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 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 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 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 TMoney2591
2.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Pours a clear pale straw with a quickly dissipating white foamy head that leaves almost no lacing behind. The smell, like most adjunct lagers, is corn, rice, and a hint of musk. The taste is comprised of corn syrup, a mild bitterness, and a tinny aftertaste, which literally puts a bad taste in my mouth. The body is pretty light, with a healthy amount of carbonation and a very dry finish. Overall, an excessively ho-hum brew, but not one that I would necessarily warn against or actively avoid.

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.82/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- I gave this a fairly hard pour into my glass and I have to say that I'm impressed with the thick white head that came with it. It's about 2 inches thick and reasonably fizzy, but settles to a foamy thick layer covering the brew. The color is of pale straw and there's lots of carbonation...lots of big bubbled columns and lots of bubbles clinging to the glass. Decent sticky lacing that clings to the glass as well. One of the best adjunct style lagers in terms of looks, that I've seen.

S- Has a typical macro lager aroma....that of skunked dry grains, followed by some sweet malt. There is some yeasty tones mixed in there as well and very little in terms of hops.

T- An overall mild flavor, with primary tones of dry grains, sweet malt, and grass. The finish is slightly bitter but it doesn't is relatively clean.

M- It is a typically light bodied, heavily carbonated beer, which provides a biz zing on the palate. It is crisp and refeshing and is pretty much what I thought it would be in this category.

D- This isn't the worst beer out there, just nothing special. With that said, I think this is a great hot weather beer and is easy enough to drink. I think it's a pretty typical lager that most people would enjoy. It has better flavor than most American macros and I think I'll probably buy this again at some point.

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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 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 portia99
3.18/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

275ml bottle brought back from Barbados by a friend. Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

A - Small bottle filled my pint glass only about 1/2 way. Pours a pale, pale gold with a frothy two fingers of white foam. Head lasts about 30 sec and dies down completely to the surface-just the tiniest layer of bubbles on the surface. Beer is perfectly clear...lots of effervescent bubbles rising in a constant stream from the bottom of the glass.

S - Smells like an imported European lager. Lots of cereal grain and corn. Some light vegetable like aroma in the background and a hint of diacetyl. Hops are a bit fruity, maybe a small amount of grassiness too. Corn and cereal grains overpower whatever hops there are though. Smells pretty much like every other beer of this variety.

T - Grainy and tons of corn. The diacetyl that was mild in the smell is more prominant in the taste. No real hop flavor...just a balancing bitterness. Again, nothing really distinguishes this from just about any other American style lager out there.

M - Thin but not quite reaching the water level...just a touch more fullness. Carbonation is high, which probably masks some the flaws in the flavors. Very tingly, prickly and lively.

D - Well, this beer is what it is...just another American lager made on a beautiful Caribbean island. My recollection is that this beer worked fine on a hot day on the beach down there, but is much more disappointing on a cold December night. You could drink these all night, because there is not much to them. Might be a good one to use in a stupid drinking competition with your non-BA friends though - bottles look like a regular 12oz bottle, but are a little bit smaller...after a couple of cases that would add up.

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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 wordemupg
3/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml bottle poured into pint glass dec4 2009

A very light crystal clear straw yellow with no head or lace

S corn, floral hops and some lemon

T as it smells but a little more grassy

M very light but decent carbonation helps its cause

D I swear I reviewed this before and liked it much more then this because this time around I'm being nice saying its average

better then some other Caribbean beers I've tried, that being said I'm sure this would go better with palm trees and sun then with the blizzard outside my window

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Photo of mintjellie
2.65/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Straw gold with a thin cap of head the disappears as soon as you finish pouring it, in spite of having lots of visible carbonation. Faint aromas of sweet corn, straw, and match heads. Tastes of sweet pale malt with grassy finish. Very mild bitterness in the short finish. Somewhat light bodied with biting carbonation. Not overly thin or watery. This is overly carbonated for my liking, beyond the usual macro lager carbonation that doesn't normally bother me. I'm sure it keeps Barbadans refreshed during their hot tropical summers, though.

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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 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 Shadman
2.65/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Have to have a few lagers @ a beer fest and this was one from Medicine Hat's first beer fest.

Lot's of fine bubbles compliment a bright amber yellow brew. Lot's of bone white head that receeds into a decent cap/ring.

Grainy malts with a pretty strong raw sugar/molasses smell which, I have to admit, hides the nasty adjuncts quite nicely.

Sugary, which I suppose would be one of the easier adjucts to obtain in the Caribbean. Some slight citric hop in the back end. Sweetness masks most flavours. An almost metallic taste clings to the back of the tongue.

Not as light as the ABV would indicate. Bit sticky from all the sugar.

Could defintely call this a Sugar Lager because of the almost overpowering sweetness. Not much of a thirst quencher @ this latitude and time of year.

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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 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 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 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 Ralphus
3.1/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I visited Barbados in the spring of 2001 and drank many bottles of this beer which is sold everywhere. I wasn't into beer then but I did enjoy it at the time. Today, some 8 years later I'm having it under equally fine weather but critiquing it through an entirely different lens.

Banks pours a very very clear golden colour. They must have filtered the hell ouf of this stuff to make sure it competes with Carib, Corona and other Caribbean beers.

The smell is weak but flightly floral. Not alot there really. And the taste is similar.. weak although occasionally a touch of hops shines through.

Mouthfeel is light and slightly carbonated. It's designed to be refreshing and it is. Drinkability I would rate as slightly higher than your typical macro beer.

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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 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 allergictomacros
3.13/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A shade or two darker than straw. Clear with a sticky, coarse head.

S - Nose is slightly vegetal, sweet smelling, and with a hint of floral hops and greenness.

T/M/D - Flavour is entirely unremarkable, though inoffensive. Maybe a touch too much acidity up front, and maybe leaning towards leafiness, but otherwise, a typical pale lager. Usual characteristics of drinkability but boringness. Probably tastes better after an afternoon of snorkeling or something.

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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 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 biegaman
3.03/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

More yellow-ish than golden, the beer's appearance is pale and plain. There is some shininess but it is largely without much luster. Despite the drowsy streams of bubbles there is virtually no head either. To its credit, the beer is immaculately clear and undoubtedly qualifies as one of the cleanest looking beers I've seen. Let's hope it's a clean drinking beer too.

The beer smells like warm sweet corn; I'm thinking microwaved creamed corn. There is a dash of industrial corn syrup in there as well but it curiously veers clear of ever becoming off-putting, much less offensive. That corny stench comes pretty much standard with macro lagers and as far as this beer goes it's tolerable, if nothing else.

It's difficult to describe a taste when there isn't really much of one there. I'm trying, believe me, but I cannot seem to make anything out of the beer's flavour other than (maybe) a dab of straw and a hint of corn syrup. At least the (lack of) flavour doesn't detract from drinkability. I bet this lack of flavour is likely by design...

Why wouldn't it be? I'm sure the people of Barbados don't drink Banks because it tastes amazing; they likely drink it because it's refreshing. And, admittedly, I'm finding it to be just that. It is, especially in relation to other lagers, quite clean and quenching (anything bearing this much resemblance to water will be.) In that regard this is a very good lager.

Banks claims to be brewed "under sunshine and blue skies" so I figured it was only appropriate that I save it for a day that could match those conditions. And while the nice weather helped, it could only do so much. Actually, baring a trip to Barbados it would be hard to come up with another excuse to drink this beer again. If I'm in the mood for something refreshing, maybe - if I'm in the mood for a beer, no.

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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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