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

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,003 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:
2,003
Reviews:
903
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.88%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
233
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,003 |  Reviews: 903
Photo of PDXHops
2.69/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a shaker pint. See-thru deep amber with a smallish off-white head that displays impressive staying power and leaves plentiful crackly lacing in the top quarter of the glass.

Smells, hmm, strongly of caramel. Uh oh. There's plenty of citrusy hops and what appears to be a fair amount of rye, but both are somewhat smothered by the malt. Flavor profile is more of the same. This very well be the most caramel I've ever tasted in a (D)IPA; it completely overwhelms the generous helpings of rye and citrus. On the positive side, the carbonation is quite vigorous (keeping all that caramel from becoming too heavy) and it somehow manages to finish somewhat crisply.

Overall impression: Another east coast malt monster. Hopheads, take a pass on this one. Those who like balance in their (D)IPAs should definitely give it a shot, though.

 842 characters

Photo of bschinelli
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice copper color with a big, creamy off-white head with good retention and lacing. The nose and palate are very similar featuring hints of toasted malt and a big hop bill with lots of pine and spicy pepper that finishes with great dry bittering hops.

 252 characters

Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a hazy chestnut brown with a head that was on the large side of average (1-2 finger) which eventually reduced to a few puddles with a large collar and had awesome sheets of lacing that coated the entire glass.

The aroma was of a sweet dark bread malt, pine and resin hops and a doughy yeast with notes of toffee, rye and a bit of dark fruit (prunes and raisons).

The taste was strong and boldly malty with a touch of dark fruit and toffee throughout with the finish having a slight rye bread flavor and a resiny hoppy ending. The flavor lingered for a very long time after the swallow with a nice sweet hoppiness left behind.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with a dry creamy texture and a soft carbonation.

Overall an extremely tasty, fulfilling brew that reminds me more of a Barleywine than a Double IPA...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

 902 characters

Photo of sammyg832
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

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

First time tasting this excellent beer. In a tulip,the beer pours a beautiful tea color with a very small head . Wonderful plum aroma unlike other I.P.As.Smooth mouth feel.
Taste a mild plum with good bitterness and strong alcohol. Intense hops melds well
into the general presentation of the beer. An unusual and wonderful beer.

 329 characters

Photo of csurowiec
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of VashonGuy
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's back!! The 12 ounce bottles of Lenny's RIPA, that is. It's been two, maybe three years since this beer has been available in the Seattle area in the smaller size, so it's been that long since I've had one of my favorite beers. The 12 ounce bottle is perfect for this hoppy high alcohol beer.

The appearance isn't much to look at ... no head to speak of, no lacing, and kind of a blah effect. But the aroma is uplifting, and the taste is over the top. It's got caramel, it's got hops, it's got a bit of the rye spiciness (but less than some rye beers), it's got balance, and it's got a noticeable ABV punch.

I agree with those who think this is closer to a barleywine than to a DIPA. It's a fine hoppy sipper.

 724 characters

Photo of kemoarps
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of azdback
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my newly aquirred Spaten glass. A deep orange color. Head is a fat two fingers and just a hint darker than bright white. The head is also very creamy in appearance and the lace looks like it's gonna stick around, but doesn't.... at first. After the glass is empty the lace is looking a bit impressive.

Smell is of sugary malts, citrus hops and alcohol. A bit earthy.

This tastes alot better than the smell. It has the hop biterness of a pink grapefruit followed immediately by the sweet malts. There is some dark grain flavors and a bit of yeast. All followed by the suttle alcohol warminess.

The mouth is much better as it warms. At first sip I thought it was a bit watery, but it has filled out quite a bit over the last half an hour. It is rich and sweet. Almost has the sneaky mouthfeel of a barleywine. The alcohol is fairly well masked.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. I have recently discovered the Rye ale (Hop Rod Rye, Rye Squared) and really like the style. I recommend you pick up a sixer of this if you get the chance.

 1,052 characters

Photo of JOldewurtel
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of GeorgeAKeim
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of McBraniel
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Dewey0603
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear mahogony with a giant tan foamy head. A nice looking brew. The smell is a very strong "bisquity" aroma with lighter scents of malt,alcohol,and grainy,if that's a word. The taste is a creamy mixture of alcohol, malt, rye, bitter hops, and a bready flavor thats just great. Not for the faint of heart, the alcohol is VERY in your face. But if you like a real alcohol and hop bite, this may be your beer. The m/f is heavy with a creamy feel that brings the mixture of flavors together beautifully. A very good beer from a West Coast brewery that's sometimes tough to find in CT.

 599 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased form LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in August 2006 for $4.99. This is only my second or third Rye beer, and I guess it's an acquired taste.

Pours a deep rich reddish amber with a yellowish fluffy head.

The aroma is intense hop richness, sour oily grapefruit perfume with sweet malts underneath. The flavor is tasty, of course hops being the main theme, with a sharp kicker of additional hops at the end of the swallow. Lots of malt, but the hops are really over the top.

Mouthfeel is almost syrupy this is so thick and rich. I finished the bomber, but it was really more than I wanted. Overall, this is a well made, interesting beer, but not really something I feel strongly about wanting to try again.

 730 characters

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

Photo of johntfox
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Pahn
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. No bottled on date.

Appearance: Misguidedly free pour yields a >3 inch fluffy, bubbly white head that dissipates slowly leaving rings and walls of lacing all over the glass, which stick around for the entirety of the beer (incidentally, I had to drink/eat some of the foam to avoid spilling, and it tasted deliciously like caramel; not usually a fan of the taste of straight beer head, but this was nice). Pours a slightly dark, hazy amber, and leaves tons of lacing. This beer looks like something such that if you saw someone else's glass while they drank it at a bar and you were even slightly dissatisfied with your own choice, you would be jealous and want to take theirs.

Smell: From the bottle there's some dank, citrus hops and big, barleywine-deep caramel malt. It's the same in the glass but with less hops influence, and even more full, complex malt aroma. There's fig, caramel, some booziness, and a little bit of grassy hops. Some nice herbal notes come out late in the glass.

Taste: Lots of deep malt goodness following the nose, with a fair amount of bitterness in the finish as the hops struggle to be noticed. Damn, the brewers at Shmaltz know how to make a big beer, don't they? On the third or fourth sip, I get some of the rye, and it's working really well with these thick, rich American barleywine malt flavors. Eventually, some grassy hops show through, and there's DIPA caliber bitterness here, but the character of the flavor is all about malt. Finishes slightly hot, but not 10% hot; just a pleasant warmth.

This is a hard beer to grade to style. On the one hand, it tastes less like a DIPA and more like an American barleywine (chances are I could be drinking it fresher and get some more hops, but the malt would still be well into barleywine territory). On the other hand, it tastes like a *really, really good barleywine*. If you're looking for 90min IPA or Pliny the Elder, you'll find nothing like either in this bottle... but the lines between American barleywine and DIPA are pretty blurry to begin with. 4.5 sounds right to me; this beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel: Solidly medium bodied and creamy, with just enough carbonation to contribute without being distracting. This is a great mouthfeel for a DIPA or a barleywine, so no style confusion necessary here.

Drinkability: Easy 5. Manages to deliver huge flavors without taxing the palate or being difficult to continue drinking in any way; no heavy stickiness in the feel, no overwhelming alcohol burn, no clash of flavors or one note getting too intense.

When it comes to IPAs and DIPAs, I think I could name at least 10 excellent beers more successful at pulling off the style than this one. At the same time, this is the best 12oz bottle of American barleywine I've ever had, in the same league as my favorites like Old Ruffian.

If you think Lenny Bruce was a comedian who managed to be over the top without sacrificing quality in his material, this beer is a perfect tribute to him. Lenny's R.I.P.A. will definitely be joining the few beers put into my regular repeat-buy 4pack/6pack rotation, among Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, 90 Minute IPA, Great Divide Hibernation, and Stone IPA. Excellent beer.

 3,238 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Firstly, I picked this out because of the label. A "chosen beer"?? Secondly, don't think I've ever seen a label that showed praise made by bA. Nevertheless, thought that trying an experimental imperial IPA would be a good idea. Can't make out the freshness date on the bottle, but it nevertheless poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

It must be the rye malts, because I don't think I've come across an imperial IPA this dark and malevolent in appearance. And I mean "malevolent," because this reminds me a lot more of strong ales like, say, Arrogant Bastard. Darkish-redish, as well as cloudy to the point of light barely making it through the glass. Alcohol leggings, as well as carbonation bubbles that glide slowly to the top of the glass. Not much of an initial huge head. However, a half-finger ring stays at the top, no matter how much it warms up. Scary.

Ahh, now this is how a hoppy rye malt based beer should be! There's an initial spiciness, as well as intense citrus zest and blasts of honey syrup. Beyond the fruity esters, there's a bit of an alcoholic drop, as well as some smells of fresh bread. Not much yeastiness. Can't make out any specific fruits, but it seems well balanced enough based on the aroma.

Cold, it starts hoppy. As it warms, it gets progressively malty, but only so much. The dry hops immediately take over, and the aftertaste is absolutely spectacular, giving me flavors of black cherries, blood oranges, raspberries, and bittered figs. On the other end, there's all kinds of spices resembling black pepper, as well as a brief rosemary flavor. This may sound that it doesn't mix well of paper, but I assure you that it all combines beautifully primarily due to the incredible feel that this beer has. This is its definite highlight, as it is thick, chewy, and bready unlike any imperial IPA I've had - and indeed, is closer to dark Belgian pale ales. A true meal in a bottle, soaked with alcohol and fruitiness.

This is fantastic. It's as exaggerated as you'd expect, or at least how it looks at a first glance, but works really well overall. I'm glad I've finally found an experimental DIPA that I would gladly pick up, for the low price, many times over. If there was a prophecy concerning this beer, I would believe it after consumption.

 2,287 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shmatlz Brewing Company, what a great Jewish name. I wasn't really impressed by their Genesis Ale, but I heard some pretty good things about this one so I decided to give it a shot. Well I'm sure as hell glad I did. You're telling me this beer is kosher? Wow, I may have to convert...hmmm, but Christmas is too sweet and I love pork.

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Wow, one of the best looking beers I have ever had. Pours a clear dark copper hue with an extremely generous light khaki colored head. Lacing doesn't let go of the glass at all, sticks all over the place and it ain't goin' no where. Very oily pine aroma invades the nose. There is a unique smell of smoke/pepper which I'm assuming comes from the rye. A good punch of alcohol in the nose with a slight hint of toffee from the malt. Very unique taste for a DIPA, probably due to the use of rye. Quite malty for a DIPA, coffee/caramel flavor comes to mind. A very bready/creamy flavor to it for a DIPA, I really like where this is going. Aftertaste is a bit dry with hints of grapefruit/lime. Definitely smooth and oily type of mouthfeel which I really enjoy. Alcohol takes away a bit from the drinkability, but you have to expect that for this type of beer. Those crazy Jews do a great job with this beer. Keep it up!

Mazel tov! Oi!

 1,311 characters

Photo of alostplot
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle - originally reviewed on paper on 8/14/06

Pours a clear amber with a thick tan head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is 100% citrusy hops and smells very nice.

Taste is slightly malty upfront which is washed quickly away by a wave of citrusy hops and a bitter bite to boot. Finishes quite dry and bitter.

Full body, mild carbonation.

An overall nice DIPA, and a nice change to have one that's on the dry side.

 448 characters

Photo of EdFed
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of TripelMark
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. from Shmaltz Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 2,003 ratings.
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