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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)
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Ratings: 366 | Reviews: 206 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JerseyKirk

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy golden with slight reddish hue. 2 finger white head. Creamy.

S: Slightly fruity and slightly malty. Subtle.

T: Nice floral hop bitterness that lingers. Interspliced is a delicious malty juiciness.

M: Full bodied. Fully carbed.

O: Good drinking beer with bbq.

*Paired with a bbq burger with carmelized onions, mushrooms and feta cheese inside.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 15:37:33 | More by JerseyKirk
Photo of DarthKostrizer


2.15/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Look: Orangish yellow color with 1 finger foamy head and no retention

Smell: Some citrus hops alittle orange and a bit of sweetness from the malt

Taste: Burnt malt with a bit of citrus. Very acidic and was very hard to drink

Mouthfeel: Medium body lots of carbonation

Overall: This beer was awful. To date I cant think of a beer that was harder to drink than this one. It tasted like that acidic taste left in your mouth after you throw up. Just awful

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 20:48:21 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of shand


4.45/5  rDev +25%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 17:59:33 | More by shand
Photo of Franch

New York

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

a friend bought this as an interesting purchase on a bottle run. this was billed as a "lager" and was some strange hoppy pale ale/lager hybrid. it was really bitter, bordering on ESB territory, and strangely hoppy. it definitely isn't a lager. i don't know what this is. it was interesting enough, but i'm not sure i'd buy one.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 05:08:26 | More by Franch
Photo of Thorpe429


3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 23:31:05 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of IronCitySteve


3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a small white foam head that leaves a small film. Provides some decent lacing.

S: Very faint hints of citrus, apricots and caramel.

T: The taste was much more appealing then the scent. Starts off with a slight citrusy taste. A decent amount of grapefruit and pineapple hit the palate first. The middle has some bready malt and some sweet caramel backbone. The middle and finish are quite similar, with some citrus hops really coming to the forefront.

M: I want to give this a better score, but the carbontation is a tad prickly. But leaves a nice citrus bitter hop taste on the palate.

O: This beer is easy to drink, not overly complex. There is a nice malty back bone that balances out the hops of this lager.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 20:22:38 | More by IronCitySteve
Photo of PicoPapa


3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a clear light golden color with a very minimal amount of head. Tons of lacing. Aroma is bready and floral. Slight smell of citrus and sour. Taste is a bit different than it smelled. Floral. Bitter and pine flavors at the end. Pretty malty. Picking up on some orange peel as well. This does taste very much like a lager but just more floral. Very dry. It's not bad but nothing great. Borders on too floral. Overall, I tried it once and that's enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 04:19:16 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of thecarster1


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

a- bomber poured into a snifter, hazy honey coloring, one finger fades leaving a trail behind and uneven lacing.

s- pretty much a hopped up lager, citric and smooth, light on the malts, not outstanding but nothing bad to note here.

t- this is a solid lager here, nicely hopped and flavorful, crisp and dry, the 7% abv is nowhere to be found, moderately bittered and lingers, a bit sweet too which gets a little sweeter as it warms.

m- medium bodied.

d- nice, this isn't the most wonderful beer ever but i would certainly drink it again, it's a nice change of pace because most of the time i drink ales. great label artwork and bottle cap design as well.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 17:55:49 | More by thecarster1
Photo of THECPJ


3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, lemon, hops,

taste: little spice action, citrus flavors,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, with a dry finish

drinkability: overall not bad for a pale lager.


the CPJ

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 16:57:44 | More by THECPJ
Photo of spree92

New Brunswick (Canada)

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

A pale copper beer with a head that is almost non-existent. You can smell oily hops, citrus, grass and even a touch of white grape. A quick hoppy note on the front leaves fast and is replaced by a somewhat floral finish. Has an off flavor that I can't place at the time. A bit stronger than most American Pale at 6.8% but still very easy. Probably a much better beer during the summer months when you need one on the beach.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 02:04:14 | More by spree92
Photo of treehouse


3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

wheaty and hoppy with a quick bite of copper...lemony...7.2%...a good drinker..i am not going to bother talking about the way it looks...i'm drinking it, not staring at it...the hops are up front..there is a bit of sweetness that goes quickly...a decent drinker...

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 05:57:20 | More by treehouse
Photo of beersensei305


3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


A- a cloudly gold with a half inch white head a little bit of lacing

S-light smell malts and hop resin

T- malty piney grapefruit tartness at the back of your tongue when you let it evaporate

M- lots of carbonation, balance could have been better not as smooth as i was expecting rather bitter for a pale lager

D- enjoyable but not the best. I wonder if its smoother as a draft

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 01:09:24 | More by beersensei305
Photo of metter98

New York

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 02:02:38 | More by metter98
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint from a 22oz. Pours yellowish with a 1 1/2 inch head. Decent lace.
Smell: Not much there, with 4 malts and 6 hops I expect a little more.
Taste: Pale malts are right up front. The hops are grassy, herbal and a slight citrus. Better than expected but not great. A little over-ripe fruit in the background.
Mouth: Smooth, highly carbonated.
Drink: Schmaltz comes out with some pretty good beers between Coney Island and He-Brew, but this wasn't one of them in my opinion. Not a drainpour, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 04:31:23 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of tapman


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

Pours exactly a 2 finger head with a medium pour, color is Dark gold/medium orange, with a slight haze (yeast? hop oil?). Lacing is full and sticky. Not quite a pale lager, though.

Full, earthy hop aroma and some sweet caramel/biscuit malt. A little spicy pine in there as well.

A weird, extra-roasty biscuit flavor with resinous, grassy, clingy hops. Bitterness is large and pungent. Yeast is very clean, no esters or anything like that, though I always find fruity esters to be the component to blend big bitterness in the finish.

A little sticky and dry. Good lacing gives each sip a velvety quality.

This is a very drinkable beer and may be up there with other IPAs, except this is not an IPA. I applaud the experimentation, but I like IPAs with the ale yeast. This brew does pop the malt profile pretty well, which I attribute to the clean yeast. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 23:54:02 | More by tapman
Photo of tone77


3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to woodychandler for the trade. Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is rather hoppy for a lager. Taste also has considerable hops, some malts, almost more like a pale ale in its flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 19:03:11 | More by tone77
Photo of Durge


3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly cloudy amber color with a fair white cover that breaks up quickly leaving a decent lace. The aroma is of meaty malt and a polite skunky hop edge. The flavor is bold with malty watermelon sweetness and a nice dry grass hop bite. This is pretty tangy with subtle carbonation. It's a solidly medium body beer, aggressively flavored for a lager but pretty drinkable, well balanced, bright and tasty. It's smooth, and easily one of the best lagers a hop lover will encounter. A somewhat odd but likeable offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 05:45:49 | More by Durge
Photo of woodychandler


3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Betcha thought I was gonna say "CAN", dincha?!? Sike! Nope, I had a generous CouchSurfer who not only sprung for a short night out, but brought a 12-pack, to boot! Bee-yoo-tee-full!

From the bottle: "'My favorite for its depth & bitterness.' - New York Times"; "'Much more robust hop character than typical lagers ... it's a welcome spin on the style.' - Boston Phoenix"; "Dry Hopped IPA Style Recipe Brewed with Lager Yeast"; "Lager Freaks & Beer Geeks! Schmaltz Brewing Company unveils a stunning spectacle: the delicate balance of 8 hops gracefully thrust into the inner sanctum of 4 luscious malts. Astonishing in depth, dazzling in mouthfeel. A scintillating brewing performance."; "Proceeds help Coney Island USA, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, fulfill its mission to defend the lost forms of Ameri[CAN] popular arts and culture, leading the renaissance in Brooklyn's historic Coney Island neighborhood."

Once more, my pour was about as agressive as it could get without causing the beer to overflow the sides of the glass. This resulted in two fingers' worth of eggshell-white head with great retention. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a sharp grassy hop scent and my mouth began to water. Mouthfeel was medium with an immediate intermingling of grassy hops and yeasty spice on the tongue. Now, we're talkin'! I have to agree with an earlier reviewer that in the 4-variety sampler pack that this was the best of the lot. Finish was dry and slightly bitter, leaving me feeling like I had just tried to swallow a sword. Yum!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 01:56:29 | More by woodychandler
Photo of DoktorZee

Alberta (Canada)

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. No obvious best before date on the bottle.

A - very light amber in color and a little cloudy. Little to no head with no lacing. No carbonation. Uncertain what to expect based on the appearance.

S - familiar hops emphasis on pine and grapefruit. Smells nice and crisp.

T - dominated largely by a delightful grapefruit bitterness that endures for a while with some maltiness to even it out. Very nicely balanced and less intense than an IPA but stronger than the usual pale.

M - lacking a bit of crispness, could use a little more carbonation.

D - this one is very, very drinkable. I was surprised to learn it's 6.8% - seems dangerous!

This was a very enjoyable beer. Like the other Coney Island beers you can't really trust the label in terms of what you're getting; I was expecting lager, and instead I got a nice bracing beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 04:39:22 | More by DoktorZee
Photo of ferrari29


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

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into pint glass

A - Cloudy yellow body formed; frothy 1 finger head; good lacing w/ stickiness to the side; small amount of visible carbonation; did not retain very well

S - Light and airy clean lager smell; subtle nut malt and hop oak smell; not much of flowery yeast aroma; some lemon and fruits

T - Lemon fruit taste hits first as it washed over the tongue; light aftertaste, nothing bitter but dry and tart for sure; nice pine hop & malt blend

M - Creamy consistency; low viscosity; not much carbonation; OK balance of malt, spices, and hops

D - Quality brew; one of the better lagers I've had recently; would recommend to someone who's a hop-lager fan

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 02:05:10 | More by ferrari29
Photo of armock

New York

3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of hops on a bready malt base

T - The hops dominate the flavor with very little malt getting through

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation

D - This is a good beer that livens up the lager field its pretty much a hop bomb but I'm liking it worth picking up a bottle sometime

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 05:42:08 | More by armock
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very light golden colour, with just a hint of orange to it. Head is initially fine and solid, but dissipates to a film, much like many other lagers. Lacing is reasonable. Body looks relatively heavy, but for a 7.2% ABV lager, I guess that's to be expected.

Nose is pleasantly hopped with the greener end of the hop spectrum. Decent vegetative sharpness, which seems to speak "lager" to me. Little fruit, but the ripe hops compensates for this. Sharp, but pleasant.

Taste is a little more phenolic, and the sharpness here is a little more harsh. Initial clear palate, before the green hops cut through the centre of the palate with a slightly metallic, slightly chemical bite. Booze is noticeable given the light body, and it feels particularly prevalent on the palate. Feel is light, but sharp, everything accentuates the cutting nature of the beer.

I get it... Maybe? Sword swallower? It's a cutting beer, worthy of its name, but that doesn't make it more drinkable. The lagery body doesn't give it anything to latch on to, and the hops dose up little more than a swathe of lacerations. Average at best.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 02:34:19 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of thejewthatbrews


4.2/5  rDev +18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 23:17:41 | More by thejewthatbrews
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2010 18:17:42 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of ComfortablyBum

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first review. So excuse the brevity.

22oz bought at Harris Teeter poured into a beer glass. Thin head with lots of lacing

A - Cloudy and murky golden/amber colored

S- metallic reminded me of how wheat beers smell.

T- Sweet malty taste with lingering sticky bitterness

M- fizzy carbonation but not too much

D - Not really something I would drink a lot of in a row.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 16:42:04 | More by ComfortablyBum
Coney Island Sword Swallower from Shmaltz Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.