We revisit a very memorable beer from the Queens-based Finback Brewery. This is Banana Drip, an Imperial Stout brewed with bananas, peanut butter, coffee, and vanilla.
This is the first Imperial Stout that featured bananas we have tried this year, with the second one coming from Antipolo’s very own The Marc’s & Tony Brewing Company.
This beer is being evaluated as a Fruit and Spice Beer (29B) with the Imperial Stout (20C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Banana Drip pours a deep reddish-brown hue– almost black– with a brown head. This beer reveals chocolate hazelnut wafers with coffee on the side. Palate descriptors: medium-full bodied, moderately-low carbonated, and chewy or viscous. We asked ourselves, “Where is the banana?”
Our patience was rewarded as a flavor medley of ripe bananas, luscious chocolate, and peanut butter cascaded. Dark fruit esters and coffee surfaced secondarily and became more evident in the beer’s warmer state. Despite the addition of the adjuncts, the sweetness of Banana Drip is tamed and did not overpower. Meanwhile, a moderately-low roasty malt character reminded us that this was still an Imperial Stout at its core. The aftertaste left a dry and sticky impression as dark chocolates, cherries, coffee, and bananas lingered a bit.
Excellent. To us, Banana Drip is a well-executed concept that demonstrated what banana, coffee, and peanut butter can do to a classic dark beer such as the Imperial Stout. While the vanilla was quite difficult to detect (or maybe we are just not that sensitive with this character in this kind of recipe), we think the interplay between the banana, coffee, and the classic dark malty character of Imperial Stouts really made this beer a memorable one without any overpowering muscovado-like sweetness.
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