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Cristal | Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

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93 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

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

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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 179
Photo of Gagnonsux
2.65/5  rDev -5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is of pale straw with good carbonation. The head is below average in size and soapy. The aroma is of macro grainy sweetness with just a little husk smell. The flavor is pretty good in a generic way. Sweet grain flavors dominate and provide a tasty, but one-dimensional taste. This is better than most adjunct lagers, but still has far to go to keep me interested. This is probably something I'd only buy again if I were ever in Peru.

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Photo of ybnorml
2.6/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A clean bright yellow beer. Has a big bright white head, with some lace. There is a distinct bready character to the aroma with a light grassy background. The flavor starts with a light grassy sweetness before quickly ending with a metallic bitterness on the finish

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Photo of Knuckles
2/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

"Bobby Bob beer, best beer in Vietnam."

There is a whole lot of something going on with the aromas in this beer, but I'll be damned if I could tell you what in the hell they were. It reminded me of walking into high school biology class on the first day, and being greeted by the smell of old formaldehyde from the specimen jars (yes, I too dissected a fetal pig). Formaldhyde nose, formaldehyde finish, and very little going on in between.

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Photo of aracauna
2.78/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

It’s really not all that bad. It’s got a bit of corn in the aroma and flavor, but is backed up by a little bit of citrus and tingly hops. Sweet but not cloying (a pale lager would find it hard to find enough body to be cloying). Not a bad little beer, but far from interesting either.

 286 characters

Photo of Guinness4me
2.5/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Complex? Not at all. Wet and alcoholic? Yes! If you keep this attitude, you'll have no problem putting away several of these lovlies who seem to be South America's King of Beers.

It's a clear, lemon yellow with a quickly disappearing head and no lace. The smell was a bit skunky at first but aired out nicely. The taste was not at all offensive but not at all full of flavor either. It's mouthfeel was average and although I didn't rate it highly on taste, it's very easy to drink and I would drink again on a lazy day in the keys.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.45/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pale straw gold with a thin white head that leaves good lace on the glass.

Pretty mild grainy aroma with notes of corn and alcohol.

The taste is pretty mild as well. Light malt and grain with a hint of malt.

The mouthfeel is carbonated to the point of tickling the nose. The beer is a little too dry in the finsih.

Not bad overall. It can be drunk when the weather is warm. I'm in Houston, it's August, and it's hot. Good beer.

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Photo of bditty187
2.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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…

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.92/5  rDev +40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me begin by saying that I have never in my life had anything quite like this. Almost had a smell reminicent of a wet dog, but had other attributes as well that made it marginally appealing via smell. The taste, at first kinda reminded me of the way my basement smells, but finishes with a BIG corn taste that somehow tastes toasted like a corn tortilla, and is really tasty.
NO, I am not consuming orally, injecting, or smoking any kind of illicit street drug, this is just how peculiar this beer is. The way I described it would most assuredly turn most away from trying it out, but please, don't count this out. I encourge folks to try this stuff. It's strange, but quite good. Not alot of carbonation makes it fairly easy to kill these in decent numbers.
My first brew from south of the equator.(Foster's comes from Canada, not Australia). I'm a sucker for stuff from Spanish speaking countries anyway.

 913 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two-finger white head that leaves an even lace. Light golden amber color. Light bodied, medium carbonation. Starts sweet, finishes crisp. This would be a good beer for the summer better than the usual lawn mower beers but nothing to write home about. The ABV is 5%.

 273 characters

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

The best features of the beer are its brown bottle, drink by date and a twist cap. Other than those things there is not a lot going on here. Once poured you have a very clear light gold beer with a bit of soapy head. The aroma is one of cheap corn grain and medicine-like and it is not a big aroma. The taste is a little metallic and dry with very little hop bite and just a bit of sweetness. The finish I didn't care for. It was little more than a little grainy taste and some astringency. But, it might not be a bad beer in its native environment.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.15/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think this is the best South American beer I've had. Light gold appearance with a 1/4 head that left some sparce laste. Hmm, pleasant smell. Nothing to complain about. Some faint hops, a bit of malt and caramel, and a little rice. Average taste. A little less caramel than the scent would have you believe, but that's forgivable. Mild hoppy bite and sweet malt flavour. I don't mean to be insulting, but this beer reminds me of what Budweiser would taste like, if AB gave a damn about their products. Good, crisp, crunchy autumn leaf mouthfeel that leaves the mouth happy. Good, drinkable session beer. In fact, I think I'll have another right now before I head out.

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Photo of fattyre
2.82/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

 366 characters

Photo of Jason
3.37/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

 726 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.05/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Extended Best Before Date of 4/02/04. Sturdy brown bottle. Straw in color with a nice white, rapidly dissipating head and good clingy lace. The aroma is an odd mix of herbal malt, corncob and hops. The light/medium body is quite thirst quenching. Medium metallic and lightly citrus hops. Improves throughout, even though a little sourness is revealed later.

 357 characters

Photo of Morris729
3.33/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale golden straw color with a thin creamy white head that fades into a good amount of lace. Nose is sweet malts and fresh grains. Light in body with a very crisp mouthfeel due to all the active carbonation. Taste is initially sweet quickly followed by notes of bitter and acidic citrusy hops. Not a bad brew at all for what it is—a light and refreshing thirst quencher perfect for a hot day.

 401 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.52/5  rDev +26.2%
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.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.45/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden straw color, with a nice frothy white head that fades to a good lace. On the nose the aroma is earthy grainy and grassy. On the palate it is sweet at first then bitter and sharp in the mouthfeel, nice malt backbone, grassy, grainy and slight tang to it. Overall this brew is not that exciting but definitely drinkable…refreshing and crisp and easy to drink... more of a thirst quencher.

 408 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light straw color with a quite bubbly snow white head that lingers until the end, decent lace. Sweet aroma of hops and grain. Lively carbonation to the last drop. Tasting yields a quite sweet flavor initially, followed by mild grains and finally a surge of hop bitterness. Not bad, a little sweeter than I expected, but quite refreshing.

Package was a 12 oz brown glass bottle with a twist off cap and a foil neckband, no freshness information. Imported by Inca Spirits, Inc., Altanta, GA. Allegedly the number one imported beer from South America.

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Cristal from Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston
2.79 out of 5 based on 179 ratings.
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