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

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895 Reviews
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States

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

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Reviews: 895 | Ratings: 1,972
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After 2 months in the cellar, caged and corked poured into an oversized wine glass to show off woodsy red, with fire engine tints. The head was a dense have fingers with a slow regression to afew pits on the side of the glass. Full glass of lace when you tilt it towards your mouth to show that Lenny is omnipresent. The nose was quite quiet at the start with sublte hops chiming in first. More sweet malts than anything else to body of the nose, Could not detect any rye but got some other spices to lure you in to a double IPA.

T: The flavor starts and ends with sweet but just like any good Lenny performance, the zing comes after you get all settled down. The rye makes the bite stronger and enjoyable and you continue to let this creation breath and express itself. The ABV is fairly evident but I think with my modest aging, it's tempered a wee bit. This is one of the easiets IPA's I've ever had when it comes to the hop department. That's not to say there are not almost a half dozen different styles with Cascade and Crystal that come to mind. I smiled however after burping a few minutes later and tasting a full mouthful of hops to taste more bitterness. It's a malt bevy anyway you shake it folks and the rye with the malts works against the hops even with multiple selections. Perhaps the dash of aging I did reduced the squad of malts? I liked the carmael and candy texture beyond the malts and hops as well.

M: At first impression, I would say flat and dull however after another pour, I change my mind completely. A big boy body with alluring thicky creamyness.

D: I will most assuredly go for Ole Lenny many times in the future. I'm sure this beer has had many different takes over the years, so reading some of the top reviewers may not necessarily if you the best information about Schmlatz's take on this developing style. Just as the performer brought something new to the table in his brief career, Schmaltz refines an overall quality body of work.

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Photo of mactrail
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity and bitter powerhouse of an ale. Like all the big Shmaltz brews the intensity of flavor is remarkable. Hugely bitter, but at least they cram in an indecent amount of malt as well. The rye flavor is sharp, vinous, distinctive. Less grainy than some other rye beers.

Looks nice with the long lasting cap of foam on the coppery orange brew. So powerful it's hard to taste a real mouthful. A boozy shotgun blast.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep cherry brown color in the glass, somewhat opaque, with a huge fluffy light brown head, that lingers for quite a while. Aromas of apricots, floral hops and some caramel. Tasting this one brings huge hoppy flavors, balanced nicely by the big malt backbone, leaving a lasting bitter finish. Another big, bold beer from an underrated brewery. I seem to remember this one being better than the one I'm drinking now, however.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red-tinged amber colour, clear body with great head - really dense and fluffy - of cream colour. Lace is nice, looks pretty damn good overall.

Smell is quite nutty, with sweet cereal grain giving way to peanut brittle, toffee and distinct fortified wine notes. Touch of fig and cumquat, just a bit of ethanoic booze at the back. Nice and complex malt-bomb of a nose.

Palate seems a bit lacking in the middle. Starts fairly malty with nutty edge; toffee and peanuts, then develops some quite dirty bitterness on a mid-palate which is otherwise uneventful. Touch of carraway and resinous hop notes on the back, with lemon rind, mild spice and woody notes. Not bad but the flavours don't entirely mesh.

Smooth enough, full enough. Yeah, mouthfeel enough.

The front malt belies the later emptiness. Could use that malt all the way through to carry the palate. Good beer though.

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Photo of tony223366
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: HUGE head. Way more than 3 fingers. Head is very fluffy and light tan in color. Head retention is very good. Color is actually a brown with red highlights. Like a really dark caramel. Clarity is excellent!

S: Aromas are mostly malt based. I get lots of rich caramel and some chocolate? Lots of rich dark fruits which is surprising. The hops are present, but just barely in a citrusy way. Some nice biscuity malt too.

T: Well this is certainly a malt bomb for an IPA. I get huge caramel and even some of that chocolate. Dark fruits are present. After that I get some hops finally in a citrus way. I get something akin to vanilla as well. Tons of malt depth. There's some spicy notes from the rye.

M: Smooth and medium mouth with medium carbonation.

O: DIPA isn't quite right. Majorly malty with tons of depth. Something like a hoppy American barleywine. Not particularly delicious or what I want in an IPA but it's enjoyable and rich.

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Photo of Hornet2003
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby red with a small head.

Smell: Biscuity and sugary. Lots of oily hop aromas. This beer is over the top.

Taste: Almost a cross between a barley wine and a IIPA. Extreme bitterness, and a lot of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and prickly. The bitterness is almost ridiculous. So aggressive its great!

Drinkability: For a IIPA, I would say it's above average. It's got serious grapefruit hoppiness and strong malty backbone. Incredibly complex.

Overall: Nice stuff, but don't expect to kill more than one 22oz in a night. This beer is ridiculous.

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Photo of spree92
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy, deep cooper with a relatively small head. Head didn't last long but did leave a slight ring.
I find this to be well balanced brew as most from the Shmaltz family are. Taste the malts first, a hint of toffee and roasted malts, finished with the hops. Bitterness lingers in the mouth with much delight.
At 10% abv, I could drink these every day. This is my kind of beer.

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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 Nipitato
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Thin off white head caps a gorgeous deep red amber hue. Clear.

S: Hops, hops, and more hops. Resinous and grapefruit aromas characterize the predominantly hoppy smell of this beer. Sweet malt aromas linger in the background.

T: Crazily intense high hop flavor. Bitter aftertaste that lingers. Hop flavor is complex - resinous and piney not citrusy. As the beer warms an oak flavor begins to come through, which I really did not care for. Malt flavor is just a trace present.

MF: Medium body. Suprisingly no alcohol warming. Slick/cloying mouthfeel. Lightly carbonated.

D: An intensly hoppy lip smacking rye based DIPA. Very drinkable for such a high alcohol brew.

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Photo of Mdog
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This is one of the prettiest beers I've seen, a dark red amber with a good amount of little bubbles feeding a big head.

Smell: Citusy hops and some sweet bread smell.

Taste: Starts with bitter citrus hops and gets a little balance with some rye tanginess. Some alcohol present at the end.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick, typical for a DIPA.

Drinkability: The high alcohol and not quite enough sweetness knock this down a little.

This beer let me down a little after looking like a million bucks in the glass. Not super hoppy and actually seems a little more balanced than many DIPA's but the alcohol isn't hidden as well as other DIPA's. Still a pretty good beer though.

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Photo of Stigs
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10oz pour at Fat Heads, served in a mini-snifter

A - dark copper/amber beer holds up a small layer of thick and creamy light tan colored foam.

S - very sweet...citrus candies, honey, dark caramel. earthy and lightly grassy hops round out at the end.

T - strong caramel malts hoist up citrus (grapefruit, melon) hops. there seems to be a bit going on here although the flavors appear to be fighting over each other...rye isnt really noticeable at all.

M - thick body, rich and chewy from the sugary sweetness. carbonation fights its way through.

D - drinks more like a hoppy barleywine with a massive dose of sweet malts. even my girlfriend liked it. a forced sipper due to the sweetness and ABV. this one could hold up over some time.

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Photo of jmerloni
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of bfr1992t
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured 13oz in to a 16oz glass. Soft pour yet managed a thin off white head that clings to the glass. Nice medium amber color that nearly glows. Pours giving an impression that it's viscous. Smells bigger than it tastes, hints of quite a few different hops. Sip - nice mouthfeel, wakes up the top of the tongue. Taste, not as big as it smells. Many solid flavors, not just one overbearing hop note. The end is a bit touchy, bitter for an instant then smooths out. Smooth for a big IPA. The 10% ABV does not make itself known at all except possibly the first instant of hitting the mouth. I'd have to be careful with this one.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This pours a very clean and clear deep barley color with a thick off white head that was dense and frothy.

The nose was more malty than hoppy with a tea leaf, molasses and honey aroma. There was some herbal, floral hop aroma but it was less defined and subtle.

Whoa, huge boozy flavor starts. I prefer IPA's cold but I had to let this warm a touch before the other aspects manifested. Once it settled I got honey, malt, barley, molasses and herbal piney hop flowers.

The feel is warm and astringent, bitter and thin but slides down easily.

This may simply not be my cup of tea, as it was boozy on my palate but it was certainly strong and attractive.

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Photo of peabody
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out a reddish ice tea tint with one finger of brown suds.
Lacing comes in pretty quickly.
Smell is very malty with hints of raisin/grape and caramel sugar. slight hop way in the back.
Taste is sweet malt then bitter hops then the alcohol. Once that leaves the mouth the hops linger for a minute or so.
Mouthfeel is a little dirtyand oily but finishes clean after the bitter hops leave the palate.
10% abv is a bit much for a session beer. As far as IPA's go, this one is pretty good but there are so many more that are better.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.50] For an IPA this is dark. It is a medium brown color with some red hues. The beer has a minimal 1/4 finger tan cap of head. The bottle lists the ABV (10%). There is a date code but it makes no sense to me.

S: [3.50] I am getting more of a Wee Heavy scent profile. Some peat, some toffee and caramel. Nothing very hoppy. Maybe this is older?

T: [3.75] Follows the nose with caramel and toffee. It has a lot of candy like sweetness. There really is not much hop flavor to balance it out.

M: [4.00] Smooth with above medium body. There is no sense of the 10% alcohol. A tiny amount of bitter at the end.

O: [3.75] I am guessing this bottle is old. That being said this is still a tasty beer. Lots of nice malt to make the nose and the flavor pretty nice. I would like to have a fresher version to see how the profile is changed.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark Ruby Tawny color decent head retention.

Smell: Maple Syrup, honey, hops

Taste: Malty out the ass, hops, alcohol

Mouthfeel: Smooth - very tannic

Drinkability: I enjoyed this malt/hop bomb - but one at a time. I recommend for those who really enjoy barleywine and are looking to get into DIPA's . I also recommend for those who aren't totally into hops - as this DIPA has ton's of malt. Another stepping stone to the temple of hops.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a ruby-brown color with a creamy tan head. It leaves a good amount of lacing when sipped down. The aroma is of sweet caramel malts, bready, candied fruits and spicey, piney hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts, and spicey rye malt. It has a resin, spicey, geen hop flavor. It reminds me of a barleywine. It is full body and has a drying hop bitterness in the finish. Not a bad brew. My palate is shot now.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - this DIPA pours a dark ruby red with a thin tan/yellowish head, surprisingly hazy with plenty of half-obscured carbonation

S - hoppy and grapefruitty of course, typical of a DIPA, with a buttery rye aroma, nice and thick smelling

T - piney bittery like any DIPA, with citrus (grapefruit) undertones, the buttery rye translates well to the flavor and lends a nice lactic sweetness and smoothness, would be a great addition, but is mostly drowned out by the IBU's

M&D - a cloying smoothness is overridden by the IBU's, i love my IBU's but that buttery rye flavor was so tempting, otherwise, nicely smooth for such a high IBU count and ABV. a great beer

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Photo of ccs
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This is a nice clear caramel-amber with and ivory head that sticks around bot the glass and for the test of time...it was still there when only a little beer was left in the glass. Smeel is very typial for double IPA, malt with stong hop undertones along with the slight astringency I almost expect from a higher alcohol beer. The taste is very nice, a hint of alcohol backed by bitterness and herbal hops and a little malt. The mouthfeel is thicker than a standard IPA, and it fits very wel with the taste. However, I dont think I'd want too many of these...it's a pretty big beer and should be treated with respect.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pour is murky, with visible chunks of sediment floating around. There is two fingers of billowy foam that stands firm on top of the beer. Didn't realize this was bottle conditioned... had it on its side. I don't see anywhere on the label that mentions bottle conditioning. Sorry, loses some points on appearance for that.

Aroma is pungent, full of grassy, earthy hops and a touch of oxidation on the nose and some crystal malt sweetness. First sip is a hoppy assault on my palate. Full bodied, there is a also a lot of malt backbone to round this one out. I don't detect any spicy rye flavors. Bitterness is sharp, but not lingering.

This is certainly an extreme beer. Mixture of hop flavors is not my favorite, but there are so many other flavors going on that I can focus on something different each sip. Earthy, plum, toffee, grassy. This is a interesting DIPA - borders on Barleywine with the malt backbone.

Either way, pretty good but not great. Drinkability suffers a bit due to the high ABV and sharp bitterness.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked one of these up at Bauer's...
Dark mahogany in color with a full finger of bright white head...most fades, but leaves behind some attractive lacing.
Alcohol hits the nose first, along with some fruity hops, sweet caramelized malt and cherries.
Taste is also quite boozy...plenty of citrus hops and the sweetness hangs on in the aftertaste. The rye is apparent, but unfortunately, masked from the heat...still very bitter.
Luckily, the heat works its way into the brew halfway thru and is no longer a distraction.
Mouthfeel is thick and the carbonation is a tad high for me.
Easy enough to consume the bomber, but not moving on to another.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazed copper color with a nice creamy beigie head and nice slow but active carbonation that leaves nice lace. Big malt and big hoppy aromas; some rye malt aromas are noticeable which is nicer than the non-descript bitter hop aromas. Big malt flavors with lots of non-descript bittering hops... nothing incredible stands out. Full bodied and smooth with a dry bitter hop finish.

Nice to try but not more than once.

Per Label: "Double IPA with Rye Malt"

Per SBC website:
Malts: 2-row, Rye Ale Malt, Torrified Rye, Crystal Rye 75, Crystal Malt 65, Wheat, Kiln Amber, Caramel 70
Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial. Dry Hopped with Amarillo and Crystal

'5042' lasered on bottom ('05' embossed on bottom)
Tasted: 03/23/07

($5.49 / 22 oz.)

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Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Clear copper body with a 2" fluffy khaki head

S- Dank hops, sweet malts, alcohol tingles the nose

T- A sweet, spicet, bready, bitter red wine

M- Somewhat thick body, average carbonation

O- Very unique, the smell gives no sign of what's to come. My taste review says it all, it's like a sweet, spicy, bready, bitter red wine. When i lick my lips i taste dark fruit. I wouldn't call it great, just different.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: beautiful white head, absolutely incredible head retention, the best I've ever seen. It must be the rye. Body is a clear ruddy color.

Smell: inverted from the other he'brew beers, where sweet malt is dominant - this one has a very strong spicy hops character, with the malt playing a supporting role. Somewhat bready.

Taste: spicy hop bite up front, which gives way to sweet malt. Alcohol fairly well-hidden, I thought. Not my favorite of the he'brew line, I have to say. Drinking this beer is like a kick in the head, it's very strongly flavored.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy mouthfeel, dry acidic finish that aids drinkability a little, but the aftertaste lingers.

Drinkability: I drank this one slower than the others. I enjoyed it, but I won't be seeking this one out again.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,972 ratings.
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