1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Batemans XXXB - George Bateman and Son Ltd. / Batemans Brewery

Not Rated.
Batemans XXXBBatemans XXXB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

133 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 16
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
George Bateman and Son Ltd. / Batemans Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-18-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 96
Photo of julian
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think this might be one of my first reviews of an actual English style ESB / Pale.

A: Coppery amber in color, with ruby highlights when held up to the light, with decent clarity, though still a bit of haze. Thick and creamy off white head coats the surface and has no intention of leaving the party early.

S: Smells of sweet dark fruit, brown sugary malty goodness. Feels like it's going to be sweet. Not much in the way of hop aroma, although perhaps some of the fruity esters I'm picking up were facilitated by the cascade hops.

T&M: Taste is sweet, fruity, malty, and a slight bittering in the background to balance it out. This beer is definitely all about the malt though. Mouthfeel is full, very smooth almost creamy. Probably a relatively high mash temp. Lots of dark fruit on the palate, mostly raisin, some plum. Very reminiscent of a Belgian abbey ale that regard. I wonder what yeast they used.

O: Given I don't really have much to base this off of, I think it's a good beer, if not great for the style and country of origin. Not sure I could drink more than one at a time though...the sweet/fruityness is too much for my lupulin coated American palate :p

Photo of colts9016
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into nonic at 41 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has fair retention. The color of the head is an off white that is foamy and creamy. The color of the beer is dark reddish copper color and a very nice amber hue. The clarity of the beer is slightly hazy with a touch of clouding. The head left a little lacing on the glass.

Nose: The hops are up front but they seem tainted. The hops are fruity ester, lemons, grapefruit, and pine. There is subtle solvent toasted malt, biscuit, and bread. Other notes are yeast and a sweetness.

Taste: A very muted beer that is a bit watery. The hops are floral bouquet, pine, lemon, and grapefruit. The malt is toasted, biscuit, and bread. Other notes are solvents, yeast, and sweetness.

The mouth feel the beer is watery, carbonated, and slightly astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium light and the finish is medium. The beer is just okay there is a good bitterness in the with a nice malt backbone. There is a good balance, just a bit old would like a fresher bottle.

Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Decent beginning to the head but it dies out quickly. The liquid is deep amber color with a touch of haze.

Strong sweet caramel aroma; light hop in the background.

Good blend of sweeter crystal malts and bitter, peppery hops. The broth is quite thin. The swallow starts well balanced but gives way to bitter hop in the aftertaste. More bitter than the smell indicates.

Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice deep coppery red. Good, creamy caramel head, average retention. Good lacing.

S: Malty, sugary sweet, wee toffee aromas. Raisiny & appley notes. This is poised to be rather exciting!

T: Malty, caramelly, sweet toffee, sugar. Some (little) hops. This is a true English ESB at its best. Not an American Pale Ale, for sure - waaay too well balanced. Brought me right back to the pubs of the Northern Lake District & Dales.

MF: Full, creamy smooth. Good English carbonation level.

D: I really, really enjoyed this one. A great pint to have with the chaps at the bar. Sooo English!

Overall: A real enjoyable pleasure! Got this "on clearance" for $2.49, wish I had bought a case, Really a taste of Northern England in a bottle. Excellent!

Photo of russpowell
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No way this will be as good as it was on cask, but worth a try for old times sake. Drank many pints of this in a pub near in Hinton in the Hedges in Oxfordshire...

Pours brown/copper with a finger of of cream colored head. Sheets of lacing & nice head retention as well

S: Figgyness, woody hops & raisins

T: Follows the nose, leafy hops present as well up front. Figs & woody hops dominate as this warms, plus raisins, even a touch of boozeyness. Finishes with fruittyness & leafy hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, smooth carbonation, alright balance. Needs more malt to pull this together

Drinks alright, no where as good as the old cask version I remember

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into a nonic.

The copper hued body shows the slightest haze. A small, fleeting head forms and quickly settles to a film.

There's a lot of Maris Otter breadiness on the nose, along with a touch of butterscotch and fruit. A leafy hop note is barely present beneath.

Light on the tongue, but plenty flavorful. Bready and caramelized malt flavors are complemented by a buttery and fruity English yeast profile. The light body and low carbonation make the beer easy to drink, and not very filling. Drying in the finish with lingering earthy hops and toasted malt. Bitterness remains low throughout. Very balanced and quaffable, this is quite good.

Photo of eric5bellies
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Bombardier conic pint glass

A - Pours a clear copper colour with an Ivory coloured head that lasts and laces.

S - Biscuit and malt on the nose, with a little toffee.

T - Quite spicey up front with a nice nutty malt flavour to follow we then get some toffee flavours before a prolonged bitter finish.

M - Very smooth indeed and medium body and low carbonation.

D - This has long been one of my favourite english ales and continues to be. It has a little of everything.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: amber/burnt orange, 1 finger head, nice lacing.

S: malt, grain, slight pine, whiff of citrus

T: sweet malt + grain up front, smooth bitter finish

M: medium body, average carbonation

D: This is a nice ESB, great session beer for the pub or any old time. Not too heavy, worth trying.

Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the perfect note of honey malted lemon zest that only a good esb has. dark amber with a head of two fingers that doesn't leave any lace. nose of pollen honey and lemon hints. palate is that but with a distinct bitter of black tea... lemon zest, bit-o-honey malt but subtly so, and a distinct earth bark quality of a bitter finish. quite a lean body feel. but not much alcohol to make it a heavy drink.

Photo of Reidrover
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1Pint .09oz bottle. 5% alc, From Capital Market, Salem.$4.49 Pale brown ale with a nice half inch eggshell white coloured head. LOvelly English malt nose..delightful as usual..caramel, fresh cut hay..nice. Smooth caramel, slightly toasty taste, the hops are underneath the chewy malts until near the end of the mouthful when they appear for a pleasing bitter end. Rather nice on the palate. Smooth and not too complex!( somethimes that is good in a beer). Overall a very nice English ale.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- Unfortunately as I later found out this is classified as a English brown rather a pale ale as indicated on label.

A: Old coppery-penny color with a bubbly and froamy sandy-beige had of average retention. A spacious macro-bubbly carbonation is stead-fast as it rises providing a fair and average coverage for lace.

S: Biscuity and dry maltiness on the opening aroma. A hint of peppery flower and dry fruit along with a leafy green hopping, vague in distinction that is followed by a trailing dry malt sweetness.

T: Spicy with a dry nutty and malty residue. Silty maltiness with a light peppery nature along with some green leafy character of fennel, tea leafs, and basil. A light fruity nature moves in with a warm holiday spicing. Nice malt-base more so then the hop level (I originally thought this was a pale from the label) with a fruitiness of green melon lying buried beneath the residual malting.

M: Milky feel with a nice tingle of carbonation. Malty lace with a spicy touch on the close.

D: Average enjoyment factor, malty, making for a nice fall style beer but in limited quantities.

Photo of Rayek
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic.

A: Hazy copper with light carbonation from fine bubbles. A rocky cream cap slowly falls to a patchwork quilt of foam. Leaves lots of lace.

S: I picked up a healthy dose of anise and black tea right out of the gate. Some bittersweet toffee and a hint of lemon sit behind them.

T: Starts out with bittersweet toffee and an almost leathery flavor. Bitterness is sharp and packs an acidic black tea bite. The beer gets a bit sour toward the end.

M: The light body is doughy and a bit too tingly.

D: This is a nice beer that felt like it would be much better fresh in a pub than out of a bottle shipped across the Atlantic.

Photo of kojevergas
2.31/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle into Erdinger pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a dark gold/light brown. Other reviews describe this beer's colour as copper. I suppose that applies. Three finger thick, creamy head. Quite nice.

Sm: Light clean scent - the usual suspects: barley, hops, some malt.

T: Balanced body. Hint of nut. Bitter finish typical of pale ales.

Mf: Too smooth, too wet. A bit coarser at the finish but this doesn't save it.

Dr: Too costly for its quality. Look elsewhere. Advertised as a pale ale.

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky tea color with a very nice, foamy head that leaves clumps of lace

Smell: Fruity, with apple and pear dominant; undertones of fig and tea-like earthy hops

Taste: Fruity, up front, with the apple, pear and fig elements quickly pairing off with the herbal hops; after the swallow, the tea-like element balances out some of the sweeter flavors in the malt profile; mineral flavors linger in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with gentle carbonation - cask in a bottle?

Drinkability: Much better than the Combined Harvest, but still suffers from a bit too much sweetness relative to the hops

Photo of charlatan
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours somewhere between brick and ruby red in colour with a head which rapidly dissipates to a thin ring around the rim and a small island. The nose is dominated by dried fruit, probably fig.

This is less sweet and more biscuity than i had imagined with enough hop bite to give it a clean and refreshing herbal finish. Definitely a well balanced beer with much to recommend it.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle 4,8% Abv

Appearance: Batemans XXXB pours a beautiful shade of copper red and has a good sized and fairly creamy caramel coloured head that has pretty good retention and leaves some decent lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

Smell: Surprisingly the nose is malt dominated, but who said that was a bad thing? Toasted malt is well appreciated with biscuity, caramelized sugar and toffee aromas, there is some fruitiness - over-ripe red apples - and some spicy, almost tea-like hops (hop aroma becomes stronger as the beer warms) that round out the nose

Taste: As with the nose, the taste is malt dominated. Caramel (with a hint of candy sugar), toasted bread and bruised/over-ripe apples are all present and are followed by a pretty good English hop flavour that has hints of high quality tea and is fairly spicy. The finish is fairly bitter, but a little more bitterness could only improve the beer.

Mouthfeel: A tad fuller than medium bodied with perfect, understated and gently smooth carbonation, a real pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: I wish my local served this one, I could see it being one of my choice ales when having a pint with friends. A very enjoyable and drinkable beer that I will be sure to have again.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Into a British pint glass, poured copper-red with more carbonation than expected, two fingers of beige head, great retention, and good lacing. The nose revealed the traditional expected notes of apple, pear, biscuit, and malt. The taste began with toast, biscuit, toffee, and caramel, dissolving to the aforementioned fruity flavors, and then finishing on a bitter dry toffee note. Smooth, yet slightly spritzy medium body. Excellent session beer with a great flavor progression.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yes! Pleasure to have come across this ale stateside. Saw this brewery featured in Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter television series.

Hmm. If you've had a Fuller's ESB (or other British bitter, for that matter) - that's the smell. Mild, by American standards, but actually, this one packs a tiny bit more bitterness and fruitiness than a Fuller's, et al. I wouldn't characterize the bitter as "hoppy" per se - perhaps ever-so-subtly. But you must know what you're looking for in a bitter from the isle. This delivers. It's modestly fabulous.

The bitter character is fantastic. I really dig this utilization of hops. Getting some caramel notes and the fruitiness is in check. Artfully balanced.

Rich and smooth feel, solid stalwart body. Wonderfully bitter aftertaste that emerges glacially and inhabits every corner of mouth. Mildly peppery as well.

Had quite a few bitters from the UK and this may be the most bitter. Up against many American versions, it stands up strong and can trade some blows. I'd be delighted to drink this again whenever.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice coppery colour. Very clear with a large-bubbled head of yellowish white foam. Lacing is only speckles of sticking bubbles down the edge of the glass, but it looks decent all up.

Quite malty on the nose. Bit of grain bag rustic character, and a whiff of banana phenols. Malt is dominant though, with some toffee and caramel notes, and just a hint of roastiness. Quite nice all up.

Taste is similar - very big on the malt, with more of an emphasis on roasted grain. Fresh wholegrain bread spread with molasses. Slightly astringent finish as the roasted character lends some bitterness. Still, it's very full bodied for the most part, very sweet, rich and grain-heavy. Mouthfeel is round without being cloying. Good.

A very full-flavoured beer, almost too heavy to drink much of, despite its relatively low strength. Still, I enjoyed it as an experience - maybe not something I'd seek out regularly though.

Photo of morimech
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brownish amber color with two inches of solid head that had great retention. When the head does settle, it keeps a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Pleasant aroma of toasted bread, black tea, and citrus fruit. The addition of American Liberty hops threw me a little in this English ale but it compliments the beer nicely. I love the flavor of this beer. The malt sweetness is kept in check. Slightly toasted malt upfront before the hops add their flavors. The Goldings are detected first with some herbal and peppery flavor, then the citrus notes come in the finish. Has a nice rich mouthfeel for such a low ABV beer. My bottle says 5.0% ABV. Nice soft carbonation that is trying to mimic an ale on cask. Very drinkable with its low ABV and pleasant features.

Photo of timholio
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and mild. I would drink this again. Lite in the ABV which is great.

I would drink this again. Fullers ESB has way more taste than this though but this is a lighter beer.

I prefer Fullers London Pale Ale which is very similar in style but the fullers is more distinctive. I would reach for this when you want a decent session ESB that is lower in alcohol.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light copper orange with a good sized, foamy white head.

S - Lots of malt on the nose, sweet caramel, toffee, and bread. Faint hop presence.

T - Those malt flavors are prominent and make up the base. A bit of buttery flavor with the breadiness. There is some hop flavors that go in and out of this base. They are fairly faint though. A bit of citrus hop and some earthy/floral. The hops are a bit stronger during the finish, also finishes with some mineral and a bit of pepper.

M - Medium to light body and average carbonation. Fairly smooth.

D - Good drinkability. Balanced and smooth.

Notes: Not an amazing beer, but alright if you just want a beer to sip on casually.

Photo of brewdoc75
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to this one for awhile. I love a good English ale.

A: Fits nicely into my English Imerial pint glass. A beautiful amber. The head starts at 1 inch but dies fast. Carbonation is a little on the high end to make this a 5.

S: Toffee, biscut, and a some caramel from the malts. The hops are floral and tea-like. Faint earthiness and some mild fruitiness from the English yeast.

T: Tons of great English character. Biscut and toffee are the main thing I pick up. The caramel comes out as well. The hops are very nice and provide a tea-like flavor with a hint of spiciness. The beer finishes with some faint fruitiness and just a hint of butteriness. A treat for those who like a good English ale. Lots of flavor for a low ABV. Bitterness is spot on for the style.

M: Light bodied, crisp and clean on the tongue. Too much carbonation for a traditional English beer, but I can deal with it.

D: All around, a great example of an English ESB. Right on for the style. Very flavorful and quite sessionable. Why the hell did I only buy one bottle? I must get more.

Photo of srandycarter
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a murky amber, even an aggressive pour results in fast leaving scant head. Some cling lace and ring remains.

S - Sweet malt and a bit of port. Maybe a little oxidized?

T - Initial malt sweetness, ends almost excessively dry.

M - Somewhat creamy at first, light bodied, good carb.

D - Not one of my favorites. Had a 9.09 date on it. I gather that might be the best by and maybe why it has a bit of a stale port feel to it and doesn't finish the way I had hoped.

Photo of mheberger
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been really into trying more classic English Ales after getting the book "The Ale Trail" by Roger Protz.

Picked this up at the neighborhood discount grocery store... and was very intrigued by the combination of English Goldings hops and American Liberty hops, plus the addition of some wheat.

Very drinkable, lightly carbonated, very little head. Predominantly bitter on the palate, with some peppery notes, but not much flowers or citrus like you would expect from an ale hopped with Fuggles.

The Batemans website calls it "Grainy, Gristy & Gratifying". Yup.

I can see sticking with this one over an evening, and downing several pints of this bitter. I'd serve it a bit warmer though, maybe 55º plus. Recommended.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Batemans XXXB from George Bateman and Son Ltd. / Batemans Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.