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Coney Island Sword Swallower - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coney Island Sword SwallowerConey Island Sword Swallower

Educational use only; do not reuse.

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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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rmalinowski4 for this bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours a fairly-clear golden-copper color with a single-finger white head and a bunch of spotty lacing on the way down. The nose carries a lot of caramel plus some bready notes. Faint earthy hops in the background. The flavor is carried by bready malt and is followed up with a fair amount of sweetness and quite a bit of caramel. No real hop flavor, but a fair amount of bitterness in the finish. Medium body and moderate carbonation. A bit of slight alcohol in the finish as well. A worthy brew.

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that slowly faded away.
S: There are light aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose.
T: A slight amount of sweetness in the initial taste is followed by a light amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer isn't difficult to drink because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

Photo of brentk56
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a frothy cap that leaves the occasional bits of lace

Smell: Bready, with herbacious and grassy hop bitterness

Taste: Bready, up front, with a buildup of biscuity and spicy rye malt and herbacious/grassy hop flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a resinous, almost menthol, hop character that persists through the finish; some malty sweetness lingers as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, but prickly, carbonation

Drinkability: All these different varieties of hops and the result is just not winding up in a place that I find particularly enjoyable; another interesting but, to my palate, unsuccessful beer in the Coney Island series

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apricot mixed with a shot of pineapple juice. Several streams of incredibly slow moving bubbles can be seen rising within the liquid, to bump into the underside of a wonderful looking crown of alabaster colored foam. Thick sheets of shotgun-blasted lace show that stickability is on the high side.

Too bad the nose isn't as impressive as the ingredients list. Any beer that contains eight different hops (Warrior, Northern Brewer, Palisade, Crystal, Fuggles, Goldings, Cascade and Amarillo) should smell better and more distinctive than this. I get slightly sweet pale malt and a hint of herbal-earthiness.

Sword Swallower has a little more going on with respect to flavor. Whether it's enough to earn a 4.0 is doubtful at the moment. Let's see what the rest of the bomber has to say for itself. So far, I like Albino Python better when it comes to Coney Island Freak Beer. Having said that, I'd much rather date a blonde who can swallow a sword(!) than a brunette who cavorts with snakes.

Pale and wheat malts dominate. The toastedness of the Vienna is appreciated and there may even be a slight spiciness from the rye malt. Balance reigns supreme until the finish. That's when the hops assert themselves, although it's more in bitterness than in flavor. Since CISS tastes English in some indefinable way, perhaps Fuggles and Goldings were added with a heavier hand. Orange and lemon zest appear late and almost result in a flavor score increase.

The body/mouthfeel is nothing short of incredible. If big lagers are done right, they're unmatched in terms of sensory... er... sensuousness. This one is both firm and smooth, like a polished gemstone. Who knew that Sword Swallower would be such a delight to swallow?

This Schmaltz Brewing Company American pale lager is clearly well-brewed beer. However, my enthusiasm is kept in check by the abscence of a major flavor hook. More Crystal, Cascade or Amarillo (better yet, all three) is the obvious fix.

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like a good hopped up lager beer like this one,I want to see more on the shelves!Poured a light to medium golden with a some hazes peach to it, a nice fluffy one finger white head atop.A great mix of hops in the nose ranging from herbal/grass to citrus,there is also a noticeable caramel presence there as well as a tinge of iron.Flavors start out like the aromas with a big mown grass and herbal profile melding into light citric flavors,a lightly toasted and sweetish caramel flavor comes through in the finish.Just a real nice American hopped lager.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, effervescent, copper body with a thin, bubbly, white head.

Smell: Citrusy, spicy nose laden with hops and lesser notes of pale malts, fresh dough, and light caramel sauce.

Taste: Pale, caramel maltiness with a medium sweetness and a background hint of grain-packed bread. Juicy, oily tangerine taste. Peppery, spicy, citrusy hop character with a medium-high bitterness. Light touch of alcohol warmth. Long, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A classy, hopcentric lager, it paired rather nicely with a spicy pepperoni pizza and a few Tevo'd episodes of Cold Case. As part of the Coney Island series, it came in third for me after the Lager and Albino Python.

Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle. As usual for this brand, lots going on all over the breadth of the label, the motif seeming to promote a return to the days of literal carnival sideshows, which, given the high-level ingredients spec list of 8 different hops and 4 different malts, may indeed prove to be the (at least, figurative) case.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden orange hue, with one finger of lazily foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves fairly solid radio-form lace around the glass as it duly fades away.

It smells of grainy, toasted pale malt, a bit of saltine cracker, a hint of acrid lemon and orange citrus, and peppery, grassy hops. The taste is more sharp, almost metallic citrus notes, a grainy, kind of dry biscuit malt, a touch of pine-sol, leafy, grassy hops, and a noticeable edgy, boozy warming.

The carbonation is a bit peppy at first, but settles into a fairly sedate groove soon enough, the body a near medium weight, mostly smooth, and maybe a tad creamy, and airily at that. It finishes rather dry, more than a bit warm, ethereally grainy, and confusingly hoppy (steely strong, or steely metallic?).

From all angles, this seems like a nice hoppy, biscuity pale ale, but one injected with unregulated beer growth hormone. The mixture of earthy and grassy hop essences, and dry metallic character, contributes to an overall sense of unbalance, if a weirdly tasty one at that.

Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, light copper color with a small, bubbly/foamy, white head. It left some soapy residue/lace.

S - It smelled sweet and fruity (maybe some floral notes).

T - This had a good roasted malt taste and spicy hops. It was fairly sweet, too.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This was probably one of the hoppiest all-malt lagers that I've had. Pretty good.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded amber golden hue with a large off white head fine speckled lacing forms thick. Aroma has some harsh metallic hops and sharp citrus/lime notes. Sweet pale malt background, fruity highlights seems interesting. A lager that drinks like an IPA, hoppy delicious bitterness amongst pale balancing malts, excellent concept I burp up fruity hop notes this stuff could be really drinkable. Honey coated palte malts with earthy grapefruit rind bitterness, mouthfeel has a nice carbonation with medium bodied slick hop oils. Drinkablity overall was nice a beer I ccould see drinking on a regular basis, I didn't feel that way about most of the Coney Island sampler pack.

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the new Coney Island Craft Lagers line from the Shmaltz Brewing Company.

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold with a finger of foamy brite-white head. Retains decently with a thin fizzy layer that leaves some spotty lacing behind. The aroma is a nose tingling medley of hops (with Amarillo being the most noticable) mixed with rye notes and malt sweetness.

The taste is a constant biting hop bitterness that pairs up well with the dry rye notes and underlying malt sweetness. Finishes very dry and and bitter on the palette. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a poppy and crisp carbonation that nicely compliments its hop bite.

This is another well done lager from Shmaltz with tons of hops and rye notes and a great drinkibility for a 7% beer. I would definitely visit this again.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a thin crems head. Nose is thickly sweet with a noticeable malt backbone. Flavor has a bit of a bite to it. A bit much, but still interesting. Sweet tone really keeps things going. Feel has a biting carbonation. Liquid is a bit thick, but still about right. Nice one here. Not really that bad at all. Worth a shot.

Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes:

Pours an effervescent apricot/gold with a finger of pearl colored head. Average head retention & above average lacing

S: Lemons & breadyness, plus floral hops as this warms

T: lemony hops, slight grainyness & dryness up front. More citric hops, grainy bread & grapefruit hops are all evident as this warms. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied, spritzy, skews hoppy, but it works

Drinks easy, but the hoppyness would grow old after about 3 pints

Photo of mactrail
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Attractive amber color with a decent head in the big Duvel tulip. The carbonation does fade a little, but it's fairly spritzy on the tongue.

Crisp and plenty hoppy enough to give it some backbone. Some piney and flowery hops but bitterness is restrained. Light body. Just a touch of toast. Otherwise, not much distinctive flavor. Perfectly quaffable.

I guess I don't know how the lager yeast affects the flavor, but it tastes like a light IPA or some variety of Pale Ale. Maybe they could do something about that Steam Beer style. Must be a new bottling as I haven't seen the stuff for some months at least.

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 WesWes
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice pilsner malt scent along with a less than stellar hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a light pale and pilsner malt flavor along with a good hop taste. It's quite bitter, hence the Steel Hop Lager name. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I was expecting better because the He'Brew beers are so good, but this drinks well regardless.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a thin, white, creamy head that leaves trailing lace.

The smell is of citrus/resin. Nice, though a tad muted. Some grain in the back.

The taste is lemony citrus - hoppy with a firm malt backbone. Some wheat tang mixes in, in an interesting way. Sweet, spicy and bitter all in the balance.

A nicely hopped lager. An interesting, different brew.

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