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Cristal - Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

Not Rated.
CristalCristal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
66
poor

138 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 2.75
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston visit their website
Peru

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DoubleJ:
Photo of DoubleJ
3.18/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Cristal is labled as "Beer from the Andes", yet this is bottled in Lima, which is not in the Andes. From a marketing standpoint, Cusqueña is the truer beer of that long mountain range. But what about the beer itself? Here comes 330 ml. On to the beer:

Grassy yellow with a hint of gold. There's a small head formed on top, but it shows good head retention on top and spotty lacing.. The nose is nothing to be shameful of. There is a small dose of DMS, but it's got a pleasant hay and grass note and some sweet maltiness.

It's a surprise that this tastes less like an adjunct lager more like a watered down helles lager. There's dry hay at the begining, and it continues as a seltzery bitterness creeps in. Dabs of wood hit. In general, the overall flavor is on the lighter side, but with little nastiness, I can live with that. The body is very light and seems watery despite small bubbles bursting.

Now that the beer part is over, I can state that Cusqueña is the better of the two. But let's not laugh at Cristal, which is still better than many other nation's top-selling lager. At least I know that the one day I vacation in Peru, the macro options won't completely suck.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown twist off that is foiled … very odd. No freshness date.

Appearance: Perfect clarity but that does not make up for the thin ring of lace that seems to leave quicker than the beer.

Smell: Sweet grain and adjunct aroma with a flowery hop in the back … clean nose to say the least.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Spot on lager crispness within the light body. Light on the malt with grain overtones all over the place. Quick rose water like flavours linger middle to end. Mild hop bitterness with more astringent grain in the finish.

Notes: A decent south-of-the-border lager. Certainly better than most North, Central and South American macro lagers … went great with a plate of Peruvian roasted chicken and fries.

Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first beer from Peru.

The beer pours a very clear, light yellow color with a white head. The aroma is fairly one dimensional and is full of grain. I also get a little bit of grass but the grain is overpowering.

The flavor is more of the same. I get some grain and grass notes as well as some bread from the malt. No real hop bitterness, causing the beer to be pretty sweet.

Light mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of JIMTRK16
1.75/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of Loveyourbeer
2.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of BillyB
3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this beer at a Peruvian Resturaunt with Arroz con Pato (rice and duck).
It was a typical adjunct heavy pilsner. Golden/straw color. Nice frothy white head. Medium bitterness. More Bitter than sweet but smooth overall. Strong corn taste.
Nothing special about this beer. It wasn't horrible. Pretty drinkable.

Photo of dertyd
1/5  rDev -63.6%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.53/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle. Crystal clear, golden straw in color with a bright white head that drops quickly but leaves a good collar and some very minor lace. The aroma is of a sweet, grainy maltiness entwined with a lightly earthy and grassy hoppiness. The body is light and crisp in the mouth. The flavor starts sweet, reveals and odd lightly acidic "twang", and then some light hop flavor as it crosses the palate, and finishes on the dry side with some lingering malt notes. Refreshing and enjoyable. An interesting malt character makes this beer somewhat intriguing. Paired with an excellent balance, some decent hop flavor, and a very good drinkability - it's one of the better South American lagers.

Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
3.53/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I did not have high expectations of South American beers after visiting Central American and Colombia previously, but I was pleasantly surprised by Cristal. It pours smoothly, has a golden texture, has little carbonation sparkle, and has medium white head. It has a lightly pleasing malt aroma, no hard after taste, and goes down smooth without any edge.

This is Peru's leading export beer and I have had in a variety areas of the US, but I have this all over Peru as well.

Lima/Jauraz/Moche, Peru December, 2013-January, 2014

Photo of WoodBrew
2.42/5  rDev -12%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On layover in Lima trying to get back home from Sao Paulo and taking advantage of the time to try Peruvian beers. The second beer I tries was Cristal and it was OK.

A-2 pale golden color no head and seemingly no carbonation
S-2 no much happening
T-2.5 carbonation become present once on the palette. Grain powers the
flavor
M-3 is easy to drink!

Photo of cliff1066
3/5  rDev +9.1%

Photo of Mr3dPHD
3.45/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a small stemmed pokal glass from the bottle. Enjoyed with a delicious Peruvian beef and pasta dish.

A - Bright yellow, crystal clear. Head was quite fluffy with decent retention. Not very much lacing however once the head began dying down.

S - Hint of lime right up front. Some nice bright citrus hops with no real malt present. A bit more interesting than your run of the mill adjunct.

T - Flavor was a tad disappointing after the nice aroma, although certainly not bad. Some dry bitterness trails throughout...sort of a crisp white wine dryness in the finish. You can definitely get some corn sweetness on the palette. Not a whole lot of malt character at all. The mild sweetness seems to be all filler. Should be noted that it was quite muted when compared to most adjuncts however, so that's a plus.

M - Light body. A bit watery with medium carbonation.

O - You have to go into a beer like this not expecting a whole lot, and in that sense, it actually did pretty well. When stating preference in the world of adjuncts, you can't really get too picky because they're all so similar...but I'd say this is on the higher end as far as quality goes. Not a great beer, but a pretty damn good adjunct. If you want a Peruvian lager and you have options, try a Franca if they have it (which they probably won't)...if not, this is a good second. A little better than Cusqueña at least, in my opinion. Enjoyable to say the least.

Photo of bditty187
2.65/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear, gold in hue, dull and ordinary in color. Minimal animation raced towards the bubbly white head. At the apex of the head it was a half finger in height. The head retention was pretty good; it took a while before it faded to a cap and then to a long lasting collar. There was no subsequent lacing. Still, at no time did this beer look dead in my glass; this is a major plus when it comes to Pale Lagers. The nose is sharp, with unpleasant acidity. There are also notes of grain and sweetness, maybe corn? Intertwined are suggestions of herbal grassiness. The bouquet is fair, I don’t find it inviting but it fits the parameters for the style. Good potency. The palate is decent and it matches the nose to the letter. This is both good and bad. I don’t care for the acidic twang, it is really off-putting but the hops add a moderate amount of flavor, mainly hay, grass, and herbal qualities. In this regards it has a European Lager vibe going. Solid bitterness. The maltiness is thin and flavorless, weakened by adjuncts I assume. There is some trace sweetness but the beer is pleasantly dry. If there were any sort of malt backbone this beer would be decent. The mouthfeel is light and watery, mind you carbonated water. This aspect of the beer is ordinary and it allows the beer to be consumed quickly, as if the lack for flavor wasn’t enough. Maybe that is a little harsh, still the body is thin. It is easy to drink but there is no enjoyment in quaffing this, it is too simple and dull. I am sure this is a once in a lifetime purchase. I bought a single 12-ounce bottle in Lincoln, NE for $1.25. Moving on…

Photo of HalfFull
3.45/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml. brown bottle with a twist off cap and served in a pint glass. The 'Beer from the Andes' pours a clear light straw with a porous white cap. Retention is typically brief for the style yet keeps a light surface cap.

Nose is quite grainy and with a bit of lemony hops. Adjuncts aren't prominent and there is a light sweetness. Neutral again in flavor with a moderate bready texture and a light hop finish. Grainy nature gives a decent feel and the drink is unencumbered by negative factors.

This beer warms to reveal its true identity as a Pilsener as opposed to an Adjunct Lager in my view.

Photo of wewantbeer
3.25/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of JamLand
2.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of GRG1313
2.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark yellow with a thin pure white head.

Light nose of white bread yeast and balanced nose of cooked stone fruit with a hint of sugar.

Mouthfeel is thin and without real character.

Flavors are single dimensional light yeast, light hops. Very simple but clean. Flavors, while simple are pleasant, although very short. There is nothing complex about this one.

Short light grapefruit finish. A pleasant lighter beer.

Photo of Acforster2
2.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of wilsonbaron
2.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of tjd112
1.88/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I poured this into my Flying Fish pint glass. The appearance is basically a transparent piss yellow. In fact, I could probably read the label on a deoderant stick that was behind this beer. Head is fizzy, leaves no lacing, and the smell is skunk. The taste as well as the mouthfeel are like a club soda with some cereal grains in there. Unthinkable, undrinkable.

Photo of EagleTalon
2.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a thin white head. Pale yellow-gold color with a slight haze. Aroma is sweet , grainy and hoppy, similar to a Heineken. Flavor is grainy-sweet continental pils flavor with balancing bitterness. Finishes dry and hoppy. Not a terrible beer but not anything I would buy again.

Photo of fattyre
2.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear light yellow-strawlike color with moderately large white head that disipates to a ring around the glass. The smell is of sweet grain. The taste is bland and grainy with an unpleasant bitterness and a moderate mouthfeel. The beer unfortunately does not taste as well as it smell it is bland and not very pleasant. A typical mass produced beer.

Photo of Hockey_Fan
3/5  rDev +9.1%

Photo of tone77
3.05/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a very pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some corn. Taste is light, some grains and corn, not bad, but not much to it. Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre offering.

Photo of Samp01
2.25/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Pours a pale yellow with a medium white head. Aroma and Taste of sweet grains, cereal, some grass notes. A lightly carbonated brew, mildly crisp, light and sweet on the palate. Not too bad for what it is, good to try new beers. Good for a hot humid summer day.

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Cristal from Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston
66 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.