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

Not Rated.
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

442 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 442
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 60
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
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: 442 | Reviews: 245 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MirkoCroCough
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Nice golden color. A bit more dusk than regular Schlitz.

Clean, beery smell. Not as strong as regular version.

Good, but the kiss of the hops is toned down. Still not bad however.

Smooth and slick with nice carbonation and finish.

Very easy to drink. Somewhat cleaner, lighter and less syrupy than regular Schlitz. Looks like this version will be phasing out the canned "Kiss of the hops" Schlitz. Still a solid, no frills beer. Will drink again.

Photo of meeekyh
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a pilsner glass.

Pale, clear, white-headed beer.

The nose hit me right out of the bottle. American Adjunct for sure. Very light and not as clean as I'd like. There is a faint grass smell there but not much else.

Taste is clean and just a bit sweet, but grainy-sweet not sugar-sweet. A light tang accompanies. It is refreshingly clean and free of aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is slightly fuller than what I usually experience in an AAL but not so much to be a medium-bodied beer. Carbonation is pretty standard and the finish is slightly dry.

Even as the beer warms slightly the aftertaste does not get out of hand and the overall light-grain, tangy-goodness remains. This is pitcher beer and I would love to try it on draught. Quite quaffable.

A very drinkable AAL. Slainte.

Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep golden straw color. One and a half finger white head shows medium retention. Nice streaking of lace on the sides of the glass. As far a adjunct lagers go this one looks a little better than most.

S- The aroma is muted which can be good for this style at times (you know what I'm talking about). There is a nice sweet grainy presence with hints of malt in the front of the nose. Backend you get a light hopping and surprisingly enough no metallic off tones. Once again even muted this is a little above most adjunct lagers.

T- Sweet light malt upfront with more of a grainy flavor toward the middle of the beer. Ending has a light green apple flavor which I don't know is an off flavor or not but actually balances out this beer a little. The ending has a light floral hop to it. The flavors while mostly highly muted still showed that adjuncts could be clean tasting.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Sweet malty grains are left on the palate. Same goes for the aftertaste with a clean alcohol flavor and a hint of floral hopping. Flavors while being muted were well balanced for the style. Off flavors were not present although the green apple in the ending may or may not have been intentional. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This beer goes down very easy. No off flavors which limit most adjunct lagers to me. Low BAV makes this the perfect lawnmower beer to me.

Photo of cyrock1
2.9/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale Gold to straw color with a bright white /2 inch head that dwindles down to about a sliver over time.

Smell: Light grain on the nose with a hint of citrus/lemon.

Taste: Classic American Macro Lager taste, not thin or watery though.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation with mild bittering hops.

Drinkability: A true beer, unlike the other yellow fizzy things people call beer these days. I was pleasantly surprised.

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very light with no head and no lacing.

Smell: Grains and malt. Sweet smelling.

Taste: sweet grains and malt with no trace of hops.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink a sessionable beer for sure.

Photo of beerdepartment
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3



Rolling Rock is the palest (by a fraction) of all of the beers, which is not necessarily appetizing; the darkest is actually High Life, which is a shock, but the range is so small that I would call these nearly identical in color. Bubbles look most appetizing in Shlitz, which is actually the most champagne looking in bubble structure. Take that High Life! Budweiser is perhaps the most elegant with the velvety head that is retained better than those of all of the others. After a few minutes, RR and Schlitz heads have faded to amorphous, perhaps pangea-like shapes -- HL and Bud have wall-to-wall carpets of (thin) foam. Overall, with bubbles and head accounted for, High Life is winner in appearance.

aroma: RR has a cidery note on the first big whiff; pleasant; Schlitz is marked by a yeastier, older smell; not bad, but RR was fresher and nicer smelling; High Life is subtle enough to almost be imperceptibe yeast if anything; Budweiser impresses with a melon-like freshness; whats the deal? It smells good. On second whiff RR is more pickle-like than cider like -- not as good; Schlitz still yeasty on second snort, with some malt; HL has some less pleasant yeast smells coming through; Budweiser yet again shocks with a very nice fresh smell, with a bit of funk from something in there. Overall, Bud wins the aroma challenge.

taste: (all tastings were separated by Bravo pizza, which is the most appropriate palate cleanse for this that I can imagine.

RR tastes like water with a splash of melon juice, carbonation, some malt, and yeast; Schlitz has a bit more going on; slightly bigger flavor, slightly more pronounced malt; no melon; less watery; better than RR; HL exemplifies the amazing power of american bulk lager makers to make beer that tastes like more than carbonated water but still not like much of anything -- better than RR, but that could be a mouthfeel issue; like all so far, finishes clean, maybe with some corn note and a thin gossamer of bitterness; Budweiser has a bit of malt and corn noticeable, but nothing wild by comparison; this competition seems less a competition of flavor than a competition of body and mouthfeel; second gulps (big ones) verify the melon lightness of RR; Schlitz is a bit more corny on the second time around, and maybe a tiny hop flower present; High Life still evades capture by my power of description; Budweiser ringing a bit buttery/watery oak this time. Overall, although this defies my theory, Rolling Rock seems to be the winner on taste. There is actually something intriguing about the freshness an fruitiness of it; it is enough to make me wonder what was in the glass last, or if my soap tastes like fruit, but I really think this glass was good to go. Budweiser second. Schlitz third. High Life 4th. Bear in mind that none of these beers is putting others to shame in any category so far; this is a near tie. Maybe only Jackson or Parker's tongue could rank these, because mine is struggling. For the record, they all do have some hops in them as the bitterness is ringing now. And I'm basically 10 minutes into a power hour, so I'll get to mouthfeel ASAP.

Mouthfeel: Schlitz struck me through all of these tastes as having the most pleasant mouthfeel, but I'll test one more time: At this point, after sitting out for just a few minutes, Schlitz is struggling to retain carbonation at all, which is why it felt pleasantly dense at the beginning. This is a noticeable problem for Schlitz -- there is no lacing on the glass whatsoever; it is the most dead looking of all the beers BY FAR. Rolling Rock and High Life look tastiest in terms of foam now, and that matters for mouthfeel. Rolling Rock and Bud are doing the best at retaining carbonation. Schlitz is truly almost flat. High Life is struggling to taste and feel as though it should be drunk and not left as a wounded soldier.

JUDGEMENT: I am suprised to say that with everything taken into account, if I were to go to the store to buy an 18 pack, I would buy Rolling Rock. Let that speak for itself. But let it be known that not everything comes in 18 packs, and that might change things. So let me say that if I were to buy a loose beer again out of these 4, it would be a Rolling Rock.

Congratulations Rolling Rock; you have survived this round of economy class beer competition.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of adam42381
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass. Freshness date of March 21, 2011 printed on bottle.

Appearance: Pours a clear light gold with a 1 finger foamy white head. Decent lacing. Typical adjunct lager look.

Smell: Grain and sweet malt with floral hops in the background. Smells better than any adjunct lager I've had.

Taste: Pale malt up front followed by sweet grains in the middle and ending with a light hint of bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is very light and mildly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. Goes down very easy. You could knock back several of these without much trouble.

Overall: Top of the line adjunct lager. This is what cheap American beer should taste like. While this isn't going to thrill craft beer lovers, it's definitely worth buying when you're looking to go cheap. I'll be buying more.

Photo of dbossman
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pale straw yellow hue with a small but steady head; quite carbonated; lacing is minimal

S: Grainy with a subtle amount of citrus hop presence; a touch buttery but wet grains win out mostly; simple and muted but fairly pleasant

T: Crisp, clean, grainy beer; tastes like a cleaned up, non-offensive BMC; nothing great but it's refreshing enough; mild hop presence

F: Carbonated and thin but a bit of the beer does manage to cling to the roof of the mouth

D: Well, it's drinkable and refreshing but in the end it is still just a schlitz--a good go-to-drink-from-the-bottle kind of beer (if you have to have one); and I imagine this to be just the right kind of beer to have after a humid afternoon of mowing the lawn, but it's 7 degrees outside right now, so I think I'll pass on having another for now

Photo of ColdPoncho
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The body of this beer is crystal clear, brilliant golden yellow, producing a perfectly white head and streams of very fine bubbles rushing to the surface. It's the only beer I've ever heard, and it made a very exciting whoosh as the beer neared the top of my glass. An easy 5 for appearance.

S - Small smell. Theres a hint of that green apple tang, kind of like Budweiser. There's a clean malt backbone to it, and I do think I detect some mild hops. It smells ok.

T - Again, small in this department, but that's good - it's balanced in that way. Up front, you get a light and clean malt character, and at the back the slight green apple tang finishes the beer. Simple, unadorned, retro.

M - Very light, but surprisingly thick. Verging on chewy. I don't know how that's possible. The carbonation is a bit more than I like in beer, but it seems to be in keeping with the style.

D - This beer is very drinkable. It's small in alcohol, there's nothing offensive anywhere in it. It's not like drinking water, for obvious reasons, but it's almost as easy. However, because of that, I don't like drinking it all that much. And that's really what it comes down to, for me.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

schlitz tall boy

a 2.5-3 clear light gold, one finger white head doesn't leave a ring long enough to see the glass all the way through. transient lace.

s 3.5 grains, including corn. mildly grassy hops. good at times, on other occassions not as aromatic as i remembered (from last year, not the 60s).

t 3.5-4 light barley flavors, corn flakes, smooch of hops to offset the mild sweetness. it works, though. better i dare say than most micro attmepts. better than full sail session lager.

m 3-3.5 not nearly as watery as it could be, about right for the style. medium to big bubbled carbonation doesn't particularly impress though.

o 3.5-4

Photo of richkrull
2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pale straw color. Good amount of head but it was gone pretty quickly.

S - Smelled like grain. Not a bad smell.

T - Malty, bitter finish.

M - OK except for the aftertaste.

D - Not terrible but I'm just not a big fan of this beer. For the rating it gets, I thought it would be better.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks you calbertb2 for this tick :)

Appearance- pours crystal clear and golden in color. Pure white head. Very pretty pour.

Smell- Some mild hops on the nose. Not much to the smell but it does smell clean and crisp

Taste- Very clean and crisp. Amazingly smooth and tasty for the style

Mouthfeel- Thin light mouthfeel

Drinkability- very drinkable. A top notch reprsentation of the style

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Been a while since I tried this one. Poured into a pilsener glass from a 12 ounce bottle.

A: This beer pours a crystal clear, pale straw color with a foamy white head that settles gradually. Slower than I expected. Lacing clings to the glass, but settles quickly.

S: Slightly grainy on the nose, with hints of biscuit and lemon. Floral hop aromas linger in the backround.

T: Taste is rather pleasant. Much like the aroma, with biscuit, lemon, and just a touch of honey. Hops give the beer a floral, crisp finish.

Notes: The beer that made Milwaukee famous is a
light-bodied, very easy going session beer. Schlitz has made a smart decision when they decided to release this brew. While there is nothing spectacular about Gusto, it's actually pretty decent and quite drinkable. A perfect lawnmower brew.

Photo of happygnome
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a straw yellow color with about a quarter inch of head made up of large bubbles that disappear quickly leaving a slim ring of lace around the edge of the glass. carbonation bubbles continue to rise to the top of the beer

s: crisp, fresh aroma courtesy of the carbonation. sweet malty aroma light hop bitterness

t: sweet malty flavor balanced lightly with hop bitterness, for its style it is nice

overall, this is a good beer for it's style i liked it but

Photo of Chaz
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Schlitz "Tall Boy" is actually a silo*. That said, it's a nice looking package, and if I squint and cross my eyes a little I can almost imagine it being an flat top with a bit of rust all around...

Pours a brilliant pale-golden in color, topped with a two-fingered off white head which exhibits fairly good lacing and duration.

Pleasant, bready nose. No real "hop presence" here, but it's slightly sharp/astringent, lightly metallic, and ever-so-slightly fruity/perfume-y. But the pale malt notes dominate, and that's a very good thing for this style.

Semi-sweet on the first sip, with a malt profile focused on a dry, light, biscuit malt character. Bready. All malt? Nope, but this recipe might fool you on the first sip, or perhaps after you've had one too many and your palate's shot : ) "Neutral" is a term that comes to mind, and here it should be taken as a compliment -- this is the sort of neutral that I look for in a Helles or an Export, with a focus toward drinkability and even "sessionability".

A good beer for the style, and for $2 in a can 'all day long' at Dean's on Rice Street? Hell yeah! I can think of a much worse beer back for my bloody mary.

*Note: Whereas Tall Boys were always 24 ounce cans marketed by some old grandpa brewer looking for a clever name for that particular format, "Silos" were 16 ounce cans -- maybe it's just a Midwest colloquial thing, but for the can collector in me this approach to "retro marketing" is mildly irksome.

Photo of rjplumer
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly good for a macro brew pale lager. Slightly hoppy taste which goes down smooth. A pale yellow with a touch of amber. The head quickly disappears. Very carbonated. Has a slight zing to the taste and then leaves quickly. Goes down nice and smooth. One of the better pale lager macro brews I've tasted.

Photo of emerge077
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall Pilsner glass from the 16 oz. tallboy can. "Classic 60's Formula" on the can, to clear up any confusion.

Pale gold with rising trails of fizz. A finger of foam rises and falls quickly, leaving a broken skim after the first sip.

Clean grainy malt aroma, nothing skunky (it's a can) or unpleasant. A vigorous swirl brings a bare hint of lager-ish sulfur.
Faint floral hop hint.

Crackery, crisp taste, very light bodied, dry and slightly bitter at first (kiss of hops?), with an apple hint in the aftertaste. Clean, simple, straightforward. Carbonation is moderate, and isn't gassy. This is the best macro lager i've tried to date. Easy to drink several, tastes better in warm weather somehow.

Photo of Kalashnakoviet
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a 20 oz Imperial Pint

A: Clear and straw colored. Pour resulted in a finger width head that lingered for quite a while.

S: Super clean. Smells like beer. Not much more to say.

T: Enjoyed extra cold out of a glass. This is an American Lager at its simplest. There is way more to it than its industrial brothers (MGD, Bud, Coors). It's super clean tasting. A touch of hops adds to the crispness.

M: Light; clean; refreshing. Great on a summer evening, with a burger and fries, or watching the Brewers on FSN.

D: Smooth and easy to drink. More nuanced than your average American Lager.

Notes: I do feel that I've missed out a bit. I'm far to young to have ever been subjected to the awful Schlitz brewed in the '70's and '80's. I didn't even know it existed at all until the re-released Schlitz was half-ironically brought to a Packer game by one of my dad's friends. It immediately became - and has stayed - one of my favorites when I want to kick back after a long day.

Photo of weizenbob
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass, served ice cold. Label reads: "The BEER That Made Milwaukee Famous"

Appearance: It looks quite appealing. Golden brown with a nice foamy head that lingers for a few moments before settling as a ring around the top of the glass. This is a shade darker than your typical adjunct lager.

Smell: This smells like a classic American beer, the kind your dad drank.

Taste: It's a relatively light beer, though a bit more flavorful than your average adjunct lager. Light carbonation provides a bit of bubbly effervescence on the tongue, revealing flavors of rice and "just the kiss of the hops". This is actually the hoppiest adjunct that I've encountered. Don't think IPA by any means, but it's a pleasant surprise to actually notice some hop character in an inexpensive beer.

Notes: This revival of the classic Schlitz formula is a pleasant surprise. There's something comforting about a good old American Adjunct Lager done right. Schlitz is a great easy drinking and refreshing brew that could even please your beer-snob buddies. It's my go-to cheap beer.

Photo of lester619
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Everyone has probably heard the story. After World War II, Schlitz, Miller and Blatz were all huge Milwaukee Breweries. Schlitz being the largest. Some time around 1970, some clueless numb-nuts in the boardroom decided to cut corners with the recipie to save money. This basically ruined the company. There is something very beer advocate about that story. Anyway, this is one of the tastier fizzy yellow mass consumption beers I have had. Very clean, straight forward beer flavor. Not overly sweet or grainy, with a snappy bitter finish. No unpleasant aftertaste. It's been a while since I've had the other Schlitz formula. I don't remember much other than it sucked. This didn't.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: Clear yellow with a small head that leaves a minimal amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Simple and unoffensive. Not much happening here. Smells exactly like what it is, minus any off kilter scents.

T: Decent tasting and simple. Much better than the typical beer of this style. I am actually enjoying it.

M: Smooth and easy. No unpleasant or cloyingly sweet cheap aftertaste, which I dread when drinking macro lagers.

D: I would have this again. A fine example of the style.

Photo of tone77
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to woodychandler for the trade.Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some corn. Taste is crisp, malts with some hops, a touch of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall one of the better adjunct lagers I have had.

Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer from sitarist, thanks. Probably the last schlitz beer I'll drink for a while. Best AAL though. Poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is yellow and clear, small head and low carbonation. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is weak and grainy.

Beer is thin and has a slight grainy aftertaste. It is almost vegetal. Eu, VSL was better. I'm done Schlitz. Peace.

Photo of sitarist
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, faint golden color...bubbles of various sizes rise up to a white head that falls to barely a ring.

Smells like cereal...a bit grassy.

Taste better than other beers of this style. Grassy with a mild sweetness.

Medium body with a nice attack of carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, cold anyways.

Photo of Redrover
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown longneck poured into my SA perfect pint glass. The beer is gold with a decent bone white head.

The aroma is of grains, a bit of perfume like hops and some honey.

The taste is slightly sweet with some grains, a bit of apple, some honey (again) and a touch of bitterness at the finish. Beer is well balanced and the hops become slightly more assertive mid-glass.

The mouth has crisp carbonation and a good feel. Very easy drinker. This and the reformulated Old Style are a good one two nostalgia punch. So much better than most macros.

Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.