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Imperial - Cerveceria Costa Rica

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

180 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 180
Hads: 481
Avg: 2.84
pDev: 34.86%
Wants: 3
Gots: 56 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cerveceria Costa Rica visit their website
Costa Rica

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 180 | Hads: 481
Photo of EHopkinsi
2.75/5  rDev -3.2%

Ehhh... Had this in Costa Rica, and I tend to factor sentimentality into my reviews. (For example, I love Gallo, but mostly because I had it in Guatemala.) But I can't even muster up any extra love for Imperial just cuz I had it in Jaco before the crowds got there.

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Photo of McStagger
2.75/5  rDev -3.2%

A: Pours a pale/golden yellow. Vigorous carbonation. Head vanishes almost instantly. Thin cap of white foam.

S: Metallic, grainy. Mild neutered hop aroma.

T: Metallica up front. Some grainy notes. Adjunct like without the flagrant corn flakes. Aftertaste just drops off. Very clean. Crisp. Dry. No lingering flavor except for a slight metallic hint.

M: Bright, carbonated, light.

O: Pretty much what you would expect. Goes down easily enough. Doesn't absolutely smack of corn, so it has that going for it. Still, subpar at best.

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Photo of bwood06
2.85/5  rDev +0.4%

Bottle into Pilsner glass

A -Pours a clear golden straw color that has a frothy head. Head is slightly creamier than most light lagers that I have seen. Head dissipates somewhat slowly at first but picks up the pace as time goes on. Seems to be somewhat lightly carbonated. 3.5/5

S - Mostly a base malt aroma with a hint of hops at the end. Corn. There is an undertone of rice. Very little hop aroma. There is something else to the aroma that I can't quite place… Possibly somewhat skunked… Hint of yeast. 2.5/5

T - Malt and grain centered, but very lightly flavored. Light bitterness from the hops on the back end. Hops are somewhat floral. Hint of corn. Maybe a bit of white bread. Not a whole lot going on here. 2.5/5

M - Very light and dry. Hard to tell that there was anything in my mouth once it's been swallowed. Some carbonation but not a lot. 3/5

O - Very light tasting, light feeling beer. Can't say that I will ever buy this again in the US considering all of the other, cheaper light beers available. Hard to pay $10 for 6 when it's comparable in enjoyment to Miller Lite, etc. Happy to have had the chance to try it though. 2.75/5

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Photo of wethorseblanket
2.75/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best before date on neck: 30 Jan 2015.

A: Pours a clear straw yellow under a 1/4-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and leaves semi-rings and spots of lace.

N: Corn, malt, yeast, some floral, faint citrus and grass/hay.

T: Crisp and clean, malty/grainy, yeasty. Simple and fairly bland.

M: Light body and semi-medium carbonation. Semi-dry, yeasty and malty finish.

O: Straight forward and singular. Pura Vida.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.18/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Golden filtered, moderate random rising carbonation, a finger of white head.

S: Malts like a Helles Lager, skunk, sweet corn.

T: Light and crisp, light malt, light canned corn, light offal.

M: Light body, foamy carbonation. Crisp dry finish.

O: A typical beer for this style, I’ve never had a beer from Costa Rica before, so when I found this at Whole Foods in Savannah, I was glad to have a chance to try it. Well done for the style, just nothing outstanding in a craft beer world. Drank at Cocoa Beach, FL, July 10th

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.65/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Best by 30 Oct 2014 at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of grain
Head average (3 cm), white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring
Lacing good – complete rings of small bubbles
Body light golden, clear
Flavor of what? Not corn or rice? Some other Costa Rican grain or expander? Odd graininess atypical of AAL – not bad, just odd. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl. Ends with some sourness, just enough to be noticeable.
Palate light, watery, lively carbonation.

Drinkable but not desirable.

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Photo of humuloner22
2.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a good go to on a warm summer day. Since Costa Rica and Greece were playing in the World Cup today I thought I would drink a few and give it a review. I have drank this beer numerous time over the years and most of the time it was in bottles. I think cans make it better as long as you keep them ice cold. That pretty much goes for any beer in this style.

Appearance: I poured it in a glass pale yellow nothing special from that standpoint.

Smell: grainy adjunct smells. Smells like your dads beer.

Taste: Crisp lager, as long as its cold, once it warms the flavors get a little nasty. As someone who drinks a lot of IPA's this is a weak beer. But for what it is it isn't bad and like I said I have drank it a lot over the years. I caught this one sale in cans so I figured what the hell, especially since little Costa Rica is rocking it in the World Cup.

Overall: If you like lagers and you want something that is reasonable in price and different because its not what you normally drink try it. It isn't going to blow you away but its not bad for what it is.

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Photo of buschbeer
2.93/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - It is straw colored and topped with three inches of white head that disappeared quickly with no lacing.

S - It has a sweet smell along with ground grain, specifically corn and wheat.

T - The taste starts out sweet. Then comes the grain flavors.

M - Thin

O - For a Latin American lager it ain't bad. I would chose this over a lot of Mexican lagers. Then again I hope I rarely have that choice.

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Photo of Foyle
3.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz can into schooner glass.

Appearance: pours a sudsy white head which rapidly recedes with some lacing remaining. Color is a pale straw with moderate streaming carbonation.

Aroma: mild aroma of lightly toasted malt and a bit of lemon.

Mouthfeel: light and crisp, slightly papery, with a pleasant finish.

Flavor: corn sweetness, white bread, with a mild hop bit in the finish.

Overall: a very pleasant light lager.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
2.55/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Extremely light yellow, very very watery-looking. Fizzy white head fades and leaves no lacing. A few lazy loose bubbles rise.

S: I could smell the skunk the moment I opened the bottle. Corn and malt. This truly is not appetizing.

T: A slight step up from the nose: watery filler malts (corn, rice), it still has a classic sessionable light beer flavor. As uninspired as the flavor are, the drinkability is through the roof- I almost accidentally drained this thing in one gulp.

M: Light bodied in the extreme, the rather high carbonation is all that lets me know this isn't water or malt-tea.

O: Like corn? Like water? Drink up.
(Really not a BAD beer, but don't expect any innovation. This is a drinkable, unoffensively flavored, mindless gulping beer.)

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Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
2/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cerveza Imperial was my beer of choice while visiting Costa Rica, it was quite refreshing and hit the spot when exploring the various areas of the countryside and myriad of beaches. Pours watery, with a light yellow sparkling appearance, and usually had a small frothy head that dissipated relatively fast. It was easy to drink, had hints of grains, cereals, and grasses, and it did have a mild aftertaste. Light filling, easy to palate, average alc. content.

The most available Central American produced beer in the United States. I have procured it in Chicago (IL), Berwyn (IL), Oak Park (IL), Champaign (IL), Edinburg (TX), and McAllen (TX). I also consumed it all over Costa Rica....

Costa Rica August 2010

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Photo of FLima
2.57/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bright light golden color with a two finger relatively thick head with medium retention.
Light aroma of floral hops and bready malt. A hint of adjunct when it warms up.
Refreshing flavor of floral hops balanced with a perfect level of malt sweetness. Hints of non-malted cereals and minerals, not that intense. Finishes smooth with a mildly dry aftertaste.
Light body with good carbonation with a mild spicy feeling.
A crisp and refreshing Adjunct Lager, above average with less intense off-flavors, especially when drank cold. But far from great.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from the local supermarket in Glendale, Colorado. Cool evil-looking avian label imagery.

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden straw colour, with two fingers of puffy, thinly foamy off-white head, which leaves some sparsely strewn specks of sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly drops away.

It smells of semi-sweet corn mash and grainy pale malt, a bit of cooked veggies, mild acetone notes, and faint earthy, weedy hops. The taste is gritty pale malt and corn husk graininess, a subtle acrid, strung out orchard fruitiness, nail polish remover, and lightly skunked weedy, musty hops.

The bubbles are fairly effervescent and mildly fizzy, the body medium-light in weight, thin, and watery in its generic smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the lingering corn and grain malt maintaining just enough gas to continue fencing with the fading skunky and phenolic essences.

More standard mass-produced swill, probably tastes 'better' colder and under a hot sub-tropical sun, yadda, yadda, yadda. Nothing worthy drinking, unless you have no other options, or you have Costa Rica on the mind.

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Photo of Brenden
2.88/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very pale yellow with a fizzy white head that actually manages a finger and leaves spotting on the glass. I might have been expecting less; average overall.
It's grassy with some huskiness to it and very much flaunting its adjuncts, and the typical green apple skin, but there may also be a touch of citrus adding a little something to the character. As a bad beer, it could certainly be worse. The taste offers a little more than the smell, as the lightness combined with the sickly sweetness underneath is too much.
Obviously light in body, it stays more on the thin side which avoids the nasty slickness that's the other side of the spectrum with these. It's as crisp as it should be.

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Photo of Portertime
1.59/5  rDev -44%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: using my trusty Kirin glass for this one. Wow, this is one of the thinnest beers I have ever poured. It is only a yellow tinged watery color with minimal bubbling action and no head. I bet it has just about the same amount of calories as a light beer but they don’t specify it on the label. I actually read that the FDA wants to put nutritional content labels on beer soon. I have witnessed this on a bottle of wine named Quady Electra.
Smell: faint, husky, musty hops and cooked vegetables.
Taste: very light bodied. Almost no malt sweetness nor hop bitterness. Somehow it is all balanced and very smooth drinking as a consequence. This is fine to sip on a hot day, no need to pair with anything. I’m a little curious what the calorie content is.

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Photo of kots84
1.79/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Appearance - Pile gold yellow color with a white head.

Smell - Malt present with sweet corn.

Taste - Still getting the malt. A little of the corn with some hop. The taste is very weak.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is good. A little thin.

Overall - Was not impress with this beer at all. The weakest lager I have had outside a light beer.

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Photo of spoony
3.2/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From a 355 ml bottle (dated October 20, 2013) into a globe glass.

A-The brew is light, yellowish gold in color and crystal clear. There are a few active streams of thick carbonation. The head is thin white foam that recedes quickly to a cap then to a collar.

S-The smell is mostly sweet corn and grains with some grassy straw and a light bitterness. Pretty typical.

T-The taste loses a touch of corn, but that is still the predominant flavor. As with the smell, there is a slightly bitter grassy straw flavor that lingers on the palate.

M-The feel is light with a chunky carbonation that prickles the roof of my mouth. It matches the style and flavors well. An easy drinker, for sure.

O-Is this a good beer? No, not really. Is it a beer that I drank repeatedly on my vacation in Costa Rica a few years back? Yes. Was it appropriate for said Costa Rican vacation? Absolutely. In all seriousness, this is a light-drinking AAL with very little going on smell or taste-wise. I can suggest this brew as a beach/pool beer, but not much more.

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Photo of Carlton1964
1.54/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

There is a reason Costa Rica is NOT known for there fine brews...this is the reason. Looks like a basic pilsner, smells lke a basic pilsner, tastes like a stale pilsner, and leaves a dry feel in mouth after the first swallow. Over all, I'd say if let with this as your option for beer, choose anything else or just go thirsty.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
Bottled 30Sept2012
A- This beer pours a bright yellow crystal clear body with a snow white egg cream top and swirls of microbubbles popping to the surface.

S- The clean green sulfur note is all that comes through with a slight sweetness.

T- The light sweetness has a corn flour taste with a green hop hint in the finish with a slight fruity taste as it opens. The green bitter hint lingers for a moment after each sip. There is a touch of carbonic acid that blends with a touch of sweetness at the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz finish an no alcohol heat.

O- The crisp clean lager has a nice touch of green hops that is supported by a hint of sweetness and the carbonation makes it very drinkable. I cut my teeth on beer in Costa Rica drinking this beer so it may be the memories but I haven’t tasted it in years and it still taste just as nice without the scenery.

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Photo of sajaffe1
2.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into a glass tankard

A- This lager has a golden blonde color. There are a lot of bubbles and it looks like any adjunct lager.

S- There is a large amount of corn with a hint of hops. There is nothing really interesting here.

T- Still a lot of corn with a low-moderate amount of hopping. A bit of crispness is noticeable at the finish.

M- Medium carbonation makes it feel like a standard adjunct lager.

O- Nothing exciting, but nothing offensive about this beer. I might as well drink Miller Highlife and save a few bucks.

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Photo of smokinyodas
3/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recently had a 6 pack of these beers last night, it was on sale for $6 and liked it alot with my Mexican dinner. Nice light malt mouthfeel, clean crisp hops, no skunky after taste. Reminds me of something better than a Corona but maybe not as good as a Radeburger. Overall a very drinkable Pale Lager on a hot summer day that shouldn't break the piggy bank.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.04/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, with a best by date of 30March2013.

appears crystal clear pale yellow color, very little head. also very little aroma, maybe just a little cracked corn and grassy notes, pretty neutral. taste is slightly sweet grainy flavor. very clean. finishes dry. thin body, medium to high level of carbonation.

overall - actually not that bad. just very plain and low on flavor. could drink like water on a hot day no problem.

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Photo of bluejacket74
2.36/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle, date of 30 Dec 2012 printed on it, I assume that's the best by date. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear straw gold color with about an inch white head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is mostly sweet and grainy malt, along with a bit of skunk. Unfortunately it's a little worse tasting than it smells. It tastes mostly like skunky, grainy malt. I've tasted worse, but I can't say this is exactly appealing, and it gets worse the longer I drink it. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. It's worth trying just for the tick, but I wouldn't buy a sixer of this. Just stick with one bottle like I did. $1.59 a single.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.28/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

this is no good. i guess its okay because it doesnt taste like the can, but it does taste like apple juice a little bit, for some odd reason. the pour is standard piss, lots of bubbles. the nose is pretty off putting, skunky and acidic, flavor is apple juice and watery malt. its one of those cheap beers that ends up in the fridge sometimes because my roomates traveled in latin america and i guess it reminds them of good times or something, but to me this is crap. sits heavy in the gut, is too light to get drunk off of, and is just a pretty repulsive adjunct beer. no thanks

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Photo of beergoot
3.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light straw body with a nice white head. Faint malt aroma, perhaps a bit of corn and/or rice. Taste has a slight corn flavor; kind of biscuit-like; hint of alcohol. Bubbly, light, crisp, dry body; watery.

Fits the style profile to a "T" for an American adjunct lager. With that said, other than a decent appearance, this example isn't much to get excited about. I'd drink one again in a pinch (but will look to use my other five bottles for cooking), but would rather have a Budweiser if given a choice. Then again, if there are choices, I'll stick with most craft lagers over this beer or a Bud. American adjunct lagers, as a general style, just don't cut it for me.

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Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
67 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.