I’ve been reviewing beers for about five years now, yet some of the
best-selling beers in America I still have not reviewed, like Miller
High Life. While not quite the epitome of the macro adjunct lager it’s
pretty close since it’s best described as bland. Insert the "making love
in a canoe" joke here.
I poured a 24oz can into a 1-liter mug. It cost $1.53 ($0.06 per ounce).
Appearance: Clear, gold color with some carbonation initially visible,
though it goes tepid quickly. Forms a large, white, fluffy head which
mostly dissipates but does leave some lacing on the glass.
Smell: Totally generic "beer" smell, though on the cleaner and less offensive side. Some corn notes, but otherwise odorless.
Taste: You’d think after all these years of drinking craft beer and
refining my palate that I’d be able to pick up on the genuine flavors
present in macro adjunct lagers, as subtle as they may be. Though I’m
finding the opposite is actually true. As hard as I try, I really can’t
find any genuine flavors to Miller High Life. It’s a beer that’s much
more bland and flavorless than it is offensive. But simply not being
offensive does not a good beer make.
I think I’d actually prefer the overt rice flavor of Budweiser or the
corn flavor of a malt liquor since they give your mouth something to
concentrate on. In the case of this beer it’s just a cold liquid with a
faint sweetness and a clean finish. Perhaps there’s some canned corn
water taste, but there’s definitely nothing in the way of malts or hops.
What purpose does this beer serve?
Drinkability: The term "fizzy yellow beer" is a pejorative craft beer
nerds use to mock the major macro lagers, but in the case of Miller High
Life it’s not even applicable because this beer is not fizzy (which is
really ironic considering its tagline of "the Champagne of beers").
It’s bubbly when first poured, but proceeds to go completely flat in
mere seconds. It’s slightly refreshing while cold, but that’s hardly a
redeeming quality or compliment. I couldn’t find a definite alcohol
content on this beer, though most sources seem to peg it at 4.5 - 5.5%
ABV (I’m thinking it’s closer to less than 5%). You'd have no problem drinking it in large quantities, but it will become boring quickly.