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

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,001 Ratings
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States
shmaltz.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Double India Pale Ale with Rye Malt brewed in tribute to Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider 1925-1966).

Added by mcallister on 06-07-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,001
Reviews:
902
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
232
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,001 |  Reviews: 902
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of flagmantho
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Head almost rose past the rim; exciting.

Appearance: hazy amber orange with three thick fingers of creamy ivory foam with a little bit of an orange cast. Head retention is great (still there even as the glass is almost done) and big, chunky lace is left. This is a trait of rye in my experience, and a good one. I'm not thinking DIPAs get much better than this, visage-wise.

Smell: big citrus and earthy hops. Well-executed and very appetizing. A solid West Coast IPA aroma.

Taste: big malt flavor; dark, musty fruit rounds out the sweet malt. Bitterness is pretty huge. To me this is more of an American strong ale or even American barleywine (ryewine?), but whatever you call it, it is tasty. There's a hint of the spiciness that rye brings, but it really can't compete with this hops bill.

Mouthfeel: thick and sticky. With the ABV of this monster, that's not surprising; but throw in the rye, and this thing gets crazy. Carbonation after the pour seems relatively low, which holds back creaminess a touch; still, this is a big, filling beer.

Drinkability: the ABV and the body hold back drinkability a bit, but the flavor is good (if strong, even challenging to some). Up to today I haven't been super impressed by Shmaltz, but Lenny has really changed my mind about the place.

 1,329 characters

Photo of redfox405
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of enelson
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass, this beer has eluded me for about two years now. I find it funny though that they dedicate this brew to somebody and put their born on and died on dates up there but still, I don't know when this beer was brewed, what a slap in the face.

RIPA looks a dark shade of orange with some bronze hints in there, looks pretty tasty and rich. A nice beige colored head rises up and settles into a nice looking cap with some marks on the glass. Smelling this I get alot of malt up front and sweetness. Rye is in there but buried literally. A nice dosing of grapefruit and some piney hops, some alcohol as well. This is interesting beer here. The rye, while being the main ingredient(supposedly) is not all that large, it comes and goes. Caramel malt is king here and this is one sweet DIPA from the west, this has East Coast written all over it, funny how that happens. Grapefruit, rye, grass, bubblegum, caramel/toffee/werther's, you get the picture right. All in all these taste come together nicely. Feel is above medium and sweet and not all that bitter, carb is not a problem, this beer is alive. The feel kinda reminded me of a barleywine in some ways. I quite liked this concoction and hope to find a super fresh bottle someday, but that won't happen unless they start dating them.

 1,310 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 2,450 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours quite viscously with a dark reddish hued, amber color that shows a brilliantly clear ruby tinged color when held up to the light. The beer is topped by a frothy, amber tinged, tan colored head that is initially about a finger and a half thick. I am quite happy to say that the aroma is quite hoppy. Notes of sweet oranges and a touch of pine intermingle with a big, chewy, caramelized maltiness. Quite fruity, almost a berry like note joins the citrus notes. Toasted grain notes help to dry out the aroma towards the end.

The beer is a bit sweet up front, in fact perhaps amply so, but there are lots of things to balance the sweetness out. An astringent bitterness rides throughout this beer, it is a touch harsher than I would like. Part of this is that there is a menthol like note, that seems to couple with a bit of an astringent dark grain note and a sharp note of alcohol. There is some hop flavor character here as well, it just plays second fiddle to the other notes that I have mentioned; notes of orange peel and some herbal notes are here. This beer is just unbalanced, and not in the way a double IPA should be; harsh, sharply astringent and hot. Perhaps some age will help to mellow this out, but it no longer would be a even the shade of a double IPA that it is now.

 1,299 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz picked up at Pilgrim's Market in CdA over the weekend... enjoyed while listening to some Carl Cox Black Rock and chilling on my hotel balcony.

Poured into my small weizen glass... 2 finger lite khaki head... good retention and lacing... the brew is a polished copper.

Nose is hop forward with a bunch of caramel maltiness to balance... citrus hops out front with more than enough malt to pull it out... big booze presence.

Hop bitterness helps balance the pretty thick malt component.. toasty and thick caramel essence.. citrus hops bite barely bite through the malts.. too syrupy... not really cloying, but just unbalanced in my mind.. Body is heavy and the carbonation is pretty high, yet gets punished by the viscosity.

This should easily be in the American BW category.. no where near... NO where near a DIPA... The rye is present yet only in hints throughout the palate and evident on the mouthfeel where a nice slickness appears.

Ehhhh... okay.. boozy and sweet.. needs alot more hoppiness... really, alot more.

4/3.5/3/3/3

 1,040 characters

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Max's tonight. The beer pours an attractive copper color with impressive head retention and OK lacing. On the nose, this is simply a beautiful beer. There is a lovely, perfumy aroma of rye and grapefruit that blended together is just wonderful. On the palate this beer is nearly as good, but with a bit more sweet malt then I think is necessary or desired. Still, this is just a beautiful beer, with an incredible soft, creamy, hop perfume finish. The beer is so soft and long on the palate, with just enough hops to give it wonderful bitter bite on the finish. However, there's almost a perfume flavor to this beer, that works perfectly with the rye and malt. The alcohol is somewhat noticeable, which detracts a bit from the beer's drinkability, but this is one delicious, easy to drink DIPA.

Very, very impressive....

 833 characters

Photo of Eziel
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Derek
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a very light tan head, great retention, awesome lacing. Seriously impressive for a brew of this strength.

S: Huge nose, grapefruit, nectarine, spicy rye bread, toffee, extremely enticing.

T: Piny, resiny hops complement the spiciness from the rye; bready malt, nectarine, tangine, solid bitterness, alcohol is extremely well-hidden. I know it's bigger, but his one blows the Founder's rye brews away.

M: Moderately full body is well-attenuated and extremely smooth, slight hop acidity, off-dry finish. Extremely well-crafted.

D: I absolutely love it, but it's a big brew.

I don't think I've ever said 'extreme' so many times in a single review, yet this is remarkably well-rounded. Playboy may have described it best "F#cking delicious".

 757 characters

Photo of NickThePyro
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

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.

 996 characters

Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, bought at BevMo Huntington Beach,

A: Pours a very dark red, almost brown, with a thick, white head, which leaves abundant lacing which just sticks to the glass and is still there in the morning.

S: Hoppy, but with a lot of malt, some dark fruits and sugar, spice, though I wish it was more robust.

T: An interesting taste when I first tasted it, I was expecting a straight up Double IPA, but then I remembered the rye malt and became more acclimated to the taste. Very interesting, but very tasty as well. The rye malt adds a spice, almost phenolic character to the malt-based part of this brew, similar to Hop Rod Rye, another RyePA type beer. Very hoppy, an abundance of pine in this one, altogether a profroundly good taste and a well made beer, well balanced.

M: Soft for an IPA, but still quite resiny, oily, but the large amount of malts add a smoothness not found in other IPAs.

D: A very good double, didn't know what to expect, the first beer I have had from this brewery besides the Pomegranate Ale, a fruit beer, so I am anxious to try their other stuff. Good job, He'Brew.

 1,104 characters

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a ruby brown with good tan head that left lace down the glass and a one-finger head. A great citric hop smell that is also bery piney and floral along with caramel and other sweet malts. Classic DIPA taste as the beer is medium-bodied and smooth and contains both a great hop bitterness and some sweet malt/fruit tastes. Taste is comprised of citric hops along with roasted and caramel malts. The high ABV leads to a dry backbite that gives off a complimentary alcohol burn and is tagteamed with the rye which gives off a little bready feeling. A great beer but also a very heavy beer to handle and one bottle was certainly enough for me.

 645 characters

Photo of lupercmda
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of fredmugs
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of sd123
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy reddish orange colour with a massive size frothy dark beige coloured head. I can't really tell how much carbonation there is due to the haziness of the beer and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for around 10 minutes before it began to dissipate. The appearance was almost perfect.

Smell - malts, caramel, tangerine, hops, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and the beer felt somewhat creamy on the tongue. There was a lot of malt and hop taste mixed with caramel and pineapples. There were also notes of tangerine and pine. The beer finishes with a malt and hop bittersweet aftertaste.

Drink - The alcohol was well hidden and you would never know it packed a 10% punch. It might have been just a little bit too sweet, but it was still very enjoyable and I'm happy I tried it.

 879 characters

Photo of sweemzander
2.21/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a hazy orange color. Produced a light cap of off-white froth. Some lace.

(S)- A musty/malty carraway seed spice aroma. Some piney citrus.

(T)- Very bitter and malty with a carraway-seed-like spice. Some citrus, but very faint.

(M)- A decent carbonation level. Very bitter and disjointed. Malty and spicy yet even rather thin considering the style it is.

(D)- Not what I expected. Very bitter and spicy but that is pretty much what it offers. Overall, just very confusing and disjointed for a beer under this style.

 597 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I got this bottle in a trade with nutbown. Thanks Alan!

This pours a deep amber gold with a small head of foam. Again, there's lots of lacing like the others I've tried from them.

The smell is both hoppy and malty. Good notes of caramel and light floral hops with a rather strong peppery presence. My nose is happy.

The taste is stronger than the smell when it comes to the hops. Floral and piney hops dominate with a strong pepper spice flavour and a mild caramel malt backnone that I wish was more assertive. Dang, this is spicy and it makes me take long breaks between the sips. The alcohol is also more assertive than I care for and not nearly as well hidden as in their Jewbelation 11.

The mouthfeel is medium and nice, the carbonation is medium, and it finishes very bitter with some sweet tones though, I can't say that it's anywhere near balanced.

Bottom line: This one just doesn't do it for me and finishing the bomber will be a chore. Too much hop bitterness and pepper spice for the amount of malt that I can taste. Too extreme for me? I think so.

 1,064 characters

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,001 ratings.
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