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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
886 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
886
Ratings:
1,952
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
17.82%
 
 
Wants:
83
Gots:
216
For Trade:
4
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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).

Added by mcallister on 06-07-2006

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Reviews: 886 | Ratings: 1,952
Photo of dd43
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Increasingly, double IPAs try to jump through various hoops to either tame the bitterness, lighten up the mouthfeel, or quell the alcohol note. This beer from Schmaltz does none of those things. You had better go into this wanting a big ass resinous and bracing imperial or you will be sad you dove in.

Copper in color. Lots of carbonation supporting a pretty large light tan head. This recedes quickly and just leaves a foam ring as the beer leaves your glass. Big caramel and pine notes. BIG. Sticky, malty and bitter like you remember from the early double IPA days. The 10% alcohol is not fumey per se, but you're definitely not drinking this wondering where the booze is. Despite the big malt base the hops still manage to show up to the party and make a racket. I get some orange marmalade in the bouquet, and the first few sips when the head is still present lend a certain dreamsicle quality that I kinda dig. Pepper notes from the rye round out the earthy aspect of the malt base. This is a sipper, one you can crack right out of the fridge and spend a good half hour quaffing as it warms up. Enjoy responsibly!

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Photo of beergoot
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Orange-copper colored body; an intense amount of fine carbonation; thick, chunky head. Big malt nose; a twinge of spiciness. Big malt sweetness to the flavor, too; subdued fruitiness; toasted grain; rye spiciness; strong hop bitterness. Heavy body.

Massive, malty, spicy, and bitter, all in one well-balanced package. Yepper...no joke about the this beautiful beast. It's just plain motherfuckin' good...

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A rusty, dark brown. Pours with a finger of tan, white head. Lingers for a bit and recedes to rim of glass. Leaves plenty of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Earthy, malty. Some citrus and pine hops.

T: Very earthy and malty. Roasted barley. Rye spice on back end. Quite bitter.

F: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

I like my ipa's hoppy, but this malty ipa is one of the better ones out there.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours - Translucent rust color with thin off white head that leaves traces across the top once it dissipates good lacing.

Smell - Earthy tones I also get some malts and some roasted oats maybe.

Taste - Good hoppy rye flavor very bitter some citrus notes very faint.

Feel - Medium to heavy body coats the tongue burn from the bitterness .

Overall - A solid DIPA i would have it again for sure.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.12/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Maybe its the rye making this beer darker, but it definitely takes on a darker vibe with concentrated orange and light brown colors melding together. Too boozy in the aroma, rye again not noticeable for all its purported spicy characteristics. Couldn't pull much in the way of barrel out of it, other than the hot booziness.

Taste hit those same notes, hops don't seem to impart much flavor. Just not a style of beer that does well with whiskey, and this one especially. Could use more carbonation to help lift those hot notes.

Expensive and not good. Not gonna return to this one.

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Photo of snilsen13
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer goes so deep into the flavor potential of malts while still being balanced with bitters and huge warming alcohol flavor. To bundle this with IPAs is just WRONG. There is MORE MALT flavor here than in most STOUTS. Call it a hoppy barely wine, cuz that's what it is. This beer plays with pals like Bigfoot. It's OUTSTANDING. Currently, one of my top 10 domestics. I'm sick of under-valuing this gem.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's back!! The 12 ounce bottles of Lenny's RIPA, that is. It's been two, maybe three years since this beer has been available in the Seattle area in the smaller size, so it's been that long since I've had one of my favorite beers. The 12 ounce bottle is perfect for this hoppy high alcohol beer.

The appearance isn't much to look at ... no head to speak of, no lacing, and kind of a blah effect. But the aroma is uplifting, and the taste is over the top. It's got caramel, it's got hops, it's got a bit of the rye spiciness (but less than some rye beers), it's got balance, and it's got a noticeable ABV punch.

I agree with those who think this is closer to a barleywine than to a DIPA. It's a fine hoppy sipper.

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Photo of ajilllau
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was super unique. I poured it from the bottle into a room temperature point glass. It was reddish and transparent looking which I was not expecting from an IPA. It had no head and no follow up bubbles. Not a very strong nose to it. It has a very great taste. I agree with other reviewer, if gulped or sipped to linger it has varying tastes. The latter leaves a much hoppier, bitter taste in my mouth. This is overall a great beer. It is crisp and refreshing. It feels deceivingly lighter than a 10%abv would. Sometimes IPA's feel too heavy to consume more than one. This beer does not fall into that category.

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Photo of Simont
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Have been hanging on to this 12oz bottle for a couple of years, can't find a date but it's got at least 2 years on it.

And it's freaking fantastic. Clean sweet malt on nose with a little pepper and a nice aged/ sherry like back note. Caramel and toffee malt flavors with a little rye spice in there, hops don't stand out but there is a solid bitterness present. But for a big old malty aged beer this is just about perfect, it aged really well.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very tasty DIPA. Very similar to Hair of the Dog beers, especially Fred, in that it's somewhat on the sweet side, malty and very low carbonation. Unique, but very good overall

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Photo of SFNC
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the most unlikely DIPA that I have ever had. Tastes more like a Wee Heavy. Lots of malts, the bite of rye and some hops lurking in the background. Very rich and filling and the 10% remains well hidden. If I was to rate on style, it would be low, but I find this quite tasty.

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Photo of DavidS333
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is taste filled American Double/Imperial ale. It has the sort of lack of froth or carbonation which one sometimes sees in beers of this variety. I'm not sure if its coincidence or an omen if one will, but every time I've had a beer with little froth, and a medium+ body it has always been very full of flavor, and surely this ale/beer is no different.

The beer's color is a quite dark sort of a light caramel, and is not very transparent.

The flavor of this beer is very rich, and one might argue, changes depending on how one drinks it.

If one take it into one's mouth as usual and swallows it, one gets a quick splash of the rich flavor of this beer, like someone quickly opening and closing a decorative fan. However, one gets a much different and more varied, and still rich perspective on this beer, by taking it into one's mouth and holding it in the front of one's mouth for a moment, whereby its rich hoppy-rye combo really comes out.

The rye emphasis gives this beer a very fresh taste at the beginning, and perhaps serves as a sort of shell for the hoppiness that this beer possesses. Once one swallows said gulp/sip one is treated more to the hoppy aftertaste that has a real tendency to linger, giving one that unique and tell tale good and hoppy aftertaste.

If I had to compare this beer to other hop-heavy brews per se, I would say that the top notes per se, of the flavor have a really distinctive what I presume is "rye-ness" about them, with the hops forming a solid body of taste, and aftertaste underneath said ryeness per se.

This makes for a really rich and unique "art-beer" if one will, that really showcases a brewers ability to mix fore-tastes and after-tastes in a unique way, which I presume Mr. Bruce/Schneider would be happy to have named in his honor. For, this is really a great and tasty beer.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark caramel colored with only a thin head and light lacing. It looks syrupy in the glass. Smells heavily of caramel and dark malts/ fruits/figs/raisins and a disappointingly small amount of hops. Sour biting rye has a stronger presence than the hops. Taste follows smell with a big dose of dark fruity flavors, malty sweetness, rye, and just a little hops despite the obvious bitterness. Strong alcohol character.

I wish this had a production date on the bottle.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; amber colored; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin collar; very nice lacing;

S: tropical fruit - pineapple, grapefruit, mango; a little rye spice;

T: tropical fruit for a moment, then earthy; a little medicinal at mid-palate; rye spice comes on strong at the finish; moderate bitterness at the end;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: flavor begins and ends great; the middle part wasn't very enjoyable;

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Photo of bluehende
3.02/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at a tap social with 2 reps present. I thought this was a bit too sweet and lacking in hops. It may have been old, but that is no excuse when two reps are present.

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Photo of jooler
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look is extremely dark. Smell is very malty. Initial taste is sweet with a butt load of malts, then the taste gets just more alcoholic as I drink. This might be old

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Photo of L0ne
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with ruby highlights. Head is fizzy and small. It dissipates quickly and leaves small traces of lacing.

Smell is mostly malts, caramel and dried fruit, with some orangey, herbaly hops kicking around in there. Just a little booziness, especially as it warms.

Taste starts out relatively hop forward. Same hops as in the smell, herbal, bitter, orange. As the beer warms, the malts take center stage. Lots of malty sweetness, caramel, toffee. Just a touch of rye spiciness hangs around throughout the drinking experience.

It all comes together really well. In my opinion, reminiscent of DFH 90 min, with an added layer of spice from the rye.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into speiglau IPA glass.

Color is copper with think frothy head.

Aroma is light but malty.

Hops are intense. Bitterness is lemon with herbal.

Awesome beer. Do not taste the 10%.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep bright amber under a 2” fluffy cream colored foam collar that persists and leaves fine lace. S: Spicy rye and hop nose with some alcohol and citrus. T: Malty, spicy palate with traces of cola and alcohol with a grapefruit rind hop bitter finish. F: Exceptionally creamy, warming, medium to medium full body, medium low carbonation O: An exceptional big beer.

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Photo of E-McFarden
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber in color with a medium bodied head. 1/4" of head remains on top of the beer after a couple of minutes. Heavy scents of caramel, raisins, and apple. aroma hops reach the nostrils in an earthy sense. Bittering hops explode on the palate with piney and earthy tastes, nutty and oaky flavors also peak through. This brew starts heavy on the palate but finishes rather crisp, alcohol tastes lingering in the end. Overall an excellent beer.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice creamy off-white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a clear dark amber. The colorr actually borders between the dark amber and brown. The beer look overall is pretty nice but not super duper awesome.

The beer smell is certainly something. The smell seems to be a never ending battle between the hoppy bitter smells and the rich, deep sweet smells from the malt. The malt notes seem to range from butterrscotch to toffee to caramel. The beer also seems to have some light rye notes that can hold their own against the malts but sometimes mix with them. The hops seem to be more noticeable when it's cool but seem to lost ground when it warms up. The hops tend to be bitter and a bit piney.

The beer taste is a bit more muddled than the smell and the notes tend to blend together. While it's still good, it doesn't taste as good as it should. You get fairly strong biter and piney hop notes as well as very sweet caramel and toffee malt notes. In other words, it's bittersweet.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and a bit thick. The carbonation is light to give a bit more texture than it probably would have.

Overall, a pretty good beer but not one I would session or have more than one in a sitting. Still, this is a pretty intense beer that I recommend getting if you haven't had one before.

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Photo of delta490
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful clear brown with some small sticky tan lacing. The aroma is rich malt sweetness, rye spice and a nice hops blend. The taste is good, but not quite as enticing as the aroma, a little muddled. The body isn't quite as heavy as I would expect but does have a nice feel to it.

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Photo of KWolf
4.99/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful toffee, caramel with hint of hop nose. Sweet.malt start to finish, with some hop filtering through. This is truly for people who are bitter enough already and want an IPA with backbone. A treasure.

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Photo of GrahamDN
3.16/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly deep amber in color, with a bit of haze and an off-white head.

Right away, the nose tells the story of the beer's dark hue with big toffee, caramel, and raisin scents betraying the heaping helping of caramel malts included in the mash. Left whispering in the background are leafy, herbal, and peppery notes. Yeasty bread rising as it warms.

Big waves of toffee and caramel crash on the palate, seasoned with peppery spice and leafy-herbal hops. Rye bread comes out later. Lenny's is not really "bittersweet"--it's super-sweet, with just about any bitterness the hops have to contribute drowning in sugar.

Thankfully, the dynamic finish transitions from sticky sweet with a little peppery tingle to balanced--hop bitterness finally asserts itself (though it takes a while) along with the 10% ABV to offer some relief from a dessert of a "double IPA."

Here's the thing: this is a pretty tasty beer, and an above-average expression of rye in beer. But to pitch it as a DIPA feels misleading. If He'Brew had labeled this beer as some sort of rye doppelbock-IPA hybrid, they'd have nailed it, but I have to dissent on this one and say they missed the mark.

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Photo of Panda_Brew
4.96/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, this beer smells so good even a foot away from the glass at zero hour. What a beer, brewed with a completely reverent lack of respect in good company. I think He'brew's best offering

A: Huge four finger cream head coming out of the glass and a beautiful burnt golden amber red - you can see through it but the color is so beautiful, why would you try?

S: Caramel malts like the smell of the crisped brown sugar apple sugar mix coming from the bottom of a fresh apple pie. It's just stupid beautiful.

T: Huge flavor in all directions with just a kick of booze, which at 10% is well blended. Those toasty brown sugar notes come out with some slight grapefruit and bitterness to keep it all in check. The taste and nose dance as one, taste being the stronger; yet scent is the lead - as she is the more elegant of the two. Every ingredient complements the last, as a whole, everyone takes a bow - and not the just ingredients, effects too. The rye adds the slightest hint of spice and stickiness to bring it all together; like a good director it gives the spotlight to the other roles but you know damn well its the reason this whole thing came together. The bitterness completely compliments the sweetness and the booze slices the body - impeccable!

M: Also wonderful, the sticky malt bill is beefed up by the slick booze coating, then IBU convinces saliva and booze to turn on the young and naive rye - carbonation throws a punch too - leaving only bitterness and alcohol burns in the aftermath. Your mouth tightens around your tongue more and more the longer you prolong your next sip. One of the best beer experiences I've had.

O: What's to say that hasn't been, get this beer. It's great fresh, I can only imagine three years on it... Everything that anything with rye in it should be. It's like a more refined version of the Under Cover Investigation Shut Down ale - I dont love rye, so this gives me faith. F**k yeah! 97

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 886 ratings.