Miller High Life Review


This American lager is both dependable and unimpressive -- a "crisp," "light" brew that's widely available at a price that's easy to swallow.

In a beer taste test hosted by Cheapism a few years ago, 13 participants took a marked dislike to Miller High Life. They described the lager variously as "soapy" and "flat," as well as "unpleasant and frothy." With a different group of drinkers in 2016, opinions were more favorable; the general consensus on the flavor was "sweet" and "crisp." The most recent review panel, consisting of seven beer enthusiasts, preferred the Miller beer to the three other American-produced lagers they tried, moving Miller High Life into a category of beers we can recommend rather than relegating it to the bottom of the barrel, where it landed in the first competitive tasting round.

Expert and consumer reviews online support the divergent results of our blind taste tests. On one hand, consumers posting on RateBeer -- a cohort that admittedly gravitates toward craft brews -- are unimpressed. They give this American lager a weighted average of only 1.66 out of 5 (factors assessed include taste, aroma, appearance, and palate), which consigns it to the lowest percentile of all beers reviewed on the site. On the other hand, reviewers at Total Wine give it a full 5 stars (admittedly, out of only nine reviews). Even the Bon Appétit restaurant and drinks editor quenches his thirst with Miller High Life, which he identifies as his summertime go-to beer. And a Jezebel writer makes an over-the-top yet earnest case for "Miller's easy-on-the-wallet, liquid gold."

Produced by Miller Brewing Co., Miller High Life has been a mainstay of the American market since 1903. Known as "the Champagne of beers," it used to be packaged in small champagne-style bottles. Its 4.6 percent alcohol by volume runs slightly lower than the 5 to 6 percent ABV in all but one (Modelo Especial) of the eight other beers our panel tried, which included four craft brews.

We bought a six-pack of 16-ounce cans at the local grocery store for $5.99 on sale; the regular retail price at that venue is $7.49. These prices work out to about 8 cents an ounce when not on sale, or about 6 cents an ounce at the reduced level.

As with American lagers on the whole, it seems that beer drinkers either hate to love, or love to hate, Miller High Life -- so follow your heart, your budget, and your palate.

Gina Briles

Gina K. Briles writes family, household, and shopping-related product reviews. She is a displaced Jayhawk and a coffee addict living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two small children, and Vizsla dog.

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