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
samparkique4 (55) - - APR 24, 2016
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
caramel, hay, nuts, roasty, floral, spruce, herbs, dough, leather, barnyard, cheese, earthy, leaves, banana, banana, banana, bubblegum, butterscotch, clove, soy sauce, skunky, smoke, vanilla, slite-licorice, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, lightly sour, umami, full body, slick feel, thick feel, lively,
bdleedahl (71) - , Saskatchewan, CANADA - APR 22, 2016
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
The mild banana flavour is perfectly balanced with the rest of the beer. Although it tastes somewhat artificial. No off flavours, but absolutely zero head formation.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jmgreenuk (6749) - Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA - APR 16, 2016
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle at the Jim / John is back tasting, Den Haag, April 2016. Poured a crystal clear medium amber with a thin broken white head. The aroma is banana malt. The flavour is light bitter with a banana woody hop bitter palate. Light banana with average carbonation.
sjogro (1908) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - APR 16, 2016
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
UPDATED: APR 18, 2016 At Jim/John is back tasting. Clear amber, light cream. Old overripe banana. Medium sweet, tea leaf bitter. Quite dry low carbonation.
Maakun (2706) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - APR 16, 2016
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle at THT. Clear golden with very small white head. Rotten banana, cake, caramel, cardboard, strange dry grains, dust. Light sweet and dusty bitter. Light bodied. No.
kermis (9072) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - APR 16, 2016
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle shared at the John/Jim tasting. Clear amber with a ring off white head. Aroma of banana, overripe to rotten banana, malt and light toffee. Flavour is above moderate sweet and light bitter. Light medium with soft carbonation.
jim7477 (1) - Michigan, USA - APR 11, 2016 does not count
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Very different if your looking for a change of pace, and light in taste. The banana taste is very noticeable.
melush (2245) - SPAIN - APR 9, 2016
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle 50cl / Botella 50cl.
@ El Corte Ingles, Sevilla, España.
A: Golden / Dorado.
T/S: Cereal, banana, sweet / Cereal, banana, dulce.
jason (1813) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 7, 2016
2.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle. Aroma of strong banana. Flavor is is banana, bread (?) Caramel and sweet malt. Too sweet for my taste. Full body flavor of sweet banana bread.
caribou43 (374) - SWITZERLAND - MAR 31, 2016
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
I bought this bottle during one trip in Luxembourg, in a supermarket. I was disappointing about this beer. The taste with banana is symply too strong, nomalt or wheat to make a balance with few hop. It is not my kind of beer, the aroma was not really natural, but I am not sure, this brewery has better products than this one.