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

Not Rated.
Tusker Premium LagerTusker Premium Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
70
okay

632 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 632
Reviews: 362
rAvg: 3.02
pDev: 19.54%
Wants: 14
Gots: 49 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-18-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tusker Premium Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 632 | Reviews: 362
Photo of LiquidAmber
2.78/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of tastymug
2.76/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of decimator
3.41/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of Ryan011235
2.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic pint glass on 12/3/12

APR 13 printed on the bottle

Pours with almost no color at all. It's very light even in the glass; kind of a dulled golden apple juice color. Fizzes like club soda. One finger head dissipates quickly leaving a ring of smooth foam that tapers out to rather impressive lace. Good rings of lace overall.

The aroma calls to mind a gin and tonic. It has an herbal spiciness and grassy, nippy hops. The malt backing is barley dusk and clean cereal grains. Focus shifts toward the grains over time.

The flavor and feel are both thinner and more hollow than the aroma had me hoping for. A watery body is punctured by aggressive, crackling carbonation. To top it off, the finish has a coating feel; no idea how they pulled that off with such a thin feel.

My initial impression of the flavor is weak. After I drink on it for a while (and after I move past some of the body issues), cereal grains flesh out and spar with herbal hops and something of a spicy, herbal-tinged finish. A little skunky, too.

Tusker is far from great, but it's drinkable. I reckon fresh bottles are pretty solid.

I doubt I'll ever find myself in Kenya but if I do, I'd probably drink the hell out of this.

Photo of cfalovo97
3.16/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of beerme626
3.75/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from Beltway Liquors, in Baltimore, poured into a Weizen glass

A: Beautiful lager appearance. Nice and yellow/amber, with an impressive two-and-a-half head and champagne bubbles. Looks nice.

S: A bit farmhouse-y, but not hoppy like a farmhouse IPA. Barley clearly present.

T: Average+ lager. Better than, say, Miller, and better than most developing countries' lagers I've had, i.e. Latin American ones.

M: Pleasant bubbles and mild taste = refreshing, if simple

O: Comparing to other foreign lagers, excellent. NOT WORTH the 3.49 a bottle, but still very good!

Photo of magine
3.13/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At DIsneys ANimal Kingdom sanaa

Clear pale malt color fluffy white head

Smells of rice and pale wheats

Carbonated and finishes smooth, macro and plain in all aspects. Cool to try but nothing special. Rice and pale wheat malts. Some mellow spiced hops.

Average lager that has better than average flavor. And they do it better then the macros here.

Photo of sommersb
3.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 09-13-2012
Freshness: Best by 12-08-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: Single from World Market

My motivation for picking up this beer was to try a beer from Africa for the first time...

Color is golden and clear, topped by a thin white head that fades away quickly. Some lace stays on the glass. Aromas are of bready, light pilsner malts as well as hay and grassy smells.

The taste is clean but not very flavorful. I get low bitterness, light maltiness and a little sweetness. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and crisp, with a thin body. Finishes slightly bitter with some vegetable aftertastes.

Overall nothing too special about the taste of this beer, but it wasn't bad. The website says all of the ingredients are sourced in Africa which is pretty cool. I'd say it is a good example of the style.

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 12 Jul 2012 (oh well, I'm twelve days late):

In a pilsener:

A: golden transparent body that leaves a large one finger white head and lingers for a good two minutes. There are some fast rising carbonated bubbles. Some foamy spiderwebbed lacing appears and slides down the glass.

S: all about the rice and the sweet corn. A bit of honey comes out.

T: rice and the corn again except its not as sweet as the smell.

M: light to medium, slightly watery, some carbonation felt on the tongue, sessionable

O: I'm glad I can say I've tried something from Africa, but probably won't seek this out again.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.19/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear pale dirty straw color. Thin white head with some persistent strands of lacing noted. Remarkably colorless beer.

Smell: Crisp, grainy, a little bit of sweetness.

Taste: Sweet, crisp clean malt, hint of honey, earthy hop finish. Quite a simple flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Watery with carbonation just south of fizzy.

Overall / Drinkability: Despite not being much to look, it's still a crisp and refreshing beer. I could easily have another. It's a simple and unassuming beer and it goes quite well with food to wash it down (fish tacos in my case). I suspect it would go quite well with highly spicy African food as well to counter the fire and heavy flavor from that type of food. Glad I tried it.

Photo of ChuckNorris
3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really liked the fact that they still re-use the bottles. Not crush, melt and make a new bottle like in the US. I didn't find this a very flavorful beer but what flavor it did have was nice. It is a decent beer for those hot summer nights. I wouldn't bother trying to save a lot of luggage space to bring some back, maybe a bottle or two.

Photo of mick303
3.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a head of pale white foam, leaves a film and good lacing. Colour is pale gold with a decent carbonation.

Aroma holds mostly malt, sour lager notes. Nothing particularly inspiring.

Taste initially holds a light citrusy, taste is quite refreshing. Not much other than thin malt flavours along with the carbonation, hops are fairly understated. A sort of mineral or grainy character towards the end. Drinkable without much body in the way of taste or aftertaste, but certainly better than the big macros. Finish is very dry.

I find the mouthfeel quite light, not excatly watery, slightly crisp.

Good on a hot day. Not offensive and pretty refreshing, but not terribly inspiring.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.49/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of buschbeer
3.45/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of Murrhey
1.92/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live. No best-by date visible.

A- Half a finger white head. Soapy looking with large, glassy bubbles. Fades quickly. Some spotty lacing. Crystal clear pale-golden color. Looks like a Budweiser.

S- Sour malts and soapiness. Actually surprisingly fruity and sour. Not sure if that is intentional or not. Light fruits and light lager smell.

T- Funky malts, gave me the goosebumps. Extremely watery taste, and what is beyond the water is some sour mash kind of maltiness. Definitely more flavorful than some American lagers, but not by much.

M- Carbonated water.

O- For as bad the score I'm giving it, it is actually fairly drinkable. It would be hard not to be considering it is so watery.

Photo of Tastybeer007
1.95/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Water water water water water water!!! This is like drinking bud light, except produced in Kenya

I wouldnt drink it again unless i'm on a bowling alley and its 10 the pitcher

no flavor, No smell, no taste of anything but water with a faint carbonation.

People mention sweet water. I didnt taste no sweetness. Just water

Photo of ckollias
2.88/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of Brad007
2.86/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't think I've had many beers from the continent of Africa.

Pours a straw gold with a decent white head into my glass. It looks like a standard adjunct lager.

Sweet malt that is almost non-detectable. Not much else either to impress the nose.

Sweet, sweet, sweet. Inoffensive. It's just bland. There's more flavor in the American examples.

Watery. Sweet. Sweet water?

As much as I wanted to like this, I just don't dig it.

Photo of Dave1999
1.36/5  rDev -55%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer poured a transparent yellow with a foamy white head.

It smelled like butter and corn. It was rather pungent and off putting.

The taste wasn't quite as bad as the smell however it was still pretty bad. It tasted of corn and was pretty sweet.

In the mouth it felt sloppy not crisp at all like a larger should be.

Overall this was a terrible larger, it was undrinkable and the smell was truely awful. Worst beer I've ever had.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of Jimmys
3.54/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pale gold body. crystal clear. big bubbly white head. retention is reasonable and the lacing

S: honey. sweet grain. oh so slightly toasted. a mild vanilla.

T: chewy bit of base malt. corn. a little bit of earthy hop flavor, but fleeting at best. finish is clean and dry.

M: could use a touch more carbonation. light bodied.

D: as far as an adjunct lagers go, this one is okay. good nose and flavor, considering what little there is to start with.

Photo of dbrauneis
2.71/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
2.42/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle to stange. Sampled 10/29/11 with a best by date of 2/16/12.

A: Two fingers of bright white airy foamy head rise from the pour and last much longer than expected. The color of the body is the lightest, palest yellow that I've ever seen in a beer. Clarity is top notch. Lacing is rather decent.

S: Metal, generic grain, rice or corn, with an overall adjunct-y aroma and taste. Not much else stands out in the malt department - and almost nothing as far as hops go. Fruity esters from the lager yeast.

T: Not a whole lot unlike Miller Lite, if memory serves. Embarrassingly enough for the collective American palate, this beer is significantly better - and much better than anticipated.

M: Very light beer with a crisp and snappy finish. A little metallic. With the ABV unlisted, I was thinking as low as 3%. Very refreshing.

O: Hey - not bad man. Would Tusker be a gold medal award winner at International Monde Selection if it were?

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev +16.9%
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

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.47/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Tusker Premium Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
70 out of 100 based on 632 ratings.