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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

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

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 101
Photo of BierFan
3.42/5  rDev +27.1%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev +23.8%
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 KeefD
3.13/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saw this one in a random liquor store in Wisconsin and knew I HAD to try it. HAHA! Pours a dark golden color with a nice creamy white head that fell quickly leaving some surprisingly decent lacing. Aroma is all corn and husky, grainy malts. Light sweetness in the nose. Taste is sweet, a lot of corn sugar, virtually no hops. Very smooth and easy drinking. Mouthfeel is crisp, no aftertaste whatsoever. This is actually not a horrible malt liquor. I've had much worse in my day. But that doesn't mean I want several of these at a time!

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Photo of Pegasus
2.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear pale golden color, with a small white head, really no more than a scattering of foam, thin glass-coating lace, with small streams of carbonation.

Aroma: Very faint, slightly dusty aroma, very faint grain notes, no hops, and no alcohol notes whatsoever.

Taste: Mildly sweet malt notes at the open, very little alcohol presence, as the taste progresses, some slight metallic hop notes appear. Finishes dry, with a mild, lingering sweetness.

Mouth feel: A bit thin, with champagne-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: This is a difficult beer to assess. While I am quite impressed with the pronounced craftsmanship exhibited by this beer, it is rather lacking in character. The high gravity is handled very gracefully, but there isn't much else here, it seems subdued and lifeless.

Presentation: Packaged in a sixteen-ounce aluminum can, served in a twenty ounce Pilsener glass.

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Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev +38.7%
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.

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Photo of hellbilly
3.92/5  rDev +45.7%
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...

 749 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.41/5  rDev +26.8%
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 shadow1961
2.11/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Schlitz High Gravity VSL pours a huge fluffy head over a clear yellow
brew. High carbonation. The nose is your basic adjunct lager funk-
sweet corn, rice, and a sort of sourness only sharpened by the 8.5%
alcohol content. The flavor is mildly sweet- balanced not with hops but
with that alcohol burn. Notes of boiled veggies. Drink up, it doesn't get
better as it warms! Mouthfeel is full but also a bit rough due to that raw
alcohol burn. Union made in Milwaukee, WI, the only positive note here.
I have a feeling, though, that the boys down at the plant kick back with
something else after work. At a buck and a quarter for a 24 ounce tallboy,
it's not a bad way lay down that first all important buzz layer to start a bender
with. Not much of a beer though.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev +35.7%
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 PatrickJR
2.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 24 oz can into nonic pint glass. Great looking can.

A - Clear, pale yellow with about 1/2 inch of head that falls quickly to nothing, leaving no lace.

S - DMS out the ass. Some corn/grain aromas follow, but this is one smelly beer.

T - Quite sweet at first, with a syrupy, psuedo-malt flavor. Weird, musty, and a little artificial. Starts drying out near the finish with a very pronounced bitterness along with noticable alcohol.

M - High carbonation, and thick for the style. Cloying even.

D - Bleh. Beyond this review, the rest is probably going to endure a drain pour. Awful stuff.

I always try to rate to style, but it's difficult when a beer is just plain offensive. Perhaps it is a decent malt liquor? I wouldn't know honestly. I picked it up on a whim on my way back from the bar.

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Photo of Offa
4.17/5  rDev +55%
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 stumac
2.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

found this little treasure on a road trip from houston to austin in a booney ass little town's gas station.

pours up a light straw to ugly yellow, little white head.

smells of slight corn, little sweet alcohol

taste very sweet, light malty, very little if any hop crispness.

long lingering sugar sweet aftertaste.

not the worst malt liquor i've ever had but still a malt liquor. but the important thing is that i got drunk.

 428 characters

Photo of SirSaranac
2.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked a 24oz up at a local gasstation, a sign said "NEW!"... soooo, I said "what the hell, might as well try it"... By the way, the can eludes to the fact that this is some sort of lager???

A- Pours the color of gingerale, crystal clear, with a 1 finger pure white head that has no retention. Moderate carbonation, nothing too excessive.

S- Light malt... slightly sour... yeasty... alcohol notes as well. Not a very strong nose.

T- For some reason I was expecting St. Ide's High Gravity in the taste, but I was pleasantly surprised. Malt... although shortlived, there is a definite malt upon initial sip... this then transitions into an odd metallic flavor, and then the underlying 8.5%abv. This has more flavor than i was expecting... although, still with a distict malt liquor flavor.

M/D... Light body, of course... slightly tart. Ya know, if you had to drink a malt liquor, this would be a decent one to pick up. $1.50 for a 24 oz can. Not bad.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
1.95/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

24oz can poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A: Pours a pale and clear straw color with a one inch pure white soda like head that bubbles away into a cap in a few minutes, very nice amount of carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the glass but does nothing to keep the head supported. Doesn't look that bad for a malt liquor. Above average for the style.

S: Metallic corn with the tiniest bit of green apple, just bleh, at least smell sweet for me malt liquor, this just smells like antiseptic and metal.

T/MF: Corn apple and metal that is about the jist of it, mouthfeel is lively enough to keep things from becoming disgusting.

D: Can't feel the booziness in this beer but it is still drinkable for a malt liquor but really close to being not tolerable. Steel Reserve is much better choice.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This review is part of Malt Likkapalooza X. Even though it won't be reflected in the final score, the Schlitz High Gravity can wins the container graphics contest with ease. Since this beer is a 'very smooth lager' and its competitor has 'extra smooth taste', this will probably be an exceptionally smooth experience. Or not.

Textbook amber with a cream colored crown that doesn't look as good as Camo's, doesn't last as long and doesn't result in as much glass coverage. Worse all around, but still not bad considering the style.

The nose, while far from great, isn't horrible either. It's low on power, is untoasted grain-like and hides its alcohol surprisingly well. Another clear loss for the Bull.

Schlitz High Gravity is the better beer, largely because it's more of a classic malt liquor that combines sweetened grain and barely tamed alcohol, with very few other flavors to get in the way of the... uh... enjoyment. There's nothing new here, just simple boozy goodness that will deliver that quick buzz with a minimum of fuss and bother.

This mouthfeel might be a fraction less full, but it's also faintly sticky on the back end and has enough carbonation to keep things moving smartly along. No difference in the scores, though.

Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L. (Very Smooth Lager) is a classic malt liquor that comes through where it matters most: flavor. Congratulations to Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. for winning both Malt Likkapalooza I (Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull) and Malt Likkapalooza X.

 1,498 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.38/5  rDev +25.7%
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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Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L Very Smooth Lager from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
2.69 out of 5 based on 101 ratings.
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