Dateline 07/24/2012, by Radon86
Blind Taste Test - Miller High Life vs Hamm's vs Lone Star
This test pits three American Macro Lagers against one another in a blind taste test. These three beers are not only of the same style but as it turns out they are virtually identical in color. I wasn't pumped up to do this test as I figured it would be three beers that I not only really didn't like but that tasted the same. As it turns out though, differences were perceptible and weren't even that hard to pick out, so I'm really glad I did this test. Drinking these beers on different days perhaps months or years apart, you sometimes start to think there aren't really any differences, however, there definitely were differences revealed in this test. They weren't earth shattering mind you, and in fact my 'enjoyment' of these beers only spanned a total of 1 point,... but they weren't identical.
I couldn't detect a difference in color in these three beers, so appearance-wise they were virtually identical.
Miller High Life - The beer that turned out to be Miller High Life ended up being the beer with the least amount of carbonation and a slightly slick or soapy mouth-feel. (It sorta reminded me of the mouth-feel I get with certain beers from Samuel Adams.) When it comes to flavor, there were no off flavors which was good, and I suppose one could say this had the most flavor, at least the most good beer flavor, but it was by a very small margin. The big differences were the lighter carbonation and the slick mouth-feel.
Lone Star - The beer that turned out to be Lone Star had a carbonation level that was clearly between the other two. But when it comes to flavor Lone Star from start to finish had the dirtiest, most adjuncty flavor of the beers in this test. It really wasn't even close.
Hamm's - The beer that turned out to be Hamm's clearly had the most carbonation of any of the beers in this test. (funny because when I reviewed it the other day I pretty much said it didn't have peppy carbonation, but compared to the other two beers in this test, it certainly does.) When it comes to flavor there were no real off flavors to speak of, so in that respect it was very similar to Miller High Life, in fact looking at flavor alone, Hamm's was easily the most similar to Miller High Life. However, Hamm's had a cleaner mouth-feel and the aforementioned more aggressive carbonation.
So, which beer did I like the best,... Well, this one was close, at least for the top spot, so I'll start with the beer I liked the least. It was Lone Star. The adjuncty flavor was a turn off. So, ultimately, for me, it was clearly my least favorite. As for the top spot, the flavor of Hamm's and Miller High Life were real close, in fact it seemed the big differences between the two were the lighter carbonation of Miller High Life, which I liked, and the non-slick mouth-feel of Hamm's which I liked. So, it was a virtual dead heat; however if forced to choose between the two, I'd pick Hamm's due to the mouth-feel. But it was a close run thing and I was glad to see that Miller-Coors isn't using the same exact beer in two different brands. (at least not in Hamm's and Miller High Life) That being said, they were pretty bloody close. The last thing I'll mention about this test, is that unlike some of the others I've run lately, this one didn't change as the beers warmed, the differences noted and my enjoyment of each stayed basically the same from the first sip, to the last. I don't know what that means, but I figured I had to mention it. At any rate, always remember, the best beer is the beer you like best.
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