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Beer Review #133 He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA

I’ve heard a lot about Shmaltz Brewing Company when I first got into craft beer. I believe the main reason for this was because of their humorous names for their beers (He’Brew the Chosen Beer). I haven’t been able to find any of their beer around me until recently. I found that somewhat surprising considering that the beer is brewed Saratoga Spring, NY. When I saw a bottle of He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA at the beer store recently I decided to grab it up. The beer is named for Lenny Bruce, a Jewish writer and about a dozen other things.

He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA is a double India Pale Ale brewed with rye malt. This monster rocks in at an impressive 10% ABV. I’ve really enjoyed most of the rye beers that I have had in the past, so I probably would have purchased this beer had it been from anyone, not just Shmaltz.

This RIPA pours an amber color and it has an off-white head. The nose was a bit different than what I expected. It pours out rye aromas along with some caramel. The hops are there, but they are not the star in the smell department. As the beer warmed (or perhaps I warmed after a bit of drinking this thing) I found the hops aromas showed themselves more.

On the first taste I really noticed the hops. They were spicy but smooth and powerful. I really dug how the hops combined to make this beer super drinkable. The malt was big on this beer as well. The caramel notes are there along with a good helping of rye. I really like the flavor that rye gives to a beer.

Being a double IPA this beer is thick. But, for being such a big beer, this one is surprisingly drinkable. I wished that I had purchased more of this beer as soon as I finished the bottle. I will surely be getting more the next time I go to the beer store. (more…)

Lubbock, TX Triple J Sampler Beer Review

Two weeks ago I was in Lubbock, Texas doing some job hunting during my spring break. Naturally one of the first things I did was look for a brewpub to visit. I found the Triple J Chophouse and Brew Company. You can check out their site here. Triple J is a nice place; it has some good food (a bit overpriced) and looked to have some promising beer.

09-03-19-01For a seemlingly upscale place, the table covers were brown paper. Kind of werid but I liked it. Anyway, onto the beer. I ordered the sampler which came with four of the breweries five beers, my server gave me a taste of the other one as well. From right to left you have the stout, cream ale, rye ale, raider red, and the smaller sample was of their IPA.

The cool thing was that they served their beers in little mason jars. The stout was pretty good; nice, roasty, and well balanced. I enjoyed it but it was nothing super special. A very good example of the style. The cream ale wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t very creamy with no head and a real lack of flavor. The rye ale was a nice treat. I love rye beers with their suttle flavors and this one was a bit different. The rye was really allowed to shine and it got better the more I drank. The Raider Red (Lubbock is home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders) was my least favorite of all of the beers. The website claims it is malty and balanced with hops, but I think it was way over hopped. There was a bit of nice malt upfront but it faded quickly with the hops. The final beer was the IPA small sample. As with the Raider Red it was over hopped, but it fits with the style. My problem was that it went too far with the hops. I like an IPA that has a little something else to offer, this did not. There was not a strong malt backbone to help balance the hops at all. Some may love it, I did not.

If you are in Lubbock for any reason (please don’t) then check out the Triple J. It’s not my favorite brewpub but it offers tons of different beers thoughout the year.