Cobra Premium - bottleCobra Premium
Great Britain - flag 

Company info:
Cobra Beer 

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5%
Standard drinks: 1.7

Cap type: Non-twist

Label info:
‘Specially brewed to an authentic Indian recipe and double-filtered for a uniquely smooth taste’
‘The world’s most celebrated lager, a result of our quest for the perfect beer’.

What the label really means:
‘It’s a British beer but we want to make this seem like you’re drinking something exotic – Indian! Oh yeah and we’ve won a couple of awards’
(NB: The label shows that Cobra Premium has won the Monde Selection Bruxelles award from 2001 – 2008. I’m not sure what this means as the Monde website is hard to navigate but it looks impressive. Did I feel it deserved such high accolades?).

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of gold (which this label predominantly is) – it makes me think of real estate agents and sleazy, hairy chested, open shirted car salesman. 
With a name like Cobra, I expected so much more. A Cobra attacking a poor, homeless family, or  biting the head off a tiger, or ripping the shirt off a weight lifter would immediately catch my attention. But this label has some Hindi script, Indian style picture engravings in the bottle (the etched bottle gets extra points), and that’s about it. A real shame.

I give it a label rating of 4 out of 10.

AROMA: This is one great smelling beer. It’s how beer should smell – beery. It reminds me very much of a Belgian style beer and I’m thirsty just thinking about how this will taste.


Taste: GLASS – This is nice! It has a slight bitterness that rolls off the tongue with a casual elegance. I note that the beer appears quite carbonated, but upon tasting it, it is the perfect amount of carbonation and a nice head is maintained throughout the tasting.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.


Taste: BOTTLE – Excellent! I’m a bit surprised that nothing is lost by drinking it from the bottle. Every mouthful of this beer is a great experience. It has a real full-bodied taste and a great after taste. I just keep being impressed with every gulp.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Cobra Premium - glass

A word from the wife: ‘Not bad…the bubbles are tiny…like champagne. I could drink this beer from a champagne flute’.

She gave it a taste rating of 8 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I think this beer would sit nicely with Asian dishes particularly Thai or Vietnamese. These dishes would help push the full body of this beer and help appreciate it even further.

Best season to appreciate: This is another beer for the warmer seasons.

Time taken to finish bottle: 5 minutes – super easy  to drink.

All-nighter beer? Yes, I reckon it could be. I just might have to investigate further!

NEXT WEEK: Murray’s Sassy Blonde

  1. Sniv Whettuce says:

    I’ve scoured booze-a-toriums all over the place looking for Cobra Premium but, alas, no cheese. Normally I wouldn’t let something as trivial as that stop me from having my sprout and I don’t intend to start now.

    Crack! Glug! Burp! Yer, not bad. I give it an eight.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Haha, keep looking Sniv. You might have to look at places resigned to selling exclusively hoity toity looking gold labelled beers.



      • Sniv Whettuce says:

        Yes. Yes. I attribute it’s elusiveness to it either being a very good beer or a very bad beer or something in between. One of the three.


  2. Andy says:

    Are you sure this is a British beer? I admit, I have drunk it on many occasions in the UK, but it has always purported to be a beverage of the Indian persuasion. Indeed, in the plentiful UK indian curry houses, Cobra is commonplace.

    I think you’re right that it’d go nicely with Vietnamese or Thai, in the same way that it tastes swashbucklingly good with a piping hot vindaloo.



    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Hi Andy, I am definitely prepared to be told otherwise. In all the research I did (which admittedly was minimal) I couldn’t find a definitive answer on this. I know a couple of fellas drove the streets of London in the early days selling it from their car boot and then they went on to become huge importers of it, and then I believe (and this is where I am not sure because the website and/or bottle wasn’t clear) it started to be brewed in England.

      I am not sure! If you find details of it being brewed and exported from India, I’ll adjust the post accordingly, along with my apologies to the 1.2 billion residents of said country.



  3. Ben says:

    Do you wash your beer glass out with detergent?

    The reason being that I can see a few ‘detergenty’ bubbles in your glass and believe that this would be one of the reasons the beer ‘appears’ quite carbonated?

    Either that or you really are a crap pourer…


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Hi Ben, let me explain again the pour process I undertake.
      As I don’t fill the glass to the top, I pour only a small bit in the bottom (mostly to gauge colour but also carbonation, cloudiness, and generally to see the beer out of a bottle). While it looks like it is a bad pour, a lot of splashback has occurred to capture this amount.

      I’d also like to make comment at this point that I have (since the review) undertaken some research into lagers and found many appear to have a ton of tiny bubbles.

      Beer glasses are strictly washed and rinsed before being refrigerated. No chance of detergent being present at the time of tasting.


      • Ben says:

        Thanks Hell-Cat – you have once again restored my confidence in your beer tasting/pouring ability.

        You really are a true connaisseur

        God bless


    • Frank says:

      hhhhmmmm crap ppourer I think, he should have let the wife pour it! She seems to be pretty accurate at everything else she has a go at, especially the beer tatsting!


  4. luke says:

    What about a Cobra attacking a poor, homeless family, and then biting the head off their pet tiger, while ripping the shirt off the weight-lifting father by the tail?
    The story could run right around the bottle.


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