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Coney Island Human Blockhead - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coney Island Human BlockheadConey Island Human Blockhead

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

272 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 16.16%
Wants: 10
Gots: 17 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Anthony1
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into 2 perfect pints.

pours a clear, deep mahogany. off white head with mild lacing

smells caramel and roasted malts, some hops (faint) and some earthy tones. not much of a smell though. taste is a bit stronger, but not much better. bitter and spicy with random hits of sweetness of caramel and citrus. medium/full bodied. began to develop better flavor/feel when it started to warm up. better beer on the 45º side of it.

Anthony1, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: almost ruby red, clear color, medium head quickly settles to thin layer, no bubbles, fairly thick lacing
s: very sweet malts, fleeting roasted and spicy aromas, mild alcohol
t: sweeter malts dominate mild roasted flavor, finishes slightly bitter a la a barleywine but doesn't linger as strongly as one along with strong alcohol
m: almost syrup-like body, finishes with a splash of carbonation
d: i must've misread the label as this was completely different from what i expected -- again, like a barleywine, with strong alcohol that work against its drinkability

belgbeerdrinker, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Coney Island Human Blockhead is a very clear copper lager with a dense, yellowish off-white head that leaves great lacing. It has a tart aroma with sweet malt notes. It's full bodied and very smooth with a clean, dry finish. It tastes tart and sweet and syrupy and simple. It's rather lightly bittered with a grassy, herbal spice. It tastes clean. It's very drinkable... but strong.

yesyouam, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of acemathew
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love the nutty notes and the subdued hoppy character. This is an impressive lager. I buy them up. This thing drinks real easy. I love the warm nutty notes and big malty flavor.

It can pour with a large head. I like the rich dark amber color. This is a beer to share with friends. I love the price for the 220z bottle around 6 bucks. I look forward to trying other brews from Schmaltz. Even a little warmer than serving temperature you get some wild wine and fruit flavors....Definitely one of my favorite spring beers.

acemathew, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of bargerking
4.93/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this poured into a Chivas Regal wiskey glass from the bottle.

It poured a thick dark and deep copper. I got very little head to it. Smell was molases with a hint of spice and apple. Very inviting to drink. Taste is very close to what smell was. Spicy, malty, sweet like brown sugar. Next to no lacing. Every drink was smooth and masked the alcohol quite well. Aftertaste is a sweet malty resiny taste that lingers. I really enjoyed this beer and will buy more to put away and consume on a special day.

bargerking, Jun 25, 2009
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.

marvin213, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i've tried this before but decided to pick it up again on a whim.at first i wasn't impressed,but this is a nice beer.

poured into a snifter with a nice white fluffy head,deep amber.nice retention.

smell is biscuity with a bit of rye spice.

nice beer.malty sweetness complemented by a slight rye spiciness,mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy.fairly basic,but pretty nice.

no trace of alcohol,pretty drinkable.

wyattshotmaker, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of jsh420
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours copper brown with a 2 finger head that fades fast and left no lacing

smell is sweet rich malts and alcohol

taste is much the same - alcohol is very present and @10%abv you would think it would be -sweet dark fruit with the malts having a nutty flavor

mouthfeel is medium bodied - the beer is oily and coats the mouth with sugar(you will need to brush your teeth after this one) low carbonation gives it a nice smooth feel

drinkability - it went down nice but 1 bomber is more then i would want - i needed a beer buddy for this one

jsh420, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of msubulldog25
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass in two tries, spread over the course of an hour. Watching the Lakers-Magic NBA Finals, Game 2. Another terrific label from Schmaltz: some of the best labels in all of craft brewing are found in their 'Coney Island Series'.

A: Nearly clear, chestnut/auburn; only a few bubbles rise. Head builds to nearly two fingers, dropping fairly quickly to a creamy/sudsy film, holding thickly in a ring. Excellent lace in drippy sheets.

S: Aroma is quite sweet, bursting with ripe fruit and over-ripe berries. Brown sugar, gooey caramel, quick hits of earthy spice.

T: A style-defying punch of sweetness, spice and thick malt. Earthy berry, toasted/almost charred malt, resembling a gently burnt creme brulee topping. LOADED with fruit, craftily spiced, holds up well and finds a good balance despite lots of competing flavors. Dusting of spices, nutmeg and ground cinnamon. It's fun and flavorful, barely conceals its alcohol.

M: Makes no bones about it's alcoholic muscle: there's a coating warmth and syrupy heft that blanket without growing cloying. Feel starts out medium and steadily builds. Smooth carbonation.

D: Like a sideshow performer, this is interesting for a few minutes but gets tired quickly. Seems like a beer that was crafted to push boundaries (10% red lager???)...and it does; just loses drinkability quickly as the boozy warmth catches up and the sweetness grows overbearing. Likable and worth a try, probably should have recapped this after the first pour and saved the rest for later...or split it.

msubulldog25, Jun 08, 2009
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.

biboergosum, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep copper color, with a nice creamy off white head. The foam sticks around for a good bit and leaves some decent lacing.

The smell starts with some fruity notes and then a strong alcohol presence. The taste kind of follows suit with some roasted grains as well. This beer seems too hot. Not enough balance.

The mouthfeel is similar to a doppelbock, thick and chewy with just enough carbonation to carry the malty alcohol down without trouble.

This beer is too hot to be very drinkable, not bad...just not enough balance.

grayburn, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of scruffwhor
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mix of copper and rust hues. Very quick foam and only a single file column of bubbles. Sweet fruits like cherries and pears help define this carmelized malt scented brew. The faint hops give off just a touch of wood. Lots of fuzzy feeling caramel malts are at the forefront of taste. The fruits and alcohol don't develop till late middle, all through the finish of this beer. Syrupy and warm malty sweet palate. But there is a little more bubble on the tongue than could be said for an ale. A good sipper that has a progressively warming alcoholic palate as the beer its self warms.

scruffwhor, May 26, 2009
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.

BuckeyeNation, May 22, 2009
Photo of atsprings
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Pit in Raleigh served in a Maredsous tulip a crisp copper with a thin khaki head that leaves slight lacing. the aroma is sweet malt and a hint of booze. The taste is a nice amount of lingering sweet malts and a decent hop presence. The beer is quite heavy with sticky alcohol. The is an interesting beer to say the least.

atsprings, May 17, 2009
Photo of Murchmac
2.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Why does it say tough as nails lager when this is a doppelbock? I usually enjoy all of Schmaltz beers, this one, I felt violated and cant shower it out.

Pours with a medium head that gives way to ring around the collar that not even wisk could get out. Whatever it was I think in this beer I see, would have rather seen a tootsie roll to me.

Smells like a strawberry shortcake doll with a drinking problem.

A little too hot to be enjoyed. Some malts shine through, mostly burning alcohol. A lot like a burnt hot cake in the ez bake oven.

If this beer were a pound puppy, it would be put to sleep.

Murchmac, May 07, 2009
Photo of Offa
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a strong, somewhat rough, but pretty flavourful and still rather smooth beer.

Deep, very nice red, it has a small off-white head soon thinning to a foamy ring and wisps.

The aroma is dark raisiny alcohol, dark toasted whole wheat bread, citrus, port, and hint of caramel. It's pretty good, with some complexity and a good doppelbock-like character.

The taste is strong alcohol, but rich and fairly flavourful, with a raisiny-prune spice, rum, caramelised fruit candy and cherry medecine. It's mostly sweet and spicey. Negative points are that it's a little too rough, strong, and hot; the elements are a bit off balance; and it is somewhat one-dimensional, thin in character, and not very well-rounded. However, the flavour it has is lasting and pleasant with some character and it is only slightly too rough, mostly staying smooth enough to be enjoyable to drink without getting tiresome.

Offa, May 07, 2009
Photo of IronDjinn
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a brown 22 oz. bomber. Translucent ruby brown in appearance with a tall,soft spongy off-white head possessing excellent retention. Intermittent swathes of thick sticky lacing.

Sticky, piney, earthy nose, accompanied by sweet toasted malt, pleasant balance so far.

Big sweet sugary carmelized flavours up front, earthy toasted malt appears shortly after. The hops are contained, even on the finish, and only blossom as a meadowy herbal presence into the aftertaste. Still incredibly sweet overall, not nearly as balanced as the aroma. Bombastic, yet very one-sided in the end.

Mouthfeel is also big, full and somewhat sticky--although it feels sticky much more from the carmelized sugary malt than the hops.

A fix for those seeking a sucker punch of earthy sweetness, as much of an oxymoron as that sounds. Tastes a great deal like a very young barleywine more than a doppelbock, although as the latter it's a very hepped up version, turned up to 11 yet not quite fine tuned enough to endure comfortable prolonged lengthy exposure. Ride the roller coaster, but take a good breather between turns.

IronDjinn, May 06, 2009
Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a big fan of the style, but this was a particularly good double bock. It pours a very deep copper color with a nice off white foamy head. The nose is all double bock: caramel malts, some raisiny notes, some booziness. The beer is not particularly carbonated, common for the style, and was quite full bodied. The 10% ABV was very well hidden, although not entirely unnoticeable with a touch of a throaty burn afterwards.

The taste is deep roasted caramel malts, maybe a touch of molasses, brown sugars, maybe some vanilla in there as well. This beer is quite appropriately matched to the style with a big palate. This isn't an overly complex beer either. It is quite sweet, but it does have a prickly mouthfeel and it isn't all that smooth. There is a slightly alcohol soaked raisin or plum presence towards the finish that is significant to the beer. If you want a strong double bock that is drinkable, warming, substantial and full bodied, very sweet and not overly boozy, than this is a pretty good option.

albern, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04/23/09- Purchased at Mollie Stones in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my 20oz Pizza Port glass.

Appearance- Deep caramel brown in color. About a 1/2 inch medium fading head. Ultra slight rim stays for the duration. Minor lace rings left behind.

Smell- Caramel lager scent...some muted hops and a wee bit of corn-like nose. Really not that bad though, reasonable pleasant.

Taste- A very hoppy lager. Not really feeling a Doppelbock, more like a de-corned Malt Liquor or maybe a lager style Barleywine. Some definite alcohol notes, lots of hops and some deep caramel-vanilla-chocolate malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Fairly smooth with a medium to a bit lower carbonation level. Slight burning on the tongue and throat due to the alcohol. Somewhat lasting hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- Quite a different beer. Liked it a bit better colder than warm. Started out tremendous and faded a bit during consumption. Still a winner in my book.

GClarkage, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of rajendra82
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Copper colored body was a bit hazy due to the yeast, and displayed a nice bit of steady and fine carbonation. Unfortunately all those bubbles only amounted to a small head. The smell was sweet and caramelized, and rather mild. The taste was a bit too sweet for me, as my tongue was coated with flavors of dates, honey, and brown sugar. There was a dose of metallic bitterness that followed, and the finish was like the start, sweet but fading. Quite sticky and filling in the mouth. Not much burn considering the strength. Reminded me of some of the other sweet beers from Schmaltz. A bit of chore to down the whole bomber for me.

rajendra82, Apr 21, 2009
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.

emsroth, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - clear amber color with a beige head that left good lacing.

S - sweet caramel malt and booze.

T - sweet and boozy, the warming is kind of extreme and the finish is sticky sweet.

F - medium bodied with a slick feel.

D - some like 'em hot.

JoeyBeerBelly, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of bort11
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass. Inch of tight creamy head. A little bit of legs leaves flecks of lace on the glass. Color is an orangish caramel brown.

Smell is spiced rum aroma, pretty hot alcohol. Taste has apretty sweet caramel malt, though the alcohol is present. There are some spices, ginger and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel has a slick medium body.

Blipped "More Human than Human" by White Zombie

bort11, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a ruby red/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, burnt toffee scent that's loaded up with caramel malts. It's rich with a subtle warmth. The taste is decent. It has a very bitter taste that doesn't mix well with the burnt toffee flavor. It's a bit harsh with a warm dryness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good smelling brew, but the taste is a bit unbalanced.

WesWes, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Very big tan head sits on top of a clear reddish brown body. Carbonation is kinda low, but the lacing was decent. The smell is a 50/50 combination of caramel and alcohol. I don't know if this really qualifies as a doppelbock, but it's pretty good whatever it is. Modestly, but appropriately hopped. Surprisingly drinkable for the amount of alcohol in it. Leaves the tongue feeling a little slick afterwards. Whoever called this a lager-barleywine was right on the money. It's kind of reminding me of a slightly aged Stone Old Guardian.

BierFan, Mar 31, 2009
Coney Island Human Blockhead from Shmaltz Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.