The Brew Site

American Macro Week: Miller Lite

Miller Lite is the flagship beer from, er, Miller and it’s the oldest of the "Light" (or "Lite") beers, debuting in 1975. It’s garnered a few awards, too, in the "American-Style Light Lager" category at the GABF (2003) and the World Beer Cup (four different years).

Not much I have to say about it, although I feel like I need to comment on the can design—but I’m having trouble figuring out what I want to say. Is it over-the-top? Neon? Retro-futuristic? Post-modern? I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s provoking some sort of reaction…

At 4.17% alcohol, it’s the lowest of the ones I’ve reviewed this week.

Appearance: Not as pale yellow as other "Light" beers… a slightly darker gold tint. More head, too, though it fell quickly.

Smell: A bit like MGD… a nice "beer" aroma punctuated by wet grain and a light touch of corn. Flattens out to mineral water.

Taste: Very clean and mineral water here—light, sure, but not as bad as Bud Light/Coors Light/Busch. The minerals give way to cracked grains, then to green grass, then to flat water.

Mouthfeel: Amazingly clean character but it’s gassy (and heavy from this gassiness). Very light in body otherwise, that flat "hard water" feeling.

The verdict: Given the choice among the various Lights, I’d pick this one… it’s very neutral, with just enough "beer" character to pull it ahead the pack. I can’t shake the overall sparkling mineral water impression though.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a grade of D (the Bros. give it D+). On RateBeer, it scores 1.37 out of 5 and is in their 1st percentile.