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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

1,749 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,749
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 72
Gots: 105 | 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: 1,749 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of geexploitation
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, deep mahogany in the middle and bright cherrywood on the outer rim, with a big, whipped-cream head that sticks very well to the sides of the glass. Wonderful nose, full of fruity, doughy goodness (must be the rye) alongside fruity and metallic hops. Very enticing. On the palate, this beer is hugely smooth without having a dextrine feel. Metallic hops, rich caramel hops and yeasty, doughy fruits vye for your attention at the mid-palate. Hop bitterness is big but not acrid or overly acidic; maltiness is substantial but not sweet. Balance is the watchword here, a rare thing in a double IPA. Overall, this beer is great, exactly what a double IPA should be. The rye adds a certain depth to the beer, and every flavor element harmonizes with the others. Excellent.

geexploitation, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the 1850 Landmark Inn in Milwaukee. I had sampled this beer (more than once, actually) at the GABF, and it was the best rye beer I had there. However, I still prefer Founder's Red Rye, although this beer is very good.

It was served in a tulip glass and was a reddish brown color with two fingers of white head. Maybe it was the glass, but this beer had almost a cabernet wine sort of color to it, which was appealing.

The smell hoppy, without a lot of maltiness that you might expect from a beer made with rye.

But the rye was evident in the taste, but not to the extent that is in Red's Rye. I felt that more rye taste may have made this beer taste a bit more balanced. The hop bitterness was good, and pretty untamed due to what I perceived as a lack of malt balance.

Mouthfeel was good...not too sticky but also not watery.

Drinkability was also decent. This beer has a high enough ABV that you're well-advised to not go slugging down 16 oz at a time, but I could have multiple 8-10 oz servings of this beer. All in all, I'd recommend it.

BeerBelcher, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark amber color with a thick light tan head. Copius amount of lacing left behind. Nice.

Smells good, too. Spicy citrus hops, bready malts, alcohol, raisins, caramel and rye. ABV is 10% and it smells that way...but it's not overpowering at all.

The taste is stronger on the alcohol than the hops and it should be the other way, imho. Sweet malts are also a lot more dominant than I would have thought. But that is a good thing. It all blends together pretty decently.

Mouthfeel is a dry, medium body with a good bitter punch in the aftertaste. You start to feel the abv before you finish the whole 22oz...atleast I am. And as it warms that pesky alcohol gets stronger....and that doesn't help.

Imstillthegman, Dec 19, 2006
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 RedHaze
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up while in Spokane, WA.

Pours a dark amber with a quarter inch off-white head, that fades slowly to a nice cap considering the head wasn't that large. The lacing was very thick, completely covering the interior of m glass.

Smell; very nice hoppy aroma, with citrus and a hint of pine. The rye lends a nice spiciness to the aroma, and there's some sweet malts present as well. I'm really digging the aroma of this beer.

Taste; the hops are definitely present with citrus and the hints of pine tree, but the rye really stands out to me. I'm glad to, because that's the main reason that I purchased the bottle. I've become a big fan of rye beers, and wish other breweries would give rye a chance. There's a very good mildly sweet presence that just seems to accentuate the rye flavors in this beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability; the mouthfeel is full bodied and very smooth, and despite the bitterness, this beer is disappearing rapidly.

I had never heard of this beer when I purchased it, so I only bought the one bottle. Now I wish I could go back just to buy a case of it. One of the better beers that I've had recently.

RedHaze, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of warmstorage
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, part of their 10% series.

Pours deep red amber, with a big loose head, leaves serious lacing.

Aroma: sweet alcohol and moderate to heavy hops.

Taste: Bourbon cask wood, warm alcohol, moderate to moderately high hops, finishes with notes of vanilla and barrel, hops not as high as the bottle claims. Nice as it warms up, and the sweet alcohol warmth and fruitiness takes over.

Mouth is warm and moderately slick.

A great beer, just not amazing in any category. Certainly vastly better than their basic, non-big offerings.

warmstorage, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of etenbus
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A double IPA named after Lenny Bruce? That's got "buy me" written all over it. Whoa! At 10%, this ale gets in your face and deserves respect, much like Lenny.

The pour raised a good bit of creamy caramel colored head, which over time left haunting lacing all over the inside of my Budvar 1/2 liter glass. Copper-clored with a bit of haze.

The aromas are balanced between the hops and malt, perhaps too balanced for this hophead. I smell citrus, orange not grapefruit, candied fruits, raisins, hard candy, and just a hint of mustiness, enough to know that this beer's lineage goes back to Great Britain.

When the ale hits the tastebuds, there's an initial but fleeting sweetness that gets kicked in the head by a bitter whallop. Dark fuit, apricots, oranges, some tobacco, and a little leather. Then the bitter streak hit the center of the tongue. On the swallow the alcohol is very present until the puckering dryness kicks in.

With this much put into the ale, it's got Marilyn Monroe mouthfeel--very full and voluptuous. As it warms, the flavors intensify and I reach for the ice water to clear the palate before diving in again.

This is a big beer for a slow evening, perhaps while watching your favorite British mystery on PBS. Cheers Lenny.

etenbus, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - poured out with a deep orange/amber hue. Three fingers of creamy light-tan head, a scoop of pillowed foam in the center, a moat around it with drapy lacing, thick and sheeted all around. It came out of the bottle a little slow to bubble so I straight-dropped the last 4 to 5 ounces. Don't do that. Foam overage guarantee. Let's continue.

Aroma - a sweet malty background, split nicely with aromatic, piny hops. Sweet, juicy, piny. Recedes somewhat after a minute.

Taste - huge beer. Big rye malts. A citrusy hop flavor on the swallow goes intensely grapefruit. Warm with alcohol and very dry. I don't exactly go for the over the top bitterness but there's so much more to the flavor profile to enjoy. The malty abv side approaches a barleywine, Celebration-like flavor, and the hops keep it to style.

Mouthfeel - so smooth, it feels nitrogen-carbonated, especially if you get some bubbles from the head in with your sip. Otherwise, heavy, thick, drapy...DIPA.

Drinkability - it's a fine beer, suited for fans of the style and few others. I would not say no to another.

brewdlyhooked13, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of hoppymeal
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper to amber in color, clear, with a small creamy looking light tan head. Piney hops in the aroma, but also a small dose of citrusy hops mix with a sweet maltiness, like an orange flavored cotton candy, also a little apricot and coconut. Sweet maltiness in the taste with a hint of citrus again, followed up by a good sized dose of peppery and piney hops mixed with some alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is medium in body and pretty smooth and creamy, finishes with a small amount of dryness and a nice hop bite. Not bad although I'd like to see some more hop aroma and flavor coming through. The mouthfeel was quite nice though, very smooth up front with a smack in the face finish of bitterness and alcohol that kept me going til the end.

hoppymeal, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

"I'm sorry I haven't been funny. I'm not a comedian. I'm Lenny Bruce."

--Leonard Alfred Schneider


Burnt rustic orange with more than a little brick red that adds vividness and depth of color. Amazingly enough, the head filled the entire glass on the pour. At the several minute mark it's still 50:50 with the beer. The lid is richly creamy and is sticky to boot. No surprise then that orange-tinted, pale caramel lace is beginning to be laid down in a thick (soon to be crusty) coat. Lenny's is a lace monster of the highest order.

I wondered whether I popped the top too early on this one and I fear that I did. Unfortunately, the double digit alcohol hasn't had a chance to mellow and the nose is too dominated by it to be considered great. I can, however, still appreciate boadloads of caramel malt and spicy rye malt. For such an amazing hop bill, very little lupulin goodness makes it out of the glass.

The flavor profile is an exact replica of the nose. The bottom line is: plenty of malt (a good thing), plenty of alcohol (a bad thing) and not enough hops (another bad thing). That may be good enough to win the batting crown, but it isn't enough for me to feel very good about Lenny's R.I.P.A. On paper, this is a killer beer. In actuality, at its current age at least, it's a minor disappointment.

A huge amount of malt forms an unshakable, rock solid base of operations. Melted caramel, toffee pudding and rye whiskey dominate with an iron fist and effectively smash any attempt by the citric hops to gain a toehold on the palate. I love what hops were chosen (Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial), but it doesn't do much good when none of them are able to appreciated to the extent that they should be in a DIPA.

Spiciness is the overriding flavor characteristic. Whether it's due to spicy rye malt or alcohol doesn't really matter. The beer is simply too raw-edged and too hotly spicy for its own good (I guess we can attribute the heat to the alcohol). Aging the bottle wouldn't even have worked since I've never known hops to gain strength over time.

The mouthfeel is amazingly full and sumptuous. So much so that it's a damn shame that the flavor isn't up to the task. It was big right out of the hopper and is becoming even more thick and sticky with warming. Tremendous.

Lenny Bruce prefered to dispense his brand of wisdom and his version of the truth by shocking his audience and challenging their beliefs and assumptions. Lenny's R.I.P.A. is faithful to Lenny's spirit in that it's shocking to the palate and is somewhat challenging to drink. Somehow I don't think that's what Schmaltz had it mind.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a terrific beer. I had the opportunity to share in two bombers thanks to my friend Woody Chandler and I now am drinking my own bottle. Thanks Woody for the history on Lenny Bruce and the significance of the bittersweet tribute to him. I had bought one bomber at Stateline Liquors in Elkton Maryland a couple months ago but just didn’t get to that one yet. After trying this last weekend with Woody and the gang I knew I *had* to now crack mine open. I love it.

4.5 Appearance: Pours a dark copper color with a 2 finger creamy tan head that fades to a frothy cap and later leaves moderate lacing on the walls of my glass.

4.0 Smell: It has a big rich full aroma of thick malts sweet caramel, dark fruits and some alcohol along with minty like grassy leaves and pine hops and a slightly abrasive solvent smell.

4.5 Taste: It has a very solid grassy pine hop flavor and as it reaches room temp the aftertaste becomes even more intensely bitter; but all the bitterness this beer has to offer is overcome by the incredibly pleasant sweetness. As a big sweet-tooth guy, the surprisingly large sweet element was cincher that forced my to love it. It is so boldly bitter and immensely sweet that I can’t really say that it is balanced but they do counteract each other. To start the pine and grass flavors play off a dry rye attribute that is enjoyable in it’s own right but when paralleled by the intensely sweet caramel malt pecan pie, plum cherry grape backbone, it becomes divine.

4.0 Mouthfeel: Extremely dry with big hop flavors forcing a pucker after each wallow but I did let it warm maybe a bit too long. I am at the in-laws and pulled the beer out of the cooler but had to wait for everyone to go to bed, until I could actually write this review.

4.0 Drinkability: Wow! This beer is alcoholic. If you let it warm you’ll know, but I like that. Still, 22 ounces is enjoyable but it is then bedtime.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear mahogony with a giant tan foamy head. A nice looking brew. The smell is a very strong "bisquity" aroma with lighter scents of malt,alcohol,and grainy,if that's a word. The taste is a creamy mixture of alcohol, malt, rye, bitter hops, and a bready flavor thats just great. Not for the faint of heart, the alcohol is VERY in your face. But if you like a real alcohol and hop bite, this may be your beer. The m/f is heavy with a creamy feel that brings the mixture of flavors together beautifully. A very good beer from a West Coast brewery that's sometimes tough to find in CT.

jmz62565, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the 22oz bomber.

The beer pours into my glass a deep deep amber underneath a frothy off white head that holds nicely leaving lace down the side of my glass. The smell is full of sweet piney and citrusy hops with some bit of rye spiciness. The taste is up front with the bitterness which is followed by the intense sweetness and the rye spiciness. It is medium-full bodied with quite lively carbonation. Overall its a very drinkable and very good beer. Certainly a good DIPA.

MSchae1017, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of Cresant
2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this undated 22 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Head was mild on the first pour and larger on the second. Body was clear, with a dark golden burgandy color.

Smell was sweet. Fruitiness was present immediately and increased as it warmed. Plums and alcohol. Mildly metallic at first. Spice.

Taste mirrored the aroma. Sweet and fruity. Spicy rye richness. The sweetness and the bitterness clashed here. The characteristics of this beer are somewhat harsh and they do not play well together. The intense sweetness overpowers the hops, however, the hops cling to life in the long oily aftertaste. I expected more.

The mouthfeel was rich, full, and boozey. A bit too heavy for me, I could not finish the bomber.

Cresant, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of joe1510
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber
$4.99
Binny's Orland

This beer looks really good. Poured a deep mahogany with perfect clarity when held to the light. 1+ finger off-white craggy eggshell head stays around for awhile but eventually fades to a solid coating. There's some very slow rising carbonation bubbles rising from the sides of my glass. Webbed lacing is left after each sip. Very nice.

The smell is a little different than I expected. It's heavy in a slightly sweet malt. For some reason it's reminding me of brandy soaked raisins. The rye really comes through toward the end of the smell with a husk/stalk quality that's really nice. There is a very mild fruitiness to this that reminds me of honeydew. A touch of alcohol in the finish gives a little heat. I really can't pick out much hop presence. Smells good but the lack of hops drop the score.

The taste is different too but in a good way. Similiar to the smell there is a sweet maltiness up front. This fades to the background mid-palate as the rye malts take over coming back in the taste with the huskiness that was in the aroma. There is a nice solid bitterness. I couldn't pick out the hops at first but it must've been too cold. When it warmed some soft floral hops came forward. There's a touch of alcohol in the swallow that comes through with a mild heat. I like this quite a bit.

Mouthfeel for a 10% abv is really nice. It's a little on the heavier side of medium. Sticky but in no way cloying. There isn't a lot of carbonation, which I think works really well with the body.

The drinkability is good on this when you take into consideration the abv. The 1 bomber will be enough for now but it doesn't take any effort to finish.

Lenny's R.I.P.A. is a quality beer. It doesn't have the huge hop aroma and flavor I'd expect from a IIPA's but bitterness is definately there. The rye malt really adds something nice. Good idea from the brewer that turned out really well.

Slainte!

joe1510, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of rayjay
3.68/5  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.

rayjay, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Christ thats good beer!" - God

The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear effervescent amber coloration. The head is a thick two finger biege coloration. The head has the staying power of Ron Jeremy on a Viagra bender. Thick sheets of lacing remain behind on my glass.

Smell: This beer is loaded with rye bread maltyness. This combines well with citrus and pine resin maltyness.

Taste: The beer delivers a major pine resin assault. This beer is nearing on a veritable coniferous forrest of hops. Citrus zest and spicy alcohol ride a bready maltyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is full bodied and well carbonated. The alcohol is well incorporated in all aspects of the beer. This is a dam fine DIPA. I was a bit sceptical about Shmaltz after Genesis 10:10. You have redeemed yourselves with Lenny's RIPA.

nlmartin, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Kosher brewery really intrigues me. I must say.

Appearance- Great rising flowing head that grows almosr thre inches to overflow my imperial pint glass. Almost a maroon/deep amber with some slow, obviously hop infused bubbles, make their way to the top. Great lacing that leaves almost perfectly symetrical rings equidistant from the next. Awesome.

Smell- Thick with panda express orange peel chicken. Great combo of the sweet and bitterness citrus found in teh extravagant use of hops.

Taste- Starts with what feels like a passionately bittersweet rye and grapefruit melange of citrus sugar with its overpowering skin. The malt is a little mild. This beer would have been perfect if the malt had a little more say on my taste buds.

Mouthfeel- Strong resins and syrups that slowly leave the back of my thraot after each long, savoring sip. Well incorporated alcohol.

scruffwhor, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of rsyberg01
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

S - 22 oz. bomber, no freshness date, but with 10% I wouldnt think it would be a problem.

A - Deep ruby pour, head is off white and pretty smooth at about an inch then down to a patchy blanket thats high in the corners. Really quite beautiful.

S - Rye, perfumey bouquet, caramel, citric twinges from the hops, slightly roasted notes. Really unique and pleasant.

T - Sugary sweetness hits first, caramel, citrusy fruit, bitter covers the tongue to finish. Grapfruit flavors go well with the bitter. Hop bitters in the finish as well, and they are quite pronounced. I think that if you set this down for a year you would get some serious gold when it came out.

M - Creamy and smooth with a nice bitter dry finish.

D - A bomber is my limit because it can get kind of fatiguing. Definitely need to try.

rsyberg01, Nov 08, 2006
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 Sycodrummer
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a tulip glass the beer was a bright ruby red color with two solid fingers of white head. Carbonation streamed up from the bottom of the glass and thick lacing the whole way down one side of the glass.

The nose is a fresh hop aroma and a toasted grain. Very piney and some citrus coming thru as well. The nose smells sharp and the hop aroma is very prominant throughout. Some traces of alcohol, but this seems subdued in the aroma.

The taste delivers quite a bit of alcohol upfront. A steady heat hit the palate and lets its strength be known. Surprisingly a toasted malt flavors hits next and is semi-sweet with caramel like flavors. This quickly gives way to the hops intimated in the nose. A blast of hop flavor grabs the back of the tounge and linger on the palate for a while. Very piney and sharp the bitterness intensifies as the sample progresses. The hop bite in sharp on the palate, very fresh and at times really pushes the balance to the outer limit of enjoyability. If not for its steady malt presence, the beer would very much lack balance. The fresh hoppyness gradually mellos as the sample progresses, but associatied bitterness seems to remain and coat the palate with a bitter film. Despite its moments of super hoppy pockets, the beer remains balanced and "west coast" barley wine-ish.

Medium heavy mouthfeel. Malt character tends to lend some depth to the beer and makes it slightly chewy especially as it warms. Alcohol is present throughout.

A very nice cold weather sipper. Balance retains well enough to be enjoyed over time, but the beer seemed to have pockets where hop flavors screamed out. All in all, an enjoyable offering.

Sycodrummer, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of WetCoaster
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first offering from this brewery -- the gimmicky labeling has kept me far, far away for a long time. But a rye-based DIPA? Can't... resist... must... drink...

Appearance: Wow. It's-- wow. Absolutely beautiful deep, clear tawny amber with gold undertones. Massive, frothy espresso crema head. Great retention and oily lace on glasswall. Cannot imagine how it could be improved upon.

Smell: Boo and yah. Very potent stuff; I can literally smell this from three feet away. Sweet, super juicy citrus hops; almost smells like a fresh-hopped ale. Once that wave crashes, there's a rich base of pale malts and a slighly spicy hint of rye to boot. Very nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: About as subtle as a hammer to the forehead. Massive amounts of hops and malt blend seamlessly into a boozy orange toffee -- if this isn't a candy, it should be. Boozy it is, though, with a fusel vapors aplenty, and rye bite squares everything away in the finish. The mouthfeel is nice, too, smooth, a bit slick and medium bodied.

Drinkability: Know going into this that this a huge beer. I think 10% abv might be underestimating this one; I almost fell off the couch after finishing the bomber. So while you can't drink too much of this, it's certainly one of the better IPAs I've had. Lenny would be proud, or fucking proud, I suppose.

WetCoaster, Nov 04, 2006
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. :)

hreb, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer! There's the whole Lenny thing, but forget that, it's just marketing. It's bitter and spicy and darkly caramelish from nose to mouth to finish... well-rounded, perfectly balanced, hoppy, malty, and bitter! The rye is clear in both the aroma and the flavor, and it never lets up on flavor without ever overwhelming the palate. It has a beautiful appearance with a crimson accented dark-copper body and creamy, khaki-colored head. The nose is beautifully hoppy with a deeply caramelish andspicy malt beneath it. It's medium bodied and gently crisp and smooth in the mouth. The flavor is loaded with hops, yeasty fruitiness, and dark caramel beneath. Grassy, leafy, minty in the finish. Bitter, but not overwhelming. Yes! Aggressive like Lenny, but there's always that other part that says he's on your side. He'll joke with you, but put the joke on you, and then teach you something in the process. Hmmmm... love this beer! It's truly an assault on the palate!

NeroFiddled, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of bfr1992t
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured 13oz in to a 16oz glass. Soft pour yet managed a thin off white head that clings to the glass. Nice medium amber color that nearly glows. Pours giving an impression that it's viscous. Smells bigger than it tastes, hints of quite a few different hops. Sip - nice mouthfeel, wakes up the top of the tongue. Taste, not as big as it smells. Many solid flavors, not just one overbearing hop note. The end is a bit touchy, bitter for an instant then smooths out. Smooth for a big IPA. The 10% ABV does not make itself known at all except possibly the first instant of hitting the mouth. I'd have to be careful with this one.

bfr1992t, Oct 29, 2006
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,749 ratings.