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 AltBock
2.17/5  rDev -23%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle with a bright yellow and red label that has a serious looking black eagle brewery crest in the middle. They really like this eagle because it's everywhere on the bottle, even the cap. On the bottle neck is an inked best before date, I guess. My bottle read 30Set-09. I'm guessing they meant Sep instead of Set.

When poured into a Lagunitas pint glass, "Imperial" was a clear as crystal straw yellow color. The head of foam wasn't anything to write home about. I failed to see how tall the head of foam was because it quickly faded into oblivion in a blink of an eye. Maybe there wasn't any head of foam because there was absolutely no trace of it. There wasn't any rings or even a tiny spot of lace around the glass. Nothing!

The aroma was all about the malted aromas. No hops of fruits, just malted aromas. The aroma was filled to the top with the scent of regular malts and plenty of malted corn and rice.

The taste was also all about the malted tastes until my taste buds reached the tail end of the taste. The taste was crispy and carbonated with malts, corn, and rice. After the malts had passes, in comes a brief and I mean brief floral hop bitterness. As you can tell, it was the hops that saved this taste. The hops couldn't perform miracles, but it did make the taste a little better.

This was a light bodied beer with loads of carbonation and a quick malted aftertaste filled with malts, corn, and rice. Where are the hops when I need them?

Let me just state that I have had worse beers that this one. It's just another standard macro Lager that you can buy for about $1.25 a bottle.

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Photo of Finite
2.19/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Light Golden colour, little head retention, light lacing. Very flat looking with little to no carbonation to speak of visible.

S - Cooked vegetable, light;y skunked with a sweet malt aroma that is common among An America Adjunct Larger. Some floral hop aroma detectable, nothing big but for an America Adjunct Larger I was surprised.

T - Corn adjunct and unfermented wort is prevalent. Some light bitterness. Not to bad, pretty standard and expected flavours.

M- Thin and light, fine carbonation, pretty standard again but the softness of the mouthfeel really hampers its drink-ability.

This brew grew on me quite a bit, this is not a style that I particularly enjoy but this is a pretty standard example, doesn't really put a foot wrong, not that its going to set the world on fire either.

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Photo of JEdmund
2.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Striking label! Extremely light hay yellow; lots of carbonation going on; inch tall, white, fizzy head that reduces quickly but leaves some lacing

Very little to detect, but it has the familiar grain and slight malt so commonly found in these Central American beers.

Taste & Mouth Feel
Like the aroma, there's very little here to dissect. It's got just a tad bit more flavor than water. Typical C.A. macro lager taste, but very subdued. Nothing skunky or sulphury to offend, thankfully.

Super, super boring and bland, but it's not offensive, and therefore could be drank without problem if you're stuck with it.

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Photo of Suds
2.21/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

350 ml brown bottle with a black peacock on the label. Pours a golden, clear color with a thin, creamy head. Highly carbonated. The aroma is uninspiring: seriuos corn and adjuncts with a jagged, rough graininess. Dry and crisp, light to medium body. Decent hop finish, but it doesn't make up for the beer's other shortcomings.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
2.22/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours pale, almost yellow, very clear with a very mild white foam head with almost no retention. Aroma is of grains, malt, corn and a little bit of fermented fruit, not very pleasant. Taste is mild and refreshing, you can drink a hole case of this in a summer day.

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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

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.23/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

White thin head on a weak ass straw yellow beer with tons of water/clarity. Aroma was more of the vegetal sweetened corn, I've come across a lot worse.

Taste was watery, mildly sweet, lacking all those beer ingredients. Highly carbonated, this is hydration stuff at best.

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Photo of rwrk42
2.23/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Decent head at first pour but settles very quickly.

Smell: Very light & mild hop aroma. Other than that there is not much to it.

Taste: Very Light bodied but clean and smooth. Not much taste or flavor. Typical lager like similar to a mexican beer like Sol or Corona
Good for days when you know you will drink more than you should and it is 100 degrees outside

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Photo of janubio
2.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle that some friends of mine brought to from Costa Rica. Very pale yellow color, with a good head that last for a while and leaves some lace. Other than that, nothing significant in this beer. Anodyne aroma just grainy and with some malt. In the mouth it feels the same with a bit of citrus. Flavor? What flavor? Of course in a very hot weather I guess I could have some of them, it's just refreshing. Just boring.

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Photo of Rackerman
2.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

While drinking Imperial while on vacation may suffice for a week (at most), having to consume the flagship beer of Costa Rica's monopolistic beer industry on a regular basis makes me wish I liked hard booze more.

It looks good, it's certainly clear, and when it's 98 degrees out and it's chilled bottle is in your hand everything seems right... but that's as good as it gets.

The smell is the beginning of the end for me. The beer smells skunky. By my best estimation I've consumed between 700 and 1,000 of these stink-bombs and they all smell bad.

The taste is watery. I think of a very watery Miller Lite with less carbonation and more alcohol. Imperial smacks of mass production and general indifference with its flat start and finish.

I choke down Imperial simply because there are few alternatives.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.25/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

More substantial than most Mexican beers. I guess the Costa Ricans wanted more, but not much more. Clear yellow with a white head. Still corny and sugary, but actually has a grassy hop-like flavor. Crisper than most, but still can't chake the candy corn taste.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
2.25/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Another "f@#$ it, let's try it" beer, another recent entry on my "-est" list - this time, for it being one of the pale-est and weak-est (flavor) damn beers I've ever seen/sucked, ever. I have to admit, even for what it is, it's bland and too bitey and naaahht worth purposely seeking out a second time.

Yes, just about the palest beers I've come across. I dare say paler than 2 on the SRM/Lovibond (4 EBC)! Yes, that pale. Poured (vigorously) leaving a finger-width head, soon dead. Pathetic effort grasping the glass as far as lacing.

Smells and tastes like a slightly thinner version of Beck's and/or piss-soaked briefs. Prominent carbonic bite on the tongue straight away to the end. The flavor actually seems to thin out more and more with each sip. Just weak all around flavor-wise and aroma-wise. Even Bud has a little more going on there. While it tastes and finishes like a light beer, it settles in the gut a tad bloaty due to the CO2.

Adjunct lagers can actually be drinkable, but this one falls quite outside that range or whatever. Even ice-f'n cold, I couldn't deal with the gut bloat. Hell wit that.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Yellow macro lager, very thin white head, less than 1/4" I'd say, nothing to look at by any means. Aroma was cooked corny, a little bit of sweetness, not terrible by any means.

Taste, bland watery, lightly sweet, nothing in terms of hops, fizzy, highly carbonated. Total hot weather beer, nothing going for it otherwise really, had worse, had much much better.

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Photo of JMad
2.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A friend brought over a six pack of this so I went ahead and poured one into my glass mug...

The beer pours a pale golden yellow color that had a thin, bubbly white head that left some lacing on the glass.

There is a musty smell along with some grassy hop notes and hints of hay.

Not much flavor here, it's a little metallic, there lemony hop notes and hints of corn.

It's light with sharp carbonation.

This beer is not something I would ever spend my own money on.

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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

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Photo of orcasteve
2.3/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this is almost budwiser with out the beachwood ageing, this is just nasty, thank god it was 1.50$ i would have felt cheated if i payed more, this beer poured a week golden color and no head, it's smell was corn and not much eles, it was week all around, i would avoide this one at all cost

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Photo of jaybmore
2.3/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

When on vacation, it is customary to partake of the local flavor. In this instance, the flavor reminded me of watered down PBR. When it's 95 degrees with no clouds, a cold one of these tastes a bit better though

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Photo of bluejacket74
2.36/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle, date of 30 Dec 2012 printed on it, I assume that's the best by date. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear straw gold color with about an inch white head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is mostly sweet and grainy malt, along with a bit of skunk. Unfortunately it's a little worse tasting than it smells. It tastes mostly like skunky, grainy malt. I've tasted worse, but I can't say this is exactly appealing, and it gets worse the longer I drink it. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. It's worth trying just for the tick, but I wouldn't buy a sixer of this. Just stick with one bottle like I did. $1.59 a single.

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Photo of armock
2.38/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured a straw color with a white head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of grainy malt corny

T - Is more of the same grainy malt not that good

M - This is a fairly light bodied beer

D - Overall theres nothing special about this beer Costa Rica can keep it its not really much better than a BMC beer very disappointing

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Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.39/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Found everywhere and can be had in roadside joints for as little as C300, or about $0.60 cold in the bottle.

Pours clean and crystal clear. Costa Rican water is really some of the best and it shows in the simple taste and beautiful head.

To be drunk cold and quick, as someone else said. But, after a long day in the sun and surf, I needed nothing more than a clean light beer and plenty of them! At -1 degree C, they hit the spot.

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Photo of BryanCarey
2.42/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Imperial Cerveza pours to a light straw color and it does manage to produce a small head of foam that eventually subsides, but does maintain a thin coating of bubbles. The aroma of this beer is sweet, with cereal grains, corn, a dash of pepper/spice, and a little bit of sulphur coming through each time you inhale.

Moving to the taste, it is much like the aroma would lead you to believe. It offers flavors of cereal grains, light pale malt, corn syrup, a touch of biscuits, and some mild spice. The body of this beer is light, completely clear, and lacks much sophistication, just like the taste.

Imperial Cerveza is a simple, basic beer and it isn’t likely to win many supporters among those in the craft beer crowd. I include myself among the products non- fans, but I will admit that this beer isn’t as bad as many of the cheaply made adjunct lagers in the United States. For one, the nose isn’t too bad. It’s not anything terribly interesting, but if I had to compare it to a typical American macrobrew, it would rate a notch better. It also manages to maintain a thin coating of bubbles and it even leaves some lace on the sides of the glass. Again, this is nothing amazing, but it is an improvement compared to many of the beer’s mass- produced American counterparts.

Would I purchase Imperial Cervesa again? I doubt it, as I cannot get past the adjunct character and the flavor of corn syrup. The taste is too bland to recommend, but its generally non- offensive nature makes it a possible choice for Miller/Coors/Bud fans who want something light and crisp but would like an occasional change of pace.

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Photo of Myotus
2.42/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured at 44°F from a 12oz bottle (best by 28Feb16) into a Pilsner glass. Consumed on 04Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with 2 finger's worth of white foam that grows to 3 fingers after 1 minute. Straw yellow in color with a plethora of medium-sized rising bubbles. Lacing is high in quantity and both very thick and thick.
SMELL: Strong aromas of hand soap are backed by mild car exhaust, boiled cabbage, and white rice aromas along with subtle aromas of sweet bread and spicy hops.
TASTE: Strong sweet bread and mild white rice flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by subtle spicy hop and boiled cabbage flavors. Hints of car exhaust spite my tongue as all previous flavors maintain, but spicy hops grow slightly stronger.
FEEL: Light-bodied and overly carbonated. This burns my tongue. And it can't be the taste, because it's not too awful. Goes down very rough. Finishes extremely crisp.
NOTE: I would say this is tied with Dos Equis as far as taste. Pretty similar, too. So if you're ever in Costa Rica and can't find a Dos, pick up one of these.

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Photo of ADR
2.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The "standard" in Costa Rica...straw color, touch of a sweet smell (not corn -- to me). The head has that detergent adjunct look, lasts for seconds. Seems "spot-on" as an American-style Lager, initial sweetness followed by a predictable sweep of minute hop crispness. Doesn't have quite the unsettling aftertaste of a Miller High Life. Not much here to review, a summertime beer from an interesting place. Just not up to being called "good" by me. Thanks to my buddy Dave Szy. for bringin' back a can.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, freshness date of Feb 28, 2010.
Pale golden with a fleeting white head, no lace left behind. Lively carbonation.
Aroma is mildly grainy, but not much else. Possibly a sign of things to come.
Flavor is as expected, grainy malt, lightly sweet. finish is short. average

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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.

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