Cristal | Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

BA SCORE
67
poor
93 Reviews
THE BROS
77
okay
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CristalCristal
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston
Peru
cristal.com.pe

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-19-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
93
Ratings:
180
Avg:
2.79
pDev:
21.15%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 180
Photo of flagmantho
3.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: light golden hue with a crystal-clear body and a fair helping of effervescence. Head is one thick finger of pillowy white foam. Actually a decent-looking beer; the color is not so insipid as most.

Smell: grainy, with just a hint of sourness, and with a fair bit of sweet malt aroma. As adjunct lagers go, it's not too bad.

Taste: light, sweet malt with just a touch of bitterness but no really discernible hop flavor. Not bad; pretty middle-of-the-road.

Mouthfeel: body is quite light but there is a boatload of carbonation here. Call it faux-creaminess, since it winds down pretty quickly. Still, this puts it a step ahead of a lot of its competition.

Drinkability: a lightly refreshing brew. I'm actually relatively impressed by Cristal; though I probably won't seek it out again I'd choose it over a whole host of other similar beers.

 901 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cristal of Peru is a decent American style lager. It is very smooth and grainy, but not very complex. It was my favorite on my trip to Peru of all of the Peruvian brews I had to pick from.

Smell: Malt and grains.

Taste: Malt and grain.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

 274 characters

Photo of thekanna
3.83/5  rDev +37.3%
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.

 512 characters

Photo of savagewhisky
2.77/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light yellow with plenty of carbonation bubbles present. Head is bone white and pretty thin

Smells of a sour dough bread

taste is primarily mineral rich water with some sour and alcohol taste.

Not impressive even for an adjunct lager. On a hot day though, I'd take this over water.

 293 characters

Photo of tone77
3.04/5  rDev +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.

 269 characters

Photo of daliandragon
2.19/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This review conducted from notes from my traveling journal, which I finally found after almost a year of looking.

Last year I spent a month in Peru, which was amazing. The Peruvian beer exceedingly less so. Cristal is one of Peru's biggest labels, I noticed it especially in the capital of Lima. The orange sphinx on the label is kind of cool.

When you could find a glass, this pours a light golden color with no head. The nose has a hint of hops but more adjuncts. The "taste" is smothered in carbonation and has very little malt or hops. Like sour seltzer. The upside to this is that the finish is relatively clean. Quite easy to get down but what could possibly be your motivation?

 687 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at a birthday dinner with the 'rents at Machu Picchu in Somerville.

Clear, nice looking lager except for an insta-vanish head. Doesn't really smell like much, though maybe a little light grain which very well might be my imagination hoping for it to be there. At least it doesn't smell bad.

Taste is lightly hopped and a very lively, almost playful carbonation. Mouthfeel is a bit thin but goes well enough with the effervescence.

Not bad for washing down some Ceviche but not something I would recommend outside Peruvian fair.

 537 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
2.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Pours a...normally I would call it a clear pale straw, but there's hardly any straw in there at all, more like a clear sallow, a clear jaundice. The head is thick and solid for a decent while before disappearing into the pale, leaving some nice thick lacing behind. The nose is burnt rice and toasted grains, a hint of vegetation creeping from the undergrowth. The taste follows, but pushes the notes from the nose to the back, reserving the van for a sharp aluminum foil. Seriously. I apparently chewed some foil while drinking my adjunct lager. Damn. And I was gonna do that afterward... Anyway, the body is decidedly light, with highly active carbonation and a very watery texture. Overall, a very disenchanting brew, whose drinkability necessarily falters with the highly objectionable taste. Come on, Peru!

 841 characters

Photo of blackc5
1.95/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Latin BMC. Not much else to say. Fizzy, pale straw yellow with minimal lacing or head retention. Aromas are typical grain with some wonderful metallic undertones. Taste is flat and expected - corn and a lacking aftertaste. Mouthfeel is watery and overly high carbonation. Drinkability is simply ugh.

 299 characters

Photo of tjd112
1.8/5  rDev -35.5%
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.

 362 characters

Photo of colts9016
1.16/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured this beer into a pint glass at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A white one finger head that has no retention to it. The body of the beer is a light pale straw color. The clarity of the beer is clear and brilliant. There some effervescence in the beer.

Nose: A light grainy aroma with rice, there is a kinda of a meaty aroma, phenols, and floral bouquet.

Taste: The beer is grainy, has a very funky off flavor like cooked sausage, and phenols.

Overall: The mouth feel of the beer is carbonated. The body of the beer is light and the finish light. This beer has been light struck and then some. This just doesn't taste right. A drain pour.

 644 characters

Photo of GRG1313
2.95/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 427 characters

Photo of Amalak
2/5  rDev -28.3%
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.

 291 characters

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.54/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Crystal clear golden-yellow body with no head.

S- Lots of corn smell going on. Other grainy and metallic tones also noticed

T- Tastes like corn and metal. Not bad but not good

M- Clean watery feeling and excellent carbonation

D- Beautiful carbonation and light feeling make for easy drinking

 298 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
1.56/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 12/12/2005 (12oz bottle from 24 variety pack):

Pours a big foamy head which diminishes quickly. Body is pale yellow-clear in color. There is an aroma of malts. Fizzy tasting, clean, almost balanced, but slightly acidic. Can't detect an aftertaste.

 257 characters

Photo of Beernoisseur
1.97/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have never encountered a lighter beer. In every respect. It Poured with a paper thin head, it had the color and substance of your pee after about a two hour drinking binge (almost clear). If you could make a beer out of a single spoonful of cornflakes, this would be the result. There was OK carbonation and mouthfeel. that modest attribute was the highpoint of this exbeerience.

 381 characters

Photo of roblowther
2/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well...It is, as you might expect....a beer from a country where they don't grow hops. But let's not prejudge. It is ultra-ale, almost Coors Light-esque. It smells of....nothing. Slight smoke. No, cigar butts. Wow. That's just not good. The taste is slight malt, a bit of caramel. VERY mild. The mouthfeel has decent body, OK carbonation. You could probably drink a lot, if you weren't paying attention. Basically, if you're in Peru, pay the extra soles for Cusquena.

 467 characters

Photo of koopa
2.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice crisp clear appearance but under carbonated which shows through in the lack of head retention and lacing.

Smell: Clean nose with smells of a light flowery hop, grain, and adjunct material.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Not much malt to it, good light bodied lager crisp aspect. The beer is under carbonated in my opinion.

 331 characters

Photo of dsa7783
2.83/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Single, twelve ounce bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in West Orange...
Pours a clear, lucid, see-through, golden hue with hardly any head and very minor lacing...
Faint, nondescript, pale aroma with an equally unassertive, uninviting taste... Bland would be the best way to describe this Peruvian beer, with a watered-down, loose mouthfeel and average drinkability only due to the lack of cloying flavors and modest ABV...
Nothing special...

 451 characters

Photo of matty
3.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow colored beer with light and rapid fading head.Taste is watery and a little sweet.I would almost classify this as a light lager.Smooth drinkable and fresh.The perfect beer for a family outing or BBQ.I enjoyed it and will buy again shortly!!

 251 characters

Photo of dnichols
2.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured a 12 ounce twist top into a pint glass.

A: It poured a pale stray golden body with a bone white half finger head composed of small bubbles. A steady stream of small bubbles rose from the bottom of the glass. The head receded to a slight cover and supported a modest lacing.

S: It had a lager aroma of light grains and malts with just a touch of sweetness.

T: On its own it is very bland with just hints of flavors that fail to linger or make much of an impression. There was a touch of sweet malt and a whiff of hops but so recessive it was hardly there. I did drink it with a stiff and spicy bowl of Bombay potatoes making the beer a nice complement...somewhat like cool water.

M: It was light bodied as water with decent carbonation and hardly any aftertaste. Smooth and refreshing.

D: I'd rank this as a suitable beer for eating with spicy Mexican food or on an evening following a long day working the fields.

 928 characters

Photo of stcules
1.53/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A very pale yellow color. Big bubbles, in carbonation, and even in the scarce foam.
The smell is, well, unpleasant. Very. Shoddy malt, corn, just a hint of hop, if you try to find it very hard.
Even something chemical.
Well, awful. Almost undrinkable.

 251 characters

Photo of mltobin
2.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a glass.

It pours a light clear yellow, tiny white head on this beer that hails from Peru.

Smell is skunky sweet, not very pleasant.

The taste is some grain, small presence of hops, little character to it and is not particularly enjoyable.

MF is bland and lifeless, works to was down food, but not much else.

I will not order this again if I have some other option on the menu.

 401 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.13/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

 404 characters

Photo of shadow1961
2.06/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cristal, a Peruvian lager, pours a big white head over a pale yellow brew.
Carbonation is steady, and the nose is a tiny whiff of barley malt. The flavor
is is a teensy bit of barley, a teensy bit of corn, with a barely noticable hop
finish. There's this really subdued cornflake aftertaste too. Nothin' special
here.

 321 characters

Cristal from Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston
2.79 out of 5 based on 180 ratings.
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