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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.

1,023 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,023
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 2.35
pDev: 37.02%
Wants: 9
Gots: 90 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steel Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,023 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nerudamann
2.85/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a stein glass.

Look - light golden in color, clear, no carbonation and almost no foam at all.

Smell - very cereal-like. No malt or hop flavor to the smell at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel - oddly enough it affects more of the taste buds on the side of the tongue than I would have expected. Otherwise, no taste at all really. The "taste" may be from the higher abv. Texture is a bit more well-balanced than I would have thought, but still a little more toward the watery side.

Overall - good abv, but for what you get from that there's almost no taste. Nothing interesting about the beer.

Photo of ism
3.65/5  rDev +55.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz can poured into pint glasses. Very slight haze in a goldenrod body topped with a frothy snow-white head. Faint rings of lacing with low retention, leaving a thin white layer. Nose of malt and corn, a bit of dirty yeast, slight band-aid phenol. Medium-thick mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Sweet corn up front, but the real action happens when it goes down. The corn kicks into high gear with a sharp grass and bright hay in the back of the throat and there's a quick smidge of bright floral, as if the small amount of hops are trying very hard to say hi. Very short finish, and it's just corn.

Very smooth as claimed, and hides the alcohol very well. Surprisingly flavourful compared to macro lagers, though single-minded. Becomes sickeningly sweet as it warms. Can only be drank ice cold. One of the better malt liquors I've had. For the price I can't complain.

Photo of ElCommodoro
1.13/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a pale straw yellow with a small white head. Has LOTS of carbonation visible.

Smells strongly of fruit and alcohol. Mostly smells sort of like old berries or perhaps a very sweet wine.

The taste is very distinctive. I don't think this could ever be mistaken for any other malt liquor I've had. The first thing that hits is a strong sweet flavour of expired fruit. That is followed by a chemically alcohol and fusel alcohol flavour and the aftertaste is that of cheap bread. I wish the initial flavour was more akin to the aftertaste. This has a highly chemical taste. It just tastes unnatural, like it wasn't even brewed, but made by some freaky science designed to kill hobos. I'm a fan of the bite in this beer, but I'm too scared of it to buy it again. I feel like it might dissolve my body from the inside. We'll see.

Photo of superdavex
2.77/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought at a gas station and drank out of the can which is the way this brew is meant to be enjoyed IMO. It was what you'd expect a malt liquor to look (like a can) and smell like (corn adjuncts and alcohol) except that it is exceptionally smooth with almost no aftertaste. Cheers to Steel Brewing for somehow figuring out how to do this with such a non-premium beer. I have had this many times in the past and will continue to have it when only having pocket change and wanting a beer. For what it is, it does it very well.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.15/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Horrible yellow appearance, little fizzy head, no lace, retention. Aroma was abhorrent, industrial grade cleaner smell.

Taste is like corn broth from a can, cooked. Pretty sweet. No hops, almost no malt bill. One of the grossest bitter aftertastes ever, full of fusel alcohol. Seems like a boilermaker was made with this and some vodka in a plastic bottle. Lots of carbonation, how did this not make a head? The carbonation keeps the shit taste from riding even longer in your mouth. Cheap price, not much else going on for this 'beer'. Ugh.

Photo of goldenpeanut
3.9/5  rDev +66%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'll have to agree with the Bros on this one. We've been drinking this beer for a while on "special occasions" and its become one of our dirty little secrets. I smoke meats which becomes an all-day event. Since the hops in this brew are so low and we drink it out of cans, there is no skunking problem and the alcohol delivery is appropriate to the activity.

Recently we've noticed a distinct improvement in the product with a lightening of the body, an improvement in yeast by products (lower fusels and esters) and a much cleaner, lighter and crisper finish, not unlike a Belgian tripel. No, this is not Belgian style beer but there are some similarities and I often pour it into a Belgian glass and present it to friends to see their reaction, most all aren't fooled but get the comparison.

You can pour it into a glass, I usually use a Belgian goblet, but, its totally optional and probably does not improve the experience. It pours a nice golden with a sprightly carbonation with a thin wispy head.

The aroma is malt dominated with notes of corn and yeasty spice. This is one of the areas of recent improvement.

The body is medium full, another area of improvement. It really begs to be gulped and goes down very smoothly, in spite of its carbonation.

The finish is now decidedly dry for a beer of such body. The finish is relatively clean with a presence of alcohol, malt smoothness and a little yeasty spicy funk.

Overall, this is a Malt Liquor of the highest order. Its 8.1% alcohol is formidable in 16 and 24 ounce cans. While it may not be totally respectable in all social occasions, it has a place and time. Considering the price... as long as no one is looking, give it a try really cold.

Photo of swede96
1.24/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Had one of these babies out in the pasture after a hard day cutting mesquite firewood. A buddy thought it would be neet to try one of these in a 24 oz can. I told him the ABV was 8.1 so it would be a pretty stout beer, but he insisted since on the side of the can it read "made from the finest barley, and hops".

I will give it the benefit of the doubt of average for the appearance, since it was in a can and I was only able to peer into the top of the can to look at it...nothing jumped out and attached itself to my face.

1.5 on the smell. Got just a hint of malt and alcohol. They must have forgot to add the "finest hops" to this particular batch of 211.

Taste 1.0 sort of a greasey taste that stuck to the palate. Had a couple of drinks of it and decided to put it back in the cooler to maybe let it breath a little and maybe get a little colder. That was unsuccessful. Someone in the group said the taste was of strawberries...I absolutly got nothing like that.

Mouthfeel 1.0 I felt like chewing on an oak leaf to try to get that unique mouthfeel out of my mouth. It was a sticky feel that would simply not go away.

Overall 1.0 Catchy big 24 oz can in an iced down cooler looks pretty cool, but this is most definatly the worst beer I haver ever drank....

Photo of BucBasil
2.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a blast back to college. I actually never much got into Steel Reserve, but for many of my friends it was a way of life on Friday nights, the doorway to many magical and horrible experiences. I've come back to it today to really see what we were getting ourselves into back then.

Drank from the 24oz can.

S: Sweet and kind of alcohol-y. There a sweet corn note in the back and a metallic twang all the way through. As usual you can smell this one from quite a distance. It's the smell of hobos on the subway, laughing hoarsely at something invisible. It's the smell of the bottom of a beer pong cup - of horrible humiliaiting defeat.

T: Kind of sweet up front and then grainy with a very coarse character going down. Alcohol isn't even hidden here, cut right through the corn and the "extra malted barley" and the "select hops for extra gravity." It's like injecting alcohol directly into your bloodstream, which is really the point. And actually I wouldn't be surprised if someone has tried that before.

M: Average. No worse or better than any other macro or malt liquor.

Overall: It's strange coming back to this one. So many of these downed by friends and I back in the day. We never stopped to think about what we were actually drinking, just trying to get drunk. I can see why we didn't stop to think about it now. This one is made to chug, made to make you fall over as soon as possible.

Photo of daliandragon
1.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I have consumed a lot a malt liquor in my time, but strangely, never this one. It's a cold rainy weekend and I'm already fighting with the wife, so this seemend to fit the situation. Can says 6.0%.

No head, no bubbles, no nothing. More or less par for the course. Nose is corny adjunct and base malts. No frills, no hops.

The incredibly thin mouthfeel is the first thing I notice. Big, cringe inducing blast of sweet corn malt overpowers anything else that might want to have a say in the flavor. Surprisingly, the finish isn't horrible and saves this from a drain pour.

It is still, however, very, very bad. Swallowing fast is quite key. Here is betting that my throat and stomach will be charging me with abuse in the morning.

Photo of ColSanders123
2.04/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

As a college kid on spring break and a budget, I thought it was a no brainer to get this stuff. At $2.50 for a 4 pack of 16oz cans, this stuff is very cheap.

A- Poured into some fine china, a solo cup, it looked just like the bud light my friend was drinking. A pale yellowish golden color, with a thick foamy white head the dissipated after a few sips.

S- As I pulled the cup towards my mouth, I took wiff of the aroma. I had to balk at my first sip cause the smell was unbelievable. All I could smell was booze. There is a little bit of a bitter hop smell which doesn't mix well with the high octane alcohol smell.

T- The very first sip was not the best I've ever had. It had a lot of carbonation and an alcohol burn on the finish. Really couldn't pick up many flavors other than corn and of course that malty sweet taste. But those flavors where immediately masked by the alchy finish.

M- Although the taste wasn't very good, the mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth. Slightly carbonated and fizzy. Again, the alcohol burn is present here.

Overall, I would say this beer is a success for what I was trying to accomplish, get drunk. I would not want to have this with a meal, as a refreshing drink, or in polite company (its not classy at all). For the purpose of a drink to start a long night of fun, it did the job. They keep calling four loko "blackout in a can" but drink enough of Steel Reserve and it puts that claim to shame. I've learned my lesson.

Photo of 9InchNails
2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The first time I had a Steel Reserve was four years ago. My buddy and I were wondering what to get a cheap buzz off and this older gentleman mentioned Steel Reserve. It's cheap beer to get you drunk fast. At 99 cents we bought about ten. Back then, it tasted pretty awful but I'm going to review it now and try to be fair.

Big White head dissipating very quickly. Looks decently carbonated. Light golden color. Nothing really special.

Sugar, grain, malts and buscuits. There is even a faint fruit smell as well. Not a bad smell at all.

Yikes! Grain, buscuits, fruit and booozzzeeee! It tastes like spiked Apple Juice. Awful!

Light to almost medium body. Medium carbonation. Leaves the lips very sticky.

I can only drink half of this. Awful taste due to the overpowering of booze. Alcohol warmth can be felt going down as if you had a shot of Vodka. I will never have this again.

Photo of WinthrHOPHEAD89
2.36/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an Irish Style pint glass.

A - This beer pours a bright gold color, with a 5 finger, bright white soapy head. This beer surprisingly enough does leave some lacing. Very very carbonated at first but dies down pretty quickly.

S - Very stale smelling. Smells like a typical malt liquor with some hops. A slight bit of a sour smell, but not skunky like the bottle can be.

T - The taste is really not the greatest. To me it tastes like a sour green apple oatmeal. I understand this beer is high gravity, but it seems that there is just too much of what should not bee there. The alcohol taste is very noticable on the finish and is not masked at all. The taste is not crisp, and can make you pucker up a bit. But I have tasted worse for sure.

M - The mouthfeel is like a traditional lager. Light bodied with some carbonation that dies down. Mouthfeel is better when poured out, for sure. Not much else to say.

D - This beer is meant to be drank as a quickly and in larger quanities, with regards to the 40 oz. version, however I feel this beer is rather difficult to drink. The sour aftertaste and alcohol presence is just off-puting for me.

O - If you're looking for a cheap beer to get you drunk, then this is IT. Not much else to say. Dont expect quality here. But, it is what it is.

Photo of Wasatch
2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a nice yellow color, nice carbonation, little fizzy white head, with minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is kinda sweet, ricy/corny. The taste is sweet, kinda malty, ricy. Medium body, with a slight bitter finish. Not Drinkable, not bad, but still....

Photo of Ruffio
1.81/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Its been a while since I had one of these, but the nostalgia factor is certainly there. Certainly not my favorite drink by any means, but it has served its purpose in the past. First thing that stands out is the lack of carbonation. This quality really allows the drinker to down cans at top speed. This helps since the taste of the beer is excessively sweet and not something you'd want to take your time to enjoy. That being said, the moderate presence of hops in the flavor keep it from becoming sickly sweet. The drinkability of this beer is actually fairly decent for a malt liquor owing to its smoothness going down. The presence of alcohol is fairly strong in both smell and taste, but for a beer of it's type, Its fair to say drinkers of malt liquor wont be complaining at this aspect. The price is also very inexpensive and combined with high gravity, the only decent points of the drink.

Photo of argounova3
2.53/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz silver can with lots of words on it, probably designed to tempt literary types like myself. I waffled on glassware but eventually poured this into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Very clear pale amber (more appetizing than the usual pale yellow of American macro light (or lite) beers. There was a nice foamy head right after the pour (maybe this won't be so bad after all!) that disappeared in record time (bummer). "Lacing" is probably not an appropriate word for the seven bubbles left floating around the edge of the glass. Some champagne-like bubbles running up the center of the glass but I'm not impressed.

Smell: The first thing I got when I popped the can open was a faintly skunky smell, but I'm going to try not to hold this against the beer. The poor thing sat in a hot minivan for two days before I got to bring it home and refrigerate it for a few hours. Not much malt and zero hop aroma. Then comes the alcohol, which is when I actually read the can and raise my eyebrows at the 8.1% ALC./VOL. Once I find the alcohol it's hard to smell anything else.

Taste: Mouthfeel is slightly more carbonated than it looks. A little sweet and a little corny, but I'm still looking for some hoppy something. No luck on the hops front despite the can's claim of "select hops for extra gravity." The alcohol taste isn't as strong as I'd expected from the smell, but the aftertaste (I just can't bring myself to call it a finish) is surprisingly clean compared to most malt liquors (not that I'm an expert). Maybe the alcohol is burning off the badness? I was a little worried about the last sip of this because this was starting to warm up a little and sometimes I can't handle the last swig of an extraordinary beer, but I just went for it and (for better or worse) the last drink was bracing but not much worse than the first one.

Conclusions: I would actually be willing to try this one again, it wasn't horrible and maybe one that was properly stored wouldn't have that off-putting cloud of skunk that escaped as soon as I opened the can. There's not much in the way of flavor, but I'd say that about 90% of the beers you can find in a convenience store. It's drinkable for a malt liquor, doesn't have the vomitty aftertaste of Coors and hopefully wouldn't give me the sniffles like Budweiser does. I'll stick to finer beers when they're available, but if I ever need to pack a whole bunch of ethanol into as few calories and dollars as I can stand, I'll reach for a case of Steel Reserve.

Photo of DollarCan
2.31/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Steel Reserve 211 is a great choice if you want an inexpensive beer that will pack a punch. If you're looking for a good tasting beer to sit back and enjoy this will not be the one. That being said, this may not be a bad choice for a tailgate party. First of all it is cheap (less than 6 bucks for the 12-pack) and has a high ABV% to get the job done quicker for less money. If you're having a family party with good food, you may want to stick with the traditional beer choice.

Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.48/5  rDev +48.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A highly rated example of the style, I thought I'd compare it to some strong european counterparts.

appearance; yellow color with a so, so, white, spritzy head. Moderate dissipation and a bit of lacing. Impressive for the style.

smell; not so good. Some sweet malts and corn + much alcohol. Rather cheap, yet above a lot of examples of this style.

taste; a bit of cereal, malt sweetness upfront with some foul, sour hops. Finishes with a warm spicy alcohol, turns a bit sweet with only the slightest bitters. Crap but amazing for malt liquor. Good representative of the style.

mouthfeel; Pretty smooth, some light fizz in the mouth, leaving a warm alcoholic finish. Not at all repulsive.

drinkability; really alcoholic and the aftertaste reminds of this. Still, quite an easy drink. Really quite good for a malt liqour and the alcohol taste that does come through, is actually a bit warm and pleasant.

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.19/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pure white frothy head of two fingers, leaving some lace with moderate cling. Color matches a 4 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell of cooked grain, some veggies, and the burn of alcohol. Taste is sweet corn, malt, and maybe they floated a hop over the top of the kettle. Mouthfeel is average, better than tap water, but not quite the cream or even half and half. Tasty enough to drink while grilling out, or raking leaves.

Photo of mattjv
2.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aaah Steel Reserve - It is what it is, this beverage is purpose- brewed for intoxication at bargain basement prices. After enjoying many college nights out with the help of ole' Steely a proper review was in order. Found myself with a few leftover cans during winter break, so I jumped on the rare opportunity to review this entirely sober.

Pours a golden color, few shades darker than a macro lager. Thin white head crackles like soda but sticks around just a little longer than your average Pepsi product. Smell is mainly thick, heavy sweetness, with a strong solvent alcohol presence and notes of overcooked vegetables.

Light body, moderate carbonation does what it can to offset the thick, cloying malt sweetness. Strong corn presence err.. complements? the sweetness. Speaking of overcooked vegetables, they are just as prominent on the taste. Hop presence mainly consists of grass clippings and vegetables, specifically that gross over-steamed cafeteria broccoli that is colored similar to the shade army tanks are painted with. Alcohol spice comes out swinging and stings the back of the throat on the way down. Alcohol warms the throat, slightly metallic aftertaste. Is that what the name came from?

Drinkability? I have drained many a 40 of this when money is tight, so quite high. It's thick and sticky and packs quite a wallop, but I'd take a 40 of this over 6 cans of BMC light any day.

Photo of alleykatking
1.62/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 24oz can.

A- Pours a pale straw yellow color. Half finger white head that shows poor retention. There is light streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Light grainy aroma is making up most of this. Sweeter malts in the middle of the aroma. Alcohol is mixed up in the middle and last throughout the entire rest of the aroma. Lemony aroma towards the backing which seemed out of place yet still good for malt liquor.

T- Super sickly sweet on the begining taste. The corn flavor mixes well with the metallic or as well as a malt liquor could. Alcohol comes in over the top and is very medicinal. Actually medicinal isn't the word I'm looking for it's just super rubbing alcohol style flavoring.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is high but good for the style. Sickly sweet and high alcohol left on the palate. High alcohol left in the aftertaste with nothing else..maybe some metallic like corn flavoring. Balance? Nope. Off flavors are all over with the alcohol and metallic. Medium high drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This beer is gross. I don't know if I like this at all. A 40oz would be way to much to drink. The alcohol is off putting even for a malt liquor. I'm not ever going to try this one ever again.

Photo of hardy008
1.28/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Light gold with a small white head which vanishes quickly, leaving no lacing. The aroma has grain and alcohol. Not impressive.

The taste has grain and alcohol. Somewhat acidic, and very unpleasant. Light bodied, average carbonation. Cheap, low quality swill. Don't bother with this one.

Photo of JayS2629
1.52/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A- Pale clear yellow with thin white head, litle retention, and foamy lace.

S- Grainy, sweet malts, booze is strong, corn, honey and hint of lemon.

T- Very sweet but overpowered by booze, alcohol taste. Very raw alcohol and corn tastes, with honey, and metallic notes. Hard to swallow. Medicine like.

M- Thick, creamy, grainy, and warming burn.

D- Wow! Not even a sipper. Overpowered with raw alcohol taste and corn. The honey and lemon hints just add to a medicine taste. Thick, burning, and hard to swallow. Won't buy ever.

Photo of richkrull
1.9/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Steel Reserve is pretty rough overall. I shudder when I pull this beer from my mystery beer machine. That being said, I guess it tastes about the same as most malt liquor. If you're looking to get messed up, this would probably get the job done, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything else.

Photo of HalfFull
3.37/5  rDev +43.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After a better than expected experience with Olde English I thought I'd make a dash to the store for a reference point before letting this style drift back into the deep confines of my gray matter. Poured into a pint glass, the Reserve pours a similar golden straw with a finger of not quite so long lived foam. Lacing is present but lighter as well and manages to keep a surface cap.

Nose is grainy and slightly sweet with a touch of fruitiness and some yeast as well. Flavor is coarse and grainy in texture with some lemony hop notes. Expands with warming to offer an almost Belgian like quality to the yeast notes.

Citric malt notes in flavor, this beer finishes dry and with a thinner body than the 800, yet still offers a hint of creaminess thanks to a good level of carbonation. Drinks well for its heft.

The American Malt Liquor is surely an under appreciated style given my experience this evening. Yet it does offer some insight as to what it actually costs to make, package and distribute a beer.

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
2.56/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Twenty four ounce can poured into a large pint glass. A few sips straight from the can.

I have had very limited experience with American Malt Liquors, as to estimation, they are pretty much simply a quick, cheap way to get intoxicated. That said, they do have their place, but this one has a very sweet alcoholic taste that after several sips, gets harder and harder to put down the rest of the glass. Strong taste of corn, fruitiness, and a bit of malt, but above all, a very potent alcohol flavor makes itself present in the nose and taste. Moutfheel is actually kind of thick for the style, with little carbonation and almost overwhelming sweet, thick mouthfeel. Overall, I seriously doubt I'll ever buy this one again, as it seems to be nothing more than a cheap way to get intoxicated. Don't get me wrong, I believe malts have their place, but this one is just too damn sweet and overpowering to be even somewhat drinkable.

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
57 out of 100 based on 1,023 ratings.