Miller High Life is recognized as one of the best high-end beers in America. It will forever be known as the “Champagne of Beers”. Apart from its devoted drinkers, many drinkers wonder what Miller High Life tastes like and is it any good?
Miller High Life is an American lager beer. It’s further categorized as a Pilsner beer due to the extra addition of hops in its brewing process. Miller High Life offers a balanced flavor of fruits, hops, and light spices. It is low in both IBU and alcohol content. Thus allowing a crisp, dry taste and ease of drinkability.
Continue reading, and we will show you what Miller High Life tastes like and why it is a good beer. We will take you through Miller High Life’s history, flavor, mouthfeel, smell, and appearance.
First, let’s discuss Miller High Life’s history. Miller High Life was created in 1903 by the founder of the Miller Brewing Company, Frederick Miller. Mr. Miller wanted to allow people of all walks of live the opportunity to experience the good life. He believed the “High Life” should be available to the masses and not just to higher society.
To invoke a feeling of high society, Miller High Life, from its beginning, has always made it a point to include a high level of carbonation in its final product. This coronation makes Miller High Life an extremely bubbly-filled beer. Within the first three years of production, Miller High Life earned the nickname “The Champagne of Bottle Beers”.
Miller High Life continues to deliver the same fantastic beer to its drinkers to this very day. Miller High Life has stayed true to the original recipe of Frederick Miller. It balances its formula using malted barley, a blend of hops from the Pacific Northwest, and of course, Miller yeast.
In the 1970’s Miller High Life, thanks to Bill Backer, came up with the now-infamous “Miller Time” ad campaign. The jingle included, “If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer.” In 2017, Miller High Life rebranded its beer and relaunched the “Miller Time” campaign. This gave Miller High Life a massive new resurgence in the beer market. In 2017, Miller High Life had its most significant growth since 2009.
Next, let’s move on to Miller High Life’s flavor profile. Miller High Life is classified as an American Lager. More specifically, an American-style pilsner beer. If you’d like to read more on why this beer is classified as such, have a look at this article. This beer is brewed explicitly for high-end quality taste. It offers a light to medium hoppy flavor, which can be described as slightly spicy or floral. Miller High Life leaves drinkers with a crisp and carbonated finish.
On the IBU (International Bitterness Units) scale, Miller High Life comes in with an IBU of 7-8. Miller High Life is at the bottom of the American Lager category related to IBU. This is what gives it a somewhat fruity or sweet taste.
The lower the IBU, the less bitter the beer will taste, having fewer hops involved in the brewing process. Since Miller Lite has an IBU of 7-8, it will be one of the less hoppest American Lagers but much hoppier than many Light Lagers. For example, Bud Light has an IBU rating of 6. Miller High Life’s alcohol content is on the low side, coming in at just 4.6%.
Now, let’s dive into Miller High Life’s mouthfeel. Miller High Life has the unique distinction of being the “Champagne of Beers”. Miller High Life received this nickname based on the high carbonation present in the final products. Thus making the beer extremely bubbly to its drinkers.
Overall, Miller High Life has an easy mouthfeel. Miller High Life will never be described as a beer that is tough to swallow.
While Miller High Life is in no way a harsh beer, the drinker will notice somewhat of a spicy taste in their mouth. This is due to the hops content of the brew and is why Miller High Life is classified as a Pilsner. Miller High Life is an easy beer to drink. Due to the light hop taste and ease of drinkability, Miller High Life is a top choice for those looking to enjoy a fun night.
Miller High Life is not suitable for drinkers looking for a rich and dark beer. It is also not ideal for drinkers looking to get a quick and easy buzz. While nicknamed the “Champagne of Beers’, a drinker would need to consume 3 Miller High Life beers to achieve the alcohol content of 1 flute of actual champagne. Drinkers with a high palate for complex beer flavors would not appreciate Miller High Life.
Next, let’s look at Miller High Life’s smell. Miller High Life offers little to no aroma. This is due to the malted barley used in Miller High Life’s brewing process. Once poured, a light hint of sweet grain or corn may be detected. Some notes of floral or citrus may also be identified.
Miller High Life has an aroma advantage over its other clear glass competitors. When UV rays from the sun penetrate clear glass, molecules inside the glass get discombobulated. When this happens, the smell of the beer changes. This is known as being “skunked”. Have you ever wondered why so many bottled beers are in brown glass instead of clear or other colors? This is the reason.
Miller High Life has bypassed this unfortunate symptom of a clear bottle by using a modified hop extract in their brewing process. This prevents the UV ray interaction and leaves drinkers without worrying about having their beer become skunked.
Lastly, let’s discuss the appearance of Miller High Life. Miller High Life has always prided itself on having a distinctive high-end look.
Miller High Life is known for its golden color. It ranks a 3 on the SRM scale (Standard Reference Method). This scale is used to measure the intensity of the color of the beer. This scale ranges from 2 to 80. This places Miller High Life on the very bottom of the scale.
In the beginning, Miller High Life was initially sold in miniature champagne bottles since it was created to be the premier high-end beer in America. The founder, Frederick Miller, wanted Miller High Life’s appearance to foster this image.
Today, Miller High Life is served in a clear glass bottle, features a gold label, and has a tapered neck similar to a champagne bottle. The “Girl in the Moon” logo, which features a modestly dressed young lady, is said to be founder Frederick Miller’s granddaughter.
The Miller High Life miniature champagne bottles made a comeback in 2016 during holiday time. They were tested in the Chicago market and then tested in the Milwaukee area the following year. In 2018, the miniature champagne bottles hit the entire nation during holiday time. They were released in 2019 and 2020 as well. At holiday time in 2021, Miller High Life opted for holiday-themed packaging on their regular bottle instead of offering the miniature champagne bottles.
Overall, Miller High Life is a good beer. Its flavor, unique mouthfeel, and distinct appearance.
What Do Other People Think About Miller High Life?
Another thing we definitely have to take into account while discussing the taste of Miller High Life is how other people perceive the beer. Of course, I’m tasting the beer while writing this review. However, different people have different tastes and whether or not a beer appeals to the general public is often a completely different question.
In the table below we’ve gathered the average rating of Miller High Life on several prominent beer review websites.
|Platform||Rating (out of 10)|
What becomes clear here is that there’s a definite difference between the experienced beer drinkers and the masses. This is because the first three websites typically attract reviews from experienced beer drinkers. What’s interesting to see here is that the beer is not hated by this crowd, on Beeradvocate it’s even quite liked, which is rare for a mainstream beer on these platforms. This review on Beeradvocate summarizes it perfectly:
Not amazing, but not bad. This clear straw colored beer is simple but at the very least refreshing on a hot day. Sweet smelling with hints of corn on the nose. Tastes strangely like apple juice to me. Not in a gross way just in a weird way. Sweet with a good fizz and simple wheat beer on top of that.
Not my favorite cheap beer, but certainly not bottom of the barrel. Good for beer drinker on the budget, hot summer days, summer parties, or if you just in the mood for it which is rare, but not unheard of for me.
The sentiment on more general platforms like Influenster is typically more positive because these kinds of beers fit the taste of the masses. This review on Influenster stated it perfectly.
Miller High Life is the best of the cheap domestics. It is what it is, expect no more and get no less -no frills, no fancy labels or strange ingredients because the brewer wanted to be “different”. It’s simply beer: Drink it, burp, drink another and then get back to mowing the lawn or casting the lake.
If you are comparing it to some other well-crafted micro, then no, it is not even close. Compared to the other domestic gas station 12 packs, this one really is “The Champagne of beers”.
So, in the end, I think it’s safe to say that Miller High Life is at least not hated by everybody. Also, it’s not as polarizing as beers like Bud Light or Coors Light. Miller High Life has the capability to at least still be enjoyed by experienced beer drinkers, while it’s most certainly going to be enjoyed by less experienced ones.