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

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Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth LagerSchlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager
105 Ratings
Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth LagerSchlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager

Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
Illinois, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-24-2008

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 105 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of jeffduyedi
5/5  rDev +83.8%

Photo of snuffconformists
5/5  rDev +83.8%
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 schlitzman
5/5  rDev +83.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Dave7500kl
4.5/5  rDev +65.4%

Photo of Offa
4.17/5  rDev +53.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is actually a really good malt liquor, with nice flavour, but staying smooth and highly d
drinkable despite the ABV.

It's a slightly deep, bright, still gold with a big white head that slowly shrinks to a foamy ring and leaves a little weak lace.

The aroma is grain, a little bread, musty, sweet fruit and wine.

The taste is sweetish with an interesting, zesty, acloholic spiciness that stays very smooth, just hinting at the ABV, and finishes with a nice bite. It's fruity, lightly spicy, with a light aromatic grain quality mostly noticeable in the finish, along with grapes and grape peel.

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Photo of michaelwilkens
4/5  rDev +47.1%
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.

 585 characters

Photo of hellbilly
3.92/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

clear yellowish golden color with a surprisingly fluffy white head.

vegetal aroma though not corn... wood, earth, artificial sweetener and white grape juice. this lacks any real 'stink'.

the palate is quite dry for a ML... wait, no, it's quite dry period. chewy pale malty flavor with grapes, earth, grass and a clean crisp hoppy finish. medium bodied given the abv% and 'gravity' with a slick mouth feel (not sticky!) and an unusual crispness.

this certainly lives up to the moniker. it's very smooth and easy to drink. it doesn't make your eyes go all wacky from the rancid taste... i almost miss that in a 24 ounce get drunk quick delivery system. many respectable strong lagers aren't this tasty.

suspiciously, too good...

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Photo of 7beerphil
3.83/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 24 oz can into my Bud "bowtie" glass. Very transparent golden color. Thick 2 inch head, down to a one inch, and quickly to a cm of small bubbles.

Surprisingly, this one doesn't smell strongly alcoholic (even for being the most alcoholic of the "bulls")

Tastes very sweet, has cereal notes and not much else. Surprisingly little to no aftertaste.

Very drinkable, considering the high gravity of 8.5% (for a macro lager). I would still stick with the "blue bull" for a session brew however.

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Photo of Guardian
3.82/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Straw yellow. I never liked this category...who cares what it looks like?

S- ALCOHOL...this is a malt liquor and a whiff will tell you so.

T- Amazingly smooth given the alcohol content.

M- Ice cold it is excellent. Do not let it warm up or it will bring the scwaggy taste of rubbing alcohol.

D- I usually finish off a night of heavy drinking with this beer. The taste is good given the alcohol level and this is usually a good "finish". Also...this stuff is CHEAP.

 472 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.74/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honey golden with a fat creamy off white head that leaves splotches of lace on the glass. Smells of grits, cereal grain and the faintest suggestion of cluster hops. Tastes of toasted grain and sweet malt with some decent bitterness to balance. Warmingly alcoholic in the finish. Lighter bodied for the style and nicely carbonated. Suprisingly easy to drink, great beer to wash down some wings or barbecue. A fine example of the style.

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Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the large 24oz., into a Pizza Port pint glass to enhance the appeal. There is a canning code date on the bottom of can: 02239 C41503...I'm guessing drink by 2-23-09?

A nice piss-yellow gold with moderate carbonation and a large three-finger, fluffy white head. The head dwindles quickly, leaving some clingy lace and surface covering.

The smell is sweet and malty, with a dusty metallic thing going on. The hops perhaps? It actually smell's kind of nice.

The taste is kind of a surprise...it's not offensive like I was expecting, on the contrary it is actually quite smooth and pleasant. Lot's of pale malt flavor, lightly sweet with a balanced, clean finish. It tastes a good as it looks...much to my amazement. This is probably the best tasting macro malt liquor I've ever had.

A solid medium body with a high ABV of 8.5%, the alcohol is really not noticable. This stuff actually drinks easy, especially coming from the can. $1.39 for 24fl.oz. that's quite drinkable...can't bitch about that. Safe for the masses!

Note: the only reason I picked this up was that I noticed that the Schlitz Gusto (60's Formula)
was getting decent reviews. I couldn't find it, so I tried this instead.

 1,201 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, light yellow body with a big, pillowy, cotton white head.

Smell: Sweetish, corny aroma, though mild, and with only a minor hint of the alcohol within.

Taste: Sweet corn flavor, but it's suspiciously quite clean, leading me to surmise some rice is up in this piece. Slight hint of bitterness. Just a touch of that trademark malt liquor chemical alcohol taste. A relatively smooth finish, it lacks the usual cloying, frown-summoning end that I find with its siblings.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Altogether soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Certainly the smoothest malt liquor I've begrudgingly downed during my time on this planet.

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Photo of industrialswill
3.6/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On a last minute stop at the corner market I spied a can of this stuff. I'll admit that I was drawn in by some feelings of nostalgia, but also the wording on the can [extra smooth lager] got me curious enough to try it.
This 24 oz can cost $1.50
I drank it straight from the can.
There was the expected "alky whiff", that goes with the territory.
This stuff IS SMOOTH! The taste is unmistakable, you are drinking malt likka here bro....but what we have here is very drinkable for a ML.
I like all beer that doesn't bite me back and one can of this produced a nice buzz with no ill effects.
I'm very

satisfied with it and would drink it again.

 644 characters

Photo of generallee
3.58/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a 24oz can into a big mug. The can has the abv (8.5%) and a freshness date of "JUL1111" printed on the bottom.

Appearance: The body had a light yellow color with very good clarity. This was a lighter than I was expecting but not out of place. On top the tall three finger head of bright white foam settles down to thin cap which actually hangs on well. Lacing is minimal and very slick.

Smell: It is fairly light with pale cereal grain, grassy hay like hops and minimal sweet corn/vegetable notes.

Taste/Palate: The flavor matches the aroma exactly with a fairly dry finish and offers it up in a light-medium body with smooth but lively carbonation.

Notes: It's surprisingly light and drinkable.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

40 ounce Thursday, Schlitz Very Smooth Lager night. Excellent. Beer poured from a can into a stein, hey why not.

Beer is yellow and clear with moderate carbonation and big white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Head has some staying power. Looks really good actually.

Aroma is mild and semisweet. Its smells OK.

Beer is medium in body, minimal carbonation in the mouth. For such a high alcohol, its not sweet at all. Its nice and pilsner malty not dry. Pretty good actually. I think this is a pretty good beer.

 556 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.5/5  rDev +28.7%
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.


 490 characters

Photo of iman99
3.5/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good tasting for 8.5% and does an okay effect but usually is more of a drowsy feeling.

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Photo of BierFan
3.42/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 24 ounce can into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: A hard pour gave me a decent snow-white head. Golden yellow with light carbonation. The head retention is fairly decent for the style and it has ok lacing.

Smell: Sweet and corny. No "off" smells, it's just like a heartier adjunct lager.

Taste: Rich and sweet. ABV is really hidden. This beer is really surprising me. I didn't think a malt liquor could be this good. Not that it's really anything great, but for this style it is.

Mouthfeel: It lives up to it's title as a "Very Smooth Lager". Almost creamy.

 576 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.41/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The V.S.L. is short for Very Smooth Lager. Really, thought I? Out of a 24 oz. can this beer was a straw gold color with a huge three finger cream-colored head. Mediocre retention and scattered streaks of lacing. The aroma was all corn and grain mash with some sour malt underneath. The flavors were at first a hint of bitterness, quickly followed by some generic sweetened malt, hints of bananas in the fruity alcohol esters and yeasty notes. The flavors turned south as it warmed and the finish was a little metallic. Still for 8.5% the punch is well hidden; I found it hard to deny the 'Very Smooth' part, as far as malts liquors go. The mouthfeel was medium/full and slick and the carbonation subtle but again pretty good for the style. Y'all may think I'm crazy for writing it, but for the Malt Liqour style this one is very good. I'd even say it is as good as, for example, Dad's Little Helper by the Rogue company, a beer that is harder to find and costs three to four times what this did!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.38/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 24 oz. can High Gravity Schlitz issues forth into the glass with a churning swirl of carbonation, no doubt due to it's higher gravity and residual body. It settles to a clear golden color and teems with fast-rising bubbles. The head, which initially rose quite mightily, is down for the count.

In the nose it's simply malty, yeasty-fruity, and slightly alcoholic... very much your typical malt liquor but with a bit more emphasis on the sweetish malt. It's clean and mildly grainy, but no real hops are present (as expected).

The body is solidly medium, and it's fairly crisp and effervescent!

The flavor is malt driven, but it's nicely infused with yeasty high-fermentation fruitiness, and backed by a very low-key, but underlyingly solid bitterness, as well as a sharp crack of semi-tenacious alcohol. It's just as a malt liquor should be!!!

It starts malty and sweet, swathed in alcohol... and it ends malty-sweet and swathed in alcohol. Surprising? But hops, whaaa... ? No they're there, just in minor measure - as expected! And the maltiness is really well done. For the style it's pretty impressively well-done. One of my favorite malt liquors!

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Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

8.5% on the can, brown paper bag, first pour for my homies.

A) Clear gold body with a thin white head that laced pretty well. Champagne bubbles foreshadow a high carbonation level, and pain.

S) White bread yeast with a dash of high fructose corn syrup. Hard to get more American.

T) Clean (i.e. very little flavor) with some mild heat in the finish but does what it says on the tin: Very Smooth, especially given the 8.5% abv.

M) Medium body, high carbonation level.

O) I'm no hater, I welcome our wife beater wearing cousin to the party and enjoy a good malt liquor. This one is really smooth and better than most straight macro choices.

Props to Pegasus for the experience.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.3/5  rDev +21.3%
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 ShepardCommander
3.25/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of LoudRed
3.25/5  rDev +19.5%

Photo of paulish
3.25/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
Beer rating: 2.72 out of 5 with 105 ratings
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