Have you heard about Miller Fortune yet? Well, you’re going to. Miller Fortune is Miller Coors answer to Bud Light Platinum, Anheuser-Busch’s high strength premium lager. Miller Fortune, though, ups the ante with an alcohol content of 6.9% by volume, compared to 6% for Bud Light Platinum.
The merit of a good beer, however, is based on far more than its alcohol content. It should taste good, or what’s the point? And I had high hopes that Miller Fortune might actually taste good, at least based upon the media buzz around it. Just look at this headline from the January 27th edition of Business Insider:
“MillerCoors Debuts A Bourbon-Flavored Beer
That It Wants You To Drink From A Whiskey Glass”
In the article, Miller Brewing is quoted as follows:
"We asked, 'How would Jack Daniels or Maker’s Mark do a beer and why?'" David Kroll, MillerCoors' head of innovation, told Bloomberg. "We tortured every aspect to say, 'Are we falling back on what beer would do?' Because this brand is intended to play in a spirits occasion."
In a January 30th article, Bloomberg describes Miller Fortune as having “a malty, complex flavor hinting at bourbon”. Which only begs the question, did any of these folks actually taste the beer? Because there is nothing bourbonesque about Miller Fortune. Let’s see what I think, shall we?
Miller Fortune pours to a beautiful golden amber color with a medium sized head of creamy foam and a nose that is a bit sweet but can mostly be described as a lot like popping open a can of corn. As I take a sip, I get more of that corn flavor in the palate, and I come to the conclusion that the color of this beer is the best aspect of it. To be fair, the beer is smooth, and I do get a little caramel malt underneath. But only a little, and the corn quickly emerges as the dominate aspect here. I’m not getting any hops in the finish, which is sweet, and just a bit warm with alcohol. Corn is the dominate flavor here, and that is not a good thing. At all.
My take: in all honesty, and plain language, this beer sucks. It's the same old corn-fed crap the megabrewers have been feeding us for decades, only with more alcohol and more corn flavor. All of the marketing hype around serving this beer in a whiskey glass is just that: hype. That hype led me to fork over my hard earned $6.99 for a six-pack of Miller Fortune, but it was way off the mark.
Miller calls this a “spirited golden lager: and on the six-pack call it “undistilled”. They are really pushing the spirits connection without trying to make a decent beer, which I find very pretentious. My bottles all have a “Best by” date of June 23 2014.
The lesson to be learned here is that the megabrewers have not learned their lesson. Instead of worrying about the spirits market and trying to compete with it, they should be looking to the craft brewing industry and emulating its success. Craft beers and microbrews are an exploding segment of the market, and an ever growing one. There’s a simple reason for this: people want a better tasting beer.
In fact, craft brewers have no problem competing with the spirits industry, with a non-stop parade of very flavorful specialty brews topping 10% alcohol by volume. And they sell the stuff, sometimes in a matter of hours as was the case here in Georgia with Terrapin Cinnamon Roll Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Stout, as just one example. Miller Coors, however, has learned nothing. Instead of making a better beer, they’ve given us the same old corn lager, in fact an even “cornier” lager, with more alcohol.
I can’t recommend this beer at all. If you’re looking for a decent lager beer, try Samuel Adams Boston Lager or something from your local craft brewer instead.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.