Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BA SCORE
4.06/5
Exceptional
2,010 Ratings
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States
shmaltz.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).

Added by mcallister on 06-07-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,621
Reviews:
904
Ratings:
2,010
pDev:
11.82%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
236
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,010 |  Reviews: 904
Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - poured out with a deep orange/amber hue. Three fingers of creamy light-tan head, a scoop of pillowed foam in the center, a moat around it with drapy lacing, thick and sheeted all around. It came out of the bottle a little slow to bubble so I straight-dropped the last 4 to 5 ounces. Don't do that. Foam overage guarantee. Let's continue.

Aroma - a sweet malty background, split nicely with aromatic, piny hops. Sweet, juicy, piny. Recedes somewhat after a minute.

Taste - huge beer. Big rye malts. A citrusy hop flavor on the swallow goes intensely grapefruit. Warm with alcohol and very dry. I don't exactly go for the over the top bitterness but there's so much more to the flavor profile to enjoy. The malty abv side approaches a barleywine, Celebration-like flavor, and the hops keep it to style.

Mouthfeel - so smooth, it feels nitrogen-carbonated, especially if you get some bubbles from the head in with your sip. Otherwise, heavy, thick, drapy...DIPA.

Drinkability - it's a fine beer, suited for fans of the style and few others. I would not say no to another.

 1,093 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous deep dark fiery copper color with an immensely thick stack of soft off-yellowed foam. Tons of lacing coats the glass like frosting.

Aroma of alcoholic vapors waver over a thick dark malt sweetness and dry rye breadyness. Highly pine soaked oilyness ensues as it sits. This is where the 10% really makes itself present.

Taste is big and malty with lots of chewy breadyness laced with a few dark fruit skins and pits. Thicker yet, burntness of brown sugar arrives along with the rye, which in tune sets up the dryness over the super high pine hoppyness that nearly burns the throat out with an oil drenching thickness of orange, grapefruit, and pine sweetened bitterness. Ripe Barleywine-esk in nature and character.

Huge mouthfeel. Every corpuscle is soaked and coated with bitter sweet thickness. Big malt, big hops, (as stated on the label "an obscene amount") and that rye adds a nice extra cap of clever dryness to its bready fruit bread base. Oily smooth and warming with a complexing fun finish of hop oil warmth and malt residue.

Another keeper of a brew by He'Brew. A nice tribute to Lenny.
(R.I.P.)A. - truly...

 1,142 characters

Photo of Adrenalen
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Todd
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"I don't know about you but I enjoy the way our tax money is being spent to arrest, indict, convict, imprison, parole, and re-imprison (marijuana smokers). I'd just piss it away on beer, anyway."

– Lenny Bruce

Out of the bottle (22oz bomber) and into the glass, the beer pours a very rich, vibrant, copper-colored brew with a seemingly thick consistency, shown by the sluggish carbonation bubbles rising to the top. Topped with a very healthy, thick, slightly off-white foam head, the beer’s lacing is tight, creamy, sticking to the glass, and retaining very well. Complex piney and resiny hop nose with gentle floral notes and bit of a peppery and spicy rye edge tucked within. Aroma suggests something sweet, with malty caramel upfront, loads of enticing ripe fruits, then alcohol. Oh, sweet alcohol.

The first sip introduces something smooth and creamy to the palate, but beneath lies something very powerful. Mouthfeel is dense, chewy, syrupy, and slick with candied-fruits and a massive malty backbone with caramel, toffee, and toasted bread. The heat (perceived alcohol) on this one is quite high, with a big 10 percent alcohol spice that melds well with rye bread crust flavors, rounded with berry-like fruity esters that make your heart skip a beat. The palate is then subjected to a salty, sticky hop resin with a sharp citric edge that smacks of half a pink grapefruit with ten sugar packets on it—prepared like your grandma would have. Hops character is actually quite complex, continuing with some dry aspirin. Rye and bready flavors become more pronounced in the linger, as the beer dries and sheds a near carob character across the palate. Alcohol gets a bit fumy and warming. Finish is oily, resinous, herbal, raw, and wanting of more.

This is an "Extreme Beer" and a Double IPA that dances on American-style Barleywine borders, with its aggressive hops and strength. It might be a bit too much for many to handle, and the fact that it’s packaged in a 22oz bomber bottle means that you’ll want to share it with friends. Keep chilled, serve cool in snifters, sip, and enjoy as the beer unfolds in your warm hands. Available for around $6 a bottle, which makes it affordable enough to try.

 2,219 characters

Photo of mirish72
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally decided to pick this one up and I was not disappointed. Poured into a goblet, pours an incredible mahogeny red. To says this beer packs an aroma doesn't do it justice. This thing is all about hops and malt. It almost makes most barleywines seem wimpy by comparison. This beer is boozey in a big way and you feel it by the end of one (I was only drinking the 12oz variety). This is definiteltely one of the most memorable beers I tried this year, pick some up.

 467 characters

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22 oz. bomber.

A: Rubied copper, clear, with two inches of creamy, rocky head with plenty of full lacing.

S: Citrics-lemon, orange, pine tar. Hop oil, spicy rye scents. Undertones of creamy malt flavors--caramel, toffee.

T: Crisp citrus bite with oily pine resin following, and the spicy rye mixing in well, asserting itself pleasantly but insistently. Hop character continues over borderline-barleywine chewiness, great big creamy malt flavors of caramel and toffee.

M: Nice, thick feel. Not too drying, despite the high hop presence and ABV.

D: I drank this way too fast, by myself, and THEN noticed the ABV. I really want to crack another one, but I'm pretty sure that's not a good idea.

 734 characters

Photo of MEANxOLDxTOM
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Collin's bar and served in a tulip glass.
A-Dark copper/amber color....1/2 inch cream colored head that diminished quickly.
S- Spicy and citrusy hops...brown sugar...plum and red fruit...almost has a bitter smell, and the alcohol becomes present as it warms...rye malt is present, but not dominant.
T- Raisins, plum and prunes are big and sweet...light cirtusy hops, and a slight floweriness...sweet on the front and bitter in the finish(just as the name describes)....followed by a long lasting bitter finish and a light taste of alcohol.
M-Thick, light bubbles, coasts the tongue, and is almost of a syrup consistency.
D- I would definitely order this one again...but I don't think I would make it into a night.

 728 characters

Photo of ohfish
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle into a 12 oz tulip glass, my favorite for IPA's.

A- opaque red ale, little head which quickly dissipates, low carbonation, above average lacing

S - strong citrus hops typical of DPIAs yet a bit sweeter than most

T - initially a caramel sweetness giving way to a piny hops then to a dry grapefruit bitterness aftertaste

B - Moderate thickness giving way to a grapefruit dryness

D - Difficult to sip, I want to gulp this delicious brew, no alcohol warmth or taste, delightful

 501 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Blue Nile.

Dark ruby hued amber color with a thinner, but soft light tan head served in a chalice.

Sweet malt scent with fresh hops of pine and citrus. Hints of caramel and toffee.

Big and balanced DIPA. Plenty of sweet malt that adds notes of toffee, caramel and brown sugar. Not really getting the rye out of it though. The hops are there in all of their glory. Mostly piney, but some citrusy notes as well.

Silky smooth and soft. Between medium and full bodied.

One of my favorites in the style. I really don't have it often enough. Never seen it on tap before, so this was a real treat. I could have a couple of these, but may suffer the repercussions later.

 681 characters

Photo of NCBeernut
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Unibroue goblet.

Pours a dark shade of burnt orange. With resistance, I get a two finger head to form off a slightly aggressive pour - thick and frothy...before it falls into a thin patchy layer. Bubbles struggle to make it through what appears to be a pretty full bodied brew.

Smell's like an American Barleywine. Spicy nose with tons of malt backbone with a strong piny hop presence easily breaking through. Hints of ruby red grapefruit juice. Alcohol isn't huge here, but reminds you that it is there.

Sugary sweetness leads the way with toffee malt flavors. Plenty of malt backbone to go around, as the nose suggested. Viscous with an almost syrupy mouthfeel, but not in a bad way. A healthy dose of spicy peppery rye tickles the tastebuds, then come the resinous, spicy, piny hops, which also add tasty notes of grapefruit rind. A little bubblegum that is more noticeable with spicy food. Alcohol is noticeable, but not significantly.

The bottle says IPA, I say all barleywine. Tasty.

 1,021 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a clear bubbly copper with a tower of tan head that is not going anywhere! After a few sips the lacing was amazing!
S - piney, earthy, and citrus hops smell wonderful, with some sweet caramel malts
A - oh man, the hops flavours are great! The earthiness is up front, then it fades to grapefruit citrus hop flavours with caramel and roasty malt flavours
M - medium to high carbonation and definitely hop bitter, but the maltiness balances out the dry to leave a balanced and slightly refreshing flavour
D - the fact that it's 10% ABV is amazing, there is no real alcohol bite, but a definite hop kick. All things considered very drinkable, but a few of they could spell the beginning of the end..

 706 characters

Photo of cubedbee
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass, this is a beautiful bright copper-red with two full fingers off off-white head, good retention, and thick sheets of lacing. Nose is sweet and slightly alcoholic, nice floral hops, hint of rye bread, some stray fruity aromas. , Taste is wonderful, huge citric and grapefruit hops doing battle with sweet doughy malt, some peppery spiciness, a hint of sweet alocohol on the finish, finishes with a lingering resinous hop finish. Very solid and tasty DIPA. The rye lends this beer a bit of thickness, for a very nice full mouthfeel. This is a really solid beer, as drinkable of a DIPA you're going to find, although it still very high in hops and alcohol and not for the faint of heart.

 722 characters

Photo of Yesac
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark orange copper in color with a defined bubly light tan head. Excellent lacing on the glass.

S- Spices, rye malt and a whole lotta dry hop bitterness.

T- Large dose dry hops with a great malt balance and backbone. Hops are fairly bitter and have a complex profile. The 10% is hidden well.

M/D- Medium/thick bodied, awesome mouthfeel on the palate. Great after taste. So smooth and easy drinking. The malt/hop balance is great the the 10% ABV is not completely hidden but well disguised. Great brew.

 510 characters

Photo of dday1231
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carmel, cloves, and licorice. Oh my! The label downplays the hops and malts when it advertised "BREWED WITH AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF MALTS & HOPS". This is a beer with lots of flavor. Nice head. The color will make any passerby think that I’m drinking a cool glass of Grade C maple syrup. Soft to the palate, but the favors liven the taste buds. This is a top beer, no doubt, but a little to rich at the en for my weak palate.

 424 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous clear ruby with a thick, lingering khaki head.

S: Aromas of blood orange, caramel, toffee, rye bread, tangerine, and brown sugar indicate a very complex and heavy malt profile. I'm more than a bit surprised that I'm not detecting a more astringent, resinous bitterness from the hops.

T: Notes of rye bread and black pepper dominate the entry. At mid-palate, notes of blood orange, tangerine, toffee, caramel, vanilla bean, and brown sugar give way to notes of juniper berry, fresh herbs, lemon rind, lime zest, pineapple, papaya, and grapefruit. The finish pulls it all together with notes of lemon rind, juniper berry, toffee, rye bread, black pepper, and blood orange underscored by a mellow alcohol presence.

M: This ale is rather full-bodied and much drier than one would expect. Carbonation is firm, but understated. Alcohol presence is very restrained.

O: This is an exceptional American DIPA. If you're a fan of the style, you owe it to yourself to give this one a shot.

 1,001 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Gorgeous garnett with ruby highlights. Profound creamy khaki head. Impressive so far.

S: Pineapple, cherry pie, spices (cardomon, cinnamon) and forest floor after a good rain. Its the rye that gives it the spicyness.

T: This is probably the most RYE beer I've had. It slugs you quick and up front. There is nothing subtle about this experience. But lets start from the top...
Immediately rye hits the tip of the tongue and brings with it pumpkin pie spice. In a blind test I might categorize this as a pumpkin IPA. Serious amounts of sweet pumpkin, malty red red fruit and some low level toffee. Then the bitterness arrives....it creeps up with out any warning and dominates the palate. This is definately on the pine end of the spectrum, although any citrus could be getting its ass handed to it by the rye. Finishes with lingering bitterness and gentle rye spice.

M: Medium body, decent mouthfeel.

D: The wife disagrees and says it tastes like cherry opposed to pumpkin. We both agree that this is a tremendous beer. Best rye beer I've had, hands down. Not a huge fan of He'brew but I might be changing my tune.

 1,130 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa. Rating as an IPA as advertised it gets a goose egg because it was no where close to an IPA, not one that I am used to, it walked a fine line on the barleywine side and for that I give a great rating of course. This one poured out a deeep amber with some great carbonation. It poured thick like syrup and took a few to settle. On the nose it smells of pure malt. The taste..the malt really takes over the hops leaving it a bit lopsided for an IPA. Tasted sweet and spicy .Went down well and stuck around for a while. The ABV and heaviness of this one takes down the drinkability but an EXCELLENT brew.

 606 characters

Photo of rjvanston
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brewdude1982
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

This beer pours a dark amber and had a great head with great lacing. The smell is very malty upfront and then pine on the back end. The taste is much more balanced than expected and does a good job of hiding the booze which is a 10.0% beer. This beer had a great body and did not dissapoint. I would highly recommend to any double IPA fan or a rye P. A. Fan?

 408 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 12 oz. bottle.

Two dense fingers of some of the most durable tan froth imaginable atop a hazy brown body with ruby trim. The patch of foam literally stays throughout most of the duration. Dense lacing and duration make for a fabulous look. Dense malty and hopped-up nose, rife with bready, caramel malt and resiny hops.

The taste is really bold, filled with roasted caramel, dried fruit, some molasses, and a bit of berry. The rye is pervasive, coating the tongue with a resiny, nutty film. It's complicated, robust, and impressive. Challenging, but delicious. The mouthfeel is good but maybe a little too tart and bitter. It's also somewhat of a sipper, due in part to the texture and also in part to the heat from the alcohol, which emerges early and gains steam.

Yet in all, this is a big, bold, challenging beer, a testament to the impact that the great Lenny Bruce made on American culture. He'Brew has become well known for their big, almost massive beers, and this is no different. It's also excellent.

 1,026 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is brick red mixed with copper. Perfect one finger, off-white head.

Notes of tangerine, grapefruit and carmel gently tingle the nostrils.

Sweet malt accented taste is balanced by a fabulous tangerine and pine bitterness. Rye is certainly present and, to me, integrates the barley and hops perfectly- something about Rye brews that are done right that I really find attractive. Very slight butterscotch note in the finish. This beer really begs for another sip.

Rye also helps in the mouthfeel giving the beer a lusciousness that is very comforting. This one slips past your lips way too easily.

I could drink this beer all night! That is before I pass out after three of these bombers. Alcohol is extremely well hidden!

Overall a fantastic beer that is all about balance. Certainly not all about the hops, but one of my favorite double IPAs nonetheless.

 870 characters

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle born on July 2013 into a tulip.
Appearance - red, somewhat cloudy, but plenty of bubbles detected along the side of the glass. Huge, mountainous beige head! Lacing sheets the glass!
Smell - sweet candy, some citrus and floral hops, fresh bread-like malts. Lingering hop resin!
Taste - big time flavor, well balanced with hop bitterness, slight hint of warming alcohol and rye bread! Very easy to drink at 10% ABV!
Feel - complex brew with an excellent blend of hops, rye malts, and a hint of alcohol.
Overall - shocked! I was expecting a very good beer, but this is outstanding! I'd like to try this along side Lagunitas' Sucks, as they are very similar, but from opposite coasts!

 701 characters

Photo of mousebeer
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mikeg67
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark amber with tall, long lasting, fluffy off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of caramel malt, citrusy hops and ripe fruit. Body is full and slightly crisp. Citrusy, herbal hops, caramel malt and tropical fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long, huge, and dry. Outstanding brew.

 307 characters

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 2,010 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.