Batemans XXXB | George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery

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Batemans XXXBBatemans XXXB
Very Good
142 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 100
Photo of Mark
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This excellent beer was a clear medium amber in my Imperial pint glass. A white ,well formed bubbly head topped the nice looking beer and left sheets of visually pleasing lace. very earthy aroma with a sharp citrus taste. Solid malt base with fruity hops notably grapefruit and orange. Nice medium bodied beer that I enjoyed for it's smooth yet complex profiles. Another cask winner.

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Photo of bditty187
2.61/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, bronzy-coppery brown in hue; minor off-white head, at the apex the foam was only a half finger tall. The bubbles quickly faded to a soapy collar. Subsequent lacing was very spotty. Overall, the appearance is decent but hardly noteworthy.

The nose is malty sweet with hints of caramel butter nut popcorn. It is also somewhat earthy with a smattering of fruitiness as well; not much in the way of hops… ESB, eh? I am underwhelmed by the nose. Maybe I am an ugly American but there is nothing in the aroma to get excited about let alone motivate me to take a sip. Moderately low potency; bland.

Slightly metallic caramel butter flavor with some nuts in the background, hints of toffee with a fairly dry finish. Moderate bitterness in the middle; not much fruitiness either, hints of wood but there is little complexity overall. Popcorn flavors in the finish with a faint metallic and butter twang; the aftertaste is of dead vegetables (and after a few drinks this taste becomes overwhelming). Sadly, the palate is doing nothing for me.

Almost medium in body, low carbonation but not unnaturally so; the mouthfeel is average.

Limited drinkability; this is yet another English ale that fails to deliver. If this is one of the best beers in England… then, um, wow. Maybe I got a bad bottle (I don’t think so as my girlfriend, another beer geek, liked it quite a bit). Nevertheless, thank you Howard and Lynne for bringing this back from England for me.

Best by: 24 Jun 08

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Photo of jarmby1711
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle called itself a Pale Ale , but whatever it is it is very nice.
What I enjoyed was the subtle complexity of the ale.
Bitterness and fruitiness that was kiwifruit like and caramel malts that had any sweet edge rubbed off it , all mingled in the mouth
They didnt compete with each other but all were distinctly there.
It had a watery soft mouthfeel with perfect carbonation.
The cask version of this would be well worth finding.

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Photo of Daredevil
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is my first ale on this trip to England .... and it will be an experience hard to beat ....
the smell of starfruit and ginger cookies, taste of roast chicken on toast, and a very pleasantly bitter aftertaste make this brew a very interesting and well crafted one .... definitely one of 500 beers to drink before you die ....

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Photo of Absumaster
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A copper, clear beer with quite a lot of carbonation for an ESB. A very small head that leaves a small ring on the side of the glass.

Smell of wood and caramel, biscuit and toffee. The wood is more like oak or at least fresh timber. A big fruitiness of the English yeast that brings marmelade, peach and nuts. There is a light hoppiness that smells English.

Taste is biscuity malt with oak and birch wood notes. The malt is also a bit caramellic and nutty. Together with the malt there is a great fruit attack with peaches and a bit strawberry. Bitterness is medium, but really nice and according to style. Mouthfeel is medium to thin.Aftertaste is dry and lingering bitter wood.

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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 norwichboy
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear nut brown with a big frothy off white head which settles to a persisting collar. Lace coats the glass. To smell, it is not particularly strong but has a lot going on in it, with fruity notes (citrus, with some raisin and fig), biscuity malt and some spiciness (Ginger Nuts). To taste, mild toasted malt flavours on entry and mid palate with bitterness coming through on swallowing, leaving a long lasting bitter finish. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with really good soft fine carbonation - it's hard to ask for more from this. Overall, this has a lot going on in it, although everything is done in a subtle way - it seems to need a bit of concentration to appreciate it's greatness.

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

Batemans XXXB

A = Poured a dark copper colour with a light foam head that quickly dissapated into a thin ring of foam around the rim of the glass.

S = Slight bittery/nutty aroma.

T = Initial light sugary sweetness that gives way to a nutty character which follows through to a slightly dry and bitter finish.

M = Moderately carbonated so its easy to drink.

D = Drinkable. Just not my favourite ESB.

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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 mdagnew
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep coppery orange / amber colour... light creamy tan head poured fairly thick then faded quite quickly to light layer. Light lacing... Sparse carbonation...

Aroma - Lightly toasted caramel maltiness, biscuity, nice juicy fruits (oranges, pears, figs, some raisins), some nutty sweetness, grassy, light spicy / floral hops, some bready notes, light cinnamon traces...

Taste – Nice juicy tart fruits (oranges, apples, light figs, some grapefruits), light toffee sweetness, definite nuttiness, spicy hop bitterness, some nutmeg notes, toasted bread, nice biscuitiness..

Feel - Initially sharp then mellows out....Medium body... Very very quaffable - a perfect session beer...

Overall - A world class bitter - one of my favourites... Recommended !!

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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 rastaman
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grainy and gristy as it says on the label, caramel nuts, with a dry tea-like citrus hop finish, none of the ingredients are too well noticed, they're just there and pretty well balanced, if a bit predictable and boring, would probably benefit from cask conditioning (had it from bottle).

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Photo of Doiv
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a delightful golden ruby colour with a nice thick tan head, which lasts forever. The lacing left is easily noticeable.

The nose is hoppy, fruity, slightly bready, and has a little cinnamon backbite to tweak the olfactories into gear.

The taste is also somewhat spicy, with fruity and hoppy tones to compliment. It is also quite bready in taste, almost akin to scones.

The mouthfeel is excellent and the clean refreshment this pint provides makes it drinkable.

Top stuff Bateman's!

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Photo of downes51
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bateman's beers can be an acquired taste. Well, I've paid my dues, I've worked hard at it and at the end I have to say it's all been worth the effort... this XXXB (pronounced tripple-ex-bee) is an outstanding English Strong Ale. Hoppy, slightly water-hard (a Batemans characteristic) strong and full-flavoured. Reccommended, but not a session beer.

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Photo of koolk
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong orange-burgundy in colour with firm carbonation and a tough thick head.

Top aromas of fruits, spicy malt and leafy hops mingle together seemlessly and very very plesantly.

Palate is long, thick, full and not overly bitter. Strong darkish fruit flavours come through (dried fruits perhaps?) with a decent spicy bitter kick, but again, nothing out of control.

A wonderfully balanced beer that is worth the asking price.

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Photo of diablo14
4.87/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

XXXB is without doubt the best English ale i've ever had. There just aren't enough good things I can say about it. If I was only able to drink this beer for the rest of my life i'd be more than happy.

Gorgeous deep amber color with a thick golden head that never quits. Big aromas of dried fruits, malt and a wonderful hoppy scent. Biscuity malt flavors with raisins, plums and a little orange. Traces of toasted nuts also. The finish has a little hint of anise spice. Spectacular hops bitterness that is dry but incredibly smooth. Rolls over the tongue like magic, and really awakens the senses. Firm in body, full in flavor and for all of its character its still highly drinkable.

There's plenty of English ales I love out there, and XXXB heads the list. It's everything you want the style to be, only better. This beer is so good, its one of those that you can remember vividly even if you haven't had one for months. The mere thought of it brings memories of the wonderful flavors and aromas, complex yet subtle. Absolutely brilliant.

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Photo of John
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This became one of a number of favorites during a relatively short stay in London. Classic English ale displaying superb malt/hop balance.

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Batemans XXXB from George Bateman & Son / Batemans Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 142 ratings