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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.

1,010 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,010
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 2.35
pDev: 37.45%
Wants: 10
Gots: 77 | 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 (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,010 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
1.53/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

My friends would buy this last year so I would snag one once in a while. At one point I started to enjoy it's bite.

I poured one of these into a glass last time - that was an awful idea lol. No one will do that anyway with Malt Liqour so I'll just put down in the can review (malt liqour has carbonation for a reason.)

Appearance is a golden color. Head goes away INSTANTLY. I was terrified after this. (that's the glass part.) Smell is just unpleasant - not terrible but not good at all. Taste is a corn sweet and bitter thing going on. The quicker you drink it the better flavor. It is a bit tasty. You have to be with friends to enjoy it really. It's fun. The mouthfeel is slimy and thick. That's kinda gross. Drinkability is definitley poor because the carbonation is so filling it really sits on your stomach well. It may have something to do with the 'high gravity.'

Photo of barleyman
2.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I started drinking 211 because the wife bitched about how may beers i drank. I figured, well the higher the proof, the fewer would be necessary. I guess I have gotten used to it but this tastes better than bud and miller to me now. And for a man who prefers barleywines, this is a session beer. The head disappears almost immediately, leaving little lacing as it goes down. I usually drink my beer out of a straight sided pint glass I store in the freezer. What can I say, its cheap, not all that disgusting and it does the job.


Photo of Tallboy
2.56/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I reviewed this on memory[but after 2 many.it may be a bit cloudy] 1.Str8 from the 40.oz It tastes a hell of a lot better than it smells,Pure and simple this is the beer for getting lit up like christmas time in both the cheapest and quickest way possible.

Photo of HardTarget
2.85/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Inspection: Can, 8.1% abv. “respect my authoriti"!

Aroma: Fruity, some grape and apple with a hint of hop. The required by law corn and alcohol notes show up as scheduled.

Appearance: Gold glass with a finger of firm frothy foam that settles to a modest cover that leaves tide marks of thin lace.

Flavor: Fruity with a firm alcohol edge. A slight soda taste, like it’s mixed with Sprite ®
The fruit note is slightly citric, like an orange apple blend.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body with a mild chew. The texture is pretty syrupy.

Overall Impression: A bit firm in the alcohol taste and a bit too sweet for my tastes. I believe the sweet is trying to hide the alcohol. As a malt liquor, it’s not bad at all. All part of Pegasus's world karma whore tour. Wheee!

Photo of tgbljb
3.35/5  rDev +42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a very pale amber color with large white head that was able to revived with mild swirling. Smell is minimal with only a slight sweetness. Taste is very mild, but still gives a good creamy mouthfeel. I detect virtually no alcohol except for a bit of burn in the aftertaste. The drinkability is truly scary, as I feel I could drink a lot of this beer without realizing what I was getting into. I can see my malt liquors get such a bad rap.

Photo of KarlHungus
2.36/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a clear pale straw color white no head. The aroma is sweet with some grassy notes underneath. The taste is very low key, and inoffensive. Well, inoffensive if you are looking for almost nothing in the flavor. If you are looking for something, it could be deemed very offensive. It does do a good job at hiding the alcohol content. Although, I don't know how, as it is certainly not being hidden by the flavor. The mouthfeel is thin with a lot of carbonation. Overall, this isn't horrible, but it isn't good either.

Photo of UnionMade
2.51/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Savored straight from the clear 40ozer, of course.
Clear, on the paler, orangey side of gold, with a large bubbled, soda-like head with some retention. Some blobby lacing within the bottle. Nice carbonation streamers rise from the bottom. Sugary malt aroma without a trace of hops. Alcohol is readily apparent, fruity, estery sweet, though it attempts to hide behind the huge piles of corn. The first sip is the best, of course. High levels of carbonation and a nearly ice cold temperature do their part to lessen the sweetness. As they depart, however, this brew gets a little tough to down. Common problems with malt liquor, as the sweetness can be a bit much, and such a large serving tends to take a minute to drink. Artificial carbonation doesn't help either. At least you can reclose it. I'll opt for the double deuce next time. Anyways, the body is rather heavier than I'd anticipated, more towards medium, becoming more evident with the rapidly departing carbonation. Some sourness, light skunkiness (although there's hardly any hops to skunk) and sweet booze in the finish, leaving off with a corn syrup, malt extract aftertaste. Honestly, I really had to force myself to down the last inch of the bottle. This stuff can get really boozy and syrupy if you don't kill it in 15 minutes or less.
For malt liquor, it's not bad. I've never had a period of time where I drank 40's on any regular basis, but I've had my share. I still prefer Private Stock or Elephant from Denmark, if that counts, but this isn't bad. I'd rather just have a couple bottles of regular strength beer and save myself the headache, literally. I don't know what it is about malt liquor, but I always get a headache from it.

Photo of danielharper
1.8/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased, er...

Okay, the deal is that one of the guys at my local gave me a can of this to go with my other purchases. He'd just tried it, and called it "kind of sweet", and happened to have a broken four-pack, so he gave one to a regular customer. Nice customer service there, although I wish he'd had an open Samuel Smith's instead.

So let's see. Appearance is pretty negative. Dingy yellow body with a thick white foamy head that disappears almost immediately. The beer is so light it almost looks white as it's being poured, it's absolutely transparent and produces no carbonation at the bottom of the glass. Maybe I should have just reviewed from the can.

Aroma isn't promising. I'm not getting much of anything in the nose, smells like day-old Bud Light that's been left open in the refrigerator. A vaguely "beery" smell that I'm sure frat guys know all about, but no hop presence and nothing to really advance the beer. It's not outright offensive, though, so I'm not giving it the lowest possible rating.

Taste... well, tastes a lot like a standard macro lager. I'm trying to give this beer a fair shake, and I must admit that it's pretty easily drinkable (at least at the cold temperature at which I'm drinking it), but there's nothing really to recommend here. No hops to speak of, and the maltiness is pretty watered down overall. Swishing around the mouth produces a sweetness, but I'm guessing that's more due to my saliva processing the beer and breaking it down than anything actually in the brew. Not pleasant, but not patently offensive.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, but hey, it's a malt liquor. I'll be a bit generous and give it reasonably high marks here, as it's supposed to be thin and easy to drink.

Overall drinkability is low, but not terribly low. It's probably the most godawful beer I've ever reviewed, but it's probably not a drain-pour, and I can imagine beers that would be much more difficult. Pounding these back straight from the can is probably the best way to drink it, but that would apply to Bud Light, as well.

I won't buy this, well, ever, but it isn't bad for free and I can imagine that with spicy food it might be a good palate cleanser. Basically tastes like alcoholic water.

Photo of kbnooshay
2.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow. If you guys are rating this in regards to style you are full of shite. Malt liquor is supposed to be awful! This is only almost awful! This pours a nice golden orange color with a small fizzy head. The smell is malty and appley. As someone mentioned below it tastes similar to a cider making it very easy to drink. Mouthfeel is moderate and slick. Compared to all malt liqours this is the king by far. The alcohol is there though so be carefully. Holy shit the last sip was not so happy. The more you drink the more astringent it tastes. It doesn't matter if you are drunk or not.

Photo of mynie
1.8/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark yellow with a tiny head that goes away as fast as a day dream. You reserve the 1.0 appearance ratings for beers you have a special bent against, don't you? I mean really how bad can a beer look? Not quite the worst I've ever seen, this one.

No odor but the fire of rotten malt.

No taste but that of rotten malt and an oddly pasturized euro pils kind of funk. Not good. Nearly horrible.

This is what homeless people drink when they're out of money. Aged for at least 28 days, it says on the can. So it's just as good as period juice. Tastes a little better. Not much. Avoid.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.12/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Today is a good day for Malt Likkapalooza III, another in my series of head-to-head matchups that pit the mongrels of the beer world, malt liquors, against one another in a fight to the very death (hopefully, not mine). Today's bout will be between this can of Steel Reserve 211 and a can of Nighthawk Premium Malt Liquor. Both are brewed in Wisconsin. What is it with those Badgers and their malt liquor?

Lightly dusted gold that sparkles in the bright blast of morning sun slanting through my front window. For all intents and purposes, the color is identical to the color of Nighthawk; they might as well be the same beer. The heads are virtually identical as well. The color is dingy white and looks like year-old newspaper. The texture is both soft and mealy, which doesn't promote persistence or lace. Not good.

The noses are scarily similar as well. This one is more subdued and is a trifle more grainy. Nighthawk's is more aromatic, sweeter and fruitier. I prefer the latter, but I haven't yet decided whether it's enough of a difference to deserve a higher score.

This beer is clearly the beast in this competition. It's noticeably stronger and more alcoholic on the palate. If SR's ABV is 8.1%, NH's must be closer to 5-6%. This product is for those who want a high alcohol content and don't mind that it's a major part of the flavor profile. It tastes like corn macerated in vodka. Not grain alcohol and not Stolichnaya, but something in between.

The mouthfeel is firm. Not full, thick or supple, but firm. Like the butt end of a machine pistol. It is, perhaps, the best malt liquor mouthfeel going as far as I'm concerned. I don't have much to say about the carbonation. At least it continues to be present and continues to attempt to lighten the load.

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) is the clear winner of Malt Likkapalooza III, the most lopsided competition yet. Its uncompromising nature won't be to everyone's liking, but if you're going to brew a malt liquor then, dammit, brew a malt liquor that you can be proud of. When it comes to beer of this style, erring on the side of 'too much' is infinitely preferable to erring on the side of 'too little'. Therein lies the difference between these beers and the difference between their scores.

Photo of grindcore666
1.45/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bought this at my local Albertsons for the hell of it.

Poured from a 24 oz. can into a pint glass. Looks like your average piss beer, gold in color. Thin head pans down fast. Bubbly.

Scent is of low grade malt, of course.

Crisp with medium carbonation. The malts taste below average. Ends a little sour and leaves a dry unwanted aftertaste.

It's 3 sips later and I'm pouring the rest of it out for my homies. Probably the least drinkable beer I've had since Rainier.

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

Steel Reserve 211 HGL pours a copper hued amber from a 24oz aluminum pop top can. Very light tan head of fine foam bubbles went well over two fingers before settling down to a full carpet of fine foam with bits of lacing along the sides of my 12oz beer tumbler.

Nose is unrevealing... some damp corn is about it, all else is nondescript. Are there hops? is there alcohol? Steel Reserve 211 is not giving up it’s secrets... just yet.

The palate is where its at, up front and in your face is a strong yet very smooth, sweet corn and barley malt. Not cloy, but very sweet none the less. The hops, for the lack of a better word are innocuous. The level of carbonation is right on the money and strong enough to push this rather viscus fluid out of the way and go to work on the tongue.

Steel Reserve 211 HGL is in my humble opinion, one of the better High Gravity Lagers. Drink in respect of it’s 8.1% alcohol by volume, or a few cans of this stuff will set you on... your can.

Photo of goochpunch
3.48/5  rDev +48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out crystal clear golden with fizzy head that fizzled out. Lacing? NO. Smells like malt liquor, but surprisingly not much of a boozy smell.

Nothing wrong with Steel Reserve. Awesome taste as far as malt liquor goes. Pretty carbonated, almost like a Coke, but I can drink this all the way down the the paper bag.

The best malt liquor at this alcoholic strength, I'd say.

Photo of bditty187
3.22/5  rDev +37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Never seen in Omaha until yesterday; I couldn’t remember the reputation of this beer. Was it considered really good for a Malt Liquor or really bad? For 99c, I thought I’d find out.

Clear, gold in hue, unexpectedly the shading of the liquid is more on the amber side then the sickly pale yellow side; kudos for that. The head was clear-white in color; it looked like something on a flat Sprite. At the apex the foam hardly covered the liquid and then it rapidly faded away to nothing, I mean nothing. There is no soapy collar. Not surprisingly there was no subsequent lacing. Damn lack of foam, otherwise this beer doesn’t look to shabby.

The nose is sweet; there is a slickly alcoholic vibe with kisses of honey and acidic fruitiness. Otherwise the nose is clean, especially on the backside. Moderate potency; for the style this beer it is articulate. I don’t find the nose inviting but it is far from offensive. Neutral. I’d say a neutral nose for a Malt Liquor is a win.

The palate is sweet but the alcohol heat actually, kind of, balances the sweetness (or at least cuts the sweetness). Cereal, wheat husk, traces of corn, acidic fruitiness, and astringent bitterness towards the back. Hot at times, just warm the rest. It actually reminds me of High Life on steroids. I like High Life… so, in a way, this is a better beer. The abv is fairly well hidden; I mean it never gets scorching or gross. It is not sickly sweet. There is some bitterness and bite to this beer. I’ve had MLs that were so one-dimensional they were drain-pours. Not this one. So, let’s conclude… the palate, in reality, is decent. It is what it is. Would I take this over, say, Duvel? No. Over Redhook ESB? I might. Over Coors Light? Yes.

Medium in body, I am amazed at the crispness of the carbonation, prickly and refreshing. At first, there is a moderate aftertaste, a bit sweet, hot, and acidicly fruity. Not bad really. However, after about 3/4ths of the can my mouth got worn-out by the sweetness. There was a residue on my tongue, it tasted like I had been eating breakfast cereal all day. Not a good feeling!

Is it drinkable? Sure. I’ll finish the whole big-ass can. BTW, I really like all the wording and shit on the can, eye-catching and classy. I guess the next time I have the hankering for a High Life or a Northwoods Lager I might just grab this cheapy instead. Like I said, I purchased it in Omaha. Try one… if you want to know what a good ML tastes like.

Photo of GuinnessHero
2.75/5  rDev +17%
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.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.43/5  rDev -39.1%
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.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.13/5  rDev +33.2%
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.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
1.95/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
1.44/5  rDev -38.7%
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.

Photo of beerrookie
1.81/5  rDev -23%
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)

Photo of MarkBlackout
3.3/5  rDev +40.4%
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!

Photo of pentathlete
1.85/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

Photo of acrawf6
2.44/5  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%.

Photo of Drunkenmonkey
2/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
57 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.