As I continue my lockdown induced tour of dirt cheap supermarket beers I find myself holding Banks's Golden Beer. You'll find this Wolverhampton beer all over the UK and it'll rarely cost you more than a pound, so it certainly counts as a bargain buy almost regardless of what it ends up tasting like. I've spent most of my drinking life ignoring the likes of this and Manns Brown Ale just because they don't look like they'll be a treat, plus I'd much rather be drinking in a pub than at home as a rule, but for most of us that's barely been an option in the last 12 months so we may as well make up for not going out by saving some cash for when we can.
Banks's Golden Beer comes in a yellow labelled bottle, although they would probably say it's meant to be golden. There's the usual Banks's axe wielding lion on there, and the confirmation that it's a 3.8% beer, which for the price you can't really complain about. The beer pours an amber gold colour with virtually no head much like many old English bitters. Fortunately while I don't find English bitters to be very good looking beers I usually quite like the taste so this isn't looking too bad.
The smell on the other hand is a little concerning. It's not a strong smell, but what there is seems to be predominantly citrus, and specifically orange. An IPA can just about get away with smelling like this, but I'm not really sure a traditional bitter or golden ale can. I can only really hope that the fact the smell is quite mild means that it wont really affect the taste. I guess there's always that worry in the back of my mind with a beer as cheap as this that it'll taste like a horrible cheap beer, hopefully I'm just been paranoid.
I wasn't been paranoid. This is horrible. The taste really matches the smell, it's like biting into an orange peel, which is fine if you want an orange, but less so if you want a beer. There's a slightly bitter aftertaste but it's not enough to drown out the initial orange peel hit. The one small saving grace for the beer is that it feels quite refreshing, but honestly if I wanted to get refreshed I think I'd rather drink water or orange juice than this. I'm going to give Banks's Golden Beer 1 out of 10 and had it not been so cheap that may well have been a 0.5.