Monday, November 14, 2011

Wells Banana Bread Beer


Hey look who's back! It's been just about a year since Mark of http://youtube.com/VideoBeerReviews joined me via Skype for a collab review. Mark actually suggested we review this beer, which is one I've been meaning to review for a long time anyway. It's probably the only beer on market literally brewed with bananas, although I can't help but think there's some natural or artificial flavor enhancers in this thing.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (583) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 5, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Bright, clear copper body. Little carbonation visible. Forms a white, frothy head which retains and laces decently.

Smell: Overtly sweet banana candy aroma, much like dried banana chips. Generic British ale aroma at the core.

Taste: One of the things I like about authentic German hefeweizens and dunkelweizens is that they have a banana bread-like aroma and taste due to the yeast strain and malt bill. You’d think the idea of Wells Banana Bread Beer would be to take that concept and capitalize on it, but that’s really not what this winds up being. It’s more of a banana milkshake or alcoholic candy soda rather than "banana bread" proper. It walks the an extremely fine line between enjoyment for, and annoyance of, the novelty.

It begins with a slightly sharp British pale ale-like bitterness at the tip of the tongue. Then comes the sweet banana candy flavors. It reminds me of banana-flavored cough medicine I had as a child. There’s perhaps a touch of vanilla in here too, but no cinnamon or other spices you would associate with banana bread. There’s not a lot of all-natural breadiness from the malts either which is surprising. It’s actually a rather mild, thin palate.

Not that it’s off-putting. In fact, this beer is quite refreshing while cold and if drank once in a great while is an interesting treat for the palate, but not the kind of beer I’d want to drink often (much less session).

Mouthfeel: Thin, cold and wet with a mostly clean aftertaste (the banana flavoring lingers a tad).

Drinkability: The banana palate might take a swig or two to get used to, but after that Wells Banana Bread Beer becomes very smooth and highly quaffable. The mild, thin, tepid body makes it easy to gulp down without much resistance. At 5.2% ABV it’s perfectly matched to its body - light but not too light.
Grade: 6/10