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Coney Island Lager

Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Brewed with an eclectic blend of European and American hops and malts, Shmaltz Brewing’s Coney Island Lager is somewhat of an oddity, unashamedly intermarrying ingredients from the Old and New Worlds alike. Taking iconoclasm one step further, this lager is dry hopped with the quintessential American Cascade hop. Lee picked up the piney, orange peel tinged hops “riding beneath a blanket of rich caramel” and felt they worked well in concert with the nose’s overall maltiness. A “warm, silken, bready” malt aroma leaped out at Tom, along with some raisin and plum notes, backed by a gooey caramel sweetness. But he didn’t pick up any hop aromas. Both felt the caramel malt was just a bit too overdone. A deeply saturated amber lager, this brew boasts a pale yellow, mousse-like foam crown that lingers all the way to the bottom of the glass. Flavors tend more toward sweetness, with waves of caramel corn, peanut brittle, and Graham crackers whipping across the palate in turns. Pete noted a firm bitterness, but complimented the “lightly caramel malt with just a hint of Munich malt spiciness” and its ability to keep the hops in a supporting role. All of the judges agreed that Coney Island Lager falls somewhere between Oktoberfest and American Amber Ale, but were unanimous that regardless of its provenance, this is one seriously enjoyable pint.