King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor | Anheuser-Busch

185 Reviews
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King Cobra Premium Malt LiquorKing Cobra Premium Malt Liquor

Brewed by:
Missouri, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
King Cobra is an American malt liquor with a robust and full-bodied, smooth, clean taste.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2002

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 520
Photo of wallaceandvomit
5/5  rDev +128.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ive got to give this beer it's props as this is the beer ive probably drank the most of in my life

a- golden urine appearance, rapidly forming head that settles fairly quickly
s- smells like corn, a hint of alcohol and banana
t- tastes like corn, a hint of alcohol and banana
m- standard mouthfeel for malt liquors, very thin
d- this beer is exceptionally easy to chug but i dont recommend it for any other purposes

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Photo of PastorDavid
4.74/5  rDev +116.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

i was stationed in Germany and tasted all of the offerings of my favorites was hefe wiesbier ....the filtered version was krystal wiesbier ........i tasted the blue ribbon krystal and when i got back stateside i was a little short on cash and the cashier offered me king cobra....when this ice cold only beer hit my lips it immediately brought me back to Germany ......i believe that this is why Becks bought budweiser jjust to get to the cobra and repackage it....all you snooty beer guys who judge by price.....(its got to be rock gut if its this price) .....can go get your hackershure hefe wiesbier or wiesen but for me i have found my go to beer id rather have this than most other domestic samuel adams is cool and i love many high end beers ......i think if they charged 4$ for it the snooty guys would rate it higher....

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Photo of sheetmetalsorock
4.36/5  rDev +99.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

King Cobra is the only beer I buy! The price is excellent $.75 for a 16oz can. Its the only beer that has that "full" taste. You know your are drinking beer, when you drink King Cobra. I'm not sure about the appearance because I only buy it in the can. But if you drink King Cobra regularly you'll lose your taste for any other beers, because they are so weak.

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Photo of AfricanPete14
4.18/5  rDev +90.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This may be my new favorite malt, beating out Olde English. The color is typical malt liquor, golden and fizzy. I really love the taste of this beer because it has a perfect malt taste which isn't too thick or overpowering, as well as a very light taste of grain. The finish is extremely smooth with a metallic aftertaste. A very enjoyable malt.

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Photo of Treath
4.13/5  rDev +88.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. First time drinking it.

A- Nice golden color. 3 finger head that dissipates quickly. Leaves a little lacing.

S- Malts, alcohol, corn.

T- Malty, corn, some fusel alcohol. A little sweet. Leaves a nice malty aftertaste.

M- Slick, light, good carbonation.

Drinkability- Goes down really smooth. It's an easy drinking malt liquor.

O- Overall, this malt liquor is quite good. It's easy to drink and has a great taste. Refreshing.

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Photo of neal8929
3.9/5  rDev +78.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer in a can.

The appearance was completely unknown because.... it was in a can.

It has a weak aroma but not a bad skunky smell as with other cheap beers.

The taste is very smooth but very bland. There are no strong flavors here, but what did you expect? You paid 4 dollars for a 6 pack.

Mouthfeel. This is a great beer if you are just going to chug it down as fast as possible. It is very easy to drink. After you have about 2 of them, they start to taste so delicious.

Overall this beer is great for the price range. Compared to the other cheap beers that cost less that $6 a 6 pack, this is the best choice. You get a huge can and it packs 6% alcohol content.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.74/5  rDev +70.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured some from a 40oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears pale gold with a very thin head that reduces very quickly to a ring. Medium carbonation and no lacing. Smells of cooked vegetables, rice, some tart grapes, and a lite strange sweet aroma that reminds me of a freshly opened pack of gummy bears. Pretty clean, some stale malt, a touch of alcohol, and a sweet maltyness as it warms. Nothing offensive.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of very sweet bread like maltyness, tart grapes and a hint of alcohol. Watery and almost tasteless finish, but finishes with a rice and stale bread flavor (Not offensive) Cooked vegetables, no bitterness, and overall not much flavor. No change as it warms. Mouthfeel is a little smooth, kind of thin & watery. Some lively carbonation on the palate, lite-medium bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Well overall this malt liquor is very drinkable with no disgusting aromas or flavors as it warms, like other malt liquors. King Cobra has a very smooth and clean taste. That being said, I would of appreciated more flavor. I didn't like its watery clean, and rice like finish. On the other hand, I guess you could take swigs off your 40 slowly & comfortably, without worrying about letting it warm.

Pretty decent, nothing offensive, Id say give it a try. Cheers!

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Photo of Bighuge
3.7/5  rDev +68.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale gold. Tan head. Little lace. Aroma is a nice blend of crisp, cool freshness, exotic spices, sensual woods, and seductive musk. It gives a fresh warm sensation. The flavor really surprised me. Sexy citrus, lavender and woods. Top notes play with pistachio leaves, iced lavender, Chinese ginger, and mandarin peel. Following up are middle notes of celery greens, wild tiger lily, Indian basil, and Kashmir saffron. The finale comes clean with brisk bristlecone pine, patchouli, and clear musk notes. Interesting to say the least.

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Photo of opwog
3.56/5  rDev +62.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I am putting my credibility on the line here, but there is really nothing wrong with King Cobra and it is probably one of the better beers that AB produces. Friends have always laughed when I mentioned having a Cobra, but in a blind taste test at the 2004 World Beer Cup, it took a silver in the American-Style Specialty Lager category.

I would like to see how this would be reviewed by BA people in a blind tasting alongside other lagers.

10:00 PM on a hot summer night with a couple of close friends, lighting up some coals and cooking up late night burgers and dogs. Don't be surprised to find me on the patio swing with a 40 of Cobra at my side.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
3.52/5  rDev +60.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a drinking horn (cow). Smells of clean-burning, all American corn. I suspect this corn came from America's heartland, but I can't tell simply from the nose. Tastes slick, fusely, and corny (I'm now sure this corn came from America's heartland). Taken in unison, I'd say these flavors make it taste smooth. But I won't let the smooth taste fool me... This malt liquor packs a 'king' sized wallop.

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Photo of joe12pk
3.5/5  rDev +59.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Light gold

S - A bit absent. There is some grain & corn.

T - Light corn and grain. Carbonation gives some bite in place of hops.

M - Medium- and quite drier than anticipated.

O - Very refreshing but a bit tame for a high gravity lager. If you must mow your lawn this year, King Cobra will balm the savage thirst.

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Photo of Spikester
3.4/5  rDev +55.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours rich clear gold with a modest white head and good lacings. Aroma is mild malts and a touch of corn. Taste is sweet malts with a typical macro amount of hops. Palate is just right carbonation for the style. The 6% is just right for a ML. This is the best mass produced beer that AB makes IMO. This is probably what Bud should taste like with maybe a touch more hops. Amazingly corny belches! From a 24 ounce can with a born on date of Jan. 9, 2009. So it was about two weeks old. Best tasting malt liquor I've had.

07-31-2014. From a 25 ounce can with new artwork. Had to down rate for appearance. Still has a big head but leaves quickly with no lacing. Taste is slightly down rated due to grape skin intruding somewhat. Still smooth and easy drinking once you get past the first couple of sips.
No longer the best M.L. I've had. just slightly better than average.

About two months old. No grape skin flavors this time. Better than average M.L.

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Photo of tesguino
3.4/5  rDev +55.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer made for the afroamericans consumers, without offense, is rare in my country, only sold in usa, i buy in the border, appearance, smell and drinkability its over the average, its taste is rich in sugar flavor, mouthfeel different like a german malt liquor, not recommended with food, only with buddies.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.37/5  rDev +53.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

The fifth and final entry of BSBRW (Bottom Shelf Beer Review Week). It's been a rough ride, folks.

Appearance : Pours a slightly cloudy golden straw colored body. Appreciable head is formed, about 3 fingers tall, but fizzles out fast to a small creamy ring. Some residual lacing left behind in small pools on the walls of the glass.

Smell : Lots of dry grain, mostly corn kernels; followed by moldy hay and baby powder. Overall a very musty and sweet aroma.

Taste : Mostly roasted grains, with a hint of hop leaf. The taste isn't substantial, but it's not bad either. The musky, sweet, powdery malt funk is kept to a minimum, but it's still there. It ends on both a grainy sweetness and artificial sweetener note. As the beer warms a bit, (and it only takes but a few minutes), the beer's flaws begin to surface and it becomes a drain pour almost immediately. So drink it cold, and drink it fast.

Feel : The drinkability on this beer is supreme. It goes down smoother than most adjunct lagers and quenches the palate wonderfully. Light bodied, crisp, and ends super clean.

Overall : This is not a bad choice for malt liquor. It's mega cheap and drinks easy.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.33/5  rDev +52.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"No Cristal, I pulled up with King Cobra"

-Reggie "Redman" Noble

Ah, more malt liquor. 40oz straight from the bottle, as God intended it.

A- A pale, pale, pale yellow, good carbonation. Par for the malt liquor course.

S- Cooked vegetables, corn primarily, mild grains... like cheerios mixed with budweiser. Sub-par, but not terrible.

T- Better. Sweet, light, crisp, and no real off-flavors (style in mind). Mild grains, no real hop presence.... very drinkable, do yourself a favor and get it to a hair above freezing as room temperature is not kind to King Cobra.

M- Crisp, light, supremely drinkable. Not too much of an ABV considering the style, but that's OK.

D- High. This one is one of my favorite malt liquors, all things considered. Not as heavy or as intoxicating as O.E. or Private Stock, this one is a heavyweight that's light enough to be consumed with ease. Highly recommended if you're looking for some malt liquor.

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Photo of oldguy1587
3.3/5  rDev +50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Yes, this is not a truly fine brew, but it is cold, wet, carbonated, and cheap. You get what you py for, and sometimes it isn't the higher priced stuff. This stuff is not too bad when icy cold on a hot summer day. Actually, it's pretty good considering the price, although it desperately needs some hops. Sadly, adding a decent amount of hops would raise the price, defeating the point of being the cheapest beer around. I give it a 4.5 because it is good value for the money, and probably best in it's class.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.25/5  rDev +48.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

King Cobra has a surprisingly thick white head and is golden and clear in appearance. Carbonation is moderate to high. Aroma is grainy and stinging, but not terrible strong. The taste is a bit metallic, with fruity notes and heavy corn presence. Sweetness is subdued and slight bitterness is detected. Mouthfeel is very heavy; this malt liquor has a lot of body, if nothing else. Drinkablility is challenging. This one has to be consumed in sips and at an extremely cold temperature. If done according to these specifics, King Cobra can be an occasional pleasure. Overall, it's okay and has its place in the beer world.


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Photo of LovingCup
3.25/5  rDev +48.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't always drink malt liquor,but when I do, I drink King Cobra. Crapola I return to time and time again. 40oz...6%...2 bux..."drinkable"...winning!

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Photo of ilovemeche90
3.12/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

okay i know alot of people hate on Cobra for being cheap malt liquor, but ive had many many cheap beers that tasted much worse for example bud ice. Dont get me wrong I love me some good beer but my regular is the Cobra at $2 per 40oz you can definitely get your buzz no matter how broke you are, but of course when i can i treat myself to a good beer.

Color is a dark pee colored yellow
smell is like that of a malt liquor honestly they all smell the same to me
usually it has the tiniest bit of head
taste is kinda like pennies or if its skunked like olives
drinkability is good goes down fairly smooth and does its job

get bitten by the Cobraaaa

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Photo of ski271
3.12/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

In search of the decent cheapo. This one is pale straw-yellow with a medium, white, foamy, quickly diminishing head. The smell is, wow, not bad for a cheap malt liquor. Not the corn and strong alcohol I’m used to, instead a mild but decent grainy malt with some doughy yeast... I think I even detect a very slight wisp of citrus from the hops. Taste is again surprisingly decent. More of the same. Bready, a little corn, with a late tinge of hop citrus and dryness, not much but just enough to let you know it’s there. Eh, as it warms it starts to let out a bit of that adjunct-laden stink. Too bad, I was starting to like this beer. Thin body, texture is a bit watery, moderate carbonation. This one actually impressed me a little. At $1.75 for a 40 and with a name like King Cobra, I was expecting something that would really ‘bite’. But this was actually a little enjoyable. Nothing I would recommend or anything, but the realm of cheapos, this one is not too shabby.

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Photo of Lacesoutcody
3.1/5  rDev +41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's KING COBRA, can't argue really.

def. not the best in the 40oz. category, nowhere near it.

the a. is of lighter apple cider piss

the s. is of a skunked beer

the t. is a slightly skunky vaguely fruity mix.

the d. is of course sky high, if you want to drink and get drunk, go ahead, if not steer clear.


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Photo of Hans14
3.04/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

My mom loves this beer. Its strange but I believe my brother put her on it. Personally I've had much worse ML,s.

Look: straw pale gold.

Smell: corn grains slight malt but similar to a Light AAL.

Taste: Normal for malt liquor a bit more watery than an O.E.

Feel: Decent carbonation goes down smooth not much after taste.

Overall i enjoy these Its in my top 5 for M.L.

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Photo of tone77
3.03/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a clear 40 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts and corn. Taste is malty with some corn, fairly smooth, not overpowering with alcohol. Feels light in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is not a bad beer for this style.

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Photo of kdawg105
3.02/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok! With this brew you will buying for the price and abv%. You will not be buying it for anything else. The appearance was not very good at all. Smell was of sweet malts and grain. The taste is nothing don't have one really. The mouthfeel is non existant. That makes a really nice drinkability. If your looking for a cheap beer that has a nice buzz this is your brew!

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Photo of troobie
3.01/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

If you haven't watched the two King Cobra commercials on YouTube featuring Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, well, you should do that now: .

King Cobra's earliest graphics/labels are, in my opinion, some of the most brutal and awesome ever. You can see a gallery of them here: . The original 40 ounce labels are so 80's-hardcore that it looks like Charles Bronson himself designed them. Black, red, and gold label with an actual non-stylized King Cobra affixed to a dark brown glass bottle. If A-B InBev would sell that bottle/label today I guarantee that sales of King Cobra would skyrocket.

In either late 2006 or early 2007 A-B decided to change King Cobra's ABV % from 5.9 to 6.0. That's right, there is actually enough extra alcohol now that drinking 59 forties is like drinking 60!!!

As always, reviewed within the style of an AAL/Malt Liquor.

A: A one finger head from a hard pour into a pint glass. The sudsy head sticks around longer than expected before becoming a strong ring with an 80% paper-thin cap. Lacing is impressive for the style. The beer is an almost-still golden yellow that has some floaties. This malt liquor is equally attractive in a glass as it is in a 40 ounce bottle.

S: King Cobra was brewed prior to Bud Ice but yet the smell is Bud Ice turned up to 11, or, maybe Bud Ice is King Cobra turned down to 8? My brain hurts. Fruitiness transcends rotting banana and hints slightly of red berries. Strongly metallic and salty. There is even some Champagne smell from a hard pour. The alcohol is strong for only 6.0% ABV. If you have a familiarity with Natural Ice and Bud Ice you will be able to include this beer.

T: When cold this malt lacks any character. Even as King Cobra warms it's hard to pick out any noticeable themes. There is a sourness that is not enjoyable. Corn/malt is the predominate taste. King Cobra is malt liquor light/dry. It's as disappointing as it is acceptable at a 6.0% alcohol delivery system.

M: That unique A-B smoothness is present (most notable in Bud Ice.) Acceptable carbonation with an incredible smoothness.

O: It's hard to find a reason for this malt liquor to exist today. A-B has taken King Cobra's recipe and turned it into ice beers and high gravity malt liquors. This malt liquor tastes like a 50/50 combination of Bud Ice and Natural Ice. Fortunately King Cobra doesn't cut into Hurricane's market share for if it did I would expect that A-B would axe it.

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King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor from Anheuser-Busch
2.19 out of 5 based on 520 ratings.
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