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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1400   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.98/5   EST. CALORIES: 156   ABV: 5.2%
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%

Bamaboy1975's rating

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Bamaboy1975 (242) - Suffolk, Virginia, USA - MAR 11, 2013
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

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
dfearnley (1417) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 27, 2015
Bottle to shaker glass Yeah, banana alright, which overpowers most of the rest of the aroma other than ’English Ale’, so perhaps bread and grains too. Crystal clear amber with a thin and creamy white head and decent effervescence. Taste is banana, grains, a little bitterness. Not that good, if I’m honest.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
northropfrye (2914) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - NOV 23, 2015
Light clear golden body white head. Aroma of banana and sweet candy. Taste is also banana but different like banana Runts candy, sweet, bubblegum and a touch of metal. Okay.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
WABeerFiend (351) - - NOV 23, 2015
Best by 03.25.16. Poured from a 12 oz bottle on 11.17.2015. A: Strong banana bread, including spices. A: Very thin head recedes to spots of bubbles. Crystal clear light brown body. T: Banana bread with spices. Artificially sweet banana flavor lingers forever. P: Heavy mouthfeel with crisp bubbles. O: It’s too sticky sweet. The hop flavor on the back end mixes strangely with the artificial sweetness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Lonick (1029) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - NOV 17, 2015
Bottle @Poker night (ratings backlog). Pours amber with a white head. Nose is banana, a touch more banana and then a lot more banana, its great it smells just like banana bread. Taste is more of the same, it does what is says, this beer tastes like banana bread.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tekstr1der (224) - New Hampshire, USA - NOV 15, 2015
Something to try once, the aroma is pretty accurate and enjoyable. Pours light amber with minimal off-white top. Flavor is a little watery - more malt could really enhance this thing. Finish is fairly clean with some lingering banana. This stuff is okay.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ursa93 (3) - SLOVENIA - NOV 10, 2015 does not count
caramel, bread, citrus, banana, hazy, orange, rocky head, heavy cloying sweetness, lightly bitter, fizzy, long finish, creamy,

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bpreo (2187) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - NOV 6, 2015
Good beer. Banana and beer go very well together. More breweries need to join the craze.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
ljthiessen (903) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - NOV 5, 2015
Bottle. Clear amber pour with a thin white head. Aroma is ripe banana, a bit artificial but not entirely, some caramel. Flavour is not nearly there. Some banana, but mostly a thin macro-lager flavour with a slightly metallic edge and corn notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Bierdimpfe (51) - Quebec, CANADA - NOV 3, 2015
Clear amber color with a poor head. Faint sweet aroma of banana, toasty bread with some toffee. Taste of grains with faint subtle sweet taste of banana, caramel, with a hint of citrus. A little light with good carbonation. Short mouthfeel with a more bitter alcohol finish. Aftertaste of banana bread. Overall, the aroma and taste is great, but it’s a very light beer. Missing some body and a little freshness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
painterchiv (5) - - NOV 3, 2015 does not count
A: medium amber, 1 finger fizzy head / S: banana, yeast, fruitcake / T: banana, cream, roll cake, malt, light hop presence / M: smooth, light body, light carbonation, slightly warm / O: was’t too bad for a novelty beer but one bottle was enough, dull, too thin

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