Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager - JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Not Rated.
Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth LagerSchlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
67
poor

63 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 92
rAvg: 2.75
pDev: 29.09%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst) visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-24-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 63 | Hads: 92
Photo of workingclassbrew
1.45/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

V.S.L. ...lager em yeah will see. I bought this down in some ramshackle liquor store on Kings Hwy in Myrtle Beach. Love real Schlitz, love the Schlitz Bull logo, but the last "blue bull"I had, I remember being a little ill the next day.

Aroma clean, faint, as the head clears, it becomes quite mettalic. The head fades, take a nice sip...oh my, I dont even know. Sweet, slightly rancid malt. I dont even want to think what Sunday mornin comin down would feel like on this stuff. Im done. (489 characters)

Photo of snuffconformists
5/5  rDev +81.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Its a shame most of the reviewers on this site don't understand high gravity american malt liquors, and therefore ignorantly feel inclined to stigmatize and trash them, comparing them with unrelated trendy craft beers. I ask the beer advocate community: please grow up. This is one of the best malt liquors on the market, and I've tried them all, it does everything its supposed to, and does it exceptionally well. A rational beer reviewer would put well made strong american malt liquors in a similar category as Belgium trippels or German helles bocks: light body, light color, low IBU, delightfully strong, and chuggable! Surprisingly, V.S.L. is smoother than many expensive Belgium trippels, easier drinking than eisbocks, has no off flavors, not overly sweet or boozy, and theres no cheap beer headache hours after drinking. The body is light and crisp, the taste clean, in contrast to the often overly sweet, ester flawed, heavy bodies of many craft beer attempts at strong lagers or bocks. If you go in with preconceived notions this beer is cheap getto trash, based on the bandwagon of close minded novice snobbery reviews, reconsider. This beer is an archetypical american classic. It doesnt matter if its low price, industrial, comes in a big garish can, or full of corn adjunct - it works, the balance is impeccable. I'll take this masterpiece any time over the endless boring heaps of over-priced over-rated craft hop bomb clones. If only craft brewers would embrace this remarkable beer style and give the hop bombs a rest already. (1,546 characters)

Photo of Spikester
2.76/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is better than average solid gold color with three fingers of white head that stays about five minutes and leaves some lace as the level drops.
Smell is average but for the style only. Early on it smelled like apple skin and alcohol.
Taste is sweet fruity (apple skin) slightly tart. I could not detect any hops but they show up later in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation. Sweet finish and just lightly dry.
Overall a bit of a chore to drink. I poured it into a nonic pint glass and I think it tastes better out of the can. I have to say I like the old Schlitz ML Bull from the 1970's but all I can find lately are these HG Malt Liquors. Enjoy by date is Jan. 5, 2015. Super fresh if it is a six month span. (739 characters)

Photo of Zorro
2.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden colored beer with a medium sized white colored head.

Smells sweet and corny with a a fruity scent. Sweet apple scent.

Starts out sweet. Tastes of ethanol and apple. Really doesn't taste that much like corn.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall what you wood expect, Cheep Booze in a big can. (296 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.5/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schlitz High Gravity Lager (VSL) had a thick, creamy, egg-shell colored head, and a very clear, golden appearance, with some fine bubbles streaming up and a decent amount of lacing left down the mug. The aroma is faint, with some clean water and a slight sweet smell in there. Taste is very alcohol-forward. There are wine, corn, sweet, and low-level hop flavors all mixed in with this. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, and Schlitz HG (Very Smooth Lager) finishes rather harsh and heavy.

RJT (490 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
2.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 24 ounce tallboy into a shaker pint glass. A moderate pour produces about 1.5 inches of frothy, bubbly, and billowy head that actually proves quite sticky. The beer is a pale straw color, but not as pale as many AALs and malt liquors. There is an absolute tornado of carbonation.

This beer is quite smooth, as advertised. I detect a little bit of pale malt flavor with some corn mash and a kiss of hops. Some fruity and metallic alcohol notes are apparent, as expected. There is a basic corny sweetness that becomes cloying as it warms- don't let it get too warm.

It had been awhile since I tried a Schlitz Bull. It really isn't bad at all, and would probably make a good candidate for a tomato juice beer because it's strong and highly carbonated. (764 characters)

Photo of Wrigfen
2.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I probably rated it higher than I should have but I did this with a certain thought process. I compared it to Larine 95. Larine 95 while not a great beer is better tasting than this beer, however this beer is better or more fairly priced. Alcholol content is comparable between the both. Let me say this about this beer. It is definitely not a full body or full flavored rich tasting beer. But then again it is a beer and is NOT bad tasting either. I would drink it again although probably it is not in my top 80 (yes I have had a lot of experience although I didn't rate beers for many decades). Try it don't shun it but do not expect a Duvel or Allagash but do not expect a bad beer either. It is ok and sometimes ok is fine and 8.5% ABV makes it better. And it advertises itself as a Very SMooth Lager which it is. (817 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
1.41/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

24 oz can. Pours straw with tall, foamy, white head and nice lacing. Smells like fermented apple juice and hints of grassy hops. Body is full and smooth. Taste is alcohol, fermented juice and peppery hops. Finish is long, dried by alcohol. Nice drain opener. (258 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
1.09/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

24oz can with the bull. Poured as quickly as possible, four fingers of foamy head. Medium to light straw colored body.
Smells like a dank sock left in the bottom of the gym bag for a week or three.
Taste = Sweet and gross.
Sticky texture, low carbonation.
One drink and done. Drain gets the rest. Wow, truly the worst beer I have ever had. (341 characters)

Photo of BucBasil
3.3/5  rDev +20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another in my long series of shitty broke beers. Here's another from Schlitz - the Raging Bull of bad beers.

Drank from the can. Smells "beery" - grainy with a tinge of hop in the back. This one has a very sweet almost citrusy note but I think it's more likely creamed corn that it's reminding me of. Tangy and sweet smelling. Just OK.

Not too bad actually and the extra alcohol is covered up. Sweet mostly but not overpowering or cloying. Not the best thing ever but it's not your run of the mill malt liquor. Some vegetable note in the middle there which isn't super pleasant, but overall a sweet malty, if forgettable, lager. (630 characters)

Photo of troobie
2.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Schlitz VSL, AKA Gold Bull, has the highest ABV out of the Schlitz malt liquor line at 8.5%. Schlitz proudly displays that on the top of the can.

A: I'm sorry, but I'm not going to pour this out of the 24 oz. can. No, not even a little bit. This is meant to be consumed from the can, and what an awesome can it is. Looking into the drink-hole I can see that this is a dark golden color with some redness to it.

S: Smell is definitely not a strong point. Very boozy. Cheap. The alcohol is prominent. I can faintly smell a relation to the rest of the Schlitz line. "Smells like Schlitz!" I'm not picking up that grape smell that malt liquors seem to develop as the ABV gets higher. A restrained sweetness. Unfortunately the smell is telling me to hold on for dear life!

T: Oh boy. This is strange and familiar all at the same time. Very different from Schlitz Bull Ice despite being only .3% ABV stronger. Like the smell, the taste is boozy. The alcohol comes across on my palate but doesn't really warm my throat. A great mix between a dry, clean finishing malt liquor and a sweeter, lingering malt liquor. Think Hurricane High Gravity versus Steel Reserve 211. Once you pick up on the Schlitz taste this becomes much more enjoyable. The taste seems much harsher than is necessary. Compare this to Bull Ice and notice the difference. Still, at 8.5% it could be MUCH worse.

M: Well, it better be smooth if they're going to call it Very Smooth Lager (haha, lager.) Not sure where the smooth part is supposed to play a role. Definitely not the smell or taste so that only leaves mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little lower than I would like but fits in with the Schlitz line at about medium and leaves a mild sting on the tip of the tongue. Chewy and thick. You have to swallow this, it doesn't just go down. Seems needlessly thickened just to call it smooth.

O: This is better than the sum of its parts. At 8.5%, and being a malt liquor, and being reasonably priced, and considering the target audience, VSL is above average. I can't understand why Schlitz felt that there was a need to make a beer to bridge the 8.2% ABV (Bull Ice) and 8.5% gap? At 9%+ this would be much more impressive. If I'd never had Bull Ice I'd find VSL to be much better, but unfortunately Bull Ice is one of my favorite high gravities and it kicks the hell out of this overall. I guess Schlitz made this to appeal to the high gravity drinker that appreciates a harsher taste? (2,453 characters)

Photo of michaelwilkens
4/5  rDev +45.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I personally enjoy this beer. At only $0.99 a can, you really can't complain, unless your a rich snob that drinks 3 Floyd's every night which is produced in my hometown of Munster. Anyways its not all that bad. It doesn't have tat high alcohol taste, which I personally like, yet it still gives you a decent buzz after two cans or so. This is coming from someone that is young, yet has tasted almost every craft beer sold in your typical "nice" liquor store. It may not be the best around, but its a good value for those looking to save money and get a buzz without the swill hangover. (585 characters)

Photo of BrewMaven
2.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Who needs sleeping pills when 8+% "smooth" lagers are readily available?

Clear, golden and lively on the pour with crazy carbonation. Good looking can graphics by the way...

Typical nose of grain and ethanol although both were muted..or is my schnozz just defective?

Taste was smooth, somewhat sweet grain with a mild wash of alcohol on the finish..not an offensive beer by any means. Fairly thin mouthfeel that is somewhat boosted by the strong carbonation.

Really not a bad choice when you need to settle down and don't want to open that lovely Ommegang that waits patiently in the fridge for a worthy night. (614 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.1/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the 710 ml. can marked: APR0212-E07020447. Sampled on November 30, 2011. Poured into a Heileman's Old Style pint glass...well why not? It is a highly agitated, carbonated pale yellow to off-gold with a goodly amount of fizzy head. The aroma is of corn and sweet malts with a crisp hop drop. It does not smell high in alcohol. The body is a little better than light but not quite medium. The taste has that bitter malt liquor taste but a bit more palatable than other malt liquors out there. An almost clean aftertaste. I said "almost" because there is a rather biting lingering effect. I rated this by style not by its craft. (630 characters)

Photo of pezfiend
2.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

24 oz tallboy to a tulip pint glass

Appearance is straw, highly effervescent little bubbles with a decent 1 finger head which stays around the edge for the whole beer. Smells like hay, alcohol, and corn. Sweet and nostril burning. Taste is Tangy like grape fruit drenched in honey, almost no hops whatsoever mainly because they're run out by the high alcohol content. I also agree with emerge077
that it's like cheap champagne (not to be confused with MHL the champagne of beers). Sticks to the mouth in probably the most unpleasant way like drinking (not rinsing with) a glass of mouth wash, finishes with an alcohol tingle and perhaps stale beer funk like what i used to smell in my grandfathers basement. Overall, definitely not good. However not the worst high gravity I've had, decent if i was still in college and looking for a cheap pre-gamer buzz before a kegger or a night at the bar. (895 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.21/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear deep straw bordering on golden color with a good two finger bubbly white head that shows some decent staying power and lace. Yup looks like a macro lager all right. Smells of sweet grainy malt with faint wisps of creamed corn and alcohol. Smells a little better than I thought it would. Taste is kind of what I expected, sweet grainy malts with maybe a hint of cherry or apricot. Really! Bitter alcohol burn into the finish. Lots and lots of bubbles, medium body with a sweet slick mouthfeel. Honestly if they put some hops in here it wouldn't be half bad. As is this serves its purpose, a cheap quick drunk. I do enjoy purchasing 24 oz of 8.5% beer for $1.69, if only today's craft brewers could bring us that level of value for our money. (762 characters)

Photo of emerge077
2.11/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Big 24oz. can into a fluted pilsner glass. AUG0811

Pale straw gold, sharp clarity. Super fine suspended micro-sediment visible when inspected closely in the light. Fizzy head that dwindles to a threaded ring of tiny bubbles at the edge of the glass. Rising soda carbonation on the second pour, with the remnant of the can shaken and poured, it generates some (artificial) lasting foam on top, and even a little lacing.

Sweet grape and papery aroma. An odd, mildly sulfuric smell that is jarring at first, with a little whiff of alcohol in there too.

Grape juice and bad champagne, astringent fusel bite, stale wet grain and soggy manila folders. Apple jacks cereal and envelope glue. Aftertaste nearly induces the gag reflex, it's like chewing on a pencil soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Fizzy soda-like carbonation scrubs the palate, but it doesn't relieve the insidious taste, instead staging a baleful destruction of said palate's tastebuds. You know how your mouth feels after licking a dozen envelopes? It's like that.

A crescendo of foulness as it warms, potentially culminating into vomiting and passing out, or vise versa. There are better ways to anesthetize the mind... though I guess they don't get any cheaper than this. (1,234 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
2.51/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is actually better than I expected - nothing to write home about, as the old cliche goes, but rather nice. It is strong, fruity - mainly apple - and malty, better than what I expected from a beer of this type. It pours a rather uninspiring clear wan yellow with a rather typical white head. Flavor is not too shabby, though - stronger and fuller than I expected, malty and fruity with a bit of a nip. It’s actually a little enjoyable! Texture is smooth and just a bit fizzy, no big shakes, but better than most industrial swill I have had. OK if there isn’t much else to drink. (587 characters)

Photo of ElCommodoro
2.11/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a 24 oz. can into a beer stein. What head it had disappeared within seconds leaving absolutely nothing. The colour was surprisingly light. It looks like a light beer. It's light yellowish gold. The smell is that of sweet metal. That's it. I was afraid to taste it, but was relieved when I did. It tasted much better than the smell. I'd even say it tastes better than all the high gravity lagers I've had other than OE HG800. It has a bitter taste that tastes lightly of metal. It really is quite smooth. Some alchol burn, but not until the aftertaste. It's somewhat sweet, but not cloyingly so. The nauseating bit is the taste of the actual malt. It's pretty bad. Within the category of malt liquor, this stuff's pretty bad. However, I think that modern "high gravity lagers" should not be considered in the same category. It's a totally different style and within that style, there are worse things for sure (ahem, Steel Reserve). (945 characters)

Photo of superdavex
2.61/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmmm...what to say about this. It was bought at a gas station. I had no idea what it was when I saw it. I bought it because I was in the geto-curious mode. I drove home thinking it would taste like leprous piss. I was pleasantly surprised when I did not vomit upon swallowing. It had a very sweet corn-adjunct taste and not much alcohol. They hid the before taste very well and the aftertaste was near non-existent. I may buy it agian when in the geto-curious mode. (465 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
2.03/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Boy does this one bring back some memories. How can anyone forget a name like Schlitz. This brew was a high octane attempt from a low end brewery. Yellow in color, white head rather fluffy that fades quickly. The can design was probably the best part of this brew. I drank it with a meal just to help with the drinking process. (327 characters)

Photo of generallee
3.58/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a 24oz can into a big mug. The can has the abv (8.5%) and a freshness date of "JUL1111" printed on the bottom.

Appearance: The body had a light yellow color with very good clarity. This was a lighter than I was expecting but not out of place. On top the tall three finger head of bright white foam settles down to thin cap which actually hangs on well. Lacing is minimal and very slick.

Smell: It is fairly light with pale cereal grain, grassy hay like hops and minimal sweet corn/vegetable notes.

Taste/Palate: The flavor matches the aroma exactly with a fairly dry finish and offers it up in a light-medium body with smooth but lively carbonation.

Notes: It's surprisingly light and drinkable. (736 characters)

Photo of beerprovedwright
1.5/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Dense two finger head, quickly fading, but leaving a broken and clinging lace. Color is a 4 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is a muted odor of wet and musty cereal grains. Taste is that of wet malt, and cereal grains, very unpleasing to my palate. Mouthfeel is poor, there is a bit of tingle from the carbonation, but it is sticky and dry on the top of my mouth and soft palate. I will make just about every excuse to not drink this again, unless I am really drunk. (468 characters)

Photo of Transatlantic
1.94/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Paulaner mug

A - Your typical crystal clear straw golden yellow color. Nice fluffy head that eventually dies down leaving chunks of lacing. Little fine bubbles at the bottom.

S - Pretty much what's expected. A very strong wet hay smell with that warm and sour body odor type smell that's typical of these lagers.

T - Well well...Upfront is water which then becomes a light bitter boozy alcohol taste. The finish is a strong bready cracker like taste.

M - Light bodied. Not quite watery but it's light.

D - The smell is so harsh, it makes each sip so hard to bare. But who am I kidding here? It's a poor man's liquor. (635 characters)

Photo of 7beerphil
3.83/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 24 oz can into my Bud "bowtie" glass. Very transparent golden color. Thick 2 inch head, down to a one inch, and quickly to a cm of small bubbles.

Surprisingly, this one doesn't smell strongly alcoholic (even for being the most alcoholic of the "bulls")

Tastes very sweet, has cereal notes and not much else. Surprisingly little to no aftertaste.

Very drinkable, considering the high gravity of 8.5% (for a macro lager). I would still stick with the "blue bull" for a session brew however. (507 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
67 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.