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Banks's Bitter - Marston's PLC

Not Rated.
Banks's BitterBanks's Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

34 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.09
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marston's PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 01-16-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 15
Reviews by captaincoffee:
Photo of captaincoffee
2.6/5  rDev -15.9%

I guess it comes down to what you expect your beer to be. I poured this from a half-liter bottle during a tasting of London supermarket beers. Out of the pool of beers I selected, this one is the one that reminded me most of a bad American macro...mostly due to the nose. The pour itself was more promising with a classic amber coloring and one-inch head...although the head disappeared rather quickly. I got a stale cardboard hops smell off the bat. Taste was somewhere between a traditional ESB and a MGD. That is to say, it was better than a Bud/Coors/Miller etc, but not up to spec for a good beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of innominat
3/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of AEK
3.66/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle BB 31/5/11 poured into a Young's branded pint pot.

A. Amber coloured beertopped by a soapy/foamy white head.

S. Whole oranges including the peel, a faint touch of lemon.

T. Malty, caramel notes, initial burst of hops, fruity - perhaps citrus.

M. Medium bodied

D. The very first pint of Banks's bitter I had got me hooked on their beers. While this bottled version is not quite up to the standard set by the draught it is still an escellent beer to have at hand. A good offering for a beer of such low ABV. I bought this for 99p at Aldi just after they had stocked it on the shelves. A great value beer.

Photo of WillAndSarah
3.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Tipper27
3/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.65/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is mass produced and sold all over the Midlands, I just don't understand why people drink it in such quantities. There are so many other fine beers brewed in the area. I have tried it many times, in plenty of pubs and clubs, but just can't get to really enjoy it. I have even mixed it with Mild, but still it will not excite me.

It looks OK, light brown with a loose white head, which clings to the glass, and sometimes stays to the end.

Smells fine, hops and barley in equal amounts.

The taste lets it down badly, very weak, almost insipid, watery and uninviting in my opinion. Sorry I couldn't bring the scores up any, it is just a poor product from a very successful brewery.

Update October 2011: had a blind tasting of a bottle and a can, both seemed to mirror the cask version, if a little more carbonated, OK but no world beater.

Photo of Drummermean
3/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of vinicole
3/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of spinrsx
3.24/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber body with a quickly gone thin white head.

malty aroma with hints very vague but just there of bitters

too much of a taste of what sweat smells of sweat smells off
nice hop hints when appearing

thin mouthfeel okay carb

less than average bitter okay at a push

like WWI over the top push

Photo of gutbucket2
2.5/5  rDev -19.1%

A: amber, rapidly diminishing head.
S: none detected.
T: reasonable balance. Fairly sweet.
M: light-med body.
O: nondescript beer. Some cardboard flavours.

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of endless1408
3/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of BeerDetective
3.26/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this to be an average bitter, not bad, but not great either. It also had a slight vingerary odor, which I found a little off-putting. The taste was much better, and the mouthfeel was nice and well balanced. I would drink it again, if there weren't so many better beers out there.

Photo of Bob6518
2.5/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of jonb5
3.53/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half Litre bottle, poured into pint glass. Pale bronze colour, clear, medium head, decent retention + lacing. Malty aroma, some wheat. Tasted a bittersweet maltyness, wheaty finish. Decent character for the low strength. Medium body, slightly coarse, low carbonation. Overall typical session beer, not watery, has good depth for the ABV.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.41/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brass with loose piles of foam that pock and leave big sheets. English sour grain nose with bark and some soap.
Dried apricot and whole wheat toast with orange sap and fresh earthy leaf hops.
A lactic hit in there somewhere, herbal finish, and tightening spicy linger. Light, soft, smooth, but a bit thin.

A typical, toned down but still solid English bitter. Fuggles and Golding together carry the day here. Better than expected from Marston's, which wasn't much. There are far better bitters out there but this does hang together.

Note: Label said 3.8%

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of biegaman
3.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bank's brewery pumps out more than 50 million pints each year and, indeed, their Bitter will look familiar; its clear complexion, butterscotch colour and almost tinsel-like gleam make for a generic, if good-looking ale. Its head leaves something to be desired but as someone who prefers their Bitter pulled from gravity cask I'm familiar with it looking a little flat.

At a modest 3.8% you wouldn't expect esters to be overly strong, but traces of dried fruits are noted. These aromas stop way short of fruitcake, though sweetly scented malt and its honeycomb hints play to that kind of confection. Naturally, a pungent, weedy quality accompanies closely.

A 'bitter' is, by definition, not sweet, but many (this one included) have a trace of toffee and nutty malt flavour. And their hoppiness may be prominent (relative to a 'mild') but it'll never be extreme. For Americans, this beer's earthy bitterness will hardly register. If anything it'll be the dried fruit notes and chalky water minerals that stand out most.

Its "best before", rather than listing a date some eight months in advance (these beers are generally afforded a year from the bottling date), really aught to read "best enjoyed fresh and unfiltered on cask". Were I doing that I assure you the scores posted would be much higher.

English Bitters, like a handful of styles (German Kölsch also comes to mind), are at their very best in the towns in which they're brewed. The closer to the source the better. In fact, they're rarely all that good at all without the atmospheric local surroundings - and certainly not when pasteurized and shipped halfway around the world. Here's my advice: unless a fresh cask - pass.

Photo of Mr_Pink_152
2.75/5  rDev -11%

Photo of kmacphail
1.8/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I tried this beer after seeing it for the first time in the local co-op superstore.

The beer poured a dark amber colour with a thick creamy head that settled to a 3mm film. Very impressive given that it was a canned beer. However this was the best part!!!

The nose was non-existant, a very faint hint of hops and nothing else. This theme of blandness continued through to the taste, a slight hint of bitter hops and nothing else.

The mouthfeel wasn't bad for a beer, a medium mouthfeel with a bitter aftertaste did offer something else positive about the beer.

This was a really bland beer, no scent, no taste and certainly nothing that would ever make me want to try this again. It pours nicely, maybe I should have taken a picture and mounted it on the wall. Apart from that aspect don't waste your money.

Photo of flyingpig
3.18/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle from Morrisons for £1.25:
Light amber with a thumb sized, creamy white head on top that holds well.

Earthy malts and a few hints of caramel with some fruity hops. There light citrus and orange notes with a touch of bitterness towards the end.

Again earthy malts and a spicy citrus taste followed by some very light, floral hops. The taste is a basic one but it's not a bad one and has a touch of fruity bitterness at the end.

Medium bodied, quite spicy and with an strong, earthy bitterness to it. There is some background citrus and a rather dry finish.

A solid bitter with all the usual flavours making an appearance, it's not the most exciting beer in the world bit it wasn't a bad one. It was quite a nice, relatively low strength beer that seems to hit the spot and went down rather well.

Photo of Bf_89
3.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kirk
2.5/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of ILiveOffHops
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%

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Banks's Bitter from Marston's PLC
74 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.