In North America, is beer with high alcohol content. Legally, it often includes any alcoholic beverage with 5% or more [ABV|alcohol by volume]] made with malted barley. In common usage, it refers to beers containing a high alcohol content, generally above 6%, which are made with ingredients and processes resembling those for American-style lagers.
In parts of Canada, the term "malt liquor" (French: liqueur de malt) is used to refer to any malt beverages in general.
In order to highlight the potency of malt liquor, American malt liquor brand names and advertisements have stressed themes of power and sexual dominance. Brewers' use of target marketing in advertising malt liquor primarily to young, male African-American residents of inner city areas in the United States has been controversial, due to the drink having higher alcohol content than ordinary beer and the perceived vulnerability of the target audience.