He’Brew / Cathedral Square Immaculate Collaboration II: St. Lenny’s

RATINGS: 118   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Brothers and sisters, I’m pissed! As one tends to do over beers, I’ve been talking smack with my longtime colleague and friend Brian Neville, brewmaster at St. Louis Missouri’s Cathedral Square Brewery, a disciple of Belgian-style creations. Collaboration perhaps Adam Louis birth Shmaltz Brewery? Like angel trumpets from heaven, he decreased the project shall be called, "The Immaculate Collaboration". He further proclaims we must do a monk-inspired version of our beloved Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA with Belgian yeast, naming it "St. Lenny’s." Mouth agape, I cry, "Dude, you bogarted my shtick!" That’s what friends are for, I guess - great minds drink alike - and for now, it isn’t my brewing (that’s Paul, Richie ad Mike), my art (Matt) or my punchlines (Brian) - but after nearly 17 years, it is in fact my own brewery (alone with the whole Shmaltz Brewing tribe). L’Chaim!

Please note this is the version brewed by Shmaltz (HeBrew), not the Cathedral Square version.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
trapped (2607) - New York, TURKEY - SEP 23, 2016
Draught @ Albion. Clear dark amber with small frothy beige head, faint vanilla aroma, low carbonation, medium bitter caramel-vanilla and bacon taste, alcohol undertones, smooth body, longish bitter caramel finish. Interesting, a bit on the bitter side.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
patrick767 (4038) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - AUG 13, 2016
bottle - Pours amber with a big, off-white head. It smells of citrusy hops and caramel malt. The flavor is similar along with some bready character, earthiness, and rye. Full bodied, it’s bitter but not as bitter as many IIPAs, probably because of the heavy malt bill. Very good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
nick76 (4387) - Tampa, Florida, USA - APR 22, 2016
The aroma is yeasty and sweet with citrus good. The appearance is amber with a foamy head. The taste is like the aroma. The palate is thin. Overall powerful but not that fun to drink.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
shigadeyo (3648) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - APR 2, 2016
UPDATED: APR 2, 2016 Tropical fruit, ripe fleshy fruits, oranges and lots of caramel; red orange color, mostly clear with a nice off white head; caramel layer on toffee on caramel, ample herbal spicy bitterness, spicy dry rye, dried fruits, leather, ; medium full body, smooth and chewy; damn good and arguably even better than the standard He?Brew Lenny?s Bittersweet R.I.P.A.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bnokk (502) - Lee, Massachusetts, USA - APR 2, 2016
APPEARANCE- light, amber color. nice head & lacing NOSE- distinctly Belgian style scent. FLAVOR- definitly an IPA, and definitly some Belgian yeast contributions. The rye really comes through on this more than most rye IPAs or other beers that use rye.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Niko100 (2771) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 12, 2016
Dark amber/cider color; Medium slightly creamy body; Aroma of yeast, fruit, some caramel, & spice; Flavor of sweet malt, yeast, rye, caramel/toffee, fruit, and spicy hops; Warm finish; Pretty potent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
tgncc (3113) - Bellmore, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2016
From All Island Beverage The aroma is vegetable, caramel, spicy. The appearance is clear deep amber. The flavor is vegetable, caramel, bread, spicy, fruity. The finish is spicy, fruity. Medium, medium thick in body. Nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
cbfobes (2881) - Quad Cities, Illinois, USA - JUL 26, 2015
Bomber picked up at the $5 clearance bin, tick. Pours a dark brown red with a HUGE head, like this thing exploded, pretty annoying actually, are is more sweet than anything else, rye and spices show through, flavor has a spice front end with a sweeter finish, really no hops at all, meh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ChadPolenz (1749) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - APR 30, 2015
From what I can tell, St. Lenny’s is Shmaltz’s “Bittersweet Lenny RIPA” fermented with Belgian yeast. I don’t believe the base brew was changed, as it is as much the malt and rye bomb as the regular edition, though the hops seem much less pronounced here. It’s also possible that what I’m drinking is a rather older bottle since I’ve had it on tap and it’s seemed a little more complex and robust. The Belgian character really doesn’t come through, but this is still a very interesting brew when viewed as an American Double IPA.

I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Shmaltz snifter glass. There was no freshness date. It came in a mixed 4-pack for $10 ($2.50 per bottle or $0.21 per ounce).

Smell: Malty sweetness; some vanilla; lemon lollipop. No Belgian esters.

Taste: For a supposedly hop-centric brew, there’s a lot of sweetness to this beer. It’s remarkably vanilla and woody-tasting, almost as if it were barrel-aged. Sweet amber malt mostly, some lemon flavor akin to hard candy (which is usually an indication of oxidation). The bitterness is so dank it’s almost cloying. Some notes of sticky resin can be found. There’s a fairly sold rye spicy bite on the finish, though it’s not as strong and bready as I’ve encountered before. It’s a little disappointing that there isn’t much in the way of noticeable Belgian characteristics that are often associated with the yeast esters. Perhaps a touch of perfume-like flavor and aroma; I think they’re actually obscured by the rye. As an eccentric variation on the DIPA style, this works.

Drinkability: Shmaltz knows how to make big beers drinkable and St. Lenny’s is no exception. The mouthfeel is quite big with lower carbonation and a bit of sticky sensation to the texture. Belgian yeast tends to create for a very spastic mouthfeel, but this feels more like an English barleywine in its delivery. At 10% ABV the alcohol is there as far as warmth, but it’s in no way distraction or overtly “boozy.” It finished remarkably clean, too, which is quite nice. I’m glad this is now available in 12oz bottles as it’s an ideal serving size.

Score: 8/10

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jimhilt (2573) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - APR 19, 2015
Pours a five finger white head that fades slowly to thin layer. Hazy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium body. Pine hop nose and flavor is balanced with the pine hops and malty caramel. Higher ABV is hidden. Lingering bitter finish. $4.95 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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