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Tusker Premium Lager | East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
70
okay
373 Reviews
THE BROS
76
okay
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
373
Ratings:
694
Avg:
3.01
pDev:
26.58%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
66
For Trade:
0
Tusker Premium LagerTusker Premium Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
Kenya | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-18-2002

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 694
Photo of beerguy101
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very light gold color, medium head. Aroma is a little hoppy and something else..corn? A light tasting lager. Mild tasting, a little sweet and grassy. Slight hop bite. Not a good beer, but it at least drinkable. Mouthfeel is rather thin. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is neutral. Best Kenyan beer (1) I've tasted.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pale yellow, straw clear bubbly body, 2 finger foam head, nice lacing for an American adjunct lager

S: sweet grain, mild citrus aroma

T: sweet grain, mild corn, slight prick of slow bitter in the finish.

M: med/light body, big carbonation

D: Not bad for an adjunct lager and my 1st African beer. Many imports are nasty, but this could be quite nice in a intense heat of Summer; I would love to have this again on a Safari trip to Africa.

Not awful, but not amazing. If you have the chance, it's not bad.

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Photo of Overlord
3.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Upon spotting this beer at a local Bevmo, I had to give it a whirl. How often does one see a beer from Kenya floating about?

I expected upon the first sip of this yellow/golden, lightly headed and carbonated lager to be whipped away to the serengeti plains, or perhaps dropped deep into the Congo rainforest. Alas, twas not to be.

Tasted thin, but had a slight trace of hips and a pleasant mouthfeel. Certainly no strong taste to write home about, and resembled a slightly more malty macrobrew that you might get here.

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.52/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330ml can, claims to have won over 15 monde selection gold medals around the rim. Pours out a light clear straw colour, no real head and no head retention to speak of. Smell is sweet and bread-like, malt content has obviously been given the throne over hops in this lager. It shows in the flavour. Sweet, a little lemony, a tad yeasty, this is hot, hot weather beer. A little crisp with no discernable aftertaste. All in all though it is not very impressive.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.67/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve ounce bottle purchased from The Palisade Liquor Store in Jersey City...
First beer from this Kenyan brewery with a black elephant on the front logo sticker...
An aggressive pour yielded a light, lucid, golden-colored hue with minimal lacing and a very minor head...
Sweet, corn and grain-dominated aroma with hints of honey...
Taste strongly complemented the smell, with an ultra-sweet, yet crisp and refreshing after taste... Candy sugars dance on the tongue, and the modest 4.2% ABV makes this an easily drinkable beer...
Not bad...

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Photo of jsprain1
3.25/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- I know this is a style based on paleness but this is an abusrdly pale golden. Head is two and a half fingers with a good bit of lacing.
S- The smell is pleasing with a floral crackery aroma. Pretty straightfoward but pleasant.
T- The taste loses some of that. It's still crackery but there's no floral note. It's pretty much pilsner malt and a clean finish.
M- It's more or less watery. Very little carbonation.
O- It's not worse than many adjunct lagers. But it's not much better either. Wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light, golden amber colour with a thin, soapy white head that is really no more than a thin lacing.

All the usual adjunct notes to it including a little grain and corn. Quite standard for the style with minimal hops & an almost indistinct citrus aroma.

Sweet tasting with more hops than the nose suggested and a little grain again. A nice, mild bitter finish that rounds the beer off nicely. The beer is quite mild.

Light bodied with excellent carbonation making a very refreshing & crisp lager that went down very nicely. The finish is quite dry but this has a great mouthfeel.

Not the greatest beer or even pale lager out there but still a solid, very good drink that one should definitely try.

Featured in the 1001 Beers List:
http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com

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Photo of bditty187
2.82/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, light yellow hue, little animation, thick/chunky white head with good retention, soapy residue produces a reasonable amount of lace. The nose was completely uninviting (damn near foul)… adjunct plagued, very sweet, husky and grainy… thankfully it lacks potency. The palate is similar to the bouquet (sweet, grainy, husky), a dry finish and crisp carbonation helps cut through the sweetness/grain. Any influence of hops is minimal, trace element of hay and grass. As for the malt, it’s absent. Slightly tacky finish, the aftertaste is lightly sweet. Medium body, thin but not watery. This is not a bad beer by any means, just don’t be fooled by the “exotic” location, it is a standard pale lager… you’ve had it before.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer bottle (50 cl.), tasted in 2011.

Appearance : clear yellow color, with white foam head (not persistent).
Smell : light malty and grassy aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : mild grainy with a slight bitterness into the finish.
Drinkability : an average beer in the style Pale lager.

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Photo of rastaman
1.7/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wasn't expecting much. Thin, light, some light dry grassy hops, boring and bland, but easy to drink, generally inofensive, but entirely bland and pretty boring in the end, so crisp refreshing notes in the finish, wouldn't drink it again, unless i went to Kenya or something..

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Photo of OtherShoe2
2.73/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear light gold with a big foamy head that did not last. Minimal lacing.

Light scented with sweet grain.

Light watery flavors of cereal, light sweet grain, some grassy elements, and a little bitter bite. No skunk, nothing offensive, but rather weak.

Light in body and decently carbonated. Refreshing thirst quencher, but that is all. I can see where this would be a choice in 120 degree heat. Overall, not horrific, and no real off-weird flavors -- just not alot going on either. Cool to try, but not worth seeking.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.95/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: 500 ml brown bottle, neck label claims Kenya’s Heritage since 1922. Label has 4.2 v/v and GRAV: 1037-1039, imported by St. Killian importing co., Inc., Kingston, MA.

Aroma: A faint floral note with some mild grainy sweetness. A odd whiff of dried bubblegum.

Appearance: Slightest haze in a bright yellow glass that sports an impressive white head the lasts and gives very respectable lacing.

Flavor: Matches the aroma, a clean, slightly grainy base with that same light floral note. Well balanced with a slight hop flavor at the tail end.

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, full carbonation, drying finish.

Overall Impression: I’m impressed! I really didn’t expect much from this beer, but there is nothing wrong here. Well crafted, mild but pleasing taste, it’s not going to scratch a craft beer itch, but it could make a fine hot summer afternoon session.
Give it a shot!

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.47/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At last! An African beer. Slowly my list is being completed. But will it be done before my liver and my life is? Doubtful. At least when I meet St. Peter I’ll be able to say “Take me or leave me, I drank an African brew. Bitch.” So….. anyway. Out of a bottle this beer from the Dark Continent was a clear, pale, yellow color. The one finger of white head fizzed out rather quickly and only a few streaks of sticky lacing remained to show for it. The aroma was slightly sweet, with an unexpected note of berries as well as sweet malt, some rice and a hint of floral hops. The flavors were drier than the aroma suggested but still pleasant enough and appropriate for the style. I tasted biscuity malt, the sweet, berry-like malt and the floral hops at the end. All of these notes were subtle and in general I would describe the beer as understated and yet it was altogether pleasant and in no way offensive, unlike many adjunct Lagers. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation soft. An easy to drink beer that would no doubt be very refreshing on a hot day, as I’m sure it was intended. Furthermore, I think it’s worth noting this was one of the best adjunct Lagers I’ve ever tasted. A gem and an oddity; like that girl I dated in VT with truly tremendous “assets” this specimen proved to be the best kind of novelty.

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Photo of ckollias
2.88/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a clear golden hue with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates leaving no lace whatsoever.

S: Very faint nose here – mild grains and hops.

T: Slightly bitter and sweet lager. A little tart up front with some mild grain flavor and finishes a little dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This was a pretty forgettable Lager. It was crisp and refreshing but nothing I would grab again. Although I am pretty sure this would be refreshing on a hot day in Africa.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a lager glass.

A: Dull golden straw color. No real head to speak of, it doesn't stick around. Tiny dots of lacing.

S: Dusty sort of grainy scent. Vague light fruits. Pithy, lemony hops. Hay and grass.

T: Earthy, dusty grain. Odd pervasive sweetness. Grape leaf and vague fruitiness. Grass and hay. Clean. Drying grainy finish.

M: Light bodied. Some malty firmness. Moderate carbonation.

O: I can see how this would be refreshing in its native climate, but then again I'd probably chug any beer you put in front of me while the hot African sun was beating down me. A pretty average "Euro" feeling lager in every respect.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.49/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before January 22 2013. I've sort of wanted to try this for a while simply because I've never had African beer, but by the time I came to it on the shelf I always already had a bunch of other Euro lagers I wanted to try in my basket - and the 3+ dollar price tag was also a slight turnoff. But I am a ticker with an itch, so I was bound to get this eventually.

Pours a familiar pale golden-yellow colour, completely clear and highly effervescent. Good, attractive head, especially for the style - big, puffy and pillowy, and it leaves behind lots of webby lacing on the glass as it gradually dies down over the next minute or two to a thin, even cap that remains for much of the drink. Looks really tasty - but the aroma isn't nearly as enticing, differing little from most of the other examples of this style. It is subdued, grainy, a little sweet, and wholly uninteresting. Decent for the style.

Relatively approachable taste. Lots of bready malts, some grainy sweetness with a bit of an adjunct twang. Given the style, I can't really fault it for that - it's not offputting but it's definitely a bit corny. There is a light brush of grassy hop dryness toward the end of the sip, but the aftertaste is mostly adjunct and malt sweetness. Acceptable balance, enough to maintain the inherent refreshing/crisp quality of the style, and certainly not cloying or unappealing. Light-bodied and watery, with relatively mild carbonation for a pale lager. I might have served this a bit too warm, but it's still enjoyable.

Final Grade: 3.5, a surprisingly solid B. I actually rather like Tusker Lager, and I may just get it again some time. It is a fine example of how even this comparatively bland style of beer can be enjoyable, and even charming in its simplicity when done correctly. No, it's nothing to write home about - but it is still a quality quaff, at least to me. Perfect for the patio.

[Updated April 12 2014]

Another bottle. I've been drinking pale yellow fizzy adjunct lagers for basically a decade now, and as with my original review I still feel Tusker is one of the better examples I've tried. The only issue? It's just too expensive to be worth it. If money were no object then this would be a staple in my summer beer fridge, but until then I probably won't bother frequently.

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Photo of cfalovo97
3.16/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grabbed this one for nostalgic reasons, and half considered drinking it East African style - that is to say warm. Glad I resisted as it was better ice cold.

This beer is what it is: a mass produced lager, and at that Fairly unremarkable. Given the shipping distance, at least my bottle, was a bit off smell wise. But really, overall it was crisp, Light and with out any real discernible hop.

Drinkable. Yes. Collectible? Maybe for he bottle.

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Photo of woemad
2.19/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle purchased at Total Wine in Spokane, Valley, WA, for $2.79. My first Kenyan beer. There is no freshness date anywhere on the bottle. For a long time I’d thought I’d had this, but I think it was actually Elephant Beer I was thinking of.

Poured into an Ice Harbor nonic pint glass, this was a clear, pale golden amber color, with a thin, noisy and fizzy head that disappeared quickly.

Crude, earthy grainy scent, with some fruity, diacetyl-like esters.

Sweet, corny, grainy flavor. No hop flavor at all. Pretty insipid.

Fairly light body, but very little carbonation so it comes off heavier than it should. Dull, lifeless mouthfeel.

11.2oz was as much as I could stand. Bland yet undercarbonated, so there’s no flavor payoff to the work that goes into drinking it. Oh, well, at least Kenya's now off the list.

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Photo of clvand0
2.56/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a yellow color with a moderate head and minimal lacing on the glass. The aroma is not very pleasing, but not too bad. The flavor is respectable, but nothing special and the aftertaste is a little bitter. Not a bad beer, but not a great one either.

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Photo of chickenm
2.68/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very pale golden color with a thin white head that quickly disappears. Aroma of grass and sour apples, I did not like. Light flavor, the taste has a little sweet malt and lemon, and some more of that sour apple. Body is quite thin, typical for a lager. Not completely undrinkable, but not something I'd buy again.

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Photo of Amalak
2.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a bottle of this at Stout, which is right by MSG in NYC. I figured when else am I going to get to try out a Kenyan beer? This wasn't too bad. Quite malty and somewhat sour.

It was a dull yellow in color with a thick foamy head and average lace. Malt scent to it. Very dry taste to it. Not bad at all, but doesn't really do anything for me, either.

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Photo of armock
3.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet grainy malt and corn

T - Like the smell sweet malt and corn flavors

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - For what it is its not all that bad and pretty much fits the style its a decent tasting lager that's refreshing if you haven't had an African beer yet this is one to try

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Photo of hardy008
1.99/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Clear light gold with a one finger white head with decent retention and lacing. The aroma has cooked corn and is somewhat sour and unpleasant.

The taste has a combination of sweetness from the malt and a bit of the sourness I picked up in the aroma. Doesn't seem to come together very well.

Light bodied with average carbonation. Nothing special here, just a typical Adjunct Lager. I am glad I had a chance to try this. Too bad the beer wasn't better.

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Photo of TheBrewo
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Our pour reveals a crystal clear, pale straw colored brew, with highly active carbonation. The white two finger head is somewhat resilient, and clings to the glass' walls. The aroma is metallic and malty. It does, however, hide some subtle notes reminiscent of apple juice. The players from the nose come through fully in the taste, which begins with a hollow, tinny assault on the taste buds. The sip peaks with a light malty sweetness, leaving a thin appley taste through the end of the swallow. This brew is thin bodied and overly carbonated, and while it has a standard abv, its drinkability is somewhat diminished.

Overall, when we were drinking this brew we kept saying "apple juice". It packs a light punch in the flavor department, and the overwhelming carbonation leaves the drinker somewhat burpy and unsatisfied.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Tusker pours a clear medium straw in color and yields a thin white head. Retention was brief but a surface film lingered longer than expected, yielding some spotty lacing.

Standard cereal grains, barley and rice, on the nose though seems to offer a bit more in body than your typical Adjunct. Hints of Euro. hops hide in the shadows, perhaps some light wheat.

Taste is fairly good. Slightly rich in malts and with a decent body, offering a bit of breadiness on the tongue and with a slightly chewy but short lived finish.

Another example of an 'American Adjunct Lager' done better by non-Americans. 'Named after George Hurst a co-founder of Kenya Breweries Ltd, who was killed by an elephant during a hunting expedition in 1923.'

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Tusker Premium Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
70 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.