In simplest terms, malt liquor is just a high-powered beer with greater alcohol content than standard beer. Where standard beer typically comes in under 4%, malt liquor is closer to 6% or greater. Some can be as high as 8%. Beyond just higher alcohol content, one of the other defining elements of malt liquor is its color. It’s not so much the shade―it can range from a light straw color to a pale amber―it’s the fact that it’s not clean. It’s like looking at a hazy sky on a hot summer day. You can see the blue, but something just isn’t right.
The important thing to note is that malt liquor is not really liquor. Because it’s a malt-based beverage, it’s nothing more than beer with a cool name and a greater buzz capacity.