Bamaboy1975 (242) - Suffolk, Virginia, USA - MAR 11, 2013
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Month of March head cold led to laying off tasting any beer until sense & smell returned. I had days to think about which beer I wanted to taste first, and the Charles Wells Banana Bread beer was calling my name.
Ratings and reviews can have the ability of influencing a first impression: low ratings & poor reviews build low expectations, which is why this intruiging beer was somewhat of a pleasant surprize.
Multiple reviewers have been likening the aroma to banana laffy taffy dropped into a beer, but that sells this product short I feel. I'd like to note that bananas have never been a fruit that I have enjoyed by itself, though I have always enjoyed banana flavored foods (pudding,bread, candy,sugary bubble gum from childhood days). The folks at Charles Wells claim to use "freetrade bananas" in their recipe, and fresh bananas are what I smell along with the typical malty attributes when taking in the aroma. I find the banana aroma is evenly balanced with the maltiness of this British import: those claiming the banana aroma/flavor is underdone would likely to be the first to complain if it were stepped up a notch.
Looks like a garden variety British Ale, and it pours like a typical creamy British Ale as well. Carbonation seemed pretty slight to me, and it delivered a malty caramel banana flavor across my palate along with Bavarian soft pretzel dough and just a hint of alcohol detected. I was not blown away by the melding of flavors but it was not unpleasant either.At no point did it taste like an artifically sweetened banana flavor by my account, and I think they did a good job with that aspect of the brew.
I can't imagine too many folks reaching for a second Banana Bread Beer after finishing the first one, but I would like to raise an interesting point at this stage in the review: one other reviewer made the observation that they enjoyed this beer as an in between when switching beer flavors from one to another. The concept is an interesting one because the finest multi course meals I have eaten in my life utilized sorbet to cleanse the palate between courses.
I mention the sorbet/palate cleanser concept because I followed the Banana Bread Beer with a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (my third bottle of the six pack), and found myself completely blown away with the flavor of the sculpin IPA, whereas the first two samples of that same six pack struck me as merely average. Could it be that the Banana Bread Beer sets the palate up for a new beer flavor? Based on my experience, I say it does.Worth a try just for the uniqueness alone.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
nordic (449) - Tartu, ESTONIA - OCT 26, 2016
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Amber color, small head. Aroma: strong banana, sweet caramel, lemonade. Taste: bitter, banana hints.
darbeer75 (562) - Round Rock, Texas, USA - OCT 23, 2016
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Aroma:like banana Laffy Taffy, which is not a recommendation; Appearance: clear amber pour with white head that dissipates quickly; Taste: malt mixed with Laffy Taffy and some additional spices; Palate: medium-light body with short finish; Overall: no interest in trying again.
jwitt223 (23) - California, USA - OCT 9, 2016
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Banana fades fast in this lackluster stepsister to their organic chocolate stout. the aroma (or lack thereof) is where this beer falls short.
suurjuust (2919) - ESTONIA - OCT 7, 2016
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Clear amber beer, medium white head. Nose is nutty, toasty, malt, ripe banana sweetness. Flavor is malts, toffee and overripe banana, sweet; finishes with hop bitterness and some more overripe banana. Fizzy, sweet, banana-y. Better than I thought it would be.
chinchill (4338) - South Carolina, USA - OCT 7, 2016
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: OCT 7, 2016 12 oz can.Lives up to its name ... This is like drinking a lager and eating banana bread but without the baking or chewing. Of course, actual banana bread can be much better than here; still, an impressive execution of the concept.
PugUglyBrewer (193) - - OCT 7, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This one goes bananas!!!... and then that is about all the complexity. Auburn highlighted gold color in the appearance. The head is fluffy white and bublbly from the strong carbonation. Fresh banana on the nose and the pallets. Some toast and slight creaminess inbetween. Would be really interesting as a brown ale or Porter.
Jerm719 (171) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - OCT 2, 2016
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Nice nose. Good body. Bananas, nuts, malt and water, lots of water. Pretty good but its very watery.
AntonyWilson (154) - Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA - SEP 30, 2016
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
500ml Bottle: Pours a clear copper with good frothy white head. Aroma of ripe bananas and slight maltiness. Tastes slightly sweet but finishes dry with a definite artificial banana flavour. Bitterness is medium to low with a medium body. Low carbonation. Definitely not a sessionable beer, but a nice once-off.
makromaniak (157) - Tilburg, NETHERLANDS - SEP 25, 2016
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bananas is the first taste....followed by lightly sweeted malts and a pretty firm bitter...one of the better banana beers i’ve had...pretty good
teamsale (193) - Washington, USA - SEP 22, 2016
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle pours a clear copper with a thin white head and light lacing. Odd aroma of banana. Flavor is banana and soda with a light metallic taste. Leaves a light beer metallic orange aftertaste. Mediocre at best.