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Friday, 11 May 2012

Beer Review: Banks's Bitter

It's Friday.  Time for a beer.

Tonight's offering is Bank's Bitter.



First of all, I love the bottle for this one, it's dark and brooding and the label is nice and understated, background if you will.  It doesn't shout itself to the world and, instead, lurks in the forgotten corners of the discount beers in Morrison's.  This is why I have bought it, it was cheap, and I am glad that I did.

One of the weaker beers I've had at 3.8% ABV, working out at about 1.9 units for a 500ml bottle, but that's not a bad thing.  There's a fizzier texture to it than there is to Leffe or the stuff from Masham but it goes well with most foods at room temperature for that reason - puts in mind of the cheap lemonade I used to get when we went for pub meals when I was smaller.  Added to that there's a definite citrus tang that gives the whole thing an edge that is lacking in other beers, hence the bitter title methinks, and that's welcome for someone like me that likes things a bit sour and sharp.

There's a fruity aftertaste to it and it seems less heavy than Leffe too.  For that reason it's not so much a meal-accompanying beer, it's one to be had after food or in preparation of a good meal out.  Indeed, I get the impression it would work well as a drink to be had before something like a spicy Chinese dish or a medium curry.  Not so sure it would work with Thai food.  It could only be had after something like shepherd's pie or chop and chips.  Mind you, there's a lightness that suggests it may work well with a proper fish'n'chip takeaway.

Smell is good, not too strong and not too full of alcohol.  If you're not a fan of strong tastes I would counsel avoiding it, however, as it does sort of own the room in that regard.  Equally, if you like your beers chilled (you heathens!) then this isn't for you either - it won't be nice chilled.  It's a beardy drink, one to have at room temperature either before something exotic or after something stodgy.  Not a sharing beer either, this one is very much a drink yourself job - certainly have others drinking with you but no need to share the beer itself - it would work best in a crowd.  If you do drink with others who like beer and you're lucky enough to have this mentality it's one of those beers you buy and pass about - along with everyone else's drinks.  It contrasts enough and is strong enough to hold its own, something smoother would be swamped and wouldn't be able to make you remember it.

In conclusion, a nice buy for the offer price, but probably not worth the full amount they'd charge when others would be a better punt.  That said, find a decent snug and this one is practically mandatory.  Drink with strong flavoured crisps, near a mouldering canal and with a strong Brummie accent.

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