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

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
899 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:
899
Ratings:
1,988
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
229
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 899 | Ratings: 1,988
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ale named after the former Leonard Alfred Schneider departs the bottle and enters the glass a robust red, shadowy, clear, with a high head, creamy/tannish toned. Looking lovely.

Aroma: Fat malt, outsized yeast, liquid bread...is this a doppelbock? But there's so much hop!...sniff again... Wow! Loud hop, rich, burnished, barleywine-like. Grapes and other dark fruits are at hand, feeling like a burgundy wine, perhaps due to the high alcohol, or the huge maltiness.

Now, let's taste...Woo! Bam! Whap! Shamalam! Enormous malt floods the mouth and is assisted in it's it's efforts by the blazing sidecar of hops. Big, big, big on the palate, outsized all the way, spilling flavor all over the place. Delicious dark fruits, grapes, cherries, more...Reminds me very much of a Bigfoot or similar barleywine-style ales. This is where the line between "American Double IPA"s and barleywines really blurs, the malt is as big or bigger than the hops in this one, and the flavor is almost the match for a barleywine.

And the 10% doesn't hit...right away..oh, no, you'll feel it, though...

I didn't really taste the rye at all, but it works so damned well, it doesn't matter.
(Wait, ...now, I'm tasting it...yup, it's discernible...)

I love it. I think Lenny would love it. Rest his smutty soul. R.I.P. (A. true American hero.)

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, slightly hazy, amber-copper coloring with a thin, filmy, off-white head that quickly settles into a sparse, filmy surface coating. Aromas of roasted grain and booze initially, with a tangy malt profile that combines caramel and tropical fruits. Hints of mango and papaya. Some citrus notes, as well, with some pepper notes; no hops presence on the nose otherwise. Flavors are a blast of hops. Holy monkey! Resiny and bitter, with a strong backbone of roasted, rich grain. Very well balanced after the initial shot in the mouth. The fruit presence becomes a mid-palate highlight, leaving as quickly and sneakily as it arrives. Booze and bitter hops finish the palate, as well as clean everything up. This beer is like a tornado touching down on your tongue (in a good way). Bitter, resiny, and slightly earthy aftertaste, with a clean, slightly dry finish. The beer is robust and full in mouth. This one's a heavy hitter, and it brings the flavor with it the whole way through.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/01/06- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. 2006 special edition. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Auburn, almost cherry colored in appearance. 3/4 inch creamy white head, very strong patches and streaks left behind. Sticky looking for sure.

Smell- First sniff got lots of fruity and pine resin hops. It was strange though because every sip afterwards I really had to sniff to get anything. As it got closer to room temp I sensed the fruity hops again.

Taste- This one is a hopheads delight. Saying so, this is also a well rounded hop heads delight. Has a really ultra sweet caramel malt. Super bitter pine and sweet fruit laden hops burst out from the first sip. The 10% abv makes itself know right away.

Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation...still tasting the bitter hops an hour after drinking this brew. (not a bad thing). Very very creamy in texture as well.

Drinkability- Impressed, definitely impressed. Wish they would have had more of these whaen I snagged this one. I know a hophead out there that would have appreciated this (keeping my eyes peeled for you Steven). Not in the neighborhood of Plinydom, but a very good example of a well balanced and ultra hopped DIPA. Will keep my eye open for more.

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Photo of Tone
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark amber/copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of slight citrus hops, hint of hop oil, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, and slight rye. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable dryness. Tastes of strong hops, hint of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight rye, slight caramel malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, decent body, and decent blend.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.37/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at a local beer bar. Beer is clear and reddish in color. Carbonation is moderate to low and head is soapy and nearly non-existent (it is on cask though). No lacing on the glass. I'm still interested.

Aroma is dominated by hops hops hops. Mostly citrus hop aroma and nothing much else.

Hops are present in the back of the mouth on this one. Correct me if I'm wrong but a RIPA is a RYE IPA correct? I don't taste the rye at all. The finish is a little piny. There isn't much of an aftertaste, is that woodsey flavor the rye trying to squeeze to the front? Eh, not my favorite, definitely not my favorite IPA or rye.

This may be one of those beers that has no business being on cask. I'll try it again in the bottle and see if its better and rereview at a later date.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is brick red mixed with copper. Perfect one finger, off-white head.

Notes of tangerine, grapefruit and carmel gently tingle the nostrils.

Sweet malt accented taste is balanced by a fabulous tangerine and pine bitterness. Rye is certainly present and, to me, integrates the barley and hops perfectly- something about Rye brews that are done right that I really find attractive. Very slight butterscotch note in the finish. This beer really begs for another sip.

Rye also helps in the mouthfeel giving the beer a lusciousness that is very comforting. This one slips past your lips way too easily.

I could drink this beer all night! That is before I pass out after three of these bombers. Alcohol is extremely well hidden!

Overall a fantastic beer that is all about balance. Certainly not all about the hops, but one of my favorite double IPAs nonetheless.

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

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a medium to dark reddish amber with a fine one finger light tan head with great retention and lacing. Nice aroma of bready malt, dark and dried stone fruit, caramel and a hint of citrus hops. Similar to a barley wine aroma. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, dark and light fruit, slight spiciness and sourness from the rye and alcohol heat. Finishes with aromatic pine and citrus hops which duke it out with the alcohol, finally winning and leaving a long herbal bitterness. Medium bodied with some creaminess. This is a very nicely made DIPA that has definitely crosses the line with barley wines, although it does have a strong IPA hop presence. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Gavage
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: slightly cloudy amber color with a short 1" head that lingers a while. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: great aroma of pine, malt sweetness, and fruitiness. Hint of alcohol too.

Taste: hearty grainy malt profile with pine, grapefruit, and ripe pears. Overall this beer is quite dry but bold in flavor. Alcohol is noticeable and provides some warming effects.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp and dry from the start, smooth and dry at the finish. Long bitter aftertaste is pleasant on the tastebuds.

Drinkability: this is a enjoyable DIPA that is worth seeking out.

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Photo of liamt07
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Steve, 12oz into a tulip.

Reddish-brown body, offwhite head with good lacing and some whisps of retention. Nose has some sweet caramel, rye bread, a bit of spice and citrus hops. Taste is bitter initially, caramel, rye bread, grapefruit and bitter citrus rind in terms of hops. Medium full feel and a strong bitterness that's fairly abrasive for my liking. Substantial malt sweetness is prevalent throughout as well. Solid rye character in this IIPA, but hops aren't in my wheelhouse - still quite a solid example of the style regardless.

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

There are so many good DIPAs, it's sometimes hard to pick them apart. The rye used in Lenny, however, is a great change of pace. It added a rich spice that blends with the citrus hops but still stands out enough to compliment the flavor and stand out. Aside from the rye, the malt sweetness is fairly subtle behind the mostly fruity hops. Also, at 10%, this beer is a bit thick and can be hard to finish by yourself. Still, a great DIPA if you want something different.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.19/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A unique color pour methingks. Copper and burnt orange, semi-clear at first, then clears up as it warmed (poured at 49 degrees, too). Very good looking head. Hilly and soft. Some lacing becomes sticky on top and on sides.

aroma is sweet and oily. A lot of resin and some alcohol make me pull back a bit, perhaps in surprise. Rye mixes with some hop juice to make a pronounced nose shocker. It's not bad, just odd.

Taste is malt, oily or syrupy, not sure which. Coating. Some hops are in here, mostly pine..not the citrus I expect from an A-IIPA.
hard to drink...didn't finish. Alcohol is too much..or perhaps it's the rye. Could be too raw at 10%.

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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 tone77
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of rye, malts, a bit bready. Well the taste is nothing like the smell. Very hoppy, lots of bitterness, some rye, as dry as a camel ride in the desert. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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

Pours a nice dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, hoppy, nice touch of citrus, some pines, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, nice hop tones, some citrus/pines, and caramel. The alcohol is hidden pretty well, nice balance between malts/hops, with a slightly dry/bitter finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty DIPA, highly recommended.

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Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful crystal and rye malt scent that enticises the senses. It's loaded up with hop aroma as well; a bitter explosion balanced with an excellent variety of specialty malts. The taste is good. It has a very smooth and bitter hop taste that goes down easy and warms in the finish. Crystal and rye malts dominate the grist. It's quite complex with loads of flavors, especially a mellowing rye component. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The rye works well with the heavy load of hops. The crystal malts lend some sweetness to round out the palate; a good drinker.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was consumed with at least six months of age on it.

Pours red with a white head. The aroma is strong with caramel malts and quite boozy. The flavor is strong with caramel and toffee up front. There is a strong rye flavor at the end and in the aftertaste. Not as much hop presence as thought there would be. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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 Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a decent slightly off-white head, great lacing, and a dark amber color. Smell is alcoholic, waxy, and with aromas of orange, grapefruit and pine from the hops. Taste is big and bitter with more wax, grapefruit and orange and a big hit of pine.Quite nice. Good body, and very balanced. Creamy and pretty smooth for the amount of hops. The alcohol is more present in the nose than the flavor, quite drinkable, even dangerously so.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 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....

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,988 ratings.
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