Beer Review: Steel Reserve 211

Steel Reserve 211Image by Speed-Light via Flickr

Ask and you shall receive. Today’s beer selection is Steel Reserve 211. A fan of this beer asked me to give it a review and praised the effects of the beer far more than the taste. That being said, this review is going to break away from the normal format of Color, Appearance, Taste and just talk about the beer and the experience that I had with it.

Let’s just start by being a bit honest. This isn’t one of the world’s finest beers. You will never find it at a beer tasting. It will most likely not win any awards. However it still has its place. Steel Reserve is made from Miller Brewing Company and is in the same line as the Old English 800. It’s a high malt beer that describes itself as a “high gravity lager” tipping the scales at an alcohol volume of 8.1%. It comes in either a 40 oz. and 22 oz. bottle as well as by the 12 oz. can. The more I researched this beer, I found that it has a cult like following that almost seemed like a guilty pleasure to most. You asked for it….here it goes:

Steel Reserve 211: First of all, being a big fan of strong ale, I was happy to see the 8.1% ABV that this beer packs with it. Have to admit that beers with that kind of kick are usually not found sold by the 12 pack can at Wal-Mart. While on a recent fishing trip some new friends suggested it to me so I promised if I ever found it, I would review it. That very afternoon I found myself at the Wal-Mart checkout counter with 2 new bass lures and a twelver of Steel Reserve 211. The lady at the checkout counter gave me a weird look as she pulled it across the sensor.

That afternoon three fishing partners and I gave it a shot. Two of them didn’t like it at all. They described it as a beer that tasted like something was wrong with it. To get a more balanced opinion, I found a guy at the camp I didn’t know and asked him if he drank beer. Apparently he was with his wife and 2 daughters and was looking for any excuse to toss back some beer with anything with a Y chromosome. The third participant was originally from England and felt that it reminded him of some of the heavy malt beers he drank growing up. When I asked if he liked it, he felt that he liked it enough to help me finish the 12 pack but may not shop for it in stores. That left only me. First, let me say that between the guy from England and myself, we took down that 12er. At first I must say that it did taste off to me, but with an 8.1% ABV, soon the off taste became not too bad!

Dave FlabongoFinal thought: Steel Reserve 211 is a great choice if you want an inexpensive beer that will pack a punch. If you’re looking for a good tasting beer to sit back and enjoy this will not be the one. That being said, this may not be a bad choice for a tailgate party. First of all it is cheap (less than 6 bucks for the 12-pack) and has a high ABV% to get the job done quicker for less money. If you’re having a family party with good food, you may want to stick with the traditional beer choice. If you are planning on getting a bit more “festive”, this may be a choice to use while playing some sort of drinking game or if you happen to run into Dave, the editor, with his Flabongo! As much as I would love to trash this beer, I had fun drinking it. Sadly I have to admit that I’m drinking one while typing this which may explain the typing errors. Looking forward to the next suggestion wherever and whatever form it comes in.