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

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Tusker Finest Quality LagerTusker Finest Quality Lager
BA SCORE
3.02/5
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736 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

Together. Forever. When you open a bottle of Tusker you are joining the world in celebrating one of Africa's great original beers. Tusker has been brewed with care, craft and love since 1922. Every crisp, clean mouthful summons up the taste, sunshine and love of life of its African roots.

Added by kbub6f on 06-18-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#46,431
Reviews:
381
Ratings:
736
pDev:
19.21%
Bros Score:
3.31
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
77
Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 736 |  Reviews: 381
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is not the Tusker Premium Lager... it's the export version of the regular Tusker Lager with the black, white and yellow label depicting an elephant in profile. It has a standard neck label rather than the gold foil of the "Premium Lager". It's strength is only 4.2% compared to the 5.0% of the "Premium", and it's starting gravity is lower at 1038 vs 1044. In addition to it's slightly thinner body, it's also much less hoppy in the nose. The adjunct is sugar, and it appears to be utilized at a much higher rate than the Premium's 10%.

Legend has it that this beer was named after an angry bull elephant that trampled to death one of the two brothers (George Hurst in 1923) that founded the brewery. It was reported to be Ernest Hemingway's favorite beer, and it's the largest selling beer in Kenya.

It pours a clear straw-gold body topped by a full and creamy bright-white head that holds fairly well before dropping, and leaves some nice lace. The bouquet expresses a grainy malt sweetness with some mild grassy and floral hoppiness in the background. The body is thin but exceptionally smooth across the palate with a fine carbonation. The palate is limited to a gently sweet maltiness that's obviously thinned by a liberal use of adjunct; and balanced by an understated bitterness. Some minor floral hop flavor is present if you seek it out, but doesn't present itself otherwise. It finishes short and sweet, just vanishing from the palate in much the same way it came in. It's a teasing beer that continually leaves you looking for more, which adds to it's drinkability but not much else. It's refreshing and light - easy to drink, but lacking in character.

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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.

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Photo of jbehlar
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

this beer pours a yellow color and quite clear with decent head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves very little lacing. the smell is quite average as i can't pick up many characteristics in it. the taste is consistent with a macro lager. the mouthfeel is a bit thin. i did manage to drink quite a few of these pretty easily. i'm glad i tried it, but i would not seek it out.

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Photo of aquaderek
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I was reintroduced to this beer at Nyala resturaunt in Los Angeles, the first time I drank Tusker was in Kenya while in the Marine Corps. From what I remember this was a great tasting thrist quenching beer. It was poured into a chilled beer mug, the appearance was a yellowish gold, the nose was malty and wet metal. The taste is malt with slightly sweet notes, with the food mug and memories, this is a drinkable beer with a decent flavor.

 440 characters

Photo of Greasy
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of beeroclock
3.23/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

a - poured a clear gold with a some carbonation apparent and thick head with some lacing

s - some malt and cereal grains

t - picking up some malt with slight sweetness, more of the cereal and some hop notes

m - slightly oily with a nice aftertaste

o - refreshing enough, middle of the road, but very acceptable and happy to see Kenya producing a decent brew. I can drink it again...

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Photo of sommersb
3.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 09-13-2012
Freshness: Best by 12-08-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: Single from World Market

My motivation for picking up this beer was to try a beer from Africa for the first time...

Color is golden and clear, topped by a thin white head that fades away quickly. Some lace stays on the glass. Aromas are of bready, light pilsner malts as well as hay and grassy smells.

The taste is clean but not very flavorful. I get low bitterness, light maltiness and a little sweetness. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and crisp, with a thin body. Finishes slightly bitter with some vegetable aftertastes.

Overall nothing too special about the taste of this beer, but it wasn't bad. The website says all of the ingredients are sourced in Africa which is pretty cool. I'd say it is a good example of the style.

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Photo of EMV
3.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had in bottle (many times) in Kenya while on Safari

L: This one pours a clear golden color with nice white head that falls rapidly.

S: Malts and faint hops. A little skunk.

T/F: Pretty standard macro lager... would be hard pressed to differentiate it in a taste test from other efforts. Crisp and malty. Very mild hops at the finish. Most bottles had a little skunk but no better/worse than your average macro lager. Pretty well carbonated.

O: No better or worse than your average macro lager, and if nothing else they were crisp and refreshing... especially when out in the Massai Mara park in Kenya. Cheap and a nice change from water. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but when you're in the middle of nowhere it hits the spot. Also... love the bottle.

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Photo of OneTuffPony
3.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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 Vancer
3.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A bright and clear sunshine yellow – capped by a mountain of effervescing white foam that’s leaving a ring lace. Surprising and tempting of what this may be.

Subtle malts in the aroma, but pilsners never have a powerful smell. Taste is fairly sharp and clean of malts along with a roll in the grass. Not a bad session pilsner, and it comes with enough flavor to hold your interest.

Drawback? I’m not paying $2 a 12oz bottle for lawnmower brew.

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Photo of Ego
3.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

half liter brown bottle with the classic old school logo of an elephant (tusks? hello..), freshness date marked on front label july 2005

appearance:
1.5 fingers of pure cotton head, pale yellow hue, clear, amply carbonated, nothing special but right on for the style

nose:
barely detectable hop traces buried by the smell of rice, the malt is also barely detectable... not one for the sniffing really...

taste etc:
I expected this to suck, suprisingly it has a smooth mouth feel (watery a touch but only if you let it get to warm is it a problem, I mean this is a macro style eh?). it finishes fast and clean (dry), refreshing, just enough carbonation kick for that "ahhh" feeling. not too bad at all compared to american macros.. it is kind of enjoyable kickin back here on my deck this muggy summer night

verdict:
it does the job it is supposed to do. this isnt for a heavy beer geek night, maybe for a summer night at the grill hockin' down steamers and other light fare. session beer ahoy...

 1,011 characters

Photo of Chinook
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found this in a 500ml bottle in a BC Liquor Store. Poured into a pint glass from the rather nice stubby bottle.

The head is minimal and dissipated quickly, a little lacing. The colour is a very clear honey blonde. The smell is very faint grains and a general crispness.
The taste is mixed grains much like any American-style Lager, except with virtually no bitterness. It does not linger on the tongue although there is a slight sweet aftertaste. It certainly isn't strong (only 4.2%.) It is very inoffensive, and nicest in its first cold sips. It avoids the worst of American Adjunct Lager stereotypes of wateriness and dull flavourless bitterness, but it is a little watery. The carbonation is mild and again, inoffensive.

Tusker does not have the flavour and character of many other beers of different styles, but it is an OK lager, particularly compared to the domestic macrobrews. It is not something to rave over, but it is OK. It is a nice beer to drink very cold on a hot day.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured pale golden straw w/thick white head that rapidly dissipated and left thin cap.

S-Smells like fresh plain beer in its most basic form. Crisp light hops and very light malt.

T-This is definitely a little better than most macros. The malt and hops are very faint, and there's not much to it, but it is fresh and crisp. The aftertaste is clean and pure. Boring but not bad.

M-Light and crisp with considerable fizz...the best trait of this beer. I'd consider it "The Perrier of Beers."

D-Very smooth. It reminds me of what a good light beer could taste like.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance 3.0: Pours out the familiar light yellow, almost clear color of a lager. Weak head and -surprisingly-- OK lacing.

Smell 3.0: Has an interesting bouquet. Malt and a sharp almost acidic smell. Somewhat grapey. Certainly not off-putting.

Taste 3.25: Front is void of any real taste, just cool liquid. Middle is where a wave of light, treacly malt sweetness comes in along with a slight sourness. Also getting some lagery cooked veggies and corn at this level as well. Finish is smooth and somewhat dry with a pleasant lagery finish. Aftertaste is where a slight taste of corn comes back in, but only briefly and is not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel 3.5: Very light and refreshing in the mouth, with an almost perfect level of conditioning for this style.

Overall 3.25: Good beer. I am sure this would be like finding an oasis in the desert if you could drink one (or more) of these on a hot day in equatorial Africa, where it is brewed. This is a good lager and not everyone is fond of, or really appreciates a lager these days...with good reason. Regardless, this is a refreshing beer and worth a try if you are at a restaurant or at a beer store.

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Photo of drtth
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear yellow color with a 1/2" white head with several sizes of bubbles. The head soon settles to a large ring and an island of foam while leaving a few patches of lacing on the sides. Sipping leaves lots of scattered small speckles and a few legs of lacing.

The aroma is very faint but pleasant enough grain with a hint of bread and maybe a light touch of hop.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with some lightly sweet graininess, but there is also an almost hidden touch of fruitiness. I'd say there's a bit of bitterness here except its more like an absence of sweetness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side and slightly prickly from the modest carbonation. The finish is medium length, starts in the grainy sweetness, and fades to a quiet ending with some slight bitter dryness showing.

Overall this is a light, refreshing beer that would be fine for a summer's afternoon. While I won't be buying it again I do find that I'd be willing to have it again if it was on offer at cook out or other summer activity.

 1,076 characters

Photo of creepinjeeper
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Libbey pilsner glass.

Look - Not sure how to describe this one; chicken broth? Transparent amber with an amazing amount of sediment (floaties) in it. It looks like an aquarium that was over fed. Nice head that settles in to a fingernail thick ring around the glass. Nice lacing. I don't know if I wanna taste it with all of this going on in my glass.
Smell - The smell brings back my bravery. I get some biscuit, grass, fruit and honey. The smell does not betray it to be an AAL.
Taste - Honey sweetness. I get a bit of raw pizza dough, apple juice, malts. It's not bad at all.
Feel - The mouthfeel gets a little "tricky" the closer I get to the bottom of the glass. Not crisp, like I expected it to be. Thin except for chunks. As the sediment settled and the closer I got to the bottom of the glass, the feel actually became clumpy as it passes over my tongue. ( I swear I am not making this up.)
Overall - Sediment in my beer doesn't intimidate my drinking. The sediment was a little much in this one, it affected my drinking experience. It's a good AAL., something I would drink from time to time. I will have to see if the floaties in this beer are the rule or exception.

 1,205 characters

Photo of torwart94
3.2/5  rDev +6%

Photo of MacMalt
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into pint glass. It pours a clear golden-yellow. Although it is quite carbonated, there is only a very thin, snow-white head and almost no lacing. The aroma is mostly grain and grass; nothing else to speak of. Ditto the taste: mostly grain and grass, although it does have a touch of sweetness; I cannot tell whether it is fruit or corn. It is dry but has no bitterness. I didn't notice any hops. Its feel is very light, almost watery. It has a noticeable fizziness. With its very low ABV, it is exceedingly drinkable. I could imagine sitting in a dimly-lit bar in Mombasa and drinking this all day under a slowly-turning fan. Overall, compared to many other Adjunct American Lagers, Tusker isn't bad. And it's a lot more interesting and fun.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz/355 ml brown bottle ($2.49) at Belmont Station. Poured to a pint glass; brewed since 1922 and 'named after the elephant that killed George Hurst, one of the brewery's founders'. Unfortunate, yet somewhat cool, to have a brewer crushed by a pachyderm.

A: Pale golden, yet full of carbonation. A fizzy whitish head that fades quickly, building to just shy of a finger then dropping to a thin film. Clear complexion.

S: Sweet and corny aroma. Sweet dough, mild fruit (apple?).

T: Corn Pops and the mildest of spices. A bit of grass and peppery dryness blended with the sweeter grains.

M: Super-smooth, eminently drinkable. Lighter body, but crisp/clean finishing.

D: Just fine for drinking as a food accompaniment, but not a beer I have to return to by itself. This was a gamble - a try-worthy beer from a foreign land; as such it was decent enough but not one worth seeking out.

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Photo of torwart68
3.2/5  rDev +6%

Photo of jmosier
3.2/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at the Demera Ethiopian Restaurant in Chicago. Fortunately, I didn't get any of the skunkiness referred to in other reviews, and found this to be a pleasant, drinkable beer, clean and crisp, and very user-friendly. Don't know what this retails for, but it was $6 for the 12-ounce bottle at the restaurant, and this accompanied the tasty food nicely.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.19/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear pale dirty straw color. Thin white head with some persistent strands of lacing noted. Remarkably colorless beer.

Smell: Crisp, grainy, a little bit of sweetness.

Taste: Sweet, crisp clean malt, hint of honey, earthy hop finish. Quite a simple flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Watery with carbonation just south of fizzy.

Overall / Drinkability: Despite not being much to look, it's still a crisp and refreshing beer. I could easily have another. It's a simple and unassuming beer and it goes quite well with food to wash it down (fish tacos in my case). I suspect it would go quite well with highly spicy African food as well to counter the fire and heavy flavor from that type of food. Glad I tried it.

 786 characters

Photo of Nolster
3.19/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tusker Finest Quality Lager from East African Breweries Ltd (Kenya Breweries)
Beer rating: 3.02 out of 5 with 736 ratings