Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) | Steel Brewing Company

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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)

Brewed by:
Steel Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

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Reviews: 547 | Ratings: 1,174
Photo of villainchiwwin
2.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

poured from can into pint glass
dull straw yellow - fizzy head disappeared in a flash. sickly lacing slid down the sides of the glass and was no more.
strange faint smell of cafeteria corn that has been steamed too long, under malt.
apple juice gone rancid as hops weakly struggle and die with tinny aluminum finish. alchohol slightly noticable with syrupy sweet finish that made me flinch.
thin prickly mouthfeel pretends to develop toward medium body before sputtering out.

"bang for your buck" affair. cheapness is only redeeming quality. terrible but has a high abv percentage.

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Photo of wke4estguy
2.1/5  rDev -15%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is not a stellar alcohol choice. Thin foam that you could maybe call a head, disipated witin 20 seconds. No lacing to speak of. Alcohol and rice are prevalent in the taste, a little hop and a lot of alcohol in the smell. (Think frat lounge.) Watery, low viscosity gives it a decent mouthfeel but all that is ruined by the awful taste it leaves behind. I would have rated it lower but I think that it is right on for the American Malt Liquor category. Drinkable if you are planning to get drunk, and the $4.50 price tag for a twelve pack @ 6.0%ABV makes it a frat boy's dream.

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Photo of fishlegs
3.4/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let's cut to the chase, if you are looking for an inexpensive buzz this is it. Cheap, (really cheap.. I just paid under $7 for a twelve pk).. does not taste like rotten sweet potatoes and will definitely give you a two beer buzz with over twice the punch of bud or miller lite. But if you normally have to drink 8 + beers to feel good I would say, be careful, I can predict a really bad morning after on more than 4 of these.

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Photo of jwff
3.73/5  rDev +51%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nice thick head for a while, but I messed it up so what are you gonna do. A pale orange similar to helles lager. Strong corn smell. This is husky, dawg. The taste though... what a taste! It's hard to give "american malt liquor" a flavor but this is what I get.. except this is done especially well. I get kind of a vanilla aftertaste after a strong corn syrup body. I also notice cloves and some banana flavoring. The first malt liquor hefe? NAW dawg. A little syrupy in the mouth, but I'll be damned if I couldn't drink this all day, everyday. Maybe I do. This thing isn't too sweet. It is definitely a different beast.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.59/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer was poured from the can into a pub glass. This beer was served very cold. The beer was purchased at Krogers for $0.99.

Appearance: Nearing on a golden yellow coloration. The beer has a off white fluffy head. There is no staying power on the head. No lacing is noted on the glass.

Smell: The beer is pretty one dimensional with corny sweet grain smell.

Taste: Surprise! The beer definately has a cooked corn grain taste. The beer has an ok spicy alcohol taste. The beer has a brief hop burst. The beer has a clean finish.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is medium bodied with a clean finish. T'he carbonation makes this beer more drinkable. Strangely enough this is one very easy drinking beer. I wouldnt classify this as a beer treat by any measure. This is definately a beer I will repeat for cheap beer drinks.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well I finally broke down and bought this for $1.99. Pours a light gold color. Smells sickly sweet but not overpowering. Taste is like fermented corn syrup, slightly grainy but mostly just corn syrup. Mouthfeel is whatever. Drinkability? Well better than the cherry wheat a while ago. It's good for a buzz, but for overall enjoyability, you can do better.

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Photo of thinkfull
3.72/5  rDev +50.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Gotta love the malt liquor. I'm going straight from the 12 oz. can, just like when I was in high school. Whoops, that was probably bad to say, but the 211 is over halfway gone, and I'm feeling it.

The appearance is, upon pouring some into a glass, decent. It looks like most other American Malts: yellow, bubbly, and with a dissapearing head. The head sticks around a little more than the average malt liquor, which I see as being Mickeys. So 211 earns it's 3.5.

The taste is pretty dang good. No, it's not a well-aged Oaked Bastard. It's a malt liquor, and it well overwhelms the competition. This is the perfect beer for hanging out, talking shit, and (in my case) playing a few tunes with your friends. Slightly sweet, somewhat alchoholic, a good bit of Squirt in the flavor. A little bit of cornbread flavor. Makes me want to listen to Pantera.

Mouthfeel is the lacking aspect of this malt. It overwhelms my pallate for quite some time, due to the stickiness of the beer. It just won't go away without drinking some water. The 211 goes down smooth enough, but afterwards feels gooey.

Highly drinkable, refreshing, good beer. No, it's not what a "sophisticated" pallate wants. I would not compare this to any "good" beer, but that's the point. Prole beer for cheep bastards. Wonderful!

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Photo of rodrot
3.32/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a can of this stuff while traveling through VA, mainly because for some reason it's not available in NC and I wanted to review it. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It poured a light amber color with a half inch head that went away quickly. Aroma was sweet and malty with just a hint of corn/vegetable in the nose. Taste was fruity sweet, citrusy and lemony with a light hop bitterness. I could also taste a slight grainy taste in the finish. Alcohol was noticeable but not too strong. This was a medium bodied beer and had a lot more flavor than any malt liquor I have ever had. Not a bad deal for a $1.00 24 oz can.

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Photo of aforbes10
2/5  rDev -19%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Another competitor in our Malt Liquorpalooza 2006 competition. This one beat out Lucky Number 7 11 in the first round but then faced off with Olde English and went down in a unanimous vote. Mostly the take home message with Steel reserve is that you're gonna get punched in the face with beer and its not going to feel good but its gonna knock you out. Too sweet and corny for me. definitely feel the alcohol diffusing into my mouth and tongue. a lot of bang for your buck but not a tasty treat.

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Photo of Drew966
2.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The can says extra malted barley and select hops for extra gravity. Pours a pale yellow with a thick white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smell is a bit fruity. Lots of adjunct in the taste, some alcohol too. Thankfully not painfully sweet in the aftertaste, kind of dry actually. Pretty drinkable for a malt liquor.

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Photo of budgood1
2.38/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

pours out of the 24oz can a dark golden colour with a relatively frothy egg shell white head. lots of lace. fruity and grainy in the far so good. pretty sweet stuff here....sugary slickness slides right down my throat. alcohol spiciness hits the tastebuds and then warms the belly. pretty much a high gravity buzz maker that is intended to get to the point quickly and cheaply. smooth mouthfeel on top of a big slick mouthfeel makes this poundable, but i think i'd only want one. there are better malt liquors out there.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

40oz bottle. About once a month I pick up something like this to keep it real.

Respectable ivory white fizz head supported by layer after layer of big bubblged carbonation. Lacing? Yep.

Corn, cooked vegetable type aroma's. Taste is similair although the cutting carbonation is welcomed and crispens up a rather adjunct brew. Sweet corn is predominent but its drinkable and the abv% is respectable to make this worth someones time.

It is what it is, a damn fine malt liquor. Probably the most drinkable I've had to date, even as it got warm I didn't get that schwill spit laden crap like some other malts.

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Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
1.53/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

My friends would buy this last year so I would snag one once in a while. At one point I started to enjoy it's bite.

I poured one of these into a glass last time - that was an awful idea lol. No one will do that anyway with Malt Liqour so I'll just put down in the can review (malt liqour has carbonation for a reason.)

Appearance is a golden color. Head goes away INSTANTLY. I was terrified after this. (that's the glass part.) Smell is just unpleasant - not terrible but not good at all. Taste is a corn sweet and bitter thing going on. The quicker you drink it the better flavor. It is a bit tasty. You have to be with friends to enjoy it really. It's fun. The mouthfeel is slimy and thick. That's kinda gross. Drinkability is definitley poor because the carbonation is so filling it really sits on your stomach well. It may have something to do with the 'high gravity.'

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Photo of barleyman
2.88/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I started drinking 211 because the wife bitched about how may beers i drank. I figured, well the higher the proof, the fewer would be necessary. I guess I have gotten used to it but this tastes better than bud and miller to me now. And for a man who prefers barleywines, this is a session beer. The head disappears almost immediately, leaving little lacing as it goes down. I usually drink my beer out of a straight sided pint glass I store in the freezer. What can I say, its cheap, not all that disgusting and it does the job.


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Photo of Tallboy
2.56/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I reviewed this on memory[but after 2 may be a bit cloudy] 1.Str8 from the 40.oz It tastes a hell of a lot better than it smells,Pure and simple this is the beer for getting lit up like christmas time in both the cheapest and quickest way possible.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.85/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Inspection: Can, 8.1% abv. “respect my authoriti"!

Aroma: Fruity, some grape and apple with a hint of hop. The required by law corn and alcohol notes show up as scheduled.

Appearance: Gold glass with a finger of firm frothy foam that settles to a modest cover that leaves tide marks of thin lace.

Flavor: Fruity with a firm alcohol edge. A slight soda taste, like it’s mixed with Sprite ®
The fruit note is slightly citric, like an orange apple blend.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body with a mild chew. The texture is pretty syrupy.

Overall Impression: A bit firm in the alcohol taste and a bit too sweet for my tastes. I believe the sweet is trying to hide the alcohol. As a malt liquor, it’s not bad at all. All part of Pegasus's world karma whore tour. Wheee!

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Photo of tgbljb
3.35/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a very pale amber color with large white head that was able to revived with mild swirling. Smell is minimal with only a slight sweetness. Taste is very mild, but still gives a good creamy mouthfeel. I detect virtually no alcohol except for a bit of burn in the aftertaste. The drinkability is truly scary, as I feel I could drink a lot of this beer without realizing what I was getting into. I can see my malt liquors get such a bad rap.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a clear pale straw color white no head. The aroma is sweet with some grassy notes underneath. The taste is very low key, and inoffensive. Well, inoffensive if you are looking for almost nothing in the flavor. If you are looking for something, it could be deemed very offensive. It does do a good job at hiding the alcohol content. Although, I don't know how, as it is certainly not being hidden by the flavor. The mouthfeel is thin with a lot of carbonation. Overall, this isn't horrible, but it isn't good either.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.51/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Savored straight from the clear 40ozer, of course.
Clear, on the paler, orangey side of gold, with a large bubbled, soda-like head with some retention. Some blobby lacing within the bottle. Nice carbonation streamers rise from the bottom. Sugary malt aroma without a trace of hops. Alcohol is readily apparent, fruity, estery sweet, though it attempts to hide behind the huge piles of corn. The first sip is the best, of course. High levels of carbonation and a nearly ice cold temperature do their part to lessen the sweetness. As they depart, however, this brew gets a little tough to down. Common problems with malt liquor, as the sweetness can be a bit much, and such a large serving tends to take a minute to drink. Artificial carbonation doesn't help either. At least you can reclose it. I'll opt for the double deuce next time. Anyways, the body is rather heavier than I'd anticipated, more towards medium, becoming more evident with the rapidly departing carbonation. Some sourness, light skunkiness (although there's hardly any hops to skunk) and sweet booze in the finish, leaving off with a corn syrup, malt extract aftertaste. Honestly, I really had to force myself to down the last inch of the bottle. This stuff can get really boozy and syrupy if you don't kill it in 15 minutes or less.
For malt liquor, it's not bad. I've never had a period of time where I drank 40's on any regular basis, but I've had my share. I still prefer Private Stock or Elephant from Denmark, if that counts, but this isn't bad. I'd rather just have a couple bottles of regular strength beer and save myself the headache, literally. I don't know what it is about malt liquor, but I always get a headache from it.

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Photo of danielharper
1.8/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased, er...

Okay, the deal is that one of the guys at my local gave me a can of this to go with my other purchases. He'd just tried it, and called it "kind of sweet", and happened to have a broken four-pack, so he gave one to a regular customer. Nice customer service there, although I wish he'd had an open Samuel Smith's instead.

So let's see. Appearance is pretty negative. Dingy yellow body with a thick white foamy head that disappears almost immediately. The beer is so light it almost looks white as it's being poured, it's absolutely transparent and produces no carbonation at the bottom of the glass. Maybe I should have just reviewed from the can.

Aroma isn't promising. I'm not getting much of anything in the nose, smells like day-old Bud Light that's been left open in the refrigerator. A vaguely "beery" smell that I'm sure frat guys know all about, but no hop presence and nothing to really advance the beer. It's not outright offensive, though, so I'm not giving it the lowest possible rating.

Taste... well, tastes a lot like a standard macro lager. I'm trying to give this beer a fair shake, and I must admit that it's pretty easily drinkable (at least at the cold temperature at which I'm drinking it), but there's nothing really to recommend here. No hops to speak of, and the maltiness is pretty watered down overall. Swishing around the mouth produces a sweetness, but I'm guessing that's more due to my saliva processing the beer and breaking it down than anything actually in the brew. Not pleasant, but not patently offensive.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, but hey, it's a malt liquor. I'll be a bit generous and give it reasonably high marks here, as it's supposed to be thin and easy to drink.

Overall drinkability is low, but not terribly low. It's probably the most godawful beer I've ever reviewed, but it's probably not a drain-pour, and I can imagine beers that would be much more difficult. Pounding these back straight from the can is probably the best way to drink it, but that would apply to Bud Light, as well.

I won't buy this, well, ever, but it isn't bad for free and I can imagine that with spicy food it might be a good palate cleanser. Basically tastes like alcoholic water.

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Photo of kbnooshay
2.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow. If you guys are rating this in regards to style you are full of shite. Malt liquor is supposed to be awful! This is only almost awful! This pours a nice golden orange color with a small fizzy head. The smell is malty and appley. As someone mentioned below it tastes similar to a cider making it very easy to drink. Mouthfeel is moderate and slick. Compared to all malt liqours this is the king by far. The alcohol is there though so be carefully. Holy shit the last sip was not so happy. The more you drink the more astringent it tastes. It doesn't matter if you are drunk or not.

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Photo of mynie
1.8/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark yellow with a tiny head that goes away as fast as a day dream. You reserve the 1.0 appearance ratings for beers you have a special bent against, don't you? I mean really how bad can a beer look? Not quite the worst I've ever seen, this one.

No odor but the fire of rotten malt.

No taste but that of rotten malt and an oddly pasturized euro pils kind of funk. Not good. Nearly horrible.

This is what homeless people drink when they're out of money. Aged for at least 28 days, it says on the can. So it's just as good as period juice. Tastes a little better. Not much. Avoid.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.12/5  rDev +26.3%
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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Photo of grindcore666
1.45/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bought this at my local Albertsons for the hell of it.

Poured from a 24 oz. can into a pint glass. Looks like your average piss beer, gold in color. Thin head pans down fast. Bubbly.

Scent is of low grade malt, of course.

Crisp with medium carbonation. The malts taste below average. Ends a little sour and leaves a dry unwanted aftertaste.

It's 3 sips later and I'm pouring the rest of it out for my homies. Probably the least drinkable beer I've had since Rainier.

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Photo of BeerBob
3.13/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Steel Reserve 211 HGL pours a copper hued amber from a 24oz aluminum pop top can. Very light tan head of fine foam bubbles went well over two fingers before settling down to a full carpet of fine foam with bits of lacing along the sides of my 12oz beer tumbler.

Nose is unrevealing... some damp corn is about it, all else is nondescript. Are there hops? is there alcohol? Steel Reserve 211 is not giving up it’s secrets... just yet.

The palate is where its at, up front and in your face is a strong yet very smooth, sweet corn and barley malt. Not cloy, but very sweet none the less. The hops, for the lack of a better word are innocuous. The level of carbonation is right on the money and strong enough to push this rather viscus fluid out of the way and go to work on the tongue.

Steel Reserve 211 HGL is in my humble opinion, one of the better High Gravity Lagers. Drink in respect of it’s 8.1% alcohol by volume, or a few cans of this stuff will set you on... your can.

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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
59 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.
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