He'Brew / Cathedral Square St. Lenny's
Shmaltz Brewing Company

He'Brew / Cathedral Square St. Lenny'sHe'Brew / Cathedral Square St. Lenny's
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #3,613
Ranked #14,921
3.9 | pDev: 11.03%
Shmaltz Brewing Company
New York, United States
Very Good
He'Brew / Cathedral Square St. Lenny'sHe'Brew / Cathedral Square St. Lenny's
Notes: Belgian Style Double Rye India Pale Ale
View: Beers
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 218 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Evilyak
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

getting to this one well past its prime.

2014 edition, knocked back in 2016. all things considered, time has been kind to this brew.

reddish in color, with some head.

whatever they might have been going for just tasted boozy.

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Evilyak from Minnesota, Apr 09, 2016
Photo of threesignificantstarfish
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shmaltz Brew Co. has become a new years eve staple to share a pint between me and my brother when the clock strikes midnight. Every different one I try knocks me on my ass. And I love it. Thank you He'Brew!

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Photo of Tilly
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: Clear reddish orange, whiskey colour with lasting slight beige head. Great lacing.
A: Malt, citrus, honey, Earthy hint of rye.
T: Wow, mallt, hops, mead,, plum, biscuit, slight citrus and slight rye.
M: Well balanced medium to full body, slight bitterness.
O: Kinda confussing mixture of tastes. Belgiun? IPA? ow about St. Lenny?
Great beer. Make more!

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Tilly from Kentucky, Oct 17, 2015
Photo of bobhits
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firm pour yields about a quarter inch of head that retains (a lot more when it first poured). It did leave a nice lacing, determinately looks like it'll be sugary and rich. The body is red with orange tints, it's a nice color somewhere between a big red and a more traditional double IPA.

Brown sugar, raisens, plums, rum, pine, light citrus orange at the end. I barely get any belgian spice, a bit of rye here here. Reminds me of more the flavor profile you'll get on a less yeasty dubble.

The flavor builds on the aroma. A lot of raises, plumbs, and rum soaked brown sugars. The back end however brings out a nice bit of spice that complements the sugars and fruit, the beer then ends with a nice hoppy bitterness. Everything here is separate, broken up, but somehow all builds and plays on each other.

I have had some really poor beers from Shmaltz, but this one nailed it. Really good and highly recommended. I should take off a few notes for the religious stuff, but I won't even knock them for the horrible name. Oddly I'm thinking a bit of an arrogant bastard or a maharjie.

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bobhits from Kentucky, Oct 08, 2015
Photo of CHickman
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Edition: Pours clear copper color with a massive 3 finger foamy tan head that was full of mostly tiny bubbles, fading very slowly and leaving great foamy rings as it went down

Smells of piney hops, grapefruit and rye up front, followed by lemon zest, candied sugar, Belgian yeast that's sweet not funky, fruity candy like gummy bears, brown sugar, weed or lettuce, dry floral hops and mild spices that fade and leave a sugary sweetness similar to a malty barleywine. It's a confusing nose, but it smells nice and sweet, almost fermented like the hop base of a DIPA turned and brought out more fruit.

Tastes like it smells but with more bready and fruity mixed in with the piney hops, grapefruit and rye up front. The sweetness is not cloying as the Belgian yeast kicks in right after the first wave of flavor with a slight funk, some chalky residue and grains that almost seem like granola sitting in yogurt; the grainy sweetness has brown sugar, cinnamon, rotting pear and grapes, tart green apple, bubblegum, pepper, rye and light coriander. Trailing hops release citrus and floral notes, ending with tea leaf and some toffee. Each sip is different and complex, with the spices and sweetness hiding that high ABV.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick with a buttery feel, a medium body that borders on chewy and a finish that has some of the rye and hop spices, some grainy/bready sweetness and a touch of bitterness. It ends as confusing as it tastes and smelled, to me that's what made this fun, unpredictable and enjoyable.

A Belgian Style Double Rye India Pale Ale clocking in at 10% ABV that completely hides the alcohol taste. Indeed this was an Immaculate Collaboration since this beer was much better than I expected it to be, and the strong sweetness managed to work well overall. Not sure if it was all the hops or the Belgian yeast or the rye mixed in, but this turned out quite well.

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CHickman from New York, Sep 30, 2015
Photo of damndirtyape
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 edition. Served in a Duvel tulip glass. Seems appropriate with a name like St. Lenny's.

Appearance: Clear coppery amber. Thin ring of persistent lt. tan foam at the edge of the glass, with a small island of foam in the middle of the glass. Some small islands and an occasional strand of lacing noted.

Smell: Orange citrus, a hint of toffee, rye, a hint of woodiness. Complex and interesting.

Taste: All sorts of flavors going on here but a bit jumbled up. Hard to pull them apart in the order I tasted them, but I got candi sugar, pine, citrus zest, tea with honey, rye, a barest hint of whisky and oak. Has a lingering bitterness that builds up over drinking the bottle.

Mouthfeel: Not as creamy smooth as the Lenny's RIPA, but nicely thick and definitely a bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: A very interesting take on a DIPA, but I think this beer is trying to do too much and so it doesn't quite work as a DIPA or even as a Belgian IPA. Maybe that's the point: a profane take on Belgian Abbey style ale that only Lenny Bruce would approve of? I had a bit of difficulty finishing off the whole bomber by myself due to the lingering buildup of bitterness that comes at the finish, but, I will give it points for being a very interesting beer. I certainly spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out all the flavors going on anyway. I wouldn't buy again, but I don't regret having it.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle, no date:
Ok, I know this is a big mash up: Belgian India Imperial Rye, but the combination didn't work for me. This thing was too dark in color, too grainy in the nose, and too sweet on taste.

The color is more likes light brown ale or a cloudy marzen. I think the eye could be influencing that, but with a little cloudiness it looks like lightly muddy water. The good thing is that the head builds up and sustains, a yellowing brown color.

The nose smelled almost like a wort without any buttering agents initially. I get a little bit of rye more clearly as it warms, very bready. The other notes are all muted by this (raisin? cinnamon?)

The taste is brown sugar, bread in general (rye comes out later in taste), raisin, fig-like notes. It tastes like a dessert bread in a few respects. I really don't get much Belgian or bitter notes, other than maybe the fact that the sweetness and notes are somewhat quad-like.
Edit: with considerable warmth, a piney bitterness finally started coming out in the end taste. But so does a hint of alcohol.

If we make an assumption for a second this is a bit old, I can say it doesn't seem to age well. If it's fresher, it misses on the IPA side as it is very malty. I won't try again to find out if I see it again.

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cjgiant from District of Columbia, Aug 20, 2015
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy copper amber under qa 1.5” cream colored foam collar composed of very fine, uniform bubbles that cling to the side of the glass.
S: Spicy rye nose, dried fruit, raisins, some mustiness, trace of banana.
T: Spicy grain, dark dried fruit, alcohol, faint banana, traces of prune, citrus, tropical fruit, balancing quinine like bitterness on the finish.
F: Super creamy, very fine texture, medium to medium full body and medium to medium low carbonation.
O: A big bold American rye double IPA brewed with a Belgian texture and yeast character.

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pat61 from Minnesota, Apr 24, 2015
Photo of jdhilt
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a five finger white head that fades slowly to thin layer. Hazy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium body. Pine hop nose and flavor is balanced with the pine hops and malty caramel. Higher ABV is hidden. Lingering bitter finish. $4.95 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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jdhilt from New Hampshire, Apr 19, 2015
Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thick foamy head. Head retention and lacing are excellent. Has a deep caramel apple aroma. Somewhat boozy. Bready. There is a rye bready taste with a nice transition to a honey rye hoppiness, ending in a honey caramel aftertaste. There is a lot of complexity to this beer. Slightly soapy sweet aftertaste. Hides the alcohol content well.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Amber-colored with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Sweet. Molasses, brown sugar, a hint of rye/bubblegum/prune but the sweetness dominates
T: Sweet molasses/dried stone fruit initially followed by some rye towards the finish but again the sugar takes center-stage
M: Full-bodied, borderline cloying, sweet and the alcohol is noticeable
O: Hard to believe this is 10% but also has so much sugar that didn't ferment. Way too sweet for my palate. The Belgian style does come through but for also being billed a "Double Rye IPA" neither the hops nor rye were very prevalent. Nice concept but the final product doesn't deliver

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Photo of Trueant1
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great brown color that pours a big head.
Yeast, phenols, and, almost apples in the nose, Yeast and alcoholic taste with a hop bitterness. Very wet, moist big beer. Bravo, I will get another bottle of this as I cook my matzo ball soup with schmaltz for Passover!

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Trueant1 from Minnesota, Feb 20, 2015
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a belgian rye imperial pale, sort of a weird idea from the get go, the beer comes though more as a belgian strong, or even as a barleywine than anything else. copper to amber in color, mostly clear, and shoring over an inch of white head but it recedes rapidly. the nose is a combination of belgian yeasts (very fruity), mild rye spice, and alcohol, along with plenty of residual malt sweetness. the flavor is similar, with the yeast backing off just a little bit and the booze really cranking up. the sweetness is too much for me, i cant do even my half of a bomber of this, but i get the rye coming through a lot, which i love, and the apple spice yeast is pleasant as a flavor. this would be a better beer at 7% abv, i have no doubt in my mind at all about that. these beers have all been hit or miss for me, and this one is somewhere in between. i definitely wouldnt buy it again, but i cant rip it too hard either, i think they accomplished what they set out to do, its just a strange mission. if you want a curiously sweet booze bomb with some character, this is your horse.

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Photo of MDHopster
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wow, clear orange with translucent head. Aroma of rye, plenty of rye, probably offputting to those who are not rye fans. Tastes heavily of rye, I like rye, thus my score for taste, others may rate well below. Reminds me of Flying Dog's Raging Bitch with a boatload of rye. I see the "Belgian Rye IPA" label as fitting. No subtlety to the mouth feel, this is setup to feel like a double IPA. Appropriate for the type.

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MDHopster from Maryland, Jan 13, 2015
Photo of jmbranum
4.61/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bought at Central Market in Fort Worth, Texas. Transported back to Oklahoma via Amtrak.

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle into a large wine glass.

Pours a clear amber-orange clear liquid with smallish head. Gloriously good aroma with some citrus and vodka notes (the latter makes sense since this is 10% ABV).

Flavor is very rich and full. Some wine and liqueur notes. Some grapefruit, dates, raisins, some different grain (maybe some spicy rye), a tiny bit of maple syrup, all followed by a heavy dose of hops.

The best thing I could compare this to would be a meeting between a Belgian Trappist ale and an West coast style Pale Ale.

I really liked this. I want more! Very sad this is a one time offering.


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jmbranum from Oklahoma, Dec 19, 2014
Photo of allengarvin
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%

A: 4.5 - Poured into a Bernardus chalice, this is a dark copper-amber beer with a substantial head, nearly an inch thick, dense, foamy.
S: 4 - Candy sweetness with lots of spicy phenols, peppery and clove-y.
T: 3.75 - Heavy malt dominates, the last thing I look for in either a Belgian or an IPA, quite sweet, though bitterness is ramped up to offset it. Ripely fruity, with alcohol apparent.
M: 4 - Big bodied, creamy
O: 3.5 - Too heavy for me, with not enough Belgianness in the flavor.

Weighting (percentages): 20, 20, 40, 5, 15. Avg: 3.92

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Photo of HipCzech
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Serving: On tap at The Hay Merchant, poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Clear, copper brown. Thick, off-white head with nice fine lacing down the glass.

Smell: Malt, caramel a bit of spice and emerging Belgian yeast as it warms.

Taste: Full and malty with some sweet fruit (apples?) and honey. The rye, hops and Belgian yeast combine for an interesting mix of peppery spice. Nice dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Neither the rye, hops or Belgian yeast dominate, complementing each other nicely,

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Photo of Slatetank
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%

I enjoyed this 12oz chilled in a teku, review from notes.

The color is ruddy amber with thick haze and 2 finger light cream with very fine bead and lace that sticks in spots. The smell has dark fruit and light floral scent mixed with toasted bready aroma and mild alcohol odor with dark berry ester and caramel with scents of dried fruit like raisin and a slight aroma of alochol. The feel is thick with sweet body and toasty strong texture with alcohol and light toasted accent with moderate bitterness and mildly sweet and boozy finish.

The taste is extremely alcohol dominant with slight fruity and dark caramel flavor with subtle stone fruit from the yeast and light pine earhty hop flavors with a subtle medicinal taste in the finish. This didn't live up to the original Lenny, I understand it is not even close to the same beer but there is too much fusel almost paint thinner quality and sweet malt and not enough hops in the taste

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Slatetank from Pennsylvania, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Pencible
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark copper with some thick tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet honey biscuit and earthy toffee, with some spicy rye and copper hops.
T: It tasted like bitter copper hops and spicy rye and Belgian yeast, with some sweet honey biscuit and earthy toffee. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a nice rye ale, but not as much of an IPA or Belgian. The scent and taste were enjoyable, and the body was great. The alcohol was well hidden, and the finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. I wish it was hoppier, but it was still a good drink.

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Pencible from Virginia, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Mitchster
4.61/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased as part of the 2013 gift pack.
Brewed with specialty 2-row, rye ale malt, torrified rye, crystal rye 75, crystal malt 80, wheat, kiln amber, and caramunich 60. Hopped with Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Crystal, Chinook and Centennial. Dry hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo and Crystal.
10% ABV.
Pours out to a slightly hazy medium amber, forming a large creamy yellow head with amazing retention and one solid thick sticky sheet of lace. Carbonation is moderate. The nose is immediately very hop fruity...I get tangerines, apricots, pineapple and grapefruit sitting on top of a subtle toast note. Reminds me a bit of a great ESB with that apricot jam on toast nose. Mouthfeel is smooth as silk with a huge sticky body. The taste is fantastic. Very hop forward up front, balanced beautifully with with the tropical notes from the yeast, all sitting on top of the toasty sticky malt body and with a well balanced spicy bitterness which lingers on the tongue long after it goes down the pipe. The yeast is well attenuated, not finishing completely dry, but not syrupy sweet, just perfect. A testament to the brewers craft here, my friends.

Highly recommend, this is fantastic stuff. Not being a big fan of Belgian IPA's, this blows all those out of the water. Yummy. Get some!

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Mitchster from Michigan, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of leaddog
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep copper colour with two fingers of foamy beige head that falls over the glass.

Smell - Belgian yeast (clove, spices, banana), rye, tropical fruit, citrus hops.

Taste - Rye malts and citrus hops are well-balanced with the spicy flavours of the Belgian yeast and hint of tropical fruits. Belgian yeast is at just the right level and does not overpower the malt and hop flavours.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and pleasant stickiness.

Overall - A harmonious blend of flavours and ingredients. This Belgian yeast strain is complementary to the rye malts and hops in this brew, and by no means overpower.

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leaddog from Alberta (Canada), Apr 19, 2014
Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a reddish brown body with massive head and lace. First thing that hits me is booze and rye, some caramel and breadlike malt notes, a little bit of dark fruit (or at least fruit) and a touch of hops. Full bodied, chewy, boozy, a nice smoothness from plenty of rye and a little woody. I like this beer, especially some caramel/toffee sweetness, but all the malts seem to overpower the spices and citric hops so it's not well-balanced and the hops really only come off as bitter in the finish.

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clayrock81 from Florida, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of sprucetip
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looker. A solid finger of beige foam sits on top of fluid of undetermined color. It varies greatly depending on how the light hits it. It ranges from chestnut to reddish to amber to golden depending on the light.

The Belgian yeasty funk leads, and might actually be the cause of scent I usually call “grainy.” Boozy heat and esters are the next strongest element, and citrusy hops are hard to find. Not bad, but it doesn’t really gel well. Try as I might, I am not finding any caramel, though I am pretty sure it is in there.

Yeasty Belgian character is clear and so is the caramel malty flavor and sweetness I couldn’t find in the nose. Modest hop bitterness joins citrusy hop flavor through the middle, and then some piny bitterness emerges. Smooth, and reminds me of regular Lenny’s, only with a funky Belgian twist. Nice. It’s solid. Very good.

Plenty enough carbonated. Rich full body, noticeable warming, and some lingering bitterness after the finish. Dries out a wee bit in the finish.

Very good if not quite exceptional. Well, if I made it I might be inclined to think it exceptional…I am a big fan of regular Lenny’s, so I had to try this one too. As much as I appreciate the effort, and enjoy character Belgian yeast adds, I think I like regular Lenny’s better. But I don’t regret having had this one, and very well may have it again. My reluctance is that I am buying fewer bombers these days, as the price per ounce is typically so much higher than for smaller bottles. This is a good beer, and if you have bothered to read this far I suggest you try it.

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sprucetip from Alaska, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of socon67
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Amber to brown pour. Opaque look with a clingy tan foam head. Slight carbonation is noted.

S - Scents of malt, cherries, Belgian yeast, toffee, and candy sugar. By far one of the oddest and most interesting combinations I've come across.

T - This is a rye beer? The fresh rye taste is there but is dwarfed by a strong sweet malt flavor. Cherry cordial is there which ends in a slight boozy finish.

M - Slick feel and has a raspy bite. Light feel. The richness of flavors did not make me feel like I'd have more than one.

O - Interesting beer and one I'd go back to. A nice example of what's possible when a brewer goes beyond conventional boundaries.

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socon67 from New York, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of mactrail
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Swig from the bottle and it's like a cold steel barrel between your lips. This is a big mouthful of fighting flavors. Beautiful copper-tinged golden color with a nice head in the Morte Subite globe. Sudsy light mouthfeel with a hint of menace in the sweet hot alcohol. Fruity and vanilla aromas.

This needs a scorecard to check off all the flavors. It's a little boozy, very sweet, grainy, hot, bitter, and woody. Rather astringent after some sipping. Deep tongue-numbing barrel woodiness. Burnt sugar with a whiskey chaser. Or maybe a barley wine Depth Charge with a jigger of orange bitters. Actually this grows more likeable, I have to keep upping my score, but it's a challenging brew.

The grainy taste seems intensified by the heat. Moderately bitter as you sip, but the aftertaste bites back. I'd call it more of an IPA than a Belgian, though it is rather sweet followed by the dry tongue-wringing experience.

Aftertaste is bitter as Lenny Bruce. However, for the hop fiend, this has much to offer. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

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mactrail from Washington, Feb 18, 2014
He'Brew / Cathedral Square St. Lenny's from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 218 ratings