Monday, November 30, 2015

Cerveza Imperial

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20Chad9976 (1505) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 30, 2015
I’ve drank so many generic pale lagers from all over the world, I never really expect them to be more than tolerable. But in the case of Cerveza Imperial, a pale lager for a Costa Rican brewery, it’s actually pretty decent. It’s sweeter, cleaner-tasting and easier to drink than the average adjunct lager from the average country. Not that it’s world class, though; it’s just better than most of its class, otherwise it’s an average pale lager. 

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler glass. It had an expiration date of 4/30/16 and cost $1.79 ($0.15 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark golden hue with a crystal clarity and carbonation always visible. Pours to a thumb-width, white, foamy head which retains and laces pretty well.

Smell: A slight skunky scent; otherwise mildly sweet light grain aroma. No hops. No apparent adjuncts or flaws.

Taste: I went into this beer expecting the worse, but was pleasantly surprised to find it not only drinkable – but actually flavorful. The first thing I noticed was how sweet the palette is. There’s probably sugar added to the brew to create for this affect, or possibly some kind of natural flavor additive. It’s not quite as distinctive and chewy as that of a true pilsner, but it’s so much cleaner than a generic adjunct lager. There doesn’t appear to be corn in the brew, though rice might be used (which would explain the sweetness). I detect a sweet honey flavor on the backend and just a faint bite of floral/spicy hops. I wish more macro lagers tasted this good.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel is a little thicker and softer than I expected. While plenty carbonated, it is not spastically so. Light crispness throughout with a clean aftertaste. Somewhat refreshing while in the mouth. At only 4.6% ABV, Cerveza Imperial is arguably sessionable - considering the country of origin and their target demographic – it’s probably meant to be.

RATING: 7/10

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