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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

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

871 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 871
Hads: 1,897
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 80
Gots: 183 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 06-07-2006

A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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
Reviews: 871 | Hads: 1,897
Photo of cameraman
2.54/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A deep amber color with a creamy colored head, that is a substantial three inches thick. The aroma is very citrusy, with touches of pine and grassy scents, then is rounded out with hints of malt and rye. That malt and rye come right out at the start of the flavor, it stays there till it reaches the back of the palate and a grapefruit tartness, followed by some grassy flavors. All of that flavor is diminished, by this harsh mettalic taste at the end. A medium bodied feel at first, but seems to water down after several sips. I was expecting alot more from this beer, the aroma brought me to a point, and then I was let down greatly. I will have to try this beer again, to see if I am wrong. (694 characters)

Photo of bradford
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at BevMo on 7/29/07
Appearance: Dark, burnt orange with a huge whit head that disspates very slowly
Smell: Aggressive hops and lots of malt
Taste: A good hop bite with a lot of malt to back it up. Only complaint is the sweetness on this one.
Mouthfeel: Very solid. Sweet, silky, hop-helped, coating texture on the back of the throat.
Drinability: Not bad for a 10% brew. I honestly did not taste the alcohol on this one. A very good beer and the first I have tried from the Schmaltz brewing.
Recommended (525 characters)

Photo of nafnikufesin
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Great wispy looks.

Smell - Sweet-hoppy aroma.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body.

Taste - A sweet rye flavor at the front of the mouth giving way to an intense bitter hop flavor, with the 10% alcohol very apparent in the aftertaste.

Drinkability - Ultimately limited by the intense bitterness.

Overall - A good start, flavorful, but very intense to drink on a regular basis. (398 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've sat on this for a few months and it probably was a few months in the store as well. I'm not sure that qualifies as aged, but it certainly is not new.
Big full cream colored fluffy head that takes its time settling. Nice red hues. Very clear. Loads of lacing. Attractive.
I can't call the aroma intense, but it certainly is full of hops, particularly American with strong citrus (but is more complex than just Cascade) and grassy qualities. Definitely some malt backing, but not so much of fruit as toast and biscuit. Alcohol not evident, at least in first blush, which surprises me considering the level (some mild presence later).
While remarkably hoppy (dare I say intense) in both flavors and bitterness it also initially comes across as blended rather well. Strong malt qualities certainly exists and not just in balancing qualities but possessing flavor characteristics of fruit, touch of sweetness up front and bursts of toast/biscuit (although too infrequent and fleeting for my preferences). Nonetheless, this is a hop dominated profile in which the bitterness gradually takes over and dominates through an extremely long and progressively dry finish. Alcohol is present, but is never hot, bold or interfering.
Quite smooth with a medium heavy body with a carbonation that exists but doesn't stand out one way or another.
I think this is quite nicely done. Fits category well. I wish the advertised rye would make more of a presence, but maybe age has a role to play in that. So drinkability...hmmmm, how much can a guy really sample of this before the taste buds turn completely numb? I don't know, but a bomber by myself was doable, but it took a long time and considerable patience.
RIP Stacy. (1,716 characters)

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a reddish-brown crystal clear body but a bit dense. The strong sea of carbonation is tiny bubbles that glide up the sides of the glass. The thick sticky light tan head hold to the side of the glass after each sip.

S- This beer has a sweet malt flavor with a note of sugary dum-dum suckers. The light smell of wet grain and toast come through as it warms. There is also a hint of dark rye bread that is very pleasant.

T- This beer has a sweet dark caramel malt flavor with a bitterness of dandelion greens to follow. There spicy notes from hops or rye that fades into toasted malt notes and sweet white sugar flavors. The finish has a light herbal note with a malt and hop bitterness at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture. There is a slight chalky texture and a soft alcohol heat that comes through as it warms.

D- This beer has some nice qualities of old ales, sweet malts and smooth alcohol with notes of spicy rye notes. I didn't get any qualities of IPA let alone DIPA. Nice beer in the wrong categories. (1,119 characters)

Photo of IPAcraig
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up after a tubing trip in Gainesville. Purchased at Ward's grocery store that had a nice selection of craft beer. Poured from a bomber into my Newcastle pint glass.


A - This beer pours a fairly transparent, deep amber red with a one inch head with some lacing. Great lloking red beer.

S - Sharp grainy aroma, with huge malty presence. A nice citrusy aroma was apparent as well.

T - The maltiness, caramel, flavor is immense in this beer. Balanced by a bit of bite (perhaps from the rye) and with a tinge of piney, citrusy hop bitterness. However this is the least hoppy DIPA I have tried; I need more hops! That aside, this is a nice tasting beer. It is hugely malty and sweet, with a nice balance; but it tastes like an uber-malty pale ale.

M - Slightly grainy with a a medium body and moderate amount of carbonation. Nice.

D - The drinkablity is fairly good for this beer. I think the lack of hops actually helped in this department. A little to sweet for me though. I would defintely drink this again, however some many other great DIPAs out there it may be unlikely. (1,101 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (762 characters)

Photo of Freshie
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (263 characters)

Photo of bloberglawp
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (493 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (3,226 characters)

Photo of Dansting
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (309 characters)

Photo of revolution
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (484 characters)

Photo of jakon
2.18/5  rDev -45.9%
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. (780 characters)

Photo of jdoncbus
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (929 characters)

Photo of cichief
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of xgabe
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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. (843 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (937 characters)

Photo of giblet
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
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! (455 characters)

Photo of markaberrant
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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. (860 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.15/5  rDev +3%
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. (485 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
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! (1,221 characters)

Photo of beckje01
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
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. (275 characters)

Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (1,117 characters)

Photo of beckscrusader420
5/5  rDev +24.1%
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. (283 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (727 characters)

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