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 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 thehyperduck
3/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before April 2013. Barbadian beer, you say? I don't mind ticking another country, I guess... but it'll take some convincing to get me to splurge on a six-pack of some Caribbean pale lager. One bottle will do fine however - I'll tick pretty much anything for the price of a single.

Pours a golden-yellow colour, bright and clear, topped with one finger of fizzy white head that vanishes almost as quickly as it arose. No lacing; its only remnants are some wisps of film on the surface and a thin collar. A familiar-looking brew for sure, and the aroma is equally unimaginative. Vegetal corn notes are annoyingly prominent, with some underlying grainy pale malts and grassy hop notes. I'll cut it a break here - not the most enticing aroma I've ever sampled, but the underlying non-corn elements are approachable enough.

Not particularly tasty, even by adjunct lager standards. The backbone is pale malts, crackers and corny sweetness, with some grassy, wet hay-like hops that remind me of an EPL. Dry finish with some solvent and musty cardboard flavour, but the aftertaste is mostly clean. Light-bodied, with heavy carbonation that gives it a prickly, lively mouthfeel. Fairly refreshing, and easy to throw back quickly like most pale lagers.

[Updated Sept 2 2016]

Another bottle; best before Jun 2017. Revisiting this one for posterity - and also because I wanted the cap, and the sixer was cheap. This isn't a particularly good beer, but it's fine for an adjunct lager, and certainly not the worst national brand lager I've ever tried. Not getting any solvent this time around - mostly just grainy, corny pale malt sweetness. This is the sort of beer that I could drink on the beach all day if the price was right, but it's not something I'd actively seek out. On par with the middling domestic offerings like Canadian and Keith's; I'm boosting this one's grade a bit to reflect my softened stance.

Final Grade: 3.00, a much-improved C+.

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Photo of metter98
2.97/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down and left large wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are aromas of corn and rice in the nose along with some hints of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste Is a bit sweet and has flavors of corn. A light amount of bitterness becomes noticeable towards the finish and masks the initial sweetness.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink. Even though there is some sweetness, there’s enough bitterness in the finish to help balance things out.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.91/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear pale golden yellow in color. The beer has a quarter finger tall white head that quickly reduces to a minimal amount of very thin film spread over the surface of the beer. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate sweet aromas of adjunct malts, specifically corn and rice.

T: This beer is quite sweet with flavors of corn/rice adjunct malts. There is also a light presence of grassy hops that contribute some bitterness as well as a lingering sweetness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: I could see this beer really appealing to the flavor palate for Barbados but was a little too sweet for my tastes - probably too sweet to be sessionable from my perspective.

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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 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.

1001 Beer Blog:

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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 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 chinchill
2.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle with a best by date of May 2012, served in a pint glass. Diffeerent artwork on bottle than shown on BA: includes appropriate phrase, "Caribbean Lager".

An attractive beer, being crystal clear, golden-yellow, with a 1.5 finger white head. The head dissipates quickly, however, and the light coloration accurately predicts a light taste.

Lightly skunky in both aroma and flavor, this beer is thirst-quenching and easy to down. The light-bodied mouthfeel is amply, but not over, carbonated. That's about the best that can be said. In addition to the skunky off-aroma and off-flavor, this beer has a weak finish and very little aftertaste. The sweetness in the aroma is followed by a largely balanced (sweet-bitter) taste.

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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 NightINgale
3.01/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle. Poured into my large Pilsner Urquell glass.

A - Pours a pale, clear golden body, with a fairly nice-looking fluffy white head. Some bubbles, some lacing. I'll definitely give it credit for its head retention, so rare in pale lagers!

S - Not much to the aroma. Corn, slight doughy notes, maybe a slight hint of lemon.

T - For its style, this beer is not that bad. Crisp, fairly refreshing. A slight tart/sour lemon note here and there. Some moderate sweetness from the corn malts. Finishes fairly clean. As I was drinking it, I started to get a bit of an off-flavour in the after-taste, as well as some surprising fruitiness (what an odd combination!).

M - Light body to it, but I was happy that it was not too watery. The level of carbonation is pretty appropriate too (moderate); not like in some other adjunct lagers.

O - This is a decent, refreshing and not very bland pale lager. I have a feeling it is good to have in the summer, perhaps on the beach. Better than the more mainstream beers of Central America, but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of andrenaline
2.57/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very pale golden colour, finger f head with no retention or lacing.

S - Musty, sour apple juice and sweet corn.

T - The exact same as the scent with a bitter bready malt that lingers. Sweet corn and apple cider flavours are definitely the promnent notes.

M - A tad watery and a bit prickly. Not as refreshing as I was thinking for a Carribean Lager.

O - I would drink this on vacation on the beach, but when in North American there's better beer to buy.

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Photo of bark
2.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The bottle is labled ”Banks Caribbean Lager”, although at 4.7 %, and presented at the same page on their web site, I suppose they are the same beer.

The colour is pale yellow (6 EBC), the liquid clear. The low white head sinks quickly, leaving very little lacing on the glass.

The smell got chemical hints. Quite strong artificial bitter notes and sweet notes of French loaf and cheap candy.

The taste is a bit bitterer than I expected. Bit it is a kind of chemical and sharp kind of bitterness. The sweetness is sharp and sticky, too. The aftertaste is extremely short with some passing bitterness and a sweet hint in the finish.

The carbonation is quite strong, the medium sized bubbles sharp. The liquid is light.

A decent exotic adjunct lager, but nothing more than that.

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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 ktrillionaire
3.25/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A -Pours a totally clear straw-gold hue and is capped with a thin fizzy white head.

S - It smells, strangely, slightly of white wine in a buttery, sweetly tart way. Not much else there.

T - The taste shows the white wine nuance again. I am a bit perplexed by it, but it is nice. There is not much else to speak of, except a hint of grainy beeriness on the finish.

M - Too flaccid and yet prickly. Not enhancing.

O - This is a strange beer, better than the average macro lager, very light, but unusually flavored.

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Photo of stjaernstoft
2.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Banks (Caribbean Lager), ABV: 4.7%.
355 ml bottle, 15.50 SEK at Systembolaget.

Appearance: Pale, yellow colour, and a white, kind of weak head.

Smell: Only minor hints of citrus and butter, but there is something more than I expected, possibly vanilla.

Taste: Moderate, but a little more bitternes and body than I usually find in the style. Malt, a little bit of butter (not too much), and perhaps some grass and citrus tones.

Mouthfeel: Some body. Drinkable, but a bit fizzy.

Overall: An OK summer lager. No explosion, but a little more taste than I was expecting. Good enough for sipping while lazing on a sunny afternoon.

(My first BeerAdvocate review.)

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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 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 JISurfer
3.14/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is one of the many Caribbean beers I am "tackling" this summer. I'm sure you're probably asking "why"? Well, it gets really hot down here, so I figured a Caribbean beer would be good yard beer for the summer. Anyway, this was a decent one, definitely a good one for the heat, maybe one to take fishing with me. Appearance and smell were ok, but nothing really jumped out at me. Taste was light and malty, with a tiny hint of hops. Since it was light and easy on the palate, it would be very drinkable in the heat. The only problem with this one though, is that we can't get it in Charleston. Maybe it'll show up here this summer.

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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 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 Bouleboubier
3.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found this at the local Total Wine. Here's what I thought:

One of the clearest beers I've ever seen - I'm only saying this due to the fact that I don't regular drink the adjunct lager. Keeping an eye out for beers I've never had, that's all. Uber-clarity noted, the beer had a pale, slightly suntanned, straw tint and a white, finger-width, short-lived head. Naught on lacing.

Smelled as you would expect - corn sweet and grain husks. Many other adjunct lagers - Rolling Rock, Bud, PBR - smell about the same when they're not ice cold. Aroma brought to mind that of Quilmes as well.

Probably didn't drink this as cold as one should. But with a warmer temp, flavors do emerge. That said, it tastes like a generic cheap lager, not that it's bad for what it is. Says "Bohemian" to me. Grainy mostly with a touch of breadiness upfront and little corn syrupy sweetness toward the middle and to the back. An edge heavier on the tongue compared to most in the style. Moderately dry finish.

I could really only see drinking this again ice cold under the scorching sun. Decent beach beer surely.

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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 HUXC
3.24/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

S- Served straight out of a chilled 12 oz bottle.

A- Not that impressive, an average looking lighter style lager.

S- Smells of hops and other Caribbean spices nothing out of the ordinary. This beer can probably can be considered close to a summer style lager.

T- Not a beer that jumps out of the bottle at you, has almost a bit of a citrus flavor to it with a clean crisp aftertaste. Enjoyable.

M- Not a whole lot of carbonation, nice clean aftertaste with a crisp finish.

D- Very easy to drink, not a beer that I can see myself getting tired of or full from.

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Photo of spinrsx
3/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - pours golden yellow with a decent size foamy/fizzy white head. Lots of carbonation can be seen accompanied by a tiny bit of lacing. The head dissipates quickly

Smell - pilsner skunk, hops, breads/grains.

Taste & Mouth - lots of carbonation on the tongue, and a slightly metallic taste. Barley, malts, and hops, and then a sweet finish, perhaps caramel.

Drink - not a bad beer.. not a good beer. Not something I would ever buy again.

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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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