MillerCoors is introducing a beer that’s designed to appeal to whiskey drinkers, reports Duane D. Stanford in Bloomberg Businessweek (2/3/14). "We asked, ‘How would Jack Daniel’s or Maker’s Mark do a beer and why?’" says MillerCoors innovation chief David Kroll. "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 brand is called Miller Fortune, "a golden lager brewed in part with Cascade hops to give it a citrusy bite and caramel malt to impart an amber hue."
Miller Fortune is 6.9 percent alcohol, compared to "4 percent to 5 percent for most regular beers, while still less than crafts such as many India pale ales." The taste is “moderately bitter with hints of sweetness," a "malty, complex flavor hinting at bourbon." It is meant to be imbibed in a "stubby rocks glass" so that "flavors emerge even more as the rocks glass warms in the hand," according to brewmaster Manny Manuele, who adds: "They are going to hold a beer glass in a way they haven’t held a beer glass before."
The bottle is also quite different, featuring an "angular design" that is said to evoke "a guy in a tapered, athletic-cut suit … The bottle is jet black … with a black label accented with battleship gray. A bright red, scripted M for Miller provides a single splash of color." (image) While the effect might make the bottle hard to see in a dark bar, tests find it actually helps make it stand out. In any case, says David Kroll, "the lack of overt branding on this brand is the branding." It’s hoped that Miller Fortune will appeal to younger consumers, who have been abandoning beer in favor of harder stuff.