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

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,002 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:
2,002
Reviews:
902
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
233
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,002 |  Reviews: 902
Photo of FCRICH
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

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

Photo of MO5290
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of RunDWP
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I've never seen Lenny Bruce perform. From what I've read, he was ahead of his time, pushing the boundaries of what was thought to be good taste in his time, and never afraid to take risks or possibly ""step over the line". In that spirit comes Bittersweet Lenny RIPA On Rye from He'Brew.

Unfortunately, like a comedian who simply swears too much and uses shock value of profanity to make up for poor punch lines, this brew simply didn't have the proper level of restraint, nuance, and balance to work for me.

I started by pouring it into my tulip, and appreciated the dark brown liquid with a slight head of white foam floating on top. There was lots of sheeting action on the glass. I have a weak nose, but couldn't pick up much aroma for all the strong flavors I was about to encounter, a little hop aroma, a little malt aroma, not much else. The flavor was strong, the flavor was aggressive, the flavor was a little shocking, and unfortunately, the flavor was not all that enjoyable. There was a lot of malt in there, with a bitter rye note, that seemed to overwhelm a lot of piney, grapefruity hops. I was surprised to see the malt overwhelm the hops is what the bottle said was a double IPA. Now there is nothing wrong with breaking the rules, but if you're going to break them, something good should come out of it. That didn't happen here.

With all that malt, the mouthfeel was one of the high points of this brew, with a luxerious, creamy texture. But I found this too strong, aggressive and unbalanced to be very drinkable.

I can appreciate what He'Brew was trying to accomplish here, but these type of beers work not because of the aggressive flavors, but because care is taken to balance and blend the aggressive flavors, and that is missing here.

 1,762 characters

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.

 647 characters

Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great job, fellas at Shmaltz.

In the big, oaky, fresh and dank, ripe-fruity, bitter, sweet, family of "darker" double IPAs. 90 minute-ish.

Bitter and sweet. Good advertising. Ha! Aren't most good beers though? Bitter and sweet? Sweet, nectars and riper tree-fruits. Juicy hops -don't expect high-profile citrus explosions, though. Malty as all get out. Caramel.

If you like the maltier, oakier, higher-abv DIPAs, this is for you to try!!!!

 445 characters

Photo of y2jrock60
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Joey-bags1990
4/5  rDev -1%

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

Had this at home in a 22-oz bomber.

Once poured, the beer was a nice reddish hue with a thin, almond-colored head. There was a slightly sweet aroma with just a hint of hop bouquet. The taste was a very nice blend of hops, alcoholic flavor/warmth, and rye aftertaste. It was slightly fizzy in the mouth, but overall very drinkable. A very well-balanced beer for being so high in alcohol - definitely sneaks up on you.

 417 characters

Photo of longbongsilver
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of ImusBeer
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as my second of the day. It was poured a Copper color and a bit hazy. The head was only around the rim but there was lots of lacing.

This is the first beer that I've really noticed the yeast aroma and the very heavy bread or biscuit smell.

The first thing I noticed was the hop, then the sweetness of malt & caramel. The bitter finish really made this a delight.

The mouthfeel is dominated by bitterness and then the bite of the alcohol, at 10% I expected this.

Couldn't drink it all the time but I would enjoy this occasionally.

 546 characters

Photo of blivingston1985
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of hiku7
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light rust to burgundy. 1-finger cream to tan head. Not very good retention, but a foamy layer remained.

Sweet toffee and caramel dominate the aroma, followed by peppery rye, lemon citrus, some light fruity esters, and some alcohol warming. Not as hoppy as I expected considering it claims to be a DIPA.

Flavor is mostly caramel and toffee, some peppery rye, and an earthy hop finish, without a lot of hop flavor. Malt is dominant, with the alcohol hidden well.

Full bodied, big maltiness, with mild foamy carbonation. Significant residual sweetness.

Overall, this is more like a rye barley wine than a DIPA. Surprisingly malt heavy, but an enjoyable brew all the same.

 688 characters

Photo of AndreRus
4.94/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love the bottle art! Great DIPA/American Strong Ale. Hops and malts work well together

86 characters

Photo of ebby82
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber into a tulip glass with a bit of head.

The rye is pretty evident in the aroma, along with a significant malt presence, and of course, hops. A very nice aroma indeed.

The taste is really complex. When it was cold, the hops are more evident, but when it begins to warm, the rye and malt is more evident. The taste really masks the alcohol.

Very drinkable, the high ABV is masked very well. One of the more interesting and enjoyable DIPA's I've tried recently. Certainly worth buying some more.

 513 characters

Photo of evilkalla
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into an ale glass.

A: A very slightly cloudy amber color with 1/8 inch of head on it. A fair amount of carbonation but not overwhelming.

S: Very malty with a lot of citrus hoppiness. Very good.

T: Very bitter, with a bready, toasty maltiness to it. On the finish it's got a lot of hop citrus to it but also hints of very done toast. I happen to like very done toast. Great.

M: Pretty thick feeling, this one. Somewhat viscous. Bubbly at the same time. Really good.

D: I wouldn't pound this one back very fast given the 10% ABV, but it's pretty drinkable. Would buy again.

 592 characters

Photo of wchasse222
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of r3o
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of gonzo138
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark reddish brown, not much head, laces nicely though

S- whispy hop smell, rye smell is noticable, light pine aroma

T- very hoppy, with rye bitterness in the aftertaste, very very bitter, total shock considering the very light smell

M- Thick for a DIPA, moderate/light carbonation, unusual malty feel for a DIPA

D- Thick, doesn't go down too easily, something to sip

 390 characters

Photo of Boppar
3.39/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into an over-sized wine glass.

A: Beautiful ruby color. I thought at first that it was transparent, but it turned out to be translucent. Two fingers of fluffy, off-white head. Good head retention and great lacing. A few big soap bubbles.

S: Smells like alcohol and dank, piney hops.

T: Tastes like a pine cone. Alcohol is in evidence. Strong malt backbone, but definitely some intense bittering hops to balance it out. Leahery taste mid-to-late palate. Finishes with a pronounced oak-y dryness. Aftertaste of a faint caramel and vanilla.

M: This has pretty solid mouthfeel. It is fluffy and smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Very nice. Good weight to it.

D: About average for a DIPA.

 709 characters

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

This beer poured a very dark amber color, alot darker than a normal IPA. The head was a brownish white and lasted the whole beer with a medium amount of lacing. The smell was a very malty sweet smell with just a hint of hops and rye.

The taste of this beer was very strong, very malty and sweet. Almost like it was a little too rich. There was a nice amount of hops, but not a ton of rye. The mouthfeel was good, the CO2 was great and it was pretty thick.

All in all a good beer, but not something I want to drink all the time. I have another bottle, think I will let it sit for a while and have it again after it has a little age under its belt.

 652 characters

Photo of TheBear11D
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 6 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a rusty copper to a deep red color with a thick head that leaves wonderful lacing with each sip.

The aroma is well balanced with caramel and rye on the malt side and lights berries and citrus on the hop side.

The flavor follows suit. The ABV is well hidden in the strong flavors presented in the malts and hops. The more this warms the beer shines. There really is nothing to be disappointed about in this beer. The malts greet the tongue and the hops crash the party while both blend well into the aftertaste.

The body is medium to full with great carbonation. This is thicker than anticipated given the high ABV.

Overall this is a wonderful IPA. For some reason the liquor store near me was selling this at a discounted price. Something I was not displeased about. I will certainly pay for another one of these and recommend you give this a try as well even if a DIPA is not one of your favorites.

 952 characters

Photo of KuehneBe
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of WestSideAmish
4/5  rDev -1%

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,002 ratings.
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