Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Imperial - Cerveceria Costa Rica

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

179 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 179
Hads: 477
rAvg: 2.87
pDev: 18.47%
Wants: 3
Gots: 52 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 179 | Hads: 477
Photo of janubio
2.24/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle that some friends of mine brought to from Costa Rica. Very pale yellow color, with a good head that last for a while and leaves some lace. Other than that, nothing significant in this beer. Anodyne aroma just grainy and with some malt. In the mouth it feels the same with a bit of citrus. Flavor? What flavor? Of course in a very hot weather I guess I could have some of them, it's just refreshing. Just boring. (425 characters)

Photo of Rackerman
2.24/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

While drinking Imperial while on vacation may suffice for a week (at most), having to consume the flagship beer of Costa Rica's monopolistic beer industry on a regular basis makes me wish I liked hard booze more.

It looks good, it's certainly clear, and when it's 98 degrees out and it's chilled bottle is in your hand everything seems right... but that's as good as it gets.

The smell is the beginning of the end for me. The beer smells skunky. By my best estimation I've consumed between 700 and 1,000 of these stink-bombs and they all smell bad.

The taste is watery. I think of a very watery Miller Lite with less carbonation and more alcohol. Imperial smacks of mass production and general indifference with its flat start and finish.

I choke down Imperial simply because there are few alternatives. (808 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
2.25/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

More substantial than most Mexican beers. I guess the Costa Ricans wanted more, but not much more. Clear yellow with a white head. Still corny and sugary, but actually has a grassy hop-like flavor. Crisper than most, but still can't chake the candy corn taste. (260 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
2.25/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Another "f@#$ it, let's try it" beer, another recent entry on my "-est" list - this time, for it being one of the pale-est and weak-est (flavor) damn beers I've ever seen/sucked, ever. I have to admit, even for what it is, it's bland and too bitey and naaahht worth purposely seeking out a second time.

Yes, just about the palest beers I've come across. I dare say paler than 2 on the SRM/Lovibond (4 EBC)! Yes, that pale. Poured (vigorously) leaving a finger-width head, soon dead. Pathetic effort grasping the glass as far as lacing.

Smells and tastes like a slightly thinner version of Beck's and/or piss-soaked briefs. Prominent carbonic bite on the tongue straight away to the end. The flavor actually seems to thin out more and more with each sip. Just weak all around flavor-wise and aroma-wise. Even Bud has a little more going on there. While it tastes and finishes like a light beer, it settles in the gut a tad bloaty due to the CO2.

Adjunct lagers can actually be drinkable, but this one falls quite outside that range or whatever. Even ice-f'n cold, I couldn't deal with the gut bloat. Hell wit that. (1,116 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.26/5  rDev -21.3%
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. (362 characters)

Photo of JMad
2.26/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A friend brought over a six pack of this so I went ahead and poured one into my glass mug...

The beer pours a pale golden yellow color that had a thin, bubbly white head that left some lacing on the glass.

There is a musty smell along with some grassy hop notes and hints of hay.

Not much flavor here, it's a little metallic, there lemony hop notes and hints of corn.

It's light with sharp carbonation.

This beer is not something I would ever spend my own money on. (470 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
2.28/5  rDev -20.6%
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 (579 characters)

Photo of orcasteve
2.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this is almost budwiser with out the beachwood ageing, this is just nasty, thank god it was 1.50$ i would have felt cheated if i payed more, this beer poured a week golden color and no head, it's smell was corn and not much eles, it was week all around, i would avoide this one at all cost (289 characters)

Photo of jaybmore
2.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

When on vacation, it is customary to partake of the local flavor. In this instance, the flavor reminded me of watered down PBR. When it's 95 degrees with no clouds, a cold one of these tastes a bit better though (211 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
2.36/5  rDev -17.8%
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. (718 characters)

Photo of armock
2.38/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured a straw color with a white head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of grainy malt corny

T - Is more of the same grainy malt not that good

M - This is a fairly light bodied beer

D - Overall theres nothing special about this beer Costa Rica can keep it its not really much better than a BMC beer very disappointing (323 characters)

Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.39/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Found everywhere and can be had in roadside joints for as little as C300, or about $0.60 cold in the bottle.

Pours clean and crystal clear. Costa Rican water is really some of the best and it shows in the simple taste and beautiful head.

To be drunk cold and quick, as someone else said. But, after a long day in the sun and surf, I needed nothing more than a clean light beer and plenty of them! At -1 degree C, they hit the spot. (437 characters)

Photo of BryanCarey
2.42/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Imperial Cerveza pours to a light straw color and it does manage to produce a small head of foam that eventually subsides, but does maintain a thin coating of bubbles. The aroma of this beer is sweet, with cereal grains, corn, a dash of pepper/spice, and a little bit of sulphur coming through each time you inhale.

Moving to the taste, it is much like the aroma would lead you to believe. It offers flavors of cereal grains, light pale malt, corn syrup, a touch of biscuits, and some mild spice. The body of this beer is light, completely clear, and lacks much sophistication, just like the taste.

Imperial Cerveza is a simple, basic beer and it isn’t likely to win many supporters among those in the craft beer crowd. I include myself among the products non- fans, but I will admit that this beer isn’t as bad as many of the cheaply made adjunct lagers in the United States. For one, the nose isn’t too bad. It’s not anything terribly interesting, but if I had to compare it to a typical American macrobrew, it would rate a notch better. It also manages to maintain a thin coating of bubbles and it even leaves some lace on the sides of the glass. Again, this is nothing amazing, but it is an improvement compared to many of the beer’s mass- produced American counterparts.

Would I purchase Imperial Cervesa again? I doubt it, as I cannot get past the adjunct character and the flavor of corn syrup. The taste is too bland to recommend, but its generally non- offensive nature makes it a possible choice for Miller/Coors/Bud fans who want something light and crisp but would like an occasional change of pace. (1,627 characters)

Photo of ADR
2.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The "standard" in Costa Rica...straw color, touch of a sweet smell (not corn -- to me). The head has that detergent adjunct look, lasts for seconds. Seems "spot-on" as an American-style Lager, initial sweetness followed by a predictable sweep of minute hop crispness. Doesn't have quite the unsettling aftertaste of a Miller High Life. Not much here to review, a summertime beer from an interesting place. Just not up to being called "good" by me. Thanks to my buddy Dave Szy. for bringin' back a can. (501 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
2.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, freshness date of Feb 28, 2010.
Pale golden with a fleeting white head, no lace left behind. Lively carbonation.
Aroma is mildly grainy, but not much else. Possibly a sign of things to come.
Flavor is as expected, grainy malt, lightly sweet. finish is short. average (280 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
2.47/5  rDev -13.9%
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. (1,108 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
2.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Happyhour's brother Will for bringing us back some local beer on his trip to Costa Rica.
Unusual sized can, 473 mL rather than the standard 500 mL. The reasoning behind that size, I don't know. The beer pours forth a bright, attractive enough golden yellow, topped with a handsome cap of white foam. The head settles into a fine mist rather quickly. A couple sparse streaks of lace.
The aroma is pretty standard pils/lager fare. Extra crisp pils malt balanced fairly evenly with a boldy peppery, soapy Saaz hop bite. Very similar to unscented bar soap, I can't recall having smelled hops so intensely soapy. A bit of a grassy feel, but relatively clean, considering.
Taking a sip, the flavor is surprisingly malty and sweet. Based on the smell, I was expecting a fairly intense hop finish, but it's very faint. A sweetened, cooked corn flavor right up front, some baked apple and grassy esters showing through. A bit of lemon into the finish, meeting a surprisingly timid hop spiciness. Some metallic notes in the aftertaste, finishing off pretty dry and crisp. Weakishly light bodied, with a strong carbonation that feels natural enough.
Pretty much your standard macro lager. If I didn't know better, and just had a glass of beer set before me, I would assume this was Corona, Sol, or something like that. It's refreshing enough, but I don't see much difference between this and the masses of other beers virtually identical to it. It goes fairly well with this slow cooked, spicy curried pork I'm eating. Mmmm. (1,527 characters)

Photo of taylocd
2.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

appearance - There is nothing exceptional, nor anything detracting in the beer's look. It has a very pale hue, and I would have rated it a right at average if not for the complete lack of head.

smell - I could not rate the beer low for an "awful" smell simply because there is no significant aroma at all.

taste - The beer is not bad, simply bland....just a tick under average seems about right.

mouthfeel - The beer is very thin and watery, and I notice no pop from carbonation.

drinkability - If one can overlook the lack of taste, smell, and texture, this is the beer to drink. The absence of carbonation allows for easy drinking.

I won't be seeking this beer. Fortunately, it is not at all common, so I don't have to worry with being offered it and I won't be spending my money on this one. I've had much worse. (822 characters)

Photo of goschool
2.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I learned over the weekend that you could split up six-packs at Whole Foods. That allows me to give into my many curiosities in the least masochistic way possible. My curiosity led me to a single bottle of this Costa Rican lager with a label that reminds me of the graphics in King Ottokar's Sceptre, an old Tintin book that I read several times as a kid.

Appearance: The pour is a dull, slightly hazy light gold with a foamy, but quickly rescinding white head.

Smell: The nose is semi-unique amongst its macro peers, but not necessarily better. After light sweet malts and corn, there is an aroma that's somewhat similar to orange-banana-pineapple juice. It's interesting, it's just not that good.

Flavor: The taste is less eclectic. Sweet malts, adjuncts, grassy saaz hops, and a hint of banana.

Mouthfeel: Light and fizzy.

Drinkability: It's a little better than most of our adjunct lagers, but that's not saying much. (929 characters)

Photo of Brad007
2.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light blonde with a thin head into my glass. Flat. Boring. Yep. Seems about right.

Corny, syrupy and devoid of anything interesting. Just how I like my adjunct lagers! It is still a bit crisp.

Crisp, sweet but not too cloying. On the other hand, way too watery to enjoy. Where's the actual flavor? Is this a light beer or adjunct lager?

Lingering corny sweetness. How else am I supposed to describe it?

You can do better for even this style! (454 characters)

Photo of Heischman
2.52/5  rDev -12.2%
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
-JH- (574 characters)

Photo of Zorro
2.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ultra clear yellow colored beer with very little head formation.

Smell is sweet and corny with more than a little banana aroma. Hop aroma is mostly woody and very slightly herbal.

Taste is sweet and corny with a bit of metallic flavor at the start. Flavor remains sweet with a little bit of grassy and herbal hops too it. Better than an average American mass market lager but just barely so.

Mouthfeel isn't much.

Pretty much Michelob from Costa Rica. Avoid if possible. (482 characters)

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
2.55/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had the misfortunre to have this primarily on my honeymoon in rural NW Costa Rica. There are really only 2 beers in CR, along with Pilzen. Due to the heat, it was more bearable than if I were in the states, but cannot for the life of me think of any reason why I would imbibe instead of water.

A-Poured into a mini pint glass. Straw yellow in color. The head is the best part of this beer. Two finger white fluffy head and consumate retention. Impressive legs the curled around the glass the entire time.

S-The nose has some hoppy aroma and a little bit of spice.

T-Slight dough taste and more bitterness in teh 2nd taste. Hops are in the mix but fade in and out much to my chagrin.

M-very light as one would expect for the climate. Carbonation slacks off considerably half way towards the end.

D-Nothing to write home about unless your in a really hot environment. It's the BUD of Costa Rica, non offensive tasting that can go down very quickly without knowing it. Again, only drink when nothing else available. (1,022 characters)

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
2.55/5  rDev -11.1%
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.) (761 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
2.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours straw pale and extremely carbonated into my mug. Very macro beer looking, unfortunately. In the time it took me to write this the head has lingered to a cap... Nose is bitter with grains and astringents. Not so good...
Has a crisp mouthfeel, with some bitterness. Unfortunately, this is for the brief two seconds that this beer has any taste at all. This is pretty generic macrononsense.
When I go to Costa Rica to go surfing and mountain climbing this will be a great beer, until then I shall avoid it... (522 characters)

Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
68 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.