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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) - JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

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379 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 379
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 16.2%

Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst) visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed under contract for Pabst by Miller Brewing Co.

"Classic 1960's Formula" Schlitz Gusto reintroduced in 2008. 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. "tallboy" cans, and draft.

Original Schlitz in 12 oz. cans and draft:

(Beer added by: Pauly2X on 08-13-2008)
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Ratings: 379 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Go for the Gusto. Your Schlitz is back."

--Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company

Sun-splashed goldenrod with scads of sparkly carbonation leading up to an attractive cap of eggshell colored frothiness. I wonder if the head looks vastly superior to the heads on most American pale lagers because there are fewer (or no) adjuncts. A short sudsy collar of lace appears as the foam begins to recede.

The nose harbors no surprises, other than a lack of nastiness. The beer smells like cereal grains and musky hops, which is pretty much par for the style course. The brewery claims that this version has 'a more full-bodied taste' and 'more hop flavor'. Let's see if it actually does.

I'll be damned. Schlitz Gusto is the best beer of this style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. And it isn't even close. Most of the present day recipes taste like diluted pond water compared to this stuff. It tastes and feels like there's at least 50% more barley in here. I'm sure the cost of ingredients is most of the reason why the brewery dumbed down Schlitz in the 1970s.

Gusto is both sweeter (maltier) and slightly more bitter (hoppier) than any pale lager you'd care to name. If it had been a part of a MacroSmackdown, it would have blown the doors off the competition after the first mouthful. Untoasted grain is perfectly complemented by musky, almost grassy, hops. Simple never tasted so good.

I once gave a craft beer to a friend who described the mouthfeel as 'way too thick'. She would have thought the same about this mouthfeel. As a member of the 'bigger is almost always better' school, I think it's tremendous. If fact, this might be the best mouthfeel on any sub-5.0% lager ever. No joke.

I have always wondered what the iconic American brands tasted and drank like back in the day. If Schlitz was as good then as Schlitz Gusto is now, then it's even more disappointing how far the asshats at A-B, Miller and Coors have taken us down the road of, not even mediocrity, but godforsaken swillery. *This* is what an American pale lager should taste like.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 12:15:21 | More by BuckeyeNation
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3.16/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is the beer that introduced me to beer, in 1965.
It tasted good then, and tastes pretty good still. This has some traditional american beer flavor, with less sweetness than Bud, and more flavor than Pabst. After many years of drinking craft beers, I have to say that Schlitz is not great, but it is pretty good. Considering a price per ounce to taste analysis, Schlitz would be very tough to beat if price is an equal factor to taste.
I don't get this often because I only see it in suitcases of 30, but if it sold in six packs I'[d get it occasionally. It is a decent, yet cheap beer. It is better than some of the craft beers out there. I am amazed that it tastes the same as I recall from 1965.

Serving type: can

04-07-2014 00:17:50 | More by timfelix
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4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

- medium to big carbonation. Two fingers of head,fast dissipation. Even some decent lacing. Appears clear-golden as the philosophers stone.

S: smells crisp and somewhat beyond refreshing. Some faint herbal hop presence, malt...no kidding!

T: the taste/finish is very nice. There is a very mild hop bitterness on the end. herbal.

M: full bodied for the most part. Comes off very refreshing...might get some foam stuck in yer full-hipster beard if not careful...by the way,this beats PBR beer by a long shot...sorry.

- Very flavorful. Cheap in price but not in taste.

I found it at one store in my town & it was around $6 for a 6-pack of bottles and i even missed it at first glance through the "looking-glass"...went up to the counter and asked a man (probably in his early 70's) if they plan on gettin' it in anytime soon? he surprised me and said it should be back there and he knew right where it was, as if he pulled 'em down for himself more often than not before leaving work at the end of the day...
-more of these "Classic" Recipes should come back...vintage repro-guitars & vintage repro-beers are fine by me as long as they do it right..just like this beer.

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A - Poured out a clear yellow with a rich but fleeting head that retreated to a thin lace.

S - Grains with a slight hint of hops.

T - Cereal grains with some bitterness.

M - Thin body with decent carbonation and a neutral finish.

O - I was looking forward to this and frankly was disappointed. A typical AAL that is priced way too high for what you get. Since I wasn't quite of beer drinking age in the 60s (other than the occasional sip) I have to take their word this was the 60s formula. If so, I have to wonder how Schlitz ever challenged for number one (other than the fact their competition was another non-descript AAL).

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02-05-2014 11:32:35 | More by Retroman40
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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.