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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

142 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 142
Hads: 356
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 21.74%
Wants: 13
Gots: 29 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 12-20-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Rye IPA aged in a Rittenhouse 100 Rye Barrel.
The 2013 batch was aged in Willett Rye Whiskey barrels.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 142 | Hads: 356
Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of SavvyStudent
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extreme bitterness like nothing else. Strong floral and some bitterness from the rye. High carbonation and lacing. It will pretty much blast your palate if you are a fan of the extreme hop bitterness. I got it as an individual bottle and not sure I could do six of these. Worth a try

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Photo of IronLover
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color with a heavy chill haze. Poured with an off-white foam.that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Ripe pineapple and grapfruit aromas with a sugary sweet and light spiciness and rye bready notes toward the end. Medium bodied with a resinous feel in the beginning turning creamy smooth after the rich carbonation rolls through. Intense ripe pineapple and tropical fruit up front that transition to pine hops through the middle with a touch of spicy herbal hops near the end. Despite the incredible hop bitterness a sweet caramel malt backbone manages to contribute. Finishes with a long lingering pine hop bitterness with a bit of malty sweetness beneath. Super hoppy with a nice variety of hop character.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 poured into a Boulevard tulip.

A - A beautiful beer. About two fingers of creamy, light tan head. Body is brown with only the slightest orange tinge.

S - A sweet bourbon smelling beer. Lots of vanilla and caramel. A little boozy on the back end. I guess there is some rye in there as well.

T - The whiskey takes a back seat here even though the booze comes out strong. More rye and bitter hops. Not as sweet as the scent. An interesting combination of whiskey, rye, and hops that seems to be well balanced, but the alcohol comes through too much and makes this a little harsh.

M - Strong mouthfeel as it is full bodied and well carbonated.

O - This is a pretty good beer that smells more like a barleywine but comes out with the DIPA flavors.

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Photo of MarkBlackout
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy wasn't crazy about this, but I thought it was great. No complaints with my bottle not tasting adequately hoppy at all. Rye was pretty subtle, just kind of added an interesting 'spicy' sort of finish. Not a brew for the timid by any means, but not boozy (except as concerns your bac). I really liked it! I'd buy at least a single again anyday. I'm not sure if I got a fresh one (March 2012, as you just might notice below), but it's a winner in my book.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.21/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark orange and relatively flat pour. Aroma was lots of alcohol, but not much in the way of rye. Didn't have the whiskey aroma, it was just pure alcohol heat for the most part, covering up any hop qualities in a significant manner.

Taste, lots of alcohol and bitterness. Where's the hops. Tastes a lot more like old coast ale instead of a dipa. I don't understand this beer in the least. Tastes like a boilermaker, at best.

The beer is a failure in the dipa department for me. It doesn't smell like hops, it doesn't have hop flavor. As for the barrel characteristics, its not pleasant, rather hot and boozy.

I've never been a big fan of this brewery, and this is probably the worst of the worst. Who thinks when buying a dipa with that list of hop additions, that they're going to end up with a subpar, undercarbonated old ale?

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Photo of jbakajust1
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an 8 oz snifter @ Davis Beer Shoppe

A - Pours a hazy chestnut w/ 1 finger beige head that persists, and leaves great lace

S - Smells of big malts, caramel, vanilla, oak, whiskey, spicy hops, little citrus, like a big barleywine and oak

T - Taste mirrors the nose, lots of caramel, fruits, oak, vanilla, whiskey, spicy hops, rye, light citrus, chocolate

M - Big, full body, medium carb, bitter semi sweet finish, warming.

O - Big, rich, full, deceptive, nice barley wine, oak and whiskey are not overpowering, touch of the rye, not an Imp IPA, too chewy, and the hops are not aggressive enough. Still a great beer though. Would have given this a solid 4.0 if I hadn't looked up to see the "Imp IPA" category.

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Photo of therica
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= cloudy copper, modest white head, some rimming and lacing following.

S= huge West-Coast piney floral hops nose, hints of sweet malts.

T= a bit too sweet for what I was expecting but rather nice, the piney floral hops continue, and the sweet malts.

M= a bit cloying and too-sweet out of balance considering the nose and taste. A mix of sweetness sticking on the tongue yet a bitterness residue clashing.

O= decent, I'll buy more when I see it but the sweetness was a bit out of balance for my preferences.

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Photo of chilly460
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a auburn or maroon hue, different then a typical amber. Off-white head, two fingers with good retention.

S: Plenty of pale malt, some vanilla maybe. Picked up a spiciness at the end.

T: Pretty interesting take here. Pale malts, caramel and some toffee in there. Get some vanilla again, and then a spiciness presumably from the rye. Through all that, not much hop profile that I can pick up, but get a solid malt profile that was like a molasses.

M: Decent enough body, plenty of carbonation.

O: Nice enough beer, just think that the aging kills the hop profile that I'd expect.

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Photo of sdmvd6
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very transparent copper in color with about a finger of head. A nice trail of bubbles makes it to the top of the glass.

S - Rye malt immediately followed by rye whiskey. There are hops hiding in there, but they are definitely an afterthought. The rye grain aroma is very dominant.

T - This is pretty much what I expected from this beer: Lenny's R.I.P.A. with a subdued hop character and smooth rye whiskey. Tons of rye malt and grain at the beginning of the palate followed by rye whiskey and sweet vanilla notes from the barrels. There is finally a bit of earthy hop bitterness at the end, but this is definitely not the focus of the beer.

M - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. There is a bit of resinous chewiness and a little alcohol burn.

O - You can't go into this one with the expectation of in-your-face hops, because it is an IPA that has been aged. The hops mostly die due to the aging, and only come through at the end with spicy earthiness and a hint of bitterness. It reminds me more of a barrel-aged barleywine (with rye, of course), which I guess is what it mainly is. It was very enjoyable overall.

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Photo of NWer
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On the label:
Batch/Cases No. 001/469
Bottling Date 4/9/2010

Poured medium dark copper into a tulip. Cloudy, tiny bubbles - lots of them that dissipate slowly given what a powerful beer this is.
Aroma is overpowering. Easy to get high on the smell alone.
Taste is a combination of sweetness and alcohol. A sipping beer. To be savored. If you like sipping rye whiskey, you will love this beer simply because it possesses all the pleasure and you get to enjoy more of it. High alcohol for beer, low for a whiskey with all the flavor - best of both worlds.
I love this beer and wish I had more of it. I bought it on close out at my local Central Market and wish I had cleaned them out.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 1 year)

Deep and dark auburn with a huge, thick, persistent khaki colored head. Sheets of lacing smear the glass. This beer looks thick and substantial, not to mention gorgeous.

Incredibly aromatic and incredibly sweet. The initial aromas are of the tremendously sticky, diabetes-inducing sweet variety: maple syrup, toffee candies, melted caramel, and fruit cake. There's a rich vanilla and earth component, along with lots of rye/whiskey. Upon initial whiff, this seems far closer to a barrel-aged barleywine than it does a DIPA, granted, this one is pushing a year old now. There is little to no hop presence left.

More sweet flavors mimic the aromas. Maple syrup, toffee, caramel, and vanilla, along with a pleasant oak character. Moderate to high bitterness, though that's all that is really left from the hops it seems.

Thick, chewy, substantial mouthfeel. Some alcohol burn on the swallow.

An interesting rye-barrel aged DIPA, though it completely falls away from anything remotely near style. It's more of a barleywine than it is a DIPA, especially at this age, though I don't get the impression this beer was much different a year ago. This beer becomes more and more enjoyable as it warms, though it's a tough bomber to tackle on one's own.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I fear that many beer lovers do not take the He'Brew line of beers seriously because of the playful name. This is a beer that deserves serious consideration.

In the barrel aged craze, it take something special to stand apart. This Rye Double IPA aged in whiskey barrels has an aroma that blends whiskey aroma with hints of vanilla. A murky dark brown catches the eyes before the first sip. The vanilla is very potent in the initial taste. The vanilla gives way to whiskey, tobacco, and molasses. The sweetness balance against the whiskey backbone creates a winner.

Though stylized as a double IPA, the beer does not pack much hop. But in the overall scope of the product, it is forgivable.

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Photo of enfield249
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark copper red in color, almost no head to speak of and only a small layer of tan foam.

S - Lots of biscuit, sweet malt, caramel, and a slight medicinal hop aroma.

T - So very good. All of the aromas are in here, biscuit, malt, caramel and what hop flavor is there is medicinal.

M - Full to very full. This the thickest IPA I have ever had, and if I was blindfolded I would have said this was a Imperial stout from the mouth feel. Thick and rich, velvety, with a strong amount of hop bitterness.

O - A truly great beer. Surprising flavors and textures.

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -- Average, Almost but not quite cloudy semi gold amber color, very minimal head.

S- You can def. smell the Rye in this one, after that everything else is mute in scent for the most part.

T/M - BOOM. Herbal bite with wicked Rye bite that follows, very interesting but very appropriate for an IPA of any style.

O -- Holey FUCK! This is 10%?? Hard to believe! Crisp dry dark malty taste, very well played and I would go out of my way to grab this 4 pack before 7 out of 10 others. A Must try!

PP (Price Point) - $9.00 or so for a 4 pack in my opinion is WELL WORTH IT. This delivers the BANG and the FLAVOR for the buck, give it a shot!

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Photo of claspada
2.58/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Original release date 8/3/10.

Aromas of strong rye whiskey, pretty intense to be honest. You would think a year would mellow this but unfortunately not. As it warms you get more of the malt which is equally as spicy from the rye and ample hopping (I am guessing) and the alcohol. Some bready and caramel maltiness is evident once you dig deep here.

The taste begins with spicy rye malt and a boat ton of strong biting rye booziness. I am pretty overwhelmed to be honest, this is not balanced nor do I think any age will help... So so so much barrel and booze flavors. Caramel malts and citrus hop bitterness try to sneak in but the overwhelming drying/palate wrecking booziness is too much.
Mouthfeel is moderately full but this is soooo dry and unpalatable from the intense rye barrel aging I cannot move past this...

Overall I am pretty much about to give up on Shmaltz Brewing Co. because I have not had a good beer from them yet. They have all been way way way too boozy and unbalanced and abrasive. The Vertical series was decent but less than extraordinary... no I have decided, I am done with them. Not recommended unless you love rye whiskey and want a beer that is virtually unpalatable unless you love rye whiskey.

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Photo of iPaleAle
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sipping on this bottle bring great joy to the palate. What can I say about this beer that is almost short of a Barley wine. The color and the nose invites any beer connoisseur who is willing to try anything new!

Poured into a half pint pub glass.

A:A solid copper color that any bold IPA should have. Lacing is incredible. A solid head that dissipates slowly after pouring right....

S: Is very easy to pick up the whiskey barrels of which this brew was aged in. Vanilla notes are the sweetness of which one could smell. Again it could hang with any Barley wine that has the big nose...

T. Toasty caramel Bitter sweet. Great hops balance the alcohol rye malts and sweetness of this ale. Very sticky coats the whole palate to leave you wondering in its magic.

m: It leaves your tasting buds wanting more... Very heavy alcohol begs for more. Its sweet bourbon/vanilla residue are the flavors that linger with a hint of hops....

O: Very good RIPA. A good rye ale that defines an Rye Ale. Its high alcohol content is nothing to be worried if your a seasonal ALE enthusiast.

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Photo of JavaJoe
4.83/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a 22oz bottle on a cool Memorial Day weekend.

A--This really is my favorite color of beer. Weird, I know, but I fell in love with a copper ale in 2003, and I've been searching the world for a beer that had that same golden, red, shimmering hue. He'brew's got it.

S--Whiskey, vanilla, almost too intense when nosed directly.

T--All of the flavor features of a whiskey barrel beer, without an overexpression of roast character. The complex hops profile of the RIPA balance surprisingly well with the whiskey barrel flavors. An unexpected match.

M--Body of an IPA, soul of a barrel-aged beer. Could be creamier. Thick and thin at the same time.

O--This is an extraordinary beer, plain and simple. There's nothing simple about it, though. A feast of hops, a complex malt profile, and just the right amount of barrel-aged compounds.

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Photo of Treebs
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch one, bottled 4/9/10

A: Pours an auburn with a 2 finger off yellow head leaving behind a solid lace.

S: Sweet rye whiskey fills the nose off the bat followed by some roasted malts. Slight hops come through, but I feel the woody, whiskey smell is too overpowering.

T: Again, full rye whiskey with a woody undertone. Finishes with a sweet, almost boozy note. I can sense the hops trying to shine, but I'm just not picking them up as well as I would have liked. Especially with the disclaimer on the bottle about the brewing with an insane amount of both malt and hops.

M: Nice smooth finish with a medium body and decent carbonation.

O: Too much whiskey and not enough hops. I feel this would be much better fresh out of the bottle.

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Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow! this is a big beer... I guess I wasn't expecting it. Pours a deep red with a thin white head, dissapating with no lacing. The nose is incredible, vanillin, carmel malts and rye. lots if rye. On a second drag i sense the rye instantly with massive barrel quailities. More like a fine BA Barleywine, but a big DIPA should not be that dissimilar. Starts off sweet like a BW, but hops assert themselves quickly, provacative amounts of chinook, simcoe, amarillo and C hops. well balanced and nicely hopped. It is a bit heavy for the style... but not surprising at 10%abv. Slightly cloying but not in a negative sense. diminutive carbonation. Overall this beer treads the very thin line between Barleywine and DIPA, mostly because of the barrel aging, a very well done offering. consider me a prostelyte of He'Brew...L'Chaim!

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Photo of sweemzander
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks again to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a hazy orange amber color. Produced a light cap of off-white foam.

(S)- A rich malty caramel aroma combined with an oaky, almost salty bourbon aspect.

(T)- Same as the smell. A rich caramel and bourbon core with hints at oaky vanilla and citrus.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Malty and rich with obvious bourbon notes. Not much in regards to a DIPA though.

(D)- A far better example than the regular version; very rich and oaky in this one, however still a strange and bizarre take on the style itself. This one reminds me more of a strong ale.

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Photo of treehouse
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first of all...hell of a beer...chewy...deep..rye-y....

nose of figs, hazelnut...creamy chocolate...

mouthed...thick sweet ..but no too sweet..tamed by the bitter hops....creamy as heck...the rye is quite forward..if you ever had old overholt in your mouth or maybe pappy van winkle family reserve...this is it...the alcohol is hidden..sneaks up on you like a welcome but unexpected...handjob...the bitterness stays in your cheeks...

i will drink this as much and as often as possible....

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a bomber. I'm a big fan of Lennys RIPA, interesting how the barrel aged version will stack up.

A-Slighty veiled burned copper with a scuddy head that settles rapidly. there may be a bit of chill haze in this so I will give it the benefit of a doubt, decent coloration overall, but it is not a stunner appearance wise.

S-Very much like the RIPA that we know and love with a bit of vanilla added to the mix. A bit of a barleywine tone overall as well.

T-The primary benefit of the rye whiskey barrel aging seems to be in the addition of the vanilla and obviously the whiskey undertones. It adds a new and interesting dimension to the beer although I would be hard pressed to say that it improves it. As this warms, the oak is far more pronounced, and may be more overpowering than it should be. He'Brew big beers hit you over the head with more flavor than most, and this one lands clearly in that category. For me it works, and I dig it. Many will not, and find that it detracts from the regular Lenny.

M-Thick, rich and well balanced.

D-This is clearly a "one and done" brew for a nights session, but one that also must be revisited. I think I prefer the regular Lenny to this, but This is worthy on its own merits....which brings me to another question. Are these brews really DIPAs? I don't think so, more like American Barleywines, or surely American Strong Ales. Whatever you call them, keep them coming.

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Photo of DBoyWhiteLabel
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first of the He'Brew beers I've tried. While I'm not completely impressed, I would say that if you like darker IPA's and oak aged IPA's, that this would definitely be something to try.

A - Very dark amber with a lot of residual head on the glass. I actually had to suck some of the foam off of the top, even with a farely slow pour.

S - As soon as I opened the bottle, a heavy dose of bourbon/vanilla scents came straight to me, but after I poured it and let it sit for a minute, I got a much more mellow vanilla, almost Black IPA scent.

T - The taste is much better than the feel of the beer. I think there's too much carbonation, and it takes away from the rich vanilla/dark malty flavor.

Pretty darn good overall.

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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.