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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.

946 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 946
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 2.36
pDev: 37.29%
Wants: 7
Gots: 49 | 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: 946 | Reviews: 479 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GuinnessHero
2.83/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

GuinnessHero, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.45/5  rDev -38.6%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.13/5  rDev +32.6%
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.

kmpitz2, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
1.95/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

SkeeterHawk, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
1.4/5  rDev -40.7%
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.

PBRstreetgang, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of beerrookie
1.83/5  rDev -22.5%
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)

beerrookie, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of MarkBlackout
3.33/5  rDev +41.1%
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!

MarkBlackout, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
1.8/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

pentathlete, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of acrawf6
2.45/5  rDev +3.8%
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%.

acrawf6, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of Drunkenmonkey
2/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Drunkenmonkey, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of Ricochet
2.13/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Ricochet, Mar 26, 2005
Photo of KoG
1.78/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

KoG, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of aracauna
2.42/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

aracauna, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of RushLimbmalt
3.95/5  rDev +67.4%
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.

RushLimbmalt, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.05/5  rDev +29.2%
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.

Gagnonsux, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.13/5  rDev +32.6%
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.

assurbanipaul, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
2.3/5  rDev -2.5%
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???

beerluvr, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of KroMagnon
2.68/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

KroMagnon, Nov 05, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
1.23/5  rDev -47.9%
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.

CBFanWish, Oct 23, 2004
Photo of Maestro
2.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another "high gravity lager". Should this become a new BA style? This beer is the same as the others. Lots of corn and lots of sugar, combined to make a malty drink that is meant to get you plowed. Another great way to cause accidents among college freshmen. Tastes like strong American Beer.

Maestro, Oct 22, 2004
Photo of DFN
2.53/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The main appeal of Steel Reserve is that you get a lot of alcohol for the buck --- literally, a buck. 24 ounces of 8.1% brew, which works out to more alcohol than THREE 12-ounce cans of a 5.0% beer. Unless you're really trying to get hammered, one can will suffice. Two is a push... and nobody I know has ever knocked down three cans at one sitting!

OK, what else is there? All in all, Steel Reserve 211 is pretty good for a cheap beer. Medium-gold color, a frothy head that dissipates fast. Not much smell to it. Taste is so-so: better than Bud (what isn't?) but undistinguished; a bit too bitter/sour for my taste.

On balance, I'd rate Steel Reserve a bit below average, but for the price, it's a contender. For 99 cents it'll give you a buzz, and you won't have to hold your nose to drink it.

PS: There are four lonely reviews stranded in a separate listing for this beer. Bottle or can, it's the same brew.

DFN, Oct 01, 2004
Photo of Backer2004
1.6/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

$.99 at Harris Teeter for a 24 oz. can--hard to pass this deal up (or so I thought). No head whatsoever when poured and the carbonation faded within 15 seconds. Taste not too different than a traditional commercialized lager, yet with double the alcohol and half the price.

I decided to compare this by pouring a glass of Miller Light as well. This taste test really displays the extra malt and lack of complexity. This will be my last time I try this lager.

Backer2004, Sep 17, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
2.9/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation is a 22oz tall can. This was an impulse buy at the local Harry Food Mart. I poured a sample of this out into a standard tumbler pint because I’m sure I’ll enjoy this more from the can.

The appearance is that of a standard macro lager, straw yellow and clear. Lots of fizzy carbonation at first. The head quickly recedes to absolutely nothing.

The smell is sweet, and mildly corny, with a bit of a charcoal aroma that actually seems to give it a teeny-tiny bit of depth.

Honestly, it’s not that bad for a malt liquor in the taste department. That charcoal comes through in the taste too, and I do pick up the infamous “cooked veggie” flavor slightly. Almost has a woodiness to it to make the corniness you do taste not *so* bad.

Overall a nice bang for your buck and a considerable go to beer if slumming.

FormatKid, Sep 13, 2004
Photo of jlervine
3.63/5  rDev +53.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black 24oz can with the statement "We believe this to be among the very best beers in the world." Okay, marketing guru, whatever you say...

Pours a honey gold color with no head worth mentioning at all. Smell is corn, hint of cooked veggie, sticky honey malts. Taste is dextrin sweet, hint of alcohol in the finish, no hops detectable at all. Very neutral. Hint of creamed corn in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is non-descript, which, honestly, is exactly what you'd want from this kind of beverage. Nothing stands out, and it goes down smooth. Decent drinkability, but don't let this mother warm, and avoid that last sip - pour it out for your homies and grab another can.

Honestly, not bad overall, and better than other malt liquors I've had in the past.

jlervine, Sep 09, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
2.53/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paid $5.99 for a 12 pack of cans...

The appearence is a somewhat hazy golden color with a medium-large white head that decipates quickly. The beer has no lacing what-so-ever! The aroma is malts, corn, alcohol, not good...

The taste is just like the sland expression, "ehhh", it isn't bad it isn't good, but it is definately not average!

The mouthfeel on this was remarkly not bad, but average, it's was actaully kind of smooth going down, but still kind of heavy. The drinkability receives average marks as well, as it can be drank easily, but it is an 8.1% abv beer so you're asking for trouble...

Final Thought: This was what I drank freshman and sophomore year at a cost/benefit of (abv) * (quality) mark receiving an A then and was necessary as an engineering student...

It's the best beer on the market to "get the job done" at $2 for two "tall boys".

mobyfann, Sep 05, 2004
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
57 out of 100 based on 946 ratings.