Home > Pale Lager > Cristal


Rating: 2.05

A second Cuban beer now and the one that I probably drank most of while I was in the country, although that was more to do with how readily available it was rather than an endorsement of the taste. This pale lager is a beer that you find absolutely everywhere in Cuba and one that it a slightly lighter offering than the Bucanero Fuerte that I reviewed here last. I originally sampled this one early on in my trip, while in Santa Clara and I definitely wasn’t impressed initially but it did start to grow on me after I’d spent the best part of two weeks drinking cheap pale lagers and it definitely wasn’t the worst beer I tried while in the country, which is something I guess.


Appearance (2/5): Pale golden to yellow in colour, this one is incredibly clear looking and topped with a thin, foamy white head that covers the surface initially before fading around a minute later; there’s a slight build up of foamy lacing around the edges of the beers surface as well.
Aroma (4/10): There is almost no aroma to this one at all initially, I struggled to detect much of anything until some corn and basic adjuncts start to come through after about twenty or thirty seconds. There was a hint of skunk coming through around the middle but thankfully only a touch before some hay and grains made an appearance.
Taste (4/10): A fairly bland and ordinary tasting pale lager, thankfully it wasn’t offensive taste or overly harsh though. The beer opened with some basic corn and vegetable adjuncts alongside touches of hay and grass but like the nose there wasn’t a whole lot going on really. There was a slight skunk bitterness towards the end of the beer and I got the odd malt coming through as well but it was definitely the corn and hay that dominated what there was of a taste.
Palate (2/5): Quite light and fairly thin on the palate, this one was a weak lager that cam through pretty much as I expected. It was basic and hinted at some skunky flavours but for the most part it was easy to drink with a semi-fresh feel and moderate carbonation. There was a subtle tang to proceedings nearer the end that helped mask the bland patches but overall it was fairly ordinary and unexciting.

Overall (9/20): Quite a basic and fairly poor lager but not unlike what I was expecting going in really and 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 and basic adjunct flavours but not much else. It was easy to drink throughout though, probably due to the heat in Cuba and as such I can’t imagine it’s one I’d have again if I were in the UK and it was more readily available here.

Brewed In: Holguín, Cuba
Brewery: Cerveceria Bucanero
Full Name: Cerveza Cristal
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: El Alba, Santa Clara, Cuba
Price: 30 CUP (approx. £0.94)

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  1. December 16, 2016 at 08:18
  2. December 16, 2016 at 08:20
  3. December 19, 2016 at 09:06

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