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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
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Reviews: 362 | Hads: 656
Photo of Sammy
2.32/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A little white in another pale lager. Passable aroma. Light mouthfeel even a tad grainy rather than creamy and little taste. Macro type ale.A tad metallic mid-sip. Can drink it if thirsty.Fresh.More malty than bitter.Suitably carbonated. Passable overall rather than a standard macro.

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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 metter98
3.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear and very light yellow in color. It poured with a thin white head that took a long time to fade away and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
T: The taste is dominated by pale malts and a mild amount of sweetness and has some hints of corn. A slight amount of bitterness is perceptible in the finish.
M: It feels very light-bodied and clean on the palate along with a good amount of carbonation that makes it feel a bit creamy.
D: The beer goes down much too easily. This is the perfect lawnmower beer; it's great if you're looking for something very light on a hot summer day that actually has some flavor.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured just like any other lager would, a yellowish gold with a good head at first that faded quickly. The aroma had some hints of citrus to me. Not really sure where that was coming from but it sparked my interest. The taste was basically like most lagers out there. This brew wasn't too bad but it wasn't anything overly special either.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Though nothing to get excited over, the beer has some freshness and crispness that cary it a long way. Pours a vivid straw color with airy head retention, for about a minute. Aromas of green apples, pilsner malts, and earthy hops seem well balanced. The flavors of apples, pears, light malt, and fresh hops spice things up a bit, but never interfere with the fresh yeast / hop character. The body is lighter than the flavors, but never seem watery. Finihses wiht a minty snap and a crisp dryness. The beer is put together well, but lacks the character to raise far above average.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle: Poured a very pale yellow color lager with nice foamy with head with better retention then expected. Aroma of malt and hops are very faint and almost non-existent. Taste is refreshing with some malt and very little hops. The surprising thing about this one is that it is not skunk even though is traveled 5000 miles in a light brown bottle.

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Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear beer-like appearance. Almost water-like, maybe a shade lighter than water, sort of like pee when you've had a lot of water to drink, with about as much head.

The nose is butter and corn. Sweet, slick, curiously cloying for such a light beer.

Sweet and slick, the diacetyl is somewhat overbearing here. Buttery with a smattering of cooked vegetables and frozen white corn. Almost crisp, but the buttery slickness really impairs both the flavor and texture. Finishes sweet, grainy, corny. This is actually quite bad.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Half-litre staid stubby-esque bottle, best before Jan 2010, on a sunny autumnal Sugarbowl patio.

This beer pours a clear pale golden straw colour, with two fingers of weakly puffy, soapy dirty white head, which leaves some attractively consistent webbed webbed lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet, pale grainy malt, mashed corn grits, and some earthy, weedy, dead leafy hops. The taste is more sweet corn and glutenous white grain 'maltiness', a touch of light diacetyl, stale minced apples, and more earthy, dead-eyed leafy hops.

The carbonation is fairly low, and generally less than obsequious, the body a weak-ass medium weigh, tacitly smooth, and more mealy than anything else. It finishes on the mostly dry side, with a tame-ass malt ceding everything to that wee bit of floral essence among a lingering, mostly unpleasant vegetal weediness.

A barely decent enough tipple for the style, as transposed across a few continents and an ocean or so, meaning that being an interesting thing to try from East Africa trumps overtly rejecting it as the same shit produced in the 'western world'. I don't know where to justify that particular piece of commercial and geo-political bullshit, but I'm not about to grab another of these, all the same.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours from a 12 oz bottle a clear pale yellow with a one-inch thick ivory white which fades to the rim and a thin cap leaving clumpy lace.

N: Barley, malts, grainy, yeast, biscuits, faint lemony citrus.

T: Crisp, slightly skunked corn, malty, earthy and rather bland.

M: Light body and semi-medium carbonation. Semi-dry and clean finish.

O: Just another adjunct lager (JAAL), this time from Africa.

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Photo of zeff80
2.41/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a pale yellow color with a pillowy, white, three-finger head. No lace, however.

S - It smelled of corn, grain and a hint of yeast.

T - It mostly tasted of corn/grain. It was fairly sweet and no real hop flavor to speak of.

M - It was fairly crisp and dry. A light-bodied beer.

D - I wasn't overly impressed. It looked better than it smelled or tasted. There just was much in terms of flavor.

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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 oberon
2.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first and only African beer I have tried went in with low expectations and well it was pretty average.Pours a clear straw yellow with a decent head but it is gone in a flash,light iron aromas with some toasted grain but not much to it but it didnt offend me so ok.Taste is light just to watered down there is some graininess but just not enough going on.I could see this beer being chugged in the Kenya heat maybe even the NC heat but no other time,I'll pass again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very light pale golden yellow. A large, billowing four inch head of fizzy white foam formed initially on the top and stayed or all of a few minutes. It rested down to just a thin layer covering the top of an otherwise uninspiring looking liquid. Lots of carbonation could be seen streaming up from the top of the glass. No side glass lace was present what so ever, overall this looked to me to be nothing more then the average macro lager.

S - Aroma was light to say the least. Not much here really to pick up on, in fact it was hardly there at all. What I found was a light blend of grain and almost corn or maybe rice that was just strong enough to be picked up. A touch of some grass maybe as well, and a bit of a bready thing, but nothing really too special. Kind of musty in the overall aroma.

T - Ehh, I knew where this one was going already. Shall I say best served very cold? This was just another imported macro and I should have saw that one coming. What flavor was there was light grain and corm, mixed in with a touch of fresh grass, just enough to try and give it some semblance of a flavor. For some reason I kept picking up rice notes in here, not really sure as to why. But the flavor either way way very light and rather bland. Towards the end I started to pick up the slightest amount of some bready malt and possibly the smallest hint of some cereal grain, but again nothing standing out to me.

M - Very very light. To its credit this was very light and refreshing, something that is rather common with the style, and I was outside and it was hot, so this one served its purpose very well at the time. Now other then that I really do not have much else to say. Very light with very little body of presence to it. Just a forgettable lager.

D - Superb when it is hot outside and this is cold. Now reverse those to and it might cause you some trouble. This was actually not that bad at all drinking wise when it was first poured; the only problem was when it started to warm up and just fell flat. Cannot let these things get warm and I know better then that, learned my lesson on this one.

Overall I tried it because it was unique compared to what else was there, however it was really not that special at all. I am glad I chose it over the BMC making up the majority of the rest of the choices however it was of the same vain. I suppose you could do much worse in a selection; however this was really not that great. I would have it again if it was ice cold and I was thirsty and did not have to pay for it, but either then that I will find one from somewhere else.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Special thanks to AndoBrew, who brought this beer, along with many others, back from his recent trip to Africa, the Dark Continent.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a... white head? Hmm. Curious.

Smell: This smells exactly like the White Cap lager produced by the same Kenyan brewery.

Taste: This tastes almost identical to the White Cap lager. Very mild malt taste with an equally light sweetness. Hint of stale grain husks and flowers. The finish holds tastes of chicken broth and simmered veggies.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Another okay, but odd African lager!

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.68/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

On the occasion of my 200th review, I've opted for my first African brew. Hailing from the southern portion of the Horn, Tusker looks Droopy-esque, all sad and unappealing with its run-of-the-mill sallow color and foamy white head. Frankly, if I saw an elephant looking like this, I'd be afeared of cathcing some new-fangled Elephant Flu. The high compliments don't end there, as the smell, though intriguing, is generally off-puttingly sour. Now, I'm not tslking gueuze or Flanders red here, but just a subtle, faint funk. The rest of the smell is very ho-hum: rice, corn, wheat, oh my...how boring and AAL of it. Which reminds me: why do so many non-American countries seemingly exclusively brew up AALs? I guess it's efficient and cheap and whatnot, but still... What would be nice would be a new and different take on the AAL, but no, it's all the same old song here, just with a different label from where it's from (the Temps didn't like that version of the song): corn syrup, rice cake, and vague wheat somber the proceedings the way the Big 3 have for decades. A slight tin flavor makes things extra disappointing. Apparently in keeping with tradition, the light body, moderate carbonation, and watery feel are all maintained in accordance with the BMC Neutrality Laws. At least you can just pound it down, right? All the better to get to your next brew.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is not the Tusker Premium Lager... it's the export version of the regular Tusker Lager with the black, white and yellow label depicting an elephant in profile. It has a standard neck label rather than the gold foil of the "Premium Lager". It's strength is only 4.2% compared to the 5.0% of the "Premium", and it's starting gravity is lower at 1038 vs 1044. In addition to it's slightly thinner body, it's also much less hoppy in the nose. The adjunct is sugar, and it appears to be utilized at a much higher rate than the Premium's 10%.

Legend has it that this beer was named after an angry bull elephant that trampled to death one of the two brothers (George Hurst in 1923) that founded the brewery. It was reported to be Ernest Hemingway's favorite beer, and it's the largest selling beer in Kenya.

It pours a clear straw-gold body topped by a full and creamy bright-white head that holds fairly well before dropping, and leaves some nice lace. The bouquet expresses a grainy malt sweetness with some mild grassy and floral hoppiness in the background. The body is thin but exceptionally smooth across the palate with a fine carbonation. The palate is limited to a gently sweet maltiness that's obviously thinned by a liberal use of adjunct; and balanced by an understated bitterness. Some minor floral hop flavor is present if you seek it out, but doesn't present itself otherwise. It finishes short and sweet, just vanishing from the palate in much the same way it came in. It's a teasing beer that continually leaves you looking for more, which adds to it's drinkability but not much else. It's refreshing and light - easy to drink, but lacking in character.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.88/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very pale yellow color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of corn and other adjuncts, light malts and a very faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with your typical macro adjunct sweetness with flavors of corn and grain. There's a very thin malt character and an almost insignificant hops presence. However, there is a little bit more balance here than in other beer in the style. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little smooth with very little crispness, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, but goes down ok, not filling at all, mild kick, it's a typical beer for the style but not one that I'd want to drink again if I had too many other choices.

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Photo of Jason
3.31/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Half liter brown bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label, no info about the beer at all.

Appearance: Big chunky white head lays down some lace here and there, very pale with a crystal clear yellowish straw hue.

Smell: Perhaps some skunkiness is there in the aroma but it is so indistinguishable that it does not matter, clean to the nose with hints of a cracker-like maltiness and faint oily herbal hop.

Taste: Moderate carbonation and light body that lands a slickness in the mouth feel. Clean palate with a crisp biting graininess that crops up after the carbonation rolls by. Bitterness rides with wave of prickly snappy character with a watered down herbal flavour. Malt is thin and grainy with a faint cracker grain flavour. Nearly bone dry finish.

Notes: A no frills lager and a damn good import for such a pale middle of the road lager. For less than $2 a bottle is was worth a try, this one certainly does a good job of cutting the humidity of the summer and quenching my thirst.

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Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Born on 5-23-06, not super fresh, let's see how this goes. My friend deployed to kenya back before somolia went to poop & he raved about this beer (in-country)

Pours an efferevescent & chill-hazed straw color with 3 fingers plus of head. This cleared 1/2 way through the beer. Great lacing & good head retention

S: Nice Perfumy/flowery nose

T: Some Grassyness & grainyness up front. Cornyness & soapynmess follows as it warms. Some lemon notes& a little malty sweetnes follow. Has fair taste for the abv. Finishes slightly sweet & grainy

MF: Light bodied with medium carbonation

Drinks semi-okay. More malt please! I'd take this over a BMC any time. Love to get a sem--fresh bottle of this

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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 WVbeergeek
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale golden straw color to it not bad, with a visible frothy white head does leave behind semi decent specks of lacing not bad. Aroma: Lemongrass, light and airy a touch of herbal hop note very mild smell to it, but nice and simple. Taste: A nice blend of semi sweet graininess with, very clean tasting lager with a touch of grassy hops there. Mouthfeel: A light bodied lager with a fizzy note to the overall texture. Drinkability: Very refreshing the type of beer I would consume if residing in Kenya, there's is nothing offensive it's just a clean tasting lager with a nice citrus grassy note to the overall flavor.

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Photo of chinchill
3.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

undated 12 oz bottle served in pint glass. Label warns(?) "contains barley".

Pours a light yellow gold; clear; 1 finger white head with moderate retention.

Sweet malty aroma; nice toasted grain notes but rather subtle. Flavor follows aroma; in this case, even the 'sweet' aroma is accompanied by a quite sweet flavor. Indeed, there's even more sweetness in the taste, and I believe this brew would benefit from more hops.

O - African Coors? Pretty much, albeit a little more interesting, sweet and appealing. Not a great beer, but still a pleasant and refreshing beverage.

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Photo of smcolw
1.24/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Decent start to the head--leaves some spotty lace. Clear, almost like water. Pale yellow color.

Okay, the smell reminds me of pancakes--no syrup, no berries, just plain ordinary pancakes. There's a slight skunkiness to the beer. Slightly sweet, lots of corn. Bland.

So, the blandness continues in the taste. Is it Bud, is it Miller? It could be. Thin bodied and highly carbonated. Where's the hop? The brewer must have waved it over the kettle without letting fall in. If you like corn in your beer, this should serve you well.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, blossoming, sturdy ,crackling head. Transparent, yellow hue. Aroma is fresh, floral, honeyish, zesty and uplifting. Taste is clean, light bodied, everything one expects from a decent lager. A bit like SingHa, actually. This must go down well in African heat, just as perfectly intelligent North American beer fans will quaff a Crud Light or Swiller Genuine Crap in the summertime.
Slightly different than I remember this from 3 years ago, when last it was available in MN. A label change, not for the better, it appears, put it in limbo, and all the while my customers at the African restaurant and nightclub whose bar I manage demanded Tusker's whereabouts. I found a bottle in Portland, OR and got it's former distributor on the case. Our African customers normally go for Guinness, Extra Stout (NOT "Draught" )or Heineken, and little else. The Kenyans will switch to Tusker, but our main sales will be to the curious CaucasianAmericans, anxious to try something on the exotic side, only to find it's largely like all the decent lagers they've had before.
Not bad, though!

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