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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
2,008 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:
#2,600
Reviews:
904
Ratings:
2,008
pDev:
11.82%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
235
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 2,008 |  Reviews: 904
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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Photo of HeightsEats
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden hue, malty aroma with faint hop floral elements. The taste and drinkability are surprising for a 10% ABV beer. Very good balance between sweet and bitter with a full-bodied (but not cloying) mouthfeel and an excellent roasted / rye complexity in both flavor and aftertaste. I only bought one of these, but wished I'd had another after finishing it.

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Photo of hopsbreath
2.52/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance is deep rich vibrant garnet. There is a 3 finger cappuccino colored tight slowly dissipating head that sits on top. Unfortunately the look of this beer is the best part.

The aroma is big sweet grapey alcohol. Malty burnt sugar is all over the nose on this. Smells more like a barleywine than a DIPA.

Tastes like alcoholic syrup. There's some bitter hops and a touch of banana. I think if this was categorized as a barleywine I could have appreciated it better. Since its billed as a DIPA I am going to have to dock it points for being mis-categorized. That and there is no rye presence to speak of.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Its extremely thick and sticky. Its actually too thick and that hurts the drinkability. Low carbonation actually feels appropriate paired with the thick viscous nature of the body.

Drinkability is pore. I choked down half the bomber and did not want more. I won't be trying this again and won't be reccomending it.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red orange color with a sizable white head that lasts for a good while and leaves some nice lacing.

Beautiful aroma of pine and citrus throughout with a nice caramel sweetness. Some earthy and woody notes are also present along with light spices and a a touch of alcohol.

Taste resembles the nose for the most part but more caramel malt and piney hops while the citrus seems a little muted compared to the aroma. Slight spicy rye presence but not particularly powerful overall.

Medium to full body with a sticky finish. Great DIPA overall. The aroma seemed much more amazing than the actual taste but nothing to complain about. I'll be having quite a few of these around from now on.

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Photo of berpwillie
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brown amber color, slightly cloudy with large white head and lacing. lively carbonation, medium body, and long flavor duration. taste of bread like malts and harsh piney hops.smooth creamy texture. probably one of the smoothest beers i've ever had. if you haven't had this beer before you are really missing out. different from most ipa's i've had, this beer is exceptional!!!!

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: A wild IPA that's rough around the edges. Very unique combination!

Taste: Funky and interesting. Slightly sour carrots, raisins, ripe plum syrup, malted brown sugar, light sage, a funky 'spiciness' that clearly isn't real spice but something that could be described as maple spice perhaps. Super complex and interesting.

Taste: Sharp flavors up front...some 'spice', interesting herbal bitterness, and a bite that is loosely like rootbeer. In the middle the malts come out: just a touch of oil, a little maple - but like its straight from the tree. Reminiscent of taking an entire spice cabinet and soaking it in water for a day to funk it up a bit and then toasting it. Finish has a full body and is slightly bitter, toasty, faint apple, even a little creamy as it warms with pronounced grapeskin bitterness that becomes quite astringent as it lingers and is a bit unpleasant unfortunately knocking the grade down on my review on an otherwise quite nice beer.

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

Slightly hazy orange in color with a one finger white head and a lot of beautiful lacing. Somewhat poor head retention.

Smell is very strong with the dominant aroma being American citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit, orange and other tropical fruits in the aroma. The rye is very light and lingers in the background, not a dominant enough flavor, for me, to call this a rye beer by any means.

Taste is similar to the smell with out much rye but with a lot of hops. The bitterness is smooth and rounded with the only real rye flavor coming in the lingering taste after the finish.

Medium body beer with a nice cleansing carbonation for what is a very hoppy beer.

Overall this is a tasty beer with a lot of great hop flavors and a smooth bitterness. I would have probably rated it much higher if it had a more pronounced rye flavor, however.

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Photo of champ103
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark reddish/brown color. At a first a two finger beige head forms and sticks around for a minute. After the foam recedes, some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Lots of soapy piny, and citrus hops up front. Plenty of caramel sweetness. Bread and biscuit. Spicy rye. A lingering bitterness.
T: Really well balanced, and very complex. Soapy and piny hops up front. The hops and rye mingle with an excellent balance of caramel malt. Lightly toasted. There is a lingering bitterness, but it is never overbearing.
M/D: A medium to full body. Slightly syrupy. Pretty smooth with with just enough crisp carbonation. Very dry. A bit of warming alcohol. Though this is one of the easiest drinking DIPA I have tried.

I really enjoy this. An overall great beer with lots of complexities. Highly recommended.

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Photo of chaz410
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle I got at the always wonderful Common Market.
This beer pours a deep amber brown with a little reddish hue. It has a thin, half finger white head.
Smells of dry rye and piney and grassy hops. The rye blends well with the hops but I really wanted a little more hop character as well. There's a little malt note on the caramel side and a little toasted pale malt on the back bone of the nose.
Taste is very complex for a double IPA. It comes right up with sweet/citrus hops followed quickely by caramel sweet malt body. Toward the back of the tongue there's a lot of rye dryness and breadiness along with lots of dry pine and grassy hops. The rye is extremely complementary to the hops in the finish and leaves a wonderfully rounded dry flavor at the end.
Although the end mouthfeel is dry it's extremely drinkable considering the ABV and IBUs.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 5/14/10

Poured into an oversized wine glass the color is red with a pinch of brown. A cover of big bubbles shade the top layer of liquid. Not much carbonation present but I am pleased with the head retention.

Dark malts blend with mild tropical fruits in the scent. Rye is evident and darkens the smell with some added spice. The overall character of the scent reminds me of flowers.

Malt heavy up front, rye blends in to add some spice and bitterness. Sweetness comes in at the middle which is balanced by lemon zest and a celery like bitter aftertaste. The balance is good throughout which amplifies my interest.

Heavy in the mouth, this beer has a large feel for a DIPA. There is a stickiness about the aftertaste and a lot of bitterness.

This is not the most drinkable DIPA, but the flavors keep you around for another sip.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks fantastic pouring a rich mahogany body with a medium, but lasting tan head that leaves a nice layer of lacing to cling to the glass.

The initial aroma leads me to believe this beer is HUGE! Loads of sweet and roasted malts, backed by abundant earthy hops. The hops seem woody and the malt sweet caramel but well complimented. There is a lot going on here. The rye is also apparent and seems to bring the malt and hops together. As the beer warms the rye steps forward even more so.

The flavor is a little varied from the aroma in that it is much woodier. It almost resembles the flavor of some barrel aged beers, or even a barleywine. The rye offsets the hops nicely, the caramel/sweet malt shows up, and then the woody notes kick in with the hops ending with a bitter finish.

Quite smooth and well balanced for a beer of such palate magnitude. Medium in body but incredibly abundant in character with medium to light carbonation.

This is a great beer. Easy to drink, almost dangerously so, with tons of character to offer and quite a value in the store. Certainly worth a try!

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Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice rising head of 1.5 fingers that fills my SA Perfect Pint glass perfectly, then fades slowly. The beer is a very clear honey amber orange color.

N: A nice hoppy aroma hits first, with a little citrus, some chewy hops, little floral fruity hop, and touch of spicy hops. WIth that is a slight malty base with a little sweet malt aroma and a light but there rye aroma with some fruitiness and spicy aromas.

T: Semi bitter at first, with lots of chewy hops, some citrus, spicy and earthy hops, a little nougat flavor. Some chewy malts with that with some malty sweetness. The rye is a lot less than I expected but there, adding a slight spicy and fruity flavor. The bitterness is pretty prevalent though. A slight syrupy sweetness comes through with all of it.

M: Medium body, slight syrupy feel, and good carbonation.

F: Still pretty bitter with a lingering spicy bitterness, both from hops and the rye which seems to come out a bit more on the finish accentuated by the bitterness. Long chewy hops and earthy hop tones. Some sticky sweetness as well. The hops leave a citrus with some sweet flavors combined for a sweet orange drink like taste. A lingering sticky sweetness which masks the alcohol well, that and the hop bitterness.

 1,249 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a dark copper color with a huge head

S - smells of fruity hops that are mixed with sweet, earthy, grainy malts

T - Caramel hops dominate at first but are quickly pushed aside by the spicy rye malts. All of this fades into some grapefruit hops. This thing tastes almost like a hoppy barleywine. A lot different than I expected, not bad.

M - medium bodied and goes down smoothly

D - this was a decent Rye DIPA...this is the first of its kind that I have tried so I have nothing to compare it to, but I think this would have been better if it was a regular IPA with the rye instead of having this huge malt bomb to balance out the loads of hops. Not a bad brew, enjoyable.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours a wonderfully clear deep ruby-copper hue with a fat three-fingered head of beige foam that fades away slowly, showing superb retention as it settles at a thick, creamy cap. As the glass drains, thick lacing rings the walls of the glass.

The aroma is nicely hoppy, with a floral, fruity and citrusy bouquet. Some sweet caramelesque malty notes show through as well. Pleasantly inviting.

Full-bodied and moderately carbonated with a balanced mouthfeel. Sweet malt opens things up on the palate; spicy notes from the rye malt are easily discernible but meld effortlessly into the middle with a bracingly bitter hoppiness that tears away at the tastebuds, obliterating things before falling away into a bittersweet finish, somewhat dry and mildly fruity-sweet.

A fairly well-balanced Double IPA with an interesting hint of rye infused; decently drinkable with a well-hidden 10% ABV and a wonderful mix of flavors. A top-notch example of the style, definitely worth revisiting.

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

A - Coppery color, a little on the brown side with some nice red highlights. Decently sized whitish head that had some nice stick.

S - Rye stands out in the malt backbone with some nice hops that have pine, grapefruit, citrus nodes.

T - Interesting spice on this in the strong rye taste. Hops are there, pine notes that get sweet and citrusy as you drink. Gets spicier as the beer warms up. Slight alcohol burn.

M - Medium bodied with some carbonation and a bit of sugary stick in the drink.

D - Actually had a hard time finishing this one, got a little too pungent as it warmed up. Good starter though, but drinkability gets lower as you go.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gotta keep it real. Good beer. The rye wasn't very present in fact it was barely detectable. This beer is a hybrid, borderline Double IPA that balances caramel malt and hop character 50/50, and an American Barleywine Ale that is aggressively hopped like the SN Bigfoot. Good beer but give me more hops please! Good beer across the board, above average even but nothing stands out.

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

On tap at The Mellow Mushroom, Winter Park, Florida. Served in a pint glass, a translucent coppery brown color with some thin tan head. The head wasn't too thick, but it did provide some nice lacing.

Smells earthy, yet sweet with the hops in the backside of the scent. Love the way the brewer blends in the rye to provide a complex smell.

Nice full bodied brew, very creamy.

Tastes extremely smooth. Hard to believe this is a 10% abv brew. Virtually no alcohol taste. Nice malty backbone and big tasty hops finish.

One of the most drinkable "Big Beers" I've ever enjoyed.

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Photo of chickenflea
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Underground Bluz.

A - Pours a clear deep copper amber with a nicely-lacing frothy off-white head.

S - Aroma is sweet and piney. There are notes of earthy caramel and complex butterscotch.

T - Taste is initially very sweet caramel. But this turns quickly to a fresh, resinous bittering hoppiness and a sticky piney finish. The rye gives it a pleasant balance across the middle of the palate. Alcohol taste is subdued. Taste finishes with burnt toast aftertaste and long lingering bitterness.

M - Texture like apricot juice. Perfect.

D - This beer was one of the most enjoyable beers I have ever had. Just beautiful in every way. I really did not expect to like this beer because I have enjoyed very few good rye-grained beers. But the rye in this style added to the complexity in a very complimentary fashion.

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

Pours a deep amber with two fingers worth of tan head; very sticky lace. Intense floral nose; juicy tropical fruits and pungent herbal and spicy notes. Some toasted malt as well. Like others have said, rye bread would be an accurate description.

This is by far the most mouth enveloping, creamy, chewy DIPA/RIPA I have had the pleasure of enjoying. Pine flavor hits on the finish after a long pause and leaves quickly. Spicy and bready with some sweet grain make up the malt profile, while herbal hops flavor and some sweet fruit compromise the hops.

Surprisingly balanced and highly drinkable for the style. Taste and mouthfeel are just top notch; no harsh bitterness of thin body here. Tongue coating, and the rye is really noticeable.This brew is highly carbonated and light/medium carbonated. The finish just begs for more and the mouth feel alone warrants a purchase.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased from Hoosick Beverage in Troy, NY. Served refrigerator temp in a standard pint glass.

Had to pour hard to get a decent head, but it did come and is sticking around quite well. 1" rocky tan foam on top of a dark mahogany brew, leaves plenty of lacing as it eventually settles. Smell: maltbomb. Biscuit, raisin, caramel, followed by some vanilla, citrus, spices. Not very hoppy. Taste follows straight from the nose, huge malt presence, and still not a ton of hops. I'd really peg this as a hearty barleywine, maltier and not as hoppy as I'd expect from a DIPA. Has a nice spiciness, presumably from the rye. Mouthfeel is fantastically thick and sweet without being slimy or cloying. Finishes clean with a good bit of hoppiness that wasn't apparent in the taste. Odd that the hops only come shining through on the finish. I guess that's a testament to how thick and malty it is.

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Photo of beertunes
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into 16oz goblet. Poured a clean, clear deep ruby color with about 3/4 inch of dark khaki head with moderate retention and lacing.

A sweet, malty aroma, with a fairly sharp rye note, came across the nose. There was some hop in the scent, but the rye overpowered it. The flavors were very similar, the rye being the dominant flavor, with some bitter hops on the finish.

The body was nicely full, but lost a point for the sticky-sweet finish. Drinkability was OK, I struggled to finish the 22, I'd have a 12oz bottle or maybe a glass draft again, 22 ounces is too much of this beer for one sitting.

Overall, a decent beer worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of Thiestru
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Rich, hazy copper color with a three-finger brownish-white head. (The bottle had gotten a little shaken up the night before opening, which I think accounts for that insanely thick head, at least partially.) The color and head are good enough, but the haziness pushes it right up there to 'exceptional'. Not to mention the generous lacing.

Smell: Rye and hops. I can't wait to try it!

Taste: Wow! This is the best IPA I've had in quite some time, and I've had some good ones in the last few months. Whoever first thought of mixing rye and hops was a hero to the human race, and it seems that Schmaltz Brewing Company agrees, because they've taken that idea and made a masterpiece of it. Seriously. This tastes a lot like a Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, but stronger, and just... bigger. And better. And I love Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, too. First you get those rye malts on the front of the tongue, then it gradually gives way to bitter hops as it goes back. I'm having a hard time describing this because it's so overwhelmingly great.

Mouthfeel: Rather full-bodied and creamy, actually. Very, very good.

Drinkability: I could drink these all day! Enough said.

Get this.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 2,008 ratings
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