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

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,002 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
Ratings:
2,002
Reviews:
902
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
233
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,002 |  Reviews: 902
Photo of shadow1961
4.12/5  rDev +2%
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 -4.2%
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 +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%
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 -6.9%
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 +1.5%
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 +5.9%
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 batman!@)

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 -1.7%
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 +8.2%
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 +5.9%
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 -17.8%
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 -24.3%
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 -21.3%
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 -23.3%
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 -13.6%
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 +14.4%
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 -7.7%
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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Photo of aubuc1
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber in to a goblet.

Pours a deep amber with a light tan quickly thinning head.

Big hoppy smell of grapefruit on top of a sweet malt and I think rye.

First is a sweet citrusy, oily hop tste, then the finish is clean bitter. A malty sweet is sandwiched in the middle.

Maybe a little thin mouthfeel, but a nice drinking beer for the size of it.

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Photo of leif86
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 poured in my Duvel

A: A stunningly clear but dark amber colored brew. Head is gorgeous, nice and thick and foamy and composed of small bubbles. Great lacing.

S: Such a strong, malty-sweet aroma. Some fruit in the back but I can't put my finger on it. A good spice comes through too.

T: Not lacking any flavor. Caramel malts hit you up front with some fruity wine esters as well. The backend is spicy (thank you rye) and hop bitterness charges in to balance out the sweetness. Very bitter-chocolate-esque at the end.

M: A little sticky, a little syrupy but not bad. Could stand for a bit more carbonation.

D: Good beer, but certainly not something you can turn to a lot. Or maybe you can, but I can't. It's damn good though.

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Photo of erikm25
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich and thick burnt amber and orange coloring. A dark reddish and auburn tinted copper. The head is a massive chalky beige orgy of bubbles. Very dense with excellent retention. Cobwebs of lacing around the glass.

S: Very powerful aromas. Massive malts, yeast, and freshly baked rye bread. Caramel candies with some roasted peppers coated in honey. Subdued hints of orange peels and spiced grapefruit towards the back of the nose.

T: Rich malt taste with just the right amount of alcohol tinge. Caramel and buttered rye toast with some toffee and cherry sweetness. Citrusy and pine sap bitterness in the finish. All rounded off with thick fruitiness in each sip. Hints of oak, dark berries, and a bittering tang. The spiciness really becomes more apparent as this warms. Definitely complex and with the ABV it warms very nicely.

M: Creamy, syrupy, and full with moderate carbonation.

D: This is probably my favorite style of beer and He'Brew has put together a very interesting and successful twist to the DIPA. I could see how this might be hit or miss with some but it was a hit with me. It has a very experimental aspect to it that I liked. It's one of those beers that, if you dig the taste, you'll have finished a bomber before you know it and end up having music turned way up.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy brown with a billowy off-white head. Rich aroma of rye, crystal malt, and hops. Big flavor up front, mostly rye and malt. The hops are next, with more pine and resin than citrus. Finish is caramel malt with a hop bite. Love IIPAs and Ryes, this combines the best features of both.

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Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.55/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I love DIPA's, but this one did not suite me at all. The taste was not well balanced and the bitterness I usually enjoy in DIPA's available here:Great Divide Titan DIPA, Boulevard Double Wide Pale Ale,etc, was not pleasant. Maybe it's just a different interpretation than I'm used to, but it's not for me. It could be a good ale if balance was improved.

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

Incredible aroma on this one. Sweet malt and good balance of rye. Nice balance. Very smooth with a good hoppy bite on the finish. Good body. Mouthfeel is just a little sticky. Near the end it seemed to be a tad to much sweetness. Overall, this is an impressive beer.

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Photo of popery
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An enjoyable DIPA with a nice twist of rye. This is yet another DIPA with a lot of hop flavor. It pours an absolutely beautiful mahogany that just glowed for me. The head is stiff and hearty. It might not quite look like the norm for the style, but it's a gorgeous beer that, for some reason, transcended style for me. The nose is disappointingly weak for the strength of the head. It's sweet with some good citric hop aroma. I don't have much patience for a DIPA with a weak nose. On the other hand, the beer has a marvelous taste. There's lots of hops, lots of caramel malt and a wonderful rye tone that is fairly unique in my experience. It's one of the more balanced DIPAs that I've had, but it's possible that it's a bit less fresh than some other DIPAs I've reviewed. I certainly didn't intend to age it, but it sat around for at least a couple weeks, unlike most DIPAs I've reviewed. This worked out for me, although it could have hurt the nose. I'll try to find another bottle and immediately consume it for a point of comparison. I do this for you, gentle reader. In you, I find my sole motivation to drink beer after beer, night after night. With that, I end this review and move on to my next self-sacrificial effort. Beer me.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,002 ratings.
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