Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) | Steel Brewing Company

1,203 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 1,203 |  Reviews: 557
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
2.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

6%abv version 16oz can

Pours into a pilsner glass a perfectly clear yellow with a thin head and virtually no lacing at all.

Smells strongly of cooked corn, a sake-like ricey note with just a little spiciness as well.

Very thin-bodied, slightly grainy tastes with an alcoholic sweetness. The slightly spicy taste reminds me of a noble hop taste. I've been having a fairly tough time making it through the entire 16 ounces.

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Photo of MOB210SA
2.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had my share of these way back when, but it was never really one of my favorites. Its cheap and strong like all malt liquors, but I always remember it tasting so much worse than OE or any for that matter. I never knew this was brewed in Texas or maybe I would of probably shown it more love. I see that it says brewed in Fort Worth on the website, but Its says Milwaukee on this can. Steel Brewing recently acquired my MBC?

2 fingers of fairly quickly fizzling away of the usual slightly off white head. No lacing. Kept steadily dissolving until nothing but a thin layer is left. The usual watery golden yellow, about the same color as an Old English.

They don't call it "Steel" for nothing. Besides smelling mostly metallic, the nose is also a strong corny-ness, with adjuncts filler nose. I really don't smell malts or hops.

The taste is just as hideous as I remember..maybe worse. The repulsive metallic finish is whats the killer. Big gulps, and trying to forget the taste as soon as you swallow is the only way. This beer is actually probably better as it warms.

Low carbonation with a syrupy mouthfeel.

From the taste, this beer is the opposite of drinkable.

Why is the ABV unknown in the description? It says plainly 8.1% on the can.

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Photo of Vengeance526
2.81/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color with a large white head that actually hangs on a little while before fading to a small ring.

Smell is lightly sweet with some grains and a good bit of alcohol all around.

Tastes of sweet corn with grain, alcohol clearly noticeable start to finish. Actually not too offensive.

Medium body, crisp mouthfeel. The taste isn't that bad on this one, just like sweet water making it easy to drink without being too overwhelming. Hell you can let this one get to about a full 40 degrees before it starts tasting weird. For malt liquor, Steel Reserve is better than most.

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Photo of industrialswill
3.37/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I take exception to how heavily weighted appearance is in these ratings. Who really cares what a beer looks like? For this reason, I rate the appearance of this one exceptional.
Smell...alcohol whiff, but once more...who cares? I don't drink through my nose.
Taste...distinctive. I won't pretend that I know what I'm tasting, I'll just be happy that such a cheap brew has as much flavor as this one. has a slight alky burn.The carbonation helps distract me from the alky sensation, if I understand what's going on here correctly.
Drinkability....This stuff is potent enough to say that "drinkability" should limit a 200 pound man to about 3 for a short session.
Overall, I'm glad such a low priced beer even exists at the local corner market where sixers of BMC go for six bucks.

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Photo of SolsticeDreamer
2.15/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

It's been years (almost a decade) since college since I found myself buying and drinking one of these beers; so I found myself revisiting this old friend and trying to do it right by pulling it out of it's brown bag and into a glass!

Appearance: Pretty clear pale golden straw color with a nice puffy white head that gives so much promise but fade away faster then hopes and dreams.

Smell: Smells like malt liquor? I had to dig in but you find that strong alcohol aroma with a hint of "malt". I personally can not stand the smell so I hold my nose and try not to take it in.

Taste: Without taking in the aroma it easy to drink as chugs go by. Crisp with something that hints at a hop but are crushed by "malt". Oh and lets not forget the alcohol that make it almost a solvent.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light body, which make it so easy to chug if you can get past the carbonation bite.

Drinkability: Chug, Chug, Chug! Cheap and lets get to the point it gets you F-ing smashed. Doesn't taste any worst coming back up!

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Photo of ommegoose
3.24/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 oz. can. $1.69.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the appearance of this beer. Holds lace well, and a good cap. Richer color than the average lager. More golden. Some active carbonation moving.

Aroma of malt liquor. Kind of sweet without any depth of aroma. Corn is present. At least it is faint enough as to not bother.

This tastes like an ice beer, but the label does not say that in particular. It is malt-forward and doesn't really present anything in terms of hops. It is sweet and features corn, but otherwise has a mostly dry, grainy flavor with a fairly clean finish. There are malt liquors with a lot less booze that have a much more offensive flavor. This does a nice job of staying out of the way and serving as a drinkable alcohol delivery method. Very clean finish is one of the best attributes. After a while it starts to taste better than it should. Throw me this and a regular macro lager, odds are I'd take this.

Heavy and slightly syrupy. It's big for a malt liquor even. Carbonation is not overdone though. If anything it is a bit low.

Well, this is something I'll drink, and I'll buy somewhat often. It lacks offensive qualities enough to beat some other malt liquors or lagers. It is so cheap, and so boozy, and has an average enough taste to definitely have its own time and place. I side with the Bros here. Sometimes a malt liquor hits the spot, and this is my choice.

Upon further review and repeated drinking, this is better than I initially gave it credit for. I feel like regular purchases have earned this a better drinkability score. I like Steel Reserve.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.66/5  rDev +47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 ounce can with a freshness date on the bottom April 2010. Hell yeah this is fresh. Poured into a pint glass with about 1.5 inches of head. I can smell corn, rice and other almost acidic scents. Lots of corn and sweetness in the flavor. Oh yeah the alcohol is not hidden well. But this is one of my all time favorite malt liguors. Crack a 40 turn up some heavy metal and cheap pizza and rock out.

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Photo of sophisticated
1.8/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

$1.49 for a 24 oz. can of 8% ABV beer...This is why people buy it.

Appearance is pale straw with 2 fingers fizzy white head. Extremely mild smell. Vaguely sweet. Apples. Mouthfeel and Taste: that vague sweet apple/corn taste, extremely tiny bit of hops, metallic taste particularly at the end, causing an unpleasant bitter aftertaste. Watery and crisp, but still a bit more flavor than other adjunct lagers.

Drinkability? Bad. It tastes bad, so it's difficult to drink. The label claims things like "twice the hops and malts as 'many normal lagers'" but I can't taste them.

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Photo of erz316
2.2/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

the only good thing about getting a case of steel reserve is that I now have a recyclable container (the box) in which I can put my paper recycling. the canned version is pretty bad as well, not that i was expecing the whole beer to change, but at least it doesnt smell or taste like two hundred percent skunked garbage unlike the bottled.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
2.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into pint glass

A: Medium white head foams up then fizzles out to nothing, and I mean nothing, very clear, very pale straw gold, but still retains some color, looks like a light beer

S: Water, and some faint grainy grassy aromas, very hard to find anything

T: Definitely better than smell, crispness is present with mild, mild hop presence, grans and malt are huge majority of flavors, not powerful but stays out of the way and doesn't have any unpleasant flavors like some

M: Not really thin like light beer, very stingy carbonation, then after it fades leaves a thin to medium body

D: High considering it isn't great beer, flavors aren't strong but also not unpleasant

Notes: This beer straddles the line between light lager and adjunct lager as far as rating the categories goes. It looks like a light lager, but tates like a full bodied lager along the lines of a budweiser, so that is how I rated it. I would rather have a Bud if I wanted cheap and some taste, but I would rather have a light beer if I just wanted volume. So it kind of falls into a hole on its own.

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Photo of jsh420
2.01/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

pours bright yellow gold with a 1+ finger white head that fades thin film and left some spotted lacing

smells of corn/malt and alcohol - just how i thought it would

taste is very sweet corny malts and kick you in the face booze

mouthfeel is a medium body that overly carbonated

drinkability - never again - this was a drain pour - this beer is only for those who want to get drunk for little money

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Photo of SpencerSauce
2.54/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

this isnt a beer to buy to taste, you drink these to get drunk. it tastes and smells pretty much like watered down grainy corny mash. it looked ok, but thats just because it had a little more color than light beers. i probably wont be buying this again.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
1.92/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Big tall boy aluminum can. Its actually a pretty cool looking design, but it screams energy drink rather than beer. Cheapest tall boy at the gas station on the corner.

A- I feel weird pouring this into an actual glass...I chose one of my mugs. Water thin pour, a sizeable 2-finger bleach white head rises up and sticks around for a little bit. No lacing. Lots of effervescence seen through a crystal clear golden yellow body.

S- This actually has a smell. Its really full of corn and malts. There is a bit of that typical "beer" smell that you think of when someone spills a plastic cup full of light beer on you at a football game.

T- Uhmm...Some corn malts, no hops at all, aluminum and a weird alcoholic/gasoline taste on the finish. This beer isnt balanced. Its really quite sweet.

M- Watery, typical medium carbonation. No alcohol heat or presence at all.

D- Sold in large quantities, engineered to be drank in large quantities, easy to drink in large quantities. This isnt for personal enjoyment as far as taste/smell/feel goes. Its for a cheap drunk.

I used to drink these from time to time. They have a significance in my history as I was introduced to Steel Reserve right after I moved out to Columbus. I felt it deserved a BA review for that reason and that reason alone.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
2.58/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I used to drink this when I would come home from college at the holidays and drink this with my buddies so I figured it would be fun to review it.

A- Pours a clear, golden color with about a half finger's worth of head off of a decent pour, with no retention.

S- Smell of grain and maybe even a little bit of malt and not really anything else.

T- Surprisingly not as bad as I remember it. A little bit of corn with a bit of a minerally taste to it. Hides the high ABV very well.

M- A thin bodied beer that is pretty highly carbonated but is pretty smooth going down.

D- I can see why this is cheap, but I can see why people drink it. It has a high ABV and doesn't taste just awful. It is meant to be drank in large quantities as I used to do with friends.

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Photo of roddwolff
2.18/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Golden color with a huge head of foam, good lacing;

S: Soft, some grain and corn;

T: Very boring, just malt and liquor, but quite acceptable.

M: Rough and dry, mild flavored coffee in the mouth.

D: Very cheap, you get drunk quickly and you can buy it at almost all gas stations.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.95/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My roommate just came home with a couple 40s of this. I haven't had it in so long, and I just felt compelled to try a bit and write a review.

A: The beer is a light golden color with a very fluffy white head. There are tons of bubbles.

S: Corn and grain sweetness, along with some alcohol. No hops, no surprise.

T: Very sweet, but also some off flavors. Corn syrup, decaying grains, and pennies. There is a definite heat from the alcohol on the finish.

M: Very light bodied and very effervescent.

D: If it's cold enough, you can take it down quickly. And I recommend doing so.

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Photo of macrent2
2.54/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

After pouring this beer, I noticed that it had a blondish straw colour with a healthy amount of carbonation (at first) and a very tall (yet short lived) head. Later on there was a bit of noticable lacing on the glass. Not terribly appealing visualy and not worthy of a lager title!

Strong smell of corn and alcohol. Sweet almost fruity smelling (probably due to its high alcohol content).

To light and soft for my taste.

This beer tastes fairly sweet and almost fruity. However, I can not put my finger on what type of fruit! It tastes too light for a true lager in my opinion! It has a strange aftertaste (almost metalic)!

I have to say that this beer is more of an american malt beverage than a true lager. In fact, to call it a lager is a crime! I must say it would be great for someone who wants to get smashed! It's high 8.9% ABV is sneeky and will definatly hit you after just one of these mediocre beers. No wonder it is called "High Gravity"! I would never serve this to guests but might drink if I need a good buzz!

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Photo of xerxes2695
3.23/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Average appearance
S: Reminiscent of boiled vegetables and corn but balanced with some malty odors.
T: Surprisingly good! I was just going for 'not the worst' but this is definitely above my threshold for buying it again. Enough flavor to prevent me from mistaking it for carbonated water, even if just barely.
M: Good here again. Medium bodied. Not pee water but not a glass of bread either.
D: Very drinkable. Although it's not the best beer by a long shot, there's no part of it that I'd call bad, so down the hatch!

Notes: For some reason all the Steel Reserve around here is 6.0% ABV. Maybe that makes it more palatable.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.69/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another CAN! CAN you believe it? I should have run dry by now, but no, I keep unearthing new CANs to try.

I have to cop to being impressed by their name and the hearkening back to Medieval times with regard to the 211 mark as that times' symbol for steel. For the uninitiated, steel is iron ore with its impurities removed and replaced by such compounds as manganese to ensure both hardness and malleability. I am a wannabe yinzer who spent an entire semester researching the rise and fall of the steel industry during JuCo and garnered the nickname "Superman" (The Man of Steel) from the local librarians as a result. The Steel Brewing Co.?!? Shoulda been based outta Da 'Burgh! Onward.

Well, now, didn't a nice two fingers' worth of rocky bone-white head appear to my delight? Betcha! The retention was phenomenal, well exceeding expectations and beginning to form some nice lace as it reduced. Nose, however, was rubbish. It was fusel, adjunct, perfumy, cloying. I could really do without this sort of thing. Color was a deep gold with NE-quality clarity. Nothing new, but nothing wrong with that aspect of it. Mouthfeel was medium with a candy sweetness on the tongue. I mean really sweet, like cotton candy. It was not necessarily unpleasant, but for a hophead, it was pegging the opposite end of the meter. It needed an offsetting swig of water to cut the sweetness. Finish was smooth, as advertised, but at the extreme finish, I was still jonesin' for some water and then some hops. WAY too sweet. This had "hangover" tattooed all over it. Suck a couple of these bad boys down, fall asleep, and awake with a mother of a dehydrated brain housing group. Ouch.

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Photo of mnrider
2.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

24 oz. can. Pint Glass. Malt Liquor mmm.

A: Extreme carbonation. Two finger white head. Fluffy head. Turns to nothing but with a little lacing.

S: Sweet malts. Kind of smells like ice beer.

T/M: Sweet and malty. Dry. I can really taste the alcohol. Since they don't really use hops the taste is cut down. It is smooth however and the heavy malts are ok It could be crisper.

D: Not all that great, but ok. It is smooth and the alcohol is strong and just wanting to get you wasted. A good brew on when on a low budget.


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Photo of hossua34
2.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear dark yellow, like the color of urine or apple juice. Has a decent head that comes down to a respectable layer of foam, and leaves a good bit of lacing.

S - Wet cardboard, aluminum can and fermented corn mash. Smells strikingly like vomit.

T - What can I say? Taste is like a generic light macro (ala Natty Light or Milwaukee's Best) with a tart, cheese-like alcoholic bite. Acidic and vomit tasting.

M - Flat, watery... just funky.

D - The only saving grace here is that it gets you drunk, so soon you won't be tasting this nasty beer. I'll admit it: Steel Reserve was a go-to beer for me in college, and one of the brands that captivated me before I turned 21. However, now that I've matured and the most important factor for me in buying beer isn't alcohol-to-price ratio (for which, really, Steel Reserve cannot be beaten), I'll only drink one of these when I want to re-experience old times.

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Photo of JamesS
2.66/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is what my parents had in their fridge when I went to visit and I wanted a beer...

Poured a decent golden yellow with some nice fizzy head, a bit of lacing, and a fair amount of carbonation. Very sweet and malty scent, not a lot of characteristics, but not bad. Funky taste, slightly skunky, not a lot there beyond a sweet maltiness. Goes down slightly thick and not as refreshing as it should have been. Won't get it for myself.

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Photo of benteach
2.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought on a whim for under a buck. You get what you pay for. Although it was better than I expected.

Good pour, nice head and carbonation. Golden yellow color.

Malty and crisp, but the flavor is missing a lot of the subtle tones that make a beer really good.

Too watery, but as it goes for cheap beer, this is one of the better I have had.

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Photo of chris761
2.11/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-drank from a fourty ounce bottle. Nice yellow color.

S-not too bad.

T-not the worst but no where near good

M-thick but not too thivk

D-good drinkability

notes:not going to buy this one again unless i am just looking to get a buzz with cheap change.

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Photo of BierFan
2.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 24 ounce can into a pint glass.

Appearance: Large foamy head has pretty good retention. Clear golden body.

Smell: Corn and a little grassiness. Doesn't smell too bad.

Taste: The taste is the worst thing this beer has going for it. Too much of a corn adjunct taste to it.

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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
2.48 out of 5 based on 1,203 ratings.
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