Should MALT LIQUOR (malt and adjunct) and PALE LAGER - IMPERIAL / STRONG (generally more on the malty/alcohol side) be merged together, and have PILSENER - IMPERIAL (generally more hoppy) separated instead?
Here’s the definitions of BeerAdvocate on this one, I would say this is rather correct.
EUROPEAN STRONG LAGER . Many breweries around the world brew a stronger version of their regular lager. In the US, there is Ice Beer and Malt Liquor, both of which rely on a high amount of rice or corn to lighten the flavor. Many European and Asian breweries also have a strong lager similar to Malt Liquor, although these examples are made with more malt or all malt. Many breweries rush the fermentation so the final brew won’t be too light, and signs of higher alcohols will be noticed in the aroma and flavor.
MALT LIQUOR Straw to pale amber in color, most Malt Liquors are made with excessive amounts of adjuncts, such as corn, rice, and refined brewing sugar (dextrose). As a result, there are very few “all malt” malt liquors. Hops are used sparingly, just enough bitterness to balance off any cloyingness. Higher alcohol versions tend to have loads of fusel alcohol, which gives off solvent or fuel-like aromas and flavors. They are highly attenuated, meaning a higher ratio of fermentable sugars are present compared to some other beers, allowing the brewer to achieve a high alcohol content without using as many ingredients. Some breweries enable the use of special enzymes to further break down the malt and adjuncts so they will yield a higher percentage of alcohol. This makes for quite a dry beer, with only a small amount of unfermented sugars and a strong kick from the higher ABV. For the most part, Malt Liquor beers are sold in 40-ounce bottles.
AMERICAN IMPERIAL PILSNER Similar to a Pilsner in appearance, but expect a more pronounced malty backbone and an intense bitterness. Malt flavors tend to be quite sweet in many examples. Alcohol can be quite aggressive and lend some spicy notes to the flavor.