Miller High Life | Miller Brewing Co.

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Miller High LifeMiller High Life

Brewed by:
Miller Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States | website

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: 1,120 | Ratings: 3,626
Photo of boblog
2.73/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is probably the best of the major American Macro lagers. Fairly decent golden appearance. Mild head. Sweet smell. Smooth taste with slightly malty aftertaste. Crisp, clean, and cheap it does what it was intended to. With this beer you get what you pay for not much more.

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Photo of leechungsr
2.8/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the only cheap domestic beer I've had that I can drink over and over. It's really not as bad as you'd think. I think this lager is as good or better than some higher priced lagers (ie. Rolling Rock). Smells very crisp and simple; malt more than hops. This beer shines in the mouthfeel department (compared to other cheap beers); very clean, crisp, and refreshing. It could have a little more flavor, but I'm not complaining for the price. Very malty with a hint of hops, fairly strong malty aftertaste.
Many fun nights with this beer in college and beyond. =]

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.37/5  rDev +55.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have no idea why miller doesn't make this it's main full flavor beer. This beer is cheap, yet it's one of their best.
What does one look for when drinking an american macro lager? He wants a smooth beer with some flavor, not too much (he wants it smooth and easy to drink a lot of). He wants a nice sweet smell as well. As far as american macro lagers, this takes the cake. Has nice flavor, and doesn't have that akward dryness that mgd has. Much better than MGD, miller needs to make this their main beer.

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Photo of tcayiajr
2.8/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I really can't complain. This has been the mainstay beer of my adolescence life, and you know what it has done the job. It gets you drunk and for $11.99 a twenty-four pack it isn't all that bad. I definitely prefer the Pabst breweries much better. I've had much better times with Rainier, Schlitz, Hamm's, and Stroh's but Miller High Life has always been a standard brew that is easily abtainable anywhere in the country. As I've matured in my years I've tried to avoid high life more and more but whenever you are pinchin' pennies high life always tries to find it's way back into your fridge. In my opinion this is the best universally available cheap domestic lager in the great patriotic nation of America. It's the Champagne of Beers!

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Photo of bjohnson
3.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: In the bottle? Definately no glass needed for this one. Woman on the moon staring me in the face! Clear golden color with a slight head, no retention and no lace.
S: Trying to stick my nose in the bottle allows me to note a slight sweet hop aroma with a grainy maltyness.
T & M: Extra crisp through the mouth with a slight matlyness at the front and back of the mouth. Not many hops present. She's seduced me.
D: A good lawn mower lager. Probably one of the better of the macros. I would say its my bad beer go to. Easy drinking. How can you turn down the champagne of beers? Avoid, unless the woman on the moon is handing you one...

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.13/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance wise, a very average yellow beer. Smell is almost non existant, not to impressive at first glance.

The taste is light and malty. A bit bitter with good hops. Not very complicated but not overly watered down. Actually very refreshing, would be ideal to drink on a hot day.

One of it's biggest flaws is a long lasting dry aftertaste. Not really a beer to savor, more of a beer to chug down.

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Photo of murrayswine
2.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Champagne of beers my spit...
Pored like you think, pale and lightly fizzy.
smelled like, well, it didnt smell like mush at all, actually. Like wet hops left over a real hopping.
Taste is limp, but slightly hoppy.
I will give it good mouthfeel and damn high drink ability.
It is the king of Miller, which doesnt say much.

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Photo of bort11
1.25/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had this with my dad after spending a weekend rebuilding a porch. There was some of these left over in my fridge from an earlier party. I was too hot and tired to be able to really enjoy a good beer. I figured that this couldn't hurt...wrong!

It's a clear, watered down apple juice yellow. It is super fizzy, so it creates a massive head, almost had a spill over. Usually this is an attractive feature to me, but this was over doing it. Smelled like corn. Tastes like corn oil. Mouthfeel is light, fizzy, and oily.

I physically cannot drink cheap macro beers anymore. Whenever I do, I get an upset stomach.

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Photo of goschool
3.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There’s not much to say that hasn't already been said. The pour is golden. The white head starts out frothy, then fades, but never disappears. There is some corn in the nose, along with grain. The taste is crisp with grain and light hops. No noticeable corn flavors. At $4.99 a case, this stuff is just about the only macro worth buying.

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Photo of akahn
3.79/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw color with a dense white frothy head that lasts. Streaming carbonation and good lacing. Impressive.

Crisp grainy aroma, decent, but marred by a hint of veggies, sort of like the juice left over from boiling brocolli.

Very mild flavor. Faint malty sweetness, along with some slight adjunct sweetness. This fades into a dry grainy finish. Not much flavor, but completely unoffensive.

Absolutely speaking, this beer is light bodied. Relatively speaking, this beer it's full. Fuller than water and fuller than most macro lagers. That's appreciated by me and it doesn't stand in the way of drinkability. Brisk carbonation, but smooth, at least from a glass; from the can this has pretty harsh carbonation.

Perhaps not the champagne of beers, but certainly one of the best of the style. I think this tops PBR.

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Photo of supercolter
3.72/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- straw yellow, not a lot head retention, or lacing
S- no real complexity but not bad either, some malt is about all i smell
T- I do like the taste, malty a bit more flavor in my opinion than the other macros, but no complexity and the after taste seems just a bit skunk
M- alot a bit fizzy but light enough to go down
D- yeah, you'll forget you are drinking beer

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.31/5  rDev -17.8%
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 +17.4%
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 -14.6%
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 +39.5%
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 -3.9%
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 +12.1%
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 -28.5%
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 -13.2%
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 +6.8%
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 -28.8%
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 -14.6%
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 -9.3%
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 +9.6%
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 +29.2%
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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Miller High Life from Miller Brewing Co.
2.81 out of 5 based on 3,626 ratings.
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