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Coney Island Human Blockhead - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coney Island Human BlockheadConey Island Human Blockhead

Educational use only; do not reuse.

279 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.89%
Wants: 11
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: getalife2k5 on 06-23-2008

"Imperial American Bock"
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
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 t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and alcohol. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, citrus zest, and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is easy to drink but nothing all that special in my opinion.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly dark amber color with a a bit of an off white head. Good staying power and some mild legs. The nose brings forward quite a bit of divergent malt with some nice amber and caramel as well as some light dark fruits. Hints of floral hops. The taste is a bit sweet and malty without too much depth to it. Good feel with nice carbonation and not too much heat. Drinks fairly well, but is a bit plain in the flavor department.

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear brownish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that slowly faded away.
S: The smell is very malty and has notes of alcohol, caramel and raisins in the aroma.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell except that the alcohol is well hidden. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness and spiciness in the finish; the initial taste has some hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a bit dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Warming from the alcohol is present in the finish.
O: This beer seems to resemble a hybrid between a doppelbock and a barleywine; this characteristic and the high alcohol content make it beer to sip next to the fireplace on a cold winter night.

Photo of brentk56
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear amber liquid topped by a three inch cap that leaves some splashy lace

Smell: Huge malt aromatics, like sticking your nose in the Halloween candy apple bucket; the alcohol and a bit of pithy hops are there as well but this is a malt bomb for the nose

Taste: While the caramel malt dominates the front end, by mid-palate a tobacco-influenced earthy bitterness takes over and, after the swallow, dominates the profile to the extent that the malt fights to make its presence felt

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: Ultimately, this beer comes off as rather unbalanced and just doesn't work that well for me; too bad, as I could smell it all evening

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one."

--Benjamin Franklin

Dark coppery orange with gemstone-like clarity and few visible bubbles. That didn't stop the creation of a large lid that has the color and texture of an orange-caramel milkshake. Thick sheets of moth-eaten lace look good as well... and stick like glue.

The nose is too shy for what should be a brute of a big lager. It doesn't really smell like a doppelbock, but then I'm not entirely sure it is a doppelbock. Brown maltiness, a moderate earthiness... that's about it. Shouldn't seven different malts and six different hops result in a better smelling beer than this? Warming improves things just enough for the next highest score to be awarded.

Okay, so doppelbock fits after all. However, it isn't a classic version by any means. This Shmaltz Brewing Company offering is roughly midway between a pale bock and a dark malty one. Some chocolate or roasted malt would have given the beer more and better flavor. Crystal rye and rye give it some spiciness, which helps.

Human Blockhead has significant sweetness, beaucoup bitterness and a touch too much unmasked alcohol. I should have listened to that nagging voice in my head that told me to age this bomber a while longer. It isn't bad though, especially if you're a fan of big beer.

Warming helps here as well and is allowing me to increase the drinkability score one notch. Flavors include wheat toast covered with caramel and sprinkled with bitter tea leaves and ground peanuts. Some ale yeast fruitiness would go a looong way. It's nice and clean, but sometimes dirty (estery) is preferable.

If only the rest of CIHB's attributes were as good as the appearance and the mouthfeel. The latter is a fraction more full than medium and has the polished glass smoothness that all big lagers possess. The good ones at least.

Human Blockhead is good beer if you like big beer, big bocks and bitterness. Unfortunately, that probably doesn't apply to very many craft beer lovers. Regarding the Coney Island Freaks series, Albino Python is the best and Freaktoberfest is the worst. This one, Sword Swallower and Coney Island Lager are somewhere in between.

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

Appearance: Very clear, bright mahogany-hued body with a smallish, off-white head.

Smell: Distinct scent of melted Brach's caramel squares amongst the toasted malts and meager wafts of fruit and alcohol.

Taste: Toasted malts smothered in plenty of sweet, toothsome caramel. Minor, zesty rye grain hint. Splash of DeKuyper Buttershots. Light golden raisin and apple stem fruitiness. Spicy, earthy hops with a gentle, though steadfast bitterness. Finishes warming and surprisingly dry, considering how sweet it was upfront.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Decidedly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: CIHB is brash and straight-forward with its delivery of sweetness, its plump mouthfeel, and overall alcohol, especially when compared to its traditional German counterparts, though I still found it to be enjoyable.

Photo of oberon
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
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 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 zeff80
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with hints of ruby. It had a foamy, tan, three-finger head that left tons of soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and grains. Not much else.

T - It tasted incredibly sweet and malty with a boozy, alcohol flavor.

M - It was sticky and syrupy with a warm alcohol presence. A medium to full-bodied lager.

D - This really reminded me of some of the strong ales from He'Brew. Really sweet and malty with a big alcohol presence.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, lager yeast, caramelized malts and a faint touch of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit that are quickly followed by a strong alcohol bite. Then some breadiness comes in from flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild and there doesn't seem to be much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, there are a lot of other beers in the style that I would pick before this one.

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber, with 2 billowy fingers of light tan colored head. Retains with a big frothy look that leaves thick rings of lacing around the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet and thick in the nose, with a load of tangy smelling caramel and toasted bready notes. Fruity citrus flavors and some earthy floral character freshen this up some.

The taste is even roastier feeling, with toasted malts mixing with sticky sweet notes of caramel and brown sugar. Hops contribute some bitterness to this but mostly dole out a healthy dose of herbal notes and fruity citrus. Roast, spice, and dryness linger on the lips for a good bit after each sip. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a sharp creamy prickle to the carbonation, yet this stays smooth in the mouth despite the biting flavors that are present.

I guess that this is supposed to be a big Amber Ale brewed with Lager yeast but this kind of settled into more of a Doppelbock feel to me and a pretty decent one at that. Lots of thick sticky and chewy flavors here with a smooth drinkibility for the size. I could see the heaviness of malts maybe being a little too much for easy consumption of a 22 oz bottle by yourself but I split this one with a buddy and didn't have any problems.

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

Pours a clear but dark amber with a creme head. Nose is sticky sweet. Like sweetened something. Flavor is tangy. Like a sugary malty thing. A bit too much really. Feel is sticky slick on the liquid and the carbonation is okay. A bit too sticky. Overall this just lacks the balance to pull it all off. It's okay, sure. But I could deal with about 8 ounces less.

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

I'm pretty sure I've had this before, but don't see a review up, and don't remember it. I did really enjoy the Barrel Aged version, so hopefully this is good too since it's much cheaper.

Pours a fizzy 1/2 finger off white head that fades semi slowly with decent lacing, over semi clear dark cranberry ruby red colored beer.

Nose has plenty of malts, pretty big, almost barley/wheat wine like, with plenty of wheat, a grassy almost hay like wheat aromas, with plenty of bock aromas, some German yeast aromas with hints of fruity and nutty like aromas, bringing more of the bock like aromas, and hints of fruity esters as well as touch of raisin. Then plenty sweeteners, lots of caramel, toffee, molasses, and light brown sugar. There is a hint of grassy hops.

Taste brings a smooth creamy malt base, malty, again with the sweetener malts, caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, etc. Then more bock flavors, lots of wheat with a grainy hay like wheat, and the yeast brings plenty more with a sweet fruity ester, raisins, figs, nuts, and even a slight bananas foster flavor... actually the more I have it the more a caramelized banana bread like flavor comes out. Slight bready toasty malt flavor but very little, trails the malt profile and leads into the hops that come later on the palate as the malts start to fade. The hops bring some earthy slight grassy flavors, but a nice big bitter bite as well, almost spicy hops but not quite. Some warming booze is present throughout, but it starts to get a little tingly and hot a it finishes. The finish also comes a bit drier but still fairly sweet, with a sticky residue, lingering bananas foster, brown sugar, caramel, molasses, plenty of brown malts and some wheat wine flavors, and more spicy bittering hops.

Mouth is fuller bodied, a bit creamy and rich, fairly sweet and syrupy, decent carb, and some warming booze that turns a bit tingly and hot at the end.

Overall a pretty good beer, great doppelbock flavors, nice fruits, esters, malts, wheat, and the banana flavors really add an interesting touch. The booze starts very low and drinkable but heats up as it goes to almost too much but then finishes so never steps over the line, and the hops are fairly nice and balance. A nice beer to have now and then but not too much, finishing this 22oz by myself will probably be tough. I think I like the barrel aged version better, as I love bourbon and that really stood out, but this can stand on it's own pretty well.

Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of my NC beerhaul, maybe my last.. Love these Coney island Labels..

Pours copper/ruby with 2 fingers of pillowy peach colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Faint metallic & herbal hops, plus a bit of apricot. Average head retention & lacing

T: Chewy brown bread, caramel. leafy hops, plums & herbal hops up front. Herbal & woody hops start to assert as this warms, along with caramel & dryness, followed by grapefruit, then brown sugar & apple pie creep in. Finishes with caramel, herbal hops, a touch of pine & jammyness & some boozeyness, almost pulled 4.5

MF: Medium bodied, chewy, & restrained carbonation. Great balance all in all, plus became pretty warming the last 8 ozs

Drinks pretty easy, despite the heft & ABV, but after 2 bombers, I think even a malthead like me would say uncle, One of the better offerings in the Coney Island line IMO

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +9.6%

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