Imperial | Cerveceria Costa Rica

194 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Cerveceria Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002

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Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 534
Photo of elginirishpunk
4.4/5  rDev +56%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had in Costa Rica only a day out of the brewery. Amazing while sitting on a beach.
Suttle smoothness more then other pilsners. Is has not sense of bitterness and is quite refreshing as a pislner. It is the major beer in the country, ect Bud in the US> It is everywhere and 90% in bottle/can. Only found on tap in Resorts.

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Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour produces a massive head, almost overfilling my pilsner glass, until I back off. The frothy head is slow to recede...and never really does. The beer is an ultra clear golden color. Some sparse, random floaters move about the glass.

smell: Typical light malt and adjunct aromas, lightly sweet, with a light, nondescript hop aroma. Well balanced.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body light.

taste: Clean, grainy malt and adjunct tastes. The light sweetness is balanced by a low hop flavor and light bitterness in the finish. Inoffensive at the least.

drinkability: Very drinkable...crisp, fresh, clean, and refreshing. One of the better, and more drinkable, macro lagers I've had. It is what it is, and should be treated as such.

This bottle courtesy of my mom, who brought it back from her trip to Costa Rica. A best by date of May 31, 2006 is printed on the neck of the bottle.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
Bottled 30Sept2012
A- This beer pours a bright yellow crystal clear body with a snow white egg cream top and swirls of microbubbles popping to the surface.

S- The clean green sulfur note is all that comes through with a slight sweetness.

T- The light sweetness has a corn flour taste with a green hop hint in the finish with a slight fruity taste as it opens. The green bitter hint lingers for a moment after each sip. There is a touch of carbonic acid that blends with a touch of sweetness at the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz finish an no alcohol heat.

O- The crisp clean lager has a nice touch of green hops that is supported by a hint of sweetness and the carbonation makes it very drinkable. I cut my teeth on beer in Costa Rica drinking this beer so it may be the memories but I haven’t tasted it in years and it still taste just as nice without the scenery.

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Photo of nekronos
4/5  rDev +41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps, this can be a little confusing, but it was a good beer, although it can be a little tiring even before you finish it. And the smell that is left in your empty can is a little strong. If oyu want to collect them like me. The corn flavors are almost not in there, but it still have a sour little back flavor in it.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.76/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear golden color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Has some nice, creamy lacing.

Smell - Sweet, skunky, and slightly corny.

Taste - Pale malts, very corny and bready, with a little skunk. It has a nice bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with mild carbonation. The carbonation gives it somewhat of a creamy texture.

Overall - I like this beer a lot. It's very crisp. Perfect for a barbecue.

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Photo of Zach136
3.75/5  rDev +33%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Crystal clear yellow, little head/lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: Sweet corn, little to no hop or yeast.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, slightly too much residual sugar.

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Photo of LiquidSanity
3.73/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ap: Hazy, golden yellow color with apparent carbonation throughout. 1 inch head that quickly fades away. A tiny bit of lacing is present. Looks like cider.

Ar: Skunky corn adjunct odor. Meh. Worst part of the beer. But it is misleading.

Ta: Wait is this cider? This sure tastes like it. This has a very pleasant sweet flavor. Apple flavors are present but the skunk and metallic aftertaste is not. Very impressive for an adjunct. It is very tasty.

Mf: mild carbonation. Semi-watery texture. Still very refreshing however.

Ov: This may just become my go-to adjunct cheap fix. It has a much better flavor than Bud, smoother texture than Busch and PBR while still refreshing like a Miller High Life without the heavy carbonation. This beer is a winner. And it's cheap. I still have 5 more to go. Cheers!

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Photo of sleazo
3.65/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I felt like a light brew before going out. Purchased at the Bodega on Manhattan Ave and Freeman St.

A-Slightly darker than light yellow with a nice 2 finger very fluffy head that actually has good retention. A non stop stream of bubbles replenishes the head. The lace coats the side of the glass. Very nice looking beer.

S-Smells very much of uncooked dough with a decent floral/spicy hop zing.

T-Tastes more like baked bread than the smell with a light hop finish. It is light tasting a slightly bitter with no sweetness. Nice for a hot day.

M-Slightly cream with a tongue tingling carbonation.

D-There really are no off flavours here, and while the style may not be my top choice this is excellent for the style. I am slightly shocked at the quality of this beer. Most foreign macro lagers are pretty shitty, this one is alright. If I am in the need for a lighter style, this one beats the Polish/American ones available in my neighbourhood.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.58/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer was legendary, growing up in a surf-crazed area of Florida; I was a skateboarder, so I never traveled to Costa Rica, and therefore never got to drink Imperial, though I did have plenty of Guaro/Cacique liquor that my teenaged friends smuggled home. Decades later, I am having my first Imperial. It looks pretty good for the style, as it has a persistent head, some lace(!), and all the hallmarks of a golden fizzy lager. The nose is mildly sweet, and offers pale grain, corn, and mineral notes. The flavor is about the same, elementally, but it is more impressive than the nose for some intangible reason. I take that back; as the brew airs out, the nose is also taking on some additional positive traits: there seems to be some legit fruitiness, albeit very mild, from either the yeast or hops, I cannot say. The feel is light and refreshing. I ilke it.

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Photo of Beerbluesbiology
3.58/5  rDev +27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a typical macro brew head and gold body color. Really quite a light beer, but when you are in Costa Rica, nothing tastes better. No, it is not a world class beer but it has good flavor, albeit little, and great refreshment value. Overall a fun and tasty beer but only to be consumed cold and during a warmer time of year.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.56/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a straw color and clarity is very nice. The head is slightly there but lasts.
Smells a bit like a German lager, with the European hops smell and the yeastiness.
Has almost no flavor when cold, but when it warms up just a little has a really nice floral note to it, a bit hard to notice but it exists.
The drinkability of this beer is very high, easy to drink, not too filling... Very refreshing. Although not as flavorful as most craft beers, this beer is perfect for a hot day.

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Photo of skeetermoses
3.54/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Overall this was my first costa rican beer, it seemed to remind me of a decent beer called Tona, but that one was from costa rica as wait that one was from it was from equidor....nah maybe it was from venezua...wait it was from Nicaragua. Dear god I should have said, South maybe I meant New perhaps, not quite North America or South but somewhere in between. It was a good beer. one I will buy again.

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Photo of Spikester
3.52/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale gold with two fingers of white head that departed in about five minute. Some splotches of lace.
Smell is grainy malt.
Taste is mostly grains with a touch of herbal hops in the finish.
Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Finish is lightly dry.
Overall a typical adjunct lager but the adjuncts are well hidden.
I would have this again in a warm climate but would not seek it out. $1.79 for a single. Best by date of 30 Apr. 2017.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imperial has a thick, fluffy, stark-white head, almost no lacing, and a clear, bubbly, yellow-golden appearance. The aroma is of sweet grain and a touch of stinging hops. Taste is of sweet malts, grain, sugar, clean water, and there is a kiss of the hops to balance it. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Imperial finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and super drinkable. Overall, this is a standard, good lager. Naturally, it’s worth a try.


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Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium straw hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft grainy malt and a lightly spicy noble hop.

The taste consisted of a dry grainy malt and a touch of hop spice. No noticable adjunct, although I suspect it is there.

The mouthfeel was light and clean with a dry finish.

Overall a good Latin American lager. Easy to drink.

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Photo of Thisdrinkinglife
3.5/5  rDev +24.1%

Review: Bottle of Imperial Pale Lager, 4.60%ABV An interesting lager from Costa Rica, Imperial, a very pleasant refreshing light lager. Appearance was a crystal clear, pale golden straw colour, what a normal looking lager should look like. When pouring a small frothy white appeared that dissipated relatively fast with some lacing remaining. Sweet aroma of lightly toasted malt with corn. Smell was great, very enticing. Similar to the smell, there is a slightly bitter grassy flavour of a creamy aftertaste of dry corn sweetness, that leaves a dry feeling in the mouth Overall, Imperial Beer is a standard, good lager.

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Photo of hungryghost
3.5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Imperial is Costa Ricas 'national beer'.
It looks and pours like most American lagers (clear, yellow and bubbly) but is better by far. It sports a slight taste and is endlessly refreshing. great with local food, especially on the Carribean side of the country where things can get a bit spicy.
I found this much more enjoyable than a Corona. One is hard pressed to find many amber or dark beers around, but with the warm temps I always enjoyed an Imperial.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this beer on a recent trip to Costa Rica.. I thought it was pretty darn good, considering CR is a major exporter of coffee, not beer. Very refreshing and light with nice clean flavors.. like an upscale Budwiser perhaps. I'm sure the tropical weather enhanced it's taste as well!

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Photo of Kulrak
3.49/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw color with a lot of white fluffy head that sticks around for a while. There's a lot of bubbles coming out of this thing. Smells faintly of yeast and a tiny bit floral. The taste is fairly sweet with a little hoppy flavor but not a lot of bitterness. It balances out pretty well. The mouthfeel is creamier than I thought it would be, very nice. Overall, it's very drinkable, very nice for a hot day.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.48/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very slightly hazed straw with a white head off a firm pour that comes down to basically nothing. Nose is subdued basically. Slight dough character. Mild metal, but overall just seems a bit too low. Flavor tastes surprisingly doughy. Much more coming at me than I had expected. There are almost wheat beer characters in here, but not quite enough to make it in the category. Feel is a bit thick and dough like on the liquid with a nice bubble on the tongue.

Overall I think it is pretty good. I was expecting another third world piece of crap beer that would get dumped down the drain, but I ended up going all the way with this one.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.47/5  rDev +23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is pale yellow with a small white head that fizzed down to a thin mist of bubbles in about 10 seconds. Smell is faint of malt and hop, somewhat sweet and seems clean. Taste is fine for a pale lager, sweet malt up front and smooths out to a hoppy edge. Feels mostly light to medium bodied, dull, but smooth and sweet in general character. Easy drinker, but could use some help.

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Photo of bradford
3.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought a 6pack after a long work day. I wanted a solid beer that I could drink more than one of and not be shitfaced. $5.99 for six bottles
Appearance: Nothing to look at here
Smell: Again, nothing good
Taste: Whoa. This isn't bad. Light and crisp, with some sort of yeasty taste to it.
Mouthfeel: Way smoother than I anticipated. I expected Natty light in a yellow labeled bottle, but damn this is way better.
Drinkability: At 4.6%abv, this doesn't get to me like the DFH World Wide Stout I had earlier did. I have had a coouple now, and for a macro lager-type, this is pretty damn good. I had my standards pretty low for this one, but was pleasantly surprised. Not great, but it did hit the spot.

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Photo of tone77
3.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle into a weizen glass. Has a somewhat pale color with about a 1/2 inch head. Aroma is faint and slightly bitter. Has a crisp, light flavor. Feels watery in the mouth. This beer is very drinkable due to it's lightness. Overall a mediocore choice.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this refreshing beer. The apperance is average -- golden in color, tiny white head that dissipates quickly, and very little lacing to speak of. The smell is sweet -- corn and banana come through. The taste is similiar, with a good amount of carbonation which makes this a great beer for the summer. I'd definitely recommend giving this a try.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Apearance- pours off with decent nice white head, and good sharp carbonation as many bubbles stream the glass

Smell- the smell is light unoffensive but light slight grain malt

Taste-the flavor is actually much nicer then i expected, good crips malt and slight hop flavor , the flavor is not super complex but its overall very nice for the style, very clean and smooth flavor,

Mouthfeel- good carbonation and very smooth and extremely crisp

Drinkability- very highly drinkable and highly refreshing typical of they style yet certainly alot better then my expectations, more reminds me of a lot of euro lagers in flavor, a good beer for hot summer time weather thats extremely affordable and one i would try again for sure

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Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
2.82 out of 5 based on 534 ratings.
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