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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) - Steel Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

960 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 960
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 2.37
pDev: 37.13%
Wants: 7
Gots: 54 | 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:
Brewed in different abv. versions: 6.0%, 7.3%, 8.1%, & reports of a 8.9%

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) Alström Bros
Ratings: 960 | Reviews: 483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mnrider
2.9/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

24 oz. can. Pint Glass. Malt Liquor mmm.

A: Extreme carbonation. Two finger white head. Fluffy head. Turns to nothing but with a little lacing.

S: Sweet malts. Kind of smells like ice beer.

T/M: Sweet and malty. Dry. I can really taste the alcohol. Since they don't really use hops the taste is cut down. It is smooth however and the heavy malts are ok It could be crisper.

D: Not all that great, but ok. It is smooth and the alcohol is strong and just wanting to get you wasted. A good brew on when on a low budget.


mnrider, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of hossua34
2.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear dark yellow, like the color of urine or apple juice. Has a decent head that comes down to a respectable layer of foam, and leaves a good bit of lacing.

S - Wet cardboard, aluminum can and fermented corn mash. Smells strikingly like vomit.

T - What can I say? Taste is like a generic light macro (ala Natty Light or Milwaukee's Best) with a tart, cheese-like alcoholic bite. Acidic and vomit tasting.

M - Flat, watery... just funky.

D - The only saving grace here is that it gets you drunk, so soon you won't be tasting this nasty beer. I'll admit it: Steel Reserve was a go-to beer for me in college, and one of the brands that captivated me before I turned 21. However, now that I've matured and the most important factor for me in buying beer isn't alcohol-to-price ratio (for which, really, Steel Reserve cannot be beaten), I'll only drink one of these when I want to re-experience old times.

hossua34, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of JamesS
2.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is what my parents had in their fridge when I went to visit and I wanted a beer...

Poured a decent golden yellow with some nice fizzy head, a bit of lacing, and a fair amount of carbonation. Very sweet and malty scent, not a lot of characteristics, but not bad. Funky taste, slightly skunky, not a lot there beyond a sweet maltiness. Goes down slightly thick and not as refreshing as it should have been. Won't get it for myself.

JamesS, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of benteach
2.95/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought on a whim for under a buck. You get what you pay for. Although it was better than I expected.

Good pour, nice head and carbonation. Golden yellow color.

Malty and crisp, but the flavor is missing a lot of the subtle tones that make a beer really good.

Too watery, but as it goes for cheap beer, this is one of the better I have had.

benteach, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of chris761
2.08/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-drank from a fourty ounce bottle. Nice yellow color.

S-not too bad.

T-not the worst but no where near good

M-thick but not too thivk

D-good drinkability

notes:not going to buy this one again unless i am just looking to get a buzz with cheap change.

chris761, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of BierFan
2.38/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 24 ounce can into a pint glass.

Appearance: Large foamy head has pretty good retention. Clear golden body.

Smell: Corn and a little grassiness. Doesn't smell too bad.

Taste: The taste is the worst thing this beer has going for it. Too much of a corn adjunct taste to it.

BierFan, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
2.83/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the second of cheap beers on our game night.

Pours a clear pale yellow with a thin off-white head on top. Little retention, leaves some lacing. Smells of sugar malt, grain, and bread.

The mouth on this is thin and slick. I don't like the feel of this at all. Flavor is of sweet malts. Slight fruity aftertaste which is weird. Not bad for a game night or a ball game. This would hit the spot, but I've had better malt liquors.

Onenote81, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of ProfessorCJ
3/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 24 oz can into a tall ale glass. Clear dark yellow beer with a finger of foam that didn't last long. Smelled like a corn field. Tasted sweet, sweeter than many I've tried. Mouthfeel was weak and unremarkable. Maybe I've missed the point.

ProfessorCJ, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.95/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

24 oz can poured into an American Tumbler. Best by date printed on the bottom of the can of Nov.09'09

A - Clear gold color with a mild white head that's short-lived. The bubbles come up slowly like they're passing through syrup. It left a ring but no more.

S - Sweet malts and corn. Lots of corn. Very sugary smelling with a kiss of hops.

T - Incredibly sweet. There's gotta be a lot of unfermented sugars in there. Sweet cooked corn and crystal malts. No hop presence at all. The sweetness gives it somewhat of a very mild fruity touch though.

M - Smooth and viscous yet well carbonated. Finishes incredibly sweet with an alcohol warming.

D - This is meant for one thing only - getting trashed. The flavor is waaaay too sweet to be an easy drinker.

BeerFMAndy, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
2.35/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oddly enough, my can of Steel Reserve sports a 6.0% ABV instead of the listed 8.1%. Purchased in Louisiana and I am sure there is not an ABV cap here. Pours a clear medium gold color with a rapidly diminishing white head.

Smell on this beer is extremely light. Just a mild hint of corn-like adjuncts, carbonated water and alcohol. Thats it, very simple.

Low flavor, high alcohol...what a novel concept. The taste is very watery and mildly sweet. Alcohol is noticeable, but hidden well. Pretty smooth, goes down easy. Only reason to drink this is to catch a buzz, cause it tastes like nothing.

twiggamortis420, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of tone77
2.73/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 24 oz. can. Has a pale golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Aroma is of malts, some alcohol. The taste is not paticularly good, alcohol is present, some malts.Feels light in the mouth and has below average drinkability. Overall there is nothing great about this beer.

tone77, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of SPIKEY66
3.83/5  rDev +61.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite high octane cheap beer. No, it's not like being born again or anything but it's the first thing I'll usually reach for on a week night when I'm saving some of my "nicer beers" for the weekend.

It pours a nice head and has ok color. What I like about it is it actually has a decent/good beer flavor, unlike a lot of HG's/Malts. Along with that, it packs a 8.1% buzz and is entirely drinkable. It isn't a cheap beer that I'm racing to finigh before it's no longer ice cold.

At $6.79 a twelver, this is a regular for me when I just want something decent to get things going with.

SPIKEY66, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of xymyl
1.78/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Not much point in talking about this but here's a quick review anyway.

Smell is not too bad - no intense corn like I had expected. Taste is not too bad, very simple & sweet to balance out the alcohol heat. The color is actually nice rich yellow.

There is a bloaty undeniably cheap quality to it. I didn't buy it so I'm note sure what it cost.

Overall, I've had worse, but like those others I'll never be trying this again. Drank about 3 ounces, got a headache, decided not to experiment with the rest of the can.

xymyl, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of longbongsilver
3.18/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Grabbed a 24oz of this one for old times sake. Now that I know more about beer, how does it stack up?

White head w/ a lot of holes, vanishes quickly. Pours a thin copper. Smells faintly like hard candy, and a little rice.

Taste no discernible malt at all. Kinda reminds me of a low budget wheat beer, though it feels like half-flat pop going down.

It's definitely smooth drinking. Not particularly flavorful drinking, but then again that's not why you buy it is it? For a cheap malt liquor it's pretty good though, no shame in buying it compared to the average.

longbongsilver, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From the 24 fl. oz. can marked OCT2609-G08011034. Sampled on June 23, 2009. The pour was mainly yellow and clear with an incredible carbonated head about four inches thick and I did not even shake the can. But it faded directly. Surprisingly good lacing. It had the aroma of malts, barley, and alcohol and the alcohol was the leading scent. The taste was not quite as alcohol-strong as the aroma but it was there along with vague malts and hops. It warmed up my earlobes and that only seems to happen when I drink Miller products. This is gut-cleaning booze.

puboflyons, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of mpreisz
4.05/5  rDev +70.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've drunk this beer from time to time over several months, always served in glass from the 40 oz. bottles. The color is a fresh yellow tinged toward green rather than red, the aroma is slight, the head is sturdy at first but doesn't last, giving way to a lacy residue. While this beer has never bowled me over in the way that certain German, Czech and Dutch lagers/pilsners have, it is nevertheless of a reliably high quality and remarkably satisfying to drink. I find it difficult to imagine how it can have rated such low grades, unless the previous evaluators simply don't like lagers.

mpreisz, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of majesticsock
1.1/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Oh Steel, you were so cheap
Your 8.1 ABV I decided to reap
BeerAdvocate asked me about your mouthfeel
And honestly, you make my tastebuds peel

Lets be honest, I am poor
So I decided to buy one more
I poured you into my frosted mug
The next morning I felt beaten by a thug

Oh Steel, you taste like liquid metal
Oh Steel, I feel like I'm licking a kettle
Please, Steel, you don't look that bad
But, honestly, you smell like a sweaty dad.

majesticsock, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of Moontang
3.85/5  rDev +62.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a tall glass and drank it with a steak dinner.

Appearance: Golden yellow in colour, this beer is quite pleasing to the eye. the head dissipates on the fast side of average, and it is also faintly yellow.

The beer smells a bit acrid and hoppy, but the sweetness is not completely drowned out.

This is a fine tasting beer, sweet and grainy in front, with a crispy, bitter tang afterwards from the hops and carbonation. There is a hint of the slightly increased alcohol content, but not in an unpleasant way.

Only the slightest bite from the carbonation, this beer is otherwise quite smooth in the mouth, and a bit thick.

The only reason this doesn't get a 5 is the price, as it is generally harder to find than most beers, and often slightly more expensive. The alcohol content makes for a nice buzz, and given my size, I could drink this stuff all day. The large cans (16-24 oz) help with this.

Moontang, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of drunkboxer1
3.23/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a fizzy head that rapidly vanishes. Its far from flat though; lots of bubbles. Smells slightly of alcohol and strongly of grains and corn. There's a faint skunkiness to it but there's that in all these. I remember this being grosser for some reason. It actually drinks pretty easy. Am I supposed to review the drinkablity of this guy in regards or other malt liquors? Tastes pretty clean, not too corny. I should mix this up in my malt liquor rotation. It might be just better out of the 24 ounce can as opposed to the 40s.

drunkboxer1, May 31, 2009
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.28/5  rDev +80.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

okay,to preface this review i don't think anybody drinks steel reserve for the taste. if you do,taste is subjective and i commend you.while i don't think the steel tastes bad (my friends tell me i'm crazy for liking the taste,i say it puts hair on your chest.despite the fact that i have no hair on my chest.)

what do you expect,it's about a buck for a 24 oz can? malt sweetness and fusel oil dominate (and by dominate,i mean give you a hang over). i honestly feel like most people don't rate this beer within it's style.yeah it's malt liquor,it's not an imperial ipa or a belgian quad. barely any hop presences,as expected.

if you're trying to get to where you need to go (with mostly shortcuts),this is the malt liquor for you.being a college student,this is better than pee-water (natty light),and actually has flavor to it (flavor being subjective of course.)

wyattshotmaker, May 17, 2009
Photo of dogfishandi
2.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

slightly chilled 12 oz can (stuffed it in my freezer 5 minutes before i drank it) poured apropriately into a bud light/ buffalo sabres pint glass. pours a completely clear pale straw yellow color. white patchy bubbly head. some slight retention and lacing. looks like most macros.

hardly an aroma at all. mostly that of grains, a wierd lager funk and some slight alcohol.

very bland taste. grains, some lager yeast, alcohol, kind of a harsh finish.

medium to almost heavy body. way too much fizzly carbonation that kind of stings your cheeks.

i would never buy this beer again, unless i was really really broke and needed to get really drunk really fast. i cant have respect for a beer that i see almost every homeless person drinking. thank god i only have one can of this stuff. stold it from my friends fridge as it had been sitting there for about a month untouched. i would prolly drink this if i was at a party or something, but would still reach for pretty much any other popular macro lager.

dogfishandi, May 10, 2009
Photo of dude
2.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a shiny aluminum colored can with lots of writing on it. My host for the evening did not offer me a glass, so I was unable to appreciate what I assumed to be a golden yellow clear liquid with frothy white head of foam. Smell was a delightful mix of sweet corn and fusel alcohol. Taste had a decent amount of sweetness to it, but with a slightly overpowering vodka and macro lager flavor combination. Mouthfeel was chewy with a dry finish. I only had 2 cans because I had already consumed an assload of beer earlier in the evening and this was more of a 3am nightcap kind of thing. Overall though its a good beer to keep in your garage for when thirsty house guests arrive.

$6.50 for a 12 pack at 8.1% abv?!? Worth every penny in my book. It would be a damn shame to throw this over your backyard fence into the street for no reason whatsoever!

dude, May 09, 2009
Photo of tj4288
2.03/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

picked up a 22oz bottle the other day, only because i had never tried it before and it was only like $1.29 ish. i read the reviews here on beer advocate FIRST before trying it and i was expecting the worst. it turned out not as bad as i imagined. i was surprised that the 8.1% was hardly noticable...until i got to the bottom of that 22oz, then i felt it. i might buy this beer again just because it was so cheap. i would not recomend it though.

tj4288, May 08, 2009
Photo of Monsteruss
2.15/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When pouring from the big can, the foam was light wheat in color and dissapated quickly. The color was light gold yellow. The smell had a sence of high gravity (which there is). The smell was also deep, hops overtone with a hint of wheat and a hint of floral. The taste was heavy, dull and hight gravity hops. Mouthfeel - heavy and full-bodied. Drinkability - it would be good if it weren't for the dominate high gravity feel.

Monsteruss, May 01, 2009
Photo of bsend
3.6/5  rDev +51.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured the legendary 40 ounce bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Beer pours a surprising medium golden color, with a small fizzy white head. The beer lets plenty of light through.

Smell: For a beer of this style, I was slightly impressed. No serious skunky smell compared to other beers of this style. Generally sweet nose and burned grains.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet flavor. Burned sugar, and grain. Definite alcohol flavor but when chilled, it is more subtle.

Mouthfeel: Standard moderate carbonation. Medium body, but light.

Drinkability: What it's famous for. Goes down way too easy for the 8.1% abv. I didn't mind sipping through a pint which says a lot, and I would definitely have another.

Final Thoughts - I revisited Steel Reserve recently when a friend brought it over. It was actually surprisingly decent for what it is, and most likely receives harsh reviews for being compared to an Imperial IPA or stout. Keeping the style in mind, this delivers on many levels. Try one with an open mind before you review.

bsend, Apr 30, 2009
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
57 out of 100 based on 960 ratings.