The situation of beer in India is really much like the "single-genre" film world. All we got is Pilsners! Just imagine someone who has to sit down and painstakingly taste these similar varieties and come back with their tasting notes – each different and unique.
Lets take the case of Kingfisher, Fosters, London Pilsner, Royal Challenge and the latest on the block Cobra. All belong to the mild segment.
Colour: All the beers are in the straw to golden colour range. Fosters and Cobra are slightly darker than the others. LP, Kingfisher and RC are slightly paler, more yellow and straw-like in colour comparatively speaking. But this is only just slightly and only if you've got superior eyesight.
Carbonation & Head Formation: The Kingfisher and the RC do a good job as "fizzies." The Cobra is good enough to be third noticeably the bubble size (like the Fosters) is slightly bigger than the others. The heads of the Fosters and London Pilsner especially the latter prove great at the disappearing act. The carbonation too appears to be in the following descending order Kingfisher, RC, Cobra, Fosters and London Pilsner.
Mouth feel: Very little really to differentiate. However Fosters and Cobra have slightly heavier bodies. Again this is to a very minute degree.
Aroma: The London Pilsner lets out a pungent, sharp yeasty aroma. The Kingfisher has a hoppy and almost piney sort of an aroma. Also you might sense the warmth of the alcohol in the aroma. The Cobra aroma is a lot less intense and at the same time its balanced. You don't need to cringe while drawing a deep breath over a glass of Cobra. Hints of fruitiness also emanate. Fosters has an almost sour aroma with strong hints of yeast.
Flavour: All the beers seem to balance maltiness with the bitterness of the hops. London Pilsener is watery bland for the first second or two and then its slightly sour (like vinegar) and then lots of hoppy flavour. The Kingfisher has a mild maltiness with sour/estery notes in between (sour notes are in the beginning only). There are hints of a piney/wooden flavour. Then follows a long, hoppy, bitter but pleasant finish. Cobra is more full flavoured than the other beers. It does exercise your taste buds. You may also sense smoky notes in the middle. The bitterness grows slowly and finishes with hints of bittersweet fruits (pear perhaps). The finish is typically long. Lastly the Fosters left me baffled. Its quite full flavoured not so much as the Cobra but more than the Kingfisher. A fine balance between the malts and the hops. But there are hints of burnt toast and a medicine like sourness.
Please feel free to add your personal experience here……………….