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Imperial - Cerveceria Costa Rica

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

182 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 182
Hads: 486
Avg: 2.84
pDev: 34.51%
Wants: 3
Gots: 58 | 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: 182 | Hads: 486
Photo of brendan13
3.13/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Light golden colour with a few centimetres of off white head that falls away quite quickly. Patchy lacing.
S - Sweet maltiness with some light grass & spice notes.
T - Along the same lines as the smell.
M - Smooth, medium to light mouthfeel. Fairly high carbonation.
D - A pretty good beer. Could see it being great in the tropical Costa Rican climate.

 360 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.14/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The label looks oustanding the cap looks like some sort of craft beer I would have never guessed this was a Costa Rican swill beer. Pale fizzy apple juice like appearance with a large high carbonated white head, dwindling slowly. Aroma is of "farts and burnt rubber", seriously it kind of stinks and it has a crazy unpleasant chemical smell about it. Hidden within the embalming fluid like smell are some cooked veggies and grain accented notes coming through. Flavor is actually quite pleasant especially for a mass produced Costa Rican adjunct lager, full bodied sweetness, corn, rice additions are ample. Nothing cloying finishes semi balanced with a generic chemical/hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with enough flavor and refreshing qualities to create an enjoyable experience. Overall other than the chemical band aid like smell this isn't horrible beer it has character and I could definitely drink it on the beach.

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Photo of tempest
3.15/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer for $7 from Publix in Miami and brought it down to South Beach. This was a great beach beer, sure it didn't taste like much, but it was refreshing and clean. Really, it's just a plain, light bready water taste with very light touch of hops in the aftertaste. Really, this beer is the ideal adjunct lager - no flavor flavor, with absolutely no off-flavors. I'd take this over Miller Lite or Budweiser any day.

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Photo of Duff27
3.15/5  rDev +10.9%
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 ;)

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Photo of WesWes
3.17/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thin white head that fades to spotty lacing. There are lots of floaties present. The aroma is decent. It has a light pale malt scent along with some adjuncts. It's rather sweet smelling. The taste is average. It has a dry lager taste that is light and easy drinking. There is little malt flavor. It goes down smooth and finishes clean. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average light lager. It's devoid of any malt character. I suppose it's a great beer for those living around the equator.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.18/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cerveza Imperial pours a crystal-clear straw gold body beneath a finger-sized head of bright white foam that holds well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is that of a clean lager beer with a touch of sulphur coming out over a mild maltiness that's laced with background hops.

In the mouth it's surprisingly creamy and just lightly tingly with a fuller than expected medium body and somewhat restrained carbonation.

The flavor is more malty than might be expected as well, backed by a gently firm bitterness, and dried even a bit more by a snap of yeasty sulphur. A combination of hay-like malt and drying, herbal and somewhat spicy hops linger in the finish.

Overall, this is not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, and in fact, it could stand side by side with many European lagers.

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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

 527 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

pours a pale golden straw with a thick white froth of a head that leaves a bit of soapy lacing behind. The nose is faint corn, rice, and grasses, with a hint of light citrus thrown in for good measure. The taste is a general light bitterness combined with a light malty sweetness, with corn syrup the predominant feature. The body is light with a good carbonation, a watery texture, and a crisp, dry finish. Overall, an OK brew, definitely not a favorite, but also not all that objectionable.

 522 characters

Photo of happygnome
3.2/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My friend brought back a couple cans for me when she went to Costa Rica

a: pours a golden yellow generic beer color with about a half inch of white head that disapears fast leaving no lacing at all
s: generic corn and grain malts no hint of hops, crisp freshness
t: very similar to the aroma, adjunct corn maltrs and no hint of hops
m: light bodied beer with a lot of carbonation

overall, i am thankful to be able to sample this because i love trying beer form all over, but i dont think that i will seek this one out

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.2/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a dull gold/straw color. Clear and a bit darker than most beers of this style. Surprisingly, it has a fairly nice white had and leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Generally some corn and somewhat sweet malts. Much better than what I had expected.

Taste: Similar to the smell with the malts and corns, but less distinct. Some light hops are present as well, and give it a mildly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied, smooth beer. Light tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: Not the best session beer as it gets a tad stale on it's own, but no real complaints...

I was actually relatively surprised by this beer -- it's much better than other Central American beers that I've had in the past. Nothing spectacular, but for something so cheap it's a good one, and the corn elements in the smell and taste are a nice change from the usual. Probably goes best with some food; I would certainly consider getting this again with some take-out Mexican food.

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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 HalfFull
3.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown pry off into a pint glass. Best by July 30, 2010. This Imperial pours a light clear straw with a thin white head. Light volcanic boil keeps a cap longer than expected initially, offering some brief sip lacing throughout.

Nose is light with a bit of light malt, some corn notes and a hint of Euro. hops, more earthy when agitated. Somewhat light but without the thick corn notes common at the latitudes.

Slightly sweet in flavor with a moderate viscosity on the feel. Standard malt profile with a good carbonation and a slightly bready texture. Rather easy drinking as the beer treads lightly on the palate yet offering enough flavor to keep from distracting.

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Photo of TheEremite
3.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Living in California, I'd never seek out a beer like Imperial on a daily basis. But, if I lived in a climate as hot as Costa Rica, I'm sure I'd suck these things down by the case load. It's a very light lager, refreshing and very clean. It's not sweet or hoppy, just refreshing. I won't ever crave one again, but if I go back to Costa Rica, I'll happily drink my share of them.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a yellow golden color with a nice carbonation and a fluffy white head. Nose is grainy, lightly hopped and some malts. Taste is sweet, malty, light hops and grain. Pretty fizzy beer and has some good mouthfeel for the style. Not my favorite style, won't drink again but not half bad.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick bubbly white head into a tumbler. left some sheeting and lace and the body was a clear straw gold color.
s - metallic with some floral hops present.
t - bready with a slight hop bite.
m - crisp and dry.
d - goes down smoothly and overall not a bad refreshing lager. more going on than i expected and if i had to choose b/t a lot of those "imported" lagers you get at mexican restaurants, this would be the one.

 440 characters

Photo of colandese
3.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 5

Brown bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a light straw color, nothing extraordinary.

Smell is nothing to write home about, neither good nor bad.

Taste is light, and I consider it to be quite refreshing. I'd easily reach for this over some more readily available beers.

Very thin, watery mouthfeel. Just a slight bite of carbonation, which makes for a very drinkable beer. After a few heartier, tastier beers, this one is ace to help you keep going in a session.

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Photo of far333
3.27/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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

12 ouncer - bottles and cans abundant in costa rica

the can's look pretty awesome but the bottled version is FAR superior

appearance: pale golden body, fizzy white cap

smell: minimal aroma, macro malt, artificial sweetness

taste: it's a more interesting choice than many american macros and in costa rica its pretty much your only choice. sweet malts, corn, fading faint hop addition. its hot, imperial is cold, whatever

mouthfeel: a little thicker than the norm

drinkability: fine

 487 characters

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

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle. It's gold with some bubbles. The head dissipates quickly leaving no lace. It has a dull scent, but hard to tell. Kind of metallic.

Some crisp malty taste to it, but not much in flavor. Out side that it has a sour aftertaste. It's not a bad beer, but not good either.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From what I remember this was suprisingly a decent beer out of the bottle.

Deep yellow colour with lots of bubbles and nice head that dissipates quickly.

Nice grassy smell, floral hops, citrusy. Taste was around the same, bland aftertaste, not much to it. Very drinkable and would try this again if I were ever in Costa Rica.

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Photo of beersarang
3.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really light straw with a white head that retains decently. The amazing thing is that there is some lace sticking to the glass.

Corn and grain the aroma, lots of corn.

Sweet corn upfront with a touch of grassy hops and a flash of thin bitterness. Finishes sweet and grainy. So pleasant to drink because it is so non offensive.

Medium bodied and smooth with crisp carbonation. I could drink gallons of this stuff, and I don't even like macro lagers.
Fun to try a beer that is hard to get!

 505 characters

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 dsa7783
3.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single, twelve ounce bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in West Orange...
Pours a clear, clean, lucid, bright, golden-colored hue with a minimal head that left very minor lacing...
Corny, grainy, non-descript, faint aroma...
Taste was surprisingly good for a light lager... flavorful, crisp, and refreshing with slight yeast and corn essences, lemons, and lime in the mix...
Decent mouthfeel for the style along with a very good level of drinkability considering the modest ABV and lack of cloying flavors...
Not bad...

 526 characters

Photo of kellywilson50
3.35/5  rDev +18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When you can find Imperial on tap it should be your first beer choice from the nationals (although, make sure the beer lines have been cleaned sometime during the last century otherwise send it back and opt for the bottle).

It's what you would expect with color, head and smell of a light lager but I agree with one of the other reviewers in that if you have a choice between a Corona and an Imperial - the latter is the best choice. Especially in C.R. where Corona is double the price and it needs a lime to give it a better flavor while Imperial is fine all on its own.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.39/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ultra clear pale yellow color with a fizzy white head that fades rapidly. Does leave a bit of a sheen and theres a few spots of lacing.

Smell is very light malt graininess with a bit of corn syrup-like sweetness and surprisingly a detectable amount of herbal hops. Not too shabby for the style.

Taste is above average in the quantity of flavor that it presents for an adjunct lager. Sweet malts are there, followed by a decent hop bitterness. This really is not a bad beer at all for kicking it on a central american beach. For the style, I find this to be somewhat enjoyable! Thanks goes out to Lauren, who brought this home for me.

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Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
67 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.