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:
#2,617
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 gpblackgt
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev -1.5%

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 rarigney
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of puck1225
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Nice beige head and great lacing. Hoppy smell, floral and sweet. Taste is spicy rye, caramel and piney. Nice thick and sweet. Great!

 172 characters

Photo of Seanibus
2.42/5  rDev -40.4%
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 csurowiec
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of jimmah120
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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 JOldewurtel
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of wcudwight
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
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 sunofneurot
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of jjayjaye
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +10.8%

Photo of pwoods
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
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 mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
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 kemoarps
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of PDXHops
2.69/5  rDev -33.7%
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 -1.5%

Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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 +4.7%

Photo of azdback
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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 Pahn
4.63/5  rDev +14%
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 TripelMark
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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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