Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) | Steel Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
551 Reviews
Read the review
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)

Brewed by:
Steel Brewing Company
California, United States

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 551 | Ratings: 1,184
Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.32/5  rDev +74.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: One finger white head, darkish yellow body. Not the best color.

Smell: Banana, mild cotton candy, and a touch of grains.

Taste: Same as above, but the grains are a lot more upfront.

Feel: High carbonation, medium body, dry finish. Slight upfront sweetness, not much alcohol presence which is surprising.

Other: I wasn't expecting much, but this is surprisingly decent given the BA score. I'd buy it again.

 415 characters

Photo of ChristianAlexander
4.11/5  rDev +66.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

All of my drinking sessions, more accurately thought of as meditative explorations into our collective consciousness through beer, begins with me downing a couple Steel Reserves so it is no surprise that it also begins my Top 10 list. To an untrained tongue rotted by abuse at the hands of Budweiser or Pabst poop, Steel Reserve will be described as "disgusting", "gross", or "really bad, but cheap and gets you shitfaced." In reality, Steel Reserve has a deep and consistent flavor that demands your attention. After a couple cans the taste begins to set in as an aggressively warm full-bodied sweetness, like maple-honey foraged by a hot-headed hornet. At 8.1% ABV, I have wondered during many drunken stupors how such a rich flavor can so successfully mask a high alcohol content. Helpful tip: purchase yourself two 24oz tall cans rather than the 40oz. You'll save money in the long run, and will have more to drink.

 919 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
3.06/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) brewed by Steel Brewing Company, with an ABV of 8.10% This brew pours out a deep golden amber color with a nice white head. The smell of Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) , is rich with malts,grains and some minor hops. There is a strong alcohol sweetness in the smell of this brew. This brew has the look and smell of most Malt liquors/ High Gravity Lagers on the market. Now I'm not saying that is bad thing. The taste of Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) is bitter sweet with malts and grains. I mean a lot of malts. You can definitely pick up on the high 8.10% ABV in this brew. For what it is worth it not horrible, I have had a lot worse. However this is definitely not one of my top brews. The mouth feel of Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) , is Bold, Malty, Alcohol. Nothing to write home about but it is worth a review. Kinda on the fence with this one. It is a harder brew to drink, but if you like malt liquor this might be one to look up. Overall I'm giving Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) a 3 out of 5. I would buy this brew again if it was the only thing I could get at the time. Steel Brewing Company, did an ok job with this one.

 1,179 characters

Photo of SteveS1111
3.03/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Pretty shitty beer in general, but it's actually not entirely horrible. It does have a bit of it's own character in terms of being relatively well hopped in a way that hides the alcohol. It doesn't really have that winey taste that is characteristic of some high alcohol brews. Other than that though, there really isn't anything that good about it or any reason to drink it, unless you're just looking for high alcohol content.

 431 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
3.44/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Not sure why this is getting crushed in ratings. Nothing outstanding but nice sweet grainy flavor and easy to drink. Pretty clean finish, alcohol is not noticeable. Would drink again.

 186 characters

Photo of UrbanArtifact
3.04/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'm not a beer snob. I promise. I knew going into this that this wasn't the "king of taste and queen of amazing" so I kept an opened mind. After reading reviews I'm wondering if mine was skunked. It's a 40oz plastic bottle I had in the freezer for ~30 mins and poured a 6 finger head into my frosty glass. It quickly subsided as the taste took me by surprise. Slightly sweet but really bitter to me. No idea why but the after taste was not so good. Maybe I'm crazy? Overall it smelled and tasted alright, just too bitter apt the end for me.

 540 characters

Photo of SpiritNovice
3.75/5  rDev +51.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My reference point when reviewing malt liquors, I am a huge fan of malt liquors, most likely due to my love of malt scotches and other alcohols. The arrival is smooth and quite malty, it's sweeter than most beers I've drank but not unpleasant. Overall, Steel Reserve 211 lager is, in my opinion, the best baseline and reference point, when it comes to malt liquors. Nothing too special, but nothing to complain about.

 417 characters

Photo of BennyLeChef
3.52/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My go to for a good time. As an avid micro brew drinker, i can safely say that the concept and branding of Steel Reserve is its downfall for mainstream consumers. it is a very decent beer that surpasses the buds/coors of society. Buck up and try it as an adult.

 262 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.77/5  rDev +52.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can best by 10-24-16. DFH tulip.

A: pours a clear honey gold with 1 finger foamy white head. Few lazy bubbles coming up. Leaves some decent lacing. It is actually a fairly pretty beer.

S: grain like with something just a touch off; some say vegetal, some say chemical. I suppose that's appropriate for the style, and here it's not totally off- putting.

T: arrives pretty bland, then turns a little sweet across mid-palate; not excessively sweet, though. That vegetal character is there; kind of like an ashy character? Mind you, I tasted this at 39 degrees straight out of the fridge.

M: possibly the highlight of this brew. Quite mouth-filling, heavier side of midweight with active but not excessive carbonation and quite a clean finish, all things considered.

O: I have not had malt liquor in 12+ years, but I wanted to write a review, so I searched everywhere for Mickey's and Colt 45, both of which are rated higher than this. But I couldn't find them as singles, and this was at every single store I went to- from the snobby craft beer place to the carryouts in the hood. So my guess is that this is representative of the style today. That said, it is not a bad beer, if enjoyed as intended: cold. I am a fan of maltier beers, and a fan of lagers, and this is both - without being totally offensive. At $1.39, if you can stand the stink eye the cashier gives you when you buy it, it's pretty decent. As an aside - have you all noticed how many people who have rated this beer have ONLY ever rated this beer? Just saying.

 1,533 characters

Photo of leap89
2.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I drank it straight from a 40oz bottle.

Smells sickly sweet, along with cooked apple, and a general vegetable smell. There's some grain, yeast, and alcohol as well.

The taste isn't nearly as bad as the smell would lead you to believe. Medium carbonation. Thick, and somewhat sweet, with an almost apple cider like flavor. Then comes the cooked corn and vegetables, as well as an alcohol bite at the end.

It's not good. It's also not terrible and has a high ABV. If you can get over the smell, it serves it's purpose just fine. Seriously though, the smell is absolutely disgusting.

 583 characters

Photo of MizzouBrew
2.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This does not look all that great - a shade darker than Budweiser. Does not smell bad, but not good. I had the 8.1% version. I'm giving it bonus points for not tasting disgusting, buzzworthy, and cost only $1.50 for 24 oz. can.

Using the Begnel formula, the Alcohol Score is 24 oz. x 8.1% = 194.4, or 3.9 Bud Lights!

 320 characters

Photo of MusaJames
1.15/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Well If you're looking for something that will get you drunk without breaking the bank you found it. Truth is I have had more than one of these in the past. Please, just save your pennies and buy something else cause this is only slightly better than drinking prison house hooch.

 281 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
1/5  rDev -59.5%
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.

 205 characters

Photo of NateDyk47
1.9/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

Words cannot describe how terrible this beer is. I'm so thankful I've graduated college and make more than minimum wage so I can afford better beer than this.

Anyway, about the beer... malt. So much malt. Tastes and smells like corn & alcohol. That about sums it up.

 268 characters

Photo of Hefekopf
3.71/5  rDev +50.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Gott verdammt.

Bought a four pack of 16oz cans from Walgreens for $3.49. If I had gotten two of these, I would have gotten eight beers for the same price as six pack of premium beer or lower end craft beer... actually cheaper. Simply incredible.

And what did I get for such an amazing price?

Wow. Holy hell. This truly is something else.
Poured into a 12oz St. Louis Kriek pilsener style stemmed glass. Golden pale straw color, totally clear with lots of carbonation, and a really nice head. And--what do you know--the head actually sticks around AND leaves some really nice lacing on the glass. Would have never expected that from such a cheap brew.

Smell is of alcohol and malt. This is pretty cold so I wasn't expecting much.

The taste, oh my god. Obviously there's the alcohol, which I honestly don't mind at all, and the hops, which leave a sweetness on the palate. A bit cloying? Maybe, but I'm a sweet tooth and this doesn't bother me at all, it's not super sweet like a fruit cup. This ain't no wine cooler. Also, malt; all of it. I can see why they call this "malt liquor" now, this being my first one ever. I love malt way more than I like hops so I have no problems with that. No hops detected whatsoever, I'm fine with that.

Feel: Now this is interesting. This ain't MHL, but it really does remind me a bit of champagne. Sort of watery, but very very smooth too. There's just a slight alcoholic warmth to it that gives it flavor and makes it more interesting. I think that might be the real kicker.

Overally, I'm blown away. I went into this thinking it might be good, it might be horrible, but it ended up tasting almost exactly how I hoped it would taste. Simply incredible, and the price makes it all the better.

Now just watch as I have another one a few days later and it tastes completely horrible instead... here's to hoping they stay consistent, unlike many cheap adjunct products.

 1,912 characters

Photo of DWeavie
2.4/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer is OK, not as bad as people say. It WILL get me pretty tipsy after one 40 ounce.One 24 Oz. will have me buzzing. - - - Good as a cheap alternative to get drunk fast! :)

 178 characters

Photo of njwrstlr
4.82/5  rDev +95.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I decided on some steel reserve a big 40 ounce bottle.i hadngotten my wife to order me some chinese food earlier so when i got home i could kick back in my recliner have my steel reserve over a huge mug of ice and watch lotr .this malt liquour us best served over lots of ice . You people complain about the oily metallic corn taste of this brew . Thats because you dont have the common sense to drink it ice cold in a huge mug . I poured it and it had such a big head i had to sip it to keep it from foaming all over the asmall table i jad all my food snacks on.it tastes great and is refreshing and strong. Just what you need after a long days work . Stop complaining and drink it right youll be glad you did.

 712 characters

Photo of BeerWithMike
3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a single can for around $2.00 about 2 months ago and finally got around to trying it. 24-ounce can chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and shared it with a good friend in 2 handled-glass steins.

Brew poured like a regular ol' Budweiser which was a golden-yellow in color with a good 1-finger of a white fizzy head. Aroma is of sweet corn for the most part with some yeast. Taste is close to the nose actually. It is decent for what it is and you can't beat the price and it is a 8%er also.

 509 characters

Photo of PhillyB
2.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

This beer is not for me. To the AAL regular this may seem like a step up, but to me it is most certainly not.

Look: This beer at least looks decent. Dark orange in color, fizzy head that disappears rather quickly.

Smell: Smells like the de-greaser that I used to use at work combined with off beer. Not unpleasant, but not quite natural. Almost burns my nose.

Taste: All malt, and cloyingly sweet malt at that. Finish lingers.

Feel: Smooth, almost greasy. Surprising given the fact it smells like a cleaning product.

Overall: An overly sweet malt heavy drink. One of the few beers that got less pleasant as I drank. Would NOT recommend.

 641 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
1.65/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Terrible appearance, concentrated urine yellow, almost no head, barely white, vanishes. Aroma was of some industrial grade cleaning equipment. Harsh.

Taste gives that corn and vodka soup feel to it. Almost no hops, but substantial carbonation could trick you into thinking it was there.

Real harsh rubbing alcohol vibe, no malt, no hops. Eeee gad, this is harsh even for malt liquor.

 393 characters

Photo of nathanielyuppyupp
1.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I can not even review this nasty beer..it was great in high school seeing as it was only $1.10... I can't even stand the smell of this anymore..used to drink it like water..it tastes like metal to me, funny because its "steel reserve". My opinions to you are, if your really low on money "and I meen LOW" go ahead.. DO NOT DRINK THIS OR YOUR GUNNA PROLLY END UP OVER THE TOILILET OR IN FIGHT WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND.

 414 characters

Photo of the_awesometeer
2.35/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer is a straw color but completely see through. Lots of carbonation flying up the drink and the head that once started out very thick has lasted very well. The beer smells of alcohol, corn, and metal. It is horrible, I can't help but ask why I am drinking this. The beer taste just as bad as it smells. Malt liquor is already not a very pleasing style and now this makes Mickey's looks like a delicious craft brew. The beer started to taste like a typical bud, miller, coorers, etc. but slowly it just tasted like bad water. Slight taste of malts and sorta dry at the end even. Taste very manufactured and metallic, may be due to the can. The mouth feel is very watery but you you do get a nice tingle from the carbonation.

 738 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.51/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured half of one of these into a beer drinking glass.
Pours your average lager color, but a little darker than average. Decent foam head, dissipates at a moderate rate.
Kinda smells cheap, like the cost, almost watery, maybe a little malty.
Taste is interesting, similar to a Genesee, maybe a little sweeter.
Drinks smooth, some carbonation.
Overall, it's drinkable and considering it's strength, it's only slightly more expensive than say, a Genesee and with more alcohol per volume.
Good for a cheap drink for that buzz or drunk you want with something that isn't completely terrible.

 589 characters

Photo of A20sp
3.04/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed out of a large pilsner style glass. Poured from a 24oz can around 40F.

L:- Golden yellow in color, mainly clear. Head nearly non-existent and lasting only briefly. Produces a slight bubbling from the bottom which can be retained for quite awhile (longer than it should take to down this drink).
S:- Sweet, with a very subtle alcohol aroma (in similar to a cheap champagne).
T:- Barn like (slight corn/grain), and sweet. A slight fuel alcohol (acetone like, but not “inedible“) aftertaste, forms the longer it sits. One of the better malt liquors to my palette, as long as its served cold and enjoyed in a somewhat timely fashion (don’t let it get “too warm”). Like other low-dollar luxuries in life, becomes more enjoyable the more you consecutively have.
F:- Really depends on the temperature and length of consumption. Served cold (38-40F) and drank within a “quick” hour (optimally quicker), it is actually slightly crisp with decent carbonation. Not as astringent as expected but defiantly noticeable if left to sit and drink over time. Overall, like you would expect from the taste.

:- As a “budget” drink, it is relatively smooth for those seeking the effects of alcohol. Can produce nasty headaches and muggy mornings if over consumed, so not something I would choose to consume on a regular basis. Excellent for what it is (A low dollar malt liquor with a high ABV).

 1,419 characters

Photo of muchos
3.41/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

24 oz. can into a clear plastic hotel cup. Yellow, looks ok i guess, for a yellow beer. Smells off, kinda rotten, so, yeah, shocked at how good I thought it tasted. Liquid sweet corn on the cob with a touch of hay/barn. 8.1? I can't taste it. Recommended, if you are trying to decide between malt liquors. Will have again, most likely. Cheers!

 343 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
2.47 out of 5 based on 1,184 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!