We just replaced BeanShell with Janino in Drools. It's an order of magnitude faster, and simply rocks.
Janino is a compiler that reads a JavaTM expression, block, class body, source file or a set of source files, and generates JavaTM bytecode that is loaded and executed directly. Janino is not intended to be a development tool, but an embedded compiler for run-time compilation purposes, e.g. expression evaluators or "server pages" engines like JSP.