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

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Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth LagerSchlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager

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83 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
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)
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of waterintobeer
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".

Photo of tone77
2.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is primarily of malts. Taste is mostly of alcohol, some malts and grains, not all that good. Feels light in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall there is nothing special about this beer.

Photo of Guardian
3.85/5  rDev +42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Straw yellow. I never liked this category...who cares what it looks like?

S- ALCOHOL...this is a malt liquor and a whiff will tell you so.

T- Amazingly smooth given the alcohol content.

M- Ice cold it is excellent. Do not let it warm up or it will bring the scwaggy taste of rubbing alcohol.

D- I usually finish off a night of heavy drinking with this beer. The taste is good given the alcohol level and this is usually a good "finish". Also...this stuff is CHEAP.

Photo of industrialswill
3.65/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On a last minute stop at the corner market I spied a can of this stuff. I'll admit that I was drawn in by some feelings of nostalgia, but also the wording on the can [extra smooth lager] got me curious enough to try it.
This 24 oz can cost $1.50
I drank it straight from the can.
There was the expected "alky whiff", that goes with the territory.
This stuff IS SMOOTH! The taste is unmistakable, you are drinking malt likka here bro....but what we have here is very drinkable for a ML.
I like all beer that doesn't bite me back and one can of this produced a nice buzz with no ill effects.
I'm very

satisfied with it and would drink it again.

Photo of exparte
1.25/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Very faint aroma of corn. Has the same golden color typical of mass American lagers. Pours a thick white head that sticks around a while. Sweet and dry with a surprisingly absent alcohol tinge. Slick but not bad on the palate. Finishes sweet, crisp, and bitter. At first I thought it was awful. By the end of the can I thought it was pretty tolerable. I suppose that's a testament to the 8.5% abv. Nothing special here, folks. Just another cheap drunk.

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.3/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Photo of nlmartin
2.73/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer was served cold in a pint glass. The beer was consumed rapidly and not allowed to warm in the slightest.

Appearance: The beer pours a light yellow coloration. The head was bone white and resolved quickly. Active carbonation dances in the glass.

Smell: The beer smells like corn cereal. The alcohol was well hidden in the aroma.

Taste: Sweetened corn cereal leads the flavor. Loads of classic malt liquor alcohol booze flavors. Suprisingly no off flavors noted in the beers flavor.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is on the lighter side of medium. Active carbonation helps to break the sweetness up. Lots of raw boozey alcohol present in the mouthfeel. Not anything to brag about here. This is straight up non gag inducing malt liquor buzz beer.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.15/5  rDev +16.2%
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!!!

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.

Photo of brewbasterd
2.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ah yes, good ol' Schlitz has one upped themselves again! As if the classic Blue Bull or Red Bull wasn't enough, they went ahead and produced an ice and this very fine product I am about to partake in now!

The color of this fine brew is light yellow with a foamy white head that goes away very quickly. The nose is semi sweet with hints of alcohol.

The taste starts off sweet with some light malt flavor which is quickly overpowered by a metallic taste.

Light mouthfeel and actually pretty smooth, alot of malt liquors can be pretty aggressive to the taste buds, this one isn't too bad.

Nothing I'm gonna keep my fridge stocked up with, but if I'm trying to get hammered for cheap and not impress anyone, I'll drink it again. I would much prefer to have this in a 40 oz. bottle.

Photo of Brad007
2.25/5  rDev -17%
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.

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's a bit fruity, too...somewhat like white 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.

Photo of biggred1
3.75/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honey golden with a fat creamy off white head that leaves splotches of lace on the glass. Smells of grits, cereal grain and the faintest suggestion of cluster hops. Tastes of toasted grain and sweet malt with some decent bitterness to balance. Warmingly alcoholic in the finish. Lighter bodied for the style and nicely carbonated. Suprisingly easy to drink, great beer to wash down some wings or barbecue. A fine example of the style.

Photo of Bookseeb
2.4/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance has a light golden color with a healthy crisp head. Smell and taste is corny, ricey and alchoholic with a sweet bitter bite. mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. A fun one to try from a 24 oz. can, but one I wouldn't go back to any time soon.
Note to self: don't try to pick up any chics with this one, it hits too hard to fast.

Photo of PatronWizard
2.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yep, that's right. Couldn't pass up this 8.5% beauty. Hard to get a higher ABV in my neck of the woods. How bad can it be?

Well, the counter wench dropped it as she was putting it into my bag because she was real busy with a phone call. I think that's what caused this huge head I'm looking at. Big white and fluffy. If not for the 'someone didn't flush in the middle of the night' color, I might think I had a decent brew.

Smell is of faint metallic grain. Thankfully not strong enough to be disgusting, but not pleasing at all.

Y'know, this doesn't taste half bad. Actually the aftertaste is a little on the nasty side, but the initial flavor is decent. Hard to put my finger on it; corny malty, slightly boozy, grainy. Not delicious, but I won't need to pour any out.

Says Very Smooth Lager right on the can and it definitely approaches smooth. I'm not a big fan of the style but this has to be one of the smoothest there is.

Good bang for the buck too. I would get this again if the proper alignment of low funds, poor selection, and time crunch presents itself.

Overall: I don't hate it

Photo of BitterLover
2.98/5  rDev +10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz can into a 20 oz Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: A careless pour resulted in a one finger fizzy white head that didn't stick around, and didn't leave any lacing behind. Light yellow color with moderate carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, with a slight banana smell. Not very much there.

Taste: No real "off" flavors, just very sweet with a hint of carbonation and only the slightest bitterness on the finish. I'd say it's worth every penny of the $1.29 that I paid for it, but I'll also say that you get what you pay for. It's actually not bad.

Mouthfeel: Not sharp carbonation as I was expecting before I poured it. Smooth.

Drinkability: It is drinkable, and I could see having one of these while I'm out barbecuing, saving the better, heavier beers for the meal.

Photo of TheTrevor
2.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured yellow with a small head and a ton of visible carbonation. The smell is sweet corn adjunct. The taste is surprisingly smooth, just some sweet corn with a little alcohol heat in the back. The mouthfeel has enough carbonation to be crisp. A very drinkable beer that excels at getting you from zero to drunk in a short amount of time. It's not exactly tasty, but it's also not as bad as I expected.

Photo of BierFan
3.43/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 24 ounce can into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: A hard pour gave me a decent snow-white head. Golden yellow with light carbonation. The head retention is fairly decent for the style and it has ok lacing.

Smell: Sweet and corny. No "off" smells, it's just like a heartier adjunct lager.

Taste: Rich and sweet. ABV is really hidden. This beer is really surprising me. I didn't think a malt liquor could be this good. Not that it's really anything great, but for this style it is.

Mouthfeel: It lives up to it's title as a "Very Smooth Lager". Almost creamy.

Photo of HardTarget
3.35/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

Photo of KeefD
3.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saw this one in a random liquor store in Wisconsin and knew I HAD to try it. HAHA! Pours a dark golden color with a nice creamy white head that fell quickly leaving some surprisingly decent lacing. Aroma is all corn and husky, grainy malts. Light sweetness in the nose. Taste is sweet, a lot of corn sugar, virtually no hops. Very smooth and easy drinking. Mouthfeel is crisp, no aftertaste whatsoever. This is actually not a horrible malt liquor. I've had much worse in my day. But that doesn't mean I want several of these at a time!

Photo of Pegasus
2.85/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of scottoale
3.75/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the large 24oz., into a Pizza Port pint glass to enhance the appeal. There is a canning code date on the bottom of can: 02239 C41503...I'm guessing drink by 2-23-09?

A nice piss-yellow gold with moderate carbonation and a large three-finger, fluffy white head. The head dwindles quickly, leaving some clingy lace and surface covering.

The smell is sweet and malty, with a dusty metallic thing going on. The hops perhaps? It actually smell's kind of nice.

The taste is kind of a's not offensive like I was expecting, on the contrary it is actually quite smooth and pleasant. Lot's of pale malt flavor, lightly sweet with a balanced, clean finish. It tastes a good as it looks...much to my amazement. This is probably the best tasting macro malt liquor I've ever had.

A solid medium body with a high ABV of 8.5%, the alcohol is really not noticable. This stuff actually drinks easy, especially coming from the can. $1.39 for 24fl.oz. that's quite drinkable...can't bitch about that. Safe for the masses!

Note: the only reason I picked this up was that I noticed that the Schlitz Gusto (60's Formula)
was getting decent reviews. I couldn't find it, so I tried this instead.

Photo of hellbilly
3.95/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

clear yellowish golden color with a surprisingly fluffy white head.

vegetal aroma though not corn... wood, earth, artificial sweetener and white grape juice. this lacks any real 'stink'.

the palate is quite dry for a ML... wait, no, it's quite dry period. chewy pale malty flavor with grapes, earth, grass and a clean crisp hoppy finish. medium bodied given the abv% and 'gravity' with a slick mouth feel (not sticky!) and an unusual crispness.

this certainly lives up to the moniker. it's very smooth and easy to drink. it doesn't make your eyes go all wacky from the rancid taste... i almost miss that in a 24 ounce get drunk quick delivery system. many respectable strong lagers aren't this tasty.

suspiciously, too good...

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.43/5  rDev +26.6%
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!

Photo of shadow1961
2.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Schlitz High Gravity VSL pours a huge fluffy head over a clear yellow
brew. High carbonation. The nose is your basic adjunct lager funk-
sweet corn, rice, and a sort of sourness only sharpened by the 8.5%
alcohol content. The flavor is mildly sweet- balanced not with hops but
with that alcohol burn. Notes of boiled veggies. Drink up, it doesn't get
better as it warms! Mouthfeel is full but also a bit rough due to that raw
alcohol burn. Union made in Milwaukee, WI, the only positive note here.
I have a feeling, though, that the boys down at the plant kick back with
something else after work. At a buck and a quarter for a 24 ounce tallboy,
it's not a bad way lay down that first all important buzz layer to start a bender
with. Not much of a beer though.

Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
66 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.