Chill Out

miller_chillA few weeks back, I did a write-up for Taste T.O. on Moosehead Light Lime and Red Baron Lime, a pair of beers that hit the shelves in Ontario in the dying days of summer, attempting to ride to coattails of the incomprehensibly popular Bed Light Lime. You can click through to read the whole thing if you’d like, but the condensed version is that neither of them is especially good when judged purely as a beer, but the Red Baron was at least a drinkable and somewhat refreshing beverage.

Soon afterwards, I got an email from Adam Moffat, a rep from Molson who I’ve met a couple of times, with an offer to send me a sample of Miller Chill. While not available in Ontario, Molson has recently introduced it into the Alberta market, and Adam was curious to know what I might think of it, even given my general dislike for the lime beer gimmick. I took him up on the offer, making it clear that he shouldn’t expect a glowing review, and he followed through with a delivery a couple of days later.

In my typical fashion, I stuck a bottle in the fridge and then promptly forgot about it until this evening when I found it stashed in the back. With the temperature outside hovering down near the freezing point, it’s certainly not ideal weather for what’s supposed to be a summer quaffer, but I’ve never been one to worry about that sort of thing. So let’s get this done…

It pours a pale gold with a small white head that disappears remarkably quickly. The aroma is initially not so pleasant, offering that stale malt and wet corn husk smell that I get from many mass produced lagers, but that slowly clears and is replaced with notes of candyish lime. The body is thin and crisp, as expected from a light lager, and the flavour holds very little that can be described as “beer-like” – it’s more reminiscent of Sprite with a very, very faint wisp of malt.

Bottom line: Like the three aforementioned products, this is not a brew for serious beer drinkers. It’s for people who want to throw back a few lightly flavoured and slightly sweet alcoholic beverages on a patio, or at a party, or in other situations where people drink a lot without really thinking about what they’re drinking. Regardless of how much it may offend my pretentious beer geek sensibilities, there obviously is – and always will be – a large market for such beers, and for better or worse, Miller Chill serves that market well.