Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 180 | Hads: 481
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.

 547 characters

Photo of kenito799
2.58/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 266 characters

Photo of FriarPrickly
2.58/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into plastic glass at pool swim up bar in RIU in Guanecaste, Costa Rica.
Pale yellow with little head that quickly disappeared with no lacing.
Smells like wet hay. Tastes like wet hay with no layering of tastes. Finishes quickly with little aftertaste. Watery mouth feel with little carbonation.
My sample size for this review was large and over several days with little change to smell or taste.
My observation is that the large group at the swim up bar were enjoying the Imperial immensely in the 90 plus degree heat and given that there were no other beers available, the drink fit the situation just fine. I bet I drank a half barrel myself along with the paella.
I would be hard pressed to buy a case of this here in Milwaukee however.

 747 characters

Photo of JayS2629
2.58/5  rDev -9.2%
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?

 336 characters

Photo of EMV
2.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had from bottle and can in Costa Rica

L: Pours a pale golden yellow. Fizzy white head that falls rapidly.

S: Macro grains and veggies. Faint hops... maybe... if you sniff hard.

T/F: Not much to the flavor... watery below average lager with some skunk and grains. Mild malts... not much in the way of hops. Fizzy and carbonated.

O: Below average macro lager. It's only redeeming feature is that it's not water and it's fairly refreshing while trekking around in hot/humid Costa Rica. There is zero reason to drink this if you're not in Central America.

 570 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, gold body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Mixture of pale malts and waterlogged corn kernels with some light floral hop hints.

Taste: Weak pale maltiness alongside a sweetish corn flavor. Floral hops imparting a very light bitterness. Grows evermore watery as you race towards the finish. Tiny hint of metal right at the very end.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: You've gotta equally water down your expectations for these lackluster, foreign lager, but even still this was a disappointment.

 548 characters

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.

 494 characters

Photo of joeskirkie
2.66/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer in my fridge since Christmas. I just now read the label and saw it was from Costa Rica and thought, "Cool, I never had a beer from Costa Rica."

So I poured it into a pilsner glass because I haven't really used this thing in a while. It looks cool, a nice bubbly straw-colored body with a white thumb-width head that dissapated by the time I finished writing this sentence.

Very light aroma, hard to pick up. Theres corn in there, it's sweet.

Very light on the taste as well, but stronger then the smell. Theres more sweet malts, but like I said, it's still light.

It's light and easy going in my mouth. It's a very easily drinkable beer. But as for the next one, well, lets try something else.

 721 characters

Photo of DogFood11
2.66/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

In search of the best weekend daytime sports viewing brew I picked up a fresh sixer. Having just gobbled a bottle of Cusquena I thought this would work well to compare and contrast the two. Poured into a tall pils glass. Yellow / pale body with loads of large carbonation. Ivory white head that leaves lots of lace behind.

This is light even for a macro lager. Watered body with not much going on. Sweetness and some heavily watered tropical fruit juice deep underneath the ummmm water. Somewhere around the middle of the drink there is a cooked vegetable type taste. Fairly clean and at the end of the bottle I was ready for another. Not the worst and not the best.

Notes: Of the two beers head to head I liked the depth and the fact that the hops actually made an appearance in the cuscuena. I liked the imperial better for being lighter and more refreshing.

 866 characters

Photo of mnrider
2.67/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. brown bottle

A: Pours crystal clear. Almost no color. Light carbonation and a small white head, which does not last.

S: The aroma is of light grains and some sweet malts. A hint of some fruits.

T/M: Not much going on here, some light grains and sweetness. Hops are almost none existent. Altogether light bodied with little carbonation.

O: Pretty average for an Adjunct Lager. This ones from Costa Rica. I wish they brewed better beer than this.


 465 characters

Photo of Mora2000
2.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to swalden28 for sharing this beer. This is the first Costa Rican beer I have tried.

The beer pours a clear, macro yellow with a white head. The aroma is sweet malt and corn. The flavor is more of the same, adjunct tasting with a lot of sweetness and basically no hop bitterness. Light mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 327 characters

Photo of unclejimbay
2.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Imperial Costa Rican (American Macro Lager), 4.6 ABV, bottle to a tulip style glass, 9//16/08

A 2.0
Bright golden color, little to no head, typically for a macro style beer
S 2.0
Semi skunky smell, low on the skunk scale, but does have a funk smell
T 3.0
Typical Am macro lager tase, w/ a bit more balance, nothing to distinct going on, just plain old Am style macro lager.
MF 3.0
Watery, just a plain type Am lager, worth a try if you drink macros on a regular basis.
D 3.0
Given my review, I should give a low rating on the drinkability. However this beer has a cerain nostalgia factor to me given it is the primary beer you drink while in Costa ~1994. I had many of these after late night surf sessions in CR with the local Ticos and Discotech crowd(s). As a result, I love the logo, the Tico population and country, and I always enjoy one of these to step back to some good vibes and memories of good old Costa Rica! So I give it a 3.0. If you have been there, you should understand....

 991 characters

Photo of jettjon
2.74/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz. bottle marked "Imperial" "Costa Rica" "4.6% ABV" and imported by "High Falls." No freshness date noted. Into a pint glass, it's a pale golden clear hue with loads of carbonation in the pour. Big thick fluffy white head that's suprisingly solid. Great retention with sheet-like curtains of lace all the way down. Hands down the best looking cerveza I've encountered. Nose... very subdued, grassy and sweet. Tastes of sweetish malt and mild fruitiness, perhaps apples. Faint hops in evidence; finish is slightly dry. Mouth is crisp and mouth-filling. Wet and smooth, quenching. Drinkability is OK as a thirst quencher, but low flavor profile doesn't inspire one to come back for more.

Overall: A good looking Mexi-lager but nothing special. Better than a Corona, and on a par with any decent American macro, but what's the point. A reasonable alternative at the Mexican place if nothing better is available.

 920 characters

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.

 268 characters

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.

 454 characters

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.

 561 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
2.8/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a thin white head that dissipates slowly to a ring around the glass and a thin film. Faint aroma of sweet malt and apple juice. Taste follows with a very light sweet malt up front that fades away almost immediately leaving a faint memory of malt and a hint of hops. Nothing off flavored, but very attenuated and non-descript. The adjunct components, if present are also very faint, which is good. Thin and light bodied. I hope to run across a more substantial Costa Rican at some point.

 562 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
2.82/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours like any typical yellow fizzy beer, but with a head that fades to nothing pretty quickly. Smells clean and lightly hoppy on the finish. Not bad. The taste is grainy and somewhat sweet, but not as bad as some of these adjunct lagers. Not as hoppy as the smell, but there is some bitterness from the hops. Crisp, but a bit too grainy in the mouth. Better than some, but really just for consumption on the beach.

 415 characters

Photo of metter98
2.83/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of grainy malts and apple juice in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of grainy malts and a light amount of sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be a little more balanced compared to others in the style as it has a light amount of bitterness and isn’t that malty.

 623 characters

Photo of rallison
2.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought and tasted in Costa Rica - compared side to side with Pilsen and Bavaria Gold.

A: All were fine for the style with good carbonation that produced a nice head. 4s all around.

S: Imperial had a strong cooked corn smell with other vegetal notes - 2.5. Pilsen had light vegetal notes but mostly a simple grainy aroma - 3.0. Bavaria had no discernable vegetal or off notes and had a simple grainy aroma.

T: Imperial was a touch harsh at the front with bitterness and hotness. Refreshing the rest of the way through. 2.5. Pilsen was simple throughout, but refreshing. Light bitterness. 3.0. Bavaria was the least bitter and had a touch more focus on bready malts (just barely). 3.5.

M: Imperial came on slightly strong but was otherwise fine. 3.0. Pilsen - 3.5. Bavaria - 3.5.

D: Given that these are meant for a hot Costa Rican day, they all drink well. I'll give a slight nod to Pilsen and Bavaria. Imperial - 3.5. Pilsen and Bavaria - 4.0.

 948 characters

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.

 544 characters

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

 1,182 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
2.86/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Yellow fizzy beer. Of course, if you're in Costa Rica and it's 90 degrees in the shade, ANYTHING below room temperature tastes pretty good.

Not any worse - or better - than other tropical beers. Cool logo, though.

 218 characters

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.

 687 characters

Photo of tdm168
2.88/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 331 characters

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