Brewed by Charles Wells
Style: English Strong Ale
Bedford, England


on tap

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RATINGS: 1355   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.98   EST. CALORIES: 156   ABV: 5.2%
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Bottled, Pasteurised.
This dark golden coloured ale hugs the palate with great intensity. Its malty aroma is complemented by the gentle nose of Banana. Its flavour unfolds with a sensual sparkle and a smart crispness, which balances its aroma perfectly. Tropically fruity; its ripe banana flavour, emphasised by a hint of bitterness, comes from the addition of real fair trade bananas and finishes with an emphatic, steely dryness.
2005 Recipe changed from 5.5% to 5.2%

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
unixweb (237) - Sherman, Texas, USA - OCT 10, 2007
The commercial desription of this beer fits it quite well. I would describe the color as a bit more amber, and it has a foamy but very short-lived head with minimal lacing. The aroma is mild banana, not too strong, but very ripe with an initially sweet taste that finishes spicy and bitter. The banana is more in the aroma than the taste, at least to me, though it is there in the middle. It disappears quickly into a decent but weak finish, with a lingering bitter, clove-like aftertaste. This brew is quite dry, a little too much for my taste. It just needs something more, whether it’s taste or body or whatever. I like it, but not enough to buy it again.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
djd07 (5307) - Houston, Texas, USA - OCT 5, 2007
Bottle as shown. Poured a orange copper color with a medium white head that dimishes quickly in a trappist glass. The aroma is a pungent banana. Decent lacing on this one. The taste is an overbearing banana with a sweet finish. The sweet banana taste takes away making it almost a fruit beer and not an english strong ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BBB63 (6392) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 2, 2007
Bottle and served in imperial pint glass: Clean golden hue with a mostly lasting small frothy head and good lacing upon the glass. The aroma is surprisingly much more grassy and herbal than expected but there are indeed a banana and rye bread character at play here along with some dusty yeast esters.

The taste is much more banana driven but is hardly just a cloy sweet beer. There is a fair amount of finishing bitters to be found as well. Grainy and slight diacetyl notes too. The mouth feel is sprite and chalky dry. The aftertaste does display some weird acidity. All in all not as bad I feared but needs more caramel malt and a cleaner tasting finish.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 10/20
BuckeyeSammy (554) - Palo Alto, Ohio, USA - OCT 1, 2007
Extremely light, dissapointed by the lack of flavor. Unreal aroma though, cinnamon and bananas.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
frankenkitty (1971) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2007
Attractive looking deep amber body with a steady channel of effervescence under a dollop of cream for a head. It’s not a "gentle nose of banana" as suggested by the commercial description above, but a full out blast of banana bread with yeasty esters and notes of ginger. I expected nothing less. (Yet this is an "English Strong Ale" and not a "Fruit Beer" although "BANANA" is announced quite emphatically on the label?) Flavor takes a nose-dive and finds sour, grassy hops overpowering the banana and turning it into an odd, artificial aftertaste instead of a prominent focus. Full and fluffy in the mouth, alcohol lingers dry. I don’t find this "sweet" (as I glance below at the prior three ratings)... I actually wish this had a fuller malt backbone to make the banana more acceptable.

<font size=-4>Purchased at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Beverage Depot, Orland Park, IL 60462</font>

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
BelgianBeerGal (3331) - Panama City, Florida, USA - SEP 30, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2013 50cl bottle. Yes I know it says banana bread on the label but maybe a little too much banana and sweetness. Maybe pare them down to the nice vanilla hints.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DownsouthGav (601) - Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 30, 2007
Banana aroma. Pours a clear crisp copper beer. Nice mouthfeel. Banana and sweetness are perhaps too dominant which distracts from the other elements of this beer. A good try and worth a repurchase at some point.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
FatPhil (10253) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - SEP 24, 2007
Bottle (Kings Head, Oxford) Very banana-ey, competant bitter, but the banana sweetness drowns the malt.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
SSSteve (3916) - - SEP 22, 2007
clear orange with a small foamy off-white head. aroma of banana candy, and bubblegum. flavor has notes of banana taffy, bread, and spices. well, they definitely gave it a fitting name. light bodied.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
jgb9348 (5008) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - SEP 13, 2007
Slightly hazy golden reddish coloured body with a nice thick off-white head. Aroma of bananas, cloves, wheat, honey, vanilla and a very strong coriander seed. Light-bodied; Sharp banana flavour with wheat and vanilla also noticeable. Aftertaste is a bit more mellow - some coriander seed and cloves, but mostly more bananas. Overall, a good beer - not great nor amazing, but worth trying. I sampled this 50 cL bottle purchased from Whole Foods in Clarendon (Arlington), Virginia on 12-September-2007.

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