Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.

64 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 95
Avg: 2.71
pDev: 35.79%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | 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: 64 | Hads: 95
Photo of Knapp85
2.03/5  rDev -25.1%
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 biboergosum
2.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

24oz very tall and fat can, procured at the last American exit (not really, but my apologies all the same, M. Downie) before returning home to Canuckland last week.

This beer pours a clear, bright pale golden yellow colour, with three chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy bone-white head, which leaves some adequate streaky and sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly falls away.

It smells of acrid and cheap overripe generic fruit, corn grits, the part of the corn cob that you throw away, wet cardboard, a further indistinct dankness, and an unholy weedy, earthy, and booze-tinged bitterness. The taste is semi-sweet corn cereal, bottom shelf apple cider, musty packaging material, ethereal (read: mostly in my head) bitter notes (actual hops need not apply here), and a sidling alcohol astringency.

The carbonation is large and in charge, what with its pervasive fizz-tinged frothiness, the body medium-light in weight for the style (don't ask how I know this), and smooth, I suppose, any expected clamminess still waiting for its parole officer's approval, or something. It finishes not as sweet as I was anticipating, as the mustiness puts its foot down, and the alcohol just stands there, with a dumb-ass look on its face.

Yeah, once again, this is pretty much just yer typical Miller lager product, reduced even further to its base elements, ones that benefit from a healthy dose of obfuscation in the first place. Not particularly difficult to drink, but only if your brain is preoccupied with something else, and thankfully, for me, it's the recording of Jon Stewart's final Daily Show that I'm about to tuck into. Talk about a moment of (ironic) Zen, eh?

 1,687 characters

Photo of emerge077
2.11/5  rDev -22.1%
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 BuckeyeNation
2.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This review is part of Malt Likkapalooza X. Even though it won't be reflected in the final score, the Schlitz High Gravity can wins the container graphics contest with ease. Since this beer is a 'very smooth lager' and its competitor has 'extra smooth taste', this will probably be an exceptionally smooth experience. Or not.

Textbook amber with a cream colored crown that doesn't look as good as Camo's, doesn't last as long and doesn't result in as much glass coverage. Worse all around, but still not bad considering the style.

The nose, while far from great, isn't horrible either. It's low on power, is untoasted grain-like and hides its alcohol surprisingly well. Another clear loss for the Bull.

Schlitz High Gravity is the better beer, largely because it's more of a classic malt liquor that combines sweetened grain and barely tamed alcohol, with very few other flavors to get in the way of the... uh... enjoyment. There's nothing new here, just simple boozy goodness that will deliver that quick buzz with a minimum of fuss and bother.

This mouthfeel might be a fraction less full, but it's also faintly sticky on the back end and has enough carbonation to keep things moving smartly along. No difference in the scores, though.

Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L. (Very Smooth Lager) is a classic malt liquor that comes through where it matters most: flavor. Congratulations to Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. for winning both Malt Likkapalooza I (Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull) and Malt Likkapalooza X.

 1,498 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, light yellow body with a big, pillowy, cotton white head.

Smell: Sweetish, corny aroma, though mild, and with only a minor hint of the alcohol within.

Taste: Sweet corn flavor, but it's suspiciously quite clean, leading me to surmise some rice is up in this piece. Slight hint of bitterness. Just a touch of that trademark malt liquor chemical alcohol taste. A relatively smooth finish, it lacks the usual cloying, frown-summoning end that I find with its siblings.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Altogether soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Certainly the smoothest malt liquor I've begrudgingly downed during my time on this planet.

 656 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
1.91/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Stop #2 on the Swill Tour 2010 (the others worked on a Shiner Bock before this one). It pours a clear urine topped by a finger of white froth. The nose is crappy wheat covered up by the most saccharine corn syrup smell that has yet to grace my 'strils. The hell? The taste is, well, nasty. Even low expectations have been dashed by the pain of being so very, very right about something being so very, very wrong. It's...it's just terrible. I don't know what to say. The sweetness is sadly dulled (that's right, I said sadly), and some brassy corn husk is left to beat my 'buds' faces in, Norris-style. My nipples are hard just drinking this horribility. The lickuh is palpable. The body is heavier than it should be, with a sharply moderate carbonation and a brutal finish. Man, the more I drink this, the more I want to lick my own armpit to rid my tongue of the taste. Overall, no. Don't do this to yourself. Please.

 964 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.38/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 24 oz. can High Gravity Schlitz issues forth into the glass with a churning swirl of carbonation, no doubt due to it's higher gravity and residual body. It settles to a clear golden color and teems with fast-rising bubbles. The head, which initially rose quite mightily, is down for the count.

In the nose it's simply malty, yeasty-fruity, and slightly alcoholic... very much your typical malt liquor but with a bit more emphasis on the sweetish malt. It's clean and mildly grainy, but no real hops are present (as expected).

The body is solidly medium, and it's fairly crisp and effervescent!

The flavor is malt driven, but it's nicely infused with yeasty high-fermentation fruitiness, and backed by a very low-key, but underlyingly solid bitterness, as well as a sharp crack of semi-tenacious alcohol. It's just as a malt liquor should be!!!

It starts malty and sweet, swathed in alcohol... and it ends malty-sweet and swathed in alcohol. Surprising? But hops, whaaa... ? No they're there, just in minor measure - as expected! And the maltiness is really well done. For the style it's pretty impressively well-done. One of my favorite malt liquors!

 1,161 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

40 ounce Thursday, Schlitz Very Smooth Lager night. Excellent. Beer poured from a can into a stein, hey why not.

Beer is yellow and clear with moderate carbonation and big white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Head has some staying power. Looks really good actually.

Aroma is mild and semisweet. Its smells OK.

Beer is medium in body, minimal carbonation in the mouth. For such a high alcohol, its not sweet at all. Its nice and pilsner malty not dry. Pretty good actually. I think this is a pretty good beer.

 556 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.1/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Bull has gone Gold! CAN you believe it?!? He looks almost statuesque on the CAN.

The finger of bone-white head that resulted from my pour quickly dissipated into wisps. Nose was sweet but not pungent like Schlitz Malt Liquor O.M.L. (Blue). Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a lightly sweet, but fusel, taste on the tongue. Finish was mostly smooth except on the extreme finish when I caught a slight alcohol burn. V. S.? Too smooth for its ABV. I may need to lay down after this.

 533 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.21/5  rDev +18.5%
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 Zorro
2.48/5  rDev -8.5%
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 tone77
3.06/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 24 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is primarily of malts. Taste is malts, alcohol is making it's presence felt as well.. Feels light in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall it's not terrible, but nothing special either.

 274 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.1/5  rDev +14.4%
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 Brad007
2.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Can't buy this in VT so I thought I'd give it a try since I can and do enjoy a proper malt liquor from time to time.

Pours a nice golden-yellow color with a two finger head into my pint glass.

Aroma is sweet and grainy in the nose with adjuncts dominating here.

Taste is sweet and grainy upfront with a strong alcohol bite.

Alcohol is syrupy and lingers highly. Sweet. Definitely a typical high gravity lager.

Not impressive by much but its ok to try at least once.

 471 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
2.51/5  rDev -7.4%
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 twiggamortis420
2.35/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

24 oz. of the golden bull, oh yeah. Pours a light golden color with perfect clarity and a small white head that fades to nothingness in very few seconds.

Sweet maltiness with a hefty dose of alcohol is about all I get in the nose on this one. Pretty clean and fresh smelling malt liquor.

This one will get you drunk in a hurry. The sharp, rough alcohol is readily apparent and is only masked by some light grainy malts and carbonation. I do not detect any bitterness from hops, but the heavy alcohol dries out the finish enough to not taste sweet. I would much rather tame the blue bull than this golden beast...V.S.L. my ass! There is nothing smooth about it. Highly unlikely I will be buying this one again.

 711 characters

Photo of woosterbill
1.44/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

24oz can into a plastic hotel cup.

A: Clear pale yellow with a finger of coarse white foam that shows poor retention but actually leaves some nice lace. A bit better than I'd expect for a malt liquor.

S: Alcohol, corn, and more alcohol. Pretty gross, but what can you expect.

T: Incredibly boozy and unspeakably rancid, this is quite possibly the worst tasting beer I've ever had. Way worse than any 40 I drank in college, worse than Icehouse. Nasty. Vile. Horrific. Undrinkable.

M: I hate to hold this in my mouth long enough to assess the feel, and when I do it's not worth the effort - slick, oily, and filled with coarse, stinging carbonation.

D: I drank this on a rugby trip while trying to get a buzz, and even for that purpose found it unbearably awful. I wound up pouring out at least three quarters of the can.

Notes: For future reference, while malt liquor undoubtedly gives a good $:ABV ratio, it's never worth it. I bought this can on a whim for $.99 at a gas station, and it was an experiment that will never be repeated.


 1,050 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
1.09/5  rDev -59.8%
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 RonaldTheriot
3.5/5  rDev +29.2%
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.


 490 characters

Photo of Pegasus
2.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear pale golden color, with a small white head, really no more than a scattering of foam, thin glass-coating lace, with small streams of carbonation.

Aroma: Very faint, slightly dusty aroma, very faint grain notes, no hops, and no alcohol notes whatsoever.

Taste: Mildly sweet malt notes at the open, very little alcohol presence, as the taste progresses, some slight metallic hop notes appear. Finishes dry, with a mild, lingering sweetness.

Mouth feel: A bit thin, with champagne-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: This is a difficult beer to assess. While I am quite impressed with the pronounced craftsmanship exhibited by this beer, it is rather lacking in character. The high gravity is handled very gracefully, but there isn't much else here, it seems subdued and lifeless.

Presentation: Packaged in a sixteen-ounce aluminum can, served in a twenty ounce Pilsener glass.

 899 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

24oz can courtesy of Ryan's Ghetto Fab BIF. Appropriately served in a large, fake-diamond encrusted Pimp Cup.

Not a bad pour, quite the opposite, actually. Crystal clear golden pale color with a massive tuft of spittle-white foam. Good retention, although the splotches of lacing are easily outshined by the capitalized, glitzy 'PIMP' letters on my cup. Aroma is mostly corn and cereal grains, with a faint hint of herbal hops and some pale crystal malt. A whiff of fusels in the background.

Per style, the flavor is above average with a frosted cereal sweetness and some pale malts. Hops are slight, floral, and drowned out by corn and sugary fusels. The booze isn't overwhelming, though, but it does add a metal twang to the finish that, with the alcohol, warms all the way down. Soapy, bubbly mouthfeel with a medium-light body. Not sure if it's the adjuncts or the plastic from the inside of the Pimp Cup, but I can feel a headache coming on from this beer. Oh well...down the hatch!!!

 992 characters

Photo of Offa
4.17/5  rDev +53.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is actually a really good malt liquor, with nice flavour, but staying smooth and highly d
drinkable despite the ABV.

It's a slightly deep, bright, still gold with a big white head that slowly shrinks to a foamy ring and leaves a little weak lace.

The aroma is grain, a little bread, musty, sweet fruit and wine.

The taste is sweetish with an interesting, zesty, acloholic spiciness that stays very smooth, just hinting at the ABV, and finishes with a nice bite. It's fruity, lightly spicy, with a light aromatic grain quality mostly noticeable in the finish, along with grapes and grape peel.

 602 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.41/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The V.S.L. is short for Very Smooth Lager. Really, thought I? Out of a 24 oz. can this beer was a straw gold color with a huge three finger cream-colored head. Mediocre retention and scattered streaks of lacing. The aroma was all corn and grain mash with some sour malt underneath. The flavors were at first a hint of bitterness, quickly followed by some generic sweetened malt, hints of bananas in the fruity alcohol esters and yeasty notes. The flavors turned south as it warmed and the finish was a little metallic. Still for 8.5% the punch is well hidden; I found it hard to deny the 'Very Smooth' part, as far as malts liquors go. The mouthfeel was medium/full and slick and the carbonation subtle but again pretty good for the style. Y'all may think I'm crazy for writing it, but for the Malt Liqour style this one is very good. I'd even say it is as good as, for example, Dad's Little Helper by the Rogue company, a beer that is harder to find and costs three to four times what this did!

 995 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

8.5% on the can, brown paper bag, first pour for my homies.

A) Clear gold body with a thin white head that laced pretty well. Champagne bubbles foreshadow a high carbonation level, and pain.

S) White bread yeast with a dash of high fructose corn syrup. Hard to get more American.

T) Clean (i.e. very little flavor) with some mild heat in the finish but does what it says on the tin: Very Smooth, especially given the 8.5% abv.

M) Medium body, high carbonation level.

O) I'm no hater, I welcome our wife beater wearing cousin to the party and enjoy a good malt liquor. This one is really smooth and better than most straight macro choices.

Props to Pegasus for the experience.

 681 characters

Photo of budgood1
3.08/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours out of the 24 oz. can a bright straw yellow colour with a rather thick and creamy snow white head that sticks and is supported by some active carbonation. there is even some lace to be had, making for a nice looking beer. a bit of corn and a slight banana smell greets the nose. not a bad smell, but followed by a hint of fusel. upon tasting, the grainy and corny nature of this brew makes itself known...it's a bit fruity, too...somewhat like white grapes...it has some blonde bock attributes and no real alcohol burn although it's very warming on the way down and one can feel it in the belly after only a few sips. it has a touch of bitterness that is noticeable and quite welcome because with it, this would border on cloyingly sweet. overall...just enough non-offensive flavour to almost be enjoyable. definitely full bodied with an incredible creamy mouthfeel that allows it to be "very smooth". drinkability is good for a higher gravity offering such as this, and this one stands out as a shining example in which that an upper ABV high gravity doesn't have to be a wretchedly horrible, undrinkable, awful tasting, fusel, boozy mess.

on the other hand, this is brewed to deliver alcohol into the system as quickly and painlessly as possible. to it's credit, it does a fine job of doing so.

 1,304 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)
66 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.