Tusker Finest Quality Lager | East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)

Tusker Finest Quality LagerTusker Finest Quality Lager
BA SCORE
9%
Liked This Beer
3.02 w/ 725 ratings
Tusker Finest Quality LagerTusker Finest Quality Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
Kenya
eabl.com

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Tusker Premium Lager

Added by kbub6f on 06-18-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#43,305
Reviews:
377
Ratings:
725
Liked:
65
Avg:
3.02/5
pDev:
19.21%
Alströms:
3.31
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
73
Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 725 |  Reviews: 377
Photo of biegaman
3.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tusker Finest Quality Lager pours with a sheep's wool of lowly suds and large bubbles, both of which quickly become little more than a thin creamy film. The body is spotlessly clear - it's essentially water with a bright banana yellow tinting. As this approaches its 'best before' the webs of lacing and active bubbles are a reassuring sign to see.

The aroma is relatively clean of corn or rice or any such thing. So many commercial breweries resort to adjuncts that a pale lager can almost smell empty without them. Of course, Tusker's clean and bready notes - including its normal, natural hint of sweet corn - are inherently good things and undeniably work in the beer's (or at least my, its drinker's) favour.

For better or for worse, and likely by design, the mouthfeel is virtually as neutral as any beverage can be. There may be a slight smidgen of bitterness though my palate, after all these years of drinking beer, is entirely insensitive to it. There are happily no unwanted adjuncts tasted and any note of corn is moderate and unoffensive. This is little else but quenching.

There's a subtle but appreciable malty flavour that lingers on the finish. The taste is familiar enough - bread and white crackers mostly - to not stand out as anything out of the ordinary, but I found there was, in some unquantifiable sense, something distinct about it. Then I notice they source the barley from the base of Mt. Kenya. Neat. Can't be many beers that do that!

I've yet to travel to Kenya but I'd imagine that under a humid East Africa sun this may be exactly the kind of beer you'd hope to see in front of you. Even still, I've had Tusker Finest Quality Lager on many occasions over the years and, even from the confines of my suburban Canadian dwellings, never once thought it a bad beer. In fact, its consistency and quality are exemplary - I'd take this over most any domestic commercial lager.

 1,913 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.91/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well, this is a definite step up from BMC, which was my worry before I tried this beer. This beer is a bit fuller & has a bit more flavor to it. There are some definite soft complementing spicy hop notes in the flavor, as well as a nice subtle bitterness in the finish. This is a crisp clean beer with a bit of malt-grain sweetness to it. Having said all this, it is still not a great beer. Worth trying perhaps because it is from Kenya, but just barely.

 454 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear yellow brew.

Smell is lots of big grain smells and hay.

Taste is mildly sweet and grain with a strong hay/smoke flavor. It is good in a rustic untamed way. Taste is of Wild wheat and Barley. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable, EXTREMELY well suited to eating wild game dishes like Antelope.

 326 characters

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +32.5%

Photo of spinrsx
3.33/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance - Clear gold/yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is a good amount of lacing. The head lasted for around five minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, cereal, hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. Surprisingly, there a few different flavours going on. I can taste breads/grains mixed with cereal and honey. There are also some apple and lemon flavours and some herbal notes. It finishes with a nice slightly sweet grainy and herbal aftertaste.

Overall - I found this beer to be very drinkable and better than the average beer in this category. It was a little bit on the pricey side for what it is, but I'd still probably buy it again.

 782 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.19/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours yellow with a good amount of white head retention.

S: Very light, malty, a bit of cereal sugar character.

T: Bready malt taste is mild, with a bit of husky grain character which gets watery at times. Hops lend a spicy mild note. Flavour is mild, but clean, no off-flavours.

M: Mouthfeel is where the beer shines for me. Crisp and clean, endlessly drinkable and refreshing, strong biting carbonation, for the style it's about as good as it gets.

D: For the style quite good, a step up in flavour and quality than your average light lager.

 566 characters

Photo of KAF
2.5/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of rudzud
3.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up on a whim from KJ Baarons when I saw a beer from Africa. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a typical unappealing yellow adjunct lager colour with a nice two finger head that faded quickly though surprisingly left a thin white halo and even a little clouding. Wow.

S - Standard run of the mill aromas here. Bready grains and nearly no hops.

T - More of the above with that bread and grain flavour along with just a hint of honey. Light hop too.

M - Surprising carbonation here. Step above regular adjunct lagers, but still cant help the watery mouthfeel.

O - Overall, not a bad adjunct lager. While I'm not really a fan of this style at all, I'm glad I got to try an African beer. Wouldn't buy it again though.

 727 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.33/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First came across this beer while in Kenya for a holiday and Safari in 2007. I thought it an ideal beer to wash away the dust and heat in Africa.

However, on a March afternoon in a cold, wet and windy England, it isn't so great.

This bottle was brought back with me, purely to review on this site (you can now buy it at TESCO's supermarket chain in the UK).

It looked fine in a Hoegaarden Grand Cru stemmed tulip glass. Pale golden and as clear as any lager/pilsner on earth. The white head was thin to start with and got even thinner very quickly.

As with most lagers/pilsners there was next to no aroma worth talking about. Some wheat type smells, but no beery bits got up my nose. It gets my normal 3 score.

I was disappointed in the taste, it was nothing like I remembered. Almost tasteless, like a Bitbuger Pilsner.

Watery and weak flavoured, this is a hot day beer, as mentioned earlier.

If I had reviewed this beer in Africa, the score would have been a lot higher. Sadly in the cold light of an English day, it didn't come up to muster.

 1,052 characters

Photo of pat61
3.54/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: Brilliant pale straw under a ½” white foam cap that provides thin lines of lace.
S: Something sweet and earthy – almost rooty – on the nose, fresh, light perfume and grains.
T: Light sweet grains with something minerally to chalky on the finish. Very faint tart green apple.
F: Crisp, sparkly finish. Very light and effervescent and refreshing.
O: Unimpressive but drinkable.

 389 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.5/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of RBorsato
2.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear light straw yellow color with a moderate white head. Light malt aroma and a very light hop aroma (Hallertau and Styrians from what I understand). Very light flavor and almost devoid of taste. Light and very thin with a crisp dry finish.

Not a bad hangover beer for the first New Year's Day football game.

[16.9 oz/500ml bottle] Label states: Gravity 1037-1039

Best before: June, '03
Tasted: 01/01/03

 415 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours gold in color, clear, with 1/4 inch head. Taste is honey and sweet toasted malt. Above average, tasty, clean lager. Not something I would rush out to get, but certainly enjoyable.

 188 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
2.25/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of wordemupg
3.97/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into pint glass dec14 2009

A clear straw yellow with a thumbs width of bone white head that fell quickly and left a few patches of lace

S grassy lemon and floral hops with just a little malt

T as it smells with a little biscuit

M clean and crisp with just enough carbonation to please

D even on this cold winter day it's pretty good

a good lager when all is said and done, not what I expect from Kenya

 429 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Clear pale amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Slight skunky nose. Starts sweet, hops are hidden, not an American lager, sweet corn finish, would make a good lawn mower beer. $1.95 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 337 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.16/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a very clear and pale golden-lemon color with a ½ finger frothy white head that was less then average retention wise. Visible carbonation was rapid and medium in nature.

S: light sweet buttery notes and grains but was very faint and had to work to get much of a scent here.

T: sweet dried buttered grains and popcorn notes, and a soft flowery hopping which was sweet and spicy in nature. A very light dried honey and fresh dough flavor was also detected. Overall the flavor was very sweet, almost like pancake syrup, I enjoyed it somewhat but found it very sweet at times.

M: fizzy and very active, smooth with a light texture and a buttery sweetness. Overall very smooth and slick on the tongue and slides off the back off the tongue effortlessly.

D: A decent, smooth and sweet drink that was easy to put down, but may be limited in quantities due to its high sweet character. As a single, moderately enjoyable.

 931 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a cloudy consistency and a pale yellow color. Not a whole lot of head, but some OK lacing.

S: There was a floral quality to the smell, along with a bit of malt and hops.

T: The taste was a bit on the average side. There was a little malt and some hops along with a slight citrus element. Not particularly complex.

M: This beer could use a bit more carbonation. It had a decently dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: While this is one of the better examples of a macro-brewed beer, it still isn't all that great. Not without its good qualities, though.

 593 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with white head. Cereal grains on the nose; follows onto the palate. Some sweetness on the palate as well. Finishes with a typical lager finish, lightly sweet.

 186 characters

Photo of WDJersey
3/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Mfg, 6/16/2008, best by 6/16/2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear straw gold color with about an inch white head. Head retention is good, not much lacing. Carbonation bubbles up from the bottom of the glass to the top for a while after it's first poured. It smells like sweet malt and a bit of corn. No offensive aromas at all. It tastes like sweet malt, grain, and bit of grassy hops. It's mostly sweet tasting. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's thin but not watery. Drinkability is good, it is pretty easy to drink. For the style, it's not bad at all, I'd rather drink this than most macro brews. Not that I'd make a point to seek this out, but it's a good alternative if you don't want to drink any BMC brews.

 741 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.1/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an imperial strange)

A-This beer has a straw yellow body with a faint hazy and a big fluffy snow-white head. There was a nice gentle carbonation to it.

S- The smell of slightly sweet pale malt with some soft honey malt notes complimented the grain notes. There was a finish of noble hops and a hint of sulfur.

T- The crisp dry pale malt was balanced by the noble hop finish. There was a slight sulfur and spice note at the end that turned to a faint lemon carbonic bite as it warmed in the glass.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel but there was a slippery texture that made if a bit more full.

D- This beer was very light and didn't have much character to it. For the style it did have some faint notes of kolsch beers and it would have been nice to pull those out. If I had to drink this style it would probably be this beer.

 862 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to anniesak for bringing this one back from her Tanzanian trip.

A: The lagerbier is a stark pale color, lighter than straw but darker than, well, water? Seriously, the light yellow color barely registers. A finger of white foam on pour was fast to disappear.

S: The nose is lacking, a generally inoffensive brew that shows off some rice and cereal. A mild sweetness peps things up.

T: The lager has a sweet malt undertone, strong enough to peak through the bland cereal from time to time. Cereal grains dominate but share the stage with corn and rice flavors. A decent drink that is the exact opposite of extreme.

M: The mouthfeel is painfully bland, punctuated by points of sweet grain. The aftertaste has a distinct corn syrup flavor.

D: I could drink this all day long but I really wouldn't want to.

 814 characters

Tusker Finest Quality Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
Beer rating: 9% out of 100 with 725 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.