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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.

1,021 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,021
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 2.35
pDev: 37.45%
Wants: 8
Gots: 88 | 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: 1,021 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of longbongsilver
3.1/5  rDev +31.9%
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.

Photo of puboflyons
1.99/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Photo of mpreisz
4.01/5  rDev +70.6%
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.

Photo of majesticsock
1.12/5  rDev -52.3%
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.

Photo of Moontang
3.83/5  rDev +63%
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.

Photo of drunkboxer1
3.23/5  rDev +37.4%
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.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.25/5  rDev +80.9%
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.)

Photo of dogfishandi
2.54/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of dude
2.9/5  rDev +23.4%
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!

Photo of tj4288
2.08/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of Monsteruss
2.18/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of bsend
3.6/5  rDev +53.2%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
2.51/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Yes, ladies and Gentlemen I have reached the bottom of the barrel!

the beer pours with a heavy carbonation jostled in a turbulant and somewhat fizzy fashion. Though not particularly clear, the strong straw beer holds a fine head and laces. An ok look.

Aromas of apples and apple cider vinegar reach the nose just before a mix of grains and malt. A lot of fruitiness comes from the yeast along with some fresh bread, yeast notes. Dare I say that there is a nice floral note tucked away in there?

Flavors again take an acidic vinegary, apple-ey lead and kinda kills the initial impression of the beer. But later comes that grain-malt taste that begins to favor the grains. Sweetness does rub out the graininess but it doesn't resemble maltiness. Given the 8.1%, the beer hides the alcohol flavor well.

The body is a bit heavy and sweet for any straw colored lager, and may become a bit oily on the palate. Again graininess adds to the astringency; as do the cidery notes. Not crazy about the mouthfeel.

To be macro-swill and a beer whose sole purpose is to get you drunk, it's really not totally apauling. It's kinda in the mix with most other mass-produced lagers. Average at best, but I knock off a few points for the cidery and grainy characteristics.

I'm sure my Beer Karma will take a hit for admitting drinking this.

Photo of JamesMcPolin
3.06/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I just wanted to add to the dialog that I think some of you are being too harsh on 211. You have to rate Steel for what it is, an 8.1% lager that is widely available and can be purchased for a couple of bucks - 40oz - or $7 for a 12 pack. You can't compare it directly against expensive craft beers, they serve different purposes. You can't tell me that the A,S,T,M,D of a beer is the same regardless of what you paid for it. If a single 22oz bomber costs me $7 or more I know I'm going to be rating it with different expectations in mind that include a justification of the cost.

Photo of cbros
2.85/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a 24 ounce can of this after seeing it in a movie. The product placement got me and I was interested plus the fact that the can was only $1.56 I figured I had nothing to lose. Pours an alomst clear straw yellow, no activty after pour and there is no lace present either. Doesn't have a defined taste or mouthfeel, you mostly get what you expect out of this.

Not the best malt liquor ever but not too shabby. Probably will never buy this again but you never know. If I ever decide to slum it again this will be the beer I'll get.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
2.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The big Steel Reserve 211. I had to try this one.

A- Starts with a very clean foamy head (about a half inch), that drops quickly to barely anything. No lacing at all. A pure straw yellow the color.
Note: After beer warm up it leaves minimal lacing... not bad.

S- Smells like any other macro beer out there. Differences are light but it has a yeasty smell along with corn and alcohol.

T- Taste is decent for a malt liquor. At first is a very dry flavor of malt and corn sweetness. Second is the bite of possibly hops or just the alcohol finish.

M- This beer literally rolls over the tongue and skips the lingering in the mouth, alcohol really has no bad effect on the mouthfeel.

D- I could drink this... only when i was in the mood for getting drunk. But for a malt liquor not bad.
Note: Good beer for the price of being buzzed.

Photo of cheapxceptbeer
3.7/5  rDev +57.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I got the 24 ounce high gravity lager for a buck 40 at the local store, and when you think about it that is a buck 40 for a buzz because this stuff is crazy strong. The 8% abv is higher than most beers, but there is something in these malt liquors that is hard to describe, maybe its something they use to make the wort ferment quicker but it is like a psycotropic drug! But on to flavor:

There is no real appearance or aroma to discuss so I give this one average on both accounts, it is not important for this style. As far as taste goes this is a smooth mother, not the usual rice/corn/cereal taste I don't know how they make this on such a limited budget but impressive taste, almost as good as Haffenreffer. Full mouthfeel, not like the usual american lager/malt liquor. Well this stuff is heavier than others in the style but not too bad, I am not having a problem with my large canister of Steel Reserve.

When you are in the mood to just drink and not worry about flavor this could be your brew if not Haffenreffer, or Narragansett.

Photo of Plekto
2.82/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is inexpensive and it tastes fairly okay. It's not a good beer, but it does completely trounce the typical cheap beers that we all know and hate. It's by far the best beer in its price range. If you only have pocket change and just need a beer, buy this instead of the typical rice/corn based beer. This is also made out of rice and corn, but it is by far the closest tasting to normal beer(barley/hops type) of this type that I have found.

Most people expect it to be real beer - it's not. But it is the best of the pseudo-beers and dirt cheap at that. That's worth mentioning.

It's a perfect cheap replacement for the typical budget beer that you'd typically drink at a BBQ or at a party or wherever when you just want to drink something to go with the chips and salsa. Forget Bud Light or Molson or the similar cheap beers - go straight to this instead. Your guests won't care and you'll save some money. Just keep it ice cold. It's *not* Corona, which can be drunk slightly room temp.

One thing that I noticed, though - the high alcohol version is much much better than the others and the can version is as well. Evidently the beer is *extremely* susceptible to light and the glass bottle variety is not nearly as good/more hit and miss. Buy the black label 8.1% alcohol can.

edit: I picked up a 12 pack for $7.99 locally. They evidently make the same stuff in 12oz cans now.

Photo of woemad
2.91/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big-ass 24oz can that looks like it could be used well in hand-to-can fighting. Picked up for $0.99 at a grocery store/meatmarket in one of the more ghetto-ish parts of the 'kan. Never tried a malt liquor before, so I decided what the hell.

Poured a clear, golden color with hundreds of tiny little bubbles rushing skyward faster than the buildup of Eddie Murphy's saliva at a screening of The Crying Game (yes, that's the malt liquor talking). Surprisingly creamy looking white head that's so fizzy it sounded like I'd thrown in some rice crispies. The head lasted longer than I thought it could, left actual lace on the sides of the glass and never did quite vanish.

The nose, while not terribly promising, wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Corny, as expected, there was also some mildly apple-ish fruitiness, alongside a crude, earthy graininess and some ominous boozy notes. The booze wasn't as in-your-face smelling as I expected it to be.

The taste, while nothing even remotely spectacular, seemed better-melded than the smell. Corn and sweet maltiness mixed together was the first taste sensation, backed with a more mild fruitiness and a faint metallic twang. At the swallow was a very minor hop zap. Hovering way in the background is a quietly menacing, warming alcohol flavor, that becomes less and less shy as it warms up. I'm guessing it's not very obvious to those that choose to pound one when it's still ice cold.

Somewhat medium bodied, with a dry yet coating mouthfeel.

Dangerously drinkable, in a manner that suggests that if you don't respect this beer, it'll mess you up hardcore. Not bad in a quantity of one, as it's very inoffensive, and doesn't seem as strong as it is at first. I can see why it seems to be the beer of choice for the local hobos, jduging by the many empty cans that seem to congregate under the freeway.

Photo of Bookseeb
2.19/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance seems a nice golden amber with a fair head. Smell and taste is a sweet malty metallic with a of course alchohol making it a bit rough around the edges. Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation. It's kinda what I expected and not, but for the price, hey why not.

Photo of WakeandBake
1.76/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22oz Bottle. A golden yellow pour with a big white fizzy head,lots of carbonation, strong aroma of corn husks,boiled vegetables,and moldy cracked corn, Flavor is a lot like the aroma some corn,wet straw,and cheep vodka,really cheep,with a less than pleasent barnyard aftertaste, this was a drainpour folks, I can power through most nasty beers but not this one... Fail , I'm sorry but if I have to get drunk this bad I will buy a bottle of mouthwash at the Dollar Store

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.33/5  rDev +41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

MotherofGod. Out of a 24 oz. can this beer was a perfectly clear, pale gold color with lots of visible rising carbonation. The two finger head was slightly off-white and retained nicely at first as a puffy cap, then a small collar. The aroma was of corn mash, pale malt, alcohol and faint hops. The flavors were actually pretty good. Well, for a malt liquor anyway. I tasted pale malt, sweet malt, cereal grains, hints of metal and a touch of hop bitterness. Left an oily slick on my tongue. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation good. Best when damn near frozen, but for 6% quite drinkable. If you gotta go Malt, it's a cheap, classic choice.

Photo of Clydesdale
3.13/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear, bright gold in color. A large, foamy, off-white head bubbles up with solidT: retention and lacing. As much as you can expect here, really.

S: Strong notes of cooked corn up front, along with some grain husk malt aroma. Some darting, alcoholic scents bringing vodka to mind. Vague hints of something I want to call floral or fruity, but it's difficult to say for sure.

T: Robust graininess with a significant dose of cooked corn. Some nondescript hop bite comes and goes. Another dose of refined sugar into the finish - rather sweet. Alcohol and some more creamed corn rides into the aftertaste.

M: Rather solid body with a sticky, dry feel. Carbonation is semi-lively. An alcoholic twang to the finish.

D: Quite assertively corny...which is probably to be expected. Given that, it pulls it off pretty admirably. It's quite adjuncty and boozy, but it never becomes a chore to drink, which is as impressive as it is baffling. If you're on an extreme budget, you could do a lot worse.

Photo of unclejimbay
2.1/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)
Steel Brewing Company
Style: American Malt Liquor
ABV: 8.10 %
live review can>pint glass

A 2.5 - Small head gone quick, noticeable carbonation, medium golden straw in color
S 2.5 sweet almost honey malt aroma
T 2.0 - much sweeter in taste than I expected, to sweet IMO in this context, sugary malty-ness, some honey notes
MF 1.5 - medium++ carbonation, you can sense an alcohol slickness
D 2.0, this beer is not for me, bteer than expected, but almost undrinkable

Photo of PintOHops
3.6/5  rDev +53.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured some from a 40oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears yellow/gold in color with a quarter inch bubble like head that reduces quickly to a thin film. Very large bubbles that disappear pretty fast leaving the beer looking pretty dead & uninviting. Has medium carbonation and leaves no lacing. Smells of sharp citrus, alcoholic, metallic & sweet malty notes, followed by some strange fruity aromas like raisins, strawberry's and grapes. Some cooked vegetables & grains, develops musty stale aromas as it warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of very sharp alcoholic, citrus and metallic notes, and finishes with very sweet stale, bitter, malty, grainy flavors. Cooked vegetables and some lingering grain and malt on the palate. The sharp alcoholic, metallic notes are very offensive and only get worse as it warms! Mouthfeel is somewhat smooth and lite bodied, has some pretty lively, bitey carbonation on the palate as well.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Okay, so I decided to tackle the 211 after avoiding it and dreading it for so long. Let me tell you, there isn't a drop of this stuff that's even close to being pleasant or drinkable. The alcohol! The metal! The sweet grainy malts! Ugh! So overwhelming from the first sip, you have to nearly freeze this thing to get it down, and it only gets worse as it warms! I recommend you stay far away from this one and just try a less potent malt that still gets the job done. I took the silver bullet so you didn't have to!

All jokes aside, this thing is completely undrinkable, and very offensive. Yes it well leave you stumbling down the hall way wondering what happened but at a very high cost! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Malt Liquor but not if you must nearly freeze it.

Note - Had this again recently, I compared it side by side with Hurricane High Gravity. Both where equally drinkable, even as it warmed. I almost prefer this over the HHG. Recommended for what it is, not bad.

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
57 out of 100 based on 1,021 ratings.