Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth LagerSchlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager
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American Malt Liquor
Ranked #25
Ranked #48,606
2.74 | pDev: 30.66%
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
Illinois, United States
Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth LagerSchlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 114 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.08/5  rDev +48.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a deep golden amber color with a one finger head of fizzy white foam. The head fades rather fast leaving just a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is strongest of a corn syrup sweet and caramel smell. Along with these smells comes some notes of a light breadiness and a touch of doughiness. Overall, the smell is sweet, but smooth, and for a malt very clean.
Taste – The taste begins with a mix of a cracker malt taste that has a rather strong caramel and corn syrup sweet flavor. These tastes create a base flavor for the brew and persist throughout the taste. As the taste advances a touch of dirt and earth come to the tongue and with just a tiny touch of alcohol, one is left with a rather smooth and flavorful, but still super easy drinking and slightly sweet taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average to slightly higher. For the mix of sweet and smooth tastes the feel is great and makes for a super easy sipping brew.
Overall – One of the cleanest and smoothest high gravity malts. This is one of the best malt liquors out there. And at 8.5 % it hides the booze well, getting its job done in the right tasty way.

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Photo of HopfaceMcface
3.51/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Looking to get off the Edge I noticed this frosty yellow bull staring at me from my local bodega. Like any true malt I drank warm in a paper bag with a lime green slurpee straw, Stupid session beer snobs dont know what their missing even had my pinkie out until the third one.

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Photo of johnvalo
3.7/5  rDev +35%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is the second high gravity beer I have tied, the first being Steel Reserve 211.

It looks golden like an American style beer. The smell is good, not like alcohol. The taste is good - malty but no hint of hops or alcohol. Some reviews describe it as sweet. I don't get that. Some reviews says it tastes of corn from the DMS (Dimethyl Sulfide). After reading that, the next few sips tasted of creamed corn, but that soon went away. The mouth feel is rich. As it warms it gets richer - thicker.

Overall, I like it, but I would rather have a Steel Reserve 211, which has more flavor.

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Photo of s1rrah
3.7/5  rDev +35%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer and it's ilk can be quite entertaining when you just want to session a buzz. And don't scoff until you've tried this because doing this turns this beer (and especially Steele Reserve) into what could only be called a "goddamn delicious ass malt liquor milk shake": Get yourself a quality insulated cup (think YETI/RTIC) ... fill it to the top with ice ... then slow pour this beast into it. I tell you ... it's 100x better than drinking it sans ice and just chilled. The YETI/RTIC cup keeps it cold for hours. I am only the messenger.

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Photo of cliffyp17
3.45/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I remember opening up this sugary top fun brew and I thought I reviewed it..guess I imagined it after it snuck up. Very nice brew low carbonation sickly hint of ware of this as it is in the top tier of it's style but acts like a thisf in the night

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Photo of Bsimpson91
3.94/5  rDev +43.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

High gravity malt liquor thats all about giving you a buzz. Still tastes great, has a wonderful character.
The look is nice, extremely clear appearance. Light golden with almost no cap and no lacing. The presentation of the can is nice. The smell was kind of a let down. The aroma was bland, just faint husky malt. Not much of a smell for a malt liquor. The taste is very much a preference. When this beer is ice cold, you get a wonderful sweet malt, bready goodness. You get alot of alcohol flavor up front that leads to the maltiness and sweetness of the beer. No hops can really be detected other than to round out the beer. As the beer warms it starts to taste like a wine. There is a good pricle from the carbonation. It is a trend to claim a taste of corn, this beer does not have any detectable adjuct flavors. Like many people suggest, keeping this beer cold is the best way to enjoy. The feel is creamy and rich. Very medium to heavy body. I don't recommend this beer to anyone who is not a seasoned drinker. If you want to try this beer; please take it slow.I would only drink these once in a while. The only problem I have with these high gravity lagers is that the alcohol seems to build up on my pallet and numb my perception of flavor. The beer starts out tasting refreshing, However as you get down the can this lager becomes a absolute nightmare to swallow. the beer has NO hop flavor to help curb the sweetness. last time I had it, it gave me a terrible stomach ache and dirty headache. nice buzz for about 3 hours.

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Photo of kojevergas
1.77/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

"Schlitz High Gravity." "The Bull." 8.5% ABV. 24 fl oz can ran me $2.17 USD at a petrol station in Austin, TX. Best before: June 11, 2018. Standard pull-tab. Gold, silver, and black colour motif. "Malt liquor."

APPEARANCE: Pours a clear pale gold body suggestive of a syrupy cheap brew. Head is frothy yet thin, and off-white in colour. Head retention is rather good for the high ABV at ~8 minutes. Head height starts at ~10cm and halves within 40 seconds.

Appears highly carbonated. Not a unique or special appearance, but the beer is obviously filtered.

AROMA: Heavy corn adjunct dominates the aroma. Subsidiary notes of cooked grain are in there too...I suspect DMS off-flavour is present. Lacks any detectable hop aromatics. No yeasty notes or overt booze.

A poor overall aroma that's off-putting. Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Obvious DMS plagues this brew, and it's both syrupy and cloying as well. Viscous and heavy on the palate, preventing it from feeling refreshing. I'd take watery over syrupy any day of the week. Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated.

Corn adjunct sweetness is present throughout but there's no hop bitterness to counter it. No hop flavour either. I can't even find any 6-row beneath all that corn.

It does finish somewhat creamy, which is the only pleasant aspect of the beer inasmuch as I can discern. Poorly built, horridly imbalanced, and downright unpleasant.

Has a very cheap taste; I suppose in that sense it's a classic malt liquor. Shallow, simple, and unapproachable. I will say it disguises its alcohol fairly well, which is admittedly a key element of a proper malt liquor.

OVERALL: It's more or less what I expected going in, which is to say it borders on undrinkable. I think the mouthfeel is ultimately more poorly executed than the taste, but both are quite bad. It'll be a chore to finish the entire 24 fl oz can, but I'll manage. I'd have to try them side by side (heaven forbid), but going off memory I'm quite certain I prefer Olde English to this swill. If getting shithoused on a budget is your aim, go for Ballantine XXX, Genny, or Simpler Times instead.

Low D- (1.77) / AVOID

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Photo of OldSchoolMike
2.02/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I tried this one once. Once was enough. Save yourself a bad experience and stick to the O.M.L. if you are slumming it and want a Schlitz malt liquor.

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Photo of TheDominic
2.7/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I know a lot of people don't like it, but i don't mind it much. It's cheap, and drinkable, plus gets you one hell of a buzz. The weaker 6% one has a slightly better taste if you drink it from the can instead of the 40. I recommend this if you don't want to spend all your money on booze but want a buzz.

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Photo of schlitzman
5/5  rDev +82.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Schlitz high gravity is good just very hard to find just like schlitz oml hard to find schlitz gusto at total wine but they are usually out of cans and bottles but not kegs.
Schlitz red and schlitz bull ice not available here

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Photo of mrhiccups
1.94/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Very smooth. Yes, if you compare the "smoothness" to sandpaper. Let's cut to the chase and say what it is: a cheap buzz, that is all this stuff is good for, if you can get past the taste. Pours out bright yellow, has a smell of fonky socks and some sour apple cider. Tastes very boozy and corn like, but hey, it will get you a buzz for cheap, and it is 8.5 ABV!

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Photo of MusaJames
1.88/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

I drink this beer often. Looks fine and pours well without much head. Smells terrible with a strong alcohol smell. Tastes like it smells a little malt a little hops and a whole lot like you could imagine hairspray would taste like if you had added it to a beer. Overall its my go to when I have little money and want something strong.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

24oz very tall and fat can, procured at the last American exit (not really, but my apologies all the same, M. Downie) before returning home to Canuckland last week.

This beer pours a clear, bright pale golden yellow colour, with three chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy bone-white head, which leaves some adequate streaky and sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly falls away.

It smells of acrid and cheap overripe generic fruit, corn grits, the part of the corn cob that you throw away, wet cardboard, a further indistinct dankness, and an unholy weedy, earthy, and booze-tinged bitterness. The taste is semi-sweet corn cereal, bottom shelf apple cider, musty packaging material, ethereal (read: mostly in my head) bitter notes (actual hops need not apply here), and a sidling alcohol astringency.

The carbonation is large and in charge, what with its pervasive fizz-tinged frothiness, the body medium-light in weight for the style (don't ask how I know this), and smooth, I suppose, any expected clamminess still waiting for its parole officer's approval, or something. It finishes not as sweet as I was anticipating, as the mustiness puts its foot down, and the alcohol just stands there, with a dumb-ass look on its face.

Yeah, once again, this is pretty much just yer typical Miller lager product, reduced even further to its base elements, ones that benefit from a healthy dose of obfuscation in the first place. Not particularly difficult to drink, but only if your brain is preoccupied with something else, and thankfully, for me, it's the recording of Jon Stewart's final Daily Show that I'm about to tuck into. Talk about a moment of (ironic) Zen, eh?

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Photo of workingclassbrew
1.45/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

V.S.L. ...lager em yeah will see. I bought this down in some ramshackle liquor store on Kings Hwy in Myrtle Beach. Love real Schlitz, love the Schlitz Bull logo, but the last "blue bull"I had, I remember being a little ill the next day.

Aroma clean, faint, as the head clears, it becomes quite mettalic. The head fades, take a nice sip...oh my, I dont even know. Sweet, slightly rancid malt. I dont even want to think what Sunday mornin comin down would feel like on this stuff. Im done.

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Photo of snuffconformists
5/5  rDev +82.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Its a shame most of the reviewers on this site don't understand high gravity american malt liquors, and therefore ignorantly feel inclined to stigmatize and trash them, comparing them with unrelated trendy craft beers. I ask the beer advocate community: please grow up. This is one of the best malt liquors on the market, and I've tried them all, it does everything its supposed to, and does it exceptionally well. A rational beer reviewer would put well made strong american malt liquors in a similar category as Belgium trippels or German helles bocks: light body, light color, low IBU, delightfully strong, and chuggable! Surprisingly, V.S.L. is smoother than many expensive Belgium trippels, easier drinking than eisbocks, has no off flavors, not overly sweet or boozy, and theres no cheap beer headache hours after drinking. The body is light and crisp, the taste clean, in contrast to the often overly sweet, ester flawed, heavy bodies of many craft beer attempts at strong lagers or bocks. If you go in with preconceived notions this beer is cheap getto trash, based on the bandwagon of close minded novice snobbery reviews, reconsider. This beer is an archetypical american classic. It doesnt matter if its low price, industrial, comes in a big garish can, or full of corn adjunct - it works, the balance is impeccable. I'll take this masterpiece any time over the endless boring heaps of over-priced over-rated craft hop bomb clones. If only craft brewers would embrace this remarkable beer style and give the hop bombs a rest already.

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Photo of Spikester
3.79/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is better than average solid gold color with three fingers of white head that stays about five minutes and leaves rings of lace as the level drops'
Smell is average but for the style only. Early on it smelled like apple skin and alcohol.
Taste is sweet fruity (apple skin) slightly tart. I could not detect any hops but they show up later in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation. Sweet finish and just lightly dry.
Overall a tasty M.L. I poured it into a nonic pint glass and I think it tastes better out of the can. I have to say I like the old Schlitz ML Bull from the 1970's but all I can find lately are these HG Malt Liquors. Enjoy by date is April 15, 2019. Pretty fresh actually. Paid $1.33 for the 24 ounce can.

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Photo of Zorro
2.48/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden colored beer with a medium sized white colored head.

Smells sweet and corny with a a fruity scent. Sweet apple scent.

Starts out sweet. Tastes of ethanol and apple. Really doesn't taste that much like corn.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall what you wood expect, Cheep Booze in a big can.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.5/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schlitz High Gravity Lager (VSL) had a thick, creamy, egg-shell colored head, and a very clear, golden appearance, with some fine bubbles streaming up and a decent amount of lacing left down the mug. The aroma is faint, with some clean water and a slight sweet smell in there. Taste is very alcohol-forward. There are wine, corn, sweet, and low-level hop flavors all mixed in with this. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, and Schlitz HG (Very Smooth Lager) finishes rather harsh and heavy.


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Photo of archyquaffer
2.96/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 24 ounce tallboy into a shaker pint glass. A moderate pour produces about 1.5 inches of frothy, bubbly, and billowy head that actually proves quite sticky. The beer is a pale straw color, but not as pale as many AALs and malt liquors. There is an absolute tornado of carbonation.

This beer is quite smooth, as advertised. I detect a little bit of pale malt flavor with some corn mash and a kiss of hops. Some fruity and metallic alcohol notes are apparent, as expected. There is a basic corny sweetness that becomes cloying as it warms- don't let it get too warm.

It had been awhile since I tried a Schlitz Bull. It really isn't bad at all, and would probably make a good candidate for a tomato juice beer because it's strong and highly carbonated.

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Photo of Wrigfen
2.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I probably rated it higher than I should have but I did this with a certain thought process. I compared it to Larine 95. Larine 95 while not a great beer is better tasting than this beer, however this beer is better or more fairly priced. Alcholol content is comparable between the both. Let me say this about this beer. It is definitely not a full body or full flavored rich tasting beer. But then again it is a beer and is NOT bad tasting either. I would drink it again although probably it is not in my top 80 (yes I have had a lot of experience although I didn't rate beers for many decades). Try it don't shun it but do not expect a Duvel or Allagash but do not expect a bad beer either. It is ok and sometimes ok is fine and 8.5% ABV makes it better. And it advertises itself as a Very SMooth Lager which it is.

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Photo of mikeg67
1.41/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

24 oz can. Pours straw with tall, foamy, white head and nice lacing. Smells like fermented apple juice and hints of grassy hops. Body is full and smooth. Taste is alcohol, fermented juice and peppery hops. Finish is long, dried by alcohol. Nice drain opener.

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Photo of Fatehunter
1.09/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

24oz can with the bull. Poured as quickly as possible, four fingers of foamy head. Medium to light straw colored body.
Smells like a dank sock left in the bottom of the gym bag for a week or three.
Taste = Sweet and gross.
Sticky texture, low carbonation.
One drink and done. Drain gets the rest. Wow, truly the worst beer I have ever had.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another in my long series of shitty broke beers. Here's another from Schlitz - the Raging Bull of bad beers.

Drank from the can. Smells "beery" - grainy with a tinge of hop in the back. This one has a very sweet almost citrusy note but I think it's more likely creamed corn that it's reminding me of. Tangy and sweet smelling. Just OK.

Not too bad actually and the extra alcohol is covered up. Sweet mostly but not overpowering or cloying. Not the best thing ever but it's not your run of the mill malt liquor. Some vegetable note in the middle there which isn't super pleasant, but overall a sweet malty, if forgettable, lager.

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Photo of troobie
2.94/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Schlitz VSL, AKA Gold Bull, has the highest ABV out of the Schlitz malt liquor line at 8.5%. Schlitz proudly displays that on the top of the can.

A: I'm sorry, but I'm not going to pour this out of the 24 oz. can. No, not even a little bit. This is meant to be consumed from the can, and what an awesome can it is. Looking into the drink-hole I can see that this is a dark golden color with some redness to it.

S: Smell is definitely not a strong point. Very boozy. Cheap. The alcohol is prominent. I can faintly smell a relation to the rest of the Schlitz line. "Smells like Schlitz!" I'm not picking up that grape smell that malt liquors seem to develop as the ABV gets higher. A restrained sweetness. Unfortunately the smell is telling me to hold on for dear life!

T: Oh boy. This is strange and familiar all at the same time. Very different from Schlitz Bull Ice despite being only .3% ABV stronger. Like the smell, the taste is boozy. The alcohol comes across on my palate but doesn't really warm my throat. A great mix between a dry, clean finishing malt liquor and a sweeter, lingering malt liquor. Think Hurricane High Gravity versus Steel Reserve 211. Once you pick up on the Schlitz taste this becomes much more enjoyable. The taste seems much harsher than is necessary. Compare this to Bull Ice and notice the difference. Still, at 8.5% it could be MUCH worse.

M: Well, it better be smooth if they're going to call it Very Smooth Lager (haha, lager.) Not sure where the smooth part is supposed to play a role. Definitely not the smell or taste so that only leaves mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little lower than I would like but fits in with the Schlitz line at about medium and leaves a mild sting on the tip of the tongue. Chewy and thick. You have to swallow this, it doesn't just go down. Seems needlessly thickened just to call it smooth.

O: This is better than the sum of its parts. At 8.5%, and being a malt liquor, and being reasonably priced, and considering the target audience, VSL is above average. I can't understand why Schlitz felt that there was a need to make a beer to bridge the 8.2% ABV (Bull Ice) and 8.5% gap? At 9%+ this would be much more impressive. If I'd never had Bull Ice I'd find VSL to be much better, but unfortunately Bull Ice is one of my favorite high gravities and it kicks the hell out of this overall. I guess Schlitz made this to appeal to the high gravity drinker that appreciates a harsher taste?

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Photo of michaelwilkens
4/5  rDev +46%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I personally enjoy this beer. At only $0.99 a can, you really can't complain, unless your a rich snob that drinks 3 Floyd's every night which is produced in my hometown of Munster. Anyways its not all that bad. It doesn't have tat high alcohol taste, which I personally like, yet it still gives you a decent buzz after two cans or so. This is coming from someone that is young, yet has tasted almost every craft beer sold in your typical "nice" liquor store. It may not be the best around, but its a good value for those looking to save money and get a buzz without the swill hangover.

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Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
Beer rating: 64 out of 100 with 114 ratings