He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. On RyeMay 1, 2011 Saratoga Springs, NY
Shmaltz Brewing Co.
Saratoga Springs, NY
Available: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, NB, NJ, NC, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WA, WI
Shmaltz ages this tribute to satirist Lenny Bruce in Sazerac Six Year Rye Whiskey barrels for over four months. This rye-aged version follows the 2006 release of R.I.P.A. for Shmaltz’s 10th anniversary.
Original gravity: 1092
This rye IPA is a favorite of mine already―spicy, crisp and solid―so the addition of aging in a Sazerac Rye barrel was intriguing. It hit like a whiskey barrel filled with grapefruit and bitter orange, the blend already well-integrated, and in the mouth you’ve got all that rye crispness and gripping bitterness burning through to a core of creamy vanilla and oak spice. The finish wicks up with a nice dry combo of hops and oak. Exhilaratingly brisk for such a big beer; a beautiful tension.
- Lew Bryson
“Obscene amounts of malt and hops,” as it says on the label, is something I can get behind, just don’t call it “extreme.” The nose certainly doesn’t seem out-of-kilter, with large amounts of vanilla and whiskey-soaked raisins beating down the spicy hoppiness. On the palate, there is more harmony, with gentle Mayan-style chocolate notes up front leading to a more muddled fruit-chocolate-oily hop middle and hophead joy on the warming and lingering vanilla-y finish. This has mellowed greatly since I sampled it last year and I expect it will remain a gentle giant well into 2012.
- Stephen Beaumont
Lew Bryson writes about beer and whiskey from his home in southeast Pennsylvania. He has a family and two dogs. That's all you need to know.
Once described as “beerdom's Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel, and how it all goes together.
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