Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The folks at HE’BREW/SHMALTZ BREWING often hint at greatness (Jewbilation 12, Genesis Ale), and this time they full-on deliver. BITTERSWEET LENNY’S R.I.P.A. is “conceived for the nation’s radical beer junkies”, and I guess that would be me and you. It’s a rye-based double IPA, brewed sweet and full-bodied and very clean. It’s a rare double IPA that doesn’t stand up and proclaim “I’m a big-ass, ultra-hopped IPA”, and this one mutes a lot of the expected, overt hoppiness in favor of a general “bigness”. It’s an extreme beer, sure (served at Jupiter in Berkeley in a smaller, “you can’t handle too much of this one” glass), one that’s slightly boozy but not in an off-putting way at all. Bready and thick, this could almost pass for a barleywine. Must be the malts – they’re amped up and really rich, and yet the general feeling you get after that full-bodied feeling is one of balance. Just an exceptionally put-together beer, easily the best I’ve had from these folks. 8.5/10.


HomeBrewHawk said...

He'brew comes up with enough winners that you can forgive them for some of the experiments that go wrong. You also have to give them props for trying different things. The Jewbilation 11 was amazing IMO. Huge malt body. The Lenny's is really nice as well.

Zak said...

Hey guys. This is Zak from Shmaltz Brewing. Thanks so much for the enthusiastic review. I agree with you all the way (I might be a little biased). RIPA is one of our most popular beers, and I think it's pretty outstanding. Glad you agreed. Also really glad to see that Jupiter's been carrying it. They've got a great thing going on over there. Anyhow, thanks for the support. L'Chaim!!