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.

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

868 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

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Reviews: 868
Hads: 1,883
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 81
Gots: 176 | 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 (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 868 | Hads: 1,883
Photo of NCBeernut
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Unibroue goblet.

Pours a dark shade of burnt orange. With resistance, I get a two finger head to form off a slightly aggressive pour - thick and frothy...before it falls into a thin patchy layer. Bubbles struggle to make it through what appears to be a pretty full bodied brew.

Smell's like an American Barleywine. Spicy nose with tons of malt backbone with a strong piny hop presence easily breaking through. Hints of ruby red grapefruit juice. Alcohol isn't huge here, but reminds you that it is there.

Sugary sweetness leads the way with toffee malt flavors. Plenty of malt backbone to go around, as the nose suggested. Viscous with an almost syrupy mouthfeel, but not in a bad way. A healthy dose of spicy peppery rye tickles the tastebuds, then come the resinous, spicy, piny hops, which also add tasty notes of grapefruit rind. A little bubblegum that is more noticeable with spicy food. Alcohol is noticeable, but not significantly.

The bottle says IPA, I say all barleywine. Tasty. (1,021 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a clear bubbly copper with a tower of tan head that is not going anywhere! After a few sips the lacing was amazing!
S - piney, earthy, and citrus hops smell wonderful, with some sweet caramel malts
A - oh man, the hops flavours are great! The earthiness is up front, then it fades to grapefruit citrus hop flavours with caramel and roasty malt flavours
M - medium to high carbonation and definitely hop bitter, but the maltiness balances out the dry to leave a balanced and slightly refreshing flavour
D - the fact that it's 10% ABV is amazing, there is no real alcohol bite, but a definite hop kick. All things considered very drinkable, but a few of they could spell the beginning of the end.. (706 characters)

Photo of cubedbee
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass, this is a beautiful bright copper-red with two full fingers off off-white head, good retention, and thick sheets of lacing. Nose is sweet and slightly alcoholic, nice floral hops, hint of rye bread, some stray fruity aromas. , Taste is wonderful, huge citric and grapefruit hops doing battle with sweet doughy malt, some peppery spiciness, a hint of sweet alocohol on the finish, finishes with a lingering resinous hop finish. Very solid and tasty DIPA. The rye lends this beer a bit of thickness, for a very nice full mouthfeel. This is a really solid beer, as drinkable of a DIPA you're going to find, although it still very high in hops and alcohol and not for the faint of heart. (722 characters)

Photo of Yesac
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark orange copper in color with a defined bubly light tan head. Excellent lacing on the glass.

S- Spices, rye malt and a whole lotta dry hop bitterness.

T- Large dose dry hops with a great malt balance and backbone. Hops are fairly bitter and have a complex profile. The 10% is hidden well.

M/D- Medium/thick bodied, awesome mouthfeel on the palate. Great after taste. So smooth and easy drinking. The malt/hop balance is great the the 10% ABV is not completely hidden but well disguised. Great brew. (510 characters)

Photo of dday1231
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carmel, cloves, and licorice. Oh my! The label downplays the hops and malts when it advertised "BREWED WITH AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF MALTS & HOPS". This is a beer with lots of flavor. Nice head. The color will make any passerby think that I’m drinking a cool glass of Grade C maple syrup. Soft to the palate, but the favors liven the taste buds. This is a top beer, no doubt, but a little to rich at the en for my weak palate. (424 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous clear ruby with a thick, lingering khaki head.

S: Aromas of blood orange, caramel, toffee, rye bread, tangerine, and brown sugar indicate a very complex and heavy malt profile. I'm more than a bit surprised that I'm not detecting a more astringent, resinous bitterness from the hops.

T: Notes of rye bread and black pepper dominate the entry. At mid-palate, notes of blood orange, tangerine, toffee, caramel, vanilla bean, and brown sugar give way to notes of juniper berry, fresh herbs, lemon rind, lime zest, pineapple, papaya, and grapefruit. The finish pulls it all together with notes of lemon rind, juniper berry, toffee, rye bread, black pepper, and blood orange underscored by a mellow alcohol presence.

M: This ale is rather full-bodied and much drier than one would expect. Carbonation is firm, but understated. Alcohol presence is very restrained.

O: This is an exceptional American DIPA. If you're a fan of the style, you owe it to yourself to give this one a shot. (1,001 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Gorgeous garnett with ruby highlights. Profound creamy khaki head. Impressive so far.

S: Pineapple, cherry pie, spices (cardomon, cinnamon) and forest floor after a good rain. Its the rye that gives it the spicyness.

T: This is probably the most RYE beer I've had. It slugs you quick and up front. There is nothing subtle about this experience. But lets start from the top...
Immediately rye hits the tip of the tongue and brings with it pumpkin pie spice. In a blind test I might categorize this as a pumpkin IPA. Serious amounts of sweet pumpkin, malty red red fruit and some low level toffee. Then the bitterness arrives....it creeps up with out any warning and dominates the palate. This is definately on the pine end of the spectrum, although any citrus could be getting its ass handed to it by the rye. Finishes with lingering bitterness and gentle rye spice.

M: Medium body, decent mouthfeel.

D: The wife disagrees and says it tastes like cherry opposed to pumpkin. We both agree that this is a tremendous beer. Best rye beer I've had, hands down. Not a huge fan of He'brew but I might be changing my tune. (1,130 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa. Rating as an IPA as advertised it gets a goose egg because it was no where close to an IPA, not one that I am used to, it walked a fine line on the barleywine side and for that I give a great rating of course. This one poured out a deeep amber with some great carbonation. It poured thick like syrup and took a few to settle. On the nose it smells of pure malt. The taste..the malt really takes over the hops leaving it a bit lopsided for an IPA. Tasted sweet and spicy .Went down well and stuck around for a while. The ABV and heaviness of this one takes down the drinkability but an EXCELLENT brew. (606 characters)

Photo of brewdude1982
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

This beer pours a dark amber and had a great head with great lacing. The smell is very malty upfront and then pine on the back end. The taste is much more balanced than expected and does a good job of hiding the booze which is a 10.0% beer. This beer had a great body and did not dissapoint. I would highly recommend to any double IPA fan or a rye P. A. Fan? (408 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 12 oz. bottle.

Two dense fingers of some of the most durable tan froth imaginable atop a hazy brown body with ruby trim. The patch of foam literally stays throughout most of the duration. Dense lacing and duration make for a fabulous look. Dense malty and hopped-up nose, rife with bready, caramel malt and resiny hops.

The taste is really bold, filled with roasted caramel, dried fruit, some molasses, and a bit of berry. The rye is pervasive, coating the tongue with a resiny, nutty film. It's complicated, robust, and impressive. Challenging, but delicious. The mouthfeel is good but maybe a little too tart and bitter. It's also somewhat of a sipper, due in part to the texture and also in part to the heat from the alcohol, which emerges early and gains steam.

Yet in all, this is a big, bold, challenging beer, a testament to the impact that the great Lenny Bruce made on American culture. He'Brew has become well known for their big, almost massive beers, and this is no different. It's also excellent. (1,026 characters)

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is brick red mixed with copper. Perfect one finger, off-white head.

Notes of tangerine, grapefruit and carmel gently tingle the nostrils.

Sweet malt accented taste is balanced by a fabulous tangerine and pine bitterness. Rye is certainly present and, to me, integrates the barley and hops perfectly- something about Rye brews that are done right that I really find attractive. Very slight butterscotch note in the finish. This beer really begs for another sip.

Rye also helps in the mouthfeel giving the beer a lusciousness that is very comforting. This one slips past your lips way too easily.

I could drink this beer all night! That is before I pass out after three of these bombers. Alcohol is extremely well hidden!

Overall a fantastic beer that is all about balance. Certainly not all about the hops, but one of my favorite double IPAs nonetheless. (870 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle born on July 2013 into a tulip.
Appearance - red, somewhat cloudy, but plenty of bubbles detected along the side of the glass. Huge, mountainous beige head! Lacing sheets the glass!
Smell - sweet candy, some citrus and floral hops, fresh bread-like malts. Lingering hop resin!
Taste - big time flavor, well balanced with hop bitterness, slight hint of warming alcohol and rye bread! Very easy to drink at 10% ABV!
Feel - complex brew with an excellent blend of hops, rye malts, and a hint of alcohol.
Overall - shocked! I was expecting a very good beer, but this is outstanding! I'd like to try this along side Lagunitas' Sucks, as they are very similar, but from opposite coasts! (701 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Max's tonight. The beer pours an attractive copper color with impressive head retention and OK lacing. On the nose, this is simply a beautiful beer. There is a lovely, perfumy aroma of rye and grapefruit that blended together is just wonderful. On the palate this beer is nearly as good, but with a bit more sweet malt then I think is necessary or desired. Still, this is just a beautiful beer, with an incredible soft, creamy, hop perfume finish. The beer is so soft and long on the palate, with just enough hops to give it wonderful bitter bite on the finish. However, there's almost a perfume flavor to this beer, that works perfectly with the rye and malt. The alcohol is somewhat noticeable, which detracts a bit from the beer's drinkability, but this is one delicious, easy to drink DIPA.

Very, very impressive.... (833 characters)

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with two fingers worth of tan head; very sticky lace. Intense floral nose; juicy tropical fruits and pungent herbal and spicy notes. Some toasted malt as well. Like others have said, rye bread would be an accurate description.

This is by far the most mouth enveloping, creamy, chewy DIPA/RIPA I have had the pleasure of enjoying. Pine flavor hits on the finish after a long pause and leaves quickly. Spicy and bready with some sweet grain make up the malt profile, while herbal hops flavor and some sweet fruit compromise the hops.

Surprisingly balanced and highly drinkable for the style. Taste and mouthfeel are just top notch; no harsh bitterness of thin body here. Tongue coating, and the rye is really noticeable.This brew is highly carbonated and light/medium carbonated. The finish just begs for more and the mouth feel alone warrants a purchase. (875 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to be able to meet Jeremy Cowan of Schmaltz when they were at goggleworks for Design, drink and be merry. I tried this from a bomber in a plastic cup.

A - Deep copper w/ dark amber tinges w/ a full head of creamy tan. There is a lot of settling but the lace and retention is there, no doubt

S - A crisp hoppy (there are 12 kinds utilized) aroma w/ rye and peculier tropical odors like passionfruit w/ a hint of dark sweet cherry and brown sugar.

M - A full bodied big instense feeling IPA stimulates the taste buds and coats the cheeks w/ hop oily feel and dry spicy rye malt w/ a sufficiently proper carbonation and the feel borders on creamy

T - Big and bold w/ rye flavor that is noticeable and flavorful! There is a huge hop blend giving this beer the bitter side of bittersweet. The malt tastes a bit spicy like rye can, but has a mellow sweet body that counters the pungent and tantalizing hops. The taste is grainy and there is a fruity taste from the yeast. The more this beer is tasted, the more enjoyable it gets w/ buttloads of flavor - you really can't go wrong w/ the taste of this Big Rye Ipa.

D - Too big for me to quaff, but for the most part I can't see any thing wrong with how easy it is to sip and savor this. With 12 hops adding so much depth and intensity and the rye malt is incrediblly drinkable to me. I like to taste and feel this beer for a good relaxing time. (1,405 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at Premiere Gourmet in Amherst, NY.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention, fading to a faint wisp and ring. A slightly hazy, burnt umber body with lower levels of carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains leaving touches of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Rye malts, toffee and caramel on the nose. Light red fruits and floral notes as well. Bold nose and definitely enticing, though it could use some more hop for an IPA.

TASTE: Rye malts, toffee and caramel up front again, with lots of red fruity flavors at the swallow. Bold and persistent finish of bitter floral hops, piney flavors, and some toffee sweetness as balance. This is flavorfu, interesting, and enjoyable.

PALATE: Full body with medium levels of carbonation. Heavy, oily and thick on the palate, very creamy smooth, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Lots of weight and very creamy smooth. The exact oily, mouth-coating finish too. Awesome.

OVERALL: This is excellent. It's a rye IPA, so I did find the red fruit and toffee flavors slightly different than most IPAs, but the aromas and flavors were top notch and the palate was as good as it gets. He'Brew continues to impress; let's hope they can continue to brew these great beers in mass quantities. This one was great. Highly recommended. (1,366 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a chill hazed ruby tinted copper color. It pours with a creamy looking off-white head.

s: Reminiscent of a fresh American barleywine. Lots of rye bread, resinous pine, grapefruit, caramel and toffee. As it warms the alcohol becomes more pronounced.

t: This is so big flavored and aggressive that its easy to overlook how complex this is. At various points this is sweet, spicy, and bitter. Abrasively sweet caramel hits first and is quickly joined by prickly rye flavors. The finish is strongly bitter tasting of pine with the rye continuing to contribute. There are layers here beyond my ability to describe.

m: Beefy, chewy, creamy, and viscous. Absolutely perfect for this beer.

d: This is motherfuckin' tasty! What a pleasant surprise, my first brew from these guys is a winner. Best DIPA I've had in a long time. (834 characters)

Photo of daledeee
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I looked this up before I bought it since I had never heard of the brewery. I expected an intense hop rye.

I this intoa sam adams glass. Very dark orange or gold. Head and lacing are white. Not a big head but a nice one.

Nose is citrus and tropical

Taste and mouth feel is where this beer shines. Creamy, creamy, creamy! A very balanced hop and malt character. This beer leans toward the tropical side but is not over loaded with hops. It is quite strong from an ABV point of view and is warming to drink but that is not distracting.

I like this beer as well as any I have had lately. Well done folks. (607 characters)

Photo of biggmike
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap as the guest tap at the Abita Brew Pub in Abita Springs, LA. Poured a dark mahogany with a thick off-white head that lasted a long while. Taste was very well-balanced between the malty sweetness and the piney, citrusy hops. The mouthfeel was thick and chewy. This was a great beer that I would definitely purchase again. (340 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A double IPA with rye

Appearance: deep amber, about 20 SRM, very thin tannish head, not great clarity but not bad, slight haze

Aroma: caramel and peppery spiciness with floral and slightly citrusy hop aroma, thick smell, has a certain heaviness to the aroma

Taste: very caramelly and thick, with smooth spiciness from rye, a very chewy beer, nicely bitter finish but not as bitter as some other DIPAs, the rye character is immediately noticeable on the palate as a thick/creamy/spicy taste that complements the caramel malt character nicely. The hops are powerful and flavorful but definitely kept in check by the malt character. There is a moderate alcohol flavor on the finish but soon subsides into the malt and hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy like a barleywine but with a more bitter, biting finish from the high hop rates. Thick and tasty but also smooth and creamy with medium-low carbonation

Overall Impression: A fantastic DIPA that incorporates rye to add more complexity, body, and flavor dimensions, all which take the overall beer to another level. Certainly a slow sipper, it's incredibly long finish can sustain the palate for 5-10 minutes after a sip. Overall quite delicious and unique, definitely worth adding to any DIPA pick six for a little variety and added malt character.

4.3/5 (1,299 characters)

Photo of gregoryfbrown
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Really nice deep red/amber color when poured into tulip glass. Initially huge head which goes down after about 1 minute.

Smell - Alcohol and Caramel mixed together. Surprisingly very little hop aroma which I was slightly disappointed by given the style.

Taste - Bitter up front. Burnt sugar on the end. Strong taste of molasses and malt. Middle of it has nice sugar taste which then fades to a very bitter, long aftertaste. I'm not entirely sure what Rye tastes like but I'm guessing this is it. Very unique in a good way. You can tell it's very alcoholic but it doesn't overpower.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and creamy. Coats the mouth with a nice film giving a lingering taste.

Drinkability - Like it a lot. Nice burnt sugar and rye tastes. I could use a little more hop aroma to go with the bitterness though. Would definitely buy it again. (857 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -Dark honey, initial head leaves quick, lacing almost non existent.

S - Rye, brown sugar and hops. Great combo.

T - Deep caramel center...like a Kraft caramel candy. Hops and Rye accent.

M - fairly deep, good card and coating.

D - Despite the ABV, I could be coerced into a few of these. (293 characters)

Photo of srobertson59
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured (a bit too aggressively) from a 22 oz. bottle:

A - Wow! A huge 3 finger head that seems to have a life of its own. Tiny carbonation bubbles swirl around very similar to a Guinness. After the pour settles down, very small bubbles slowly rise through a dark chestnut brew making the liquid look very thick.

S - Malt hits the nose followed closely by a good bit of floral hops. Not much in the way of citrus is detected, but there is an earthy quality on the backend.

T - This is a COMPLEX beer! Both the malts and hops play hide-and-seek with each sip. Bitterness is out front, but is tamed by the sweet malt just before becoming too bitter. Carbonation is barely present on the tongue and the alcohol is only detectable by the warmth of the throat on the swallow.

M - Thick without being syrupy...smooth without leaving a coating on the tongue. Very little aftertaste.

D - This one is quite impressive and really needs to be sipped to enjoy it. I find that the flavor changes as it warms and tends to be less bitter than when first poured.

What a beer! A very complex blend (is it the Rye that makes this DIPA so different?). This isn't your average DIPA.

I will certainly look out for more of this and pick it up when available. A complex beer at $4.99 a bomber? OH YEAH! (1,285 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a rich, rich reddish amber color with tons of bubbles pouring from the bottom of the glass. The head is gigantic and fluffy nd refuses to die down. I poured aggresively and boy did the head explode from the liquid. The head is almost solid. Laces very, very well. Looks awesome!

S-A nice combination of super breadiness, sweet maltiness and delicious fruity hoppiness. Not the most powerful aroma but quite attractive.

T-Don't know how I'm gonna get past the head to the liquid. But once I do, I am quite happy with the result. The taste outshines the nose. Big bitter hop notes attack. The hop profile is complex with both fruity sweetness and dry pine. The malt is there but the hops are the main attraction. The rye kicks in toward the end and adds to the depth of the brew.

M-Creamy and sticky. Well carbonated. Stickiness is a combination of the sugary flavor and the resinous hoppiness.

D-The 10% comes into play as the beer warms but I find this quite drinkable. This is a big beer no doubt. I wish this would come in a 6 pack over the 4 pack but jeesh the 4 pack is expensive enough.

This far exceeded my expectations. I love how much the beer's taste stays on your palate forever. (1,202 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful ruby copper color with tons of thick off-white head with a long retention and leaving lots of laces.
Delicious aroma of grapefruit and pine with sweet toasted malts and hints of rye and honey.
Really bitter and malty taste with strong notes of piney hops, rye, and pepper. Hints of wood and resin.
Dry with an insistent bitter aftertaste. 10% ABV is seen nowhere.
Medium to full body with adequate carbonation.
Excellent double rye IPA, it does not carry the usual flaw of the style of being too sweet. This is a beer for the well-seasoned drinkers. Highly recommendable. (581 characters)

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 868 ratings.