Batemans XXXB
George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery

Batemans XXXBBatemans XXXB
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #33
Ranked #18,759
3.88 | pDev: 12.11%
George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
Batemans XXXBBatemans XXXB
Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 145 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served on cask. Pours clear, amber in color with half inch head. Taste is sherry, tea, and caramel. Low carbonation, sweet, smooth, and light bodied. One of the best cask ales I have ever had. Delicious...all day.

Jul 20, 2018
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danmouer from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Take two parts best bitter plus two parts dark mild and add a little extra dash of sugar and you get Batemans xxxb. The label describes it as a strong bitter (abv 5%), but deeper-than-usual color and chocolate nose suggest something a little sweeter and softer. This one pours from the bottle with only minimal liveliness in the head (yay for true English ale!). The nose fills with sweet, very bisquity malt laced with milk chocolate and caramel: candy in a glass.

In the mouth, the sweet promise is delivered, but it is nowhere near cloying. Soft-water sensations, rich malty flavors, and a gentle, but perfectly sufficient balance of bitter makes this a wonderful beer of the sort you would never find in the tasting room of an American craft-beer brewer. My kind of beer, in fact.

Nothing is overdone, but everything is pumped up to just right. The finish is clean, dry and leaves just a pleasant bitter-sweet residue that goes on snd on. What a nice beer! I'm sure my ratng will be higher than average, but that's just because I have not yet wrecked my palate and nose on tongue-wringing American IPAs.

Aug 30, 2017
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Taybeh from Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Town Hall, into a shaker. 1 finger off white head on top of a fairly clear sienna..great lacing. Mild nose of almost burnt toffee, banana...fairly minimal. Not finding the biscuity notes I love in the style. Fuller flavors once i start drinking, but consistent with the nose. The mouthful is pretty good-- smooth, almost creamy, but a little too watery to be ideal.

Mar 15, 2016
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jonb5 from England

3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pint at the JDW in Whitehall.

A: Bronze, thin small head, hazy.

S: Only a very faint aroma, but it was malty.

T: Slightly watery, toffee, malt, cranberry, increased bitterness towards the end.

M: Smooth, watery texture.

O: Middle of the road, a bit too strong to session, not too much depth.

Sep 09, 2015
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patre_tim from Thailand

3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown copper with a moderate amount of carbonation, 2 fingers of beige head. Snow frosted window lacing.

Caramel, a hint of banana, hard water, slightly burnt sugar.

Malt, caramel, dry, creamy, a hint of banana, a solid amount of dull toasted bitterness that lingers on the tongue.

Found in Bangkok, drank in Loei, Thailand on Aug 25th, 2015. Great, solid British bitter.

Aug 25, 2015
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EmperorBevis from England

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Based on cask offering via handpump
Pours an amber body with slight reddish hues and thick tight microscopic bubbled head that curtains down the glass and stays to the end

Nov 01, 2013
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FLima from Brazil

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color with a two finger off-white thick head with low retention.
Nice fruity aroma from English hops and sweet malt. Hints of guaranĂ¡.
Fruity and bitter balanced flavor. Notes of spicy yeasty, earthy hops, dark fruits, sweet guaranĂ¡, caramels and biscuit malts. Dry aftertaste with a pleasant elegant bitterness.
Light body with mild carbonation.
Good exemplar of an English Bitter, very sessionable and still flavorful and pleasant. Recommendable.

Jul 26, 2013
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber colour with a thin head about a centimetre tall and slightly frothy. It settles to a fine lacing after about thirty seconds though.

Mix of sweetness and biscuit malts along with some vanilla and a hint of fruit and berries. There is an earthy hop aroma.

Some sweet malts in the taste along with some vanilla and a little honey. The beer taste quite sweet with a lot of fruits bended throughout and a bit of biscuit that is rounded of with a creamy and bitter finish.

Quite creamy with a medium to full body and some sweet and earthy notes mixed together and low carbonation.

Not a bad beer really, good and creamy with nice vanilla and even some honey in there. It is a good example of a pale ale & one that went down well.

Dec 14, 2012
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EPortJake from England

4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - rusty copper with a thin clinging head
S - sweet malt biscuit. Bizzarely, I get a hint of throat lozenge
T - malt biscuit, caramel with molases. Moderately hopped, but the farewell gives a peppery hop boost.
M - medium bodied and nicely carbonated.
O - the label descibes it as a "classic premium pale ale" but I look at it as more of a premium/special bitter. A favorite english tipple of mine since first tasting. Recommended.

Oct 21, 2012
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Hoppsbabo from England

3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear amber. Off-white head.

S: Honey.

T: Lots of honey but very dry. A sour, dry tanginess which I don't like at all - common in northern style English ales. Faintest touch of marzipan.

O: Decent enough, but not my idea of perfection. Very British, but nothing like the best of what Britain has to offer.

Aug 13, 2012
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Samp01 from New Jersey

3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Pours a slightly hazy rust red amber with a small short lived beige head. Aroma is sweet caramel malt, yeast, dates, dark fruity esters. Taste is a rich caramel malt flavor, dried fruit, yeast and some light bitterness. Palate is a medium-full body, slightly sticky with moderate carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel malt, dark dried fruit, yeast , some dates followed by some light bitterness, ending with a lingering caramel malt and dates flavor. Overall a pleasant, tasty and enjoyable brew.

May 25, 2012
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.0 A: This sure is a dark pale ale. Mildly hazed deep orange brown color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is average and no lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: Bready malts with caramel and toastiness. This is quite earthy with a noticeable mineral quality. Slight spicy and earthy hop character.

3.0 T: Again, bready malts, caramel, and toastiness. The mineral and iron components are quite strong and a bit offputting. It's not that bad, it just isn't my thing. I prefer cleaner brews. Anyway, earthy and spicy hop flavor with a moderate bitterness.

3.0 M: Medium body. Carbonation level is fine. However, the beer lies a bit heavy on the tongue as it lacks creaminess.

3.0 D: Not a bad brew, but it could use some refinement and some water treatment.

Apr 29, 2012
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flagmantho from Washington

3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass. Bottle says 5% ABV rather than the above-noted 4.8%.

Appearance: deep copper hue with a light haze and light effervescence. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam. I like it!

Smell: malt aroma is very heavy on the caramel and there is only a light touch of earthy hops. Not bad, but it's a bit on the sweet side.

Taste: very caramelly malt flavor with a touch of earthy hops and a mild-to-moderate bitterness. Not bad but a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a mild carbonation. A bit on the watery side, sad to say.

Overall: not a bad beer at all, but it's got a boring mouthfeel and isn't my favorite flavor profile. It is moderately refreshing, though, and might not make a bad session beer.

Mar 29, 2012
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thepeter from England

3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with little head and not much lace. Pale malt, apple, wood, all in the nose. Taste is not as malty as I expected more dry and hoppy bitter with a touch of fruit, apple orchard. Feel was ok, medium light bodied and a heavy carbonatoin for the style. Overall a pretty good dark bitter but one I'd much rather have on cask.

Mar 03, 2012
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samie85 from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a coppery brown color with about a 1/4 finger of white head.

S-Fruity esters with rich caramel and some light, herbal hop notes.

T-Fruity and rich, dark caramel with a slight roasted quality and finishes with a light bitterness.

M-Slick and medium-full bodied with pretty low carbonation.

D-Very easy drinking... I really like the ESB style and wish I had more accessible local options that were close to what this is.

Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had been looking forward to trying this beer for a while before I a tually got a hold of some. I was always really interested in how the bottle looked. Anyway, this brew poured out as a golden color with a thin white colored head on top. The head fades and doesn't really lace the glass at all. The smell of the beer had a slightly earthy aroma and some sweet grainy malts in there too. The taste of the beer was pretty good. It reminded me of a Fuller's ESB a little bit. The flavored were moderately bitter and it had a dry aftertaste. The mouthfeel was a little thinner than I expected it to be. Overall this ale wasn't too bad, but I was really that into it either. I would probably drink it again but I wouldn't pay a whole lot to had it again.

Nov 02, 2011
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy copper with a decent head. Smells a bit coppery at that, with some breadiness, some yeasty notes, and some earthy hops. Pretty solid. The taste is pretty similar- classic English Pale Ale with the breadiness that is not overdone, the leafy, earthy hops, and the slight metallic twang of copper. Smooth in the mouth with an almost creamy finish, and a touch buttery, but that doesn't detract from the beer. Quite nice, if not the best I've had of the style.

Jul 19, 2011
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TheHoppiest from Ohio

3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an attractive 500 ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a murky light brown, like the color of iced tea, with an off-white head that reduces to a thin lid after a couple of minutes.

Has a fruity aroma, like apple juice or pears, with hints of honey. There's an underlying biscuity malt that grows in prevalence as the beer sits.

Starts mildly bitter, with a tannic quality that hints at grapes or currants. A toffee malt kicks in mid-tongue, with hints of molasses. The biscuity aroma does not really carry through to the taste. Ends dry and clean, but not especially bitter.

Medium bodied, with a dry finish that leaves the tongue needing more.

A nice, pleasant ale, mildly fruity, and very easy drinking. Lacking the hoppiness of it's American cousin, this pale ale is worth a try.

Jun 05, 2011
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thierrynantes from France

3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (50 cl.), tasted in 2011.

Appearance : copper red color, with white foam head (not persistent).
Smell : malty and caramel aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : fruity with hints of spicy, bitterness in finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the English style Extra Strong Bitter.

May 31, 2011
Photo of julian
julian from Washington

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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

May 13, 2011
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colts9016 from Idaho

3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

Apr 18, 2011
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smcolw from Massachusetts

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.

Apr 04, 2011
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ProfessorHomer from New York

4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Mar 22, 2011
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
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

Mar 21, 2011
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largadeer from California

4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Mar 14, 2011
Batemans XXXB from George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 145 ratings