Review: What Does Modelo Oro Taste Like? Is it a Good Beer?

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Modelo Oro is an ultra-premium light beer with 90 calories and three carbs brewed in Mexico by Grupo Modelo and distributed in the United States by Crown Imports.

The beer’s name, translated as gold in Spanish, is marketed as the “gold standard of light beer” that “seals in Modelo’s golden flavor to deliver an exceptionally smooth, elevated taste with a crisp, clean finish.”

Whatever that means.

Oro is another premium light beer created to take a bite out of the dominance of Michelob Ultra. Does this premium beer offering stack up? We go digging into gold to find out its true value. 

History: When was Modelo Oro released?

Modelo Oro is a recent addition to the very successful Modelo family of beers. Oro joins Modelo Especial and their marketing campaign known as the Fighting Spirit, along with Negra Modelo, a much-loved dark lager, in May of 2023. 

The new Oro light beer’s release comes nearly a century after Modelo started operation near Mexico City in 1925. Today, the Modelo brand boasts the number one selling beer in the United States with Modelo Especial, considered by many as an authentic cerveza perfect match to classic Mexican dishes or to celebrate Mexican cultural events such as Cinco de Mayo. 

Ostensibly, this new light beer, with fewer calories than Modelo Especial but a “premium flavor,” is designed to fill a market for a high-end light cerveza and lagers created with the success of Michelob Ultra. Other beer brands have aimed to capture the Michelob Ultra market, including Corona with Corona Premier

US owners of Modelo, Constellations Brands wrote of Oro in their introductory press release the following:

“Filling a void in the high-end light beer category, Modelo Oro is a time-crafted cerveza that seals in the golden flavor of Modelo to deliver an exceptionally smooth, elevated light beer with a crisp, clean finish that is worthy of the name “gold.”

“People are increasingly reaching for high-end, premium light beer offerings,” said Greg Gallagher, Vice President of Brand Marketing at Modelo. “After a successful regional launch in which two-thirds of buyers were new to the Modelo brand**, we’re confident that offering Modelo Oro across the country as the new gold standard for light beer will help us build authentic connections with new drinkers.”


Ultra Premium Light Beer is more of a marketing term than a recognized beer style. Modelo Oro, thus, fits appropriately in light beer categories if referring to the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. 

Flavor: What Does Modelo Oro Taste Like?

A light beer’s flavor is all in its subtlety. Appropriately, Oro tastes of lightly toasted malt balanced by what I’m describing as “twangy” bitterness. The beer is one-dimensional, thin, and lacking in beer character. There is no hop flavor or muddled bitterness in the finish. 


High carbonation accentuates the low-medium body. It is watery with a sharp finish, coupled with an unpleasant aftertaste. 


Modelo Oro smells of bread flour from lightly toasted malt. I detect no hops in the aroma. The beer is very clean and free of any notable fermentation characteristics. 


The beer’s color is straw yellow and very clear. The highly carbonated light lager pours a thin white foam head that spreads to the edge of my pilsner glass

Calories and Nutritional Information

Most light beers’ calorie counts hover around 90 to 100 calories. The 90-calorie count puts Oro at the low end of this range. Additionally, the beer lists three carbs, less than a gram of protein, and no fat per 12-ounce serving. 

Alcohol Content

Alcohol can contribute a sizable portion of calories to a beer. Modelo Oro’s ABV sits at 4 percent, which makes it a low alcohol offering compared to standard lagers. 

Brewing Process & Ingredients

Light cervezas are brewed with pale malt, hops, water, yeast, and adjuncts like corn. 

What’s the Best Way to Drink Modelo Oro

Best Temperature to Drink This Light Lager?

As cold as possible. 

Can, bottle or glass?

I’m unsure if this beer is bottled, and it is probably pretty limited if the draft is available. The beer comes in a slender, white aluminum can, which reminds me a lot of – you guessed it – Michelob Ultra. 

Food Pairings

Food is a great way to ensure you drink responsibly. The carbonation will help cleanse your palate of rich, fatty foods, but the lack of flavor limits synergistic combinations. 

Modelo Oro Light Beer Would Suit?

Modelo Oro is right up your alley if you’re a light beer fan. The beer is perfect for backyard BBQs or a day of golf. It could be a better food match and lacks some nuance in the finish, but it will be satisfying on a hot day.

Similar Beers?

Some beers that are reasonably similar to Modelo Oro are:

What Do Other People Think of Modelo Oro?

Beer reviewers don’t hate Modelo Oro. The beer receives mediocre ratings. 

ReviewerModelo Oro
Untappd3.9 out 5
Rate Beer3.3 out of 5
Influenster4.2 out of 5
Beer Advocate78 (okay)

Final Thoughts: Is Modelo Oro a Good Beer?

While I’m not surprised, I’m disappointed as this beer is marketed as an ultra-premium offering.

The beer lacks the nuance and flavor I associate with ultra-premium – even light beers. For $17 or $18 a 12-pack, I should not think this beer reminds me of beer we used in college for beer pong. Give it a try, and let me know if I’m off here. 

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Andy Sparhawk is an avid beer lover and the former editor-in-chief for Andy is the lead writer for The Beer Babe and lives in Westminster, Colorado, with his family. As beer enthusiast and experienced beer judge, he loves sharing his experiences with The Beer Babe's dedicated audience of beer enthusiasts.