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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
91
outstanding

1,815 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,815
Reviews: 861
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.82%
Wants: 81
Gots: 142 | 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 (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,815 | Reviews: 861 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of daliandragon
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been curious about this one since I ran into the Shmaltz guys at Brewtopia in NY a few years back and the label is quite eclectic and interesting so decided to give it a go. Pours a deep reddish maroon color with a reasonable creamy head and lots of effervesence. Nose is quite loud with hops and rye malt in imitation of it's namesake. Nothing subtle here, as well there shouldn't be.

Deeply sweet with strong alcohol tones that eventually lighten and give way to hefty but not intense hopping. This seems to be the trend in the DIPAs I've had lately: as heavy on the malt as the hops. A bit of a sour note is linked to the beer, perhaps coming from the rye. This is a sensory powerful beer; the anti Coors Light. Real beer drinkers will enjoy this brew.

Photo of Freshie
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
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 bloberglawp
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to lipschitz for sending me this during CanBIF3.

Big foamy head, dissipates and leaves sticky lacing. Big dark orange brew, big malty, spicy aroma a little cattyness from hops. Kinda smells like belgian rock candy as well. Big bitter bang up front when in mouth, rye malt seems to help tone down what must be like a ton of specialised cristal malts that would seem to be used. Kinda oily/chewy mouthfeel. Soft alchohol burn as it goes down.

My very first DIPA... I'm addicted.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well well well what do we have here. I was shopping and saw this bottle sitting on the bottom shelf, hidden behind some Grolsch of all things. I am a huge Double IPA fan, and a big fan of Lenny Bruce as well, and considering this and not having ever heard of this before, needless to say I was quite shocked to see this bottle. I really cool looking bottle too. Big Broadway looking Marqueee on the the front and a long history of how this brew came to be on the 40th anniversary of his death. Just a really good idea and a cool concept. Also states its #1 in the series of beers designed for famous Jewish celebrities. Aside from all of that, onto the beer.

Pour was very clean. Deep, dark, somewhat hazy reddish amber, almost a ruby tone to it. Lots of visible carbonation on the first pour, streams of bubbles coming up for a bit, this subsided though after a while. Smallish off white head formed at the top, but did not hang around very long, and faded to a very thin film on the top with a moderate amount of lace down the sides of the glass. The look aside from the ruby red hue was rather average for a DIPA.

The smell on this was quite strong right off the bat. Lots of brutally fresh citrus hops assaulted the nose at the first whiff. A good amount of malt was also detected and it added a somewhat earthy, or grassy tone to the overall aroma. A hint of alcohol could also be found when it warmed up, but did not seem overpowering at all. Nice rounded smell, the RYE was not readily apparent right away, but there was a definate sweetness to it, almost had the candies apple or cherry sweetness in it.

First impression of the taste was powerful and different enough from your standard beares in the style to definatly be noticed. The alcohol in it said hello right away, but not in the too hot and burning way, just enough to let you know this is a 10%'er and take it easy with the sips. Nice sweet candy like flavor comes though first, but is immediatly washed away by the frontal hop assault. Lots of bitter citrus hops and a fresh cut grass flavor are both readily apparent. Very complex flavors are taking shape in the backend of this one. Very sweet and the rye malts are adding a robust character to it. Very big dry finish, and a smooth going down are leaving me wanting another sip. The feel was just about right, maybe a little more carbonation to give it the pop, and drive away a bit of the syrupy poroperties, but these are only minor noticings and nothing that is distracting in anyway. Overall the flavor and feel on this one were both superb and a nice treat.

Now overall I was very impressed by this beer. I t had a nicely balanced profile, which is rare sometimes ih the overly hopped world of DIPA(not that I am complaining about overly hopped). But you could tell alot of work was put into making this one special. It carried alot of weight but at the same time did not go overboard. Very drinkable and actually I would recommend seekign this out if you can. Says it is a one timer, brewed in 2006, so I dont know how much more can be found or when it was released, but I am definatly going to try and pick up a few more bottles if they are still on the shelf next time I am out there.

Photo of Dansting
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a slightly hazy copper color with a thick almond head. Strong lacing. Aroma is malty, caramel, and hoppy. Amazing full mouthfeel. Flavor is a nice hoppy taste, with grapefruit, rye, and pine hints to it. Ranks right up there with Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye as the best rye beers that I've had.

Photo of revolution
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of jakon
2.18/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle purchased for $4.99 on 7-1-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours a copperish hue which actually closely resembles the pomegranate offering from the same brewery. Pours a mediocre head that vanishes almost completely within a few minutes. My first thought upon opening, was that this beer smells a lot like DFH 90. I think it's the malt. My first taste was surprising. It seems as though something is missing. I was expecting something bigger. The hops come through kinda weak, and there is a strong aspirin-like aftertaste which only becomes more prevalent as the beer warms. Other than that, the beer is malt-dominated. Perhaps this one may have been subjected to a few too many nights on the shelf, but I can't confirm without a freshness date. Overall, disappointing.

Photo of jdoncbus
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber - poured into pils glass. Rich copper color with two fingered, beige head. Decent amount of lacing.

First whiff is of malty, biscuit with a solid alcohol prescene. Rouned off with piney, sweet citrus with a layer of butterscotch. The "bittersweet" label on the brew is no lie.

The rye malt certainly hits like a sledgehammer leaving an extremely bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is there and makes no attempt to hide itself. This concoction reminds me of a ryed up Arrogant Bastard Ale,

Very dry and oily mouthfeel leaving a certain puckerness in the mouth.

Definitely not a session beer and would advise pouring this baby into an 8 oz. glass. This brew is not for the faint of heart and to be honest I wish I could split this bomber with someone but since its open and I am not with any beer drinkers; it's down the hatch. Perhaps I am a wuss but I would go with Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye if given the choice.

Photo of cichief
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A- Poured a deep brown, with a tan head.

S- Sweet malt, slight hint of sour fruit, figs and raisins.

T- Very sour-sweet, fruity and spicy, lots of hops in the finish.

M- Effervescent, medium on the tongue.

D- At ten percent I wouldn't drink many of these. The beer isn't really quaffable, but is very interesting. It is like a nightcap, a good way to end a night of beer drinking.

Photo of xgabe
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: 22 oz. bomber

A: Pours nice and thick... "kerplunk" into my Duvel glass. Carbonation is evident, though subtle. One inch thick head; slowly dissipates. Color is clear, with hues of dark amber, reminiscent of honey or maple syrup.

S: Mild hops balanced by caramel malt aroma. Some fruit (banana); alcohol is present (duh at 10%!). No dominant citrusy hops.

T: The mild hops come through mildly in taste as well, a surprise considering the DIPA status. Don't get me wrong. It's pleasant for sure, especially how it finishes nicely with the malt backbone. After it warms, the alcohol and hops come through a bit more. Very nice.

M: Just as thick as it was poured. Carbonation is fine, as fine as it comes to being confused for lack of carbonation. It's pleasant.

D: For sure. Very pleased with this venture into a R.I.P.A.

Photo of number1bum
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BeerTruth for another good one.

Pours from a 22oz bomber a rich dark copper/amber with a thick and fluffy beige head. Head has good lasting power and leaves quite a bit of stick. Smell is super hoppy, with lots of floral and herbal notes, as well as big citrus aromas - orange and grapefruit. There is plenty of sweet malt, as well, plus a spiciness that comes from the rye.

Taste is again a nice balance between sweet and rye malts and citrusy, bitter hops. Starts with some caramel malt sweetness but then there is a rye malt flavor and a spicy bite, as well as some citrusy hops and a bitter hoppy finish. It's very creamy and definitely full-bodied.

This is obviously a very fine DIPA. I would say if you like rye and hops you will love this beer. For me, rye isn't my favorite but I still enjoyed this. I'm not sure I'd have this very often but it's a unique DIPA and offers something different than many others.

Photo of giblet
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I truly enjoyed this beer. Excellent taste and feel. This one makes my top 25 with no doubt. Full bodied so for me it would not be likely to have more than two in a row, but I would probably try!

Also, good marketing on the label. I catches your eye and makes you want to give the beer a try. You will be glad you did try it! It also says they use and obscene amount of hops. I don't know about "obscene" because it was very good.

Try it, trust me!

Photo of markaberrant
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful clear red colour. Thick head that ain't going nowhere.

S - Balance of citrus hops and yummy caramel malt, with a hint of spicy rye.

T - Intense. Potent piney hops hit you right off the bat, then the thick malt and alcohol comes rushing in. It all comes together in a long, bitter and dry finish. Not an overly strong rye presence, spiciness seems to show up in the finish. As it warms, you get more of the rye, as well as an orange marmalade character that is quite nice.

M - Chewy, thick and creamy. Even a little syrupy and oily, but the dry finish holds it together. Warming alcohol is quite obvious, but very smooth.

D - This is a freakin 10% IPA, how drinkable can it be?

A fabulous brew! Obviously, it is now missing some of that fresh hop character, so I'd say it is more of a barleywine at this point, but still very good.

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

Clear, coppery amber with a fluffy, light brown/beige head. Good head retention and clumpy rings of foam stuck to the glass. Malty aroma with lots of spicy rye, caramel, gingerbread, and citrusy hops. Moderate bitterness with a nice balance between malt (spicy, chocolatey rye) and citrusy grapefruit hoppiness. Finishes with some dryness and spice. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation. The texture's a little oily and there's a pleasant warmth in the finish. Very enjoyable.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber...double IPA brewed with rye malt. Pours into my glass a deep amber orange/red color with a nearly reverse cascading head that forms into a perfect inch of creamy foam on top of the brew. Sticky lacing clings to the side of the glass. This one just looks good. Aromas start with rich, dense malts consisting of caramel and spicy rye grain. Big pine resin hops merge with citrusy notes as well.

First sip brings a rush of somewhat sweet caramel laced malt along with a nice somewhat spicy rye grain flavor as well. The hops come in fiercely with a big bitterness and lots of pine flavor. Some citrus and grapefruit flavors float in and out as well. It flows down with a heavy bitterness and a touch of sting from the alcohol. A big, tasty brew with a nice dose of rye flavor that gives it a good twist.

Mouthfeel is big and thick with a nice mellow carbonation. This brew makes itself known on the palate approaching the viscosity of a barleywine. Nice and chewy, somewhat of a sipper but it still goes down easily. Not something I would drink everyday but it's a tasty beer all the same and a cool tribute to Lenny Bruce. Glad to see He'Brew putting out some more extreme brews and look forward to more!

Photo of beckje01
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber good activity with a medium tan head.

S- Full fruity.

T- Good hops nice malt background.

M- Good thickness exactly what I would want from the style.

D- One a time for me but I'm sure there are those out there who can handle a few of these big beers.

Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

pours a beautiful ruby colour with a small dense off-white head. drops slowly and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is great. caramel. bit of alcohol. resiny pine. light orange and tangerine citrus. a big slice of rye bread. maybe a bit of caraway?

taste is good. high bitterness level. resiny hops. grapefruit. rye bread. alcohol. the malt starts to shine through more as it warms. more of the orange and tangerine citrus comes out, along with a light caramel sweetness. slight floral notes come through too.

mouthfeel is pretty good. medium-low carbonation level. nice medium body. the high bitterness level really lingers, almost coming across like astringency. this balances out more as it warms, or maybe i'm just getting numb to the hops?

drinkability is good. fresh out of the bottle this one feels unbalanced. the bitterness is a bit too high, the alcohol feels about right, but the malt is just a little less than i'd like to see. warms up to a much more balanced brew. by the time i'm on my last glass it's still quite bitter, but the middle has filled out around it quite nicely.

Photo of beckscrusader420
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

what can I say what more could you want from a beer? I just drank a 22 of it not fully cold and It's still great!!! 10% abv works for me. Its crazy that I'm not looking forward to the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or the Grolsch bottles now that I drank this first. Hebrew beer...yeah dude.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A clear amber brew with a humongous head. Copious thick rings of lacing all down the sides of the glass.

S - Spicy white pepper, caramel malt, a touch of sharp lemon and pine.

T - A spicy peppercorn flavor with a bit of pine hops and grapefruit pith. A bit of warming alcohol - though not at all boozy. Afteraste is a lingering pepper over a caramel malt an strong bitterness with a mild pine/citrus finish. Gotta love that rye! This flavor is very enjoyable for some reason.

M - Smooth, thick, a little drying on the gums, but very refreshing overall.

D - Great. This is a beer to have again and again. I have heard that He'Brew mostly produces mediocrity, but have found the reality to vastly above that bar.

Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing reddish amber with a towering thick off-white head that slowly descends to a one-finger, lasting head. Great head retention for the abv level! Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is piney, resiny with citric notes. Caramelish backing.

The taste is piney and resiny. Sweet caramel backs up the bitter hops. Rye breadiness is mixed in. Spicy alcohol peeks through eventually, but well-covered/non-interfering for the 10%. Powerfully bittersweet in the finish.

The body is rich, creamy, chewy. Almost syrupy thick, yet smooth.

Nice! A power-house of a DIPA. Piney and bitter mixed with sweet. More than a pleasure to sip on.

Photo of Suds
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear, deep brown and amber color with a slim but soapy head. The aroma is the first thing that elevates this brew. It's a full-force mix of malt and hops. A little more malt than I expected, but the hops are great...a little grapefruit, as well as a musty, herbal backbone. It's a great combination, and it really sets the tone for the beer. The taste is equally good. There's a nice hop flavor throughout the beer, with plenty of sweetness and a syrupy malt flavor. The brew does take on a warming quality after a while, but on the whole, it hides it's abv quite well. The body is rich and full, with a lot of substance. This is a great brew.

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

Poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks to JPCleary for letting me know this beer was available.

A. Poured a beautiful dark amber with a sustained head that leaves good belgian lacing.

S. Clear strong hops malt and alcohol odor. I am a novice with hop boombs like this so it was quite noticeable.

T. Beautiful malty taste with a balanced hops. The alcohol at first leaves a sharp aftertaste which quickly acclimates as you continue.

M. First there is a lingering hops taste, but this quickly dissipates.

D. Good, although since we have few "illegal" high alcohol beers here in SC (At least until the cap is officially popped, 5 days and counting), this beer definitely packs a wallop. Definitely will return to it. Since this is my first high gravity beer, I will cellar some and review again in 6 months.

Photo of GbVDave
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a nice looking orange-red color with a rocky 2 1/2 finger head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S: Spicy rye malt aroma with a dash of hops and some rather intrusive alcohol.

T: Pretty much just see above with the addition of some lightly sweet caramel malt. The alcohol steps all over the flavors in this.

M: Starts smooth through the beginning and finish then turns sharp and prickly at the finish.

D: I found this to be just above average. To me the alcohol isn't integrated well into the other aromas and flavors. It sort of sticks out like a sore thumb.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shmatlz Brewing Company, what a great Jewish name. I wasn't really impressed by their Genesis Ale, but I heard some pretty good things about this one so I decided to give it a shot. Well I'm sure as hell glad I did. You're telling me this beer is kosher? Wow, I may have to convert...hmmm, but Christmas is too sweet and I love pork.

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Wow, one of the best looking beers I have ever had. Pours a clear dark copper hue with an extremely generous light khaki colored head. Lacing doesn't let go of the glass at all, sticks all over the place and it ain't goin' no where. Very oily pine aroma invades the nose. There is a unique smell of smoke/pepper which I'm assuming comes from the rye. A good punch of alcohol in the nose with a slight hint of toffee from the malt. Very unique taste for a DIPA, probably due to the use of rye. Quite malty for a DIPA, coffee/caramel flavor comes to mind. A very bready/creamy flavor to it for a DIPA, I really like where this is going. Aftertaste is a bit dry with hints of grapefruit/lime. Definitely smooth and oily type of mouthfeel which I really enjoy. Alcohol takes away a bit from the drinkability, but you have to expect that for this type of beer. Those crazy Jews do a great job with this beer. Keep it up!

Mazel tov! Oi!

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,815 ratings.