Coney Island Human Blockhead - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coney Island Human BlockheadConey Island Human Blockhead

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BA SCORE
83
good

279 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 16.16%
Wants: 11
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Imperial American Bock"

(Beer added by: getalife2k5 on 06-23-2008)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by joejost:
Photo of joejost
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured from a 22 oz. bottle with a very cool label of guy poounding nail into head.
looks like a nice dark copper amber.
smell is spicy with alot of other things I can't figure out.
taste is not what I expected. strong alcohol up front with spicy hot tingle in the mouth.
one and done for me, but I do enjoy other Coney products quite a bit.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is an interesting beer,the style could be in a few different categories.Poured a deep rinch bronze with a one finger sticky slight off white head that clung to the stein like glue.Boozy fruit aromas stand out most with just a passing iron note.Whoo the alcohol really hits ya from the onset on the palate,fruit and boozy is the best way to describe it, with a slight caramel edge,its flavors are decent and the mouthfeel is nice and full.This beer is dangerous,the sweetness is anticing,but man as it warms it gets to be a headache inducer,a good name for this beer.

Photo of braugon
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

Bright and clear, tawny-colored brew; crackling head drops quick to a thin lace. Sweet and bready malt aroma, nothing cloying, but it is a thick malty aroma for sure, with clean alcohol and faint ripe fruit. Slick and slightly syrupy for the first sip, the carbonation rolls through the semi-viscous liquid and lands with a mildly puckering backend. A heavy hand of malt to deal with, and with each sip, the layers begin to peel away. Light on the hop bitterness, and when the hop flavor kicks in, so does the 10-percent ABV with a very clean solvent tone. Maltiness is pretty complex with a thick, toasted sweetness, but the alcohol does wrap itself around it with each sip.

Sure, the alcohol bullies the taste buds around--hard not to, considering its size. Big on flavor, though not on an even keel, a little bit of Extreme Americana is on our breath after every sip. Look at this beer as a nightcap.

Photo of marvin213
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

It took me a moment to identify the 10% ABV on the label, and I'm puzzled about such a strong lager coming out of the bottle looking like a local amber or scotch style. It's dark for a lager and would be for an amber, but it's on the lighter side compared to browns--it is mostly translucent. Specific to lagers, it's the darkest I've encountered. The head is thin. Bubbles are mostly microscopic (i.e. a thin, whole layer), but a dozen or so big bubbles curiously hover around the glass sides. The bubbles are reminiscent of cultures in a petri dish. They help the beer look strong. Factor in the pale man in the top hat hammering a nail into his nose, and this beer looks kinda menacing.

Lot of malts in the nose. Maybe some pine cones. As I verge into the "what possibly am I smelling?" process, I consider peat. I don't know if there are actually swamps or anything like that up near Coney Island--maybe it's the Sarasota Springs I smell. Regardless, it smells like an earthy beer--not in an organic, pure way, but like a pile of mulch. The more I think about it, the more I think that's typical of an American Amber. Interestingly, the label just says "lager."

It tastes like an amber with double the usual amount of alcohol. The alcohol overwhelms even the malts. The warmth I get in the mouth and swallow is atypical of a lager. Often I figure that my smell detections are a shot in the dark, but my thoughts about peat moss are gaining confidence. It's like malty, alcohol-infused liquid mulch. As I keep sipping, the beer tries to grow on me (more moss and petri dish images). It's interesting, and I definitely like to credit that...but it's not really good. Maybe it's the alcohol, but it tastes most like a brown, then an amber, and lastly a lager. I guess an amber lager is what it is, but damn, it's strong. I also like to give credit for that. Nevertheless, if I went and sought out a bottle of lager, this would not align with expectations...and, unfortunately, it would err on the negative side of them.

Mouthfeel is warm (hello 10%), malty, and (as previously described) earthy. It's definitely unique, and I propose the best part of the beverage. Still, the alcohol in this amber lager has my mouth feeling barleywine. I like it, but, again, it's not what you're supposed ot get from a "lager."

The beer is too big for a 22oz bomber. Are lagers supposed to come in bombers? If so, should they be thick and heavy? If your answer is yes, then this is the beer for you. As I continue to scrutinize the label, I make note that it is a "tough as nails" lager. I guess that means it ain't exactly trying to be sessionable. Make what you will, but I'll set aside my second serving for later. This big beer packs an unexpected punch.

Photo of generallee
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1 pint 6oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has the ABV at 10% but there is no freshness date.

Appearance: The body is deep rich reddish orange amber color with good clarity. The head is light tan in color, thick and slow fading. On the way down the glass as I sip it leaves behind nice lace rings.

Smell: In the nose I pick up a big sweet malty bomb with a heavy boozy resiny pine character as well.

Taste/Palate: On the tongue there is bold malty grain sweetness with some fruit notes and deep boozy warmth. Hop flavor is right up there as well with resiny pine and citrus oil like flavor. Hop bitterness slowly cuts through malt sweetness and lingers on in the finish. Its palate has a thick full body and texture with light muted carbonation.

Notes: This is a very big concentrated beer with a heavy hit of alcohol at 10% by volume. It is a bit raw and this cuts into its drinkability.

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Mora2000
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a tan head. The aroma is very strong. I get a lot of toffee and dark fruit along with some alcohol.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of raisin and fig notes as well as some alcohol, caramel and toffee. The alcohol content is high enough that the drinkability suffers a little bit.

Thin to medium mouthfeel and slightly watery. Low carbonation.

Photo of far333
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Caramel copper colored with a thick and frothy off-white head that rises up to an inch of foam and slowly settles down.

Aroma of cinnamon and ripe stone fruits, slight metallic note.

Flavor of caramel upfront, notes of malt sweetness, just shy of cloying, followed by a smokey dried leaves flavor, some cocoa and a tangy finish that borders on acrid. Hop bitterness chimes in late, and a grapefruit and piney bitter lingers. Alcohol vapors rise up later.

Full and creamy mouthfeel, slightly tannic, alcohol warmth rises up the cheeks and vapors come out the nose. Average drnkability due to the finish that detracts from the experience.

Photo of Blackwolf
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A- Poured a copper body, with a khaki head. Little retention and lacing. There is an incredible amount of wild carbonation that made this beer look very interesting.

S- A big kick to the nose, lots of roasted caramalt, nut aromas and toffee/dark sugar. You can definitely pick up the alcohol content off the nose too... Seems aggressive based off the smell alone.

T- Lots of follow up on the palate behind the nose, you get your roasted nutty malt, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, some dry hop and a subtle alcohol bite as the beer opens up. Very bold.

MF- Thick/creamy heavy bodied, slick/smooth texture, the carbonation is medium sharp on this one. Lots of warming "ethanol" on the finish to compliment the dry hop.

O- Very intense. This is not an ordinary beer at all, but I guess this is what Shmaltz is going for!? This takes a huge toll on the nose and palate, so be prepared for an aggressive dopplebock. For the price though, well done. And a nice kick with ABV if you are into that.

Photo of glid02
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got to try this one courtesy of Darren of Shmaltz who told me that this was a barleywine style ale that used lager yeast - I assumed it was fermented at ale temperatures from his description.

Pours a clear deep red color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of sweet malts and the same aroma I found in their Coney Island lager, a combination I can only describe as partly hoppy and partly plastic-y.

Tastes good. Sweet caramel malts with piney hop flavors up front that segue into citrus hop flavors near the end of the sip. Light fruit flavors also drift in and out. There's a nice bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's just a bit on the thin side, but the good carbonation makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. It's certainly interesting enough to keep me hooked for a glass, and probably a bomber, though I think that would be enough for me.

Overall this was an interesting beer that piqued my interest in the Coney Island series again after a not so great visit by their lager. Worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a crystal clear but dense reddish-brown body with a thick tan head that last for much of the beer.
S- The caramel malt aroma is slightly sweet with a dry toffee aroma that grows and a pale malt and grain hint aswell. There is a faint butter quality the leads to a dry pine hop finish.
T- There is a nice sweetness to the fresh caramel malt flavor that is not cloying but is supported by a faint darker toasted malt underneath. There is a nice dry hop bitterness in the finish that lingers with the caramel malt.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a creamy head that adds a chewy quality to the beer. There is no alcohol heat noticed
D- This clean lager has a nice full-bodied malt profile with some nice sweetness supported by the dry hop finish. To easy to drink at 10% ABV.

Photo of richkrull
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of caddybuyer
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Schmaltz has some of my all time favorite labels. Strange bearded derby dude pounds a nail up his nose. Awesome.

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay chalice

A-Veiled ruddy dark peach color with a light tan head that settles rapidly. A pretty colored beer that is begging for a nice looking head to cap it off.

S-Fruits and malts, with apricot, peach and apple in the forefront, and caramel malts and alcohol bringing up the rear. Interesting and different, and totally not what I was expecting from this.

T-Hugely sweet, almost cloyingly so. The initial impression is a burned candy apple soaked in grain alcohol and spice, with hops kicking in at the back for a long bitter finish on the front of the tongue while alcohol warms the back of the throat. As this warms, there is a cherry note that comes through as well but the alcohol overwhelms all and detracts from the experience.

M-Good overall mouthfeel with adequate carbonation and body.

D-This is an interesting beer, and maybe I will try it again, or get another one to age and see if it mellows a bit. It just seems a bit to hot at present, but I have to give these guys credit for pushing the style limits.

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber. Gotta love Shmaltz's labels and themes - they rival Lagunitas and Sherbrooke on the fun scale for beer available around here.

This beer pours a crystal clear, dark orange brick amber colour, with a hefty three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy pale beige head, which settles at a veritably snail-like pace, eventually leaving some broad chunks of sudsy lace around the glass.

It smells of heady caramel malt, warm toffee, concentrated orange juice, brown sugar, earthy, leafy hops, and a subtle bit of booze potential. The taste is heavy bready/caramel malts and burst-through, new whiskey-like alcohol up front, a raisin and fig fruitiness, a certain ashy mustiness, and citrusy, leafy, earthy hops. The warmth in this 20-proofer can be sensed from start to finish, but is not overbearing, just like a comforting blanket against the intrusive cold (I imagine - it's damned near 30 degrees Celsius right now).

The carbonation is fairly mild, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, with a rather pleasant overall smoothness. It finishes well off-dry and weirdly crisp, whether from grain or alcohol, it's hard to tell, but the moderated sweetness is certainly here to stay.

A big boy beer, all right, and obviously pushing the limits of the style. Bocks can be 'imperial', sure, but I'm getting hints and effects that transcend doppelbocks and come closer to English barleywines - funny what agreeably drinkable booze bombs will do to a guy. Anyway, I don't think this, despite its full flavours, should be consumed in quantity - in case you start thinking of emulating the titular profession.

Photo of asabreed
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber into a pint glass. Says 10% on the bottle on the website, so it's definitely not 8.8%, and it'd be nice if the folks who write the initial review could get things right. More and more mistakes are all over the place.

Appearance: Billowing off-white head and a copper amber color. Head holds well enough, leaving spidery lacing and a few dots and clumps around the glass.

Smell: Slightly perfume-like, slightly malty, with some citrus, and fairly balanced, but the alcohol seems evident. I don't think they set out to make this into something folks would be dipping into to discern the bouquet. There's potential here, but as is there's not a lot I want to go back to.

Taste: This is where it gets weird. Malty and fruity and a bit of citrus initially, and then it turns bouquet-and-perfume-like, with citrus and flowers and mild fruits, and oddly enough a grainy, semi-metallic over-booziness and and bitterness sets in. Not necessarily too bad, but nothing what the finish should probably be. The alcohol at 10% is way overdone, and they seem to have been doing the kitchen sink brewing variety here. Not a beer to savor with its booziness, if you get my drift, because there's not a lot going on here in terms of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Oddly creamy and pleasurable and the best thing about the beer overall.

Drinkability: A bock? A double lager? A mishmash of non-balanced booziness, though there's enough to make it tolerable and interesting upon my first and probably only try of this brew. Would I try it again? No. But I'm glad I tried it. I'd stick to the Hebrew beers though, as they never disappointment. I'm still waiting for a Coney Island brew to really impress me, as this one definitely did not. Stick to Hebrew.

Photo of DruC4
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Snazzy-looking beer here...deep rusted red in color, which sits under a toasted light tan head...head is soapy, a little creamy looking, and very complementary to the color underneath. A chain of lace dots stick to the glass.

Aroma: think Double Bastard if it were a lager, because you get that same big hops-meets-cherry candy malt thing, with that special something-ness that tells you it's a lager: a certain adjunct-like sweetness--although this may not have been brewed with an adjunct sugar source, no idea -- and a trace of vegetable smell. Interesting and alluring. Can't wait to taste...

Wow, my kind of beer. Just bursting with flavor, carrying its own unique personality stamp. And big. The 10% alcohol is actually pretty tame. It could be considered a bit medicinal, but that's largely the very sweet candy-like malts talking and making this seem just a few steps removed from children's cherry cough syrup. The hops are bright and floral, a bit green/grassy, which seem to spar with the cough syrupy maltiness instead of coalescing with it. Bubblegum; mint; grapefruit juice; caramel; treacle. Not like anything else I've tasted in beer-world. Weird and wacky, just like the label, and I love it. Trying to take it slow and savor every cc of liquid it has to offer.

Mouth is appropriately slick, creamy and round, gliding across the tongue and lacking any stickiness whatsoever.

Man oh man...this lager redefines "lager." Heresy to some, sure, and probably even sickening to some others...I couldn't drink this often, but I'm definitely glad to have made its acquaintance. Hail Shmaltz!

Photo of emsroth
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber

App: Light mahogany with a off white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Sweet roasted malt. Light caramel/toffee and hints of coffee.

Taste. Starts with a kick of roasted malt character and alcohol. Certainly bock like! Finishes with a spicy hop character that seems over the top for the style.

Nice, full mouthfeel. Not overly heavy for a doppel. Low carbonation adds to the smoothness. If not for the hops this would be a much more drinkable beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap, served perfectly, at Brother Tucker's, Pompano Beach. Beautiful white lace on chocolate colour. Chocolate malt, rich taste. Like a good Old Ale style.Tasty stuff, well malted and not too sweet but somewhat sweet. Way above average mouthfeel. Satisfying finish.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with 1/2" of head that quickly fades to a thin lacing. Smells of sweet caramel and toffee malt. Taste is sweet malt, mostly toffee and caramel with just enough hops for balance. A little yeast and dark fruit is also noticeable. The alcohol warms this beer and cuts the sweetness making it dangerously drinkable. Mouthfeel is warm, full bodied, and very smooth.

This is probably one of the better Coney Island beers. A nice take on the style.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Human Blockhead pours a clear deep-chestnut brown body beneath a creamy head of yellowish-tan foam. The creamy cap holds fairly well, and it leaves some decent lacing behind.

There's a delicate hint of citrusy fruitiness in the nose, which is probably from hops as this is a lager; and some bready toastiness and hints of caramel.

The flavor is more aggressive than the aroma lets on, and it's kind of brash with bitterness and a spicy character that's most likely from rye (quite fond of rye, these guys!) and alcohol. There are also some citrusy notes from hops that don't mesh well with it. Some sweet caramel and breadiness helps to balance that, however, but then there's also a bit of mintiness (most likely from hops - but also possibly rye) that pulls it back. It finishes a touch sweet at the first moment, but that's quickly squeegeed away leaving it bone dry (no doubt in-part helped by the 10% abv!). As it warms it rounds a bit, and more hop flavors become apparent, mainly floral, but also mildly grassy.

It's drinkability is probably hindered by its strength and size, but on the other hand, I guess that's what the "Human Blockhead" is all about. It's unique. I'm not sure I've ever had a beer quite like this. And it evolves as you work through it, with it warming, and your taste buds getting used to certain things, and then finding others. So there is complexity. Hmmmm? Better try another!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle courtesy of EBF 2012 into a Fullsteam pilsner glass.

Pours a light brown head with little retention. Beer is reddish copper. Minimal lacing but oily legs. Decent.

Nutty, brown sugar, some caramel. Subtle. Barely detectable. Not bad though.

Opens sweet. Brown sugar graininess. Nut shells. Toasted caramel. Toffee. Sweet finish and aftertaste. Pretty singular but very robust.

Medium to full bodied. Low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth. Goes down abrasive, bubbly. Lingering aftertaste. A bit too heavy for the style.

Decent beer but I don't need my doppelbock to be imperial in any way. Score takes a hit for the full body leading to a filling beer that is way to robust for the style.

Photo of Mavajo
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber/copper color with a reasonable white head that fades quickly and minimal lacing. Aroma was a bit subdued - malty, caramel. Taste again brings the malt and caramel, but both are more pronounced. Very sweet, but not cloying. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky, coating your whole mouth. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

Really, really enjoyed this beer - there aren't too many lagers out there that I would consider among my favorites, but this is one of them.

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Coney Island Human Blockhead from Shmaltz Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.