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

868 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 868
Hads: 1,881
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 7.2%
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: 1,881
Photo of cambabeer
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

good stuff here, for sure. Cream soda and white lemon cake in the nose, with a whole lot of rhy and breadiness. Ok lacing and head on a copper body.

The taste is the definition of what it says on the body, "bittersweet." Nice spicy hops, a whole lot of them with toasted malt. Then we have this undertone and aftertaste of sweet prune juice and rhy bread.

Unique beer, this one. I'd get it again. Very drinkable for the ABV as well. (436 characters)

Photo of slym
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one interesting IPA - nothing hidden, no "notes" or anything, just an in-your-face rye IIPA.

This brew uses 8 kinds of malts and 8 kinds of hops, and it all works together without anything overpowering anything else. The rye adds a great spicyness, and I'd never guess this was a 10% ABV brew.

Just try it! Not your everyday IPA, but something kind of special, I'll even admit.

L'chaim! (397 characters)

Photo of Fellysmarts
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into an IPA glass. It had about a 1 inch creamy foam head that lasted about 5 minutes. The color. The beer was a wonderful deep amber orange. Fantastic color.
S - Fruit, malt, caramel, rye, spice, maybe even a little pine. The fruit smell lies somewhere between lemon and grapefruit and pineapple.
T - This is where the whole thing changes. At first taste I thought this was going to be the second beer I've dumped (on purpose) in my 20 years of drinking beer (legally). I'm actually very glad I didn't. This beer is a perfect balance of a good IPA and a good barley wine. The hops kind of jump off your tongue while the sweetness brings it back around. The further I got into this glass, the more I loved it.
M - Thick sweet hoppiness that lives up to the bittersweet name.
O - I have a couple more of these thanks to a variety pack and that makes me smile. This is a good beer. I had a great time drinking it and I look forward to the next glass of it. (965 characters)

Photo of Paincane
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby amber body with a pretty tan head, good lace and nice head retention.
S: Rye, grain & caramel malty aromas.
T: Malt forward front end. A melange of hops finish dry, clean and bitter.
M: A very well-balanced brew that is equal parts malt and hops and as a result is bittersweet.
O: A thoroughly enjoyable Multi-faceted complex yet cohesive brew. (358 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rusty amber color with a dark red-orange glow. Head sits with coarse composition. Lots of haze.

Sweet caramel meets spicy rye and a heap of pine and pithy citrus hops. Huge malt base comes off like a barleywine. Notes of treacle blend with a hint of papery oxidation.

Might be just a snag past its due date, but it's still a punchy rye DIPA with a bruising hop attack and middle and latent spiciness. Great Simcoe/Amarillo bite with piquant pine, pith, and dank citrus. Rye malts loom large with a sandy spice and depth. Alcohol is also sweet and covered up remarkably.

Oily mouthfeel with a buzzing carbonation. Spicy on the tongue with great weight. (663 characters)

Photo of sevreng
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Atlas Bottle Works in Pittsburgh, PA on 6/27/14. Poured into globe glass.

A - Bright. Copper-red color. Minimal head on pour, dissipating slowly.

S - Pineapple and grapefruit dominate the nose, softened by a little maltiness.

T - Citrus hops and malts fight for attention upfront, so well balanced that it is hard to see where the hops end and the malts begin. Dries out very nicely for a double IPA, without becoming overly bitter. Well done.

M - Full yet crisp without getting sticky like a lot of double IPAs. Very nice.

O - The best Rye IPA I've had recently, this is a great all around IPA. Would like to try it on tap or a little fresher. (675 characters)

Photo of Cory_Brown
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- dark bronze hazy color with about an inch of light tan creamy head.
S- the smell is very pleasant. Hops are blended into a sweet rye smell. A little spice is detected as well. Cannot wait to taste this.
T- not as pleasant as the smell. A little too sweet but still very tasty. The rye flavor is too sweet for my palate but I can see why many would love this one. It is exactly what the label implies, a bittersweet rye IPA. Interesting
M- medium carbonation and the hops jump off the tongue
O- this is definitely a solid beer, just not my favorite style. I would recommend for any hop head to give it a try. (610 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased as a single from Zyn wine merchant in Calgary and poured into a tulip glass. I had to Google the malt and hop bill for this one and the recipe is pretty complex across the board, some interesting choices and can I just mention that I continue to enjoy this brewery's labels and just basically their whole schtick? Ahem. This is a formidably dark DIPA, an orange-brown with perhaps an inch or so of creamy, milkshake-like tan head. Looks like a mammoth and sure enough, this one is deep, rich, sweet, spicy, and perhaps above all bitter. The nose conveys dark caramel malts, an almost roasted peppery rye spice, candied citrus (orange and lemon?), and sweet dank pineapple. Overall effect is almost like pomegranate molasses (if you are familiar) spiked with herbal tincture and peppercorns. And the palate? Well, I will start by saying that some of the reviews below are not hyperbole. This really is a world-class rye DIPA that can hang with the Cali "big guns". The malts come off a bit donut-like, with tons of treacle toffee and a cotton candy type sweetness that somehow manages to ride the dark wave. Obviously one is going to taste considerable hop flavor and there's a cornucopia of fruit and spice notes: Orange liqueur, pineapple and a more generic musty tropical vibe, candied lemon, grapefruit, and some pine plus black pepper for days and days. The rye is probably exerting a significant effect here as well. Thick body with a correspondingly protruding chewy mouthfeel. The finish is intensely bitter and spicy despite the malts and no one should accuse this brew of being too sweet. Masterfully executed example of a rye-based beer and packing some serious firepower, yet remains mysteriously drinkable, with the ABV detectable only via a lingering warmth. (1,788 characters)

Photo of Oliver_Twist
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer!

Slightly "thick", nice citrus hop balance and some added rye spiciness. This is a smooth, delicious beer! This one of my "top 5" beers.

If I were to be stranded in the mountains for any amount of time and I had to select one of 5 beers to keep me company, I would have to select RIPA! This is in the Sculpin and Pliny category. (347 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like the concept of brewing a beer in honor of a person not necessarily affiliated with beer. An edgy comedian like Lenny Bruce who was decades ahead of his time is a great choice for such an honor.

Pours a deep clear copper with a finger of head. The nose is lightly hoppy, but also possessed a dank quality that was not so pleasant. The rye notes are certainly present in the flavor profile, but they do not stand out. The finish is bitter, but not overly so. There is also an odd floral aftertaste on the tongue.

I really wanted to like this offering. I did to a certain extent, but it is a bit too quirky to be considered exceptional. (642 characters)

Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this because it's almost Passover and although I'm not Jewish I figured I'd support a great brewing company and also a comedy legend.

Lenny Bruce on the Steve Allen Show
http://youtu.be/oCplnUga0hU?t=1m48s

Cheers.

Bottle to snifter glass

A- Deep clear amber. A good amount of tan colored head that laces as you drink.

S- Carmel and that wonderfully spicy rye smell.

T- Carmel and rye followed by a motley of bitter hop textures.

M- Sweet and then bitter with a spicy hit of alcohol. It lingers on the sides of the tongue for a good while.

O- This beer is a little all over the place but as a whole it's a good rye IPA. (635 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A poker buddy gave me this one to try. Had it in a bottle so it was hard to judge the appearance but the smell and taste were outstanding. I was enjoying this beer very much and then I looked at the bottle and realized it was 10%. Wow, no way to see that. Extremely drinkable and tasty while packing a whallop. I will be looking for this beer to purchase, excellent. (366 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, citrus rind, floral, grass, rye, caramel, toast, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity of citrus/earthy hops and moderate caramel/rye malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, rye, caramel, toast, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, caramel, rye, toast, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity of big citrus/earthy hops with a good amount of malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and moderately slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity of bright citrus/earthy hop and nicely balanced malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,486 characters)

Photo of SavvyStudent
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: More red malt color and some lacing
S: not too much on the nose but you can tell that there is something in addition to this IPA.
T: the standard pine and citrus hop profile with a sweet malt backbone that keeps this one a little mellow.
M: Medium
O: Good beer for its style but personally would rather have a founders RIPA. since I tried with a whole bunch of other IPAs in a flight it skewed my palate a bit. I did enjoy and think it is worth a try but was hoping for more based off of the BA score. (505 characters)

Photo of rawfish
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Viscous, smooth pour results in a billowing parchment paper colored head rising above a dark copper body. Maximum head size is three fingers but it settles quickly leaving a few chunky rings of lace.

Thick malt, molasses, cake batter, grape skins and rye meld together balanced by equally punchy grapefruit, pine resin and hemp seed hops. Alcohol rises but is well integrated with the sweet malt and earthy hops.

Thick malt borders barelywine standards, complexities of toast, molasses, toffee and a good rye edge. The fruity esters carried by the rye and yeast complement the snappy hops, yellow citrus, bright pine. Sticky malt layers the resiny feel of this beer leading to a bitterness of average strength but enduring.

Hefty body to say the least, adequate carbonation and lifted further by the bright hops. MAlt is sticky but creates a pleasant mouthcoating and the alcohol is complementary instead of abrasive.

This beer has some weight, a huge sticky DIPA. Great use of bright hops to keep it in balance and the rye adds a substantial edge with the berry and fruity esters it coaxes out. A real treat, glad this comes in a 12oz offering. (1,150 characters)

Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing brew; I can't believe that I passed on the opportunity to engage its wonder on more occasions than I care to recount.

Apocalypse bronze, it flows through the glass eclipsing to a billowing head of clouds that surrender ridiculous amounts of lace in its wake.

The smell is very complex, but you can immediately tell that the malt and hop character are overdone in spades. Yes, the bottle declares it, but yes, the bottle delivers. Sugary, biscuity and so citrusy that I can't wait to drink it.

The best thing I can say about the taste is balance. Despite the over-aggressive attempt at creating something exclusive to the DIPA billing, it comes off so balanced that it amazes me. I'm detecting an incredible malt presence in the form of honey glazed donuts sprinkled with sugar, but the massive amounts of grapefruit pith and piny aromas come through on the back end and tickle the throat with a cunning reminder that you are drinking something very unique, and special.

This beer is giving me goosebumps. On second thought, I'm breaking out in a cold sweat. Delusional maybe; as Jim beckons his mother in the smoke-filled Whiskey a Go Go. IPA, I want to drink you. Industry, I want to (****) you... yeaaaahhhh. Shmaltz Brewing lives up to its kosher status. Engaging, timely and remarkably unrestrained, this is one brewery that became a leader in the absence of leadership. I demanded an IPA and they delivered without instruction. Thank you, my friend, for carrying a message to Garcia. (1,511 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a brilliant deep copper with a frothy, lingering khaki head.

Grapefruit, molasses, pine, toasted malt, cola, resin, and property rye form the complex aroma. There's good balance between hops, malt, and rye.

Flavor is decidedly rye dominant, with initial citrus underpinnings and a slightly sweet caramel malt backbone contrasting nicely, until the bitter finish. Grapefruit, tangerine, and resin are the focus of hop flavoring. Very complex.

Body is a touch full, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth. There's a harshness in the finish.

I like this more than I expected. The flavoring hops are nice and fruity, with enough resin to complement the rye character, and the rye is balanced nicely by the malt. Finish is more bitter than I prefer, but the malt sweetness keeps me wanting more. (818 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This pours a very clean and clear deep barley color with a thick off white head that was dense and frothy.

The nose was more malty than hoppy with a tea leaf, molasses and honey aroma. There was some herbal, floral hop aroma but it was less defined and subtle.

Whoa, huge boozy flavor starts. I prefer IPA's cold but I had to let this warm a touch before the other aspects manifested. Once it settled I got honey, malt, barley, molasses and herbal piney hop flowers.

The feel is warm and astringent, bitter and thin but slides down easily.

This may simply not be my cup of tea, as it was boozy on my palate but it was certainly strong and attractive. (654 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Brown with a dark orange tone and medium bubbles on the body. Thin off-white head rising maybe a quarter inch at best settling with almost perfect lacing...very nice.

Smell: Light aroma of pine and flowers that were soaked in malt. By the scent you can tell it has a lot of flavor but the potency of the scent is light.

Taste: A complex bitter maltiness, you feel a sour lemon feel with a sweet grapefruit and hard floral tones.

Mouth: Medium and very sticky, crisp but chewy like a feel of liquid toasted bread flowing around your cheeks.

Overall: Great brew that absolutely took me by surprise. Has a little bit of everything in it and for that I absolutely love it. All you need is your favorite glass, Salud! (761 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy copper-amber color with a tiny head of white foam. The head fades super-fast, leaving a very light level of fizzy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is bready and moderately sweet with aromas of rye bread, toffee, and caramel. Along with these smells are some hoppy aromas of pine and grapefruit bringing a very nice and robust rye IPA smell.

Taste – The taste begins a quite bready and doughy with a strong sweetness of caramel and some milder dark fruit flavors of plum and raisin. Along with the thick bready taste there is a nice showing of rye which grows slightly stronger more toward the middle and the end of the flavor. All the while as the flavor advances, so too do hop flavors begin developing. They start from the front of the taste as a lighter grapefruit hop nature which gets quite a bit stronger as the flavor advances. At the same time as the grapefruit grows in intensity, a pine and grassy hop also come to the tongue along with a moderately boozy taste. While the grassy flavors remains relatively subdued, the pine really pick up in strength to the end, surpassing the grapefruit in intensity. With a little bit of an earthy flavor, a slight lessening of the sweeter flavors,, and a bit of a peppery spice flavor coming to the tongue, one is left with a nice thick and chewy, moderately boozy, hopped up rye bread flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. The thick body is very nice for the big bready and rye flavors of the brew really allowing them to stand out. This in conjunction with the moderate carbonation make this brew a very nice sipping beer.

Overall – A quite big and tasty rye IPA. Very thick and mouth coating with a sweet and big flavor. While at times slightly unbalanced, this is a nice brew none the less, and well worth a try. (1,978 characters)

Photo of Richard-Carla
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For some reason, I've never been a fan of He'Brew's line of beers. Unfortunately, the R.I.P.A. isn't an exception.

It's a solid beer--not offensive, not something that I regret buying, and not something that I'd actively avoid. The smell is also amazing and almost perfect. The initial taste is also very good. However, the aftertaste is, at least to me, terrible--strongly (and unpleasantly) alcoholic, overly coppery, and somewhat unpleasant. While this is a double or imperial IPA, it doesn't bring the "smoothness" that is inherent in the best of the style.

He'Brew is still a brewery that I'll follow... they try, they experiment, and they're going to eventually produce an amazing beer. This just isn't it. (715 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark amber/copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of slight citrus hops, hint of hop oil, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, and slight rye. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable dryness. Tastes of strong hops, hint of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight rye, slight caramel malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, decent body, and decent blend. (528 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass lazily and a hint of ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel malts with a light hint of rye spiciness and moderate aromas of pine/resin hops which lingers.

T: Upfront this brew is very malty with moderate amounts of caramel sweetness and light amounts of rye spiciness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of pine/resin hops which impart a moderate amount of lingering bitterness. There are also light amounts of alcohol flavors in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront with a creamy smoothness that follows and a touch of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is an enjoyable and the alcohol is very well hidden making it easy to drink. It has a really nice mouthfeel which definitely increased my enjoyment of the beer - that mixture of crisp and creamy smooth is quite nice. (1,182 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a clear copper amber with a slightly yellowed head on top. Average visible carbonation shooting to the surface. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Pleasant aroma on this one, starts off with a sizable hop profile that is balanced out with the slightly sweet rye malts. A bit of piny-ness as well as spiciness is in the background.

T: Malts are much more dominant in the flavor than anticipated from the aroma. Dont get me wrong there is still a solid bitterness but the rye isnt afraid to show its face. The spice of the rye compliments the hop flavors quite nicely.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. A bit sticky from the abundance of malts and hops in this brew. Certainly one that will warm you up.

Overall I really enjoy the rye flavors in this beer. They place faith in the hops to keep up with such a heavy dose of malts and the beer holds up well. (933 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)

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