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Banks Caribbean Lager | Banks (Barbados) Breweries Limited

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Banks Caribbean LagerBanks Caribbean Lager

Brewed by:
Banks (Barbados) Breweries Limited

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Banks Beer

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2003

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 205
Photo of 4thelvofbeer
5/5  rDev +74.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer has such a low ranking because people are ranking it against top notch beers that are not in its class...either that or it's just people that really don't know what they are talking about when it comes to beer (the more likely reason). If this beer was ranked in its category as appropriate for the style of beer it is.... It is actually really good. Look at the other beer examples this is being compared to. This is much better than the piss listed as other comparable examples.

Really nice smooth taste for what is being called an "American Adjunct Lager". Compared with garbage like coors and bud and other things in this class, this beer is really good. Clean, smooth taste and flavor....I would love to be drinking it on the beach where it was brewed in Barbados!, but I'll settle for drinking it right here. Thanks to my dad for bringing a bottle back for me.... Really nice beer.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.1/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Banks is The Best Beer in the World!" replied the bartender when asked what the best beer in Barbados was.
Anyway, after a good chuckle I enjoyed my first of many Banks Lagers.

Banks may be the very best, per capita beer marketers in the world. Their visibility throughout the island is truly impressive!

It poured a pale golden/straw color with a thin snow-white head on top a little streams of lacing scattered about.
The smell is extremely clean and fresh. Just faint citrusy hops and lightly roasted cut dried hay-like barley malt to mention.
The flavor, much like the aroma, is on the mild side. The light seltzery body carries a mild metallic and faint citrus hoppy bite. A hint of piney Northwest hop is noticed towards the end of the glass as it warms. The malt flavor gives off a very light sugary sweetness and a touch of straw-like taste. There are no off flavors.
The is a brew that seems to get marked down for it's lack of assertive aromas and flavors. This brew is right on target for what it is supposed to be; a light, clean, crisp, Pilsner, brewed for refreshment in a hot and humid climate.
That being said, you need to have more than one to begin to truly appreciate the full effects.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +39.4%

Banks Caribbean Lager has a thick, white, rather quickly dissipating head, a mostly clear (some roiling white specs cause haze), straw, bubbly appearance, and minimal lacing. The aroma is of a full nose of barley malt, biscuit, sweetness, and grassy hops. Taste is of those elements (think Grolsch), with a small amount of paper in the mix. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Banks Caribbean Lager finishes crisp, refreshing, and highly drinkable.


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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.92/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Ultra clear yellow with an orangish hue and very minimal head. Decent lacing down the glass.

S: Sweet corn and sour mashed green apples with hints of hops and a distinct light caramel malt trace.

T: Sweet and sour front with plenty of corn and a fresh maltiness. Slight grapefruit hops are detectable. For an adjunct, this has a very good flavor overall.

D: Let's be honest- no one who LOVES beer is going to LOVE an adjunct lager. At least none of the ones you can get at the grocery store. But Banks is a very decent beer for a budget evening. It definitely beats Corona IMO.

Value: If they dropped the price a buck or so a sixer, I'd buy it sometimes when I'm poor.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.89/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pale yellow amber colouration with heavy streaming CO2 of large bubbles that form a rocky 2 finger head that has average retention dying to a lace cover a and leaving very little evidence of itself in the glass,

Smell - Pronounced malt aroma which is bready and has a light element of hop with light alcohol tones that are not what you would describe as solvent.

Taste - Great malt front with a rolling mild bitter hop that has a pretty good lingering after taste. Pretty on point for the style and better than most!

MF - Pretty decent body and good linger with a drying finish.

Overall - For the style this beer is on point and even has more flavour than what you may expect. I have to be honest here and say that i feel a good few of the reviews on the site here are falling into the age old BA tradition of slating American Adjuncts rather than reviewing them based on the what they are and what they are trying to be... This beer is a good one for a session and a strong example of its style.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.77/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Honestly, as an AAL, this is a surprisingly decent beer. Pours straw color, with a quickly dissipating head that leaves specks of lacing. Nose is grains all the way with some weak hops way in the back. Taste is clean AAL...grains with no noticeable off-flavors. Overall, this is a fine, clean, easy-drinking lawnmower beer that beats BMC options.

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Photo of pivoichamiz
3.7/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Basically, this beer is best drunk while in Barbados. There's nothing extraordinary about it but it's not that bad and it certainly beats some popular American beers.

When I was in Barbados in June 2004, Banks had little cards available to get stamped each time you bought a beer in a participating location and when you got a certain number of stamps, you'd win something (e.g. 5 stamps = a hat; 10 stamps = t-shirt; etc.). Upon arrival, my girlfriend and I thought this would be a creative way to enjoy the local beer but it turned out that hardly anyone had ever done this and the four places we had our cards "stamped" they didn't actually have a stamp but just put their initials. We considered just filling out the card and trying to redeem it, considering that we'd actually visited nearly all the major towns in the country and certainly drank enough beer, but in the end we did nothing more than drive past the brewery shaking our heads in disappointment of their failed marketing campaign. Well, I shouldn't say failed because they clearly have won over the locals who do drink the stuff, and since it's the only domestic beer there the tourists (like me) were happy to consume it.

Anyway, I was able to bring one back and it has been sitting in the back of my fridge since, perhaps waiting for a day to toast the Bajans and their solitary beer. Exactly!

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Photo of DarrellK
3.56/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I guess I have a bit of a prejudiced toward Carribean lagers versus domestics of the same style. The biggest difference is the mouthfeel which has body, not the watery stuff.

The pour is golden and a big head with plenty of lace. There is some nose that is typically pilsner.

The mouthfeel as previously stated is noticable for a pilsner.

The finsh is more malty than hoppy and is complimented by the nose.

In my normal scale I would rate this an 8.5 out of 10 and a Pils and an 8 of 10 in general.

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Photo of lipschitz
3.56/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Slender 275ml (9.3-oz) brown bottle with clearly stamped Best Before date

Pours light yellow with enormous pillowy, white head, which casually subsides. Pleasantly mild Saaz hop aroma, with modest perfume and herbal implications. A slight saltiness and a dry hop finish accompany flavours of delicate grains. Mouthfeel is thin with ample carbonation.
An agreeable hot weather lager. The brown bottle keeps any potential skunkiness at bay, which you might be expecting from the style. The label makes the claim of “The Beer Of Barbados” – I imagine that it suits the climate perfectly.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.54/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

Pours a golden, pissy looking yellow, like any standard adjunct lager. There's a small quarter inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like not a whole lot, some grain, some sweetness, a bit of lager yeast, and some fruitiness.

This was much better than I thought it would be- I honestly thought it would be horrid. It's light, it's refreshing, there's no off-flavors, and there's even a bit of fruitiness that seems tropical to me. It could be my imagination, of course. There's some slight bitterness on the finish.

This is light, crisp, and refreshing in the mouthfeel- with a moderate level of carbonation, and a fairly light body.

This didn't suck, really, at all- it's a no frills, simple, and easy lager.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.52/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a few Banks while on a catamaran in Barbados. It doesn't get better than that - too bad there wasn't any other beer on the lovely Calabaza II boat.

The beer is typical in appearance and aroma. The taste is sweet, easy drinking and inoffensive.

I think I had three (I was drinking run punches too). They are pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
3.48/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma - Sweet malts with a hint of metallic water.

Appearance - Clear pale yellow with a big white head. No too much carbonation following the pour.

Taste - Surprisingly good. This beer actually has a balanced amount of sweetness and bitter hops. Truly a step up from most of the other Caribbean lagers.

Notes - Mouthfeel was OK but needed a little more carbonation.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.47/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear straw like yellow with a white fizzy head that quickly dissipates.

S: Pungent aroma of cooked grain, lemon grass, with a hint of hops notes.

T: The taste is a little surprising, decent sweet malt character up front with a citrusy hop bite at the end and kind of a grassy aftertaste.

D: Not a bad brew by any respect, much better than its' stateside counterparts.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.45/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light golden lager, very clear, white head is short lived. Very little lace or ring. Mild grassy smell, not bad. Taste is bitter, hops not too much in evidence, malty dry finish, a bit sharp at times. I found the taste very agreeable for what it's supposed to be, a lager made for a hot climate, good refreshment value. Although the beer appeared to have gone flat, a light swirl quiclkly regenerated an impressive head, reflected also in an effervescent mouthfeel. Nice sessional, strikes a nice balance.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.42/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale straw yellow with thick head goes away rather quickly.

Smells grassy, corny, grainy, also a bit sweet, honey maybe?

Tastes like a nice lager, decently malty with grassy notes and a slight hop finish to balance out the sweetness.

This is just another typical lager, but better than many, and for some reason this is a very drinkable beer!

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Photo of Blake
3.42/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Banks Caribean Lager, 12oz bottle imported from Barbados.

Bright to golden yellow in color.

Smells like roasted corn or another kind of grain.

Toasty taste. Medium to low hops. The malt brings out the grainy flavor.

Doesn't have a real big alcohol feel to it. Goes down smooth enough but the after-taste is forgettable.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.38/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 355ml brown bottle, label silkscreened on. Pours out a transparent light golden hue, two fingers of shock white head at first, but dissipates quickly.

Bready malt, a bit of corn, and a hint of wet grassy hops on the nose.

Mild bready malt shines through in the flavour, carbonation and very mild wet grassy hops on the finish.

Decent mouthfeel for a Caribbean lager, surprisingly fuller than many lagers, with a brash carbonated finish.

Far better than my initial expectations, a malty refreshing lager with good body as well, worth checking out, and definitely recommended for hot weather spent outdoors. Dig it!

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Photo of MTNboy
3.37/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Everyone on each Caribbean Island I went to raved about their beer, advertised it everywhere and marketed shirts like they were going out of style. Banks was no exception. As a matter of banks has probably the most breweriana of any of the Islands I visited.

Appearance- It is darker than most beers I bought in the islands but still a little pale.

Smell- I could smell the hops and the malt. It is still a macro but does not seem as adjunct filled as some of the others in the Caribbean.

Taste- A little bit grassy and pasture tasting for most lagers of this type. It is not real complex but more than you are expecting. It is not bad I would go for average for a macro.

Mouthfeel. Bubbly and light a little more consistency for the beers down here .

Drinkability- It is refreshing for the climate and it also easy to enjoy with the local cuisine.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.35/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brown 275ml bottle (4.5% ABV) claims to be brewed in Guyana, but this site will not let me add the brewery, so I am reviewing this beer that my wife found for me on here (in London).

Poured into my favourite glass of the moment, a La Chouffe Tulip.

Lively looking thing, plenty of bubbles rising to the good firm white head. The body was a pale gold, straw blonde colour. Not quiet as clear as a European lager/pilsner, a slight haze more than a cloud prevented it from looking clean and clear, there appeared to be a few 'floaters' in there too.

Normal 3 score for a lager non-aroma. As the beer warmed a slight hop and yeast smell did appear, but the score stays at 3.

I have already reviewed pilsners from Barcelona and Munich before this one tonight and it holds up very well against those two (Damm Estrella and Augustiner). It has both body and flavour, nothing great, but it doesn't conform to the normal lager/pils blandness. An unusual depth and richness that isn't seen in this style very often.

Can't put my finger on it, but this isn't a bad beer at all. Different and a pleasant surprise to be honest. Glad I was given it as a Christmas present, beats socks and pants hands down!

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Photo of Spider889
3.35/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery on Barbados and also in bottles on the beach on the island. The bottles were plastic (brown) and a little off putting. The plastic bottles warm extremely quickly, and this is not a beer that's desirable warm.

Fresh this beer hits the spot, but I wouldn't trust it after being shipped to the states.

This beer is an adjunct lager so expectations weren't very high, basically this is a beer to quench your thirst on a tropical island, not blow you away with subtlety and flavor.

I must describe the beer as a malty Budweiser. The appearance is roughly the same but slightly darker.

It smells like a typical adjunct lager. Very carbonated and light bodied, made slightly heavier than a bud by the malts.

Taste is almost identical to a Budweiser, you don't taste as much malt as you see/smell. If it's served cold I would choose this over a Bud though.

Overall I'd drink again if I revisit the island, but more because of the heat than anything else. banks is also a regional brewer of Guinness, and as such, I'd be more apt to be seen drinking a Guinness Foreign Extra than this.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased as a single at the LCBO served at 5deg C in a draught glass

A- Pretty good. Opens well pouring a good white head that dissipates pretty fast

S- Not a lot there.

T- Nice light beer. Light on the tongue with an almost Sphagnum flavor. Great summer beer, guess that's why it's brewed in Barbados!

M- Ok. Just like a North American beer

O- Very good. In Barbados it's $7.00 Barbados (around $3.50 CAD) for a 6 pack of 300ml bottles. Here.... $14.00 for a 6pk!

Food Pairing

Any nice southern Caribbean dish... Try goat curry in a double


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Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev +16%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, malts, touch of sweetness. Taste is light, grains, malts, smooth and easy drinking. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, good for a hot summer day.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.32/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a crystal clear, very pale yellow hue, with a few fingers of soapy white head, that disappear in a blink of an eye, and leave no lace. It smells of crackery, bready malt, some sickly sweet rice/corn adjuctiveness(?), and grassy hops. The taste is spicy, bready malt, just a bit of corn sweetness, and tangy, grassy, weedy (sic) hops. The carbonation is, uh, robust, the body decently weighted, a bit slick and oily, and it finishes dry and full of mildly skunky, earthy hops.

One of the better Caribbean lagers that I've had, which is only moderate praise.

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Photo of Viggo
3.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the LCBO.

Pours a very clear light straw yellow, very pale in colour, decently thick and rocky white head forms, quickly fizzes down to a thin ring around the glass until basically disappearing, no lace on the glass. Smell is alright, on the malty side, some adjuncts and honey sweetness, light toast/biscuit, hay, some grassiness, light bit of mango/apricot fruitiness, pretty clean, not too bad. Taste is similar, touch of malty sweetness up front, honey and sugar, some adjuncty corn/rice, bread, nice biscuity middle, straw, touch of fruit in the finish, oats near the end too, very clean. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation, very crisp and drinkable. For what it is, this is pretty good. Very clean profile, not very complex but would go down pretty well in the hot weather.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very clear pale straw yellow, with a decent, lasting white head.
Aroma is light and lagery, with a solid spicy hoppiness. Clean and brisk.
Flavor is light bodied, surprisingly flavorful, very effervescent, with a pleasing hop character and a semi dry finish. Probably excellent while sitting on the beach in the heat. I was pretty happy with it. A little too carbonated, but I guess that's the style. This beer was surprisingly good.

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Banks Caribbean Lager from Banks (Barbados) Breweries Limited
2.87 out of 5 based on 205 ratings.
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