Cerveza Cristal
Cerveceria Bucanero S.A.

Cerveza CristalCerveza Cristal
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Lager - Adjunct
Ranked #363
Ranked #50,480
2.6 | pDev: 26.92%
Cerveceria Bucanero S.A.
Cerveza CristalCerveza Cristal
View: Beers
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 120 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Nass
Nass from Florida

3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour is golden yellow with a steady flow of carbonation. The taste was refreshing with a mild herbal note. Oh well, it was interesting to try a beer from Peru. Cheers! B-

Apr 26, 2021
Photo of polloenfuego
polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

2.25/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

You can say what you want about this beer, it is not the greatest of beers by a long shot. However, it is certainly a great beach beer, and I am drinking the hell out of it while I sit on a Cuban beach.

Feb 27, 2018
Photo of PorterPro125
PorterPro125 from Canada (NB)

3.34/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank my moneys worth of this stuff while in Cuba for 8 days...

Serving Type: Can, Bottle, and Draught

L- Pours a bright hay yellow topped by a 1/2 finger fluffy white head. Half decent retention (great for an AAL).

S- Faint aroma of pale grain, corny sweetness, and a slight grassy hopiness. Nothing bad here, just nothing particularly noteworthy.

T- Same as the smell. Very mild flavours of grain and a grassy hoppiness.

F- Light body and fairly high carbonation. Refreshing would be a solid descriptor.

O- Compared to most AAL's, this brew is fantastic. It doesn't have anything offputting and doesn't really have much to offer. Refreshing and cheap. If I make it to Cuba again, you can bet I'll be putting back some Cristal on the beach.

May 04, 2017
Photo of taxandbeerguy
taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

2.89/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had countless cans of this as well as on tap samples while away in Cuba for a week. Served cold into a pilsner glass.

Appearance -Pale golden color, clear with plenty of carbonation. A small cap of white head is poured and sometimes lingers.

Smell - Not a lot here, some faint graininess in general and no off aromas, so that's a plus.

Taste - Again not a lot of flavor, light grassy flavors and a hint of grain with nothing off-putting.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and watery, light bodied with just enough crisp carbonation to make things interesting.

Overall - While not a great beer, it really does hit the spot and when laying on a beach or poolside for hours under the hot Cuban sun. A beer that very much can get some positive ratings due to the memories it invokes. For what it is, it is quite good. Dos cervezas por favor!

Jan 08, 2017
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig from Scotland

2.16/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

355ml Can in Santa Clara, Cuba (30 pesos):
Quite a basic & fairly poor lager but not unlike what I was expecting going in really & at least it wasn't offensive or off-putting. There was a few skunky touches early on but for the most part the beer featured the usual corn, hay & basic adjunct flavours but not much else. It was easy to drink throughout though, probably due to the heat in Cuba & as such I can't imagine it's one I'd have again if I were in the UK & it was more readily available here.

Dec 07, 2016
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead from Canada (BC)

2.69/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

If you visit Cuba you will end up drinking this at some time as it is everywhere. Light and refreshing but devoid of any real character it tastes better than Corona and not as good as Pabst Blue if that helps. After waiting 4 hours for a bus to Varadero from Havana it tasted like Heady Topper lol but in the light of a normal day it is pretty average

Mar 03, 2016
Photo of CanadianBacon
CanadianBacon from Canada (QC)

2.94/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours a pale straw color with a finger and a half of head. Crystal clear.

Aroma - Normal adjunct lager smell with a slightly stronger bitterness than american and european variants.

Taste - Fresh crisp lager yeast flavor with some light malt first followed by a nice balancing bitterness. its an ok adjuct lager from a can, from a bottle it was skunky (green bottle :/)

Feel - light crisp and clean, again nothing more or less special than other adjuncts.

Overall - This is the most popular beer in Cuba, and just like anywhere its a crisp easy drinking party beer without much flavor. It fits the style and as much as adjuncts arnt my thing, I kicked back more than a few of these during my time in Cuba. Try and get it in a can but otherwise sit back with some friends and hammer down.

Feb 22, 2016
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

2.65/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A-Pours a straw color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has lemongrass hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a lemongrass flavor
M-A light bodied well carbonated beer
O-A decent lager

Aug 16, 2015
Photo of Andrewharemza
Andrewharemza from Australia

3.27/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours clear bright yellow with a thin transient white head. Straightforward sweet grainy lager malts on the nose and tongue with a just perceptible hop bitterness. Thin watery palate.

Jun 18, 2015
Photo of YumaLaowai
YumaLaowai from Tennessee

4.83/5  rDev +85.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I love this beer! This is the taste of the Carribean. This and buccanero are always an imposible choice
The perfect drink. Hard, smooth, for men for woman. Salt great but not needed.

Feb 15, 2015
Photo of SmashPants
SmashPants from Australia

2.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Format: a light green 355mL bottle with an okay macro lager.

Appearance: a clear amber-gold with nary a head at all. Some limited visible carbonation. All together a bit average.

Aroma: the aroma is more adjunct than grain - a corn syrup predominantly. Not particuarly brilliant.

Taste: some grains on the taste - still pretty cheap but it isn't the most expensive beer in the world, so fair enough. Still plenty of cheap adjuncts.

Aftertaste: drops away apart from an awkward metal fug and some cheap grains.

Mouth feel: a moderate body with medium carbonation. Not very refreshing for a macro lager.

Overall: not the best macro lager I have ever had - not by a long shot. I think I'll skip this one in future.

Jan 11, 2015
Photo of MarkoNm
MarkoNm from Slovenia

2.01/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Pours a clear golden color which is topped with an average white head that settles down to almost nothing immediately.
There's almost nothing to the smell, just a slight grainy/malty aroma which is hardly noticeable.
The taste is light, slightly watery and bland. Initial sweetness followed by a balanced body. No real bitterness in the finish.
Drinkable, but that's it. Not much to it.

Apr 06, 2014
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada (AB)

2.56/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

350ml bottle poured into pint glass 9/9/13

A straw yellow liquid saturated with big fast bubbles, a thumbs width of foam quickly falls to a thick film that's sustained by the bubbles long enough to leave a few patches of lace

S skunky sweet grains, paper shredder in action, sour lemon, smells crappy

T more of the same really, cardboard instead of shredded bleached white paper, chemicals I can't place, nothing good going on here

M watery and foamy, wet cardboard on the finish

O about what I expected for a green bottled Caribbean brew, sweet malts, skunk and soggy cardboard

its bad but not to the point where I wouldn't drink it on a hot beach, I just wouldn't be thrilled I suppose

Sep 11, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

2.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

350ml bottle. I've gotten rather tired of late of having to entertain bemused requests for this particular offering from obviously recent vacationers to the Caribbean isles. Their typical sustained incredulity at my negatively nodding head and almost rehearsed 'excuse' made me kind of cluck with minor glee at finally seeing this available in our fair province.

This beer pours a clear, rather pale golden yellow colour, with one finger of fizzy, rapidly disappearing dirty white head, which leaves nothing beyond a few specks of mitochondrial lace around the glass as it quickly wafts off.

It smells of pale grainy adjuncts - corn, rice, and maybe some fire-sale barley - mild hints of stale, acrid lemon, and skunky leafy, weedy hops. The taste is more grainy than I was initially ready to give it credit for, with real hints at barley beyond the still present corn and rice tropes, further nods to overripe, musty, bland citrus, and earthy, dead leafy hops - at least the skank is mostly blown off by this point.

The carbonation is light, and gamely frothy, the body a wan medium-light weight, smooth, I suppose, but only if you continue to pander to the cognitive dissonance of discounting the re-emergent skunky hops of lore.

Maybe a bit on the upper-end of worldly Corona Extra emulators, but still hardly a flavourful example of well, anything. Probably best downed as I have come to expect it to be - in vast quantities - cheaply purchased, ice-cold, pool-side, and much closer to the equator than here.

Aug 02, 2013
Photo of Evil_Pidde
Evil_Pidde from Sweden

3.83/5  rDev +47.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pour is clear golden with some bubbles. The uneven white head dissipates quickly - almost no lace.

S: Adjunct malts, sweet and corny. A bit bready. Bitter hops and some citirc notes.

T: Bitter hops are quite strong, while the malt is way stronger than the corn. Bready and sweet. Citric.

M: Bitter aftertaste that lingers for some time. Body is medium while carbonaiton is rich, but this is much smoother than the most Adjunct Lagers I've had before.

O: Rather well crafted, and the corn is held to a minimum.

Jul 21, 2013
Photo of TheHammer
TheHammer from Canada (ON)

2.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Well Cristal is an appropriate name for it as a very pale yellow color with foamy white head reminiscent of sea-foam mark this beer. Surprisingly good retention on the find of head, but alas no lacing.

Smell: Sadly absent, as I think I might be picking up some light corn and maybe a hint of sugar or molasses but that's it. Nothing offensive, just not a lot of bang in this department.

Taste: Starts on a sweet grain note that despite my earlier comparison doesn't come across as corn. Seems a bit too sweet for barley though, but given sugar is one of the ingredients I think we have our culprit. It then turns a lot more watery and subdued before a light dust of sandy tasting hops finishes it off.

Mouthfeel: It's a little moist, but I really can't hold that against this beer. It's meant to be a hot weather drinker. The carbonation is good, it doesn't commit to any aspect which is kind odd but a good change of pace and leaves only a small hop aftertaste that sadly builds upon the last beer.

Drinkability: As much as this is what this beer was designed for, the end dusting that continues to build as more is imbibed doesn't sit right with me. It's also a bit heavier in the stomach then you'd think it would be. Refreshing all the same though.

Final Thoughts: This to me came out as the superior beer compared to Bucanero Fuerte in Cuba. Right now it holds the dubious distinction of being my bronze Caribbean beer behind Red Stripe and Presidente. That still being said, it's a guzzler and don't expect to find an epic craft beer in Cuba. Cuban Rum is really vastly superior the Cuban Beer, although that isn't really fair because I don't think anyone does non-spiced Rum as well as Cuba and Havana Club.

May 06, 2012
Photo of Stocean1
Stocean1 from Canada (ON)

2.4/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap in Cuba, pale yellow with a fluffy white head with little retention or lace, smell is stale biscuit and corn, taste follows the nose, light body with loads of carbonation, slight bitterness that lingers in the finish, not overly crisp or refreshing which is a must for this style, overall swill from a tap.

Feb 17, 2012
Photo of treque
treque from Mexico

2.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

the beer shows a yellow pale, completely traslucent, a totally white head is generated, the carb is constant and permanent, there is no residual

A small smell some bitterness and biscuit, corn and butter

The taste is flat, some bitterness but not deep enoug, dry finish, corn flavour

Nov 03, 2011
Photo of Thehuntmaster
Thehuntmaster from South Africa

2.17/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

330ml bottle 4,9% Abv.
Served cold in a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Standard yellow gold body with a white, fast dissipating head. Looks dreadfully over carbonated.

Smell: Not much going on here, almost no aroma. Some stale grain and sweet adjuncts it warms a little.

Taste: Not as offensive as many lagers I have had but still dreadfully bland! Pale grain, sweet, light metallic, no hops and no bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light and well over carbonated.

Overall: Not as bad as some macros, but far too bland to enjoy.

Aug 23, 2011
Photo of MMansfield
MMansfield from Canada (NS)

3.13/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've been to Cuba a couple of times and have drank far too many of these to count so will base this on memory alone.

Appearance: Very golden, clear, straw colour. Bone white cap, decent retention and lacing for a macrolager.

Aroma: Grainy & corny, slightly sweet.

Taste: The colder the better as many of these reviews have said. It's grainy and corny like you'd expect. Bit more bitterness than standard carribbean beers.

Mouthfeel: Very light and refreshing (if cold).

Final Statement: Sure, there's a thousand beers I'd prefer to drink on a blistering hot beach, surrounded by a beautiful tropical paradise, but this beer isn't the worst. It's a drinkable macro lager which is produced in co-operation with Labatt's. It's better than most American & Canadian beers in this category. But on a beach, I'd still rather have a stout.

Jul 07, 2010
Photo of joe1956
joe1956 from England

2.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Average bubbly white head that mostly lasted. Fair display of lacework. Clear sparkling body with a pale yellow color. Aroma of cardboard, corn, grass, caramel. Over the palate soft malty sweet notes and mild grassy feel. Light bodied with an average carbonation and thin texture. Light sweet and bitter flavor. Light dry and grassy finish.

Oct 10, 2009
Photo of biegaman
biegaman from Canada (ON)

2.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap in Varadero, Cuba.

Cristal is a pallid golden colour with a white soapy head that shares a great resemblance to the foamy waves that wash over this island's sandy shores. Befitting to its name, it is crystal clear and again I am reminded of the sparkling translucent waters that surround this nation. It's an appearance truly appropriate for Cuba's national beer.

The aroma is uninspired, offering only a faint hint of corn syrup. (Hint: keep it cold enough and you won't smell much of anything coming off it. Needless to say that letting it warm would be anybody's guess as to the smells you could expect to find.) No matter, the beers of hot tropical climates are not for smelling, they're for drinking.

Which is why this doesn't need to necessarily taste good either - it just needs to be drinkable and refreshing and thus, consequently, cold. For macro lagers it is often the case that temperature can be more important than flavour. This idea certainly bodes well for Cristal, its flavour can only loosely be grasped and described as 'corn water'.

But again, that's not what this beer is all about. It's meant simply as a cold refreshment amidst the humidity and never-ceasing sun. For the record I'm not one to usually drink force carbonated, palate-sullying, bland corn-syrup based macro lagers, but with white-sand beaches and lucid turquoise waters it's not hard to please me.

The Cuban Royal Palm Tree (on the label) is extremely significant to Cuban history and culture: its seeds are used for oil and as livestock feed, its leaves and wood are used to build houses and its roots are used to treat diabetes. It has many uses and serves Cubans greatly. Cristal has only one use, but it too serves its purpose (and the Cubans) well.

Jul 09, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
ThatWineGuy from Canada (ON)

2.88/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB 21/05/10. White sudsy head was two fingers to begin with floating atop a clear pale yellow liquid with hints of lime green. The head retreated to a half finger with foam lace but did not have a lot of retention. Smell of wet grass, very mild citrus. Tasted crisp malt middle, earthy finish, slight sweetness ... about average for the style. Keeping in mind that this doesn't try to be any more than an American adjunct lager, albeit from Cuba, it's not half bad. I imagine that on a sunny day, it has potential given a white sand beach with its light body, refreshing lemon-lime slight spritz mouthfeel and fair refreshment value. A bit gassy. Looking at the scores, I'm surprized this compared so poorly against certain macros on the list of adjunct lagers. Not a beer to seek out but one you might accept given the climate in which it's offered, a few of these might prove very quaffable in the hot sun. Thanks to Jan for bringing one home for me.

Jul 07, 2009
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock from England

2.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Green 33cl bottle with a month of life left according to the neck.

Poured into a 'La Chouffe' stemmed tulip glass, I wanted to give the beer every chance of getting a decent score.

Lives up to its name, crystal clear and very pale golden in colour. The white head consisted of large bubbles but these soon fell away to leave next to nothing sat on top of the body.

Truely odourless, gets my standard 3 for a non-smelling lager.

Sharp and crisp, not bad really. Not sure there is a great hop/yeasty/beery flavour, but it does have a taste that isn't metallic, cardboardy or nasty. It is however thin and without any body.

As I drink my way around the world I can't help noticing how crap some lagers are, this is just above the worst pile, but not very far away.

Plus points, it is my first ever Cuban beer, it is also going to be my last ever Cuban beer (unless someone buys me another one!).

Mar 16, 2009
Photo of Otterburn
Otterburn from Canada (QC)

3.66/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was my favorite beer during my week in Varadero,Cuba november 2008

Served on tap at the bar of the Hotel,

Appearance is champagne like, medium/high carbonation, medium, white head, laced out on the glasses..over and over..
the smell is light so is the taste.
The taste is good and has something sweet. it is a very refreshing. Drinkability is good.

Altought its a light beer, it is probably the best thing you wish to drink under the tropical weather of Cuba.

Light doesnt always meens bad!

Feb 01, 2009
Cerveza Cristal from Cerveceria Bucanero S.A.
Beer rating: 64 out of 100 with 120 ratings