kenlenard (3) - Buffalo Grove, Illinois, USA - SEP 8, 2007 does not count
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
I have been to Aruba 10 or 12 times and have had many, many of these beers. It typically comes in a small can, small bottle or 10-11 ounce (larger) can. The canned and bottled versions have a bit of a harsh finish (almost aspirin-like) that you notice right away. I took a tour of the Balashi Brewery in 2006 and the Balashi they serve on tap in the beer garden is much smoother. The tour guide mentioned that the beer uses three pale grains in the beer (Iím guessing pilsner malt, maybe some very light crystal, munich or vienna) and all German hops (Iím guessing Hallertau, Hersbrucker or Tettnanger) and the beer is brewed with desalinated seawater. Otherwise, this is a 5% ABV pale lager meant to quench thirst in a hot climate. In Aruba, you have access to many US brands as well as Dutch brands (Amstel, Grolsch, Heineken) and Venezuelan brands like Polar and Nacional. I probably prefer Polar or Amstel (regular, not light or bright) out of any of those. Yet, Balashi is very popular in Aruba and has a very large presense everywhere on the island. Cheers.
Caybrew (13) - CAYMAN ISLANDS - JUL 20, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
pale coloured, light bodied, very typical refreshing caribbean style lager beer
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - JUL 6, 2007
0.5 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
Dark Daughter, Emily, brought this back from a trip to Aruba for the fun of it. Nothing expected and nothing received from this pale, watery, dishwater drink. The islands are noted for their rum. Stick to that.
troyc (2870) - Illinois, USA - JUL 1, 2007
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
(Can - 8 oz.) Pours a yellow color with a fizzy looking white head. Not much aroma, but some light grains could be detected. Grass and grain in the taste, complete with a mild metallic aftertaste. Good palate for a pale lager. Some bitterness as well. The can I had might have been a little old, but I canít imagine this beer tasting any better.
GarrettB (1375) - 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 (4022) - 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 (3994) - 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 (9134) - 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 (5727) - 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 (1650) - 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.