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Imperial - Cerveceria Costa Rica


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333 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 2.75
pDev: 22.55%

Brewed by:
Cerveceria Costa Rica visit their website
Costa Rica

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002)
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Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 160 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

2.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear yellow in color with some light visible carbonation. The beer has a 3/4 finger white foamy head that reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with thicker patches and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Strong aromas of grainy malts with very little sweetness and a hint of apple as the beer warms up.

T: This beer has some more hops than I was expecting and not as sweet as many others in the style. There is a good amount of grainy malts but not a ton of sweetness from them. The hops balances out the flavor.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Probably one of the beers I was surprised by the balance of flavor since that is not common in the style. Definitely easy to drink and sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 00:51:12 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of LiquidSanity


3.83/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ap: Hazy, golden yellow color with apparent carbonation throughout. 1 inch head that quickly fades away. A tiny bit of lacing is present. Looks like cider.

Ar: Skunky corn adjunct odor. Meh. Worst part of the beer. But it is misleading.

Ta: Wait is this cider? This sure tastes like it. This has a very pleasant sweet flavor. Apple flavors are present but the skunk and metallic aftertaste is not. Very impressive for an adjunct. It is very tasty.

Mf: mild carbonation. Semi-watery texture. Still very refreshing however.

Ov: This may just become my go-to adjunct cheap fix. It has a much better flavor than Bud, smoother texture than Busch and PBR while still refreshing like a Miller High Life without the heavy carbonation. This beer is a winner. And it's cheap. I still have 5 more to go. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 02:26:25 | More by LiquidSanity
Photo of kenito799

New York

2.63/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into chilled glass

This brew is refershing and inoffensive...standard Latin American mass produced macrolager. The aroma is grassy, the malt is crisp with standard slightlager bitterness. Nice and refreshing in Costa Rica, better than Budweiser.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2012 00:46:27 | More by kenito799
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from the bottle. I had this with dinner at Tacos and Tequila in Raleigh.

The smell is grainy and faintly grassy. The flavor is light, grainy, and lightly grassy. The mouthfeel is light and crisp but smooth.

This is a light lager that's easy to drink, unoffensive, smooth, and refreshing, but unfortunately, forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 00:42:59 | More by tdm168
Photo of far333


3.3/5  rDev +20%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow, very clear with steams of fine bubbles rising quickly to the top. A bright white head of tightly bubbled foam sizzles down to nothing. Aroma of honey malt, some floral notes, grainy.

Flavors of biscuity malt, some floral hops, mild bitterness, subtle corn and buttery notes. Very smooth and even flavors, well balanced. Doesn't have that acrid aftertaste that so many adjunct lagers seem to have. Somewhat thin mouthfeel, but full enough. Overall not a bad beer, totally drinkable. One of the better adjunct lagers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 23:39:29 | More by far333
Photo of rwrk42

New Jersey

2.25/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Decent head at first pour but settles very quickly.

Smell: Very light & mild hop aroma. Other than that there is not much to it.

Taste: Very Light bodied but clean and smooth. Not much taste or flavor. Typical lager like similar to a mexican beer like Sol or Corona
Good for days when you know you will drink more than you should and it is 100 degrees outside

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 02:23:12 | More by rwrk42
Photo of beerme626


3.5/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's the thing about Imperial: it's Costa Rica's beer. There's not much beer choice in Costa Rica. If you have more money than a college student on study abroad, you could afford Heineken (if you really want it). If not, it's Pilsen (made by Imperial), Rock Ice, and Imperial.

Imperial is not a super beer. It tastes like adjunct lager. It's yellow, it smells like beer, it feels like beer, and it is beer.

However, compared to other Costa Rican beers like Pilsen and (God save us) Rock Ice, Imperial is very decent. Maybe I would not purchase it in the US except for nostalgia's sake, given that adjunct lager is not my first choice, but if I'm in Costa Rica, I'm going with Imperial every time.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 21:46:24 | More by beerme626
Photo of Reaper16


3.05/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served into a pint glass
Presenting the latest installment of the critically acclaimed series, "Reaper Drinks Beer that People Left After a Party."

Pours a sickly pale yellow color. It's kind of the same color as the yellow on the beer's label, only desaturated a bit. I'm scoring it a 4.0 because I score to style, and this beer has some awesome head retention for the style. Most adjunct lagers have a nice bubbly head but it dissipates in a flash (see: High Life, Miller). Not Imperial. Large bubbles and lots of lacing.

I think I smell blood. It's smells like some old rusted coins. Steely hops meet some old musk grain aromas. Some light candy aromas too -- like apple-flavored cotton candy or something. It's more interesting than your standard adjunct lager, though it isn't anything that I really want to be smelling.

Imperial is one of the better adjunct lagers I've tasted in a long time. There's flavor here! Imagine that you cooked some rice and then you sauteed some yellow appleskins and then you garnished that dish with some powdered donuts. Voila! Imperial!

The mouthfeel is as thick and luxurious as tapwater.

Overall, this is kind of an alright beer. It's better than Budweiser. It's certainly better than the Corona/Sol/etc. school of Latin American lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 03:51:29 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Samp01

New Jersey

2.03/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle pours a pale yellow with a thin short lived white head. Aroma and Taste of grassy grain, some fruity notes. Palate is a light body with low carbonation. Finish is grassy, grainy with a somewhat funky aftertaste. Not much else. Overall aroma and taste quickcly fades and is quite bland, would not drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 19:55:36 | More by Samp01
Photo of ronniebruner


3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oversll this is an extremely bland brew. The beer pours a yellowidh gold color with a light amount of head, carbonation and lace. The aroma is of cheap hops, but not horrible. It goes down smoothly on a warm evening. All in all there is nothing good nor bad about this beer... It is amazingly mundane. Worth a try if you come across it though. But buy a single bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 02:51:35 | More by ronniebruner
Photo of Duff27


3.2/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Three inch white head on a golden cerveza. Surprisingly good head retention and clumpy lacing.

S- Not much to the smell...straw, bread.

T- Pale pilsner malts. Good balance with the hops, not too sweet.

M- Decent carbonation. Medium-thin mouthfeel.

D/O- Not as bad as I thought it'd be. Refreshing. On par with other adjunct lagers commonly found...but better because its a Costa Rica tick ;)

Serving type: can

09-25-2011 21:25:27 | More by Duff27
Photo of JayS2629


2.58/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale, hazy yellow with a fizzy, soapy head that fades fast and leaves minimal lace.

The aroma is of toast, faint bready notes, clean malts, and earthy-grassy hints.

Very clean and watery, with faint bready notes, grassy elements and some earth tones.

Very thin, fizzy, and boring. Will not buy again. They call this imperial?

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 01:53:12 | More by JayS2629
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yellow with a 1 inch fizzy white head that settles to a thin cap. Random small areas of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grains, corn flakes, and some grass notes. Taste is somewhat watery with grain, corn, and grass flavors. A decent carbonation level makes for a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average lager all around with nothing special whatsoever.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 05:21:19 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of DrJay


2.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Crystal clear and straw yellow with a lasting thin cap of fine white bubbles. Spotty lacing. Mild aroma, a bit of sweet malt, faint cereal notes - clean, but that's all I could pick up. There was a bit more going on in the flavour. Mild bitterness with dry malty sweetness, a hint of grassy and spicy hops in the finish. Medium bodied, creamy carbonation, a bit dry. Overall, it was pretty clean and had a better texture than most in this style.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 00:33:05 | More by DrJay
Photo of Paincane


2.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a pint glass. Yellowish straw in color. Corn and grain aroma. Light bodied and watery with corn flavor and moderate carbonation. A yellow fizzy beer that is best consumed on hot days and can be refreshing served cold. This is THE beer in Costa Rica and is ubiquitous.

Serving type: can

08-02-2011 02:14:26 | More by Paincane
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


2.23/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Yellow macro lager, very thin white head, less than 1/4" I'd say, nothing to look at by any means. Aroma was cooked corny, a little bit of sweetness, not terrible by any means.

Taste, bland watery, lightly sweet, nothing in terms of hops, fizzy, highly carbonated. Total hot weather beer, nothing going for it otherwise really, had worse, had much much better.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 18:59:56 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Imperial is very pale even for a lighter, Latin American lager. In fact, it's yellow tint is so slight that in some lights it appears not even straw, but straw-tinged, and near colourless much like a white wine. Indeed, it shares the same glossy complexion and every bit the clarity. Heck, if it weren't for the mound of white mousse on top I might be confused.

Trying different beers from around the world sounds much more exotic than it actually is. You might be surprised to learn that typically the more exotic the country, the more mundane the beer. That is certainly true of Costa Rica's national brand, as the familiar grainy, corn-sweet aroma would attest. If you've had a beer, this scent is not unfamiliar to you.

And neither will the taste be - provided you can find any. As sarcastic as that may sound, as the beer's colour would have indicated, malt was not exactly used with joyous abandon; a light-body was surely intended. Apart from a faint cereal graininess, tinged with a little bit of corn flavour, this beer leaves little to describe it by. Which, again, is the idea.

Given the very light body and minimal flavour, the beer's most marked characteristic would probably be its sweetness. While beers are inherently bitter, the mainstream palate responds better to sweet and, when making a light beer, it's cheaper and more convenient to use sugars (rather than more malt) to generate alcohol. That's obviously what was done here.

National brand lagers are the easiest reviews to write when the beer is bad and the hardest to write it's just boringly average, like this one. Not much can be said about a beer that is so mundane, by design emasculated and yet, so far as most people would be concerned, easy and agreeable. I found it to be just that... and I'm sure most Costa Ricans do too.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 18:43:23 | More by biegaman
Photo of morebeergood


2.9/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just got back from Costa Rica, and like everyone says, Imperial is everywhere. Cerveceria Costa Rica rules the market there. Picked up a sixer for the the hotel room, plus had it on numerous occasions with meals. Fizzy yellow body, with lots of carbonation. Smell was a bit musty. Taste was decent with mostly notes of corn; not offensive or skunky. Mouthfeel was thin, but that was expected. A good hot weather beer that you can drink on the beach or with any meal. From the same brewery, I liked it more than Pilsen, but honestly I think that Bavaria Gold was slightly better.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 03:18:28 | More by morebeergood
Photo of Heischman


2.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer/Brewery - Imperial/Cerveceria Costa Rica
City/State- San Jose, Costa Rica
STYLE – American Adjunct Lager
ABV – 4.6%
IBU – 18
DATE – 28 JUN 2011
SERVING TYPE – 12 oz Bottle
APPEARANCE – Yellow crystal clear, Nice head of about ¼ inch and a good flow of bubbles from the bottom of the glass.
AROMA- A little musty and grass a little like a Bud (sorry)
TASTE – Kind of blah, taste like an average light lager. Noting special.
CONCLUSION – Not a bad beer, just boring to me. I am not much of a light lager fan

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 23:17:06 | More by Heischman
Photo of ktrillionaire


3.58/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer was legendary, growing up in a surf-crazed area of Florida; I was a skateboarder, so I never traveled to Costa Rica, and therefore never got to drink Imperial, though I did have plenty of Guaro/Cacique liquor that my teenaged friends smuggled home. Decades later, I am having my first Imperial. It looks pretty good for the style, as it has a persistent head, some lace(!), and all the hallmarks of a golden fizzy lager. The nose is mildly sweet, and offers pale grain, corn, and mineral notes. The flavor is about the same, elementally, but it is more impressive than the nose for some intangible reason. I take that back; as the brew airs out, the nose is also taking on some additional positive traits: there seems to be some legit fruitiness, albeit very mild, from either the yeast or hops, I cannot say. The feel is light and refreshing. I ilke it.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 15:39:49 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Apearance- pours off with decent nice white head, and good sharp carbonation as many bubbles stream the glass

Smell- the smell is light unoffensive but light slight grain malt

Taste-the flavor is actually much nicer then i expected, good crips malt and slight hop flavor , the flavor is not super complex but its overall very nice for the style, very clean and smooth flavor,

Mouthfeel- good carbonation and very smooth and extremely crisp

Drinkability- very highly drinkable and highly refreshing typical of they style yet certainly alot better then my expectations, more reminds me of a lot of euro lagers in flavor, a good beer for hot summer time weather thats extremely affordable and one i would try again for sure

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 02:40:43 | More by Stunner97
Photo of JohnFatAss

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a six pack of bottles at the local Bottle King for $4.99.

It is a very light beer. Typical fizzy yellow beer, very clear.

A slightly sweet, yeasty, malty smell.
The taste is mild. Some yeast comes through, but not a real flavorful beer.

Over all, this is a real easy drinker. Perfect hot weather beer when you want something not too heavy. It is a fun beer being from Costa Rica.

This is what to serve at a cook out or BBQ on a hot summer night.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 00:39:31 | More by JohnFatAss
Photo of elginirishpunk


4.45/5  rDev +61.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had in Costa Rica only a day out of the brewery. Amazing while sitting on a beach.
Suttle smoothness more then other pilsners. Is has not sense of bitterness and is quite refreshing as a pislner. It is the major beer in the country, ect Bud in the US> It is everywhere and 90% in bottle/can. Only found on tap in Resorts.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 05:41:10 | More by elginirishpunk
Photo of matjack85


3.1/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottles that I was surprised to find at the local Jewel/Osco store in Glendale Heights, IL. $6.99 for a six pack. Just another Central American macro lager, but my first one from Costa Rica.

The pour resulted in only a small white rim for a head, and even that fades in a heartbeat, leaving no lacing behind. Completely clear pale gold color with lots of carbonation bubbles.

The smell is weak, but not unpleasant for a macro - a little cereal grain and light lemony hops.

No great flavor here, but nothing bad either. Mild sweetness that I didn't pick up in the smell. In fact the warmer it gets the sweeter it gets. I liked it best ice cold with just a little sweetness blended with a mild lemon hop citrus bitterness along with a little corn adjunct.

Very light but also very carbonated, giving it a spritzy refreshing mouthfeel. No alcohol flavor at all.

For a macro it's better than most. They go down easy and I'd rather drink this than a Corona any day. Nothing to seek out, but does the job of quenching a thirst.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 12:57:26 | More by matjack85
Photo of jimthepisces

New York

2.9/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Having recently visited Costa Rica, I had a chance to sample this beer frequently. There's really not much to say about this beer. It's pretty plain and boring. I would say it's Costa Rica's very own Budweiser. I do think I liked it better than Pilsen, which seems to be it's big competitor, but not by much.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 16:45:32 | More by jimthepisces
Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
65 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.