By now you’re probably well aware of my affinity for the sick and twisted when it comes to beer. Yes, my beer of choice when I want to accomplish nothing more than getting totally ripped for as little as possible is Steel Reserve. With an alcohol content of 8.1%, Steel has been to drinkers what spinach was to Popeye. However, there are those who dare to test the boundaries of even the most seasoned and sophisticated drinkers.
Touted as a “Premium Malt Beverage,” Joose ups the ante with an alcohol content ranging from 9.0 to 9.9 depending on the flavor. “But James, you can’t compare Joose to Steel Reserve. Joose is malt liquor and Steel Reserve is a lager.” They both come in 24oz cans and are sold on the same shelf. They’re competitors.
Naturally I chose the flavor with the highest alcohol content to try. Orange Label, or Original Joose as it’s called has an alcohol content of 9.9%. As I’m writing this, I’m about 12oz into a 24oz can and I’m buzzing like a chainsaw. I’m not kidding. This shit is potent. Its punch does however come at a price. The taste takes some getting used to. That is of course if you like the taste of a beer after you dissolve an orange Airborne tablet in it. I’m not saying it’s bad, it just takes some getting used to (Honestly, this is the fastest I’ve ever gotten a buzz off of any type of alcohol).
Drinking Joose actually brings back some nostalgic memories of when I was a young lad who drank St. Ides because it was the strongest thing you could buy at a convenience store without the store clerk hassling you about “not having your ID with you” that clearly proved you were a 22-year-old organ donor from Daytona Beach.
So what’s the final verdict? Well, Joose had everything going for it in order to dethrone Steel Reserve as the cheapest and easiest way to get shit faced. That is until it comes to being the cheapest way to get your drink on. A 24oz can of Joose will set you back about $2.69. Compare that to a paltry $1.39 for an equal amount of Steel Reserve and Steel is the clear winner. Granted, Joose will get you 0 to drunk faster than Steel Reserve, but for the money, Steel Reserve will get you drunker in the long run. So long live the king.