1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
66
poor

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 2.71
pDev: 29.52%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-24-2008)
View: Beers (6) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

Serving type: can

09-28-2012 20:58:50 | More by BucBasil
Photo of troobie
troobie

California

3.03/5  rDev +11.8%
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?

Serving type: can

08-13-2012 07:39:14 | More by troobie
Photo of michaelwilkens
michaelwilkens


4/5  rDev +47.6%
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.

Serving type: can

07-15-2012 02:10:33 | More by michaelwilkens
Photo of Sailracer
Sailracer


1.5/5  rDev -44.6%

03-24-2012 13:46:44 | More by Sailracer
Photo of Kingghidorah
Kingghidorah

Connecticut

3/5  rDev +10.7%

01-16-2012 14:48:03 | More by Kingghidorah
Photo of animal69
animal69

Louisiana

1.5/5  rDev -44.6%

01-09-2012 22:18:54 | More by animal69
Photo of BrewMaven
BrewMaven

New York

2.95/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Serving type: can

01-06-2012 02:32:00 | More by BrewMaven
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.08/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Serving type: can

12-01-2011 01:45:23 | More by puboflyons
Photo of pezfiend
pezfiend

New York

2.33/5  rDev -14%
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.

Serving type: can

07-30-2011 01:57:45 | More by pezfiend
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Serving type: can

06-23-2011 23:23:13 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

2.08/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

Serving type: can

06-02-2011 01:33:11 | More by emerge077
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: can

05-29-2011 21:42:45 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of ElCommodoro
ElCommodoro

Texas

2.17/5  rDev -19.9%
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).

Serving type: can

05-11-2011 04:34:10 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of superdavex
superdavex

Washington

2.65/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: can

04-06-2011 06:16:03 | More by superdavex
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: can

03-24-2011 02:36:46 | More by Knapp85
Photo of generallee
generallee

New York

3.58/5  rDev +32.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 18:18:35 | More by generallee
Photo of beerprovedwright
beerprovedwright

Georgia

1.45/5  rDev -46.5%
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.

Serving type: can

02-28-2011 17:00:54 | More by beerprovedwright
Photo of Transatlantic
Transatlantic

Tennessee

1.95/5  rDev -28%
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.

Serving type: can

01-14-2011 00:02:54 | More by Transatlantic
Photo of 7beerphil
7beerphil

Maryland

3.88/5  rDev +43.2%
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.

Serving type: can

12-17-2010 00:08:54 | More by 7beerphil
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

1.88/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

Serving type: can

09-27-2010 20:44:51 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Vdubb86
Vdubb86

Illinois

2/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Served in a pint glass

This is entry #3 in Swill Fest 2010

This pours a very pale straw color. The rice and corn sugars are very prominent in the smell. There is a savior smell in the fact that maybe if there are hops in it, there is an orange/mango smell to the back, and only very faint. The taste is actually not as bad upfront as I would have expected, but that doesn't make it pleasant. The liquor taste is akin to a terrible Sake. It isn't horrid and appalling. Wait...I take that back. This is progressively harder to drink as I go along. Making me wish that hadn't just said those things. The mouthfeel is syrupy and unpleasant...very smooth my ass! This is currently giving all of us indigestion. This is horrid and I can't in good conscience recommend this to anyone not doing this to harm themselves.

Serving type: can

09-26-2010 19:19:47 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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.

Serving type: can

09-03-2010 01:01:24 | More by drabmuh
Photo of knoxtennessee
knoxtennessee

Tennessee

1.53/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A- nice color obviously it's going to be crystal clear. Lots of fizz and foam. S- sort of sicky sweet. Like that real shitty moonshine you can still get here in East TN. T- way to sweet and a little medicine like. Grainy. Gets a little less mediciney and more grainy as it warms up a bit. Strainge rancid apple and pear notes. No hops what so ever. Could use a little bitterness M- Heavy and syrpy at first. Thins out a little as it warms. The foam does little to dry it out. D- Too heavy to swill but gets much more pleasent after you've half drained it. Not pleasent so much as tolerable with the buzz you've recently aquired. Not worth the buzz. You get just as drunk off two big cans of high life and it's not nearly as toxic.

Serving type: can

08-28-2010 19:07:58 | More by knoxtennessee
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

1.38/5  rDev -49.1%
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.

Cheers!

Serving type: can

08-26-2010 00:09:03 | More by woosterbill
Photo of waterintobeer
waterintobeer

Texas

1.75/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Billed as a high gravity lager which means high alcohol content with very little attention to flavor or anything else.
The appearance is a light gold with a head that quickly dies.
The smell consists of rice, alcohol and not much else.
The taste is stringent, no hops and slightly burns.
The mouth feel is heavy with a decent amount of carbonation.
Overall this is a good example of a drink that is created for the alcohol. The flavor, smell and mouth feel are all sub par but the alcohol is the main reason to drink this "beer".

Serving type: can

08-14-2010 06:10:59 | More by waterintobeer
Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
66 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.