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

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BA SCORE
83.7%
Liked This Beer
4.06 w/ 2,005 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:
#2,505
Reviews:
903
Ratings:
2,005
Liked:
1,679
Avg:
4.06/5
pDev:
11.82%
Alströms:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
233
Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,005 |  Reviews: 903
Photo of andrenaline
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ups to my fellow BA, joemcgrath27 for the hook-up on this.

A - Pours a hazy golden brown with an amber hue, solid two thumbs of lacing, solid retention, and a solid amount of lacing that lingers throughout.

S - Citrus and pine hops dominate the scents on this one, slightly peppery, and a strong lemon and a fruity pineapple scent that lingers.

T - The hops dominate the flavour, yet the finish is quite fruity. The finish is definitely bitter, but not offensive, and I definitely get a cotton candy and pineapple flavour that lingers on the tongue. The alcohol is incredibly hidden.

M - Perfect balance of carbonation, and a finish that isn't overly dry, especially given the hop content. Quite nice.

D - At 10% this stuff is dangerously intoxicating. Highly recommended to any hop lover and is incredibly tasty, offering unique flavours and a finely tuned finish.

 875 characters

Photo of aepb1
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Copper with an off-white head that dissipates down to a cap

S- Piney/citrus hops and some sweet earthy caramel malts

T- Earthiness up front and the citrus hops hit quite soon and stay well, lots of complexity with the malts underlying it all

M- Full-bodied and some warmth from the alcohol

D- Great beer, very complex and that makes it easy to revisit.

 359 characters

Photo of kwjd
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown colour with thick off-white head. Lots of lacing and good head retention. Smell is huge pine hops with tons of caramel sweetness, plus some added spiciness (assume from the rye). Flavour has lots of bitterness, with tons of sweetness as well. This is almost a cross between a barleywine and a double IPA, which makes the "bittersweet" part of the name make sense. Good carbonation level. This is a big beer, but delicious.

 444 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a clear bubbly copper with a tower of tan head that is not going anywhere! After a few sips the lacing was amazing!
S - piney, earthy, and citrus hops smell wonderful, with some sweet caramel malts
A - oh man, the hops flavours are great! The earthiness is up front, then it fades to grapefruit citrus hop flavours with caramel and roasty malt flavours
M - medium to high carbonation and definitely hop bitter, but the maltiness balances out the dry to leave a balanced and slightly refreshing flavour
D - the fact that it's 10% ABV is amazing, there is no real alcohol bite, but a definite hop kick. All things considered very drinkable, but a few of they could spell the beginning of the end..

 706 characters

Photo of claspada
2.45/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep ruby color with small and immediate dissipating dark khaki head and lacing.
A sweet, malty aroma, with an extremely sharp rye note. There was some hop in the scent, but the rye overpowered it as well.
The ABV on this one does not stand out with the taste, per se but you can tell that if this was aged the alcohol and rye malts would hopefully balance out. I love great rye beers with balance but this right now does not have it. The rye is harsh and upfront and ruins the taste and mouth-feel for me, probably too much in the recipe, but hopefully I can buy a new bottle and age it, and then hope it mellows. The more I think about it even after aging the body will still probably be too thin and the malt will not change enough to help the sticky-sweet rye which I can't shake from my tongue. This beer is worth a try if you can find it on tap but don't waste your time with a 4 pack anytime soon. If your a fan of rye beers, seek out The Bruery Rugbrod.

 962 characters

Photo of trevorjn06
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours THICK and a nice copper/amber color. A nice fluffy, off-white head develops and slowly recedes, leaving plenty of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is strong for the beer being cold, it's pretty sweet with caramel and some fruit as well as bright citrus and floral hops. After letting it warm a bit.... hints of orange and alcohol come through and the volume is turned up a bit overall.

Taste is strong, sweet malt with the rye coming through as spicy and earthy tones. There is a strong yet clean hop bitterness to this beer that manages to balance the intense malt flavors. The finish is surprisingly smooth but still has bitterness and rye spice elements to it as well as plenty of sweetness, really it reflects the best parts of the beer.

Mouthfeel is thick with slightly below average carbonation. This beer seems to coat the inside of the mouth.

Overall this beer is surprisingly easy to drink for it's strength and intensity. It is as the label says, bitter and sweet. I would have this again but it's something I have to be in the mood for.

 1,061 characters

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask at Young Augustine's in Atlanta.

Pours an opaque copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with solid amounts of breadiness and mild amounts of earthy and pine hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth and thick caramel malt flavors up front are joined by mild amounts of breadiness and even lighter amounts of rye flavors. Midway through the sip the malt flavors fade a bit with hints of soapiness, allowing pine hop flavors to work their way into things. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was close to being a very good beer but the malt flavors weren't quite crisp enough. Still, it's a good beer that's worth a shot.

 935 characters

Photo of fropones
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice amber-pumpkin color with a a finger and a half of khaki head with good retention.

S - A good amount of rye and malt in the nose. Very minimal hops.

T - Thankfully there is more hop flavor here right up front, with some spicy rye following it. A little bit of age has mellowed the hops some.

M - Nice bite, creaminess, medium-full body.

D - Pretty well drinkable for 10%. A good summertime beer.

 415 characters

Photo of HopNuggets
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured bomber into snifter.

A - Poured a hazy dark muddy orangy tinged color. With a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a nice coating. Floating carbonation was everywhere and some floaties from being unfiltered.

S - Pepper and caramel are most prevalent. The rye is there.

T - Dry and spicey. Bitter and caramel balance nicely.

M - Moderate carbonation, bitter and spicey with a dry finish. A bit hot.

D - Good for a 10%, but not an all day drinker.

 457 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, unknown date.

Pours fairly thick and syrupy, but clear copper/amber with a 1+ finger yellowish white head. Leaves nice clingy rings of lacing.

Aroma features some pine and citrus with good bready malt, caramel, toffee, toast. Only moderate strength on the nose, however.

Flavor is very nice with resinous, earthy hops up front, hints of citrus and pine, good sweet malt in the middle, rye is quite prevalent, bread, caramel, good bitterness on the finish, only real knock on the flavor is the noticeable alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is full, sticky, medium carbonation.

A very nice hopped-up rye beer.

 619 characters

Photo of rebelthrower
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red with a bit of copper. Light tan head, but not a lot of head. Great lacing.

S: Malts and sweetness. Not a lot of smell going on.

T: Caramel and Malts. Very sweet and then the rye shows its self.

M: Chewy, thick and strong. Nice medium carbonation. Taste sits in the mouth for a long time.

D: Very tasty beer and will definitely have it again. But can only have one at a time.

 388 characters

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

A: RED with a thick tan foam; great retention and lacing

S: Typical grapefruit/citrus quality from the hops but also a touch of cinnamon and cloves; bready and spicy

T: Hoppy and spicy--grapefruit and a nice sweetness pervades as does a slightly chewy bready quality

F: Great even mouth coat

D: Quite drinkable for what it is--the alcohol and sweetness do not hinder

 370 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber brown with a small light tan cap that has subpar retention. Leaves a nice coat of fine lace.

S- Huge blast of caramel malt. Hops are there and are mostly earthy and grassy. Smells like an old ale. Aroma has high strength. Very slight apricot.

T- Nice caramel malt blast and hop presence. Hops lend high bitters and some earthy flavor. Dark fruit and strong malt flavor of a barleywine also comes in. I get some fruit notes as well and definite grass. Rye lends some flavor and spice.

MF- Nice and warm. Fairly thick creamy body with moderate carbonation. Bitters coat the palate along with hop flavor.

DB- Great price and very well hidden ABV. The flavor is big, like a barleywine and is very nice. The rye works well with the caramel malt. Easily worth a shot. One bottle is enough but still drinkable.

 816 characters

Photo of Stigs
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
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 Soozy
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

The color on this beer is a little bit dark for a DIPA, but it's nice. It's a solid copper-red. A surprisingly big malty, caramel and sweet candy smell with an equal amount of citrus hops.

Taste is definitely complex. You've got some serious caramel malt, a bit of citrus hops, a lot of pine and woody hops, and a sweet, candy finish matched with an alcohol burn.

Drinkability is decent. You can definitely tell it's 10%, but damn this is a good beer. I'd almost think of this as something in an American Strong style than a DIPA. It's definitely hoppy, but well balanced enough to please non-hop heads.

 606 characters

Photo of jmerloni
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A nice mahogany amber color with very large sticky head. Bubbles rise up from the bottom constantly.

S - Great aroma. A LOT of hops. Spicy pine, citrus, and a lot of malt.

T - Decent. Not as good as it smells...It is EXTREMELY intensely hopped and has a huge roasted malty aspect, but they do not compliment each other very well and you taste each separately. The malt is there in the beginning and the hoppy bitterness on the swallow and I love a lot of hops, but it's almost too much. While there is malt, it is not a "backbone" by any means. The alcohol is also not hid very well.

M - Very thick...One of the thicker DIPAs I've had. Carbonated quite a bit, but not too much. The thickness of this doesn't make it as refreshing as it could be. Not a very dry finish. The sticky head does coat each sip nicely, however.

D - Not very drinkable. The hops are out of control and not kept in check at all by the malt. I love hoppy, bitter beers, but this beer could just be better crafted. After all, it looks and smells fantastic. Decent overall, but I probably wouldn't get it again.

 1,091 characters

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

Im not writing a review to tell everyone how this beer has hints or lemongrass or anything like that. I would just like to add a few notes about what to expect if you get the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful brew.

The taste was good, but there was, at times, an overbearing sense of granulation that threw me off. Its particularly carbonated and can not be enjoyed at a rapid pace. To be honest, after one of these you will want something more malty, like a Coney Island Lager.

Definitely different, full bodied and spectacular; however, it leaves something on the table so don't overpay.

 594 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours dark red orange with a small amount of sediment present with a one finger off white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt and sweet hops. The flavor was of malt and subtle hops. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice IIPA. Wasn't my favorite however as it was kind of sweet when I had it, but was still quite in enjoyable. If it had more aroma and flavors to make it more complex, this could be great.

 535 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz picked up at Pilgrim's Market in CdA over the weekend... enjoyed while listening to some Carl Cox Black Rock and chilling on my hotel balcony.

Poured into my small weizen glass... 2 finger lite khaki head... good retention and lacing... the brew is a polished copper.

Nose is hop forward with a bunch of caramel maltiness to balance... citrus hops out front with more than enough malt to pull it out... big booze presence.

Hop bitterness helps balance the pretty thick malt component.. toasty and thick caramel essence.. citrus hops bite barely bite through the malts.. too syrupy... not really cloying, but just unbalanced in my mind.. Body is heavy and the carbonation is pretty high, yet gets punished by the viscosity.

This should easily be in the American BW category.. no where near... NO where near a DIPA... The rye is present yet only in hints throughout the palate and evident on the mouthfeel where a nice slickness appears.

Ehhhh... okay.. boozy and sweet.. needs alot more hoppiness... really, alot more.

4/3.5/3/3/3

 1,040 characters

Photo of Casey10
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a tough one to review it had a nice malty backgound but at the same time the rye was also there. Probably what this was going for liked it a lot and will have again,

a - red amber wispy head

S - malty reminds me of a DFH 90

T - again malt with the rye makes for a different taste but enjoyable.

M - Sticky stays on the tounge for awhile.

D - A must have again, this is good I liked it a lot.

 406 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Beer Nutz in O'Hara Township, PA.

Poured into a shaker pint: Deep amber with a half-finger of beige head, plenty of nucleation.

Smells of sweet caramel wrapped in piney, floral bitterness, very & strong & flowery indeed.

Taste is characterized by a sugar, almost cakey sweetness, bright lemon & grapefruit with a big woody/pineyy bitterness. Lots of citrus zest & pith. Wickedly bitter but with a solid backbone. Notable booze presence, dries out in middle & leaves that stripped, piney aftertaste.

Full-bodied, creamy & foamy, leaves my tastebuds worn out but not ravaged.

A good brew, but formidable -- between the hops & the alcohol I'm ready to throw in the towel halfway through. Enjoyable, but on the strong side for me.

 750 characters

Photo of BB1313
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is my second time trying this beer and I definitely enjoyed it alot more the second time around. Poured 12oz bottle into standard pint glass. Pours a burnt orange w/ slight haze. Amazing head w/ really thick sticky lacing. The floral notes from the hops shine through w/ a touch of rye. Great nose! The taste matches w/ the bitterness overbearing the sweetness. This beer is very creamy and malty, not a thin one and really works w/ the flavors. The drinkability isn't bad, more than one would make this a great sipper.

This is a pretty unique brew, great use of rye, would definitely recommend and it's well priced. Special brew right here!

 647 characters

Photo of beerdrifter
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Clear, copper, amber pour with nice off-white head and decent lacing. Big aromatic nose with lots of dark fruit and spices, alcohol and a hint of rye bread. Taste is much the same with a nice bitter hop bite and a big sweet, malty, dark fruit backbone. Also detected a hint of candy apple, cinnamon and black pepper. The rye was conspicuously absent here which greatly disappointed. The alcohol is not well hidden in this one. It's definitely a sipper. Very thick, resiny mouthfeel and the alcohol is warming. Not the most drinkable beer for me. A little too sweet. Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye is, in my opinion, what all Rye beers should strive to emulate, and this beer wasn't even close. Perhaps I would have rated it higher if it would have had more of a rye character to it. Definitely not a bad beer, but not a good example of a RyePA.

 926 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours a robust golden amber with lots of ruby at the edges. A creamy off-white head forms on pour and sticks around for the entire session with residual lacing down the whole glass.
S. Lots of sweet malt with caramel and some hop bitterness.
T. Lots of sweet malt with a candy like sweetness. Ends with bitter hops and lots of spice. The high level of sweetness with such complexity and spiciness reminds me of a barleywine.
M. Thick body with a creamy level of carbonation.
D. By the end of the bottle I'm certainly feeling this one, but that said I'm on to the R.I.P.A. on Rye (which I'm going to share with a friend).

 623 characters

Photo of grittybrews
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a lovely dark amber into a Duvel tulip with three fingers of slow-receding fluffy head and some rings of sticky lacing.

Aroma not overpowering, some light floral hops and a bit of grapefruit and citrus along with some subtle sweetness as it opens up. No hint of the higher ABV until the first sip, which is dominated by warm bourbon-like rye and hoppy bitterness. Fairly quick transition into creamy-sweet caramel malts, followed by even more hoppy bitterness and creeping spice on the long finish. An interesting amalgam of flavors, this one was fun to drink.

 568 characters

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83.7% out of 100 with 2,005 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.