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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 Enola
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep amber. There was a huge head. fair lacing covers the glass. The smell is deffinatly hoppy. One of the better IPA/DIPA I have had. The taste is very bitter. No doubt here that this is a hop bomb. This beer should satisfy any hophead. The mouthfeel is sticky and a lasting bitterness is present as well. The drinkability is good. Almost too good considering the ABV. That aspect of this beer is well hidden.

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Photo of TheDoorman
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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 badesign
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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 ferrari29
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip glass

A - Cloudy red burgundy body; 1 finger cream foam formed after pour and withered away pretty quickly; good lacing formed on the side of the glass

S - Crisp fruity berry scent followed by flowery aroma; hops are hidden at first but come alive along with a pinch of the alcohol (due to high ABV) after a deep whiff; bit a nuttiness

T - Crisp, refreshing and smooth fruit malt taste with a solid hop bitter finish and deep aftertaste; taste like it smells; sweet caramel taste; some biscuit

M - Solid creamy consistency; mild carbonation rolls over the tongue; beer is well-built with a superb balance of hop & malt tones

D - Overall a solid drink; definitely a quality beer and crafted with the right balance of ingredients that are not to strong even with a high ABV. I would recommend to others.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bomber served in a snifter.

Pours a caramel, light maple in color beneath a foamy, inch-high lightly tanned head. Walls of condensed and spotted lacing with pretty good strength.

Bright citrus hops: lemon, orange peel, faint grapefruit. Whaffs of piercing alcohol aromas. Gritty, floral hops with a distinct rye presence.

Initial citrus and floral hops that quickly becomes enveloped by a nice balance of caramel malt sweetness and rough, spicy rye. At mid-sip is a swarming alcohol presence with slick; not quite oily, hop resin. Toasted biscuit, lemon, hops, and a prolonged; yet light, bitterness fill the aftertaste.

Near full in body; almost creamy maltiness that balances the slick, spiciness well.

An impressive, unique offering that's tough to put down. This one passes the test for a hophead, and pushes innovation on account of the rye addition.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red, semi transparent with a small off white head.

The smell is really malty,sweet and strong. There are dark fruits, plums and rasins, smells great.

The taste is bitter and sweet, malty, dark fruits, very strong. There is a bitter hop precence but it is secondary to the malty dark fruit flavours. The hops are piney.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

Overall this drinks like a red ale, reminds me of bear republics red rocket ale which I really like. The obvious difference is the high alcohol content. This is a dark fruit bomb and I do enjoy it but it doesn't taste like what I'd expect from a dipa.

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Photo of alkemy
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kind of a copper/mahogany colored pour that appears to be of substantial viscosity. Slightly off-white head is tight, but not very tall. Combination of pine and floral hops. Also a mixture of caramel, molasses and sweet bread. I felt the rye was pretty subdued on the nose. It was more apparent in the taste...which was brilliant. Powerful hops upfront, but not as to ruin the back end of the swallow. There is a tender citrus that fades into the sweet malts. After all that, the rye lingers on your taste buds. Very smooth and rich mouthfeel. I'm wishing I bought more than one bomber of this!

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Photo of nickss
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is absolutely beautiful... a deep amber hue with a touch of brown. The head was surprisingly small despite a vigorous pour. 1/4" in a chalice, khaki in color... disipates rather quickly.

A delicious sweet piney resin hits you in the face like a ton of bricks. Almost barleywine-y in its huge aroma... notes of grapefruit and orange. Fantastic.

Huge hoppy flavour.... wow this is hoppy. Orange and pine. The rye that I could not detect in the aroma is present in the flavour.... it becomes much more noticeable as the brew warms.... but still not as obvious as in B-R's Hop Rod Rye.

Pretty solid mouthfeel... its difficult to tell how carbonated it is because the hops do a good job of wrecking your tongue... so I wonder... too much carbonation?... or just a sh!t-ton of hops. I know the latter is true, but I'm fairly confident the carbonation should be taken down a notch.. The thickness of the brew is just about right. I could use it a bit thicker, I suppose, if I had to find a complaint.

Not exactly the easiest brew to pound down, but who wants to?!.. This beer is one to savour.... delicious hoppiness from start to finish. Definitely one I will look for again.

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Photo of dheacck11
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pour is a deep dark amber brown with hints of orange gold. Thin off white head which fades quickly. No lacing.

Nose is big, sweet and malty. Little hint of clove spice, but nose is almost more of a scotch ale or even a barley wine.

Taste is a big contrast to the nose. Little bite of citrus initially followed by a syrupy, scotch malty sweetness. Finish is crisp and bitter hops. Really interesting melange of flavors here.

Feel is medium thick and sticky. Lovely coating left behind, with the dry resiny hop feel as well.

Really pretty spectacular. Agree with some other reviewers, this is barely a DIPA, more of a barleywine at times. Certainly blends the categories significantly, but all to my delight.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into tulip glass. Amber orange in color, huge layers of lacing. Very thick. Smell is dominated by the hops, but there's a pretty intense malt presence there too. Some boozey spice, maybe some distant tropical fruit. Taste is a firm malt backbone, followed by a blast of tart hops. Mellows out toward the finish but stays really, really bitter--great balance for something this intense. Mouthfeel is very syrup thick, very sticky, moderate carbonation. This is a really interesting, very unique beer, really starts to reveal itself as it warms. I'm a huge fan of DIPA's, and this is one of the most interesting ones I've had in a while.

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Photo of machostacos
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Amber orange, very clear with tons of bubbles screaming up from the bottom of the glass. Thick, creamy tan head shows excellent retention. Beautiful lacing. Nothing wrong here!

S: Sweet toffee and toasted caramel malts. Some brown sugar in there as well. Lots of lovely, spicy hop notes as well as spice from the rye. A little whiff of alcohol. This is definitely a malt-forward DIPA.

T: There's the hops! Great initial kick from some very spicy herbal and citrus hops with a solid bitterness, followed immediately by a full, round malt profile - caramel and toffee. Finishes smooth and nicely balanced with a lingering bitterness. This is fantastic.

M: Full, smooth, somewhat creamy and chewy. Perfect carbonation (on the medium-low side.) Very nice.

O: A very solid Rye IPA, and the first Rye DIPA I've had. Did a side-by-side with this and Founders Red's Rye, and while I admit I prefer the Red's Rye, this is right up there with my favorite Rye beers. A joy to sip!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - poured out with a deep orange/amber hue. Three fingers of creamy light-tan head, a scoop of pillowed foam in the center, a moat around it with drapy lacing, thick and sheeted all around. It came out of the bottle a little slow to bubble so I straight-dropped the last 4 to 5 ounces. Don't do that. Foam overage guarantee. Let's continue.

Aroma - a sweet malty background, split nicely with aromatic, piny hops. Sweet, juicy, piny. Recedes somewhat after a minute.

Taste - huge beer. Big rye malts. A citrusy hop flavor on the swallow goes intensely grapefruit. Warm with alcohol and very dry. I don't exactly go for the over the top bitterness but there's so much more to the flavor profile to enjoy. The malty abv side approaches a barleywine, Celebration-like flavor, and the hops keep it to style.

Mouthfeel - so smooth, it feels nitrogen-carbonated, especially if you get some bubbles from the head in with your sip. Otherwise, heavy, thick, drapy...DIPA.

Drinkability - it's a fine beer, suited for fans of the style and few others. I would not say no to another.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous deep dark fiery copper color with an immensely thick stack of soft off-yellowed foam. Tons of lacing coats the glass like frosting.

Aroma of alcoholic vapors waver over a thick dark malt sweetness and dry rye breadyness. Highly pine soaked oilyness ensues as it sits. This is where the 10% really makes itself present.

Taste is big and malty with lots of chewy breadyness laced with a few dark fruit skins and pits. Thicker yet, burntness of brown sugar arrives along with the rye, which in tune sets up the dryness over the super high pine hoppyness that nearly burns the throat out with an oil drenching thickness of orange, grapefruit, and pine sweetened bitterness. Ripe Barleywine-esk in nature and character.

Huge mouthfeel. Every corpuscle is soaked and coated with bitter sweet thickness. Big malt, big hops, (as stated on the label "an obscene amount") and that rye adds a nice extra cap of clever dryness to its bready fruit bread base. Oily smooth and warming with a complexing fun finish of hop oil warmth and malt residue.

Another keeper of a brew by He'Brew. A nice tribute to Lenny.
(R.I.P.)A. - truly...

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Photo of Todd
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"I don't know about you but I enjoy the way our tax money is being spent to arrest, indict, convict, imprison, parole, and re-imprison (marijuana smokers). I'd just piss it away on beer, anyway."

– Lenny Bruce

Out of the bottle (22oz bomber) and into the glass, the beer pours a very rich, vibrant, copper-colored brew with a seemingly thick consistency, shown by the sluggish carbonation bubbles rising to the top. Topped with a very healthy, thick, slightly off-white foam head, the beer’s lacing is tight, creamy, sticking to the glass, and retaining very well. Complex piney and resiny hop nose with gentle floral notes and bit of a peppery and spicy rye edge tucked within. Aroma suggests something sweet, with malty caramel upfront, loads of enticing ripe fruits, then alcohol. Oh, sweet alcohol.

The first sip introduces something smooth and creamy to the palate, but beneath lies something very powerful. Mouthfeel is dense, chewy, syrupy, and slick with candied-fruits and a massive malty backbone with caramel, toffee, and toasted bread. The heat (perceived alcohol) on this one is quite high, with a big 10 percent alcohol spice that melds well with rye bread crust flavors, rounded with berry-like fruity esters that make your heart skip a beat. The palate is then subjected to a salty, sticky hop resin with a sharp citric edge that smacks of half a pink grapefruit with ten sugar packets on it—prepared like your grandma would have. Hops character is actually quite complex, continuing with some dry aspirin. Rye and bready flavors become more pronounced in the linger, as the beer dries and sheds a near carob character across the palate. Alcohol gets a bit fumy and warming. Finish is oily, resinous, herbal, raw, and wanting of more.

This is an "Extreme Beer" and a Double IPA that dances on American-style Barleywine borders, with its aggressive hops and strength. It might be a bit too much for many to handle, and the fact that it’s packaged in a 22oz bomber bottle means that you’ll want to share it with friends. Keep chilled, serve cool in snifters, sip, and enjoy as the beer unfolds in your warm hands. Available for around $6 a bottle, which makes it affordable enough to try.

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Photo of mirish72
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally decided to pick this one up and I was not disappointed. Poured into a goblet, pours an incredible mahogeny red. To says this beer packs an aroma doesn't do it justice. This thing is all about hops and malt. It almost makes most barleywines seem wimpy by comparison. This beer is boozey in a big way and you feel it by the end of one (I was only drinking the 12oz variety). This is definiteltely one of the most memorable beers I tried this year, pick some up.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22 oz. bomber.

A: Rubied copper, clear, with two inches of creamy, rocky head with plenty of full lacing.

S: Citrics-lemon, orange, pine tar. Hop oil, spicy rye scents. Undertones of creamy malt flavors--caramel, toffee.

T: Crisp citrus bite with oily pine resin following, and the spicy rye mixing in well, asserting itself pleasantly but insistently. Hop character continues over borderline-barleywine chewiness, great big creamy malt flavors of caramel and toffee.

M: Nice, thick feel. Not too drying, despite the high hop presence and ABV.

D: I drank this way too fast, by myself, and THEN noticed the ABV. I really want to crack another one, but I'm pretty sure that's not a good idea.

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Photo of jameaterblues
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Collin's bar and served in a tulip glass.
A-Dark copper/amber color....1/2 inch cream colored head that diminished quickly.
S- Spicy and citrusy hops...brown sugar...plum and red fruit...almost has a bitter smell, and the alcohol becomes present as it warms...rye malt is present, but not dominant.
T- Raisins, plum and prunes are big and sweet...light cirtusy hops, and a slight floweriness...sweet on the front and bitter in the finish(just as the name describes)....followed by a long lasting bitter finish and a light taste of alcohol.
M-Thick, light bubbles, coasts the tongue, and is almost of a syrup consistency.
D- I would definitely order this one again...but I don't think I would make it into a night.

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Photo of ohfish
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle into a 12 oz tulip glass, my favorite for IPA's.

A- opaque red ale, little head which quickly dissipates, low carbonation, above average lacing

S - strong citrus hops typical of DPIAs yet a bit sweeter than most

T - initially a caramel sweetness giving way to a piny hops then to a dry grapefruit bitterness aftertaste

B - Moderate thickness giving way to a grapefruit dryness

D - Difficult to sip, I want to gulp this delicious brew, no alcohol warmth or taste, delightful

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Photo of jera1350
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Blue Nile.

Dark ruby hued amber color with a thinner, but soft light tan head served in a chalice.

Sweet malt scent with fresh hops of pine and citrus. Hints of caramel and toffee.

Big and balanced DIPA. Plenty of sweet malt that adds notes of toffee, caramel and brown sugar. Not really getting the rye out of it though. The hops are there in all of their glory. Mostly piney, but some citrusy notes as well.

Silky smooth and soft. Between medium and full bodied.

One of my favorites in the style. I really don't have it often enough. Never seen it on tap before, so this was a real treat. I could have a couple of these, but may suffer the repercussions later.

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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 joemcgrath27
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a clear bubbly copper with a tower of tan head that is not going anywhere! After a few sips the lacing was amazing!
S - piney, earthy, and citrus hops smell wonderful, with some sweet caramel malts
A - oh man, the hops flavours are great! The earthiness is up front, then it fades to grapefruit citrus hop flavours with caramel and roasty malt flavours
M - medium to high carbonation and definitely hop bitter, but the maltiness balances out the dry to leave a balanced and slightly refreshing flavour
D - the fact that it's 10% ABV is amazing, there is no real alcohol bite, but a definite hop kick. All things considered very drinkable, but a few of they could spell the beginning of the end..

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Photo of cubedbee
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass, this is a beautiful bright copper-red with two full fingers off off-white head, good retention, and thick sheets of lacing. Nose is sweet and slightly alcoholic, nice floral hops, hint of rye bread, some stray fruity aromas. , Taste is wonderful, huge citric and grapefruit hops doing battle with sweet doughy malt, some peppery spiciness, a hint of sweet alocohol on the finish, finishes with a lingering resinous hop finish. Very solid and tasty DIPA. The rye lends this beer a bit of thickness, for a very nice full mouthfeel. This is a really solid beer, as drinkable of a DIPA you're going to find, although it still very high in hops and alcohol and not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of Yesac
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark orange copper in color with a defined bubly light tan head. Excellent lacing on the glass.

S- Spices, rye malt and a whole lotta dry hop bitterness.

T- Large dose dry hops with a great malt balance and backbone. Hops are fairly bitter and have a complex profile. The 10% is hidden well.

M/D- Medium/thick bodied, awesome mouthfeel on the palate. Great after taste. So smooth and easy drinking. The malt/hop balance is great the the 10% ABV is not completely hidden but well disguised. Great brew.

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Photo of dday1231
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carmel, cloves, and licorice. Oh my! The label downplays the hops and malts when it advertised "BREWED WITH AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF MALTS & HOPS". This is a beer with lots of flavor. Nice head. The color will make any passerby think that I’m drinking a cool glass of Grade C maple syrup. Soft to the palate, but the favors liven the taste buds. This is a top beer, no doubt, but a little to rich at the en for my weak palate.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous clear ruby with a thick, lingering khaki head.

S: Aromas of blood orange, caramel, toffee, rye bread, tangerine, and brown sugar indicate a very complex and heavy malt profile. I'm more than a bit surprised that I'm not detecting a more astringent, resinous bitterness from the hops.

T: Notes of rye bread and black pepper dominate the entry. At mid-palate, notes of blood orange, tangerine, toffee, caramel, vanilla bean, and brown sugar give way to notes of juniper berry, fresh herbs, lemon rind, lime zest, pineapple, papaya, and grapefruit. The finish pulls it all together with notes of lemon rind, juniper berry, toffee, rye bread, black pepper, and blood orange underscored by a mellow alcohol presence.

M: This ale is rather full-bodied and much drier than one would expect. Carbonation is firm, but understated. Alcohol presence is very restrained.

O: This is an exceptional American DIPA. If you're a fan of the style, you owe it to yourself to give this one a shot.

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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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