1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Balboa Premium Lager - Cervecería Nacional, S.A.

Balboa Premium LagerBalboa Premium Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

33 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 2.78
pDev: 20.14%


Brewed by:
Cervecería Nacional, S.A. visit their website
Panama

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2002)
View: Beers (3) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This was another unmemorable beer drank in memorable circumstances. I ducked into a shop while on a guided walking tour of the old city section in Panama City, Panama. I asked a non-English speaking clerk how much for a Balboa, and I think it was 75 cents. Highway robbery, but compared to the 6 bucks or so for crappy cruise ship beers, a deal. I came out of the store and informed my fellow tour participants and soon a few others had themselves a Balboa.

It was typical swill, but consistently made and with no funky tastes. It was fresh and cold. I didn't let it warm up because I was thirsty (Panama is a hot place in case you have not heard) and I did not think it would help. Later that day I bought a Balboa t-shirt (as a gift for someone).

I went back in the store for a second beer, an Atlas. It was not as good as the Balboa, which I guide said was the best Panamanian beer.

Serving type: can

11-23-2013 22:37:18 | More by schoolboy
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my favorite of the standard Panamanian Beers. It is also slightly higher in alchol (4.8%) then its brethren.
Poured into a glass, the beer is a bright gold with good clarity. It has a large but quickly collapsing head, that leaves a skim of lace on the glass.

The aroma is of grains, hay and Ritz crackers.

The taste is midlevel sweet with grain husks and just a touch of bitterness. Mid-glass finds more grain and a metallic bite. Touch more bitterness late.

The mouth is medium and the beer can stand-up to slightly spicy food.

From the lable: contains Agua, Malta, Adjuncts, Levadurat Lupulo.

I was at a restaurant in Punta Chame and had it in a bottle, they served it with a really cool Balboa marked Pilsner glass. I would like to get a couple of those…..

Serving type: can

11-27-2012 21:53:33 | More by Redrover
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

2.58/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served onboard Copa Airlines (São Paulo to Panama City) from a 355 ml can. On to the beer:

A paler gold in color with a head that is thick, on the creamy side, and has good retention. The nose is not one to be proud of. It smells metallic, with a corny sweetness and husk. Defensive mechanicms engaged.

While there is a slight metallic notes, the taste is at least tolerable. Sweet corn sweetness, a side of DMS, a small peck of malt sweetness and grass attempt to bring this beer to respectability. Not quite. The body is soft and light, with a little creaminess in its texture.

Yeah, this is about what I was expecting overall. Well, it could have been worse, I suppose.

Serving type: can

03-05-2012 22:26:49 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours the usual pale, crystal clear straw color with a finger of white head that quickly dissipates.

S- Light grains, a slight hint of hops.

T- Malts are grainy and light, but more full than a lot of other Panamanian beers, corn adjuncts and a bit of metallic taste, some hops are just barely there in the finish, taste overall is on the sweet side.

M- Light bodied, lots of carbonation, crisp, clean finish.

O- One of the better Panamanian beers, maybe slightly better than Panama. As far as adjunct lager's go its pretty decent, and hits the spot in hot weather.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 23:40:57 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of ZorPrime
ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

1.4/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pale yellow beer with a white head on top. The head disappear quickly. The aroma is typical of the one I get from heineken in a green bottle. Not good at all. The taste is nothing like beer. Its water with some fermented malts, not enough to get any good. Its hard to describe. Maybe the beer is past due. It taste like very old straw.

The worst beer in Panama IMHO.

Serving type: can

01-02-2011 14:40:48 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of PhillyStyle
PhillyStyle

Georgia

3.1/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On 5/12 while in Panama City, Panama (airport):

The beer appeared a brighter yellow, maybe golden, with a white head that had better retention than the Atlas that I had just tried. More noticeable carbonation streaming to the top than the Atlas as well. Way better appearance than the Atlas.

The aroma was about the same as the Atlas, light and grainy, not much else.

The taste was slightly better than the Atlas as it was a bit stronger, more full I guess, but grainy and not much else of note.

The beer had a light feel to it, and much like the other, extremely drinkable and refreshing, but best reserved for hot days or days. Overall, was right in line with expectations. In my opinion, probably the best of the four in Panama.

Serving type: can

06-07-2010 20:27:18 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of fizzy
fizzy

Minnesota

3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hahahahaha, who the heck would drink a Panamanian beer anywhere else except Panama? Wow, woofed down mucho cervesa on a recent trip to Panama, all brands, Panama, Balboa, Atlas and Soberana and "came up" asking for more. They are all damn good and worth a try when in Panama. If you are expecting Sam Adams or the like you will really be disappointed. If you are looking for "sun in a bottle" and mucho refresco, pop the cap or pull the tab, you are in for excitement.

Serving type: can

03-07-2010 22:08:21 | More by fizzy
Photo of semihobo
semihobo

Michigan

3.05/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on paper 12/20/08.

12 oz. can with no freshness date. Ingredients: Agua, Malta, Adjuntos, Levadura, y Lupulo. Adjuntos? At least I have fair warning. Maybe if we required ingredients to be listed in the states it would bring more transparency?

Pours with a white head that fades completely. Darker gold than most adjunct lagers.

Weak smell, funky hops and corn.

In two words: "Clean corn" (could be a slogan for ethanol fuel). Tastes sweet, very light/watery taste. Hops are practically imperceptible when cold, but they started to arrive as the beer warmed. No off-tastes.

Light, silky, mild carbonation. Smooth.

Clean tasting and $0.49 for one can or $2.65 for 6 at El Rey supermarket in Panama City. I could drink it all day... although the drinkability might decrease outside of Panama, I am glad to be here!

Serving type: can

12-29-2008 16:04:15 | More by semihobo
Photo of stcules
stcules

Italy

2/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Yellow tending to a light green. Big bubble, even in the so and so foam.
The taste is quite neutral, with a hint of metallic, and a light scent of corn.
At the taste, quite clean, after all, a hint of metallic taste again.
Drinkable, without strange smells or taste.
Maybe on a Panama beach...

Serving type: can

05-10-2007 18:55:37 | More by stcules
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

2.83/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Probably my favorite of the 3 beers I tried in Panama.

Appearance is light, clear gold color, decent head.

Aromas are almost non existent. Nothing offensive though.

Taste is a bit malty, crisp, and dry. Unlike the other Panama beers, I didn't notice that corn like quality nearly as much. Actually a bit refreshing.

Mouthfeel is watered down, but not bad.

When in Panama, I'll go for this one. But only in Panama. It's not really all that great, but I thought it was better than the others.

Serving type: can

01-24-2007 02:55:31 | More by flexabull
Photo of nekronos
nekronos

Mexico

4/5  rDev +43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, nice product, but definetely better than the Atlas one. BUt what I do not understand is why a lot of people like it better than the Balboa Ice. I know this is older, but the other has a more refreshing flavor. HTis has, once again, those corny additives.

Serving type: can

10-13-2005 11:29:39 | More by nekronos
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

2.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a clear, golden body. The head settles rapidly and leaves no lace.

S - Grainy malt and sulphur with a little herbal hop character.

T - Grainy malt, corn, and little else. A finish of moderate bitterness and a touch of hop flavor.

M - medium-light body, moderately high carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - Fairly bland, but with some off flavors that hurt the overall experience.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 23:13:39 | More by nickfl
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

3.08/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light golden color with a moderate head that fades quickly.

S: has a light grainy aroma, nothing offensive.

T: Surpisingly refreshing with a slight bitter finish.

F: Light and a bit watery.

D: When in Panama, it is a decent choice and compliments the weather. Goes good with the local foods or by itself.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 12:34:24 | More by soju6
Photo of atf487
atf487

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer in Panama: I hopped around the country, and there was an amazing lack of choice. Even in touristy areas like Bocas del Toro, imports were usually Heineken and Corona, maybe Dos Equis (XX) if you're lucky. I mention this because after trying out everything I could find, Balboa is your best option while in Panama. The other beers have little to no flavor (Panama, Soberana) or taste a bit skunked (Atlas). Balboa has a slightly malty flavor, and it has less corn than a lot of the other Panamanian beers. At first I thought it was similar to a bottled Budwesier, but I'd have to try the two back to back and Panama made that impossible!

You'll never miss it when you're out of Panama, but it's the least terrible choice while you're there!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2010 23:26:18 | More by atf487
Photo of Drew966
Drew966

Florida

2.63/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Balboa Premium Lager pours a pale golden yellow with a fluffy, white head from a brown 590 ml bottle. More sweet malt than I expected in the aroma. There is quite a bit of sweet malt in the flavor too, otherwise it's grainy and grassy flavors that hit me. Better than some Latin American lagers I've tried, not as good as others.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 00:17:15 | More by Drew966
Photo of bunbury
bunbury

Panama

3.95/5  rDev +42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is the competition for Atlas Lager, both made by Cerveceria Nacional.

Is has a good lightly taste (not strong before 3), yellow corny appearance (see-through-glass), good head and smell, is by far the best mouthfeel of the panamenian beers.

There's and Export version of this beer, slightly differente on taste, just a bit cooked

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 21:17:16 | More by bunbury
Photo of dogfooddog
dogfooddog

Panama

3.13/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large bottle, served COLD into a glass. Minimal head, very malty nose. Ingredients listed include pale malt, yeast, water, hops....

the taste is very malty and in this bottle there is just a hint of smoke or something burnt. There is some corny taste - I have heard they use corn additives here but i cannot officially verify this.

The aftertaste is very malty, nothing exceptional but it is very pleasant. It certainly is a great refreshing beverage for a typical hot, humid day in a tropical country. As the beer warms up it becomes bitter and increasingly unpleasant, so drink with reasonable speed - finishing one of these after it warms 15F is less fun than cold.

I think this is the best of the domestic beers still made here (excluding licensed products), but batch variation, probably aggravated by light and heat exposure of the beer once it gets on the truck is an issue. Notable that local custom is to drink beer from the bottle, which in some cases probably helps suppress adverse taste elements which crop up from time to time (not this time!)

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2006 22:04:55 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of stoutman
stoutman

Michigan

3.1/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Better than budweiser on a hot summer day.. Grainy smell, Light malt flavor. Popular panamanian beer. Can drink more than one.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2002 21:44:42 | More by stoutman
Balboa Premium Lager from Cervecería Nacional, S.A.
69 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.