Batemans XXXB | George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery

very good
98 Reviews
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Batemans XXXBBatemans XXXB

Brewed by:
George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-18-2002

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 139
Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.31/5  rDev -40%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I havent a good English ESB in awhile,this fit the bill.Poured into an imperial pint glass a clear rich copper/bronze with a sticky 1/2 finger white head that left broken lace as it settled slowly into a creamy mass.Lighter but pleasant aromas,caramel and toasted malt mixed with leafy, slightly medicinal hop.Flavors have a bit of hard water to it mixed with a lightly sweet caramel malt flavor,a little butter comes thru as well,a leafy slightly spicey hop finish is a nice finish.A very nice social pint light but flavorful

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy pumpkin with golden honeycomb highlights. The firmly creamy crown is the color of buttered wheat toast and is a good match for the beer on which it sits. Longevity, plenty of character during melting and extensive glass coverage... what more could one want?

Triple XB doesn't smell very hoppy. Then again, it doesn't need to have an American IPA's worth of lupulins. Crystal malt is appreciated, as is a fruitiness that smells a little too tart. Palate expectations just took a hit.

The beer tastes pretty much like it smells, though there's even more caramel-toffee than expected. The fact that there isn't as much 'B' as hoped for means that this ale is neither very 'E' nor very 'S'. It is balanced, if that sort of thing is important to you.

English Goldings and American Liberty do an okay job with both flavor and bitterness, but their contributions are diluted to some extent by too much toasted breadiness and slightly too much sweetness. Bruised apples, melted caramel and a dab of butter on whole grain toast is the sum total of the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is on the big side for the ABV and has gentle carbonation. The latter was most likely the brewery's attempt to mimick the feel of cask ale. Not that I have much experience in that area, but they did a pretty good job.

Batemans XXXB Classic Premium Pale Ale is really nothing special from this Yank's point of view. It's the sort of beer that, if it is to shine at all, will shine most brightly when drunk fresh from the cask in an English pub, not from the bottle in the American Heartland.

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Photo of russpowell
3.31/5  rDev -14%
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

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Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brownish amber with a creme head. Nose is malty caramel. Flavor is slightly sweet and smooth. Oddly so in a way. Roasted nuttiness hits me on the back. Back to the malty sweet tones I get at the start. A bit unusual and not really what I would be expecting for the style. Feel is smooth on liquid. Carbonation is lower. An interesting beer. Not really working as an ESB for me, but pleasant enough to drink I guess.

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Photo of jwc215
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a bubbly tan head. Trailing lace slides down the glass with minimal stickage.

The smell is biscuity - classic Maris Otter malt aroma with a touch of caramel. A nice peppery/citric touch mixes in.

The taste is biscuity with caramel. A kiss of sweetness turns to a dry, leafy, peppery/spicy finish with an interesting, subtle, mild wheat tang.

It has a smooth medium body.

Nicely balanced and unique. It has nice subtle complexities. Easy to drink and enjoyable!

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bottle at Abe's Cold Beer for $5. A little pricey, but worth trying if you're into the style. It poured a mostly clear amber-red with a short white head and lacing. The aroma and flavor are very true to style with slightly creamy and fruity yeast character or subtle toasted bread malts. It finished with a herbal and peppercorn hops bite that provides more balance than bitterness. All in all a tasty and very sessionable beer. It's a shame the damn stuff is so expensive.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle into an Imperial Pint,

A: Pours a red-brown with a finger of white foam, some lace.

S: Classic British Bitter, caramel and toast, minerals, sulfur.

T: A little more on the hoppier side than most British bitters I've had. Notes of metal and definite minerality. Malt brings flavours of toast and a mild brown sugar.

M: Little too metallic/coppery at times. Medium-bodied, very smooth.

D: A real nice pub ale, it's nice to see another classic British ale here in the US.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you can't get it draught, a bottle will have to do!

4 Pint bottles for £5.00 in my local Morrison's supermarket, damn good value for such a fine beer.

My scores are not as high, as my cask review, but this beer is so good, a dead bottled version is still a fantastic beer and enables less fortunate people (who can't get it cask conditioned) a chance to try a truely great English Bitter.

Still looks good, but the head is not the same, not as natural as the cask head.

Aroma slightly below the fresh hoppy wiff, the taste is almost there, as is the mouthfeel. It is still very, very drinkable.

Get some.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of wl0307
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle. No freshness info. is given on the label.
A: in a straight pint glass it pours a pale-copperish hue, with a thick and fluffy foamy head which slowly settles, leaving uneven sheets of lacing along the way; gentle streams of big bubbles.
S: as hoppy as malty upfront--semi-sweetish, almost candyish, biscuity malts with light touches of caramel are supported solidly by pronounced floral hops and beautifully tuned appleish aroma. A harmony in front of my nose, I must say.
T&M: delicious biscuity maltiness is intertwined with a slightly spicy, leafy hoppyness followed by lots of dried fruits, marmalade/ tangeine peel, licorice, a hint of (not sweet) caramel, and a profound black-tea like bitter-sweet aftertaste lingering towards the very last minute of tasting. The nectar on the palate is so tender and caressing, while a lively texture is retained throughout.
D: medium-bodied and very flavoursome, this is a truly lovely premium bitter. The bottled one I'm tasting now seems to be more pronounced in hoppyness than my last pint on cask which was predominantly malty. But as both versions are at 4.8%abv., I presume them to be of the same recipe? Both are very good though. Go, Go, Bateman's!!

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Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a mahogany color and a somewhat clear consistency. What head there was dissipated quickly. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, sugar, biscuits and a bit of spices.

T: One of the better tasting ESBs out there. Malt, caramel, biscuits and pepper. A stronger, more robust taste for an English beer, but definitely tasty.

M: A vibrant amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is an incredibly drinkable ESB with a lot of character and flavor. Very easy to like.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Chestnut brown, thin white head, decent lacing.

S: Roasted malts, roasted nuts, buttery biscuit. Faint sweet hoppyness.

T: Roasted malts and roasted nuts. Biscuity. Finishes with a nice floral hop and bitter bite. Could have used a touch more dark maltyness for my taste.

M: Medium bodied, ample carbonation.

D: Good representation of the style. Could have been slightly bolder, but most authentic englishes lean towards the thinner flavor profile.

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Photo of drpimento
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a gift from my English friend Vinnie. Thanks mate! Pours with a nice head that diminishes but not completely. Some lace. Clear coppery amber color. Very rich and malty aroma. Flavor is also super malty, but dry and bitter. Long malty bitter finish. Satisfying.

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Photo of ccrida
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into my Samuel Smith's Imperial Pint, Batemans XXXB is a chill hazed dull orange with a small off-white head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is a little fruity, grassy hops, and a bit tinny.

Taste is very simliar to the nose, nice malt, some leafy hops and tinny.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium light, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is okay. At first, it was too metallic, but the caramel malts came out more as it warmed (and my pallate adjusted), and I got to enjoy it more.

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Photo of FLima
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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 guaraná.
Fruity and bitter balanced flavor. Notes of spicy yeasty, earthy hops, dark fruits, sweet guaraná, 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.

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Photo of morimech
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.12/5  rDev -19%
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.

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Batemans XXXB from George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
3.85 out of 5 based on 139 ratings.
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