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Coney Island Sword Swallower - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coney Island Sword SwallowerConey Island Sword Swallower

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

381 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 381
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 9
Gots: 8 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 06-10-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 381 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- The beer is slightly hazy pale straw yellow. The head is very frothy and tightly nit.

S- Smells clean and refreshing. There is a nice hop smell to this adding to the clean smell, yet there is an earthyness to this as well.

T- This is tasty. Has a great hop taste up front with this buttery taste that helps mellows everything. Then comes this huge bitterness from the hops at the end. As for a lager there isn't a traditional lager yeast taste.

M- Good mouthfeel, the bitterness sticks with you for a long while after.

D- Easy to drink, nice and clean with a dirty earthy side.

Wetpaperbag, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am a fan of this one. I've only tried two so far in the Coney Island line, but I would recommend this right away for summer enjoyment!

Dark yellow to golden beer with a small head. Aromas of bready malts with citrus hops to balance out. The tastes really reveal the hops in this beer. Citrus and a bit grassy, too. A bit of metallic, but that is overrun by the honey sweetness that pulls through. Mouthfeel is light but decent bitter residuals linger. This is a good hoppy lager...I would definitely buy it again. The label also kicks ass!

washburnkid, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dense, off-white head. Quite hazy, almost like a hefeweizen. Light amber color. Leaves bountiful lace after each sip.

Displays nice balance in the nose. The hop has a touch of grapefruit to it. Inviting neutral pale malts.

The flavor starts with slightly sweet, pale grain. This quickly gives to a spicy and bitter hop flavor. This lasts through the swallow and the long aftertaste. Full-bodied with an average level of carbonation.

Afterthought, I'm surprised at the lower ratings for this beer. I find this APA to be well above average, superior really.

smcolw, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of dudemuskie
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, from a 22oz bottle.

Appearance: Hazy straw/golden color, off white head that builds, and builds, and builds...HUGE ROCKY HEAD! Rocky and hangs 'till the last sip!

Aroma: Slightly sweet, green, slightly grassy, with citrus notes, lime stands out. Somewhat floral, but fairly clean.

Flavor: Starts the same as aroma with hops up front, then a splash of malt fills the mouth only to quickly dissapate in a dry finish with slightly grassy hoppiness mixed with mineral notes. Faint honey sweetness lingers- teasing the green hop/mineral dryness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to high carbonation with a medium/light body. Leaves the mouth slightly dry, with a touch of sticky sweetness.

Overall: Delicious, but not as hoppy as one would expect with 8 different hops! It most certainly is a lager, and retains those characteristics quite well despite all that is going on in this beer. Quite refreshing!

dudemuskie, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of jsh420
4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
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

jsh420, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of caddybuyer
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz Bomber into an oversized wine glass.

A-Unfiltered medium amber with a very thin head that settles to almost nothing. Not terribly impressive looking.

S-Clean citrus zesty smell, almost rind like.

T-Sweet citrus malts start the taste, then twangy hops kick in Tht finish lasts forever and leaves a lingering bitter hop note on the tongue. This is very nice.

M-Medium mouthfeel. Well balanced overall.

D- This is a very drinkable brew, and one which I would definately buy again. Lager? I guess, but this one definately tastes and drinks like an ale.

caddybuyer, May 26, 2009
Photo of BMoney575
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on 5-15-09

Pours a very pale and cloudy orange color, with a thiny and filmy head and small bits of lacing.

Smell is all grassy and earthy hops, very light and bitter.

Taste is liquid hops. Immense bitterness and grassy hop flavors dominate. The malt is almost completely absent, except for a slight breadiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice, but sharp carbonation doesn't help the bitterness.

Drinkability is poor, the flavors are just too much.

Overall, the style says it all. Hop lager.

BMoney575, May 16, 2009
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale amber pour with little to no head with
patchy lacing.

S: Good hops, very floral overtones with your
supporting cast of malt, grain, etc. very
understated. Though the hops are distinct
they are not strong.

T: Good hop bite; lightly floral nothing over
powering. Interesting hybrid of lager and
IPA? Not necessarily my flavor but I'll try
anything five or six times.

M: The mouthfeel is clean with a crispness to it
which is nice and a bit of this beer's
savings grace.

D: Good body allows for the brew to go down
smooth and refrehing. I like the composition
but the character leaves a bit to be desired.

ArrogantDeadGuy, May 14, 2009
Photo of SurlyDuff
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow amber with white head that sticks to the glass pretty well.

Aroma is barely noticeable, slight graininess, bit of metallic hops. Definitly getting the noble/English hops in here. Bit of a macro euro lager in here.
Enough flavor in here though, for sure. I'm getting some sweet pineapple, some apricot and other herbal notes. It's got some unique flavors in there, but nothing amazing. Bit chewy, and the metallic notes are kind of a turnoff. It's a bit thick and resinous for a lager, it reminds me of a stone pale ale or something. If it was a blind tasting, i wouldnt call this a lager, its neither clean, nor quenching like I expected. It's coating and high alhpa bitterness that makes me thirsty for a sip of water to cut through it.

SurlyDuff, May 06, 2009
Photo of merlin48
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up this 22 oz bomber for a good price at Green's in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. I'm usually a fan of the Shmaltz guys quirky offerings. This one pours a hazy medium orange body with a skimpy offwhite head that leaves some scattered lacing.

Aroma has some grainy malt and sharp resinous hop notes of pine and lemon rind.

Mouthfeel is light medium with solid carbonation. An earthy hop bitterness is a bit distracting.

Taste is bitter hops. Earthy, pine, and lemon rind notes dominate. No significant malt presence emerges to offer any balance. Finishes dry and bitter.

Label proclaims this is a "Steel Hop Lager". I'm not cure what that means but I'm not a big fan of the hops used here and I certainly could have appreciated a bit more of a malt balance. Not one that I would visit again.

merlin48, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of EPICAC
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Spitzer's Corner in NYC.

Pours a hazed, light copper color. Topped by a fluffy, white head that fades to a quarter-inch layer while clinging to the side of the glass, leaving good lace. The aroma is hoppy. There are peppery and leafy notes with a bit of citrus. There's also the undertone of fruity sweetness.

Mild breadiness upfront gives way to a lightly sweet character. The malty backbone continues to be prevalent through to the center, but is overtaken bit the hoppy finish, which has notes of citrus and pepper. The sweetness becomes more prevalent overall as the beer warms. Medium-bodied and highly carbonated.

A tad sweet overall, but nicely hoppy.

EPICAC, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Labeled as a steelhop lager.

A: Poured a clear, tangerine orange with a sudsy, off white head, 1 finger high while displaying only a modeate retention dissolving to a sparse bubbly topping. Visible carbonation was very light and found the coloring to be pretty orangey for a lager. Left a weak splotchy lacing.

A: a fresh lemony/orange peel aroma moderate in strength, and considered fairly strong per style. Certainly seems to be living up to its title of steelhop lager thus far.

T: The initial flavor was tart and citric with sour oranges and a decent flowery hopping which left a dry, pine needle hop fade. The hopping overall was moderately strong, especially considering the style but faded rather quickly off the tongue and didn't find it to be particularly exciting. Dry sour orange peels with a flowery hopping best sums this up. The 8 different hops only muddles the flavor up taking away from any distinquishable character or flavor and seems to break the adage of too many spices or chefs hand in the pot. This proably would of faired much better and tasted better if 3 key hops were used, the others were just wasted effort and had not contributing factor.

M: yielded a light viscosity with a slight carbonation leaving a tingle and a dry flowery coating behind.

D: Drinkability was only marginally above average as well all around enjoyment. Worth a drink, but not necessarily repeat material.

beerthulhu, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of AgingWarrior
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy golden color into my Duvel tulip glass. Nice finger of foamy white head.

Smells like grain and malt.

Taste is malty on the first hit on the tongue, the finish is funky. Hard to describe, but it wasn't particularly pleasant.

Medium carbonation, light in body.

Easy to drink, but I really didn't want to finish the 22oz bottle. I wouldn't drink this one again. Very disappointed in this offering.

AgingWarrior, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of xxHelderxx
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured it into a snifter, probably not the best glassware choice but I just got it and would drink water out of it because its so sweet hahaha.

A rather aggressive pour resulted in a pretty thin head that faded quickly. Minimal lacing after my first few sips.

The color is a dark golden honey with a few wisps of small bubbles trickling through it.

The nose is rather boring. Malts are present and detectable, along with some spiciness, but other than that nothing is jumping out at me.

Taste is a lot better than the nose on this one. Starts off well balanced with the malts again making their presence known. It remains nicely balanced and smooth right until the finish where the hops character of this brew comes on pretty strong and leaves you with a nice sour/dryish taste on the tongue.

The mouthfeel of this beer is very nice. Smooth as silk, no carbonation sting or overbearing dryness. The transition from the balanced intro to the nice spicy end note is very enjoyable.

This beer is drinkable for sure. I could have a couple in one night and not think twice about it. While there could be a lot more going on in the scent department, and a bit lacking in taste, its still a well balanced and drinkable beer.

Not sure I would buy it again, but I would recommend it to a lager fan.

xxHelderxx, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of SRossman
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great golden color. About halfway between a pilsner and amber.

Definitely a full flavored lager. Not the most complex but it offers a very nice malt body and modest hop presence that makes for a very balanced, highly drinkable beer. The kind of brew you could put down all night. Not sure which hop varietals went in but I think I can taste saaz, which normally would turn me off but it works for me here.

SRossman, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of twbrewer
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured a yellowish/gold color very little head,pretty plain looking.

S-Interesting,pungent hop aroma and nice malts noticed.Had a very light metallic/bitter scent.

T-At first it was just like the smell,even the metallic part but as it warmed the hops and malts became sweeter and the bitterness faded away.

M-Medium bodied lager with a dry hoppy finish.

D-At first I didn't like where this was going but as it warmed it became a pleasant drinking beer.I would make this purchase again.

twbrewer, Jan 20, 2009
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.

allergictomacros, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shmaltz- Coney Island Sword Swalllower

A- Bright hazy yellow with a big thick soapy white head. Small ringed lacing.
S- Lemony, orange peel, pineapple,and a metallic twang?!
T- Sweet lemony/ pineapple tartness with a metallic touch. Cascade hops push through and give a decent piney hop bitterness.
M- Sweet and fruity up front with a decent hoppy bitterness. As it warms a juicy hoppier flavor and feel come out.

Overall- Sweet up front hoppy bitter in the end. Let it warm up a bit.

NJpadreFan, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of Beaver13
2.13/5  rDev -40%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden yellow with a frothy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar.

The aroma is sweet sugary fruity biscuity malts and honey with some grassy metallic hops.

The flavor is sweet sugary malts and a little fruit followed by a big metallic, burnt plastic bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thin to medium and kind of watery.

Overall, not very pleasant. Treacly sweetness with odd bitterness didn't jibe well. It does get a little better as it warms and I get through the bottle.

Beaver13, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/9/08. Bottle. Pours a clear orange with a thick foamy white head. Aroma of light fruits (some citrus, raspberry) and stale wheat. Flavor starts off a little shaky with lots of stale wheat, but then it gets a bit fruitier and citrusier with some light citrusy hops. Dry, wheaty finish. This beer has some nice flavor, but I'd like just a little more! Still, pretty tasty.
6/4/7/3/14 (3.4/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 26, 2008
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.

jwc215, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. into Duvel tulip on 12/7/2008

Full-finger eggshell-colored, doughy head topping a pineapple-honey body with a bit of haze and fair carbonation. Lacing is sparse to moderate. Not a bad package at all.

Wow - the grain really stands out - raw, stewed pale malt and maybe some caramel in there. Hop presence is slightly Germanic...a little piney silage. Well-balanced across the board - a little fruity ester, too. Softens with a little warmth.

This is straightforward and even-handed. Saaz-ish pine and silage hops provide poignant bitterness up against soft tones of boiled malt. A little husky on the back end...light but there's a little complexity after a while.

I like the palate feel of this quite a bit...the upfront hop bite gets a crash mat from the heavy malt presence. Finish is a little tight but still enjoyable.

Solid lager - crisp and clean (no caffeine) and a good, moderately innovative effort for sessionability.

IBUnit63, Dec 09, 2008
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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a fresh citrus hop and a grainy malt.

The taste consisted of a vibrant citric and herbal hop with a slightly sweet and doughy malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very tasty and highly drinkable lager, considering the hefty ABV.

plaid75, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer, no freshness info, which would be great for this style beer. Pours clear lighter amber, under a long lasting off white head and leaving prodigious amounts of sheeting and scattered lace, Fresh hop nose, minty and piney.Flavorful, hoppy and thoroughly enjoyable quaffer. Clean and refreshing, well crafted and highly enjoyable. A pleasant surprise.

Billolick, Nov 14, 2008
Coney Island Sword Swallower from Shmaltz Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.