Miller High Life | Miller Brewing Co.

3,693 Ratings
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Miller High LifeMiller High Life

Brewed by:
Miller Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-20-2000

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Reviews: 1,134 | Ratings: 3,693
Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.31/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A - this macro pours a very pale yellow, with a thin white lacy head that dissipates quickly, fizzy like soda

S - a malty aroma with citrus hints, no hoppy aromas

T - fizzy, with a malty kick, no hops evident, but a nice refershing taste, my leading macro choice

M - fizzy, but refreshingly smooth, especially on a hot lawn mowing type day

D - high, easy to pound

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Photo of Rumpole
3.3/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After Miller Genuine Draft took over as Miller’s breadwinning brand (along with Miller Lite, of course) dear old Miller High Life for years looked as though ready to be put to pasture, saddled as it was with many other old-time brands with a rather dowager image. But MHL, along with other old-timers, is enjoying a ‘retro’resurgence, no doubt in part thanks to a recent ‘retro’ redistribution of wealth. At about $15 for a 30-pack in glamorous Worcester, MA, it still competes at the ‘near-premium’ levels, however, so rather than taking on Budweiser and Coors directly, as MGD does, it deals with the likes of Busch, PBR and Schlitz. (N.B.: according to the brewery website, the abv on this brew is 4.7%, not the 5% I see indicated here as of the date of this review.)

I understand the label has been updated recently, but for all that, it still retains its familiar look, and it’s a terrific look at that; simple, easily recognized, and attractive to the eye. “The Champagne of Beers” pours a very typical macro pale gold, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The scent is reminiscent of both MGD and Miller’s Red Dog, but this is the best version – tangy and somewhat sweet smelling but not off-putting. That impression continues with the taste – again the family resemblance is here, but this one easily fares the best of the lot – no bizarre aftertaste, no off-sour notes, just a simple, corn and grain smoothness, right through to the mellow finish, easily Miller’s best. Body and maltiness is only light to moderate, but somehow the overall effect is one of a pleasant buttery richness. Not much hop top-note, mostly a mid-palate experience, but a good one, with just a gentle touch of adjunct tanginess here and there to liven things up. This is Miller’s best balanced and coordinated flavor profile.

In sum, there’s definitely a reason this aged recipe has endured the test of time; some competitors have more action in the upper register, but this one is hard to beat for a good fat midrange. It’s very useful as a yardstick for tasting comparisons too. Solid, reliable, enjoyable and a good value, the High Life deserves its return to the limelight.

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Photo of falloutsnow
2.4/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a large, fluffy pure white head that quickly deflates leaving no lacing and a thin layer of white bubbles along the surface of the beer. The body is colored a light, transparent yellow with carbonation slowly percolating through. Beer does not get much more sterilized looking than this.
Smells vaguely like a watered-down malted barley and corn mixture, which is what the ingredients most likely are. No noticeable hops presence, just a scent of something sharply sweet, almost chemical. Taste weakly resembles shredded wheat, corn flakes, or puffed rice cereal with a trace amount of hop bitterness in the finish. Grainy aftertaste closes out a beer featuring nothing astounding and little in the way to recommend.
Light to light-medium body, highly overcarbonated for the level of heaviness. Finish is clean and dry, at least this is quite refreshing. Drinkability of this beer really depends on the context: it's drinkable if one is at a social event and this is the only thing available; there's also an apparent attraction to having something this clean and dry in the finish on a warm day. If one is enjoying beer where there is selection, however, there's absolutely no reason to purchase or drink this.

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Photo of sarahbs
3.92/5  rDev +39%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is the BEST beer for casual drinking. forget amstel, this is the beer drinkers light beer. it must be consumed in bottles for one to fully aprichiate the goodness of the high life. I strongly encorage real beer drinkers to give high life a chance. it might not look classy, but it drinks like champange

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Photo of Sosh
2.7/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

If I'm going to buy a cheap beer at a bar, this is probably what I'm going to get. It goes down nicely and doesn't get revolting if the temperature drops a little. Miller High Life is also great on a hot day. For what it is, it is very satisfying. Don't drink this with a lime, it doesn't need one.

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Photo of blackie
3.15/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour produces a thin white head that soon becomes a thin layer on top and a small ring around the glass. The beer is a pale hay color.

smell: Light pale barley and corn aromas, very slight hop aroma. Clean and inoffensive.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body light.

taste: Pretty much the same as the smell. Ligh pale barley and corn. Negligible hop flavor and bitterness. Finishes cleanly.

drinkability: At the very least, easy to drink and refreshing.

Found one in the fridge downstairs, drank about half of it for this rating.

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Photo of Suds
2.01/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I had this brew at a neighbor’s house, during a get-together. I know that I’ve had it before, but I really don’t recall when or how long ago. It’s an extremely light, clear, unassuming straw color. Fizzy white head. No real aroma at all. I couldn’t pick out any hops, and maybe just a hint of grain. Very faint sweetness at the tip of the tongue, but other than that, the flavor is absolutely lifeless. Watery finish, if you could call it that. There’s really not much to say here…the beer has no flavor and no character. Call it yellow fizz water: that about sums it up.

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Photo of jayc333
2.44/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow with a finger of white lace. Some bubble rise to the top quickly. The one actually leaves good lacing. Actually above average for a Macro in appearance.

Corn, corn, corn. That's how to describe the smell. Also, maybe some mild grain. Average, but I've smelt better.

Tastes of grain and corn, faint hoppyness. Don't really like the after-taste. Not really my cup of tea.

Fizzy, thin, etc mouthfeel. Nothing different then the standard of its type.

Only enjoyable ice cold, outside, on a hot day in my opinion.

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Photo of edskirk3
3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is what I drink most of the time at my local bar on the weeks that I don't get paid, or if they're out of Yuengling. Most recently two nights ago:

It's pale gold. Thin patchy head.

Everyone knows what it smells like. Kind of bland. There's a little bit of sweetness though. Probably from corn.

The taste is similar. It's not too carbonated, not bitter, not malty. Not offensive in any way. It's light enough without being a "Lite" beer.

I've lived the High Life many times. It's not terrible but it's not that great. It must be ice cold. It's a little more flavorful than Miller Lite, which is why I choose it often.

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Photo of ChuckD
2/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. The last of three macros reviewed tonight. Bright white lacing atop a putrid yellowish body. Close your eyes.

To the nose, the grains are very pronounced right up front. No floralness noticeable.

In the mouth, the corny sweetness is overwhelming. It's not an unpleasant taste - but there is no hop character to balance it at all. One big sweet mess.

The feel is metallic and tinny. The carbonation makes for a crisp and dry finish but the accompanying tastes just don't do it for me.

Musings: I'll have my corn on the cob thank you. Leave it on the shelf and go for the Schlitz or PBR.

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Photo of Avagadro
2.4/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the golden can into an american pint glass. Lots of white foam appear upon pouring. Lacing throughout the entire beer. Piss yellow color. I can't pick out the smell of hops or malt, both are probably hidden by the plethora of adjuncts in this beer. Taste is minimal. Very light bodied, but this gives it a thirst quenching appeal. These are good on a hot day when you need an ice cold drink to cool off. Clean in the mouth but alittle sticky on the lips. Drinkability is this beers claim to fame. It's not hard to drink a 12pack of these things in a night. Not filling, not a high abv, just drinkable beer. Thats all this beer is, drinkable.

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Photo of nickss
2.55/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pale straw color with a surprising amount of loud head. The head is very active due to the carbonation, and quickly disipates into ntohing. Actually some moderate lacing going on here.

Moderately sweet aroma... a large malt backbone is apparent, with a touch of hops. Not bad for a macro.

Light malt in the flavour.... alot of corn... somewhat musty. Certainly not as bad as alot of the BMC that's out there, but not great by any stretch of the imagination.

Thin mouthfeel, and crisp. Pretty much identical to most macros I've consumed, although with maybe a touch less carbonation.

I could knock a few of these back on a warm day cooking out, no problem. Would I order it at a bar? Not a chance, unless everything else was BMC as well.
... I'm not going to comment on the "Champagne of Beers" assertion.

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Photo of seanmhogan
3.08/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ok this is a nice cheap beer. Once again this beer isn't meant to be savored. It's pretty sweet and i'd agree has a bit of a corn undertone. Pours a decent head that holds well. But this beer goes down easy and is easy on the pockets as well. I end up having this every once in awhile.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.63/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You know when you come home from work and you want something light, crisp, refreshing, thirst-quenching, and you don't want to feel guilty for not paying attention to the flavor? High Life. You know when you don't want to have to let your beer warm up a few degrees when you take it out of the fridge? High Life. You know what I wish were served at ballparks? High Life. You know what's a pretty decent value for the money? High Life.

Perfectly clear with above-average head. Unlike most other macro-brewed Light Lagers, High Life actually has something in the way of aroma: faint, semi-sweet malt, a trace of adjunct, and a light whiff of hops. Okay, so it's still not terribly much of an aroma. The flavor opens up with a hint of tartness -- this should not be confused with the characteristic acetaldehyde flavors found in Budweiser. Things dry out in short time with an easy finish consisting of malt and light bitterness. High Life leaves you thirsty for more.

You could do a lot worse than High Life. Under the right circumstances, this is a beer that I don't mind drinking a great many of in one sitting.

UPDATE: I have, in recent weeks, made a conscious effort to keep my fridge stocked with bottled High Life at all times. I have always enjoyed HL, but now I seem to have decided that it will be my default beer for when I'd rather be refreshed than worry about having to pay attention to flavor or make any sort of investment to that effect. Indeed, there are many nights when I come home from work late and I'd be just as happy to have two or three HLs while mindlessly watching TV as I would with a high-quality specialty brew that I can sip and enjoy for a while. I will note, also, that as a rule I only drink HL out of the bottle. Unlike any other beer I drink, I see no point in pouring HL into a glass, as I will not find much beauty in its appearance, nor do I feel compelled to open up its nose, as I will not be put in awe by its bouquet. No, give me cold HL in the bottle (where it'll stay colder longer, by the way), and I'm all right.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.5/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was a clear yellow highly carbonated brew with a one finger head that was quite fizzy and died away to athe thinnest of films within a minute.

Aroma was slightly sweet, grains and corn.

Taste was sweet, corn and grains with the merest wisp of hops.

Mouthfeel was thin and fizzy, almost like soda water (and didn't seem like it was far from that either).

Drinkability... not good. Although the price is right, if you want a cheap buzz. I'd prefer Steel Reserve, personally.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.79/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale straw color with the biggest, fluffiest head you'll ever see on a macro. Very surprising, intricate lacing on this. Smells of grains, corn, and grape drink. Pretty much run-of-the-mill there. Flavor is, again, very grainy and corn-like. Not too sweet like a lot of macros, however. Not offensive at all, and, in fact, it's very refreshing and clean-tasting. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth for the style; it doesn't cling to the palate like some others (MGD, etc.). Highly drinkable macro lager, and definately my favorite for when I don't want to spend a lot of money on beer.

Have a snooty opinion on my rating, if you want, but, as far as style goes, this is a great beer.

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Photo of pjwilson
3.76/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: light yellow color. the head is huge on this cat, bigger than many "craft brews."

smell: smells like beer, warm grains

taste: light grainy texture, with a mild hop backing. a bit of sweetness too.

mouthfeel and drinkability: nice light mouthfeel, mixed with a fantastic drinkability. not a bad beer by any means, if it only had a touch more bitterness it would be even better. and yeah the price is right at 9.99 a 24 pack.

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Photo of Optimat0r
3.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

this, in my opinion, is easily the best of the 'megabrewery' american offerings. you can tell its 'one of those' beers but its really not all that bad. like the others, it looks like urine, smells almost like urine, but it doesnt taste like definitely has a 'champagne' taste to it, i can't argue with their motto lol. to me its extremely similar to Duvel, but i dare say, to me it is better. perfect for buying cans in bulk and drinking a the beach or the lake.

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Photo of RoundelMike
3.08/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not going to bash this beer. Yes, there are indeed better beers out there and this inexpensive brew won't win any awards. But it has its upsides.

First, there is a daring hops presence that can't be found in any other mass-market beers. Not bad, actually. It also isn't soda-sweet like Bud or Miller. It's actually trying to taste like something interesting. Almost floral. While I don't care for the slummy "champagne of beers" marketing, this is my choice if I'm forced to make a gas station beer run or if I'm going camping with friends. Let's give it credit for what it is: a cheap, readily available beer that is a definite step up from Bud Light and friends. Sometimes, and I know this is strange, I just don't want to spend a lot of money.

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Photo of harpo111
2.83/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Although not a real great beer...i end up with one of these every so often... did this week.
Pours golden with a nice head. Aroma is sweet with a corn overtone. Taste likewise is sweet with a definate corn taste. Almost too sweet. Not much in the hop department here.
Very could down a few of these and not bat an eye.
Mouthfeel is carbonated and mellow...not too thin because of all the carbonation in it. The Cola of beers....a definate economy beer..but very with hot weather and hot dogs. Best served ice cold. Beats a lot of cheap beers by a long shot.

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Photo of kdmorse
3.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Straw colored beer topped with a fluffy, white head. Decent head retention but not much lacing to speak off.

S: Sweet malty aroma with hints of tea and corn.

M/T: Tastes like college. Crisp mouthfeel. Tastes like there may be some malt and even some hops somewhere in there. Sweet and clean finish.

D: Light, refreshing drinking experience. Could finish a case or two in a night if the mood strikes me. One of my favorite Macros to drink in excess.

Notes: Truly the champagne of beers. I have a love affair with this beer and would gladly accept one any day of the week. Not the highest quality macro lager I have tasted, but definitely my favorite. The price and the epithet (cham-pag-ne- a la Christopher Walken) make it just right for me. My preferred poker/beer pong/drinking game/cookout beer.

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Photo of rodrot
1.65/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer poured a very pale yellow color with a large head of foam. It was so pale that it was basically just a shade darker than water. The aroma was very uninviting. I could smell a mixture of rotting tomatoes and a kind of fruity aroma mixed with it. Surprisingly, the taste was not too bad. I could taste the ever present corn and adjuncts, but there was also a nutty aftertaste that was kind of pleasing. Honestly, I don't understand how anyone could put out a product like this and still make money. I'd take a Bud or PBR anyday over the "Champagne of Beers". Not recommended.

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Photo of palffyfan
3.11/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pale golden color, great deal of carbonation, with a good deal of foam. Very typical of a macrobrew.

Smell - Very soapy, macrobrew smell, repugnant. Can't really tell what it comprises otherwise.

Taste - A suprising good corn-like taste, not watered down. No aftertaste--leaves a nice refreshing feeling in the mouth. Above average for a macrobrew. No bitterness at all, a hint of sweetness.

Drinkability - Definetely drinkable. I'm surprised I haven't tried it until now, but I'm quite impressed. Nothing like its Lite counterpart and definetely worth the price. Recommended for a macro.

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Photo of BeavisCubs
3.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz clear bottle

Decent bright white head that hangs on pretty well. Impressive lacing surrounding pilsner glass. Bright golden color deeper than average American macro.

Smell is not its strong suit. Not much of one. Slight hint of corn.

More taste than other macros and not bad either, especially cold. Corny,

Mouthfeel slightly sticky. Weakest point of beer.

Drinkability is off the charts. Could knock back a 12 if necessary or desired. Good thirst quencher as well.

This stuff is simple but pretty good. A 12 pack is a pretty good use of $7 and better than anything else in the price range except Yuengling and maybe PBR. When I'm going cheap and don't feel like Yuengling Traditional Lager and can't find PBR, this does the trick.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

"the champagne of beers" proudly displayed below High life on the label. If they are talking about carbonation I'd have to agree, this is filled with medium sized frantic bubbles. Golden, fizzy head that quickly fades never to be seen again.

Smell of grain, corn, but what sets this apart from alot of macro's is it definately has a hop presence that is decent. Lemon, astringent at times. As this beer warmed it started tasting more like a cheap malt liquor. To be fair though this beer is made to be consumed ice cold as the cheap qualities come out as it warms. Pop rock fizz mouthfeel.

Notes: If its on sale I'll pick up a sixer for a fishing trip or the likes. This is one of the finer macro's up there with Pabst Blue Ribbon but not quite.

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Miller High Life from Miller Brewing Co.
2.82 out of 5 based on 3,693 ratings.
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