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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: 89 | 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 Metalmonk
3.16/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sometimes you gotta walk on the wild side, but quite honestly, I'm pretty scared right now. 99 cents for a huge can of high gravity malt liquor with "steel" in the name? [Shudder...]

Certainly does not look bad. The body has the clarity of glass, the color is a sunny golden-yellow shade, head is creamy and long-lasting.

Aroma is not offensive--not transcendent either. Somewhere between aftershave (plenty of alcohol in the nose) and sugary cake batter. Interesting, but take a few too many whiffs and the alcohol becomes kind of sickening in its naked, medicinal, cheap-buzz character.

Flavor is what scared me the most, of course, but I don't find this all that bad. There's a cheapness to the experience, with a typical adjunct-lager corniness mixing with the Brut aftershave vibe; but it also has a fruitiness and butterscotch/vanilla cake batter sweetness that offsets its negative traits. Hops aren't added with love, they're just kind of there, but the sweet candy/cake-like maltiness continues to please enough that this avoids being a disgusting drain-pour.

Texture is fizzy, but backed by a solid roundness that lends itself well to the flavor.

I don't see myself reaching for this ever again, but in a pinch, this has more flavor and character than the equally inexpensive
swill that's available. Feels weird saying it, but this is not all that bad. I'm under no illusion that it's great either. Somewhat ironically, it seems that a few years of experience with big-ass beers like Imperials Pilsners, Strong Euro Lagers and even Double IPAs gives you the tools to appreciate a beer like this. I'm not any kind of malt liquor expert, but there are no doubt many worse out there than this. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Bacong
2.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Today I went to my liquor store expecting to spend a decent amount of money on my favorite beer, Young's Double Chocolate Stout. But a friend is really high on Steel Reserve, he loves it, all he drinks, so I said, what the hell. The store had a deal, 2 for 4, so naturally I slap down a 10 and say "give me 4."

poured out of 40 oz bottle into mug

Appearance: yellow. Piss yellow. Decent head when pouring, but very very soon after it dissipates to absolutely nothing.

Smell: fricking horrible. Adjuncts, malts and rice.

Taste: Taste is not as bad as expected, pretty sweet with not alot of alcohol present, a nice bitter alcoholy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: smooth feeling and easy drinking. Took me maybe 15 minutes to drink this 40 (probably way too fast as I am getting progressively more drunk as I write this)

Drinkability: Pretty damn easy to swallow. It was so cheap that I do not regret drinking so much of this so quickly. I will buy it again because it is so damn cheap and the ABV (8.1%) is so high that I can get pretty drunk on pocket change.

Overall, I recommend this to non-discerning beer drinkers who want to get really drunk on pocket change. If I had drank another 40 I doubt I'd pass for sentient.

I'm glad I finally found a beer that I can drink alot of for cheap and not actually mind the taste of. I will happily buy this again! Plus the bottle looks pretty cool.

Photo of jwhite1979
3.2/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Either you love this peculiar beer or you hate it. I think. It's strong enough to knock you on your butt, it's cheap enough to buy with change from under your couch cushions, and it has enough flavor to savor.

But that flavor--do you like it or not? It's sweet, kind of hoppy, not bitter at all, but bordering on putrid with the first sip. I was revolted at first, but I kept trying to like it. I couldn't finish my 12 pack--they were just too rugged--so the next day I gave it another shot. After a while they started growing on me.

Now I buy two 24oz cans on Wednesday nights and bring them to the pool hall, leaving one in the fridge there until Friday night when I return. Perfect sipping beer, but you have to develop a taste for its queer flavor. It's worth it in the long run.

Photo of biggred1
3/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Absolutely clear, dark yellow with a big fizzy white head that settles to a skim of fine foam that leaves little lace. Smells of cooked grits and caramel with a nice hit of grain alcohol. Tastes fairly sweet and brashly alcoholic but finishes pretty clean for the style, nothing really off, just a one trick pony. Heavy duty carbonation and medium bodied. This beer is for those that want a powerful beer that is way inexpensive and it succeeds on both fronts. Easier drinking than most Malt Liquors.

Photo of aval89
2.49/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving was of a 24oz can..
poured a golden almost amber color, but not quite..
minimal head with an ok lacing on the glass

smells of sweet malts followed by a metallic odor then a strong boozy smell..

t&m: the taste is malty with a metallic taste followed by a warm boozy aftertaste...the strong alcohol taste slowly fades as you drink more....also has a somewhat smooth finish

drinkability is either u like it or dislike it....thats all i can say on that part


Photo of comet5
2.9/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I told myself I wasn't going to spend any money on liquor this weekend, so I compromised with myself and said I'd get something from the liquor store that I could afford with the loose change I had scattered around my apartment. I knew this meant I would be buying my first 40oz. I have to say its not as bad as I thought it would be.

Since it was my first 40oz, I drank from the bottle, that how its done right? Its orange in color; sweet, and malty, with an alcohol flavor that was almost astringent at first and mellowed after about half the bottle was gone. Did the beer breath a bit or did my palette get used to it? At first the carbonation was really strong, but mellowed to become rather frothy in the mouth. The finish was good, the malty sweetness didn't linger, rather I was left with a hint of the "select hops" touted on the label and a warm feeling in my stomach(after half the bottle).

Its something I would definitely buy again, given that what I normally consider a cheap alternative like PBR doesn't taste much better and has half the alcohol content. Might as well get a bigger bang for you buck when you're not going for flavor.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of adjuncts, light malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and a little boozy up front with flavors of grain & adjuncts. There's a very mild hops presence that isn't enough to mask the alcohol, since there's no much other substance to the beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp but not very smooth, light body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Not very flavorful at all, goes down ok, not filling at all, strong kick, it's a decent representation of its style for whatever that might be worth. There are definitely better high-octane beers out there that you can put away quickly, if that's what you're going for.

Photo of PatronWizard
2.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first malt liquor review! What a joyous occasion. Grabbed a 24oz can for the low low price of $1.49 and put it to the head.

Bold label. 8.1% High Gravity. Slow brewed for exceptionally smooth flavor. Medieval symbol for steel. WTF?

Pours a much deeper shade of urine than expected. Golden. Head fizzled out in 3 seconds. Looks like this story is over. But....

Smells. Just short of offensive.

Taste actually has some barley bite to it I do believe. A little better than the usual corn based swill. A very weak bready flavor with a slight taste of rubbing alcohol. It's not disgusting. Hell I might even lay down a 3 for taste.

Light on the carbonation, almost smooth. Probably the best cheap piece of shit I've ever had. And at 8.1, this abomination is all about gettin the job done. The next time I have only two bucks, ten minutes, and a shitty task, I might grab another.

Overall: not good, but better than expected

Photo of theBubba
3.28/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A buck gets you:

24 oz. of the best tasting high grav cheap beer.

A can so cool that you want to cut the top off and save it for a paint brush holder (it's too tall for pencils) or maybe gutter spikes.

A nice buzz.

Seriously, this brew runs rings around any of the big three's Ice beers, as well as LaBatt, Molson, etc. It pours with a decent head, keeps a lace to the end (my glass is always soap free), and presents a slight floral smell as it warms and a taste of almond or marzipan, and of course alcohol. To my thinking, currently this is the only one of it's kind.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.24/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- The beer is very pale straw yellow. Clear as to be expected. The head was busy at first, but has since died down to an electric white cap atop the beer. Lots of activity within the beer. In terms of American Malt Liquor it looks average, especially compared to its AML peers.

S- Surprisingly I'm getting some clove, this is very fruity. I'm pretty amazed. I asked my wife, who doesn't know what beer I have in my glass and she even said cinnamon, clove, and grapefruit. Crazy!

T- This is a beast, definitely an AML. Malts, and the ever present Alcohol taste. I'm also getting the slight clove taste, as well as the familiar lager taste.

M- Feels like a beer, and especially an AML.

Photo of IBUnit63
2.65/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Emptied the contents of this can into my big-ass Red Oak mug...

Pours pasty white - like the skin color of the dude with the tranny in Napoleon Dynamite (and why the hell I was watching this flick, I have no idea, but it was funny)...OK, maybe a little darker than that. The 2-finger head doesn't stick around.

Smells like corn with maybe a little malt, maybe even a smidge of hops. Not horrible but not exactly fresh, either. That good silage burn is in play here.

Y'know, wow...this could be a LOT worse. At cold temperatures it shows balance and it's almost creamy for the style. The corn, a little malt and maybe a hop or 2 coexist somewhat peacefully. Don't let this warm - that last sip at the bottom of the mug ain't purty.

Aside from a slight silage burn, palate feel is decent. Nothing overpowering - maybe a slight alcohol burn. Don't let this one warm, though.

This isn't to sip and savor. Keep it cold and git 'er dun, otherwise it'll get wicked ugly.

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

Had a 40oz of this back in college, attracted by its alcohol content. It was a straw gold color with a bad head. There was little smell at all, but a tad sweet. The mouthfeel was nothing special as its carbonation was overpowering. The drinkability is okay but difficult at 8.1ac.

Photo of Mistofminn
2.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I saw this on TV a couple times this past week, so I felt like I had to go pick up some. Was having the guys over to watch some football so I figured this could work out nicely.

For not having much smell or taste, this stuff isn't that bad. And boy, does it pack a punch! The 8.10% ABV is well masked (as well as it could be I suppose) and it catches up to you quickly. It's fairly drinkable, just not something that I would want to drink.

Compared to others in the style (Colt 45, Mickey's, etc.) I would have to say this is my favorite. You just wont ever catch me drinking one in public ;)

Photo of yesyouam
1.74/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

(from notes I found from this summer)
Steel Reserve 211 High Gravity is a clear, quite sparkling light golden lager with a soft white splotchy head that leaves good lacing. It has a fusel aroma with notes of corn and lemon. It is medium-light bodied; a little scratchy and a little sticky. I taste fusel oil and corn. There is a touch of bitterness at the finish. There's not too much flavor, but the booze is actually pretty well hidden. It's the best hobo beer I've had yet!
(rated Oct 18, 2008)

Photo of PatrickJR
3.67/5  rDev +56.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 24 oz can into nonic pint glass.

A - Expected pale golden with continuous streams of bubbles. A half inch of head rises and falls within seconds and falls to nothing. No lacing.

S - Very sweet with a touch of alcohol. Some DMS and grain husk are evident, but there is much less of the usual solvent and chemically sweet aroma than others of the style.

T - Damn, for a malt liquor this is actually pretty good. An evident one-dimensional sweetness is noticable at first with growing corn-like and grain husk flavors. Late palate is a slight sourness but the finish is extremely clean with a mere whisper of bitterness. Absent are the harsh fusel alcohols, cloying sweetness, and cereal like flavor found in other malt liquors putting the big 211 noticably ahead of it's brethren.

M - Fairly standard, but a little lighter in body than others of the style; closer to a macro lager. The carbonation is high and a little out of control, but I will give it some credit for maintaining high levels of carbonation even when poured from can to glass.

D - I doubt I would buy this in any quantity to drink myself, but if I had to it wouldn't be that bad. Certainly one of the best malt liquors I've had striking an exceptional balance between American macros and other heavy, sweet, and hot malt liquors.

Photo of cokes
3.51/5  rDev +49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought this as a joke for someone, then ended up with 2 extras in my fridge. I have to admit, I was a little scared and perversely excited to finally try the legendary "Crack in a Can".

I felt generally foolish pouring it into a glass, but once done, it is a pale staw with tornadic streams of CO2 feeding a steady and fairly sticky milk white cap.

The nose is mushy corn- like chewed tortilla chips-, some husky grains, a touch of sugar, and clean but evident alcohol.

Taste is along those same lines. Some mushy corn chips, a dash of sugar, husks, and a slightly sour-leaning alcohol. A vague hoppiness is noted on the tail-end (I appreciate that).
It's shockingly clean throughout, considering the specs.

The mouthfeel is medium, imitating something lighter up-front with the rapid-fire carbonation. But even as it settles out and warms, it still maintains some structure. Ice-cold is preferred, but this is still manageable later on.
I probably won't drink the other one tonight, though. As this is already feeling like it wants to hurt me.

Simply put, this is nowhere near as nasty as I was lead to believe. I sort of wanted a trainwreck, instead I got a beat-up, but reliable, old pick-up.

Not counting stuff like DFH's Liquor De Malt, this has to be the best Malt Liquor I've had, and it blows Mickey's out of the water...I'm using that benchmark as it's the only other example I can recall trying and actually tasting.

This was an eye-opener in a way. It's simply not that bad.

Photo of breginaldpeas
3.08/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's well known this is no conisseur's beverage, but for what it is, it is excellent. Ok, maybe not excellent. It's alright. I would pick a 40 of steel over any quantity of budweiser any day. I find it to be highly drinkable. The taste I think is not at all revolting. As a homeless man once said to me, it goes down easy, doesnt fight back. It's perfect for that winding down, after work part of the day if you have only two dollars in your pocket. so, again, highly recomended if you are broke and thirsty.

Photo of portajon
2.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Steel reserve is my old standard. this was probably the first brand of 40 i ever drank back in high school. This is what i like to call a "Fierce beer" AKA Malt Liquor, and supposedly only St Ides has higher alcohol content.

so i bought a 12 pack of this for 7.99 plus tax, because they cut my hours at work, and i need to economize. i've always said that steel reserve has the coolest looking can out there, and i maintain that position.

im drinking it out of the can, so i cant really smell much, but my years of experience with this brew provide me with a little knowledge- it smells like crap!

The taste is standard for Fierce Beer -- gross and weird! trust me the colder this stuff is the better, and the faster you drink it, the more effective it is.

In this case, the drinkability is directly related to the taste. you have to drink this beer the same way you would assault an enemy bunker: hard and fast. speed is the key.

Photo of jwc215
3.18/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24 oz. can:

Pours clear straw yellow with a large white head that settles to a thin cover, becoming a patch.

The smell is of light sweetness with a touch of alcohol. Pretty clean.

The taste is of mild, sweet grain, raw alcohol, with a vague hop bitterness that is just enough to take an edge off of the sweetness.

Leaning "thick", but yet crisp and smooth.

Drinkability not bad. I don't know that I could/would do a true "40", but I would put the drinkability at "above average" for style, but still harsh. Within cost/style it has a balance and smoothness.

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

It could be worse, was pleasantly surprised at the steel reserve. Hides the booze well for an 8.1% brewsky, however still find notes of cheap alcohol as if spiked with some isopropyl. I'd choose a steel reserve over many canned macro's as you don't need to drink as many to achieve the desired effect. Nothing offensive, surprisingly smooth, not much to look forward too, and gives one hell of a headache.

Photo of tbeck
2.1/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked this up from a local Alberton's.

I was not disappointed by this beer because it was exactly as I expected. The appeareance and smell were average, nothing bad. The taste was exactly as the can says, steel. Metallic taste with a lot of malt. This would be a beer I drank in high school to get drunk quickly, but now that I my taste buds have matured I would pass on having it again.

Photo of Blake
3.23/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought it in a 24oz can from the neighborhood liquor store. The paper bag made all the difference. It really suited the whole feel of the beer.

Had a pretty good taste, not too much hops but it was still good as the malty flavor took over.

Very full and rich beer. Smooth, just rolls down your throat. Makes you feel like you're in a field of barley during the summer.

Very drinkable beer.

Many people give malt liquor, especially this brand, a bad name, but in terms of drinkability, most beers won't go down as smooth as this one. You can't knock it until you've tried it.

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

I like most malt liquor, and from time to time I like a high gravity beer, but I have never been a big fan of Steel Reserve. It smells like metal, tastes like metal, and when you are finished drinking it, it makes you feel like you've been hit in the head with something metal.

It has a decent mouthfeel and buzz factor, but I would not recommend this to many people.

Photo of drxandy
1.99/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

24oz can to standard pint, pours a darker golden hue, foamy white head fades

smells of malts, corn, slight slight hops

taste is of malt liquor goodness, heavy adjuncts, malts are in there somewhere, sugar, sugar, sugar, only guessing how the abv got up there.. alcohol heat, astringent, not the easiest to drink, but after you get into one it destroys taste buds enough to make the second easier to get down.

mouthfeel is bruising, light weight, good carbonation, not my favorite malt liquor but available and cheap.

Photo of largadeer
3.31/5  rDev +40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Celebrating review 570 with something special. 24 oz can straight from my freezer for optimal temperature, i.e. near freezing. Pours a crystal clear pale yellow, not much color for an 8% beer. Head retention is surprisingly decent, rising to fair height and retaining for a few minutes.

Smell: Not much aroma. A bit of malty sweetness I guess, but there's nothing beyond that.

Taste & mouthfeel: Pleasantly crisp and light with a moderate malt/adjunct sweetness. Fairly clean for a malt liquor, there's a hint of cooked corn, but it's faint. No real noticeable alcohol, at colder temperatures at least; I've got no desire to try this warm. Overall, this doesn't really have much flavor, bad or good. The finish is clean - no bittering hops as far as I can tell, nor any strong residual sugars. Not a bad little brew for 99 cents, I can understand why it's favored by drunks and the homeless. For half the price of your average micro six pack you can do some serious liver damage.

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