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

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BA SCORE
4.06/5
Exceptional
2,009 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:
#2,613
Reviews:
904
Ratings:
2,009
pDev:
11.82%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
236
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,009 |  Reviews: 904
Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice, dark amber with a bit of an off white head and some lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some nice spicy rye as well as some citrus and pine hops. The taste is a bit sweet with some bitterness coming from the citrus and pine aspects. The sweetness might be a bit much compared to the bitterness in the end, but overall this is a nice and fairly unique brew.

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Photo of mactrail
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity and bitter powerhouse of an ale. Like all the big Shmaltz brews the intensity of flavor is remarkable. Hugely bitter, but at least they cram in an indecent amount of malt as well. The rye flavor is sharp, vinous, distinctive. Less grainy than some other rye beers.

Looks nice with the long lasting cap of foam on the coppery orange brew. So powerful it's hard to taste a real mouthful. A boozy shotgun blast.

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Photo of vfgccp
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Mayor of Old Town, Ft. Collins, CO

Poured a slightly hazy copper with a nice white head that left some decent lacing on the glass. A good aroma of mixed hops, sweet malts, and tangy rye. Oh, and alcohol. Not too strong, but definitely noticeable. The malt makes a brief appearance, before an influx of piney hops and bitter citrus, with a good rye base...and I do love rye in my beer. Thick, resinous, on the heavy side of medium-bodied. A great drinkable IPA, just watch yourself with that ABV.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Very foamy pour on this guy but once things settle down, things stabilizes into a crystal clear copper with 2 ½ thick fingers of foamy off-white head. This eventually retains with a tight finger that soaps the sides of the glass with robust foamy swathes of lacing. The aroma smells leafy and spicy, with a ripe fruity dankness. Rye sits with a dry breadiness in the back of nostrils along with some sweeter caramel tanginess.

The taste is sweet with toasted bread and caramel up front, being balanced out by the bitterness of grapefruit and pithy citrus rind. Spicy dark rye character sits along the back of the profile, where it lingers in the finish with resins and a kiss of sweet alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch heftier, with a softer feeling carbonation that is undercut by some smooth underlying slickness. That 10% ABV is mostly dealt with well here, keeping the heat under control and adding some size to the body and a little extra sweetness and spice to the profiles.

This is definitely one of the better widely available rye beers out there and I love the use of it in the DIPA style here, as those rye flavors just really matched up nicely with the aggressive of the hops and that warm spicy sweetness of the alcohol. I need to go back to this one more often.

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Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I experienced a very unusual pour. The first third of the glass seemed very flat, as if there is no carbonation. Straightening the glass for a more vigorous pour resulted in an overflow of foam. Very deceiving. The head lasts a long time with thick lace on the glass side. The color is dark reddish copper. Clear.

Far more malty than I would expect. Lots of caramel. The hops are quite muted. This is still an attractive aroma, drawing me to the

Large! Almost syrupy body with a large malt punch. The hop bitterness shows up almost immediately. The hop bitterness lasts and lasts in the aftertaste. Too much of a good thing? No way.

If you like extreme beers, this one delivers as advertised ("brewed with an obscene amount of malts & hops"). I'm a huge fan of Double IPA's and this one is one of the better ones!

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Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of russpowell
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours caramel with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Big time pineyness & some breadyness

T: Huge grapefruit & piney hops up front, plus caramel. Malty cakeyness a bit of caramel try to regain some ground as this warms, but can't conquer the orangey, grapefruitty & piney hops. Finishes semi-dry (the rye??) with much pineyness; plus some caramel & a bit of pralines

MF: Chewy with low carbonation. Skews just a tad too hoppy for me

Drinks a bit slow, but with all that ABV & intensity, what do you expect? Hopheads will dig this. Lenny Bruce would appreciate the bitterness! A very good DIPA that has a few rough edges

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, mahogany-hued body with a large, off-white head. Delicate lacing on the way down.

Smell: Rich-smelling nose of toasted bread crumbs and dark, equally toasted caramel. This is set against bright, predominately fruity hop notes of various candied citrus fruits.

Taste: Toasted bread crusts coated in rich caramel sauce with a crystal malt sweetness and just a pinch of table sugar followed by the piquant, though pleasant spiciness of malted rye. Various hop flavors roll past the tongue depositing bitterness: white pine, grapefruit rinds, pineapple, tangerine, and even Meyer lemons. Eventually, a bolt, moderate bitterness builds, egged on by the spicy rye and held in place by the robust body. Add in a couple turns of the pepper grinder. Finishes mostly dry with a melange of hop tastes disunited by final flecks of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. There's a nice heft to the overall mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Ah, Lenny, we hardly knew ye. Though a bit brash at times, it was still an enjoyable potent brew that, despite it's potency, bitterness, and punchy alcohol content, went down reasonably easily.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

"I'm sorry I haven't been funny. I'm not a comedian. I'm Lenny Bruce."

--Leonard Alfred Schneider


Burnt rustic orange with more than a little brick red that adds vividness and depth of color. Amazingly enough, the head filled the entire glass on the pour. At the several minute mark it's still 50:50 with the beer. The lid is richly creamy and is sticky to boot. No surprise then that orange-tinted, pale caramel lace is beginning to be laid down in a thick (soon to be crusty) coat. Lenny's is a lace monster of the highest order.

I wondered whether I popped the top too early on this one and I fear that I did. Unfortunately, the double digit alcohol hasn't had a chance to mellow and the nose is too dominated by it to be considered great. I can, however, still appreciate boadloads of caramel malt and spicy rye malt. For such an amazing hop bill, very little lupulin goodness makes it out of the glass.

The flavor profile is an exact replica of the nose. The bottom line is: plenty of malt (a good thing), plenty of alcohol (a bad thing) and not enough hops (another bad thing). That may be good enough to win the batting crown, but it isn't enough for me to feel very good about Lenny's R.I.P.A. On paper, this is a killer beer. In actuality, at its current age at least, it's a minor disappointment.

A huge amount of malt forms an unshakable, rock solid base of operations. Melted caramel, toffee pudding and rye whiskey dominate with an iron fist and effectively smash any attempt by the citric hops to gain a toehold on the palate. I love what hops were chosen (Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial), but it doesn't do much good when none of them are able to appreciated to the extent that they should be in a DIPA.

Spiciness is the overriding flavor characteristic. Whether it's due to spicy rye malt or alcohol doesn't really matter. The beer is simply too raw-edged and too hotly spicy for its own good (I guess we can attribute the heat to the alcohol). Aging the bottle wouldn't even have worked since I've never known hops to gain strength over time.

The mouthfeel is amazingly full and sumptuous. So much so that it's a damn shame that the flavor isn't up to the task. It was big right out of the hopper and is becoming even more thick and sticky with warming. Tremendous.

Lenny Bruce prefered to dispense his brand of wisdom and his version of the truth by shocking his audience and challenging their beliefs and assumptions. Lenny's R.I.P.A. is faithful to Lenny's spirit in that it's shocking to the palate and is somewhat challenging to drink. Somehow I don't think that's what Schmaltz had it mind.

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Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap tonight at Fireworks in Arlington, DC. Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a clear dark amber color with one inch of white head and no carbonation evident.

s - Smells of wheat, citrus hops, fruit, and caramel malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, rye, wheat, grapefruit.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body.

d - A nice DIPA; I think I liked this more than the Lenny's R.I.P.A. on rye. This one had more citrus come out, as well as some caramel. Would have again.

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Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of BEER88
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well well well what do we have here. I was shopping and saw this bottle sitting on the bottom shelf, hidden behind some Grolsch of all things. I am a huge Double IPA fan, and a big fan of Lenny Bruce as well, and considering this and not having ever heard of this before, needless to say I was quite shocked to see this bottle. I really cool looking bottle too. Big Broadway looking Marqueee on the the front and a long history of how this brew came to be on the 40th anniversary of his death. Just a really good idea and a cool concept. Also states its #1 in the series of beers designed for famous Jewish celebrities. Aside from all of that, onto the beer.

Pour was very clean. Deep, dark, somewhat hazy reddish amber, almost a ruby tone to it. Lots of visible carbonation on the first pour, streams of bubbles coming up for a bit, this subsided though after a while. Smallish off white head formed at the top, but did not hang around very long, and faded to a very thin film on the top with a moderate amount of lace down the sides of the glass. The look aside from the ruby red hue was rather average for a DIPA.

The smell on this was quite strong right off the bat. Lots of brutally fresh citrus hops assaulted the nose at the first whiff. A good amount of malt was also detected and it added a somewhat earthy, or grassy tone to the overall aroma. A hint of alcohol could also be found when it warmed up, but did not seem overpowering at all. Nice rounded smell, the RYE was not readily apparent right away, but there was a definate sweetness to it, almost had the candies apple or cherry sweetness in it.

First impression of the taste was powerful and different enough from your standard beares in the style to definatly be noticed. The alcohol in it said hello right away, but not in the too hot and burning way, just enough to let you know this is a 10%'er and take it easy with the sips. Nice sweet candy like flavor comes though first, but is immediatly washed away by the frontal hop assault. Lots of bitter citrus hops and a fresh cut grass flavor are both readily apparent. Very complex flavors are taking shape in the backend of this one. Very sweet and the rye malts are adding a robust character to it. Very big dry finish, and a smooth going down are leaving me wanting another sip. The feel was just about right, maybe a little more carbonation to give it the pop, and drive away a bit of the syrupy poroperties, but these are only minor noticings and nothing that is distracting in anyway. Overall the flavor and feel on this one were both superb and a nice treat.

Now overall I was very impressed by this beer. I t had a nicely balanced profile, which is rare sometimes ih the overly hopped world of DIPA(not that I am complaining about overly hopped). But you could tell alot of work was put into making this one special. It carried alot of weight but at the same time did not go overboard. Very drinkable and actually I would recommend seekign this out if you can. Says it is a one timer, brewed in 2006, so I dont know how much more can be found or when it was released, but I am definatly going to try and pick up a few more bottles if they are still on the shelf next time I am out there.

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

I was happy to be able to meet Jeremy Cowan of Schmaltz when they were at goggleworks for Design, drink and be merry. I tried this from a bomber in a plastic cup.

A - Deep copper w/ dark amber tinges w/ a full head of creamy tan. There is a lot of settling but the lace and retention is there, no doubt

S - A crisp hoppy (there are 12 kinds utilized) aroma w/ rye and peculier tropical odors like passionfruit w/ a hint of dark sweet cherry and brown sugar.

M - A full bodied big instense feeling IPA stimulates the taste buds and coats the cheeks w/ hop oily feel and dry spicy rye malt w/ a sufficiently proper carbonation and the feel borders on creamy

T - Big and bold w/ rye flavor that is noticeable and flavorful! There is a huge hop blend giving this beer the bitter side of bittersweet. The malt tastes a bit spicy like rye can, but has a mellow sweet body that counters the pungent and tantalizing hops. The taste is grainy and there is a fruity taste from the yeast. The more this beer is tasted, the more enjoyable it gets w/ buttloads of flavor - you really can't go wrong w/ the taste of this Big Rye Ipa.

D - Too big for me to quaff, but for the most part I can't see any thing wrong with how easy it is to sip and savor this. With 12 hops adding so much depth and intensity and the rye malt is incrediblly drinkable to me. I like to taste and feel this beer for a good relaxing time.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Bittersweet rye DIPA from Shmaltz is pretty good...for a sipping beer...aint noway your sessioning this bad boy. The beer poured a slightly hazy orangish copper with big think slightly offwhite head that is lacing like a vicky secret catalog. The smell has that deep rich malty musk with fresh hop hints...waiffs of alcohol also come to the surface. The taste is big....its a war between hops and malt. Its a big malt push at the beginning followed by bittering hops with essence of citrus and pine. The rye helps the beer to come off the pallet. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a decent DIPA...once the mouth adjusts tot eh high ABV it really becomes nice.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Durty Nellie's.

Had to cap things off at Nellie's somehow, so I figured I'd give this guy a go. It pours a clear sunrise garnet topped by a finger of dirty light-tan foam. The nose comprises dank greens, light leek, lightly toasted caramel, very light pine, and an even lighter hint of mint. The taste holds notes of toasted toffee, heavy pine, leek, and dark greens. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a mostly solid brew, but the rye really never comes through, leaving things at the mercy of a slightly overly-piney hop lord. Not bad by any stretch, but probably not as good as it could have been (if that makes sense)...

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Photo of chippo33
2.25/5  rDev -44.6%

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 2,009 ratings
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