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Coney Island Sword Swallower - Shmaltz Brewing Company

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Coney Island Sword SwallowerConey Island Sword Swallower

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389 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 389
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 9
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kegatron on 06-10-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lumikuuro
4.97/5  rDev +40%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

650ml bottle.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy, deep orangey gold. Thick, very slightly off white head, receding to a foam and then rebuilding as the beer is drunk, leaving impressively heavy lace.

Aroma: This is exceptional. Lemony, soft hop, slight sweetness, very European. Excellent achievement as this is the only lager I've ever had from North America that doesn't smell like it's from there.

Taste: Lemony soft malt profile with lasting, peppery, slightly grassy, slightly piny bitter hop finish. Really beautifully balanced.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full, smooth soft.

Drinkability: Very easily drinkable. The 6.8% abv is very well hidden, maybe dangerously so. In British Columbia I can't get what I believe to be one of the very best lagers in the world: Staropramen. This reminds me of that beer a lot, with its lemony soft malt profile, and I can see this beer generating the same mountain range of head if served on draught. Sword Swallower has more bitter finish.

This is as good a lager as you're going to find that's brewed outside of Europe.

Photo of bort11
4.58/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tall hefe glass. Tall white and sticky head has an amazing staying power. A solid half inch cap stays all the way to the last sip. Moderate chunks of lacing. Clear golden amber color with tons of carbonation activity.

Smell is a sweet citrus hop bomb with a clover honey malt back bone. Taste is also quite the hop bomb for a lager. Sweetened grapefruit mixed with a mildly grassy hops. Malt character is like a sweet sticky bun.

Mouthfeel is soft and fluffy. There is carbonation, but it's not prickly. Smooth and easy to drink.

Wow, a hop bomb lager! I really like this a lot.

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of Leviathan_USBM
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of shand
4.45/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

I picked this one up primarily because of what it said on the bottle. An "IPA-style lager?" Sign me up! It doesn't hurt that it was a new arrival at one of my stores, and I tend to pass over the Coney Island line due to questionable freshness. It pours a nice, slightly hazy golden color with large ample carbonation fueling a large head that retains fairly well. The aroma is also very interesting, I can smell the citrus and slightly earthy hops over a pale malt backbone. Boom goes the hops. This is really a hop bomb, with pale malts providing the backbone the hops are really given center-stage. It's super-bitter and very hoppy, although it's not quite on that level of quality, it does remind me quite a bit of Ruination in terms of a sheer hop punch. There's a bit of graininess that I'd expect from the style, as well as a bit of toastiness and nuttiness on the backend.

The mouthfeel is nice, it's medium bodied and perhaps a bit too smooth, a bit of roughness from the carbonation would be welcome. The drinkability is very good, the ABV here is completely hidden. A great lager for the IPA fan, I can't help but think the poor reviews here are because the Coney Island line is fairly slow-moving and they don't freshness date on the bottles, only the cases.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.45/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very faintly hazy straw/gold with a big sticky head of foam. Forms excellent rings of lace.

S - Lots of hops - citrus/grapefruit in the forefront. Bit of sharp honey/maltiness.

T - Light grainy body with a big, indeed steely hop. Grapefruitiness is muted and bitterness takes over with a bit of a chalky and pine edge. Quite dry with some up front acidity. Long quite bitter finish.

M - Fairly light body with a lively carbonation.

D - Interesting and very drinkable brew. Not as "juicy" a hop as a typical AIPA, but has it's own brand of hoppy depth.

Photo of FishMan123
4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from a BotMC and it was the hit of the month. I really liked this beer. It's very hoppy with a lot of bitterness. It reminds me of Stone Ruination.

A: Pours a golden amber with a thick, robust head. Head disolves slowly, lacing the glass and leaving some foam until the end of the glass.

S: Instantly hits you with a bitter hoppy aroma.

T: Excellent if you like bitter, hoppy, beers. (I do.) Lots of hops, nice overall flavor.

M: Clean, not excessively carbonated.

D: A rich beer. I wouldn't chain drink these. One goes down nicely though.

I would definately buy this again. Recommended!

Photo of jsh420
4.35/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours cloudy yellowish orange with a pillowy 1 finger head that leaves lacing all down the glass

smells of of floral and grassy hops with notes of lemon citrus

taste is a great mix of those grassy earthy floral hops - i dont detect any malt but it has to be there - it doesnt matter to me the beer is great - nice bitter finish

mouthfeel is almost perfect to me - smooth as can be - not a light beer for a pale it has a medium body

drinkability is also very good - i drank this 22oz faster then the 2hearted i drank before this and i love that beer

Photo of cvstrickland
4.35/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-ounce bomber with more nifty Shmaltz pop-art of a gal swallowing swords on it, poured into a stange glass yields a clear golden body crowned with 3+ fingers of fine-bubbled white foam that retains stubbornly and begins lacing the glass right away, Subsequent pours build the foam into a whipped cream consistency that retains throughout the drink, leaving foamy blobs and rings stuck all over the glass.

The smell of the drink is rich and toasty with plenty of spicy, fruity, herbal hops and a savory note of pale malt and vanilla-infused caramel.

The taste of the drink is toasty and wonderfully grainy, yet remains dry with a bit of unsweetened caramel and nutty, biscuity malt. Fruity hops help the drink to finish bitter and crisp, with a lingering bit of toasty malt. The label states that eight hop varietals are in the drink, as are four malts, but the beer's most distinct flavors are from the minority malt components. That's really not surprising to me, as it is something that, in my opinion, Shmaltz consistently does extremely well. A truly flavorful lager.

This is a really nice drink, and one I greatly appreciate after a long, hot, hot, hot day at work. Sword Swallower ™ is medium-bodied, substantial in flavor, and very refreshing. I have every intention of buying more bombers of this beauty on my next trip to the sto'.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed, mostly clear and yellow lager-y look, slim white head on this pour.

Sweet-ish, cereal-y nose at first sniff...clean and just a tad grainy. Good.

In the mouth, a buzz of hops, a brace of malt, long play on the palate, good stretch in the finish. Body is mighty full for a lager, I hesitate to even call it medium, it fills the mouth so pervasively at first sip. It smooths out, but never really quits.
Tons of hops in this, really one of the hoppiest lagers I've had in a long, long time. Probably only the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner compares. That's saying something.

Most of the popular and inoffensive lagers are prized for their lack of after-taste. This one's a hit for me because it does quite the opposite. Hoppy, tasty, deep, and dazzling, and delicious.

The Coney Island line-up is three-for three with me, so far.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.34/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The label calls Sword Swallower "IPA Style - brewed with lager yeast." So an IPL (India Pale Lager)? I love style-defying beers, or at least the idea of them. Let's see how Shmaltz does with this one...

Pours a hazed rust-tinged golden color, with a creamy head of foamy bubbles that looks just a shade off pure snow-white.

The smell is a treat. A sweet and hoppy treat. Definitely hop-laden, although neither on the pine nor citrus side of the spectrum. Smack dab in the middle really, although a resiny essence plays well on top of a peachy sort of sweetness, and also something resembling Cracker Jack's.

The taste wasn't surprising. Once I got my nose out of the thing and actually tasted it, I was well-prepared by the smell. Fresh, bright hops that nearly explode in the mouth, a candy-like sweetness, a variety of different fruit impressions, from peach to grapefruit to crisp red apple. Also a more tart character than anything the aroma hints at. Glazed doughnut and a pinch of honey. Bitter in the finish, like a kind of astringent yellow cake batter. The feel is tingly, crisp and well-carbonated, but not intrusively so, providing enough smoothness to keep this an easy drinker.

Like BrewDog's output, I tend to like Shmaltz stuff more than the average BA, across the board. This is a fantastic beer, refreshing like a lager but hopped nicely like any decent-to-great IPA. And hardly the confusing mess that some style-blurring beers tend to be. Hail Shmaltz.

4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into He'Brew Jewbelation vertical tasting glass.

A: Pours a light golden, copper hue, with a nice thin layer of foamy white head. The retention is quite well, which hold on through the glass. The carbonation levels are very active. Lacing is left in large layered swaths.

S: The aroma is a very rich action of hoppy citrus and clove. Grassy lager notes are also found. The aroma has a medium intensity to it and is blended nicely with all of the characters.

T/M: The first sip shows a well hopped body, with West Coast style. The juicy characters of the hops make a well rounded hop profile, while not being to heavy on the bitter side. The notes of a lager are very well hidden, but in turn it shows a very nice overall smooth mouthfeel and very light and easy drinkablity. The mouthfeel is crisp on the palate and the lingering taste is dominated by hops.

O: Overall I think that this is a very nice example of a unique style, blending IPA with Lager, and coming out very well. A very crisp and smooth IPA, with a high drinkablity and slight grassy notes.

Photo of thixotrophic
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from large 22oz (appx) glass bottle into a room temp glass goblet.
Served chilly right from fridge but allowed to warm in the glass, drank 1/2 the bottle in 30-minutes (+) before dinner.
Finished the second in the glass at room temperature ove the next hour or so to see how it changed (still enjoyed it).

Apearance: light amber hue in color. 1-inch bubbly white head, nice fizzle, not overly foamy.

Smell Taste: Smelled crisp and clean. Hop is noticeable in aroma and in mouth. Hop was strong, but not overbearing. Perfect balance of ale flavor and hoppiness. My wife even liked this one and she is a "fan of michelob ultra" (sob..sob.).

Mouthfeel: Nice and light on the toungue, hop gives it a pleasant pucker. Short finish, just right.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and reasonably priced for a beer of this quality. Would buy it again for sure.

I enjoyed the heck outta this one. It may be the target taste for my next homebrew attempt.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a strange)
A- This beer has a light crystal clear golden copper body that was just a bit dense and a thick bubbly off-white head that stuck to the glass. The head lasted for most of the beer with the support of a slow motion carbonation of tiny bubbles.
S- The fragrant slightly sweet malt aroma has some fresh crushed dry pale malt note too. The aroma of green herbal hops had a nice spicy quality to it and a green cinnamon note that grew as the beer warmed.
T- The sweet pale malt had some dry caramel malt flavors with it and a light buttery hint that came through as it opened up. The malt became more dry thanks to the carbonation. The finish was a nice green hop flavor with some pungency that lingered for just a bit.
M-This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a cleaning tight fizz in the finish.
D- The smooth malt flavors have a wet slate note and a nice depth as the hops have a good depth aswell. The crisp lager characteristics along with the good depth make this beer very easy to drink.

Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of PorterBoy14
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly smeared of chill haze medium gold hue and tone. Thin, firm, thickly set head of white foam sits well with a solid amount staying present. Big sheeting lace lays across the glass with might.

Aroma is clean and crisp with a very well handled hop tone of leafyness topped with a feathering of citrusy pine and dulled fruity sweetness.

Taste is quite nice with an over quick crispy grab and crunchy carbonation bite of toasty light pale and biscuity malts to start it off as the hops then take over. Long lasting leafy/semi grassy hopped dryness squeezes off the sweet realm with a strong lasting gleem of slightly pithy citrus and pine. It has a remarkably fine finish that lasts well and is appetizingly simple and clean within its dryness.

Feel is firm and crisp, crunchy a bit, and wholesomely set in a strong medium body and girth that has one hell of a lasting hoppified drying finish.

Sword Swallower is quite a good brew from He'Brew; simple, yet complexingly hopped in its dry finish and overall tone and character. Plus, I think its probably much easier to swallow then an actual sword?

Photo of pershan
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a clear honey-amber with a foamy, white head into a pint glass. The aroma was of citrusy hops and sweet malt. The taste was a very pleasant, full bodied hop flavor, dissipating into a sweet malt finish with a great hop bite. Good carbonation and lacing. This is one of the beers in their "Coney Island" series. The high ABV is masked very well, making this a surprisingly drinkable beer.

Photo of Ryan1423
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Ryen
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Crossmd
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at 42 degrees fahrenheit, into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy straw with an orangish core. Beautiful, thick whit head - 2 fingers high sits on top with great retention and gorgous lacing.

Smells of a well projected tangerine and pine with some metallic overtones. Layered and pleasant. Projects well.

Taste is an dry rush of bitter hops and sticky sour orange and pencil lead, with some supportive malts that sit in the center rear of the tongue. Orange/tangerine lasts long into the finish with a decent bitterness left from the hops. Dry and creamy with an excellent drinkability for 7.2% ABV.

Overall, a really nicely crafted Feels almost sessionable, it's so light. At $5USD a bottle, absolutely. I will be returning here.


Photo of corey0212
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a light-copper color, rocky white head slowly fades into a foamy ring around the beer, some thick patches of lacing left in the glass. Honey-like sweetness to the malt on the nose, very floral hoppy aroma...nice. Very hop-forward taste, grassy, herbal/floral tastes, and a nice malty sweetness. There's some citrus buried in there somewhere, and maybe even a trace of pineapple, and some aspirin-like bitterness....a lot of bitterness to this one, and I'm loving it. Crisp mouthfeel, really refreshing, but the lingering hoppy bitterness really means business! Super versatile, super drinkable, and very tasty!

Photo of hwwty4
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22oz bottle into my New Belgium globe. This beer pours a light, hazy, lemony orange. The aroma is lemony citrus with just a hint of orange. The aroma is slightly citrusy with just a kiss of bread. The taste is orange and lemon with toast and just a hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel is light. It would definitely make a great summer beer. I find this a easily quaffable beer. Also as a side note, I drink this regularly at my favorite beer bar, and I find that the hops are much more pronounced in the draft version.

Photo of thejewthatbrews
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber--->Pint glass

Honey colored lager. First sniff: lager aromatics (not a great description, I know). Second sniff: clean, slightly spicy hops. Tastes slightly rye-spicey, with light caramel, and peppery hop bite in the finish. Somewhat low body for a 6.8% abv lager, good thing IMO. Very drinkable, would buy again.

Photo of cagocubs
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into pilsner glass. One of the coolest bottle caps I may add.

A: Pours an apple cider dark gold/amber with a nice 1 finger foamy bone white head that sticks around and hugs glass.

S: Smells similar to many IPAs with citrus, clove, florals, and some grain.

T: Packed a bigger punch than expected. For a lager this was truly IPA styled. Nice hop bite with good tastes of spices. Floral with a nice warming finish.

M: Medium bodied with great warming and aftertaste. Nice mouth coating and carbonation.

O: I can't remember the last time I was blind-sided by a beer. I had little to no expectation for this one. A great blend of IPA/Lager. An interesting beer I will recommend to others.

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Coney Island Sword Swallower from Shmaltz Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.