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Imperial | Cerveceria Costa Rica

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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: 193 | Ratings: 528
Photo of taylocd
2.5/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

appearance - There is nothing exceptional, nor anything detracting in the beer's look. It has a very pale hue, and I would have rated it a right at average if not for the complete lack of head.

smell - I could not rate the beer low for an "awful" smell simply because there is no significant aroma at all.

taste - The beer is not bad, simply bland....just a tick under average seems about right.

mouthfeel - The beer is very thin and watery, and I notice no pop from carbonation.

drinkability - If one can overlook the lack of taste, smell, and texture, this is the beer to drink. The absence of carbonation allows for easy drinking.

I won't be seeking this beer. Fortunately, it is not at all common, so I don't have to worry with being offered it and I won't be spending my money on this one. I've had much worse.

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Photo of goschool
2.5/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I learned over the weekend that you could split up six-packs at Whole Foods. That allows me to give into my many curiosities in the least masochistic way possible. My curiosity led me to a single bottle of this Costa Rican lager with a label that reminds me of the graphics in King Ottokar's Sceptre, an old Tintin book that I read several times as a kid.

Appearance: The pour is a dull, slightly hazy light gold with a foamy, but quickly rescinding white head.

Smell: The nose is semi-unique amongst its macro peers, but not necessarily better. After light sweet malts and corn, there is an aroma that's somewhat similar to orange-banana-pineapple juice. It's interesting, it's just not that good.

Flavor: The taste is less eclectic. Sweet malts, adjuncts, grassy saaz hops, and a hint of banana.

Mouthfeel: Light and fizzy.

Drinkability: It's a little better than most of our adjunct lagers, but that's not saying much.

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Photo of Brad007
2.51/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light blonde with a thin head into my glass. Flat. Boring. Yep. Seems about right.

Corny, syrupy and devoid of anything interesting. Just how I like my adjunct lagers! It is still a bit crisp.

Crisp, sweet but not too cloying. On the other hand, way too watery to enjoy. Where's the actual flavor? Is this a light beer or adjunct lager?

Lingering corny sweetness. How else am I supposed to describe it?

You can do better for even this style!

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Photo of Heischman
2.52/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer/Brewery - Imperial/Cerveceria Costa Rica
City/State- San Jose, Costa Rica
STYLE – American Adjunct Lager
ABV – 4.6%
IBU – 18
DATE – 28 JUN 2011
SERVING TYPE – 12 oz Bottle
APPEARANCE – Yellow crystal clear, Nice head of about ¼ inch and a good flow of bubbles from the bottom of the glass.
AROMA- A little musty and grass a little like a Bud (sorry)
TASTE – Kind of blah, taste like an average light lager. Noting special.
CONCLUSION – Not a bad beer, just boring to me. I am not much of a light lager fan

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Photo of Zorro
2.53/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ultra clear yellow colored beer with very little head formation.

Smell is sweet and corny with more than a little banana aroma. Hop aroma is mostly woody and very slightly herbal.

Taste is sweet and corny with a bit of metallic flavor at the start. Flavor remains sweet with a little bit of grassy and herbal hops too it. Better than an average American mass market lager but just barely so.

Mouthfeel isn't much.

Pretty much Michelob from Costa Rica. Avoid if possible.

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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
2.55/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had the misfortunre to have this primarily on my honeymoon in rural NW Costa Rica. There are really only 2 beers in CR, along with Pilzen. Due to the heat, it was more bearable than if I were in the states, but cannot for the life of me think of any reason why I would imbibe instead of water.

A-Poured into a mini pint glass. Straw yellow in color. The head is the best part of this beer. Two finger white fluffy head and consumate retention. Impressive legs the curled around the glass the entire time.

S-The nose has some hoppy aroma and a little bit of spice.

T-Slight dough taste and more bitterness in teh 2nd taste. Hops are in the mix but fade in and out much to my chagrin.

M-very light as one would expect for the climate. Carbonation slacks off considerably half way towards the end.

D-Nothing to write home about unless your in a really hot environment. It's the BUD of Costa Rica, non offensive tasting that can go down very quickly without knowing it. Again, only drink when nothing else available.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
2.55/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Extremely light yellow, very very watery-looking. Fizzy white head fades and leaves no lacing. A few lazy loose bubbles rise.

S: I could smell the skunk the moment I opened the bottle. Corn and malt. This truly is not appetizing.

T: A slight step up from the nose: watery filler malts (corn, rice), it still has a classic sessionable light beer flavor. As uninspired as the flavor are, the drinkability is through the roof- I almost accidentally drained this thing in one gulp.

M: Light bodied in the extreme, the rather high carbonation is all that lets me know this isn't water or malt-tea.

O: Like corn? Like water? Drink up.
(Really not a BAD beer, but don't expect any innovation. This is a drinkable, unoffensively flavored, mindless gulping beer.)

 761 characters

Photo of daliandragon
2.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours straw pale and extremely carbonated into my mug. Very macro beer looking, unfortunately. In the time it took me to write this the head has lingered to a cap... Nose is bitter with grains and astringents. Not so good...
Has a crisp mouthfeel, with some bitterness. Unfortunately, this is for the brief two seconds that this beer has any taste at all. This is pretty generic macrononsense.
When I go to Costa Rica to go surfing and mountain climbing this will be a great beer, until then I shall avoid it...

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Photo of FLima
2.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bright light golden color with a two finger relatively thick head with medium retention.
Light aroma of floral hops and bready malt. A hint of adjunct when it warms up.
Refreshing flavor of floral hops balanced with a perfect level of malt sweetness. Hints of non-malted cereals and minerals, not that intense. Finishes smooth with a mildly dry aftertaste.
Light body with good carbonation with a mild spicy feeling.
A crisp and refreshing Adjunct Lager, above average with less intense off-flavors, especially when drank cold. But far from great.

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Photo of kenito799
2.58/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into chilled glass

This brew is refershing and inoffensive...standard Latin American mass produced macrolager. The aroma is grassy, the malt is crisp with standard slightlager bitterness. Nice and refreshing in Costa Rica, better than Budweiser.

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Photo of FriarPrickly
2.58/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into plastic glass at pool swim up bar in RIU in Guanecaste, Costa Rica.
Pale yellow with little head that quickly disappeared with no lacing.
Smells like wet hay. Tastes like wet hay with no layering of tastes. Finishes quickly with little aftertaste. Watery mouth feel with little carbonation.
My sample size for this review was large and over several days with little change to smell or taste.
My observation is that the large group at the swim up bar were enjoying the Imperial immensely in the 90 plus degree heat and given that there were no other beers available, the drink fit the situation just fine. I bet I drank a half barrel myself along with the paella.
I would be hard pressed to buy a case of this here in Milwaukee however.

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Photo of JayS2629
2.58/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale, hazy yellow with a fizzy, soapy head that fades fast and leaves minimal lace.

The aroma is of toast, faint bready notes, clean malts, and earthy-grassy hints.

Very clean and watery, with faint bready notes, grassy elements and some earth tones.

Very thin, fizzy, and boring. Will not buy again. They call this imperial?

 336 characters

Photo of EMV
2.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had from bottle and can in Costa Rica

L: Pours a pale golden yellow. Fizzy white head that falls rapidly.

S: Macro grains and veggies. Faint hops... maybe... if you sniff hard.

T/F: Not much to the flavor... watery below average lager with some skunk and grains. Mild malts... not much in the way of hops. Fizzy and carbonated.

O: Below average macro lager. It's only redeeming feature is that it's not water and it's fairly refreshing while trekking around in hot/humid Costa Rica. There is zero reason to drink this if you're not in Central America.

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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 Ozzylizard
2.65/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Best by 30 Oct 2014 at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of grain
Head average (3 cm), white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring
Lacing good – complete rings of small bubbles
Body light golden, clear
Flavor of what? Not corn or rice? Some other Costa Rican grain or expander? Odd graininess atypical of AAL – not bad, just odd. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl. Ends with some sourness, just enough to be noticeable.
Palate light, watery, lively carbonation.

Drinkable but not desirable.

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Photo of joeskirkie
2.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer in my fridge since Christmas. I just now read the label and saw it was from Costa Rica and thought, "Cool, I never had a beer from Costa Rica."

So I poured it into a pilsner glass because I haven't really used this thing in a while. It looks cool, a nice bubbly straw-colored body with a white thumb-width head that dissapated by the time I finished writing this sentence.

Very light aroma, hard to pick up. Theres corn in there, it's sweet.

Very light on the taste as well, but stronger then the smell. Theres more sweet malts, but like I said, it's still light.

It's light and easy going in my mouth. It's a very easily drinkable beer. But as for the next one, well, lets try something else.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

In search of the best weekend daytime sports viewing brew I picked up a fresh sixer. Having just gobbled a bottle of Cusquena I thought this would work well to compare and contrast the two. Poured into a tall pils glass. Yellow / pale body with loads of large carbonation. Ivory white head that leaves lots of lace behind.

This is light even for a macro lager. Watered body with not much going on. Sweetness and some heavily watered tropical fruit juice deep underneath the ummmm water. Somewhere around the middle of the drink there is a cooked vegetable type taste. Fairly clean and at the end of the bottle I was ready for another. Not the worst and not the best.

Notes: Of the two beers head to head I liked the depth and the fact that the hops actually made an appearance in the cuscuena. I liked the imperial better for being lighter and more refreshing.

 866 characters

Photo of mnrider
2.67/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. brown bottle

A: Pours crystal clear. Almost no color. Light carbonation and a small white head, which does not last.

S: The aroma is of light grains and some sweet malts. A hint of some fruits.

T/M: Not much going on here, some light grains and sweetness. Hops are almost none existent. Altogether light bodied with little carbonation.

O: Pretty average for an Adjunct Lager. This ones from Costa Rica. I wish they brewed better beer than this.


 465 characters

Photo of Mora2000
2.68/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to swalden28 for sharing this beer. This is the first Costa Rican beer I have tried.

The beer pours a clear, macro yellow with a white head. The aroma is sweet malt and corn. The flavor is more of the same, adjunct tasting with a lot of sweetness and basically no hop bitterness. Light mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.68/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A: [3.00] The bottle lists the ABV (4.6%) and there is a date code (10/30/2016). The beer is pale and transparent yellow. It has very little head formation. The thin ring of foam is white.

S: [2.50] Pungent corn, like frosted flakes scent. Maybe a tad bit of skunk smell too.

T: [2.75] Very little flavor. Mild wet mushy corn. A little crackery taste from the malts.

M: [2.50] Fizzy and thin.

O: [2.75] I think I am drinking Costa Rican Budweiser. This would taste better if I was pulling a beer pong ball out of it. It has all of the hallmarks of a mass lager. Corn taste and smell. Thin and fizzy body. If you know what it is going in it has its place.

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Photo of unclejimbay
2.7/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Imperial Costa Rican (American Macro Lager), 4.6 ABV, bottle to a tulip style glass, 9//16/08

A 2.0
Bright golden color, little to no head, typically for a macro style beer
S 2.0
Semi skunky smell, low on the skunk scale, but does have a funk smell
T 3.0
Typical Am macro lager tase, w/ a bit more balance, nothing to distinct going on, just plain old Am style macro lager.
MF 3.0
Watery, just a plain type Am lager, worth a try if you drink macros on a regular basis.
D 3.0
Given my review, I should give a low rating on the drinkability. However this beer has a cerain nostalgia factor to me given it is the primary beer you drink while in Costa ~1994. I had many of these after late night surf sessions in CR with the local Ticos and Discotech crowd(s). As a result, I love the logo, the Tico population and country, and I always enjoy one of these to step back to some good vibes and memories of good old Costa Rica! So I give it a 3.0. If you have been there, you should understand....

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Photo of jettjon
2.74/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz. bottle marked "Imperial" "Costa Rica" "4.6% ABV" and imported by "High Falls." No freshness date noted. Into a pint glass, it's a pale golden clear hue with loads of carbonation in the pour. Big thick fluffy white head that's suprisingly solid. Great retention with sheet-like curtains of lace all the way down. Hands down the best looking cerveza I've encountered. Nose... very subdued, grassy and sweet. Tastes of sweetish malt and mild fruitiness, perhaps apples. Faint hops in evidence; finish is slightly dry. Mouth is crisp and mouth-filling. Wet and smooth, quenching. Drinkability is OK as a thirst quencher, but low flavor profile doesn't inspire one to come back for more.

Overall: A good looking Mexi-lager but nothing special. Better than a Corona, and on a par with any decent American macro, but what's the point. A reasonable alternative at the Mexican place if nothing better is available.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
2.75/5  rDev -2.5%

Ehhh... Had this in Costa Rica, and I tend to factor sentimentality into my reviews. (For example, I love Gallo, but mostly because I had it in Guatemala.) But I can't even muster up any extra love for Imperial just cuz I had it in Jaco before the crowds got there.

 268 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 McStagger
2.75/5  rDev -2.5%

A: Pours a pale/golden yellow. Vigorous carbonation. Head vanishes almost instantly. Thin cap of white foam.

S: Metallic, grainy. Mild neutered hop aroma.

T: Metallica up front. Some grainy notes. Adjunct like without the flagrant corn flakes. Aftertaste just drops off. Very clean. Crisp. Dry. No lingering flavor except for a slight metallic hint.

M: Bright, carbonated, light.

O: Pretty much what you would expect. Goes down easily enough. Doesn't absolutely smack of corn, so it has that going for it. Still, subpar at best.

 561 characters

Imperial from Cerveceria Costa Rica
2.82 out of 5 based on 528 ratings.
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