GarrettB (1256) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 28, 2007
2.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: OCT 15, 2007 My poor, dejected Balashi has been the Charlie Brown of my beer collection for almost two years. Without fail it has been insulted, pushed aside and ridiculed every time the box itís stored in has been opened. Every day was a trial for that green-bottle outcast. Why? Itís the very last bottle of a beer I had purchased on a trip to Aruba. Itís a pale lager, as a rule drinkable only in tropical climates or desperate situations of survival. There was little incentive for me to down an Aruban pale lager in the middle of my native Colorado winter, and no reason to drink it when I had better beers to indulge in for the weekend. However, with the end of the school year in sight and a desire to finish off my box of beer I would eventually need to confront the gremlin under my bed. And, at last, I did, and in doing so learned a lesson familiar to many stories: the monster is rarely monstrous. Balashi is not an exceptional beer, but it wasnít repulsive, either. In fact, on a sweltering Aruban summer day I can see Balashi being superior to the Caribbeanís average watery beers. Carib, for example. At first Balashi seemed to be a gruesome creature, inside and out. Itís colored like light, golden blonde hair, but had a strange filmy cloudiness which I had only seen before in solution bacteria samples. At one moment I actually thought the beer may have become a growth medium itself, but bringing the glass closer to my nose allayed any fear of microorganisms taking the Balashi as a home. The smell was composed of cashew, sweet corn, a droplet of light honey, and a general lager spritziness, giving it that quality that helps a mass produced pale lager that thirst-quenching, cleansing quality. There was even a tiny hint of pineapple juice in the smell. The flavor, too, was absent of any toxic qualities. A wheat and honey motif permeates through the beer, ending on a dry, tree-bark aftertaste, though these flavors struggle to push through an immensely loud carbonation. This is Balashiís greatest weakness. The carbonation is too much for the flavor, and also too much for the mouth, zipping to and fro, scratching the tongue in a furious, gaseous clamor. For this reason it is best served after a short rest, and cold, to better mask any skunkiness or corn syrup that may come with the taste budsí extra sensitivity with warmth. Otherwise the Balashi is a perfectly consumable beer. I have to agree with another reviewer that, compared with other countriesí who lack a history of brewing, the Balashi ranks fairly high. It is terribly mismatched back here in the continental U.S., but considering its location, it just ainít that bad.
zach8270 (3913) - Henrietta, New York, USA - FEB 19, 2007
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
(can - 8 oz) First off, props to the little can. Iím a huge fan. Clear yellow color with a fizzy white head. Looks like your normal run-of-the-mill pils. Aroma is light and bitter with some hops, grass, and corn. Flavor begins slightly sweet with a hint of corn and some hops, followed by a thin and watery body and a slightly bitter and sweet finish. Finishes clean.
Nuffield (3900) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JAN 31, 2007
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Very cute 22 cl bottle. It must be that most people canít stand much more than that before they turn to the higher-priced beach-side frozen drinks with little umbrella toothpicks. Standard rich yellow with some fizzy head. Quite effusively grassy aroma, though not reaching skunkiness. The flavor is more paper mulchy up front, with a mid-palate sweetness that belies the generally dry, hop-driven profile. Finishes with a noticeable hop note, even spicy at the end, peppery. It reaches into the kind of Germanic hops at the end that donít suit my tastes, but at least my bottle--which is quite fresh, brought to me from a friend on holiday--doesnít display any metallic or off-notes that some report. The palate is a bit limp, despite the moderate carbonation. Overall, I would rank this as "above average" from the "international lagers" of the world (beers from countries that have just one or two breweries and no brewing tradition), in that it shows evidence of real ingredients and not obviously laden with adjuncts. But were I on the beaches of Aruba, after one bottle, unless the fruity drinks were just too much money, Iíd be looking for something with rum in it. Thanks H.N. for bringing the bottle!
JorisPPattyn (8688) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JAN 10, 2007
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Huge, just yellow-coloured, very dense head fed by heavy carbonated yellow-golden beer. Herbal, dry and quite grassy. Slightly milky nose as well, milk-ripe grain, maybe. Not bad. Dry, nearly spicey, slightly grassy pilsener. Unfortunately a bitterness, that is totally metallic, comes up, and supersedes most else. Quite watery, light. Aftertaste is still this unfortunate metallic. Started off quite promising. Too bad about the finish. Thanks, Dean!
Beer5000 (5204) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - DEC 21, 2006
1.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
236ml can. Pale body with thin white head. Almost no aroma at all. Flavor is slightly bitter, some kind of sourish (a little hint of apple juice) and a hint of bitterness. Palate is watery. No aftertaste to talk about, just a little metallic feeling. A very typical mainstream lager.
coldbrewky (1522) - Hippetown East, New York, USA - DEC 7, 2006
1.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
I found this beer to be totally forgettable. Thin, and barely worth the two bucks the cruise ship hawkers charged. I got it mainly because I didnít have the cap in my collection. Bland. Iíd rather drink water.
elektrogeist (158) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NOV 12, 2006
1.8 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Iím guessing thanks to fezmonkey for this, from the snafu raffle ;) pours with a decent looking head which soon fades, typical macro pale lager but something strange in the flavor i canít quite place. decent, but i wouldnít wanna drink it regularly.. unless i were in aruba.
Derek881 (1175) - Kiev, UKRAINE - OCT 5, 2006
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
A powerful, yet inconsistent aroma, with a fruity character. The beer is pale with a light head, and its flavor is predominantly bitter, with a light, sour effect. It was lively with a medium body and retained its bitterness in the finish. Overall, not a very impressive beer, but one that I enjoyed in Aruba, and would certainly sample again on a return visit.
FezMonkey (268) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - AUG 8, 2006
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
pale clear beer with a small head. straw aromas with thin flavor. not a great beer but it somehow always tasted great out on the beach in Aruba
ukoolaid (576) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 19, 2006
1.9 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Pours clear golden with white head. Aroma is straw and light malts. Taste is not terrible for a pale lager. There is a little hop bitterness in there. It was great on the beach.