Steel Reserve High Gravity Lager
Steel Brewing Company
High Gravity Lager Beer (Malt Liquor?)
Alcohol Content: 8.1%
Who drinks Steel Reserve out of a fancy glass?
Okay, so more than anything I thought it was funny pouring a cheap beer into a fancy glass, kind of like when I tasted Tilt Blue Raspberry out of a stemless wine glass. But with its boozy 8.1% alcohol, it is kind of fitting in a weird, sinful way.
Steel Reserve is one of those bottom shelf beers you always see in gas stations and supermarkets.
Like ridiculously cheap.
Like as cheap as Olympia and Natural Light, and cheaper than Keystone.
But the one thing Steel Reserve has going for it is alcohol content. It's a respectable 8.1%. And while, yes, that's not necessarily a ton compared to a lot of craft beers, this stuff is a fraction of the cost. Literally. Like 50-60 cents a can here. That's cheaper than soda and a lot more fun.
Steel Reserve calls their beer a "High Gravity Lager," although it could technically be called a malt liquor since it's obviously made with adjunct ingredients (e.g. corn, rice, etc.) instead of just barley. They report that it is slow brewed for 28 days and with extra barley. I don't know if that really makes it any better, but whatever. Let's taste this brew...
Steel Reserve pours a light golden amber with a thin, bubbly and quickly disappearing head. It smells of sweet malts, corn, hints of wheat bread, and harsh alcohol. Tasting brings flavors of sweet fermented corn, lightly toasted malts, sourdough bread, memories of high school drunkenness, and a big hit of harsh booziness.
While this is one of the more drinkable malt liquor-type beers (considerably better than Olde English), it still isn't great in the grand scheme of things. It's a bit too sweet and harsh, but hey it's cheap and it succeeds in what it's meant for: getting you a cheap buzz.
And for that, Steel Reserve, I commend you.
Drink This: if you want a a strong, above-average, cheap ass beer.
Don't Drink This: if you don't like a sweet, funky, trashy malt liquor.