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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
894 Reviews
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
Reviews:
894
Ratings:
1,971
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
17.82%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
219
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 894 | Ratings: 1,971
Photo of whynot44
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful dark reddish copper color with an impressive ivory head that retains well and leaves plenty of nice lacing.

The aroma is hard to pin down, fruity at first, cherry and citrus, then a whiff of fresh rye bread and pine needles.

The taste also starts with fruit, not quite cherry, maybe plum, before you can decide a blast of pinety hops kicks in, then comes a bit of rye bread and citrus with hints of spices and mint, finishing slightly dry with pine and horehound aftertaste that lasts and lasts with some nice alcohol warmth trailing along.

Medium bodied, smooth and easy to drink. Interesting to drink, I think every sip turned up some new flavor notes, or maybe that was just the alcohol kicking in. This one is definitely worth a try for those who like plenty of piney hops. I think I will definitely do this one again.

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Photo of don1481
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap here at the Yard House in Virginia Beach.

Appearance: reddish dark amber. Head retains very nicely.

Smell: definitely has the classic IPA pine smell. With a hint of rye.

Taste: The rye comes through here but its not like most rye beers, which I liken to drinking rye bread. The hops balance it very nicely here.

Mouthfeel: not overpowering, but the hops linger more than the rye. Which I'm quite fine with.

Overall: Have now gotten this two nights in a row. I hope I can find this back in WI...

Update: unable to find this back home, so I got another pint at the Yardhouse. Perhaps its because of the Rogue swill I had tonight, but I think I underrated this. Spectacular. I've kept the review to reflect my initial tasting.

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Photo of hoser
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although this beer has been in our province for a couple years now it is a night of boredom and cold weather that causes me to rate this now. Big toasty, malty and peppery, this hop bomb is highly drinkable (well let me correct that one bottle at a time is highly drinkable), it tends to get a little thick if bottle after bottle is consumed. Cases of this have gone through the house not the first DIPA I would reach for but a enjoyable pint I will revisit time and time again.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a turbid, murky amber-orange color. The massive, orange-red tinted head is extremely tall, dense, and frothy. Retention is outstanding - this isn't going anywhere. A sticky film of fine foam sticks everywhere that the head slowly abandons.

S: A big, bold nose. Caramel malt sweetness and bready, spicy rye character are everywhere. Fragrant fruity/candied citric hop notes are quite vibrant, with lesser floral/perfumey notes. Alcoholic character is evident, but there's so much heft behind it that it doesn't seem overdone.

T: A very firm malt base starts things off with substantial caramel sweetness and spicy rye. Hop bitterness is above average, but never runs away with things. Some modest fruity tartness lurks deep below all the other flavors. Hops are citric, spicy, and lightly floral. Alcohol pops up into the finish, lending a light whiskey note.

M: Full-bodied. Carbonation is medium, but fairly smooth overall. The robust hop profile and substantial alcohol lead to a cascading finishing dryness with a definite warming character.

D: This beer is almost overwhelmingly massive. This brewery definitely doesn't tiptoe around style guidelines. I love the way rye complements bold American hops in these types of beers, and this does a good job of incorporating it. A dangerous, enjoyable, and very unique take on a double IPA.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color, almost brown with an off white head that trails the glass as you drink. Smells of rye bread with citrus and pine, very enticing. The taste was great with mellow bread and rye flavors mixing with the bitter hops and an exceptionally clean finish. Was super happy I found one of my favorites.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first offering from this brewery -- the gimmicky labeling has kept me far, far away for a long time. But a rye-based DIPA? Can't... resist... must... drink...

Appearance: Wow. It's-- wow. Absolutely beautiful deep, clear tawny amber with gold undertones. Massive, frothy espresso crema head. Great retention and oily lace on glasswall. Cannot imagine how it could be improved upon.

Smell: Boo and yah. Very potent stuff; I can literally smell this from three feet away. Sweet, super juicy citrus hops; almost smells like a fresh-hopped ale. Once that wave crashes, there's a rich base of pale malts and a slighly spicy hint of rye to boot. Very nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: About as subtle as a hammer to the forehead. Massive amounts of hops and malt blend seamlessly into a boozy orange toffee -- if this isn't a candy, it should be. Boozy it is, though, with a fusel vapors aplenty, and rye bite squares everything away in the finish. The mouthfeel is nice, too, smooth, a bit slick and medium bodied.

Drinkability: Know going into this that this a huge beer. I think 10% abv might be underestimating this one; I almost fell off the couch after finishing the bomber. So while you can't drink too much of this, it's certainly one of the better IPAs I've had. Lenny would be proud, or fucking proud, I suppose.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into speiglau IPA glass.

Color is copper with think frothy head.

Aroma is light but malty.

Hops are intense. Bitterness is lemon with herbal.

Awesome beer. Do not taste the 10%.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep bright amber under a 2” fluffy cream colored foam collar that persists and leaves fine lace. S: Spicy rye and hop nose with some alcohol and citrus. T: Malty, spicy palate with traces of cola and alcohol with a grapefruit rind hop bitter finish. F: Exceptionally creamy, warming, medium to medium full body, medium low carbonation O: An exceptional big beer.

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Photo of scootny
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely deep reddish amber with a big head a lots of lace. Clear and pretty in the glass . Smell is full of pine and sweet syrupy toffee, roasted grains and burnt caramel . Taste follows with a sweet sticky caramel and toasted malt body that sits beautifully on the tongue with an explosion of pine and punch of grapefruit in the middle to finish. Tropical fruit adds some complexity and lushness to the taste. Rye comes through with an edgy presence that balances the sweeter aspects in a fashion and melds with the hops. The alcohol is present but well integrated with a warmth in the swallow. Feel is thick and chewy with a smooth carbonation and a supple drinkability. A outstanding DIPA. One of the best and it brings a unique take and taste to the table.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass at 48 degrees

Appearance: 2 inch white head with great lacing and retention. A beautiful Mahogany/Red brown color

Smell: Honey, malt, caramel, figs, butter, rye, and spice

Taste: Sweet honey, and thick caramel flavors predominate, with malty brown sugar undertones fading into a well balanced hop flavor, the hops accentuate the dark fruits in the middle taste and give way to a clean bitter hop rye finish

Mouth: A velvetty smooth and clean beer. This is light on the tongue with the perfect amount of carbonation. IT's hard to believe that this beer is 10% ABV, I don't taste any hint of it.

Overall: This is a great RIPA, I will certainly be buying this again when I see it available, hopefully it gets distributed in Texas.

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nose is piney, hoppy and sticky sweet. big, complex malt and hops taste with a citrus oil bitterness and almost caramel-like sweetness. rye is present, and comes through very strongly in the resiny aftertaste. defintely one of those high abv doubles that hits like a hammer and immediately does not size up as a session beer; reminds me a little of heavy seas big dipa and dfh burton baton.

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Photo of rodney45
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on Cask at The Blind Tiger NYC.

A: Dark red. Big tan colored head.

S: Massive pine and citrus.

T: First notes are of pine needles, citrus and grapefruit. Backnote of crystal malt, vanilla and lemon. Wet aftertaste with alcohol esters.

M: Heavy body, with low carbonation. Very bitter.

O: Since this beer was on cask it was experienced at room temp. This really brought forth the flavor profile that would have been hidden by the taste dampening of normal tap temperatures. Really excellent beer.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Budweiser branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark copper with a pretty small, but long standing tanned head that dissipates so slowly that it doesn't seem to dissipate at all.

Smell: Toasted malts with spicy, herbal hops and hints of fruit.

Taste: Toasty, buttery malts up front, with a bitter aftertaste that finishes sweet as well. Hints of rye. Rich with full, deep flavors. Bittersweet indeed!

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, thick, and creamy with balanced carbonation. Dry finish.

Drinkability: For a double IPA, this is very well balanced and full of flavor a variety of flavors, as opposed to just being full of hops. Pretty easy drinker for 10%ABV and something I highly recommend.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle downed july 31 2009

A reddish bronze, with a head that just kept climbing up the glass pouring over the top and on too the table. thick head that stuck around, looked like little hills, thick patches of lace but could not see each sip

S caramel is very strong nice pine and citrus just great. as it warmed i picked up some bread and perhaps some faint smoke?

T sweet malt with some pine, citrus and a little bread. not as bitter as i thought it would be, i thought the 10% was a typo until i fell over reaching for seconds. not perfect but a wonderful dipa buy it if you can

M/D thick, creamy goodness. I wont lie i loved drinking this beer. smooth as silk, and i just cant get over the 10% where did they put it?

my highest marks to date with good reason. see it buy it drink it any questions???

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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4 pack just to try it. Looked interesting.
Bottle poured into a Tulip.

A- Wow! Really dark amber for a DIPA. Tan colored head creates a nice "cap" on the top of the beer that hangs around a long time. Looks very tasty.

S- Lots of spicy rye. Solid caramel malts in the back, and some dark fruits. Smell is more like a quad or a dubbel than DIPA. Smells very sweet. Very interesting.

T- Boom! Malt sweetness hits the tongue. The hops are not overpowering, they don't come right out and smack you in the face. It is very sweet compared to other DIPA's. The spicy rye hits you in the back of the mouth.

M- Very thick and creamy. Very light carbonation. An easy drinker for the 10% ABV.

O- Really surprised with this one, it really is an interesting beer. Since this beer is "Imperial" I'm going to put one away for a while. The sweet aroma and the sweet taste like a quad or a dubbel have me tricked. This is one DIPA that might age well. I'm interested to find out.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't think of a better style to brew in tribute to Lenny Bruce, nor can I think of a more appropriate brewer to do it. So, after reading the label text and throwing some of the chill off, this big IPA is ready to pour...

Pours a damn good-looking two-finger head, kind of a washed-out butterscotch in color, and the liquid is a mean rusty blood orange color. Cloudy too, with the ultra slow-moving bubbles making it appear one big viscous mutha. The head leaves bulbous honeycombs of styrofoam on the glass. This thing is absolutely gorgeous.

Big orange aroma, zesty, rind-like too. A little bit buttery, big caramel...candy-like overall. Pretty clear what the story is on this beer is on: big malts, big hops, the end! Very believable boast on the label: "brewed with an obscene amount of malt & hops."

The flavor brings on a gooey tidal wave of orange-y hops, backed up by caramel-candy maltiness; the rye this is brewed with definitely shows up in the wonderfully rocky, super-earthy way rye will. Nice zip of gingery spiciness too. Grapefruit rind lingers in the finish, but the balance struck between these "obscene amounts" of malts and hops is absolutely superb. An underscoring alcohol glow lifts this up a notch into stratospherically-awesome territory. Wow.

The mouthfeel delivers just what's needed in a beer like this: bigness to match the big flavors. Chewy, gooey, supremely rounded and creamy, with enough carbonation to inject activity and life into its weighty frame...pretty much spot-on here too.

Holy shit this is amazing! I think Lenny would be proud...not of my swearing, but to have something this bold brewed in his honor (but I don't think my profanity would bother him either).

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Photo of ypsifly
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated bomber purchased at Bello Vino in Ann Arbor and poured into a pint glass.

Dark copper with two fingers of light tan that show tenacious retention and leves a ringed sheet as it goes down.

The nose is almost all grapefruit dipped in pine resin. Slight malt sweetness and heat underneath.

Huge malt bill is tasted upfront with a sweetness that is thick but in no way cloying. A giant load of the grapefruit/pine hops jumps in and the whole thing is tempered perfectly by the rye. All the flavors linger through the finish and leave a nice aftertaste of malt and hops with an almost spicey flavor from the rye. Abv registers only as a growing warmth in my belly. This is fucking awesome!

Full mouth that threatens a syrupy slickness but stops just in time. I could drink a lot of this....well I could keep drinking until things got ugly. Great beer.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

obscene this, jewish that. gimme the f'n beer, bitches!

22oz

blood-red in a triple petrus gold-rimmed snifter. solid head that moseys on out at a moseying speed. i'm left with the creamy remnants of a head that once was- a head that never will be again. still, the morse code in co2 spheres spells out 'drink me' on lenny's surface. beer sticks to the walls like ready spaghetti.

juicy sweet hop transcends normal beer aromas.. this almost reaches the level of orange soda in its citric sweetness. more tangerine than orange, and more barleywine than soda. still, you get the picture. american alpha sting, just not tart. brown sugar comes through as lenny warms up to me. gimme some sugar, baby.

thick and smooth, creamy and dreamy, this beer slides down the throat like a champ. isn't rye usually peppery and sharply dry? not here. the hops overwhelm and it adds more of a yin to the bitterness of yang. it melts with the hop aftereffect and is comparable to putting a window fan behind a bullet to help it pick up speed. and what about the 10%? don't feel it in the least until this beer hits my belly like a lead weight. that's ok though, i'm sipping it the way i should.

that orange peel is there, along with intense malt sweetness. the bitterness in the finish is really botanical, not waxy. it's alive. my mouth is sticky on the inside after each sip and my cheeks feel dry. am i dying? nope.. it's just beer. it's like a brandy-soaked pumpkin pie.. no, wait.. it's more like a 3 floyds behemoth glazed pecan pie. describing this takes big words that i'm not capable of. after all, this is a huge beer with some bold character.

if someone made this beer to commemorate me, i'd be a damn proud dead man.

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Photo of Pencible
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This double IPA with rye malt poured a very hazy mahogany with a bit of off-white head. It smelled like rye and sweet caramel malt, with orange and sweet floral hops. It tasted like powerful bitter floral and citrus hops, balanced with lots of sweet rye and caramel malts. It was oily with no carbonation, and had a lasting sharp bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this beer wasn't too complex, but the rye gave it a fairly unique and delicious character. It was very clean and well balanced, despite its bold taste, so it was still fairly easy to drink. Good to sip or gulp, and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to lipschitz for sending me this during CanBIF3.

Big foamy head, dissipates and leaves sticky lacing. Big dark orange brew, big malty, spicy aroma a little cattyness from hops. Kinda smells like belgian rock candy as well. Big bitter bang up front when in mouth, rye malt seems to help tone down what must be like a ton of specialised cristal malts that would seem to be used. Kinda oily/chewy mouthfeel. Soft alchohol burn as it goes down.

My very first DIPA... I'm addicted.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Christ thats good beer!" - God

The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear effervescent amber coloration. The head is a thick two finger biege coloration. The head has the staying power of Ron Jeremy on a Viagra bender. Thick sheets of lacing remain behind on my glass.

Smell: This beer is loaded with rye bread maltyness. This combines well with citrus and pine resin maltyness.

Taste: The beer delivers a major pine resin assault. This beer is nearing on a veritable coniferous forrest of hops. Citrus zest and spicy alcohol ride a bready maltyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is full bodied and well carbonated. The alcohol is well incorporated in all aspects of the beer. This is a dam fine DIPA. I was a bit sceptical about Shmaltz after Genesis 10:10. You have redeemed yourselves with Lenny's RIPA.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Simont
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Have been hanging on to this 12oz bottle for a couple of years, can't find a date but it's got at least 2 years on it.

And it's freaking fantastic. Clean sweet malt on nose with a little pepper and a nice aged/ sherry like back note. Caramel and toffee malt flavors with a little rye spice in there, hops don't stand out but there is a solid bitterness present. But for a big old malty aged beer this is just about perfect, it aged really well.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22oz bottle into a Smokestack goblet. Only a slight off white head (probably to cold) that left sticky lacing all the way down the glass. Poured a deep amber with a lot of reddish tones. Aroma was amazing. Really complex. The first thing that struck me was almost a sweet strawberry aroma, then it melded into the spiciness from the rye and then finally into the hops. Taste is all rye up front. Not overpowering, but it adds a spicy kick that balances the malt very well. Hops are the finish. I cannot pick up what exact flavors of the hops but it was big. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side with leaves a nice oily coating on your mouth. I will definitely pick up another bomber of this when I see it.

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Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A whole lot of head, it nearly jumps over the side on the glass. Crystal clear tawny color. Smells of ripe tropical fruit, pine sap, blood oranges, a little hint of hemp seed oil and cake batter. Smooth and ultra creamy with a hop oil slickness deep inside the full-ish body. Lush malt foundation ranges from heavy caramel to spicy rye, donuts to toasted bread ... pretty damn complex IMO. Hops jump on all of this with a cutting bitterness and a long linger of spicy, citric, thick herbal and tobacco flavor. The bitterness pairs up with the rye to compliment the coming of the alcohol. Oh yes, there is alcohol here and a drops a good amount of warmth and tropical fruit. Finish bittersweet and spicy with more bitterness in the end of it all.

Big and bold, a serious beer ... it would be simple to say that it kicks ass, which it does. By far one of the most enjoyable beers I have had this year.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,971 ratings.
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