King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor | Anheuser-Busch

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King Cobra Premium Malt LiquorKing Cobra Premium Malt Liquor
547 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 547 |  Reviews: 193
Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.86/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Photo of spycow
1.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.35/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Photo of oriolesfan4
2/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of t0rin0
2.25/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of kojevergas
2.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

25 fl oz can purchased at an embarrassingly downtrodden Brooklyn, NY bodega.

6% ABV. "Smooth taste." (So all you lovers of coarse tasting beer should keep away).

Pours a soft frothy head of ~2 fingers thickness.

Aroma brings notes of creamed corn, DMS, and muted generic malt sweetness.

Taste is surprisingly inoffensive, though there is some sharpness to the texture in terms of overcarbonation. Not so much imbalanced as unbalanced, King Cobra suffers from high sweetness throughout and an inadequate hop profile to compensate.

Medium-bodied and thick for a beer so relatively flavour-bereft. Smooth and wet.

Overall, it's mediocre at best and while its ABV isn't as noticeable as it could be, this isn't a brew I'd revisit voluntarily.


03/24/17: 25 fl oz aluminum can 2nd impression:


07/12/17 impression:

Ended up with a can for a $1.25 as part of a wrap party and figured I'd give this another fair shake.

Aroma yields syrupy malts, high sweetness, and obvious corn adjunct. Not grainy or cereal-emphatic, which would actually be preferable, but also not watery (which could or could not be worse depending on how syrupy this actually ends up being). Aroma suggests an off-puttingly thick brew with off-puttingly high (and borderline medicinal) sweetness. Aromatic intensity is average. No hop aromatics, no yeast aromatics. Lager yeast is indicated given the lack of esters.

High sweetness. Syrupy feel. Plagued by a metallic off-flavour. Imbalanced (or perhaps more accurately, unbalanced). Mineral water. I suspect lager yeast was used, but it isn't a clean or crisp brew. Smooth, wet, lumpy, thick, and overly hefty for a beer this shallow and simple. Corn adjunct is obvious. I'd like more of a grainy taste, and it'd be better watery. Poorly built across the board, but to give credit where it's due, this isn't boozy like many expressions of the style.

It's $1.25 per 25oz can in Brooklyn, and I suppose at that price it's a passable brew for students and boozers. But there are better beers at lower prices per ounce and this leaves a lot to be desired. The kind of brew I associate with frat boys, hazy double vision nights ending in vomit, and aluminum trash can fires in alleyways. Far from the worst out there, but this puts the bar scarcely above the ground.


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Photo of LXIXME
1.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of dbrauneis
2.38/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate pale golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy bright white head that reduces to a large patch of mottled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of cereal grain malts and corn adjuncts with a light amount of sweetness. Hints of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of cereal grain malts with a light to moderate amount of corn adjuncts and a slightly heavier than light amount of sweetness. That is followed by a light hint of grassy hops and light to moderate amounts of fusel alcohol. Moderate amounts of harsh bitterness in the finish which luckily does not linger for too long.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp initially with a slightly slick finish.

O: Overall not as sweet as some of the others in the style but still with a pronounced fusel alcohol presence and a slightly harsh bitterness. Easy enough to drink but not sure that I would consider this one real enjoyable. Tolerable with my pepperoni pizza (after doing my review) but I think I will skip picking this one up again - I have not had one of these since I lived in the projects in college in the mid-1990s.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.73/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The King Cobra title is quite appropriate as this malt liquor is leaner (not as sweetly malty as most) and meaner with a surprising touch of hops (light, but present nonetheless).
It pours a crystal clear golden body that's topped by a full and creamy bright white head. It drops shortly to a thin, creamy collar and some whispy surface foam but, surprisingly, it leaves some nice lace about the glass. The nose displays some lightly grainy and sweetish malt (obviously adjunct laden), a splash of alcohol, a touch of mild fruitiness (apple), some mild dimethyl sulfide (or is that just corn?), and some very low-key background hops. The body is light and it's crisp in the mouth. It's a far cry from the dull, semi-thick bodies that some of the sweeter malt liquors have! The flavor delivers a thin malt that's fairly well-balanced between a well-attenuated and only lightly sweet - but very basic - malt (read as adjunct!) and a subtle underlying bitterness. The alcohol is present, but not really intrusive; although you can feel it almost immediately in the throat. It finishes with a swatch of lingering corn-like malt and a wash of drying alcohol.
It's an interesting brew because it's fairly well done, yet it doesn't hit the mark. It's subdued enough that at first sip it seems almost like a regular beer, yet it quickly turns to show many of the negatives associated with the malt liquor style. It's a little bit more drinkable than some due to it's less sweet nature; yet it offers less character - an odd "Catch-22". Faced with a double-doored cooler full of malt liquors, I think I'd look for something else first.

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Photo of largadeer
2.5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Too much good beer lately, needed to ghetto it up a bit. Consumed a few days ago, reviewed from notes (that's right, I took notes on malt liquor).

Appearance: Clear pale yellow, looks like delicious corn water. Head retention is horrendous despite massive amounts of carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, grainy and adjunct-laden. Slightly sulfuric. Signature malt liquor aroma.

Taste & mouthfeel: Light bodied, corny, somewhat slick on the palate. Moderate sweetness persists through the finish. Not as dry as the better malt liquors out there, and as such not as easy to drink. Best served at near-freezing temperatures in order to numb the taste buds.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
2.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought two of these in 40 ounce bottles as a semi-gag for a friend's 21st birthday. Cost was $1.69 apiece. Appearance was standard cheap beer piss yellow with some carbonation. Smell was typical macro smell, I'm guessing adjuncts. Taste actually wasn't too bad, we were expecting worse. Didn't taste as strong as some malt liquors do, and was fairly sweet finishing. King Cobra was easy enough to drink for our purpose of the night, it seems about on par with many other macros. Anyway, I think anyone who gets this knows about what to expect.

By the way, King Cobra has the ugliest beer bottle I have ever seen. It has a dark snakeskin design on the label, with unatractive lettering. I guess its actually about perfect for this type of beer.

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Photo of zestar
2.25/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 40oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades very quickly and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains adjuncts, alcohol, light caramelized malts and a very faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with some adjunct and malt sweetness. Then some grainy breadinees comes in from a thin malt character. There’s a mild alcohol sting and an extremely mild hops presence creating very little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and not very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Not very flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, solid representation of style, considering the style it’s not too bad, but there are other inexpensive beers I would prefer if I were just trying to get a buzz.

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Photo of olradetbalder
1.5/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of jgunther71
2.25/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of REVZEB
2.25/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of woodychandler
1.22/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Woody continues to do the CAN-CAN. What else would I do on Christmas Day, 2009?

A nice tallboy of this to start the day. Yum! The CAN mentions "... for your drinking pleasure and complete satisfaction". Fair dinkum. If this doesn't come off as advertised, I'm going to call the 1.800 number on the CAN and inquire about a refund, especially if it becomes a drainpour. I really do not think that it will require a full 24-ounces to get an idea of what is going on.

I have never seen a finger's worth of bone-white head disappear so quickly. It was as if Harry Houdini had commanded it to "Vanish!" Color was a light golden-yellow, causing it to look like liquid sunshine in a glass when peering out my kitchen window on a dreary afternoon. Clarity was NE-quality and I could see that it was now starting to rain outside. Nose was really fusel, ghastly. I want to go across the parking lot and offer to buy something good for anyone who might be drinking this garbage in a gesture of goodwill and peace on earth. Mouthfeel was watery-thin with a grape soda pop-like taste in the mouth. How did they achieve this? The esters were all reminiscent of bubble gum. Whew. Finish left me breathless, but not in a good way. This was like a punch to the solar plexus.

Time to make a phone call before heading to the sink.

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Photo of Zaphog
1.5/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.68/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Sampled from a 24 oz. can that is 'cooler' than most, especially if you dress all in black, have a heavy chain on your wallet and homemade tattoos on your hands. Pale amber-gold with a bright white head that has a surprising amount of substance and persistence. Pathetic lace, but some does manage to stick.

The aroma is inoffensive, but that doesn't mean that it's appealing in any way. It consists of sweet corn, cereal grains and an off-aroma that I can't quite place. No sourness and no skunkiness.

The flavor is another matter entirely. Sharply bitter, harsh, undermalted, thin and mineral-like seems to cover it pretty well. It stops short of grimace-inducing, but barely. I know that I've asked this question before, but why would any brewer with even an ounce of talent (and I'm sure those at A-B have plenty) brew liquid swill like this?

I'm sure that by throwing millions of dollars into advertising, they could manage to gradually wean macro drinkers onto decent tasting beer. Why should I care, right? More power to whoever buys and enjoys this 'beer'. You too can be cool, just make sure that people see you with the bitchin' can!

King Cobra should die a quick and painless death (I'm not completely heartless). Where's a pissed off mongoose when you need one?

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Photo of Jason
2.2/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 22 oz clear twist with a wide mouth, "Born On Date" on front label for freshness. This sample was not poured into a glass and was consumed out of the bottle, as any premium malt liquor should be.

Appearance: Pale yellow with a champagne like carbonation.

Smell: Cooked corn with a ghost like hint of grain.

Taste: Light bodied and effervescent with a evident cooked corn flavour throughout. Hop bitterness is unnoticeable ... malt character is minimal leaving hints of grain. A bit of an alcoholic punch is felt after a few gulps as it warms the chest. The finish has a modest grain with more cooked corn flavour yet is remarkably clean.

Notes: The name says it all and who they are marketing for. As for the quality? If you like to drink flavourless beer with a kick of alcohol this is for you.

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Photo of mikesgroove
1.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

So this I have no excuse for other then trying to knock out the bottom of the barrel list as quick as possible. A short trip to the store revealed most of these sitting there, rip for the taking. Decided to try a few last night and just go with it. Served cold and right from the bottle, this was consumed on 08/11/2010.

Why oh why do they even make these still. After having a couple out on the beach, I figured I should try and knock another one out since it was on sale for 1.99 for a 40oz. The pricing is just absurd to me, considering what I normally pay for things, but as I would find out, you certainly get what you pay for. Very pale pour, I think this might be the lightest of the malts I have tried over the last week, with the same fizzy white head that disappears almost instantly though the ever present streams of carbonation all seem to still be coming up from the bottom of the glass. Aroma is corn, alcohol, and a mess of wet hay. Just not what you want to come home to. This follows over to the flavor almost exactly as it was just all over the place, but maintained that almost day old bread like taste mixed with astringent alcohol and moldy cereal. Slick feel and just an almost gag inducing aftertaste. Just not built for this one at all.

Overall this may have been the worst of the bunch, just not something I would ever go back to.

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Photo of orangesol
2.31/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Photo of GreesyFizeek
1.18/5  rDev -42.7%

Another absolutely disgusting malt liquor. Only good for taping around your hands and chugging as fast as you can. As most of these beers tend to be, it gets absolutely horrifying once it warms up even a little bit. Astringent booze, syrupy sweet malt, no hop flavor, with grainy and husky off flavors. Stay away.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.47/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A very pale golden yellow color with minimal white head.

S: Incredibly sweet and sugary. Almost apple juice like.

T: The flavor is definitely analogous to apple juice. A fruity and sugary sweetness that you only seem to find in mal'likka.

M: The body is incredibly light and bubbly.

D: Just far too sweet for me, but fairly unoffensive as far the style goes.

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Photo of tdm168
2.67/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm reviewing purely on style. A small portion was poured into a juice glass for appearance, head, and aroma. The rest was consumed from the elegant twist cap 40 oz bottle.

A - dark copper with a thick, soapy, bubbly, white head that has little retention

S - warm, metal, grainy, sweet, metallic

T - grainy, sweet, metallic, slightly bitter, warm

M - alcohol warmth, crisp, light to medium bodied

This is a typical, high temperature lagered, grainy lager with the typical off flavors for the style. For a cheap buzz it's solid otherwise avoid.

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King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor from Anheuser-Busch
Beer rating: 2.06 out of 5 with 547 ratings