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

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,000 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:
2,000
Reviews:
902
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
232
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,000 |  Reviews: 902
Photo of razorsdescent
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

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

Poured into my newly aquirred Spaten glass. A deep orange color. Head is a fat two fingers and just a hint darker than bright white. The head is also very creamy in appearance and the lace looks like it's gonna stick around, but doesn't.... at first. After the glass is empty the lace is looking a bit impressive.

Smell is of sugary malts, citrus hops and alcohol. A bit earthy.

This tastes alot better than the smell. It has the hop biterness of a pink grapefruit followed immediately by the sweet malts. There is some dark grain flavors and a bit of yeast. All followed by the suttle alcohol warminess.

The mouth is much better as it warms. At first sip I thought it was a bit watery, but it has filled out quite a bit over the last half an hour. It is rich and sweet. Almost has the sneaky mouthfeel of a barleywine. The alcohol is fairly well masked.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. I have recently discovered the Rye ale (Hop Rod Rye, Rye Squared) and really like the style. I recommend you pick up a sixer of this if you get the chance.

 1,052 characters

Photo of kemoarps
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Dewey0603
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear mahogony with a giant tan foamy head. A nice looking brew. The smell is a very strong "bisquity" aroma with lighter scents of malt,alcohol,and grainy,if that's a word. The taste is a creamy mixture of alcohol, malt, rye, bitter hops, and a bready flavor thats just great. Not for the faint of heart, the alcohol is VERY in your face. But if you like a real alcohol and hop bite, this may be your beer. The m/f is heavy with a creamy feel that brings the mixture of flavors together beautifully. A very good beer from a West Coast brewery that's sometimes tough to find in CT.

 599 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased form LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in August 2006 for $4.99. This is only my second or third Rye beer, and I guess it's an acquired taste.

Pours a deep rich reddish amber with a yellowish fluffy head.

The aroma is intense hop richness, sour oily grapefruit perfume with sweet malts underneath. The flavor is tasty, of course hops being the main theme, with a sharp kicker of additional hops at the end of the swallow. Lots of malt, but the hops are really over the top.

Mouthfeel is almost syrupy this is so thick and rich. I finished the bomber, but it was really more than I wanted. Overall, this is a well made, interesting beer, but not really something I feel strongly about wanting to try again.

 730 characters

Photo of johntfox
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Pahn
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. No bottled on date.

Appearance: Misguidedly free pour yields a >3 inch fluffy, bubbly white head that dissipates slowly leaving rings and walls of lacing all over the glass, which stick around for the entirety of the beer (incidentally, I had to drink/eat some of the foam to avoid spilling, and it tasted deliciously like caramel; not usually a fan of the taste of straight beer head, but this was nice). Pours a slightly dark, hazy amber, and leaves tons of lacing. This beer looks like something such that if you saw someone else's glass while they drank it at a bar and you were even slightly dissatisfied with your own choice, you would be jealous and want to take theirs.

Smell: From the bottle there's some dank, citrus hops and big, barleywine-deep caramel malt. It's the same in the glass but with less hops influence, and even more full, complex malt aroma. There's fig, caramel, some booziness, and a little bit of grassy hops. Some nice herbal notes come out late in the glass.

Taste: Lots of deep malt goodness following the nose, with a fair amount of bitterness in the finish as the hops struggle to be noticed. Damn, the brewers at Shmaltz know how to make a big beer, don't they? On the third or fourth sip, I get some of the rye, and it's working really well with these thick, rich American barleywine malt flavors. Eventually, some grassy hops show through, and there's DIPA caliber bitterness here, but the character of the flavor is all about malt. Finishes slightly hot, but not 10% hot; just a pleasant warmth.

This is a hard beer to grade to style. On the one hand, it tastes less like a DIPA and more like an American barleywine (chances are I could be drinking it fresher and get some more hops, but the malt would still be well into barleywine territory). On the other hand, it tastes like a *really, really good barleywine*. If you're looking for 90min IPA or Pliny the Elder, you'll find nothing like either in this bottle... but the lines between American barleywine and DIPA are pretty blurry to begin with. 4.5 sounds right to me; this beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel: Solidly medium bodied and creamy, with just enough carbonation to contribute without being distracting. This is a great mouthfeel for a DIPA or a barleywine, so no style confusion necessary here.

Drinkability: Easy 5. Manages to deliver huge flavors without taxing the palate or being difficult to continue drinking in any way; no heavy stickiness in the feel, no overwhelming alcohol burn, no clash of flavors or one note getting too intense.

When it comes to IPAs and DIPAs, I think I could name at least 10 excellent beers more successful at pulling off the style than this one. At the same time, this is the best 12oz bottle of American barleywine I've ever had, in the same league as my favorites like Old Ruffian.

If you think Lenny Bruce was a comedian who managed to be over the top without sacrificing quality in his material, this beer is a perfect tribute to him. Lenny's R.I.P.A. will definitely be joining the few beers put into my regular repeat-buy 4pack/6pack rotation, among Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, 90 Minute IPA, Great Divide Hibernation, and Stone IPA. Excellent beer.

 3,238 characters

Photo of SharkNado
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Firstly, I picked this out because of the label. A "chosen beer"?? Secondly, don't think I've ever seen a label that showed praise made by bA. Nevertheless, thought that trying an experimental imperial IPA would be a good idea. Can't make out the freshness date on the bottle, but it nevertheless poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

It must be the rye malts, because I don't think I've come across an imperial IPA this dark and malevolent in appearance. And I mean "malevolent," because this reminds me a lot more of strong ales like, say, Arrogant Bastard. Darkish-redish, as well as cloudy to the point of light barely making it through the glass. Alcohol leggings, as well as carbonation bubbles that glide slowly to the top of the glass. Not much of an initial huge head. However, a half-finger ring stays at the top, no matter how much it warms up. Scary.

Ahh, now this is how a hoppy rye malt based beer should be! There's an initial spiciness, as well as intense citrus zest and blasts of honey syrup. Beyond the fruity esters, there's a bit of an alcoholic drop, as well as some smells of fresh bread. Not much yeastiness. Can't make out any specific fruits, but it seems well balanced enough based on the aroma.

Cold, it starts hoppy. As it warms, it gets progressively malty, but only so much. The dry hops immediately take over, and the aftertaste is absolutely spectacular, giving me flavors of black cherries, blood oranges, raspberries, and bittered figs. On the other end, there's all kinds of spices resembling black pepper, as well as a brief rosemary flavor. This may sound that it doesn't mix well of paper, but I assure you that it all combines beautifully primarily due to the incredible feel that this beer has. This is its definite highlight, as it is thick, chewy, and bready unlike any imperial IPA I've had - and indeed, is closer to dark Belgian pale ales. A true meal in a bottle, soaked with alcohol and fruitiness.

This is fantastic. It's as exaggerated as you'd expect, or at least how it looks at a first glance, but works really well overall. I'm glad I've finally found an experimental DIPA that I would gladly pick up, for the low price, many times over. If there was a prophecy concerning this beer, I would believe it after consumption.

 2,287 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shmatlz Brewing Company, what a great Jewish name. I wasn't really impressed by their Genesis Ale, but I heard some pretty good things about this one so I decided to give it a shot. Well I'm sure as hell glad I did. You're telling me this beer is kosher? Wow, I may have to convert...hmmm, but Christmas is too sweet and I love pork.

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Wow, one of the best looking beers I have ever had. Pours a clear dark copper hue with an extremely generous light khaki colored head. Lacing doesn't let go of the glass at all, sticks all over the place and it ain't goin' no where. Very oily pine aroma invades the nose. There is a unique smell of smoke/pepper which I'm assuming comes from the rye. A good punch of alcohol in the nose with a slight hint of toffee from the malt. Very unique taste for a DIPA, probably due to the use of rye. Quite malty for a DIPA, coffee/caramel flavor comes to mind. A very bready/creamy flavor to it for a DIPA, I really like where this is going. Aftertaste is a bit dry with hints of grapefruit/lime. Definitely smooth and oily type of mouthfeel which I really enjoy. Alcohol takes away a bit from the drinkability, but you have to expect that for this type of beer. Those crazy Jews do a great job with this beer. Keep it up!

Mazel tov! Oi!

 1,311 characters

Photo of alostplot
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle - originally reviewed on paper on 8/14/06

Pours a clear amber with a thick tan head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is 100% citrusy hops and smells very nice.

Taste is slightly malty upfront which is washed quickly away by a wave of citrusy hops and a bitter bite to boot. Finishes quite dry and bitter.

Full body, mild carbonation.

An overall nice DIPA, and a nice change to have one that's on the dry side.

 448 characters

Photo of aforbes10
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a bottle of this at CIty Wide here in town. i really dont think i will ever run out of new things to try at that store. This is my second He'Brew and i remember liking the first. I have a buddy who thinks Lenny Bruce was God but i don't know anything about him except that he's dead and there's a pretty good beer made in his name.

Pours out a beautiful looking beer. Reddish and clear with a massive super foamy head. tons of nice lacing. Smells of fresh hops, some pine, caramel malts. Taste is just like the bottle says...bitter and sweet...but not too much of either. Theres a heavy pine/oak flavor on the back end that mingles well with the raw hops. The rye in there is not all that obvious, but it lends a nice earhty taste that ive grown to like after having many beers from Founder's in Michigan. The mouthfeel is the real problem with this beer...its too thick and sticky. I mean, yeah, how can you get all that super hop and malt into a beer without it being thick like this, but it still makes it a bit hard to drink. Overall, though, its a real winner.

 1,074 characters

Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a big head that settles slowly. Clear amber colored body. Sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Pleasant aroma, a combination of fruit and flora. Tree fruit - ripe apple, plum mixed with hints of spruce and black pepper.
T) A well balance flavor profile. Sweet malts and bitter hops. Bready. Caramel. Bitter evergreen.
M) Alcohol warmth. Full body. Mellow carbonation.
O) A well crafted brew. Good balance between the malts and hops. I'd definitely have another.

 490 characters

Photo of adam42381
4/5  rDev -1%

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

Photo of GreenCard
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: copper, very slight haze, thick layer of spongey tan tight-beaded foam that slowly collapses, good head retention

Aroma: very seductive grapefruity/earthy hop scent over pineapple essence, syrupy malt, and a rye spiciness

Flavor: full malt sweetness that is quickly scrunched down by a firm, raspy bitterness; hints of caramel, raisins, and a yummy rye overtone; finishes semisweet with a long-lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: full body, pert carbonation, alcohol warmth, slick texture

Other comments: I'm a big fan of rye beers and this is a pretty good one, even if the rye flavor is clobbered by the hops. And Lenny Bruce is a legend!

 656 characters

Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice copper color with a big, creamy off-white head with good retention and lacing. The nose and palate are very similar featuring hints of toasted malt and a big hop bill with lots of pine and spicy pepper that finishes with great dry bittering hops.

 252 characters

Photo of csurowiec
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Stigs
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10oz pour at Fat Heads, served in a mini-snifter

A - dark copper/amber beer holds up a small layer of thick and creamy light tan colored foam.

S - very sweet...citrus candies, honey, dark caramel. earthy and lightly grassy hops round out at the end.

T - strong caramel malts hoist up citrus (grapefruit, melon) hops. there seems to be a bit going on here although the flavors appear to be fighting over each other...rye isnt really noticeable at all.

M - thick body, rich and chewy from the sugary sweetness. carbonation fights its way through.

D - drinks more like a hoppy barleywine with a massive dose of sweet malts. even my girlfriend liked it. a forced sipper due to the sweetness and ABV. this one could hold up over some time.

 743 characters

Photo of JOldewurtel
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ritzkiss
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Premier in Buffalo, no date. Pours a rich amber with a finger of off-white head.

Smells of fruitcake,raisins, muted citrus, pine and pink peppercorn spiciness.

Rich, bready malt, nice spicy sweet rye component hits you next, borders into a nice earthiness, then a deep pine bitterness with hints of muted citrus and flowers (wonder if this is a little old...) Brown sugar,whole grain toast, raisins, cocoa.

Hides the ABV extremely well, hard to believe this is actually 10%. Dry bitter finish, nice rounded sweet body, a really excellent beer.

 564 characters

Photo of ToddBeans
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of jimmah120
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into wine glass

Giant off-white head, clear amber-red body with lots of rising bubbles. Smell is warm rye, alcohol, piney hops, citrus, grass. First thing I notice is a very creamy feel, then bitter oily hops. They weren't lying about using a lot of hops and malt. There's a lot of flavor here: piney hop resin, nutty/toasted malt, darker notes of clove and spice, citrus fruit, and lots of warm alcohol. Loses half a point on mouthfeel because of how abrasive the oil and alcohol is.

This is a terrific, stong, flavorful beer. Not something I'd drink all the time, but was excellent to try.

 605 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4/5  rDev -1%

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,000 ratings.
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