1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Coney Island Sword Swallower - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Coney Island Sword SwallowerConey Island Sword Swallower

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

366 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 366
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.04%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 06-10-2008)
View: Beers (40) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 366 | Reviews: 206 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of u2carew


3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.
A) Pours with a two finger head that slowly settles to a tight and creamy head with sticky lacing on the drink down. Mostly clear body, copper in color.
S) Subtle caramel aroma. Orange peel. Pleasant floral notes.
T) Sweet caramel followed by a bold hop bitterness. Grainy undertones. Grapefruit rind. Lingering bitterness in the finish.
M) Fizzy but creamy. Medium body. Tannins.
O) A good brew. I'd definitely have another one.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 01:22:56 | More by u2carew
Photo of SirWilliam666


2.13/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Really worse then I expected. Smell is almost non-existant. What is there smells a little soapy. Appearance is about the only thing I can give it any points on. Light amber in color. Very bubbly. Nice white head. Flavor though? Very off. Not hoppy at all, and they are calling this an IPA? Almost get a bit of a Bock taste someplace in the middle, but it is quickly lost. Leaving this beer only a small step above nationals. I love the He-Brew line, but Coney is not impressing me.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 07:37:48 | More by SirWilliam666
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 18:21:33 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of dgilks


3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy golden colour with a smooth, off-white head. Decent head retention.

Bright, floral and citrus aroma with some sweet malt. Mild honeyed notes. Okay but nothing special.

Slightly sweet malt with a floral, mildly citrussy hop character. A touch flabby on the whole with a slightly odd back note from the hops.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation.

I just don't get this beer. The hop character seems okay but then dissolves into a herbal, medicinal mess with the flabby malt completing with a fair amount of fizz.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 10:54:45 | More by dgilks
Photo of eric5bellies


3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review # 500

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a slightly cloudy Golden colour with a tight two fingered head that reduces slowly to a lacing film.

S - Not much going on except some sweet grain.

T - Up front some delicate grainy flavours before a nicely structured hop presence. The finish is a little sweet and bitter.

M - Medium carbonation and light to medium body.

O - Nothing that will blow your mind, but a well structured, easy drinking, flavoursome beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 13:55:45 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was light pale golden. Close to an inch of head.
Lots of lacing on the top that stayed for a long time. Healthy bit of film on the sides.

Smelled of citrus and pine hops. Some caramel malts in there, too. Lemon zest leads the way on the citrus. Buttery sniff as well.

Initial taste was buttery malts, followed by a bitter aftertaste. Nothing too flashy, but nothing too good.

Medium body. Lively carbonation (moderate). Bitter aftertaste.

Not a big fan of this beer. This was for sure the worst of the four Coney Islands I tried.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 06:32:51 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows lots of diacetyl, toffee, honey and faint bready malt. Not much in the way of hops. Smells more like a bitter than an IPA.
Flavours include some hop character, mainly pine and grapefruit, pretty plain. The heavy malt and diacetyl remains. The finish is overwhelming with a sharp, aggressive bitterness that's pretty abrasive.
Could use more carbonation, body seems pretty syrupy.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 09:45:49 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of richkrull


3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy dull bronze color with an inch of fluffy white head on it.

Smell is malty with a hint of yeast and spice.

Taste is spicy and malty throughout. Good flavor.

Mouthfeel is light-medium. Pes down pretty smooth. Fairly carbonated.

Overall a pretty good beer. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 02:06:25 | More by richkrull
Photo of alpinebryant


3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a healthy white head with a light pale malt body.

S: Strong hop presence, more than I had expected and a lager. After seeing this for a few years on the shelves, I was sent one from a gifted beer club. Not a bad time to try it I suppose... Funny how a label will make you avoid a beer.

T: Strong hop presence here, just like in the nose. Also a healthy caramel presence / strong crystal malt flavors. I thought I picked up Simcoe, a few noble hop varieties and maybe Northern Brewer. Not a bad mix of flavor hops in here and plenty bitter to match the strong caramel flavors.

M: Medium body for a pale lager, heavy body for a lager , medium carbonation.

O: Not bad at all and better than I had expected. Sometimes after avoiding a beer for so long, it will find you and make you drink it.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 22:40:18 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of Crossmd


4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
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.


Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 01:10:55 | More by Crossmd
Photo of Tschnab

New York

3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden pour is topped by a clumpy white head and good lace.

S- lots of sweet malt, honey, and hops.

T- much like the smell. There is also bread and apricot. The malt is bitter, the hops are fruity.

O- A malty IPA basically. The concept is cool, an IPL! Lagers are not always this hoppy, but this one is great.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 02:05:09 | More by Tschnab
Photo of ADZA


3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey hue which leaves a two finger head with sporadic lacing,the smell is honey,floral hops and boiled candy,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and has tastes of sticky redgum honey,caramel,flowery hops and finished with a bittersweet mix of doughy bread,lemon and pine and overall very sessionable and would drink again cheers.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 06:38:27 | More by ADZA
Photo of MattyG85


4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into He'Brew pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and clear amber orange with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Decent two layer white head that fades into a patchy layer. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Aroma of lager yeast with grapefruit and orange citrus hops. Solid presence of caramel malts. Hops are very noticeable but blend in with the malts. Smells a lot like a IPA with more of a bready malt presence.

Taste: Sweet and fairly hoppy. Lots of sweet and bready caramel malts blend in with with citrus hops with some grapefruit and orange flavors. Also some hints of pine resin and floral hops. Tastes hoppy but the bitterness is kept mild by the heavy amount of malts and lager yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very crisp and smooth. Somewhat creamy and dry.

Overall: A tasty and interesting beer. Tastes a lot like a pale ale. Hops are very present but somewhat muted by the sweet and bready malts.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 05:13:18 | More by MattyG85
Photo of BeerNutz324


2.88/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ap- hazy light amber in color. Faint head with not very good retention.

Ar- Fruity, orange or citrus smells. Doesn't smell overly hoppy to me. Lager yeast is definitely present.

T- Lager yeast is the first thing you taste, then some orange/citrus flavors. The aftertaste is probably the best part, the hops seem to pull through at the end.

M- Nice carbonation, crisp, medium feel. Almost a little sticky.

O- Decent beer, but the lager yeast is something I guess I don't really care for. Maybe it would be better if I was more used to it. An interesting mix of tastes though!

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 19:16:06 | More by BeerNutz324
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Wine 101 in Wake Forest

Pours a hazy orange with half inch of head. Great retention. Obvious lager yeast in the nose as well as a very nice citrusy hop character. Taste is more complex than I expected; citrus and pine hops, mild fruitiness, and lager yeast. The lager yeast let's you know this is not your typical IPA style beer, but the decent hop character does a good job of pushing in the right IPA direction. Mouthfeel is crisp, medium bodied, and very smooth.

I like the thought here. The lager yeast was a little too much for this to be awesome, but a nice go of it all the same.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2011 09:30:43 | More by tdm168
Photo of FarmerJohnny


2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours an amber color with a thin, foamy head that dissipates quickly

S- Strong hop presence. The lager yeast comes through a bit. Hints of citrus and grapefruit

T - Fairly clean at first. The lager yeast definitely dominates the pallet. Little bit of grapefruit undertones. Hoppy, IPA-esque bitterness on the finish. From start to finish, its a mess of contradicting flavors

M - Very clean, medium body

O - What caught me was the IPA lager tag (IPL if you will). Having tried it, I'm glad I bought it, but a standard IPA would have done much better. If you're looking for hops, try Stone's IPA. The lager yeast kills this one with a strange and unwelcome flavor and mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 01:18:44 | More by FarmerJohnny
Photo of cagocubs


4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 02:05:46 | More by cagocubs
Photo of scottfrie


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a glowing burnt orange color with a huge, fluffy, off-white head that took forever to fade into a thick film that left sticky rings of lacing down the glass.
S: Big notes of sweet candied orange, orange zest, orange-cream, and citrus hops. Smells like a fruity ipa.
T: Follows the nose with sweet flavors of candied orange and bitter orange zest. I also get roasted and spicy flavors of caramel and roasted malts with maybe even a hint of rye. The finish has touch of bitterness from and notes of leafy, citrusy hops. The hop profile is so strong I cannot pick out the lager yeast.
M: Medium-thick body with a slick, heavy mouthfeel and bubbly carbonation.
O: Tastes like drinking an above average ipa due to the copious amounts of hops added. Goes down easy, and I would recommend it you’re a lager lover looking to get into ipas.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 22:51:18 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Justin23060


2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark golden with a one finger head that quickly disipates. Smell is unique to me. Hops have an almost fruity smell not the pine or citrus that I'm used to. The malt come through, which I appreciate. Taste is kind of all over the place (not in a balanced way though). The astringency makes the linger very short and the alcohol is somewhat boozey and sticks out a bit. When I first heard of the concept of using lager yeast in an IPA (an IPL if you will) I thought "that's neat how come lots of brewers aren't doing this?" After tasting this I can see why. I'm not choking it down as the name probably suggests, but I won't be getting it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 05:33:35 | More by Justin23060
Photo of goblue3509


3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellowish golden color with a skim head. The aroma is of citrus and clove, grapefruit and oranges mostly present. The taste has a bready, biscuity malt backbone. That gives way to a slight citrus bite before finishing with a floral and piney hop bite. The bite is pronounced and much like an ipa. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it is an interesting beer the taste did enough to keep me interested. I would go back to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 18:21:48 | More by goblue3509
Photo of justintcoons


3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear gold with 1/2 a finger of foamy head that dissipates quickly. Decent lacing and it looks like almost no carbonation.

N: Lots of grapefruit, caramel, biscuit and a little floral hop aroma.

T: Again there's a whole lot of grapefruit, sweet caramel and biscuity malts. This is followed by some nice pine and floral hop flavors that travel into the finish.

M: Medium-full bodied, creamy, somewhat sticky and dry.

O: The IPA bitterness is right on the money. The hop flavors seem to be a little muted because of the Lager yeast but yields to an exceptional smoothness. If you're looking for grapefruit flavors, look no further.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 01:34:16 | More by justintcoons
Photo of DrDemento456


3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a golden dark honey color, lighter than expected for an IPA with a half inch of sticky white head. My goodness the head is sticky to boot!

S - Lager yeast gives it a bit of rough grain and it doesn't smell too hop forward, just a bit of pine in the background.

T - Huh it tastes rather funny. I get an aggressive bit of bitterness mostly from the lager yeast making it taste kind of grainy. The hop bitterness tries to take it on the finish but it gets even more bitter. No real malt finish to balance it out, kind of blah and bitter.

M - Light to medium surprisingly easy to drink.

Overall I am glad I remembered I got a 12oz for 2.50 since I was about to get a bomber and that's really too much. Really don't like this brew since I don't really like lagers and adding it's yeast really made this beer a bitter mess.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 04:05:45 | More by DrDemento456


4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 15:17:34 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, pine like hops. In the taste, starts pine to orange citrus like hops. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine like hop in the aftertaste. Feels more like an ale/ IPA than a lager. Nice hops and quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 14:17:29 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden brown color and a mostly clear consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A citrusy aroma, with hints of malt and almost a bready quality.

T: Tasted of citrus (orange, mainly), with some malt, hops and that bready quality. An interesting flavor that wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: In general, American Pale Lager is a weak style, but this is a drinkable example of one.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 13:15:03 | More by avalon07
Coney Island Sword Swallower from Shmaltz Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.