Those words opened the letter sent to me by the folks behind Miller Light's latest potential product - the Miller Light Brewers Collection. "A triumvirate of craft-style light beers" - each of the beers looks to fill a light craft beer niche by offering fewer calories and carbohydrates than beers with a somewhat similar taste.
The selections: MLBC Amber - a New Belgium Fat Tire doppelganger, MLBC Wheat - a Blue Moon competitor, and MLBC Blonde Ale - a potential Bass Ale replacement.
What's to gain by choosing the Miller Light options? With the amber, a difference of 49 calories and 7.8 carbs per 12 ozs. The wheat saves you 59 calories and 7,4 carbs over Blue Moon. And the Blonde Ale saves you 45 calories and 7.3 carbs over Bass.
In order to give these beers the full and effective test, we drank them in a usual light beer setting - while barbecuing. Comparing the beers to their targets would be the fairest way of reviewing them - but since we're not exactly regular drinkers of any of the target beers - we'll do our best at guessing.
The literature than came with the beer describes the amber: "The color in MLBC Amber comes from specially selected caramel and roasted malts; it offers a mild hop character for a bold yet refreshing flavor." We picked up a metallic zing in the nose, with a watery/corny flavor and a hint of alcohol. My notes also say "blah". So if we're sticking with the threesome theme, and you were hoping "amber" was going to show up wearing this...
Don't be too disappointed when she shows up wearing this:
Does it compare well to Fat Tire? Well considering the low scores (a 2.0 average) we've given Fat Tire before, perhaps it does OK.
Company Line: "The Wheat offers especially appealing flavor dimensions, with a subtle citrus character for a clean, refreshing beer." We got a hint of lemon zest, a light/nothing body, a taste of lemon/corn, and a slightly locker-room nose. So if you're looking at the Blue Moon for a threesome, maybe this is a decent stand-in. Depends what you're into.
Surprisingly enough, MLBC Blonde Ale did not make the Brugge glass burst into flames.
Miller (the gigantic multinational monster, not friendly Ted) says:"The Blonde Ale offers a crispness and slight maltiness that's balanced by a recognizable hop aroma." We got a little hop and malt nose, roasted corn flavors, a watery finish, and a lingering antiseptic/footy/paint aftertaste. Having said that, it wasn't undrinkable.
Using google to search for an idea to go with blonde threesome is going to require some private time.