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

Not Rated.
Tusker Premium LagerTusker Premium Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

362 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 362
Hads: 656
Avg: 3.01
pDev: 26.25%
Wants: 15
Gots: 59 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries) visit their website

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-18-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tusker Premium Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 362 | Hads: 656
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.69/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 500ml, tall thin brown glass bottle. Crown cap is color and design coordinated. An Elephants head sits inside a yellow oval which is in turn inside a white one set against a black label. Gold, black and yellow V-shaped neck label completes the presentation. Front label has the inkjet code “Mfg 31 May 05 Exp 31 May 06”, guess this one is a bit past its prime maybe!? Listed as 4.2% v/v Grav: 1037° - 1039°. My bottle is labeled as “Tusker Finest Quality Lager”.

Appearance: Sad flaccid pathetic looks, the fizzling white head disappears rapidly to a thin halo like edge, the surface reflects the lightly hazed milky golden pong beneath.

Nose: Sweet malts, some whiff of that awful pink colored bubble gum that is directed at kids and a gentle floral character which often merges into bubble gum aromas actually.

Taste: Light grain and a sweet hoppy nature. Some flowery tingles here and there. A very low tasting affair that seems one-dimensional and a little boring.

Mouthfeel: Thin, but not in a bad way, the texture is in line with the low key taste profile but it never seems to bolster it. The finish has a good balance though.

Drinkability: I can take it or leave it. Hmm, this is another one of those famous local brews that obviously dominates a local market, and has a rather mythical status, but on closer inspection really fails to live up to anything other than a very average beer that has a bigger personality profile that it deserves.

Overall: KenYa beer?!? Nah! More of a KeenNO beer – this is a “I am not so Keen” on this beer actually. I always wanted to give it a whirl though, well that’s my curiosity well and truly put down, I have no plans to head out to Kenya that’s for sure.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.7/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First African beer I've ever tried. Pours clear gold with an average white head. Pale malt and mineral water aroma. Thin, but has a pleasant light and sweet taste. Really good on a hot day, no real shock as it is from Kenya. Not going to get again, but worth trying.

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Photo of Libeertarian
2.7/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Mostly clear, but not as much as others of this style. Golden straw colored with white foamy head of low retention, but filming and lacing. Smell is grainy and incredibly sweet from malt and adjunct, not so much esters/alcohol. A strong rice and barley taste, mildly sweet, followed by small hop bite, but mellows back down with grainy retro-olfaction. Thin, a little less than smooth, highly carbonated, crisp and refreshing. Fairly distinct from other Adjunct and Pale Lagers, making less of an attempt to mask adjuncts.

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Photo of Onslow
2.7/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

got from the LS ... pours with a great big healthy head ... lacing is quite supreme, good start here ... has some corn and a hop smell similar to saaz ... some sweetness in the chewer ... is a very refreshing lager beer, also has a low to medium crispness ... not bad stuff, i can see drinking this in Nairobi...

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Photo of beergeek279
2.7/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in the 500 mL bottle, into a pint glass. The color is straw yellow, with a decent white head. The smell is a pale malt with a bit of hoppiness. The taste is a slightly adjuncted pale malt with a bit of hoppiness to it. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, for what it is I could have a couple.

I realize that 90% of national beers are going to be pale lagers. I have to say that this is amongst the better ones I've had in that national pale lager category. Not that this is something I'd rush out to find, but the Kenyans should be proud of a better-than-average national beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear very pale yellow with a finger tall bright white head that is fizzy like soda. The head dissipates rather quickly but does leave some lacing on the glass. There is a fair amount of visible carbonation.

S: Very little smell at all to this beer - what I can detect is slightly crisp with the predominant smell being of corn and grain. In addition to that there is a slight hint of a metallic smell which is interesting since this is not from a can.

T: Upfront the taste is mostly corn and grain with the slightest hint of malts. The aftertaste has hints of lemon. Overall the taste is kind of watery and there is not a lot of flavor.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: Very easy to drink and quite sessionable due to the light flavors, smell, and ABV. But honestly, I'm not sure that I would really want to drink many of these or have it again... I prefer a little more flavor and something a little more interesting.

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Photo of tgorgz
2.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this into a pilsner glass, as it was all I had in the house at the moment.

A: A golden, straw-like colour. Looks like a standard lager. Less carbonation than I expected, however.

S: Smells quite good, actually. A little sweet, with a touch of hops at the end of the nose. I was surprised actually, considering it was shipped from Africa.

T: I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed. Maybe it was the green in the bottle, but I may have had something a little skunky. It was flat- the carbonation in the glass didn't transfer onto my palate. I was also thrown off- I couldn't taste any of the malt, and the hops were overpowering a in a lager.

M: Not pleasant to drink, but not unpleasant. I'd have a couple of these, but it would only be if I were planning on having some food with it.

O: Overall, I wasn't entirely impressed- but not turned off. This is actually the first African beer I've ever had, so I'm looking forward to exploring other flavours and styles.

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

This is an exception to my rule that brew is best closer to home. The only reason (I believe) that Tusker has become so popular is because there are so many tourists in Kenya and it is a novelty to drink an African beer with that oh-so-African elephant on the label. This one is basically plain old beer and is a VERY far cry from the Malt Lager by Tusker, which I think is supremely better and shows more attention to craft. All of this brews qualities are the standard mass produced ones. The end.

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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 BrewChatKen
2.75/5  rDev -8.6%

Aroma was grainy, biscuit, rice/corn, smells bland and very much like an adjunct lager. There was a very slight earthy hop character and it took on a slight tang as it warmed. It poured a pale golden color with a big white head and it had a body that surprised me, I was expecting water and got something light to medium with a moderate carbonation level. Taste was BORING! That blandness really carried through to the palate. Grainy, biscuit from the malt, subtle earthy hop, but mostly a whole lotta nothin. It's just not a good beer, if this is the style I'm going for I might as well be handed a Bud Light.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.75/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light straw color. The head is a frothy one finger white shade. Both retention and lacing are surprisingly good, given what it is.

S: Not much of anything here. A touch of non-offensive cereal grains, and maybe some crackery malt to go along with it.

T: Starts with lime notes, and finishes with some cereal grain. This is very simple - to a fault, definitely - yet I can still find a modicum of enjoyment to this. Which is more than I can say about many macro lagers.

M: Really light and crisp, as it should be. Both sweetness and carbonation is high, but not overdone, making this a good hot weather drink.

O: Not very interesting, to be sure, but as far as macro lagers go, this one is actually kind of good. Import prices kill any chance of me buying this again in 'Merica, though.

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Photo of microbrewlover
2.75/5  rDev -8.6%

This brew pours with a large three finger fluffy white head which takes some time to dissipate. There is light lacing left on the glass; strong carbonation. The beer is a yellow /orange and when held up to the light a lot of sediment (yeast)? can be seen.

The smell is crisp, clean and tangy, maybe some orange and/or lemon zest in there.

The taste follows the nose with a clean, crisp lager taste followed by some lemon peel and orange. The finish is a little dry.

Overall there is nothing amazing going on with this lager, it is not the worst adjunct lager I have tasted but it is not the best either. I would drink it again but I will not go looking for it.

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Photo of tastymug
2.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, pale gold typical of a pilsner with a small frothy head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Light aroma, mildly sweet.

Taste: Generally light on flavor with a bit of a bite. Maybe a little grassy. I don’t notice the skunky aftertaste often found in American light lagers.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and carbonated, light.

Overall: Nothing extremely special, probably about right for a typical lager with an extra point or two for not tasting skunky and I’d guess when having a fresh bottle in the country it originates from it would be very thirst quenching and agreeable.

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Photo of popery
2.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is bland and boring but better than most macro lagers. It's a dull yelllow beer, clear as a bell, with a thin white, dissipating head. My new SN Hop Tulip is actually keeping some head on the beer. The aroma is sweet and simple but without any real fault. The flavor is a lemony sugar malt. It's a quite refreshing beer. I'd certainly be happier with this beer than most in the style.

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Photo of SetarconeX
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

They make beer in Kenya? I had to give it a try.

Nice little color, nice and bubbly, and not as transparent as a lot of other lagers. All of which, in my opinion, in canceled when you take a whiff of the stuff. A relative seemed to enjoy it, comparing it to jasmine. I can see where you could get that, but it would have to be a weird, fermented jasmine.

Decent taste, decently hoppy, without really launching off in any particularly unique directions. I suppose it gets toasty in Kenya, and the beer's supposed to still seem somewhat light and refreshing.

A solid beer, if not overly impressive. Would probably pick it over many of the standard macro lagers. Besides, how often do you find Kenyan beer?

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Photo of LiquidAmber
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a thin white head with good retention and lacing. Faint aroma of sweet malt and grassy wheat. Flavor is light slightly sweet malt and a hint of grassy hops. Finishes rather dry and abruptly leaving a slightly mineral aftertaste. Light bodied. A very bland and lightly flavored lager with no off flavors, but nothing really to recommend it. At least I can tick Kenya without flying thousands of miles for this.

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Photo of jwc215
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured very pale yellow with a thick, foamy head the became a well-retained lace.
The smell was thin - smelled vaguely of corn syrup with a touch of fruitiness.
The taste was of syrupy malt, with a touch of some vague fruit mixed with a bit of yeast and plenty of water.
At first it felt like a malty seltzer water on the tongue, but then a sweet, salty stickiness overwhelmed all tastes and a touch of a sulphur-like metal feeling remained.
The high carbonation made it drinkable at first, but as it warmed it became worse. Drink this one cold and fast.
IMO - it's not awful - there are worse out there - but nothing about it would have me buy it again.

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Photo of FLima
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bright golden color with a thin head with short retention.
Light sweet malt and lime aroma with hints of herbal hops.
Similarly, refreshing taste of herbal hops and sweet malt. Hints of oxidation and cardboard finish. Dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
It has a nice African history tradition, nevertheless is not even a superior Adjunct Lager. I would pass.

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Photo of Olek4374
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I had a sample of this beer at the Edmonton international beerfest having never had an African beer before. Basically, this beer is meant to hydrate - it`s got pretty weak flavour, but what it does have is resembles a good beer - not some garbage adjunct lager. It goes down extremely easy, which I suppose makes it easy to become intoxicated off of, but this beer is pretty expensive for one bottle, so that probably isn`t the most practical use.

The colour is very pale yellow like a light lager would be, but it tastes better than one. It`s not super flavourful, but not unflavourful too - it`s really weird.

I likely wont buy a bottle of this again, but it was basically what I expected would come out of a hot place like Kenya - a refreshing and not intensely flavoured lager, but pleasantly not full of adjuncts. Nice work at making a good adjunct lager - where the adjuncts are not the first thing you notice.

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Photo of taigor
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into regular pint glass.

A - Poured clear pale yellow straw color with very thin head that quickly dissipated leaving almost no lacing around the glass.

S - Slightly malty with floral and corn hints but not much there.

T - Very grainy with taste of corn and slight flavors of malt and yeast. Slightly metallic taste towards the finish.

M - Light bodied with average carbonation.

O - Very simple adjunct lager. Not much was expected and this lager proved to be just that. I would not recommend it.

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Photo of Tone
2.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clear, straw color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of pale malt, rice, hint of hops, and a hint of sorghum. Fits the style of an American Adjunct Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight dryness. Tastes of rice, pale malt, hint of hops, and a hint of sorghum. Overall, decent appearance, but otherwise average at best in all other categories.

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Photo of TheBierBand
2.8/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this at the suggestion of my cousin Chris while we were at Shakespear's Pub in Sarasota, FL. See if I take his advise again....

This beer was average macro lager right down the line. Although, the taste was even more watered down than even most domestics.

Little head retention and no lacing. Color was clear fizzy yellow.

Almost non existant nose on this one.... some light malt taste.

Taste: like a light beer... very little substance.

MF: Too fizzy... but average in every respect.

Drinkability: Nothing special here. Avoid in favor of some richer, more robust beers.

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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 SixpointJMH
2.82/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

cracked the bottle open and instant skunk aroma came out. luckily (and strangely) it disappeared for the most part shortly thereafter. this one pours a pale straw yellow colour witha nice white frothy head that dissolves rather quickly to a lasting lace with surprising stickiness. the smell did retain a bit of the skunkiness, but aside from that, there wasn't much else in the smell department, save for maybe some grain and hop smells. the taste is again grain and hop, though mostly watered down, yet crisp and refreshing without being overly carbonated. there's a bit of a sweet aftertaste that did not compliment the dry finish so much. a slightly below average yet still drinkable lager.

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Photo of Prufrock
2.82/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle into a pilsner.

clear pale golden yellow with an inch of foamy white head that falls quickly. some rising bubbles.

smells like an american macro lager, with hints of sweet malt and hops. also has a slightly sweeter honeylike component.

taste and mouthfeel are fairly light and thin. starts off with a hint of bitterness but the finish again has a slight honey flavor. comes off as sweeter but more balanced than most other mass-produced lagers, and is very drinkable, if uninteresting.

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Tusker Premium Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
70 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.