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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
70
okay
372 Reviews
THE BROS
76
okay
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
372
Ratings:
687
Avg:
3.01
pDev:
26.58%
 
 
Wants:
16
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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Reviews: 372 | Ratings: 687
Photo of ProfessorCJ
3.4/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into an ale glass (I know). Transparent golden yellow beer with a short lived finer of foam. Good clean taste is above average for an american style lager. Nice mouthfeel with slight residual carbonation. Above average drinkability.

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Photo of Avryle
3.4/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pale straw-yellow colored with a thin white cap of foam and spotty lacing

S- Corn and malt.

T- Light malt. Kinda sweet. Doesn't have the adjuncty blech that I was expecting.

M- Very thin. Pure lawnmowin' beer.

D- Think- water, but with carbonation.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, straw color with a half finger of white head that held pretty well for this style. Good lacing.

Smells like corn husks and cotton candy.

Watery taste, mildest bitterness, ends a little sweet.

Crisp texture, light body, moderate carbonation. Fits the bill style-wise.

Maybe I haven't had an adjunct lager in awhile but this was a decent drink. No off-flavors or bad smell.

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Photo of decimator
3.41/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a mug. ABV 4.2%.

A - Poured a clear pale gold with a 1cm white head. Head slowly reduced to a thin cap and good lacing is produced.

S - Light grains & with a hint of grass. Quite light.

T - Light malty sweetness with a mild bitter finish.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp finish.

O - Decent light lager.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a clean, clear golden color into a pint glass. It was just a shade darker than straw. Two fingers of foamy white head developed and dissipated very quickly to leave a bubbly lacing and ring around the outside.

Smell: Sweet, almost light caramel, malts. It has a very pleasant, barnyard helles and vanilla aroma to it as well, enticing me to take a sip.

Taste: Surprisingly tasty for an adjunct. The light caramel and barnyard malts from the smell dominate the taste. A vanilla smoothness is also carried over from the aroma, but the beer is also crisp.

Drinkability: No wonder Hemingway drank it for breakfast. Tusker stands out on its own. Damn good lager.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.43/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first beer from Africa. Pours a crystal clear pale golden straw color with a big foamy head. Some malt character in the nose and perhaps some grassy notes. The palate is light and dry. Malt and breadiness on the palate balanced by some hop bitterness. The finish is dry and quick. Not too bad, if only it were hot and sunny day.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.44/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pilsner glass. I think this is the first 12oz imported bottle that I can recall. Usually it's 11.2oz (330ml).

Crystal clear golden hue with a very dense, pillow, and fluffy-appearing two finger bright white head. Looks like a settling cloud. I have to say, this is one attractive lager.

Very light bready grains, very weak. A little bit of flowery hop aroma, but also somewhat stale.

The flavor rebounds a bit, with some subtly cooked grains, and a little bit of hop bite. There is a very sweet flavor in the background, maybe the adjunct is corn? Light bodied.

An okay lager. It's actually somewhat enjoyable and I'd certainly except one in Kenya, or actually several places. A little too much of the vegetable flavor in this one, although it's barely there. Good, but plenty room for improvement.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.44/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Drizzam!

A - It sounds like a soda with its head creating quite a fury as it fades very fast from its cloak of white merely a trace at the surface. The body is thin, watery and a pale yellow. Far from an inviting look.

S - Slight corn aroma with a grainy edge.

T - Firm flavor of pale malt. Not much else happenin' here.

M - This beer has an interesting feel. It has a decent thickness to it making it rather smooth on the intake. But once it reaches the back and sides of my tongue a mild coarseness is released.

~ While the American adjuct lager is not by any means one of my top favorite styles I have to say this beer wears on me. With each pull it seems to get a bit better. That being said, its hard to rate the drinkability anything less than good.

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Photo of generallee
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz long neck bottle into a pint glass. There appears to be no freshness date.

Appearance: The body very light and has a very pale straw color with very good clarity. Its head is bright white in color and made of a loose foam which light and quickly fades out.

Smell: Light grain and clean wet straw notes are just noticeable in the modest light nose.

Taste/Palate: As expected the body was light and thin with a very clean bready/cracker like pale malt. Hops added pale straw like flavor, balanced bitterness and a crisp finish. Underneath is just the very slightest hint of a white grape skin flavor note.

Notes: Overall this is your basic pale thin hot weather lager. It was clean, drinkable and well, boring. Anyway I can now say that I have had a beer from the continent of Africa!

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Photo of buschbeer
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours a pale yellow and is topped with a couple inches of creamy white head.

S - I get a sweet, caramel or toffee, smell. No hops to speak of.

T - I get that sweet toffee in the taste as well. Clean finish.

M - Thin

O - It's actually a lot better than I expected. It has some taste or it is mildly pleasing.

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Photo of jwff
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice pale straw color with an ample white head that shrinks to a layer but leaves a bit of lacing. Smells of grains and a little bit of syrupy sweetness that is kind of inviting.

This is a sticky sweet lager with flavors of grain covered up by sugar and has what seems to be a subdued sugary fruit aftertaste -- something like a fruit roll up. Nothing offensive about the taste, and it's actually quite addicting. Considering the low abv I would have expected this to be very thin, but the sugar seems to beef it up a bit. This is unexpectedly balanced, and I would place it somewhere in the malt liquor category. Somehow I could see this coming in a 40.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy medium gold color with a pillowy white head that retains very well, lots of sticky lace, quite carbonated.

Aroma; Pronounced hop aroma with slight malt and grassy notes.

Taste: Grassy hops dominate the taste from start to finish. The malt character is rather subdued, having a mild cracker character. The finish is dry with a lingering, mild hop presence.

Mouth feel: Light, with a slight sting of carbonation, and a bit of slickness.

Drinkability/notes: Really not bad, well made, and certainly better than many members of the American Macro Lager class.

Presentation: Sample reviewed was a 500 ml short brown glass bottle with a pop-off crown. The legend "BEER ONLY" is molded into the bottle; I could not agree more with this sentiment. Tusker was formerly packaged in a 12 oz green glass long neck bottle, this package is a significant improvement. Served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of Gritsak
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pale golden straw colow with a big fluffy white head. head fades to a top film but never fully goes away. no lacing.

S- yeast, fruit, malt, grain.

T- nice yeast flavor with strong grainy finish. very light hop presence.

M- light and watery. little carbonation

D- if you stuck to this all night you would be fine...

overall- really not a bad beer. MUCH better then other macros such as bud/miller and the like. went great with the burger with the first bottle. very refreshing and the taste seems to grow on you the more you drink. worth a taste in my book.

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Photo of Atron67
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a clear straw yellow with a decent amount of white head, lasted a brief while, and left no lacing
S- malty, a slight hop notice, but a solid malt scent
T- A clean smooth malt taste, not spectacular but it is a solid flavor, got a little better as it warmed too, balanced pretty well.
M- a slightly crisp fine carbonation, slightly light body
D- pretty high, a solid picnic beer or something for summery days, clean smooth, but nothing spectacular

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Photo of seand
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear light yellow with a small white head. Most of the head dissipates, and it doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Very light aroma, slightly malty.

T: Light, slightly malty bread flavor, and a hint of a sweeter almost banana-y flavor. A bit more interesting than I expected, to be honest, though still relatively bland.

M: Medium carbonation, light to medium body, pretty standard.

D: Made to be drinkable, and even has a fairly low ABV.

A pretty standard lager, but not bad if that's what you're looking for.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light yellow with a small 1/2 inch white head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Random broken rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet grain, corn flakes, and slight buttered bread. Taste is of sweet grain, light fruit flavors, and some slight citrus flavors on the finish. This beer has a pretty good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good lager and my first beer ever from Africa. I am impressed with this one to be quite honest.

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

Good African lager. One thing about Africa, they have a love affair with lagers. This beer poured a faint, standard yellow. Sort of what most North Americans would think of when they think of beer. Head was a short, 1/2 finger height, but boy was it strong. That foam lasted til it was suds at the bottom of the mug. Sparce strips of lace were left in purely random places on the glass. Very odd. Apparent, almost soda cracker smell dominated the nostrils. It was pleasantly refreshing. A bit of a sweet/starchy smell overall. Same soda crackerlike taste. Sort of a dry, starchy taste. Never experienced that in a beer before. But hey, I like it, and my judgement will show it. Their is a hop presence when swallowing. Refreshing, dry and crisp mouthfeel. Very refreshing lager.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.47/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle.

A: clear golden color with a finger of white head. Some lacing which is kind of surprising.

S: Smells like corn with a little malt thrown in.

T: Not really much to it but it is very refreshing. Little bit of sweetness from the malt. Like a bad macro with a slightly more favorable and different approach.

M: Light body with tons of carbonation.

D: This is why I love this beer. Super drinkable and halfway decent taste.

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.48/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. 1/2 inch head with a vigorous pour that settles quickly into a thin layer of tiny bubbles. Malty smell with skunky hops throughout. Relatively active carbonation rising through the pale, yet saturated hue of yellow. The first sip was actually better than I had expected. Big malty flavor and a slightly thick and creamy mouthfeel. The aftertaste has a little tinge to it, but overall I thought this beer was way better than most American/Canadian macro lagers.

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Photo of KeefD
3.48/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by date of Jan '09. Pours a crystal clear straw yellow color with a nice amount white foam that slowly recedes leaving behind little lacing. Smell is of some sweet malt and not much else. Taste is surprisingly refreshing and quite nice for this style. It's simple, yet good. Some lightly toasted malt, small amount of spiciness, tiny notes of fruitiness, and a very light hop character. Slightly sweet up front, dry on the finish, crisp, and decent carbonation. Easily drinkable, and a great session macro-style lager. An all around nice beer, and my first from Africa. I'd take this over any BMC AML any day.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.48/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a mug at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a clear straw gold, and forms a large, billowy head of thick white foam with good retention. Lacing was quite noticeable.

Smell: Biscuit malt forms the bulk of the smell, though oddly sweet, with an almost honey-like note to the sweetness. Grassiness is also present, with something vaguely rootlike.

Taste: Again, biscuity malt with that honey sweetness, like eating a biscuit that has honey drizzled over it. Grassy notes abound throughout the tasting process as well, alongside a presence best described as pollen. It's a simple taste profile, though not a bad one.

Mouthfeel: Light, lively, and drinkable.

Overall: Not a bad lager. Not the greatest lager ever brewed, but the honey-sweetness adds a bit of interest that I haven't run across often with pale lagers.

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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 wolfinthemirror
3.49/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly clear yellow, looks like slightly tinged water. white foamy head.


not much to the smell but some bready malts.
'
Thte taste is a lot like a malt liquor, sweet and malty, with some faint hops in the tail end. Really pretty good, id take this over an american adjunct like a miller or miller or bud.

Light beer with modrate crabonation, smooth crisp and refreshing. great on a warm day.

Highly drinkable, smooth, and sweet. easy to chug down and enjoy.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.49/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe it's the history (read your Hemingway, and you can't escape mention of this beer), or maybe it's just that after a hot day on safari, you just want something crisp and refreshing... I don't know what it is, but I wanted nothing more than a Tusker (and an odd G&T, admittedly) most days in Kenya... Or perhaps a Tusker Malt. I digress...
On to the review...

Appearance> Clear, golden yellow. Very lively. Big, white, foamy head with large bubbles. Good lacing. Pretty par for course for a good lager.

Smell>cereal. Nothing special, but luckily nothing bad.

Taste> Balanced. Refreshing. Not very complex. Great start, slightly bitter, but crisp with a soft hang that doesn't linger long.

Mouf>effervescent. okay.

Drinkability> Really. There are worse lagers out there.

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Tusker Premium Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
70 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.