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
2,016 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:
#2,860
Reviews:
905
Ratings:
2,016
pDev:
12.07%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
238
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,016 |  Reviews: 905
Photo of badesign
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Cherry red with motor oil brown shadows, small off-white head. Aroma of citrus and dark fruits, mellow candy sweetness, minimal grain.

Thick resiny bitterness and orange oil up front, spicy grain and alcohol, interesting- complex and sweet- malts from the rye. Nuttiness like a brown ale and roastiness like a porter, finishes with an earthy note which becomes mildly sour as it warms, overall flavor becomes spicier as well. Very complex. Rich, velvety mouthfeel, unctuous and puckering.

Maybe 4 oz. in, out of 22, my tongue feels dead, but happily so- like it's happy to cross this beer off its bucket list. Really incredible and a great example of a rye beer.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured in a tasting glass.

Pours red with almost no head at all. Nose is of rye and a bit malty and sweet.

Taste is also sweet rye. Very tasty and strong. The abv seems a bit high, however the rye adds a lot to it to mellow it out. For being an IPA I wish it was a bit hoppier (thinking hop rod rye here), this is much more like a rye pale ale rather than a Rye IPA.

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Photo of pourmeup
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

very tasty beer overall, let me say that is possibly the nicest mouthfeel in an IPA i've ever had, so thick and smooth, the appearance is overall very pleasing--poured into a nonic pint, great head with a medium shade similar to a sipping rum, a nice amber color overall. lacing is also at a premium, with thick rings forming sticking all over the glass, tastes mildly of grapefruit with a slight pine flavor, smells of a spring forest, very floral, not so drinkable, drank the whole bottle and was quite done for the night
(2 person review)

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazed red-orange color, nice large, quickly receding head that leaves some viscous lacing. Fair amount of visible carbonation as well.

The forefront of the nose is packed with a firm odor of rye malt, and oodles of spicy hops. Stale and earthy, in a good way. I get a bit of citrus themed hop smell, but it is very underwhelming. The alcohol light up your nose hairs and is prevalent in the smell.

The taste is a bit out of the ordinary, the hop profile is leaning way over to the spicy side rather than citrus or pine. A really mean rye pa if you ask me. Spice, earthiness and rye define this brew. Sooo much flavor that it almost hurts, what this brew lacks in complexity it makes up for tenfold in sheer amount of taste. The alcohol is hidden perfectly and you would never notice that this brew clocks in at 10%.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Tiny amount of syrupy slag on the tongue but that's pretty much expected in a big brew like this.

Overall, I don't know how I feel about this one. It is good, very drinkable. But it's kind of up in the air if I will seek this out again. Solid brew.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ozer.

Appearance: Dark orange, totally clear. Giant puffy off white head (dont pour too hard). Insane sticky, sticky lacing.

Smell: Sweet and spicy. Strong malt and rye presence. The hops are orangey and a little floral. Less hops than I expected to smell for a DIPA, but it does smell really good.

Taste: This is a mouthful of sweet maltiness and rye bread. Again, the hops I barely smelled are barely tasted (barely is an exagerration), although there is some bitterness and a little orange and pine-- drowned in a sea of malt and rye (a delicious sea). So again, not an A+ for a DIPA, but a really tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: Here we go. This thing fills your mouth. Thick, a little syrupy. Wow.

Drinkability: Really good stuff. Doesn't really fit well into the double IPA category well, but who really cares? Share a bomber, its too much for one.

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Photo of Shadman
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful bright color. A lot like a polished copper pipe. Very nice rich head and good lacing.

Aroma is sweet, with lot's of floral citrus hoppiness, with a hint of the vanilla that tends to be associated with rye & whiskey.

Interesting taste..lot's of sweet, dried fruit maltiness decently accompanied by the cascade hop. Thought it could have used a bit more hop to balance it. Finish is sweet and sticky. however. Booze is there, but warms rather than burns because of the sweet/stickiness.

Medium to borderline full with a oily slickness.

Just a bit too syrupy and sweet to be top drawer.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a ruby brown with good tan head that left lace down the glass and a one-finger head. A great citric hop smell that is also bery piney and floral along with caramel and other sweet malts. Classic DIPA taste as the beer is medium-bodied and smooth and contains both a great hop bitterness and some sweet malt/fruit tastes. Taste is comprised of citric hops along with roasted and caramel malts. The high ABV leads to a dry backbite that gives off a complimentary alcohol burn and is tagteamed with the rye which gives off a little bready feeling. A great beer but also a very heavy beer to handle and one bottle was certainly enough for me.

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Photo of ImusBeer
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as my second of the day. It was poured a Copper color and a bit hazy. The head was only around the rim but there was lots of lacing.

This is the first beer that I've really noticed the yeast aroma and the very heavy bread or biscuit smell.

The first thing I noticed was the hop, then the sweetness of malt & caramel. The bitter finish really made this a delight.

The mouthfeel is dominated by bitterness and then the bite of the alcohol, at 10% I expected this.

Couldn't drink it all the time but I would enjoy this occasionally.

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Photo of velosuds
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Cost Plus World Market for $5.49.

A-Pours a medium to deep amber-reddish brown color with a two finger, creamy tan head with good retention and ample, pasty lacing. Beautiful appearance.

S-Caramel and spicy rye malts. Hops too. Citrusy and sweet. I love this beer. Very interesting for a DIPA, but I'm not sure that is the proper style. Not that it really matters. I love this beer.

T-God, I love this beer. Very well balanced, yet complex. Hops are aggressive without overpowering the taste buds. Nice rye malt backbone in finish is profoundly sweet. Very distinctive, even surprising. A real treat. No bitter after taste and alcohol content is hardly noticeable, even at 10% ABV. Extremely well constructed.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced. Carbonation is perfect.

D-Dangerously smooth given ABV. I prefer to sip this one, especially since the taste and drinkability improve as it warms.

This is among my favorite beers and would rate higher if it were more affordable. Sorry, but as a value conscious CPA the price paid is important to my overall enjoyment of beer. Thankfully, there are many great values and a plethora of choices available.

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If Schlitz is Schlitz, this is Schmaltz. This is a bomber that appeared albeit at a great price at the local beer supply joint, so I decided to give it a whirl. It is a brew among brews, let me tell you, my friends. The bottle smell is malt and lots of it. This is a brew that for the style - reinvents- Obscene is completely correct. This is a beer for worldwide lovers of beer. This may not be a tripel, its more ,with the hopping its a dirty quadruple! At least he migrated to see the US of A!

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Photo of brow1901
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a cloudy darker amber almost brown/red color with a off white head. Minimal lacing and hardly any retention. Unfortunatly the sediment at the bottom of my bottle got disturbed, and there is a lot of sediment.

S- Mostly hops in the nose but some definite grain character is coming through. Slight hint of dark fruits.

T- Very oily hops, an extremely chewy beer here. Some earthy tastes and yeast tastes. Kind of a sweet beer.

M- Again very thick and chewy brew. The rye seems to add alot to this.

D- Pretty drinkable, but it isn't a refreshing beer and not really a warmer. A great autumn beer though.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.87/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - beautiful 3 finger head white foam head off my initial pour into my favorite New Belgium Snifter. this beer presents a very deep cherry-oak color.

S - resiny, piney and citrus hops are the central focus in the nose, they come flooding out of the glass. rich caramel malts come running through reeking of cavity-giving sweetness. this beer smells like a dank-ass barleywine w/ some rye bread in the mix as well.

T - spicy and bitter. lots of rye flavor that really shows up as a nice backdrop for the over-the-top-hop insanity.

MF - creamy and lucsious, full bodied. perfection! this one rolls down with ease

D - running and hitting on all cylinders, this one smells, looks, tastes, and goes down like a champ! beware of the 10 percent(can't taste it)
At this price, why am i just now discovering this gem? more i say more!

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Photo of thekanna
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a chilled beer mug. Copper bordering on blood orange color with a decent amount of head that leaves rings when traveling down the side of the glass.

S: Nice sweet malts with some citrus, floral aromas, and faint hops. I do not detect the big hop smell that I usually expect from DI/IPAs.

T: Caramel and toffee malts with a nice rye touch, not unlike pumpernickel bread, and a faint peppery spiciness. The hops then kick in and provide a strong, biting bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy from the head with a decent amount of carbonation to remind you it's a beer and not a drinkable loaf of good bread.

D: Very nicely sippable, and the hop bitterness is, for lack of a better word, addicting.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good DIPA with a touch of RYE and a busy eccentric presentation.

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. Overtly busy design that compromises the legibility. Homage series to comedian Lenny Bruce in a Kosher certified brew, with a fairly lengthy narrative around the quality of the brew and more so around the gesture to Lenny. Lacks an actual date of bottling or freshness but notes the 10th anniversary of the brewery on 2006, so this might be a bottle from that date? It neither shows IBUs or °Plato, with Alc. by Vol (10.%) Poured into a tall tulip glass.

A - Dark copper color with a large head and nice retention. Leaves a beautiful and persistent lacing.

S - Very subdued aromas with a predominant malty smell holding the hops and some distant, very faint, fruit aromas. Quite tamed...

T - Sweet bitterness in particular at the end.

M - Full bodied with solid carbonation, smooth and lacking some touches of texture from other rye brews.

D - It´s as drinkable as an average US DIPA, which is a good thing. Heavy, but into the range of the style. Missing the rye emphasis for me...

Notes: A bit of a let down in the context of much hype I heard surrounding the brew. It is a nice beer, but the aromas, and subtle flavors did not emerge for me at all. On the side of an average DIPA, and again, the average being pretty good that makes this a solid drink. But I was also missing noticing and enjoying more so the rye component of it, which I find much better achieved in other brews. Here for me it was barely a bit of a backdrop touch.

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Photo of thain709
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Did this in a side by side tasting with Hop Rod Rye...

A - A maroon body with some pronounced red highlights coming through...a big, thick, cream, off white head forms and retains very well...great lacing

S - You get a little of everything here...very sweet from all the malts...fresh pine...bright citrus...and spicy rye

T - Again you get a little bit of everything this beer has to offer...as the nose suggests this one is sweet from all the caramel malts that are brewed into it...but the sweetness is cut down by the spiciness of the rye (which comes out once it warms up) and the assertiveness of the hops...the hops help this one not be too sweet...but it's still on the sweeter side for me...this is actually a pretty balanced beer with how big it is

M - Medium bodied...a little thick, creamy, oily, and sweet

D - As I said this is a nicely balanced beer for being 10%...but it's just leans a little bit more towards the sweeter side...I love how you get a little piece of everything in the malts, rye, and hops

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Photo of theghost3
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, deep red-orange with a 1-finger yellowish beige. Significant lacing.

Smell is strong of piney & herbal hops with some sweet malts, berries & spices. The taste is rather bitter from the hops & there's some sourness from the rye along with a spiciness & subtle roasty malts. No sweet citrusy flavors that are in some DIPAs. Mouthfeel is thick, creamy, yet crisp.

This is a drinkable DIPA. It's unlike a lot of DIPAs because it doesn't have a sort of citrusy sweetness to counterbalance the intense bitterness, and it's darker than most of the DIPAs I've had. Still, quite good.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a tulip. I proudly hoarded this bomber all for myself. No freshness date to be found.

A: Hazy dark amber and plum-colored brew with about a finger of creamy beige head. Great retention, and there is spotty lacing on my tulip.
S: Big sweet fruitiness up front; a bready malt presence is pretty prominent, too. Currants are major here, and there's a nice little sweet and spicy balance. I'm hoping for some more hops in the flavor because they are not too bold on the nose, and I'd expect a little something more in a DIPA!
T: I am happy here...it is much more hoppy on the palate. I've got great bitter hops all over. They are woody and mildly citrusy. These hops are balanced gorgeously with the dark fruity esters found in the aroma. The best part of this beer is the great rye base. It's grainy and slightly earthy. I sense caramel malt, but it's merely an afterthought here.
M: Creamy head, a heavier body, and balanced carbonation make for a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel.
D: I am a big fan of this brew. I'd like to try it fresh and on tap if ever possible!

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured a thick bronze, with a tan head that lasted, but not an obvious carbonation presence.

S: Smelled syrupy sweet, with hints of grapefruit and tropical citrus, but also an unrefined spicy note.

T: Definitely found the grapefruit, tropical fruit, and even some apricot, but the sweetness was a little overpowering, and furthermore it dissipated into a harsh sour-spice that left a lingering aftertaste.

M: Syrupy, high alcohol presence on the tongue. Not very pleasant.

D: I found myself taking gulps, not because I eagerly wanted to consume another pint, but because I wanted to wash away the somewhat annoying aftertaste. If they could balance out the sour-spice and syrupy feel, it would certainly knock this beer up a few notches. Doesn't come close to the top-notch Dbl IPAs.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - This one is the color of sassafras with a splash of grenadine, and is topped with a small but solid cap of dense beige foam that also shows a splash of reddish color (the influence of the rye?) The lace is extremely fine, but doesn't do a whole lot of sticking.

S - Rhubarb, grapefruit, strawberry, ginger, and pineapple. There are traces of cinnamon stick, cherry candy syrup, and black pepper. This one stands out from others of it's ilk in that is smells spicy and extremely fruity.

T - Juicy grapefruit, cherry, pineapple, and a massive amount of mango make this one as fruity as that Carmen Miranda lady's hat. However, that fruitiness is contrasted with an extremely peppery note that appears at midpalate (first sip is all fruit and hops) and crescendos to a something-tickling-the-back-of-the-throat spiciness that almost makes me wanna sneeze.

M - Full bodied. Sugary and slick at first, but then gradually warming, spicy, peppery, and bitter. This one has a nice three step mouthfeel progression (along with the flavor progression) that goes from fruity-sugary to hoppy-bitter to spicy-peppery and super dry.. Extremely interesting.

D - This a nice change from the usuall DIPAs, but it's far from the best. I love rye whisky and the few rye beers that I've tried (both offerings from Founder's are particularly good... especially Red's Rye), and this is a nice adaptation of those spicy and dry rye notes.

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

Pours a nice deep amber or copper color with a decent half finger's width head that dissipated into a frothy cap leaving a bit of lacing.

Smell is nice and complex. Nice citrus hop bouquet up front with a big backbone of malt. The hops are big, but so is the sweetness of the malt, smells very tasty.

Taste is big on the hops with a nice malt sweetness up front and a lingering dry, bitter finish. Very well balanced for a DIPA, many can be too sweet but this one delivers just the right amount of hops with a balanced background of malt sweetness. Nice caramel sweetness from the malt contributes to the big, nearly chewy, mouth feel. You can definitely taste the rye and alcohol in the aftertaste as the palate lingers with a bitter, grainy and hoppy flavor.

Overall, a pretty good and well balanced DIPA!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.19/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A unique color pour methingks. Copper and burnt orange, semi-clear at first, then clears up as it warmed (poured at 49 degrees, too). Very good looking head. Hilly and soft. Some lacing becomes sticky on top and on sides.

aroma is sweet and oily. A lot of resin and some alcohol make me pull back a bit, perhaps in surprise. Rye mixes with some hop juice to make a pronounced nose shocker. It's not bad, just odd.

Taste is malt, oily or syrupy, not sure which. Coating. Some hops are in here, mostly pine..not the citrus I expect from an A-IIPA.
hard to drink...didn't finish. Alcohol is too much..or perhaps it's the rye. Could be too raw at 10%.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle downed july 31 2009

A reddish bronze, with a head that just kept climbing up the glass pouring over the top and on too the table. thick head that stuck around, looked like little hills, thick patches of lace but could not see each sip

S caramel is very strong nice pine and citrus just great. as it warmed i picked up some bread and perhaps some faint smoke?

T sweet malt with some pine, citrus and a little bread. not as bitter as i thought it would be, i thought the 10% was a typo until i fell over reaching for seconds. not perfect but a wonderful dipa buy it if you can

M/D thick, creamy goodness. I wont lie i loved drinking this beer. smooth as silk, and i just cant get over the 10% where did they put it?

my highest marks to date with good reason. see it buy it drink it any questions???

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Photo of prosper
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours like syrup. Light reddish colour with an orangey head - dense and creamy. Leaves lots of lace. It even LOOKS thick - the bubbles rising up seem to be moving pretty slow.

Smell is amazing. I can smell it, just sitting there on the table. Citrus hops, grainy malts, yum.

Taste is good; lots and lots of malt - some toastiness, breadiness, and fruit. Bitter. Hop flavours not as dominant here as in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is good, but heavy. It's like drinking carbonated syrup. Thanks to the Rye for that, no doubt.

Drinkability - poor. Too thick, too intense. Getting through one glass of this is going te be enough of a challenge.

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Photo of Derek
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a very light tan head, great retention, awesome lacing. Seriously impressive for a brew of this strength.

S: Huge nose, grapefruit, nectarine, spicy rye bread, toffee, extremely enticing.

T: Piny, resiny hops complement the spiciness from the rye; bready malt, nectarine, tangine, solid bitterness, alcohol is extremely well-hidden. I know it's bigger, but his one blows the Founder's rye brews away.

M: Moderately full body is well-attenuated and extremely smooth, slight hop acidity, off-dry finish. Extremely well-crafted.

D: I absolutely love it, but it's a big brew.

I don't think I've ever said 'extreme' so many times in a single review, yet this is remarkably well-rounded. Playboy may have described it best "F#cking delicious".

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

It pours a nice amber color and is fairly clear with just a touch of haze. The haze is more than likely from a dry hopping process. It did pour a bit of a head, but it disappeared quickly and does not leave lacing on the glass.

Quite malty with some caramel that is unmistakable in the nose. The hops nose is a bit complex but not really that assertive. I smell a bit of pine and some grapefruit and lemon, but the aroma is not as intense as I was expecting. As a matter of fact, the malt and hops are fairly well balanced and you have to move from side to side (malt to hops) to pick apart the aroma. There is a touch of sweet fruit as well, a bit like the smell of booze soaked fruits my dad used to make hiding in there. Also, for a 10% beer I thought the alcohol aroma would be higher but it is not. Although the aroma is pleasant, it just misses the mark in style.

The flavor is nice with a toasty cooked caramel flavor on the front, and it finishes with a bit of spicy hop bite and a touch of lingering bitterness. The bitterness is not harsh or over the top, but just enough to let you know it is there. I don't get much alcohol for a 10% beer, so the alcohol has really mellowed. The flavor is a notch above the aroma in regards to stylistic accuracy, but for a style that the hop flavor is supposed to be "strong and intense" or "High to Absurdly High" this beer does not hit that mark. Although the balance is towards the hops in flavor, it is still just too even. What I do like is the hop flavor, it is grapefruity in the beginning and finishes with a semi-resinous piney hop bitterness that is not over the top.

Body is medium bodied with a creamy texture to it. The carbonation level is low to medium low and could pop a bit more. The beer finishes semi-sweet.

Style listing aside, this beer is EXCELLENT, I mean just awesome to drink. I can't stress that enough. However, for an Imperial IPA this beer falls a bit short. I think this beer is the single most drinkable 10% beer I have had. You really need to be careful because you can easily drink way too much and not notice. But if you compare this beer to others of this style like Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA, Victory's Hop Wallop, or Bell's Hop Slam; you will see that as good and drinkable as this beer is, it's hop profile is just a bit lacking for the style. Then again, I just may have had an older bottle too.

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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 2,016 ratings