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Balashi - Brouwerij Nacional Balashi

Not Rated.
BalashiBalashi

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
67
poor

145 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 2.83
pDev: 20.85%
Wants: 6
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Nacional Balashi visit their website
Aruba

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jmatthew on 10-11-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 67
Reviews by eb003:
Photo of eb003
2.85/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I don't want to slam a locally brewed beer, but I'll just say I was not that impressed. The appearance is very clear and almost watery. It says it's a pilsner style beer, but I did not find much aroma/smell. I say the taste is average because I found it refreshing in the Aruban sun, but it really didn't present anything spectacular to me. I also found it to leave a bitter after-taste. The mouthfeel is good, it reminded me of some good beers in the way it felt, but I have to rate it pretty low on drinkability because I had to force down any if I had more than two...and these are in 8-10 oz servings...not our 12. It's hard for me to rate a beer this low, because I love beer, but like I said...it just didn't impress me much. All apologies to any Aruba natives that read this.

On a side note, not really related to the scoring...many of the locals in Aruba drink a venezuelan "import"...not balashi. I do give credit for this small island brewing their own and marketing it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ExtraStout
3.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Balashi is a mild pilsner with a mild flavor and a slight hop bitterness. Don't look for robust flavor. What you find is a crisp refreshing light ale that is great for the hot but breezy sun of Aruba. Light on the palate and very drinkable.

Balashi is a beer that is best drank within it's environment just like Red Stripe is. Reminds me of a less skunky Heineken. The pickin' is slim in Aruba so this is my top beer choice. Both the can & bottle were equal in taste and they say 5% ABV.

Photo of DrewS667
3.66/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had in Aruba, available everywhere there...

This beer is absolutely perfect for laying on the beach on a resort in Aruba, or lounging in chairs grilling on the backyard on a hot summer day. Its nothing to look at, your basic macro, smellls just like one too. But it has a far deeper and crisper flavor, with touches of citrus.

Much better than any macro, a perfect summer time beer. Wish it was available up here for sure

Photo of Dave128
3.7/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from bottle at airport out of Aruba. Green small bottle

A 3 simple cerveza clear. Lacing apparent on bottle.

S 3 skunky without much character. Slightly grainy.

T 4. Very much like Heineken. Very refreshing beer. Sweet up front skunky was doesn't carry through badly. Nice and bitter on finish good with a lime

M. 4. Light bodies with ample carbonation

O 4. I enjoyed many of these down on the happy island of Aruba. It is a great summery beer.

Photo of joeboe2001
4.13/5  rDev +45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First, let me say that I believe Balashi is misclassified as an American Macro Lager. It is a pilsener, pure and simple.

And pure it is, brewed with the purest water in the world, and only a few hundred yards from the source of all potable water on Aruba, the desalinization plant.

I rate it good in appearance compared to other pilseners I have had the pleasure of drinking, including Pilsener Urquell before it became a mass import to the U.S. It is clear and light, not overly carbonated, and produces an adequate head when poured properly. The head dissipates quickly, but, even if you are able to let your Balashi sit long enough to warm up, it retains adequate carbonation and does not sour as many American beers (particularly Bud) do.

I rated it slightly lower on smell. Although it offers a crisp, almost wheaty boquet, the aromas are mild.

I said taste was good due to the consistently refreshing, mild flavor of Balashi--about the strength of a Heineken. There are no bitter or sour aftertastes, just crisp, clear pilsen flavor.

Mouthfeel is rated higher because I feel the level of carbonation is just right. It is not overpowering, and it does not fill you up with gas.

Finally, I rated drinkability as exceptional because, despite its mild flavor, that flavor holds up glass after glass. You could--I have--drink glass after glass of Balashi and each one would be as refreshing and satisfying as the first. It does not overpower food--it has just enough flavor to be consistently interesting.

Photo of BeerZack
1.69/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

22cl bottle from Aruba. Label indicates 5.0% alc/vol.

Light gold color, bit of a soapy head that actually hangs out a bit.

Smell is sweet and kinda rice-like. Sweet sake or mild mead-like smells. Hint of dirty socks.

Very light flavor. Sweet, slightly oxidized (cardboardy) taste with hints of metal and CO2. Hope Im not making this sound too good. Sweet.

Pretty aggressive carbonation pricks the tongue which overwhelms the very light body. Makes it extra hard to drink.

Photo of KYGunner
3.03/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a can so this had no skunkiness and resembled so many of the style. Classic Pilsner malts with a dry cracker flavor. Very watery feel so it's ideal for the beach but it didn't drowned the malt flavor.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.3/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a crystal clear golden-yellow with a thin white fluffy head. Carbonation was moderate.

S: a fresh lemon bread aroma with a touch of spicy hoppiness and citrus peel.

T: The flavor was bready, with some buttered cornmeal, and spiciness from the Saaz hops. The mouthful was slick, almost buttery with a light hay and herbal notes along with a sweet malt backing. The finish was spritzy from the carbonation and the palate was dry and hop dominated for a finish.

M: Much better then anticipated. nice level carbonation.

D: Sweet, buttery and an easy drinking beer perfect for the Beaches of Aruba. good beer in regards to its environment.

Photo of Beerboybill
2.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I really didn't expect too much of this beer going in. The last time I drank a beer from the caribbean it was Red Stripe which I thougth was awful, so my expectations were not too high.

The beer has an average appearance for a pilsner. It has a straw to amber color and is just a little darker (slightly) than Heineken. It is very clear.

The carbonation is towards the high range and does carry a very slight hint of hops aroma.

The taste & mouthfeel are much like that of a macro brew (read "not much") and the finish is OK but doesn't really last more than a few seconds.

The bars in Aruba only seem to carry this and the usual macro brews, so you may as well give Balashi a try. Especially since it is very unlikely you will come across Balashi anywhere else.

Photo of LooksCouldKiilll
3.9/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love Balashi. It was a great beer for Aruba- wasn't too heavy or light and definitely tastes good in the sun.
When I ordered it at my hotel the bartender said it was a heavy dark beer. I tried it anyway and to my surprise it was delicious and neither heavy or dark.

They don't export to the US which makes me sad because I'd love to revisit ARUBA!!!

Bon bini!

Photo of Kmccabe33
3.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Currently sitting by the pool and enjoying one fresh. Although yes this may not be a great beer, it is good for what it is. Decent taste, nothing really to note on color or mouthfeel. It is cool to have while in Aruba As I would much prefer it to other American light beers, but this is nothing to seek out.

Photo of Billybrewboy
2/5  rDev -29.3%

always skunky. Better than nothing

Photo of ProfessorHomer
3.5/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overall: a sweeter version of Utica Club, which like this beer, brings back fond rememberances....

A: typical American Adjunct Lager/Pilsener: yellowish, well-carbonated pilsner/lager. Thin head, dissipates quickly.

S: also typical: grassy, sour beerish smell.

T: on a hot Aruba day, this sweetened "Utica Club" version tasted good! Slaked my thirst! A beer for Aruba, to be certain.

M: like Bud. Bitter. Tastebods tingled.

Overall: Had this beer on Aruba during my honeymoon. Therefore, rated higher on the scale than it deserved as location, location, location and place it was consumed will evermore be linked. Wish I could get this in Albany, NY! Sigh. Recommended!

Photo of weeare138
1.68/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Blechh! I wasn't expecting much after researching beers of Aruba before I left for my buddy's wedding.
Appears very light with faint bubbles and zero head or lacing.
Smells almost like a skunky can of Heineken, which is less than appealing.
Tastes awful. The label should read, "Watered down malt beverage brewed with local corn and rice & dry hopped with rotten dandelions and aluminum foil".
The mouthfeel isn't anything special either. I'd rather swallow a gallon of pool water. This one isn't very drinkable either. It was free at my all inclusive resort and I'm a beer guy. Terrible. I can't even drink free beer.

Not so good, Al!

PS-when you ask for it, ask for "Belushi" with a U. Wait till you see the expression you get.

Photo of travduke
3.5/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my customers took a vacation to Aruba and brought me back a can of this.

Appearance: Clear yellowish/orange body with a two finger head that quickly dissipates leaving mediocre lacing.

Aroma: Corn is right off the bat. Very similar to any other adjunct lagers. Malted corn! Little to no hops present.

Taste: Just as the nose predicted but it doesn't taste nearly as bad as other AALs. (Is that a real acronym? ) Sweet malt.

Feel/Drink: Mouth and drinkablity are both good. Nice carbonation but not too crazy like most AALs (I did it again!)

Photo of Lupe
3.9/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-Tap

Pours a bright golden color that is crystal clear with a decent white head. Nice retention and some lacing is left behind.

Subdued aroma that has a mild wheaty/grainy character with crisp yet light hops.

Well balance and refreshing beer. Taste is about the same as the bottled version but more pronounced. Perfect levels of malt sweetness, toasted grain, and spicy hops for the tropical setting. No metallic or skunky flavors, which are mild in the bottled version. Finishes crisp with light spicy hops.

Very easy to drink. Crisp and refreshing - a real thirst quencher. Light and crisp on the tounge with a little more body than expected. Carbonation level was just about perfect.

I greatly enjoyed this beer. Pretty much stuck with it for my entire vacation. This beer isn't perfect, but hard to beat when it's 90+ degrees and there is sand between your toes. And it's better than most of what is readily available when in Aruba. I prefer this on on-tap.

Photo of donkeyrunner
1.9/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My parents brought this back from Aruba for me.

Lager gold color with a decent white chapeau. No lace, no retention, not much to look at. It does come in a cute little bottle though. Dated 2/12/11.

Smells like grass and wet hay. There's a little but of hop snap in there. Taste is...vapid? Doesn't really have any malt character, I just get a slick and slimy mouthfeel. Balashi calls it Euro moutheel - poor Europe. Subtle hop spice is the one redeeming quality here. The fact that this beer won 2 gold medals further supports my theory that at some point, any crap in a bottle has won something.

Overall Impression: Well, at least I crossed Aruba off the list.

Photo of jwc215
2.63/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to a friend (Drew) for bringing this back from Aruba for me...

Pours straw yellow with a thin white head that becomes a patch.

The smell is grassy with plenty of "Euro-skunk". Some sweet graininess and sulfur.

The taste is of sulfur with grass and a huskiness that interferes. Sweet malt is vague, as is some non-descript hop balance. Heineken briefly comes to mind - maybe it's the Dutch influence - who knows...Typical macro mixed with "skunky" bland Euro-lager overall.

Light-bodied and quite fizzy. Maybe in the heat of the tropics it is a thirst-quencher, but that's about it.

Photo of TheDeuce
2.2/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Filtered down watery american-pilsener style lager, tastes just like Budweiser (which I believe has a share in the brewery, go figure) not that much of a head, not many hops to speak of, smooth enough, other than that its from Aruba this is fairly normal. Fairly boring too.

Photo of mirish72
2.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is all about context.

For example, if one is lucky enough to findthemselves in Aruba, this isn't a bad option.

The pickings are fairly slim, most of the beer is one variation of bland pilsner, as opposed to a different bland pilsner. If left with the choice of Balashi or Amstel Bright, go with the Balashi, it is cheaper, and as long as it is ice cold, it is drinkable.

Now, if you are going out of your way to actually buy Balashi and you are not lucky enough to be in Aruba, than I have nothing for you.

This beer is bland, with no real distinctive qualities to speak of. If it is really cold, it is drinkable, but it is never anything more than a boring, mass produced, kinda of skunky tasting pilsner.

Then again when one is in Aruba, if the only thing you have to complain about is the fact that there is no great beer, than you should probably just go with the flow and keep your pie hole shut.

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.7/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When visiting Aruba, drink the local beer, just like other places I visit. Color is a deep yellow with a almost two finger head and broken and moderately clinging lace. Very clear with lots of micro bubble action. Smell is crisp with scents of roasted wheat, corn, and malt. Taste is clean with a little bite. Flavors of wheat, roasted corn, sage, black pepper, sweet malt, and grapefruit. Mouthfeel was moderately creamy, and tingly, with a wonderful after taste that was present when I exhaled. Not a bad choice when visiting Aruba. Better on tap than from a bottle.

Photo of Umbra
2.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I gave the green can of Balashi a high 3.5 on drinkability mainly because it is the only non-skunked beer one can find while sunning the day away in Aruba.

It pours a clear light pale yellow color with a white head, somewhat like a watered-down Miller light. The head disappears quickly with little straw whiff on the nose. There is very little, if any, hop or malt flavor or aroma.

Mouthfeel wasn't bad, but may have been skewed due to sunny, warm days driving through the deserted island. A mouth full of volcanic dust après jeep excursions make drinkability high for the same reason. Even though it doesn't score overly high, it is still better than watered down, sugary rum drinks.

Overall: This one is great when you are sitting under some shade enjoying the cool breezes off the water. An earlier reviewer is way off topic in respect to the water, especially since their state-of-the-art de-salination plant is prevalent from most of the non-touristy areas.

Photo of jlindros
3.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer while down in Aruba. It has an interesting phenomenon, known as the Heineken phenomenon, in which most of the beer comes in green bottles that skunk ridiculously easy. the ones on draft or can tend to taste much better and are actually tolerable. I went with the can to bring back as it would be easier to travel with and less skunked.

A: Pours a bleached white head that rises waaay up in my tall pilsner glass, but then fades semi quickly. It's a crystal clear clear very lightly yellow colored beer, with a little straw color.

N: Light basic macro pilsner aroma, with some light straw, light malts, adjuncts, a little wheat and slight hint of crisp lager aromas.

T: Much more tolerable unskunked, again very light. This time though I do get some toasty malt flavors, crisp lager flavors with a little rounded lager, some wheat, straw, pale malts, slightly juicy, very crisp and refreshing though. It does start to get that adjunt macro lager flavor as it warms, which this is not the style of beer you normally let warm, you want to drink it as cold as the Rockies!

M: very light body with lower but decent carbonation.

F: Somewhat crisp lager flavors, with a slight lingering toasty malt, but mostly the syrupy adjunct flavors linger on the finish. It leaves a touch of wheat as well. It finishes pretty quick too, almost like water, but leaves that macro adjunct syrupy flavor too long.

Photo of woodychandler
2.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Yes! A CAN from Aruba, arribe via one of my many CANtacts.

The CANQuest (TM) is hither and yon, but has yet to try a Heather beer in a CAN. My mind is in a dither and in the comics today, Mr. Dithers is yelling at Dagwood. I could go for a dagwood sammich or better, for a hot blonde. Another CANtact is looking for Shiner Blonde in a CAN for me even as we speak. Jack Kerouac and his train-of-thought writing which one reviewer dissed as "typing" rather than "writing" has nothing on me. Give me a Malt Likker and a keyboard and stand back. Speaking of standing back, it's Crack & Glug Time, boys & girls, so put on your safety glasses and your face shields because here at JP24-7 Productions, LLC, "Safety First!" is our motto!

From the CAN: "Brewed with Aruba's pristine Water ... Best quality, Best taste!"; "Traha cu awa cristalino di Aruba ... Mihor calidad, Mihor sabor!"; "Aruba's Beer"; "Help Keep Aruba Clean and Beautiful".

CANfession time: Despite being dual certified to teach Social Studies, I was scoobied as to where in the world (literally) Aruba could possibly be. Thank goodness for Mapquest! Despite popular opinion, The CANQuest (TM) IS making me smarter.

Following the aforementioned Crack & Glug, I had a finger of explosive bone-white head that was fizzing its way out of existence. Color was a slightly hazy deep golden-yellow. It may have been chill haze or perhaps they do not get hung up on filtration in Aruba, but either way, I do not care, having already read the Sunday comics and not needing to do so through a crystal-clear beer, as is the Nebraska standard. They have access to corn, rice and cabbage in Aruba, based on the nose. I jest, simply because I am trying to CANtinue to have fun with my reviews in the face of sooo many AALs in a CAN. It was pretty standard for the style, but it still put me in mind of silage. Mouthfeel was an homage to their "pristine water" - watery and with a pleasant adulterated lager sweetness in the mouth that I have come to expect from the style. Finish was pleasant, unobtrusive, damned with faint praise. Balashi was not bullshit, but then again, John Belushi (R.I.P.) might have opted for something else. I CANnot recommend a trip to Aruba to try it, but if you are in the area and your cooler needs to be stocked before hitting the beach, it will do the trick.

Last thought: 11.27 Fl Oz = 333.3 mL in a CAN! New England Brewing needs to put Neighbor of the Beast in a 22.54 Fl Oz CAN (chew on that one).

Photo of hopdog
2.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cute little 8oz can shared courtesy of egajdzis.

Poured a lighter and clear yellow color with a small sized white head. Aromas of straw, grains, and grassy. Tastes of the same with some corn. Body and tastes on the watery side.

Notes from 09/26/08.

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Balashi from Brouwerij Nacional Balashi
67 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.