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
2,016 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:
#2,916
Reviews:
905
Ratings:
2,016
pDev:
12.07%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
238
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,016 |  Reviews: 905
Photo of Brad007
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a darkish-copper color with a thick head that fades down to a one-finger head with lacing. Great presentation in my Piraat glass.

Aroma is bursting with spicy rye and floral/grassy hops in the nose. Sweet and hoppy at the same time.

Taste is sweet and spicy upfront with a good kick of grapefruit from the hops in the middle. Very delicious. There's a good balance between hops and rye here.

Rye and hops linger in the mouthfeel. Again, that balance carries over beautifully to cap off a beer that is definitely unique and refreshing.

I'm buying this again. Would love to buy it in Vermont but it's absolutely one of my favorites. Definitely. Only Hop Rod Rye comes close when it comes to beers infused with rye.

I've got to give this one a perfect 5 though. It's hard to find DIPAs that have a defined balance between malt and hops.

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

22oz bomber. tasted in late march 09. i don't think i found a bottle date.

deep red amber. almost clear. fluffy tan head, rocky, bumpy, receding to thin layer, then wisps and ring. nice lacing, especially later on, becoming almost curtain-like.

fruity, dark caramel aroma with hint of brown sugar, along with sweet grapefruit flesh with touch of zest, and mild but fresh pine. hint of nutmeg-like spice and a flash of trace acidic whiffs in the back. wish it were a tiny bit hoppier aroma-wise.

taste: lots and lots of sweet caramelized malts, apple fruitiness, moving to big grapefruit and citrus fruitiness and fresh pine resins with bold but balancing bitterness, peaking before the finish, and lingering with more caramel maltiness and resins.

relatively smooth and lightly syrupy, with minimal resins in the finish. moderate carbonation can be prickly, but is complementary, gives lift and is even sometimes fluffy.

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Photo of GoodBeerTire
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice orange amber. Small head, but nice and creamy.

The smell was not overpowering at all, but quite pleasant. Could defitely pick up on some nice citrusy hops, malt, caramel, & rye.

I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. Hoppy, but seemed nicely balanced with the malt. The rye comes in later, and with the citrus hops leaves a nice aftertaste. It had a nice alchohol warmth, but I had a hard time tasting any booziness (and at 10%, that's a nice bonus).

Mouthfeel is nice & creamy. Carbonation is just about perfect for me.

Drinkability is very good for a 10% ale. I could have started another bomber, but didn't want to nap the entire day away.

When I see this one again, I will get another or 2. Nice offering from He'Brew.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear copper with a mammoth creamy head of tan foam. Very solid and excellent lace. Nose is big pineapple and mango, with some caramel tones. At first blush, flavour seems to be a bit weak in comparison to the nose, but there's definitely some dark sugars, some grapefruit hops and solidly bitter finish. Alcohol comes through as well. Seems to grow on me though, and after a couple of sips I have to revise my initial impression. What this doesn't have is the big, puckery, resinous hoppy bite that many DIPAs have, replacing it instead with a smoother, better balanced flavour. Not at all harsh, but still with some good hoppy flavour. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the DIPA range as well - no over-the-top syrupiness. This is as drinkable a DIPA as you're gonna get - smooth, good flavours and not at all rough on the palate.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured ontap into a snifter.

Nice orangish tone to it. Good amount of lace stickage.

Taste is a well balanced mix of semi sweet malt and a floral & fruity hop. There are layers of complexities. Caramel is there too. Not overly bitter, a bit of a medicinal and soothing character to it. Well done.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Drinks very easily. Liked this one.

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

Pours a slightly hazed amber, and with the hard pour a massive tan head bubbles up in the Corsendonk tulip. Sticky Brussels lace coat the glass.

West coast aroma of orange, citrus and a hint of pine - all amongst the floral hops. Very tasty treat with the quaff, all these flavors mix together well and make for a very enjoyable brew. Stinging hop finish, but no hint of any alcohol. Solid performing DIPA.

Ya know, with their labels, I thought this was a gimmick brewery. I was dead wrong, these are fine beers - and at a good price! $5 bomber, nice!

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Photo of Florida9
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on tap @ hopleaf

served in a tulip

A: A deep reddish brown with a very thin head

S: Faint, almost non-existent. What is there is of spicy hops, but for a double IPA, the lack of aroma is surprising.

T: Opens with characteristic rye maltiness/spiciness. Finishes with hoppy bitterness.

D: kind of weak for a DIPA, but, none-the-less an easy drinker and not offensive. I don't think this a unique beer and found it somewhat generic in flavor. I'm at a loss to explain how the aroma could be so muted.

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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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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 2,016 ratings