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

Not Rated.
Tusker Premium LagerTusker Premium Lager

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BA SCORE
70
okay

561 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 561
Reviews: 341
rAvg: 3.01
pDev: 20.27%
Wants: 8
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries) visit their website
Kenya

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-18-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 561 | Reviews: 341 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is not the Tusker Premium Lager... it's the export version of the regular Tusker Lager with the black, white and yellow label depicting an elephant in profile. It has a standard neck label rather than the gold foil of the "Premium Lager". It's strength is only 4.2% compared to the 5.0% of the "Premium", and it's starting gravity is lower at 1038 vs 1044. In addition to it's slightly thinner body, it's also much less hoppy in the nose. The adjunct is sugar, and it appears to be utilized at a much higher rate than the Premium's 10%.

Legend has it that this beer was named after an angry bull elephant that trampled to death one of the two brothers (George Hurst in 1923) that founded the brewery. It was reported to be Ernest Hemingway's favorite beer, and it's the largest selling beer in Kenya.

It pours a clear straw-gold body topped by a full and creamy bright-white head that holds fairly well before dropping, and leaves some nice lace. The bouquet expresses a grainy malt sweetness with some mild grassy and floral hoppiness in the background. The body is thin but exceptionally smooth across the palate with a fine carbonation. The palate is limited to a gently sweet maltiness that's obviously thinned by a liberal use of adjunct; and balanced by an understated bitterness. Some minor floral hop flavor is present if you seek it out, but doesn't present itself otherwise. It finishes short and sweet, just vanishing from the palate in much the same way it came in. It's a teasing beer that continually leaves you looking for more, which adds to it's drinkability but not much else. It's refreshing and light - easy to drink, but lacking in character.

NeroFiddled, Jan 27, 2003
Photo of RBorsato
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear light straw yellow color with a moderate white head. Light malt aroma and a very light hop aroma (Hallertau and Styrians from what I understand). Very light flavor and almost devoid of taste. Light and very thin with a crisp dry finish.

Not a bad hangover beer for the first New Year's Day football game.

[16.9 oz/500ml bottle] Label states: Gravity 1037-1039

Best before: June, '03
Tasted: 01/01/03

RBorsato, Jan 03, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.8/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, blossoming, sturdy ,crackling head. Transparent, yellow hue. Aroma is fresh, floral, honeyish, zesty and uplifting. Taste is clean, light bodied, everything one expects from a decent lager. A bit like SingHa, actually. This must go down well in African heat, just as perfectly intelligent North American beer fans will quaff a Crud Light or Swiller Genuine Crap in the summertime.
Slightly different than I remember this from 3 years ago, when last it was available in MN. A label change, not for the better, it appears, put it in limbo, and all the while my customers at the African restaurant and nightclub whose bar I manage demanded Tusker's whereabouts. I found a bottle in Portland, OR and got it's former distributor on the case. Our African customers normally go for Guinness, Extra Stout (NOT "Draught" )or Heineken, and little else. The Kenyans will switch to Tusker, but our main sales will be to the curious CaucasianAmericans, anxious to try something on the exotic side, only to find it's largely like all the decent lagers they've had before.
Not bad, though!

feloniousmonk, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of Suds
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

An unbelievably impressive head is the first thing I noticed on this unimpressive beer. The head is tall, thick, and rocky. It’s got serious stability and stickiness, leaving tufts of foam all the way to the bottom of the pilsner glass I drank from. (It’s unfair and probably irrational, I know, but the head was so thick and stable that my first thought was cobalt sulfate.) Other than the appearance, the beer is forgettable. Not much of an aroma….maybe a very faint grassiness. It’s a little watery, but initially somewhat sweet. Crisp, but average finish, and pleasantly drinkable.
Also, I was amused that the bottle had the raised words “beer only”.

Suds, Nov 10, 2002
Photo of TAMU99
2.4/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sharp taste with big afterbite. It's not a really good beer. But who cares! You're in Kenya! It passes. Tough to find a cold one.

I enjoyed it and would LOVE the opportunity to go back and try it again.

TAMU99, Oct 24, 2002
Photo of inebrius
2.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A fluffy white head to rival the snows of Kiliminjaro. A pallid gold. A soft wind whispers aromas of distant hayfields and spun sugar. A malt and hop symmetry at once right and good but quickly lost to a sickly corn aftertaste that lingers badly. A wholly average lager, but likely top notch when on safari in the green hills of Africa.

inebrius, Oct 18, 2002
Photo of marc77
2.4/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear straw hue w/ swirling flakes of yeast, topped by a thick, well retained bumpy white head that leaves good lace. Corn sweetness, light grain huskiness, mild sulfur in aroma w/ a trace grassy hop nose. Pasty creamed corn sweetness hits the palate upfront, then is followed by light, clean bready malt. Devoid of malt character overall. Subdued lemony hop flavor. Typically thinly bodied and watery in mouthfeel from the copious use of adjuncts and consequent lack of protein. Finishes clean and lightly sweet due to the paltry hopping. Tusker isn't flawed, but the large use of adjuncts leave a void in flavor that make it most forgettable. Not unlike macroswill, Tusker's bland enough to leave my palate craving flavor.

marc77, Sep 25, 2002
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

bb date- 3/2003
Pours a yellowish pale straw color, with a slightly chunky, small white head. On the nose there is a slight oily herbal hop aroma. On the palate, there is a slight graininess, hops, weird chewy mouthfeel almost oily, bread malt character. This is an ok lager, but nothing I’ll ever buy again.

WilliamPhilaPa, Sep 22, 2002
Photo of jackndan
3.73/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tusker, from Kenya: Very pale, absolutely clear beer from Africa in a brown half liter bottle. Best buy/by day clearly shown on the label (4/03). Very white, thick creamy head. Very little aroma, if any it’s slightly skunky. The first taste was quite a nice surprise, no euro-lager taste at all, rather it has a very nice bread malt flavor, with a crisp hop bite and a clean aftertaste. Very light bodied, and very easy to drink. Wow, I wish I had found this nice lager while the heat was on, particularly at $2 bucks a bottle.

jackndan, Sep 03, 2002
Photo of Jason
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Half liter brown bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label, no info about the beer at all.

Appearance: Big chunky white head lays down some lace here and there, very pale with a crystal clear yellowish straw hue.

Smell: Perhaps some skunkiness is there in the aroma but it is so indistinguishable that it does not matter, clean to the nose with hints of a cracker-like maltiness and faint oily herbal hop.

Taste: Moderate carbonation and light body that lands a slickness in the mouth feel. Clean palate with a crisp biting graininess that crops up after the carbonation rolls by. Bitterness rides with wave of prickly snappy character with a watered down herbal flavour. Malt is thin and grainy with a faint cracker grain flavour. Nearly bone dry finish.

Notes: A no frills lager and a damn good import for such a pale middle of the road lager. For less than $2 a bottle is was worth a try, this one certainly does a good job of cutting the humidity of the summer and quenching my thirst.

Jason, Jul 18, 2002
Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Moderate skunkyness in the nose, despite being packaged in a (light) brown bottle. I noted that Pegasus rated this beer not too long ago, and the packaging was much different. His was a green long-neck, and mine was a brown bomber. Poured up with the whitest head I think I've seen yet.

Some of the skunk carried in the taste, which overall was quite light, bordering on thin. Some mild grassy notes, and what I perceived as a distinct grape flavor, which I sometimes get with some Canadian brewed lagers. Although not too impressive, it was pleasant drinking.

I did note with some curiosity that the bottle had a "best before" notch date which was 9 months later than my purchase. I doubt this beer made it from Kenya to Kentucky in a big hurry, which makes me wonder if the brewer promotes a one-year shelf-life. I've always assumed a six-month shelf life was pretty standard for non-bottle conditioned beer, and I can't imagine a one-year shelf life for a light lager like this one.

Brent, Jun 26, 2002
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Tusker Premium Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
70 out of 100 based on 561 ratings.