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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
70
okay
373 Reviews
THE BROS
76
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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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
373
Ratings:
697
Avg:
3.01
pDev:
26.58%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
68
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 697
Photo of artoolemomo
2.69/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which really has no retention at all. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a clear pale straw that appears as a mix of pale straw and weak lemon when held up to the light. A speck or two of lacing.

Nose- Fairly boring, typical AAL aroma. I get sour grain from the glass while the bottle shows some cornflakes, grain, and a hint of sweet malt. Swirling does little to coax anymore scents- most likely because there aren't any.

Taste- Pretty much as boring as the nose and reflective of it as well. Sour grain, cornflakes, cereal, and a hint of sweet malt (maybe even a little bit of white grape). A very slightly bitter finish that has some earthiness, perhaps even a tinge of woodiness. Not as watery as a lot of AALs but pretty much as boring. The most positive aspect of this beer is there aren't really any off flavors.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with light carbonation. A little bit of a dry finish. It maybe could use a little more carbonation.

Drinkability- Very sessionable but the real question is why would you want to? And at 2.50 a bottle, just go and grab a PBR already.

Overall- Very mediocre to almost poor. We've all had this beer before and it's pretty much the reason why many of us are so obsessive about craft beer- we want a beer that tastes like something. This doesn't. You can pass on it.

 1,373 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
2.97/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden, very little head even with a roughish pour, and no retention. Almost fascinatingly little foam (read: none) after a very short while. Lazy bubbles.

S: Mild barley. Nothing else.

T: Barley, malt, other cheap grains. Has a lingering aftertaste, not sure if that is a good thing or not.

M: Light body and carbonation should equal refreshing, but that aftertaste cancels it out.

O: An expensive PBR. I have a fond memory of this beer from college, but upon a real reflection of it I realize that it just isn't that great of a brew. I think I'll pass on it next time I see one and leave that memory (mostly) untarnished.

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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 soju6
2.32/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a pale yellow color with a small head with bits of lacing.

S: Aroma is quite mild with just a bit of corn sweetness and not much else.

T: Taste is quite bland with a bit of malt sweetness. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Light body, just a bit of crispness and no flavor at all.

O: A non-offensive beer that is bland and has no character.

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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 bmwats
2.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner.

A: Transparent, hay colored hue. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Rising effervescence. Thick beer ring lacing.

S: Pungent malt. A little peanut, and rubber.

T: Pale malt with a slight synthetic sweetness, and soapiness.

M: Crisp and fairly light. Sticky and washed out.

D: Session lager.

Atmosphere is decent. Light hue, nice head, and thick lacing. Nose is pungent and nutty. Pale and washed out malt with a synthetic sweet/soapy palate. Overall, this is a pretty average quaff.

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Photo of hardy008
1.99/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Clear light gold with a one finger white head with decent retention and lacing. The aroma has cooked corn and is somewhat sour and unpleasant.

The taste has a combination of sweetness from the malt and a bit of the sourness I picked up in the aroma. Doesn't seem to come together very well.

Light bodied with average carbonation. Nothing special here, just a typical Adjunct Lager. I am glad I had a chance to try this. Too bad the beer wasn't better.

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Photo of Tone
3.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear, straw color. 4/3 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and Slight lacing. Smells of strong pale malt, adjunct, 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. Tastes of adjunct, 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 beeroclock
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

a - poured a clear gold with a some carbonation apparent and thick head with some lacing

s - some malt and cereal grains

t - picking up some malt with slight sweetness, more of the cereal and some hop notes

m - slightly oily with a nice aftertaste

o - refreshing enough, middle of the road, but very acceptable and happy to see Kenya producing a decent brew. I can drink it again...

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Photo of Michigan
3.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Consider this: this was the beer that greeted me after an 8 hour safari in the Serengeti. It was a hot and dry day and the sun was high.

A- The glass glistened with cool drops of condensation as I poured this cold bottle into a pint glass. The head ran slightly over as I vigorously pour this elixir. It was a pale yellow color and a pure white head that stuck around longer than expected. lots of bubbles from all over the glassr

S- aroma of a sweet lager

T- refreshingly crisp taste. clean finish. fresh.

M- thin feel. light body. thirst quenching. like drinking fizzy water

O- this is just what the body needed. If you find yourself in the same situation, pass on the Kilimanjaro Lager and have this instead! The best you'll get in the area

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.69/5  rDev +55.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tusker Lager has a thick, foamy head, a clear, bubbly, straw appearance, some suspended white particles floating throughout, a thick, foamy head, and a some minimal lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of full, sweet, bready, barley malt, and the taste is of the same, with some grass, mild hop bitterness, subdued sugar, and a bit of steamed vegetable. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Tusker Lager finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, drinkable, and wonderful. Overall, this is a definitive lager beer, and I rate it most excellent. Great stuff!

RJT

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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 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 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 Ryan011235
2.85/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of cfalovo97
3.16/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of beerme626
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%
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!

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Photo of magine
3.13/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of sommersb
3.22/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.08/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.19/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of ChuckNorris
3/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of mick303
3.14/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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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 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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Tusker Premium Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
70 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.