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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) - Steel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

526 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 526
Hads: 1,131
Avg: 2.46
pDev: 53.25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 155 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steel Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor | 8.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 09-13-2001

Brewed in different abv. versions: 6.0%, 7.3%, 8.1%, & reports of a 8.9%
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) Alström Bros
Reviews: 526 | Hads: 1,131
Photo of mynie
1.8/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark yellow with a tiny head that goes away as fast as a day dream. You reserve the 1.0 appearance ratings for beers you have a special bent against, don't you? I mean really how bad can a beer look? Not quite the worst I've ever seen, this one.

No odor but the fire of rotten malt.

No taste but that of rotten malt and an oddly pasturized euro pils kind of funk. Not good. Nearly horrible.

This is what homeless people drink when they're out of money. Aged for at least 28 days, it says on the can. So it's just as good as period juice. Tastes a little better. Not much. Avoid.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.12/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Today is a good day for Malt Likkapalooza III, another in my series of head-to-head matchups that pit the mongrels of the beer world, malt liquors, against one another in a fight to the very death (hopefully, not mine). Today's bout will be between this can of Steel Reserve 211 and a can of Nighthawk Premium Malt Liquor. Both are brewed in Wisconsin. What is it with those Badgers and their malt liquor?

Lightly dusted gold that sparkles in the bright blast of morning sun slanting through my front window. For all intents and purposes, the color is identical to the color of Nighthawk; they might as well be the same beer. The heads are virtually identical as well. The color is dingy white and looks like year-old newspaper. The texture is both soft and mealy, which doesn't promote persistence or lace. Not good.

The noses are scarily similar as well. This one is more subdued and is a trifle more grainy. Nighthawk's is more aromatic, sweeter and fruitier. I prefer the latter, but I haven't yet decided whether it's enough of a difference to deserve a higher score.

This beer is clearly the beast in this competition. It's noticeably stronger and more alcoholic on the palate. If SR's ABV is 8.1%, NH's must be closer to 5-6%. This product is for those who want a high alcohol content and don't mind that it's a major part of the flavor profile. It tastes like corn macerated in vodka. Not grain alcohol and not Stolichnaya, but something in between.

The mouthfeel is firm. Not full, thick or supple, but firm. Like the butt end of a machine pistol. It is, perhaps, the best malt liquor mouthfeel going as far as I'm concerned. I don't have much to say about the carbonation. At least it continues to be present and continues to attempt to lighten the load.

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) is the clear winner of Malt Likkapalooza III, the most lopsided competition yet. Its uncompromising nature won't be to everyone's liking, but if you're going to brew a malt liquor then, dammit, brew a malt liquor that you can be proud of. When it comes to beer of this style, erring on the side of 'too much' is infinitely preferable to erring on the side of 'too little'. Therein lies the difference between these beers and the difference between their scores.

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Photo of grindcore666
1.45/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bought this at my local Albertsons for the hell of it.

Poured from a 24 oz. can into a pint glass. Looks like your average piss beer, gold in color. Thin head pans down fast. Bubbly.

Scent is of low grade malt, of course.

Crisp with medium carbonation. The malts taste below average. Ends a little sour and leaves a dry unwanted aftertaste.

It's 3 sips later and I'm pouring the rest of it out for my homies. Probably the least drinkable beer I've had since Rainier.

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Photo of BeerBob
3.13/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Steel Reserve 211 HGL pours a copper hued amber from a 24oz aluminum pop top can. Very light tan head of fine foam bubbles went well over two fingers before settling down to a full carpet of fine foam with bits of lacing along the sides of my 12oz beer tumbler.

Nose is unrevealing... some damp corn is about it, all else is nondescript. Are there hops? is there alcohol? Steel Reserve 211 is not giving up it’s secrets... just yet.

The palate is where its at, up front and in your face is a strong yet very smooth, sweet corn and barley malt. Not cloy, but very sweet none the less. The hops, for the lack of a better word are innocuous. The level of carbonation is right on the money and strong enough to push this rather viscus fluid out of the way and go to work on the tongue.

Steel Reserve 211 HGL is in my humble opinion, one of the better High Gravity Lagers. Drink in respect of it’s 8.1% alcohol by volume, or a few cans of this stuff will set you on... your can.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.48/5  rDev +41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out crystal clear golden with fizzy head that fizzled out. Lacing? NO. Smells like malt liquor, but surprisingly not much of a boozy smell.

Nothing wrong with Steel Reserve. Awesome taste as far as malt liquor goes. Pretty carbonated, almost like a Coke, but I can drink this all the way down the the paper bag.

The best malt liquor at this alcoholic strength, I'd say.

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Photo of bditty187
3.22/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Never seen in Omaha until yesterday; I couldn’t remember the reputation of this beer. Was it considered really good for a Malt Liquor or really bad? For 99c, I thought I’d find out.

Clear, gold in hue, unexpectedly the shading of the liquid is more on the amber side then the sickly pale yellow side; kudos for that. The head was clear-white in color; it looked like something on a flat Sprite. At the apex the foam hardly covered the liquid and then it rapidly faded away to nothing, I mean nothing. There is no soapy collar. Not surprisingly there was no subsequent lacing. Damn lack of foam, otherwise this beer doesn’t look to shabby.

The nose is sweet; there is a slickly alcoholic vibe with kisses of honey and acidic fruitiness. Otherwise the nose is clean, especially on the backside. Moderate potency; for the style this beer it is articulate. I don’t find the nose inviting but it is far from offensive. Neutral. I’d say a neutral nose for a Malt Liquor is a win.

The palate is sweet but the alcohol heat actually, kind of, balances the sweetness (or at least cuts the sweetness). Cereal, wheat husk, traces of corn, acidic fruitiness, and astringent bitterness towards the back. Hot at times, just warm the rest. It actually reminds me of High Life on steroids. I like High Life… so, in a way, this is a better beer. The abv is fairly well hidden; I mean it never gets scorching or gross. It is not sickly sweet. There is some bitterness and bite to this beer. I’ve had MLs that were so one-dimensional they were drain-pours. Not this one. So, let’s conclude… the palate, in reality, is decent. It is what it is. Would I take this over, say, Duvel? No. Over Redhook ESB? I might. Over Coors Light? Yes.

Medium in body, I am amazed at the crispness of the carbonation, prickly and refreshing. At first, there is a moderate aftertaste, a bit sweet, hot, and acidicly fruity. Not bad really. However, after about 3/4ths of the can my mouth got worn-out by the sweetness. There was a residue on my tongue, it tasted like I had been eating breakfast cereal all day. Not a good feeling!

Is it drinkable? Sure. I’ll finish the whole big-ass can. BTW, I really like all the wording and shit on the can, eye-catching and classy. I guess the next time I have the hankering for a High Life or a Northwoods Lager I might just grab this cheapy instead. Like I said, I purchased it in Omaha. Try one… if you want to know what a good ML tastes like.

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Photo of GuinnessHero
2.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a classic from the time I was in high school, to my college age now. This and it's 8.1% brother has been a factor in "getting f@cked up" for quite some time, and is pretty much the standard for those who want beer and higher gravity at a cheap price.

Served in a can and a pilsner glass...not like it matters.

Appearance: Very lightly colored. No head whatsoever apart from the first pour.

Smell: Alcohol and corn. Quite typical of beer of this genre and style.

Taste: Actually, this stuff isn't as bad as you could imagine. It's definitley better than most american brews such as Bud, Miller, etc. It has a defined taste that's hard to describe. Very non-offensive.

Mouthfeel: A bit dry. Not very refreshing, but that must be the higher gravity of alcohol content in it.

Drinkability: I could see myself drinking these nearly all night long. I say nearly because after three of these bad boys, you have a nice buzz going on. You will however, have a pretty bad hangover in the morning if you do more than 5.

Overall, I think this is an excellent beer for anyone on a budget. It's about 5 dollars a 12 pack. If you want to get messed up, and do it cheap, 211 is your best friend.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.43/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

What, no category for tall boy? 24 oz of this bad boy and I was on my way to...to the bathroom.

Golden brown and bubbly. No head but a lot of headache.

The can says 28 days. I don’t know if that means aged 28 days, less than 28 days old or that they milked an Albanian hobo’s bladder for 28 days to get this stuff.

Once when I was 18 I went to Milwaukee to hang out with some older friends and they bought me a 4 pack of this junk. I woke up on North 25th Street.

The can says high gravity. That must refer to the immense gravitational pull on my bladder after drinking a can.

This beer tastes a lot like Lake Michigan tastes in Milwaukee after a tremendous rain storm.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.13/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought this over. Lets give it a whirl. It pours a solid golden straw color with a 2 finger head that falls to a light coating over top. The nose is big in adjunct sweetness with that distinctive malt liquor aroma. Not sure what it is. The flavor is very sweet and corn-like. The offensive flavor I associate with malt liquor comes through. No real alcohol is in the flavor, but it hits in the warming stomach feel. The feel is moderate with a light carbonation. Overall, I think it is drinable. The flavor is not very inviting, but it is what I expect in a malt liquor.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
1.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer was given to me by a beer rep that was in one of the nicer bars in the general vicinity. He was giving away some weird stuff that was like Orange soda with Vodka in it or something. Anyway, he asked me what I thought about it, and I told him. I had to explain that I am a beer snob...BJCP and all that, so I was hard to please. Next thing I know, he whips out a six-pack of this stuff and gives it to me to try. He didn't give me a card or anything, so I am going to give it a shot here...

I rarely drink a canned beer, but let's pop the top on this sucker...

Appearance: Pours clear enough to read a paper through. There is about a quarter inch of head on top of this true golden beer that definitely stayed longer than you would see on a Budweiser. There are a dozen or so bubbles rising through it after it has been standing for a few minutes, but the head is barely noticeable.

Aroma: Now that is an unusual smell! There is loads of green apple in here, but it also smells like a cornfield. I am guessing that this is adjuncts and fast fermentation but there is so much of both, it makes it smell like it has some sort of infection. As it warms, you can pick up the alcohol a bit better.

Taste: Really dry the entire time. It is fizzy from the carbonation, so it makes it feel lighter than it is. It really "buttery" (for the lack of a better word) and when the finish finally sets in after the fizz settles down, it burns like you just took a shot of watered vodka.

Opinion: Well, thank you all the same Mr. Beer Rep, but I don't think that I am going to finish this beer. I hate to waste it, but I would rather save my liver for something that tastes good. I'm glad I didn't have to pay for it.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
1.44/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours golden with a fast dissapearing white head. No lacing to speak of. The smell and taste of esters are overpowering. This is probably due to it's high gravity brewing technique. The taste, and low carbonation make this a harsh beer to swallow, but then again this beer's style is simply aimed to get you drunk fast. And at 8.1 % ABV, a 24oz. can is a good buy at 99 cents.

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Photo of beerrookie
1.81/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I've arrested several transients (PC term for bum) who have been drinking this so I'd figured i'd give it a try. I bought the prefered method of consumption (big ass can), took it home, opened it, and poured it into my only beer glass. Looked just like every other mass produced american macro brew. Thewre wasn't much head and what little it had died quickly- (Shocking cause when you pour it on the ground it stays for awhile) The smell? Just like I was at work. (i will always relate the smell to disorderly drunks). I tried it and it reminded me of Bud or miller genuine draft which is good if you like those, maybe a tad harsher. For me, however, the taste was so bad I was unable to finish it but since I paid so little for it, I figured we were even. All I can say about this beer is that I imagine it will get you plowed, and quickly. also, If I were a panhandler , this would be my brew of choice (since its cheaper than natural ice)

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Photo of MarkBlackout
3.3/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was intimidated by this somewhat, as I'm not a huge fan of Silver 211, but as soon as I opened this one I knew it was going to be a much better experience. Solid crack, good "beery" smell. Black 211 hides the alcohol *MUCH* better than its silver counterpart. This tasted less like an HG 40, and more like a regular malt. I felt cracked out, frayed the next day but it could have been the mere 5 hours of sleep I got after chugging this monster. Regardless, there's no denying that some strange, cheap, shitty beer resides in every bottle of 211 Black. All around, I'd drink it again in a heartbeat if I was wanting an HG. Check!

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Photo of pentathlete
1.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I'm typing slow because I've upset my stomach drinking this swill. It's starts off a dark orangey yellow, the color of an oxidated used highlighter. The foamy head disappeared within seconds. Smell was sweet and alcohol with a good bit of corn mixed in. Taste was sweet corn with abrasive alcohol finishing it up. Some alcohol flavor is nice, as in an old ale, but this was truly sickly sweet. Mouthfeel was like a macro lager, not much there but with no crispness it was intolerable. This is not drinkable unless you have damaged your taste buds and you have a cast iron stomach. Avoid.

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Photo of acrawf6
2.44/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got this at a shell station because i have never saw it before... $1.09 for 24oz. i was expecting something quite bad... wasnt bad but wasnt good either.

poured out of the can and i was actually impressed by the color of the beer: a very golden beer, no signs of being a watery beer.

smell and taste i thought were like other malt liquors, but a little better. if i pretended this was a unique lager from some little country i could enjoy it some.

overall i would probably say this is the best malt liquor i have had. not good though, but if you need a beer to just get drunk with at a cheap price, i would say this is a good one, since it is 6.0%.

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Photo of Drunkenmonkey
2/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Interesting 16oz can announces its 28 day fermentation proudly. Although 6-8 weeks is more appropriate for a high gravity lager.
Pores champagne like- very effervescent but holds no head. Pale straw in color with little nose at all. There is a haze of tiny floaters, probably a protein haze. Flavor is decidedly alcoholic with a strong bitterness up front but hardly any after taste. Maltyness is very corny and slightly buttery. Leaves a metallic tang about the teeth.
The only reason to drink this is to get buzzed.

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Photo of Ricochet
2.14/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm no maltliquorpicker. I decided to pick up a 22 and review it for the hell of it. Why not? Why ask why? Drink Steel Reserve High Gravity and we all float down here.

Since I have nothing to compare this with because I only remember having sips of ML's earlier in my drinking days, I just though of it as a american macro lager and rated it in comparison. Then, I thought maybe I should rate this against Kentucky Bourbon. Hell, I don't know how to rate this. I'll just base it on being a cheap beer.

It's appearence, yes I did pour a little into a glass, was darker with lots of bubbles. The smell was a little less appetizing smelling wierdly artifical, almost like sweetner. It was average in the mouth with a little metallic.

Taste: Very sweet, very corn-tasting and a odd artifical taste that reminded me of maybe new tennis shoes, then the alcohol which was a sweet corn mash taste that lingered unfavorably. It was a challenge to drink even the small glass I had poured.

..and that does in my drinkability score. I couldn't drink this. When I switched back to PBR it made PBR taste way different, I needed a GREAT beer to recover but had none, so water will do.

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Photo of KoG
1.79/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

In my ongoing quest to try thing's I haven't had yet/in a while, I decided I would pick up yet another malt liquor.

Looks amber and fizzy with no head retention at all, but still not totally unappealing.

Smells dirty... really something I can't describe except corn and musty attic. No alcohol though.

Taste was a moderately drinkable corn syrup and grain taste, until it warms up and tastes absolutely horrendous.

Goes down well when cold, but forget about it if it warms up even a little. If I want cheap Malt Liquor, OE 800 is the best I've tried so far and even that isn't good.

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Photo of aracauna
2.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Just to be authentic, I actually started off drinking this one out of the can, but my beer geek side got the best of me and I poured the last 15 oz. of it into a glass. The body is actually a quite attractive pale gold that turns amber when the glass passes in from of any solid background. The head is big bubbled and short-lived, as the fat bubbles fizz away until there's no head at all after a couple of seconds. The bubbles rising from the sides of the glass are abnormally large. The head counteracts the relatively attractive body color, though. The aroma actually has a bit of peppery hops up front. I find no trace of malt however. The flavor lacks bitterness but picks up a toasted cornmeal/cornhusk quality that reminds me of the cornmeal coating of a tamale. It really let me down. For my first malt liquor I was expecting all sorts of nastiness, but this is fairly drinkable other than an artificially short finish that turns into a distinct dryness that I didn't like.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
3.94/5  rDev +60.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 FL. OZ. can. It is the typical dark urine color that most malt liquors have. It may look average, but for a malt liquor it's not bad at all. It has a clean, sweet, corny aroma and the flavor is similar, but it is not bad considering what it is. Sure the other beers in my refrigerator are better, but they are also not malt liquor. If I want a decent, cheap, quick beer drunk, I will be looking for some Steel Reserve.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.03/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is truly the best malt liquor I've ever had. While this is still relatively cheaply made, I don't feel overpowered with sickly sweetness nor do I taste too many adjuncts. Appearance is dark yellow, almost super-light amber. Head is big and forthy. Smell is generically sweet, though the aroma here is more natural than most malt liquors. Taste is very sweet, but doesn't go overboard. Usually I get sick of malt liquor sweetness quickly, but Steel Reserve has prolonged drinkability. The 8.1% ABV is only noticed in the warm feeling in my throat. Out of the five or six malt liquors that I've had this one is the best, I could see buying this with intentions other that getting trashed.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.11/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After a particularly hard day or upon the receipt of bad news, there are generally two paths you can take. You can drop some serious coin on a hard-to-find, elegant, very fine Trappist ale and savor the experience slowly and richly. Or you can buy a 211 and get ripped.

And this beer makes that especially easy. Packaged in a tall-boy industrial metallic 24-oz can -- that's right, a full tin bomber of malt liquor -- all for a total of $0.99. Pours a clear rich gold with a fizzy white head and a soda-like level of carbonation. Nose is sour malt with a touch of sweet grass, no trace of alcohol.

Taste is surprisingly not-bad. Lightly toasted malt, not bitter at all, even a little on the sweet side. Grainy flavor (as in grain, not texture), some corn and a little acidic, maybe a faint sour (hops?) element hiding in the end of the flavors. Can't taste the rather high ABV but you can feel the heat on the palate after a few sips. Still remains drinkable when warmed up a bit.

Mouthfeel is medium with the carbonation keeping it crisp but overall deceptive. Looks like a thin gulping lager but should be consumed as a tripel. Aftertaste is dry but clean, not horrible at all, even for a ripper.

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Photo of beerluvr
2.31/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok, let's do this. Pours into the trusty Duvel tulip (sorry, ol' faithful drinking vessel!) with a brief fizzy white head settling over clear watery yellow looking liquid. Nose is cheap 'n nasty - corn, sweet and funky malt...but mostly corn, can you say "Corn Beer"? Good...I knew you could! Thin mouthfeel offers more corn/adjunct-like flavor with a mere hint at fruitiness and some seltzerish fizziness. Finishes bland and watery with a slight solvent-like ending. Yes..I actually finished this abomination! There oughta be a warning on the side of the can: Warning! Do not drink this stuff warm!!!
NO thanks to Loki/BIF13 for this "lager"! :o)

I was curious enough to go to the breweries' website where this consumers comment caught my eye and I quote, "Greatest beer in the world, at any price." Need I say more???

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Photo of KroMagnon
2.67/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a Warsteiner Pils right next to this to help me compare it, because frankly when I've had this beer before its struck me as better than I expected. And, while Warsteiner isn't a 5.0 its a decent import. So...The Steel poured with a nice orange-golden hue, actually darker than the Warsteiner, and had an off-white head which was also interesting contrasted to the expected blinding white that you often see. The aroma has that kind of galvanized steel / vegetable smell that you get a lot in adjunct beers - no real maltiness or hops to speak off. The flavor is dominated by the corn sweetness but you also get some malt behind it and a slight amount of hops, but not enough to balance. This beer would be much better if it had about 10 more IBUs I bet. Anyway, its probably my best choice at the convenience store near my in-laws in Virginia, and its better than no beer at all.

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Photo of CBFanWish
1.27/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

For $.99 a 22 ouncer, I guess you can't get much better than this.
The appearance isn't too bad, as a matter of fact, it has a little more colour than most malt liquers out there. The aroma was alcoholic and corny. nothing too appitising. The taste is absolutely horrid. Kind of sour. I don't recall ever having anything that was so sour before. I finished it to be nice, but I don't see myself downing one of these any time soon.

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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
59 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.