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…)