Brouwerij Nacional Balashi

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Lager - European Pale
Ranked #424
Ranked #50,342
2.84 | pDev: 20.07%
Brouwerij Nacional Balashi
Notes: The beer has a deep golden color totally clear and transparent, with a bitterness which is soft to the tongue and nose however with an aroma of fresh hops, a short aftertaste and easy on foam. The combination of all feels fresh and smooth to the mouth when cold, perfect for Aruba's hot climate.
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 197 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of donspublic
donspublic from Texas

3.58/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into tulip, good 2 finger cream colored head, good retention and lacing. Pale yellow in the glass, clear, slight particles floating, but the beer is 2 years old, so all forgiven. Smell is crushed grain, slight grassiness. Taste is sweet malt, some grassiness and a mild sweetness thru the finish. Dry finish with a mild bitterness and a slight salinity on the palate. I have had worse, and for the 2+ years on the can hidden in the back of my fridge, not bad. This would be easy to crush on the beach

Dec 12, 2019
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1009 from Massachusetts

3.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is the official beer of Aruba and it truly embodies the island style of a Pilsner. The beer takes you back to the colonial routes of the island while adding it’s own smooth tropical taste. A real treat!

Mar 11, 2019
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My bestie brought a can of this back for me to try. It poured a clear golden with fizzy white head that dissipated quickly and left no lace. The scent had faint white wine flare. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with grain flourish. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its an ok beer.

Jan 18, 2019
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Jlabs from New York

3.75/5  rDev +32%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass via bottle

Color is a mild yellow

Smell is a sweet malt

Tatse is the maltiness followed buta sweet creaminess

Medium carbination

Decent mouthfeel

The beer itself is nothing special yet it tastes really good when you are drinking it in a raft going through a lazy river with the sun beating on your face

Nov 06, 2018
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CHickman from New York

3.03/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An 8 oz stubby can from Aruba, it pours clear yellow color with a 1 finger white head that faded rather slowly, leaving basically zero lacing. I didn't expect much in the looks department, like trolling a bar at last call, however this was decent enough looking.

Smells of caramel, corn husk, malt and lemon zest or faint hops. Again, didn't expect much and didn't get much.

My first impression of the flavor is that it's very sweet, like corn syrup and light caramel. Then it tastes like a lager with the sweet malt, vegetables or corn husk, honey, earthy notes, mild skunky notes and toasted grains. Seems they run the same brewing and flavor playbook between Miami and Venezuela.

Jun 30, 2018
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jawaltz from Maryland

5/5  rDev +76.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks like Aruba.
Tastes like Aruba.
Smells like Aruba.
Feels like Aruba.

When I have a bucket of Balashis waiting for me back at my palapa, I know that life is good.

I give it a 5.

Oct 04, 2015
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10-8 from New York

3.52/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

When in Aruba, this is the beer to drink (when not at Madame Janette's http://www.madamejanette.info/joomla2/menu/special-beers ). Clean, crisp, and easy to drink while on the beach. A simple lager, brewed with Aruba's excellent water. You can get Heinekin and Corona at home, so why not drink this. Comes in little bottles, which disappear quickly, so buy it by the case at the local supermarkets.

Jun 06, 2015
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

2.44/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

LOOK: Deep yellow color bordering on light golden, good clarity. Soapy head forms and retains well along the glass. Looks good.

SMELL: Adjuncts and malts, pungent hops, slight vegetal, husk. Euro lager smell.

TASTE: Malt and corn give the grainy flavor, faint bitterness, and slightly sour. Euro pale lager on the low end. Either way not particularly clean or memorable, there is once again the cooked veggie, dimethyl sulfate presence. That needs cleaned up for sure. Its very common and plain lager.

FEEL: Light crisp body, ample carbonation. Aftertaste of hop and vegetable.

OVERALL: A ho-hum beach beer from the Aruban brewery. Its not flashy or very tasty at all, but it would get the job done if nothing else were to be found.

Jun 03, 2015
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.03/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Apr 05, 2015
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

2.77/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 7oz bottle my mother in law smuggled back from Aruba into a shaker pint, the beer is a pale, crystal clear, almost watery looking straw gold coloring with no head. Aromas of toasted grains, hints of baked bread, and some buttery highlights. Yikes. Flavors are toasted grains forward, with a fruit sweet undertone that I'm not sure is supposed to be there. Floral notes throughout, too, but otherwise light in flavor, jacking up the drinkability to the levels of water. Light, crisp bodied, with a toasted grain aftertaste. The finish is smooth and clean. Fairly unremarkable, and fairly innocuous. I can see drinking this in large quantities on a beach in Aruba, devoid of other options.

Sep 28, 2014
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

2.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Aruba beer. Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight. The beer comes in this cute little bottle that looks like it should be served on airplanes by those arrogant pricks that fake smile at you and ask if you would like a snack, knowing full well that six peanuts and a shitty processed sugar cookie is only herding you toward numb obedience and an inevitable slow and miserable death. Like I said, small bottle.

Sweet smelling. Adjuncts, corn, cigarettes on the beach, middle age chics acting like they don't regret that tattoo they got back when they used to maybe be sexy, but now their gunts cover up the ridiculous rhinestones on their bikini bottoms that stopped fitting after they had their third ill-advised child with some GED toting douche bag who rides a motorcycle to Buffalo Wild Wings so he can try and beat his low life middle age peers in bar trivia, where questions like "Chief Suggam Bagadix surrendered his manhood in which battle?" get the night shift crowd all hot and bothered.

I would like to visit Aruba someday.

Jun 12, 2014
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balcomjo7 from Michigan

3.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a light beer from Aruba!

5.0 % ABV
This is a smooth light beer
Smell : Wheat
Taste: Skunky, very weird after taste. Leaves a bad taste after drinking
Aroma: Wheat

It is very clear, watery
Not my favorite beer, but it is refreshing in the sun!

Served in a can

Apr 26, 2014
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schoolboy from Ohio

2.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

The only thing I really liked about this beer was that I drank it in Aruba. I had two, in fact - one draft and one can. I guess I liked one other thing - they were much cheaper than the crap beer they were serving on the Coral Princess cruise ship I was on.

It actually had a funky unnatural color. Sort of green. It came recommended, but the source of the recommendation was unreliable. The taste was very forgettable. You want to forget it. But the bar I had it in was pretty cool - open air, by a mall. They had a stuffed Santa suit passed out at the bar (the holidays were approaching). The can I bought in the cruise terminal and drank it while shopping. It was 2 or 3 bucks, but still cheap compared to the ship.

I wonder if it is their water that makes it worse (the style is also at fault).

Still, it was nice to have a cold one on a nice hot day in Aruba. Right about now I would like to be back there.

Returning to Aruba last week, I still didn't care for this beer, but I knew it wouldn't be any good. I had a couple while perusing the endless t-shirt shops near the port. I overpaid for a cool Balashi T-shirt. Tthat's one of my cruise things - buy beer t-shirts for crappy beer from cool places. I hope I didn't already have one of these.

Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Dave128
Dave128 from Kentucky

3.7/5  rDev +30.3%
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.

Sep 27, 2013
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MadCat from New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pale yellow, not much head or lacing

Smell: Malt, grain, corn

Taste: Malt sweetness, with some corn and grain notes

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing

Overall: Not a bad beer to have when you're sweating on the beach, but it is nothing to be savored. Would likely lose its appeal in any other setting. Not a bad beer, but I preferred cocktails on my stay in Aruba.

Oct 10, 2012
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Kmccabe33 from Georgia

3.42/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

Jul 19, 2012
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This review is from notes from a recent cruise.

Pours a pale yellow with a flash in the pan head that quickly becomes nothing and leaves no lace. The smell is of wet grains and corn, very mild and not offensive at all. The taste follows suit with a light malt sweetness, some vegetal notes, and not much else. Hops are pretty much non-existent. Yep, this really is the Aruban Bud.

Drink it if its free, otherwise avoid it. Bland and generic.

Oct 31, 2011
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

2.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes sampled this week of 8/6/2008
Honeymoon in Aruba and lets just say craft beer hasn't come into vogue on the scorching desert of an island. Balashi is the Aruba beer and you can find it everywhere. I got the chance to try this on tap, in green 12oz bottles and in brown 7oz bottles, it makes no difference the beer is a pretty crappy macro lager. Smells and tastes like you'd expect light with hints of corn, honey, grains, and some skunk. I often found a mineral taste, but not always. When in Aruba this is certainly your freshest choice, but certainly nothing to get excited about.

Sep 15, 2011
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DrewSnyc667 from Massachusetts

3.67/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a shaker pint...

A - Nothing really of note, fizzy yellow liquid, almost no head and no activity

S - Light skunk, lemony citrus very faint

T - Surprisingly nice. Really dry with just a slight sweetness from the malt.

M - Smooth and wet, great for sitting out in the sun and knocking some back

O - Nothing really special, but it's about context, for something light and refreshing,i it's a good option

Aug 02, 2011
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.15/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Little 200 ml bottle, thanks to my friend for grabbing it in Aruba, served in the proper Balashi glass.

Pours a crystal clear light amber/golden, medium sized and frothy white head forms and settles to a medium ring and layer around the glass, some decent lacing sticks, looks alright.

Smell is pretty standard, a bit of skunk, some grassiness, corny sweetness, a bit of honey/caramel, pretty malty for an adjunct lager, light floral, a bit of toast, not bad.

Taste is similar, pretty malty, some biscuit and toast, corn, honey/caramel, a bit sweet through the middle, light floral, pretty weak and watery in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Lacks a bit in flavour but a decent enough hot weather beer, refreshing. Thanks Jen!

May 31, 2011
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ProfessorHomer from New York

3.5/5  rDev +23.2%
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!

May 27, 2011
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beerprovedwright from Georgia

3.7/5  rDev +30.3%
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.

Apr 20, 2011
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CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had Balashi via cans and draft while in Aruba on our honeymoon. I did not drink anything else there but Balashi. This is a very underrated beer. The beer is made by Aruban water - so fresh and crisp! The beer has a deep golden color totally clear and transparent, with a bitterness which is soft to the tongue and nose however with an aroma of fresh hops, a short aftertaste and easy on foam. The combination of all feels fresh and smooth to the mouth when cold, perfect for Aruba's hot climate. I brought a beer back with me to the states to give to a friend who went to Aruba years ago and he shut his eyes and sighed, "That's the Balashi I missed in Aruba". This beer temporarily takes drinkers back to paradise. You have to be in Aruba (or there before) in order to fully appreciate this lager.

Jan 16, 2011
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev +4.9%
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).

Jan 09, 2011
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bark from Sweden

3/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The smell is sugar-sweet with some fresh bread. Hints of exotic fruits and a touch of sharp bitterness.

The clear liquid is pale yellow-gold. The finger thick head sinks quickly leaving a thick white lid.

The taste is sweet with notes of white syrup and a weak hint of exotic fruits and cheap honey. A clean light bitterness and hints of base malts. Overall the flavours are neutral and sweet. The aftertaste is light with not many flavours at all.

The carbonation is fresh, the bubbles are small. The liquid is soda-like in its stickiness.

An average exotic adjunct lager.

Dec 05, 2010
Pilsener from Brouwerij Nacional Balashi
Beer rating: 67 out of 100 with 197 ratings