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

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,002 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
Ratings:
2,002
Reviews:
902
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
233
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,002 |  Reviews: 902
Photo of mattcrill
3.21/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared this one with BA cmaruschak

Aroma: Peppery, spicy hops. Some alcohol warmth noted. Spicy and dry is definitely the dominant theme here.

Appearance: Brilliant ruby colored pour with a sudsy white 1-finger head.

Flavor: Bittering hops, peppery spiciness dominate the palate. Just a hint of some malty sweetness but this is followed by a bittering dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and oily. Almost overcarbonated.

Overall impression: A bit too unbalanced for me. Needed more of a malt presence to balance out the punishing hops and alcohol burn. Glad I split this one. Hard to finish for me. Normally I enjoy a highly hopped rye beer but this one missed it's mark for me.

 694 characters

Photo of tastybeer
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woody brown color with ruby highlights and nice beige creamy looking head. Nice retention and spotty lace. Aroma has big malts, with all sorts of other smells. Dark fruits hidden in there with many yeast smells and some mystery hops. Taste is certainly intense. Big malts carry through with a huge pile of hops delivering a variety of delightful flavors and a big bitter kick in your face. The alcohol is occasionally noticeable in all the beery goodness but it is 10%. Rather thick body and heavy creamy, but carbonated mouth feel. A little resiny graininess sneeks through. Drinkablity is good for what this is.

Good to have. Better to have slowely.

 654 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into goblet. Let this one warm for a good little while before opening, but it still improved after opening and warming even more.

Not much head, even less lacing. Very clear, copper/amber, gorgeous.

Huge sweet malty base comes first, strong fruity esters, moderate balancing hops. A little backwards for an IPA, but I like it.

Very dry and boozy early on, but more balanced and smooth as it warmed. Malty sweet with some citrusy hop flavor and lingering bitterness.

Mild carbonation. Thick, rich texture with full body. Dry bitter finish.

Very dry bitterness lingers. Quite big, too. Definitely a sipper.

 619 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of gpblackgt
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of nygannon
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Gehrig
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Seanibus
2.42/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I gotta split with the majority here and say this is an appallingly out of balance double IPA. It was a major disappointment.

It pours a thick and opaque reddish color with little head. The aroma is strong, sickly sweet and slightly woody. The flavor is thick, medicinal and alcoholic, at once bitter and sickly sweet, with unpleasant overtones of raisins and even peach juice. The mouthfeel was viscous and unpleasant.

With so many good alternatives in the same style - including superbly balanced, drinkable examples like Hop Wallop, Dreadnought, Double Simcoe, Ruination, and Hopslam - this beer is an avoid.

 613 characters

Photo of cambabeer
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

good stuff here, for sure. Cream soda and white lemon cake in the nose, with a whole lot of rhy and breadiness. Ok lacing and head on a copper body.

The taste is the definition of what it says on the body, "bittersweet." Nice spicy hops, a whole lot of them with toasted malt. Then we have this undertone and aftertaste of sweet prune juice and rhy bread.

Unique beer, this one. I'd get it again. Very drinkable for the ABV as well.

 436 characters

Photo of SharkNado
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of wcudwight
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red color. Almost like cherry wood. Thick sticky head rises about an inch and a half and retains well. Lace sticks to the sides of the glass.
Smell is of hops. Earthy, Piney and Citrus.
Woaa! This attacks the palate. Sticky hop bitterness is the dominating flavor with out much malt backbone. Which works for this beer. It's supposed to be a hop bomb.
Mouthfeel is sticky. It's almost like the hops stick to your teeth.
Given the abv and the intense hops this beer is very drinkable.
Notes: Is being tasted with and compared to Moylander Double IPA.

 568 characters

Photo of razorsdescent
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of sunofneurot
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of craigbelly
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark for an IPA with very little head. Tastes like dessert. Like brown sugar and tons of malt. I get how some feel this beer has barleywine qualities. Wish the hops stood out a little more prominently but still for all it is a fantastic brew.

 248 characters

Photo of tappangordo
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jjayjaye
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and the color of a dark red wine with a full wispy light tan head that fades fair quickly. Little lacing generated. The smell of rye malt beverage is really unique and a little hard to describe to me. Its malty without being really sweet. A little doughy too. The alcohol is also undeniable in the nose and there are a bunch of hops in this one, giving it a piny floral characteristic. I find that the alcohol is much more pronounced the more it warms up. Full bodied, the mouth feel is smooth. Adequately carbonated, a tingle from the hops balances the rye malt nicely. The flavor is quite similar to the nose. The 10% ABV is integrated well. A very good drinker, and one to consider for a reasonable length of time.

 729 characters

Photo of freduardo
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of pwoods
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bomber, purchased from Dilly Deli, poured into a snifter. No dating.

Second Review:

Peanut talked me into trying this again.

...My first review is pretty damn accurate. I do like it a bit more this time but I think I'll be keeping the scores the same.

First Review:

A: Pours a blood red and appears a vibrant ruby in the light. Has some visibility even for such a deep colored beer. Almost 2 fingers in the snifter of off white head with a bit of staying power. Some patching lacing down the glass.

S: Maltiness is on par with an American Barleywine. Bread, butterscotch, rye, citrus hops, alcohol, all struggling for position in a vinous setting.

T/M: Very potent. Hops are big but undefined. Crisp and citrus but I can't pick it apart. Plenty of spice. Bitterness starts medium and continues to build all the way through and beyond a super dry, alcoholic finish. Alcohol isn't afraid to show at all and can be a bit harsh at times. Malts are on part with any Barleywine. I'm actually surprised this isn't labeled a Barleywine.

D: So potent that I think it'll be hard to finish the rest of this bomber. Has a nice price tag but if I buy more of this it'll be to cellar for about a year.

 1,207 characters

Photo of PDXHops
2.69/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a shaker pint. See-thru deep amber with a smallish off-white head that displays impressive staying power and leaves plentiful crackly lacing in the top quarter of the glass.

Smells, hmm, strongly of caramel. Uh oh. There's plenty of citrusy hops and what appears to be a fair amount of rye, but both are somewhat smothered by the malt. Flavor profile is more of the same. This very well be the most caramel I've ever tasted in a (D)IPA; it completely overwhelms the generous helpings of rye and citrus. On the positive side, the carbonation is quite vigorous (keeping all that caramel from becoming too heavy) and it somehow manages to finish somewhat crisply.

Overall impression: Another east coast malt monster. Hopheads, take a pass on this one. Those who like balance in their (D)IPAs should definitely give it a shot, though.

 842 characters

Photo of bschinelli
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of JandJMD
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a hazy chestnut brown with a head that was on the large side of average (1-2 finger) which eventually reduced to a few puddles with a large collar and had awesome sheets of lacing that coated the entire glass.

The aroma was of a sweet dark bread malt, pine and resin hops and a doughy yeast with notes of toffee, rye and a bit of dark fruit (prunes and raisons).

The taste was strong and boldly malty with a touch of dark fruit and toffee throughout with the finish having a slight rye bread flavor and a resiny hoppy ending. The flavor lingered for a very long time after the swallow with a nice sweet hoppiness left behind.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with a dry creamy texture and a soft carbonation.

Overall an extremely tasty, fulfilling brew that reminds me more of a Barleywine than a Double IPA...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

 902 characters

Photo of sammyg832
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,002 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.