San Miguel Premium Lager | San Miguel Brewery Inc.

172 Reviews
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San Miguel Premium LagerSan Miguel Premium Lager

Brewed by:
San Miguel Brewery Inc.

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2001

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Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 398
Photo of bat6
3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

currently traveling through SE Asia and sampling the local offerings. this is fairly popular throughout the region. beers here are almost entirely light-bodied lagers meant for fast quaffing in the blazing heat and humidity. all ratings are based on my understanding of the style here.

A - pale gold, tight-bubbled head w/ decent retention

S - very little smell. maybe some grain

T - very clean. does not gain any slick corny sweetness or sour notes as it warms

MF - very crisp, very light, good carbonation

O - not meant for over-analyzing, this is meant to be refreshing after a long hot day or paired w/ spicy hot food. this is easily enjoyed and there's no reason not to reach for one when traveling over here. strongly recommend against pulling this off an American shelf because I just don't see how such a light-bodied lager can survive the long hot travel. I've had beers like Tiger in the States and hated them but here they're fine. That's not to say this is something special, it's simple beer designed for specific circumstances and it hits the mark

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.56/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

San Miguel is another base American Adjuct Lager that offers a slightly below taste than othe standard macros. The color is golden clear with decent carbonation that forms a head that dissapates quickly. The smell and taste are powered by grain. Mouthfeel is fine especially for warmer days.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.56/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml squat bottle.

This beer pours a clear pale golden hue, with one finger of soapy white head, which leaves a patchy wall of lace around the glass as it settles. It smells of bready pale malt, and nail polish remover. The taste is sweeter pale malt, a bit of generic fruitiness, and more acetone. The carbonation is fairly low, the body a skinny medium weight, and clingy. It finishes off-dry, a bit of medicinal alcohol sweetness standing out.

Not enough core ingredients to hide the booze. I wouldn't recommend this, at least when consumed half a world away from its origin.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.24/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - The beer was light gold with a large fluffy, white head that lasted & left nice lacing.
S - Not much of an aroma other than grain & biscuit. More a typical lager smell than anything else.

T - This one had a nice smooth taste with traces of grain. A very slight bitter finish.

M - A very smooth & refreshing beer with a nice crisp finish. Some carbonation but not much.

D - Very drinkable & refreshing.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Ah, the beer the Spanish love. Served on-draught in Ibiza, (faux)Spain, into San Miguel stemware. Reviewed from notes.

A: One finger head is frothy, nicely thick, and lacking in cream. Clear transparent gold colour. Meh. I'll drink it, but I don't know I'll like it.

Sm: Nice malt, hints of lime esters, and complex full barley. Very nice.

T: Clean barley with some malt. The lime ester doesn't pull through hardly at all, which is unfortunate. More complex than it maybe has the right to be. Finish is lackluster at best. Fairly built for the style, but well built for the price. Kudos to Spain for having a popular beer that isn't as garbage as Budweiser. Balanced, though the malt feels intrusive. [In retrospect, the Spanish love their unwarranted malt. This was the first beer (of many) I reviewed in Ibiza, and the malt was a consistent feature of Spanish beer.]

Mf: Medium: not too light like many beers in the style (and popular shitebeer category), but not well executed.

Dr: A very good choice for a budget beer, but not worthwhile for the enthusiast.

And ye lads on holiday: I'd better not catch you sneaking a lime into the beer. Don't play coy; I saw you. A beer ought to be released as it's meant to be consumed. None of this adding lime to Spanish/Mexican tropical beers and thinking it's cute. Why don't you order a candied Berliner Kindl Weisse and giggle with your friends while watching Gilmore Girls?

P.S. I kind of like Gilmore Girls. Do I lose manpoints for that?

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Photo of karait95
2.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pale color, light yellow very translucent with low carbonation all this things are somehow poor, the head is medium, compact white color with small bubbles that dissipates not to fast leaving a lot of traces behind on the glass, good consistency.

S: Barley aroma with some intensity but not too complex, pretty straight just the malty very little sweetness can be felt.

T: Mainly the same thing as with the aroma it is nothing to remember, some barley malts flavors.

M: This one start neutral in the mouth but then starts to get a little bitter at the end with a medium lasting but not to dry it is more like chewing intense but not to pleasant.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.03/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear straw/gold color. Poured a 2 finger stark white head with fair retention to a thin skim. Decanted lightly. Intermittent webs of lace.

S: Sweet, bready malt. Green apple and pears.

T: Slightly sweet malts up front. Transitions quickly to pear and green apple consistent with the nose. Finish is smooth and a little creamy (DMS).

M: Light-to-medium body. Moderate-to-ample carbonation. DMS in the finish detracted from the feel.

O: I plan to purchase again to evaluate one that may not have diacetyl character. I think the beer had intentions of being pretty good for this style.

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Photo of videofrog
2.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

San Miguel is on tap everywhere in Barcelona, so I decided to try a pint while I was here. Very uneventful in my opinion. Went pretty well with some awesome tapas. Pale color, Budweiser-esque aroma & taste. Reminded me a bit of some the weaker Mexican lagers. Standard adjunct, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at it if offered. Won't be seeking it out for my bottle collection.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a bottle in Spain after I ran with the bulls in 2001. Plain corn yellow with a small bubble white head. Aroma is almost nonexistent, very weak hops and a Busch-like adjunt, chemical like smell. Taste is very weak also, reminds me a lot of Budweiser, weak, semi-sweet and with a weird astringency at the end. Thin over carbonated mouthfeel. Definitely an average beer.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
2.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had enough of this beer to float a boat while I was stationed in the Philippines. Nice 2 finger head of off white bubbles, leaves a great clinging lace. Smells of corn and barley, maybe just a little citrus. Taste is that of sweet corn, wheat, barley malt, and just a touch of hops. Some fullness in the mouth, but lacks the punch I was expecting with the amount of carbonation. Not exactly the same beer I drank so much of while at Clark AB, but worth another go around.

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Photo of pinkano
3.04/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - crystal clear yellow with not much interesting head
S - sweet malt and maybe some fruit tones (apple, pear)
T - watery, malty, sour and bitter aftertaste
M - low body with medium carbonation
D - pretty drinkable to the summer in Spain.. maybe good with pasta or some fresh salads.. easy and light and fresh

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Photo of Wasatch
2.83/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty nice clean/clear pale yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger slightly creamy white head, which does leave some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some hop notes thrown in. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, very slight hop notes. Light body. Kinda Drinkable, one of the better macros out there.

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Photo of tozz8
2.63/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A--Dark yellow. Slightly cloudy. Nearly a 2 finger white fluffy fizzy head with an aggressive pour. Head stuck around for a while with some nice lacing

S--Bright Fruit and malt flavors up front

T--Fruitiness continues with some bready malt flavors with a rice finish?

M--Light to medium body and fizzy carbonation


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Photo of thekanna
3.95/5  rDev +42.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium clear yellow bordering on gold with not much head.

S: Malts with a decent amount of fruit, especially some apple and pear, on the nose.

T: Slightly sweet malts hit the palate and open up a bouquet of sweet citrus fruits, apples, pears, and I would hazard to say nectarines. None of the typical astringency associated with a macro lager. Ends rather smoothly on a creamy diacetyl note.

M: Medium body, a decent amount of carbonation, and a creamy finish.

D: I went into this not expecting much, but then was pleasantly surprised. One of the better mass-produced lagers that I've ever had.

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Photo of Trapiste389
3.11/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A goledn straw colored beer, with a rocky, perhaps even lacy head. Not bad for a light lager.

Aroma: Moderate grain and fruit flavor with a bit of metalic/skunky hints.

Flavor first to apear is the heavy carbonation, then grainy/fruity notes with the rice following. Taste disapears very abruptly with little to no afteraste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation and not much else.

Drinkability: This is where this beer does it's best. It makes up for flavor with a nice refrehing drinkabillity, very smooth and light.

I do not usually like these asian adjunct beers but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Not my favorite beer, but not the worst one I've tried either.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.25/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly standard adjunct lager. Not devoid of flavor in the least. Drinkable - no biting or harsh feel.

The label says pale "Pilsen" beer. This doesn't make me think of Pilsner Urquell - lacks a pronounced hoppy nose and/or taste. If this is in fact cut with corn or rice it's not taking away much from the flavor - which is perhaps equal parts semi-sweet barley mash and subtle cooked cornitude. The taste is one of those tastes that I'm on the fence with - at the right temperature and setting I might puke if I have one too many, and if cold enough and in the right setting, I could knock back a dozen of 'em.

By the way, pours very pale golden, limp headed, almost no bubbles within, very clean. I'd drink this at a party if it was all they had. There are plenty worse. Reminds me a little of a High Life or Michelob.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
2.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like some of the beer I get, this one was purchased due not to its quality, but its other traits. This is another one that falls into the category of "I've never had one from there before..." San Miguel Premium Lager is from the Philippines, and, hey... it comes in a stubby!

Pretty much everything about the beer is average.

It has a very bright, clear yellow colour, with a little bit of head that leaves nothing on the sides of the glass.

Its smell is a little fruity, but has that whiff of corn or rice in it, too. Not bad, but a little cheap.

The flavour is pretty much the same as the smell. It has some fruitiness to it, but you get a bit of the cheap rice/corn in the finish.

It has a dry finish, and feels fine in the mouth. Oddly, the alcohol comes out a bit at the end.

It's a pretty refreshing plain lager, but is just fair. No thrilla from Manila.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - average basic light yellow colour, lots of carbonation, small fizzy white head. Minimal lacing.

Smell - metallic, slightly skunky, light hops, grainy/bready

Taste & Mouth - lots of carbonation, metallic, distinct flavor

Drink - not a good beer in my books.. drinkable.. but I wouldn't purchase again

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Photo of NODAK
3.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose seemed to be a bit on the sweet malt and hop side, but fairly weak. Nothing to write home about.

Mouthfeel is certainly very thin on this one. Upfront, there's a slight hoppiness that gives it an initial bite, but it's short lived and gives way to a bit of a sweet maltiness that is welcome and rather unexpected by me.

Finish is watery with a little astringency. It may lack a little bit in character but it is definitely drinkable on a hot summer day.

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Photo of glid02
3.33/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at a few places throughout Barcelona.

Pours a clear straw color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of pilsner malts with good amounts adjunct sweetness. While still cold mild amounts of earthy hops temper the sweetness a bit however they fade as it warms.

Tastes a bit better than it smells. Pilsner malts and sweet adjunct flavors kick things off however the adjuncts don't have quite as much influence as they did in the nose. Midway through the sip earthy hop flavors make a brief appearance, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side with prickly carbonation.

Drinkability is also OK. I finished my glass without any problems however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was far from a good beer but I think it can make the argument that it's average, especially for the style.

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Photo of Blitzen15
2.7/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Typical golden and fizzy American Adjunct Lager. Bright white head that was not to thick. Held up to the light it turns more yellow than gold.

S - Very mild potency to the point that it was difficult to grade what I was smelling at all. It did have a slight nutty crisp to it though.

T - A little bit on the strong side for its style but that is good. The nuttiness I smelled before is still in the taste but there is no crispness to it what so ever. Mine always tasted some what flat compared to the rest of the full bodied beer's in its style.

M - slide down the pallet like water, no real win for texture. This beer seemed to be far more of a party brew than a connoisseur's beer because it is so light.

D - Starts off boring but the more I have this beer the more I enjoy it. I could drink this once in a while because it is a change of pace from typical American Adjuncts but the import-price-tag make the beer considerably less appealing than many native competitors.

Purchased at: Ladd's & Co.

served on: 4JUL2010

Serving type: Bottle

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Photo of Chambic
2.78/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: clear yellow, with a frothy head; leaves patchy lace

S: other than the slightly skunky scent, no other aromas were detectable

T: corn and grain, like a cheap beer

M: surprisingly clean, it's light with a good finish; doesn't stay too much on the tongue

D: should have had sake or wine instead, but after snowboarding, you just want a really refreshing brew, even if it's some Philippine lager. I guess it the best they could do to offer an Asian beer in a sushi restaurant.

Notes from 02.12.10 at Bryggen Sushi in Oslo

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.6/5  rDev +30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz stubby bottle into pint glass

A: clear straw-gold. Big white head with impressive retention.

S: Noble hops and some grassiness were the first thing to hit me when I poured. Other than that, it smells like a typical fizzy yellow beer but sweeter and maltier.

T/M: Sweeter than a typical adjunct lager. Minimal to no astringency. Tight carbonation cuts the sweetness. I don't taste corn, and I'm actually guessing there's no corn in the grain bill because corn isn't native to the Philippines. If there's rice in there, I can't taste it. There's some mild, unobtrusive hop bitterness in the finish, just enough to balance. It is a little grainy and grassy at times, but I've had enough adjunct lagers to know it comes with the territory and is just a side effect of the beer being a little too warm.

D: Fizzy yellow beer that doesn't taste like corn or rice? I'm in. Perfect for all-day drinking when it's 95 degrees in the shade.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.91/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a golden color lager with a medium size bubbly head with average retention for the style. Aroma of light adjunct with sweet notes is more or less pleasant. Taste is very similar to most cheap lager out there with loads of corn and other adjunct which provide a sweet malt backbone. Not worth drinking on a regular basis.

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Photo of biegaman
3.35/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Philippines is a sunny place and, indeed, this beer looks like it was left sitting out in it for awhile; it might have originally been a lustrous golden for all I know, but now its colour is completely bleached and its head has been completely vaporized. You wouldn't want to cross the path of those bubbles though, it's like a buffalo charge!

What exactly is a 'premium' lager? Well, for starters, it's the punchline to about a thousand beer-geek jokes. More specifically, it is a beer that is industrially produced on a mass-scale and designed to be as bland and undistinguished as possible. Despite their universal popularity, I personally find them insipid, and occasionally offensive.

San Miguel may be uninteresting but it's far from unpalatable (and I'll take 'tasteless' over 'distasteful' any day). The beer is exceedingly neutral in character but its flavour is subtly sweet and seems surprisingly derived not from corn, but barley. The lack of astringent adjuncts or chemicals in and of itself elevates this above most other brands.

Those who enjoy these types of macro lagers don't shy away from making the claim that they're "like drinking water"; while normally I disagree, in this case I have to concede. This mouthfeel is exceptionally clean and refreshing. A sprightly carbonation massages the tongue shiatsu-style which, after a long day's work, is indeed therapeutic.

This is certainly the most drab and tasteless of all the (otherwise stimulating) Filipino foodstuffs I've tried, but that's not to say I didn't like it. On the contrary, I think 92 million Filipinos have it a lot better than swill drinkers in most other parts of the world. I don't need a beach or a trip to Manila or lechón to enjoy this - I like it just fine for what it is.

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San Miguel Premium Lager from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
2.77 out of 5 based on 398 ratings.
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