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: 99 | Ratings: 208
Photo of Rifugium
1.1/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

First had: bottle at Blue Monkey Bar, St. James, Barbados

A pale yellow beer with a light, quickly dissipating white head. General grains and skunkiness in the aroma; light sweetness and corn. Typical pale lager, with a taste similar to any run-of-the-mill macro; taste follows the aroma more or less. Thin and watery mouthfeel. Easily drinkable I suppose, but no decent flavor. Just stick with rum when you're in Barbados.

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Photo of afksports
1.36/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So it's about time for me to review this beer from some notes I made. It's a couple weeks since I left Barbados. I was sad to go. It's a beautiful place. But the island's main beer is not very good.

In fact it's hard to drink.

Poured multiple times from tap, bottle, and _plastic_ bottle, Banks Beer is an American Adjunct Lager through and through. They use sugar and corn in this one for sure. They actually proudly talk on the brewery tour about how they use sugar as an adjunct to make Banks. It makes me wonder a little what they're fermenting.

The appearance is your standard Bud yellow, hardly any fizz to speak of after the initial pour settles in. It's pasteurized clear, smells bland, and tastes bad. The bitterness isn't cleansing, it's off-putting. And there's a rank finish to it, even on tap. Paired with flavorful food, it's a hard beer to get down. Paired without, it's even rougher.

So after many trips to beaches south of New York, I understand the appeal of a "beach beer". What I never understood is why - in almost any situation - anyone would CHOOSE a beer like this one to drink on the beach.

Just have a rum punch. It's way better.

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Photo of TheHammer
1.59/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Well, I came to the conclusion that I had been reviewing too many good beers recently, and thus it was time to review a less the stellar beer. While I mean no offense to the people of Barbados, it's not exactly a country with a renowned brewing tradition, so I decided to give this stuff a shot.

Appearance: Well we are off to a good start as it poured with a solid two fingers of head, that did sustain for a decent amount of time. However the reason for that is the monstrous carbonation, which reminds me of a soft drink in the plain golden body, which isn't exactly the clearest either. No lacing to speak of either.

Smell: There is nothing really to speak of, even after warming I'm catching the barest notes of earth metal and corn. I wouldn't say it's bad because it is so lacking, but really I would not say it is pleasant even if it was stronger.

Taste: Well, it's drinkable if only but barely. Starts with a grass and dandelion taste that turns to a vile kick of earthy and moss like hop and ends with a metallic and alcohol twang that I didn't think was possible with a beer with that low a percentage. I'm not sure why anyone is talking about the sweetness of this offering, as it doesn't seem present here.

Mouthfeel: The earth like hops and metallic bitterness dominate the aftertaste and linger for far too long. The start of the beer starts off way too carbonated and accents the metal taste. It then falls flat at the half way mark, which is a blessing of sorts I suppose. If it wasn't so watered down, it would be awful.

Drinkability: It is refreshing because it is watered down and it does sit well in the gut. That is the closest thing to praise this catagory will get as it has some serious gas issues and does not go down smooth at all.

Final Thoughts: Well, lets just say I don't plan on vacationing in Barbados if this is the norm. It has a nice look to it, but the second it touches your lips, it turns god awful. I'd much rather partake an US macro then this stuff. It got drain poured at the 1/4 left mark.

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Photo of cyrenaica
1.64/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

355ml bottle
4.7% ABV
I tried this beer on September 5, 2009 after purchasing from one of my local LCBO outlets. The beer pours a translucent darker gold colour with almost no head. The aroma is grainy malt and a little hops. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and medium carbonation. The flavour was very malty with a hint of hops, and an ill-tasting aftertaste.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
1.68/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

My friend who knows Im a beer geek brought this back for me from Guyana.

'Brewery Fresh' is conspicuously printed on the bottle. What does this mean exactly? If it means that it left the brewery in a fresh state, doesnt that apply to almost all beers (hopefully), and what guarantee does that make as to the present freshness of the beer? anyways enough of my rant...

Banks pours a very pale straw color with a foamy head. Theres surprisingly good head retention for an adjunct lager and lots of lace as well. Also worth noting, this has the tiniest carbonation bubbles Ive ever seen, they are literally pin pricks.

The smell is very weak with some malts and skunkyness. The taste is very bland with cardboard and club soda up front and a sweetish cooked corn finish. Hops are barely perceptable. The mouthfeel is way too watery. This is an incredibly vapid beer with no real flavor at all. That being said it has no truly disgusting flavors, making it at least palatable.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
1.76/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pour is pale golden, almost straw-colored. The large white airy head leaves decent lacings.

S: Mild smell that holds lots of corn and some sweet corn. Very faint citric notes.

T: Corn, sweet malt and a metallic off-taste. Bitter hops way in the back.

M: Watery and medium-strong carbonation. Almost no aftertaste.

O: This one is an Adjunct Lager that doesn't make anyone happy (at least not those who like strong flavors in their beers).

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Photo of Gavage
1.96/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color with a short 1/4" white head that breaks apart immediately.

Smell: some grass and a hint of malt sweetness is barely detectable.

Taste: light malt base with some grass, hint of lemon zest, and a very mild bitterness. A hint of metallic flavor arrives late.

Mouthfeel: light in body. Lightly crisp from start to finish with a clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: another beer from the Caribbean to copy the Corona style. Tough finishing the pint, and surely I will not be looking for another anytime soon.

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Photo of Portertime
1.98/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: normally I would enjoy a session lager straight out of the bottle with a light meal but I will sample this one correctly in a glass. Like most session lagers, I went ahead and enjoyed this one “as cold as the Rockies”, which does normally mute the complexities of most beers but I want to also let it warm up to compare tastes. It pours a crystal clear gold like the sun straight from the Bahamas.

Smell: the adjunct corn shows through with a sweet, cob fresh aroma complete with a buttery diacetyl presence.

Taste: liquid frosted corn flakes comes to mind. Grainy, thin, lacking structure.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.01/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a clear deep golden color lager with a large foamy white head with good retention and no lacing. Aroma of adjunct with lightly sweet malt. Taste is also dominated by some sweet adjunct with a pretty bland taste overall. Another world lager that is probably better if chugged on a beach in Barbados.

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Photo of jwc215
2.05/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Best before July 2010:

Pours straw yellow with a thin fizzy white head that soon disappears. No lacing, though, oddly enough, some "legs".

The smell is of cereal, mild grain, husk, hint of grass and a dash of soap.

The taste is of sweet cereal (buttered corn?) some soap, husk. Very little to balance sweetness. It has an abrupt, watery finish.

Light-bodied, it has typical macro fizz.

Sweet, bland, touch of soap doesn't help. If I were in Barbados, I would drink something else...

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Photo of rarbring
2.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The brew is clear pale straw colored, has a white head that settles unevenly, leaving some lacing.

The smell is sweet, corn flakes, boiled maize. A faint Alka-Seltzer whiff.

Starting somewhat sweet, wheat crackers, then a fruity flavor, faintly raspberries (or raspberry ester). A weak bitterness.

Medium low carbonation, a weak body, rather refreshing feeling.

A standard adjunct lager - 'nuff said.

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Photo of mrmanning
2.18/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the lcbo- Sparkling straw colour, pours a long lasting white foamy cap. Nose of grains and some grassy hops, some fruity malts. Tastes sweet of grains and fruity malts, some biscuit, grassy hops. Mild carbonation with lingering grassy hops. Ok.

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Photo of jed
2.23/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Brown, 275 ml painted bottle announcing "The Beer of Barbados." Brewed in Barbados, best enjoyed by July, 2005. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly dull yellow color with about one finger's worth of head. Weak head retention, but good lacing. Fairly even carbonation bubbling up.

Smell: Slightly sour vegetal aroma mixed with a hint of malt sweetness, very grainy.

Taste: Heavily carbonated, sour mouth with little distinctive flavor. Another reviewer mentioned club soda, which sadly isn't far off. Slightly hop bitterness balanced by typical adjunct macro lager malt profile. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Thin, with a little too much carbonation.

Drinkability: Maybe the drinkability improves in the sun? As is, a boring macro lager.

My parents brought back a few bottles of Banks from a vacation in Barbados — they might have been better off with some Mt. Gay rum. I can imagine this going down nicely on tap on a hot day, but in a bottle it's a slightly above average adjunct lager. Not worth tracking down.

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Photo of oggg
2.26/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Says that they won the Gold Medal at Bruxelles on the bottle. How do all the Caribbean beers win stuff in Brussels?

Had this beer in the bottle. It has a light tan color but the foams looks like that of any other p--s lager. No aroma. It surprisingly has some sweet caramel. There is a strange type of bitterness that appears briefly at the beginning. You're left with a syrupy taste, which I liked. Overall not too bad.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
2.27/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I got this coz it was on special offer, gave the majority to a lager loving friend and tasted a tiny bit.

his was light yellow and fizzy looking

Aromas of a freshly opened frosted cereal package.

sweet syrupy taste real sugary and nothing else.

Easier drinking because of the sweetness other than that nothing positive.

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Photo of Drew966
2.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Banks Beer (Export version) pours a pale yellow with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. This beer smells like corn. The flavor is dominated by corn, a bit of malt is present and there is a touch of hops in the finish. This is a fairly typical macro lager from this part of the world. At least it's not skunky. Drink it cold, it doesn't improve as it warms.

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Photo of mick303
2.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a quite active carbonation, leaves a half-decent lacing. Colour is bright golden.

The aroma is mostly shallow, dry malt. Nothing else is defined.

Taste is first of maltiness, then a slight citrus. A sourness develops after.

Mouthfeel is just unpleasant. Watery and sour. Not in anyway a pleasure to drink warmer than ice cold.

Won't go back to get more of this.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Brilliant buttery-gold with a feverishly rise of misty micro-bubble showers. The head is sea-shell white, creamy and slight, and weak on the hold. Lacing is kept to a minimal.

S: Some diacetyl, buttermilk, and buttery grains.

T: For flavor there is dry buttered grains, again some diacetyl notes. Sweet corn, lemon and honey combine to deliver a strange punch of flavor midway that is quite hard to describe and put your tongue on.

M: tingly from the active carbonation, tight and crisp with an oily buttery texture.

O: Overall not impressed, low level of drinkability even by style, and a very strange taste that is hard to describe, let alone swallow. A tough pill to swallow, but easy to drain pour.

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Photo of gskitt
2.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Had in Barbados ata local hangout. Very much like an American adjunct, light yellow color, no lacing, flavor is of corn and veggie matter. This is a decent beach beer, but it has to drunk quickly and it has to be ice cold. Mouthfeel is what you would expect from this style type, thin and fizzy. One could drink many of these.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.46/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of April 2013. Picked up from a supermarket - a new summer import. The printed bottle says Banks Caribbean Lager, but the ABV is identical and I conclude that this is the same beer. 'The legendary Caribbean beer celebrated across the region' - we'll see...

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear golden colour with light carbonation. Forms a decent head of creamy white foam that lasts for a couple of minutes before dissipating. Aroma of faint malt with notes of corn, mild stewed hops and overcooked veg. Slightly sweet, with a stale character. Not particularly appetising.

Tastes of light malt with a mild, dry finish. A subtle sweetness pervades the flavour. Hints of stewed hops/veg and faint corn. A weak, slightly harsh bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with surprisingly full body. Could be a tad more carbonated, though it feels OK. Delicate aftertaste of sweet adjuncts and malt.

Meh - a rather crappy adjunct lager; is this really the best the Caribbean can do? I'm not sure even being there would help me like this more - bring on the rum! Lots of unpleasant notes in the aroma, though the flavour is cleaner. The mouthfeel is pretty good, but I don't like the sweetness. The ingredients include sugar and corn syrup - they could try toning those back. All said, it's not great. Grab one if you want to tick Barbados, otherwise avoid.

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Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
2.46/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I hand Banks Beer while visiting Belize in 2013, it was okay pale lager, but not stick out from its various competitors. It pours light and golden, with light head that soon dissipates, and has an average carbonation content. It has little edge when drinking, but has a pleasant sweet taste with hints of malt and grains. Average aftertaste, not filling, and easy to consume in large amounts.

You can get Banks beer in Punta Gorda, belize fairly easy.

Belize March, 2013

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Photo of jettjon
2.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

From a 12 oz. bottle marked Feb 2013. Labeled “Carribean Lager.” Consumed 5/22/13. Into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!) it’s an attractive golden clear color with lots of precipitating carbonation fueling a solid, one-finger pillowy white head. Not exactly what I was expecting; this is a pretty good looking brew. Nose however is a bit of a letdown, corn and rice adjunct and a bit of sour milk along with what might pass as malt. In the mouth it’s nothing special, starting with a mild malty flavor cut through by a tinge of metallic off-taste but finishing on an rather inoffensive note. Mouth is a bit thin and surprisingly flat despite lots of carbonation and great head retention. Overall: High point is a nice appearance but unfortunately the rest of this Caribbean import falls short.

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Photo of TerryW
2.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very very ordinary beer.

Pours headless golden yellow, no lace, but lots of active carbonation.

Nose is corn, slightly sweet, with just a whiff of the hop. Undistinguished flavourwise. Mouthfeel is slightly spritzy with a hint of bitterness.

Anonymous but inoffensive. A take it or leave it kind of brew.

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Photo of Sammy
2.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

For a pale lager, this is passable. However the style, a yellow fizzy beer with elements of corn sweetner, is not. The good points: A decent white foamy head, and lace in the glass. Almost neutral aromas. About an average mouthfeel. A tad of bready taste. However, it was not too drinkable.LCBO.

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Photo of flyingpig
2.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light straw coloured with hints of gold but it did have a thumb sized, bubbly white head that settled to about half that size after a minute or two.

Corn and hints of grain with some bread, a touch of citrus and some light floral notes although none of them strong enough.

Basic lager taste with some corn adjuncts and bread mixed with some grain and a touch of citrus. There is a little taste of sugary syrup in there too but not a lot else.

Light bodied, touches of sweetness throughout and a sticky sort of feel to it. It is probably more refreshing than I am giving it credit for but it is basic.

A fairly ordinary beer and nothing to adventurous, you imagine it would taste better sitting in the sun in Barbados but it's not that great on a rainy night in Scotland.

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Banks Caribbean Lager from Banks (Barbados) Breweries Limited
2.87 out of 5 based on 208 ratings.
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