Coney Island Sword Swallower - Shmaltz Brewing Company
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Ratings: 375 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jameswaldo:
3.23/5 rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5
First off, why does Beer Advocate have the Shmaltz Brewing Co listed in California? The label on the 22-ounce bottle I just drank puts Shmaltz in Saratoga Springs, NY (though why they'd be there instead of Coney Island is another freaky fact). Anyway, the label is a fun addition to my beer label collection, and I've enjoyed other Shmaltz brews, so I had to try this "steel hop lager."
I bought this photogenic bomber ("AROUSE! your liquid curiosities AMAZE! your oral sensibilities INDULGE! your inner BEER FREAK") from the big bottle craft brew rack at the Ithaca Coffee Co's Gateway Commons shop, 311 Green St, while much enjoying a Thursday afternoon Ithaca Beer Co Cask tasting of their Flower Power IPA, July 15, 2010. It sat in my fridge "ALIVE" freaky sword stunting for a week, waiting for a home-made pizza to get baked to eat with it.
My first disappointment hit right away, as opening the bottle cap caused no pssst at all. I wondered if the bottle had not sealed? Pouring into a pint glass gave me a brief thin head, though, so I guess it was capped ok. A very cloudy honey amber color, with thin persistent lacy film of just barely there froth still had me worried something was off with this beer.
Smell revealed 3 of the 4 great beer odors: good piney hops, sweet malt, ethanol. No yeast smell at all, though.
Taste, like the smell, had a real nice complex balance of malt and hops. Still no yeast, however, leaving a hollow space in my mouth where that part of beer should be.
Mouthfeel thin and just barely carbonated. No way not to notice this lager is almost flat.
I wouldn't want to drink another Sword Swallower if this is really the way it's supposed to taste. Wish they'd put a Best Before or Brew Date on this bottle so I could have some idea if this one was stale or made this way on purpose. A dot-matrix batch code stamped on bottle bottom gave "4121005080758" as some sort of inventory control number; Shmaltz would do better to give us the brewing date if such brews go bad before we can drink them.
Serving type: bottle
07-22-2010 14:14:19 | More by jameswaldo
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured from the bomber into a pilsener glass. A golden yellow lager with creamy white head, somewhat milkshake-like, with a pleasantly assertive hop-forward aroma. Nose is floral, tropical, and somewhat spicy, with a subtle backdrop of bread-like malts. The tropical fruit (pineapple, guava, lychee) sweetness builds nicely and this is certainly a brew to enjoy on the aroma basis. On the palate, there is a delicate but flavorsome honeyed breakfast cereal and light molasses malt background propping up more tropical fruit and pine flavors, along with gooseberry, white grape, mustard salad green, melon, canned peach, and faint citrus rind. Finishes rather bitter and medicinal, with a little grain husk ... Dry! I am always a tad surprised by the combination of a fairly thin body, heavy carbonation, and assertive hop flavors that is unique to an "India Pale Lager". One keeps expecting to taste sweeter malts, more body, and more esters, and instead one gets naked, rather delicate hop flavor, some cereal grain, and a residual sweetness that you just can't quite grasp. This one showcases a solid array of different hop aromas and flavors, relatively unencumbered by the malts. I can dig it, not as a replacement for the usual but as a nice change of pace.
Serving type: bottle
05-28-2014 03:05:38 | More by CalgaryFMC
Coney Island Sword Swallower from Shmaltz Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.