Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

Meet Miller Fortune, MillerCoors' Bourbon-Flavored Beer

By Evan Rytlewski
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The last couple quarters haven't been generous to MillerCoors, which has seen U.S. sales slip for its staple light beers Miller Lite and Coors Light. The company's solution to that business problem seems logical enough, then: Make darker beer.

In February Miller will launch its latest beer, a 6.9% ABV golden lager positioned to compete with Bud's popular high-alcohol beer Bud Light Platinum. It's called Miller Fortune, and it will come in a black, embossed bottle and with a long-shot marketing campaign seeking to appeal to twenty-something drinkers, who are increasingly turning to spirits over beer.

"We asked, ’How would Jack Daniels or Maker’s Mark do a beer and why?’” MillerCoors head of innovation David Kroll 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.”

The beer reportedly has bourbon-like flavor notes. Miller even suggests it be served in a rocks glass instead of the traditional pint glass. According to Bloomberg:
Fortune is a golden lager brewed in part with Cascade hops to give it a citrusy bite and caramel malt to impart an amber hue. Bloomberg got an exclusive early tasting. Developed with guys aged 21 to 27 in mind, the flavor is moderately bitter with hints of sweetness, resting somewhere between a craft beer and a light lager. The flavors will emerge even more as the rocks glass warms in the hand, [MillerCoors brewmaster Manny] Manuele said.

“They are going to hold a beer glass in a way they haven’t held a beer glass before,” he said.
So there you have it: a Miller beer that grows better as it warms in your hand as opposed to ever more undrinkable. We'll believe it when we see it, but if nothing else this could make for some interesting Super Bowl commercials.

UPDATE Feb. 11: Well, turns out the beer isn't so bourbon-like after all. Here's our review.
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