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:
#2,616
Reviews:
904
Ratings:
2,009
pDev:
11.82%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
236
Trade:
4
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Ratings: 2,009 |  Reviews: 904
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, mahogany-hued body with a large, off-white head. Delicate lacing on the way down.

Smell: Rich-smelling nose of toasted bread crumbs and dark, equally toasted caramel. This is set against bright, predominately fruity hop notes of various candied citrus fruits.

Taste: Toasted bread crusts coated in rich caramel sauce with a crystal malt sweetness and just a pinch of table sugar followed by the piquant, though pleasant spiciness of malted rye. Various hop flavors roll past the tongue depositing bitterness: white pine, grapefruit rinds, pineapple, tangerine, and even Meyer lemons. Eventually, a bolt, moderate bitterness builds, egged on by the spicy rye and held in place by the robust body. Add in a couple turns of the pepper grinder. Finishes mostly dry with a melange of hop tastes disunited by final flecks of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. There's a nice heft to the overall mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Ah, Lenny, we hardly knew ye. Though a bit brash at times, it was still an enjoyable potent brew that, despite it's potency, bitterness, and punchy alcohol content, went down reasonably easily.

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

A sweltered, fire-roasted orange peel with ample topping of khaki-stained whipped cream. The beer's colour is tanned and toasty but its complexion clean and nearly uninterruptedly transparent. The foam does good at sticking around, and sticking to the sides of the glass for that matter, too. Its remnants droopingly hang as if part of an expressionist painting.

Shmaltz Brewing really ought to consider opening up their own hop store; how's this for a hop bill: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial? Wowza! With an outfit like that (and a regiment of dry hopping) I think a sassy, dynamic aroma is to be expected. Curiously, things end up fairly mild. It still boasts an ambrosial bouquet of candied grapefruits and bitter resins but it's mild given the specs.

Much of what toned it down, it seems, is the equally liberal use of caramel malts and rye (of which three different varieties are used). In smell and in taste, the dry, grainy, kilned sensation of rye malt really takes up a lot of room on the palate. Foremost, they lend the sensation of rich dark caramel. Also imparted are notes of whole grain bagels, rye bread, chewy nougat and an odd similarity to wild rice.

Hints of candied grapefruit and candied orange peel aren't easily overlooked, however, considering the hop additions once again, it's a mystery this isn't more resinous, fruity, pungent, citric or at very least more bitter! The presence of any of those qualities is minimal at most. No matter, the beer doesn't suffer any one bit.

The alcohol is well contained for a beer this strength. As it warms, however, small traces of it pierce through the flavour. It certainly doesn't detract any from the drinkability, in fact, it adds a welcome dimension to the beer. This is rather phenomenal, it offers an array of textures and tastes (think sherbets meets doughnuts, wild berries meets wild rice). It is a unique composition difficult to place into a defined style.

Reading the description, I was expecting to break out in hives shaped like hops. Turns out, it contains surprisingly little of the oils and resins of the Pacific Northwest. Instead, it offers a taste of a fantastic, fresh-baked marble rye from a good Jewish bakery. Not to say this isn't hoppy, the label is correct proclaiming an 'obscene amount of malts and hops', but this takes on a unique character all of its own. Be sure to try it for yourself to see what I mean.

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Photo of kenito799
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a Dogfish Head snifter. Brewed in 2006.

Muddy burnt orange brew with small head, recedes to a ring, very little lacing.

Very complex nose. A fascinating fresh bright mintiness is the first thing that hits the nose, certainly unexpected. Caramel malt, sweet and syrupy. Fruity notes fo apricot, cherry and cooked apple. Loads of spicinesss, cola, cinnamon, vanilla. Sour tanginess--this must be the rye. Typical citrus and pine hop notes are surprisingly muted on the nose.

The palate brings much of what the nos promised, with a very rich and fruity caramel sweetness; interlced with a fair amount of alcohol heat. Hoppy bitterness carries through into a long finish, pine now present, with rye sourness throughout.

Yes this is a monster, but three years bottle age has allowed the disparate elements here to intermingle in a thoroughly enjoyable way. The incribly spicy fresh nose really boosts the drinkability with this beer. One of Schmaltz's best efforts.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a glass of this on tap at the Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown. Very solid beer, if not mind-blowing (and the first He'Brew I've had). Pour was mediocre, very weak head but a nice deep amber color. No lacing. Nose was nicely balanced, with some solid citrus and grapefruit. Flavor is similar - solid mix of fruity citrus and caramel. Light alcohol. Body's fine, with good carbonation. Besides the mediocre appearance, this is a nice brew with a great flavor.

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Photo of TheDoorman
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours translucent amber with a solid white head. Aroma is a ncie blend of hops and malt. Rye spicyness also makes itself known in the nose. Very balanced aroma. Tastes fantastic. Starts with nice bready maltiness followed by plenty of hops. Not particularly bitter, but the hops are certainly there. Maybe not as much as youd expect from a IIPA, but thats mostly because the rye malt bill is no slouch. The feel is very very creamy, almost chewy, with a nice astringency in the finish. Alcohol is high, yet unnoticeable. Really a great brew. Somewhat reminiscent of ST Unearthly.

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

22oz. bottle into Troegs Hopback glass on 4/2/09.

A - Poured a beautiful dark amber/caramel-colored body with slow-rising bubbles of carbonation and almost two full finger's of creamy beige head that settled to a half inch of solid retention and decorated the sides of the glass with thick, ornate lacing.

S - Huge spicy rye presence right up front with floral and perfumy hops to complement. Malt character isn't timid either, and displays a caramel and toffee candy sweetness

T - Spicy rye and a potpourri of hops comprise the initial flavor. Floral, herbal and perfumy notes tickle the tastebuds. Thick, rich caramel malt and toffee notes provide sweetness to balance the aggressive hop assault.

M - Full bodied and thick with a syrupy yet creamy texture and a bit of residual heat from the beefy alcohol presence. Carbonation is subtle, but picks up some steam the longer you swirl it around. Finish is quite bitter and dry on the palate, but doesn't linger too long.

D - This is my first experience with He'brew, and I was not disappointed. This is a fantastic rye IPA with tons of flavor and texture. While the floral and perfumy hop profile isn't one of my favorites, it works well overall with the spiciness and dryness of the rye.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber color, slight tiny head of bubbles on the top, clear complexion that you can see through the glass with.

Smell is slightly hoppy, with some bittering hops scent , with some sweet fruit and rye in the very back.

Tasted very good at first, strong and hits you with a punch , then the malts take over the hops at some point. Would probably be a little more flavorful if the hops were overpowering the hops, not sure here. Aftertaste is slightly malty afterwards, almost as if it could have possibly been too long with spent fuel. (malt dredge)

Mouthfeel is great, I would say one of the better mouthfeel beers that I have had, the 10% abv probably has something to do with this.

Drinkability is pretty good overall, Im really glad to see another beer company with a Rye IPA, and I would definitely get this one again.

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Photo of shadow1961
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA pours a couple fingers of foam over a deep, cloudy amber brew. Carbonation is spritzy and active, and the nose is spicy and herbal. The flavor is malty and rich- sweet toasty malts , rye bread, molasses, all up balanced by sharp herbal and pine hop flavors.
Mouthfeel is extremely full and rich, but it would have to be to get this to 10% ABV, which incidentally, is only present as a sensation of well-being- so watch out, this one's a sipper! If you like your India Pale Ales malty, this one's for you!

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Photo of PrinceDarren
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I tried this at Lunar last night.

It was served in a snifter with a thin head. Nice aroma and started off very nice. After half-way, the sweetness started to build and it became harder to finish.

In all, a complex and enjoyable Imperial IPA but quickly fades.

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

A-Deep clear amber with a light tan head that settles rapidly. A very pretty beer that only gets dinged points because of a lack of head.

S-Rich malts predominate with some citurs in the background and a touch of caramel.

T-Wow! Opens with a thick syrupy malty sweetness. A subdued balanced caramel-like mid palate until the hops kick in with a grapefruit citrus pucker followed by a deep astringent bitter finish that lingers forever. Bittersweet indeed! This one spans the spectrum in an amazing way. The ABV is present, but never overpowering.

M-Well balanced overall with a very full mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

D-This is a very drinkable and enjoyable brew, but at the ABV, one suits me fine for now. I will definately pick this one up again as it satisfys the sweet craving, the malt craving, the hops craving and everything in between...well done.

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

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet malt up front then the hops

T - This IPA has a seriously strong malt backbone to it the sweet malt does a good job at balancing out the hops

M - This beer has a full body with medium carbonation to it

D - For a 10% abv beer I think this is about as drinkable as you can get very easy to drink to quickly with its very enjoyable taste worth trying

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - A beautiful beer. Clear reddish amber with 4+ fingers of light tan head. Retention is great with the head lasting upwards of a few minutes leaving spectacular, webby lacing behind.

S - Malty sweetness is more than obvious upfront. Lots of caramel and some frut aromas. I'm not sure if I can detect the rye or not. The hops are also quite assertive with notes of pine and grapefruit. Slight herbal aromas as well.

T - Syrupy sweet malt takes hold first. Lots of caramel and touches of butterscotch and molasses. Hops enter next, full of herbal, spicy, and flowery flavors. Grass, pepper, rosehips, pine, spruce, and light fruity undertones all come to mind, ending in a rather high and coarse bitterness. Alcohol is quite apparent in the finish.

M - Thick, full bodied, syrupy, even a bit oily. Carbonation is moderate helping to thin out some of the brew's syrupy nature.

D - Not the DIPA I expected, but wonderfully unique in it's own right. Though I generally prefer maltier DIPAs, Lenny's RIPA almost gets a little TOO malty, with a nearly overbearing sweetness. Overall it works together, but it is on the sweet side and the alcohol is barely hidden at all.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into goblet. Let this one warm for a good little while before opening, but it still improved after opening and warming even more.

Not much head, even less lacing. Very clear, copper/amber, gorgeous.

Huge sweet malty base comes first, strong fruity esters, moderate balancing hops. A little backwards for an IPA, but I like it.

Very dry and boozy early on, but more balanced and smooth as it warmed. Malty sweet with some citrusy hop flavor and lingering bitterness.

Mild carbonation. Thick, rich texture with full body. Dry bitter finish.

Very dry bitterness lingers. Quite big, too. Definitely a sipper.

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

Pours a dark ambery goldish kinda thing with a thick head of foam and crystal, crystal clear (holy filtration [email protected])

Light citrusy nose with a pretty heavy dose of rye mixed in, not quite as much of a punch in the face as I want from my IIPA's.

Medium bitterness with a slight malt background, suprisingly balanced, the rye shows up mostly at the end at lingers on the pallet a little, wow just had a championship level belch that really brought the rye to the forefront...

overall damn tasty, one of the best hebrew offerings ive had.

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

22 oz bottle picked up in Buffalo.

Pours a hazy orange, burnt umber, very thick and rocky light tan head forms, tons of lacing, keeps a very solid layer, great retention, looks pretty great. Smell is pretty nice, very bready, lots of caramel, some rye spiciness, floral, light bit of grapefruit, alcohol is very well hidden, biscuit, very nice. Taste is similar, very malty and bready, toffee, iron, light floral, some grapefruit sourness and rye spice, cake, lightly sour and lemony, alcohol comes through a touch but very subdued, nice malty finish, balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation, very drinkable for its size, alcohol is nicely hidden. Pretty neat stuff, doesn't wow me but its pretty good.

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Unibroue goblet.

Pours a dark shade of burnt orange. With resistance, I get a two finger head to form off a slightly aggressive pour - thick and frothy...before it falls into a thin patchy layer. Bubbles struggle to make it through what appears to be a pretty full bodied brew.

Smell's like an American Barleywine. Spicy nose with tons of malt backbone with a strong piny hop presence easily breaking through. Hints of ruby red grapefruit juice. Alcohol isn't huge here, but reminds you that it is there.

Sugary sweetness leads the way with toffee malt flavors. Plenty of malt backbone to go around, as the nose suggested. Viscous with an almost syrupy mouthfeel, but not in a bad way. A healthy dose of spicy peppery rye tickles the tastebuds, then come the resinous, spicy, piny hops, which also add tasty notes of grapefruit rind. A little bubblegum that is more noticeable with spicy food. Alcohol is noticeable, but not significantly.

The bottle says IPA, I say all barleywine. Tasty.

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

22oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a deep, rusty red. Like all the burlesque dreams one can't help but recall after rejection. Appears deep, as blood is thicker than water. Head forms quickly and abundantly, stays at over a centimeter. This abyssal body begs to be consumed.

S: Mild malts, some hop overtones but not as overwhelming as one would expect from a double IPA. Appealing, though it doesn't assault the nose.

T: The label promised 'bittersweet', and it didn't disappoint. The barley and rye are heavily into play here; complex and sweet. Hops are more prominent here than in the nose. Alcohol is also noticeable. Heavy, but eminently drinkable.

M: Some carbonation, though it's quite thick. Almost creamy as a stout. This beer drinks like a dessert.

D: Perhaps too intense in flavour to drink often. The sweetness and bitterness here are definitely overwhelming, though I welcome them. Honestly, a bottle of this puts me down.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/13/2009 (bottle):

Pours an amber orange colored body, with a small white head. Has a strong citrusy bitter aroma. Also, a rye grainy aroma. An alcoholy taste, bitter citrus, grainy. Spicy taste. Has a creamy mouthfeel. Nice IPA taste. Carbonated. Tasty.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I've never seen Lenny Bruce perform. From what I've read, he was ahead of his time, pushing the boundaries of what was thought to be good taste in his time, and never afraid to take risks or possibly ""step over the line". In that spirit comes Bittersweet Lenny RIPA On Rye from He'Brew.

Unfortunately, like a comedian who simply swears too much and uses shock value of profanity to make up for poor punch lines, this brew simply didn't have the proper level of restraint, nuance, and balance to work for me.

I started by pouring it into my tulip, and appreciated the dark brown liquid with a slight head of white foam floating on top. There was lots of sheeting action on the glass. I have a weak nose, but couldn't pick up much aroma for all the strong flavors I was about to encounter, a little hop aroma, a little malt aroma, not much else. The flavor was strong, the flavor was aggressive, the flavor was a little shocking, and unfortunately, the flavor was not all that enjoyable. There was a lot of malt in there, with a bitter rye note, that seemed to overwhelm a lot of piney, grapefruity hops. I was surprised to see the malt overwhelm the hops is what the bottle said was a double IPA. Now there is nothing wrong with breaking the rules, but if you're going to break them, something good should come out of it. That didn't happen here.

With all that malt, the mouthfeel was one of the high points of this brew, with a luxerious, creamy texture. But I found this too strong, aggressive and unbalanced to be very drinkable.

I can appreciate what He'Brew was trying to accomplish here, but these type of beers work not because of the aggressive flavors, but because care is taken to balance and blend the aggressive flavors, and that is missing here.

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Photo of supercolter
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok so maybe I'm just not a rye beer guy. I'm wasn't really picking up much of the hops, seeing as this was a DIPA. I don't really like the way that the two flavors mix and this beer tastes like a poorly balanced barley wine. The mouthfeel is actually quite nice. Oily and moves around well on the tongue. Drinkability is ok, but its more sessionable than anything.

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

Pales a burnished red/amber. Fairly dark colored beer. Inch of off-white foam.

Smells ... mostly of sweet white grapefruit. No pine or bittering citrus in the nose.

Taste is surprisingly sweet. For a DIPA, it's pretty barley-wine-ish. Brown sugar, caramel ... big malt presence. Let it linger and grapefruit and a splash of more tropical citrus comes into play.

Nice, well balanced. I actually am enjoying it quite a bit. Has a satisfying chewy/sticky mouthfeel. Thanks for the recommendation Jwolfie70!

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Photo of redneckchugger
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass, smells of hops, and a slight spiciness, chalking that up to the rye.
tastes is off, hoppy, but not enough, spicy and malty flavors are throwing off the hoppiness. the mouthfeel is just wrong, thick, way too thick for a dipa, more in the range of a big stout. this beer just missed the mark for me.

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Photo of LilMatrix
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark orange hue with a light thin head.

S - Lightly roasted malts, hoppy, and alcohol.

T - The hops are up front and hit you in the face and then the malts start to join the party. The bitterness is the main lingering component I'm picking up on as the drink progresses.

M - Creamy and thick, oily, light to medium carbonation, although it feels creamy there is a thin aspect as it goes down.

D - True to it's name, this beer has a definite big hop bitterness profile and a subtle sweet maltiness. A big beer that could be a barlywine. A sipper fo sho, drink too much too quickly and you'd be down for the count.

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely reddish amber hue with a medium light brown head. Wonderful spicy smell with a hint of citrus as well. The flavor is heavily spiced with a whiskey essence and a nice bit of hoppy goodness. Little bit of alcohol presence as well but not overpowering. I think I just converted.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/1/08. Bottle. Pours a dark amber/brown with a thick light tan head. Aroma is quite malty with some citrus hops. Flavor of lots of malt/bread/cracker. Mostly bittersweet hops with some citrus and lemon zest. Also some iced tea. I didn't get much rye though, sadly (because I love rye). This was more like an ASA to me because of the strong malt presence. Pretty tasty though, although the hops may have faded slightly from this one.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

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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 2,009 ratings
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