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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 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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Photo of evlu1441
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first beer I've had from the African Continent. I really like the label and bottle cap.

It pours a light golden colour with a thin head. I'm surprised at the good head retention!

The smell is light and grainy, but pleasant.

The flavour is pretty good! It's very light, but all the good things about a light beer! there is a very slight hop flavour with a slightly dry finish. Very fine carbonation make this a really smooth drink.

Overall, this is a really refreshing beer, and I can imagine that it's incredibly satisfying on a hot Kenyan afternoon. If this was slightly cheaper, I'd drink it all the time in the summer!

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Photo of AmericanGothic
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a clear, straw yellow with one finger of off-white head. Decent retention and lace.

S: Sweet malt, some faint corn, a little earthiness.

T: A bit sweet up front, finishes dry with a touch of hops and also the alcohol sometimes peeking through. No off flavors, not bad for the style. After a while, some dry biscuit flavor joins the lineup.

M: Light, smooth, soda-like carbonation.

O: Not a bad beer, again, judging according to the style. Light and refreshing, no off-flavors. Would drink it again if offered, might not seek it out, though. Worth a try.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Exceedingly pale yellow, commonly known as straw-colored, with fine suspended bits like dust motes in a ray of pallid sunshine. The cotton white head is rumpled and bumpled on top with lace that looks shot through with buckshot.

The nose at first seemed indistinguishable from any other adjunct lager, but upon closer olfactory inspection, has an additional quality that I like. Sort of a sweet grain aroma that is much nicer than it sounds. It's one of the best 'macro' lager noses that I've run across.

That same quality is present on the palate and, likewise, meets my approval. It's probably corn, but it doesn't taste like corn. The flavor profile consists of sweet grass and grain with a nicely rounded flavor that contains no hint of skunkiness or sourness that is so prevalent in beer of this style.

The mouthfeel is thin initially, descending into frank wateriness on the finish, and the amount of carbonation is just right for easy drinking. Given the agreeable flavor, clean finish and light body, drinkability is fairly high.

I still wouldn't pick Tusker Premium Lager unless nothing else good was available, but for a macro lager it's tough to beat. A pleasant surprise from Kenya.

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Photo of DrJay
3.52/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium yellow with a bit of chill haze. Bright white head that recedes to a thick collar with some lacing evident. Malty aroma with floral and fruity hops, maybe a bit of honey sweetness as well. Clean flavour with lightly fruity malt sweetness and delicate floral hops. Bitterness appears towards the end and contributes to a slightly drying finish. Light bodied with ample carbonation. Not bad at all. I kind of like it.

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Photo of Montee
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a 12oz that I picked up from Beverage Warehouse in Culver City.

This is a very drinkable beer.

Goes down quite smooth.

The taste is inoffensive.

To me I do not care what a beer smells like, or looks like. What matters is its taste.

This one tastes good..

Would buy again.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, the only other African beer I can remember was from Namibia, and this one is quite a bit better.
Pours a very light golden, clean and clear. Moderate semi-soapy head inches up to about 1 finger, then settles to a very fine collar

Aroma is...not much. And that's good. Well, it's not bad. It lacks to unsavory characteristics of some/most AAL, like stale malt, socks and vinegar. It has a bit of a sweetness and light, very light, caramel. Hint of vague spice

A light flavor profile. Sweet malt, some corn leaves, and light caramel. A quick small burst of hops and some floral spice. All is fleeting, but that's good. The finish has a bit of film on it, but otherwise it does have a zing quality.

Carbonation could use a boost, I think it would help a bit. But not too much bubbles as they would detract from the flavors

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Photo of Musky
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This lager pours a nice clear birght yellow with a massive head that lefts it's mark as it was consumed. Fruity/Floral sweet smell with a little vienna malt aroma (probably not vienna but that is what it smells like). Heavier on the tongue that most lagers with a nice malt character to it. The hops are very well balanced with plenty of malt to back it up. A clean and tangy taste with a kind of dry aftertaste. A good example of the lager style.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good solid lager; one that I actually enjoy. Nice golden colour, with a thick white head.

Taste is typical lager, but a bit richer. A bit thicker than most lagers I've tried to date.

Nice and refreshing. A beer I enjoy in a style I generally don't enjoy. I'll defintely buy more of this.

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