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

Not Rated.
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On RyeHe'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

342 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 342
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.54%
Wants: 14
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: John_M on 12-20-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 342 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

A hop bomb, aged 2 years I think. The rye starts sweetish and then becomes too much. Not overally drinkable.Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial
Dry Hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo and Crystal.
Thick and rich looking,mouthfeel is, hoppy aromas that are indistinguishable.

Sammy, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2%

t0rin0, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

djrn2, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

nmann08, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.5%

acurtis, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%

"I won't say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: what I'm going to be if I grow up."

--Lenny Bruce

Polished persimmon with an infusion of pomegranate juice. Four full fingers of foam were produced on the pour and overflowed the glass, despite my frantic attempts to corral it. Once it finally fades, the whipped marshmallow creamy cap blankets the drinking vessel with loads of lace.

Barrel-aged or not, an American DIPA needs to be more hoppy than this. Especially since this brew hasn't even reached its 4 month anniversary yet. The same problem is present in the standard Bittersweet Lenny's, but it seems even worse here. Rye whiskey is front and center, which means the brewers must have used some pretty leaky barrels.

Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye is probably best thought of as a big, bold, hoppy rye beer. In that context, it's a semi-success. The fact that a killer lineup of little green cones (Simcoe, Warrior, Cascade, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial) provides much more bitterness than flavor is disappointing.

If you don't enjoy the earthy spicy power of rye whiskey, then steer clear of this brew because it dominates a flavor profile that also includes sticky toffee pudding and orange peel macerated in Stolichnaya. A 10.0% ABV this soon after bottling can only be masked so well. This stuff will definitely warm your cockles.

The mouthfeel with be a treat for those of you who like full, lush, lip-sticky American big beer. Somewhat shy bubbles that still provide plenty of creaminess are just what the doctor ordered.

In the final reckoning, aging Bittersweet Lenny's in Sazerac Rye Whiskey barrels doesn't transform it into something amazing, but it does add another flavor element to a better than decent big beer. I'm still disappointed by the lack of hop flavor in both of these He'Brew brews.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +11%

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.

BEERchitect, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Texasfan549, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

GRG1313, Sep 07, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%

A: half finger head on a clear amber and crimson body. Excellent lacing.

S: sweet caramel malts and citrus. Relatively mild on the nose.

T: very malty. Candied citrus, floral and herbal hops. A little boozy.

M: medium body ad moderate carbonation.

Overall: very malty IPA approaching barleywine status. ABV and booze hurt drinkability.

kylehay2004, May 12, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2%

jaydoc, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%

Appearance: Served up an opaque, dark, deep amber body with an inch or so of bubbly, light beige foam.

Smell: Looking forward to this one! Caramel cubes layered with a jolting, frown-inducing medicinal, band-aid-riddled phenolic scent. Some earthiness, some booze, but I'm rather done smelling it for now. Well, I WAS looking forward to it.

Taste: Toasty, caramel candy-coated malts with a modest sweetness. That zippy, spicy rye component still remains, as does the citrusy hops and bitterness. As you get into it, there's this odd, off-putting phenolic acetone flavor leaking in from the aroma. I must say, it really spoils the whole proceedings. Bitterish, sourish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not altogether pleasant. Sorry, He'Brew, but the thumb points down on this one. I'll be sticking to the standard R.I.P.A. in the future.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -1%

I love me some rye beers,highly hopped rye beers even more,I have never had a rye beer like this in its intensity of flavor before.Poured a deep bronze color with a tight formed one finger white head,almost creamy in nature it left one ring of lace as it settled very slowly.Big fruity esters in the nose, along with some pine resin,herbal sharpness,and a big whiff of sweet alcohol.A lush mouthfeel again almost creamy in texture coats the mouth,flavors are deeply fruity with an acidic-like sharpness from the rye,its quite boozy as well,a resiny/pine note comes in the finish.Its boozy and a little hot so its not a real drinkable beer but its got great sipping quality,its massive and complex on the palate.I liked it more than most.

The rye whiskey barrels provide an assertive oakiness as the beer warms and I drink more.

oberon, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of largadeer
2.42/5  rDev -38.3%

This was shared by someone...chswimmer maybe? I can't remember. Oh well, thanks, whoever you are.

Pristine clear burnished amber, the color is beautiful but it looks oddly filtered. It's topped by a small off-white head. Very clean and refined appearance.

It has an oxidized hop aroma. Spicy rye and pine, almost cheesy, like an extra-sharp pecorino romano. This is stale-smelling. There's some whiskey aroma, but not a ton...makes me think of whiskey soaked pine needles. Strange.

Caramel malt and whiskey flavors hit the palate first, followed by strong pine that eventually turns into a firm bitterness. It has some rye spiciness and a bit of whiskey heat, but it's not overwhelming in any way. Quite muddled overall, I dislike the interplay between the barrel and the stale hop flavor. This may have turned out good with more time in the barrel, or if it simply had a more robust barrel character. As it stands, it's mediocre.

I remember enjoying this beer when I had it on tap at Toronado last year, but this bottle didn't live up to that memory at all.

largadeer, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

zeff80, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -1%

22oz bottle, a welcoming, and surprising find on the shelves of a worthy supplier of fine beers and wines to the denizens of, or in this case, visitors to, Cowtown, Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, red-tinted copper penny hue, with three fingers of puffy, thickly foamy, and rocky opal head, which leaves a seldom-broken wall of dripping tacky lace around the glass as it casually settles.

It smells of edgy, woody bourbon, doing well to top some strong, but smothered citrus and pine hops, with the underlying caramel malt still poking through, complementing the typical sweet vanilla and caramel barrel characteristics. The taste is quite heady and aggressive, with its sweet caramel and toffee malt, more woodsy, rye spice laden, and bourbon cask representin' whisky notes, some Grand Marnier orange liqueur essence, and a rather subsumed, but still worth mentioning, undercurrent of big-ass pine and floral hop bitterness.

The carbonation is indeed there, but well hidden, and softly frothy in any of its manifestations, the body hefty, full in weight, smooth, creamy, and kind of sticky. It finishes still somewhat ridiculously sweet, the bourbon barrel and base malt equally culpable - the big booze only attenuating things so much, given its plumb shy behavior up til now.

A slower drinking affair, one that I have become accustomed to with the various He'brew offerings - the astringent Kentucky barrel definitely reining things in considerably for me. Barely different from the regular RIPA to make me appreciative of the delta, and drinkable as the boozy, dense nature can allow. Neat, but still somewhat lacking in its attempt at further uniqueness compared to the 'base' beer, and losing significant points for the obfuscation of the standard big IPA hops.

biboergosum, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2%

JAHMUR, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Kegatron, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

I was excited for this when I first saw it, Lenny's RIPA is a really good beer, and I love rye whisky, so hopefully the low rating is a misunderstanding with the beer.

A: Pours a large 3 finger head in my oversized tulip/snifter glass with fluffy semi quickly fading head. It's a clear copper reddish slight wood brown color.

N: Mostly a DIPA on the nose. Lots of thick malts and hops, chewy sweet hops with some earthy tones, little citrus and bitterness, and the malts are lots of sweet pale malts with hints of a darker malt. Some rye as well with little spicy fruity quality from it. I do get some woody esthers and a little oak, touch of a whisky aroma. As it warms it starts to get more of a bourbon aroma actually, with some barrel aromas.

T: Starts heavy as well, with quite a few malts at first. Thick and pretty sweet, mostly lots of pale malts but a little darker malt like crystal. Then come hops and bitterness. Quite a bit of bittering hops, earthy and chewy hops, but no real hop distinctive flavors. Again with the rye too, lots of spicy rye and a little fruit. The beer has a creamy almost oxidized aged taste to it. WIth that comes a warming booze, touch of alcohol tingly feel, and some whisky flavors, rye whisky (I just had Sazerac Rye Whisky - aka Baby Saz - to make sure I knew the flavor). There are some woody esters, but not a lot of oak and no vanilla. A strange hoppy and malty blend, with some interesting and unique flavors. Some bourbon flavors start to come out as it warms with a little bit of a barrel flavor.

M: Med body with tons of carbonation.

F: Still pretty bitter, with lots of bittering hops, but again not much distinctive hop flavor. Some earthy, chewy, and spicy hops if anything. More sweetness as well, which it dries a bit but not that much. Lots of lingering booze and warmth, as well as a little alcohol burn. Lots of rye on the finish as well, with a slight whisky flavor, but more spicy fruity rye flavors. The finish has quite a bit of that woody ester taste too, but again no real oak. I think the whisky took most of the oak flavor from the barrels. A little sticky sweetness residual sugar as well. The rye adds a bit of bitterness as well on the finish. It has a really heavy alcohol bite, a very slow drinking beer. I think it could have benefited from dropping the abv quite a bit. The barrel aging gave it a slight oxidized and aged taste, which doesn't usually benefit a DIPA as much as say a Barleywine or RIS.

jlindros, May 23, 2010
Photo of mactrail
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%

Dark brownish orange color in the wine glass. Modest foam along with a tangy, spritzy mouthfeel. Smoky and woody aroma.

This tastes like aged barrels. Hugely malty but not sugary. It tastes like it started out sweet and aged to this interesting dryer conclusion. Very strong and tasting of alcohol. A different sort of booziness than the usual sweet bourbon taste. Lots of hoppy bitterness.

A zingy, fragrant powerful brew with a dry finish. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

mactrail, Nov 14, 2013
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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 342 ratings.