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 MarkSCCOT
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks to JPCleary for letting me know this beer was available.

A. Poured a beautiful dark amber with a sustained head that leaves good belgian lacing.

S. Clear strong hops malt and alcohol odor. I am a novice with hop boombs like this so it was quite noticeable.

T. Beautiful malty taste with a balanced hops. The alcohol at first leaves a sharp aftertaste which quickly acclimates as you continue.

M. First there is a lingering hops taste, but this quickly dissipates.

D. Good, although since we have few "illegal" high alcohol beers here in SC (At least until the cap is officially popped, 5 days and counting), this beer definitely packs a wallop. Definitely will return to it. Since this is my first high gravity beer, I will cellar some and review again in 6 months. (829 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a nice looking orange-red color with a rocky 2 1/2 finger head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

S: Spicy rye malt aroma with a dash of hops and some rather intrusive alcohol.

T: Pretty much just see above with the addition of some lightly sweet caramel malt. The alcohol steps all over the flavors in this.

M: Starts smooth through the beginning and finish then turns sharp and prickly at the finish.

D: I found this to be just above average. To me the alcohol isn't integrated well into the other aromas and flavors. It sort of sticks out like a sore thumb. (672 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shmatlz Brewing Company, what a great Jewish name. I wasn't really impressed by their Genesis Ale, but I heard some pretty good things about this one so I decided to give it a shot. Well I'm sure as hell glad I did. You're telling me this beer is kosher? Wow, I may have to convert...hmmm, but Christmas is too sweet and I love pork.

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Wow, one of the best looking beers I have ever had. Pours a clear dark copper hue with an extremely generous light khaki colored head. Lacing doesn't let go of the glass at all, sticks all over the place and it ain't goin' no where. Very oily pine aroma invades the nose. There is a unique smell of smoke/pepper which I'm assuming comes from the rye. A good punch of alcohol in the nose with a slight hint of toffee from the malt. Very unique taste for a DIPA, probably due to the use of rye. Quite malty for a DIPA, coffee/caramel flavor comes to mind. A very bready/creamy flavor to it for a DIPA, I really like where this is going. Aftertaste is a bit dry with hints of grapefruit/lime. Definitely smooth and oily type of mouthfeel which I really enjoy. Alcohol takes away a bit from the drinkability, but you have to expect that for this type of beer. Those crazy Jews do a great job with this beer. Keep it up!

Mazel tov! Oi! (1,311 characters)

Photo of vanrassel
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is pretty fucking good! (C'mon, what would a review about a beer dedicated to Lenny Bruce be without a little gratuitous profanity?)

It poured from a 650 mL bomber with a fluffy beige two-finger head mottled with big bubbles. The head left sticky lace on the glass and the body was an inviting copper colour.

The smell was a nicely complex combination of pine-scented hops, a hint of chocolate, toffee, a bit of roasted barley and a nice boozy aroma from the rye reminiscent of Canadian Club or Crown Royal. The flavour was a variation of the same elements: woody and boozy from the rye malt up front followed by bitter hops and prickly carbonation that scraped the palate clean.

The finish was a touch dry and astringent, though it hid the 10 per cent ABV well. Like Lenny's comedy, you can appreciate this beer for pushing the envelope, but maybe it's a little much for everyday consumption. (913 characters)

Photo of treehugger02010
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. at the Foodery in Center City Philadelphia, Pa about six months ago and just poured into two pint glasses.
Appearance: Let's begin by saying the head was beautiful. The body was a translucent amber color toped with a huge head of gigantic bubbles, very soapy looking. The head produced tons of lacing after a wonderfully heald retention.
Smell: The smell produced what I thought was going to be a hop bomb, with hints (I mean very little) malted aromas.
Taste: As opposed to the smell, there was a solid backgroud of malts. I was not quite expecting this, and was a bit dissapointed (yes I have "hopped" on the hop band wagon). It was certainly well blended, but to be 100% honest, it reminded me on the Saranac High Peaks Series IPA.
Mouthfeel: The pour showed a very thick suripy (I know that's spelled wrong) mouthfeel. The actually mouthfeel wasn't much different, however the ridigity of a typical I.P.A. was still in tact.
Drinkability: Certinaly this was a great beer, not my faviorate from He'Brew, but considering all they make and how well they make them, that is saying a lot.
Don't drink and review. (1,155 characters)

Photo of jbsteiny
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, very cool label. Great photo of Lenny, the label looks like a theater marquee, and quotes and copy abound. Pours beautiful -- a deep dark reddish beer with a thick off-white head, leaving chunky lacing all over the place. Smells fantastic - dried fruit, lots of different hop flavors, molasses, caramel, rye, berries. It just keeps going. And it tastes just as good - it's got all that and then some - some brown sugar / brown butter / butterscotch / toffee going on in the finish that you don't really pick up in the nose. Full bodied, and goes down remarkably easy for a 10%, heavily hopped brew. Look out if you find this on tap -- a couple of these can end your night early... (694 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Into a large Duvel tulip it poured a clear, dark amber body with a warm ruby/mahogany glow when backlit. A 2-finger khaki-colored head settled over the top, retained very well and left lots of lacing on the way down. A very pretty sight to behold; I almost gave it a perfect 5.

S: Grapefruity hops at first sniff, though they're not overwhelmingly strong like you get from some DIPAs. Sweet caramel malt underneath, along with some brown sugar as well.

T: The first thing I wrote after the first sip was "peppery at the end" -- the alcohol spice that showed up at the end of the sip was definitely noticed. Up front it had plenty of bready and sweet malt -- hearty rye bread mixed with toffee and caramel, but some dry but fruity bitterness follows. I actually wrote "tough to describe." The lingering bitterness has a slightly dry metallic taste to it, but not in a bad way, as I thought it was pretty well balanced all around.

M: Medium to full-bodied. A little more carbonated than I expected.

D: Good, especially for a beer of this strength.

Notes: This was interesting. I'd like to get my hands on another bottle, because I had a tough time putting my finger on just what it was I was tasting that's so different from other beers. I believe it was the rye malt, but I'd like to test that theory with another sampling. (1,340 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a cloudy amber color, with a decent looking head.

Aromas are a bit sour, and pine like from the hops.

Taste is sour, mineral like, and overly bitter. There is a slight citrus and malty backbone, but it's not the main player here. Finish is crisp and tart. Overall, I think the balance is a bit off, it's still an interesting beer to taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but a step below the better beers of this style. Overall the beer seem a bit lean.

Drinkability is not bad. But all in all, this is a pretty good beer. Interesting, and worth a try.

Thanks for sending this my way drseamus. (B'day 07) (618 characters)

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

pours out a reddish ice tea tint with one finger of brown suds.
Lacing comes in pretty quickly.
Smell is very malty with hints of raisin/grape and caramel sugar. slight hop way in the back.
Taste is sweet malt then bitter hops then the alcohol. Once that leaves the mouth the hops linger for a minute or so.
Mouthfeel is a little dirtyand oily but finishes clean after the bitter hops leave the palate.
10% abv is a bit much for a session beer. As far as IPA's go, this one is pretty good but there are so many more that are better. (537 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazed copper color with a nice creamy beigie head and nice slow but active carbonation that leaves nice lace. Big malt and big hoppy aromas; some rye malt aromas are noticeable which is nicer than the non-descript bitter hop aromas. Big malt flavors with lots of non-descript bittering hops... nothing incredible stands out. Full bodied and smooth with a dry bitter hop finish.

Nice to try but not more than once.

Per Label: "Double IPA with Rye Malt"

Per SBC website:
Malts: 2-row, Rye Ale Malt, Torrified Rye, Crystal Rye 75, Crystal Malt 65, Wheat, Kiln Amber, Caramel 70
Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial. Dry Hopped with Amarillo and Crystal

'5042' lasered on bottom ('05' embossed on bottom)
Tasted: 03/23/07

($5.49 / 22 oz.) (795 characters)

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

from memory:

22 oz. to snifter.

Lenny's pours a gorgeous blood-orange red with a creamy, sticky head and thin lacing. Nose is well hopped with spicy rye, caramel malts, and slight booze. Taste, while still coldish, is amazing - juicy would be the first word to come to mind, and the rye mixes well with the sweet malts to make a flavour which reminds me of dense, german cakes. it looses a few points here as it warms up and the sugars take over, reducing much of the taste to a sort of boozy hard-candy - the kind of taste i can't abide in the DFH 90 and 120 minutes. however, this sad turn of events is saved by the ever-present rye spiciness and smooth, slow drain of a bitter finish. mouthfeel is amazing, not too thick, and coats the tongue and cheeks.

a fine and drinkable beer, if not a bit strong and a bit sweet. (831 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Happy Passover - I drank this at sundown, 4/2/07 - the start of Passover in honor of all my Jewish friends and fellow beer advocate members who are Jewish.

22oz bomber

Pours a clear, deep ruby red/amber color with a thick, foamy beige head leaving a ton of lace down my entire pint glass as I drink it.

Smell is very good, hops hit you at first, then the alcohol smell kicks in.

Taste, IMO, it's one of the best double IPA's I have ever tasted (a close 2nd to Ruination IPA from Stone).
Rich malty taste up front, warming alcohol in the middle, bite of bitter hops on the finish. Talk about balance!

10%abv is the only thing holding this back from being an exceptionally drinkable brew. I finished off my bottle and could have maybe a 1/2 bottle more, but I gotta admit, I do feel "content". (808 characters)

Photo of rkuhnel
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Mine was a 22 oz Bomber that had a theme that looks kind of like an old theatre exteriors The name He’Brew Presents BITTERSWEET LENNY’S R.I.P.A. is made to look like a theater sign. The label says this is a “A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt” and “Brewed with an obscene amount of malts and hops”. Listed at 10% ABV. There is a silhouette of the late great Lenny Bruce on the neck label. Finally it is Kosher Certified. Really cool label we have here.

Appearance: Poured a nice thick and oily stream from the bottle and settled into my Duvel glass with minimal splash and raised a nice fat off-white head that left lots of fat chunks of lacing on the sides of the glass. Overall this is a feast for the eyes and as the head slowly settles down you are so taken by its overall beauty you almost hate to disturb it.

Nose: This one comes at you with alcohol and piney hops. The aromas just leap out at you and you don’t need to take a deep sniff to get this one. Beside the hops, there are also some distinct but not overwhelming rich malts, toffee, nuts, caramel, and berries. Overall it is hard to imagine a beer smelling a whole lot better than this.

Taste: The taste is similar to the nose, and the alcohol, malts and the hops dominate, and there is a serious bitter finish worthy of a DIPA.

Mouthfeel: What can you say about this except is feels rich and creamy and simply hangs on the teeth and tongue. You hate to swallow, but then it tastes just as good going down the back of your throat.

Drinkability: Simply sublime is all I can say. At 10% you would want to be careful, but downing all 22 oz is easy. It is just great from first drop to last.

Overall: This is an unusual Double IPA because of the Rye Malt, but no matter how you measure it this is an impressive brew. I only got one bottle of this, but assuming it is still there will be picking up a case to share with my friends. (1,934 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first Rye IPA I have ever had (as described to me by the bartender who served me). Served in a goblet style glass. This beer pours a deep golden color witha reddish hue and ruby highlights. The off-shite head is about a finger thick upon being dran from the tap and settles to a nice film cover with decent lacing. Nice, sweet aromas of pine, citrus and hops are present up front along with some malts. Flavors of the aforementioned hops, pine, and citrus are present along with some rye, malt and perhaps a bit of grapefruit or lemon. Very good and well balanced taste indeed. Unlike any other Double IPA I have had. Has a crisp, thick mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Quite drinkable indeed. This beer does the winning!

Eric (737 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fisherman34's bottle shared during the MB DIPA Throwdown 07. Cheers to Kris for sharing this gem. One of the few rye beers I've had the pleasure of trying. Great looking beer - medium chesnut red color with solid head. Very sweet syrupy aroma to it. Taste is quite nice- very sweet ale and hops poked through more as it warmed.Not overly bitter and has a nice mouthfeel. Very rich brew from the rye malts. The hops are probably not given enough props due to being the last brew in the throwdown and my palate is screwed. very enjoyable beer- not top of my list of DIPA's but nice change mostly due to the rye. Thanks again Kris!! (629 characters)

Photo of uberabr
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Crystal clear copper red with a one-finger creamy off-white head. Some hop oil up top and some decent lace.

Smell- Highly complex and very well rounded. A light fruity hop with sweet candy and estery malts. Caramel, honey, popcorn butter, biscuits, and subtle satayed vegetables with hints of lemon juice and black pepper. Fresh cherry blossoms and spices complement the candy backbone well. Very nice.

Taste- Buttery and bitter. The butter diacetyl is heavy and somewhat cloyingly so, but it's balanced well enough by the bitterness. The malt is otherwise enjoyable, with loads of fruity esters- cherries, plums, watermellon- along with a roasted nuttyness and some syrupy molasses. The bitter backbone is of rich high-alpha hop varieties, creating a deep, woodsy pine with subtle hints of grapefruit and a definite rye bread aftertaste.

All in all an extremely complex and moderately well-rounded brew. The only thing I don't like is the overdone diacetyl malt, which adds to an oily mouthfeel. Other than that, it's highly drinkable. (1,059 characters)

Photo of RedChrome
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber colored crystal clear body. Inch and a half almond colored head took a few minutes to shrink down. One small stream of carbonation meandering to the top. Think sheets of lacing down glass.

Initially there is a strong blend of citrus and pine. But the pine wins out in the end with a slightly dirty finish. Citric smell is of grapefruits with just a hint of lemon. Very nice blend.

A pine taste created a thin veil over a very rich malt flavor. Tastes include a note of burnt rye toast, toffee notes and a gritty but faint grapefruit. A nice blend but still a tad on the gritty side,

Very nice thick feel on the surfaces of the mouth. A very limited carbonation tingle left the taste to sit on their own.

A nice offering to salute a great mind. In honor this is a great beer to wash down pastrami on pumpernickel. Oy, the boys at He'Brew did well with this tribute, but I'd give the beer up for Lenny back any day. (939 characters)

Photo of jakdracula
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is just great beer. It's 3:46 in the afternoon on a Thursday, and I'm supposed to be at work right now, but someone was kind enough to offer me half the bottle of this fine beer, as she is drinking the other half.

I must say: I'm glad I decided not to work. Unfortunately, we only have one bottle.

Get it. Drink it. (326 characters)

Photo of Cwrw
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Available in Alberta now in the 650 ml bottle. The label is as interesting as the beer, with a little blurb on the side and plenty of inside jokes to be had, really milking the Jewishness of it all. This DIPA pours a lovely mahogany reddish/brown colour, underneath a copious tapioca head. Fine bubbles and plenty of lacing to be had. A great looking double ipa.

The first sniff above the glass gives some extremely malty, almost soy-sauce-like aromas. The rye is undeniable here--it smells like the German rye bread I had this morning. Oh yeah, soya sauce and terriyaki here--a maltiness unlike any other I have tried. After a few more sniffs the hops come out to play, giving a dusty relief to the rye. The malts are delicious though, and the sweetness is delectable. If anything, this is nuanced. The taste really plays on the rye as well, with less bitterness than I expected from a DIPA. Again the similarity to soy-sauce is undeniable, but in the middle the malts balance a little with the hopping and we get a finish not unlike a full-on hoppy ipa. However, the graininess is anomalous. Every aftertaste was like a mouthful of dark rye bread. To me, the hops are a little under-displayed. The mouthfeel is barley-wine, with little carbonation. Full-bodied.

All in all, this seems to miss the mark of a drinkable balance. Interesting to try, but nothing I would drink two of in a row. Unique as it is, there is something missing. Or maybe I'm just not used to all that rye... (1,489 characters)

Photo of kernalklink
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured somewhat lackluster- murky brown with some aggressive carbonation. There was a mild hop aroma with some herbal notes and a hefty amount of malts to finish. The taste was much better than expected- great intense earthy woddy hops going to war with a thick syrupy fruity malt with some alcohol burn to back it up. The rye was just slightly noticeable, but gave a great finish, makes our palate dream of something new and unusual- whatever it is, strong barleywine-IPA-sahti, its a good choice. (508 characters)

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

Poured from the bottle a dark red amber with a creamy tan head. Light lacing was noticed as I drank.

I would describe the smell as warm and piney with a slight hint of citrus.

The taste is sharp and malty with bitterness at the end. The warmth of the alcohol becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Creamy best describes the mouthfeel.

This is a big beer which I would drink only one at a time. (409 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a decent slightly off-white head, great lacing, and a dark amber color. Smell is alcoholic, waxy, and with aromas of orange, grapefruit and pine from the hops. Taste is big and bitter with more wax, grapefruit and orange and a big hit of pine.Quite nice. Good body, and very balanced. Creamy and pretty smooth for the amount of hops. The alcohol is more present in the nose than the flavor, quite drinkable, even dangerously so. (439 characters)

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

Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into my shaker pint glass. Appears a clear dark amber color with a finger of off white head. Smells of pungent rye malts, and piney hops. Tastes of rye grains, bitter, grassy, piney hops, and sweet malts. Full bodied with medium carbonation. This was delicious. I'm a rye beer fan and this one certainly delivered. Highly recommended. Seek this one out while you still can. (407 characters)

Photo of DrMalt
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 650 ml bottle.

A dark orange/copper with a very frothy eggshell coloured head.

Aroma was strong. Almost perfumy with its floral smell. Classis fruitiness from Cascade or Centennial hop.

Taste was definitely malty, alcoholic and some peppery flavour. Loads of bitterness to match the malt. I didn't detect any rye flavours but that could be because of the strength of this brew.

Mouthfeel was initially a creamy, full bodied feeling & then the alcohol kicked in leaving a warming almost astringent mouthfeel.

Drinkability was slightly minimized by the strong alcohol body. Still a terrific IPA but the high gravity takes away from one pouring more.

Sampled this alongside some other IPA's & DIPA's. Is a tremoundous beer but was almost too big to be compared against the other IPA's & DIPA. Came in 3rd out of 6 IPA's I sampled. (857 characters)

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber

A-Nice amber body with a thin head of lace. For DIPA's I like to see a thick, sticky head. A little darker than expected but color was very pleasing.

S-Not the hop punch that I love in a DIPA. Seemed like I was picking up more from the bittering and flavor hops than any aroma hops. If they dry-hopped, it didn't present itself heavily.

T-Wow! My head is spinning between the hop bitterness and the rye spiciness. Sharp, coarse hops right up front. The maltiness, although tough to detect behind the hops, makes a nice caramel-like finish.

M-For a beer so big and full of sharp flavors, it is balanced extremely well. The hops are supremely evident, as well as the rye, but nothing is cloying. Citric sharpness reminds you what kind of beer you ar drinking.

D-Obiviously not an everyday beer, but another winner from Schmaltz. Any hophead should enjoy this and buy when the opportunity arises. (921 characters)

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