Pilsener
Brouwerij Nacional Balashi

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Style:
Lager - European Pale
Ranked #429
ABV:
5%
Score:
69
Ranked #50,668
Avg:
2.84 | pDev: 20.07%
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
197
From:
Brouwerij Nacional Balashi
 
Aruba
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  8
Gots
  41
SCORE
69
Poor
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
Reviews by donkeyrunner:
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

1.9/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

Nov 03, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of jawaltz
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
Photo of jera1350
jera1350 from Minnesota

2.75/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Dec 24, 2017
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Jayli
Jayli from Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just came back from Aruba and had lots and lots of Balashi. This stuff is everywhere! I tried draft, can and bottle. The bottles and cans are interesting they serve in either 8 oz or 10 oz.

A: This beer pours a clear, golden straw yellow with a two finger of sudsy bone white head. Head recedes very quickly with little lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is grain and corn, and a hint of malt sweetness.

T: Taste starts with grain and corn and pretty much dominate the middle. There are few grassy hop notes that come through in the finish and hang there with a continued grain flavoring.

M: Light body, moderate carbonation, crisp and clean body.

D: Goes down very easy, not much kick, not filling at all. I believe this beer is misclassfified as it is more in line with a pilsner than a macro. This beer is one that you can throw back all day long and works with the heat of an Aruban day.

Sep 20, 2010
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mjl21 from California

2.75/5  rDev -3.2%

Oct 24, 2014
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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
Photo of joeboe2001
joeboe2001 from Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +45.4%
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.

Jun 17, 2008
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PaBeerLover from Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -3.2%

Dec 17, 2012
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Saph001 from Illinois

3/5  rDev +5.6%

Nov 15, 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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jaydoc from Kansas

2.25/5  rDev -20.8%

Oct 26, 2013
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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
Photo of mirish72
mirish72 from Massachusetts

2.3/5  rDev -19%
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.

Nov 27, 2009
Photo of craigbelly
craigbelly from Iowa

3.03/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sep 18, 2019
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njthebestofme from New Jersey

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

i had fun with this beer.. average yellow color.. nice carbination.. taste was smooth and crisp..it was kind of intesting it was 11oz can but it seemed to be just enough.. no realy hops or malts jumped out just an average tasting pils.. but it was a little sweet cheers

Apr 08, 2009
Photo of JizackFH
JizackFH from New York

2.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sep 26, 2017
Photo of mostpoetsdo
mostpoetsdo from Rhode Island

2.6/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: A darker gold than most adjuncts. Not much head and no lacing.

S: Neutral overall, but a sweet scent.

T: A slight sweet taste. Trying to figure out what it tastes like, and honestly, tastes waxy.

M: Light, a little creamy, though.

D: It's okay for the style, could drink this in hot weather.

Overall, Aruba did an okay job.

Jan 05, 2010
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virinow from New York

3.25/5  rDev +14.4%

Sep 28, 2013
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JSTpt1022 from New York

3.75/5  rDev +32%

Oct 01, 2012
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STEG from New York

1.74/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A can brought to me straight from aruba. Pours a yellow orange color into a pint glass with a small white head that dissipates quickly leaving average lacing, nothing exemplary. Smells of corn and sugar with an herbal tea like background. Tastes like corn seltzer with green or white tea steeped in it mixed half and half with bitter apple juice. Mouthfeel is surprisingly nice, well carbonated. This is the beers' only redeeming quality. Drinkable-ish. Its light but i cant imagine having more than 3.

Oct 03, 2009
Photo of liamt07
liamt07 from Canada (ON)

3.19/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nov 09, 2015
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ejh06752 from New York

2.75/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Apr 11, 2015
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travduke from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +23.2%
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!)

Mar 30, 2010
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DrewS667 from Pennsylvania

3.66/5  rDev +28.9%
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

May 20, 2010
Pilsener from Brouwerij Nacional Balashi
Beer rating: 69 out of 100 with 197 ratings