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Cristal - Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

Not Rated.
CristalCristal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
66
poor

149 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 149
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 2.75
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 2
Gots: 11 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-19-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 87
Reviews by Mr3dPHD:
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.37/5  rDev +22.5%
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 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 NeroFiddled
3.52/5  rDev +28%
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
3.48/5  rDev +26.5%
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
2.4/5  rDev -12.7%
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 bditty187
2.68/5  rDev -2.5%
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
3.44/5  rDev +25.1%
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 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 tjd112
1.8/5  rDev -34.5%
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
2.92/5  rDev +6.2%
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
2.82/5  rDev +2.5%
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 tone77
3.04/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.46/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Saw this sitting in the world beer shelf and had not seen it before so I decided to give it a try. Nice foil covered twist off cap on the top.

A - Poured a very clear, extremely pale golden, hay colored yellow. One of the palest beers I have ever seen. Big white frothy gead formed on the top and actually hhad some damn fine staying power. Tons and I mean Tons of carbonation bubbles were rippling up from the bottonm of the glass.

S - Typical light lager smell, very light grain and malt smell, maybe a hint of yeast, but very light.

T - Very bland and muted. Did not even have that typical light grain flavor that a light lager has. Only a someht muted grain taste, anda weird moldy bread like back to it. A rather odd taste, it almost had like a seltzer water flavor to it, very very bland.

M - Feel was not too terribly bad. Had pretty decent carbonation feel on the tongue and was smooth, Not very crisp though as it had a kind of oily feeling when drinking.

D - Its definatly a sessionable macro like lager, however the taste really doesnt do it for me so I wouldn't really want to drink alot of them, even though I probably could.


Overall very forgettable. Not sure I would really order or ever really try this one again. I am sure there are better beers out there that would better justify the country, this one is just simply blah.

Photo of thekanna
3.83/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at a beer tasting tent at the Crystal City Wine Festival on 9/19/10.

A: Clear yellow with a good amount of effervescence and less than a finger of head.

S: Some sweet malts, slight yeast, relatively undetectable.

T/M: Starts off with crisp, sweet malts which spike in a peak of carbonation before resulting in a smooth, creamy, almost fruit- or egg-tart-like aftertaste.

D: I'm not usually a fan of South American beers but this one was definitely an exception. Nice, flavorful, and relaxing to drink.

Photo of Amalak
2/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had a bottle and it was a light, clear gold--American Macro style. Slightly bubbly with a head that dissipated quickly and no lace. 1/2 bitter, 1/2 sour scent to it.

Not surprising, it's quite bad. Too sour. Kind of like a very bad pilsner taste because most American lagers taste better.

Photo of HoustonTX
2.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Reminds me a lot of Corona. In the bottling and flavor. Here goes the review.

A - Golden yellow, small head on pour, decent retention. No lacing, and carbonation is severly lacking.

S - Adjuncts fill the nose.

T - Ultra sweet unripe corn, with stingy hops, and light malts. No bueno.

Better then a Corona, but not by much. Way too sweet for my tastes. Couldn't even finish 12ounces.

Photo of metter98
2.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down and left a bit of lacing on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of skunk in the nose along with some hints of adjunct malts.
T: The taste has flavors of adjunct malts—corn seems to stand out in particular. A light amount of bitterness is also noticeable.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes rather bland and is nothing overly special.

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
2.41/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle. Pokal glass. Golden color, crystal clear appearance. White & brief crown leaves some lacing. Floral & yeasty aromas & slight sulphur & cabbage odors. Grainy & crispy at first followed by dried rice sensation. Light body. High carbonation. Watery texture. Clean floral bitterness. Dried finish. Avoid !!

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.01/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is what it is. A Macro Lager, light in color and flavor, easy to drink, and refreshing when the situation calls for it. And it's Peru's #1 beer, so come on, we're not talking Unibroue stuff here.

This beer actually looks quite good. Crystal (right?) golden with a big fluffy head, if it were a German Pils it would look lovely, if perhaps a touch on the light side.

While the flavor of most domestic Macro Lagers falls on the disagreeable side of neutral, I'd say Cristal actually tilts just to the good side. There's something about it that reminds me more of the macros I've had in Europe versus your Western Hemisphere macros. This is a good thing.

If you make no assumptions about Cristal you'll be in good shape. This is not beer I'd buy for myself but if company were coming over, you could at least buy Cristal and drink it with them. But the best part is, in the bottle it's cheaper than Bud. Case closed.

Photo of plaid75
3.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light cereal and adjunct malt with a smattering of flowery hops.

The taste consisted of a light cooked corn sweetness, a light doughiness and some subtle hop spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the thin side with a vigorous carbonation.

Overall an average Latin American macro lager.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.22/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle (no date) poured into a glass mug.

Appearance: Clear pale yellow with a white foam that died down to a few strands of foam across the top and an occasional strand here and there. Nothing special.

Smell: Mild grassy hops with clean lager beer smell. Fairly appealing.

Taste: Clean crisp lager with some mild grassy hops at the end. Just a simple lager. Not grainy or corny.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation with a thickness just a bit thicker than water. Average.

Overall / Drinkability: Just right for washing down a meal at a Peruvian restaurant - didn't get in the way of the food at all. Easy enough that I had two with no problem. Quite drinkable, but nothing special.

Photo of dstc
3.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle with Best Before date of 04/Sep/2007.

Very clear, pale yellow appearance with full white head that lasted a fairly long time leaving a fine lace behind. Quit bubbly.

Clean sweet grainy smell, maybe a little hoppy.

Nice clean taste but with a bit of flavor to it. Not light a typical light Macro brew.

Very carbonated and light in the mouth.

Fairly good beer. Another nice refreshing beer for the hot Florida summers.

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Cristal from Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston
66 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.