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Coney Island Lager - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coney Island LagerConey Island Lager

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469 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 469
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 25
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 06-05-2007

Hybrid mashup of styles between European tradition, a very unusual malt bill and hops that nod strongly at American craft.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 469 | Reviews: 253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IntriqKen
4.78/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've rarely been impressed with Smaltz beers and am not a big fan of lagers anyway, but I broke down and decided to give this one a try.
WOW...am I glad I did!
Exceptional lager.
Everything balanced from the smooth slightly sweet malts to the bisuity yeast to the citrus finishing hops...perfect balance.
Aftertaste is just clean and dry...no lingering 'anything' except maybe the desire for another one.
I'll be looking to buy more of this one...especially in the warmer months.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a moderately orange amber. A modest head up top has some body and creaminess. It falls back evenly and leaves a notable wake of lace. A fine looking lager beer.

Aroma - a good bouquet of caramel malts, a touch of butter, Townhouse crackers.

Taste - toasty, biscuity and buttery ala ESB type beers. The swallow is clean and the hop bitterness is tasty. I imagine the hops and Czech yeast are delivering the pils flavor at the finish. The final flavor is a good blend of the buttery malt and the spicy hops. After a few nights of hot or miss beers, finally one that sits well with me. Ahhhh....

Mouthfeel - solid feel, a hearty lager indeed. Crisp and clean, right on target.

Drinkability - I forget what I paid for this, but if it's not too much I'd love to share some of these around this summer. A delightful find.

Photo of largadeer
2.42/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark amber, a shade or two darker than a Vienna lager and with a reddish tint. Head retention is moderately good, leaving a spotty lace on the glass.

Smell - Not much aroma, even at warmer temperatures. A metallic smell is noticeable along with notes of lightly toasted malt.

Taste - Caramel and toasted malts, burnt toast, mineral water. The finish begins toffee-like before eventually giving way to the spicy bitterness of hops. The aftertaste is slightly harsh. For a beer boasting 14 different ingredients, there's not much going on here. It's certainly not bad, though.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with semi-crisp carbonation. Not far off from a pale ale in body.

Notes - At almost $5 per 22 oz bottle, I can't see any reason to seek this out.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours with an almost three finger thick, light tan colored head. The beer is brilliantly clear, but is a nice red color, which I wasn't expecting, when held up to the light the beer shows a red-hued, copper color. The aroma is a nice mix of fruity hops and sweet malt. The hop character, while somewhat soft, has a real nice mix of spice and herbal notes to it; touches of cinnamon, hints of sweet basil and perhaps a touch of lemon grass. Soft, sweet malt character that is lightly caramelized and has a touch of berry-like fruitiness to it (though this is most assuredly contributed by the hops as well) is found up front, while the finish has notes of crushed soda crackers and dusty malt to it. The aroma, while somewhat subtle overall, is really quite nice; I really am enjoying the interplay between hop and malt and how much each of them bring to the aroma.

Lightly sweet as it hits the tongue for the first time, the beer quickly picks up a nice herbal hoppiness as well as a soft, nip of bitterness. Underlying caramelized grain notes and sweet grain contribute a slight body to this brew that provides a palate coating fullness that I was not necessarily expecting of this brew (meaning it drinks a little bigger than its 5.5% might suggest). This has a ton of malt and hop character; herbal, almost mint-like, fruity with berry notes, touches of bergamot, slightly astringent / green hops in the finish, biscuit notes, crushed soda crackers, chewy bread crust and perhaps a touch of grape-like or honey like malt character.

Quite clean tasting (as a good lager should be), but it has a nice full flavor of malt and hop character. Really the only thing keeping this from being incredibly good is that the hop character gets a touch too astringent and green in the finish. This is definitely a really pleasant surprise, I wasn't expecting much when I cracked the top of this brew. I have no idea what "style" this beer is, the interesting use of American hops here puts this in a category of its own, but it is quite tasty and certainly worth tracking down for the lower-alcohol lager lovers out there.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice, orangey-copper body with a full, frothy off-white head. Tiny-bubbled effervescence.

Smell: Mild, toasty caramel maltiness with a touch of graininess. Bright Saaz noble hop bouquet with further notes of grass, citrus, and floral to enjoy as well.

Taste: Light caramel and pale maltiness with a slight toastiness and sweetness. Lemony, grassy, even herbal hop flavors with a medium bitterness is fast on the malt's heels, though. Hint of orange. Floral, fruity finish with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: That being said, I defy any person with a soul to not enjoy this Vienna.

Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Victory Becker pint glass.

Pours a clear amber color with a big poofy light tan head that retained and laced very nicely. Aroma is mostly fresh hop character and some malt sweetness.

The taste surprisingly bitter up front with hops and citrus giving way to a malt backbone of bicuits and sweetness. The mouthfeel is a light medium with poppy carbonation and a crisp finish.

The first time I became aware of this beer was on a hot Sunday afternoon last August, when I saw bottles of this for sale at the Coney Island Freakshow but they had just sold out. Well let me tell you, this would have been a perfect beer for that hot summer day. With a nice fresh, crisp taste and easy drinkibility, this would have gone down very nicely and it still does, even as I sit here on a cold ass day in January.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thought the brewery (or contract brewery) seems more of a gimmic than a serious contender, all their beers are quite nice. The various malts used in this beer give a complex sweetness, a meaty-ness to the malt base, and a balance of cereal grains. The various hops certainly give enough bitterness to balance the malts, while contributing an herbal, tea-like, grassy flavor that becomes soft and pleasant. Fruity esters of peaches, apples, grapes, and oranges give the beer a much needed spiciness and shadows the grain flavors throughout the finish. Lingers with the tea / herbal flavors with a crisp, dry-malt, refreshing note.

Being heavily involved in architecture and urban design, I appreciate the fact that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer go toward the stabilization and preservation of Coney Island.

Photo of Hoppington
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I am sitting having a beer in my favorite beer bar in NYC, when who do I find myself sitting next to but none other than Matt Polacheck from Shmaltz! Nice guy. He was kind enought to turn me on to Coney Island Lager after I lamented how much I wanted to try Shmaltz' He'Brew Lenny R.I.P.A.

A nice copper colored lager (rare to my eyes) with a heavy malt nose with a hint of toast/smoke. Almost crosses into ale territory, with a rich mouthfeel for a lager. Drinkability is excellent to my tastebuds. The beer label art on the bottle is nothing short of superb too. I am giving this lager high marks because it stands out in a crowd of jaundice, boring lagers.

I wouldn't hesitate to order this fine caramelized dark lager again in the future. The beer crafters at Shmaltz are now seriously on my radar and I hope to try more of their offerings in the near future.

Thanks Matt!

Photo of DogFood11
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle. Poured into a tall slender pils glass it has an easily managed light khaki, tight head. Light copper color and a healthy amount of carbonation is in full support. Appetizing appearance overall.

Nice refreshing start to this brew. Carbonation is zippy and cuts through the malt bill that leans towards a mild syrup. A bit heavy on the sugary sweetness but its quickly smashed by a rather large american hop presence.

Notes: I really enjoyed this. The combination of a zippy carbonation and solid hop bill really snaps this thing together.

Photo of stephendr
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. glass bottle- color of, amber, with a medium tan colored head - nose of mild malts, some soapiness , and subtle hops – taste of pale hops, ever so slight malts, and very mild soap - body is dry , and light , and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of mild hop, bitter, and dry

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at the cask festival at the Brazen Head a few months ago (transcribing off of notes) Pours a clear orange amber. Nose is grainy. Flavor is a bit more nutty than I remember off the bottle. Nice smooth feel with a definite silky edge. Very nice drinker.

Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep amber color with moderate slightly off-white head. Good retention.
Smell is pleasant, but light, with the combination of malt combining nicely.
Taste is also profoundly malty. It is sweet, without going too far. It is refreshing with a nice hop balance at the finish.
Finish is mostly sweet.
A nice easy drinking beer. Mildly flavorful.

Photo of mcallister
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep copper color displaying a 3 finger head and various sizes and shapes of of carbonation bubbles.

Sweet toffee, and carmel lead too big cereal grain and bready malts with a graham cracker almost nutmeg aroma. Some floral hoppy characteristics as well bring the malt to a halt.

Too much sweetness in this one is the first thing noticed, cloying on the almost. Hops help to tame the RS on the middle leaving only slight bitterness on the finish taking abandon to the malt. Malts tastes exactly how the nose was described. Thick with cereal grain, toffee and caramel with that similar graham cracker flavor. Mouth is a little thin as well. If this wasn't quite as sweet it would be much better.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from La Bodega, CA., purchased for $3.99 in December 2007, tasted on Christmas Day (evening).

Pours a clear dark orange/amber, darker than I expected. No real head to speak of; a thin cover that is fed by a small but persistent stream of carbonation keeps it around.

Aroma is of caramel malts, bready and with a fine sour hop ending. Flavor is the aroma profile, but much richer in the mouth. A slight roasty, almost smoky note comes through the malt bill. Hop ending is evident to try and create some balance, but it is a touch too weedy/grassy for my tastes.

Mouthfeel is nicely rich and carbonated, probably the best part of this beer. A bit of alcohol burn at the end as well- more than expected for this ABV.

A decent beer, and happy to try it, but I was hoping for something a bit more balanced.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle a slightly cloudy amber gold with a small off-white head and just a touch of lacing.

Aroma is mostly light and malty.

Tastes of sweet malts and hops with a somewhat sour biscuit finish.

Light mouthfeel, slightly drying and light carbonation.

This is a very easy to drink red lager but not anything special.

Photo of RoyalT
2.03/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – The Coney Island Lager is almost red with an orangish hue and not much of a head.

Smell – It sure doesn’t smell like lager. There’s a really cheap, soda-pop kind of aroma to this one coupled with a hint of medicine cabinet. I can barely pick up some nasty grain but other than that it doesn’t even smell like beer.

Taste – Egad, this is horrid. It is so sweet I feel like I’m chewing a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. There aren’t any hops in here, which is understandable, but the lack of grain and a good malt base is depressing.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit bigger than light-bodied with a fizzle of carbonation.

Sinkability – A stain on the Coney Island name.

Photo of Romulus141
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the official Sam Adams drinking glass.

Appearance: Pours a wonderful golden amber with a white, fluffy head. The head started about two fingers tall, and then dissipated, leaving behind semi-strong lacing on the edge of the glassware. Overall, a very nice looking lager.

Smell: Nothing too strong here. There is a faint touch of malts to be found, along with a wheat nose.

Taste: Starts off bitter, surprisingly, with a background of grapefruit. It quickly gives way to the sweeter malts, which have a biscuit-style flair to them. The finish is crisp, and leaves no discernible aftertaste. This lager has some character, and fulfills my desire to have a tasty, yet simple beverage.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light and carbonated, and quite crisp.

Drinkability: Given the simple, yet subtle nature of this brew, it is quite easy to drink. I could easily see making this a session beer, if I ever saw it on tap anywhere.

Overall, a good entry in the lager category, a genre that needs more unique and compelling beers.

Photo of CortexBomb
2.68/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Medium orange pour with a 1 inch white head on top. Smell is malts and caramel, biscuits, and a strong hop profile, much more strong than standard for the style.

Taste starts out surprisingly bitter (grapefruit) and then segues into a smooth malty underbody. A spicy bite is present as well. There is also a somewhat astringent back of the tongue bitter which became more pronounced as the beer warmed, and which hurt the overall taste score.

The mouthfeel is average for the style, drinkability, not bad, but the astringency means this is unlikely to be a rebuy.

The bottom line: A decent take on the Czech PIlsener style. Nothing particularly remarkable though.

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Table & Vine, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear amber brew. Head fades slowly, with sporadic bits of lasting lace. Aroma is lightly malty, with some floral hops character. Taste is biscuity malt upfront, nicely balanced with ample fresh hoppiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, with quite nice drinkability. Nice pils-style, with a bit more oomph in the malt area.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle

Pours a clear amber color with a fluffy white head that maintains. Thick lacing on the glass. A very pretty beer, but doesn't look like a pilsner.

Very faint aroma of malt with maybe a hint of hops.

Very light taste. A hint of malt, medium bitterness, and a bit of hop flavor, Very clean and dry. A thirst quencher for a summer day at the park.

Light body, zippy carbonation.

Easy enough to drink, this one is meant to slug down and not put too much thought into it.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear deep amber body with a thick yellowish off-white head that last a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- This beer has a pretty clean smell but the note of green pine hops with a faint grapefruit zest note increases as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a soft toasted malt flavor with a dry caramel malt note and a hint if biscuit coming through as it warms. There is a sulfury dry Noble hop bite finish with some pine resin flavors lingering after each sip.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight clean finish.

D- The malt is a bit soft in the smell but has some nice flavor. There is a good complexity to the grain bill with some big bitterness at the finish. It sounds exciting but I just found this beer a bit boring.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light citrusy hop atop a grainy malt.

The taste consisted of a solid doughy malt and a light and utilitarian balancing hop. Very well balanced.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side for the style.

Overall a very well balanced and easy drinking beer. However, the beer drank more like a Vienna Lager than a pils.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, served in a pilsner glass.

A - clear, light amber color with a 1"+ tan head that settled to a ring, leaving some rings of lace.

S - somewhat sour, hoppy aroma.

T - very tasty beer, bitter hop and malt flavors are well balanced with a dry, bitter finish.

M - medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

D - Coney Island website has abv at 5.5%, which makes for high drinkability provided you're drinking responsibly.

Final Note: cool bottle label.

Photo of aforbes10
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from City Wide in South Bend. Pours orange to terracotta. Lacy, doily-like head is khaki to off-white in color. Looks surprizingly dark for what i was expecting. Smells buttery and tangy, notes of lemons and brussel sprouts(!) Taste is more bitter than expected, like an APA. Slightly sweet malty flavor with distinct hop bite. Not too crazy, but admittedly unusual in its presentation. Medium bodied. A good drinker, but nothing special, i dont think.

Photo of nortmand
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear with a deep caramel color and a lacy white head.

Nice caramel malts in the aroma. A bit of hop there and maybe roast.

Light astringency in the flavor, more caramel a bit of bitterness. Pretty standard.

Not really a Czech pilsener, pretty thin, all the character is wrapped up in the caramel.

Coney Island Lager from Shmaltz Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 469 ratings.