Royal Challenge Indian Premium Lager
Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd.

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Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd.
American Adjunct Lager
2.36 | pDev: 31.36%
Apr 22, 2015
May 11, 2003
Notes: None
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Photo of snaotheus
Reviewed by snaotheus from Washington

2.71/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
22oz bottle served in a shaker pint. I'm shocked and horrified that the "MFG" date on the back is printed as 23/08/12.

Pours clear pale golden with little head and moderate carbonation. Smell is sweet, bready, a tiny bit grassy, a tiny bit lemony.

Taste is blandly sweet with slight grassy characteristics. Surprisingly, not too bad, just very very boring.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Overall, not great, but not as bad as I expected.
Apr 22, 2015
Rated: 3 by alexkwilhelm from Virginia

Apr 15, 2015
Rated: 2.94 by Beestin from Iowa

Jan 19, 2015
Rated: 3 by MikeThumel from Illinois

Jun 23, 2014
Rated: 2.25 by Latarnik from New Jersey

May 28, 2014
Rated: 2.75 by siege06nd from Virginia

Mar 30, 2014
Rated: 2.5 by gshak from Texas

Feb 24, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by nikhilshetty007 from Arizona

Feb 21, 2014
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

2.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
Royal Challenge shared at the 2014 RBWG.

A rather run of the mill lager Its strong point is the aroma, which is a decent light malt with lightly spicy and floral aspects.

On the weak side, the light body is watery.

The flavor is unremarkable for a mass produced pale lager.
Feb 14, 2014
Rated: 2.25 by DbbC from Illinois

Nov 24, 2013
Rated: 2.25 by beernads from Florida

Jul 03, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by grahamboudreaux from Tennessee

Mar 23, 2013
Rated: 2.5 by matjack85 from Illinois

Jan 29, 2013
Photo of drpimento
Reviewed by drpimento from Wisconsin

1.62/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
Well. I gave this one the benefit of the doubt and poured it cold, straight from the fridge with an aggressive pour and got a medium size, white, foamy head that quickly settled out and no lace. Color is a clear yellow with lots of huge bubble trails. Aroma is the best thing with the beer, is sweet, beerish, hint of hop and malt. Flavor is sweet, hint of malt & hop bitter and lots of carbonic tang. Body is ok, but the carbonation is so harsh that it totally dominates, Finish is a little strange - it's like flavor and is fairly short while leaving a neutral sweetness and alcohol warmth. Maybe the warmth is there due to the heavy carbonation enhancing the 5% into feeling stronger. Not very good stuff.
May 14, 2012
Photo of Cyberkedi
Reviewed by Cyberkedi from Georgia

2.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Pours a clear straw yellow with a thick but not too persistent white head. Aroma is malty and just a bit fruity, not very strong. Flavor is malty and palatable, just a hint of apple - nothing to tweet, but OK. Smooth texture has only average body and just a little fizz. Well, India is not known as a great beer country - yet.
Mar 16, 2012
Photo of Domingo
Reviewed by Domingo from Colorado

3.36/5  rDev +42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Wow. A lot of hate for this one. Honestly, this isn't half-bad for a random international lager.
Deep gold color. Definitely more visual appeal than most, and it left lace rings on my glass, too.
The nose is pretty pedestrian. A bit on the sweet side.
Tastes a hair sweet, but not overbearing. The hops leave a bit of an herbal note. A little bit of a cereal grain character doesn't impart any major problems. This isn't too bad, really.
I had no problem downing the bomber of this at my local Indian restaurant, and I might even be tempted to order it again the next time I'm there.
Much better than the usual Flying Horse, Old Monk, Taj Mahal, etc.
Not the greatest beer anywhere, but I'd probably take one over a fair number of US macros, too.
Mar 12, 2012
Photo of CrazyDavros
Reviewed by CrazyDavros from Australia

2.22/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
Pours amber with a tiny head.
Nose shows sweet light malt, vegetables, light floral notes and brown sugar.
Very sweet tasting, more cooked vegetables and cardboard. Practically no bitterness. Somewhat cloying.
Carbonation is much too high, body watery.
Jun 20, 2011
Photo of ADZA
Reviewed by ADZA from Australia

1.3/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
This is one brew ive never heard of and after tasting i hope i never do again it pours a see through straw hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a one finger head that quickly dissaptes and leaves no lacing,the smell is pretty horrible with hints of grains and weak grassy hops,it has a light bodied well carbonated macro mouthfeel and the only tastes i get are grains,pale malts and weak grassy hops and overall to be honest this brew is definately one to avoid and hate to say it but no matter how good the indian food just go kingfisher instead.
May 14, 2011
Photo of Vdubb86
Reviewed by Vdubb86 from Illinois

2.85/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Served in a pokal glass from the 650ml bottle

When you go to an Indian restaurant the beer you should get an Indian beer. That was the thought process that led me on Valentine's day to getting this beer while getting my girlfriends favorite type of food. Well as it turns out all of the Indian beers on the menu were AAL, though I had never heard of most of them it was like throwing darts at a dart board trying to figure out which one to choose. How can you turn down a beer called Royal Challenge?

This beer pours a golden straw color faint white foam that didn't last very long. The smell was sweet with aromas that included sweet corn and malted sugar. The flavor when it was initially poured into a frosted glass from a cold bottle, was a pleasant yet corn filled sweetness. The unfortunate part is that I had to take down all 650ml by myself. That meant that that the beer was sure to warm up. When it was cold it was almost pleasantly sweet to drink, as it warmed it became like drinking a watery corn syrup that was no longer pleasant to consume. The mouthfeel was rather sticky the whole time, which for a light beer wasn't as desirable as you might imagine. This beer was only temporarily drinkable then it became pretty awful to drink. It wasn't the worst Indian beer I got to consume, but there is still a long way for this country to go before it starts producing good beer.
Feb 15, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
Reviewed by Gobzilla from California

3.52/5  rDev +49.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Poured a pale straw yellow with a half finger of head that left a little sticky lacing on the glass. Surprisingly it has a fruity aroma with grains, slight malt, and some underlying citrus notes. There is some slight grape notes upfront with a good balance between the fruit grains and malt its a light but pleasent flavor. The beer is light in body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a fruity malty finish. The beer was very drinkable and went good pair with some chicken tika. This one really surprised me even thought is light across the board.
Aug 07, 2010
Photo of cudmud
Reviewed by cudmud from Illinois

2.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
Appearance: Light honey color with very little carbonation and head combine to produce scant lacing.

Smell: A slight hint of hops is overpowered by adjuncts.

Taste: Lets just say it's the Bud of India.

Mouthfeel and drinkability: It's cold and wet.
Nov 29, 2009
Photo of pmcadamis
Reviewed by pmcadamis from Illinois

3.32/5  rDev +40.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
I found this bomber in an Indian grocery in Bloomington and I decided that I just had to take the "royal challenge."

A - Crystal clear gold brew with a small fizzy white head.

S - Slightly fruity (I'm noticing a trend in Indian beers) and clean... almost like clean linen or something. Very fresh and balanced to my nose, but there isn't a lot of complexity.

T - Just like the nose, this is crisp, clean, and slightly fruity. There are some fusel alcohol notes along with a quasi-German-pils saltine cracker pale malt note.

M - Light, refreshing, crisp, and airy. This is highly carbonated, and that suits the flavors just fine.

D - Nothing special in the flavor department, but this is a beer designed to wash down spicy food, and I think that it would do well in that aspect. This is a solid session beer... especially in the heat of summer. I like it.
Jul 20, 2009
Photo of Tone
Reviewed by Tone from Missouri

3.26/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Pours a clear, pale yellow color. 5/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of adjunct, yeast, and pale malt. Fits the style of an American Adjunct Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with and average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, pale malt, and slight hop. Overall, little metallic aftertaste, very smooth, and a decent blend of flavors.
Jun 30, 2009
Photo of KickInTheChalice
Reviewed by KickInTheChalice from Illinois

2.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
Poured from a bottle into a stange. Here we go, my first experience with beer in India. My expectations were not high.

Appearance: Pours a dark, slightly cloudy golden color with a small head that disappears quickly. Plenty of internal carbonation.

Smell: Not much here; some light floral and straw notes. A little rice.

Taste: Very light flavor. Some light straw along with rice and grain flavors. This is a little bit stronger than your average macro, maybe because it is "brewed longer," as it tells me on the bottle. Tastes a little skunky. This is a constant taste from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat crisp at the beginning of the sip, from the heavy carbonation. The crispness fades and the pungent taste makes me pucker more towards the end of the sip.

Drinkability: Although light and somewhat crisp, this beer just tastes too bad to be able to drink much of it.

India beer experiment number 1: failure.
Dec 30, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
Reviewed by BuckeyeNation from Iowa

1.46/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1
Lightly flecked rustic gold with a suggestion of orange when backlit. A dirty white cap of tight-bubbled foam sits atop the beer and manages to stick around for a bit. No more than a few sudsy streamers of lace find their way to the glass. A decent look all in all.

The nose is par for the Euro pale lager course, even though it's designated as an American macro lager. And the difference is... what exactly? Choice and amount of hops? Royal Challenge is moderately skunky, although I don't believe, despite the green bottle, that it's actually skunked. There's very little of interest here. Make that nothing of interest.

Gack! This is absymal beer. The nose gave me no hint as to just how crapalicious it really is. The first few seconds of each mouthful are indistinguishable from a below average EPL... and then the fun starts. Harsh, raw, jarring, metallic, sharply bitter, repugnant in the extreme. How is it possible to brew beer this bad unless it's on purpose?

I really have nothing good to say about the thin, lifeless mouthfeel; it's just that in comparison to the stomach-churning awfulness of the beer, it's (barely) acceptable. To be as bad as the flavor, it'd have to be slimy or full of small chunks of gristle or something comparable.

The Royal Challenge brand is given to all manner of alcoholic beverages exported from India by Shaw Wallace & Company, including Royal Challenge Premium 'Scotch' Whisky. What a joke. I don't remember when I've had another so-called beer that was this revolting. The only challenge is whether or not I'll be able to finish the bottle. Looks like I lost. Willingly.
Sep 17, 2006
Photo of pootz
Reviewed by pootz from Canada (ON)

1.91/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Green bottle: poured a pale pils-like beer in the glass.... weak head, poor lacing, active carbonation.

Has the Heineken/Beck's "skunk" from sulphers in the light- spoiled lager yeast mixing with the saaz hops. Light body, sandy mouth feel, faint malt spine. Light-struck flavor of sweet and sour hop-malt over musty earthy notes, fast finish where the musty tastes are detected ( these musty notes verge on nasty and spoil an otherwise inoffensive bland Heineken clone)

I think I got a light-struck sample that skunked....I'd like to try this fresh to make a proper evaluation even though I'm sure it will be a Beck's clone.
May 01, 2006
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
Reviewed by CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

1.3/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5
This Indian beer come in a very light green bottle. It pours a vapid yellow haze with some dandruff like flecks that might be yeast (I hope theyre yeast, then again these kinds of lagers are usually so tightly filtered no yeast will get through). Head and lacing consist of a scummy film.

This is the ugliest beer Ive seen.

The aroma is nasty with skunk, metallic grain, rotten vegetables and saccharine sweetness. The taste is soapy with a hop bitterness that is overpowered by skunk and metallic flavors. I cant taste malt over the astringent maelstrom. The mouthfeel is unnatural and almost puckering with off flavors. The finish is as nasty and ruins my palate.

This is not a good beer, in fact its one of the worst Ive ever tried. Makes Bud and Canadian sound very appealing. Since the skunk flavors werent out of control, this probably wasnt a bad bottle either.
Feb 19, 2006
Photo of Weizenmensch
Reviewed by Weizenmensch from Japan

2.23/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4
Royal Challenge clear glass longneck, best before 05/09/05 - review date was past that by nearly two months! But this is what one can expect in India...

Appearance: Straw-yellow, low-moderate carbonation, thin head retention, no lacing.

Smell: Skunky, BO. Hops have probably gone bad, the bottle is clear glass. Some sulfur smell - thankfully no glycerine like most other Indian lagers.

Taste: Strange bitter adjunct flavour. This flavour is not present when ice-cold - it's easy to knock this back when very cold. This one is still cold, but not cold enough!

Mouthfeel: Very easy to throw back: thin, nothing to it.

Drinkability: Good if ice-cold, better than any other Indian lager, with the possible exception of Belo from Goa.
Dec 23, 2005
Photo of JanM
Reviewed by JanM from Sweden

1.63/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2
Nothing premium with this beer. Although Shaw Wallace is a major player in India's brewing world, the Royal Challenge is to finish a bottle of this weak and semi-flat liquid. Avoid it at any cost or confuse it with the same company's Indian Royal Challenge whisky. At least it will make you numb.
Aug 28, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

1.03/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
Bottle: Poured a clear yellow color lager with small bubbly white head. Aroma of skunk is overly present and leaves little or no place to anything else (was drank before BBD). Taste is weak with some skunk noticeable and some malt. Overall, this is very weak.
Jul 15, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
This shiny, straw-gold lager from India delivers a sweetish and delicately fruity aroma and flavor; balanced by a healthy dose of herbal hops in the flavor and a solid bitterness that dries it nicely. It's reminiscent of Heineken to a certain extent, but the maltiness is less grainy (there's obviously some adjunct in use), and it has far more fermentation characteristics to it than any well-done European lager. But its berry-like yeasty fruitiness and slightly-off fermentation characteristics (hints of a Belgian lambic... Brettanomyces?) are what give it a bit of charm and make it worth trying. Other than that, it's appearance is standard with a dwindling head; it's flavor is not-surprisingly basic; and it offers little to no finish at all. Still, it does have some spark of uniqueness to it, and a good amount of drinkability.
Feb 15, 2005
Photo of TerryW
Reviewed by TerryW from Canada (ON)

1.82/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
Utterly undistinguished.

Just another limp-wristed, apple juice yellow beer. Yawn. I hate it when I have to work at it to finish a beer. Not actively unpalatable, but nothing to make it worth the bother either. Thin, a hint of the skunk.

Give it a pass.
Jan 10, 2005
Photo of Shiloh
Reviewed by Shiloh from Canada (ON)

1.43/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5
I didn't really expect much from a lager brewed in India and to that I was not disappointed.
The colour was of apple juice on arrival with a thin island lace and ring.
Carbonation was almost nonexistant.
The body is light.
Heavy skunk scent was my first impression of this sad little beer.
The taste has a light maltiness to it start to finish with no linger.
Just boring, nothing else...oh yeah weak as well.
Jan 07, 2005
Photo of 3Vandoo
Reviewed by 3Vandoo from Canada (QC)

1.3/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
A shy yellow beer, very limpid, clear reminding me of an apple juice! No head, the head dissapeared too quickly, well actually it might be David Copperfield's head, it appeared and "voila" dissapeared right away!

Smells like water, nothing to pick to smell at, nothing!

Her taste : no character, dry, a taste of I cannot describe it very easy, I want to use two words one starts with C and the other one with S. Anyway, that beer had a weird effect on my mouth drying it very quickly.

bad bad bad!
Dec 12, 2004
Photo of chunkylover53
Reviewed by chunkylover53 from Canada (ON)

1.5/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
Can you say "bland"? I hope so, because you'll want to if you try this beer.

It was a pale yellow with no head whatsoever, and no smell. Literally none.

I get a stronger mouthfeel out of my Brita filter. And the taste? Weak. Very very slightly hoppy. I think. I thought I detected some adjuncts in there as well. Rice perhaps? I'm not sure. It was too weak to really tell.

This is not a beer for drinking. This is a beer for lying down and avoiding.
Nov 29, 2004
Photo of JISurfer
Reviewed by JISurfer from South Carolina

1.56/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
Yeah, this is a nasty brew. I figured I would have one, cause I never had a beer from India. Hopefully though, most of their beers are better than this one. The bottle was kinda cool, with the important looking label and all, but that was defintely the highlight of the beer. It's taste was really sweet and had a hoppy tinge to it. I guess it tasted like a bad Malt Liquor. So bad, I couldn't even finish it. Hell, the smell was pretty skunky too, to top it off.
May 23, 2004
Photo of AtLagerHeads
Reviewed by AtLagerHeads from Ohio

2.23/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
This beer was bottled in a 12 ounce green longneck with very nice labeling - an attractive package. Immediate skunky nose on popping the cap. The pour created a hazy light amber body capped, briefly, by 3/4 inch frothy off-white head. Past the skunk there is a piney hop nose overlaying the malted barley. The taste is oily hops resin in the front fading to some back bitterness. The body is thin and watery. The rice adjunct floats into the flavor bringing an unpleasant additional taste to the beer. This is a beer I won't drink again. Lengthy metallic aftertaste.
May 11, 2003
Royal Challenge Indian Premium Lager from Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 63 out of 100 with 37 ratings