It’s the first Friday of the month, which means it’s time for The Session. This session we tackle the topic of anniversary brews, those once a year specialties where brewers get to show off what they’re made of. This month’s session is being hosted by Ray at The Barley Blog, so make sure to check out his site.
Writing this post was actually harder than I thought. Anniversary ales are everywhere and definitely not hard to find, but how would I distinguish myself? The recent Stone XII would be too easy of a choice, and I already wrote about the Deschutes 20th Anniversary Wit. Do I open one of the beers in my closet? Thankfully, with the help of a guest, I figured out the right brew.
I chose He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. This brew marks the 40th Anniversary of Lenny Bruce’s death, bittersweet indeed. This brew also marked the 10th anniversary of Shmaltz Brewing but I believe this is now a year round regular.
Lenny’s R.I.P.A. Pours a nice amberish red. Initially it’s a bit of a murky brown but this seems to change as the head rises slowly out of the beer, leaving a clear ale with a red sparkle to it. This is a very viscous brew, as it pours very thick, similar to chilled vodka. A honey colored head sits on top of this with a very sweet dark fruit and brown sugar aroma.
The label lists this as a double india pale ale with rye malt, but it is more like barleywine. The flavor is rich and peppery with less hops than you might expect from a double IPA. The sweetness again reminds me of a barleywine, as does the punch this brew carries, a solid 10%.
As it warms up to room temperature, the head begins to rise a little more readily with agitation and fresh pours and the complexity of the flavor increases, an excellent beer. I can tell that a little aging goes a long way with this one. This particular bottle has been in my closet for 4 months.
Completely unrelated to the beer, but related to the session theme, this coming Tuesday is my 2nd anniversary of getting married to my lovely wife. I mention her frequently on the blog. She isn’t a huge beer fan, and thinks of me as a big nerd for my love of beer but that is alright. Her favorite style of beer is a Belgian sour. How cool is that? She’s an awesome wife and mother. I love you Jen.