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

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On RyeHe'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by John_M on 12-20-2007

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 376
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a deep, dark brown, small head, no lace.

The barrel starts the nose, rye, pine and citrus. Very in your face, and if you like rye beer and rye Whisky, awesome!

The taste starts with rye, caramel, pine and booze. This is all softened by the oak from the barrel near the middle and a nice citrus, grass and rye finish. Very nice, moderate body. Goes down with less heat than expected.

I love Lemmy's Bittersweet RIPA, and the doubled up and barrel aged version is amazing! I'm very glad the rereleased, being this was my first try!

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Photo of kaseydad
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Edition - Batch 3 - Aged in Willett Rye Whiskey Barrel

Been looking forward to this as I love the original.

Pours a semi-clear amber/dirty brown ale with a nice sized beige colored head. Doesn't appear too long and does a ring around the glass unless agitated. Nice colored ale.

Getting a lot of whiffs of the barrel here. The rye is very present as are the hops...which include seven different going by the label. Big whiffs of caramel and smaller amounts of brown sugar, vanilla and toffee. The barrel is big here but very pleasant. Enjoying the experience.

The taste is very spicy rye forward with a subtle boozy background. Big combo hop flavor going on. The rye on top of rye is big package of flavor here and if you don't like rye, this beer could be a problem. Spicy swallow but doesn't linger too much.

For all that this beer is packing, the mouthfeel is nicely full bodied and very limited on the carbonation...which helps.

Overall, for me, the combo of a rye beer and a rye barrel works amazingly well. The base beer is almost perfect and throwing it into a rye whiskey barrel just brings out all this beer can be.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter. Kosher certified.

Dark cola body with a surprising amount of carbonation for being barrel-aged, the ecru- colored cap reaches a finger in width. The smooth foam leaves behind a thick sheet of lacing.

That is nice! The fruity esters of "regular" Lenny's mingling with aromas of vanilla, wood, and subtle whiskey. Also, as the beer warms and opens up, the caramel and spicy notes become apparent.

The palate of flavors is Lenny's with a sweet boost from the whiskey barrel aging. The whiskey notes are more honeyed and dark fruit-like across the palate. The finish adds a resiny note and a slight whiskey booziness, but this beer is far from being hot. The malt is bready and slightly caramel-y as the palate adjusts. Very good.

Medium bodied and creamy, slightly dry, this beer fills the mouth and finishes easy for a barrel-aged offering.

I really enjoyed this beer! The barrel aging improved the base beer in every way. The nose had a great whiskey character. The palate was extremely complex and managed to keep from being hot, while exhibiting whiskey, woody notes. Definitely a must try.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/15/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, vanilla, toffee, coconut, whiskey, rye, oak, clove, toast, orange zest, grapefruit, floral, light pine, and oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with big malt and barrel presence and complexity with some light hops; and good strength. Taste of big caramel, vanilla, coconut, toffee, whiskey, oak, clove, rye, toast, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, floral, grass, and toasted earthiness. Light pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, vanilla, coconut, toffee, whiskey, oak, clove, rye, toast, grapefruit, pine, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt and barrel flavors with light-moderate hop presence; with a great malt/barrel balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged DIPA. Hop presence was weak, but the malt/barrel balance and complexity of flavors were very impressive; and quite smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of VincentFrey
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour / Appearance: Older bottle (8/15/2013), but in theory this is probably aged most of the aroma hops out of it. Anyway it's what's being put on the shelf for the variety pack so hey. Pours with a good amount of carb, forming a voluminous head that actually sticks around. I don't believe this is bottle conditioned, and don't see any yeast floaties, so good for Shmaltz. A nice amber coloring, with ruby tinges around the edges. Very pretty, especially for the relatively new (well increasingly common perhaps) process of barreling IPAs.

Aroma: Heavy rye on the pour, with oak and vanilla increasing as the beer warms in the glass. Some distinct hops that seem odd; bit of dank and onion, but mostly grassy, earthy hops. Any sugar / caramelized notes seem to come from the barrel, although the heavy caramel malts listed on the bottle seem to suggest otherwise. Fresh barrel, perhaps? Either way good nose, but a bit confusing especially for any sort of IPA.

Taste: Very surprising! Actually a good deal of hop presence still here, both bittering and in the flavor. Amarillo and Chinook seem like the big ones here, and it's nice to have their dank presence to play with the heavy rye. Lots of vanilla to enhance the sweetness, while the rye contributes some heat notes that are wholly distinct from the very well masked 10% ABV. I'm thinking this wasn't in the barrel very long, and it's better for it. There is a good blend going on here, and anymore time in the barrel might have made it cloying.

Overall: Very nice, and a great example of what barrel aging big IPAs can do.

Bottom Line: Definitely give this one a shot. Worth it for all sorts of beer lovers, particularly those interested in barrels and experimentation.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another big beer from Shmaltz! Picked up tonight from the tasting room at the brewery. Excited for this one!

Poured from 22 oz. bomber into snifter

A- Great dark amber color with nice tan fluffy head with nice even consistent bubbles. The head doesn't stick around forever but when it does there is some decent lacing that slides down the vessel. Has a nice glowing aura to it.

S- The barrel smells great on this one. Caramel, a bit of coconut, char, whiskey. Although masked by many of the characters of the barrel, the hop aroma starts peeking through as it warms. Also as it warms up to room temp, the alcohol smell becomes slightly more evident. Picking up some tropical fruit...mango?

T- Very barrel forward. I bought this from the cooler at the brewery and it was labeled as batch three and brewed in August, 2013. The Rye Whiskey presence is right there upfront, but not really too overpowering. It is balanced quite nicely. For the amount of hops that they loaded into this its not too bitter, but there is a subtle bitter hop aftertaste. Brown sugar, very malty. This is a great tasting, complex brew!

M- Great thick and hardy. A little dry from the barrel aging. There is some bite from the carbonation, but the thicker mouthfeel helps balance this into a thick, smooth beast that becomes tamed as you drink it. The alcohol is also hidden amongst all the complexities and nuances.

O- Overall a splendid barrel aged beer! A great, balanced smooth double IPA with barrel aging down right! The whiskey and the barrel add a very interesting and pleasing quality to this brew. Pretty well done for a brewery that was only open for a matter of weeks at the time of the bottling of this beer. Well done Shmaltz. L'Chaim!

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Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
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 SavvyStudent
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extreme bitterness like nothing else. Strong floral and some bitterness from the rye. High carbonation and lacing. It will pretty much blast your palate if you are a fan of the extreme hop bitterness. I got it as an individual bottle and not sure I could do six of these. Worth a try

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Photo of IronLover
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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 kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: half finger head on a clear amber and crimson body. Excellent lacing.

S: sweet caramel malts and citrus. Relatively mild on the nose.

T: very malty. Candied citrus, floral and herbal hops. A little boozy.

M: medium body ad moderate carbonation.

Overall: very malty IPA approaching barleywine status. ABV and booze hurt drinkability.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 poured into a Boulevard tulip.

A - A beautiful beer. About two fingers of creamy, light tan head. Body is brown with only the slightest orange tinge.

S - A sweet bourbon smelling beer. Lots of vanilla and caramel. A little boozy on the back end. I guess there is some rye in there as well.

T - The whiskey takes a back seat here even though the booze comes out strong. More rye and bitter hops. Not as sweet as the scent. An interesting combination of whiskey, rye, and hops that seems to be well balanced, but the alcohol comes through too much and makes this a little harsh.

M - Strong mouthfeel as it is full bodied and well carbonated.

O - This is a pretty good beer that smells more like a barleywine but comes out with the DIPA flavors.

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

My buddy wasn't crazy about this, but I thought it was great. No complaints with my bottle not tasting adequately hoppy at all. Rye was pretty subtle, just kind of added an interesting 'spicy' sort of finish. Not a brew for the timid by any means, but not boozy (except as concerns your bac). I really liked it! I'd buy at least a single again anyday. I'm not sure if I got a fresh one (March 2012, as you just might notice below), but it's a winner in my book.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.21/5  rDev -43.6%
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 jbakajust1
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an 8 oz snifter @ Davis Beer Shoppe

A - Pours a hazy chestnut w/ 1 finger beige head that persists, and leaves great lace

S - Smells of big malts, caramel, vanilla, oak, whiskey, spicy hops, little citrus, like a big barleywine and oak

T - Taste mirrors the nose, lots of caramel, fruits, oak, vanilla, whiskey, spicy hops, rye, light citrus, chocolate

M - Big, full body, medium carb, bitter semi sweet finish, warming.

O - Big, rich, full, deceptive, nice barley wine, oak and whiskey are not overpowering, touch of the rye, not an Imp IPA, too chewy, and the hops are not aggressive enough. Still a great beer though. Would have given this a solid 4.0 if I hadn't looked up to see the "Imp IPA" category.

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Photo of therica
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= cloudy copper, modest white head, some rimming and lacing following.

S= huge West-Coast piney floral hops nose, hints of sweet malts.

T= a bit too sweet for what I was expecting but rather nice, the piney floral hops continue, and the sweet malts.

M= a bit cloying and too-sweet out of balance considering the nose and taste. A mix of sweetness sticking on the tongue yet a bitterness residue clashing.

O= decent, I'll buy more when I see it but the sweetness was a bit out of balance for my preferences.

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Photo of chilly460
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a auburn or maroon hue, different then a typical amber. Off-white head, two fingers with good retention.

S: Plenty of pale malt, some vanilla maybe. Picked up a spiciness at the end.

T: Pretty interesting take here. Pale malts, caramel and some toffee in there. Get some vanilla again, and then a spiciness presumably from the rye. Through all that, not much hop profile that I can pick up, but get a solid malt profile that was like a molasses.

M: Decent enough body, plenty of carbonation.

O: Nice enough beer, just think that the aging kills the hop profile that I'd expect.

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Photo of sdmvd6
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very transparent copper in color with about a finger of head. A nice trail of bubbles makes it to the top of the glass.

S - Rye malt immediately followed by rye whiskey. There are hops hiding in there, but they are definitely an afterthought. The rye grain aroma is very dominant.

T - This is pretty much what I expected from this beer: Lenny's R.I.P.A. with a subdued hop character and smooth rye whiskey. Tons of rye malt and grain at the beginning of the palate followed by rye whiskey and sweet vanilla notes from the barrels. There is finally a bit of earthy hop bitterness at the end, but this is definitely not the focus of the beer.

M - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. There is a bit of resinous chewiness and a little alcohol burn.

O - You can't go into this one with the expectation of in-your-face hops, because it is an IPA that has been aged. The hops mostly die due to the aging, and only come through at the end with spicy earthiness and a hint of bitterness. It reminds me more of a barrel-aged barleywine (with rye, of course), which I guess is what it mainly is. It was very enjoyable overall.

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Photo of NWer
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On the label:
Batch/Cases No. 001/469
Bottling Date 4/9/2010

Poured medium dark copper into a tulip. Cloudy, tiny bubbles - lots of them that dissipate slowly given what a powerful beer this is.
Aroma is overpowering. Easy to get high on the smell alone.
Taste is a combination of sweetness and alcohol. A sipping beer. To be savored. If you like sipping rye whiskey, you will love this beer simply because it possesses all the pleasure and you get to enjoy more of it. High alcohol for beer, low for a whiskey with all the flavor - best of both worlds.
I love this beer and wish I had more of it. I bought it on close out at my local Central Market and wish I had cleaned them out.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 1 year)

Deep and dark auburn with a huge, thick, persistent khaki colored head. Sheets of lacing smear the glass. This beer looks thick and substantial, not to mention gorgeous.

Incredibly aromatic and incredibly sweet. The initial aromas are of the tremendously sticky, diabetes-inducing sweet variety: maple syrup, toffee candies, melted caramel, and fruit cake. There's a rich vanilla and earth component, along with lots of rye/whiskey. Upon initial whiff, this seems far closer to a barrel-aged barleywine than it does a DIPA, granted, this one is pushing a year old now. There is little to no hop presence left.

More sweet flavors mimic the aromas. Maple syrup, toffee, caramel, and vanilla, along with a pleasant oak character. Moderate to high bitterness, though that's all that is really left from the hops it seems.

Thick, chewy, substantial mouthfeel. Some alcohol burn on the swallow.

An interesting rye-barrel aged DIPA, though it completely falls away from anything remotely near style. It's more of a barleywine than it is a DIPA, especially at this age, though I don't get the impression this beer was much different a year ago. This beer becomes more and more enjoyable as it warms, though it's a tough bomber to tackle on one's own.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I fear that many beer lovers do not take the He'Brew line of beers seriously because of the playful name. This is a beer that deserves serious consideration.

In the barrel aged craze, it take something special to stand apart. This Rye Double IPA aged in whiskey barrels has an aroma that blends whiskey aroma with hints of vanilla. A murky dark brown catches the eyes before the first sip. The vanilla is very potent in the initial taste. The vanilla gives way to whiskey, tobacco, and molasses. The sweetness balance against the whiskey backbone creates a winner.

Though stylized as a double IPA, the beer does not pack much hop. But in the overall scope of the product, it is forgivable.

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Photo of enfield249
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark copper red in color, almost no head to speak of and only a small layer of tan foam.

S - Lots of biscuit, sweet malt, caramel, and a slight medicinal hop aroma.

T - So very good. All of the aromas are in here, biscuit, malt, caramel and what hop flavor is there is medicinal.

M - Full to very full. This the thickest IPA I have ever had, and if I was blindfolded I would have said this was a Imperial stout from the mouth feel. Thick and rich, velvety, with a strong amount of hop bitterness.

O - A truly great beer. Surprising flavors and textures.

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -- Average, Almost but not quite cloudy semi gold amber color, very minimal head.

S- You can def. smell the Rye in this one, after that everything else is mute in scent for the most part.

T/M - BOOM. Herbal bite with wicked Rye bite that follows, very interesting but very appropriate for an IPA of any style.

O -- Holey FUCK! This is 10%?? Hard to believe! Crisp dry dark malty taste, very well played and I would go out of my way to grab this 4 pack before 7 out of 10 others. A Must try!

PP (Price Point) - $9.00 or so for a 4 pack in my opinion is WELL WORTH IT. This delivers the BANG and the FLAVOR for the buck, give it a shot!

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Photo of claspada
2.58/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Original release date 8/3/10.

Aromas of strong rye whiskey, pretty intense to be honest. You would think a year would mellow this but unfortunately not. As it warms you get more of the malt which is equally as spicy from the rye and ample hopping (I am guessing) and the alcohol. Some bready and caramel maltiness is evident once you dig deep here.

The taste begins with spicy rye malt and a boat ton of strong biting rye booziness. I am pretty overwhelmed to be honest, this is not balanced nor do I think any age will help... So so so much barrel and booze flavors. Caramel malts and citrus hop bitterness try to sneak in but the overwhelming drying/palate wrecking booziness is too much.
Mouthfeel is moderately full but this is soooo dry and unpalatable from the intense rye barrel aging I cannot move past this...

Overall I am pretty much about to give up on Shmaltz Brewing Co. because I have not had a good beer from them yet. They have all been way way way too boozy and unbalanced and abrasive. The Vertical series was decent but less than extraordinary... no I have decided, I am done with them. Not recommended unless you love rye whiskey and want a beer that is virtually unpalatable unless you love rye whiskey.

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Photo of iPaleAle
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sipping on this bottle bring great joy to the palate. What can I say about this beer that is almost short of a Barley wine. The color and the nose invites any beer connoisseur who is willing to try anything new!

Poured into a half pint pub glass.

A:A solid copper color that any bold IPA should have. Lacing is incredible. A solid head that dissipates slowly after pouring right....

S: Is very easy to pick up the whiskey barrels of which this brew was aged in. Vanilla notes are the sweetness of which one could smell. Again it could hang with any Barley wine that has the big nose...

T. Toasty caramel Bitter sweet. Great hops balance the alcohol rye malts and sweetness of this ale. Very sticky coats the whole palate to leave you wondering in its magic.

m: It leaves your tasting buds wanting more... Very heavy alcohol begs for more. Its sweet bourbon/vanilla residue are the flavors that linger with a hint of hops....

O: Very good RIPA. A good rye ale that defines an Rye Ale. Its high alcohol content is nothing to be worried if your a seasonal ALE enthusiast.

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Photo of JavaJoe
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a 22oz bottle on a cool Memorial Day weekend.

A--This really is my favorite color of beer. Weird, I know, but I fell in love with a copper ale in 2003, and I've been searching the world for a beer that had that same golden, red, shimmering hue. He'brew's got it.

S--Whiskey, vanilla, almost too intense when nosed directly.

T--All of the flavor features of a whiskey barrel beer, without an overexpression of roast character. The complex hops profile of the RIPA balance surprisingly well with the whiskey barrel flavors. An unexpected match.

M--Body of an IPA, soul of a barrel-aged beer. Could be creamier. Thick and thin at the same time.

O--This is an extraordinary beer, plain and simple. There's nothing simple about it, though. A feast of hops, a complex malt profile, and just the right amount of barrel-aged compounds.

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He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. On Rye from Shmaltz Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 376 ratings.
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