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

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On RyeHe'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #2,775
Ranked #7,573
3.98 | pDev: 13.32%
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States
Very Good
He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On RyeHe'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye
Notes: Imperial Rye IPA aged in a Rittenhouse 100 Rye Barrel.
The 2013 batch was aged in Willett Rye Whiskey barrels. 2016 batch aged in Jim Bean Rye Whiskey barrels.
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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 381
Reviews by sprucetip:
Photo of sprucetip
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love's me some Lenny's! Regular Lenny's has been one of my go to beers for a while now. I resisted trying (buying) this one numerous times, but I have a goblet full presently.

It's a reddish/copper good looker with excellent clarity and it hangs onto some film on top and a thick tan ring of suds around the edge long into the sample.

At first pour it struck me as a mess. A hot mess to be specific. But an hour or more later, from the 2nd goblet full, it smells much better. It's still boozy, but it doesn't dominate and the sinus clearing effect noticed earlier has dissipated almost completely. The barrel, the rye from the barrel and the rye are all part of the program, though the alcoholic and woody tones from the whiskey barrel are more prominent than the grain. I am starting to get something citrusy. Could that be hops poking through? Forgot about them. I do believe there are some hops in there, but there is a lot of oak and whiskey barrel and boozy heat to wade through to find them. I am sure there is a good bit of crystal in it, but it is virtually undetectable to me. … and now the malty sweetness finds its way to my nostrils.

The taste, long into the sample, has evolved from rough and disorganized into something lovely and sublime. The crystal malt lays down the foundation, and the other influences build upon it. There is moderately aggressive hoppy bitterness and a hoppy character to the flavor, but nothing too specific because the oak and rye whiskey flavors are much more bold. … I like it. It's bold. Some might find it harsh. I dig it. There is some synergy and balance in places, but not always. And that's okay.

Plenty of carbonation with a rich and full body. It is viscous, yet still has some lingering hoppy bitterness and gentle drying sensation in the finish.

Wow. I don't recall a beer making this much recovery from the initial opening to the finish. It sat at room temp for an hour or more after coming out of the fridge. Still, when I opened it I was struck by my lack of adoration for it. It was rough and harsh and the different influences didn't work well together. I sipped slowly, aware of the sensations, but doing other things. Gradually it melded together into one special brew, instead of a bunch of strong competing parts battling each other. ...

There is nothing nuanced or subtle about this beer. It is brash and aggressive, and probably offensive to some. …. Probably 1.5 hours into this now and the bomber is maybe half gone. It has gone through quite a transformation. It was harsh at first, but it has mellowed some and buried elements such as the caramel and hops have emerged. … and if anyone is still reading now, you should probably try this one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of EgadBananas
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly hazy, light copper color, with a light beige finger of head.

Whiskey aroma, with some oak, malts, hops are hard to pick out from everything else going on. Its good though.

Big booooze and whiskey, rye sweetness and twang. Bits of hops, but not much. Too intense for me, as it s like drinking a mixed drink.

Feel is creamy, slick, full, and slightly coating. Good.

Its not bad, but the strength is top much to drink loads of this.

 450 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brownish orange color in the wine glass. Modest foam along with a tangy, spritzy mouthfeel. Smoky and woody aroma.

This tastes like aged barrels. Hugely malty but not sugary. It tastes like it started out sweet and aged to this interesting dryer conclusion. Very strong and tasting of alcohol. A different sort of booziness than the usual sweet bourbon taste. Lots of hoppy bitterness.

A zingy, fragrant powerful brew with a dry finish. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

(A)- Pours a hazy orange amber color. Produced a light cap of off-white foam.

(S)- A rich malty caramel aroma combined with an oaky, almost salty bourbon aspect.

(T)- Same as the smell. A rich caramel and bourbon core with hints at oaky vanilla and citrus.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Malty and rich with obvious bourbon notes. Not much in regards to a DIPA though.

(D)- A far better example than the regular version; very rich and oaky in this one, however still a strange and bizarre take on the style itself. This one reminds me more of a strong ale.

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Photo of wtkphoto
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of JizackFH
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice dark amber color that had a small head that left nice lacing as it fell.

S - There is a definite alcohol/bourbon smell that stands out. There is also a nice presence of hops and some caramel sweetness.

T - Right up front is the booze. A lot of hops follow up the booze taste. There are also nice sweet notes like caramel and vanilla. The finish is bitter and it sticks to your mouth for quite a while.

M - The mouthfeel was medium, but more on the heavier side of medium. Nice carbonation. Also, it is a little warming on the mouth.

D - I think this beer is surprisingly drinkable. I went through a bomber of this faster than I expected to. I would definitely pick this beer up again. Its very good for cold nights. They did a good job on this brew. Cheers.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.21/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark orange and relatively flat pour. Aroma was lots of alcohol, but not much in the way of rye. Didn't have the whiskey aroma, it was just pure alcohol heat for the most part, covering up any hop qualities in a significant manner.

Taste, lots of alcohol and bitterness. Where's the hops. Tastes a lot more like old coast ale instead of a dipa. I don't understand this beer in the least. Tastes like a boilermaker, at best.

The beer is a failure in the dipa department for me. It doesn't smell like hops, it doesn't have hop flavor. As for the barrel characteristics, its not pleasant, rather hot and boozy.

I've never been a big fan of this brewery, and this is probably the worst of the worst. Who thinks when buying a dipa with that list of hop additions, that they're going to end up with a subpar, undercarbonated old ale?

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. Not really sure what to expect from this one.

Dark amber body with bubbles rushing to the top. Three fingers of off white head. Dies down to a quarter inch of foam on top, and some nice lacing.

Smells, well... weird. Lots of caramel and toffee sweet smelling malts with a smack of citrus and grapefruit. Also, lots of spicy smelling rye and oak, and some notes of whiskey. Something about it just didn't work for me though, but I'm not really sure how to describe it.

Taste is fairly similar. Spicy rye and oak up front with whiskey and a strong note of vanilla and a touch of caramel. Graham crackers and vanilla wafers too. There is also citrusy hop notes and resin bitterness. The vanilla note is really nice. Its really complex, and the flavors mesh together surprisingly nicely.

The mouthfeel is full bodied. Well carbonated, smooth, and creamy.

I was pretty blown away by this beer. The nose didn't make sense to me, but it all came together in the flavor. Really interesting.

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Photo of TucsonTom
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A great whiskey-barrel aged beer ... for my taste.

I haven't had many whiskey-barrel aged beers. Most have come from Firestone-Walker. I can't say the style is my favorite, but this one from Shmaltz is my favorite so far. It has to be the use of rye whiskey barrels for me. I really enjoy a shot of rye with a malty beer on the side; somehow the combination of flavors is wonderful. And this beer smacks that nail straight on the head.

I'm drinking this nine months after bottling, so that aging probably helped a bit. I'll bet two years on this brew would make it incredible.

It's still luscious as is!

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Photo of IronLover
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color with a heavy chill haze. Poured with an off-white foam.that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Ripe pineapple and grapfruit aromas with a sugary sweet and light spiciness and rye bready notes toward the end. Medium bodied with a resinous feel in the beginning turning creamy smooth after the rich carbonation rolls through. Intense ripe pineapple and tropical fruit up front that transition to pine hops through the middle with a touch of spicy herbal hops near the end. Despite the incredible hop bitterness a sweet caramel malt backbone manages to contribute. Finishes with a long lingering pine hop bitterness with a bit of malty sweetness beneath. Super hoppy with a nice variety of hop character.

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Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of XicanoBeerRun
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of NewGeneric
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to dansteino for always having the excellent selection in N.O.
Batch No. 001
Bottling Date 4/9/2010
Poured into my Delerium tremens tulip.

A: Pours a hazy ruby color that fades to orange around the edges. About a finger of white foam fades quickly leaving rings of lacing around the edges.

S: Smells like a hoppy barleywine. Kinda like Old Guardian or Old Crustacean. Plenty of crystal/caramel malts, hints of rye and bready yeast. Balanced, robust hops yield scents of citrus and pine. More of a barleywine, but good.

T: Again, very much like a hoppy barleywine. Very complex flavors arising from the barrel aging. Some very nice tones of vanilla, rye, citrus, caramel. Even some hints of chocolate.

M: Alcohol is fairly present, especially noticeable from the rye whiskey. Bitterness and carbonation hit just right. Nice slick finish without being too dry from hops and bitterness. Mmm...

D: Alcohol presence causes the not so high mark for this one.

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Photo of HoppyBastard1
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Fatehunter
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. Copper, almost transparent with a nice inch and a half of dirty white head.

S - A lot going on here: toffee, honeysuckle, brown sugar and charred maple-wood.

T - Spicy, slight hop bitterness, wood and alcohol.

M - Medium body but kind of soft too. Light carbonation.

D - Very good. The 10% ABV is hidden very well. It is very smooth. Probably one of the best barrel aged beers I have had. It has a great balance; meaning it isn't obscenely sweet.

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Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BigBossMan
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This really is a completely different beer than the original. The hops are still evident but in more of a supporting role - similar to how hops are present in some hoppy imperial stouts but somewhat masked by the malts. In this beer, the hops are masked by the forward flavors of bourbon and smoke.

The appearance is lighter than I would have expected, while the head is more than I would have guessed - good lacing. The smell is of bourbon, but sweet caramel is present. The flavor is bourbon and hops - very smooth and drinkable for what it is.

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Photo of jorg2619
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep ruby reddish color with a strong off white head. This beer smells like booze, rye, and a hint of hops. I tasted this beer expecting some harsh alcohol notes and was greeted with a smooth drinker that balances hops, malt, and barrel aging!! I was really impressed that Shmaltz was able to take a great beer like Lenny's R.I.P.A. and take it to the next level. The mouthfeel is also balanced with a sticky ending for every small quaff. I really enjoyed the complexity of the the Lenny on Rye and the attention to making the beer seem much smoother than 10% alcohol.

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Photo of 2Stout4u
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm surprised at the wide rating scale of this beer. I think it's a pretty solid beer that laces very well. The taste reminds me some what of Arogant Bastered. The color is nice and the complexity is there. Overall a good brew at 10% , but for the price of a four bannger(10.99) there are other brews I would prefer.

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Photo of kds2437
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of hickmancase
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of donniecuffs
2.55/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ditto my ratings for the regular version of this beer, with 2 exceptions: first, the color is much more intensely mahogany brown, with less carbonation (to be expected), and second, the taste is even more syrupy sweet and therefore annoying. If the original beer had more balance, I'm certain that the balance would be accentuated and become more complex via aging as well.

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Photo of californiakulak
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a bottle of this beer into my Firestone pint glass.

A. Poured a clear red color. Thick and beautiful head. Lacing was excellent as well.

S. Hops and sweet malt. Pine and citrus. Typical ipa aroma. The sweetness of the rye does come through a little though.

T. Citrus hops. Way too sweet for me. Pineapple. The Rye is overpowering.

M. Good carbonation and a slight warming alcohol sensation.

D. One is plenty. I usually like rye ipa's but this one was a little much.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 381 ratings