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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) - Steel Brewing Company

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

825 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 825
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 2.38
pDev: 36.55%

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)
View: Beers (3) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 825 | Reviews: 469 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of iceburger97


3.08/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

i sometimes drink a 24 oz can of this when i dont have much money. Its okay. Tastes like fishing sinkers and as if stale bourbon was added.Smells similar to the taste but add to the smell a musty burnt corn smell. The look of the beer as well as the mouthfeel and carbonation is good. For the price it is the way to go sometimes, some occasions call for steel reserve

Serving type: can

08-30-2012 21:27:31 | More by iceburger97
Photo of netrioter


3.53/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

6.0% version sold here in Durham NC...only the 211 Triple Export is 8.1% here and thats for another review

12 pack of 12oz cans = $6.50

drank from shotgun as well as 4 x 12oz cans from my 52 oz Coors Light pitcher

This is FAR better than the 8.1% version...its more like a regular lager with some bite...definitely worth a try if you see it.

Its not the "kick you in the junk and like it" taste like the 8.1% delivers...the 6.0 dont really qualify as a high gravity lager. Its my new "on the reg" regular beer now instead of Natty Ice because it tastes a hell of a lot better and its cheap.. less than 7 a 12 pack.

Its actually very smooth...its kinda funky if you let it warm up as expected.

there is a 3.2% version sold in Oklahoma...its hilarious actually...tastes like Carling Black Label or "BEER" (falstaff swill)

Serving type: can

07-20-2012 09:07:31 | More by netrioter
Photo of Beastdog75

New Jersey

1.73/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Aaah, Steel Reserve. No doubt about it one of the most recognizable names in malt liquor. I like how the can tries to portray this product as a high quality and classy beverage, with slogans on the can saying how it's brewed with double the malt and hops for extra "gravity" and the 211 stems from medieval times as 211 was the number of steel back then. This beer exists for one reason and one reason only: to get you drunk. The version I reviewed is the 8.1% version.

Steel Reserve pours a bright yellow color that is reminiscent of your first passing of urine of the day. A finger and a half of foam forms and lasts for just under a minute. The aroma struck me as peculiar at first, with my nose discerning an aroma that reminded me of grape juice gone bad, along with some corn, grain and alcohol scents. The mouthfeel seemed average for your standard fizzy yellows beers, with a moderate amount of carbonation. There was some slight stickiness present that stood out. The first flavor I detected was that of pure alcohol. Some sweet corny and grainy flavors were present as well. The beer was a bit harsh tasting at first, but it became easier to drink as I drank on. There was some metallic and alcoholic dryness and bitterness in the finish. The dryness continues on to the aftertaste, along with some light alcohol and grains flavors. The brew concludes with some decent alcoholic warmth.

I wasn't expecting much out of this beer, and it pretty much met my expectations. If it was slightly less harsh, it would have been one of the better examples of the style. If you're looking for a cheap buzz, I suppose one could do worse than this.

Serving type: can

06-24-2012 06:02:37 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of joshcmn


3.08/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

24oz tallboy can marked 8.1 ABV

A - I didn't even bother pouring this into a glass so I can't comment on the appearance.

S - Smells like an ethanol plant, urine

T - Semi-mettalic, super sweet malt covering the high ABV very well.

M - Moderately thick and syrupy.

O - I think this is one the best malt liquors I have ever tasted. For the style, it's actually quite good and a nice contrast to the IPA I just finished. I paid $1.37 for this can and I definitely feel like I'm getting my money's worth on the alcohol front:) Malt liquor is malt liquor...drink fast and get your buzz on. I don't particularly care for this style of beer but I drank many a Mickey's Ice big mouth 40 in college and this tastes much better and has a higher ABV to boot. Definitely drink COLD. Not that I'm advocating slamming this beer but the alcohol starts asserting itself agressively as it warms up.


Serving type: can

06-03-2012 06:54:43 | More by joshcmn
Photo of intensify


2.83/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Drank straight out of a 24oz can. for 1.55+ tax this is a pretty good deal. and 8.1% abv? get outta here.

Nose gave off the typical metallic like aroma you get from malt beer. Wet hay and a sugary presence as well. Taste followed closely behind with no hops in the picture what so ever. However, it goes down smooth and doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth. I find nothing offensive about the taste. It's actually refreshing and masks the alcohol pretty well.

Overall - Better then the average malt liquor. Would I buy this again? For a cheap buzz, yes. Not bad at all.

Serving type: can

05-02-2012 05:42:42 | More by intensify
Photo of lonewolf1959


4/5  rDev +68.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I kinda like this stuff. It goes down well and is extremely economical. It is fairly smooth and doesn't leave the nasty after-taste of many malt liquers. It seems a bit "thick" as if it were higher-gravity. It gives a good buzz and I don,t get buzzed all that easily. Must be popular as I have to keep asking the manager at Rite-aid to stock some more. He always seems to have it, just not in the cooler. That or theres only 1 can left. Sure, there are way better and stronger beers but not for $1.29 per 24oz!
I can get a pretty good buzz on 1 can. I drink it in about 10 minutes, "normal for me" and thats about as cheap a buzz you can find in these parts.

Serving type: can

04-12-2012 17:06:42 | More by lonewolf1959
Photo of jimmah120


2.75/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz tallboy can into pilsner glass

Clear pale yellow with sudsy head, minimal lace, and plenty of rising bubbles. Smell is soapy grain, corn, and a touch of hop skunk. It feels light and crisp on the tongue at first, with the same soapy grains and corn husk as the nose, but ends syrupy and cloying. There is also the unmistakable Steel Reserve taste- somewhere between witbeer spice and garbage juice. The alcohol is hidden well making it drinkable enough.

Not a bad beer, esp. considering the $$ to ABV ratio. If you're trying to get slammed, try this out.

Serving type: can

04-07-2012 03:22:21 | More by jimmah120
Photo of jdprmd


3.33/5  rDev +39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in snifter, 8.1% abv version

A - White head dissipates quickly, has a nice golden color

S - Slight sweetness. This is the worst part of the beer, smells like your average light beer (miller-coors, AB)

T - honey, malt and slight caramel. Alcohol burn... non in my opinion... people must be crazy or only drink AB if they say this has alcohol burn

M - Its smooth as hell... great for drinking in hot weather or grilling!

O - This is what bud light platinum was trying to do, but failed at. If your looking for a cheap, and when I say cheep... the cheapest thing on the market, and drinkable beer you found it. This beer is not claiming to be anything great, and for 6.99 a 12 pack, it actually has flavor. The 4.5 rating is given based upon the price you pay for the taste. My favorite style of beer is american double/imperial stouts and I can drink this one with ease w/o complaining. Great beer for float trips/camping/grilling with the guys.

Serving type: can

04-06-2012 06:46:07 | More by jdprmd
Photo of jsisko01


2.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - Pours a clear golden color with an inch thick, fluffy white head.

Smell - Slightly sweet with maybe some citrus? Not much in the aroma..

Taste - This beer is horrible. There isn't much in the taste except for some bitterness and a strong alcohol bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - Don't buy this beer unless you can handle the strong flavor of alcohol.

Serving type: can

04-02-2012 01:41:46 | More by jsisko01
Photo of WastingFreetime


2.85/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

A. Typical malt liquor clear golden pee yellow with a fizzy head that destroys itself in thirty seconds or less with minimal lacing.

S. For reasons unknown, at first I smelled peanut shells. A blink of an eye later, that smell had morphed into wet cardboard mixed with green apple tartness, solvents, and a faint cereal grain aroma.

T. Actually has a distinct dry malt presence in the middle of all the corny adjunct sweetness, at least relative to other malt liquors. Not as bad as I had feared. Fusels are also not as severe as in other malt liquors as well...but they *are* there.

M. Medium body and carbonation levels, slightly greasy in feel if allowed to warm up for a bit.

Actually not all that bad when compared to other malt liquors offered in my area.

Serving type: can

03-17-2012 22:32:00 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.2/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from can into pint glass

Appearance- Pours a medium golden color with a thin white head. The head fades to give moderate lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – Very mild. I only pick up fait hints of rice and some paper aromas.

Taste- Very surprising taste. It has a biscuit and cereal body with corn mixed in. While many claim it sweet, I disagree; in comparison the many malt liquors it is much drier. The tastes are not to astringent and somewhat smooth. At the end the alcohol really comes into play, warming the mouth, but leaving it with a very strong boozy taste; almost like you get from a shot of cheaper run. Actually, its not really that off putting.

Mouthfeel – For an 8% abv., the mouthfeel is quite light. The carbonation is a little bit above medium. The alcohol at the end creates a very dry feel in the mouth.

Overall – For the price I paid for this brew ($1.50 for 24 oz.an) it gives you a great bargain. While by no means the tastiest beer out there, it wasn’t awful and did give a very nice warming feel. On of the best stronger malt liquors out there.

Serving type: can

03-14-2012 00:21:23 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

2.15/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a pale gold with a quarter of an inch of soft, white head that quickly fades away. The smell is fruity and grainy. The taste is similar; tastes like apples and sweet corn. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, smooth, and heavily carbonated.

This is a drinkable beer. The can I had said 6.0%. It's not very flavorful and honestly rather forgettable, but for the style it's not awful.

Serving type: can

03-01-2012 23:06:36 | More by tdm168
Photo of MirkoCroCough

Croatia (Hrvatska)

3.18/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright and fizzy. Not gold but less than a strange artificial yellow.

Close to gross with a sticky, sugary malts and white rice.

Amazing versus the smell. Clean, sharp and smooth. Nice hint of bitterness in the finish.

Fizzy and light with some slick booziness in the finish.

Other than the smell, this is a good strong brew for the price. Far cleaner than horrid ice beers for sure.

Serving type: can

02-29-2012 01:47:01 | More by MirkoCroCough
Photo of staticparadox


3.48/5  rDev +46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For less than a couple bucks almost anywhere, it's hard to pass up a tallboy of Steel Reserve. The taste is fairly strong, though if you're accustomed to drinking high gravity lager a lot it won't seem as intense as a lot of other malt liquors. Because it's so inexpensive it makes a popular choice for anyone looking for a quick buzz. 75% of the time I head up to the local grocery store I'm often finding myself reaching way back for the last one. It doesn't taste horrible and it's very economical. It's easy to get used to without dreading the strong aftertaste from other beers in its category.

Serving type: can

02-05-2012 20:01:47 | More by staticparadox
Photo of J23hc

New Jersey

2.58/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Have only had this once out of a forty ounce and hated it. Will attempt it now again hopefully it is better from a 24oz can. Poured into big mug with round bowl bottom. Pours a color of ginger ale, pleasing appearance of the rising bubbles, creamy white head that does not last. Smell isn't too pleasing, sweet malt presence and metal. Taste also has a certain sweetness to it. Pretty rough feel. It is pretty decent for a cheap beer though, and the high abv isn't a bad thing.

Serving type: can

01-29-2012 23:43:20 | More by J23hc
Photo of Never2Dark


2.93/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For 99 cents, these 24 ounces of 8% malt liquor can't be beat.

First of all this is not a good beer. It smells like cheap beer (sour and foul), it tastes like sweet corn and alcohol, it's over carbonated, but it finishes like an ok beer. There's something nice about it that make the 2nd and 3rd sips better and better. (maybe it's the 8% alcohol)

While it may be not-good, it is the #1 malt liquor I've tasted, and the price is amazing.

When I see a 4-pack of Abrasive Ale for $16.99, or the equivilant volume of Steel Reserve 211 for $2.97, I sometimes go for the malt liquor.

It's bad taste vs. good economics, and it's certainly a beer that will grow on you.

Serving type: can

01-15-2012 17:33:50 | More by Never2Dark
Photo of emerge077


2.95/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A budget buy, let's see if this is as bad as I remember... on public access they aired this hilarious episode of a "talk show", it was a couple of old guys demystifying the evil "coded symbols" you find on various malt liquors. Of course you have a slew of dangerous animals to be superstitious about (cobras, jaguars, wild cats, all pretty self-explanatory), but Steel Reserve? Where's the hidden meaning there fellas? The "211" sign is the medieval symbol for steel, but they went another route, claiming it had criminal meaning.

Here's an excerpt from the age old tome "A Story without Heroes: The Cautionary Tale of Malt Liquor"...

"LeeRoy Jordan, Jr., a health professional and independent consultant, was one of many who noted that 211 was the California penal code for robbery, and he added that the alphanumeric gang code translation of 211, based on the 2nd and 11th letters of the alphabet, was "Blood Killer." And there you have it: another malt liquor brand promoting gangsterism and violence."

Can says "JUN042012" so at least it's in code.
Skip those clear bottles.

Ultra pale gold, not much in the way of visible carbonation. A finger of whitey white foam, that settles briefly and leaves some irrregular lacing and a thin veil of broken skim on the surface.

Nondescript aroma of apple, wet grain husks, and sweet alcohol. Honestly it's pretty inoffensive.

Fruity flavor, some harsh alcohol astringency, cereal grains in the finish. The fruitiness isn't your typical apple juice box, it has some pear or similar sweetness to it that's actually not terrible, and a welcome change from typical swill, which this is too don't get me wrong. Feels like a medium bodied malt liquor, it gets a little boozy when it warms up, so don't let that happen. Leave the 40 in the fridge if you have to. Slight stickiness, there is a fair amount of sweetness but the alcohol tends to dry it out quickly. Pretty drinkable actually, which goes a long way in the malt liquor category.

Overall this isn't terrible, middle of the road compared to the bottom of the barrel malt liquors... Earthquake, Jaguar, Evil Eye, etc.

Serving type: can

01-03-2012 00:48:49 | More by emerge077
Photo of phenomenologian


1.65/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

It pours a small head that is white. It does not retain. Bad sign.

The smell is of cereal, alcohol and some other stuff I cannot recognize. The smell is faint but the alcohol smell is harsh.

The taste is not good just because it has harsh taste of alcohol and cereal and maybe some other stuff. Altogether, it has a certain taste to it that makes the brew repulsive. The certain taste it has is definitely of alcohol with harsh flavor that is not even pleasant.

The mouthfeel is very carbonated and not good which makes this experience worse. It makes mouth dry also...how???

Overall, gross taste. I know some people like this style of beer but this is intolerable. Maybe Im being too harsh but I cannot understand how someone can find this beer enjoyable.

Serving type: can

12-25-2011 09:10:07 | More by phenomenologian
Photo of Bricelyn


2.42/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

So were broke and well we mine as well!!! Wife showed up with beer unexpectedly, I'm kinda disappointed but here goes anyhow!

Poured from a a 24oz can into a 12 oz glass this beer looks unnaturally dark from what I assumed would come from this style of brew. About a Centimeter of foam that seems to be sticking all the way down.

It has a liqour store smell to it honestly it smells like cheap beer spilled onto cardboard and left to dry in a cool back room.

Corn and corn I taste Corn!!! with a heavy malt finish.

Mouth feel is thick and sticky with an uncomfortable residue after

This is not my Style of brew But I can honestly say I have tried it and am proud to expand my beer knowledge.

Serving type: can

12-23-2011 06:17:01 | More by Bricelyn
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou


1.5/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

24 oz tall can into a pint glass

A: Perfectly clear with festive carbonation. Frothy white head falls quickly, with no lace. Golden more than yellow.

S: Not much. Corn, alcohol, fruit?

T:Rough. I know this is supposed to be a style thing but this is bad. Booze, dry fruit, sour mix, rice cereal.

M: Super carbonated. Thin, dry.

D: Of course not.

Serving type: can

12-19-2011 01:17:05 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Photo of madeofsteel


2.4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This used to be my overall cheap go-to, because it's hard to argue with $1.10 for a 24oz. can. Do yourself a favor and don't ever get it in a 40, because it will make you wanna spew about halfway through. Unless you're sophisticated enough to drink it out of a glass ;)

A - Poured into a frosted mug, it pours a straw color, with a finger's worth of foam that fizzles quickly, leaving almost no lacing.

S - There's not much going on... typical malt liquor smell. Corn, sugars, booze.

T - Hello, old friend. There's that funky malt liquor funk, with the weird sour/sweet, dry bitter... normally all qualities I enjoy in beer, but not this one. There's definitely corn in there, too... yuck.

M - Kinda hard to notice, mostly because of how quickly you want it out of your mouth. Fizzy. Not much heat from the ABV, but that's probably because of how cold it is.

O - If you want a good beer, this ain't it. But it is an incredible value. If you like malt liquor, you'll probably agree that Mickey's is far superior, *but* Steel Reserve is cheap as hell, and at 8.1% ABV, it'll get you where you want to be.

Serving type: can

11-28-2011 00:47:03 | More by madeofsteel
Photo of whatthehull


2.35/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tasted sept. 5th 2011 (from notes)


A - translucent gold, one finger white head and no lacing

S - just lots of yeast, malt, funk, alcohol and slight hops

T - lots of malt, alcohol, barley, wheat, crazy yeast, rice and I guess a slight hint of bitter hops

M - full bodied, medium minus acidity, not a lot of balance, not much complexity and a medium finish

D - if you are looking for a decent tasting cheap beer to get you shwasted, this is your beer.

Final thought - $7 a 12 pack? Why not?

Serving type: can

11-22-2011 07:28:25 | More by whatthehull
Photo of FightingEntropy


2.3/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Straw gold lager--malt liquor of 8.5%. So many meaningless brewing misnomers on the label to convince the quick buzz crowd that this is the alcohol vehicle of choice. White bubbly head hangs tough in my plastic hotel room glass--desperate drinking conditions (11 pm in small town Iowa, so this was the best beer at the local Casey's) call for desperate measures. Best thing about the beer is the triple overtime win by Stanford on TV while drinking. Corn, sweet malt and diluted sugar in the nose witha slight tangy and metallic (hop?) spice in the nose. In the taste, more corn and apple and some bitterness (happily). When the alcohol kick in, my slight shudder from the taste subsides and it becomes even (somewhat) enjoyable. Ratings above might seem high, but it is one of the better malt liquors I've tasted from a limited range.

Serving type: can

11-02-2011 01:41:29 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of sweemzander


1.45/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A large 24oz sized can poured into a tulip. . (classy).

(A)- Pours a clear orange color. Some white froth and lace.

(S)- Very sweet corn meal/husk. Bits of rice. . . lots of sugary rice.

(T)- Again, an extremely sugary sweet corn meal and rice flavor. Tons of sweetness.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. Very very sugary sweet. Its literally corn sugar water. Boozy.

(D)- Not a fan at all. Its like drinking sugar boozed water.

Serving type: can

10-29-2011 17:53:12 | More by sweemzander
Photo of cjacobsen


2.05/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

24 oz can poured into a snifter. This really should be drank straight from the can and wrapped in a brown paper bag.

(A) Pours a clean, light orange color. Quarter inch white head that leaves rather quickly.

(S) Corn and sweet light malt are flooded with a big smell of sugars.

(T) Just like the nose, the taste is comprised of corn and a lot of sugars. Near sugar water but with a bunch of light, pale malts that add to the sugar taste and almost give a cornbread type of flavor.

(M) It's pretty grainy and ends kind of dry. Light body and somewhat harsh on the palate.

(O) College! This brew brought me back. As far as flavor profile and the quality of the brew, not all that fantastic by any means. It's pretty bad. It is one to be had though, just so you can have that notch on your belt. It is a great kick-start to any party drinking that you might do, but seeing that we've all moved on into the flavor country (not to mention are mostly older and no longer in school) the purpose that this beer has served has come and gone.

Serving type: can

10-25-2011 13:25:57 | More by cjacobsen
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
58 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.