JBU > Intermediate

Beer Styles 201: What is Malt Liquor?

Malt Liquors: where they come from, their appearance, flavour & aroma, palate & mouthfeel, food pairings and serving suggestions are all explained in this Beer Styles 201 article.

Beer Styles 201: What is Malt Liquor?

What is Malt Liquor?

In North America, malt liquor is a beverage brewed with malted barley with a very high alcohol content.

Malt liquor is a strong beer in which adjuncts are added to the brewing process. This boosts the alcohol concentration without changing the taste of the beer. Adjuncts like corn, rice, and even white sugar can be added because more sugar equals more alcohol.

Different regions have different liquor regulations to when a beer is no longer considered a beer and is instead called a malt liquor.

 

Malt Liquor Essential Information:

 

Style Region of Malt Liquors:

American.

Appearance of a Malt Liquor:

Malt liquors often result in a light straw, to golden-orange colour. Other malt liquors can be light copper to deep brown in colour.

Malt Liquor Flavour & Aroma:

There are little no hop characters in malt liquors. Usually, malt liquors tend to be on the sweeter side and sometimes can give off fuel-like aromas and flavours.

Palate & Mouthfeel of Malt Liquors:

Despite their high alcohol content, malt liquors are often very thin and light-bodied. Malt liquors can also be described as finishing dry.

What foods pair well with malt liquors?

High alcoholic light beers light malt liquors pair great with shellfish that have a lot of flavour of their own and shouldn’t be paired with a bold beer. Next time you’re having a bucket of oysters, pair them with a crisp malt liquor.

How to serve a malt liquor?

While malt liquors are usually sold in a large glass bottle, feel free to pour your malt liquor out into a pint glass and serve as a chilled temperature.

 

Looking to try some malt liquors?

Here are some of JustBeer’s favourites malt liquor beers:

Cariboo MaltCariboo Brewing
King CobraAnheuser-Busch InBev
Olde English 800 Malt Liquor
SAB Miller

 

Now that you know everything you need to know about malt liquors, learn about more beer styles below:

Amber Ale / Dark Ale
Amber Lager / Dark Lager
Barleywine
Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale
Berliner Weisse
Bock
Double IPA / Imperial IPA
Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Golden Ale / Blonde Ale
Golden Lager / Pale Lager
Gose
Gruit Beer
India Pale Ale (IPA)
Pale Ale
Pilsner
Porter
Saison
Sour Ale / Wild Ale
Stout
Strong Ale
Weizenbock
Wheat Beer

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