if this is a little old...) Brown sugar,whole grain toast, raisins, cocoa.

Hides the ABV extremely well, hard to believe this is actually 10%. Dry bitter finish, nice rounded sweet body, a really excellent beer.

Photo of jar2574
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 22 oz bottle. There's plenty of booze in there, at 10% alcohol by volume.

Tan head that rises up slowly rather than bubbly and fizzy. Orange-red beer.

Smells sweet like honey and hoppy too. Very pleasant aroma.

A very, very good IPA. There's only a touch of the overwhelming piney flavor I dislike in other IPA's. Instead, you have a better mix of malts with hops and a sweetness. The sweetness honestly predominates, which is odd for a beer, especially an IPA.

Very cool mouthfeel. Thick but smooth and creamy. A touch of alcohol on the tongue, but much less than you'd think for 10%.

This is very nice. The mouthfeel, texture, taste and smell make you think you're drinking a honeyed hop mixture, with some malts thrown in to make it extra smooth.

Photo of Freshie
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice 22oz bomber. Great label. Poured into snifter. Dark amber, with tan, frothy head.

Smell of sugary malt, and phenol alcohol.

The taste is up front strong and smokey. Sweet flavor grows on the palate. Alcohol is light but noticeable. A sipper no doubt.

Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber hue and a cloudy texture. There was a good half inch of creamy, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Strong, but not overpowering aroma. Lots of hops and malt, along with a sugary quality.

T: A big flavor on this beer. Astrigent hops, malt, caramel and that rye quality combine for a powerful taste. Complex and flavorful.

M: A lively amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Very full-bodied.

D: This is the sort of beer that doesn't mind slapping you around a little. It has a well made, complex taste and a lot of personality.

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this in a tulip. Certified Kosher.

Shining ruby body with darker hued highlights, the cap sits at about a finger's width of smooth and puffy foam. Sheet lace is left behind after the foam has died down.

A subtle fruity aroma creeps out of the beer. A malty wheatiness is noticed as well. Hopefully warming will reveal more here. As this warmed, there was a slightly peppery note that came out, with a little caramel malt.

Sweet, herbal, subtle spice, all these characteristics balance well in the flavor department. The spicy and bready malt lead off with the estery fruitiness playing off in the background. As the drink progresses past mid-palate, there are flavors of herbal earthiness, caramel malt and a resiny finish, doing a nice job of bittering up this beer.

Medium heft is balanced on the tongue, with a crisp and slightly bubbly finish noted. Carbonation is nicely done.

Lenny's RIPA is just a great beer. The flavors are all incredibly well balanced; and the malt profile is complex and interesting and fun to piece out. The rye gives this beer an aggressive edge that I really enjoyed. The nose is a little underwhelming, but the flavors keep me coming back for more. Definitely my favorite Shmaltz beer so far.

Photo of Wheelinb
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As someone who has worked in comedy, of course I had to try a beer that memorialized Lenny Bruce. Deep copper color and a fair amount of head. I got a big malt smell as I poured and I thought this might not taste as expected, but then I drank it and got a big bitter hop bite. You can also get malt and bread tastes. It feels somewhat thick, which is not a problem for me. It does have somewhat of a lingering aftertaste.

Photo of rebelthrower
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red with a bit of copper. Light tan head, but not a lot of head. Great lacing.

S: Malts and sweetness. Not a lot of smell going on.

T: Caramel and Malts. Very sweet and then the rye shows its self.

M: Chewy, thick and strong. Nice medium carbonation. Taste sits in the mouth for a long time.

D: Very tasty beer and will definitely have it again. But can only have one at a time.

Photo of WhiteOak
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Bright, brilliant copper. Dark tan head is of a coarse bubbly foam.

S- Pina colada/pineapple/coconut, Fir bud resin, fruits, malt, faint banana.

T- The RIPA attacks with big, concentrated, rich, round slightly sweet malt. The mid palate is of sweet vanilla cupcake. Then the citric hops roll in big-time for the long finish.

M- Creamy, viscous, oily, and slightly sticky. The CO2 is perfect here. A kick of ethanol heat accompanies this brew's every move.

D- The hop dryness regulated the drinkability for me, but not the rich structure.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,781 ratings.