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Bettersweet Lenny's Rye Based Double IPA

Shmaltz Brewing Co's Rye Based Double IPA

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Bittersweet Lenny's Double IPA -- clever words on the bottle, do they tell the truth?

  • Dec 19, 2010

How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Pours very thick and brown like a standard brown ale, mostly clear and a light head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • The label says "Brewed with and Obscene Amount of Malts and Hops" and the smell is equal amounts bitter hops and sweet malt.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • It is a hi-grav beer (10%) so for the way my tongue works it begins to cross over from beer to wine territory, meaning the flavor gets more complex.  It is far more sweet than bitter so the obscene malts beat the crap out of the obscene hops for flavor dominance. 

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Very full bodied, it pours almost like syrup and has the same heft and texture of a stout.  As hinted above and will be covered below, the taste is very complex so I couldn't call it clean on a dare.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL $12 for four-pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Quickly before the wider comments: I toyed with rating it as low as +1 but thought better of it -- drinking one while writing will do that.  It is a very heavy beer, not something to "pair" with anything.  Using the theater driven theme of the marketing:  the hops are present and try to stage a comeback in the aftertaste but the overwhelming malt-ness stops the comeback from being successful.  It is easily worth the money for the initial four-pack, but whether stick with this hi-grav or try another ... I would recommend trying a new one and coming back to this one later.  If available, I'll buy it again, but it won't be tops of my list.

Shmaltz is the company behind the brand name He'ebrew "The Chosen Beer."  My funny bone is too pronounced for me to let any He'ebrew go untasted (I will eventually get to reviewing their other beers, but their availability is spotty).  But I have to say that I get the sense with this one that the recipe was adjusted to meet the billing instead of the other way around.

The marketing people had a field-day putting the box and bottles together.  "Lenny" is Lenny Bruce and the box claims the beer to be Shmaltz Brewing Company's "Tribute to Jewish Stars" No 1.  I was discussing with a friend that I think this brew was created backwards--the marketing people needed an ingredient starting with an "R" so they could have R.I.P   A, on the label.  So it seems the brewers added "R"ye which was added as part of the long list of malts used to make the beer.

Whose going to be second banana (and if they try to create a second banana-stout ... I hope I didn't germinate an idea of any kind -- [backspace-backspace-backspace-backspace].

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Paul Savage ()
Ranked #56
I name and describe everything and classify most things. If 'it' already had a name, the one I just gave it is better.
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