Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) | Steel Brewing Company

BA SCORE
60
poor
1,213 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Steel Brewing Company
California, United States
steelbrewing.com

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in different abv. versions: 6.0%, 7.3%, 8.1%, & reports of a 8.9%. In a few counties/states, a 3.2% version is also available.

Added by Todd on 09-13-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,213
Reviews:
563
Avg:
2.48
pDev:
36.29%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
196
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 1,213 |  Reviews: 563
Photo of kylehay2004
2.5/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of spycow
2.25/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
1.98/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

this is on the edge of not being drinkable. a friend brought this over a few months ago and joked, what do you get the guy who has tried everything? well, he brought a steel reserve, and its been taking up space on the bottom shelf of the fridge ever since. last night it came out. piss yellow in color, with soda carbonation not amounting to much head at all. it smells like the can, but also that extract based density of rot gut that is sure to come. the flavor agrees, but for just a second on the front end its palatable, light, and refreshing, almost like a natural light or some other low budget beer that's just ahead of the pack. its short lived though, as the alcohol comes out, the weight sets in, and the can starts to warm up. after a few swigs, its downright repulsive, turning the stomach and taunting a hangover already. there is little or no room for this in the beer world, and thank goodness its not taking up room in my fridge any longer. yuck.

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Photo of djrn2
1.25/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of t0rin0
2.5/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev +21%

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.25/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1.75/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of metter98
2.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down rather quickly, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Light aromas of fusel alcohol are present in the nose along with some notes of corn adjuncts.
T: The taste starts off with flavors of cooked corn and non-descript malts, which transitions to notes of fusel alcohol, the latter of which lingers through the finish. No sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I picked up some aromas of fusel alcohol in the smell, but these are completely masked if you drink the beer straight out of the "steel" can, and then the only thing that is somewhat detracting are the flavors of fusel alcohol that linger into the finish. The adjunct malts didn't seem to overpower the taste, but I wasn't keen on the fusel alcohol in the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Yes, ladies and Gentlemen I have reached the bottom of the barrel!

the beer pours with a heavy carbonation jostled in a turbulant and somewhat fizzy fashion. Though not particularly clear, the strong straw beer holds a fine head and laces. An ok look.

Aromas of apples and apple cider vinegar reach the nose just before a mix of grains and malt. A lot of fruitiness comes from the yeast along with some fresh bread, yeast notes. Dare I say that there is a nice floral note tucked away in there?

Flavors again take an acidic vinegary, apple-ey lead and kinda kills the initial impression of the beer. But later comes that grain-malt taste that begins to favor the grains. Sweetness does rub out the graininess but it doesn't resemble maltiness. Given the 8.1%, the beer hides the alcohol flavor well.

The body is a bit heavy and sweet for any straw colored lager, and may become a bit oily on the palate. Again graininess adds to the astringency; as do the cidery notes. Not crazy about the mouthfeel.

To be macro-swill and a beer whose sole purpose is to get you drunk, it's really not totally apauling. It's kinda in the mix with most other mass-produced lagers. Average at best, but I knock off a few points for the cidery and grainy characteristics.

I'm sure my Beer Karma will take a hit for admitting drinking this.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.03/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24oz can, one of those 'get rid of yer pocket change (which includes 1 dollar bills) as you buy your last relatively inexpensive tank of gas in the closest border town before leaving the United States for Canada' sort of ill-advised purchases.

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, very, very loosely foamy, and mostly just fizzy dirty white head, which leaves absolutely zilch in the way of lace anywhere in the vicinity of the glass as it quickly disappears.

It smells of overly sweet corn syrup and a commensurate, um, 'graininess', paint thinner, subtle sulfur (not something I'd ever thought I'd write), astringent and banal by the same token fruity notes, and a bristling and tickling alcohol, er, meanness. The taste is wet corn bread, one that has been stupidly soaked in cheap grain alcohol, more acetone unpleasantness, a strange association with the hotter weizenbocks of the world (banana, yeast, and booze, natch), those used socks and undies that I never really stored properly during my vacation in near 100-degree weather, and, I suppose, a few proclaimed 'select hops' that are anything but actually tangible - quelle fucking surprise.

The carbonation is fairly light, but still adequately rendered in its sadly playful frothiness, the body a solid-ass middleweight for the style, and not nearly as pithy, clammy, and/or sticky as its afore-alluded to breed. It finishes sweet, yet moderated in a sense, but not by hop, malt, adjunct or alcohol - nope, just by my ironic lack of, well, anything, right now.

Yeah, this is indeed malt likka, and no, I'm not really drinking this for the pleasure of the pursuit of craft beer (so sue me), but rather because I drove for 8 hours today, only a 'portion' of it under the duress of a strapped to his seat, screaming toddler, and didn't quite get home. So - overall, this doesn't totally suck balls - but it does tease and play with them, more than a little.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.54/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

8.10% according to my can. I got interested in reviewing this after having Full Sail's malt liquor last night. 24 fl oz aluminum can served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average relative to the style. Best before July 29th, 2013 according to the bottom of the can.

Served very cold and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with lessened vigor as overcarbonation is anticipated. Cost was $1.79 at the grocery store.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of slight cream, decent froth, nice thickness, and good retention for the high ABV (~4 minutes). Body colour is a pale yellow-copper. Clear and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Somewhat dull in terms of vibrance. Typical of the style.

Sm: Corn adjunct, clean barley, light floral hops, and stale malts. Clean and crisp, if off putting. A mild strength aroma.

T: Heavy corn adjunct with some off-putting artificial sugary sweetness. Bland pale malts. Clean barley. Light bland floral hops - strictly a preservative here. Emphasis is on ersatz corn and the malty build. Fairly balanced for what it is. I don't think it's as boozy as many others have noted. Caramel malt - a highlight here.

Mf: Crisp and clean. Light, smooth, and wet. Artificially smooth, with a bit of unwelcome syrupy character. Overcarbonated and biting. A bit buttery.

Dr: A great choice for getting sloshed, but an unappealing beer all around. Still, it may be one of the best choices at its price point if you're looking to get knackered. And it tastes better than most adjunct lagers. At least, it tasted different in a blind taste test I did with friends. I'll be pairing what's left of this with some pizza shortly and I think that's one of its best uses. Hides its ABV decently.

Low C-

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Photo of emerge077
2.95/5  rDev +19%
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 open 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.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +51.2%

Photo of LXIXME
2/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of largadeer
3.31/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Celebrating review 570 with something special. 24 oz can straight from my freezer for optimal temperature, i.e. near freezing. Pours a crystal clear pale yellow, not much color for an 8% beer. Head retention is surprisingly decent, rising to fair height and retaining for a few minutes.

Smell: Not much aroma. A bit of malty sweetness I guess, but there's nothing beyond that.

Taste & mouthfeel: Pleasantly crisp and light with a moderate malt/adjunct sweetness. Fairly clean for a malt liquor, there's a hint of cooked corn, but it's faint. No real noticeable alcohol, at colder temperatures at least; I've got no desire to try this warm. Overall, this doesn't really have much flavor, bad or good. The finish is clean - no bittering hops as far as I can tell, nor any strong residual sugars. Not a bad little brew for 99 cents, I can understand why it's favored by drunks and the homeless. For half the price of your average micro six pack you can do some serious liver damage.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.33/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow-gold with a densely creamy bright-white head that holds surprisingly well. It eventually drops, but keeps a thin surface covering and leaves some minor lace. The nose expresses a sweet malt with some clear alcohol and a touch of fruitiness, but otherwise it's quite clean. It's full bodied with a fine carbonation that's lightly effervescent and gently caresses the tongue. Crisp yet smooth. The flavor offers clean, sweet adjunct-laden malt with a clear note of alcohol and an underlying bitterness. It finishes drying with some lingering sweet malt. It's cleaner than many malt liquors (and may be fermented a bit cooler), but other than that there's not much going on here. Still, it's not a bad choice within the style.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.73/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of adjuncts, light malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and a little boozy up front with flavors of grain & adjuncts. There's a very mild hops presence that isn't enough to mask the alcohol, since there's no much other substance to the beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp but not very smooth, light body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Not very flavorful at all, goes down ok, not filling at all, strong kick, it's a decent representation of its style for whatever that might be worth. There are definitely better high-octane beers out there that you can put away quickly, if that's what you're going for.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.96/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Note: This is the 6% ABV version

A: Pours a medium golden yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some faint orangish amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy white head that quickly reduce to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of grainy malts with sweet corn adjuncts. Slight hints of alcohol as the beer warms up.

T: Upfront the beer is moderately sweet with moderate flavors of grainy and corn adjunct malts and very minimal hints of grassy hops which imparts just a touch of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly. Slight metallic notes as well as some very light hints of alcohol in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy enough to drink and with a decent enough mouthfeel - the flavors are not bad and it is a decent representation of the style (which is not known for complex flavors or subtlety. If I was picking out malt liquors, I would definitely consider grabbing this one again.

 1,204 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
1/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

3.2% edition. Poured from a bottle, 2/9/14, into a small taster glass, about two ounces.

This may be "super rare," but it's also super terrible. Tastes like soggy corn flakes in water. Smells much worse.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.03/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is truly the best malt liquor I've ever had. While this is still relatively cheaply made, I don't feel overpowered with sickly sweetness nor do I taste too many adjuncts. Appearance is dark yellow, almost super-light amber. Head is big and forthy. Smell is generically sweet, though the aroma here is more natural than most malt liquors. Taste is very sweet, but doesn't go overboard. Usually I get sick of malt liquor sweetness quickly, but Steel Reserve has prolonged drinkability. The 8.1% ABV is only noticed in the warm feeling in my throat. Out of the five or six malt liquors that I've had this one is the best, I could see buying this with intentions other that getting trashed.

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Photo of XmnwildX12
1.5/5  rDev -39.5%

Photo of smithj4
2.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.12/5  rDev +25.8%
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.

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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
2.48 out of 5 based on 1,213 ratings.
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