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: 533
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yellow with a 1 inch fizzy white head that settles to a thin cap. Random small areas of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grains, corn flakes, and some grass notes. Taste is somewhat watery with grain, corn, and grass flavors. A decent carbonation level makes for a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average lager all around with nothing special whatsoever.

 409 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
2.28/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

this is no good. i guess its okay because it doesnt taste like the can, but it does taste like apple juice a little bit, for some odd reason. the pour is standard piss, lots of bubbles. the nose is pretty off putting, skunky and acidic, flavor is apple juice and watery malt. its one of those cheap beers that ends up in the fridge sometimes because my roomates traveled in latin america and i guess it reminds them of good times or something, but to me this is crap. sits heavy in the gut, is too light to get drunk off of, and is just a pretty repulsive adjunct beer. no thanks

 579 characters

Photo of metter98
2.83/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of grainy malts and apple juice in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of grainy malts and a light amount of sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be a little more balanced compared to others in the style as it has a light amount of bitterness and isn’t that malty.

 623 characters

Photo of biboergosum
2.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from the local supermarket in Glendale, Colorado. Cool evil-looking avian label imagery.

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden straw colour, with two fingers of puffy, thinly foamy off-white head, which leaves some sparsely strewn specks of sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly drops away.

It smells of semi-sweet corn mash and grainy pale malt, a bit of cooked veggies, mild acetone notes, and faint earthy, weedy hops. The taste is gritty pale malt and corn husk graininess, a subtle acrid, strung out orchard fruitiness, nail polish remover, and lightly skunked weedy, musty hops.

The bubbles are fairly effervescent and mildly fizzy, the body medium-light in weight, thin, and watery in its generic smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the lingering corn and grain malt maintaining just enough gas to continue fencing with the fading skunky and phenolic essences.

More standard mass-produced swill, probably tastes 'better' colder and under a hot sub-tropical sun, yadda, yadda, yadda. Nothing worthy drinking, unless you have no other options, or you have Costa Rica on the mind.

 1,108 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.06/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle (this is going to be the first of a long list of rating for some pale lager form Costa Rica). Poured a bright golden color lager with a small bubbly head with minimal retention. Aroma of of lightly sweet adjunct and not much else is bland. Taste is also quite bland with balanced sweetness originating form adjunct. Body is medium for style with OK carbonation. Not gross in any way and I guess it is just what it intended to be.

 436 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
2.75/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best before date on neck: 30 Jan 2015.

A: Pours a clear straw yellow under a 1/4-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and leaves semi-rings and spots of lace.

N: Corn, malt, yeast, some floral, faint citrus and grass/hay.

T: Crisp and clean, malty/grainy, yeasty. Simple and fairly bland.

M: Light body and semi-medium carbonation. Semi-dry, yeasty and malty finish.

O: Straight forward and singular. Pura Vida.

 454 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.18/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cerveza Imperial pours a crystal-clear straw gold body beneath a finger-sized head of bright white foam that holds well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is that of a clean lager beer with a touch of sulphur coming out over a mild maltiness that's laced with background hops.

In the mouth it's surprisingly creamy and just lightly tingly with a fuller than expected medium body and somewhat restrained carbonation.

The flavor is more malty than might be expected as well, backed by a gently firm bitterness, and dried even a bit more by a snap of yeasty sulphur. A combination of hay-like malt and drying, herbal and somewhat spicy hops linger in the finish.

Overall, this is not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, and in fact, it could stand side by side with many European lagers.

 825 characters

Photo of chinchill
2.9/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle served in pint glass. Fresh, according to date on label.

A - clear and golden; lmedium/light carbonation; thin and short-lived white head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring.

Light aroma and flavor, but more like a standard macro-brewery lager than a light beer. Body closer to medium. Flavor of grains and light hops.

Should be a refreshing summer drink, but not a recommendable beer.

 406 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.13/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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

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

S: The aroma is very faint but contains adjuncts, light malts and a even less hops than most beers in the style.

T: The taste starts out with mildly bready flavors of grain and adjuncts. Then some sweetness comes in from a light malt character. The hops presence is weak even for the style and as a result there isn't much balance. The after-taste slightly bready.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, even considering the style it's a bit subpar, I've certainly had much worse but this still isn't a beer I would choose unless my choices were severely limited.

 858 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, gold body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Mixture of pale malts and waterlogged corn kernels with some light floral hop hints.

Taste: Weak pale maltiness alongside a sweetish corn flavor. Floral hops imparting a very light bitterness. Grows evermore watery as you race towards the finish. Tiny hint of metal right at the very end.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: You've gotta equally water down your expectations for these lackluster, foreign lager, but even still this was a disappointment.

 548 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
2.95/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear yellow in color with some light visible carbonation. The beer has a 3/4 finger white foamy head that reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with thicker patches and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Strong aromas of grainy malts with very little sweetness and a hint of apple as the beer warms up.

T: This beer has some more hops than I was expecting and not as sweet as many others in the style. There is a good amount of grainy malts but not a ton of sweetness from them. The hops balances out the flavor.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Probably one of the beers I was surprised by the balance of flavor since that is not common in the style. Definitely easy to drink and sessionable.

 817 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

pours a pale golden straw with a thick white froth of a head that leaves a bit of soapy lacing behind. The nose is faint corn, rice, and grasses, with a hint of light citrus thrown in for good measure. The taste is a general light bitterness combined with a light malty sweetness, with corn syrup the predominant feature. The body is light with a good carbonation, a watery texture, and a crisp, dry finish. Overall, an OK brew, definitely not a favorite, but also not all that objectionable.

 522 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My trip around the world from the comfort of my kitchen seems to continue unabated. I am unsure if this was part of the Tone77 drop-off, but it fits with the theme of the last couple of weeks. Now, if I could just get this in a CAN ...

Man, just pouring this into a glass and it was AAL City, baby! Phew, but I haven't smelled that special admixture for a while and here I was getting a full frontal assault. I had two rocky fingers of bone-white head topping the experience. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into an unpleasant future, drinking crappy beer. Nose smelled like silage and cardboard, a combination that makes me wonder why anyone would bother to import such dreck when so much of it is domestically available. Oh well. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and it tasted like dumbed-down lager that hearkens back to the great mistake known as Prohibition. It had a simple lager flavor embedded in whatever corn and rice adjuncts they saw fit to add to the mix. It was not unpleasant, per se, just boring as all get-out. It was like one more go-'round with the Old Lady in the Missionary Position. Bland, vanilla, lacking any variety of any stripe. Finish was total snooze time. Utterly boring.

 1,245 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imperial is a pale golden color with a high level of carbonation. The tall, foamy head has good retention for the type of beer. The aroma has a typical macro lager sweetness with, fortunately, no nasty off-smells and just a hint of herbal hop. A sweet lager taste dominates this beer and is aided by some nice grain flavor. Adjuncts are apparent, but don't provide off-flavors. A nice dash of herbal hop gives this more character than I expcted. For a macro style lager this is a good choice with an overall "fresh" flavor that I don't find in most American beers in this category.

 581 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The label looks oustanding the cap looks like some sort of craft beer I would have never guessed this was a Costa Rican swill beer. Pale fizzy apple juice like appearance with a large high carbonated white head, dwindling slowly. Aroma is of "farts and burnt rubber", seriously it kind of stinks and it has a crazy unpleasant chemical smell about it. Hidden within the embalming fluid like smell are some cooked veggies and grain accented notes coming through. Flavor is actually quite pleasant especially for a mass produced Costa Rican adjunct lager, full bodied sweetness, corn, rice additions are ample. Nothing cloying finishes semi balanced with a generic chemical/hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with enough flavor and refreshing qualities to create an enjoyable experience. Overall other than the chemical band aid like smell this isn't horrible beer it has character and I could definitely drink it on the beach.

 941 characters

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.

 643 characters

Photo of tdm168
2.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from the bottle. I had this with dinner at Tacos and Tequila in Raleigh.

The smell is grainy and faintly grassy. The flavor is light, grainy, and lightly grassy. The mouthfeel is light and crisp but smooth.

This is a light lager that's easy to drink, unoffensive, smooth, and refreshing, but unfortunately, forgettable.

 331 characters

Photo of jwc215
2.93/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured light yellow with a fluffy white head caused by high carbonation that quickly disappeared with hardly a trace.
The smell was really lacking - it was fresh, but really was hardly present - maybe some vague hints of hops - at most.
The taste was very watery - reminded me of an average American light macro without the skunk or any bad taste. It lacked anything substantial.
Surprisingly, considering the lack of taste, it left a slight creamy bitterness in the mouth that wasn't too bad. But, still no signs of any flavor.
I suppose that it could be refreshing on a hot day - but so are so many beers with an actual flavor. Still better than most American light macros.

 680 characters

Photo of Billolick
2.23/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle. Pours the expected light, clear yellowy amber. Minimal near white head, zip retention and very minor bits of lace sliding down the sides of the glass. perhaps a hint of powdered sugar in the nose. Light fairly taste less beverage. A hint of dryness in the finish. Lawn mower beer. On a very hot day, at the beach, by the pool,this would be enjoyable with a burger. Otherwise pass it by

 402 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.15/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Three inch white head on a golden cerveza. Surprisingly good head retention and clumpy lacing.

S- Not much to the smell...straw, bread.

T- Pale pilsner malts. Good balance with the hops, not too sweet.

M- Decent carbonation. Medium-thin mouthfeel.

D/O- Not as bad as I thought it'd be. Refreshing. On par with other adjunct lagers commonly found...but better because its a Costa Rica tick ;)

 398 characters

Photo of tempest
3.15/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer for $7 from Publix in Miami and brought it down to South Beach. This was a great beach beer, sure it didn't taste like much, but it was refreshing and clean. Really, it's just a plain, light bready water taste with very light touch of hops in the aftertaste. Really, this beer is the ideal adjunct lager - no flavor flavor, with absolutely no off-flavors. I'd take this over Miller Lite or Budweiser any day.

 426 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
2.8/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a thin white head that dissipates slowly to a ring around the glass and a thin film. Faint aroma of sweet malt and apple juice. Taste follows with a very light sweet malt up front that fades away almost immediately leaving a faint memory of malt and a hint of hops. Nothing off flavored, but very attenuated and non-descript. The adjunct components, if present are also very faint, which is good. Thin and light bodied. I hope to run across a more substantial Costa Rican at some point.

 562 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass.
A nice pale yellow color, perhaps deeper than that. Head was small but it did lace a bit and lingered in spots.
the grain is strong in the smell as well as the sweetness.
A Grain taste with lemon and honeydew hints. Not as vinegarish as other CR beers i've tried. Balance between carbonation and bitterness. Not a bad brew

 350 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thin white head that fades to spotty lacing. There are lots of floaties present. The aroma is decent. It has a light pale malt scent along with some adjuncts. It's rather sweet smelling. The taste is average. It has a dry lager taste that is light and easy drinking. There is little malt flavor. It goes down smooth and finishes clean. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average light lager. It's devoid of any malt character. I suppose it's a great beer for those living around the equator.

 583 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
2.08/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It's a warm night, which makes it an ideal time to drink a lager born in the tropics. On to the beer:

Pale straw yellow in appearance with a clean body and display of bubbles. The head forms high, and very bubbly, which then drops to a thin lace. The aroma seems a bit processed. Processed hop aroma with sweet cereal grains. Tastewise, it is...meh. It's unbalanced. Soaked cheap grain sweetness is the dominant flavor in this beer. I can feel the alcohol in this one, which hints gum with most of the flavor sucked out of it. Faded cereals linger into the aftertaste with its sweetness.

On a warm night like tonight, this isn't going to cut it. But in Costa Rica, that's every night. There must be better national brands from there to enjoy, right?

 752 characters

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Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
2.82 out of 5 based on 533 ratings.
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