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

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On RyeHe'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Rye IPA aged in a Rittenhouse 100 Rye Barrel.
The 2013 batch was aged in Willett Rye Whiskey barrels. 2016 batch aged in Jim Bean Rye Whiskey barrels.

Added by John_M on 12-20-2007

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Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 360
Photo of scotorum
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Translucent ruby/copper with an inch thick offwhite head which receded slowly to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Strong spiciness over mild caramel malt

t: Spicy, smooth textured alcohol flavor followed by a considerable hop bite. Some bitterness lingers along with alcohol and slight throat burn.

m: Silky full, great body and good carbonation tingle.

o: A powerfully flavorful brew that delivers on all anticipated cylinders.
Outstanding monster, although the whiskey flavor is a bit raw and overpowers the rye and other malt elements somewhat, especially in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stated on side of 22 oz bottle as 2014 edition.

This VERY nice strong rye IPA on bourbon barrel pours a hazy brownish orange with a fantastic head of foam that dissipates to a thick 1/4" layer and has true staying power with excellent lacing. Nose of pink grapefruit, rye whiskey, vanilla, coconut, and dates. Flavors are a shock for the style to say the least. Moderately strong caramel and brown sugar notes hit to the front with spicy rye, and then dance about a grapefruit and citrus flavor with tropical flavors of coconut, honey, and dates to the rear with a generous amount of oak, rye whiskey, and a touch of vanilla.


Smooth mouth feel is bracing with citrus and rye while the carbonation keeps it lively and up beat with a warming and strong rye whiskey finish. Astounding. One of the best rye IPA's I have ever had and worthy of several years of aging. Astonishing I enjoy it so much since I am NOT a hop head. This is a new favorite to day the least.


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Photo of retry4z
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is the 8/3/2010 bottling date. I got the last bottle ($13) at a bottle shop - the bottle was holding up a shelf which is why nobody has bought it, and now I'm having it 5 years later. Apparently that year it was a silver medal winner at the GABF in the wood and barel aged strong beer category.

The 5 years haven't mellowed out the alcohol, and at 10 abv it is noticeable quite a bit. However, the hops are subdued somewhat and have a bee-pollen quality. Color is dark copperish-crimson.

Lots of fruity aroma and some nutmeg. Doesn't go down quickly, has to be sipped. Some cinnamon, crystal malt, and honey. Would be closer to a mead than an IPA, given it has been aged for so long. Some grassy flavor comes through from the dry-hoppedness (tm).

Overall a unique and worthy brew, but not as complex or drinkable as I'd hoped for a 5-year barrel aged bottle.

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Photo of chinchill
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%

22 oz bottle served with dinner.
Too strong and boozy to work well with food but nice as an after-meal sipper. The load of flavor from the rye barrel would overpower most beers but not this DIPA. Sweet for style, suggesting, with the strong rye flavor, that some rye whisky was left in the barrels.

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Photo of threeviews
4.64/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch #3 poured from a 22oz bottle into a Rastal, Teku 2.0 glass - Reviewed 8/6/14

A- Pours a beautifully clear, ruby red with nothing more than a single finger, off-white head which dissipates rather quickly (5.0)

S- The barrel component is ever-so-present, . Vanilla, coconut, oak, orange blossom honey, melon and some lemon/lime citrus thrown in for good measure. (4.75)

T- Malty sweetness hits first, but is quickly whisked away by a substantial white grapefruit rind bitterness. The spiciness from the rye (both from the malt and barrel) along with the oak tannin come through in the finish, creating a rather dry (yet enjoyable) finish. The malt backbone of the base beer is substantial enough to hold up against the flavors imparted by the barrel, creating a very balanced, yet extreme offering. (4.5)

M- Medium-Full bodied with high drinkability. The sturdy carbonation helps to keep this otherwise viscous brew from running amok on your palate. (4.5)

O- After nearly 1-year since being bottled, all the elements of Lenny's R.I.P.A. on Rye still hold strong, as your palate will recognize both barrel and DIPA components. The aging of Lenny's R.I.P.A. in Rye Whisky barrels elevates an otherwise good beer to outstanding. Well done! (4.5)

Since I have now reviewed both 2013 & 2014 editions, I give the nod to the 2013 vintage and hope it ages with the best of 'em! (4.75)

Batch #4 (2014) - Aged in Redemption Rye whiskey barrels - Reviewed 1/26/14

One of, if not the only 32oz growlers of this beer on this planet, is poured into a 16oz snifter.

A- It pours a crystal clear, deep mahogany color with about one finger's worth of a white, frothy head. (5.0)

S- Perhaps the most extreme barrel-aged beers I have ever experienced. Vanilla, oak and down-right whiskey are dominant on the nose. Once acclimated, you will find subliminal notes of ruby red grapefruit citrus. (4.5)

T- Like the aroma, an absolute assault on the senses courtesy from the whiskey barrels. Vanilla, oak and rye spice dominate consume the palate. (4.25)

O- Wow...simply amazing. I dare you to find a barrel-aged beer that elicits a more pronounced barrel-aged character than this. Starting with Barrel-Aged Blockhead, Funky Jewbelation and now with Lenny's R.I.P.A. on Rye, Shmaltz is releasing exceptional barrel-aged brews of which are all worth seeking out! (4.5)

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Photo of Mitchster
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased as part of the 2013 holiday pack. This being the 2013 version, duh.
Brewed with specialty 2-row, rye ale, torrified rye, rye flakes, crystal rye, crystal 80, wheat, kiln amber, and caramunich 60. Hopped with Warrior, cascade, simcoe, crystal, chinook, amarillo, centennial, Saaz, and dry hopped with simcoe, amarillo and crystal. 10% ABV.

Pours out to a hazy medium brown, forming a creamy light yellow head with fantastic retention and solid sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderate, about 2.5 carbs or so. The nose is that of an american barleywine...a boatload of hops sitting on top of a sticky huge malt body with notes of molasses, soy sauce, caramel, and bourbon. Mouthfeel is sticky, syrupy, huge bodied. Taste opens with a firm blast of hops, with pine, grapefruit, and orange peel and is followed by syrupy malts with toast and grain notes. A few fruity yeast esters, then a medium firm bitterness which balances well with the overall toffee sweetness, finishing with a firm hop aftertaste and medium astringency. Earthy finish.

Don't think of this as a DIPA, but a rye barleywine. It's a very well brewed beer, and is very rich, but I don't really see myself buying it again.

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Photo of TucsonTom
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A great whiskey-barrel aged beer ... for my taste.

I haven't had many whiskey-barrel aged beers. Most have come from Firestone-Walker. I can't say the style is my favorite, but this one from Shmaltz is my favorite so far. It has to be the use of rye whiskey barrels for me. I really enjoy a shot of rye with a malty beer on the side; somehow the combination of flavors is wonderful. And this beer smacks that nail straight on the head.

I'm drinking this nine months after bottling, so that aging probably helped a bit. I'll bet two years on this brew would make it incredible.

It's still luscious as is!

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I remember a past co-worker raving about this and missed my chance some time back to get my hands on one. Saw it, bought it, proceeded to try it quickly. 2014 release.

Pours out pretty oily with a small, off-white head that dissipates and leaves a wispy film and ring about the edges. It is a deep, rich copper colour. The small lacing bubbles very slowly climb through the thick beer up the sides of the glass. Very good looking.

The smell is quite nice, pretty heavy on the earth, booze, and rye whisky. There are hints of vanilla and very dry chocolate, maybe a bit of smoke and citrus. Almost a bit lemony and grapefruity. The smell isn't heavy or potent, it is pretty mellow.

The taste is huge and aggressive. Very aggressive. I get a lot of rye whisky and rye malt on this. There are no doubts as o what this beer is. It is brazen. Comes in a bit sweet with vanilla and oak tones, maybe a bit of blackberry, and the heads into the lemony citrus with herbal notes and then the rye whisky hits. It comes down like a sledge hammer with a backbone of pine and then gradually eases off into a grapefruit pith and booze. The oak holds throughout it pretty evenly and then sinks in with the booze at the tail end. I can certainly see how many reviewers are a bit blown out and away from the hops. The whisky does overshadow heavily in this beer and blends with the aggressive herbal tones and pine.

Mouthfeel is pretty well on the heavy and oily side. A definite sipping beer. This is also an extraordinarily dry beer. To the point it is a bit astringent. Being a sipping beer, you have to fight with this boozy dryness and astringency which becomes a bit unpleasant. It's harsh and for 10% or so ABV, the booze are out there like no ones business and add an almost unbelievable amount of warmth to the beer. I've had some hot beers but usually they are higher in ABV than this. This is a hot one.

Overall, I love the original Lenny's RIPA. After this I actually want to revisit it. This is a good beer, but it is extremely aggressive with the rye whisky. I like a good robust beer, but it is a bit too harsh for even myself when it comes to the astringency. Don't get me wrong though! I would drink this beer again. If it were on tap somewhere and I wanted a potent beast of a beer, I would gravitate to it to meet my needs. I guess I just have some mixed feelings on it. I will continue to buy He'Brew, they certainly never disappoint on the sides of interesting and unique. And this was definitely both of those.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A brownish red body with one finger head and lace ring. I get a strong rye presence in the aroma, and then something akin to both bourbon and wood along with a hint of vanilla, even some caramel, toffee, figs and a big ol' helping of hops. The beer is real smooth and sweet with the rye poking out everywhere and there is minor malty booziness along with touches of dark fruits like figs and plum along with moderate sweetness. The hops are plentiful and come across as oily and piney. The beer is a little thick and sticky at times and is a slow sipper but real enjoyable.

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Photo of rawfish
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Viscous, smooth pour results in a billowing parchment paper colored head rising above a dark mahogany body. Head size is maxed out at a finger but this has very good retention and leaves a solid sheet of tight lacing on the glass.

Barrel character makes this beer more rounded and provides more layered aromas than the regular version. Thick toffee malt, molasses, whisky, oak and rye malt meld together balanced by equally punchy sweet orange citrus and pine resin. Alcohol is soothed down by the barrel aging and is well integrated with the sweet, deep malt and piney, juicy hops.

Thick, layered malt, well into barelywine standards, complexities of molasses, toffee and a good rye edge. The fruity esters carried by the rye and yeast complement the hops, orange citrus, bright pine. Oak and a light whisky soothe the hops down adding a layer of vanilla and wood.

The bright hops and wood work equally to balance out the density of the body. Carbonation is low-medium but also creamier in texture. Malt is also less sticky than the body lets on and the hops create pleasant mouthcoating and the alcohol is complementary instead of abrasive.

Whiskey barrel aging has make a good beer even better. This is one instance in which aging a DIPA works, a layered barleywine type malt with oak, vanilla and deep toffee and rye with brightening hops. The barrel cuts down the less desireable flavors of fruity, grapey esters from the yeast and rye

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Photo of sprucetip
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love's me some Lenny's! Regular Lenny's has been one of my go to beers for a while now. I resisted trying (buying) this one numerous times, but I have a goblet full presently.

It's a reddish/copper good looker with excellent clarity and it hangs onto some film on top and a thick tan ring of suds around the edge long into the sample.

At first pour it struck me as a mess. A hot mess to be specific. But an hour or more later, from the 2nd goblet full, it smells much better. It's still boozy, but it doesn't dominate and the sinus clearing effect noticed earlier has dissipated almost completely. The barrel, the rye from the barrel and the rye are all part of the program, though the alcoholic and woody tones from the whiskey barrel are more prominent than the grain. I am starting to get something citrusy. Could that be hops poking through? Forgot about them. I do believe there are some hops in there, but there is a lot of oak and whiskey barrel and boozy heat to wade through to find them. I am sure there is a good bit of crystal in it, but it is virtually undetectable to me. … and now the malty sweetness finds its way to my nostrils.

The taste, long into the sample, has evolved from rough and disorganized into something lovely and sublime. The crystal malt lays down the foundation, and the other influences build upon it. There is moderately aggressive hoppy bitterness and a hoppy character to the flavor, but nothing too specific because the oak and rye whiskey flavors are much more bold. … I like it. It's bold. Some might find it harsh. I dig it. There is some synergy and balance in places, but not always. And that's okay.

Plenty of carbonation with a rich and full body. It is viscous, yet still has some lingering hoppy bitterness and gentle drying sensation in the finish.

Wow. I don't recall a beer making this much recovery from the initial opening to the finish. It sat at room temp for an hour or more after coming out of the fridge. Still, when I opened it I was struck by my lack of adoration for it. It was rough and harsh and the different influences didn't work well together. I sipped slowly, aware of the sensations, but doing other things. Gradually it melded together into one special brew, instead of a bunch of strong competing parts battling each other. ...

There is nothing nuanced or subtle about this beer. It is brash and aggressive, and probably offensive to some. …. Probably 1.5 hours into this now and the bomber is maybe half gone. It has gone through quite a transformation. It was harsh at first, but it has mellowed some and buried elements such as the caramel and hops have emerged. … and if anyone is still reading now, you should probably try this one.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Welp, subtlety just got thrown out of the window! The piercing bitterness of RIPA links up with exacerbated rye grain, whisky and oak for a complete assault on the taste buds. They simply have no chance with this massive brew.

As the beer pours, it stands tall with a masculine darkness that finds the line where garnet meets mahogany. As it sheds a whisping and creamy cap of foam, the bubbles eventually succumb to the beer's strength as its foam folds back into the beer- rendering its appearance to take the shape of dark whisky.

Its incredible aromatics are citrusy, piny, oaken and spicy with a husky grain scent- all that's wrapped in a cocoon of hearty malt- toasted maple, toffee, buckwheat and molasses all greet the nose as wood spices round out an earthy tinge right before the taste.

Its powerful aromas translate to an equally intimidating taste. As its decadent sweetness wraps around the tongue, it seep in deeply with toasted nutty, toffee, bready and gooey burnt caramel. Its robust candied taste seems to drip from grapefruit, orange and lemon peels as a citrusy tone meets the middle. All the while, the spicy rye grain links up with the hops seamlessly- elevating the status of both. As the ale develops its pithy and resinous bitterness, elements of oak and pine protrude and offers some semblance of balance in the beers long and bittersweet finish.

Its full body acts like barleywine as its sultry sweetness is dense but never cloying. As the sweetness slowly dissolves on the tongue it allows for the spicy pang of wood tannin and rye to snip at the mouth, paving the way for hops to offer its resinous dryness to close.

RIPA on Rye is a complex beer that is so based on its own straight forward bigness. Its a powerful ale that is meant for a slow and patient session, opening up elements of fruit marmalade and tobacco in its waning sips.

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Photo of fox227
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a Stone Old Guardian glass, sipped over the course of ninety minutes or so, R.I.P.A. on Rye looks dark ruby in hue, with a thin off white head, looking like a barley wine. The head doesn't stick around, nor does any lace. On the nose is found mostly whiskey, burnt sugar, spicy rye, and caramel. The taste follows the nose, however, after some time of warming the hops finally force their way through this vicious brew, revealing lupulins mostly of the citrus: grapefruit variety. Mouthfeel is a combination of full bodied, somewhat sweet malt and a fairly aggressive hop attack on the end of the palate.

This is my first IPA or DIPA that had undergone barrel aging, and I find it to be quite impressive. All of the flavors are well integrated into the whole - the barrel aspect isn't dominating and all the described above features play a nicely balanced role. Recommended.

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Photo of RacerX5k
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Except for the gusher I wasn't expecting causing me to lose beer not cool this was killer. Reminded me of my first RIPA years ago, which had to be older since it was a rye malt bomb, which I loved since ipas with some age do not bother me at all, and are usually preferrable for my tastes.

Beautiful caramel color, big aromas of rye malt and rye whiskey. Taste follows, huge rye malt and whiskey bomb, the hops poke thru in the second pour, adding a nice bitterness. Butterscotch and very thick, sticky. Not the most drinkable but this is just a huge beer in every respect. Very strong and flavorful, and absolutely outstanding.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 08/15/2013; batch #3.

Mahogany color. A yellow/sepia head simmered at nearly a half-inch, but fell quickly and left a ring. Very cloudy looking.

Has a powerful liquery hop nose. Stocky rye presence with a tempered pungency. The whiskey notes compose of American oak, leather, and toffee; also accentuated by the malts. Some dank orange in the mix. Enjoyable.

A whole lot of whiskey! Not terribly boozy, just reminiscent of a glass of Rittenhouse. Hops are a great touch with dank citrus, pine, and earthiness. A lot of spicy rye flavors with the malty thickness of brown bread. Body is filled-out to huffy. Laid back carbonation that has a finishing afterburst. It's a massive beer, except that 10% is appropriately represented. That was one aspect that I thought I might struggle with.

It's a treat. I love regular Lenny's, and while this is not an improvement, per se; it's still a good drink.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY. 2013 vintage.

Pours a murky cola brown. No head really, with very minimal lacing.

Smells like brown sugar, earthy and spicy rye whiskey, and pine needles. Very nice.

Very similar taste, with a huge emphasis on the rye whiskey. The rye malt itself makes a welcome appearance, attempting to keep the beer dry. But the high alcohol, malt sweetness, and aged hop flavor keep this beer a little too sweet for my liking. The remaining hop flavors impart mostly bitterness, with a tiny amount of musty grapefruit. Sticky brown sugar is a big flavor in this too. Tastes almost like dry-hopped straight rye whiskey, really.

Full mouthfeel, almost flat carbonation. Very warming.

An interesting experiment here. I don't usually believe in barrel aging DIPAs, but this worked. It was far from perfect, but a worthy shot anyway.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a He'brew small shaker pint. Pours a medium to dark reddish amber with a fine light tan head with great retention and thick lacing. Nice aroma of rye whisky, piney and citrus hops, vanilla, caramel malt. A barley wine aroma profile. Flavor follows with caramel malt, rich rye whisky, fresh tropical fruit, citrus, oaky vanilla. Finshes with whisky and piney hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A great, rye forward IIPA with lots of flavor variety and good balance. Lots of barrel aged but hoppy barley wine character. I really like this a lot. I originally reviewed this in 2010 from the last round, but liked this even more this time, so it gets a fresh review of the 2013.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Dark orange-brown color. Very cloudy. Creamy tan head retains at a quarter inch. Thin wispy patches of lacing

S: Lots of spicy rye character. Toasty. Rye whiskey, barrel aromas of woody vanilla. Caramel. Whiffs of citrus rind and orange peel.

T: Aggressive rye. Potent and spicy. Heavily toasted. Lots of barrel character. Caramel and toasted oak. Warming rye whiskey. Quick hint of cocoa is swallowed up again by the rye. Pulpy orange and grapefruit rind. Oily. Grapefruit. Ample hop bitterness on the back end. Finishes with rye, grapefruit, and oak.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy and airy. Very warming from the whiskey. Gentle caressing carbonation. Mild hop and wood astringencies.

O: Loads of rye character in this beer, lots of barrel character, and some complementing hops for good measure. A daring beer for sure, but Schmaltz really pulls it off. This is delicious, maybe my favorite rye beer this far.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2103 edition. Aged in Willett Rye Whiskey barrels.

Batch No. 003. 975 cases. Bottled 8/15/13.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, rye, earth, whiskey, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, spicy rye, and whiskey flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting combination of the rye used in the brewing and the rye whiskey from the barrel aging.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a deep, dark brown, small head, no lace.

The barrel starts the nose, rye, pine and citrus. Very in your face, and if you like rye beer and rye Whisky, awesome!

The taste starts with rye, caramel, pine and booze. This is all softened by the oak from the barrel near the middle and a nice citrus, grass and rye finish. Very nice, moderate body. Goes down with less heat than expected.

I love Lemmy's Bittersweet RIPA, and the doubled up and barrel aged version is amazing! I'm very glad the rereleased, being this was my first try!

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Photo of kaseydad
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Edition - Batch 3 - Aged in Willett Rye Whiskey Barrel

Been looking forward to this as I love the original.

Pours a semi-clear amber/dirty brown ale with a nice sized beige colored head. Doesn't appear too long and does a ring around the glass unless agitated. Nice colored ale.

Getting a lot of whiffs of the barrel here. The rye is very present as are the hops...which include seven different going by the label. Big whiffs of caramel and smaller amounts of brown sugar, vanilla and toffee. The barrel is big here but very pleasant. Enjoying the experience.

The taste is very spicy rye forward with a subtle boozy background. Big combo hop flavor going on. The rye on top of rye is big package of flavor here and if you don't like rye, this beer could be a problem. Spicy swallow but doesn't linger too much.

For all that this beer is packing, the mouthfeel is nicely full bodied and very limited on the carbonation...which helps.

Overall, for me, the combo of a rye beer and a rye barrel works amazingly well. The base beer is almost perfect and throwing it into a rye whiskey barrel just brings out all this beer can be.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter. Kosher certified.

Dark cola body with a surprising amount of carbonation for being barrel-aged, the ecru- colored cap reaches a finger in width. The smooth foam leaves behind a thick sheet of lacing.

That is nice! The fruity esters of "regular" Lenny's mingling with aromas of vanilla, wood, and subtle whiskey. Also, as the beer warms and opens up, the caramel and spicy notes become apparent.

The palate of flavors is Lenny's with a sweet boost from the whiskey barrel aging. The whiskey notes are more honeyed and dark fruit-like across the palate. The finish adds a resiny note and a slight whiskey booziness, but this beer is far from being hot. The malt is bready and slightly caramel-y as the palate adjusts. Very good.

Medium bodied and creamy, slightly dry, this beer fills the mouth and finishes easy for a barrel-aged offering.

I really enjoyed this beer! The barrel aging improved the base beer in every way. The nose had a great whiskey character. The palate was extremely complex and managed to keep from being hot, while exhibiting whiskey, woody notes. Definitely a must try.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/15/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, vanilla, toffee, coconut, whiskey, rye, oak, clove, toast, orange zest, grapefruit, floral, light pine, and oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with big malt and barrel presence and complexity with some light hops; and good strength. Taste of big caramel, vanilla, coconut, toffee, whiskey, oak, clove, rye, toast, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, floral, grass, and toasted earthiness. Light pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, vanilla, coconut, toffee, whiskey, oak, clove, rye, toast, grapefruit, pine, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt and barrel flavors with light-moderate hop presence; with a great malt/barrel balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged DIPA. Hop presence was weak, but the malt/barrel balance and complexity of flavors were very impressive; and quite smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of VincentFrey
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour / Appearance: Older bottle (8/15/2013), but in theory this is probably aged most of the aroma hops out of it. Anyway it's what's being put on the shelf for the variety pack so hey. Pours with a good amount of carb, forming a voluminous head that actually sticks around. I don't believe this is bottle conditioned, and don't see any yeast floaties, so good for Shmaltz. A nice amber coloring, with ruby tinges around the edges. Very pretty, especially for the relatively new (well increasingly common perhaps) process of barreling IPAs.

Aroma: Heavy rye on the pour, with oak and vanilla increasing as the beer warms in the glass. Some distinct hops that seem odd; bit of dank and onion, but mostly grassy, earthy hops. Any sugar / caramelized notes seem to come from the barrel, although the heavy caramel malts listed on the bottle seem to suggest otherwise. Fresh barrel, perhaps? Either way good nose, but a bit confusing especially for any sort of IPA.

Taste: Very surprising! Actually a good deal of hop presence still here, both bittering and in the flavor. Amarillo and Chinook seem like the big ones here, and it's nice to have their dank presence to play with the heavy rye. Lots of vanilla to enhance the sweetness, while the rye contributes some heat notes that are wholly distinct from the very well masked 10% ABV. I'm thinking this wasn't in the barrel very long, and it's better for it. There is a good blend going on here, and anymore time in the barrel might have made it cloying.

Overall: Very nice, and a great example of what barrel aging big IPAs can do.

Bottom Line: Definitely give this one a shot. Worth it for all sorts of beer lovers, particularly those interested in barrels and experimentation.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another big beer from Shmaltz! Picked up tonight from the tasting room at the brewery. Excited for this one!

Poured from 22 oz. bomber into snifter

A- Great dark amber color with nice tan fluffy head with nice even consistent bubbles. The head doesn't stick around forever but when it does there is some decent lacing that slides down the vessel. Has a nice glowing aura to it.

S- The barrel smells great on this one. Caramel, a bit of coconut, char, whiskey. Although masked by many of the characters of the barrel, the hop aroma starts peeking through as it warms. Also as it warms up to room temp, the alcohol smell becomes slightly more evident. Picking up some tropical fruit...mango?

T- Very barrel forward. I bought this from the cooler at the brewery and it was labeled as batch three and brewed in August, 2013. The Rye Whiskey presence is right there upfront, but not really too overpowering. It is balanced quite nicely. For the amount of hops that they loaded into this its not too bitter, but there is a subtle bitter hop aftertaste. Brown sugar, very malty. This is a great tasting, complex brew!

M- Great thick and hardy. A little dry from the barrel aging. There is some bite from the carbonation, but the thicker mouthfeel helps balance this into a thick, smooth beast that becomes tamed as you drink it. The alcohol is also hidden amongst all the complexities and nuances.

O- Overall a splendid barrel aged beer! A great, balanced smooth double IPA with barrel aging down right! The whiskey and the barrel add a very interesting and pleasing quality to this brew. Pretty well done for a brewery that was only open for a matter of weeks at the time of the bottling of this beer. Well done Shmaltz. L'Chaim!

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye from Shmaltz Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.