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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
894 Reviews
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
Reviews:
894
Ratings:
1,971
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
17.82%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
219
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 894 | Ratings: 1,971
Photo of Lothore
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep copper hue with a huge, off white head.

S- Huge citrusey hop nose

T- Sweet malts, caramel rolling into a big citrusey hop bite with some alcohol cutting through on the back end.

M- Thick with ample carbonation.

D- Definitely enjoyable and over the top.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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 Richard-Carla
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For some reason, I've never been a fan of He'Brew's line of beers. Unfortunately, the R.I.P.A. isn't an exception.

It's a solid beer--not offensive, not something that I regret buying, and not something that I'd actively avoid. The smell is also amazing and almost perfect. The initial taste is also very good. However, the aftertaste is, at least to me, terrible--strongly (and unpleasantly) alcoholic, overly coppery, and somewhat unpleasant. While this is a double or imperial IPA, it doesn't bring the "smoothness" that is inherent in the best of the style.

He'Brew is still a brewery that I'll follow... they try, they experiment, and they're going to eventually produce an amazing beer. This just isn't it.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a fairly dark amber, a bit hazy, with a thin off-white head and average visible carbonation.

S: Sweet toffee and biscuit malts, a bit oxidized, and some resin and grassy hops...but overall quite malt-forward.

T: Caramel and toasted biscuit malt with a sweetness that stops short of being obnoxious. A more subdued-than-expected resin, floral, and grassy hop presence. Just a bit of rye flavor before the swallow. Moderate hop bitterness and some sticky sweet malt on the hang.

M: Heavy-bodied, carbonation sensation on the low side. The alcohol is noticeable without being overly boozy, especially at the listed ABV.

O: Nothing exciting here, although nothing offensive either. My biggest gripe would be the lack of much rye malt presence at all.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Downtown Wine & Spirits along with a bottle of He'Brew Genesis 10:10. I served it in one of my Duvel Tulip glasses at around 45º F.

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear ruby with a fluffy beige head that's fed by a steady stream of bubbles from the etched 'D' at the bottom of my tulip. The head thins to a persistent half-inch layer, leaving thick lace.

Smell: The aroma is fairly subdued, with caramel malts and a light hoppiness. The caramel aromas really emerge upon swirling, along with hints of fruitiness.

Taste: The taste is similar to the aroma, but much stronger. There are fruity and caramel malts upfront, followed by a very strong tart bitterness with an alcoholic spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied, with low carbonation.

Drinkability: The high hops and high alcohol make this

Overall: A pretty good DIPA, malty and hoppy with a nice balance towards hops.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
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 Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another over-the-top DIPA, more malt tasted with hop bitterness right behind it. Slowly Drinkable with some citrus and cherry and spice. Good looking white foamy head. Good carmel malty aroma. Bitter aftertaste. Some like this style a lot, others prefer something less explosive.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased form LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in August 2006 for $4.99. This is only my second or third Rye beer, and I guess it's an acquired taste.

Pours a deep rich reddish amber with a yellowish fluffy head.

The aroma is intense hop richness, sour oily grapefruit perfume with sweet malts underneath. The flavor is tasty, of course hops being the main theme, with a sharp kicker of additional hops at the end of the swallow. Lots of malt, but the hops are really over the top.

Mouthfeel is almost syrupy this is so thick and rich. I finished the bomber, but it was really more than I wanted. Overall, this is a well made, interesting beer, but not really something I feel strongly about wanting to try again.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid $4.69 for a bomber from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into a snifter.

I like the consistency of this beer as it pours. Thick, but not molasses thick. A nice looking DIPA. Poured semi-aggressive leaving a nice inch and a quarter off white frothy head. Deep transparent ruby red color. Good head retention and thick lasting lace. Mild carbonation.

Doesn't smell like a DIPA or even an IPA for that matter. The hops are there, but are well balanced with quality malts used in perfect quantity and harmony. The hops are more dank and floral than your normal citrus/pine/grapefruit variety. Points for originality of style. The alcohol and grainy/barleyesque aromas come through as well, almost reminding me of a strong barleywine.

Taste is more similar to a barleywine than a DIPA to me. Barley grains, malts, some yeast, alcohol. Hops are actually more in the background for this one.

Mouth is very thick. The thick coating leaves a lasting aftertaste. Little carbonation. Medium to full body. Very drinkable for it being 10%

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle - originally reviewed on paper on 8/14/06

Pours a clear amber with a thick tan head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is 100% citrusy hops and smells very nice.

Taste is slightly malty upfront which is washed quickly away by a wave of citrusy hops and a bitter bite to boot. Finishes quite dry and bitter.

Full body, mild carbonation.

An overall nice DIPA, and a nice change to have one that's on the dry side.

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Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a cloudy amber color, with a decent looking head.

Aromas are a bit sour, and pine like from the hops.

Taste is sour, mineral like, and overly bitter. There is a slight citrus and malty backbone, but it's not the main player here. Finish is crisp and tart. Overall, I think the balance is a bit off, it's still an interesting beer to taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but a step below the better beers of this style. Overall the beer seem a bit lean.

Drinkability is not bad. But all in all, this is a pretty good beer. Interesting, and worth a try.

Thanks for sending this my way drseamus. (B'day 07)

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep and clear ruby color with a decent sized off-white head. The beer sorta glugged out in a syrupy fashion. The first scents bring on the rye mixed in with pine needles and a touch of orange peel. The malt is a beast on the nose on this beer pushing around anything else you could really get a good scent out of. The flavor profile is more of the same with plenty of rye flavor with an almost bready malt being most dominant. The hop profile does a fairly good job though trying to balance out all of the malt, but this beer leans heavier towards the malt and not the hops. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with plenty of carbonation to go around, but this beer leaves quite a bitter finish. The drinkability is actually quite good, but the 10% ABV will sneak up on your if you have an entire bomber.

Pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of rayjay
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bevmo just got this in and the bottle intrigued me...also intriguing is the San Francisco-based brewery brews out of New York; I need to find more out about these guys. I first had their beers a long time ago, and I've had none since.

Clugs into the pint glass, then foams up a decent, almost nitro-looking dirty white head. The beer is a deep red/amber/brown color (forgive me, I am colorblind). Much thicker and darker than I prefer for the style, but a great head and lacing on the glass.

Pine and orange oil on the nose. It's a bit hard to stir up the scent, but when you do it's assertively sweet.

A huge blast of butterscotch took over my whole sinus cavity, then in an instant turned into a bitter wave that coated my tongue...like as in almost pill bitter; all the while my throat was blanketed in gentle heat. Quite an experience. Notes of toasted pumpkin seeds and citrus peel.

Almost charting into barleywine (ryewine?) territory with that huge body, but the sheer bitterness marks a definite IPA claim. A bit sticky and menacing, I'd recommend it at 45°F to keep the drinkability in check. I feel like I'm drinking Arrogant Bastard with the refinements I'd make to it.

This was not what I was expecting from a 2xIPA, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It's bold and charts deep into bitter waters; it's a good choice for those who like their doubles to be very full-bodied. It's definitely worth checking out, although I probably won't be buying another.

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Photo of orfeu
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown-tinged russet with a dense yellowed newsprint head with some rather sparse and slow-moving carbonation. Dark rye bread in the nose backed up by surprisingly subdued (for a DIPA) pine-inflected hop aromas. Slight malt sweetness detectable in the nose as well. The taste: reductively, a slice of bitter pine-infused black rye bread with a doughy sweetness near the end. Earthy composted pine hop bitterness plays about the tongue until it settles in to a pungent-sweet malt finish. Mouthfeel is on the heavy side; pretty darn syrupy. All told, this is a solid and interesting beer with a cleverly claimed inspiration. However, as far as Double IPAs go, this one just doesn't really stand out from the pack -- admittedly a very difficult thing to do.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color, with some orange highlighting. Quite clear. Head is mainly large bubbles on top with okay packing below, tan in color, with pretty solid stick. No lacing.

Aroma is boozy, with some notes of oak tannins, vanilla, sweet caramel malt and some citric hops. The alcohol seems a mite too prevalent, although the power is decent enough.

Similar spicy notes in the flavor, lots of booze up front along with a sticky sweetness in the finish. Again, pretty good but heavy on the alcohol and other "hot" flavors. Not very easy to drink. The mouthfeel is medium, leaning towards thin, and the carbonation isn't quite enough to pull the harsh flavors away.

Still a pretty good double IPA for a decent price.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Dark rust color with an off-white head that fades to a film that lasts a while.

Smells serious and slightly scary of what's to come. Aromas of rye malt, a little dark sweet fruit, brown sugar, strong hops, spice, alcohol sharpness.

Taste is sweet at first with brown sugar, candied fruit, buttery rye grain in the middle, but the big bitter hops show up quick and take over. Finises very bitter with a kick of alcohol one would find in a brew with a higher ABV.

Above average body weight, with crisp/sharp mouthfeel.

A serious brew. Good flavors but the bitterness and alcohol kick is a bit over the top, even for a 10% ABV brew. I've had many brews with higher ABVs that didn't taste as alcoholic. Not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of mtboozeaddict41
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a nice coppery red with murkiness. Creamy white lacing is left with a medium retention.

S: Largely aromatic. Toasted spicy malt with a large profile of resinous piney hops. Very floral and pungent. Rye spice and bready characteristics show through also. Caramel malt and cinnamon are notable

T: oooeeee, large beer in stature. Rye, citrus, pine, toasted bread, spice, and a copious sensation of alcohol are apparent. This beer is HOT! and by hot I mean high in alcohol almost to the point where its offensive. Caramel malt helps mask the high percentage but not by much. Rye and citrus/grapefruit is very much the face of the taste. Quite bitter on the finish with a lingering citrus toasted wood/pine finish that ends in a spicy rye kick.

M: Medium-heavy bodied with a moderate carbonation.

O: Wow, this beer is hard to compute, period. I like it, but not to the point where you'll see me starting a blog about it. It's huge and largely offensive in the most satisfying way. If you like an assault of floral hops take this to your sensors and give 'er a go. Not bad Shmaltz. L'chaim!

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Photo of bubseymour
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Can't find any dates on the bottle, but this beer seems a little stale to me. No hops present in the nose. Some sweetness. Taste is a little sticky and thick. Pretty well balanced between malt and hops. Not much lingering bitterness at all. Very nice buttery mouthfeel. Overall my review is somewhat reserved because I think it may be older shelf life. Its an ok double but really missing any of the great hop notes I look for in my IPAs these days.

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Photo of PALMEJ1
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

from 22oz bomber into snifter

pours nice with 3 finger head. almost looks like strong ice tea with a great head!

smells like the normal grapefruit and pine but keeps going to a great ripe orange-tangerine thing. also some whiffs of rock candy from back in the day!

different from others in this style. i was expecting the same taste that I got in the nose but that did not happen. the hops are great but I think a little too much malt for me.

feels great. creamy and smooth. would not guess 10%.

i will give this another taste down the road as i bought 2

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 5/10/11
Served in Duvel tulip at 45F.

A - Medium amber colour with two fingers of bubbly off-white head. Translucent.

S - Some hop bitterness is evident up front, followed by a significant caramel sweetness and some spiciness.

T - Good bitterness up front with lots of spiciness, followed by a good caramel sweetness in the middle. The finish is bitter and dry. Some piney notes come through at times but overall, not a lot of flavour comes through from the hops.

M - Medium body with a really good chew. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Upon the pour I am rewarded with a clear brown ale with a distinct reddish cast to it. Head is quite good for the strength of the beer and id light brown.

Smell is sweet and quite fruity and piney to the nose. Caramel and menthol are the first things I notice. Spicy aroma of alcohol is notable. Aromas of figs and plums are front and center on this one. Cherry is a lesser scent. Pine, citrus and melon are the more subtle scents.

Taste is bitter and harsh at the beginning, but it is the first beer of the day too. It really takes about three mouthfuls of this one to acclimate to the bitterness level. Even after you adapt this still has a strong bitter under tone to it. Sweet with a lot of woodiness there is a fair amount of melon flavor to this along with mango and pine. In the end the bitterness deters from enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability suffers from too much bitterness; it simply bullies all the other flavors out of the way. Unbalance is what hurts this beer.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a medium amber with a one finger eggshell head that leaves spotty lace on the way down to a thin cap. On the nose there is smooth caramel mixed in with the spice from the rye, with a nice big boozy note underneath. It almost smells like a variation of an English barleywine with the nice addition of rye. In the mouth there comes a little bit of bitterness sitting on top of big clouds of caramel and rye. It's sweet, almost candy-like, but with a hint of bitterness. The body is medium full but a bit sticky for my tastes.

Overall, this is a really nice beer, pretty unique among things I've tried. This is more a modified barleywine to me than a DIPA, but the addition of rye is pretty genius no matter what you call it.

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Photo of Shadman
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
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 JizackFH
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark amber red color with a 2-finger off white head. The head had decent retention and left just a little bit of lacing on the glass. There was a lot of carbonation visible.

S - This smells of caramel sweetness. The rye is there as well, but it isn't as strong as I thought it would be. The scent of hops is also present, but this beer is definitely malt dominated. The sweet smell of this beer is nice.

T - Caramel sweetness up front. There are also notes of rye, grapefruit hops, and a little citrus. The finish of this beer is of hop bitterness. I thought the rye would come into play more than it did here in the taste.

M - The mouthfeel is decent. It has a medium body with medium carbonation. It also has a creaminess to it, and it is also a little bit warming.

D - I would say that this is a pretty drinkable beer. I really wish the rye would have come into play more than it did, but I still think it is definitely worth trying. I would pick this one up again if there wasn't anything else that caught my eye, but I think overall this beer is ultimately forgettable.

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Photo of jaluria
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting brew from He'Brew, but not one of my favorites within this style.
Poured a sharp orange-yellow color with coppper tones throughout. Heavy carbonation with a smooth, fluffy head that dissipated quickly and left behind considerable lacing. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, alcohol, and oil seemed to come out. The taste was dominated by a variety of hops with a modest level of malt in the background as a balance. Pine, citrus, and grapefruit flavors dominated. Not as complex or enjoyable as others within this style mainly because of the clear presence of alcohol in the taste and aroma of the beer. Slightly creamy and nicely textured in my mouth, but not as easy to drink considering the alcohol flavoring. Without food, I would not have been able to finish the entire 22oz. bottle; just too much in several aspects.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,971 ratings.
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