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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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378 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 378
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: 378 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of robertdrinks

1.5/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This was not good. I think i received a real can from the 60's.
It had a slight cloudy yellow appearance to which should be clear golden. no head to speak of.

smelled of basement

taste was bad and sour. no skunk, just flat and awful.

i would like to try this again because i think i received a bad can. i will update my review if i find it better in the future.

Serving type: can

09-14-2012 15:55:02 | More by robertdrinks
Photo of cityofFestivals


3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed straight from 12oz can. As is the trend with most 'old school' American Adjunct Brewers, Schlitz is making an attempt to re-brand themselves to a younger audience, but with mixed reviews. They've increased the prices of their cases by 2-3 dollars (at least in this part of the country), and it's turned some people off. IMO, this is a highly drinkable and very quality sessionable beer.

(A) As mentioned, had straight from the can, so appearance wasn't something I was that interested in. Pouring a can out for this review, it appears a pale yellow as you would expect any beer of this class.

(T) Honestly, this is the strongest attribute of this beer. Schlitz Gusto starts clean, finishes clean. In between is a mix of maltiness, a hint of sweetness and a touch of hops. Not too overpowering, done just right. Refreshing. Some in this class leave a weird, pasty aftertaste in your mouth, not this one. Excellent drinker.

(O) Again, probably my favorite of the re-branded American Adjunct beers. I gave it an overall score of 4 because I believe it to be above average in that it delivered everything I was looking for in this particular beer. Flavorful, refreshing and an all around solid beer. Super underrated, and very well done. Most likely won't appeal to fans of 'big' beers, but this beer certainly has it's place. For whatever reason, here in central PA Schlitz has become almost impossible to get. I picked this up at a distro in Chester County, and will make it a point to stock up.

Serving type: can

09-13-2012 12:23:49 | More by cityofFestivals
Photo of HalfFull


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into a pils glass. 'The Classic 1960's Formula' perhaps mimics the old man's beer of choice back in the day? Pours your typical mass produced clear medium straw in color. Head retention does seem a bit better than average.

Nice aroma actually as a subtle noble hop presence is muddled with some light grainy malt and a hint of yeast. No adjunct evidence really. Creamy lemon bread though very light and balanced.

Pleasant attributes do indeed carry forward to the taste. Slightly creamy with a subtle carbonation, bit of lemon again and some subdued grain. Not as coarse as you'd expect from a pilsner but surely leaning in that direction. Feel is full and lingers much longer than your big three lagers. A touch of sweetness is present to make that happen but yet hardly there. I guess it has a slight malt body vs. near zero in a Bud for example.

Overall a very light German Pils with a hint of Saaz hops I would guess. Quite pleasant given its competition.

Serving type: can

09-05-2012 03:48:10 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Pegasus


3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear pale golden in color, with a large white head, which dissipates rather quickly. Three is a steady stream of small slow-rising bubbles. The lacing is glass-coating, thin, and very fine beaded.

Aroma: Light corn and white bread notes, and a little steeliness.

Taste: Opens with a moderate hop flourish, a bit more than typical for the style. This carries throughout the taste, and rises a bit towards the close. The malt is light, with notes of subtle caramel and toastiness. Finishes with a lingering metallic and medicinal hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: This was my Dad's beer of choice and the first beer i ever tried. Based on that very distant memory, the present version seems a lot like the original.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass longneck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a Chimay chalice.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 20:22:22 | More by Pegasus
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear pale yellow color with a fluffy, big-bubbled head that slips down to a little ring. Clean, lager-y aroma - there's actually a nice, spicy hop note, which is surprising. A bit of lemon, sweet cereal grain, and a touch of sulfur. Chuggable, inoffensive flavor - crisp, spicy hop and grain. Not bad at all. I could drink a hell of a lot of these on a hot day (or anytime for that matter). This just might be my go-to cheap beer of choice from now on...

Serving type: can

07-13-2012 01:49:55 | More by wedge
Photo of iSip


2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Schlitz: I usually drink wheat beers during the summer, but thought I would work through the classic mass produced US beers as a change of pace. The Schlitz has a darker golden color, light carbonation, and a decent head. The aroma is very mild. The malt flavor is up front, and finishes with some bitter. The only drawback to this beer is an abrasive aftertaste, which takes it off of my list. PBR still holds the lead. Stay tuned.

Serving type: can

07-05-2012 13:58:38 | More by iSip
Photo of rangerred


3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz tall boy into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium gold with a fluffy but shorted lived 1.5 finger head.

Smell definitely has some hops buried within. Some citrus and earth sneaks through. Can pick up corn and just a little bit of grain.

The flavor is quite malty. Some adjunct that I believe is corn sneaks through but does not overpower. A tiny bit of citrus followed by a light, drying bitterness that finishes clean.

A very well done and refreshing AAL. One of the better ones out there. The greatest thing about this beer is the price. I picked up a 6 pack of tall boys on sale for $4.

Serving type: can

05-31-2012 21:22:28 | More by rangerred
Photo of 12stepCornelius


3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer after spotting it in the beer isle of my hometown grocery store. I already knew about it, knowing that it was huge in the 60s, but has since puttered out in popularity. Well I'll say, this is one adjunct lager that surprised me quite a bit.

I poured it from a 12 oz. can into a typical pint glass. The head frothed up bubbly and pure white, diminishing quickly as most adjuncts do. However, before it diminished I gave it a whiff and noticed much more malt and hop nose coming through. This is something I don't quite get with say budweiser or pbr. I also was unaware until I was about halfway through the 12 pack I bought that this was the re-issued classic 60s formula. I had heard that Schlitz was no longer as good as it was before they changed how they brewed it, but that it now tasted like a Schlitz should. This beer also has a higher carbonation than most adjuncts I drink. More on par with the carb of High Life.

This beer tastes spicy and bitter to me. Which is right up my alley when it comes to a cold one. You can taste a good bit of hops with some sweetening malts about halfway through a swig. Your left with the bitter aftertaste of the hops, giving a satisfying taste each time you take a drink.

The mouthfeel is bubbly and sharp, hence the high carbonation. But because of this, makes it that much more refreshing.

All in all, I'd say this has become my new favorite American adjunct I've had so far. I usually pick up Budweiser, High Life, and Pabst; but I'd say this tops them all in my opinion. Not sure I could say the same if they hadn't re-introduced the classic formula before I hit 21, but oh well, lucky me! However, if you like more malt and less bitter hops, I'd go with something else. The only downside about this beer is that I can't get it where I currently live. I'll have to pick up a couple 12 packs each time I'm home from college. Anyway, a refreshing, satisfying adjunct to quench your thirst and catch a buzz on a hot summer day. Now all I need is a wife with a beehive and a '64 Chevy in the driveway.

Serving type: can

05-28-2012 19:28:07 | More by 12stepCornelius
Photo of Cyberkedi


2.28/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this at the PAMdemonium Mensa gathering. Aroma is weak but one does get a hint of malt. It pours a typical clear yellow with an unremarkable white head. Flavor, though, is better than I expected - strong, malty and just a little fruity. Body leaves something to be desired, but not the fizz. Overall, not bad for an industrial lager.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 01:12:16 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of buh

New York

4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured from can to pilsner glass - poured fast to produce a good 2" head. Bright golden color, lots of bubbles. Lots of lacing left behind as the beer warms in your glass.

S- Rich bread aroma and slightly sweet. Malt.

T- Slightly sweet - touch of malt. Not bitter.

M- soft and creamy, doesn't sting

O- $3.99 in NY - date on bottom of can was 3 months out (fresh)

Tip: pour fast, build up a good 2-3 inch head and let it settle an inch before enjoying. Vent some of the carbonation - that's how these were made to be enjoyed.

Better at 45F rather than right from a 37F fridge.

Serving type: can

05-20-2012 23:47:03 | More by buh
Photo of Etan


3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pint can.

A: Pours a clear gold with a large white head.

S: Sweet corny grain with some light and clean phenols.

T: Brief wave of slight hop bitterness, followed by mildly sweet bready malt. Pleasing grain taste in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Not quite as dry as most AALs, which allows a bit of the sweet malt character to come out. Pretty nice (for the style).

Serving type: can

05-19-2012 07:17:27 | More by Etan
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schlitz was the first beer I ever tasted. That was way back in 1973, and I drank it straight out of the can. Over the years I've thought about that beer. In fact, I thought about it a lot. I thought I could remember how it tasted. The beers (of a similar style) that I was tasting in, say, the 80's or so, were just lacking. But at the same time I thought I was imagining it. How could I possibly remember?

So, upon finding Schlitz Gusto in the "classic 1960's formula", I had to try it. I bought a case of cans and I can't complain. It was $16.99 for 24 / 12 oz. cans, so it's still cheap beer. In any case, with my very first sip I thought "yes, this is as I remember it". Of course, I might be imagining that as well but I don't think so. It's the hops that I remember. It had some bitterness and some hop flavor to it (a little bit herbal, a little bit floral) - not that I knew what hops were back then. But I did know in the 80's that the beers I was drinking then lacked any bite, and even malt. The 'new' beer that reminded me most of that first beer I'd had was Yuengling's Lord Chesterfield Ale, but that had a bit more bite and body, and the hops weren't quite right. I know they're using all Cascade now, but I wonder what they were back in 1985. And I'm only guessing, but Schlitz was probably using Cluster hops back then. I wonder if they're Cluster hops now.

In conclusion, after such a long story, it's nice to have an American adjunct lager on the market that's got some hops to it, and a bit of malt flavor as well.

Serving type: can

05-12-2012 01:04:12 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of regionrat37


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- typical AAL, thin head some lacing
Smell- nothing offensive, a little bit of hops with corn
Taste-Honestly the best tasting macro brew on the market, sweetness up front with a clean and slightly hoppy finish
Mouth feel- Incredibly smooth, it is not fizzy beer water like alot of other macros are.
Drinkabillity- This is incredibly drinkable. One can easily knock back a six pack.

This is by far the best macro brew that you can get. Granted it is not in the same league as the micro brew stuff. However, I was surprised about how good this is.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 21:17:43 | More by regionrat37
Photo of adjunctjonez


4.69/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Schlitz 60s recipe is hands down the best AAL available. I buy it often as it is one of my favorite all time beers. The appearance is rich golden hue and the head actually laces/clumps. The smell is grainy, yeasty and hoppy. The taste is malt forward with the adjunct adding prickly crispness while the noticeable hops finishes very cleanly. Mouthfeel is very smooth and the beer is highly drinkable @ 4.7abv. I believe this to be one of the best beers available anywhere esp relative to pricing.

Serving type: can

04-02-2012 14:53:27 | More by adjunctjonez
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On a recent adventure to Millwaukee, I was offered a "Tall Boy" of Schlitz, the classic '60s formula. It poured light golden with sticky white foam. A sweet bready aroma wafted above the glass. This trend continued onto the palate, was a tad hollow in the center before being whisked away with the lightest dash of hops. I highly drinkable and gentle brew. Not bad, really.

Serving type: can

04-01-2012 23:07:38 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at a roadside dive bar last night in Noblestown, PA...damn this beer was drinking smooth for a beer that just drinks like a classic. This is the beer that made Milwaukee famous. Pours a sparkling pale light golden color with a bright white head forming thick, actually holds onto the head quite a bit. Fine speckled lacing layers arounds the sides of my glass. Aroma has abright cereal grain sweetness, seems a bit mineral in the middle but overall a nice sweetness meant to be drank by the masses especially during the industrial revolution. This neck label states that this is the classic 1960s formula. Drinks so nicely semie sweet cereal notes goes down smooth it's actually chuggable and likeable and sessionable. Amazing that an old retro beer can come back and actually be drinkable for someone like me who has tried almost 2500 different beers. Happy to see this brew in a dive bar, I actually took a six pack home and cleared them out of their Schlitz supply.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 19:41:14 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Knapp85


2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured out as a clear looking yellow color. Not much to really say here. It had a small white head on top for a little while but faded quickly. The smell of the beer was of corn and other grains. The taste of the beer was light, clean and simple. No levels of complexity at all. The mouthfeel of the beer was drinkable, I drank it rather quickly just to finish it. Overall I bought a bottle with the only intention of saying I had it. I wasn't expecting anything from it or even expecting to like it. It's a beer, That wraps it up pretty well I think.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 04:23:50 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Bierwolf


3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsener.

Appearance: Light to medium yellow; Snow white head of about 1-1/2 fingers; The head reduces to a thin layer leaving some lacing; Good carbonation.

Smell: Malt with hops in the background; Some grain; Alcohol.

Taste: Mild and evenly balanced. Very mild hop bitterness.

Mouth Feel: Light to medium body; Smooth all the way through to the finish.

Overall: In my opinion this is a decent beer for this style. It was refreshing and just sitting back and drinking one is a pleasant experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 17:36:34 | More by Bierwolf
Photo of jtnelson40


3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from bottle into a mug, golden color, plenty of carbonation, fluffy, white head, finger width...good lacing left behind.

S- Bready, sweet.

T- Hoppy, I'm surprised here!

M- Light and very smooth

O- I really like this beer, it has some flavor, goes down easy, and for the price, 5.69/6 pack, you really can't beat it.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 03:13:50 | More by jtnelson40
Photo of acevenom


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an old Schlitz flared pilsner glass. Pours straw colored with a fluffy white head and has abundant carbonation. The head dissipates rather quickly. The aroma is sweet and smells of light malt. The taste is crisp with good light malt and hop flavors. The mouthfeel is light for this is smooth and drinkable beer. There is some lacing left on the glass. If I need a go to American adjunct lager as a session beer, I would look no further than Schlitz.

Serving type: can

02-14-2012 23:11:13 | More by acevenom
Photo of imasloth


3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from can into pint glass in stages because of great amount of carbonation/head. Bubbles are plentiful in light yellow, clear beer. Large white foamy head that slowly recedes leaving slight lacing on glass.

S- Sweet, with a light malt and hop odor. A bit 'skunky', but much more aromatic than many AAL.

T- Was highly enjoyable when we bought the twelve pack to use in beer pong. Gave off more hops than any AAL I'd had before ... Now, the same. Pleasant, crisp flavor with a good malt backdrop.

M- Light-bodied as to be expected, but truly goes down smooth.

O- It certainly looks nice. It won't overwhelm you in any category, but this is the way to go if you are strapped for cash or need a light, fizzy drink.

Serving type: can

02-06-2012 23:56:50 | More by imasloth
Photo of BearsOnAcid


3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How do you know you've gone too far as a beer geek?

You are reviewing Shlitz at a bar during trivia on a Monday night.

This was in a can so I can't give it a proper appearance rating. I looked inside and I would say it's black.

Smelled like your normal pale American lager. Classic bread-like malt aroma.

Very light flavor of noble hops. Some sweet malt. Crisp lager finish. Refreshing, watery, spritzy, and tall. This is a go-to for trivia night. $3 a can. I prefer it a little more to High Life or something like that. There's a little more flavor. But I can still pound these all night and rock it out with the woo! dudes like a boss.

Serving type: can

02-05-2012 23:01:57 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of godlessape


3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I remember swiping these brews out of my Dad's--Uncle's and Grandfather's refrigerators when I was a teenager. They were cold, wet, and they got yeah buzzed--and that's all that mattered. Now what matters is price, and with my favorite package store selling 12 packs at $4.99, what can I say?

Appearance: Typical straw colored body with a meager head that barely stays on.

Smell: Bready, yeasty, with just a hint of malt sweetness.

Taste: I get a little sweet malt notes, a bit of corn meal, and a surprising hop bite. Not bad at all.

Mouth-feel: Decent for the style. It might need a little more carbonation.

Overall: This is my "go to" adjunct brew. Not just a lawnmower beer, but a spacer--a beer to drink in between expensive beers. Just as good as Bud, Miller, PBR, and at the price I'm getting them for, I'd be crazy not to pick up a 12 or 2 on the weekend--every weekend.

Serving type: can

02-04-2012 05:10:04 | More by godlessape
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium straw hue with a two finger frothy bone white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured sweet adjunct malts and a light grassy hop.

The taste consisted of upfront sweet malts with a lingering drying grassy and herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was extremely smooth and didn't turn that harsh corner like most adjunct lagers do.

Overall a tasty macro.

Serving type: can

01-22-2012 21:49:31 | More by plaid75
Photo of WastingFreetime


2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle with the "Classic 1960s Formula" tagline on it's neck label.

A. Light straw yellow with fizzy soda head that dies back to nothing in 30 seconds flat, no lacing at all.

S. Once the initial bottle-opening rush of husky grains and cooked corn settles down, there is really not much to smell here beyond a faint sort of crystal malt.

T. Sweet crystal malt, very light herbal / earthen hopping. Surprisingly light on cooked corn flavor for an American Adjunct Lager.

M. Lighter side of medium flavor...yet strangely undercarbonated, it just lies limp on my tongue without any effervescence at all.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 00:31:31 | More by WastingFreetime
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.